Belstaff has shown its autumnâ€“winter 2017â€“18 collection in London, for both men and women. The Jolly Roger collection, inspired by World War II Royal Navy uniforms, even has vintage wax treatments on some designs to give them a worn look. Belstaff notes that the pea and duffle coats have been re-created, while the parka is based on a Belstaff design created for the British military in 1960. Creative Director Delphine Ninous said, ‘The formal naval-inspired pieces are contrasted with a more rugged and free-spirited look appropriate to downtime on the docks. This sense of temporary escapism is reflected in edgier elements such as naval tattoo designs and the Jolly Roger flag, giving a sense of rebellion and individuality.’ Tones are red, brown, blue and military green; base colours are charcoal grey, black and navy, with highlights in spruce teal, sanderling, cardinal red and burnished gold.
Meanwhile, Chanel has previewed its advertising campaign for its springâ€“summer 2017 prÃªt-Ã -porter collection. The campaign itself has been overseen by Karl Lagerfeld, with contrast at its core. A pop Lolita metamorphoses into a cyberpunk; a tweed jacket has an electronic circuit board as a motif; an off-white silk and lace coat covers a black babydoll. There’s a startling modernity to the images, tying in to the Data Center Chanel catwalk show in Paris last October, which saw high-tech meet the 1990s.
Top: National Gallery of Victoria and House of Dior announce House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture at NGV International, opening August 2017. At the media announcement on Friday, Sandra Sundelin, Alejandra Zuluaga, Ella Bond, Maddison Lukes, and Bela Pelacio Hazewinkel model various Dior designs. Above: Ella Bond models the Dior bar suit from the springâ€“summer 1947 haute couture collection, Maddison Lukes wears the Francis Poulenc dress from the springâ€“summer 1950 haute couture collection, and Bela Pelacio Hazewinkel the Abandon dress from the autumnâ€“winter 1948â€“9 collection.
Above, from top: Christian Dior adjusts the accessories to the Zaire dress, on his star model Victoire, during rehearsal for the autumnâ€“winter 1954â€“5 haute couture show. Christian Dior and model, c. 1950. From the media announcement, Ella Bond in the Dior bar suit from the springâ€“summer 1947 haute couture collection. Sandra Sundelin models the Dior Embuscade suit from the autumnâ€“winter 1950â€“1 haute couture collection and Alejandra Zuluaga the Gruau gown from the autumnâ€“winter 1949â€“50 haute couture collection. Alejandra Zuluaga in the Gruau gown from the autumnâ€“winter 1949â€“50 haute couture collection and Maddison Lukes in the Francis Poulenc dress from the springâ€“summer 1950 haute couture collection. Maddison Lukes wears Dior’s Francis Poulenc dress from his springâ€“summer 1950 haute couture collection.
Opened December 3, like a walk through history and Parisian elegance, the new Chanel boutique in the HÃ´tel Amelot de Bisseuil, also known as the HÃ´tel des Ambassadeurs de Hollande, is one of the most beautiful showcases of the prestigious brand yet.
Careful to retain all historical detail, wear and time, the space encompasses two ephemeral boutiques. The first, an untouched 127 mÂ² space, showcases the ready-to-wear collection and accessories within an interior of bare and exposed stone walls adorned by transparent glass, and a floor made of resin but has the likeness of Corten steel.
The second boutique, at only 37 mÂ², showcases Chanel shoes in the style of a great artists’ studio. With the most minimal setting of black clothes-rails and wooden tables peeping through, the space is an adoration of history, archÃ¦ological preservation and the Hotel’s pride in history. The interiors are left exactly as is in this national heritage site, with no changes or adornment.â€”Cecilia Xu
Above, from top: Venezia has legendary picture-perfect palaces all along the Grand Canal. Cruise ship departs, photographed from San Marco Square. Luna Hotel Bagioni’s Canova Restaurant.
Greetings from La Serenissima, where the sultry days of summer have descended as the lanes grow thick with eager visitors. Itâ€™s late June, and temperatures already read in the low 30s (high 80s for our US readers), humidity hovering around 65 per cent. By midday, as the sun burns through the Adriatic haze, gelato sellers enjoy a thriving business. Lucire has some insider tips to make your visit a happy one. 1. Arrive mid-week to avoid the extreme crowds. The city has finally limited the number of cruise shipsâ€”at one time 15 a day were allowedâ€”now held to three a day. The behemoth vessels arrive on Friday, depositing 15,000 extra day-trippers loosed into the ancient city on weekends. The city can be more navigable on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. 2. Expect higher prices. Venezia is old and delicate, and tourists a captive audience. Thereâ€™s an old maxim for travellers, â€˜Take half as many clothes as you think you need and twice as much money.â€™ This holds true for Venezia. As an example, a friend and her daughter sat down at one of the outdoor tables facing the Grand Canal, ordered two small pizzas and two bottles of water. Cost â‚¬50. Donâ€™t be surprised! 3. Wear a hat and keep hydrating. The heat is deceptive, so cover your head and donâ€™t overdo it. If you want to help preserve Venezia, buy an Italian-made straw fedora from a street vendor in support of the local economy. Itâ€™s the most functional headgear for the weather and you wonâ€™t regret the stylistic flourish you take home. You may also find an afternoon siesta in your hotel room another strategy to beat the heat. 4. Have a meal at an outdoor restaurant on via Giuseppe Garibaldi. Veneziaâ€™s best-kept-secret neighbourhood, where prices may be lower than Rialto or San Marco. A very typical quarter where you will see real Venetians going about their daily business. An easy 15-minute walk from San Marco, along the waterfront, just beyond Arsenale, facing the Lido and the open sea. 5. Visit the Ghetto. 2016 commemorates the 500th anniversary of the founding of the historic district, located very near the train station. There on March 29, 1516, Jewish residents were granted exclusive sanctuary and permitted to live and do business. While no official celebrations are planned, the area has fascinating architecture, shops and exhibits. 6. Explore fine dining at Veneziaâ€™s great hotels. During the summer, reservations at Veneziaâ€™s well known restaurants can be difficult to score. But many of the five-star hotels have great kitchens ready to show you the best of the lagoonâ€™s catch, and new twists on classic preparations in their signature restaurants.
Thereâ€™s good news in this category from the Luna Hotel Baglioni, a favourite property located just off San Marco, which upholds an incomparable standard of hospitality and comfort. The hotelâ€™s outstanding Canova Restaurant will soon have outdoor tables adjacent to the entrance, where lunch and dinner can be enjoyed on a quiet passage facing a little-known gondola landing. Fine cuisine, prime location and impeccable service are the hallmarks of this great restaurant.
While weâ€™re on the subject of the Luna, another new addition to the service package is the introduction this season of dedicated butler service, included with Junior or Senior Suite bookings. Maurizio, a career hospitality professional, brings the full complement of high-grade personalized service and acts as your primary contact to the Lunaâ€™s team and the outer world. His mission in life: to make any request come true.
Hot tip: at the Luna, request Room 407, smaller in size, but with a balcony view of the Grand Canal and Dogeâ€™s Palace and a light-filled white marble bathroom. Highly recommended.â€”Stanley Moss, Travel Editor
Above: Butler Maurizio adds to the Luna’s premium package.
As expected, the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato concept that was shown at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Lake Como has become a production reality, with the company saying that it will produce 99 examples at Gaydon, Warwickshire, with deliveries commencing during the first quarter of 2017.
Aston Martin says the car is an example of its collaboration with Zagato, though its press information does not say whether the model, based on its Vanquish flagship, was styled by the Italian coachbuilder or done in-house, as it had been for the V12 Vantage Zagato in 2011.
The company notes that the new car has ‘Aston Martin’s acclaimed dynamic and material qualities with Zagato’s signature design language.’
At the launch of the concept last month, Zagato CEO Andrea Zagato noted, ‘We pride ourselves on our strong partnership and the creation of the Vanquish Zagato Concept was a true shared experience. It represents the essence of an important design relationship that dates back over fifty years,’ but there was no elaboration on where the design took place.
The first collaboration began with the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato of 1960, and it was revived under Victor Gauntlett’s leadership of the company in the 1980s with the V8 Vantage Zagato. Neither car was considered attractive on launch, though both were perceived to be future classicsâ€”which they became. The DB4 GT Zagato is now valued at over Â£10 million and has few critics today.
Subsequent collaborations were the 2002 DB7 Vantage Zagato, which used a lightly modified version of the donor car’s front end so it did not have to be retested for safety; and the 2011 V12 Vantage Zagato.
The Vanquish Zagato has an engine uprated to 600 PS, with a claimed 0â€“60 mph time of 3Â·5 s. The company says the suspension set-up will be unique to the model. It features a unique carbonfibre body that has new round rear taillights, LED technology shared with the Aston martin Vulcan supercar, a sculpted rear end that has a profile similar to that of the DB11, with a downward contour and pronounced spoiler splitting the taillights. There is a pronounced side strake, reinterpreted so it now runs more deeply down the height of the front wing aft of the wheels, and, as expected, there is the famed Zagato double-bubble roof. The Vanquish Zagato is a liftback.
Inside, the Vanquish Zagato uses herringbone carbonfibre, and shadow and anodized bronze leather, with the option of aniline leather. The seats and doors have a Z-pattern stitch, and the Zagato Z is embossed on headrests and stitched into the centre console.
Above: The team behind A Billion Lives, and Doc Edge organizers Dan Shannon and Alex Lee.
Those of us outside the vaping world have probably looked at e-cigarettes, wondering why on earth these could be better for your health. Or we may have thought they were a fad, since the only people I knew who vaped were tech hipsters, who enjoyed vaping as though it was a matter of course, and nothing to be curious aboutâ€”thereby keeping their habit a closed shop. But then, perhaps they were tired of repeating themselves, and had settled into being comfortable with their e-cigs. A Billion Lives is a documentary that takes a look into this world, but it does so much more. The title refers to the number of people who can be saved if they give up smoking, but there are powerful forces at play to ensure that people donâ€™t. And those forces have ensured that there is misinformation about vaping and the potential for the technology to save lives.
Filmmaker Aaron Biebert, who directed and narrated the film which had its world premiÃ¨re in Wellington as part of the Doc Edge Festival, journeyed to 13 countries on four continents to find similar patterns worldwide: here is a life-saving technology of e-cigarettes, but governments were banning them or fining citizens over their use, ignoring the science and deciding to be complicit with the tobacco industry in keeping people addicted to a harmful product. Instead, governments spend money spreading lies about e-cigarettes, calling them a gateway to cigarettes, or that one could get formaldehyde poisoning, claims that the film demonstrably refutes. E-cigarettes are not completely safe, and the film acknowledges that, but they have proven to be a successful tool to help those giving up smoking, especially where mainstream solutions have failed.
In his own country, the US, Biebert points out that governments collect far more revenue from cigarette taxation than from several industries combined, and have no real incentive to cut off the flow of dollars. E-cigarettes, which were invented by pharmacist Hon Lik in China, were conceived as a way to give up smoking, and have been successful for 30 million people around the world. A Billion Lives points out that nicotine is not what causes lung cancer, and that the US Surgeon-General has said as much. What are harmful are the tar and 4,000 chemicals in modern cigarettes. It equates nicotine with coffee in terms of addictiveness, and the figure of 95 per cent less harmful than a typical cigarette featured prominently in the film. Vaping essentially allows one to get the pleasure of nicotine without the harm of the tar and toxins.
Yet as a society, we have come to equate nicotine as being the evil, addictive substance, and thatâ€™s no accident.
This point is made halfway into the film, with a good part of the first section looking into the history of cigarettes (Flintstones sponsor announcements for Winston cigarettes elicited laughs from the audience), and David Goerlitz, the Winston male model from the 1980s, being a particularly effective interviewee, discussing how he went from a smoking advocate earning millions to having a crisis of conscience when his brother developed lung cancer and died. Goerlitz went to the other side, and became a high-profile spokesman who was able to talk in plain language just what governments, Big Tobacco, and Big Pharma (which sells patches and gum, and would like to continue doing so) were doing. Health professionals were being marketed to far more than the public, permitting Big Pharma to continue to sell its products, the film notes.
Biebert was able to get other interviewees at a very high level, including Dr Derek Yach, the former executive director of the World Health Organization, and Dr Delon Human, former president of the World Medical Association, among others, speaking plainly about how lives could be saved through vaping e-cigarettes, a tool which could get smokers to kick their habit.
Meanwhile, the pro-smoking side was represented through historical clipsâ€”you get the feeling that we had only touched the surface of what was out there, with corporations spending thousands of millions to fund biased studies and get on to our airwaves.
Beautifully shot and scored, this independently funded feature tells a story about our times and just why so many citizens today are wary of their governments and multinational corporations. Those who oppose global trade agreements, for instance, do not do so in isolationâ€”and while A Billion Lives takes no political side, it does tap into the Zeitgeist of our modern suspicion about what is on our airwaves and what are the motives behind it. Like Adam Curtis, whose documentaries seek to explain the complex in simple terms, Biebert has done the same, narrating and directing, although he appears on camera as well when narrative gaps need to be plugged. He is an honest, frank speaker, and gives the film a personal touch.
Young smokers who tried e-cigarettes were often people who already smoked and saw them as a way to give up their addiction, and most, Biebert pointed out in a post-screening Q&A, were not even using nicotine in their e-cigarettes.
Yet the state of California, where Biebert is based, spent $75 million telling us about the evils of e-cigarettes, said the director in his Q&A; while in the film, he points out that US federal funds were being illegally used for lobbying activities. The American Lung Association had deceived the public, too, notes Biebert, who told the audience, â€˜If you get powerful charities on side, you can do anything.â€™ The increasing restrictions on e-cigarettes in the US, the subject of federal lawsuits, was equated to â€˜Prohibition IIâ€™.
Dr Marewa Glover of End Smoking NZ, who introduced the film at its premiÃ¨re, said that young people were using e-cigarettes as a way round peer pressure, when people in their circle smoked.
However, Australia has already banned e-cigarettes, with one interviewee, Vince, who sold them, telling a story about being raided by authorities and now faces losing his home as he fought the government on principle. He believed firmly he was saving lives. There are massive fines for vaping in Brunei and Hong Kong. There were restrictions in New Zealand, too, noted Glover, although those who sought to misinform were technically in breach of the countryâ€™s health legislation.
Biebert says he is neither a smoker nor a vaper; but all good documentary-makers, he had a commitment to get the right information out there. He acknowledges that vapers have not given themselves the best image, either, and that A Billion Lives can only be one small part of getting the truth out.
â€˜We need to cut the head off the monster,â€™ said Biebert, â€˜and the monster is being funded by big business. We need more than the movie. People need to get the right information.â€™
He added, â€˜The truth ends up winning. Even condoms were illegal in the US at one time.â€™ A Billion Lives will begin making its way to other countries. The website is at abillionlives.com, while the movieâ€™s Instagram is at abillionlivesfilm.â€”Jack Yan, Publisher
Above: The author (centre) joins Aaron Biebert, director (left) and Jesse Hieb, producer, for a photo.
Top: Architectâ€™s rendering of the new Catalina Island Museum faÃ§ade. Above: Bettie Page on the Florida beach, 1954.
Day trippers appreciate the southern California destination Catalina Island, easily accessible from Los Angeles. You take the ferry boat from Long Beach, cross the channel, and in about an hour, land in the car-free heritage hamlet of Avalon Harbor. There, nothing has changed for years. Long a haunt of Hollywood celebrities and their international guests, Catalina thrives on the tourist trade. In days of yore the allure was deep-sea fishing and exhibition games at the summer home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Today the menu includes boutique shopping, dining and people-watching, nature trekking, mountain biking, zip lines and excellent snorkelling.
The big news this season is the grand opening of the Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building, new home of the Catalina Island Museum, located at 217 Metropole Avenue, an easy walk from the ferry terminal. Two gala weeks of celebration will occur from June 18 to July 4. A gem of a museum, the institution is devoted to art, culture and history, and the sparkling new facility houses a fine collection of cultural artifact, ceramics, rare photography and nostalgia. A launch exhibition features recently discovered photos of pin-up model Bettie Page, taken in Miami by photographer Bunny Yeager in the 1950s. Other events scheduled include VIP receptions, and Tibetan sand-painting in the skylit atrium. A very reasonable membership to the Museum brings a host of benefits, well worth the charitable contribution. For more information visit www.catalinamuseum.org.â€”Stanley Moss, Travel Editor
Above, from top: A young Norma Jean Baker lived on Catalina in the years before she became Marilyn Monroe. The Chicago Cubs (Stan Hack and Barney Olsen, pictured in 1941) delighted crowds in the summer months. Winston Churchill managed to land a California marlin during a visit.