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November 25, 2014

Absolut Vodka launches Andy Warhol limited-edition bottle into New Zealand

Lucire staff/1.39

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Absolut Vodka’s latest limited-edition bottle pays tribute to one of the greatest pop culture icons of all: Andy Warhol.
   Warhol was the first artist to create an original artwork for Absolut in the 1980s, for an advertisement simply titled, ‘Absolut Warhol’. The image has become iconic and arguably helped make the Absolut bottle recognizable to a very wide audience.
   Michel Roux, the CEO of Carillon, which imported Absolut into the US, came up with the idea to link Warhol with the bottle.
   The new bottle follows Warhol’s design, and is now available in New Zealand, retailing at leading liquor retailers for NZ$55¬∑99 for 1 l.
   The Swedish-founded vodka company now has over 800 pieces in its Absolut Art Collection, after kicking off its collaboration with Warhol. It has collaborated with Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Louise Bourgeois, Jean-Michael Basquiat, Sylvie Fleury, David Shrigley, Annie Leibovitz, Hung Tung Lu, Dan Wolgers, Linn Fernstr√∂m, Spike Jonze, Swedish House Mafia and Icona Pop. The collection is housed in Sweden.
   The limited edition has the blessing of the Andy Warhol Foundation, which it will benefit. Michael Hermann, its licensing director, said in a release, ‘The Foundation is delighted to celebrate the launch of the Andy Warhol Edition, with a portion of the proceeds going towards the Foundation‚Äôs endowment supporting contemporary visual arts. While Warhol‚Äôs profound influence is uncontained we applaud Absolut for bottling his creativity.’
   ‚ÄėWith this limited edition, we raise our glasses to honour the partnership between Absolut and Andy Warhol‚ÄĒa collaboration that kick-started Absolut‚Äôs long-standing commitment to art and creativity,’ said Kathryn Love, marketing manager for Absolut in New Zealand.
   Absolut has launched an online campaign where visitors can re-create the painting using their own coloured image, at www.facebook.com/absolutnewzealand, before November 28. One of five Absolut by Warhol prints are up for grabs via the website.

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October 24, 2014

H&M celebrates 10 years of designer collaborations with new book launching November 6

Lucire staff/13.58

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Time has flown: it has been 10 years since Hennes & Mauritz began its designer collaborations, the first with Karl Lagerfeld.
   The company will release a book, The First Ten Years, coinciding with its Alexander Wang x H&M launch on November 6.
   At the time, Lucire called it a move toward ‘attainable luxury': that even at a budget price, customers deserved to look good. It was a move toward democratization, something that had been seen en masse with technology, extended to fashion.
   The first Karl Lagerfeld for H&M collection prompted the designer to say, ‘Taste and looking chic is no longer a question of money or how you spend, but how you create a unique sense of style.’
   H&M’s collaborators have included Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Viktor & Rolf, Roberto Cavalli, Commes des Garcons, Matthew Williamson, Jimmy Choo, Sonia Rykiel, Lanvin, Versace, Marni, Maison Martin Margiela, Isabel Marant and Alexander Wang.
   The book features imagery from all designers, and will retail for US$34¬∑95, available through select H&M stores in the US. A quarter of the cover price will go to Unicef.
   H&M will begin its celebration with a design retrospective at its flagship 589 Fifth Avenue, New York City store on October 27, with looks from each past designer.
   The store will showcase a new look from the Alexander Wang x H&M collection each day by way of preview.

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October 21, 2014

Fashion design legend Oscar de la Renta passes away

Lucire staff/17.18

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Above The image of Oscar de la Renta used by his company today to signal his passing.

Oscar de la Renta has passed away at his home in Kent, Conn., aged 82 after a six-year battle with cancer, his family has confirmed.
   De la Renta had only appointed his successor, Peter Copping, earlier this month, with little public sign of his long fight with his condition.
   De la Renta was born in the Dominican Republic, which has announced that it will hold a day of mourning in his honour on Wednesday.
   He went to Madrid to study art but wound up in fashion, working first as an apprentice with Crist√≥bal Balenciaga, and joined Elizabeth Arden and Jane Derby, before setting up his own label in New York in 1965. Between 1993 and 2002, he designed Balmain’s haute couture collections.
   His designs showed a classic, feminine sensibility, and was a mainstay of New York Fashion Week for decades. He had dressed US first ladies from Jacqueline Kennedy to Michelle Obama, and, most recently, Amal Alamuddin for her wedding to George Clooney. Former US first daughter Jenna Bush wore Oscar de la Renta on her wedding day.
   De la Renta, in this publication’s experience, never played favourites, and provided access to fashion magazines based on merit rather than circulation numbers.
   He had served as president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America from 1973 to 1976, then from 1986 to 1988, and received the Gold Medal of Bellas Artes and La Gran Cruz de la Orden del M√©rito Civil from Spain and the L√©gion d’honneur from France.
   He is survived by his wife Annette.

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October 14, 2014

Baz Luhrmann explains Gis√®le B√ľndchen’s Chanel No. 5 casting as more images released

Lucire staff/9.58

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Hugh Stewart

Chanel has teased with more imagery for its upcoming No. 5 campaign with Gis√®le B√ľndchen, written and directed by The Great Gatsby (2013) director Baz Luhrmann, with production design by Academy Award winner Catherine Martin.
   The new images show the supermodel in two more outfits in addition to her surfing one shown yesterday.
   In one, again shot by Hugh Stewart, B√ľndchen is wearing a silver lam√© fringed organza dress from the Chanel haute couture spring‚Äďsummer 2014 collection, with mauve suede sneakers, Plume de Chanel earrings in 18 ct white gold and diamonds, and a Plume de Chanel ring in 18 ct white gold and diamonds. Make-up uses a similar palette, with le Blanc de Chanel, Perfection Lumi√®re Velvet and Les Beiges foundation; Cr√®me de Chanel in R√©v√©lation for the blush; les 4 Ombres eyeshadow in Tiss√© Rivoli; Ecriture de Chanel eyeliner in black; Stylo Yeux Waterproof pencil in Noir Intense and the Kh√īl pencil in Clair; Rouge Allure lipstick in Ind√©cise; le Crayon L√®vres in Mordor√© Nude to define the lips; le Vernis for the nails, in Ballerina.
   B√ľndchen’s second outfit sees her wear a black double silk‚Äďcr√™pe dress with silver embroidery from the cruise 2014‚Äď15 collection, with black satin sandals from the spring‚Äďsummer 2014 collection. She wears a Chanel necklace in 18 ct white gold and diamonds, and earrings in 18 ct white gold and diamonds.
   B√ľndchen’s choice, according to Luhrmann in the latest behind-the-scenes video, can be summed up with her multi-faceted nature. ‘She can be on the beach one moment and incredibly athletic. She has children. She has a very, very significant relationship. And yet, she has a career where she can create aspirational, sensual, incredibly glamorous imagery, and somehow, what’s most important to her, ‚Ķ is love, to really be fulfilled. And I think that’s what we try to convey in this little film.’
   He says that she has ‘a new world sensibility. I think that’s both fresh but very true to Coco Chanel. Coco brought the new era to the old world. She was the one who smashed the convention. She was the one who just hung out and was friends with the avant-garde. She was 100 per cent behind the new, 100 per cent behind possibility, and 100 per cent, in her DNA, a self-empowered woman. Gis√®le felt honoured, I felt, to be identified as the No. 5 woman. She has continued to evolve as a woman.’
   B√ľndchen follows in the footsteps of Marilyn Monroe, Catherine Deneuve, Carole Bouquet, Nicole Kidman, Audrey Tautou, and even Brad Pitt. Luhrmann, meanwhile joins Ridley Scott, Luc Besson, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet as Chanel No. 5 directors.
   Patrick Demarchelier shot the final stills of the campaign.
   Says Chanel, ‘In this new chapter, the story of No. 5 is told in a way that goes beyond the fragrance itself. Ten years ago, No. 5 was the fragrance of a woman who decided to break free from it all and then return to reality, renouncing her desire. Today, through Luhrmann‚Äôs eyes, we see the No. 5 woman deciding to listen to her heart. She is a woman who knows exactly who she is, and is free to make her own choices and listen to her desires. The film tells the story of the modern woman who struggles to make time for everything‚ÄĒherself, family, career, and love.’
   The accompanying music is Lo-Fang‚Äôs cover of ‘You‚Äôre the One That I Want’. The film itself, to be released on October 15, has no words or dialogue.


Patrick Demarchelier











Hugh Stewart

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September 9, 2014

Jaguar launches XE in London, with David Gandy, Stella McCartney, Eva Herzigova, Laura Whitmore

Lucire staff/1.28

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Jaguar has launched its most important car in years with the brand-new XE, a saloon that sees the Indian-owned company tackle a segment dominated by the BMW 3er and Audi A4. The XE also marks a new generation of Jaguars powered by the company’s new series of Ingenium engines, and features a first-in-segment aluminium-intensive monocoque structure for lightness and strength.
   Jaguar Land Rover, which has seen its profits soar in recent years, spared no expense with the XE’s launch in London, bringing celebrities including Stella McCartney, David Gandy, Eva Herzigova, Sir Stirling Moss, Jos√© Mourinho, Laura Whitmore, Damian Lewis, Ruben Cortada, David Blakeley, Sam Riley, Sienna Guillory, Steve Redgrave, Brian Johnson and Gary Lineker together at an event that saw Emeli Sand√©, the Kaiser Chiefs, Eliza Doolittle, the Royal Ballet, Max Milner (The Voice), and members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform, and John Hannah narrating.
   While many saw the helicopter delivery of the red XE into London on Monday, Jaguar formally kicked off the launch event that evening at Earls Court with its VIP audience, with the performances evoking models from the company’s past, including the SS100 of 1935.
   Sand√© composed a ‘Feels Like’ track for the event that had been inspired by the public via social media and the hashtag #FeelXE. The song received its premi√®re live on a floating stage on the Thames in a 45-minute set later in the evening, with the London Eye and County Hall as a backdrop.
   The performance was complemented with a projection-mapping show on London’s County Hall, showing the public’s messages that inspired the composition. Red flares lit up the London skyline in red to match the hero colour of the new car.
   McCartney will reveal her Parisian Feel XE experience later this month, while Idris Elba will reveal his Feel XE project afterwards.
   Earlier in the day, employees at Jaguar’s Solihull plant‚ÄĒwhere 1,700 jobs are expected to be created‚ÄĒformed an XE shape as the Red Arrows flew past, and the car was airlifted by helicopter toward London. It was placed on a high-speed landing craft on the Thames to Chelsea Harbour.
   In another nod to its past, Jaguar then had the new XE escorted by two 1960s Mk II police cars from Battersea Bridge to Earls Court.
   The “delivery” was intentional: Jaguar wanted to signal that the XE is the spiritual successor to the Mk II, still considered by many fans to be the quintessential Jaguar close-coupled sporting saloon, and the car that arguably pioneered the segment in which the new model now competes.
   One car from Jaguar’s past that was not mentioned was the X-type, the company’s turn-of-the-century attempt to tap into the compact executive market. Younger buyers rejected that model partly because of its unadventurous styling, overseen by Jaguar’s then-parent company Ford. The X-type was also hampered by its front-wheel-drive transmission on cheaper models, something that Jaguar has avoided repeating by giving the XE rear-wheel drive. It is also the most aerodynamic Jaguar made, with a drag coefficient of 0,26.
   The cab-backward fastback look of the XE takes styling themes established by the XJ and XF, and features a short front overhang and a low driving position. The car looks more aggressive and taut than the larger models, which should appeal to buyers in the segment.
   ‚ÄėOur mission was to create an exciting and dynamic design clearly reflecting the XE‚Äôs positioning as a serious driver‚Äôs car. The cab-rearward proportions and tight packaging achieve that and give the XE the appearance of movement even when it‚Äôs standing still. It bears a strong family resemblance to the F-type and will stand apart in the crowd,’ says Jaguar’s director of design, Ian Callum.
   The aluminium components also mean more effective recycling, and in a world first for cars, Jaguar has specified RC5754, an aluminium alloy made from recycled material.
   The high-tech features extend to Jaguar’s new electric power steering, which is more efficient than a traditional hydraulic system, and what the company calls All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), which works as a low-speed cruise control that can control the brake system and powertrain for the best traction in slippery conditions. The XE also features a laser head-up display, nearly a third lighter than existing systems. Jaguar also d√©buts a new InControl infotainment system, which is claimed to be more intuitive, especially with a pioneering plain-speech voice control. The car is also a wifi hotspot for internet-enabled devices, and both Apple Iphone and Android users can control various functions remotely.
   Full details of the XE range will be released at the Salon de Paris on October 2. The range will be topped by a supercharged V6 delivering 340 PS, while the two-litre Ingenium diesel is claimed to deliver 75 mpg (Imperial) with carbon dioxide emissions of 99 g/km. Prices are set to begin at ¬£27,000.















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August 15, 2014

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Allegro journeys from classical to science fiction

Jack Yan/15.57

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Ross Brown

Top A classical approach for Allegro Brillante. Above Larry Keigwin’s Megalopolis.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Allegro: Five Short Ballets, was a bittersweet performance, knowing it would be the last time many in the audience would see the company’s principal guest artist, Gillian Murphy, dance.
   Murphy and her fiancé, RNZB artistic director Ethan Stiefel, are set to return to the US, and she kept a composed, dignified air after the performance when Lucire wished her well for her future.
   The Royal New Zealand Ballet‚Äôs Andrea Tandy noted that Auckland audiences, who had seen Allegro prior to Wellington‚Äôs for a change, gave the five productions a wonderful reception.
   In the first ballet of the five, Allegro Brillante, Murphy and Kohei Iwamoto led a small cast of 10 to Tchaikovsky‚Äôs Third Piano Concerto, with choreography by the late George Balanchine. Russian-born Balanchine‚Äôs works have been staged by the RNZB from time to time, and Allegro Brillante was performed in 1999 and 2001. With a classical structure and technique, staged by Eve Lawson, it proved an endearing opening to the performances on the first night in Wellington.
   As skilful as the dancers were, Qi Huan‚Äôs presence was missed opposite Murphy‚ÄĒHuan moved on to the New Zealand School of Dance, teaching classical ballet, telling us earlier that he could not pass up the opportunity.
   The simple settings allowed Nigel Percy’s lighting to set a very different mood each time.
   Les Lutins, which followed, was a particularly enjoyable comedic ballet. It would be the only one with live music of the five, performed by the impressive Benjamin Baker on violin, and Michael Pansters on piano, while Rory Fairweather-Neylan, Arata Miyagawa and Lucy Green played the role of the goblins, in trousers and braces, with simple, carefree choreography by Johan Kobborg. The interaction between the dancers and Baker was cleverly staged, and the neatly executed jetés and tours en l‚Äôair from Fairweather-Neylan and Miyagawa deserve mention.
   Satellites, after the first interval, brought a scientific theme, conveying the equilibrium that satellites maintain in orbit: as dancers go off, new ones emerge. Graphically, orbits appear in the background, designed and animated by Jac Grenfell, dancers held circular mirrors, while electronic music by Jan-Bas Bollen emphasized the high-tech feel. Kinetic sculptures by Jim Murphy continued the theme (segmented planets hanging in the air), as did Donnine Harrison‚Äôs costumes (the discs worn by two ballerinas again reflecting the circular theme). Daniel Belton, who was behind the concept and choreography, was inspired by the Bauhaus movement, with its practitioners Oskar Schlemmer, Paul Klee and Moholy-Nagy, successfully blending the geometry and modernistic approach of the school with balletic expression. For once, those who are disciples of, or simply aware of, Bauhaus principles have a ballet that translates those ideas.
   Mattress Suite, choreographed by Larry Keigwin for his own company, delighted in a simple, playful setting, with a mattress as the one prop, telling the story of newlyweds who drift apart, the groom discovering he is homosexual. It is the only one with mature themes and popular songs (‚ÄėAin‚Äôt No Sunshine‚Äô as sung by Stevie Wonder, and ‚ÄėAt Last‚Äô by Etta James) and the mattress itself was used as everything from a wall to a trampoline in six short dances. Cheekily, the dance with a gay threesome is called ‚ÄėStraight Duet‚Äô.
   The RNZB is the first to perform Mattress Suite outside of Keigwin & Company.
   It was Keigwin again for the finalé, Megalopolis, which went beyond science and into science fiction, blending the cinematic Flash Gordon and Studio 54 into a single ballet, finding great favour with the audience. Megalopolis was certainly energetic‚ÄĒRNZB finalés often are, and rightly so, when presenting a series of ballets‚ÄĒwhile Fritz Mason‚Äôs costume design, in black with silver details, was a retrofuturistic delight.
   Allegro: Five Short Ballets continues in Wellington till the 17th at the St James. Invercargill follows on August 20 at the Civic, while Dunedin‚Äôs Regent Theatre plays host on the 23rd inst.‚ÄĒJack Yan, Publisher

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August 14, 2014

Mana Wahine: a powerful celebration of womanhood and history

Jack Yan/4.40

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Alex Efimoff

Mana Wahine, which had its première in June in Rotorua for Matariki, arrived in Wellington last night with the first of a brief series of performances (until August 16), with a powerful celebration of womanhood by the Okareka Dance Company.
   Mana Wahine tells the story of Te Aokapurangi, who was captured in battle but returned later to save her people from slaughter.
   The production began with the image of the storyteller, TŇęńę Matira Ranapiri-Ransfield, a descendant of Te Aokapurangi, appearing on the curtains prior to the show, a foretaste of the clever use of lighting and imagery projected on the dance floor and walls. Her evocative waerea incantation from the first scene led to powerful, purposeful choreography performed by five dancers, Bianca Hyslop, Maria Munkowits, Nancy Wijohn, Chrissy Kokiri and Jana Castillo.
   Graceful and strong, the quintet were chosen for their experience as women and those from whom they have descended.
   Mana Wahine blends different genres of dance, captivating the audience between its sets so seamlessly, and is a beautiful tribute to Te Aokapurangi while shining a light on the proud people in our country‚Äôs past.
   Even without knowing the historical aspect one has to admire the authentic and sincere performances of the five dancers.
   The production was inspired by a conversation between cousins Tui Matira Ranapiri-Ransfield and Okarewa artistic director Taiaroa Royal, on their ancestry and the NgńĀti Ohomairangi of Te Arawa, namely the matriarch Kearoa and Te Aokapurangi of NgńĀti Rangiwewehi and Tapuika. Both women were responsible for saving their people, demonstrating in New Zealand‚Äôs history the power and role of women.
   Ranapiri-Ransfield researched the story, and wrote the lyrics and composed the music for the karanga, waerea and patere, and it is her voice that the audience hears. Victoria Kelly composed the rest of the score. Malia Johnston, with her extensive choreographic experience, co-authored Mana Wahine. Taane Mete directed Mana Wahine, calling it one of the ‚Äėmost rewarding experiences I have ever encountered.‚Äô The collaboration between the talents, including technical production manager Jonny Cross, producer Rachael Penman, rehearsal director Natalie Clark and administrator Jesse Wikiriwhi, have resulted in a real, enriching production.‚ÄĒJack Yan, Publisher

Mana Wahine runs till August 16, with daily performances at 7.30 p.m., and one matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m., at Te Whaea, New Zealand National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Road, Newtown, Wellington. Tickets are $20‚Äď$40, plus booking fees. Bookings can be made by telephone on 0800 BUY-TIX or visit www.eventfinder.co.nz.

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August 6, 2014

Retrospectives: great moments in Parisian fashion history, with YSL, McQueen, Galliano, Gaultier

Lucire staff/14.05

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What are some of the great fashion moments in recent history? You’ll have seen these videos run on Lucire TV, and we’ve singled them out for an additional focus. In French and English.

1. The departure of Yves Saint Laurent
In January 2001, Yves Saint Laurent retired from the house that bears his name, with the brand’s final haute couture show and retrospective at the Hotel Inter-continental in Paris. Two thousand people were invited to the Centre Pompidou to see Saint Laurent’s 300 greatest classics, and models included Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni, Jerry Hall, and Naomi Campbell. In the final√©, 40 tuxedos paraded to a song performed by Laetitia Casta. Catherine Deneuve, a long-time friend of the designer, was in tears. Saint Laurent died in 2008.
   Saint Laurent says, ‘I tried to prove that Paris was still the city of light and of haute couture, and haute couture made like this was necessary for people’s imaginations. I like seeing my models evolve and seeing how the public react and actually in that moment I feel really close to the public. I still get nervous in this profession. I‚Äôm still not used to it after 42 years. I‚Äôve tried again to perfect this style that has now become really important in fashion, this style that I created and to which I remain loyal, as fashions pass but style stays. It‚Äôs a part of me, it‚Äôs my life. I wouldn‚Äôt know what to do; I wouldn‚Äôt be able to live if I didn‚Äôt make dresses.’

2. The shows of Alexander McQueen
Lee Alexander McQueen was known for his extravagant shows, and had come to most people’s attention after he succeeded John Galliano at Givenchy in 1996. He was later hired by the Gucci Group, joining the group in 2000. Gucci had bought a controlling stake in McQueen’s own label. An extraordinary creator, McQueen was depressed after the death of his mother, and committed suicide in 2010. The video looks at some of his greatest hits.
   Said McQueen: ‘After I left college I went to Paris to look for work, like every student does, and I went to see Martin but he couldn‚Äôt afford to pay me, and then I went to Gaultier and then there was some nasty queen on the front door to Gaultier. And I thought f*** this. I was supposed to be there for five days I was back in five hours, because there was no one else I wanted to work for apart from Margiela and Gaultier ‚Ķ
   ‚ÄėI call myself very schizophrenic; I have so many different, you know, personalities.’
   Katy England notes in the video below, ‘He‚Äôs just got a very clever mind, and he doesn‚Äôt follow fashion, he‚Äôs not that interested in the trends. He just suddenly thinks of something that‚Äôs really really imaginative, he might be inspired by art or ‚Ķ he just has a very strange vision of things which suddenly comes to life. He‚Äôll explain an image and you‚Äôll think wow, that‚Äôs very very strong, and that will then in turn inspire a collection. I‚Äôve never met someone else who thinks of these things, it‚Äôs just exciting really.’

3. John Galliano at Christian Dior, haute couture spring‚Äďsummer 2002
One of John Galliano’s most controversial haute couture collections was for spring‚Äďsummer 2002, where he showed one inspired by the homeless, paying tribute to the ‘ingenuity shown by the underprivileged in the way they dress,’ with unstitched dresses, jacket arms held on by pegs, the layering of trousers and torn effects. Galliano said, ‘There‚Äôs the new cut but it‚Äôs also to show the work, the delicacy of the Dior atelier‚Äôs work, and also to show that this house is a laboratory of ideas where you can thrive off the rest of the house, the ready-to-wear fashion, the collection and the accessories ‚Ķ that‚Äôs why I‚Äôm there, to inspire the house. I cut it up a bit, a little bit crazily and expressively ‚Ķ They took the dress upstairs and they made the whole patronage and everything and they came back down with the same expressive cutting which blew me away, me and Stephen [Jones] couldn‚Äôt tell the difference.’

4. Madonna models for Jean Paul Gaultier
Madonna, who had been friends with Jean Paul Gaultier since 1989 when he made the costumes for her Blonde Ambition tour, went to Paris in September 1994 to model the designer’s spring‚Äďsummer 1995 collection. The show was memorable for both Madonna and Gaultier, for a body corset with a conical bra.
   Looking back, Gaultier says, ‘That exact date in 1989. I knew her from that, professionally because I made the costumes for the Blonde Ambition tour, so that was really fun, it was one of my most beautiful experiences I have to say. An then obviously she modelled for me. First, she modelled in a charity show in LA in support of Aids, and the second time she modelled, you recorded her, at the Mus√©e des Arts Forains, that must have been around ‚Äô96. There you go!
   Marie-Christiane Marek summarizes the influence: ‘Madonna produced a visual shock, leaving a mark on her era and captivating a fascinated public from the end of the ‚Äô80s. She presented corseted silhouettes with conical bras, or more Jean Paul Gaultier men‚Äôs suits. Madonna, therefore, embodied the Parisian designer‚Äôs success, heralding a new feminine era with a stamp of sex appeal.’

Le départ d’Yves Saint Laurent (version française)

The departure of Yves Saint Laurent (English dub)

The shows of Alexander McQueen

John Galliano at Christian Dior, haute couture spring‚Äďsummer 2002

Madonna défile chez Jean-Paul Gaultier (version française)

Madonna models for Jean Paul Gaultier (English dub)

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