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Converse celebrates 100 years of the Chuck Taylor All Star with a series of films


NEWS  by Lucire staff/March 16, 2017/11.23





Above, from top: The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star. The All Star ’70, evoking the decade of big lapels and platform shoes. The Chuck Taylor All Star II. In black, the lightweight Chuck Taylor All Star Modern.

Converse, which began in 1908, has been making the All Star shoe, later the Chuck Taylor shoe, continuously since 1917.
   It’s the most successful type of shoe in history, with 200,000 pairs sold daily. Its nickname came after Charles H. Taylor, a basketball player for the Akron Firestones, who became one of the shoe’s biggest supporters. By 1932, with input from Taylor, it officially gained his name.
   Converse has been adding variations to the Chuck Taylor shoe over the years, including the Chuck Taylor All Star II in 2015, a premium design with more colours and a liner borrowed from parent company Nike, which bought up Converse at the turn of the century.
   There’s also the Chuck Taylor All Star ’70s model that débuts more colours for spring–summer 2017, a design that harks back to the 1970s but with more cushioning and thicker rubber. Then there’s the Chuck Taylor All Star Modern that’s lightweight, again available in an all-new version this month.
   To celebrate the centenary of the All Star, Converse has launched a digital and social media series that looks at what made the line iconic.
   Millie Bobby Brown presents a video called Chucks in Film, with excerpts showing a previous Chuck Taylor All Star appearance (Michael J. Fox’s shoes in Back to the Future) and an interview with costume designer Stephanie Collie. Long Beach artist Vince Staples, Born × Raised creator Spanto and basketball player Jordan Clarkson discuss how Los Angeles culture impacted on the Chuck Taylor All Stars’ æsthetic. Finally, model Winnie Harlow looks at the Chuck Taylor All Stars’ connection to the fashionable set and youth culture. A final film, Forever Chuck, is a nonconformist commercial that celebrates youth and the Converse brand.
   The four videos are featured below as Converse marks 100 years of its All Stars.

Opinions: what we need from media beyond ‘fake news’; looking to the stars


NEWS  by Lucire staff/March 15, 2017/21.47

We need independent media


Paul Clarke/CC BY-SA 4.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37435469

Above: Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.

Earlier this month, Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote an open letter expressing his concerns about the evolution of his invention, the World Wide Web. (Interestingly, he writes the term all in lowercase.)
   It wasn’t just about ‘fake news’, which is how the media have reported it. His first concern was, in fact, about our losing control over our personal data, and determining when and with whom we share them. It’s something I’ve touched on regularly since 2011, when Google breached its own stated policies over user-preference collection for advertising purposes, something that Facebook appears to be following suit with mid-decade. This was long before Edward Snowden blew the lid on his government’s monitoring, something that’s happening to citizens of other occidental nations, too.
   Sir Tim writes, ‘Through collaboration with—or coercion of—companies, governments are also increasingly watching our every move online, and passing extreme laws that trample on our rights to privacy. In repressive regimes, it’s easy to see the harm that can be caused—bloggers can be arrested or killed, and political opponents can be monitored. But even in countries where we believe governments have citizens’ best interests at heart, watching everyone, all the time is simply going too far. It creates a chilling effect on free speech and stops the web from being used as a space to explore important topics, like sensitive health issues, sexuality or religion.’
   But the one that struck me as very pertinent to publishing is Sir Tim’s second point. It’s the one that most news outlets seized on, linking it back to ‘fake news’, a term now corrupted by the executive branch of the US Government when attacking coverage that it doesn’t like. However, Sir Tim’s points were far broader than that. And it’s evident how his first point links to his second.
   It’s not hard to see that there is biased coverage on both the right and right wings of US politics (interestingly, they call it left and right), although Sir Tim points to how ‘a handful of social media sites or search engines’ show us the things that appeal to our own biases through their algorithms. ‘Fake news’ then spreads through these algorithms because they play to our prejudices. He writes, ‘those with bad intentions can game the system to spread misinformation for financial or political gain.’ These sites are able to determine what we see based on the data we’ve given them, willingly or unwillingly.
   It’s so far from the ideals of the World Wide Web that it’s sad that the medium, which was once so expansive and inspirational as we surfed from one site to the next to read and absorb information, has come to this: a tool for becoming more insular, the first path to the idiocracy.
   Google, as I wrote last year, biases itself toward larger sites, no longer rewarding the media outlet that breaks a news item. The incentive to be that maverick medium is, therefore, lessened greatly online, because the web isn’t being ranked on merit by the largest player in the search-engine business. It’s why Duck Duck Go, which doesn’t collect user data, gives search results that are generally fairer. We think it’s important to learn alternative viewpoints, especially in politics, otherwise the division that we already see in some countries will only deepen—and at worst this can lead to war. In peacetime countries, a compatriot with opposing political thoughts is not our enemy.
   Facebook’s continued data collection of user preferences is also dangerous. Even after users opt out, Facebook’s ad preferences’ page demonstrates that it will keep collecting. Whether or not Facebook then uses these preferences is unknown—certainly Facebook itself clams up—but since the site reports journalists who alert them to kiddie porn, kicks off drag queens after saying they wouldn’t, and forces people to download software in the guise of malware detection, who knows if any of Facebook’s positions are real or merely ‘fake news’? Knowing the misdeeds of sites like Facebook—and Google which itself has been found guilty of hacking—do they actually deserve our ongoing support?
   Of course I have an interest in getting people to look beyond the same-again players, because I run one media outlet that isn’t among them. But we have an interest to seek information from the independents, and to support a fair and neutral internet. We may learn an angle we hadn’t explored before, or we may find news and features others aren’t covering. Better yet, we may learn alternative viewpoints that break us out of our prejudices. Surely we can’t be that scared of learning about alternatives (maybe one that is better than what we believe), or having a reasoned debate based on fact rather than emotion or hatred? And if you are sharing on social media, do you want to be one of the sheep who uses the same click-bait as everyone else, or show that you’re someone who’s capable of independent thought?
   It shouldn’t be that difficult to distinguish fake-news sites from legitimate media (even though the line gets blurred) by looking at how well something is subedited and how many spelling mistakes there are. Perhaps the headlines are less emotive. There is a tier of independent media that deserves your support, whether it is this site or many competing ones that we’ve linked ourselves. Going beyond the same-again sources can only benefit us all.—Jack Yan, Publisher

Stars in their eyes


Chanel

Above: Chanel continues its long-running Comète collection.

Coco Chanel is known for embracing astrology. Her inspiration is reflected in many of her jewellery creations and designs years later. The star motif is highlighted within the Comète collection and while the lion, representative of the brand, is reminiscent of the city of Venezia and symbolic of her astrological sign. The designer’s influential vision comes to life within many of the intricately detailed pieces.
   To this day, astrology serves as a tool that could provide one with knowledge and even supposed explanatory perceptions. Fashion-focused entities and individuals have contemplated to what extent one’s rising sign or ascendant, representing the door to one’s identity, is correlated to one’s wardrobe and personal style. Some inquisitive individuals ponder about personalities, style and even probable futuristic outcomes in the financial field. The AstroTwins, Tali and Ophira Edut, who have been featured in a number of outlets, have given advice to a slew of celebrities. While they focus mainly on various predictions according to the stars, some have used astrology to tap in to the financial market. The Merriman Market Analyst is one of the many prominent sites that discuss and explain transformations and changes in planets that could serve in financial as well as everyday astrology. Other than the website, they have published books for international audiences, divulging and examining the planets and geocosmic aspects. According to the website’s disclaimer, ‘The hope is … it will help the reader understand the psychological dynamics that underlie (or coincide with) the news events …’ For decades, the founder continues to ponder on certain circumstances, whether on a weekly or yearly basis, leading a team of apprentices that follow in his footsteps.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor

In brief: Belstaff shows autumn–winter 2017–18; Chanel previews spring ’17 advertising


NEWS  by Lucire staff/January 10, 2017/19.25




Belstaff

Belstaff has shown its autumn–winter 2017–18 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.



Belstaff

   Meanwhile, Chanel has previewed its advertising campaign for its spring–summer 2017 prêt-à-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.









Chanel

NGV and Dior announce House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture exhibition, starting August ’17


NEWS  by Lucire staff/December 10, 2016/1.57



Wayne Taylor

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 spring–summer 1947 haute couture collection, Maddison Lukes wears the Francis Poulenc dress from the spring–summer 1950 haute couture collection, and Bela Pelacio Hazewinkel the Abandon dress from the autumn–winter 1948–9 collection.

The National Gallery of Victoria kept media in suspense as it led up to its unveiling of its major exhibition for 2017, The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture.
   Beginning August 27, 2017, and running through November 7, the exhibition is a collaboration between the NGV and the House of Dior, and will feature over 140 garments from the company.
   The exhibition covers everything from Dior’s New Look spring 1947 collection to contemporary designs from its first female head designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri (see Lucire issue 36). Iconic designs from the intervening years will also be shown, including work by Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, and Raf Simons. It will also feature original sketches, photographs, toiles, archival material, and multimedia displays, says the Gallery.
   The Christian Dior spring 1948 fashion parade at David Jones Sydney, which featured house models in 50 designs, is also explored. David Jones serves as the exhibition’s principal partner.
   â€˜It is a great pleasure and honour for the House of Dior to be celebrating its anniversary in 2017 in Melbourne. This exhibition will be the biggest Dior retrospective ever held in Australia. It will cover 70 years of creation, presenting the emblematic work of Christian Dior and his successors, including Maria Grazia Chiuri, who arrived last July and is the first woman at the head of the couture house,’ said Sidney Toledano, president and CEO of Christian Dior Couture.
   A black-tie gala will take place on August 26, 2017, with proceeds supporting the NGV fashion and textiles’ collection.
   Tickets for the exhibition are now available from the NGV online, retailing at A$26 for adults, concession A$23·50, A$10 for children aged 5 to 15, and families (two adults and three children) for A$65.

Interview clips

With subtitles

Promotional video

The Christian Dior story (archival video)


Copyright ©1954 Mark Shaw/mptvimages.com


Christian Dior





Wayne Taylor

Above, from top: Christian Dior adjusts the accessories to the Zaire dress, on his star model Victoire, during rehearsal for the autumn–winter 1954–5 haute couture show. Christian Dior and model, c. 1950. From the media announcement, Ella Bond in the Dior bar suit from the spring–summer 1947 haute couture collection. Sandra Sundelin models the Dior Embuscade suit from the autumn–winter 1950–1 haute couture collection and Alejandra Zuluaga the Gruau gown from the autumn–winter 1949–50 haute couture collection. Alejandra Zuluaga in the Gruau gown from the autumn–winter 1949–50 haute couture collection and Maddison Lukes in the Francis Poulenc dress from the spring–summer 1950 haute couture collection. Maddison Lukes wears Dior’s Francis Poulenc dress from his spring–summer 1950 haute couture collection.

Chanel opens new boutique at national heritage site in le Marais


NEWS  by Cecilia Xu/December 7, 2016/21.34



Opened December 3, like a walk through history and Parisian elegance, the new Chanel boutique in the Hôtel Amelot de Bisseuil, also known as the Hôtel 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 m² 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 m², 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, archæological 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.—Cecilia Xu



Letter from Venezia: a survival guide for summer ’16


NEWS  by Lucire staff/June 30, 2016/22.13




Paula Sweet

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. It’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 ships—at one time 15 a day were allowed—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. There’s an old maxim for travellers, ‘Take half as many clothes as you think you need and twice as much money.’ 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 €50. Don’t be surprised!
   3. Wear a hat and keep hydrating. The heat is deceptive, so cover your head and don’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. It’s the most functional headgear for the weather and you won’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. Venezia’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 Venezia’s great hotels. During the summer, reservations at Venezia’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 lagoon’s catch, and new twists on classic preparations in their signature restaurants.
   There’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 hotel’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 we’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 Luna’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 Doge’s Palace and a light-filled white marble bathroom. Highly recommended.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor



Paula Sweet

Above: Butler Maurizio adds to the Luna’s premium package.

Aston Martin reveals Vanquish Zagato, with production limited to 99


NEWS  by Lucire staff/June 22, 2016/22.25



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 classics—which they became. The DB4 GT Zagato is now valued at over £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 0–60 mph time of 3·5 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.















Filed under: design, history, living, London, Lucire

From supermodels to film: celebrating the work of Peter Lindbergh at Kunsthal Rotterdam


NEWS  by Lucire staff/June 16, 2016/13.41




Top: An image that kicked off the 1990s, with supermodels Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford in New York, appearing on the cover of British Vogue in January 1990. Copyright ©1990 by Peter Lindbergh (courtesy of Peter Lindbergh, Paris/Gagosian Gallery). Centre: Wild at Heart, with Cindy Crawford, Tatjana Patitz, Helena Christensen, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Karen Mulder and Stephanie Seymour, Brooklyn, 1991, appearing in Vogue. Copyright ©1991 by Peter Lindbergh (courtesy of Peter Lindbergh, Paris/Gagosian Gallery). Above: Kate Moss, Paris, 2015, wearing Giorgio Armani, spring–summer 2015. Copyright ©2015 by Peter Lindbergh (courtesy of Peter Lindbergh, Paris/Gagosian Gallery).

An exhibition on Polish-born, French-based photographer Peter Lindbergh, entitled Peter Lindbergh: a Different Vision on Fashion Photography, opens at the Kunsthal Rotterdam on September 10 at 5.30 p.m., running through February 12, 2017. It marks the first Dutch exhibition of Lindbergh’s work.
   Some of the most iconic fashion images of the past generation have been shot by Lindbergh, whose work is regularly seen in various editions of Vogue, and in The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, The Wall Street Journal Magazine, Visionaire, Interview and W. Exhibitions of his work have been held around the world beginning with the V&A in 1985. Lindbergh’s black-and-white 1990 Vogue photograph of Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford was one that helped cement the reputation of the supermodels, if not arguably kicking off the era itself. Lindbergh’s work gave a sense of reality about his subjects, with his humanist, documentary approach.
   Said Lindbergh in an Art Forum interview earlier this year, ‘A fashion photographer should contribute to defining the image of the contemporary woman or man in their time, to reflect a certain social or human reality. How surrealistic is today’s commercial agenda to retouch all signs of life and of experience, to retouch the very personal truth of the face itself?’
   The exhibition features over 220 photographs and includes exclusive and previously unseen material, including personal notes, Polaroids, storyboards, films and prints. It is divided into nine different sections, representing the different themes in Lindbergh’s creative development: Supermodels, Couturiers, Zeitgeist, Dance, the Darkroom, the Unknown, Silver Screen, Icons, and an exclusive Rotterdam Gallery. This final section contains Lindbergh’s work for the October 2015 issue of Vogue Nederland, with Lara Stone and Elise Hupkes at the Port of Rotterdam.
   Lindbergh’s critically acclaimed Models: the Film (1991) will be screened, along with interviews with Grace Coddington, Nicole Kidman, Mads Mikkelsen, Cindy Crawford and Nadja Auermann.
   Guest curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot points out that the exhibition is not chronological, but a narrative about the photographer.
   The Kunsthal Rotterdam noted, ‘Peter Lindbergh introduced a new realism into photography. His timeless images redefine the norms of beauty. Lindbergh’s visual idiom is influenced by the language of film and by playing with the type of the strong, self-willed woman, from the femme fatale to the heroine, but also the female dancer and the actress. His Å“uvre is characterized by portraits that radiate a certain lack of inhibition and physical grace.’
   The exhibition is accompanied by a hardcover monograph, Peter Lindbergh: a Different Vision on Fashion Photography, retailing for €59,99 (link at Amazon.de), US$69·99 (link at Amazon.com) or £44·99 (link at Amazon UK), curated by Loriot, designed by Paprika of Montréal, and published by Taschen. The introduction has been authored by Kunsthal director Emily Ansenk, while the book features an essay on Lindbergh’s work by Loriot with commentaries from, inter alia, Jean Paul Gaultier, Nicole Kidman, Grace Coddington, Cindy Crawford and Anna Wintour.

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