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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,

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


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: Paula Sweet releases new book; Kardashians and Jenners mobbed by paparazzi; Cannes controversies

NEWS  by Lucire staff/May 6, 2016/10.25

Many of you have enjoyed Paula Sweet’s photography in Lucire, and now you can have an entire volume of her work with her new book, Do Not.
   Paula has caught signs all over our planet during her travels, and asks in the synopsis, ‘In a world of limitation and regulation, how aware are you of the restrictions placed on your own existence?’
   The premise is an excellent one that encourages us to think: ‘In this collection of signs discovered all over Planet Earth, the artist and photographer Paula Sweet documents the shrinking area of personal freedom and encourages us to rethink the contrary: if a sign is to be placed, should it not encourage us to some productive or positive action?’
   Lucire readers can enjoy a 40 per cent discount for a limited time (US$39·56, marked down from US$65·94), commencing early May 2016, if you use this link here.
   Meanwhile, in the celebrity world, this latest compilation from Celebrity Wire shows how manic things are—and we don’t think there’s much personal freedom for some of these 2016 “names”. Except it isn’t signs restricting their freedom, but a gauntlet of paparazzi. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Kris Jenner are seen and photographed leaving homes and heading into clubs and restaurants; “it” couple Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom head into a waiting cab; new Calvin Klein fragrance face and rising actress Margot Robbie left her apartment; and Emma Roberts had lunch, and a dozen followed her home. Surprisingly, Justin Bieber kept a low profile as he walked through LAX, while Christina Applegate gave a thumbs-up but obscured the lower part of her face as she left the terminal. It’s definitely not the life, thank you!
   In our second video, Jane Fonda speaks about the second season of Grace and Frankie at the Netflix première. She notes that during the course of the new season, Grace realizes Frankie is good for her, and they become friends.
   Finally, with the Festival de Cannes about to kick off, Cover looks at five recent controversies to hit the event.




It’s farewell to nudes as Playboy unveils revamped March ’16 issue; Sarah McDaniel on cover

NEWS  by Lucire staff/February 4, 2016/10.18

Snapchat and Instagram personality Sarah McDaniel graces the cover of the first non-nude issue of Playboy, its March 2016 number, to hit newsstands on February 12.
   The eagerly anticipated revamped magazine, which had been following a similar formula for 62 years, will be unveiled on February 5 at Playboy’s annual party during Super Bowl weekend in San Francisco.
   The March Playmate is Dree Hemingway, daughter of Mariel Hemingway, who appeared in the magazine in 1982; while artist and model Myla Dalbesio takes her own photographs in this issue.
   Since removing its explicit nude photographs from its website, Playboy has seen its traffic increase, and the magazine is expected to follow suit with a greater circulation.
   Playboy says it has gone back to its ‘intellectual, artistic and literary powerhouse years’ of the 1960s as inspiration for 2016. ‘The result is a Playboy magazine for a new generation, full of fresh contributors, new regular features, and an entirely contemporary take on photographing the beautiful women who have made the publication one of the most enduring and successful of all time.’
   There is a slight size change, with an increase to 9 by 11 inches (22·9 cm by 28 cm), with an upgrade in paper quality. It can also be bought at 1,200 new retail locations in the US.
   Highlights for the revamped magazine include: ‘Francofile’, the return of a monthly high-profile interview by James Franco; ‘Rabbit Hole’, Ben Schott’s monthly column; ‘My Way’, with entrepreneurial advice; ‘Playboy Advisor’, now written by a female columnist, Rachel Rabbit White; ‘Artist in Residence’, this month focusing on cartoonist Jay Howell; ‘No Filter’, written by a woman who’s making waves in entertainment; and a political column by John Meroney. This month’s features include: an interview from Rachel Maddow; 20 questions with Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of Broad City; an essay on modern sexuality by Bret Easton Ellis; ‘God Bless Birth Control’, with Erin Gloria Ryan examining the IUD; a feature on one man’s tussle with US Immigration; and two literature instalments, with an excerpt from Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle: Book Five, and ‘Boone Daniels Rogue Ride’ by Don Winslow.
   The party will be held at a space in Lot A of AT&T Park in San Francisco, with sponsors Dodge, Effen Vodka, Aquahydrate and Red Bull. Alesso will DJ the party. An Instagram-activated vending machine will invite guests to post for a peek of the new magazine.

Paris shows solidarity in Sunday’s March for Unity

NEWS  by Lola Cristall/January 12, 2015/5.08

Lola Cristall

The March for Unity that took place today in Paris was announced as the largest demonstration in the history of France, with an estimated 1·5 million to 2 million on the capital’s streets. The interior ministry believes that there had not been so many since the liberation of Paris in August 1944. A number of people from around the world, politicians and celebrities walked the streets throughout the afternoon.
   Lucire’s Paris editor Lola Cristall took these photographs as she joined others to commemorate and celebrate the victims of Paris’s terror attacks last week.
   The deaths included staff at the satirical Charlie Hebdo, where cartoonists Charb, Cabu, Tignous et Wolinski (the pen names for Stéphane Charbonnier, who was also editor, Jean Cabut, Bernard Verlhac and Georges Wolinski) and police officers Franck Brinsolaro and Ahmed Merabat were slain in a massacre on Wednesday. Police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe was killed the following day in a related attack, and four civilians were killed in a siege on Friday.
   â€˜While my domain is predominantly the luxury and entertainment sector, the pictures might be of interest to some people to see how so many came together in the city to support the innocent journalists, artists and victims,’ said Cristall.
   â€˜The city is coming together as one. They were phenomenal artists,’ she added.
   Those in the march chanted, ‘On est tous Charlie’ (‘We are all Charlie’) and ‘Charlie Charlie Charlie,’ holding up banners and placards, reading everything from ‘Je suis Charlie’ (‘I am Charlie’), which began trending on the day of the massacre on Tumblr and other social media, and ‘Nous sommes Charlie’ (‘We are Charlie’) to ‘Je suis Muslim’ (‘I am Muslim’). French flags, hearts and Charlie Hebdo covers were also seen in the march.
   World leaders also participated in the march, including French president François Hollande, HM Queen Rania of Jordan, German chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, British prime minister David Cameron, Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Këita, Polish prime minister Ewa Kopacz, Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu, and Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry, US attorney-general Eric Holder, European Council president Donald Tusk, and UK opposition leader Ed Miliband were also present.
   Reporters sans frontières were critical of the presence of Davutoglu and Shoukry, as their countries had restricted press freedoms.
   Public transport was free in Paris to discourage private car use for the march.
   Earlier in the week, Jean Paul Gaultier and his staff posed for a photograph where they held up ‘Je suis Charlie’ print-outs, showing unity with the fallen journalists.

Jean Paul Gaultier

Above Jean Paul Gaultier and his staff with ‘Je suis Charlie’ banners, showing solidarity with the fallen at the massacre at Charlie Hebdo. Below More scenes from Paris on Friday and during the March for Unity on Sunday.

Lola Cristall

Pandora launches Hearts of Today programme to reward charitable causes

NEWS  by Lucire staff/July 29, 2014/11.23

Scott McDermott

In true Scandinavian fashion, jewellery brand Pandora continues to be engaged in corporate social responsibility, launching its Hearts of Today programme on Monday.
   Pandora plans to support charitable causes, beyond the ones it is already engaged in now, such as those for breast cancer awareness, and is asking the public to nominate the ones it feels are the most deserving.
   Hearts of Today is for the US only at this point. Pandora has appointed five women who will form the jury that will pick from the public entries, narrowing them down to 20 semifinalists. The public then votes on the top 20, bringing the final number to eight, who will be honoured at a luncheon in November. Each of the eight receives a US$25,000 donation to help their organization.
   The jurors are Penny Abeywardena, human rights advocate; Shaun Robinson, Emmy Award-winning journalist; June Sarpong, philanthropist; Dr Pepper Schwartz, sociologist and author; and Andrea Alvey, member of the Pandora A/S board of directors.
   The jurors will look at health and well-being, community development, and professional and social empowerment, says Pandora.

Joseph Altuzarra, Rihanna, Lupita Nyong’o, Raf Simons, Tom Ford on stage at the CFDA awards

NEWS  by Lucire staff/June 3, 2014/12.12

Joe Schildhorn/

Matteo Prandoni/

Joseph Altuzarra has been named the womenswear designer of the year, and Rihanna the fashion icon of the year, at the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s (CFDA) Fashion Awards, in association with Swarovski, at Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center.
   Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who presented Rihanna’s award, praised the musician, calling her a style icon. ‘She proves that incredible style can take a talented young woman from a small island to the world stage and along the way spark a lot of conversation about elegance and empowerment,’ she said.
   Altuzarra received his award from Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o. Other awards included the menswear designer of the year, which was won by Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow for Public School, and presented by James Marsden. The accessories’ designer of the year award was won by Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen for the Row, presented by Keri Russell.
   Tom Ford won the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Richard Buckley. The Founder’s Award in honour of Eleanor Lambert, presented by supermodel Naomi Campbell, was won by Bethann Hardison, for promoting racial diversity in the fashion industry. The media award, in honour of Eugenia Sheppard, was given to Paul Cavaco by Allure editor-in-chief Linda Wells. The international award, presented by Marion Cotillard and Dior CEO Sidney Toledano, was won by Raf Simons of Christian Dior.
   Industry stalwart Ruth Finley of the indispensable Fashion Calendar was recognized with the Board of Directors’ Tribute, presented by CFDA president Diane von Fürstenberg.
   As chief sponsor, Swarovksi presented three awards for emerging talent, to Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters for Creatures of the Wind in the womenswear category; to Tim Coppens for menswear; and to Irene Neuwirth for accessory design.
   Michael Kors paid tribute to Annabel Tollman, L’Wren Scott, and Art Ortenberg who had passed in the previous year.
   Scholarships were awarded to Yi Deng, Drexel University (Geoffrey Beene Design Scholar), Carmela Osorio Lugo, Savannah College of Art & Design (Liz Claiborne Design Scholar), and Franky Tran, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (CFDA–Teen Vogue Scholar, in partnership with Target).
   â€˜Tonight, we celebrated creativity, experience, and conviction by honoring the diversity and vibrancy of individuals who define the influence of the fashion industry,’ said von Fürstenberg.
   â€˜It’s been an honour to partner with the CFDA in celebrating the very best in American fashion for thirteen incredible years, and the creativity of the award winners never fails to amaze. We are especially pleased to support the industry’s next generation through the Swarovski Awards. It’s a privilege to help these dazzling young talents evolve and realize their visions as they take the next steps in their careers,’ said Nadja Swarovski, member of the Swarovski executive board.
   Celebrities present included Anna Chlumsky, Bernadette Peters, Blake Lively, Bridget Moynahan, Brie Larson, Busy Phillips, Chris Kattan, Cicely Tyson, Emmy Rossum, Gia Coppola, Jaime King, Jennifer Hudson, Leilani Bishop, Olivia Wilde, Sophia Bush, Suki Waterhouse, Zoe Kazan, Zoey Deutch, Alessandra Ambrosio, Amy Fine Collins, Andrew Bolton, Andrew Saffir, Anja Rubik, Anne V., Bee Shaffer, Brad Goreski, Caroline Trentini, Chanel Iman, Chrissy Teigen, Coco Rocha, Constance Jablonski, Derek Blasberg, Dree Hemingway, Fei Fei Sun, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Harley Viera Newton, Heidi Klum, Hilary Rhoda, Iman, Jamie Bochert, Jen Brill, Jessica Stam, Jessica Joffe, Joan Smalls, John Demsey, Karen Elson, Karlie Kloss, Karolína Kurková, Leigh Lezark, Liya Kebede, Malgosia Bela, Olivia Palermo, Tyson Beckford, Vanessa Traina, Victor Cruz, and Victoria Traina.
   The show, hosted by Brad Goreski, will be webcast on on June 3 at 11 a.m. EDT.
   Lexus, MAC Cosmetics, Veuve Clicquot, Maestro Dobel and Intel were also sponsors of the event.

Matteo Prandoni/

Joe Schildhorn/

Matteo Prandoni/

Red carpet





Tom Ford

Bethann Hardison

Blake Lively

Miss France 2014 your top story, and Princess Madeleine your favourite newsmaker

NEWS  by Lucire staff/December 29, 2013/1.19

Bruno Ehrs/Kungahuset

Above HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden was the person you searched for the most this year.

We’ve told you who we thought 2013’s newsmakers were. But who did you want to read about this year?
   In first place: HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden. The younger of HM King Carl XVI Gustaf’s daughters was married this year, to Anglo-American financier Chris O’Neill, and there was plenty of interest from you in the Royal Wedding.
   Keira Knightley and Penélope Cruz held your imaginations in second and third place this year, followed by Kylie Minogue, Leah Remini, Sonam Kapoor and David Gandy.
   Olivia Newton-John proved that she could still get readers’ interest a generation after Grease, while last year’s World Miss University Mia Hasanagic found herself in ninth place after an influx of searches in January. Fearne Cotton and the new Miss France, Flora Coquerel, manage 10th and 11th respectively, with Jay Kay, Honor Dillon and Adriana Lima following. Jeremy Renner and David Beckham were tied at 15th.
   Our top news items of 2013—unless something drastic happens in these final two days—were, as usual, the election of Miss France (right), while you were also very interested in GHD’s Candy Collection of straighteners.
   Pandora showed that it was a favourite among fashionistas, with its Black Friday charm getting plenty of attention.
   Given that Princess Madeleine was the most-searched person, the Royal Wedding slipped in to fourth and fifth on our charts. Another Royal Wedding story, on the couple’s honeymoon destination, was ninth.
   The current James Bond, Daniel Craig, launching the Range Rover Sport in New York came sixth, followed by Lana Del Rey releasing her new film Tropico last month.
   The top Kiwi story was on the Brancott Estate World of Wearable Art winners, in a year where New Zealanders took the top prizes.
   There remained plenty of interest in last year’s World Miss University, with our story on Mia Hasanagic’s win coming in 10th.
   Last year, Whitney Houston’s death made it into our top 10. Bad news, sadly, still sells, though it was the death of photographer Kate Barry (the cause remains unannounced) that came in at 11th.

Video and photos: Christopher Kane, Christopher Bailey, Harry Styles, Miuccia Prada among 2013 British Fashion Awards’ winners

NEWS  by Lucire staff/December 2, 2013/23.15

Mike Marsland

Top Harry Styles, winner of the British Style Award this year. Above The two Christophers who took the top awards: Christopher Bailey (left) and Christopher Kane (right).

Christopher Kane won the coveted prize of womenswear designer of the year, and Christopher Bailey, MBE, for menswear (for Burberry) at this year’s British Fashion Awards at the London Coliseum, while Miuccia Prada won the first International Designer of the Year prize.
   Kane was presented his award by Donatella Versace—he had designed for Versus for several years alongside his own label.
   Burberry was named Designer Brand of the Year, in a particularly good night at the awards.
   Nicholas Kirkwood was named the accessory designer of the year.
   As announced earlier, both Kate Moss and Suzy Menkes won special recognition awards, for their 25 years in modelling and journalism respectively. Moss was presented her award by Marc Jacobs.
   I-D magazine founders Terry and Tricia Jones received the Outstanding Achievement Award. Terry Jones was a former British Vogue art director, and founded I-D in 1980 with Tricia. It began life as a 40 pp. hand-stapled publication.
   Harry Styles won the Vodafone British Style Award, and was presented his prize by Alexa Chung, who had won three times in previous years.
   The emerging designer winners were Simone Rocha (for womenswear), Agi & Sam (for menswear), and Sophia Webster (for accessories). J. W. Anderson was the New Establishment award winner, for ‘taking the industry by storm’.
   Lady Amanda Harlech was recognized for her creativity and influence, and won the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator.
   Edie Campbell was named model of the year, while Erdem took home the red carpet award for raising its profile in the global media.
   Celebrities and designers attending included Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Sienna Miller, Tinie Tempah, Amber and Yasmin Le Bon, Daisy Lowe, Pixie Geldof, Rita Ora, Laura Bailey, Suki Waterhouse, Arizona Muse, Clémence Poésy, Caroline Issa, Erdem Moralioglu, Roksanda Ilincić, Dermot O’Leary, Emmanuelle Seigner, Mary Katrantzou, Gwyneth Paltrow, Henry Holland, and Stephen Jones, OBE.

Red carpet interviews and photos (scroll down for awards)

Nick Grimshaw, Kate Moss and Harry Styles on the red carpet

Sienna Miller on the red carpet

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on the red carpet

Alexa Chung and Erdem

Red carpet highlights

Mike Marsland

Harry Styles

Christopher Kane

Christopher Bailey, MBE for Burberry

Kate Moss

Misery Bear’s new Kate Moss video

Lady Amanda Harlech

Suzy Menkes, OBE

Miuccia Prada

J. W. Anderson

Agi & Sam

Sophia Webster


Edie Campbell

Nicholas Kirkwood


Terry and Tricia Jones

The winners’ circle

Mike Marsland


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