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November 21, 2014

Sponsored video: Christmas is a different world at Very.co.uk

Lucire staff/2.34

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A Lucire special promotion


It’s nearly Christmas, and as much as we might want to delay thinking about shopping for the season, Very.co.uk is in full force with its new commercial starring its brand ambassador, Fearne Cotton.
   Cotton, who is very recognizable in the UK for her hosting duties on everything from Top of the Pops to the Red Nose Day telethons, has a fashion and homeware range with Very.co.uk, while across the Irish Sea, she launched a dress range with Littlewoods Ireland.
   The new commercial, part of a campaign called ‘Very Xmas’, sees Cotton and model friends come to life out of the pages of a fashion magazine, interestingly called Style. (While a fictional title in this context, we’re sure readers can think of some real ones that have had that name over the years.)
   However, unlike other “bringing to life” scenarios in film and television, Cotton and co. stay in a miniature size, 12 cm (5 in) tall, interacting with various products that you can find at Very.co.uk, from furniture, table dressings and decorations to electrical appliances, beauty products, toys and fashion. The idea is that Christmas isn’t just a special time of the year, but a different world altogether.
   Cheekily, the Very.co.uk team has even put together a “behind-the-scenes” video that doesn’t give the game away: the conceit there is that Cotton and her friends really have been shrunk to miniature, à la The Secret Service or Fantastic Voyage. Of course, the visual effects have been accomplished by green screen and other visual effects, produced by MPC.
   The commercial has been directed by Pontus Lowenheilm of Traktor, a collective known for blending humour and reality, making it particularly sought after in the advertising business. The campaign has cost Very.co.uk a cool £6·5 million, with the target of maintaining its substantial growth from last year.
   ‘Very Xmas’ is running across all media and is Very.co.uk’s biggest ever fully integrated campaign.


Post sponsored by Very.co.uk

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Filed under: celebrity, fashion, London
November 3, 2014

News round-up: letter from Marrakech teased; Jessica Alba favours Jane Iredale; our road tests

Lucire staff/22.02

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Theo Wargo/Getty Images


Stanley Moss

Top Olivia Wilde, Jordan Hewson and Jessica Alba at the 2014 Global Citizen Festival to end extreme poverty by 2030, in Central Park on September 27. Above Paula Sweet photographs exclusively in Morocco for Lucire: the secrets of Berber Saffron Tea. From left to right, Amanjena GM Gabriel Louzada, Paula Sweet, Abdelhadi.

In an upcoming edition of Lucire: letter from Marrakech. An exclusive report from travel editor Stanley Moss which includes a private visit behind closed doors at the original home of Yves Saint Laurent in the Medina, then the lost recipe for saffron tea, a Berber delicacy prepared for our readers at Amanjena in Marrakech.
   In beauty news, Jessica Alba has publicly declared her love of Jane Iredale’s real gold shimmer powder in OK. Says Alba, ‘If I’m going to show some leg, I’ll mix a little into my body lotion too. It creates a subtle shimmer that makes cellulite lumps and bumps a tad less noticeable.’ The powder is the headline product commemorating the brand’s 20th anniversary year. And they really mean ‘real gold': it contains 24 ct gold leaf and mica, and it’s available alongside silver and bronze shimmers in a limited-edition Jane’s Signature Gilded Collection tin (£32). The gold and silver can be used on top of the cheekbones as a highlight, while the bronze can be applied over the body.
   Meanwhile, publisher Jack Yan has been testing more cars in the ‘Living’ section in Lucire. There’s the BMW 116i here, a real driver’s car for those seeking something small, while he dons his halo and channels his Simon Templar in his test drive of the Volvo S60 T6 AWD R Design Polestar.





Paula Sweet

Above, from top One of several hidden courtyards at Saint Laurent’s house. An elegant sitting room in St Laurent’s home in the Medina. Saffron, rarest of spices, more expensive than gold, used in an exclusively brewed tea at Amanjena, Marrakech. An elegant tabletop displaying traditional tea-making ingredients at Amanjena.


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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, José 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 Sandé, 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.
   Sandé 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 première 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—where 1,700 jobs are expected to be created—formed 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.
   ‘Our mission was to create an exciting and dynamic design clearly reflecting the XE’s positioning as a serious driver’s car. The cab-rearward proportions and tight packaging achieve that and give the XE the appearance of movement even when it’s 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 débuts 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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September 3, 2014

Sponsored video: La Redoute wants you to convey the language of love

Lucire staff/11.10

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A Lucire special promotion

The French way of life has always seemed more appealing to Britons. Publicis took this tack in introducing us to Nicole and Papa for the Renault Clio over 20 years ago, with sunny imagery and a sense of joie de vivre. It goes beyond “the grass is greener”, and it’s that Frenchness that retailer La Redoute has taken for its latest campaign.
   It’s not sunny scenery this time, but the French language, which, to most Anglophone ears sounds more appealing. Maybe it’s the way the French have marketed themselves as romantics, and that the ideal language of love is theirs. And with Mr La Redoute (or is Monsieur?), the Francophone character in its latest spot played by Florent Thevenot, things certainly sound smooth.
   Britons are arguably more reserved, partly for cultural reasons and the notion of the “stiff upper lip”, and La Redoute believes the French can help us lighten up and express ourselves.
   In fact, we seem to need Valentine’s Day, birthdays or Christmas to show people we love them—in fact, 22 per cent of people in the UK haven’t said ‘I love you’ in over a year, and only 30 per cent say it daily—but 82 per cent of us wish to hear it. Eighty-three per cent of Brits believe that ‘I love you’ sounds better in a Continental tongue, with 20 per cent preferring to hear it in French. Fifty-five per cent of women admit they have a penchant for French poetry.
   While the spot won’t be lost on Francophones, Mr La Redoute tells unsuspecting Brits charming words of endearment—and without spoiling it, let’s say the participants are not only impressed by the language of love, but he has one more surprise left up his sleeve.
   La Redoute continues to sell French style—its fashion website is number one in fashion and homewares in its home country, and has partnerships with Viktor & Rolf, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Jenzo, Paco Robanne, Yves Saint-Laurent, Isabel Marant and others.
   And it wants to encourage readers to get their messages of love out there, too. Share it with the #languageoflove hashtag on Twitter and Facebook, and get some extra tips from Mr La Redoute via the website.


Post sponsored by La Redoute




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Filed under: culture, fashion, London, TV
August 20, 2014

Lindex will open London store for spring 2015

Lucire staff/13.45

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Above An image from Lindex’s autumn 2014 campaign.

Lindex, the Swedish brand now part of the Finnish Stockmann group, will open a store in London in spring 2015.
   The company has been gradually raising its profile over the last few years, including hiring actress Penélope Cruz to model one of its collections.
   This latest move sees Lindex open at Westfield Stratford City, along with a UK distribution centre. UK customers can already purchase online at lindex.com.
   The store promises to reflect Lindex’s Scandinavian heritage with its décor and service.
   ‘This is a great day in our history. We have longed to offer our affordable and inspiring fashion in an exciting city like London, one of the world’s most attractive shopping destinations,’ said Lindex CEO Ingvar Larsson in a release.
   Lindex notes that London has more global fashion brands than any other city.

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Filed under: fashion, London, Lucire, Sweden
July 30, 2014

Promo image for Cheryl Cole’s Storm Flower fragrance released

Lucire staff/22.03

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The official promotional image for Cheryl Fernandez-Versini’s (formerly Cheryl Cole) new fragrance, Storm Flower, has been released, ahead of its on-sale date of August 27.
   The newlywed Geordie songstress—she married boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini earlier in July—says she had long wanted a fragrance under her name but could not devote time to the project till recently.
   ‘For my début fragrance, I wanted to achieve two goals: to create something that both looks beautiful and smells gorgeous. The development process has been really intense but inspirational and I have absolutely loved being so involved in the creative process,’ said Fernandez-Versini.
   Fernandez-Versini’s new fragrance is meant to be refreshing, light, but long-lasting. The perfume opens with fruity notes of mandarin and nectar, leading to a heart of freesia and peach blossom. Basenotes are soft vanilla, white musk and sandalwood.
   The fragrance will be available from the Perfume Shop and Superdrug, priced at £23·50 for 30 ml, £29·50 for 50 ml and £39·50 for 100 ml. Body lotion with glitter and perfumed body bath, with the same notes, will also be available.
   The visual shows Fernandez-Versini’s hand tattoo but not her engagement ring. The photograph was likely shot before her wedding. The bottle itself has the script ‘Storm Flower’ and ‘Cheryl’, and is topped by a flower-shaped cap.

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July 28, 2014

Sponsored video: getting real people behind L’Oréal Paris’s Elvive Fibrology

Lucire staff/12.19

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A Lucire special promotion

We are used to seeing L’Oréal Paris have the world’s most glamorous models and celebrities appear in their advertisements, so it makes a nice change when everyday people are asked to appear—as they do in its latest Elvive Fibrology thickening hair care promotion.
   Between January 22 and April 24, 2014, Boots UK, looking at its online and offline purchases, says one item from the Fibrology range is sold every 12 second on average, making it one of L’Oréal’s most popular lines.
   Having real people makes the advertisement more easily related, and L’Oréal builds on the initial promotion by having each woman in the ad—Zoë, Sarah, Priya, Jade and Lucy—elaborate even further on their favourite Fibrology hair care product.
   For Zoé, it’s the Thickness Booster serum; Sarah says she can feel the Fibrology shampoo ‘expanding’; Priya favours the Double Serum; Jade likes the Fibrology Thickness Booster; and Lucy names the conditioner.
   Each woman gives her tips on using the product and reveals her one secret based on her use of Fibrology.
   Their Q&As are made complete by their sharing thoughts on how their L’Oréal Paris TV shoot went—where they were treated just as one might see Eva Longoria, Cheryl Cole, Aishwarya Rai or Araya A. Hargate pampered on set.
   Each was auditioned beginning with a casual casting session, while the day of filming saw the women choose from a variety of outfits. Zoë says, ‘More importantly, my hair has never looked better!’ It does seem that the enjoyment they’re having in L’Oréal Paris’s promotional video below is genuine—and, after all, they are worth it.



Post sponsored by L’Oréal Paris

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Filed under: beauty, hair, London, modelling, Paris
July 3, 2014

Luxury watch brand Christopher Ward develops its own innovative movement

Lucire staff/23.17

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British luxury watch brand Christopher Ward has announced the development of its own watch movement, the Calibre SH21.
   Mike France, one of the co-founders, explains that the brand breaks the rules and ‘to be the masters of our own destiny.
   ‘Last year, the CEO of a major Swiss luxury watch brand heard rumours about SH21 and his—frankly, affronted—comment was, “What gives you the license to do that?”
   ‘We give ourselves license to do this. Ten years ago we launched the world’s first pure online business model for luxury watches; a new paradigm in blending supreme quality with unprecedented value that challenged the industry norm. Today, we are advancing to a new level of independence that strengthens the future growth of the business and enables us to develop a family of movements, the first of which is the beautiful C9 Harrison 5 Day Automatic, housing the Calibre SH21, which we also launched today.’
   France expects to see Calibre SH21 being the core of a whole suite of movements.
   The development was spurred by young watchmaker Johannes Jahnke, who examined medical industry tooling and car manufacture, thinking outside the square.
   Jahnke, along with industry veteran Jorg Bader. came with Christopher Ward’s merger with Synergies Horlogères.
   Chris Ward, the co-founder from whom the brand takes its name, calls the development of the new movement ‘probably the most significant watch industry development by a British brand in the past 50 years.’
   The new movement gives Christopher Ward independence from movements supplied by Swiss companies, with Swatch the largest player.

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Filed under: design, fashion, living, London, Lucire, TV
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