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May 1, 2016

New fashion retail locations: Swarovski in Covent Garden, and Sills & Co. in Wellington

Lucire staff/13.29

Swarovski will open on May 7 in St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden.
   The new 141 m² store will be situated on Long Acre alongside Barbour, L. K. Bennett and COS, and will stock the company’s jewellery and watches.
   ‘We are delighted to be opening our Swarovski boutique in St Martin’s Courtyard. By positioning ourselves at the heart of one of London’s key shopping scenes, our unique store concept and beautiful displays will hopefully inspire and introduce a new set of fashionable customers to the Swarovski brand,’ said Hayley Quinn of Swarovski UK and Ireland.
   Meanwhile, last month, Sills & Co. opened its flagship store in Wellington’s Old Bank Arcade, with its labels Caroline Sills, Sills and Isaac & Lulu.
   The newest label of the three, Isaac & Lulu, is a more fashion-forward brand, named for head designer Ange Todd’s daughter Lulu and Caroline Sills’ grandson Isaac, and is described as being feminine and youthful.


April 21, 2016

Beyoncé partners with three charities as part of the Formation World Tour

Lucire staff/2.41

As part of her Formation World Tour, Beyoncé has announced three charitable organizations that will partner with her own initiative, BeyGood.
   The singer wants to encourage fans to give to the three organizations, and demonstrates how easy it is to “pay it forward”.
   She proposes using one of three ways: online through CrowdRise, in partnership with United Way, to support the Flint, Michigan water crisis (where fans can qualify for winning VIP tickets to her tour); through their communities with United Way, with issues specific to each tour market; or on-site, after signing up with Global Citizen and Chime for Change, with opportunities to win tickets and upgrades on the tour.
   United Way will be present at very stop beginning with the North American leg. The first venue is Marlins Park, Miami, Fla. on April 27. Gucci’s Chime for Change, which Beyoncé co-founded, and Global Citizen will have their programme in select tour locations, including Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Detroit and London. There are charity events in Houston, Compton (Calif.), and Detroit.
   Fans in Houston can give and support Rudy Rasmus and his Bread of Life initiative, combatting hunger in the city, and TurnAround Houston, to help create jobs. In Compton, the event will help Urban Education Institute, which works with youth through music and the arts. In Detroit, the event will celebrate the resourcefulness of the people of Flint and Detroit.
   Since the announcement of BeyGood, the initiative has claimed to have helped millions of people with employment, shelter and more. Tour dates are available at beyonce.com.

April 18, 2016

Fashion Cities Africa gives a snapshot of four cities on a varied, rich continent

Jack Yan/3.51

The second largest continent on the planet is, logically, home to a massive number of fashion designers and movements, although out of Africa, there hasn’t been as much recognition of them till recently. Fashion Cities Africa, the book, inspired by the exhibition of the same name at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery that opens at the end of April, is one high-profile development which seeks to shine a light on the variety present on the continent, while on a similar note, next month’s Africa Fashion Festival in Wellington will do the same for its designers.
   Hannah Azieb Pool, who edits the new book, is a Eritrean-born, London-based journalist, who, along with Helen Jennings, has co-writing duties, resulting in a cohesive, beautifully presented book that examines contemporary fashion in Nairobi, Casablanca, Lagos and Johannesburg. It doesn’t pretend to be a fully comprehensive guide, stating from the outset it is meant to provide mere glimpses on a continent that is incredibly diverse. The foreword by Binyavanga Wainaina, a flâneur, reminds us that there are clusters scattered throughout the land that have their own tendencies, and that her favourite designer is Nigerian, Chioma Chukwulozie.
   The reader is thrown in to the colour of Nairobi, where sibling bloggers Velma Rossa and Papa Petit (a.k.a. Oliver) take one half of the first spread with their über-stylish and proudly urban Kenyan clothes, and stylists, musicians, designers, bloggers and artists profiled on following pages give slices of their lives that shake occidental sensibilities with their own palettes and ensembles. Nairobi, for the most part, emphasizes comfort, and the clothing shot on these pages by Sarah Marie Waiswa demonstrate that the city’s fashion could easily translate to other places, spanning everything from casual to luxury. Adèle Dejak has shown in Milano, for instance, and appeared in Vogue Italia with her collaboration with Salvatore Ferragamo, while John Kaveke and Nick Ondu show the sort of sartorial elegance that could easily influence menswear in other fashion capitals.
   Profiles of some of the personalities from the city follow, reminding us that Nairobi is a crossroads: Ami Doshi Shah is of Indian descent, her family brought there by the British when both countries were under Crown rule, while Ann McCreath is a Scots émigrée who fell in love with the fashion there. There’s a dose of youthful energy, too, with Anthony Mulli, a jewellery designer who started when he was 16, pointing the way forward.
   The book follows a similar structure for subsequent cities, moving on to Casablanca next.
   Lucire readers will be familiar with Morocco thanks to travel editor Stanley Moss’s writings, and Jennings’ chapter, with photographs by Deborah Benzaquen, takes us on a similar journey through the country’s largest city. It was, of course, a home for Yves Saint Laurent at one point, as well as a drawcard for many western celebrities, when a first wave of Moroccan designers became known outside of the region. A second wave, Jennings explains, emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, with Zineb Joundy a graduate of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. A greater sense of artistic freedom and Casablanca’s position that blends Arabic, European and indigenous cultures has resulted in some looks that may seem familiar—perhaps thanks to the likes of Saint Laurent and his influence. Again the profiles are well selected, a cross-section of the highly varied cultures in the city: Amine Bendriouich, Amina Agueznay, Yassine Morabite, Saïd Mahrouf, and Zhor, Chadia and Aida Raïs each cover a very different parts of the fashion spectrum, from T-shirts to traditional caftans.
   Once the book gets to Lagos, it’s apparent that there’s a sense of “bubbling under”, with Lakin Ogunbanwo’s photographs, paired with Jennings’ words again, showing slightly more subdued looks for men, but prouder, more flamboyant looks for women. Jennings notes that civil war and Nigeria’s military juntas stalled its fashion scene for some years, before a revival when democracy returned in 1999. Foreign labels were seen as cool till recently, with the country discovering its confidence in its own æsthetic, to the point where one of her interviewees, stylist Bolaji Anumashaun, says that fashion can be one of Nigeria’s ‘greatest exports’. Anumashaun founded thestylehq.com with a pan-African fashion focus, and Arise magazine, founded in 2008, also stepped up the promotion for Nigerian designers. With Nigeria’s GDP now greater than South Africa’s, that confidence is bound to increase, and Jennings looks at Nike Davis Okundaye, who owns the biggest gallery in West Africa in Lagos, and happy to promote young talent. Others, such as Yegwa Ukpo and Amaka Osakwe, both were schooled in the UK before returning to Lagos to found their brands, while PR consultant Zara Okpara and luxury concept store owner Reni Folawiyo complete their city’s picture.
   Johannesburg completes Fashion Cities Africa, and it’s perhaps fair that Pool chose to put it last. Many mistakenly think of South African fashion when they refer to ‘African fashion’, spurred in part by the Republic’s sporting ties to many other countries in the Commonwealth. Victor Dlamini has the photographic duties here, and Pool pens the words, and she goes through the various Jo’burg neighbourhoods, noting that its fashion is more established than Nairobi’s but less self-conscious than Lagos’s. There is a western infusion here in some parts, she notes, but on closer examination there are accessories that reference Soweto streets or Zulu culture. The city even has two fashion weeks: South Africa Fashion Week and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg, making the city spoiled for choice when it comes to giving its designers a platform. David Tlale, whom Lucire readers will have heard of, and who has shown at New York Fashion Week, hails from here, and Jo’burg designs have a greater sense of familiarity thanks to western media exposure. It oozes colour and vibrancy, much like the photos chosen for Pool’s first chapter on Nairobi, and in similar fashion (pun unintended) there are profiles from across the spectrum: designer Thula Sindi, creative collective, the Sartists, accessories’ and shoe designer Maria McCloy, and womenswear designers Marianne Fassler and Anisa Mpungwe.
   It’s our hope that we can cease talking about ‘African’ fashion and instead replace the dialogue with specific cities or countries, just as we do for smaller continents such as Europe. Just as there is no such thing to fashion observers as ‘European’ fashion, there is equally no such thing as ‘African’ fashion: it is impossible to generalize at a continental level. Both as an informative volume and a coffee-table flick-through (as it is softcover), Fashion Cities Africa succeeds, and it’s exceptionally good value with full-colour photographs (needed for its story, over 196 pp.) at £20 (available via Amazon UK here, or Book Depository here) or US$28·50, (Amazon link here). It is published this month by Intellect Books, as part of its Street Styles series.—Jack Yan, Publisher

April 15, 2016

Lucire TV: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hike to monastery on Bhutanese cliff face

Lucire staff/12.35


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge headed to Paro Taktshang, Bhutan, on the second day of their royal visit to the kingdom. They had flown in from India on Thursday.
   Paro Taktshang, also known as the Tiger’s Nest monastery, is located on a cliff face, 3,000 m above sea level. The royal couple walked 900 m to the revered site, taking three hours to reach the monastery, built in 1692.
   The Duchess wore a Jaeger white blouse, Really Wild khaki leather waistcoat, khaki Zara jeans, and her 10-year-old, calf-length Penelope Chilvers boots.
   ‘It was quite tough on the way up,’ noted Prince William. The Duchess said that it was a ‘great way to burn off the curry.’
   The Prince’s father, the Prince of Wales, half-completed the hike in 1998.
   In the evening, they attended a reception for British nationals and people with close ties to the UK that evening. The Duchess wore a red gown with a poppy print by Beulah, from its spring–summer 2015 collection. The poppy is Bhutan’s national symbol.

April 13, 2016

The Body Shop’s British Rose body care and make-up an ideal line for Mothers’ Day

Lucire staff/14.57


The rose is often associated with England, and the Body Shop’s new range plays on that—though to be inclusive, it’s dubbed the British Rose range, with a full line of body care and cosmetics that plays on the love of a rosy scent.
   The roses are grown in Herefordshire, without the use of chemicals. The whole process respects the biodiversity of the area and the balance of nature, providing a home for the mammals and insects, especially bees, there.
   We’ve sampled the Instant Glow body butter (NZ$36·95), which is silky smooth to apply, and quickly absorbed to start doing its job. There’s no stickiness, and has promises 24 hours’ moisturizing. We love the scent, which is more noticeable in the container, and subtler after application.
   The second Instant Glow product we’ve tested, the Body Essence (NZ$45), is a body lotion that’s light, also quickly absorbed, feels nice on the skin, and gives it a subtle shimmer. The shower gel (NZ$16·50) is soap-free and the scent is more noticeable—which makes the showering experience quite a delight!
   There’s also an eau de toilette (NZ$39·95), bath foam (NZ$29·95), hand cream (NZ$23·95) and exfoliating soap (NZ$15) which we didn’t test.
   In the make-up range, the Body Shop offers nine shades for the British Rose Lip & Cheek Stains. We checked out Pink Hibiscus and Deep Berry, both of which give 12 hours of hydration with a blend of Community Trade honey and organic alœ vera, retailing at NZ$35·50 each. They are gorgeous shades that suit different skin tones, and are right on trend. There’s only a single shade for the British Rose nail colour—a mid-pink—giving a nice finish for only NZ$12·95.
   The remaining item in the range which we didn’t check out is the eye and cheek palette, retailing for NZ$59·50, with a variety of shades suiting casual and formal looks.
   For Mothers’ Day, the Body Shop has three gift packs: the British Rose Treats at NZ$30, with the shower gel, body butter and a Mini Bath, in Lily in Pink; the Essential Gift Collection (NZ$82), with the shower gel, vitamin E moisture cream, body butter and hand cream; and the Deluxe Gift Collection (NZ$152), with shower gel, vitamin E moisture cream, body butter, Body Essence and eau de toilette.
   The British Rose range hits stores in New Zealand on April 18.





April 11, 2016

Rebecca Ferguson on the attraction of dual roles in Despite the Falling Snow

Lucire staff/13.20

Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson talked to the media recently about her dual roles in writer–director Shamim Sarif’s Despite the Falling Snow.
   Sarif wrote the 2004 novel, set in two different times: 1950s Cold War Moskva, and 1992 in the same city and in London following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2013, the film adaptation, which she directed, was announced.
   The film also stars Charles Dance, Antje Traue, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Anthony Head.
   Ferguson plays both Katya, a KGB spy in the 1950s, and Lauren, Katya’s niece and a New York artist in 1992, in the film. The film sees Katya fall in love with a politician whom she has been ordered to spy on.
   The dual roles were ‘one of the reasons to why I did it,’ says Ferguson. ‘I met Shamim. She told me this incredible story. I hadn’t read the book yet. I remember thinking, “You’re going to play two characters, I’m going to walk away, I could never do that.”’ The challenge eventually drew Ferguson in to the film.
   Ferguson, who is fluent in Swedish and English without a trace of an accent in either, is best known for her role in Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation.


Celebritywire

H&M launches M.I.A.’s ‘Rewear It’ to mark World Recycle Week; Olivia Wilde supports Conscious Collection

Lucire staff/10.27



Max Larsson

Olivia Wilde is the face of H&M’s Conscious Collection, and promoted it in New York last week alongside her friend Barbara Burchfield.
   She wore a lace skirt and matching blouse from the range, complemented by a Balenciaga leather jacket.
   Wilde and Burchfield co-founded Conscious Commerce, which she discusses in our video below. Her venture encourages companies to work in sustainability into their day-to-day operations, and says that H&M is a good ally, a company that proves that one does not need to sacrifice style for nobler aims.
   On a related note, H&M today (April 11) launches its campaign for World Recycle Week 2016, with a video entitled ‘Rewear It’, featuring British performer M.I.A., who also composed the song exclusively for the company.
   The video encourages people to recycle old or unwanted clothes. The Swedish giant says M.I.A. ‘personifies the conscious consumer with a social awareness.’
   Aaron Sillis choreographed the video, which runs for 3 minutes, 37 seconds and features a cast of music and dance artists and allies in sustainability, shot all over the world.
   H&M aims to collect 1,000 tonnes of unwanted or worn-out garments from its customers worldwide, through its 3,600 stores. It is part of the company’s goal to close the loop in fashion, recycling unwanted garments to create textile fibres for new products.
   ‘World Recycle Week is about embracing important environmental issues such as the landfills, and highlighting a global movement,’ she says.

April 8, 2016

Kourtney Kardashian announces she’s the new Manuka Doctor ambassador

Lucire staff/0.20

Kourtney Kardashian has inked a deal to represent Manuka Doctor, with the mother-of-three taking to Instagram to make the announcement, accompanied by a photograph of her topless and wearing gold make-up.
   A video from Manuka Doctor shows off its products along with Kardashian, who says she had been using manuka honey for years. She had posted Manuka Doctor via her own app, and says that the company reached out to her to be a spokeswoman.
   ‘When we heard that Kourtney was a fan of our products and a believer in our brand philosophy and approach, we knew that she was the ideal choice for our global ambassador,’ said Manuka Doctor’s Claire Perry. ‘Her track record of believing in natural products that are backed by science, along with her position as a pop culture icon and committed Mom, makes her incredibly relatable to our consumers worldwide.’
   Kardashian calls the tie-up ‘a super, organic, perfect fit.’
   She is known for using natural products, with her personal website focusing on eco-friendly products.
   The deal is for two years, starting April 2016.
   Auckland-based Manuka Doctor sources its manuka honey from New Zealand and is sold through 12,000 stores globally. Its line is 100 per cent bee-friendly. It was first featured in Lucire in 2012.

A video posted by Manuka Doctor (@manukadr) on

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