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April 16, 2014

GBK’s 2014 MTV Movie Awards’ celebration: tech and trends

Elyse Glickman/11.29


Leave it to event planning master and philanthropist Gavin B. Keilly to transform SLS’s ballroom into a more intimate space showcasing great charities and some choice must-haves for summer.
   As usual, funds and awareness were raised for some worthwhile charities, including Los Angeles Youth Network (which aids abused, neglected and homeless adolescents in becoming sufficient through street outreach, food, emergency shelter, a transitional living programme, and educational enrichment programmes), the Santa Monica branch of the American Red Cross, and Autism Speaks.
   Lambda Legal, going strong after four decades, provided press a real scoop on Day 1 of the suite about their West Coast Liberty Awards, taking place June 13 at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire. Scandal’s Dan Bucatinsky (who won an Emmy for his work as James Novak, elevating and broadening America’s conversation on LGBT issues), will be honoured with a Spotlight Liberty Award. He joins an industrious group that includes Lance Bass, Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffith, Alan Cumming and Judith Light. The awards show bolsters Lambda Legal’s efforts to encourage equal and fair treatment of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
   Even with a more relaxed vibe than GBK’s dos for the Oscars and Golden Globes, the spotlight is, true to form, on luxuries big and small that bring convenience and style to one’s home and social life. A coffee-table book by internationally renowned interior designer Sandra Espinet is perhaps one of the most aspirational gifts offered at the suite—pages and pages of global chic put together by a woman whose travels and life story are as enviable as the rooms she’s created for her top-tier clientèle. Onkyo USA provided a nice aural balance to that with its sleek and chic headphones merging precision hi-fi technology with an IOS-certified 6N copper cable designed to control media playback and accept or reject calls from compatible Apple devices. Its titanium drivers reproduce an exceptionally wide dynamic range, resolving hidden details and creating a spacious atmosphere.
   Fashionistas who prefer their earbuds more discreet would appreciate Audiopark’s Audiowrap, fashioned with beads and bling that camouflage the buds and coil up into a snappy bracelet. Qupid, meanwhile, provided fashion-forward shoes made from “vegan” leather, and Thursday Friday translated designer bags and runway-inspired graphics into a canvas carry-all format. Adding to the list of eco-friendly chic was Pono Woodworks’ Surfrider watch, transforming rare Hawai‘ian koa wood into a stylish, unisex beach to boardroom timepiece.
   After a short hiatus, the Artisan Group was back and better than ever, with a display of gorgeous, statement-making baubles, bracelets, earrings and accessories. While the luck is in the draw of whatever surprise goodie bag you are given, there were some particularly wonderful things in mine from Lucinda de Castro, Shirleybird Jewellery, Andrea Designs, Firefly Myst and Gamiworks.
   Nibbles on hand included decadent treats from Barry’s Gourmet Brownies, Jackson’s Honest Potato Chips and wonderful spirits from Deep Eddy Vodka, an Austin, Texas brand made with real ingredients and 10 times distilled vodka. Guests received a four-pack of Deep Eddy Vodka (50 ml each of Straight, Ruby Red, Sweet Tea, Cranberry). Ripped Cream, a natural protein coffee creamer, offered a jolt of flavour and energy to balance out the caffeine buzz of one’s favourite coffee.
   Celebrities on hand during day one included Omar Epps (House, Resurrection), Paige Turco (The 100), Tiya Sircar (The Crazy Ones), Tara Holt (Californication), Percy Daggs (the Veronica Mars movie), Rebecca Mader (Once Upon a Time), Shannon Beador (the newest cast member on The Real Housewives of OC), Caitlin Carmichael (Chosen), Carlitos Olivero (The X Factor USA), and Donna d’Errico (Baywatch).—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor

















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April 14, 2014

Video interview: Alexander Wang on his collaboration with H&M, at the Coachella Music Festival

Lucire staff/22.39


Above H&M’s Margareta van den Bosch and New York designer Alexander Wang.

Alexander Wang (王大仁) is the next designer to collaborate with Hennes & Mauritz, with the announcement made on Saturday at the Coachella Music Festival in Palm Springs, Calif. Online above is video footage from the event, featuring interviews with Wang, Kate Bosworth and Emmy Rossum, along with highlights from the party.
   Wang is the first American to collaborate with H&M in a series that began in 2004, and has seen team-ups with Karl Lagerfeld, Comme Des Garçons, Sonia Rykiel, Roberto Cavalli. Stella McCartney, and Viktor & Rolf. The collaboration will be called Alexander Wang × H&M.
   A beaming Wang says, ‘It’s such an honour. H&M is a brand with so much creativity and they’ve done something so different with these collaborations, and I am so excited to be a part of it with the 10th year anniversary and also be the first American brand that they have collaborated with. It’s really exciting and we have a lot of stuff that’s going to be new for the collaboration that I’m just really excited to reveal in November.’
   In his release, he notes, ‘I am honoured to be a part of H&M’s designer collaborations. The work with their team is an exciting, fun process. They are very open to push boundaries and to set a platform for creativity. This will be a great way for a wider audience to experience elements of the Alexander Wang brand and lifestyle.’
   Bosworth says, ‘I’m so excited for Alex. I’ve known him for such a long time and been an admirer for just as long, and I just live seeing all the success at the moment. H&M is such an accessible label and there is something so inspirational obviously about Alex, and I’m really excited to see what he brings to the brand.’
   Rossum adds, ‘Because I love Alex and I’ve been waiting for so so long for him to ask me to do anything … I was happy that I could do something in advance so I could finally wear something of his. I think it’s awesome [he] is doing something for H&M and making it more accessible.’
   Wang’s label was launched in the 2007 and known for its contrasts. The Alexander Wang × H&M collection will have womenswear and menswear, and the Swedish retailer says he will ‘propose a new take on the lifestyle product offering that goes beyond fashion.’
   Margareta van den Bosch, H&M’s creative adviser, says, ‘Alexander Wang is one of the most important voices in fashion today. He understands exactly what people want to wear and does it with an energy and passion that’s infectious. It feels incredible to be collaborating with him this year.’
   The collection will be available in 250 H&M stores worldwide and online, from November 6.

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We still want our MTV: the Secret Room celebrates the great outdoors

Elyse Glickman/9.35

A decade ago, the MTV Movie Awards was Young Hollywood’s kick-off party to summer. In more recent years, it became the unofficial Oscar season “after-party” with its strategic move to April. That said, the pre-MTV Movie Awards festivities planned by Rita Branch and Amy Boatright of the Secret Room (which made the SLS Hotel’s Garden Terrace a ‘Secret Garden’, for all intents and purposes) ended up being a great summertime kick-off anyway, thanks to a myriad of fantastic, healthy and environmentally friendly must-have products for the forthcoming summer months.

   It is also fitting that their cause célèbre this time around was California Wildlife Center (above), a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife. The Center fulfils this environmental operative by providing expert medical and rehabilitative care, community outreach and education, habitat protection for animals running the gamut from bobcats and mountain lions to birds and reptiles. Since 1998, CWC has experienced a steady increase in animal patients, caring for more than 32,000 wild animals, and in the process, educating communities, homeowners, teachers, students and businesses about protecting California’s environment.
   While requisite awards’ show glamour was provided by Terani Couture and coloured diamond jewellery from Leibish & Co., and 2Xist was back with its wildly popular upscale watch collection and colourful summer socks, there were also many stylish and sensible products for wardrobe and home sure to keep celebrities, trend-setters and even their pets cool throughout the summer—figuratively and literally.
   With sunglasses and the perfect summertime bag being on the top of everybody’s shopping list, it was impossible to miss the vibrant bags from Lola Blue, beautifully crafted from upholstery fabric in colour combinations that ran the gamut from neutrals with pops of colour, to more daring bags that captured a variety of moods, from a southwestern colour palette to eye-catching pastel hues. Which one to pick? That’s a tough one, but I opted for the Shea, a hobo style just big enough for an Ipad, camera and wallet. Long Beach-based Kahoy, created by Ralph P. Santos, offers a small but stunning collection of sunglasses and prescription frames hand-made from bamboo, textured wood and tasteful plastics. It was challenging to select among the line’s 12 retro-chic styles. While I went with the aviator-inspired Boracay with in tortoise, I wavered between those and the prescription Makati frame.
   Baylee Nasco offered pet beds and blankets that would probably have dogs and cats in a similar quandary, with their soft fabrics and beautiful colours. And while foodies would agree the Takeya Flash Chill Iced Tea Maker is an attractive accessory for summertime home entertaining, picking a flavour of tea is another thing, or six to be exact (Classic Black, Tropical Black, Fresh Green, Green Mint, Hibiscus Pomegranate and Coconut Lime Rooibos).
   So much to choose from. However, Rita and Amy also made sure they featured plenty of great products that stood on their own. These included Aviva Hair revitalizing supplements, tank tops from the new LATS clothing line launching May 9 in Los Angeles, SteelSeries Professional Gaming Gear (after all, there were boys in the room!), Shame on Jane jewellery by Kimberly Pauly, Coquette Lingerie and Herbalosophy Shampoo.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor











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March 23, 2014

Former Miss Universe New Zealand titleholders feature in upcoming Lucire editorial

Lucire staff/23.20



Two former Miss Universe New Zealand titleholders will appear in an upcoming feature in the printed edition of Lucire, with New York-based photographer Jon Moe travelling to Los Angeles to capture the pair for the magazine.
   Laural Barrett (2007) and Samantha Lochhead (née Powell, 2008) both live in the LA area, with Barrett pursuing her musical career and Lochhead recently arriving with her husband, footballer Tony Lochhead.
   In addition to Moe, the crew consisted of Jamie Dorman on make-up, Carina Tafulu stepping in at the eleventh hour for hair, Lei Phillips on styling (assisted by Janice Gonzalez). The venue, Riviera 31, is a cocktail lounge at the Sofitel luxury hotel in West Hollywood, arranged through Pivotal PR.
   Lucire publisher Jack Yan and fashion editor Sopheak Seng guided and coordinated from head office in New Zealand, with the aid of US west coast editor Elyse Glickman.
   The current issue, no. 32, is on sale now and features a cover shot by Claire Harrison in the UK.
   Entries are open, meanwhile, for Miss Universe New Zealand 2014, after the new consortium put the event back on television in New Zealand after two decades.




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March 21, 2014

Eva Mendes shows her spring 2014 collection at California events

Lucire staff/23.44

Actress Eva Mendes has launched her spring 2014 fashion collection with New York & Company, at two events in California earlier this week.
   New York & Co. had Mendes as guest of honour at the opening of its new Beverly Center pop-up store at 8500 Beverly Boulevard on Tuesday, while on Wednesday, she celebrated her spring collection with NY&C customers at Los Cerritos Center.
   The earlier event saw guests use Instagram with a hashtag, #EvaMendesNYC, to update a live feed at the store, while the later one saw Mendes pose with the first 75 customers who bought from her collection.
   NY&C says that Mendes was inspired by New York in the spring. The collection features ‘rich blues, oranges, vintage floral prints, and soft, earthy tones.’ Mendes was also inspired by family archives and vintage pieces.
   The range hit stores on March 19, on- and offline, with accessories priced from US$22·95 to US$35·95, separates at US$46·95, US$59·95, and US$64·95, and dresses from US$79·95.

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March 17, 2014

Designer L’Wren Scott, 49, found hanged in apartment—death treated as suicide

Lucire staff/18.03


Above Mick Jagger and L’Wren Scott pictured last November.

Fashion designer L’Wren Scott, 49, has been found dead in her Manhattan apartment, with her death being treated as suicide by New York police.
   Scott was found hanged by her assistant, whom she had texted earlier in the day to go to the apartment, at 10 a.m. EDT.
   No suicide note was found, according to police, whose investigations continue.
   Her company was in millions of pounds of debt. The firm, LS Fashion Ltd., had a loss of £3·5 million, and it had been run at a loss for several years before. Some £4·6 million was owed to creditors, with £1 million due within a year. LS Fashion Ltd. had £1·1 million of assets.
   Scott’s autumn–winter 2014–15 show at London Fashion Week had been cancelled. Late last year, Scott launched a line in collaboration with Banana Republic.
   She was born Luanna Bambrough in Utah. Having reached 6 ft in height by age 12, she learned to make her own clothes as she struggled to find anything that fitted her. She modelled in Paris before heading to Los Angeles to become a stylist and costume designer. Her label started in 2006.
   Her designs were a favourite of this publication, and US First Lady Michelle Obama, and celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Amy Adams, Penélope Cruz and Christina Hendricks were among her fans.
   A spokesman for the British Fashion Council said, ‘We are deeply saddened at the news of L’Wren Scott’s tragic death.
   â€˜She was an iconic woman who inspired so many, and a designer whose contributions to the fashion industry were both extraordinary and unique.
   â€˜She will leave behind an exceptional legacy, however we are so incredibly proud to have had her in our midst.’
   She was the long-term girlfriend of the Rolling Stones’ Sir Mick Jagger. They had been together for nearly 13 years and Jagger had spoken about her fashion collections in the past.
   Jagger had arrived in Australia for the Rolling Stones’ tour there, which may be cancelled.
   Bianca Jagger, Sir Mick’s ex-wife, led tributes, saying, ‘Heartbroken to learn of the loss of the lovely and talented L’Wren Scott. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. May she rest in peace.’
   Supermodel Naomi Campbell wrote on WhoSay: ‘I am deeply shocked and devastated by the news. L’Wren was someone I knew since I was 17. We travelled the world together many times. L’Wren was someone I always loved. She was the epitome of elegance and femininity yet still had a girlish quality. I will miss her honesty and I will miss her friendship. My heart goes out to Mick and all who loved her and were loved by her. May she Rest in Peace.’
   Actress Nicole Kidman issued a statement, reading, ‘Nicole and L’Wren were close friends for 25 years. She is heartbroken and in shock right now, and unable to say anything.’

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March 12, 2014

Video: Alessandra Ambrósio, Behati Prinsloo show off Victoria’s Secret Swim for 2014

Lucire staff/10.59

Victoria’s Secret models Alessandra Ambrósio and Behati Prinsloo have added to the promotions for the brand’s 2014 Swim collection at the London West Hollywood.
   The press day for the swimwear line saw Ambrosio in a white halter-style bikini, while Prinsloo was impressed with her crop-top from the spring–summer 2014 line. ‘The biggest trends for this season [are] definitely high-waisted bottoms, the longer lined torso bikini tops, the crop-top that I’m wearing—I’m in love with it, I think it’s really fun and you can play sport in it, you can go swimming in it,’ she says.
   Ambrósio pointed out, ‘Another big trend is the cut-out. It’s all about the details that season.’
   Eight years separate the models, though one would not know it from the event: mother-of-two Ambrosio is 32; Prinsloo, the fiancée of Adam Levine, is 24.
   Ambrósio later visited Extra TV to talk to Mario López about the collection.

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March 8, 2014

Top of the world and top of the Beverly Hilton with top beauty finds

Elyse Glickman/8.29

So many suites, so little time. However, one that was literally head, shoulders and eight storeys above the rest was the TMG International Red Carpet Ready Luxury Suite, which was very international in its products and its welcoming vibe for a carefully curated guest list of celebrities, VIPs and media. The set up atop the Beverly Hilton Hotel had a funhouse feel—albeit a most glamorous funhouse for sophisticated fashionistas—with each room having its own set of surprises that popped out at you.
   TMG International’s pre-Oscar thrill ride started off in a front room of a penthouse suite set up almost like a velvet-lined jewellery box focused on the dazzling and highly covetable gold accented sterling silver pieces from Ariva, a Rhode Island-based company focused on reconciling the look and craftsmanship of fine jewellery with the prices of silver “investment” pieces that could be worn every day. Though these precious items were there for the trying and the borrowing, the company’s representatives couldn’t have been nicer or more genuine about the enthusiasm about their collection.
   You could say the second room was the “family room”. Moms and Moms-to-be received a lovely care package from Rockabye Mommy, a “Mommy concierge” that puts together personal and customized shopping for the selective prospective parent. Their nifty package was geared toward girly glam, with baby jewellery, barettes and bib for baby, and leggings, camera strap and organic fruit and vegetable wash for Mom. The affiliation from Kitson brought more Hollywood Mommy-and-me street cred to the charming bundle.
   Grown-up men and women could protect and accentuate their personal bundles with shapewear by Rounderbum. Made in Mexico, these underpinnings feel cotton-soft on the skin, with some pieces adding stylish flair while holding the essentials in place. Adding extra ambiance was LifeNSoul’s candy-coloured line of high-performance earphones, high-tech ear buds and speakers.
   Although we were breezed past the hair salon room, which was packed to the rafters with VIPs hoping to salvage their rain-soaked tresses, our lovely escort led us to the next room, which took the form of a luxury day spa with Montana-based skin care line Sevique prominently featured. As celebrities were pampered with treatments such as the ‘Eye Relaxation with Anti Aging Benefits’, ‘Facial Massage with Deep Cleansing & Protection’, and ‘Neck & Décolleté Hydration & Anti Aging Massage’, Sevique’s founder Susan Nickell and other reps highlighted step- by-step benefits of their natural, cruelty-free products while focusing on guests’ red-carpet ready concerns such as close-up interviews and strapless gowns.
   From the serenity of the Sevique spa, we then thought we landed in Barbie’s Dream House, awash in pink. However, it was a showcase for Cocoa Brown Tanning, devised by Irish inventor Marissa Carter, who, with her doting mother, showed how her three products used together could add a very convincing and realistic glow even to the fairest Irish rose (as opposed to US House Speaker John Boehner orange). A short passage to India concluding our journey, with a room that featured the Icandy Salon from San Francisco, and SHAPES Brow Bar, which brings Indian threading to many locations through southern California, including Sherman Oaks Fashion Square. The teams in that room would not rest, or let us get up, until we were looking our very best (at least under rainy circumstances).—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor



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