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April 18, 2014

MAC Cosmetics launches ïŹrst lash bar in New Zealand

Lucire staff/12.00



MAC Cosmetics’ lash bars have made it to New Zealand. The lash bar features a range of lash wands, where a customer can hold up each lash style—there are 14 to choose from—to see if it will enhance their look. Customers then work with a MAC make-up artist, who will provide them a complimentary lash application. The lashes retail for NZ$26.
   The first lash bar is at Smith & Caughey at 225 Broadway, Newmarket, Auckland, at a newly refurbished MAC counter.
   MAC offers individual, half- and full lashes, securely packaged with left and right easily identified. MAC lashes will last through approximately three to six wears, according to the company.
   When removing, gently lift one end and peel off slowly. Lashes should be stored in a cool, dry area. They should also be used with a safe adhesive, such as MAC’s own Duo Lash adhesive.

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April 17, 2014

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s CoppĂ©lia expertly executed at every level

Jack Yan/13.46


Royal New Zealand Ballet


Evan Li/Royal New Zealand Ballet

Top A publicity photograph from the Royal New Zealand Ballet for Coppélia, with Swanhilda, Franz and Coppélia. Above Kohei Iwamato as Franz and Lucy Green as Swanhilda from the premiÚre.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s CoppĂ©lia, which opened in Wellington on Thursday, is a lovingly designed and staged production that will suit family audiences.
   Set in a mountain village in Hungary, the RNZB’s production of CoppĂ©lia retains its well known storyline and period setting, with beautiful sets and costumes. The work of the late, award-winning designer Kristian Fredrikson is particularly poignant in the second act, inside Dr Coppelius’s house, where his seven very distinctive automatons, as well as CoppĂ©lia, rest. Two incomplete mannequins hung from the top. The third act, with the wedding scene, is another testament to Fredrikson’s design ability, evident through the villagers’ and Franz and Swanhilda’s wedding costumes. Jason Morphett’s lighting lifted the story, making it easy to follow—and it was the second act, too, with its moody atmosphere, where his work shone.
   Martin Vedel, ballet master on CoppĂ©lia, stayed true to the core of the story, with classical and folkloric dances playing out the plot. The energetic divertissements in the third act were perfectly performed. Vedel was, according to his notes, aware of the pre-modern, romantic period in which CoppĂ©lia was created, and sought to retain its beauty, but tightened up the storyline and more clearly portrayed Dr Coppelius—performed by Sir Jon Trimmer, who first danced it for the RNZB in 1964—as a social outcast.
   The 21st-century touches are, then, in the theatrics of the performance rather than the look and feel, although the limbless, faceless automaton, beautifully performed by Paul Mathews, could feel at home in science fiction to modern audiences.
   One cannot help but smile at the performances—after all, CoppĂ©lia is a happy, comedic ballet, and we noticed that the children on opening night enjoyed it as much as the adults. Lucy Green and Kohei Iwamoto were the well cast leads tonight, as Swanhilda and Franz respectively, dancing their roles expertly—and deservedly receiving standing ovations from some of the audience. Unsurprisingly, Sir Jon received similar acclaim, and Joseph Skelton as Zoltan, both in his emphatic solo and his dance with Katherine Grange as Ima, brought immediate reactions as well as loud applause at the end.
   Orchestra Wellington faithfully performed the LĂ©o Delibes score.
   After Wellington, CoppĂ©lia tours to to Palmerston North, Invercargill, Dunedin, Napier, Rotorua, Takapuna, and Auckland, with the season ending on May 31 inclusive. Further information on dates and venues, as well as booking, can be found at the RNZB website.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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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 clientĂšle. 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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Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show heads to London—images, video with Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel

Lucire staff/1.16




David M. Benett

Victoria’s Secret “Angels” Adriana Lima and Candice Swanepoel were on hand at the lingerie retailer’s Bond Street store to announce that its annual televised show will be broadcast from London in 2014—and they’d love to see Prince Harry there.
   â€˜We are very excited to be here today because we have a great announcement to make,’ said Lima at the announcement. ‘The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is the biggest fashion event the world, for sure, and we’re very proud and honoured to announce that we’re heading to London this year.
   â€˜We would also like to invite Prince Harry if he would love to come.’
   Swanepoel noted that the Prince would have a front-row seat if he chose to attend.
   It is the first time the show has crossed the Atlantic.
   The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has been a drawcard for viewers on US networks for years. This year’s edition, on the CBS network, includes musical performances, interviews, model profiles and behind-the-scenes footage.
   The show is eventually seen in 192 countries. In the US, it typically is the number-one show for adults 18–49 and 18–34—sought-after segments for advertisers.
   It is produced by Done and Dusted Inc., with Edward G. Razek, Monica Mitro, Ian Stewart and Hamish Hamilton executive-producing. Hamish Hamilton directs.





David M. Benett

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April 15, 2014

Open season on European tourists

Lucire staff/11.31


Hugh Llewelyn/Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic licence

The season for extra vigilance is upon us, as tourists gear up for coming vacation travel. Already a friend was robbed in Marseille a few weeks ago, her US passport stolen from a room safe (!) in a five-star resort. Criminal gangs target older tourists, and they’re aware that local authorities can’t do much after the fact. Even a consular official said it was useless to report thefts unless a report for insurance is needed. A friend of ours, standing outside the Venezia train station, got her wallet lifted while a supposed vendor was tossing those obnoxious fluorescent plastic blob toys, brushing close to her, and said arrivederci to €150.
   Remember that train stations are fertile terrain for pickpockets. The bad guys know everybody’s passing through. Watch out for shifty types lurking among waiting crowds, and any over-familiar approaches. Ask: do I know you? Keep your bags closed, and tucked under your arm! Be suspicious of distractions, and move away from aggressive people—fast. Other danger zones: the Champs-ÉlysĂ©es in Paris and definitely the Louvre, now overrun with snatch-and-grab gangs.
   Here’s a reminder of some of the more common scams and risks to watch for.

‱ The ring trick: somebody in front of you picks up a gold ring from the ground, holds it up to you. Yours? Say no! They’ll try and get you to give them some money for it—later you’ll discover it’s worth nothing.
‱ The leather jacket guy: claims he’s a salesman on a business trip. ‘Want to buy a good quality coat really cheap since you’re such a nice person?’ Hold on to your billfold!
‱ The bird poop trick: apologetic person spills ketchup on you, maybe says it was the work of a nearby pigeon, pulls out napkin, tries to help you clean it off. While they’re doing it, they lift your wallet.
‱ Swarming gypsy kids: they surround you asking questions, gesturing, making noise. In the pandemonium, they grab for your bag.

   The season for crime starts now, and lines for replacement passports at consulates peak in June and July. Don’t carry expensive bags unless you want to risk having the bottom slashed. Definitely don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket. Consider a good money belt with a strong nylon strap, wear it under your jacket, and above all else, remember what Mom taught you: don’t talk to strangers.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor

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Filed under: Lucire, Paris, society, travel, Volante
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 (王性仁) 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 cĂ©lĂšbre 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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April 12, 2014

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, spring–summer 2014–15: the Innovators, Ae’lkemi, Aje

Lucire staff/3.20


Ultimo TAFE Sydney Institute of Fashion

The Innovators’ show featured the work of several recent graduates from the Ultimo TAFE school of fashion, carefully selected as promising future stars. I am always delighted to see fashion which is, like the name indicates, truly innovative and unspoiled by commercial reality. However, most of the garments were highly wearable.
   Irish graduate Ciara Nolan (above) opened the show with a very colourful collection including a bold use of cuts exposing skin and prints. These kids show promise, as they already demonstrate prowess in material manipulation, with expert draping and pleating seen in several of the collections, as well as innovative ideas—some of the dresses were held by translucent rods joining shoulders and other parts of the garment.

Ae’lkemi
Ae’lkemi was an ethereal show which opened with blood red outfits, followed by black and white. Lacey and translucent gowns sashayed down the runway, my favourites being a silver white gown with delicate vertical frills on the hip area, resembling feathers, and a white poncho worn as a dress with exquisite detailing on the back. See-through lace gowns and sets were present, and beautiful. My only comment would be that totally see-through garments on nude bodies are not really likely to be worn by many women, so I may have liked them even more if nude lining had been applied to the gowns in some strategic areas. By and large, glamorous, delicate, feminine.

Aje
Whenever I am going to see an Aje show, I expect an unforgettable experience and they never fail to deliver and exceed expectations. Aje’s show was an ode to the first woman explorer of Africa—an installation in the Theatre, with a central stage featuring a large safari tent and models languidly standing and sitting around. There were many highly wearable garments and a stand-out black lace trouser and blouse set that I want to own right now. Glamorous and sexy but with the right balance of coverage to make it highly wearable. A green leather jacket also stood out—beautifully cut and tailored. The designers were greeting guests at the back of the tent and they were their usual selves, relaxed, happy, warm, down to earth. The atmosphere was evocative of exactly the story they were trying to tell with this beautiful collection. Viva Aje! And may their dreamy creativity bring us endless collections to love and cherish.

The buzz
Being one of the lucky ones that got to enjoy the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge, I had the outstanding opportunity to mingle with stylists, designers, celebrities and media. It was refreshing to hear stories from the designers themselves and also meet some of the people in the background who make their collections possible. Phoenix Keating is a warm and unassuming guy who welcomes you to talk and puts you at ease immediately. I had a nice conversation with him and also bumped into celebrity stylists Joshua Heath and Josh Finn (ex-Australia’s Next Top Model). Always great to exchange impressions with them—Josh Heath was, of course, epitomizing the manner in which a trendy male ought to dress, without crossing the Zoolander line of spoof fashion, and Finn was sweetly dressed with a great printed poncho by Camilla, which only Josh, as a guy, can do justice to.
   I was pleased to meet the leather man of fashion here, Juan Valdes, of Chilean decent and leather tailor to celebrities, high-end designers and a collaborator even to the latest Star Wars movies. We joked that South Americans are like God—they are everywhere!—Viviana Pannell

Viviana Pannell is the founder and designer for Basquesse, a Sydney, NSW-based label, and a correspondent for Lucire.

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