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May 22, 2015

Superb and deeply meaningful: the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Salute: Remembering WW1 impresses

Jack Yan/12.27

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Ross Brown

Above Dancer Joseph Skelton in the core image used for Salute: Remembering WW1.

Three years in the planning, the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Salute: Remembering WW1 commemorated the Great War in a memorable, respectful, and meaningful way, with a mixed programme that saw two world premières tonight.
   Gareth Farr’s specially commissioned score for Andrew Simmons’ Dear Horizon opened proceedings, with what could be described as a cinematic theme with a strong melodic base as the action unfolded on stage. Tracy Grant Lord’s backdrop, of barbed wire barriers used in World War I, loomed over dancers lying on the stage, as a lone ballerino walked among them. Lighting came on gradually, Jason Morphett’s design using shadows and darkness to build tension. This sombre start gave way to a beautiful, haunting and contemporary choreography, with an underlying bleakness, as Simmons highlighted the loss suffered in war. Costumes were grey, further emphasizing the sense of despair and focusing us on the dancers’ movements. The solo cello by Rolf Gjelsten gave a sense of minimalism that contrasted other elements of the brassy, powerful Farr score. While composed for the ballet, and only complete with the action, it’s not hard to imagine the work released on its own for lovers of ballet and cinematic scores.
   An all-male cast of twelve followed in Soldiers’ Mass. The genius behind Jiří Kylián’s choreography was how it conveyed emotion: a highly energetic and graceful ballet where the dancers move in a unified way, into battle constantly, pulling each other from the front and yet, still confronting, then falling to, the enemy. The score, by Bohuslav Martinů, set to the text by Jiří Mucha, was played back, and one scene sees the men lip-synching proudly to the Czech lyrics, yet with a sense of what they knew would follow. The ballet finishes as it started, with 12 backs to us, each dancer dropping his shirt in another representation of death as well as the annexation of the Sudentenland by Hitler in World War II. Shirtless ballerinos, incidentally, seemed to elicit greater applause from the audience as they took their bows. This restaging was by Roslyn Anderson, who had helmed the 1998 RNZB production of Soldiers’ Mass, with lighting design by Kees Tjebbes.
   After the interval, Johan Kobborg’s Salute injected comedic moments into a classical ballet, set to the score by nineteenth-century composer Hans Christian Lumbye. It saw the return of live music after the recording in Soldiers’ Mass, performed by the New Zealand Army Band. These skilful musicians adapted themselves easily to the lighter atmosphere, with Sgts Riwai Hina and David Fiu, and Pvts Joseph Thomas and Tom Baker rearranging Lumbye’s music to the Band. Natalia Stewart’s costumes (jackets with epaulettes for the men, red peplums and plenty of tulle for the women) shone on stage in a very cheerful ballet involving different sets of dancers, highlighting different aspects of love, from shyness and confusion to overconfidence and partnership; as well as the inevitable farewells as men went off to war.
   The battle vignette, with the General leading the charge, was equally enjoyable, interspersed with the long waits the women endured back home, before the conclusion as the soldiers returned home. Created for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2010, Kobborg intended it to be a reflection of what happens when young people come together; the RNZB dancers showed their expressiveness in a ballet that injected a light-heartedness to the evening. Salute was staged by Florica Stanescu, with Morphett again behind the lighting design, with a brightness and cheer in contrast to his earlier work.
   While the RNZB often picks the cheery production number to end on, it chose Neil Ieremia’s Passchendaele, a world première, which gave this reviewer initial fears that the infamous battle would leave audiences on a down note. The fear was unfounded, because of the scale of Ieremia’s ballet, involving 19 dancers, and the superb execution in dance of this tragic battle, notable for being the day on which more New Zealanders had died or had been wounded than on any other day. Dwayne Bloomfield, formerly of the New Zealand Army Band, composed the score, which the band performed: the moments of martial music signalled the flawed advance by the New Zealand Division under Gen Haig. The dancers moved with great pace at times, in groups, on- and off-stage, representing the power of the soldiers and artillery, through impossible conditions. At other moments they recalled memories of home, contrasting with the loss that families suffered. Geoff Tune’s backdrops, in red and black, signified the blood on the battlefields, and his first one hinted at skulls, shifting gradually to other scenes of burned trees and desolation. The end of Passchendaele was chilling, after the soldiers each fell, their loved ones releasing them, as knocks were heard around the St James, representing the messenger bringing home to 845 New Zealand families the worst news they could receive.
   Ieremia was ingenious in how his choreography brought so much emotion and energy to the performance that the house was left in admiration. The message was indeed cautionary, telling us about the human tragedies of war, but the RNZB and the NZAB brought it to life with such conviction that Passchendaele received the greatest applause of the evening. It was a high note after all, but one that was more absorbing. Salute: Remembering WW1 is a superb programme, and a fresh way of appreciating the messages in the ongoing centenary commemorations of New Zealanders fighting ‘the war to end all wars.’—Jack Yan, Publisher

Salute has been supported by the Lottery Grants Board, New Zealand Defence Force, Qantas, the Göthe-Institut, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, national sponsor Vodafone, and Pub Charity. Dates are May 22–4 in Wellington; May 28–30 in Christchurch; June 3 in Dunedin; June 10 in Hamilton; June 13 in Takapuna; June 17–20 in Auckland; and June 24–5 in Napier. The Royal Ballet will feature the UK première of Passchendaele in November. Further information can be found on the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s website at rnzb.org.nz.

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Aishwarya Rai, Karlie Kloss, Paris Hilton, Kendall Jenner, Liu Wen among celebrities at AmFAR gala at Cannes

Lucire staff/2.04

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Ian Gavan


Dominique Charriau


Venturelli

Cannes’ AmFAR Gala is the big bash during the film festival, with celebrities this year flocking to the Cinema Against Aids event at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc at the Cap d’Antibes. Over the years, the event has raised US$140 million for AmFAR’s research programmes designed to consign Aids to history.
   Celebrities attending this year included Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (wearing a mauve Elie Saab gown; husband and co-event chair Abhishek Bachchan could not be present due to work commitments), Kendall Jenner (in Calvin Klein), Toni Garrn (in Elie Saab), Irina Shayk (in Atelier Versace), Doutzen Kroes, Paris Hilton (in Yanina, with jewellery by Avakian), Selita Ebanks, Eli Mizrahi, Chanel Iman, Petra NÄ›mcová, Jourdan Dunn, Karlie Kloss (in a silver Tom Ford), Eva Longoria (in Georges Hobeika), Soo-Joo Park, Barbara Palvin, Isabeli Fontana, Antonio Banderas, Li Yuchun, Natasha Poly, Sienna Miller, Marion Cotillard, Adriana Lima, Liu Wen, Rita Ora (in Marchesa), Lily Donaldson, Dita von Teese, Lara Stone, Gigi Hadid (in Tom Ford), Noomi Rapace, Diane Kruger, Sara Samparo, Bella Hadid, and Tom Ford. Sharon Stone commemorated 20 years of supporting AmFAR at the event.
   This year’s Black and White Collection fashion show was curated by Carine Roitfeld, with music by Mark Ronson. Imagine Dragons, Mary J. Blige and Charli XCX (wearing Vivienne Westwood) performed live at the event.
   Sponsors included Bold Films, Harry Winston (who created an Epic Cluster necklace for the auction, with proceeds going to HIV–Aids research), the Weinstein Company, and Moët Hennessy.
   L’Oréal Paris treated the evening as the perfect opportunity to showcase its support of the entire Festival de Cannes, with 10 of its spokeswomen attending—promoting its Superstar line of mascaras and eye-liners and Infaillible lipsticks and foundations that have proven to be staples for celebrities this year.
















Gareth Cattermole






















Ian Gavan; Pascal Le Segretain/AmFAR15; George Pimentel/AmFAR15; Venturelli; courtesy AmFAR

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May 21, 2015

Aishwarya Rai, Araya A. Hargate, Soo-Joo Park, Karlie Kloss, Barbara Palvin hit Cannes on day 8

Lucire staff/3.07

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Andreas Rentz


Pascal Le Segretain


Venturelli

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s Ralph & Russo Couture dove grey silk gazar layered ball gown with crystal, feather, perspex and velvet embellishments, from the house’s autumn–winter 2014–15 collection, was the talk of Cannes yesterday, as the Bollywood star attended the première of Youth, the new film from Neapolitan director Paolo Sorrentino. She wore minimal make-up, too, with L’Oréal Paris noting that her beauty look was relatively simple: Glam Bronze in Eau de Soleil, Super Liner So Couture in black, and Color Riche 30 Years in Nuit Blanche (231). Rai Bachchan proved the old adage: it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it.
   Fellow L’Oréal Paris faces were there, too. Thai actress Araya A. Hargate, a huge draw for southeast Asian audiences, went for a tiered look, too, but with a more floral style as she chose Giambattista Valli for her second appearance on the Cannes red carpet. Those familiar with this season’s L’Oréal Paris products won’t be surprised to see Superstar Mascara being part of her make-up, as well as the Superstar Eye Liner; la Palette in Beige and Infaillible Mega Gloss, in You Know You Love Me (509) gave Hargate her summer movie-star looks.
   Soo-Joo Park (the platinum blonde Korean star made her first appearance for 2015), Barbara Palvin (with a more startling look this season, using bold, dark eyelashes and eye-liner, including L’Oréal’s Miss Manga Punky mascara for that extra volume), Doutzen Kroes (a classic beauty, with a more natural look, with only a very light blush complementing VML So Couture in black, the Superstar Eye Liner, and the Brow Artist Plimper; finished off with the Color Riche 30 Years in Greige Amoureux), Karlie Kloss (in Louis Vuitton, with de Grisogono Allegra ring and bracelet and tubetto Gypsy earrings), Lara Stone (in a dark metallic Versace dress), Jane Fonda, and Megan Gale were out in force, too.
   De Grisogono, still on a high since its Divine party on Tuesday night, noted that its jewellery was the choice of Izabel Goulart (in Azzedine Alaïa, with jewellery totalling 60 ct in diamonds and rubies). Chanel Iman had appeared earlier in the week wearing de Grisogono’s titanium earrings set with diamonds and pearls, and sparkled her way on to the red carpet yesterday in a red, strapless Donna Karan gown.
   Finally, behind the scenes, Eva Longoria celebrated her first decade with L’Oréal Paris, and the company threw her a party to commemorate the event.
























Ben A. Pruchnie; Andreas Rentz; Pascal Le Segretain; Venturelli; Ian Gavan; Dominique Charriau; courtesy companies

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May 20, 2015

Natalie Portman, Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss, Paris Hilton, Natasha Poly, Izabel Goulart at de Grisogono’s Divine party

Lucire staff/3.17

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Olivier Borde


De Grisogono held its Divine party last night at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d’Antibes, and in the style that one would expect from founder, creative director and CEO Fawaz Gruosi, it was the A-list place to be on the Riviera.
   Plenty of celebrities showed up on the seventh day of the Festival de Cannes to celebrate a huge week: Natalie Portman, Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss, Paris Hilton, Nina Agdal, Joan Smalls, Chanel Iman, Natasha Poly, Adrien Brody and Lara Lieto, Hofit Golan, Mary J. Blige (in Emilio Pucci), Amaury Nolasco, Denise Rich, Eugenia Silva, Harvey Weinstein, Nicole Kempel and Antonio Banderas, Izabel Goulart, Annie Clark, Carolina Parsons, Michelle Rodriguez, Marta Marzotto, Milly Carducci and Angelo Donati, Stephen Hung, Titi Aynaw, Victoria Bonya, Ayem Nour, and Daria Strokous. Violetta Gruosi, the daughter of Fawaz Gruosi, happily and comfortably rubbed shoulders with the celebrities.
   Portman had come from the Sicario première wearing her Lanvin dress.
   In the garden, de Grisogono set up a catwalk with the word Divine positioned in large letters behind it, with additional lighting in the trees. A video was broadcast on to the façade of the building promoting the gems in de Grisogono’s Grappoli range, including emeralds, white diamonds, and orange and blue sapphires. De Grisogono hosted a fashion show in the garden highlighting its jewellery, with Robin Thicke performing a DJ set at the after-party.




Chassery+Klotchkoff



































Courtesy de Grisogono












Olivier Borde

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May 19, 2015

News in brief: Taylor Swift’s Tiger ring; Otis College’s 33rd fashion show; Swiss retails limited-edition Partime watch

Lola Cristall/14.03

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Jason Merritt

One of our favourite items from Carrera y Carrera, the Tiger ring, appeared on the finger of Taylor Swift at the Billboard Music Awards at the weekend. The Madrid-based jewellery company noted that Swift, presenting her new music video for ‘Bad Blood’, wore the ring in white gold, smoky quartz and diamonds from the Bestiario collection with her white cut-out jumpsuit. Madonna, Jennifer López, and Olivia Palermo have chosen the Tiger ring in the past.
   Otis College of Art and Design’s 33rd annual Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show at the Beverly Hilton Hotel was a lavish escape, revolving around the theme, A Celebration of Water. This year’s honorees include Carlos Alberini, the chief executive of Lucky Brand, designer Trina Turk, and Gary Schoenfeld, the president and CEO of PacSun. Mentors included: Bob Mackie, Trina Turk, Zaid Affas, Joe McCarty for Lane Bryant, Liliana Casabal for Morgane Le Fay, Mary Jo Bruno, Anne Cole, Isobella & Chloe, Heather Brown for PacSun, Ryan Keenan for Quiksilver, Alan Hardy for DC, Kesha Pomeroy for Roxy, and Urban Outfitters. Year after year, the event reflects the students’ hard work and approach to the fashion industry while being guided by a number of professional designers. Student Jessica Choi was recognized as Designer of the Year. Guests gathered to watch 100 ensembles take centre-stage.
   Finally, Swiss International Airlines is retailing a special Partime watch from June as part of its duty-free range this summer. Available only on board Swiss flights, the Partime watch is a limited edition, joining the 11 other models already offered. The complete collection will also be shown at the China Watch & Clock Fair in Shenzhen from June 25 to 28. (A video of the Partime’s movement can be seen at the bottom of this article.)—Lola Cristall, Paris editor, and Lucire staff





















Kai He; courtesy Otis College of Art and Design

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Sonam Kapoor, Nina Agdal, Eva Longoria, Andie MacDowell, Weronica Zalazinska hit Cannes’ red carpet on day 6

Lucire staff/8.17

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Pascal Le Segretain


Bruno Bebert


Gisela Schober

Sonam Kapoor was arguably the highest-profile actress (when you factor in our audience numbers) walking the red carpet at the première of Inside Out on Monday, wearing a sorbet-coloured haute couture feathered gown from Elie Saab. At the weekend, the actress had unveiled Michelin star chef Vikas Khanna’s book, Utsav: a Culinary Epic of Indian Festivals, providing the book with added international exposure.
   Eva Longoria, meanwhile, took to the Inside Out red carpet with a silver Gabriela Cadena dress with sheer side panels and a train, earning plenty of coverage as she attended on behalf of L’Oréal Paris (which announced that her look did, once again, feature the Superstar Mascara—ideal for Cannes—and the Infaillible 24h Matte foundation in Sand, the Super Liner Smokissime, and, for the lips, the Infaillible Mega Gloss in 502, Hold Me Close).
   Fellow L’Oréal signature face Andie MacDowell, wore a coral Elie Saab gown with plunging neckline, commemorating 30 years of working with the French cosmetics’ giant.
   It’s a hard act to follow for many in MacDowell’s footsteps who also appeared on day six. Weronica Zalazinska, who proves that you can blog and get L’Oréal to notice you at age 19, was only fitted for her gown in Warszawa on Friday, but made her Cannes red-carpet début on Monday. Turkish actresses Cansu Dere (in a fitted white suit and matching cape) and Fahriye Evcen (also in white, but a column dress) also appeared for the beauty brand, for their own markets.
   Spanish model Eugenia Silva chose a black Dior gown, having de Grisogono’s Boule earrings, bracelet and ring set off against her dress, Sara Sampaio wore Vionnet spring–summer 2014 with Avakian Diamond Links bracelet and Diamond Riviera earrings, while Nina Agdal went for an aquatic theme with her light aqua Gyunel dress with gauze train, complemented by de Grisogono Gypsy earrings.
















Pascal Le Segretain; Andreas Rentz; Venturelli; Gisela Schober


L’Oréal Paris Turkey

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May 18, 2015

Karst is the New Zealand School of Dance’s most innovative season yet

Jack Yan/13.09

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Stephen A’Court

Top New Zealand School of Dance third-year contemporary students. Above Latisha Sparks, William Keohavong and Jadyn Burt.

The New Zealand School of Dance always puts on a stellar performance, especially with its final-year class, but Karst, its Choreographic Season for 2015, adds some unexpected and welcome twists, and puts audience members into the performance, at least during the first half.
   Arriving at Te Whaea, you’re aware something is different: instead of the waiting area that you’re accustomed to, there’s blackness. The auditorium, meanwhile, has become the new waiting area, with TV screens showing the final-year students’ faces in the centre, and the tables moved within. As the show started, we were escorted to the catwalk above the plaza, where the show takes place.
   Wind over Sand (See below) gives you a different perspective as we viewed this from above, or on the stairwell, and there was some getting used to seeing a performance while standing. However, this didn’t detract from the enjoyment at all, and, as it turned out, Wind over Sand was simply a prelude to the cleverer and more entertaining numbers that were to follow. Audience members in wheelchairs were wheeled to ground level and watched from there, but would have had the same appreciation we did.
   Felix Sampson, one of the class of ’15, motioned us comically to come down from the stairs, surrounding the stage, where Jadyn Burt danced to Exhibit: J, using a single box as her prop, positioning herself on each side as she explored it.
   Seated at what would be our vantage points for the rest of the evening, Samuel Hall and Jag Popham began their number stood at different corners of the set, one motioning ever frantically while the other stood still. Without Regard contrasted movements and styles as the pair moved closer on stage.
   Another seamless segue, as bright lights shone from the end of the building, and we were into Volume, set to Planningtorock’s ‘Public Love’, with the notes asking, ‘If you could live in that place every day? Think of the possibilities.’ But, like some of the performances in Karst, those possibilities had a catch, the choreography signalling the old adage of, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ (Manifest) the Subliminal, similarly, strikes at the idea of balance, with backgrounds moving, essentially reiterating that the universe is structured the way it is for a reason. Upset that balance, and there is chaos. Loscil’s ‘Esturine’, with its repetitive rhythms and crackles contributed to an airy, almost lonely effect.
   Fragile Mortalities was the first number that blended visual effects as each dancer brought out a television screen with their face on it, looking cheerful, yet each began revealing their insecurities more and more, performing their internal collapses. In a similar world of paranoia, You Are My, set to the Harry Roy arrangement of ‘You Are My Sunshine’ saw cheer erupt each time the music started, but the despair soon strikes one dancer, then more and more, in different forms; words displayed at the back of the set disintegrated from hopeful to hopeless. At this point, one wondered if this reflected concerns students had about their lives in 2015; after all, who are better insights into the Zeitgeist, and more focused on the future than those who have settled in their careers?
   The 79 Bonnie Special brought the mood up slightly with the background video showing what appeared to be an old cassette-recorded programme. A tribute to New Zealand singer Connan Mockasin, using his song ‘Do I Make You Feel Shy?’, this was a comedic take, with Georgia Rudd donning a silk gown and shades, and lip-synching into a microphone, perhaps telling a tale of fleeting fame and the low-rent world that some inhabit, thinking they are on the A-list. Again, it seemed to be on the pulse of where popular culture is, in what might be deemed a post-reality-show world. Such shows still air, but in terms of the cycle, are they beyond maturity?
   Unfortunate Help, with Jessica Newman and Latisha Sparks in the main roles, see the dancers together with lengthy cardboard tubes, but pulled apart, others’ attempts at rejoining failing to unite the pair, who also fall into their darkness. At its end, Rowan Rossi emerges on stage, curious about the state of affairs, and we hear Sampson utter complete sentences for the first time, beckoning others to go as he and Rossi begin Only in Istanbul. Sampson narrates the piece, joking about Rossi and providing personal details about him, and the two come to dance in unison. Only in Istanbul is described as ‘A rigmarole’ in the programme notes, and the description fits: the movements are expert, but the story culminates in ‘Istanbul, Not Constantinople’ and the entire cast reemerges for Absent Ritual, a number that leaves Karst on an upbeat, positive note.
   Te Aihe Butler’s music, which is at the fore in Absent Ritual, actually comes through in many of the numbers, and is the effective, unseen uniting force behind Karst. It deserves special mention.
   Taken together, one does have to ask: where are society and culture today? Are we in times where we are leaving some of our citizens behind? What is the value of fame if it lacks fulfilment? If the students, who choreographed the works, are forcing us to ask these questions, then they have succeeded.
   The season is directed by Victoria Colombus, an NZSD graduate, and is the most innovative Lucire has reviewed at the venue. Colombus rightly used the space to great effect, and we hope that there will be future performances there. Removed from the traditional shape of the auditorium, the students made very effective use of their new stage, and the architectural structure helped give a scale beyond what the auditorium offers.
   Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School students worked on the lighting, which also showed a youthful passion combined with professionalism, while Donna Jefferis’s costumes were the icing on the cake.
   The season runs at Te Whaea in Newtown, Wellington, till May 23, with tickets from NZ$12 to NZ$23. Bookings are available at www.nzschoolofdance.ac.nz.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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Olivier Rousteing, Kendall Jenner and Jourdan Dunn promote H&M–Balmain collaboration

Lucire staff/9.06

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Top Jourdan Dunn, Olivier Rousteing and Kendall Jenner for H&M and Balmain. Above Olivier Rousteing. Below left Ann-Sofie Johansson of H&M.

Hennes & Mauritz’s next designer collaboration, on sale November 5, is with Balmain of Paris.
   Founded by Pierre Balmain after World War II, the veritable house rode a high soon after launch, being the choice of Hollywood stars. Now under the creative direction of Olivier Rousteing, Balmain has recaptured its “must-have” nature among celebrities, and Rousteing himself, as H&M points out, headed to the Billboard Music Awards’ red carpet last night in Las Vegas, Nevada to join friends and fans Kendall Jenner and Jourdan Dunn, who are promoting the campaign alongside him.
   Using the hashtag #HMBalmaination, the two brands are signalling their collaboration on social media. ‘I want to talk to my generation: this is my main aim as a designer. H&M allows me the unique possibility of bringing everyone into the world of Balmain, get a piece of the dream and create a global #HMBalmaination: a movement of togetherness, fuelled on a hashtag. The collaboration felt extremely natural to me: H&M is a brand that everybody connects to. It calls for unity, and I am all for it,’ said Rousteing in a release.
   â€˜We are excited to have Balmain as our guest designer at H&M and create a truly involving experience for everybody,’ said Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative adviser. ‘With its mix of couture spirit and streetwear attitude, Balmain owns a unique style, at once opulent and direct, sensual and energetic. It is also closely linked to the show business and music worlds, which adds another element of surprise.’
   The collection will hit 250 stores worldwide and online at hm.com.

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