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Catching our eye: stand-outs at the 2017 ID Emerging Designer Awards


NEWS  by Chris Park/March 26, 2017/11.52

Thirty finalists were selected to showcase their capsule collections at the 2017 ID Emerging Designer Awards’ runway show. Hosted on a crisp autumn evening in the iconic Dunedin Railway Station, the finalists were chosen by a panel of judges from over 150 different entrants, with designers coming from all over the world.
   Head judge Tanya Carlson said that, although it might sound cliché and make her sound like a broken record, she truly believes that the standard of the submissions continues to rise and we were fortunate to see some of the talent.
   Here were some of the designers which particularly caught our attention.

Marina, Talia Jimenez, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW
Winner of the Golden Centre Prize for the Most Commercial Collection




Chris Park/The Park Brothers

   First off the runway, the collection featured playful digital prints of overlapping marine animals. Jimenez balanced the vibrant imagery by using mostly pastel colours for the prints and keeping the overall colour palette minimal.
   The collection was inspired by a trip to the Sydney Fish Markets in Piermont, where she experienced an overwhelming cacophony of marine-themed advertisements, overfilled crates of prawns, and mud crabs tied up in string everywhere.
   The prints were featured on PVC overalls faced with cotton worn with merino turtleneck knits, and oversized raincoats, referencing clothing traditionally worn by fishermen. The prints might be fun but the imposition of the prints on top of “fishermen” alludes to the over-exploitation of the marine ecosystem, and our excess indulgence in the spoils of the sea.




Chris Park/The Park Brothers

Above: Close-ups from Talia Jimenez’s Marina collection.

The Daily Show, Megan Stewart, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
NZME and ‘Viva’ Editorial Prize for Best New Zealand Collection







Chris Park/The Park Brothers

   This collection is a sharp critique on the distortionary effect that electronic communication and mass media have on our perception of reality. The distortionary effect is expressed in a very literal sense by the use of distorted imagery from television shows and twisted knits.
   She references digital media and the pixels of a screen by incorporating 90-degree angles and rectangles in her patterns, which further add to the warping when the square clothing twists around the human form.
   The television imagery was selected and distorted by Stewart herself, before being printed onto hessian-like material. The shoulder construction hangs by the elbows, adding to the warping effect on our perception of the clothing.
   The bright playful colours and mesmerizing patterns belie the warning messages that Stewart transmits to the viewer, of how being absorbed into media will warp one’s perception of reality.

XXX, Nehma Vitols, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW
H&J First Prize








Chris Park/The Park Brothers

   Vitols’s collection was ethereal. The pieces looked like they were hovering in front and behind the models rather than being worn by them, and yet it the composite fabric used by Vitols that gave it a stiffness belying the translucency of the wraith-like materials.
   Nehma created this material by taking silk organza and bonding it with stiff cotton organdy, then applying laser-cut Tyvek detailing in white to add visual depth. As the models walked down the runway, the fabric would shimmer and float, as if it had a mind of its own.
   The pieces were cleverly constructed from scraps of fabric left over from creating archetypal garments, held together using a combination of ties made out of leftover strips of fabric, contrast top-stitching and golden zips, which provided some weight and textural contrast to the sheer fabric.
   The complexity of the construction, the innovative materials and the brilliant execution led to Vitols taking out the grand prize at ID for 2017. Congratulations!—Chris Park, Special Correspondent




Chris Park/The Park Brothers

Above: Detail from Nehma Vitols’s collection, XXX, which took first prize at the ID Emerging Designer Awards.

H&M: more Conscious Exclusive details and images featuring Natalia Vodianova, plus first peek at childrenswear


NEWS  by Lucire staff/March 24, 2017/17.33

Hennes & Mauritz has released further images from the H&M Conscious Exclusive collections, previewed in Lucire in February.
   A plissé dress made of Bionic, a sustainable polyester made from recycled shoreline waste, was part of the preview, but H&M has revealed more about other designs made from the fabric.
   The company has screen-printed distorted peonies and mimosa on to the fabric for ‘dream-like prints’, while an image of a dreaming woman has been quilted into its jacket.
   Designers have also added sequins to a recycled polyester cocktail dress, while a tuxedo comes in organic silk and Tencel twill. There’s a fishnet bag made from shoreline waste, and earrings from recycled glass and plastic.
   Children’s designs also feature for the first time, with tulle dresses and structured blazers and trousers.
   H&M head of design and creative director Pernilla Wohlfahrt said in a release, ‘For this year’s Conscious Exclusive collection at H&M, we thought not only about the look of the pieces, but also how they feel and sound. It’s a collection to please all our senses, and also our desire to be sustainable in everything we do.’
   ‘H&M’s Conscious Exclusive collection shows how the best style can be mindful of the planet, to help protect it for the future. It’s such a desirable collection, with pieces made in sustainable materials that you want to wear for seasons to come,’ added model Natalia Vodianova, who fronts the campaign.
   Vodianova also founded Elbi, a digital philanthropy platform connecting users with a charities worldwide. H&M says it will continue to partner with the platform.
   The collections will go on sale in c. 160 stores worldwide, from April 20.







BRM Chronographes announces limited-edition, hand-made Martini Racing chronographs


NEWS  by Lucire staff/March 23, 2017/11.52


Despite most brands announcing smart watches, one company remains true to traditional hand manufacture, emphasizing quality.
   BRM Chronographes, which machines and assembles its exclusive watches by hand in Vexin, France, has announced two limited-edition watches in partnership with Martini Racing.
   The two watches bear the famous Martini Racing blue and red stripes, as well as detailing from the car world, namely perforated hands, piston pushers and straps with holes. The crown, on the 44 mm stainless steel case, has a Martini Racing logo. BRM Chronographes will only make 150 of each type, one with a white dial and strap, the other with navy blue.
   BRM eschews mass manufacture, and makes only 2,000 watches per year.
   The timeless designs will be released in June 2017, and retail at €7,200.

A grand Petit double bill: Royal New Zealand Ballet performs Carmen and L’Arlésienne


NEWS  by Jack Yan/March 22, 2017/13.15




Stephen A’Court

Above, from top: Joseph Skelton as Don José and Natalya Kusch as Carmen in Carmen. Yuri Marques, with Shaun James Kelly as Frédêric and Madeleine Graham as Vivette in L’Arlésienne. Madeleine Graham as Vivette and Shaun James Kelly as Frédêri in L’Arlésienne.

What a treat to see two of Roland Petit’s ballets—L’Arlésienne and Carmen—performed by the Royal New Zealand Ballet, faithfully executing two of the late Parisian maestro’s works, staged by the Roland Petit Trust’s Luigi Bonino.
   They are particularly close to RNZB artistic director Francesco Ventriglia’s heart, having worked with Petit himself and having danced the role of the Toreador in Carmen in Milano and New York after the maestro cast him. ‘Maestro Petit was the first to trust me as an artist, and it was a turning point,’ writes Ventriglia in the notes to the season’s performances.
   Both are passionate ballets, but perhaps more so tonight as the RNZB returned home to Wellington to perform them for the first time, dedicated to their late senior costumier, Andrew Pfeiffer, who passed away March 3 after three decades’ service to the company.
   Ventriglia, accompanied by RNZB executive director Frances Turner, made the announcement on stage before the curtain went up.
   When it did, we were taken into Provence with the first ballet, L’Arlésienne. It’s the briefer of the two ballets (and receives a lower billing in RNZB publicity: it’s Carmen with L’Arlésienne) but particularly intense, exploring themes of dreams, isolation and solitude. The ballet draws from Provençal folk music and costumes—costumier Christine Laurent gives black shawls to the women and vests with a red sash to the men—and the pas de deux between Frédéri (Shaun James Kelly) and Vivette (Madeleine Graham) is tinged with intensity and tragedy. Frédéri’s descent into madness through his obsession with the unseen Girl from Arles is well portrayed by Kelly, especially his solo at the end as he tries hard to break through his mental turmoil—for a finalé it’s particularly powerful and Kelly builds to it and carries it. Graham’s Vivette tries in vain to save him with emotions showing in her light and flowing dance and her expressions. It’s a tragic end for a man who refused to conform and who allows his obsession to dominate him.
   The ballet is characterized by the small steps from folk dance, contrasting Frédéri’s wilder, grander contemporary moves as he tries to break from the rigidness of Provençal society; while simple sets by Réné Allio keep the focus on the leads, from a canvas cloth with an abstract landscape to the final window.
   That simplicity is in contrast to the rich and somewhat sinister reds in the first two scenes in Carmen: the tobacco factory exterior that opens the second ballet sees a giant wooden frame and hanging laundry as the full cast performs; the tavern scene has a touch of surrealism with the barren frames of the wooden chairs adding to the spectacle. There’s fake cigarette smoke emanating from the stage (the scene calls for dancers to light up). Here it’s the late Antoni Clavé’s costume and set design at work, the women in bodices with zig-zag lines. Among this we first meet Carmen, played to perfection tonight by RNZB’s Ukrainian-born, Wien-trained guest artist Natalya Kusch, a powerful ballerina in total control of her craft. Her Carmen oozed defiance, with her cropped hair and short black dress. It’s the company’s ability to attract international talent that adds to its world-class performances, and Kusch’s Carmen was a veritable femme fatale, her en pointe moves emphasizing her prowess.
   After Carmen and Don José (Joseph Skelton) spend the night together, their pas de deux was particularly sensual—watch for one explicit move where Skelton arches his back and Kusch lays and rubs on top of him—and hinted at the peril ahead. Skelton’s tense portrayal as he stabs the victim drew you more deeply into the ballet, while his final confrontation with Carmen is powerful and tragic.
   Carmen is the grander of the two, and a spectacular note to finish on. With the relatively short run time, it packs a great deal in, making it more concentrated than the Rio de Janeiro-set version performed by the RNZB in 2010, a full-length ballet by Didy Veldman.
   The Two Ballets by Roland Petit, Carmen with L’Arlésienne, continue till April 1, with four more performances in Wellington (from March 23 to 25) before moving to Auckland (March 29 to April 1). Further details are available at the RNZB’s website.—Jack Yan, Publisher



Stephen A’Court

Above, from top: Massimo Margaria as Chief Bandit, Joseph Skelton as Don José and Natalya Kusch as Carmen in Carmen. RNZB dancers with Joseph Skelton as Don José in Carmen.

Shay Mitchell continues repping Bioré Skincare—we try one of the products


NEWS  by Nathalia Archila/March 21, 2017/2.56



Bioré Skincare has announced that actress Shay Mitchell will continue as its ambassador for 2017, supporting the brand’s lines of iconic pore strips, charcoal products, baking-soda cleansers, and the new acne collection.
   ‘I’m so excited to continue my partnership with Bioré Skincare, a brand that has innovative products and ingredients that help me keep my skin looking picture perfect,’ said Mitchell. ‘Bioré has always been a part of my skin care routine—it has never let me down.’
   Mitchell usually posts videos on Snapchat and Instagram (where she has over 15·4 million followers) of her using the products as part of her skin care routine. But do we know that it’s these products on her flawless skin doing the job? I decided to give one of them a try and see if the results were true.
   In the past I have tried many brands’ blackhead masks, and they don’t seem to work for me. I purchased the Bioré Skincare pore strips and Mitchell doesn’t need to make up any claims for the sake of promotion: they work! Unlike the blackhead masks, which usually turned out really messy, they are really easy to use. You just make your nose wet, put the strip on, and after 20 minutes you take it off (it’s uncomfortable, but doesn’t hurt), and that’s it, you have a clean nose.
   Mitchell is the star of one of the TV drama series Pretty Little Liars, which will air its final season on April 18, 2017.–Nathalia Archila

The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth and Drops of Light liquid peels: effective and perfect for sensitive skin


NEWS  by Nathalia Archila/March 20, 2017/9.42


We’ve been sampling the Body Shop’s new Drops of Youth Youth Liquid Peel and Drops of Light Pure Resurfacing Liquid Peel, coming soon to New Zealand. These products claim to deliver a smoother, healthier, more youthful and lighter skin.
   I tried out both products, and they get Lucire’s thumbs-up. The formula between them both is similar, so you’d choose which one you want based on your preference. Drops of Light features red algæ extract from the North Atlantic and vitamin C. Drops of Youth is 100 per cent vegan, enriched with edelweiss, sea holly and criste marine plant stem cells. The liquid peels help skin appear brighter, refined and more even. At first, I wasn’t sure how they worked, because they are not like a traditional exfoliant scrub. After a bit of research, I found out that a liquid peel essentially takes off the top layer of dead cells from your face. The first thing I noticed when I opened Drops of Youth was the smell: it was nice and clean, and the texture was like a really refreshing cold jelly. I applied the product on my face, massaging for around 20 seconds, and noticed that these little balls of dead skin cells were forming. After I wiped the product off my face, my skin felt amazing, and appeared soft and bright.
   I am really careful with my skin routine and not to keen to introduce new products because I’ve had a very long battle with rosacea and sensitive skin. However, with the Body Shop’s liquid peels I didn’t experience any rosacea outbreaks or reactions, which tells me they are great for those with sensitive skin. I’ve kept using the products two to three times a week and I notice my skin feels much softer and glowing now!—Nathalia Archila

Converse celebrates 100 years of the Chuck Taylor All Star with a series of films


NEWS  by Lucire staff/March 16, 2017/11.23





Above, from top: The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star. The All Star ’70, evoking the decade of big lapels and platform shoes. The Chuck Taylor All Star II. In black, the lightweight Chuck Taylor All Star Modern.

Converse, which began in 1908, has been making the All Star shoe, later the Chuck Taylor shoe, continuously since 1917.
   It’s the most successful type of shoe in history, with 200,000 pairs sold daily. Its nickname came after Charles H. Taylor, a basketball player for the Akron Firestones, who became one of the shoe’s biggest supporters. By 1932, with input from Taylor, it officially gained his name.
   Converse has been adding variations to the Chuck Taylor shoe over the years, including the Chuck Taylor All Star II in 2015, a premium design with more colours and a liner borrowed from parent company Nike, which bought up Converse at the turn of the century.
   There’s also the Chuck Taylor All Star ’70s model that débuts more colours for spring–summer 2017, a design that harks back to the 1970s but with more cushioning and thicker rubber. Then there’s the Chuck Taylor All Star Modern that’s lightweight, again available in an all-new version this month.
   To celebrate the centenary of the All Star, Converse has launched a digital and social media series that looks at what made the line iconic.
   Millie Bobby Brown presents a video called Chucks in Film, with excerpts showing a previous Chuck Taylor All Star appearance (Michael J. Fox’s shoes in Back to the Future) and an interview with costume designer Stephanie Collie. Long Beach artist Vince Staples, Born × Raised creator Spanto and basketball player Jordan Clarkson discuss how Los Angeles culture impacted on the Chuck Taylor All Stars’ æsthetic. Finally, model Winnie Harlow looks at the Chuck Taylor All Stars’ connection to the fashionable set and youth culture. A final film, Forever Chuck, is a nonconformist commercial that celebrates youth and the Converse brand.
   The four videos are featured below as Converse marks 100 years of its All Stars.

Opinions: what we need from media beyond ‘fake news’; looking to the stars


NEWS  by Lucire staff/March 15, 2017/21.47

We need independent media


Paul Clarke/CC BY-SA 4.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37435469

Above: Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.

Earlier this month, Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote an open letter expressing his concerns about the evolution of his invention, the World Wide Web. (Interestingly, he writes the term all in lowercase.)
   It wasn’t just about ‘fake news’, which is how the media have reported it. His first concern was, in fact, about our losing control over our personal data, and determining when and with whom we share them. It’s something I’ve touched on regularly since 2011, when Google breached its own stated policies over user-preference collection for advertising purposes, something that Facebook appears to be following suit with mid-decade. This was long before Edward Snowden blew the lid on his government’s monitoring, something that’s happening to citizens of other occidental nations, too.
   Sir Tim writes, ‘Through collaboration with—or coercion of—companies, governments are also increasingly watching our every move online, and passing extreme laws that trample on our rights to privacy. In repressive regimes, it’s easy to see the harm that can be caused—bloggers can be arrested or killed, and political opponents can be monitored. But even in countries where we believe governments have citizens’ best interests at heart, watching everyone, all the time is simply going too far. It creates a chilling effect on free speech and stops the web from being used as a space to explore important topics, like sensitive health issues, sexuality or religion.’
   But the one that struck me as very pertinent to publishing is Sir Tim’s second point. It’s the one that most news outlets seized on, linking it back to ‘fake news’, a term now corrupted by the executive branch of the US Government when attacking coverage that it doesn’t like. However, Sir Tim’s points were far broader than that. And it’s evident how his first point links to his second.
   It’s not hard to see that there is biased coverage on both the right and right wings of US politics (interestingly, they call it left and right), although Sir Tim points to how ‘a handful of social media sites or search engines’ show us the things that appeal to our own biases through their algorithms. ‘Fake news’ then spreads through these algorithms because they play to our prejudices. He writes, ‘those with bad intentions can game the system to spread misinformation for financial or political gain.’ These sites are able to determine what we see based on the data we’ve given them, willingly or unwillingly.
   It’s so far from the ideals of the World Wide Web that it’s sad that the medium, which was once so expansive and inspirational as we surfed from one site to the next to read and absorb information, has come to this: a tool for becoming more insular, the first path to the idiocracy.
   Google, as I wrote last year, biases itself toward larger sites, no longer rewarding the media outlet that breaks a news item. The incentive to be that maverick medium is, therefore, lessened greatly online, because the web isn’t being ranked on merit by the largest player in the search-engine business. It’s why Duck Duck Go, which doesn’t collect user data, gives search results that are generally fairer. We think it’s important to learn alternative viewpoints, especially in politics, otherwise the division that we already see in some countries will only deepen—and at worst this can lead to war. In peacetime countries, a compatriot with opposing political thoughts is not our enemy.
   Facebook’s continued data collection of user preferences is also dangerous. Even after users opt out, Facebook’s ad preferences’ page demonstrates that it will keep collecting. Whether or not Facebook then uses these preferences is unknown—certainly Facebook itself clams up—but since the site reports journalists who alert them to kiddie porn, kicks off drag queens after saying they wouldn’t, and forces people to download software in the guise of malware detection, who knows if any of Facebook’s positions are real or merely ‘fake news’? Knowing the misdeeds of sites like Facebook—and Google which itself has been found guilty of hacking—do they actually deserve our ongoing support?
   Of course I have an interest in getting people to look beyond the same-again players, because I run one media outlet that isn’t among them. But we have an interest to seek information from the independents, and to support a fair and neutral internet. We may learn an angle we hadn’t explored before, or we may find news and features others aren’t covering. Better yet, we may learn alternative viewpoints that break us out of our prejudices. Surely we can’t be that scared of learning about alternatives (maybe one that is better than what we believe), or having a reasoned debate based on fact rather than emotion or hatred? And if you are sharing on social media, do you want to be one of the sheep who uses the same click-bait as everyone else, or show that you’re someone who’s capable of independent thought?
   It shouldn’t be that difficult to distinguish fake-news sites from legitimate media (even though the line gets blurred) by looking at how well something is subedited and how many spelling mistakes there are. Perhaps the headlines are less emotive. There is a tier of independent media that deserves your support, whether it is this site or many competing ones that we’ve linked ourselves. Going beyond the same-again sources can only benefit us all.—Jack Yan, Publisher

Stars in their eyes


Chanel

Above: Chanel continues its long-running Comète collection.

Coco Chanel is known for embracing astrology. Her inspiration is reflected in many of her jewellery creations and designs years later. The star motif is highlighted within the Comète collection and while the lion, representative of the brand, is reminiscent of the city of Venezia and symbolic of her astrological sign. The designer’s influential vision comes to life within many of the intricately detailed pieces.
   To this day, astrology serves as a tool that could provide one with knowledge and even supposed explanatory perceptions. Fashion-focused entities and individuals have contemplated to what extent one’s rising sign or ascendant, representing the door to one’s identity, is correlated to one’s wardrobe and personal style. Some inquisitive individuals ponder about personalities, style and even probable futuristic outcomes in the financial field. The AstroTwins, Tali and Ophira Edut, who have been featured in a number of outlets, have given advice to a slew of celebrities. While they focus mainly on various predictions according to the stars, some have used astrology to tap in to the financial market. The Merriman Market Analyst is one of the many prominent sites that discuss and explain transformations and changes in planets that could serve in financial as well as everyday astrology. Other than the website, they have published books for international audiences, divulging and examining the planets and geocosmic aspects. According to the website’s disclaimer, ‘The hope is … it will help the reader understand the psychological dynamics that underlie (or coincide with) the news events …’ For decades, the founder continues to ponder on certain circumstances, whether on a weekly or yearly basis, leading a team of apprentices that follow in his footsteps.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor

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