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August 18, 2015

Fan Phenomena: James Bond gives 007 fans more; while Sugoi invites you to the world of Bill Murray

Jack Yan/12.09

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In the year of a new James Bond movie, many books emerge. Invariably, there’ll be one on the films themselves, taking readers through the 50-plus years of the Eon Productions’ series, and, if it’s very comprehensive, the 1950s CBS TV version of Casino Royale, the 1967 spoof of the same name, and Never Say Never Again will rate more than a mention. There’ll be something about Ian Fleming, and another book on one aspect of the Bond world (gadgets, stunts, music, or something else). Seasoned Bond fans will think the circus is in town again, because the new book about the films adds little to their existing knowledge.
   Claire Hines’s Fan Phenomena: James Bond, from Intellect Books (£15·50, US$22, releasing November 15), is something different altogether: Bond from an academic and completely cultural viewpoint. Intellect is famous for its titles on popular culture and creative practice, with a rigorous academic bent, and Fan Phenomena: James Bond continues the series but takes the reader into the world of Ian Fleming’s super-spy.
   Hines serves as editor, and there are 11 very distinct contributions to her volume, dealing with everything from canonicity to 007’s appearance as ‘Ladykiller Jimmy’ in Alan Moore’s comics; Bond as a cult brand and cultural phenomenon to the clothes he wears; from the James Bond films through a feminist viewpoint to analyses of his masculinity and identity. Interspersed between these are four ‘Fan Appreciation’ sections, featuring an interview with über-fan and former Bond novel continuation author Raymond Benson, artist and collector Peter Lorenz, 007 Museum owner James Bond (who had his name legally changed by deed poll) and cross-players CousinCecily and Winter.
   Even the most seasoned Bond fan might not have considered the impact of the character, books and films, and the book fulfils a very important role: it gives them something new. William Proctor’s analysis of continuity gets the book off to a healthy start after Hines’s introduction, though typographically it suffers: the type is inexplicably small, though the layout is modern and the visuals help lift things. Getting Raymond Benson in there early on also helps position Fan Phenomena: James Bond as a book for the cognoscenti as well as those who want an academic examination, and Benson reveals a little more behind the scenes of his years as the official continuation author.
   Matthew Freeman, in considering the many media in which Bond occupies, including the gaming world, shows just how the phenomenon breaks the established rules and succeeds, while Jesús Jiménez-Varea and Antonio Pineda’s chapter on Moore’s comics is bound to take many fans into uncharted territory. Joshua Wille’s chapter on fan edits does the same: while many know about ABC-TV’s cutting of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service when it aired on US TV, but there are numerous fan edits made in the digital era that had this author hunting the forums.
   Artist Peter Lorenz’s Bond film posters are stunning and present a nice visual break before Lucy Bolton’s chapter analysing the phenomenology of Bond. Bolton’s piece is perhaps closest to those Bond “collectable” books that come out with the films as she analysed the films from Dr No to Skyfall, and fans may have their own interpretations of their cultural significance through the years. Editor Hines’s own chapter looks at Bond as cult brand, and is fascinating in her study of the 1960s Eon films. Hines reconciles how cult and mainstream come together with the Bond series, successfully. Lisa Funnell gives Bond a feminist slant and the enjoyment she derives as an assistant professor teaching women’s studies.
   Stephanie Jones looks at the Bond lifestyle but primarily through the analysis of one work, The Complete James Bond Lifestyle Seminar, which she reveals is relatively light on Bond references, leading to a less satisfying chapter—though it could hardly be blamed on Jones. Llewella Burton’s chapter on Bond and fashion, and how it became a style through the rise of merchandising as the movies became blockbusters with Goldfinger is punctuated by photos from Galeries Lafayette as it opened a James Bond boutique in 1965, again gold dust for Bond fans. Karen Brooks’s and Lisa Hill’s chapter analyses the new and old masculinities through the three Daniel Craig films of 2006, 2008 and 2012.
   Crossplayers CousinCecily and Winter talk about their love of James Bond and Q, leading neatly on the final chapter by Elizabeth J. Nielsen, which deals with Bond’s homoerotic moments and subtexts. She traces them to Fleming himself in the torture scene in Casino Royale, before covering the flirting between Bond and the new Q in Skyfall, which itself has a phenomenon, attracting both women and the LGBTQ community.
   This is a volume for the intelligent Bond fan, someone who appreciates learning about the impact of Ian Fleming’s creation. Of course the films are covered more, as it was through them that Bond became a global phenomenon. The reader walks away having been better informed: this is not a Bond book for the light reader who wants reassurance of the facts they already know, but one which gives them something more satisfying to consider.




Top A scene from What About Bob?, by Jon Boam. Centre Lost in Translation, by Grace Danico. Above Lost in Translation, by Henry Kaye.

On a briefer note, but still tied with film, Sugoi Books has released an A5 book called Cook Your Own Food: a Bill Murray Scratch and Sniff, retailing at £6. There are 20 pp., with 10 smells, with some stunning illustrations, with artists reinterpreting key moments from Murray’s films, focusing on his culinary habits. ‘Scratch the smelly pads at the top right and enter the world of Bill Murray,’ the publisher asks, and you are spoiled with scenes from Lost in Translation, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, What About Bob?, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and others. For £6, the illustrations are so good it doesn’t even matter if you have a poor sense of smell.—Jack Yan, Publisher

June 24, 2015

Mila Kunis celebrates with Gemfields in London on its new find in Mozambique

Fenella Clarke/5.29

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David M. Benett

As its brand ambassador, actress Mila Kunis attended Gemfields’ ruby launch party in London on Tuesday night.
   Kunis wore two pieces from Fabergé’s Devotion collection: a pair of earrings set with diamonds, 10 oval Mozambican rubies totalling 9·32 ct, and a ring set with diamonds and one 5 ct oval Mozambican ruby. She also wore Fabergé’s Regalia diamond and ruby bracelet set with 176 Mozambican rubies totalling over 17 ct.
   This party celebrated the launch of Gemfields’ newly found ruby deposit in Montepuez, Mozambique, one of the most significant of its type in the world. Gemfields has previously specialized in high quality emeralds and amethysts from Zambia, until finding this deposit in Mozambique.
   Gemfields is a leading supplier of responsibly sourced coloured gemstones and has experts on hand to make sure that they are not harming the environment or its people. ‘It’s really a luxury to own jewellery and gemstones. If you’re in the position to do so, you’re fortunate. Given that, I think it’s important to pay attention to what you’re wearing and where it came from,’ said Kunis, who has been the brand ambassador for Gemfields since 2013.
   The actress looked positively glowing, only nine months after giving birth, accompanying the jewellery with a white dress, a pair of white stilettos and a pop of red lipstick to match the rubies.—Fenella Clarke







David M. Benett

May 12, 2015

Full Harper’s Bazaar archive joins those of Vogue and WWD, digitalized by ProQuest

Lucire staff/15.10

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With the entire Vogue US archive already available to researchers, it was a matter of time before its rival, Harper’s Bazaar, followed.
   ProQuest has announced that it is creating the first digital archive of the magazine, from 1867 to the latest issue. It joins ProQuest’s earlier digitalizations of Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily. The archives are known for their ease of search as well as their high-resolution imagery.
   ‘We know scholars and students are using more than journals and books to conduct their research,’ said ProQuest’s senior director of product management for humanities, Stephen Brooks. ‘Digitization programmes such as this one with Harper’s Bazaar unlock valuable, historical primary sources from the confines of print, making them easy to access, text mine and use within researchers’ workflows.’
   Harper’s Bazaar, originally Harper’s Bazar, was the US’s first fashion magazine. Carmel Snow, Diana Vreeland, Elizabeth Tilberis, Alexey Brodovitch, Man Ray, Richard Avedon, Patrick Demarchelier, Andy Warhol, Daisy Fellowes, Gloria Guinness, and Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd have all featured prominently in the magazine since its inception.

May 1, 2015

It’s full circle for style.com: back to its origins in fashion retail

Jack Yan/14.17

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Top Earlier today, attempting to get into Style.com meant a virus warning—the only trace of this curiosity is in the web history. Above Style.com is back, with a note that it will be transforming into an e-tail site.

If there’s one constant in fashion, it’s change. The other one, which we notice thanks to a number of our team being well schooled on fashion history, is that trends always return, albeit in modified form. Both have come into play with Style.com, which announced earlier this week that it would become an ecommerce site.
   When Lucire started, we linked to style.com, but it wasn’t in our fashion magazines’ directory. It was, instead, in our shopping guide.
   In 2000, that all changed, and it began appearing under our fashion magazine links, where it was until today. An attempt to log in to the home page was met by a virus warning, preventing us from going further. We figured that this was part of the transformation of the website as it readied itself for the next era, discouraging people from peering. However, having had these warnings splashed across our own pages two years ago courtesy of Google’s faulty bot, when our site was in fact clean, there was a part of us taking it with a grain of salt. In either case, given the impending change, it was probably the right time to remove the link.
   This evening, Style.com is back and virus-free, with an overlay graphic announcing that the website will be changing. Plenty of our media colleagues have analysed the closure over the past week: the Murdoch Press has gossiped about how the layoffs were announced, WWD suggests editor-in-chief Dirk Standen didn’t know it was coming, based on rumours, while Fashionista puts it all into context by analysing just where ecommerce is within the fashion sector, and that content should be the answer over clothing sales.
   What is interesting is no one that we’ve spotted has mentioned how the style.com domain name (we’ve carefully noted it in lowercase there) has effectively come full circle. Perhaps we really are in the age of Wikipedia-based research, as this fact is not mentioned there at all.
   When Lucire launched in 1997, style.com was the website for Express Style, later more prominently, and simply, branded Express, a US fashion retailer. It’s not hard to imagine that had Express remained at the URL, it would have become an e-tailer; it has, after all, made the move into ecommerce at its present home, express.com. Like a fashion trend that comes back two decades later, style.com has gone back to its roots: by the autumn it’ll be e-tailing.
   The omission from the above paragraph is the sale of the style.com domain name by Express to Condé Nast in the late 1990s. We never completely understood the need to start a new brand to be the US home of Vogue and W; for many  years, typing vogue.com into the browser in the US would take one automatically to Style.com. Then, somewhere along the line, Condé Nast decided that vogue.com should be the online home of Vogue after all.
   But having made the decision to forge ahead with Style.com, Condé Nast did it with a lot of resources, and took its site to number one among print fashion magazine web presences in a remarkably short space of time. It devoted plenty of resources to it, and it’s thanks to Style.com that certain things that were once frowned upon—e.g. showing off catwalk collections after the show—became acceptable. Designers used to enjoy the fact that we and Elle US delayed online coverage, the belief being that the delay ensured that pirates could not copy their designs and beat them to the high street.
   To get itself known, Condé Nast bought advertising at fashion websites that were better known, including this one (yes, in 2000 that really was the case), at a time when online advertising cost considerably more than it does today.
   The muscle from the best known name in fashion publishing changed the way the media interacted with readers. Designers figured that if they wanted coverage, they would have to accept that their work would be shown nearly instantly. We became used to that idea, so much so that we now have to show the catwalk videos live in the 2010s.
   In some ways, the change makes sense: we’re talking about an Alexa rank in the 4,000s, which translates to plenty of traffic. The name is known, and most shoppers will make some association with Vogue. The official word is that Franck Zayan, formerly head of ecommerce for Galeries Lafayette, will helm the revised website, and he’s reporting that brands are coming on board rapidly.
   One shouldn’t mourn the loss of Style.com as a fashion news portal, since the content we’re all used to is bound to appear at Vogue. And in all the years we had it in our magazines’ directory, it was listed under our Vogue entry anyway. We await the new site to see what Condé Nast will do with it, and it may yet return to the spot where it once was in the 20th century, in the shopping guide.—Jack Yan, Publisher

April 27, 2015

Nepal earthquake advice and list of aid agencies

Lucire staff/11.35

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The horrors of the earthquake in Nepal will be known to most readers by now, with the latest death toll at 3,700 at the time of writing.
   The news has hit home more as one of the juniors on our team, Kayla Newhouse, was in Kathmandu on Saturday. She remains there with water and food at the American Club, and is one of the fortunate ones. We have very sporadic telephone and wifi contact with her, and those with loved ones there are urged to keep cellphone contact to a minimum as battery-charging is hard to come by.
   The barest reports we have directly received is that the area is ‘like a war zone’, and that only 20 per cent of scheduled flights are still going ahead.
   Please consider donating to some of the organizations undertaking relief efforts in Nepal or collecting money for them. Some of the below have been compiled by The New York Times.

Oxfam New Zealand—direct donation page
Oxfam USAdirect donation page
UNICEF
UNICEF New Zealand—direct donation page
UNICEF USA—donation page
United Nations World Food Programmedirect donation page
Save the Childrendirect donation page
Médécins sans Frontières—links to donation pages
Doctors Without Borders
World Vision
Red Cross
American Jewish World Service
The Salvation Army USA
International Medical Corps
Handicap International
PayPal
Mercy Corps
Catholic Relief Services
Habitat for Humanity International
Global Giving
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
Samaritan’s Purse
CARE
Lutheran World Relief
The Jewish Federations of North America
SOS: Children’s Villages International
MAP International
Our Sansar

   Our latest syndicated news report (in Italian, from Euronews) is below.

   Jost Kobusch filmed the video below (with understandably strong language) from the Everest Base Camp, when an avalanche hit on Saturday. He and his friend ran for their lives as rock and ice came down the mountain.

January 12, 2015

Paris shows solidarity in Sunday’s March for Unity

Lola Cristall/5.08

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Lola Cristall

The March for Unity that took place today in Paris was announced as the largest demonstration in the history of France, with an estimated 1·5 million to 2 million on the capital’s streets. The interior ministry believes that there had not been so many since the liberation of Paris in August 1944. A number of people from around the world, politicians and celebrities walked the streets throughout the afternoon.
   Lucire’s Paris editor Lola Cristall took these photographs as she joined others to commemorate and celebrate the victims of Paris’s terror attacks last week.
   The deaths included staff at the satirical Charlie Hebdo, where cartoonists Charb, Cabu, Tignous et Wolinski (the pen names for Stéphane Charbonnier, who was also editor, Jean Cabut, Bernard Verlhac and Georges Wolinski) and police officers Franck Brinsolaro and Ahmed Merabat were slain in a massacre on Wednesday. Police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe was killed the following day in a related attack, and four civilians were killed in a siege on Friday.
   ‘While my domain is predominantly the luxury and entertainment sector, the pictures might be of interest to some people to see how so many came together in the city to support the innocent journalists, artists and victims,’ said Cristall.
   ‘The city is coming together as one. They were phenomenal artists,’ she added.
   Those in the march chanted, ‘On est tous Charlie’ (‘We are all Charlie’) and ‘Charlie Charlie Charlie,’ holding up banners and placards, reading everything from ‘Je suis Charlie’ (‘I am Charlie’), which began trending on the day of the massacre on Tumblr and other social media, and ‘Nous sommes Charlie’ (‘We are Charlie’) to ‘Je suis Muslim’ (‘I am Muslim’). French flags, hearts and Charlie Hebdo covers were also seen in the march.
   World leaders also participated in the march, including French president François Hollande, HM Queen Rania of Jordan, German chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, British prime minister David Cameron, Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Këita, Polish prime minister Ewa Kopacz, Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu, and Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry, US attorney-general Eric Holder, European Council president Donald Tusk, and UK opposition leader Ed Miliband were also present.
   Reporters sans frontières were critical of the presence of Davutoglu and Shoukry, as their countries had restricted press freedoms.
   Public transport was free in Paris to discourage private car use for the march.
   Earlier in the week, Jean Paul Gaultier and his staff posed for a photograph where they held up ‘Je suis Charlie’ print-outs, showing unity with the fallen journalists.


Jean Paul Gaultier

Above Jean Paul Gaultier and his staff with ‘Je suis Charlie’ banners, showing solidarity with the fallen at the massacre at Charlie Hebdo. Below More scenes from Paris on Friday and during the March for Unity on Sunday.












Lola Cristall

December 4, 2014

Video: a sneak peek from the 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Lucire staff/22.24

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Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Although the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in London won’t be broadcast till December 9 on CBS in the US, we have an early sneak peek at the event, with models Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio. Videofashion also looks back at Lima and Ambrosio at the start of their careers as Victoria’s Secret ‘Angels’.
   From this year’s show, Elsa Hosk and Lily Aldridge also comment, while you can catch an early glimpse of the performances from Taylor Swift—the undoubted star of this year’s show—Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran and Hozier.
   Swift’s presence at the 2014 show, which has taken place this year in London, has boosted its profile, especially with the singer’s ability to tap in to the 18–24 market. Victoria’s Secret publicity has dubbed Swift an ‘honorary Angel’.
   Swift has 15 million Instagram fans, and a further c. 48 million on Twitter and a whopping 72 million on Facebook.
   Victoria’s Secret has also released its own video from the fittings, with the background story behind the first section, ‘Gilded Angels’, with executive producer Monica Mitro and collection creative director Sophia Neophitou.


Taylor Swift, via Instagram

Above Taylor Swift has released her own glimpse at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to her 15 million Instagram fans.

November 26, 2014

Edward Enninful to be honoured at 2014 British Fashion Awards

Lucire staff/11.35

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Edward Enninful will receive the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at this year’s British Fashion Awards, the British Fashion Council announced today.
   Ghanese-born Enninful is a stylist and the current fashion and style director of W.
   In 1991, he became fashion director of I-D, at the age of 18, making him the youngest editor at a major international title. Seven years later, he became contributing fashion editor of Vogue Italia, and he held the same post at Vogue in 2006. In 2011, he took on his role at W.
   Enninful has also worked on campaigns for Gucci, Comme des Garçons, Christian Dior, Dolce and Gabbana, Celine, Lanvin, Mulberry, Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Jil Sander, Calvin Klein, Fendi, Alessandro Dell’Acqua, Hugo Boss, and Missoni.
   I-D founders, Terry and Tricia Jones, said, ‘When the wonderful Simon Foxton first introduced Edward into the I-D family, we had no idea that he would become one of the most outstanding stylists of his generation. He not only brought his own talent to the magazine, but started working with hundreds of other individual youngsters at the beginning of their careers. His fashion corner in the I-D office was always a mecca for ideas and supermodel diversity became one of his many contributions to the international fashion industry.
   ‘We are thrilled and super proud that I-D’s youngest-ever son has travelled so far in his career and feel very privileged to have known him as a teenager. Edward’s own individual talent, his absolute loyalty, his encouragement and promotion of other peoples’ careers, as well as his love and belief in diversity within the industry, is rare and quite unprecedented. We truly believe that Edward’s creative voice, experience and original inspiration fully justify this very prestigious award!’
   Supermodel Naomi Campbell said, ‘Edward is not only one of my dearest friends and brother, but he is also one of the most outstanding people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. His unique talent, drive and imagination are poured into his work, making him responsible for some of the most heart quickening imagery in the history of fashion.’
   Fashion photographer Stephen Klein added, ‘Edward has exquisite taste and precision and is both sensitive to the aim of the photographer and venue without compromising either.’
   Speaking for the British Fashion Council, Natalie Massenet, its chairman, said, ‘Edward’s creative energy and level of vision captures the mood of our times: his work is original, energetic, sincere and unforgettable. His creative journey may have started in London, but today his influence spans the entire globe intersecting the worlds of fashion, art and business.’
   The British Fashion Awards 2014 is sponsored by Swarovski, Canon, MAC, Toni & Guy, Vodafone, American Express, Marks & Spencer, Mercedes Benz, Penhaligon’s, and Rightster.

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