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April 16, 2016

Kasia Smutniak launches Mya special edition of Lancia’s last car, the Ypsilon, at Spazio Arôme in Milano

Jack Yan/12.09



We might as well enjoy it while it lasts, because this is the last Lancia.
   With the demise of the Delta—one of our favourites—in 2014, there’s a single model line left for the fabled Italian brand: the Ypsilon. After that, Lancias will be no more, the 110-year-old brand being consigned to history as Fiat kills it off.
   The Ypsilon is effectively the successor to the old Autobianchi superminis such as the A112 and Y10, a marque which had also disappeared, after once being the brand where Fiat tried out new concepts such as hatchbacks and front-wheel drive.
   Not even a brand that has had cars such as the Aurelia, Fulvia and Gamma coupés, Stratos and Beta Montecarlo can survive a lack of attention, and the Mya is one of the last editions of Ypsilon that will wear the Lancia badge.
   Fiat’s now busy, of course, with profitable Jeeps and the renaissance of Alfa Romeo, although it still pumped some money into an event in Milano for the Lancia Ypsilon Mya at the Spazio Arôme.
   This special edition sees Polish actress Kasia Smutniak (known to Anglophone audiences for the actioner From Paris with Love) as its spokeswoman, succeeding other Lancia faces such as Carla Bruni.
   The launch used video mapping imaging techniques behind Smutniak, projecting graphics on to real surfaces. Lancia says it sees the Ypsilon Mya as a ‘second home’, with Antonella Bruno, head of Lancia for EMEA even interviewing Debora Conti, a life coach, on the relationship between space and emotion, and Fire Cars’ Annacarla Giusti confirming that the car has style and elegance.
   Admittedly, the tipo 846 Ypsilon, which has been around since 2011, has aged remarkably well, and the shape still has a certain elegance to it. The interior features Alcantara and a denim-look fabric. The exterior sees the addition of two shades—though they are both grey. Ardesia Grey is standard, and a three-layer Lunare Grey comes as an option. Neve White, Vulcano Black and Blu di Blu are also available from the regular Ypsilon line, which sees a palette of 12 colours.
   To give it a subtle lift, there is a satin finish on the front bumper, the lower grille inserts, door mirrors, door handles, the Ypsilon badge on the tailgate, and the Mya logo on the wheel arches.
   The Ypsilon features at the Spazio Arôme this weekend, and that of April 23–4.—Jack Yan, Publisher






April 12, 2016

Aston Martin brand now on exclusive powerboat, Quintessence Yachts’ AM37

Lucire staff/10.51




Quintessence

Aston Martin’s riding a high: from showing off its next-generation car, the DB11, which puts the company back into a competitive position for grand tourers, to releasing the new AM37 powerboat with Quintessence Yachts during Salone del Mobile, the Milanese design week.
   Salone del Mobile will see over 400,000 guests across Milano, and the AM37 will be showcased at the Larusmiani Concept Boutique on via Monte Napoleone from April 12 to 18. On April 13, Quintessence Yachts will hold the worldwide preview of the powerboat.
   ‘The AM37 is the result of years of research and development, challenging the status quo of the nautical world. Fusing the maritime and automotive worlds with the universal characteristics of style and elegance, the core of the AM37 offers the perfect balance of design and engineering, performance and comfort, luxury and functionality,’ said Aston Martin Lagonda in a release.
   The powerboat essentially takes Aston Martin’s design hallmarks and translates them into a cutting-edge nautical form, and is part of the company’s licensing programme, the Art of Living portfolio.
   The company had realized it had built up extensive brand equity, and has a list of licensees or strategic partners.
   Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s chief creative officer, said, ‘It is true that a beautiful, simple shape is critical to a product’s success but it must also have drama, which is provided by surface language, proportions, and through the choice of exciting materials. The most important attribute for Aston Martin is the language of design and we have transferred this language into AM37. The new powerboat represents the ideal combination of luxurious and technical materials, generating a powerful yet understated finished product.’
   Quintessence Yachts’ CEO, Mariella Mengozzi, said, ‘At Quintessence Yachts we translate design in functionality and technology to enhance the customer experience. We’re proud to present elements of the AM37 at Milan Design Week, a boat that represents an entirely new concept for the yachting world.’





Quintessence

February 27, 2016

Gala Italia: New York gets a taste of the best Italian wines

Lola Cristall/2.33



The 31st edition of Gala Italia certainly proved to be a lavish, elegant and classy event at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. The Italian Wine & Food Institute’s (IWFI) event combines delectable wines with good food amongst enjoyable company. Chef Ashfer Biju and pastry chef Michael Mignano served enticing dishes with appetizing, high-end ingredients, paired with a selection of nine different wines ranging from sparkling to deliciously sweet, each intended to revive the senses. The variety of wines were: 2006 Ferrari, Riserva Lunelli, Trento DOC; 2014 Planeta, Chardonnay, Sicilia IGT; 2013 Tenuta Santa Caterina, Silente delle Marne, Monferrato Bianco DOC; 2011 Marchesi Antinori, Villa Antinori Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva; 2008 Tenute Lunelli, Carapace, Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG; 2008 Condè, Sangiovese di Romagna DOC Riserva; 2007 Mezzacorona, NOS Teroldego Rotaliano DOC Riserva; 2012 Bertani, Villa Arvedi, Amarone della Valpolicella Valpantena DOCG; and 2011 Sorrentino, Fior di Ginestre, Passito IGT Pompeiano. They provided various tastes for different palates with immensely flavoured textures to accompany the five-course menu, including a cheese platter.
   Ferrari’s Riserva Lunelli, made using a traditional method called metedo classico evoked succulent flavours in one sip. A bouquet of savoury aromas erupted while sipping on delectable Tenute Lunelli’s Carapace, appropriately accompanying a tasty citrus semolina olive oil cake.
   Roma-based Eredi Pisanò’s menswear fashion collection featured a number of pieces as the company toured the Grand Ballroom to introduce guests to sophisticated ensembles. As the intimate crowd continued to indulge in a delectable meal in the midst of this exquisite ambiance, a select few, who had contributed to the victory of Italian wine in the US, were recognized for their work and honoured with an award by the IWFI’s president, Lucio Caputo. Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato (the Serafina Restaurant Group), Sirio Maccioni (Le Cirque), Mary Ewing-Mulligan, MW (the president of the International Wine Center), Florence Fabricant (a New York Times food writer), John F. Mariani (a food and wine editor and author) and Adam Stru (founder and chairman of wine enthusiast companies), were recognized for their contributions to the wine industry.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor

February 3, 2016

Royal New Zealand Ballet kicks off Speed of Light, with première at the New Zealand Festival

Lucire staff/1.29

The Royal New Zealand Ballet kicks off 2016 with Speed of Light, a mixed bill of three works, to feature at the New Zealand Festival and the Auckland Arts’ Festival, before touring the South Island. It marks the first programme put together by Francesco Ventriglia since he joined the company in 2014.
   The first work is William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, originally commissioned by Rudolf Nureyev for the Paris Opéra Ballet in 1987. It will be the RNZB’s first time dancing this ballet, and the second time it has been performed in New Zealand. Ventriglia himself was once selected by Forsythe to dance one of the lead roles at La Scala in Milano. The music of J. S. Bach accompanies this ballet; Julien Tarride created the composition and sound design.
   The second work is Andonis Foniadakis’ Selon désir, which the RNZB performed when on tour in the UK and Italy in 2015. New Zealand audiences will see the company give this Selon désir its New Zealand première this work during the New Zealand Festival. Music is by Thom Willems in collaboration with Les Stuck, staging by Thierry Guiderdoni, and technical supervision by Tanja Rühl.
   Finally, Alexander Ekman’s Cacti, makes up the third work, with the New Zealand String Quartet joining the RNZB. A parody of contemporary dance’s excesses, Ekman created this work for 16 dancers in 2010. It has been nominated for a Swan Award in Holland for best new dance production, the Critics’ Circle Award and an Olivier Award. Lighting and co-set design are by Tom Visser, music is by Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, and staging by Ana Lucaciu.
   Dates for Speed of Light are: Wellington, February 26 to 28 inclusive; Auckland, March 2–6; Christchurch, March 10–12; Dunedin, March 16. For booking information, visit www.rnzb.org.nz.
   The world première of the Ryman Healthcare Season of The Wizard of Oz is May 4 in Wellington, choreographed by Francesco Ventriglia, with music by Francis Poulenc, and design by Gianluca Falaschi.

January 12, 2016

News in brief: Susan Sarandon for L’Oréal; Toxit’s hand-made sunglasses; lecture by fashion historian at Massey University

Lucire staff/12.30




Top Susan Sarandon for L’Oréal. Centre From Toxit’s latest campaign for its hand-made sunglasses. Above Passage #5 coat-dress and belt, from the Dior spring–summer 2011 haute couture collection by John Galliano, from the collection of the Royal Ontario Museum.

Although it’s been known since December 31, L’Oréal Paris has only this week made it official in a lot of its markets: Susan Sarandon is its new spokeswoman, stating, ‘An Oscar winner, mother, activist, entrepreneur, fighter, and a beautiful example of what it means to age with grace, Sarandon is a true woman of worth. Highly respected by her peers and adored by the public, Sarandon is proving that age is just a number and that happiness is the ultimate beauty tool.’
   ‘Susan is a cinematic icon. She is strong, charismatic and talented and has a compelling sense of self. Her outspoken activism, captivating film work and authentic charm continues to inspire women to be fearless and believe in their convictions,’ said Cyril Chapuy, L’Oréal Paris brand global president in a release. ‘She is a real woman of worth inside and out. We are honoured to have Susan as a new L’Oréalista.’
   Toxit is a new sunglasses’ brand from Italy with one notable point of difference: they’re made by hand. Italian companies are involved at each stage: the Som Occhiali company in Calalzo di Cadore is in charge of the production process; Toffoli di Toffoli Costantino, in the same town, manufactures the acetate parts; the plastics come from Mazzucchelli SpA; the lenses are made by Sel Optical Divisione Filtri Solari; the cases by Pikappa in Vicenza; and the packaging is made by Scatolificio 2 G, near Padua. The products are 100 per cent reliable and safe, says Toxit.
   Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand advises that on February 9 at 6 p.m., Dr Alexandra Palmer, Nora E. Vaughan Fashion Costume Senior Curator and Chair of the Veronika Gervers Research Fellowship in Textiles & Costume at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), will present a lecture at ‘The Pit’, Te Ara Hihiko, Block 12, College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington on Frock Coats, Redingotes and Dior: Fashion in the Royal Ontario Museum, 1909–2016. Palmer will discuss the significance of ROM’s collection of western fashionable dress collected over the last 100 years, and contextualize it within the museum’s larger textile and costume collection.
   She will also give stories on how key items, both historical and contemporary, were acquired, including ROM’s commission of a spring–summer 2011 Christian Dior haute couture gown, Passage #5, by John Galliano.
   A RSVP to V.Karaminas@massey.ac.nz is essential to secure a place.

December 17, 2015

Ab Aeterno’s wooden watches are the next thing in eco-fashion

Lucire staff/23.58



Ab Aeterno has shown its Sky collection, a range of wooden watches that contain a Swiss movement, with the remainder made in Italy.
   The firm, just over three years old, uses only sustainable materials such as wood. They guarantee that their products contain 100 per cent natural materials, including recycled materials, and are toxic-free.
   Wood was chosen for its lightness and the positive sensation wearers get, according to Ab Aeterno. The watches themselves weigh 50 g and do not have any paint or chemical treatments applied.
   Twenty-five per cent of revenue is used for R&D, says the company, to find new ways of using wood. Ab Aeterno has filed a patent on how to insert the watch movement into the case, and sources its briccole wood from Venezia.
   There are three sub-lines in the Sky collection: for women, for men, and a Unisex range.

December 16, 2015

Ermenegildo Zegna and Maserati release capsule collection in México

Lucire staff/22.33

Ermenegildo Zegna and Maserati have released a capsule collection to commemorate the launch of the Ermenegildo Zegna trim package on the Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte saloons in the Mexican market.
   The new collection includes shirts, sweatshirts, trousers, shoes, silk scarves, leather accessories and glasses, and is available at selected Ermenegildo Zegna stores worldwide. Our picks are the nappa driving gloves and the foldable glasses, with the Maserati trident emblazoned on the bridge. The leather gives these designs a constructed look that has a clear link with the mechanical nature of the cars. The hold-all, meanwhile, comes in French calfskin and features a fabric lining created for the cars, while the travel wallet has special compartments for one’s passport and boarding pass.
   The new trim level on the Maserati cars, named after the fashion label, sees the interiors feature a Zegna-created fabric for the cabin and seats, which combine a soft texture with a contemporary look.
   The collaboration originally began in 2014 with the Quattroporte saloon.

October 1, 2015

Ikea extends itself into fashion: you read it here first last year

Lucire staff/23.16


Ikea

September 29’s Ikea Fashion Show at Moda di Milano (hashtagged both #IKEAfashion and #IKEAtemporary) showcased work from two designers who collaborated with the Swedish-founded furniture conglomerate.
   ‘With a number of new collections that have been developed in collaboration with fashion designers, Ikea is stepping into new territory—one from which we can learn a lot,’ according to the company.
   Giltig by Katie Eary and Svärtan by Martin Bergström will see their collections retailed in 2016, but they received a boost in profile thanks to their appearance at one of the top fashion weeks in the world.
   For us, the first thing that came to mind when seeing Ikea fashion was Stefan Engeseth’s (below right) prediction, published in Lucire first last year, and later in Style.com, the Daily Mail, The Guardian and Flare, plus a number of newspapers and news websites: that fashion should be Ikea’s next industry.
   At the time, Ikea had no such plans officially, but it isn’t surprising to see another one of Engeseth’s predictions come true. He came up with the idea of Coca-Cola being served through taps at home before Coke itself actually trialled that idea, plus another, over 15 years ago, on how cellphones could connect two strangers, albeit not through an app.
   We wrote: ‘Engeseth says that Ikea’s expertise lends itself easily to the world of apparel …
   ‘He believes that fashion is in a repetitive cycle, stuck in history and needing renewal.
   ‘Ikea could offer both complete apparel items and composite parts that customers could assemble themselves, says Mr Engeseth. The parts could be “tailored” at home in inventive ways without the need for complex sewing.’
   Last year, Lucire publisher Jack Yan added, ‘This taps in to its existing fan base, and just as importantly, Ikea can make full use of its channels, outmanœuvring many existing fashion labels. Ikea has an international retail base and it has distribution down to a fine art.’
   When we asked him about the Ikea show in Milano yesterday, he had his reservations about some of the designs, but stated, ‘It’s good that Ikea takes its first step into fashion, and rewarding to see them developing the concept more now.’
   He was also buoyed by seeing that, after the show, Ikea’s official Twitter account went back to his blog post late last year about Ikea fashion, and “favourited” a Tweet about it. Engeseth even preempted the hashtag used back in 2014.
   There’s no sign that Ikea fashion will be in a composite format, ready for its customers to assemble, but Engeseth appears to have been right that the brand would extend itself into the new segment.

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