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September 1, 2014

Miss Universe Thailand 2013, Chalita Yaemwannang, gets guest judge role at Miss Universe New Zealand

Lucire staff/13.40

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Miss Universe Thailand 2013, Chalita Yaemwannang, will be guest judge at the grand final of Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 at the Sky City Theatre in Auckland on the 18th.
   Yaemwannang will join both returning and new judges on the panel, to be publicly announced later this month by the Miss Universe New Zealand organizers.
   The invitation to the Miss Universe Thailand organization was made by executive director Nigel Godfrey during the finalists’ retreat for the top 25, which took place in Bangkok and Pattaya in July.
   Godfrey presented his opposite number in Thailand, Surang Prempree, a framed invitation for a Miss Universe Thailand titleholder to be a special guest at the New Zealand grand final.
   The public vote continues with the online i-vote, and with the text voting—see nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details.
   Tickets for the final are available through Iticket, through this link, or via the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook page.

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August 28, 2014

New Zealand Fashion Week autumn–winter 2015, day three: Hailwood and Kate Sylvester up the standard

Sopheak Seng/15.11

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Lucire’s fashion and beauty editor Sopheak Seng and photographer Matthew Beveridge look at day three’s mixed bag of shows.

New Generation
   Vibe: Four up-and-coming designers showcasing what they have to offer the fashion world as the voices of the future.
   Clothes: Like a pick-and-mix bag of lollies, there were some dud and then some great pieces. Overall, the collections seemed forced and not polished enough. Construction of the garments left something to be desired, as there were twisted seams and puckering on most trousers and dresses, and a lack of cohesion in ideas, novelty and innovation. Stand-outs, which were few and far between, were Itzme, with their androgynous take on soft tailoring and sportswear. A bright colour palette of fuchsia, purple and orange showed great potential but was let down by shoddy construction and finishing. Nomsa Mabuto showed a good collection of predominately separates of coats, pants and shell tops in a colour palette of varying shades of green.


Trish Peng
   Vibe: Sportswear for ready-to-wear, gowns and party dresses.
   Clothes: Laser-cut bomber jackets and circle skirts with anoraks and ’80s ruffled off-the-shoulder tops and bright multi-coloured striped pieces. The collection then diverged into party dresses in bright pop colours. This was where the collection was let down: poor fabric and construction choices meant that under the glare of the lights, the gowns didn’t feel luxurious enough—and this was viewed between people’s heads in row B. Also the fits of the gowns on some of the models were not great, either. It is the little details that are often overlooked that add to the polish of a collection.
   Look: directed by L’OrĂ©al Professionnel New Zealand ambassador, Michael Beel, who created an origami-inspired criss-cross weave pattern in the models’ hair, then gathered into a low ponytail. Simple and elegant.

Designer Selection
   Vibe: In-season showcase to consumers. Fun, commercial fashion.
   Clothes: All in-season summer pieces from the 30-odd designers that were showing as part of New Zealand Fashion Week. Think bright, fun, commercial pieces that you could buy off the racks the moment you walked out of the show. The middle section of the show was presented by Woman’s Day, who showed a selective range of garments in red and white styled by Lulu Wilcox, featuring models in turbans and carrying red heart-shaped balloons, reminiscent of a Banksy street art piece. Closing the show was Jockey, who set hearts a-flutter with five All Black players, including Victor Vito, showcasing the spring–summer 2014–15 underwear looks for men, and model Nikki Phillips showing the women’s range.

Hailwood
   Vibe: Wearable streetwear with a glamorous edge. Rock concert chic.
   Clothes: Streetwear-oriented, the collection was denim-heavy but moved into Hailwood’s take on his draped velvet gowns that work for every body shape. The dĂ©vorĂ© silks and velvets were great, as were the sequinned jackets and dresses that closed the show. Stand-outs, however, were his denim range and the oversized unicorn motif ponchos. Super-cool, relaxed dressing.
   Look: Dirty, gritty, but pretty. Messy and textural.

Kate Sylvester
   Vibe: Romantic, literary geek chic, celebrating nonchalant luxury and refined classics.
   Clothes: Vintage-inspired with references to menswear and long days in an English countryside, tucked up in your boyfriend’s clothes, his pyjama bottoms or boxers with his robes and shirts. Great masculine-inspired tailoring in regatta stripes and polka dots. Sheer dresses and blouses added a soft romantic air to the collection as did the long Isadora Duncan-style fringe scarves casually draped around the models’ necks. Loved the return of males on the Sylvester runway and stand-outs were the camel trench, open shirt, and striped trousers casually rolled up with brogues. All this romantic vision was helped along by a cascading shower of ripped pages from a book.
   Look: Just rolled out of bed, slightly textural hair with just flushed make-up.—Sopheak Seng, Fashion and Beauty Editor

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August 27, 2014

New Zealand Fashion Week autumn–winter 2015, day two: from softly and rosy to Zambesi’s superheroes

Sopheak Seng/16.05

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Fashion and beauty editor Sopheak Seng, and photographer Matthew Beveridge, cover day two of New Zealand Fashion Week, with Pardon My French, Lucy McIntosh, the NZ Weddings show, Pia, Andrea Moore and I AM, Juliette Hogan and Zambesi.

Pardon My French
   Vibe: ’Sixties beatniks with a touch of glamour.
   Clothes: Skinny leather pants spliced with rose gold zips and ponte, houndstooth composed of flying swallows, turtlenecks, oversized cocoon coats, draped skirts and dresses crafted in shades of beige, white, black and greys, all paired with ballet flats, a floppy beret and chunky hosiery.
   Look: Poker straight hair by Sara Allsop of Dharma for GHD and smoky kohl-rimmed eyes by Samantha Holley for MAC.

Lucy McIntosh
   Vibe: Grungy punk seen through a refined, modern eye.
   Clothes: Androgynous and structured coats and jackets in fine cashmere wools—full-length or blazer, there were different variations with some in the new shape of the double-breasted vest. Mini- and midi-length pleated skirts all worn underneath. Almost an ’80s throwback. The stand-out was the rose-print jacquard that featured on pants and jackets.
   Look: Messy dirty glamour hair with a touch of bronze on the cheeks and nude lips.

NZ Weddings show
   Vibe: Bridal and all things cute and white.
   Clothes: Gowns upon gowns of lace, tulle and sheer. Stand-outs were Hera Bridal with their ĂŒber-cute children’s range of flower-girl dresses; and the Mint lace and tulle dress. The show signalled the death of the strapless gown as well as the princess style, as there were more streamline gowns on show, with cut-out detailing and a focus on the back. Crane Brothers and Barkers both showed great grooms’ attire with Barkers offering up a shorts option for the fashion-brave.
   Look: soft goddess cascading curls with romantic blushing bridal make-up.


Pia
   Vibe: Cruisy summer days at the pier.
   Clothes: Considering she is known for her graphic digital prints, there was not a lot of that on show as the focus was more on garments in solid colours of beige, white chambray, soft mints and blush pinks. The only prints that were featured were strawberries, watermelons and anchors, which all felt derivative. New shapes in tunics and fabrics provided interest as did the Adidas slides with white sport socks.
   Look: Beach–boho hair with a slick of white eyeshadow that looked zinc-like.

Andrea Moore and I AM
   Vibe: Surrealism meets ’70s Charlie’s Angels and a bit of Studio 54; I AM was athletic sport-luxe.
   Clothes: Great coats in a cacophony of colour from emerald, through to beet pink and cobalt blue. Dresses and jumpsuits featured heavily in the collection as did lace and faux fur. Stand-outs were the striped faux fur coat and fur-trimmed bags, and Moore’s new venture into eyewear and jewellery. A great deal of editing wouldn’t go amiss; however, it was good to see the brand expanding into a whole lifestyle idea.
   Look: ’Seventies Farrah Fawcett blow-outs, bouncy hair with bright fuchsia and burgundy lips.

Juliette Hogan
   Vibe: Juliette Hogan goes dark grunge.
   Clothes: Typical Juliette Hogan with a focus on all things feminine: pleated skirts and moody florals featured throughout the collection. However, it was the final pieces in the collection that really stood out: a floor-length sequinned maxi-skirt with casual T-shirt paired with white New Balance sneakers as well as the full floor-length gown in the same fabric. They gave us something new to the Hogan brand we have all come to know and love. Heavy on the black. A live band also gave something unique. Having to wait for over an hour for the start wore thin, but this was a show which lightened the mood of the weary guests.
   Look: Clean, fresh-faced beauties, chic New Yorker.

Zambesi
   Vibe: Futuristic superheroes, Flash Gordon song on repeat with strobes of blue and bright white lights and Zambesi decal on the runway.
   Clothes: No sequins or sheer in sight: the focus was on soft tailoring as well as structured suiting and casually cool clothes. Palette of black, cerulean blue, grey, khaki, olive, and touches of mauve and lilac. Stand-outs were the dressing gown-style coats in the softest of wools, the oversized knitwear, the cerulean blue boots, the tone-on-tone suits as well as the giant XXXV logo (commemorating Zambesi’s 35 years in business) blankets that were worn as capes, superhero-style, by the models.
   Look: Faux hawk fins that ran down the centre of the females, as well as the clip-in extensions for the male models, it was all about texture and grit. Fresh-faced.—Sopheak Seng, Fashion and Beauty Editor

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August 26, 2014

New Zealand Fashion Week autumn–winter 2015, day one: Nom D to Stolen Girlfriends’ Club

Sopheak Seng/14.13

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New Zealand Fashion Week’s autumn–winter 2015 shows, now shifted to August, kicked off strongly with Nom D. Fashion editor Sopheak Seng was there, with Matthew Beveridge in amongst the photographers.

Nom D
   Vibe: Rock concert glam. Standing-only “seating” made it feel like you were more at the concert rather than a fashion show. Along with the seven balaclava-wearing drummers, this was a great opening to New Zealand Fashion Week. Black earplugs also added to the chicness of it all.
   Clothes: Nom D favourites and signatures that have been reinterpreted in new cuts and fabrications, kilts, gauzy knitwear, great printed Ts, sleeveless vests, coats and pinafores. Loved the bombers, and floor-length kilts, all wearable by so many different age ranges, as evidenced in the crowd that attended. Also loved the cut-out felt helmet-like hats from Marmalade Hats—samurai warrior anyone?
   Look: Poker-straight hair that looked like flat dreadlocks, wrapped and twisted into ponytails or worn flat against the hair, seemingly moving to the beat of the drumming. Painted black and white ears.

Shen
   Vibe: Grown-up glamour with urban concrete jungle sport-luxe thrown in.
   Clothes: Camo prints in olive and khaki jacquards featured in bombers and sheath dresses, diaphanous draped and tucked sheer dresses, and soft tailoring. An east-meets-west influence with lots of kimono and bell sleeve action on the runway, also evident in the gold paisley foil pieces. Collection needed editing and proper styling but not bad for a first outing.
   Looks: Chic chignons and fresh-faced beauties.

Lela Jacobs
   Vibe: Haunting beauty in a post apocalyptic world. Hanging light bulbs illuminated the runway while models walked in a trance-like state down the runway. Opening with black and then into whites and creams and an almost mocha colour.
   Clothes: draped diaphanous silks and voiles paired back with open weave knits, chunky and fine layered again with draped harem-like pant. Loved the androgynous feel of the collectionm with pieces all easily translating to both men’s and women’s looks, the lamb’s wool cape and printed silk pieces and the mini glove necklaces. Truly Lela Jacobs at her best.
   Looks: sooty eye make-up paired with centre-parted hair, braided into an almost Hasidic style.

Underground
   Vibe: Cool kids hanging in old silos with great fashion and music playing. Exhibition-style layout with each silo showcasing a different designer.
   Clothes: Standouts were Meadowlark (beautiful jewellery, septum nose rings and signet rings and bracelets piled high on the arms); Jojo Ross (a beautiful white dress with a water feature inside that constantly changes—clever girl); Jimmy D (slogan-heavy ’90s collection which had catchphrases from Russian bride advertisements).

Salasai
   Vibe: Polished eccentric arty folks and the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
   Clothes: Great bombers, pinafores, dungarees, double-layer fit and flare dresses and great shirts. A muted colour palette of chocolate and deep burgundy kept the collection clean and sophisticated. The abstract prints will be sell-outs, also no menswear, made this a very strong collection for Kirsha Whitcher.
   Look: clean chignons and a flush of yellow eye shadow.

Stolen Girlfriends’ Club
   Vibe: Glam rock meets bogan motorheads at a party. The longest runway and stadium lighting from the Western Springs Speedway showed the garments in their best of the day.
   Clothes: A bit ’70s and a bit ’90s. Mustards, duck-egg blues, black and greys. Mixed in with some metallics and glitter. Hell for leather with nearly every second look featuring leather splicing, or a leather jacket. Not sure about the knitted bell-bottom trousers but loved the mustard turtlenecks on the guys, as well as the finalĂ© looks of the glitter skater skirts and pants.
   Look: Grungy cool wet-look hair, slicked back off the face, and great sunglasses to combat the glare of the lighting.—Sopheak Seng, Fashion and Beauty Editor

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August 15, 2014

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Allegro journeys from classical to science fiction

Jack Yan/15.57

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Ross Brown

Top A classical approach for Allegro Brillante. Above Larry Keigwin’s Megalopolis.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Allegro: Five Short Ballets, was a bittersweet performance, knowing it would be the last time many in the audience would see the company’s principal guest artist, Gillian Murphy, dance.
   Murphy and her fiancé, RNZB artistic director Ethan Stiefel, are set to return to the US, and she kept a composed, dignified air after the performance when Lucire wished her well for her future.
   The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Andrea Tandy noted that Auckland audiences, who had seen Allegro prior to Wellington’s for a change, gave the five productions a wonderful reception.
   In the first ballet of the five, Allegro Brillante, Murphy and Kohei Iwamoto led a small cast of 10 to Tchaikovsky’s Third Piano Concerto, with choreography by the late George Balanchine. Russian-born Balanchine’s works have been staged by the RNZB from time to time, and Allegro Brillante was performed in 1999 and 2001. With a classical structure and technique, staged by Eve Lawson, it proved an endearing opening to the performances on the first night in Wellington.
   As skilful as the dancers were, Qi Huan’s presence was missed opposite Murphy—Huan moved on to the New Zealand School of Dance, teaching classical ballet, telling us earlier that he could not pass up the opportunity.
   The simple settings allowed Nigel Percy’s lighting to set a very different mood each time.
   Les Lutins, which followed, was a particularly enjoyable comedic ballet. It would be the only one with live music of the five, performed by the impressive Benjamin Baker on violin, and Michael Pansters on piano, while Rory Fairweather-Neylan, Arata Miyagawa and Lucy Green played the role of the goblins, in trousers and braces, with simple, carefree choreography by Johan Kobborg. The interaction between the dancers and Baker was cleverly staged, and the neatly executed jetés and tours en l’air from Fairweather-Neylan and Miyagawa deserve mention.
   Satellites, after the first interval, brought a scientific theme, conveying the equilibrium that satellites maintain in orbit: as dancers go off, new ones emerge. Graphically, orbits appear in the background, designed and animated by Jac Grenfell, dancers held circular mirrors, while electronic music by Jan-Bas Bollen emphasized the high-tech feel. Kinetic sculptures by Jim Murphy continued the theme (segmented planets hanging in the air), as did Donnine Harrison’s costumes (the discs worn by two ballerinas again reflecting the circular theme). Daniel Belton, who was behind the concept and choreography, was inspired by the Bauhaus movement, with its practitioners Oskar Schlemmer, Paul Klee and Moholy-Nagy, successfully blending the geometry and modernistic approach of the school with balletic expression. For once, those who are disciples of, or simply aware of, Bauhaus principles have a ballet that translates those ideas.
   Mattress Suite, choreographed by Larry Keigwin for his own company, delighted in a simple, playful setting, with a mattress as the one prop, telling the story of newlyweds who drift apart, the groom discovering he is homosexual. It is the only one with mature themes and popular songs (‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ as sung by Stevie Wonder, and ‘At Last’ by Etta James) and the mattress itself was used as everything from a wall to a trampoline in six short dances. Cheekily, the dance with a gay threesome is called ‘Straight Duet’.
   The RNZB is the first to perform Mattress Suite outside of Keigwin & Company.
   It was Keigwin again for the finalé, Megalopolis, which went beyond science and into science fiction, blending the cinematic Flash Gordon and Studio 54 into a single ballet, finding great favour with the audience. Megalopolis was certainly energetic—RNZB finalés often are, and rightly so, when presenting a series of ballets—while Fritz Mason’s costume design, in black with silver details, was a retrofuturistic delight.
   Allegro: Five Short Ballets continues in Wellington till the 17th at the St James. Invercargill follows on August 20 at the Civic, while Dunedin’s Regent Theatre plays host on the 23rd inst.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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August 14, 2014

Mana Wahine: a powerful celebration of womanhood and history

Jack Yan/4.40

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Alex Efimoff

Mana Wahine, which had its premiĂšre in June in Rotorua for Matariki, arrived in Wellington last night with the first of a brief series of performances (until August 16), with a powerful celebration of womanhood by the Okareka Dance Company.
   Mana Wahine tells the story of Te Aokapurangi, who was captured in battle but returned later to save her people from slaughter.
   The production began with the image of the storyteller, TĆ«Ä« Matira Ranapiri-Ransfield, a descendant of Te Aokapurangi, appearing on the curtains prior to the show, a foretaste of the clever use of lighting and imagery projected on the dance floor and walls. Her evocative waerea incantation from the first scene led to powerful, purposeful choreography performed by five dancers, Bianca Hyslop, Maria Munkowits, Nancy Wijohn, Chrissy Kokiri and Jana Castillo.
   Graceful and strong, the quintet were chosen for their experience as women and those from whom they have descended.
   Mana Wahine blends different genres of dance, captivating the audience between its sets so seamlessly, and is a beautiful tribute to Te Aokapurangi while shining a light on the proud people in our country’s past.
   Even without knowing the historical aspect one has to admire the authentic and sincere performances of the five dancers.
   The production was inspired by a conversation between cousins Tui Matira Ranapiri-Ransfield and Okarewa artistic director Taiaroa Royal, on their ancestry and the Ngāti Ohomairangi of Te Arawa, namely the matriarch Kearoa and Te Aokapurangi of Ngāti Rangiwewehi and Tapuika. Both women were responsible for saving their people, demonstrating in New Zealand’s history the power and role of women.
   Ranapiri-Ransfield researched the story, and wrote the lyrics and composed the music for the karanga, waerea and patere, and it is her voice that the audience hears. Victoria Kelly composed the rest of the score. Malia Johnston, with her extensive choreographic experience, co-authored Mana Wahine. Taane Mete directed Mana Wahine, calling it one of the ‘most rewarding experiences I have ever encountered.’ The collaboration between the talents, including technical production manager Jonny Cross, producer Rachael Penman, rehearsal director Natalie Clark and administrator Jesse Wikiriwhi, have resulted in a real, enriching production.—Jack Yan, Publisher

Mana Wahine runs till August 16, with daily performances at 7.30 p.m., and one matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m., at Te Whaea, New Zealand National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Road, Newtown, Wellington. Tickets are $20–$40, plus booking fees. Bookings can be made by telephone on 0800 BUY-TIX or visit www.eventfinder.co.nz.

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August 11, 2014

Rihanna on the cover of W September 2014, with unmissable Meadowlark Jewellery

Lucire staff/2.03

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Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Rihanna is on the September 2014 cover of W, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, styled by Edward Enniful, the magazine’s fashion and style director.
   There’s a New Zealand connection, with the pop star wearing Meadowlark Jewellery’s large Thorn Septum ring, from its upcoming spring–summer 2014–15 collection, Dynasty, on the cover. The singer wears the ring on her nose on the cover.
   Two versions of the ring, one with diamonds and one without, feature in the editorial inside.
   Meadowlark says it gifted Rihanna the diamond-set septum ring on the day of the shoot, and she had been spotted wearing it.
   She also wears a Donna Karan New York dress, an Ashley Lloyd headdress, Amrapali ruby and diamond ear cuffs, and a Stephen Dweck sterling silver necklace. The shoot took place in July.
   Rihanna is currently on her Monster’s Ball tour with rapper Eminem.

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August 7, 2014

Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists bid farewell to the Cape Dara Resort, Pattaya

Lucire staff/13.32

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Alan Raga

It’s always hard saying goodbye, especially in tropical temperatures in the 30s, and facing a prospect of the remainder of winter back in New Zealand—but that’s what the top 25 finalists at Miss Universe New Zealand had to do today. The last breakfast of the tour at the Cape Dara Resort was a fitting farewell to the five-star treatment given by the property. There was a brief moment for some shopping, before the afternoon transfer to Subarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok.
   The finalists began checking in at 3.45 p.m. local time, with their flight arriving in Auckland on Friday morning NZST.
   From there, they will continue competing in the entrepreneurial challenge, raise funds for Variety, the Children’s Charity, and head to the countdown to the final at the Sky City Theatre on September 18, 2014.
   The public can vote for their favourite contestant, either through an online i-vote or text voting: see nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.






Alan Raga

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