Lucire


  latest news   fashion   beauty   living   volante   print and tablet   tv
  home   community   shopping   advertise   contact

Greed a topical comedy about fast fashion and the practices that support it

Filed by Jack Yan/June 28, 2020/12.01

Greed, the new Steve Coogan comedy directed by Michael Winterbottom (The Trip), is a satirical tale about a thinly disguised version of Sir Philip Green, the head of Arcadia Group, who stood accused by various British government committees of plundering British Home Stores while it was under his company’s control. The phrase levelled at Sir Philip, ‘the unacceptable face of capitalism’, once dealt to Tiny Rowland, is used here at Coogan’s Sir Richard ‘Greedy’ McCreadie, just in case you weren’t sure whom they were parodying.
   Lucire attended one viewing at a packed cinema, where moviegoers were turned away as it proved to be far more popular than anticipated.
   Given the cast—Coogan, Isla Fisher, and David Mitchell—it would be wrong to expect much more than a comedy, and on this count, it delivers, with more topical panache than most films of the genre.
   Up for criticism by the film are fast fashion—McCreadie spends his adult life pushing suppliers in Sri Lanka (the Indian locations are unconvincing) into a race to the bottom—as well as the shallow “unreality” of reality TV, or, as the trade calls it, unscripted drama. Included in the mix are the corrupt practices of modern business and their legal loopholes, and tax havens such as Monaco, where McCreadie’s ex-wife, Samantha, played by Fisher, is resident. Through all of this is the device of the officious bystander, Sir Richard’s biographer, Nick, played by Mitchell, who gets to interview certain parties, which Winterbottom shoots in documentary style.
   Sir Richard’s 60th birthday bash on Mykonos obviously references Sir Philip’s £5 million 50th on Crete in 2002, right down to the togas, and this is where things take a turn that not even Sir Philip’s enemies would wish on the milliardaire. Asa Butterfield, as the McCreadys’ younger son, and Dinita Gohil, as Amanda, a Sri Lankan-born Brit working for McCready, give the film more depth at the points where it’s needed, showing that the farce in which the ultra-rich live have real victims, inside and outside of the immediate family. Whovians will spot Pearl Mackie as Cathy, the director of the reality show in which daughter Lily McCready, played by Sophie Cookson, stars, trying the Method whilst playing herself.
   There’s a sense from earlier reviews—inevitable that we would have seen them given New Zealand’s later release—that the film doesn’t know what genre it is, whether it’s comedy, drama or documentary, an assessment with which we disagree. While the film puts a new spin on the term ‘eat the rich’, the last act wraps up the entirety of the film neatly: namely that for all the lessons that we might have learned, the fictional McGready family ticks on, with little changed. No, the outcome isn’t funny, but it is a call to action—it’s Winterbottom exercising pathos. Showing statistics about fast fashion, the income gap, and the single-digit earnings of Asian garment workers takes that one step further. Are we choosing to fund these lifestyles and the fast-fashion machine, or should we opt for the sort of designers often championed by this magazine, who work with Fair Trade, eschew seasons, and emphasize quality?
   And sometimes it takes a film that is largely entertainment to make us realize just what has been going on. The message could well be lost if this were an out-and-out documentary, which would have had a limited audience; better to have us question our consumerist habits—you know, the ones we still observed as we lavished Amazon with US$11,000 per second as the COVID-19 pandemic panic began—in the form of entertainment, ensuring a wider reach. It’s not the first to do this, and it won’t be the last—it’s a long tradition that includes The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and South Park on television and, more recently, the oddly slow-moving Brexit with Benedict Cumberbatch, and the German feature Curveball. There’s nothing more appealing in the grey depths of winter, with overseas travel not available to us, than sunny, colourful Greek locales. And when you can travel again, pack those labels with a more ethical background.—Jack Yan, Publisher

 


Beauty round-up: a timeless lipstick, a rich lavender toner, and ’70s-inspired eyeshadows

Filed by Meg Hamilton/June 26, 2020/10.54

Shine on

Living Nature has released a new natural lipstick, Glamorous. As with all Living Nature products, it is natural, using natural waxes, butters and oils, including shea butter and jojoba oil. Not only do your lips shine with Glamorous’s intense colour, they are nourished. There is a single shade, created to suit all complexions. It is available in New Zealand through selected pharmacies and health stores, and online at www.livingnature.com.

For summer skin

001 Skincare London is the luxury brand founded by facialist and acupuncturist for many famous names, Ada Ooi. Her new Pure Lavender Hydrolat Toner, made with 99 per cent first-grade lavender, is the perfect summer accessory, a multi­tasking product that acts as a cleanser, toner, make-up-setting spray and even as a mask. The hydrolat toner instantly lifts dried and tired skin, working to soothe, tone and tighten the skin, effortlessly hydrating and balancing its pH levels. This product is also a complexion booster that can be sprayed directly onto the skin or applied using a cotton pad. Looking to give that extra care to your skin during the summer? This is the perfect product for you. Find out more at www.001skincare.com.—Meg Hamilton

Back to the ’70s

The eyeshadows and highlighters in the new collection by Nomad are the life of the party, taking us back to the glitz and glamour of the 1970s in style. Inspired by the rich scene of Studio 54, a place where many creative minds gathered to create great art and music in the ’70s, the Multi-Chrome Discoshadow collection infuses this energy with the disco era to create a eyeshadow palette and two highlighters that are truly ethereal and out of this world. Packed with glitter, the Multi-Chrome Discoshadow Palette contains four unique shifting shades. Le Freak is a static and striking yellow-gold, I’m Coming out is a party-all-night hot pink and lavender, Got to be Real is a cool silver with subtle hints of green, and Last Dance is the perfect classic ’70s blue with a silver shift. Combine these with the two highlighters, Hot Shot in a shimmering pink inspired by the queens of disco, and Disco Nights, in pure dazzling gold, this collection is certain to keep you dancing all night long.—Meg Hamilton

 


Fashion round-up: different hemispheres, different seasons

Filed by Lucire staff/June 22, 2020/11.22




New Zealand-founded label Icebreaker has shown its autumn–winter 2020 collection, with the staples that we’ve come to love from this outdoor wear label, including tops, vests, shirts, puffer jackets, and leggings. The brand continues to incorporate super-fine merino wool, which in Icebreaker’s case is ethically sourced from growers who have banned mulesing. The wool is biodegradable and annually renewable.



   COVID-19 has forced many to slow down and appreciate what we have. Malo (www.malo.it), the cashmere brand from Firenze, Italy, agrees, with its chairman, Walter Maiocchi, noting: ‘Now it’s time to reflect and slow down. We need to grasp the positive teachings of this new global situation.’ He stresses that his company makes timeless garments that transcend seasons, and this is its contribution to sustainability. The Malo spring–summer 2020 collection, made in Italy, is based around a virtual journey around the country.

   Paradigm Eyewear’s sunglasses have become a favourite among Hollywood celebs, especially its 19-34 model. Both Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) and Hannah Ann Sluss (The Bachelor) have been photographed wearing their Paradigm sunglasses as they went out and about. The 19-34, available in different colours and lenses, retails at US$125 at baxterandbonny.com.

 


A sense of belonging

Filed by Jack Yan/June 17, 2020/11.16


Jack Yan

Above: Wellington, New Zealand’s Lambton Quay, normally a main thoroughfare, during that country’s lockdown.

Over the last two issues of Lucire KSA, we ran a story each on COVID-19. The first examined how companies fared after previous economic crises, looking at the past for answers. Last month, we examined what companies were doing in response to the pandemic, a report from the present. This month, it may be prudent to take some punts about the future.
   Even before the COVID-19 crisis, China was selling cars with air filtration and purification systems, such as the Oshan X7 and the Geely Icon. These two SUVs were responding to the pollution that plagues Chinese cities, and when the Icon was launched in February, its system was turned into a positive selling point as fears about COVID-19 mounted. When the X7 was revised in March 2020, its system received an upgrade, to allay fears about the novel coronavirus. But these are minor product enhancements, for what is the point of these SUVs during a lockdown when driving is curtailed?
   We often refer to the automotive sector in Lucire because it’s one of the most evident places where brands and trends emerge, and with fewer players than in fashion, it’s often easier to see what those might be. Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vice-president for global car design, pointed out to Forbes that after each major crisis—he uses World War II as an example—there is a creative surge, and that the US car industry of the 1950s picked up on it, with ‘a promise of the future.’ He says, ‘Many times, this whole “vision of tomorrow” comes from the difficulties of today. So I think we as people will express our emotions physically and you’ll see this in all the arts.’


GM

Oshan

Above, from top: Oldsmobile Golden Rocket, a 1956 show car from GM that pointed to an optimistic, jet-age future. The Oshan X7 SUV, with a standard air purifier.

   Other emotions that have emerged during this time include loneliness, in those countries or communities that are facing a lockdown, and the desire for human contact, alleviated somewhat by the knowledge that many are in the same boat, and by the ease of digital contact in developed countries, with VR, Skype and Zoom, the latter entering the vernacular and enjoying a massive rise in popularity, despite privacy concerns. But on the flip side are emotions of appreciation, in countries where governments have acted and people have been unified.
   Travel editor Stanley Moss, based in Italy, chatted last month to the general manager of the Baglioni Hotel Luna in Venezia, Gianmatteo Zampieri. Stanley reported in our web edition that the conversation was ‘lively’, rather than pessimistic, when at the time Italy had one of the most troubling COVID-19 numbers on record. He writes, ‘The Rialto Bridge is deserted, and uncrowded phantom vaporetti lazily float by. The St Mark’s Basin stands empty, with only stray small craft passing.’
   Mr Zampieri remarked, ‘The Lagoon is like a mirror. There’s not a boat to be seen, the water is crystal clear, and schools of little fish are swimming in the canals. We have a gondola landing at our entrance, and we are seeing little crabs crawling up the gondola poles. Ducks are nesting on the vaporetto docks, and laying eggs there.’
   Stanley continues, ‘Mr Zampieri has an optimistic perspective on all this. He says that following these difficult times we’ll be given a chance to return to a Venezia renewed, where the air and water are clean, landmarks uncrowded and Baglioni’s teams rested and ready to welcome back guests.’
   Many will have seen the photos of Venezia’s clean waterways, or how the Himalayas are now visible from the state of Punjab, India, where they had been hidden due to air pollution. At Lucire’s HQ in Wellington, New Zealand, native kererū pigeons can be seen flying in flocks and close to homes, whereas before they would be seen individually or in pairs, seldom venturing quite so closely into neighbourhoods.
   Lockdowns saw an appreciation of the quietness and the absence of noise pollution, a silver lining for those who were forced to stay home.
   In economies that are opening up, the hum of traffic has returned, along with rush hours, immediately rendering the rural-like quietness nostalgic.
   It may well accelerate certain emerging movements. It’s not difficult to link this love of nature to better air quality, less pollution, and the desire for improved public transport or alternative fuels. With fashion such a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions—Quantis estimates c. 8 per cent can be attributed to apparel and footwear, while 114,000 million items of clothing were sold in 2019—fast fashion has become more exposed during the crisis. A shocking 70 per cent of the product winds up in landfills or is incinerated, and inventory is currently growing in warehouses around the world. The Business of Fashion estimates that fashion is an industry that will need between US$20,000 million and US$30,000 million per annum to meet global climate and development goals in the coming decade.
   With several of my colleagues at Medinge Group, the Swedish think-tank dealing with brands with a conscience, we summarized in one session how we have become more acutely aware of how natural resources should be used sustainably, how many indigenous populations have been appropriate guardians of them and of global biodiversity, and how it has been possible to opt for self-sufficiency and sourcing a lot of our food locally, potentially boosting a localization movement.
   Somewhere in between these truths is an understanding that collaboration and co-creation are potential ways forward for the industry: to both consume more mindfully and produce more responsibly. Climate activists like Greta Thunberg rightly point out that earlier generations could have done better, and COVID-19 may have woken more up to the idea that change can happen, and we can create a better way.
   It would seem more important, then, to look at brands and responsibility, both of which are beginning to be the ways out for many sectors.
   In the 2020s, it is becoming more evident that brands should promote a sense of belonging, because people agree with its values and wish to be seen to be connected with them. Perhaps the analogy of a desirable club is not inaccurate. The top–down approach of the generation before, mass marketing products through mass media, is history: it does not build brands, and is better left to low-cost retailers keen to push short-lived product over quality. In 2020, in the midst of COVID-19, there is no stigma to having less tidy hair or older clothes, because neither signals a lack of standing; and a brand pursuing a profit strategy over one centred around purpose may find such an approach off-putting to its audiences.
   Improving the pay of workers, for instance—something our fashion feature interviewee in this issue, Johan Graffner of the Swedish label Dedicated, does with its suppliers—has been shown to make them more productive. Essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis have been praised as people have come to appreciate the value of their work in providing our necessities. Reworking and reframing the relationship workers have over their work could be a way forward: that those who invest their labour have the same voice as those who invest their capital, something pushed for by a group that counts Profs Nancy Fraser, Thomas Piketty and thousands of scholars from around the planet. They note that a strategy centred purely on profit has led us astray. Providing dignity, however, may be more in line with how people have come to feel over their work.
   Fair Trade impacts the workers living in places where work has been outsourced. Simon Anholt, in his book Brand New Justice, goes further with suggesting a shared equity model. Building environmental and social strategies into the brand is yet another step that could be taken, with measurable outcomes—many metrics for this already exist. Kering (the parent to Gucci, YSL and others), for instance, has an Environmental Profit & Loss Account, which assigns a financial value to environmental impact.
   The other reset must come with our use of resources. If collaboration with one’s own workers is possible, then it must equally be possible to work with those who understand biodiversity best. My colleague at Medinge Dr Nicholas Ind writes, ‘Indigenous people represent 5% of the world population, but manage 80% of the Earth’s biodiversity.’ Yet this traditional knowledge is often overlooked, though it would be fair to say that people appreciate its value far more in the midst of this crisis.
   These greater goals are more appealing to the consumers who will emerge in a post-COVID-19 landscape. However, shifting to it, and giving it more than lip service, will require governmental support, the third limb in making this model work. Many territories have shown that working together with government and governmental agencies can defeat the virus: Taiwan, Hong Kong and New Zealand are among those that have experienced a largely unified approach and brought new daily infections close to zero. We can work on the same side. Intervention may be justified when it comes to wages, to prevent the temptation to force them down in order to maximize profits. Without governmental input, that US$20,000 million to US$30,000 million per annum target cannot be easily achieved.
   In such a context, it has made the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 particularly prescient as it sought to insulate the country from precisely such shocks by diversifying the economy and the labour force. The brands that have emerged now need to visibly demonstrate that they have desire, as well as the means, to be part of a better world—and make us want to belong.—Jack Yan, Publisher

 


Sophie Morris live-streams Songs and Stories from the Stage concert on June 18

Filed by Lucire staff/June 15, 2020/22.47

Singer, actor and presenter Sophie Morris will present a live-streamed performance, Songs and Stories from the Stage, from her living room on Thursday, June 18, at 7.30 p.m. NZST (0730 GMT, 8.30 a.m. British summer time), in partnership with Boosted NZ Live. The show will appear on Boosted and on Morris’s Facebook page.
   Morris, who Lucire profiled early in her career as a soprano in 2013, transformed her living room into a stage during the COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand.
   ‘The world is a little different right now,’ she writes, ‘including the performance world. I wanted to share music and stories from my adventures as a performer—from my living room.’
   Viewers have the option to donate via her Boosted project page, with 50 per cent going to Pet Refuge NZ, a charity providing shelter for pets affected by domestic violence, and helping victims of domestic violence by removing one of the barriers to leaving violent home situations. The funds will help the charity build a new shelter, slated for a 2021 opening.

 


In brief: Lamborghini, ID Emerging Designers go virtual; Net-à-Porter, Godiva commemorate 520

Filed by Lucire staff/May 12, 2020/3.57




During a global pandemic, how do you launch a new model? Lamborghini believes augmented reality is the way, and employed the technique for Iphones and Ipads for its Huracán Evo rear-wheel-drive Spyder. By visiting lamborghini.com on an Iphone or Ipad, tap ‘See in AR’ and the car can be seen in the space of your choice, even at a 1:1 scale, to get a closer look at the exterior and interior.
   The new model, a roadster with a removable soft-top roof, boasts a V10 delivering 610 PS and 560 Nm of torque, reaching 100 km/h in 3·5 s. Top speed is 324 km/h. The top can be stowed at speeds of up to 50 km/h, while the 8·4-inch touchscreen links to an Apple Carplay-compatible system. Lamborghini says the car can even be personalized to ‘limitless colour and trim options’. UK price is £151,100 plus tax.
   Lamborghini promises that its entire range will soon be available in AR.

The ID Emerging Designer Awards, in association with Otago Polytechnic, will be shown online this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are 33 designers from 14 countries, with NHNZ producing the show.
   The event, which grew out of ID Dunedin Fashion Week, was long forecast by Lucire to become the “main event”—the fact the organizers have persevered indicates the esteem in which the awards are held.
   Entrants produced video shows to showcase their entries, which were selected by a judging panel.
   The list of finalists and their entries can be found on ID’s website.

In the Chinese market, Net-à-Porter is marking May 20—520, an alternative Chinese Valentine’s Day—by teaming up with Godiva. The Belgian chocolatier has created a 520 limited-edition gift box co-branded with Net-à-Porter, comprising six gold heart-shaped chocolates. In addition, the two companies have created a ‘520 × 100 I love you one hundred times’ gift box, priced (of course) at 52,000元, but with a value of 83,999元. The gift box features IWC Portofino watches, a Piaget chain, a Chloé shoulder bag, a By Far limited-edition bag and sandals, Jimmy Choo heels and clutch bag, and a Jacquemus shoulder bag.

 


Next Page »

 

Get more from Lucire

Our latest issue

Lucire 40
Check out our lavish print issue of Lucire in hard copy or for Ipad or Android.
Or download the latest issue of Lucire as a PDF from Scopalto

Lucire on Twitter

Lucire on Instagram