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October 30, 2014

The Royal New Zealand Ballet performs A Christmas Carol, the feel-good ballet of the season

Jack Yan/14.03

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Ross Brown/RNZB

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s final season for 2014, sponsored by Vodafone, sees Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol brought to life. Created for the Northern Ballet, it’s a true crowd-pleaser and the perfect family outing.
   The RNZB‚Äôs Christmas performance has often been a spectacular that audiences of all ages can enjoy, and A Christmas Carol is no exception. The familiar Yuletide tunes and original music by American-born composer Carl Davis, CBE make A Christmas Carol musically accessible. Davis‚Äôs work will be familiar to television and film audiences (he scored The French Lieutenant‚Äôs Woman, the 1995 TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and, most recently, an episode of the 2012 continuation of Upstairs, Downstairs), and he brings a similar lyrical, orchestral style to the ballet.
   The familiarity of Dickens‚Äô novel also helps: the characters are well known, especially to children, and this version, created for the Northern Ballet, stays close to the original Victorian setting. The humour is distinctly English: the second act‚Äôs dance between Mr and Mrs Fezziwig (played by Rory Fairweather-Neylan and Bront√ę Kelly on opening night) is Carry on in nature, while the Ghost of Christmas Present‚Äôs (MacLean Hopper) tendency to throw glitter made him the least frightening of the trio that visit Ebenezer Scrooge.
   Paul Mathews, in the lead, exuded energy and still yielded surprises despite the well known storyline, but it was the flashback scene with a pas de deux between Young Scrooge (Shane Urton) and Belle Fezziwig (Lucy Green) that was the most touching and graceful in the ballet.
   Belle, knowing the relationship had come to an end, expressed a lifelessness as she moved en pointe away from Young Scrooge, ever focused on finance.
   The loss of love between the two was poignant, and the point at which Scrooge became the miserable character at the beginning of the story. It gave an extra element, almost a humanity, to Scrooge, that was seen in the novel.
   Bob Cratchit, played by Kohei Iwamoto, was perfectly cast.
   Each set was lovingly created, with production design by Lez Brotherston, the backdrops faithful to the emerging industrialization of the Victorian era, and the lighting by Jon Buswell (presumably following the original design by Paul Pyant) was used to eerie effect on two occasions: the emergence of Scrooge‚Äôs business partner‚Äôs ghost (light streamed up in a ghostly form before the dancer playing Marley appeared) and the Ghost of Christmas Past (who appeared to float as he visited Scrooge). Transitions between sets were cleverly handled, particularly Scrooge‚Äôs grave in the last act.
   This is the first performance Lucire attended where the company sings, and young Wilson Jack, as Tiny Tim Cratchit, performs a touching solo of ‚ÄėHow Far Is It to Bethlehem?‚Äô (and never mind that it was composed outside the Victorian era). Nigel Gaynor, conducting Orchestra Wellington, excelled handling this extra dimension.
   It was the final√© that was the most upbeat of any recent Royal New Zealand Ballet season, something that could be seen not just with the lengthy applause but the smiles on the audience‚Äôs faces as members began departing the St James Theatre.
   The Wellington performances began October 30 and run till November 8 inclusive; Dunedin is from November 15 to 16; Christchurch from November 20 to 22. A Christmas Carol then returns to the North Island, in Palmerston North on November 26, Napier on November 29 and 30, Auckland on December 3 to 7, and Takapuna from December 13 to 14. Full details of dates and venues can be found on the Royal New Zealand Ballet website.
   The late Christopher Gable directed the original production for the Northern Ballet, with choreography by Massimo Moricone; Daniel de Andrade serves as producer. It is the first ballet by the RNZB performed after the appointment of its new artistic director, Francesco Ventriglia, who takes up his new position during the run.‚ÄĒJack Yan, Publisher


Bill Cooper

Above An image from the Northern Ballet’s production of A Christmas Carol.

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October 28, 2014

Georgia Alice, Lucy McIntosh, Sly Guild named as Ô¨Ānalists for DHL scholarship

Lucire staff/21.09

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Above A design from the Georgia Alice look-book.

Georgia Alice, Lucy McIntosh and Sly Guild are the three finalists for this year’s DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship.
   Judges Dan Gosling (the inaugural winner, seven years ago, as co-founder of Stolen Girlfriends’ Club), John Kelly (Max Fashions), Paul Blomfield (Fashion Industry New Zealand) and Megan Wildermoth (DHL) will judge, and will announce their decision on November 12.
   The winner will receive NZ$10,000 in international freight, along with coaching in freight and logistics. The second prize is NZ$1,500, and the third valued at NZ$500. All will receive export mentoring and a membership from FINZ. For more information, visit www.dhlfashionscholarship.co.nz.

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Filed under: fashion, Lucire, New Zealand
October 21, 2014

Sarah Michelle Gellar to judge Specsavers’ Spectacle Wearer of the Year in New Zealand

Lucire staff/9.22

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Sarah Michelle Gellar is the New Zealand judge and ambassador for Specsavers’ Spectacle Wearer of the Year.
   Gellar, best known for her role in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, and who made a notable impression in last year’s The Crazy Ones‚ÄĒLucire‚Äôs favourite US sitcom of ‚Äô13‚ÄĒalongside the late Robin Williams, joins a panel of judges including designer Alex Perry, TV host Jeremy Corbett, and Specsavers’ style ambassador Pip Edwards.
   The competition is a search for the country’s most stylish spectacle-wearer, celebrating confidence and the love of glasses.
   ‚ÄėI can‚Äôt wait to see New Zealanders stylish entries and help choose a winner,’ said Gellar in a release. ‘As an actress and a glasses-wearer myself, I know how important it is to be proud of your style and to love your frames. I like to look at glasses as an extension of individual style, a way to express a part of your personality that you can have fun with.’
   The winner receives an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Hollywood, including NZ$1,000 spending money, and a new wardrobe of designer glasses from Specsavers.
   Six finalists will each win a trip to Auckland to meet Corbett and a gift bag, including a voucher for an item from Fairley jewellery and two pairs of designer glasses from Specsavers.
   Entrants are asked to submit selfies to the 2014 Spectacle Wearer of the Year website, at loveglasses.specsavers.co.nz.
   Christina Hendricks had previously served as a Specsavers ambassador.

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October 20, 2014

Stoneleigh launches limited-edition, early-release Nature’s Collection wines

Lucire staff/22.43

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Stoneleigh has launched a new, limited-edition, early-release wine series, called Nature’s Collection, comprising 2014 vintages of sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, chardonnay and ros√©, retailing now at NZ$17¬∑99 in New Zealand.
   The Collection’s labels feature artwork with distinctive symbols, signifying flora, fauna, forest and coastline. The images within the symbols were taken by New Zealanders and uploaded to Stoneleigh via an app earlier this year.
   The Nature’s Collection name is not a marketing ploy: Stoneleigh began with fruit from the stony vineyards in Raparua in Marlborough. Winemaker Jamie Marfell (left) has used techniques that heighten the natural flavour and aroma.
   The sauvignon blanc, made from grapes from low-cropping vines, has a ‘complex flintiness’, with very little done to the wine to maintain the purity of the flavour. The pinot noir has a similar ‘natural brilliance,’ says Marfell, while large-format oak cuves have fermented the chardonnay for three months. The ros√© has also been fermented with oak.
   ‚ÄėOur stone-studded vineyards are a constant source of wonder, producing grapes for wines with incredible flavours and aromas. We wanted to celebrate not just our wonder of nature but all of the natural wonders in New Zealand,’ said Marfell.

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October 17, 2014

Mindfood Style launches Monday in New Zealand

Lucire staff/9.36

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As Lucire celebrates its 17th anniversary on October 20, another New Zealand name will launch a fashion title. Mindfood Style is set to challenge offerings from large groups such as Germany’s Bauer (Fashion Quarterly) and others.
   Mindfood Style will appear on newsstands with a 350 pp. inaugural issue. Issue one will feature a 36 pp. spring‚Äďsummer 2015 runway report pull-out. Rose McIver (The Lovely Bones) is its first cover girl.
   The masthead adopts a familiar design theme for fashion titles, with a modern typeface, but with the first three letters in Style subtly merging into each other. Bauer Bodoni appears on the cover as Mindfood Style‚Äôs serif family choice. The overall effect is tasteful and minimalist, with Mindfood Style eschewing the messy, multiple headlines of other titles in this sector.
   The magazine will publish twice a year, with spring‚Äďsummer and autumn‚Äďwinter numbers, and will have its own website at the mindfood.com domain. There will be further support on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, and a weekly newsletter.

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October 16, 2014

Shavaughn Ruakere becomes New Zealand face of Pantene

Lucire staff/5.35

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Shavaughn Ruakere has been named the New Zealand face of Pantene.
   The brand, which remains connected in this market to New Zealand model Rachel Hunter with the catchphrase, ‘It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen,’ announced its new spokeswoman today.
   ‚ÄėI grew up with Pantene, love it, and always trust it to take good care of my hair. I’m so excited to be representing such an innovative brand with a new formulation that makes it even better than before,’ she said in a release.
   More casually, in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, Ruakere told her fans on Facebook, ‘Move over Rachel Hunter!’
   The new formulation contains ‘revolutionary technology Keratin Damage Blockers to help defend hair against irreversible oxidative damage,’ according to the company. More information on the revised formulation can be found at www.pantenepromise.co.nz.

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October 15, 2014

Dan Gosling of Stolen Girlfriends’ Club joins DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship judges

Lucire staff/11.01

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Dan Gosling of Stolen Girlfriends’ Club is one of the judges of the seventh annual DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship, a prize his label took out in the inaugural competition in 2008.
   Gosling joins Max Fashions CEO John Kelly, FINZ chairman Paul Blomfield, and DHL national strategic account manager for fashion and textiles Megan Wildermoth.
   Says DHL Express New Zealand country manager Tim Baxter, ‘It‚Äôs so exciting to see our 2008 winner making such a huge impact on the international fashion scene, and we think it‚Äôs fitting to welcome Dan back as a judge this year.’
   Dan Gosling, Luke Harwood and Marc Moore jointly founded Stolen Girlfriends’ Club in 2005. It is now stocked in 13 countries.
   The scholarship is open to New Zealand designers who have been exporting for less than five years. Previous winners have included Lonely Hearts, Twenty-Seven Names and I Love Ugly, and it has been known to act as a “lightning rod” for young talent in New Zealand.
   The winner will receive NZ$10,000 in international freight, along with coaching in freight and logistics. The second prize is NZ$1,500, and the third valued at NZ$500. All will receive export mentoring and a membership from FINZ. The winner will be announced on November 11.



Above Back in 2008, the founders of Stolen Girlfriends’ Club celebrate, and one of their designs. Below From Stolen Girlfriends’ Club’s autumn‚Äďwinter 2015 collection at New Zealand Fashion Week.




Matthew Beveridge

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October 12, 2014

David Trubridge shows off artwork at World of Wearable Art celebrating Brancott Estate’s firsts

Lucire staff/11.00

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Visitors to the Brancott Estate World of Wearable Art award show on Sunday night got an extra treat, as furniture and lighting designer David Trubridge showed off a crowdsourced artwork constructed from bamboo plywood to commemorate the concept of “memorable firsts”.
   The theme ties in not only to the World of Wearable Art, but from Brancott Estate’s pioneering heritage as the first to establish a vineyard in New Zealand’s South Island in the 1970s.
   Trubridge and Brancott Estate asked the New Zealand public to submit photographs representing a memorable first. The 500-plus submissions‚ÄĒwhich the company says ranged from weddings and a first trip abroad to the first blossom of spring‚ÄĒwere printed using a red-and-white duotone effect on to lightweight bamboo plywood sheets, which formed the “feathers” in Trubridge’s giant winged creation.
   The artwork was revealed in a performance that resembled a bird taking off on its maiden flight, one of the inspirations Trubridge had. ‘The first thing that jumped into my mind was the image of a young gannet sitting on the edge of the cliff. The first time it flies is the start of its journey all the way to Australia. It takes off and it doesn‚Äôt stop,’ he says. The wearer gradually flexed before revealing the full form and all the images with arms outstretched.
   Trubridge had the help of his family in creating the performance, including his wife, Linda, who is an artist, and his son, Sam, who is a member of the performing arts’ faculty at Massey University.
   The wings were held together with twine, and move with the wearer. It presented a new challenge to Trubridge, as he was not accustomed to creating something that would be worn.
   ‚ÄėThe process of creating this artwork has taken my team and I on an amazing creative journey and exploration that has led us to many creative firsts. It‚Äôs a project I‚Äôm very proud to have taken part in,’ says Trubridge.
   ‚ÄėIt‚Äôs not a single pendant, fixed light or object, it requires a degree of flexibility. Creating something that can transform from a cloak to a wing was a challenge as my work is usually a closed form. We had to have the ability for it to go from one shape to another and flex and move with the figure and that‚Äôs a whole new, exciting, pioneering first for us.’
   ‚ÄėDavid has combined memorable firsts from the New Zealand public into a poetic, moving, kinetic piece of wearable art. The final creation truly embodies the pioneering spirit of Brancott Estate and WOW,’ says Brancott Estate’s chief winemaker, Patrick Materman.
   The artwork was shown at the Brancott Estate bar at the TSB Arena, and a filmed performance can be seen on the website at www.brancottestatewow.co.nz.

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