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April 17, 2014

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s CoppĂ©lia expertly executed at every level

Jack Yan/13.46


Royal New Zealand Ballet

Above A publicity photograph from the Royal New Zealand Ballet for Coppélia, with Swanhilda, Franz and Coppélia.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s CoppĂ©lia, which opened in Wellington on Thursday, is a lovingly designed and staged production that will suit family audiences.
   Set in a mountain village in Hungary, the RNZB’s production of CoppĂ©lia retains its well known storyline and period setting, with beautiful sets and costumes. The work of the late, award-winning designer Kristian Fredrikson is particularly poignant in the second act, inside Dr Coppelius’s house, where his seven very distinctive automatons, as well as CoppĂ©lia, rest. Two incomplete mannequins hung from the top. The third act, with the wedding scene, is another tribute to Fredrikson’s design integrity, with the villagers’ and Franz and Swanhilda’s wedding costumes. Jason Morphett’s lighting lifted the story, making it easy to follow—and it was the second act, too, with its moody atmosphere, where his work shone.
   Martin Vedel, ballet master on CoppĂ©lia, stayed true to the core of the story, with classical and folkloric dances playing out the plot. The energetic divertissements in the third act were perfectly performed. Vedel was, according to his notes, aware of the pre-modern, romantic period in which CoppĂ©lia was created, and sought to retain its beauty, but tightened up the storyline and more clearly portrayed Dr Coppelius—performed by Sir Jon Trimmer, who first danced it for the RNZB in 1964—as a social outcast.
   The 21st-century touches are, then, in the theatrics of the performance rather than the look and feel, although the limbless, faceless automaton, beautifully performed by Paul Mathews, could feel at home in science fiction to modern audiences.
   One cannot help but smile at the performances—after all, CoppĂ©lia is a happy, comedic ballet, and we noticed that the children on opening night enjoyed it as much as the adults. Lucy Green and Kohei Iwamoto were the well cast leads tonight, as Swanhilda and Franz respectively, dancing their roles expertly—and deservedly receiving standing ovations from some of the audience. Unsurprisingly, Sir Jon received similar acclaim, and Joseph Skelton as Zoltan, both in his emphatic solo and his dance with Katherine Grange as Ima, brought immediate reactions as well as loud applause at the end.
   Orchestra Wellington faithfully performed the LĂ©o Delibes score.
   After Wellington, CoppĂ©lia tours to to Palmerston North, Invercargill, Dunedin, Napier, Rotorua, Takapuna, and Auckland, with the season ending on May 31 inclusive. Further information on dates and venues, as well as booking, can be found at the RNZB website.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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April 4, 2014

Iranian-born Mahshid Mahdian wins Emerging Designers’ Award at ID Dunedin

Lucire staff/7.59


Chris Sullivan/Seen in Dunedin

Mahshid Mahdian, from Brera Academy, Milano, won the ID Dunedin Emerging Designers’ Award and its NZ$10,000 prize on Thursday night.
   Mahdian’s collection, Shadow, was inspired by shadows in Burano Island in Venezia, and features geometrical shapes and innovative technologies.
   The Tehrān-born designer was encouraged by Mittelmoda’s Stefano Sopelza to enter the awards.
   Judge and World creative director Francis Hooper said in a release, ‘While overall, the standard of finalists were amazing, the winners stood out because their unique character and personality as a designer came through in their garments.
   â€˜Mahshid captured a moment in a heartbeat 
 When you looked at her collection, you knew she had it just right. It delivered on that inexplicable X-factor.’
   Alanna Barca of RMIT won the CaffĂš l’AffarĂš second-place prize of NZ$4,000; Chin Hau Tay of RMIT won third place with the Dunedin International Airport prize of NZ$2,000.
   A special prize was awarded to Vaibhav Singh of NIFT, who wins an internship with Martin Grant in Paris.

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March 23, 2014

Former Miss Universe New Zealand titleholders feature in upcoming Lucire editorial

Lucire staff/23.20



Two former Miss Universe New Zealand titleholders will appear in an upcoming feature in the printed edition of Lucire, with New York-based photographer Jon Moe travelling to Los Angeles to capture the pair for the magazine.
   Laural Barrett (2007) and Samantha Lochhead (nĂ©e Powell, 2008) both live in the LA area, with Barrett pursuing her musical career and Lochhead recently arriving with her husband, footballer Tony Lochhead.
   In addition to Moe, the crew consisted of Jamie Dorman on make-up, Carina Tafulu stepping in at the eleventh hour for hair, Lei Phillips on styling (assisted by Janice Gonzalez). The venue, Riviera 31, is a cocktail lounge at the Sofitel luxury hotel in West Hollywood, arranged through Pivotal PR.
   Lucire publisher Jack Yan and fashion editor Sopheak Seng guided and coordinated from head office in New Zealand, with the aid of US west coast editor Elyse Glickman.
   The current issue, no. 32, is on sale now and features a cover shot by Claire Harrison in the UK.
   Entries are open, meanwhile, for Miss Universe New Zealand 2014, after the new consortium put the event back on television in New Zealand after two decades.




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March 16, 2014

The Royal New Zealand Ballet prepares a unique, 21st-century Coppélia

Lucire staff/2.47


Above Sir Jon Trimmer and Lucy Green in Coppélia.

The comic ballet CoppĂ©lia is next on the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s programme, opening in Wellington on April 17.
   This 21st century version, staged by RNZB ballet master Martin Vedel, is unique, with the presentation sharpened up while retaining its core messages of love, devotion and friendship.
   Vedel said, ‘When RNZB artistic director Ethan Stiefel asked me to stage CoppĂ©lia I was instantly intrigued—it is a ballet in which I have performed many times both as a student of the Royal Danish Ballet School and later with the Royal Danish Ballet. It is a wonderful ballet for all audiences with exhilarating character dances, including the show-stopping CsĂĄrdĂĄs [Hungarian folk dance], wonderful classical solos and pas de deux, to a memorable score.’
   Production design is by the late Kristian Fredrikson, whose work featured in the RNZB’s recent production of Swan Lake. The original score is by LĂ©o Delibes.
   The story revolves around a life-sized automaton who is mistaken for a real girl.
   Also noteworthy is Sir Jon Trimmer reprising the role of Dr CoppĂ©lius, the inventor. Sir Jon first performed the role for the RNZB in 1964, and danced it again in 1983.
   After Wellington, CoppĂ©lia tours to to Palmerston North, Invercargill, Dunedin, Napier, Rotorua, Takapuna, and Auckland.

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March 14, 2014

Max Fashions’ Lambton Quay store a more inviting space

Lucire staff/23.53



Top Lighter woods and brass give the revamped Max store a more retreat-like feel. Above Max’s Emma Tate, down from Auckland for the event.

Max Fashions’ Lambton Quay store is looking refreshed in Wellington, as Lucire checked out the new space earlier in March at its press opening.
   The logo may be familiar, and the façade isn’t that different to what customers are used to, but inside, the store has a far more welcoming feel.
   Thanks to a canny use of materials (maple and brass) and the available space, the store now feels more homely. Max’s description of a ‘relaxed retreat’ is not far off: when you get inside, especially further down the back of the store, there is a sense of private spaces and a less “commercial” atmosphere to what existed before. Max has also been careful to divide the clothes into themes, helping customers interact based around lifestyle rather than types of garments.
   Cheshire Architects’ Nat Cheshire and Emily Priest were behind the redesign. The new store reopened on February 25.

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Filed under: fashion, Lucire, New Zealand
March 11, 2014

Jameson Irish Whiskey shows limited-edition bottle for St Patrick’s Day 2014

Lucire staff/10.22

In the spirit of St Patrick’s Day 2014, Jameson Irish Whiskey will release its fourth limited-edition design bottle, this time the work of illustrator Dermot Flynn.
   Flynn was inspired by the sights and sounds of Dublin, and his illustration features a pub, statues, monuments, and humorous Irish sayings.
   Jameson says the limited-edition bottle is a must-have for those who love Ireland and the Irish character. Says Kathryn Love, Jameson’s marketing manager in New Zealand, ‘In addition to its smooth, balanced taste, one of the things that whiskey fans around the world tell us they love about Jameson is its intrinsic Irish character. Jameson embodies the down-to-earth character of Dubliners so with this new limited edition, we wanted to bring that to life and celebrate the great city which inspired John Jameson to make his now iconic whiskey for the first time over 230 years ago.’
   The limited-edition bottle retails for NZ$64·99 from March 17, 2014 at selected outlets, while stocks last.

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March 7, 2014

The Body Shop plays with colour

Christine Min/1.43


The Body Shop has become bolder with its the Colour Up collection for 2014. Now there is make-up—or should I say chalk—for your hair. The limited-edition Hair Chalk (NZ$25) is available in two shades, Tickle Me Pink and Falling for Blue. You can play with your hair colour by simply chalking with the colour pad, sealing with hairspray to finish and easily wash everything off with shampoo when you’re done. Sounds like fun? Sounds like a bright way to dress up for the weekend, without having to commit to the colour permanently.
   The new collection also launches sheer colour lip gloss (NZ$23) and Shimmer Cubes (NZ$42·50) to mix and match colours. Available in store from March 10. For details, check out www.thebodyshop.com.—Christine Min

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March 4, 2014

Rembrandt and Wayward Heir release autumn–winter 2014 menswear looks

Lucire staff/1.56



Top Rembrandt is in a blue mood for winter. Above Wayward Heir takes on a indie musical inspiration for the season.

Rembrandt and Wayward Heir have launched their autumn–winter 2014 collections, available on- and offline.
   Rembrandt has a blue mood, with refined tailoring, including a blue dinner jacket to help men stand out this season. Designer Jonathon Hall says the blue ties in with the season’s key fashion colours of burgundy and earthy brown.
   The label says its other key pieces are the Cooper jacket and Lotus trousers, in blue Reda Italian merino, and the navy and red Caxton jacket. The emphasis is on warm, soft looks for the season, with a slimmer fit in the Lewis and Cornwall jackets, and the Astor trouser.
   Wayward Heir, meanwhile, has a musical inspiration from indie, garage, punk and contemporary music in its An Heirful collection.
   Its press kit included a cool electric guitar lapel pin from the range, and an LP with a Beatles-like logo—although playing the LP we were entertained to the sounds of Strauss waltzes for the afternoon.
   But it’s the fashion that speaks greater volumes and designer Suzanne Roff says there’s a Pete Doherty moodiness to her winter ’14 vision.
   There are vintage tweed checks in the Proto jacket and blue flannel for the peak-lapelled Milano-Punk skinny suit. Wayward Heir also has a slim-fit double-breasted jacket which it dubs Carnaby, and narrow is the order of the day with the Punk trouser and Garage jean. Prints feature images of cassettes and ghetto-blasters, and there’s under-collar guitar embroidery on jackets and suits.




Above Looks from Rembrandt’s autumn–winter 2014. Below Wayward Heir has a modern, youthful style.


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