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Citroën redefines the large family car with the C5 X

Filed by Jack Yan/April 13, 2021/22.02





William Crozes/Continental Productions

Is this the future of the CD- and D-segment family car? Citroën has unveiled its C5 X, the third generation (if you don’t count the C5 Aircross) of the C5 line, blending saloon, estate and SUV ideas.
   Sales of conventional saloons and estates in this segment have been dropping for some time. Ford has already said it will not replace the Mondeo after 2022, bringing to an end a line that could be traced back to the Consul Cortina of 1962. There have been suggestions that Opel, Citroën’s sister brand, will replace the Insignia with a crossover, possibly a car closely related to this one.
   The lines are certainly more blurred with the C5 X. Traditionally, a crossover would have meant something like a Subaru Forester, a station wagon format more raised than a traditional car, but lower than an SUV. Here Citroën takes influences from numerous genres. It is a sleek, two-box shape, that if viewed without the 19-inch wheels, could be taken to be a shooting brake, an estate car with less loading capacity because of a sloping rear—think Mercedes-Benz CLS or even the Audi Q8. The six-light glasshouse even recalls Robert Opron’s Citroën CX (and specifically the CXperience concept of 2016), which no doubt will please Citroënistas. Up front are thin LED headlights that give a V shape when lit, a Citroën design signature that started with the 2020 C4. The bespoilered rear deck emphasizes that this isn’t a regular estate; curiously, when viewed from some front three-quarter angles, the D-pillar looks upright, and even recalls the outgoing C5 break.
   Happily, the C5 X has an airy glasshouse, doing away with the massive C-pillars that have plagued car design for a decade. This helps with bringing light in, while also aiding visibility. One can only hope that it is the beginning of the end of the cocoon, which may have emerged in times of great uncertainty, where people wanted to feel enveloped and secure. If Citroën’s trend-watchers have it right, we might come to feel more open and embracing of the outside world again.
   Those 19-inch wheels raise the car’s stance, but in an age where the crossover and the SUV are not niche vehicles, but mainstream ones, they do not look oversized. Interestingly, Citroën’s French rival Renault may have contributed to that, with intentionally large wheels for the Scénic and Espace, with a similar philosophy of blending genres with an eye to courting mainstream SUV buyers who want a more commanding driving position. More opportunity, then, for a future designer to claim a successor is ‘lower, wider, longer’, the romance of postwar US design.
   Its sleekness is perhaps only compromised by the transverse front-wheel-drive layout, which necessitates the position of the front wheels, a design compromise evident on the Citroën C6 in China, but better hidden here. One might think that Citroën has gone adventurous here—though not to the level of the DS—because of its recent poor sales in China. When in doubt, design your way out—it worked for Chrysler and its LH sedans in the 1990s.
   Under the skin is active suspension, with Citroën claiming (not for the first time in its history) a “magic carpet” ride. There are what the company calls its Progressive Hydraulic Cushions that relax the suspension more. Handling isn’t the top priority here, having an interior that’s lounge-like and floating is.
   The interior emphasizes width (externally the car measures 1,865 mm in this respect, which is probably typical for a grand routier of this age). Citroën says its Advanced Comfort seats are particularly capacious in the second row, while the boot has a 545 l capacity. There’s more refinement, the company points out, with the plug-in hybrid version running in pure-electric mode, which it can do for 50 km, up to 135 km/h. Acoustic-laminated front and rear windows keep things insulated further.
   There is a head-up display that Citroën says is a step toward augmented reality, driving assistance features, a new infotainment interface powered through a 12-inch central touchscreen, voice recognition, and a customizable display. Safety systems use the radar, cameras and sensors. There is level 2 autonomous driving, with Highway Driver Assist, using the adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go and lane-keep assistance. And as one would expect in 2021, rear cross-traffic alert, a 360-vision display that plots the area around the car on the touchscreen to aid man, and hands-free access.—Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher





William Crozes/Continental Productions

 


Van Cleef & Arpels releases six new Perlée designs in Middle East ahead of global launch

Filed by Lucire staff/April 3, 2021/10.41


Van Cleef & Arpels has released six Perlée creations, exclusively for the Middle East first, coinciding with the holy season of Ramadan. They are available now in the region, two months ahead of their official global release.
   The new Perlée additions comprise three bracelets and three rings in gold hues. These feature the sweet clover motif, which are Van Cleef & Arpels’ symbol of luck. They also feature a border of gold beads, characteristic of other jewellery in the Perlée range.
   As the jewellery can be mixed and matched, they can suit a wearer’s every mood.
   The Perlée collection débuted in 2008 and draws on the maison’s history. Accented stones and motifs appeared in the 1920s, and it was also during this decade that Van Cleef & Arpels used the round bead setting in the collection. Golden beads became more ample in 1948. From 1963, in the Twist collection, golden beads appeared in more permutations, accentuating ornamental stones such as lapis lazuli and carnelian, and pearls. Bordering golden beads also appeared in Van Cleef & Arpels’ Alhambra collection in 1968. The designs have a direct link to these earlier collections.






 


Distinctive fragrance débuts from Jean Paul Gaultier, Paco Rabanne

Filed by Lucire staff/March 26, 2021/20.26



Paco Rabanne and Jean Paul Gaultier have fragrance débuts over the next several months, beginning with Paco Rabanne Invictus Victory eau de parfum, retailing in New Zealand from April 11 (NZ$134 for 50 ml, NZ$183 for 100 ml).
   Newly launched this year, Invictus Victory in a masculine oriental scent with one of the most distinctive packages around, resembling a black trophy. Top notes are lemon and pink pepper, followed by lavender and olibanum in the middle, and vanilla, tonka bean and amber at its base.



   Come June, Paco Rabanne will release Olympea Blossom eau de parfum in New Zealand, on counters on the 13th. Retail prices are NZ$119 for 30 ml, NZ$164 for 50 ml, and NZ$220 for 80 ml.
   A feminine scent, Olympea Blossom is a floral, fruity fragrance with damask rose and pink pepper notes striking us first, with pear, blackcurrant and sorbet at its heart, and basenotes of vanilla, salt, cashmeran and patchouli.
   Farmers, Life Pharmacy, Smith & Caughey’s, Ballantyne’s, H. & J. Smith and David Jones will retail the two.



   Bridging the gap in release dates is Jean Paul Gaultier’s La Belle Le Parfum eau de parfum, hitting counters on May 2. Again in three sizes—30, 50 and 100 ml priced at NZ$120, NZ$162 and NZ$227 respectively—this is a follow-up to 2019’s La Belle.
   With the distinctive La Belle bust packaging, this new version of the scent has been created by Quentin Bisch and Sonia Constant, with vanilla, pear, almon, belladonna, musk, bergamot, tonka bean and jasmine within its notes. Farmers, Life Pharmacy, Smith & Caughey’s, Ballantyne’s and H. & J. Smith will stock the scent.

 


Chanel promotes 11.12 bag in campaign shot by Inez & Vinoodh

Filed by Lucire staff/March 17, 2021/23.34



Inez & Vinoodh

Chanel has released its The Iconic campaign, starring its 11.12 bag, a reinterpretation of the 2.55 bag created by Gabrielle Chanel in February 1955. The newer bag is the work of Karl Lagerfeld in the 1980s, and features a double-C clasp and a metal chain interlaced with leather. The bag itself is made from lambskin leather as well as grained calfskin, taking materials from Chanel’s ready-to-wear collections. It continues in the Chanel range as a timeless accessory, and is modelled in the campaign by Anna Mouglalis, Rianne van Rompaey, Imaan Hammam, Louise de Chevigny and Zoé Adjani.
   The campaign was photographed by Inez & Vinoodh, who said in a release, ‘The Chanel 11.12 bag is part of your life forever. It is pure perfection in its proportion, simplicity and understated timeless luxury. The five women in this campaign are icons in their own right, they embody the multiple generations that Chanel has touched.’
   ‘The 11.12 bag is simply Chanel. It is one of the iconic pieces that tells the whole story, with all the elegance of the House. It looks like Chanel. I think its iconic status comes from the simplicity of the shape. If you ask someone to draw a bag, this is the one that comes to mind immediately thanks to its ultimate refinement,’ said Anna Mouglalis.
   ‘Everybody, since you’re a little girl, knows what the classic Chanel bag looks like. It has such a history. And especially in fashion, every season everything changes so fast, it’s nice to see these classic bags that have been around for so long. Reinterpreted every time, but with the same DNA,’ said Rianne van Rompaey. ‘It’s the most famous bag in the world. There is something of a fairy tale about it.’
   ‘I think every girl’s biggest dream is to own a Chanel bag. I was able to buy my first Chanel bag when I was 17, and I remember saving so much money for it, it was a mini version of the 11.12, black on black, and I still have it. This bag is just very chic, elegant, very feminine. When I wear it I feel effortless and powerful,’ added Imaan Hammam.
   ‘The 11.12 bag is the iconic bag par excellence. It is a truly timeless bag, which remains as modern and chic as ever. Fashion evolves but there is always this bag. It adds elegance to every silhouette. I like the idea that I will pass it on to my daughter if I am lucky enough to have one. My mother used to have one, and when I was younger I would steal it from her. At first to play with and then when I started going to parties, it was a source of pride,’ said Louise de Chevigny.
   ‘This luxury, this savoir-faire, it has always fascinated and touched me,’ said Zoé Adjani. ‘The 11.12 represents Chanel: the double C, the hidden pocket, the small pockets inside. And it suits me: I love to compartmentalize. With all the history it carries inside, it represents more than a bag: it’s like carrying Paris on your shoulder.’

 


In brief: Living Nature, Akin receive more accolades; Van Cleef & Arpels releases a woody scent

Filed by Lucire staff/March 5, 2021/11.44

More praise
Living Nature has scored another accolade for its Glamorous Natural Lipstick no. 16: an Editor’s Choice award in the Beauty Shortlist Awards 2021 in the UK. The lipstick had already been highly commended in the UK’s Pure Beauty London Awards 2020.
   Glamorous Lipstick no. 16 has a rich red shade, along with natural waxes, butters and oils, including certified organic shea butter and jojoba oil. It retails for NZ$33, at participating pharmacies, health stores and at livingnature.com.

Top rated

A’kin’s Replenishing Hand Cream has recently been voted by Beauty Heaven’s members in Australia as the best natural beauty product for hands and feet, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a combination of its lightness, its natural composition, and its scent. It absorbs quickly into the skin, getting to work with its jojoba, organic lavender and shea butter. Users found it effective and keeps hands soft and moisturized. More at akin.com.au.

Out of the woods
Van Cleef & Arpels’ Bois d’Amande eau de parfum is a woody scent whose notes come from the vegan cedar tree found on the eastern side of North America. The scent is reminiscent of an almond tree in bloom, and is prolonged upon contact with the skin with musk and vanilla bean. Retail price in France is €145 for 75 ml.

 


Hublot releases a limited edition of 50 Big Bang Tourbillion Automatic Orange Sapphire watches

Filed by Lucire staff/January 27, 2021/8.59


The luxury watches in our ‘Year of the ox’ feature aren’t the only new releases for 2021. Hublot shows there’s still plenty of life in the skeleton look, and it’s showing off a new tourbillon movement (which is self-winding) along with a new colour, in its new Big Bang Tourbillion Automatic Orange Sapphire, limited to 50 pieces.
   Hublot has used more sapphire in the movement, with three sapphire bridges (the barrel bridge, an automatic bridge, and a tourbillon barrette). The movement is designed in-house, with a self-winding mechanism designed to last 72 hours, using ceramic ball bearings and other innovations. The orange shade is a first for through-tinted sapphire, using titanium and chromium during manufacture.
   The grey micro-rotor is in 22 ct gold, and is set off by decoration that has been bevelled, sun ray-brushed and sand-blasted, while the skeleton work has been accentuated by sand-blasted platinum. It’s all in line with Hublot’s reputation in creating timepieces with cutting-edge materials, with its own metallurgy and materials’ laboratory.

 


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