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Opinions: what we need from media beyond ‘fake news’; looking to the stars


NEWS  by Lucire staff/March 15, 2017/21.47

We need independent media


Paul Clarke/CC BY-SA 4.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37435469

Above: Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.

Earlier this month, Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote an open letter expressing his concerns about the evolution of his invention, the World Wide Web. (Interestingly, he writes the term all in lowercase.)
   It wasn’t just about ‘fake news’, which is how the media have reported it. His first concern was, in fact, about our losing control over our personal data, and determining when and with whom we share them. It’s something I’ve touched on regularly since 2011, when Google breached its own stated policies over user-preference collection for advertising purposes, something that Facebook appears to be following suit with mid-decade. This was long before Edward Snowden blew the lid on his government’s monitoring, something that’s happening to citizens of other occidental nations, too.
   Sir Tim writes, ‘Through collaboration with—or coercion of—companies, governments are also increasingly watching our every move online, and passing extreme laws that trample on our rights to privacy. In repressive regimes, it’s easy to see the harm that can be caused—bloggers can be arrested or killed, and political opponents can be monitored. But even in countries where we believe governments have citizens’ best interests at heart, watching everyone, all the time is simply going too far. It creates a chilling effect on free speech and stops the web from being used as a space to explore important topics, like sensitive health issues, sexuality or religion.’
   But the one that struck me as very pertinent to publishing is Sir Tim’s second point. It’s the one that most news outlets seized on, linking it back to ‘fake news’, a term now corrupted by the executive branch of the US Government when attacking coverage that it doesn’t like. However, Sir Tim’s points were far broader than that. And it’s evident how his first point links to his second.
   It’s not hard to see that there is biased coverage on both the right and right wings of US politics (interestingly, they call it left and right), although Sir Tim points to how ‘a handful of social media sites or search engines’ show us the things that appeal to our own biases through their algorithms. ‘Fake news’ then spreads through these algorithms because they play to our prejudices. He writes, ‘those with bad intentions can game the system to spread misinformation for financial or political gain.’ These sites are able to determine what we see based on the data we’ve given them, willingly or unwillingly.
   It’s so far from the ideals of the World Wide Web that it’s sad that the medium, which was once so expansive and inspirational as we surfed from one site to the next to read and absorb information, has come to this: a tool for becoming more insular, the first path to the idiocracy.
   Google, as I wrote last year, biases itself toward larger sites, no longer rewarding the media outlet that breaks a news item. The incentive to be that maverick medium is, therefore, lessened greatly online, because the web isn’t being ranked on merit by the largest player in the search-engine business. It’s why Duck Duck Go, which doesn’t collect user data, gives search results that are generally fairer. We think it’s important to learn alternative viewpoints, especially in politics, otherwise the division that we already see in some countries will only deepen—and at worst this can lead to war. In peacetime countries, a compatriot with opposing political thoughts is not our enemy.
   Facebook’s continued data collection of user preferences is also dangerous. Even after users opt out, Facebook’s ad preferences’ page demonstrates that it will keep collecting. Whether or not Facebook then uses these preferences is unknown—certainly Facebook itself clams up—but since the site reports journalists who alert them to kiddie porn, kicks off drag queens after saying they wouldn’t, and forces people to download software in the guise of malware detection, who knows if any of Facebook’s positions are real or merely ‘fake news’? Knowing the misdeeds of sites like Facebook—and Google which itself has been found guilty of hacking—do they actually deserve our ongoing support?
   Of course I have an interest in getting people to look beyond the same-again players, because I run one media outlet that isn’t among them. But we have an interest to seek information from the independents, and to support a fair and neutral internet. We may learn an angle we hadn’t explored before, or we may find news and features others aren’t covering. Better yet, we may learn alternative viewpoints that break us out of our prejudices. Surely we can’t be that scared of learning about alternatives (maybe one that is better than what we believe), or having a reasoned debate based on fact rather than emotion or hatred? And if you are sharing on social media, do you want to be one of the sheep who uses the same click-bait as everyone else, or show that you’re someone who’s capable of independent thought?
   It shouldn’t be that difficult to distinguish fake-news sites from legitimate media (even though the line gets blurred) by looking at how well something is subedited and how many spelling mistakes there are. Perhaps the headlines are less emotive. There is a tier of independent media that deserves your support, whether it is this site or many competing ones that we’ve linked ourselves. Going beyond the same-again sources can only benefit us all.—Jack Yan, Publisher

Stars in their eyes


Chanel

Above: Chanel continues its long-running Comète collection.

Coco Chanel is known for embracing astrology. Her inspiration is reflected in many of her jewellery creations and designs years later. The star motif is highlighted within the Comète collection and while the lion, representative of the brand, is reminiscent of the city of Venezia and symbolic of her astrological sign. The designer’s influential vision comes to life within many of the intricately detailed pieces.
   To this day, astrology serves as a tool that could provide one with knowledge and even supposed explanatory perceptions. Fashion-focused entities and individuals have contemplated to what extent one’s rising sign or ascendant, representing the door to one’s identity, is correlated to one’s wardrobe and personal style. Some inquisitive individuals ponder about personalities, style and even probable futuristic outcomes in the financial field. The AstroTwins, Tali and Ophira Edut, who have been featured in a number of outlets, have given advice to a slew of celebrities. While they focus mainly on various predictions according to the stars, some have used astrology to tap in to the financial market. The Merriman Market Analyst is one of the many prominent sites that discuss and explain transformations and changes in planets that could serve in financial as well as everyday astrology. Other than the website, they have published books for international audiences, divulging and examining the planets and geocosmic aspects. According to the website’s disclaimer, ‘The hope is … it will help the reader understand the psychological dynamics that underlie (or coincide with) the news events …’ For decades, the founder continues to ponder on certain circumstances, whether on a weekly or yearly basis, leading a team of apprentices that follow in his footsteps.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor

Special features to kick off Lucire’s 20th anniversary year


NEWS  by Lucire staff/January 5, 2017/10.31


Paula Sweet

Above: Stanley Moss heads to Punta Ala in one of his best travel pieces to date. Click here to read it.

Welcome to Lucire’s 20th anniversary year.
   Remember that if you don’t see a news update (which will come with an RSS update), you can go to the main part of the website and check out our features.
   In the last couple of weeks, we’ve had Lola Cristall’s 2017 living guide; an archive interview with Thor director Taika Waititi; one of Stanley Moss’s best travel pieces to date, on five Italian centres, and another on Flemings in London; Elyse Glickman heading to Seoul, and Jack Yan testing the Mazda 3, or Mazda Axela. We’ve also looked at a natural skin care range, Kokulu, and made our picks from the spring–summer 2017 shows from New York Fashion Week.
   And, of course, there’s our print edition: issue 36 features stories on Delikate Rayne and author–filmmaker Leslie Zemeckis, and it’s a particularly strong issue on female power. Never mind the outcome of a certain country’s election: as Bhavana Bhim writes in the opening feature in issue 36, women have been increasing their power throughout the ages.
   Expect to see more of our Golden Globes’ suites coverage with Elyse Glickman this weekend in the news section, and more fashion, beauty, travel and living features through January.

UK modelling agencies fined £1·5 million; Models 1, Premier and Storm to appeal decision


NEWS  by Lucire staff/December 16, 2016/17.08


Above: Models 1 is one of three agencies appealing a decision by the UK Competition and Markets Authority.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has fined five modelling agencies a total of £1,533,500 for collusion, driving prices up for modelling services. The five agencies named were FM Models, Models 1, Premier, Storm and Viva, and their trade association, the Association of Model Agents (AMA).
   Models 1, Premier and Storm have stated that they would appeal the decision, calling the CMA’s findings ‘wholly mistaken’ and that the fines were disproportionate, outside the Authority’s own guidance.
   John Horner, managing director of Models 1, said, ‘We reached our decision to appeal the CMA’s findings without hesitation. It is clear that even after a 20-month investigation the CMA has failed to understand our complex industry.’ The agencies have said that the CMA has not stated any evidence that their activities have had a discernible effect on competition in the UK.
   â€˜The CMA is penalizing modelling agencies for seeking to maintain professional standards within the industry whilst also protecting the interests of young and vulnerable people,’ added Horner. ‘They are not improving the competitive environment but are damaging a small but important UK industry which is recognized as successful internationally.’
   The three agencies said their activities protected models’ interests and ensured a sustainable market that benefited consumers, the economy and society.
   In fact, they argue that competition is intense, with 10,000 models and 58 modelling agencies operating in the UK, and buyer power can be far stronger than that of agencies. They also point to falling revenue from modelling fees, which have dropped by 10 per cent since 2011.
   The CMA alleges that the price-fixing took place between April 2013 and March 2015 at the minimum, over a variety of assignments, from fashion magazine shoots to advertising campaigns. However, the services of top models were not affected by the collusion. This infringed the Competition Act 1998, which deems such anticompetitive behaviour illegal.
   â€˜The parties regularly and systematically exchanged information and discussed prices in the context of negotiations with particular customers. In some cases, the agencies agreed to fix minimum prices or agreed a common approach to pricing,’ said the CMA in a release. The CMA says that the AMA issued email circulars that pressured members to resist prices that were too low.
   The agencies appealing the decision say that the only communication that took place between them dealt with usage and publication rights, not the prices of modelling assignments. Warnings were issued about inappropriate contract terms over image rights, which have become a major issue since online retailing.
   The fines for each agency were: FM Models, £251,000; Models 1, £394,000; Premier, £150,000; Storm, £491,000; and Viva, £245,000. The AMA was fined £2,500.
   Penalties have been announced in France and Italy after investigations into the modelling services’ sector there.
   Yasmin Le Bon, Hannah Cassidy and former British Fashion Council COO Simon Ward have publicly defended the agencies.

In brief: Lily-Rose Depp at Planetarium première; Bruce Weber to be honoured at British Fashion Awards; H&M in Vietnam


NEWS  by Cecilia Xu/November 10, 2016/10.42


Pascal Le Segretain

Chanel is heavily promoting its new No. 5 L’Eau spokeswoman, Lily-Rose Depp, decking her out fully in fashion, accessories and make-up from the brand. On Tuesday, she was at the screening of Planetarium in Paris, a film by Rebecca Zlotowski in which she co-stars as Natalie Portman’s younger sister. She wore a Chanel black cotton jacket from the cruise 2016–17 collection, and the Coco Crush ring in 18 ct yellow gold. As a rising star, and the daughter of two major celebrities, Depp is attracting plenty of attention as her own acting career takes off.
   After opening in New Zealand, Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), the international fashion brand known for offering fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way, has signed for its first store openings in Vietnam during 2017. More information will follow, says the company. In 2017, H&M will also open in Colombia, Iceland, Kazakhstan and Georgia.
   Finally, the British Fashion Council announced earlier this week that photographer Bruce Weber, famed for his black-and-white portraits will receive its Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at the British Fashion Awards 2016. Weber will be honoured at this year’s ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall. Weber’s work has appeared in Vogue, Elle, Interview, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and other publications, and rose to prominence with the 1982 Calvin Klein campaign featuring Tom Hintnaus in Greece.—Cecilia Xu, with Lucire staff


Bruce Weber/Calvin Klein Advertising Archive

Above: Tom Hinthaus, photographed by Bruce Weber for Calvin Klein, 1982.

From supermodels to film: celebrating the work of Peter Lindbergh at Kunsthal Rotterdam


NEWS  by Lucire staff/June 16, 2016/13.41




Top: An image that kicked off the 1990s, with supermodels Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford in New York, appearing on the cover of British Vogue in January 1990. Copyright ©1990 by Peter Lindbergh (courtesy of Peter Lindbergh, Paris/Gagosian Gallery). Centre: Wild at Heart, with Cindy Crawford, Tatjana Patitz, Helena Christensen, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Karen Mulder and Stephanie Seymour, Brooklyn, 1991, appearing in Vogue. Copyright ©1991 by Peter Lindbergh (courtesy of Peter Lindbergh, Paris/Gagosian Gallery). Above: Kate Moss, Paris, 2015, wearing Giorgio Armani, spring–summer 2015. Copyright ©2015 by Peter Lindbergh (courtesy of Peter Lindbergh, Paris/Gagosian Gallery).

An exhibition on Polish-born, French-based photographer Peter Lindbergh, entitled Peter Lindbergh: a Different Vision on Fashion Photography, opens at the Kunsthal Rotterdam on September 10 at 5.30 p.m., running through February 12, 2017. It marks the first Dutch exhibition of Lindbergh’s work.
   Some of the most iconic fashion images of the past generation have been shot by Lindbergh, whose work is regularly seen in various editions of Vogue, and in The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, The Wall Street Journal Magazine, Visionaire, Interview and W. Exhibitions of his work have been held around the world beginning with the V&A in 1985. Lindbergh’s black-and-white 1990 Vogue photograph of Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford was one that helped cement the reputation of the supermodels, if not arguably kicking off the era itself. Lindbergh’s work gave a sense of reality about his subjects, with his humanist, documentary approach.
   Said Lindbergh in an Art Forum interview earlier this year, ‘A fashion photographer should contribute to defining the image of the contemporary woman or man in their time, to reflect a certain social or human reality. How surrealistic is today’s commercial agenda to retouch all signs of life and of experience, to retouch the very personal truth of the face itself?’
   The exhibition features over 220 photographs and includes exclusive and previously unseen material, including personal notes, Polaroids, storyboards, films and prints. It is divided into nine different sections, representing the different themes in Lindbergh’s creative development: Supermodels, Couturiers, Zeitgeist, Dance, the Darkroom, the Unknown, Silver Screen, Icons, and an exclusive Rotterdam Gallery. This final section contains Lindbergh’s work for the October 2015 issue of Vogue Nederland, with Lara Stone and Elise Hupkes at the Port of Rotterdam.
   Lindbergh’s critically acclaimed Models: the Film (1991) will be screened, along with interviews with Grace Coddington, Nicole Kidman, Mads Mikkelsen, Cindy Crawford and Nadja Auermann.
   Guest curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot points out that the exhibition is not chronological, but a narrative about the photographer.
   The Kunsthal Rotterdam noted, ‘Peter Lindbergh introduced a new realism into photography. His timeless images redefine the norms of beauty. Lindbergh’s visual idiom is influenced by the language of film and by playing with the type of the strong, self-willed woman, from the femme fatale to the heroine, but also the female dancer and the actress. His Å“uvre is characterized by portraits that radiate a certain lack of inhibition and physical grace.’
   The exhibition is accompanied by a hardcover monograph, Peter Lindbergh: a Different Vision on Fashion Photography, retailing for €59,99 (link at Amazon.de), US$69·99 (link at Amazon.com) or £44·99 (link at Amazon UK), curated by Loriot, designed by Paprika of Montréal, and published by Taschen. The introduction has been authored by Kunsthal director Emily Ansenk, while the book features an essay on Lindbergh’s work by Loriot with commentaries from, inter alia, Jean Paul Gaultier, Nicole Kidman, Grace Coddington, Cindy Crawford and Anna Wintour.

In brief: Paula Sweet releases new book; Kardashians and Jenners mobbed by paparazzi; Cannes controversies


NEWS  by Lucire staff/May 6, 2016/10.25


Many of you have enjoyed Paula Sweet’s photography in Lucire, and now you can have an entire volume of her work with her new book, Do Not.
   Paula has caught signs all over our planet during her travels, and asks in the synopsis, ‘In a world of limitation and regulation, how aware are you of the restrictions placed on your own existence?’
   The premise is an excellent one that encourages us to think: ‘In this collection of signs discovered all over Planet Earth, the artist and photographer Paula Sweet documents the shrinking area of personal freedom and encourages us to rethink the contrary: if a sign is to be placed, should it not encourage us to some productive or positive action?’
   Lucire readers can enjoy a 40 per cent discount for a limited time (US$39·56, marked down from US$65·94), commencing early May 2016, if you use this link here.
   Meanwhile, in the celebrity world, this latest compilation from Celebrity Wire shows how manic things are—and we don’t think there’s much personal freedom for some of these 2016 “names”. Except it isn’t signs restricting their freedom, but a gauntlet of paparazzi. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Kris Jenner are seen and photographed leaving homes and heading into clubs and restaurants; “it” couple Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom head into a waiting cab; new Calvin Klein fragrance face and rising actress Margot Robbie left her apartment; and Emma Roberts had lunch, and a dozen followed her home. Surprisingly, Justin Bieber kept a low profile as he walked through LAX, while Christina Applegate gave a thumbs-up but obscured the lower part of her face as she left the terminal. It’s definitely not the life, thank you!
   In our second video, Jane Fonda speaks about the second season of Grace and Frankie at the Netflix première. She notes that during the course of the new season, Grace realizes Frankie is good for her, and they become friends.
   Finally, with the Festival de Cannes about to kick off, Cover looks at five recent controversies to hit the event.


Celebritywire


Celebritywire


Cover

Gala honours Naomi Campbell, with guests Lena Gercke, Catherine Hummels, Eva Padberg, Franziska Knuppe


NEWS  by Lucire staff/April 3, 2016/12.49




Gisela Schober

Gala magazine in Germany celebrated its 20th anniversary Spa Awards at the Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden, awarding the best names in the cosmetics and hotel industries.
   Supermodel Naomi Campbell was named Beauty Idol of the Year, with the judges citing her various careers in modelling, acting and authoring, and her support of social projects.
   A Special Prize was awarded to Prof Michael Braungart, founder of environmental consulting institute EPEA and a supporter of conservation and the cradle-to-cradle principle.
   Other awards went to Givenchy for its Le Soin Noir Masque Dentelle (Luxury Concepts award), Dr Grandel for Beautygen Renew Body (Innovation Concepts), Weleda for Skin Food Hautcreme (Cult Concepts), Skinceuticals for Metacell Renewal B3 (Men Concepts), Börlind for Beauty Shots Intensiv Konzentrate (Organic Concepts), Clarins for the Art of Touch (Treatment Concepts), Royal Mansour of Morocco (Luxury Hotel City–Resort), and the Four Seasons Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru (Innovative Spa Concepts).
   Guests at the event included Eva Padberg, Stephanie Stumph, Ursula Karven, Catherine Hummels, Julia Dietze, model Lena Gercke, Dagmar Kögel and her daughter Alana Siegel, Jochen Llambi and Motsi Mabuse, Jorge Gonzalez, Franziska Knuppe, Stefan Konarske, Lisa Martinek, Erol Sander and Caroline Godet, Jochen Schropp, Carolina Vera and Birthe Wolter. Barbara Schöneberger was MC and singer Philipp Dittberner performed live at the event.
   Other sponsors included BMW, Cadenzza, Emcur Bio Matcha, Fabletic, Moroccanoil, Pommery, Talbot Runhof and Und Gretel.

























Gisela Schober, Axel Kirchhof

Thoroughly modern Lili


NEWS  by Elyse Glickman/March 13, 2016/21.05



On the International Day of the Woman, author and filmmaker Leslie Zemeckis invited famous friends and admirers to celebrate the life of groundbreaking stripteuse Lili St Cyr. Indeed, the ‘Goddess of Love Incarnate’ would have been proud!
   During her Lucire photo session, author and filmmaker Leslie Zemeckis observed that burlesque Lili St Cyr would have felt quite at home amid the cinematic splendour of the landmark Culver Hotel in Culver City. Further more, she would have thoroughly been in her element at Zemeckis’s book signing of her latest book, Goddess of Love Incarnate: the Life of Stripteuse Lili St Cyr.
   A staid meet-and-greet with a card table this wasn’t. Boobs, Books & Burlesque was an all-out, go-for-broke night of glamour featuring signature Exotic Lili drinks hosted by Eppa SupraFruta Sangria, and steaming hot hors d’Å“uvres coming out of the the Culver Hotel kitchen. Zemeckis made a grand entrance in an elaborate Christopher Kane dress and custom-made Kokin headpiece.
   Celebrities such as Christopher Lloyd and Kelsey Grammer were among the stars who came out to support Zemeckis and the event’s beneficiary, the Dr Susan Love Research Foundation. The enthusiastic crowd cheered on modern burlesque queens April Showers (the current reigning Miss Hollywood Burlesque) and Maxi Millions. The period vibe was further enhanced by the ’40s and ’50s song stylings of Sylvia and the Rhythm Boys.
   Proceeds from the book and party were dedicated to the Dr Susan Love Research Foundation, for a future without breast cancer. The same went for a lavish auction featuring luxury trips to Amsterdam, Chile and Barcelona, as well as one-of-a-kind experiences, including astronaut training and an Ultimate Sports Fan getaway.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor




Michael Lynn

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