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August 17, 2016

H&M opens first store in New Zealand in October 2016

Lucire staff/13.13

International Swedish retailer, Hennes & Mauritz, will open in New Zealand on October 1.
   The new store will be located at Sylvia Park, Auckland, and span two storeys and 2,300 m². The new store will have men, women, youth and children’s apparel and accessories. The H&M Studio collection for autumn–winter 2016–17 (above) will appear at the store, as well as the Modern Essentials by David Beckham collection.
   ‘We are excited to be making progress on our arrival in New Zealand and look forward to welcoming customers through the doors of H&M at Sylvia Park on the 1st of October,’ said Hans Andersson, Country Manager for H&M Australia and New Zealand in a release.
   The store will open at 10 a.m. on October 1. Regular hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. all days, except for Thursday and Friday, when it will close at 9 p.m.
   Lucire has been covering the growth of the retailer since 1998, and noted its pioneering programmes in corporate social responsibility and designer collaborations.

June 13, 2016

Zlatan Ibrahimović launches A–Z sportswear line; Aéropostale shows off summer ’16 trends

Lucire staff/20.24



Aéropostale, Inc. has announced its summer 2016 trends. The international retailer, with 744 stores in the US and Puerto Rico, 41 in Canada and 310 licensees globally, says the season is about getting away, with a range showcasing a classic, simple, retro look. For women, the trends are ‘Topanga Canyon’, a boho-chic, ’60s look; ‘The Left Coast’, inspired by southern California surf culture with vibrant citrus colours; and ‘Castaway’, light and airy looks with floral prints and water-related motifs. For men, Aéropostale forecasts ‘Wet ’n’ Wild’, with bright, coral shades; ‘Nocturnal Surf’, with neon shades mixed with black and contrasted with grey and white; and ‘Tropic Thunder’, with tropical jungle colours.
   Professional footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović has launched his A–Z sportswear line, with a stark, début video about determination and proving the doubters wrong. ‘Play them, beat them, surprise them, never show weakness. Who will conquer? I will,’ says Ibrahimović in his video. ‘You will sweat, cry, scream, bleed … Only one thing will take you from A to Z: you.’ The video was created by Forsman & Bodenfors and directed by Philippe Templeman.
   Ibrahimović says he was driven by what he went through in his past. ‘All the hard work. Feeling different, from where I came. There wasn’t a lot of opportunities. But I took my opportunity. I trained harder than everybody else. I needed to be ten times better than the other ones, because of my background and because of where I came from. This is my way of giving back to all the people out there. This is the people’s brand. I am the people’s man. That is the way it is.’




Daniel Blom/Acne Photography

April 26, 2016

Panos Emporio revolutionizes men’s swimwear with Meander, launched in Stockholm today

Lucire staff/8.00



The swimwear designer Panos Papadopoulos, whose Panos Emporio label celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is breaking new ground once again, this time in relation to men’s swimwear.
   Panos Emporio, which is known in many countries for giving women the perfect fit, addresses the needs of the modern man, with a new design, Meander.
   The launch today at NK in Stockholm is one which Panos Emporio has put a great deal of energy into: the new design is set to do for men’s swimwear what Panos’s earlier design, the highly adaptable Paillot, did for women’s swimwear in its markets.
   However, Meander is set to reach more than Panos Emporio’s traditional markets in the Nordic countries and Thailand, and there has already been interest from beyond these nations.
   Again it was Panos’s own sociological background—it is the area he formally trained in—that kicked in, allowing him to observe something other designers missed. He also credits his Greek background—he was born in Greece before emigrating to Sweden in the 1980s—and notes that the ancient Greeks had records of early swimwear.
   He observed a few trends: the long trunks in men’s swimwear as surf fashion began influencing the genre in the 1990s, yet such styles restricted men’s movement in sports and swimming. Anatomically, Panos notes that men found current swimming trunks to be uncomfortable. There was an unhygienic trend also emerging, with some men preferring to swim with their underwear on, while there were more beaches banning the practice of men swimming in their underwear in lieu of proper swimming shorts.
   Finally, and perhaps most critically, men were rolling up the legs of their swimming trunks, for either movement, practicality, fashion or more complete tanning—he saw not only everyday men do this, but Giorgio Armani, and footballers Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Zlatan Ibrahimović.
   Meander addresses all these needs with a number of features. For starters, wearers can roll up the legs on the Meander design, and fasten them. Inside, there’s a mesh lined inner brief that’s extra soft and comfortable, so there are no more anatomic issues. Finally, the fabric is quick-dry.
   Panos has improved the design to make it more stylish, and the resulting first style for Meander recalls his Greek heritage.
   ‘Meander is a revolution, giving freedom for men to decide for themselves how their swimming shorts should fit them. They’re suitable for showing off well trained thighs, and those who want to avoid zebra stripes [when they tan]. Who wants to walk around with different shades on their thighs?’ he notes.



April 11, 2016

Rebecca Ferguson on the attraction of dual roles in Despite the Falling Snow

Lucire staff/13.20

Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson talked to the media recently about her dual roles in writer–director Shamim Sarif’s Despite the Falling Snow.
   Sarif wrote the 2004 novel, set in two different times: 1950s Cold War Moskva, and 1992 in the same city and in London following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2013, the film adaptation, which she directed, was announced.
   The film also stars Charles Dance, Antje Traue, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Anthony Head.
   Ferguson plays both Katya, a KGB spy in the 1950s, and Lauren, Katya’s niece and a New York artist in 1992, in the film. The film sees Katya fall in love with a politician whom she has been ordered to spy on.
   The dual roles were ‘one of the reasons to why I did it,’ says Ferguson. ‘I met Shamim. She told me this incredible story. I hadn’t read the book yet. I remember thinking, “You’re going to play two characters, I’m going to walk away, I could never do that.”’ The challenge eventually drew Ferguson in to the film.
   Ferguson, who is fluent in Swedish and English without a trace of an accent in either, is best known for her role in Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation.


Celebritywire

H&M launches M.I.A.’s ‘Rewear It’ to mark World Recycle Week; Olivia Wilde supports Conscious Collection

Lucire staff/10.27



Max Larsson

Olivia Wilde is the face of H&M’s Conscious Collection, and promoted it in New York last week alongside her friend Barbara Burchfield.
   She wore a lace skirt and matching blouse from the range, complemented by a Balenciaga leather jacket.
   Wilde and Burchfield co-founded Conscious Commerce, which she discusses in our video below. Her venture encourages companies to work in sustainability into their day-to-day operations, and says that H&M is a good ally, a company that proves that one does not need to sacrifice style for nobler aims.
   On a related note, H&M today (April 11) launches its campaign for World Recycle Week 2016, with a video entitled ‘Rewear It’, featuring British performer M.I.A., who also composed the song exclusively for the company.
   The video encourages people to recycle old or unwanted clothes. The Swedish giant says M.I.A. ‘personifies the conscious consumer with a social awareness.’
   Aaron Sillis choreographed the video, which runs for 3 minutes, 37 seconds and features a cast of music and dance artists and allies in sustainability, shot all over the world.
   H&M aims to collect 1,000 tonnes of unwanted or worn-out garments from its customers worldwide, through its 3,600 stores. It is part of the company’s goal to close the loop in fashion, recycling unwanted garments to create textile fibres for new products.
   ‘World Recycle Week is about embracing important environmental issues such as the landfills, and highlighting a global movement,’ she says.

March 3, 2016

H&M Studio shows its autumn–winter 2016–17 collection at Paris Fashion Week

Lucire staff/9.23




H&M

Swedish retailer H&M showed its Studio collection for autumn–winter 2016–17 at Paris Fashion Week, at the Bourse de Commerce, last night, on a catwalk patterned after a frozen lake.
   The company says the collection was inspired by ‘strong women and the beauty of independent minds.’
   The collection had a sense of glamour mixed with Bohemian chic and Swedish folklore, with oversized coats, soft forms, ruffles, sheer fabrics, gaucho hats and cowboy boots.
   Amber Valletta, Jourdan Dunn, Freja Beha Erichsen, Ashley Graham, Soo Joo Park and Hari Nef walked the catwalk, while Emma Roberts, Ciara, Atlanta de Cadenet, Olivia Palermo, Pat Cleveland, Ashley Graham, Pernilla Tiesbaek, Suki Waterhouse, Gabriel Day Lewis, Hari Nef, Andreja Pejić and Kate Mara were among the 600 guests attending the show.
   Hennes & Mauritz’s Ann-Sofie Johansson and Margareta van den Bosch were also present for the big night.
   Music was composed by Nicolas Godin of Air, with his track, ‘Mystery Lake’, created especially for the show. A choir performed its track live at the venue.
   The collection goes on sale in 200 stores and online from September 8, 2016.















H&M

February 29, 2016

Doris Bergman’s Style Lounge and Party: style and substance before the Oscars

Leyla Messian/7.42



Felix Salzman

While the presence of an ultra high-tech Maserati Ghibli and a customized McLaren 570S Coupe make a strong first impression, I was more interested in finding out what Doris Bergman had in store for VIP celebrities and talent involved in the 2016 Academy Awards. I was looking for items that would appeal to as many people as possible, especially with all of this year’s focus on making the Oscars more diverse.
   Doris always supports a charity that’s all inclusive. Wednesday’s Child is showcased in a weekly segment by Los Angeles news presenter Christine Devine. Wednesday’s Child assists harder-to-place children in the LA County foster care system. True to form, Doris once again hosted two foster teens in need of adoptive families. They received the VIP treatment, receiving wonderful products from the sponsors as well.
   If one is looking for colours other than white, Single Dress and Kaya de Koko deliver dresses and tops in a multitude of Technicolor jewel tones and prints reminiscent of vintage 1950s fabrics. No LBDs here. Instead, there’s a garden of pink, gold and red butterflies and blossoms scattered across waves of aqua fabric. I was pleasantly surprised to find plus sizes next to the familiar petites. Designer Galina Sobolev is focused on dressing real women. The same holds true for Samiah, whose 18th century-inspired custom coats can be tailored to fit men and women of all sizes and shapes. As this event was staged a few days after Valentine’s Day, I could not imagine anything more romantic than being bundled up in red satin-lined black brocade. Antique buttons grace every coat, while faux fur embellishes dramatic hoods and collars.
   I felt ready to go out to the forest and gather herbs, but Pura d’Or and the 2-Minute Club had already done that for me. Their 20 per cent vitamin C anti-ageing oil is made from alœ vera, jelly mushroom, witch hazel bark and argan oil—a forest in a bottle that smooths fine lines and regenerates the skin. Their 100 per cent argan oil is an all-purpose beauty serum that hydrates the body, face and hair. It accentuates curls, prevents hair loss, protects the skin against the ravages of dry climates, reduces under-eye puffiness, and softens cuticles.
   Also rooted in nature is Ascend Cleanse, a pair of mind-body detox teas. Guayusa, the major ingredient of the Awaken tea, is prized by shamans throughout the Amazon. The dream-inducing guayusa is one of the world’s few caffeinated holly trees. Indigenous people say that one sip will bring you back to the Amazonian rainforest (while reducing bloating and other digestive issues). The Dreams tea, true to its name, uses catnip, chamomile and mugwort to evoke prophetic dreams and stimulate mental clarity.
   Twisted Silver, which unites the mined with the manmade, brought the rugged beauty of the southwest to Hollywood. Scraps of Victorian copper mesh becomes a double wrap bracelet or gothic choker. Chards of gypsum crystal from a St George, Utah mine dangle from bronze lariats and earrings. Geometric bracelets made from the leftover bronze button holes of Michael Jackson’s concert jackets were a hit with celebrities.
   I ended the day with a double dose of pre-Oscar fun. First, I enjoyed a sip of Rekorderlig cider in the passionfruit flavour, which was refreshing and slightly sweet. The reps told me the line is very popular in New Zealand. South Island Kiwis facing a cold winter can look forward to their recently launched spiced apple cider, which can be served hot with a slice of orange. Next, I sampled a savoury and sour cucumber margarita, compliments of Azul Imperial Tequila.
   Romantic, yet real, Doris Bergman once again pleased press and celebrities alike with an afternoon of post-Valentine’s pleasure.—Leyla Messian, Los Angeles Correspondent


Victor Leung









February 26, 2016

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Speed of Light: sophisticated, modern classics lead New Zealand Festival

Jack Yan/14.13



Bill Cooper


Maarten Holl

Above, from top: Selon désir, with dancers Abigail Boyle and Loughlan Prior. In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, with Mayu Tanigaito. With tiles and cacti in Cacti.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Speed of Light, kicking off the New Zealand Festival in Wellington on Friday night, comprised an enjoyable contemporary programme that showed the strength of this world-class company. The first programme put together by Francesco Ventriglia in his role as the RNZB’s artistic director, it showed how prepared the dancers were to embrace a series of challenging and inspirational modern classics just as readily as they have taken on more traditional fare. The three are united, notes Ventriglia, by the idea of light and its precision and power; to us, it’s the relevance of each of the three ballets’ themes: all different, all giving us food for thought. Ventriglia has shown a sophistication and an understanding of the deeper meanings of ballet in choosing these particular three, which we heartily recommend.
   Selon désir kicked off the evening, choreographed by Andonis Foniadakis. The RNZB had already performed this work in the UK and Italy, but tonight saw its New Zealand première. First performed by the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève in 2004, this is a particularly powerful work set to Bach, with an introduction with an electronic score composed by Julien Tarride. Alayna Ng started alone, moving energetically on to the stage, loose hair flying and her body dropping to the floor, before fifteen other dancers join her in quick succession, marching on and danced with assertiveness, but carried so gracefully. The two Bach choruses—the St Matthew and St John Passions—add to the atmosphere, with the strings adding to the beauty of the movements; a pas de deux in the middle of the performance showed just how free the movements were, and how Foniadakis’s ideas of agony and martyrdom could still be danced with such grace and fluidity. The colours of the costumes—men and women in tops and skirts—are earthy, inspired by Renaissance paintings, and they were equally loose, adding to the sense of flight across the stage.
   This was in contrast to In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, which had been commissioned by Rudolf Nureyev for the Paris Opéra Ballet, choreographed by William Forsythe, who also designed the lighting, stage and costumes. Premièring in 1987, the second ballet is very much a product of its time, with electric performances from the RNZB: turquoise leotards that showed off the muscular frames; indulgent, abrupt movements; dancers posing while others pulsed; and an electronic score by Thom Willems that shocked from its very first note. In 1987, Forsythe was fêted for In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, with how charged it was to audiences; it still has the capacity to do that today. The theme remains classical, but it’s in the power and the challenge to classical ideas that makes In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated fresh. Every decade, certainly since this ballet’s creation, has had its disrupters; so much so that that term is now embedded as a desirable trait in entrepreneurial activity. That’s the best way to think of In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated: a ballet that inspires us to shake the establishment in our own lives.
   After such heady themes, Cacti brought a dose of humour. Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman used his national culture’s appreciation of irony: this is a country that quietly celebrates fame, for instance. Ventriglia says that this was the work he wanted to stage with the RNZB, even before he was appointed. This postmodern work, first performed in the Netherlands in 2010, parodies the reviews of contemporary dance and the affectations therein. A spoken introduction read by Spenser Theberge samples such pretentious words, as 16 dancers arrive atop their tiles, dancing, clapping and shouting within their very restricted spaces, before a surreal scene where they each bring a cactus plant on to the stage. It’s not meant to "mean" anything—even if Theberge’s reading in artsy-luvvie terms suggests cacti truly know what comes from standing the Earth’s soil, unlike dancers who merely perform on the ground. But the meaninglessness of over-analysis is part of the beauty of it, just as the lighting rig comes down to restrict the dancers from above; or a dot-matrix sign flashes the ballet’s name from the wings. It’s designed to poke fun at clichés and of the modern media and marketing landscape. This is the wit of the ballet, made even more obvious by the pas de deux which lets us hear the dancers’ thoughts, deconstructing the complexity and beauty of ballet into almost banal statements, before a stuffed black cat is thrown from above the stage on to the floor, a shrieking meow accompanying its fall.
   The New Zealand String Quartet accompanies this final performance, with recorded music forming most of the central part. The work is more familiar here, with compositions from Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert. Cheekily, the RNZB has reproduced the spoken-word text in the programme (a must, incidentally), as well as the stream-of-consciousness thoughts of the duet from the characters Aram and Riley. Humour aside, this was beautifully performed: the 16 dancers on their tiles kept the audience entertained despite lacking the freedom of movement of Selon désir, while the duet was cleverly executed, with the deconstruction actually enhancing one’s appreciation of the fluid movements.
   It always helps to end things on a fun note, especially as Speed of Light starts the New Zealand Festival, and the levity is bound to get audiences talking. And rightly so. This was a highly entertaining contemporary programme, and it’s heartening to note that the Royal New Zealand Ballet will take this to the Auckland Arts’ Festival as well as to the South Island next.
   Dates for Speed of Light are: Wellington, February 26 to 28 inclusive; Auckland, March 2–6; Christchurch, March 10–12; Dunedin, March 16. For booking information, visit www.rnzb.org.nz.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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