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April 16, 2014

GBK’s 2014 MTV Movie Awards’ celebration: tech and trends

Elyse Glickman/11.29


Leave it to event planning master and philanthropist Gavin B. Keilly to transform SLS’s ballroom into a more intimate space showcasing great charities and some choice must-haves for summer.
   As usual, funds and awareness were raised for some worthwhile charities, including Los Angeles Youth Network (which aids abused, neglected and homeless adolescents in becoming sufficient through street outreach, food, emergency shelter, a transitional living programme, and educational enrichment programmes), the Santa Monica branch of the American Red Cross, and Autism Speaks.
   Lambda Legal, going strong after four decades, provided press a real scoop on Day 1 of the suite about their West Coast Liberty Awards, taking place June 13 at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire. Scandal’s Dan Bucatinsky (who won an Emmy for his work as James Novak, elevating and broadening America’s conversation on LGBT issues), will be honoured with a Spotlight Liberty Award. He joins an industrious group that includes Lance Bass, Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffith, Alan Cumming and Judith Light. The awards show bolsters Lambda Legal’s efforts to encourage equal and fair treatment of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
   Even with a more relaxed vibe than GBK’s dos for the Oscars and Golden Globes, the spotlight is, true to form, on luxuries big and small that bring convenience and style to one’s home and social life. A coffee-table book by internationally renowned interior designer Sandra Espinet is perhaps one of the most aspirational gifts offered at the suite—pages and pages of global chic put together by a woman whose travels and life story are as enviable as the rooms she’s created for her top-tier clientèle. Onkyo USA provided a nice aural balance to that with its sleek and chic headphones merging precision hi-fi technology with an IOS-certified 6N copper cable designed to control media playback and accept or reject calls from compatible Apple devices. Its titanium drivers reproduce an exceptionally wide dynamic range, resolving hidden details and creating a spacious atmosphere.
   Fashionistas who prefer their earbuds more discreet would appreciate Audiopark’s Audiowrap, fashioned with beads and bling that camouflage the buds and coil up into a snappy bracelet. Qupid, meanwhile, provided fashion-forward shoes made from “vegan” leather, and Thursday Friday translated designer bags and runway-inspired graphics into a canvas carry-all format. Adding to the list of eco-friendly chic was Pono Woodworks’ Surfrider watch, transforming rare Hawai‘ian koa wood into a stylish, unisex beach to boardroom timepiece.
   After a short hiatus, the Artisan Group was back and better than ever, with a display of gorgeous, statement-making baubles, bracelets, earrings and accessories. While the luck is in the draw of whatever surprise goodie bag you are given, there were some particularly wonderful things in mine from Lucinda de Castro, Shirleybird Jewellery, Andrea Designs, Firefly Myst and Gamiworks.
   Nibbles on hand included decadent treats from Barry’s Gourmet Brownies, Jackson’s Honest Potato Chips and wonderful spirits from Deep Eddy Vodka, an Austin, Texas brand made with real ingredients and 10 times distilled vodka. Guests received a four-pack of Deep Eddy Vodka (50 ml each of Straight, Ruby Red, Sweet Tea, Cranberry). Ripped Cream, a natural protein coffee creamer, offered a jolt of flavour and energy to balance out the caffeine buzz of one’s favourite coffee.
   Celebrities on hand during day one included Omar Epps (House, Resurrection), Paige Turco (The 100), Tiya Sircar (The Crazy Ones), Tara Holt (Californication), Percy Daggs (the Veronica Mars movie), Rebecca Mader (Once Upon a Time), Shannon Beador (the newest cast member on The Real Housewives of OC), Caitlin Carmichael (Chosen), Carlitos Olivero (The X Factor USA), and Donna d’Errico (Baywatch).—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor

















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March 8, 2014

Top of the world and top of the Beverly Hilton with top beauty finds

Elyse Glickman/8.29

So many suites, so little time. However, one that was literally head, shoulders and eight storeys above the rest was the TMG International Red Carpet Ready Luxury Suite, which was very international in its products and its welcoming vibe for a carefully curated guest list of celebrities, VIPs and media. The set up atop the Beverly Hilton Hotel had a funhouse feel—albeit a most glamorous funhouse for sophisticated fashionistas—with each room having its own set of surprises that popped out at you.
   TMG International’s pre-Oscar thrill ride started off in a front room of a penthouse suite set up almost like a velvet-lined jewellery box focused on the dazzling and highly covetable gold accented sterling silver pieces from Ariva, a Rhode Island-based company focused on reconciling the look and craftsmanship of fine jewellery with the prices of silver “investment” pieces that could be worn every day. Though these precious items were there for the trying and the borrowing, the company’s representatives couldn’t have been nicer or more genuine about the enthusiasm about their collection.
   You could say the second room was the “family room”. Moms and Moms-to-be received a lovely care package from Rockabye Mommy, a “Mommy concierge” that puts together personal and customized shopping for the selective prospective parent. Their nifty package was geared toward girly glam, with baby jewellery, barettes and bib for baby, and leggings, camera strap and organic fruit and vegetable wash for Mom. The affiliation from Kitson brought more Hollywood Mommy-and-me street cred to the charming bundle.
   Grown-up men and women could protect and accentuate their personal bundles with shapewear by Rounderbum. Made in Mexico, these underpinnings feel cotton-soft on the skin, with some pieces adding stylish flair while holding the essentials in place. Adding extra ambiance was LifeNSoul’s candy-coloured line of high-performance earphones, high-tech ear buds and speakers.
   Although we were breezed past the hair salon room, which was packed to the rafters with VIPs hoping to salvage their rain-soaked tresses, our lovely escort led us to the next room, which took the form of a luxury day spa with Montana-based skin care line Sevique prominently featured. As celebrities were pampered with treatments such as the ‘Eye Relaxation with Anti Aging Benefits’, ‘Facial Massage with Deep Cleansing & Protection’, and ‘Neck & Décolleté Hydration & Anti Aging Massage’, Sevique’s founder Susan Nickell and other reps highlighted step- by-step benefits of their natural, cruelty-free products while focusing on guests’ red-carpet ready concerns such as close-up interviews and strapless gowns.
   From the serenity of the Sevique spa, we then thought we landed in Barbie’s Dream House, awash in pink. However, it was a showcase for Cocoa Brown Tanning, devised by Irish inventor Marissa Carter, who, with her doting mother, showed how her three products used together could add a very convincing and realistic glow even to the fairest Irish rose (as opposed to US House Speaker John Boehner orange). A short passage to India concluding our journey, with a room that featured the Icandy Salon from San Francisco, and SHAPES Brow Bar, which brings Indian threading to many locations through southern California, including Sherman Oaks Fashion Square. The teams in that room would not rest, or let us get up, until we were looking our very best (at least under rainy circumstances).—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor



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January 20, 2014

Six young designers selected for Rotterdam museum, to exhibit alongside Viktor & Rolf, Martin Margiela

Lucire staff/9.29


Iris van Herpen/Jean Baptiste Mondino


Karl Giant

Top Iris van Herpen is among the six winners of the Han Nefkens Fashion on the Edge Awards. Above Olek of Poland, also on the winners’ list.

An exhibition, The Future of Fashion Is Now, will open on October 11, 2014 and run to January 18, 2015 at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, featuring the works of Viktor & Rolf, Christophe Coppens, Martin Margiela, Hussein Chalayan, and others.
   Additionally, six young fashion designers will feature among the 60 who will exhibit, having just won the Han Nefkens Fashion on the Edge Awards.
   To find the emerging designers, 20 international scouts selected two or three designers for the exhibition and the Han Nefkens Fashion on the Edge Award. A jury of six—made up of Viktor & Rolf, Vogue Nederland editor-in-chief Karin Swerink, Vassilis Zidianakis, Han Nefkens and José Teunissen, selected the final six.
   The winners are Iris van Herpen (the Netherlands), Craig Green (Great Britain), Dolci & Kabana (Australia), Olek (Poland), Digest Design (China) and Lucco (Peru).
   The Award, the brainchild of Nefkens and Tenuissen, supports fashion talent, offering designers the opportunity of creating new work, then given on perpetual loan to the museum.
   Swerink notes that the winners ‘had to engage, inspire and surprise me. All six designers met these three criteria.’
   The six will not fly blind: the jury will assist them up to the opening, says the Museum. The public can follow the process online.
   ‘The exhibition addresses the critical position young fashion designers adopt towards the fashion system and the role of clothing in today’s society. Sustainability, new technologies and the value of clothing for the identity of an individual or a community are themes with which they open the discussion about fashion of the future,’ says the Museum.


Santos Román



Above The jury included Han Nefkens, Karin Swerink, and Viktor & Rolf.

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January 12, 2014

Bugatti shows menswear and accessories for autumn–winter 2014–15 at exclusive event

Lucire staff/12.56



Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Bugatti, Volkswagen AG’s most exclusive brand with its heritage in Alsace, has extended into menswear at the autumn–winter 2014–15 Milano shows, as part of what it calls its Lifestyle Brand project.
   The “blue carpet” event on Friday was held at Casa Manzoni, the home of the nineteenth-century poet Alessandro Manzoni, in association with L’Uomo Vogue, hosted by editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani and Bugatti Automobiles SAS president Wolfgang Schreiber. Guests included Gaia Trussardi, Stephen Dorff, Anna Dello Russo, Gaia Trussardi, Dean and Dan Caten, Leonardo Ferragamo, Moncler chairman Remo Ruffini, the President of the Italian National Chamber of Fashion Mario Boselli, Cecilia Capriotti and Andrea Perone, Carlo Mazzoni, Leonardo Ferragamo and his sons Pietro and Riccardo, Luca Calvani, Elke Palmaers, Carlo Borromeo, Marta Ferri, and André van Noord.
   The capsule collection, made in Italy, is meant to highlight the same values as Bugatti itself, namely ‘art, form, technique’. The clothing débuts along with an exclusive Bugatti bag.
   Fabrics for the EB (Ettore Bugatti) tailored clothing lines (Flamboyant, Formal Wear and Blue Carpet Soirée) have come from Biella, while the Bugatti Extreme Performance outdoor line uses high-tech treatments and processes. Both follow the philosophy of the cars: über-luxury through some of the highest and most exclusive technology. The company also says the collection blends ‘Italian creativity, French savoir-vivre and German engineering’.
   The collection will be sold through exclusive Bugatti boutiques, the first of which will open in Hong Kong and Beijing, highlighting where the brand’s growth markets are.









Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images










Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

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December 28, 2013

Ready for ’14: a new look for Lucire’s home page

Jack Yan/11.04



Above Out with the old, in with the new—with J-Law doing the honours as the first cover girl of the new look. (It was Kylie Minogue a year ago.)

Our home page has had a nip–tuck today. Well, it’s closer to a full redesign.
   During 2013, there seems to have been a trend toward longer and longer web pages, probably thanks to mobile devices and tablets, and our ease of “swiping”.
   This has changed the way we consume web publications, although the new design breaks a few rules that were de rigueur when we started in 1997.
   If you head there today, you’ll see a more impressive, “bled” home page image (Jennifer Lawrence is the ideal person to kick this off—especially if you read my ‘Newsmakers of 2013’ story) but the menu bar isn’t where you expect it to be.
   We still haven’t quite got there in terms of making the page perfect for lower resolutions—some images still don’t resize properly—but we will make these corrections through 2014.
   One of our advertisers, Vidal Sassoon, was arguably the inspiration behind the new look. While we can’t be quite as fancy—a magazine must still present easily digestible facts first, and dazzle with new products second—we began rethinking how Lucire should look. We also felt, that with how quickly blogs had caught up with magazine-style layouts, we had to differentiate ourselves again.
   It’s interesting to note that the last redesign for Lucire’s home page took place around this time last year—and at the time, we all thought the new look would last us for a couple of years (as most have). It’s the shortest stint of any home-page look Lucire has had in its 16-year history.
   Internally, we feel the new look is closer to that of the print editions of Lucire, which only makes sense. Each should reinforce the other.
   We’ll phase in the new look, as we want to wait to get your feedback.
   I mentioned my ‘Newsmakers’ story earlier. Click through here and see if you agree with our team’s top six for 2013. We didn’t include Miley.
   Have a wonderful 2014, and please let us know your thoughts on the redesign in the comments or via our social media presences (we’ve had a few positive ones on our Facebook group and our Facebook page).—Jack Yan, Publisher

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December 27, 2013

Polaroid projection: originality in the digital age

Anna Deans/0.49

In a modern context, we look to social media to promote us and to expand our visibility in the world. Images are posted and reposted, only to be reposted again. Even this blog is an attempt to promote what I want the world to see of myself, to reach more people than I see in the reality of my day-to-day life.
   I like to believe I belong outside the technological generation we live in. My mind constantly ponders the idea of living in the ’60s or ’70s. A better generation, perhaps? I like the less commercial, less complex nature of this time. Every photograph had vastly more value than in the throwaway mentality of today. This may, however, seem crazy to those who grew up at this time, as the ’60s was no question the dawn of what we would recognize as modern commercialism. They believed factories and the extreme speed of the making of new products, including the production of photography, was exciting and beneficial. And perhaps it is … or not.
   Twenty thirteen represents a time of contradictions: it continues to promote fast consumption while emphasizing the need to slow things down. This concept makes me wonder about my obsessive need for things to be both one-off, special and not designed to be used and thrown out. My 1970s Polaroid is a prime example. What do I love about it? Its tactile nature. Its reality: the touchable nature of the images, they are an object that is not purely a series of pixels inside my Mac. Maybe what I love most, though, is the inability to fake it. The images can’t be staged: they are taken once, printed out and that’s it. No Photoshop. No filter. Nothing. They are what they are and due to cost of film, it seems crazy to throw any out. Whereas on my Iphone millions of images are taken, deleted, altered, posted, etc. It’s no longer the exciting act of capturing a moment; it has become something quite different. Once posted, they become freely accessible to anybody and have the ability to be endlessly copied to the point of no longer being original. I contradict my hate of this, however, by photographing the Polaroid photos themselves, and posting. Otherwise, how would anybody see their beauty? Therefore, the same fate can fall to my photos of photos. Maybe having the only original for myself in a physical state makes me have less hate for this copying.
   The mindset I have about everyone needing to see the photos is very 21st-century, however. The ’60s saw no need for everyone you know to see your images, purely those who took the time to look through your photo albums, those close to you, not the public or, frankly, anyone in the world who wants to look.
   I find myself loving and hating the digital age. I hate the lack of original thought of how it is now, though the transmission of imagery. But I love its ability to share imagery with more people. I love that my friend Kat in the US can see what I’m doing, but I hate that she will never know if I chucked a filter on to make it look more sunny or me more tanned. In the same sense, I love my Polaroid because it is void of the perils of the Photoshop age where everyone is altered to be perfect or the same. Once again who wants to be the same: that’s not beautiful is it?
   This hatred of un-originality is repeated in all aspects of my life. My hate for chain stores: all looking like clones of one another. Copying another style, that really grills me. I open a trashy OK magazine only to find I can buy the exact outfit Kim Kardashian is wearing today. So if I shop where she shops and wear what she’s wearing I will be better or look better? Is that the point? I’m struggling to get it. This obviously is also enabled by the transmitting of imagery.
   Don’t get me wrong, I have women I admire in terms of style, but that doesn’t make me want to be them or look identical to them. Strangely enough, I want to be myself. I want to look like nobody else. My face already does that as does my voice, my personality and my life experiences so I want my fashion to be also. I like to think the way I put things together is a direct representation of me and me alone. More than anything I hate the lack of ownership over images, as well as personal style. I believe the celebrating of originality is strongly lacking in our modern context. Perhaps what I love most about my Polaroid in that case, is the one-off nature of every single image. This is how I want my style to be also: one-off, like me.—Anna Deans

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November 20, 2013

Official photos and video: Jaguar launches F-type coupé at Los Angeles Auto Show

Lucire staff/10.18


Although images of the F-type coupé have already been leaked, Jaguar has now officially released details of one of its most anticipated sports cars.
   The convertible F-type is already on the market and is Lucire’s Car to Be Seen in for 2013 (see Lucire issue 30), but enthusiasts have waited for the hardtop coupé to join the range for some time.
   The new coupé, which has been revealed at the Los Angeles Motor Show today, manages to look purposeful and modern while having a sense of familiarity as a Jaguar—helped in no small part by the haunches over the rear wheels, the existing F-type convertible, and the company’s earlier C-X16 concept car. Audiences have had time to get used to the car’s coming.
   Now that it has arrived, expectations are very high on what the car is like behind the wheel. Jaguar calls it ‘the most dynamically capable, performance-focused, production Jaguar ever,’ with a top model, the R Coupé, having 550 PS under the bonnet, with its five-litre twin-supercharged V8. Other models have familiar power outputs of 340, 380 and 495 PS for the F-type, F-type S, and F-type V8 S.
   Jaguar’s Torque Vectoring by braking sees the car apply braking torque individually to the inner wheels through the ABS system, helping with cornering. The adaptive dynamics help control vertical body movement, roll and pitch rates, says Jaguar.
   The car, made of aluminium, is the most torsionally rigid production Jaguar (at 33,000 Nm per degree), helping with its dynamics, while the hardware consists of an electronic active differential and an optional carbon ceramic braking system.
   Externally, buyers can specify a panoramic glass roof panels that don’t affect the car’s rigidity. There is no B-pillar, but Jaguar’s engineers have used an aluminium alloy beam on each side that runs from the front pillar to the rear one to achieve the strength and rigidity targets. The sides are made from single-piece AC600 aluminium pressings, which have eliminated the need for joints in the panel surface, and mark a first for Jaguar.
   Half the body is made from recycled materials, while the tailgate uses composites. The production process uses 80 per cent less carbon dioxide compared with a standard steel construction, says Jaguar.
   The cabin tapers toward the rear, ending with a sharp edge over the rear lights, in one of the most attractive tail ends of any Jaguar built. A rear spoiler is hidden, rising automatically at 70 mph and lowering as speeds drop below 50 mph.
   Prices begin in the UK at £51,235 for the V6 coupé, rising to a cool £85,000 for the F-type R coupé.







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November 18, 2013

BMW unveils sportier fourth-generation Mini in Oxford

Lucire staff/14.59


BMW has released details of the new Mini, the third generation made under its watch and arguably the first to be developed entirely under its auspices.
   The new F56-series Mini looks more purposeful, with a shallower glasshouse, but that is only the start.
   As with most new cars, it is bigger than the one it replaces. There is 98 mm more in the length, with the wheelbase extending only 28 mm. It is 44 mm wider, 7 mm taller, and the track width has increased by 42 mm at the front and 34 mm at the rear.
   Purists will decry that BMW has taken the Mini concept away from its miniature roots—we are fans of the Mini Spiritual show cars of the 1990s which showed that the brand works with a utilitarian, revolutionary concept—but the market reality is that the German firm has found great success with the range. It’s stuck close to its knitting, which is to create premium, well engineered and good-handling cars—to do anything else (such as run a mass-market brand like Rover as it did in the ’90s) tends to get the company into red ink.
   The larger Mini’s shallower glasshouse means there is more of a wedge, but overall, the shape is familiar to any Mini buyer.
   The grille may be the most contentious part. It is deeper, and the number plate rests within the top part, a break from tradition. The Cooper S’s lower air intake detracts from the otherwise simpler shape, almost looking awkward and giving the front too much emphasis—but for those who felt that previous Minis were far too evolutionary or retro, then this is a positive development away from Mini creator Sir Alec Issigonis’s modernist approach. Cooper S is 29 mm longer than the standard Mini, and to our eyes appears to be the less attractive of the two. The slant of the headlights, which houses LEDs for dipped and main beams, is a nice design touch, and not a total surprise given how the Mini has evolved.
   The interior has changed more, with the central display housing either a four-line TFT display as standard, or an 8·8-inch screen with infotainment, sat-nav and vehicle functions. The speedometer, rev counter and fuel gauge are arranged together on the steering column, which makes far greater sense than the arrangement of old (a digital speedometer within the rev counter ahead of the steering wheel). It’s a concession to practicality, rather than tradition, but, again, it’s a departure from Issigonis. The electric window switches, meanwhile, have moved to the doors—another more logical measure.
   BMW notes that build quality is up, as is interior room.
   The engines are the real news: there are two three-cylinder 1·5 units, one petrol, one diesel, while the Cooper S has a four-cylinder 2·0-litre. The petrol triple develops 134 bhp, and the diesel 114 bhp, so neither is lacking; torque is at 220 and 270 Nm respectively. Cooper S manages 189 bhp with 280 Nm torque. The diesel, BMW claims, gets an average combined fuel consumption of 80·7 mpg, and carbon dioxide emissions of 98 g/km. Minimalism, the Mini equivalent of BMW Efficient Dynamics, is standard, with brake energy recuperation and other energy-saving measures.
   Revised suspension sees a new spring strut axle at front and a multi-link at rear, which is said to improve handling. A head-up display débuts with this generation, while technologies also include adaptive cruise control and a collision and pedestrian warning system. Parking assist is also available.
   UK pricing begins at £15,300, with the diesel at £16,450 and the Cooper S at £18,650.
   The Mini was originally launched as the Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor in 1959 by the British Motor Corporation. It was built in much the same form into the 1990s, when BMW took over the BMC’s successor organization, the Rover Group. It was under BMW that the second-generation Mini was launched, though much of its development took place at Rover. The outgoing third-generation Mini was an evolution of this model.








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