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April 19, 2014

News in brief: Pandora’s cruise; Living Nature’s Lip Hydrator; Chanel appoints Australian make-up artist

Lucire staff/5.09

Pandora knows the strong culture and following it has, and has invited select customers to join it for a cruise for the third year.
   The jewellery brand’s Unforgettable Cruise is a seven-day cruise where fans can get a sneak peek at the new collection, and experience a styling workshop with Janette Ewen, Pandora’s Canadian-based spokeswoman, and other leisure activities.
   They were joined this year by YouTube fashion and beauty hosts Meghan Rienks and Claudia Sulewski, to join customers in sharing their experiences with the brand, in person and through social media.
   Those attending the cruise were gifted an exclusive, two-tone Pandora charm.
   Its Mothers’ Day and spring collections can be viewed at its website.
   Living Nature has launched its Lip Hydrator with an RRP of NZ$29·50 (left), a certified natural conditioning balm in a lipstick packaging. In addition to keeping lips moist—since they do not have self-lubrication—it can be used as a primer for lipstick to help with application.
   It uses active manuka honey along with plant butters and oils, to create a protective layer for lips. Carrot oil helps with smoothness and mica provides shine. The Lip Hydrator promises to be moisture-rich but does not leave a greasy texture on the lips. It is also literally safe to eat—in line with Living Nature’s other products, it contains no synthetic chemicals, preservatives or allergens.
   Stockists can be found via the Living Nature website or by calling, within New Zealand, 0508 548-464.
   Victoria Baron of MAP Creative Agency (right) is the first Chanel make-up artist for Australia and an official spokesperson for Chanel Australia, for beauty and fragrance, the company announced Thursday.
   Baron was chosen by Chanel’s Paris make-up studio team and is one of 20 new artists worldwide.
   The company says she ‘perfectly embodies the values of the House of Chanel; as a youthful and modern creative spirit.’

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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


Evan Li/Royal New Zealand Ballet

Top A publicity photograph from the Royal New Zealand Ballet for Coppélia, with Swanhilda, Franz and Coppélia. Above Kohei Iwamato as Franz and Lucy Green as Swanhilda from the premiÚre.

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 testament to Fredrikson’s design ability, evident through 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 15, 2014

Open season on European tourists

Lucire staff/11.31


Hugh Llewelyn/Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic licence

The season for extra vigilance is upon us, as tourists gear up for coming vacation travel. Already a friend was robbed in Marseille a few weeks ago, her US passport stolen from a room safe (!) in a five-star resort. Criminal gangs target older tourists, and they’re aware that local authorities can’t do much after the fact. Even a consular official said it was useless to report thefts unless a report for insurance is needed. A friend of ours, standing outside the Venezia train station, got her wallet lifted while a supposed vendor was tossing those obnoxious fluorescent plastic blob toys, brushing close to her, and said arrivederci to €150.
   Remember that train stations are fertile terrain for pickpockets. The bad guys know everybody’s passing through. Watch out for shifty types lurking among waiting crowds, and any over-familiar approaches. Ask: do I know you? Keep your bags closed, and tucked under your arm! Be suspicious of distractions, and move away from aggressive people—fast. Other danger zones: the Champs-ÉlysĂ©es in Paris and definitely the Louvre, now overrun with snatch-and-grab gangs.
   Here’s a reminder of some of the more common scams and risks to watch for.

‱ The ring trick: somebody in front of you picks up a gold ring from the ground, holds it up to you. Yours? Say no! They’ll try and get you to give them some money for it—later you’ll discover it’s worth nothing.
‱ The leather jacket guy: claims he’s a salesman on a business trip. ‘Want to buy a good quality coat really cheap since you’re such a nice person?’ Hold on to your billfold!
‱ The bird poop trick: apologetic person spills ketchup on you, maybe says it was the work of a nearby pigeon, pulls out napkin, tries to help you clean it off. While they’re doing it, they lift your wallet.
‱ Swarming gypsy kids: they surround you asking questions, gesturing, making noise. In the pandemonium, they grab for your bag.

   The season for crime starts now, and lines for replacement passports at consulates peak in June and July. Don’t carry expensive bags unless you want to risk having the bottom slashed. Definitely don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket. Consider a good money belt with a strong nylon strap, wear it under your jacket, and above all else, remember what Mom taught you: don’t talk to strangers.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor

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Filed under: Lucire, Paris, society, travel, Volante
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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February 27, 2014

Hacienda in winter

Lucire staff/2.47




Paula Sweet

Greetings from Desert Hot Springs, where mid-80s winter temperatures, clear skies and brilliant sun serve as antidote to the grey chill we left behind in Europe only two weeks ago. Here in California we checked into Hacienda Hot Springs, our favourite secret hideaway, for the therapeutic waters and tranquil setting our high-velocity lifestyle craved. It’s great to be back and decelerate in a zone of rejuvenation.
   Once again GM Karl Stober personally welcomed us to the property. He showed off the last of the season’s nubby Mexican lemons from Hacienda’s modest orchard. Karl, who moonlights as a screenwriter and music journalist, walked us through the grounds, lush green, floral and palm fronds on all sides, past the well where the hot water gathers at 130°F before it reaches the 94°F big pool and the 104°F hot tub. Breakfast was out on the table, hearty granola, fresh fruit, aromatic coffee, and the waffle iron at the ready. We loved room 7, last stop at the end of the passage way, with its tiny patio and beckoning hammock. This tiny gem of a property sleeps only 12 at full occupancy, so exclusivity reigns and privacy prevails.
   Hacienda offers a special rate for Facebook friends. A phone call in advance will get you a special three-night winter deal for Lucire readers through June 2014, with the third night at a 30 per cent discount.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor

Hacienda Hot Springs Inn
12885 Eliseo Road
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
USA
Telephone 1 760 251-2885
haciendahotsprings.com



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February 23, 2014

Stoneleigh’s Wonder of Nature garden is an urban oasis for Auckland

Lucire staff/11.40

Stoneleigh will open its Wonder of Nature garden at 89 Quay Street, Queen’s Wharf, Auckland, New Zealand, from February 28 to March 8, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. It’s a dose of experiential marketing for the New Zealand wine label, bringing urban consumers closer to the brand.
   The suspended garden, designed by Jules Moore, promises to be a ‘multi-sensory experience’. The garden features sounds from the Stoneleigh vineyards in Marlborough, as recorded by Grammy Award-winning artist Paul McLaney. McLaney has reworked them into a unique soundscape. This complements the visual backdrop, giving visitors a sense of being in the vineyards in the summer.
   And what better way to extend the experience than to enjoy Stoneleigh wine in the garden? Winemaker Jamie Marfell (below) invites visitors to enjoy a glass while there. Entry is for 18 and over only.
   For those who cannot get to the garden itself, Stoneleigh has launched its Small Wonder of Nature app, where users can create their own part of nature, customize their photo and upload it to the gallery. All entries will be in to win a Stoneleigh Marlborough experience.

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February 12, 2014

Sponsored video: Air New Zealand’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit safety video goes live, with a competition

Lucire staff/11.06

A Lucire special promotion

As reported last week, earlier today, Air New Zealand, a member of the Star Alliance network, revealed its safety video, with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models Chrissy Teigen, Ariel Meredith, Hannah Davis and Jessica Gomes guiding passengers through the procedures while on location in the Cook Islands. Joyana Meyer, the former Miss South Pacific, is the more serious face getting into the specifics, while Christie Brinkley makes a very brief cameo, in a scene where Meredith talks to her via tablet—and is instructed that mobile devices cannot be used in-flight.
   The behind-the-scenes video shown in Lucire and other media last week had already sparked some controversy in New Zealand, with opinions divided over its suitability, but many of the airline’s previous efforts have generated plenty of conversation.
   â€˜The behind-the-scenes video has generated much conversation around the world about our brand and the Cook Islands as a destination since it was released last week,’ says Jodi Williams, Air New Zealand’s global head of brand development. ‘It’s exciting for us to release the full video today and we hope it will encourage many viewers to consider a trip to the Cook Islands.’
   Air New Zealand has operated flights to the Cook Islands for over 40 years, and in 2013, carried nearly 200,000 people there from Auckland, Sydney and Los Angeles.
   And to ensure that the campaign gets even more attention, Air New Zealand has launched a competition with five trips to the Cook Islands as the top prizes. Each winner and a friend will be flown to Aitutaki and treated to five nights at the Pacific Hotel, with NZ$500 spending money.
   At theflyingsocialnetwork.com, there is a multi-choice question. If you answer correctly, you will be entered into the competition. Further conditions are at the website.


Article sponsored by Air New Zealand



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February 8, 2014

Sponsored video: behind the scenes of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit–Air New Zealand safety video

Lucire staff/14.08

A Lucire special promotion


Air New Zealand, a member of the Star Alliance network, has already received a bit of press for its latest safety video, starring four current Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue models, and veteran Christie Brinkley, who was put on the map thanks to the annual, iconic magazine special. But what happened behind the scenes of Safety in Paradise?
   For years, the airline has come up with some memorable safety videos, including one with air crew wearing nothing but body paint, another with fitness supremo Richard Simmons, a much talked-about Hobbit-themed video with Sir Peter Jackson and J. R. R. Tolkien’s descendants, and a puzzling animated one that made less thematic sense with Ed ‘Al Bundy’ O’Neill and actress and Lucire feature alumna Melanie Lynskey.
   The shoot for the latest safety video took place in the Cook Islands, a New Zealand territory and an idyllic, beautiful holiday location covered by Air New Zealand on its Auckland–Rarotonga and LAX–Rarotonga routes. Models Chrissy Teigen, Ariel Meredith, Hannah Davis and Jessica Gomes star in it, featuring on location, while the script called for a Brinkley’s involvement from a luxury home in Hollywood, California.
   All models are from the US with the exception of Gomes, who hails from Australia. She is the only Aussie to appear in four consecutive Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues, and famously appeared in body paint, by New Zealander (and another Lucire feature subject) Joanne Gair, in 2010.
   Former Miss South Pacific Joyana Meyer also appears in the video.
   The video will be officially released on February 12, coinciding with the global celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. It will be rolled out across the Air New Zealand fleet at the end of the month.
   The airline worked with the magazine, which reaches 70 million people.
   Air New Zealand has had a shot in the arm lately thanks to a new CEO, Christopher Luxon, whose former experience lay in branding for a multinational.
   Jodi Williams, Air New Zealand’s head of global brand development said, ‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has a massive worldwide television, online and print campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary and we’re incredibly excited to feature in that activity. The magazine alone has more than 61 million readers annually and the safety video shoot with Air New Zealand will feature in the special anniversary edition. This is money can’t buy global attention focused on a key destination and our airline.’
   At Lucire, the announcement of the cover girl in February is usually a high spot for web traffic, adding to the views from the autumn–winter fashion circuit.
   And it’s not just Air New Zealand that’s happy with the result. MJ Day, the editor of the Swimsuit Issue, called Safety in Paradise ‘a raucous safety video in the true spirit of SI Swimsuit and our Kiwi friends.’


Article sponsored by Air New Zealand




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