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August 23, 2014

Summer heat and cool trends, at Doris Bergman’s Emmy Style Lounge at Fig & Olive

Elyse Glickman/0.23

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Top Kate Burton with MD Sun Skin Care. Centre Bling It Hat Designs with Khandi Alexander. Above R. J. Mitte of Breaking Bad with Honest Tea.

With no end to summer in sight, and Labor Day two weeks away, plucky, savvy Doris Bergman was back to work with a flourish, celebrating the coming fall season, with a colourful cast of characters via her Fifth Annual Style Lounge & Party in Celebration of Emmy Season at Fig & Olive in West Hollywood.
   Even in with the arrival of scorching summer heat, Bergman and her team stayed calm and cool directing traffic and making sure her top-tier talent and media were well taken care of as well as introduced to a favourite selection of fashion, accessories and beauty essentials from favourite vendors (Single Dress, Roadkill Boutique, Radar Watches, Telic Footwear, Traveler‚Äôs Choice Luggage, Guess Watches, Twisted Silver/Perch, Nature‚Äôs Flavors and Honest Tea) and new designers and entrepreneurs on the scene (Unity Vintage Jeans, Clothing Nation, Origami Owl Jewelry, Clothing Nation, Kaya Di Koko and Bling It Hat Designs).
   Wednesday‚Äôs Child was front and centre in the charity spotlight, and with local Los Angeles news presenter Christine Devine by her side, Doris was once again in ‚ÄúAuntie Mame‚ÄĚ mode with a very targeted gift drive for the 15- to 18-year-olds in foster care. Two foster children got to not only get Doris‚Äô patented VIP treatment but also represent the hundreds of local children benefiting from Wednesday‚Äôs Child.
   ‚ÄėIn Los Angeles County, alone, there are over 30,000 children receiving child welfare services,‚Äô says social worker William Wong in tribute to Bergman‚Äôs hard work and the support of the event sponsors. ‚ÄėGift and monetary donations to the Wednesday‚Äôs Child Pre-Holiday Gift Drive has been overwhelming and, most importantly, the event sponsors and celebrity guests have provided examples to follow‚ÄĒgiving the public permission to embrace our kids. I believe that people are inherently good and want to do good things.‚Äô
   Once guests who arrived early enjoyed a Mediterranean feast by Fig & Olive Executive Chef, Pascal Lorange, and got a Traveler‚Äôs Choice carry-on bag, they dove into a wave of beauty and style breakthroughs. The fantastic, just-launched MD Sun Skin Care treatment line (offering state-of-the-art treatment of wrinkles, age spots and lost elasticity) joined forces with Gerard Cosmetics and Whitening Lightning to allow guests to put their best faces forward.
   Fashion highlights included the latest covetable costume jewellery from Deborah at Twisted Silver (inviting pieces of copper, turquoise and buttons with a ‚Äústeampunk‚ÄĚ edge), Origami Owl Jewelry, devised by a teenaged girl as a way to save up for her first car), denim shorts from Unity Jeans Company with Roberto Cavalli-esque touches, Bling It Hat Designs‚Äô jaunty cowboy toppers and some delicious candles and body care from Bon Bon Home & Garden, Jones & Rose, Dawn Lee Cosmetics and the Vida Emanuel Day Spa.
   Celebrities helping our beloved Doris celebrate the kick-off of Hollywood‚Äôs big social season included Emmy nominees Kate Burton (outstanding guest actress, Scandal), Jon Voight (supporting actor, Ray Donovan) Joey King and Joshua Close (Fargo), Khandi Alexander and Ntare Mwine (Treme), R. J. Mitte (Breaking Bad), Jamie Brewer (American Horror Story), Dot Marie Jones (Glee), Elaine Hendrix (Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll), Eva La Rue, Gregg Daniel (True Blood), Hal Sparks (Lab Rats), Kelsey Scott (12 Years a Slave), Marilu Henner (The Crazy Ones), Rosa Blasi (The Thundermans), Rowan Blanchard (Girl Meets World), Shanola Hampton (the US version of Shameless), Tiphany Adams (Push Girls) and Toks Olagundoye (The Neighbors).‚ÄĒElyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor



Top Joey King with Gerard Cosmetics and Whitening Lightning. Above Jon Voight with Traveler’s Choice luggage.









Elyse Glickman

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August 7, 2014

Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists bid farewell to the Cape Dara Resort, Pattaya

Lucire staff/13.32

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Alan Raga

It’s always hard saying goodbye, especially in tropical temperatures in the 30s, and facing a prospect of the remainder of winter back in New Zealand‚ÄĒbut that’s what the top 25 finalists at Miss Universe New Zealand had to do today. The last breakfast of the tour at the Cape Dara Resort was a fitting farewell to the five-star treatment given by the property. There was a brief moment for some shopping, before the afternoon transfer to Subarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok.
   The finalists began checking in at 3.45 p.m. local time, with their flight arriving in Auckland on Friday morning NZST.
   From there, they will continue competing in the entrepreneurial challenge, raise funds for Variety, the Children’s Charity, and head to the countdown to the final at the Sky City Theatre on September 18, 2014.
   The public can vote for their favourite contestant, either through an online i-vote or text voting: see nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.






Alan Raga

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Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 Ô¨Ānalists visit Pattaya’s orphanage on last full day in Thailand

Lucire staff/3.54

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Alan Raga

On their last full day in Thailand, the Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists remained in Pattaya for their official events, visiting the Sanctuary of Truth, regarded the most beautiful temple in the area and still under construction using timber, and the Central Festival shopping district.
   Five contestants had their photo shoots with Alan Raga, wearing Surface Too Deep and Honey & Co. swimwear.
   The afternoon programme saw a visit to the Pattaya orphanage, possibly the most moving experience of the tour.
   The Father Ray Foundation, which looks after 850 orphans, disadvantaged and abused children, and children with disabilities, played host for an event which saw two of the young speakers move the finalists to tears. The Foundation’s policy is that no child is turned away. Its website accepts donations in US and Canadian dollars, euros, pounds sterling as well as baht.
   The finalists were greeted by Fathers Peter and Michael, the president and vice-president of the Foundation, and watched three performances. The first was from children from the Father Ray Day Care Centre, who performed a routine about a caterpillar turning into a butterfly; the second was from a student group using wheelchairs from the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities, and the third was from the choir at the Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind who sang ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘You Are My Sunshine’.
   They laid flowers at the statue of Father Ray, the founder of the NGO, who passed away 11 years ago this month.
   The final, beachside dinner in Pattaya was hosted by Damrong Puttan, a former senator and proprietor of KS Magazine. Afterwards, the finalists returned to the Cape Dara Resort for their final night.
   The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 grand final takes place at Sky City Theatre, Auckland, on September 18. The public will have a hand in deciding the winner, through text voting and through the electronic i-vote. See nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.





















Alan Raga

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August 6, 2014

Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists arrive in Pattaya, Thailand

Lucire staff/3.45

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Alan Raga

The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists, currently touring Thailand, wound up their Bangkok events on Monday night with an event hosted by the Charoen Pokphand Group, a Thai conglomerate set up by Chinese immigrants in the 1920s, at the Grand Mercure Bangkok Fortune hotel.
   On Tuesday, they set off for Pattaya, famous for its beach resorts, 100 km southeast of the capital. Pattaya City put on a welcome and luncheon for the top 25, again well attended by officials, before a visit to Thai Thani, a Thai arts and culture village. Thai Thani, to open on August 8, aims to showcase its cultural parades and activities, and the finalists were given a personal tour by its owner, seeing Thai food from different regions and traditional performances. They also participated in fruit carving under instruction from Thai Thani’s staff. Nigel Godfrey, executive director of Miss Universe New Zealand, presented officials with gifts, including a framed souvenir featuring photographs of all 25 finalists.
   Four contestants had their swimwear shoots Tuesday with photographer Alan Raga, again wearing Surface Too Deep and Honey & Co. swimwear.
   Accommodation for Miss Universe New Zealand in Pattaya is at the Cape Dara Resort, where they will remain till August 7.
   The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 grand final takes place at Sky City Theatre, Auckland, on September 18. The public will have a hand in deciding the winner, through text voting and through the electronic i-vote. See nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.










Alan Raga

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August 5, 2014

Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists fulfil their diplomatic mission

Lucire staff/5.51

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Alan Raga

Other than the early 5.30 a.m. call to get ready for a live TV appearance on Channel 5 to 10 million viewers in Thailand, Monday saw the Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists fulfil part of their diplomatic role, visiting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for an official function hosted by Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs. The Thai Ambassador to New Zealand, HE Noppadon Theppitak, was also in attendance, amidst substantial local media interest.
   It was also a day for the New Zealand national anthem, broadcast both on television in the morning and sung at the Ministry in the evening.
   They met the top place holders from Miss Universe Thailand, including Pimbongkod Chankaew, who will represent Thailand at the international competition later this year.
   At the ministerial event, Miss Universe New Zealand executive director Nigel Godfrey presented his opposite number at Miss Universe Thailand, Surang Prempree, a framed invitation for her titleholder to come to New Zealand later in 2014.
   In addition, four contestants had a very early morning shoot with Alan Raga, again wearing Surface Too Deep and Honey & Co. swimwear, completed before 8 a.m.
   Channel 5 has since uploaded its clip to YouTube, embedded below.
   Godfrey notes in his interview with Channel 5, as the Thai people are justifiably concerned about their perception in international media, ‘We have seen nothing but safety ‚Ķ For us we could not feel safer, and that certainly is something we will be telling people in New Zealand when we go back.’
   In the afternoon, the top 25 went to Central Embassy, a shopping centre in Bangkok, to try their hand at cooking traditional Thai cuisine at the Issaya Cooking Studio. Their experience has already hit the Thai press, appearing in Thairath, one of the biggest newspapers in the country.
   The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 grand final takes place at Sky City Theatre, Auckland, on September 18. The public will have a hand in deciding the winner, through text voting and through the electronic i-vote. See nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.










Alan Raga

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August 4, 2014

Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 Ô¨Ānalists experience Thai culture Ô¨Ārst-hand

Lucire staff/9.11

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Alan Raga

The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists had a 5.30 a.m. call on Monday, preparing to head to the Channel 5 studios in Bangkok for a 7 a.m. appearance with both the Thai ambassador to New Zealand Noppadon Theppitak and Miss Universe New Zealand executive director Nigel Godfrey.
   The show they appeared on, where they talked about their experiences in Thailand, reaches 10 million viewers domestically, and another 170 countries worldwide via satellite.
   Sunday’s schedule was somewhat more relaxed, with a morning visit to the Suan Sam Pran Riverside Thai Village to experience making traditional craft and food, as well as learning a few dance steps, while six contestants stayed behind for their swimwear shoots wearing Surface Too Deep and Honey & Co., with photographer Alan Raga.
   It was not until the evening that Thailand Travel & Tourism hosted the finalists at the Sofitel, before they returned to their accommodation at the Hilton Bangkok.
   Monday’s programme, meanwhile, saw the top 25 finalists at the Issaya Cooking Studio, where they tried their hand at cooking, at Bangkok’s Central Embassy shopping centre.
   The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 grand final takes place at Sky City Theatre, Auckland, on September 18. The public will have a hand in deciding the winner, through text voting and through the electronic i-vote. See nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.











Alan Raga


Friendship to Friend Trip

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August 3, 2014

A full day in Bangkok for Miss Universe New Zealand 2014‚Äôs top 25 Ô¨Ānalists

Lucire staff/5.33

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Alan Raga

The second day of the finalists’ retreat for Miss Universe New Zealand 2014, and the first full day in Thailand, was packed with activities for the top 25 around Bangkok.
   Most went for a morning visit to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, the temple of the Emerald Buddha, while photographer Alan Raga began the swimwear shoots for three remaining contestants, with swimwear from Surface Too Deep and Honey & Co.
   Lunch was served at Bangkok’s Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, while a further three had their shoots done in the afternoon.
   The contestants were subject to immense media coverage, continuing to highlight what the Thai ambassador to New Zealand, HE Noppadon Theppitak, sees as contributing positively to the diplomacy between the two countries.
   A packed evening was lined up for all 25 at Asiatique, the Riverfront, an open-air mall featuring a night bazaar and, currently, Muay Thai Live‚ÄĒthe Legend Lives, a show performed at the state-of-the-art theatre at the venue nightly except Sunday. It chronicles the history of Thai kickboxing over the last three centuries.
   The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 grand final takes place at Sky City Theatre, Auckland, on September 18. The public will have a hand in deciding the winner, through text voting and through the electronic i-vote. See nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.




Alan Raga


Muay Thai Live

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August 2, 2014

Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 Ô¨Ānalists arrive in Bangkok

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Alan Raga

The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists have left the southern shores, and are presently at the Hilton Bangkok, as they commence their retreat in the Kingdom of Thailand for the following week.
   Since the Miss New Zealand Consortium was awarded the licence for Miss Universe in 2013, the directors felt that the live swimwear segment had to disappear from the competition. However, international rules still required it, so a swimwear shoot on a beach, with a closed set, became the best option for the live telecast that took place last October.
   Miss Universe New Zealand executive director Nigel Godfrey and general counsel Jack Yan were tight-lipped this year about the destination of the retreat, given political changes in Thailand. However, Thailand came on the radar again with the support of its ambassador to New Zealand, HE Noppadon Theppitak, and the top 25 finalists along with a crew departed on August 1.
   The Ambassador sees the retreat as a core part of the Thai‚ÄďNew Zealand relationship, given the high, mainstream interest in the Miss Universe competition in Thailand, and much of Asia. The 2013 finalists’ retreat was extensively covered in print and televised media in Thailand.
   Kiwi lensman Alan Raga is photographing the finalists, who will be wearing Surface Too Deep and Honey & Co. swimwear, in shoots commencing Saturday.
   The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 grand final takes place at Sky City Theatre, Auckland, on September 18. As with 2013, the public has a hand in deciding the winner, through text voting, and, as a new innovation this year, through an electronic i-vote. See nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.



Alan Raga

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