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January 5, 2017

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

Lucire staff/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.

December 12, 2016

British glamour meets Moroccan tradition

Lucire staff/13.34



Marrakech, an historic crossroads, always surprises when east meets west, and today the city finds itself in a time of rediscovery. The recent COP convention drew global attention to the issues of climate change, the annual film festival is in full force, and all eyes turn toward the 2017 Biennale which begins next December. The breaking news that British style icon and design legend Jasper Conran has opened his first boutique hotel property here adds gloss to the blossoming Moroccan rose. L’Hôtel Marrakech is small by any standards, only five spacious luxuriously-appointed suites overlooking a courtyard garden, and can be booked in its entirety. Objects of décor selected from Conran’s personal collection artfully counterpoint the whitewashed walls and tile surfaces, garlanded by flowing voile curtains and opulent plantings. A heated lap pool hidden by banana trees nestles next to a classic burbling fountain. There’s a roof terrace with views of the Atlas Mountains, yet a sense of privacy and exclusivity prevails. This property delivers a fusion of rest and comfort, a nostalgic memory of a classic palace. A full-service kitchen is on hand to serve the finest local delicacies or a ‘perfect steak and chips’. Welcome to the medina, Jasper. It’s lovely to see your vision merge with these ancient walls!—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor

Editor’s note: Jasper Conran is quoted in the upcoming fourth edition of my book, What Is a Brand?, available spring 2017 from Ronzani Editori.











December 10, 2016

NGV and Dior announce House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture exhibition, starting August ’17

Lucire staff/1.57



Wayne Taylor

Top: National Gallery of Victoria and House of Dior announce House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture at NGV International, opening August 2017. At the media announcement on Friday, Sandra Sundelin, Alejandra Zuluaga, Ella Bond, Maddison Lukes, and Bela Pelacio Hazewinkel model various Dior designs. Above: Ella Bond models the Dior bar suit from the spring–summer 1947 haute couture collection, Maddison Lukes wears the Francis Poulenc dress from the spring–summer 1950 haute couture collection, and Bela Pelacio Hazewinkel the Abandon dress from the autumn–winter 1948–9 collection.

The National Gallery of Victoria kept media in suspense as it led up to its unveiling of its major exhibition for 2017, The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture.
   Beginning August 27, 2017, and running through November 7, the exhibition is a collaboration between the NGV and the House of Dior, and will feature over 140 garments from the company.
   The exhibition covers everything from Dior’s New Look spring 1947 collection to contemporary designs from its first female head designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri (see Lucire issue 36). Iconic designs from the intervening years will also be shown, including work by Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, and Raf Simons. It will also feature original sketches, photographs, toiles, archival material, and multimedia displays, says the Gallery.
   The Christian Dior spring 1948 fashion parade at David Jones Sydney, which featured house models in 50 designs, is also explored. David Jones serves as the exhibition’s principal partner.
   ‘It is a great pleasure and honour for the House of Dior to be celebrating its anniversary in 2017 in Melbourne. This exhibition will be the biggest Dior retrospective ever held in Australia. It will cover 70 years of creation, presenting the emblematic work of Christian Dior and his successors, including Maria Grazia Chiuri, who arrived last July and is the first woman at the head of the couture house,’ said Sidney Toledano, president and CEO of Christian Dior Couture.
   A black-tie gala will take place on August 26, 2017, with proceeds supporting the NGV fashion and textiles’ collection.
   Tickets for the exhibition are now available from the NGV online, retailing at A$26 for adults, concession A$23·50, A$10 for children aged 5 to 15, and families (two adults and three children) for A$65.

Interview clips

With subtitles

Promotional video

The Christian Dior story (archival video)


Copyright ©1954 Mark Shaw/mptvimages.com


Christian Dior





Wayne Taylor

Above, from top: Christian Dior adjusts the accessories to the Zaire dress, on his star model Victoire, during rehearsal for the autumn–winter 1954–5 haute couture show. Christian Dior and model, c. 1950. From the media announcement, Ella Bond in the Dior bar suit from the spring–summer 1947 haute couture collection. Sandra Sundelin models the Dior Embuscade suit from the autumn–winter 1950–1 haute couture collection and Alejandra Zuluaga the Gruau gown from the autumn–winter 1949–50 haute couture collection. Alejandra Zuluaga in the Gruau gown from the autumn–winter 1949–50 haute couture collection and Maddison Lukes in the Francis Poulenc dress from the spring–summer 1950 haute couture collection. Maddison Lukes wears Dior’s Francis Poulenc dress from his spring–summer 1950 haute couture collection.

December 7, 2016

Chanel opens new boutique at national heritage site in le Marais

Cecilia Xu/21.34



Opened December 3, like a walk through history and Parisian elegance, the new Chanel boutique in the Hôtel Amelot de Bisseuil, also known as the Hôtel des Ambassadeurs de Hollande, is one of the most beautiful showcases of the prestigious brand yet.
   Careful to retain all historical detail, wear and time, the space encompasses two ephemeral boutiques. The first, an untouched 127 m² space, showcases the ready-to-wear collection and accessories within an interior of bare and exposed stone walls adorned by transparent glass, and a floor made of resin but has the likeness of Corten steel.
   The second boutique, at only 37 m², showcases Chanel shoes in the style of a great artists’ studio. With the most minimal setting of black clothes-rails and wooden tables peeping through, the space is an adoration of history, archæological preservation and the Hotel’s pride in history. The interiors are left exactly as is in this national heritage site, with no changes or adornment.—Cecilia Xu



Dragonfly launches this season’s must-have cookbook at Mojo St James pop-up venue

Cecilia Xu/18.25



Dragonfly has been a local favourite in Wellington Central since it opened: it’s the perfect bar to chill out at after work on any day of the week, even better on a Friday. It’s the spot to hit in the weekend, whether for fine dining or distinctive cocktails. It boasts a spacious and expansive breadth of contemporary environment in its indoor, bar, and outdoor garden seating. The atmosphere is beautifully constructed and decorated, which is what makes it such a magnetic regular spot for the locals, and a gem for the newcomers. It’s subtle, too, with no brash lighting or signage cluttering up its Courtenay Place location.
   Dragonfly’s mixture of modernity, with rustic Asian influences, romanticism and relaxation matches its cuisine perfectly. This is reflected in the launch of their début cookbook, featuring the restaurant’s name on the cover—Dragonfly—Asian Dining Lounge—but referred to as the Dragonfly Cookbook. After years of successful cuisine perfectionism and experience, the book is a compilation of Dragonfly’s finest recipes, credited on the cover to brother and sister co-owners Brent Wong and Tania Siladi, with copy by Siladi and her daughter Jenna. Aided by a copious number of beautiful photographs and food imagery, by restaurant manager Ginny Maddock, who is a trained photographer, the book draws you to want to either dine at Dragonfly, or begin your own rustic Asian food adventure and exploration.
   The book has been painstakingly art-directed, and lavishly printed in Wellington, New Zealand; and priced at NZ$55. Wong explains that they won’t be making much on the book—and once time is factored in, the price will barely cover the cost. However, they see it as a way to share Dragonfly’s expertise. The Dragonfly Cookbook is available at Moore Wilson’s and online at www.orient-nz.com/dragonflycookbook.
   Due to the recent 7·8 Kaikōura earthquake that also affected Wellington, Dragonfly was one of the many businesses and stores closed for safety reasons. However, nearby Mojo in the St James Theatre just metres away has opened its doors for regular night time pop-up openings of Dragonfly. To see many of their regular customers quick to attend this as well as their book launch event on Tuesday night reflects how well Dragonfly is liked and respected by many in the capital, and perhaps a little change in operating venue may be great for the Christmas season.—Cecilia Xu; with Jack Yan, Publisher


November 21, 2016

News in brief: Chris Scott, the Rees Hotel win international awards; Barceló announces new brands

Lucire staff/11.18




Above, from top: The Rees Hotel Queenstown’s Executive Lake View Penthouse. The Barceló Bavaro Grand Resort. Church Road Winery winemaker Chris Scott.

Church Road Winery winemaker Chris Scott, whom Lucire had the pleasure to meet earlier this year as he introduced his Tom vintages, has been named New Zealand Winemaker of the Year 2016 by Winestate magazine. Scott also won the title in 2013. Winestate also awarded Scott’s Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2014 with the Syrah/Shiraz of the Year trophy and New Zealand Wine of the Year trophy.
   The Winestate New Zealand Winemaker of the Year award is given to the individual who achieves the highest score from the top 10 different wines judged throughout the year.
   Another international win was scored by the Rees Hotel Queenstown, which was judged Best New Zealand Ski Hotel at the 2016 World Ski Awards in Kitzbühel, Tirol, Austria. The awards are considered ski tourism’s most coveted prizes. The Rees Hotel is within easy reach of Coronet Peak, the Remarkables, Treble Cone and Cardona, while its complimentary ski concierge services cater to the most demanding of skiers. The Rees team can help with arranging skiing or snowboarding packages, gear hire, lessons and heli-skiing.
   Barceló Hotel Group will create new brands to complement the parent one: Royal Hideaway Luxury Hotels & Resorts, Occidental Hotels & Resorts, and Allegro Hotels. After acquiring Occidental, which brought the Spanish-HQed company into Aruba and Colombia, Barceló has had to rethink its structure. Royal Hideaway (seven per cent of its portfolio) is the top brand, with luxury resorts; Barceló Hotels and Resorts represents affordable but upscale resorts, with U-Spa Health and Wellness Centres, and includes its flagship Barceló Emperatriz; Occidental Hotels & Resorts is for families, friends and couples with adventure inclusions; and Allegro Hotels (five per cent) is aimed at budget travellers.

November 20, 2016

Celebrity Connected: a platform for the “green party”

Elyse Glickman/6.20




Elyse Glickman

After an intense, divisive US presidential season, and its controversial aftermath, Californians were ready to kick off award show season. Celebrity Connected not only got the party started, but provided some much needed pre-Christmas comfort and joy to greet the Hollywood creative community. The W Hollywood became a Garden of Eden, filled with a bumper crop of organic vegan goodies, non-dairy frozen treats, comfy weekend wear, interesting vaping inventions, yoga goods, and plants that could be planted in yards to further green up one’s neighboUrhood.

The Children’s Hour
Bears for Humanity founder Vijay Prathap spread a little early Yuletide cheer, distributing US-made Santa Bears to get his point across about the company’s multi-tiered charitable efforts. The 100 per cent certified organic, global Fair Trade elements of the bear are brought together by at-risk women looking to expand their career opportunities through the welfare-to-work programme. With every bear purchased, another bear is given to a child in need in communities throughout the country.
   There were also all-ages fashion and skin care (with lots of mother-and-daughter teamwork) served up by Royal & Reese, Swag-Eez and Sistah Buttah, as well as yoga hear from Karma and Soul. Pre-teen entrepreneurs Angels & Tomboys showed off their Shark Tank-winning, rock-inspired body sprays (including Purple Rain, a tribute to Prince reminding one of the grape soda we all loved as kids).

Green days
Although the overall progressive agenda now hangs in the balance with a conservative government coming to power in 2017, the fight to make cannabis legal in several states—including California—has moved in the right direction. Adults over 18 could sign up with MediCann doctors on the spot for paperwork that provided three months of access to dispensaries. In the immediate, they could sample several innovative products incorporating medical marijuana, cannabis, and hemp.
   Hemp Kitchen offered a Medicine Chest package through their delivery service with a variety of foods and treatment products addressing pain relief, headaches and other ailments. Chef Mike was on hand to explain how enjoy the products and the nutritional components of the goods. The Art of Edibles Cannabis Collective and To Whom It May provided chocolate aficionados with gorgeously wrapped gourmet truffles, and generous gifts from VQase and Hawaiian Vape provided extra flavour and fun for those partaking in the popular cigarette alternative.
   Souly Vegan of Oakland served substantial sustenance, while Justin’s nutty goodies added sweet relief to mid-day hunger pangs and Cocorilla had coconut water as nature intended—in its original shell. Pure indulgence was doled out by Street Churos (a food truck with a charitable element), Kokolato gelato and Yoga-urt.

Other things that rocked
Stand-out items included hand-crafted natural stone statement jewellery and minaudière handbags from Ann Ong, Rocking the Clock’s repurposed musical instrument home décor clocks and accents, and Cordcruncher, which promises to eliminate tangled earbuds once and for all. A great travel essential I look forward to trying is MAI Couture’s passport case, which can be filled with easy to use, unbreakable, and mess-proof papers with blush, bronzer, and foundation.

Finds beyond the suite
Around the same time as this suite, we found some other good products worth noting. Eufora Curl ’N is one of the best curl-defining sprays for finer hair texture going. All the definition and spring without sticky stuff weighing down hair.
   EC/BC recently rolled out its TSA-friendly backpacks and briefcases. Though the designs are unisex, these carry-on items make a statement in terms of fuss-free travel that help sort out (literally) anything that may stop a law-abiding citizen in the security line. The Barceló Hotel Group (known for its Caribbean and Mexican resorts) is also expanding its reach into Cuba, Costa Rica and other hot destinations, figuratively and literally.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor
















Elyse Glickman

November 16, 2016

Skilful execution by tomorrow’s stars at New Zealand School of Dance’s 2016 Graduation Season

Jack Yan/11.39




Stephen A’Court

Above, from top: Meistens Mozart. An excerpt from Political Mother. Pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty.

The New Zealand School of Dance’s Graduation Season once again brings an expertly executed programme, mixing genres from classical to modern to experimental. Among the programme tonight were three premières: Helgi Tomasson’s Meistens Mozart was performed for the first time in New Zealand, while Amber Haines’s Incant and Jiři Bubeniček’s Dance Gallantries received their world premières on opening night of the season at Te Whaea.
   Meistens Mozart started the evening and showed that, with the right arrangement and choreography, the German language could be made cheerful. Songs by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf, Bernhard Flies and Jakob Haibel, sung by the Tölzer Boys’ Choir, accompanied the six dancers, the standout of whom was George Liang. Liang had previously been at Canada’s National Ballet School, and we had seen him perform last month at the Republic of China’s National Day celebration. There were no opening-night jitters from any of the six, who instantly transported us to an alpine society, celebrating springtime love, courtship and playfulness.
   The all-male He Taonga—a Gift was an energetic and intense performance where drumbeats from Whirimako Black’s ‘Torete te Kiore’ soundtrack sparked sudden moves, a demonstration of control and strength from the 14 dancers. Choreographed by Taiaroa Royal and Taane Mete, He Taonga was created for the School in 2009 and reprised tonight.
   Opening the second section, Laura Crawford and Yuri Marques were like delicate dolls in their pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty, Act III, with the choreography after Marius Petipa. Marilyn Rowe, OBE staged and coached, while Qi Huan was répétiteur. This was a tough ballet piece to get right and the pair got stronger as they performed, gaining confidence and drawing us into their romance.
   Taking a complete tangent into modern dance was the solo performance of Glitch, a new work from NZSD tutor Victoria Columbus, whose talents we most recently saw at the World of Wearable Art, where she serves as director of choreography. The movements themselves were created by graduate Connor Masseurs, who performed the dance, playing the part of a “glitching” robotic man short-circuiting on stage with skilful, shuddering movements. Masseurs completely absorbed us with his solo: it wasn’t just his limbs that Masseurs controlled, he extended the idea to facial movements, inventively finding new ways to glitch. Masseurs first performed the dance at the Grand Théâtre at the Maison de la Culture de Tahiti as part of a gala at the Académie de Danse Annie Fayn.
   Incant was mysterious, brooding, and ethereal: this all-female work saw dancers come together to generate new shapes, conveying to us notions of clouds, trees in a forest, or tunnels, at times passing a lit sphere between them. Haines’s choreography was meant to question traditional notions of beauty and got us successfully focusing on the collective moves of the dancers. ‘This world,’ she notes in the programme, ‘invokes a mesmerizing state of collective consciousness and celebrates the power and luminous beauty of shared intention.’ A captivating work, it ended the second set of dances.
   Dance Gallantries was another more traditional work, with 10 dancers telling more playful stories of romance, complemented by Otto Bubeniček’s colourful costume design and solo violin music by J. S. Bach.
   A group of 12 performed an extract from Political Mother, the evening’s one political work with jarring music and clever choreography by Hofesh Shechter. A couple merrily folk-dances in a town square, happy to be part of their society, but are they genuinely happy or manipulated by the state? Their expressions seem to suggest the latter, fooled into believing that all is well and happy in their naïveté. The action moves on to a prison, where the music is muffled and dancers ape being restrained by either arms or ankles. The final scene, with a large group of dancers back in the town, show that the entire society has succumbed to the illusion, raising their arms in acceptance. It makes you question about the times we live in, and whether intellectual discourse is suppressed in favour of simpler ideas, a population told to be happy without really knowing why.
   Finally, Tchaikovsky’s music from The Nutcracker was excerpted for the upbeat Tempo di Valse, with the NZSD returning to a ballet to finish the evening. The ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ was instantly recognizable, the 15 dancers showing classical movements. Nadine Tyson choreographed, while the colourful traditional costumes were designed by Donna Jefferis.
   Depending on the show, the pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty may be replaced by Jack Carter’s Pas de deux romantique, with music by Rossini; while Glitch may give way to The Wanderer, choreographed by Columbus and perforned by Liang.
   The season runs from November 16 to 26 at Te Whaea in Wellington, New Zealand, with prices ranging from NZ$18 to NZ$33. Tickets can be booked at the New Zealand School of Dance, or online at nzschoolofdance.ac.nz/book-tickets. We’d rate it another must-see, especially to catch some rising stars—we understand that some are off overseas, already snatched up by dance companies.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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