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May 18, 2015

Karst is the New Zealand School of Dance’s most innovative season yet

Jack Yan/13.09

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Stephen A’Court

Top New Zealand School of Dance third-year contemporary students. Above Latisha Sparks, William Keohavong and Jadyn Burt.

The New Zealand School of Dance always puts on a stellar performance, especially with its final-year class, but Karst, its Choreographic Season for 2015, adds some unexpected and welcome twists, and puts audience members into the performance, at least during the first half.
   Arriving at Te Whaea, you’re aware something is different: instead of the waiting area that you’re accustomed to, there’s blackness. The auditorium, meanwhile, has become the new waiting area, with TV screens showing the final-year students’ faces in the centre, and the tables moved within. As the show started, we were escorted to the catwalk above the plaza, where the show takes place.
   Wind over Sand (See below) gives you a different perspective as we viewed this from above, or on the stairwell, and there was some getting used to seeing a performance while standing. However, this didn’t detract from the enjoyment at all, and, as it turned out, Wind over Sand was simply a prelude to the cleverer and more entertaining numbers that were to follow. Audience members in wheelchairs were wheeled to ground level and watched from there, but would have had the same appreciation we did.
   Felix Sampson, one of the class of ’15, motioned us comically to come down from the stairs, surrounding the stage, where Jadyn Burt danced to Exhibit: J, using a single box as her prop, positioning herself on each side as she explored it.
   Seated at what would be our vantage points for the rest of the evening, Samuel Hall and Jag Popham began their number stood at different corners of the set, one motioning ever frantically while the other stood still. Without Regard contrasted movements and styles as the pair moved closer on stage.
   Another seamless segue, as bright lights shone from the end of the building, and we were into Volume, set to Planningtorock’s ‘Public Love’, with the notes asking, ‘If you could live in that place every day? Think of the possibilities.’ But, like some of the performances in Karst, those possibilities had a catch, the choreography signalling the old adage of, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ (Manifest) the Subliminal, similarly, strikes at the idea of balance, with backgrounds moving, essentially reiterating that the universe is structured the way it is for a reason. Upset that balance, and there is chaos. Loscil’s ‘Esturine’, with its repetitive rhythms and crackles contributed to an airy, almost lonely effect.
   Fragile Mortalities was the first number that blended visual effects as each dancer brought out a television screen with their face on it, looking cheerful, yet each began revealing their insecurities more and more, performing their internal collapses. In a similar world of paranoia, You Are My, set to the Harry Roy arrangement of ‘You Are My Sunshine’ saw cheer erupt each time the music started, but the despair soon strikes one dancer, then more and more, in different forms; words displayed at the back of the set disintegrated from hopeful to hopeless. At this point, one wondered if this reflected concerns students had about their lives in 2015; after all, who are better insights into the Zeitgeist, and more focused on the future than those who have settled in their careers?
   The 79 Bonnie Special brought the mood up slightly with the background video showing what appeared to be an old cassette-recorded programme. A tribute to New Zealand singer Connan Mockasin, using his song ‘Do I Make You Feel Shy?’, this was a comedic take, with Georgia Rudd donning a silk gown and shades, and lip-synching into a microphone, perhaps telling a tale of fleeting fame and the low-rent world that some inhabit, thinking they are on the A-list. Again, it seemed to be on the pulse of where popular culture is, in what might be deemed a post-reality-show world. Such shows still air, but in terms of the cycle, are they beyond maturity?
   Unfortunate Help, with Jessica Newman and Latisha Sparks in the main roles, see the dancers together with lengthy cardboard tubes, but pulled apart, others’ attempts at rejoining failing to unite the pair, who also fall into their darkness. At its end, Rowan Rossi emerges on stage, curious about the state of affairs, and we hear Sampson utter complete sentences for the first time, beckoning others to go as he and Rossi begin Only in Istanbul. Sampson narrates the piece, joking about Rossi and providing personal details about him, and the two come to dance in unison. Only in Istanbul is described as ‘A rigmarole’ in the programme notes, and the description fits: the movements are expert, but the story culminates in ‘Istanbul, Not Constantinople’ and the entire cast reemerges for Absent Ritual, a number that leaves Karst on an upbeat, positive note.
   Te Aihe Butler’s music, which is at the fore in Absent Ritual, actually comes through in many of the numbers, and is the effective, unseen uniting force behind Karst. It deserves special mention.
   Taken together, one does have to ask: where are society and culture today? Are we in times where we are leaving some of our citizens behind? What is the value of fame if it lacks fulfilment? If the students, who choreographed the works, are forcing us to ask these questions, then they have succeeded.
   The season is directed by Victoria Colombus, an NZSD graduate, and is the most innovative Lucire has reviewed at the venue. Colombus rightly used the space to great effect, and we hope that there will be future performances there. Removed from the traditional shape of the auditorium, the students made very effective use of their new stage, and the architectural structure helped give a scale beyond what the auditorium offers.
   Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School students worked on the lighting, which also showed a youthful passion combined with professionalism, while Donna Jefferis’s costumes were the icing on the cake.
   The season runs at Te Whaea in Newtown, Wellington, till May 23, with tickets from NZ$12 to NZ$23. Bookings are available at www.nzschoolofdance.ac.nz.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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Olivier Rousteing, Kendall Jenner and Jourdan Dunn promote H&M–Balmain collaboration

Lucire staff/9.06

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Top Jourdan Dunn, Olivier Rousteing and Kendall Jenner for H&M and Balmain. Above Olivier Rousteing. Below left Ann-Sofie Johansson of H&M.

Hennes & Mauritz’s next designer collaboration, on sale November 5, is with Balmain of Paris.
   Founded by Pierre Balmain after World War II, the veritable house rode a high soon after launch, being the choice of Hollywood stars. Now under the creative direction of Olivier Rousteing, Balmain has recaptured its “must-have” nature among celebrities, and Rousteing himself, as H&M points out, headed to the Billboard Music Awards’ red carpet last night in Las Vegas, Nevada to join friends and fans Kendall Jenner and Jourdan Dunn, who are promoting the campaign alongside him.
   Using the hashtag #HMBalmaination, the two brands are signalling their collaboration on social media. ‘I want to talk to my generation: this is my main aim as a designer. H&M allows me the unique possibility of bringing everyone into the world of Balmain, get a piece of the dream and create a global #HMBalmaination: a movement of togetherness, fuelled on a hashtag. The collaboration felt extremely natural to me: H&M is a brand that everybody connects to. It calls for unity, and I am all for it,’ said Rousteing in a release.
   â€˜We are excited to have Balmain as our guest designer at H&M and create a truly involving experience for everybody,’ said Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative adviser. ‘With its mix of couture spirit and streetwear attitude, Balmain owns a unique style, at once opulent and direct, sensual and energetic. It is also closely linked to the show business and music worlds, which adds another element of surprise.’
   The collection will hit 250 stores worldwide and online at hm.com.

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Refreshing: the Body Shop’s limited-edition vitamin E range, in stores now

Lucire staff/5.51

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In stores now, the Body Shop’s vitamin E special edition skin care collection has novel takes on two wonderful favourites plus a new release.
   The new range has the added bonus of wheatgerm oil, which is the highest source of vitamin E found in nature. The body doesn’t produce vitamin E, but it helps protect the skin and gets rid of free radicals.
   We’ve been in love with the Body Shop’s Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet (NZ$37·50 for 50 ml), which was perfect for the summer: it hydrates and refreshes and the package almost felt like a small ice-cream tub. The Body Shop says there are two million moisture-releasing aquaspheres in each jar; we just know it feels great on the skin and we’re happy to see its return this winter. It offers 24-hour hydration for the skin.
   Along similar lines is the vitamin E moisture cream, with the same floral scent. It’s not as fruity as some of the Body Shop’s other releases, but there’s a sense of substance when you open the jar. However, when applied, it’s light and fresh, and works particularly well. The bonus this season: the jar is now a larger 100 ml, and retails for NZ$45, for a limited time.
   The brand-new offering from the Body Shop is the Vitamin E Eyes Cube (we love the pun), a stick which you apply to the eye area to help you feel refreshed. It feels very cool on the skin when applied, and the effect lasts very long, helping with fatigue. It’s been one of our favourites in our tests and retails for NZ$34·95.

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Aishwarya Rai, Natasha Poly, Eva Longoria, Svetlana Khodtchenkova: Cannes Film Festival, day 5

Lucire staff/1.49

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In our recent experience, no Cannes Film Festival is complete without Aishwarya Rai making an appearance. The actress and former Miss World graced the red carpet for Carol (the adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel, directed by Todd Haynes) at the Festival de Cannes with a nautical mood, with an emerald Elie Saab gown teamed with a de Grisogono cushion-cut blue sapphire ring. It marks her 14th year at Cannes as a L’Oréal ambassador. Her daughter accompanied her on the trip, as behind-the-scenes photographs from the Indian branch of the company revealed on social networks.
   Also representing the French giant on day five at the Carol première was model Natasha Poly (Natalya Sergeyevna Polevshchikova) in a distinctive Versace design, featuring a sequinned body suit with a large belted skirt, so far her most imaginative outfit on the Cannes red carpet. Poly complemented this with de Grisogono Polina black diamond earrings. Eva Longoria, who was first spotted at a gala on Friday, walked the Carol red carpet resplendent in a dark blue Versace gown with a plunging neckline, Luma Grothe went with a short sequinned dress, and Li Bing Bing shone with porcelain skin and an updo, and another glittering white gown.
   Svetlana Khodtchenkova was pretty in pink with her strapless gown, showing off her de Grisogono Boule earrings and Allegra ring. German actress Elsa Zylberstein
 also chose de Grisogono jewellery, namely the XXL green tourmaline ring and briolette-cut emerald earrings, to go with her emerald Lanvin gown.
   Despite the official selfie ban, Longoria snapped one with Rai on the Carol red carpet, reposted by L’Oréal Paris India.











L’Oréal Paris India


L’Oréal Paris

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May 17, 2015

Sonam Kapoor, Natalie Portman, Li Bing Bing, Natasha Poly, Laetitia Guarino shine on Cannes’ day 4

Lucire staff/4.31

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Andreas Rentz


Neilson Barnard

Natalie Portman’s directorial début, A Tale of Love and Darkness, is an adaptation of Amoz Oz’s novel, looking at the founding of the state of Israel when he was a boy. Wearing a strapless black-and-white Dior dress with a full skirt from the spring–summer 2015 collection, Portman evoked the house’s postwar New Look. Her dress choice was complemented by de Grisogono Chiocciolina briolette-cut diamond earrings.
   Accompanied by Claude Lelouch, Elsa Zylberstein also donned de Grisogono jewellery, namely the Melody of Colours coral-drop earrings and the high jewellery bracelet set with morganites, opals and white diamonds, complementing her pearlescent white gown.
   Sonam Kapoor lit up the red carpet for Gus van Sant’s The Sea of Trees in blue, with her silk gazar and crèpe off-the-shoulder ballgown from Ralph & Russo’s spring–summer 2014 collection. The L’Oréal Paris make-up for her was more distinct than what had been seen in previous days: the Mono Color Riche eye-shadow in 204 Golden Nude and 100 Noir C’est Noir; the Super Liner Mat-Matic eye-liner; and the Color Riche 30 Years lipstick in 229 Cliché Mania.
   Not to be outdone, Li Bing Bing went for another look that conjured up images of grand palaces with a sparkling, sequinned white gown at the première of The Sea of Trees, with the make-up team going pastel, using the Infaillible Matte foundation in vanilla, the indispensable Superstar Mascara in black, Color Riche 30 Years lipstick in Cocorico (330) and Color Riche nail polish in Ocean Porcelaine.
   Andie MacDowell was also wearing Ralph & Russo (from the spring–summer 2015 collection), with her make-up from L’Oréal Paris. Claudia Vieira, Jane Fonda, Miss Universe Switzerland 2014 Laetitia Guarino, Natasha Poly (in Michael Kors) were also there representing the French brand.
   Finally, Fan Bingbing was at the Chopard Trophy Party late on day three, showing her love of white this season, in another Ralph & Russo, increasingly a favourite of celebrities judging by this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Her white silk crèpe off-the-shoulder fishtail gown with silk organza and gazar ruffles was from the spring–summer 2015 haute couture collection.
















Venturelli; Pascal Le Segretain

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May 16, 2015

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Heike Makatsch and Inès de la Fressange: get the Cannes looks from day 3

Lucire staff/0.53

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Venturelli


Danny E. Martindale

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini—previously Cheryl Cole when she went to the Festival de Cannes—appeared on day three of the film festival at the première of Irrational Man wearing a low-cut nude silk crèpe column gown with draped sleeves and an embellished tulle bodice from Ralph & Russo. The custom gown, say the designers, takes inspiration from its spring–summer 2015 haute couture collection.
   Completing Fernandez-Versini’s look was the latest make-up from L’Oréal Paris, another opportunity to showcase the Superstar Mascara, which has become this festival’s must-have item. Its Glam Bronze (in 01 Portofina-Leggero) powder served to highlight, the La Palette in nude beige provides all one needs for a nude-look eye-shadow, and the Color Riche 30 Years lipstick completed the look in a dark 703 Oud Obsession shade.
   Emma Stone stars in the movie and was also seen on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet in a white metallic Christian Dior gown. German actress Heike Makatsch, like Fernandez-Versini another L’Oréal Paris face, wore a white lace dress with floral motifs; while Inès de la Fressange wore a golden backless gown.
   Makatsch’s look used the True Match R2 Rose Vanilla foundation and the Color Riche 371 Pink Passion lipstick, giving a lighter look that L’Oréal Paris says is a ‘signature look’ for this season’s red carpets; de la Fressange had the Golden Beige True Match foundation, a darker lip with the 630 Beige à Nu shade of the Color Riche 30 Years lipstick, and the VML So Couture mascara. For the eye-shadow, she had the Color Riche quads, in E5 Velours Noir.







Gisela Schober, Danny E. Martindale, Pascal Le Segretain

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May 15, 2015

Michelle Rodriguez, Fan Bingbing, Naomi Watts, Charlize Theron up the glamour at Cannes, day 2

Lucire staff/11.09

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Pascal Le Segretain


Venturelli

Day two of the 2015 Festival de Cannes, the 68th Cannes Film Festival, saw Michelle Rodriguez and Charlize Theron get the attention of celebrity-watchers as they walked the red carpet for George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road.
   Rodriguez wore a black, nearly backless Zuhair Murad embroidered lace gown with floral paillette embroidery, accessorized with a de Grisogono XXL jewel and its Melody of Colours ring set with a centre aquamarine weighing over 60 ct.
   Theron, accompanied by boyfriend Sean Penn, wore a canary yellow strapless Dior gown, with accessories kept to a minimum.
   Fan Bingbing wore a grey floral Marchesa gown with 3D floral details evoking spring blossoms, with L’Oréal Paris’s make-up artists using Superstar Mascara and Superliner Perfect Slim in black, and Color Riche 30 Years lipstick in 238, Orange After Party. Fan had flowers in her hair, too, to go with her gown, held in place by L’Oréal’s Elnett Satin Supreme Hold.
   Salma Hayek joined her co-stars for the première of Il racconto dei racconti (Tale of Tales) wearing a red floral Alexander McQueen dress. We also spotted Isabella Rossellini (whose late mother, Ingrid Bergman, features in the Festival’s publicity images this year) in Stella McCartney, Courtney Eaton in Chanel, and Sophie Marceau in Alexandre Vauthier.
   Alongside Fan were her fellow L’Oréal Paris spokeswomen, including Inès de la Fressange, Julianne Moore (in Givenchy), Katrina Kaif, and Liya Kebede. Naomi Watts was particularly memorable and glamorous—in that classic Hollywood sense—wearing a black Ralph Lauren gown.


















Tristan Fewings; Venturelli; Pascal Le Segretain; Gisela Schober; Ian Gavan

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May 14, 2015

Fan Bingbing, Doutzen Kroes, Natalie Portman, Karlie Kloss, Julianne Moore shine at Cannes’ opening ceremony

Lucire staff/11.16

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Pascal Le Segretain


Andreas Rentz


Venturelli

The Festival de Cannes, the 68th Cannes Film Festival, kicked off Wednesday at the Palais des Festivals, with plenty of glamour from the red carpet, as well as big names. Catherine Deneuve, the iconic French actress, stars in the opening-night film, Le tête haute (Standing Tall), and appeared before the cameras. In 1964, Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, which put Deneuve on the map, won the Palme d’Or.
   The film deals with juvenile delinquency, and was directed by Emmanuelle Bercot, the first woman to direct the opening-night film since Diane Kurys in 1987 with A Man in Love. Deneuve plays a juvenile court judge, starring with Benoît Magimel, playing Yann, a youth counsellor, Sara Forestier as the mother who cannot control her son, and Rod Paradot as Malony, the young man out of control.
   Providing even more glamour at the opening ceremony were numerous L’Oréal Paris faces: Fan Bingbing, Doutzen Kroes, Naomi Watts, Julianne Moore, Katrina Kaif, Karlie Kloss, Liya Kebede, and Leila Bekhti. John Legend represented the men’s range.
   Fan wore a custom Ralph & Russo couture silk crèpe off-the-shoulder gown inspired by 18th-century Chinese art, with 10,000 Swarovski crystals and hand-embroidered floral motifs. The company said it took 1,000 hours to make.
   Her L’Oréal Paris look complemented the traditional Chinese style, with the Infaillible 24H Matte foundation giving her porcelain skin, and the Superstar mascara and liner, along with the Infaillible Mega Gloss (in 505, Never Let Me Go, a tangerine shade) lifting her eyes and lips.
   Watts’s Elie Saab gown glittered in silver, and featured a feather-covered skirt.
   Academy Award-winning Moore, looking far more youthful than her 54 years, wore a Armani Privé gown, and gained a smoky eye effect thanks to the Superstar mascara and the Brow Artist Genius kit.
   Karlie Kloss went with one of her favourite labels, Versace, complemented by de Grisogono Sole earrings and the Onde ring; Liya Kebede wore Louis Vuitton with de Grisogono’s Allegra ring and 1 m sautoir necklace; Bar Refaeli, accompanied by Fawaz Gruosi, wore a white Roland Mouret dress with the de Grisogono cabochon-cut India earrings, and Sensuale and Allegra rings; Sienna Miller attended in a stunning column gown by Lanvin; while Natalie Portman, accompanied by her husband Benjamin Millepied, wore Dior couture for an elegant yet still dazzling look, lifted further by de Grisogono’s Gocce earrings, Jane ring, and Tubetto bangle.
   There has been a crack-down on selfies this year at the Festival, just as there had been at the Met Gala earlier this month.
























Venturelli; Andreas Rentz; Pascal Le Segretain; Bruno Bebert; Fabrice Chassery

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