Lucire

Lucire: News

Share 


April 21, 2016

Renault releases first details of Koleos II, its most upscale SUV yet

Jack Yan/13.11

We had anticipated this announcement since Salvatore Marti, operations’ manager of Renault New Zealand, told us to wait till April 21 to see photographs of the Koleos II, the company’s latest SUV.
   He never said Renault Maxthon, which was the name bandied about by the media for part of 2016. There’s a logic to having another name with a hard k sound at the start, tying in to Captur and Kadjar, Renault’s other own-brand SUVs.
   We had been concerned that the new Koleos wouldn’t match the Kadjar in looks, since the current model was conceived by Samsung of Korea, one of Renault’s subsidiaries, and never had the flair of some of its rivals.
   Marti assured us that we shouldn’t worry, and he was right: Koleos, which has the same 2,705 mm wheelbase as the Nissan X-Trail, is arguably better looking than the Kadjar. It’s also slightly bigger, in the same way the X-Trail is bigger than its sister car, the Nissan Qashqai, by the same amount. Both sets of Renault’s and Nissan’s SUVs are on Renault’s CMF–C/D platform.
   However, the Koleos will only be a five-seater, with Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker saying that the company was already catering to the seven-seat market with its Scénic IV and Espace V.
   The grille is similar to that of the international (as opposed to the Chinese-market) Renault Talisman, which had been fêted as the Most Beautiful Car of the Year by the Festival Automobile International in Paris. It also ties in to the look of the Renault Mégane IV. It appears that Renault is looking to target more upscale buyers with the Koleos.
   The Koleos II is one of the débutantes at the Beijing Motor Show next week, with CEO Carlos Ghosn officially unveiling it on the 25th. It will be built in Wuhan for the Chinese market, but no announcement has been made on where other countries’ Koleoses will be sourced from. Chinese buyers will get 2·0- and 2·5-litre petrol models, with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
   The Koleos II will be sold in New Zealand, but the Kadjar will not, said Marti.—Jack Yan, Publisher

Beyoncé partners with three charities as part of the Formation World Tour

Lucire staff/2.41

As part of her Formation World Tour, Beyoncé has announced three charitable organizations that will partner with her own initiative, BeyGood.
   The singer wants to encourage fans to give to the three organizations, and demonstrates how easy it is to “pay it forward”.
   She proposes using one of three ways: online through CrowdRise, in partnership with United Way, to support the Flint, Michigan water crisis (where fans can qualify for winning VIP tickets to her tour); through their communities with United Way, with issues specific to each tour market; or on-site, after signing up with Global Citizen and Chime for Change, with opportunities to win tickets and upgrades on the tour.
   United Way will be present at very stop beginning with the North American leg. The first venue is Marlins Park, Miami, Fla. on April 27. Gucci’s Chime for Change, which Beyoncé co-founded, and Global Citizen will have their programme in select tour locations, including Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Detroit and London. There are charity events in Houston, Compton (Calif.), and Detroit.
   Fans in Houston can give and support Rudy Rasmus and his Bread of Life initiative, combatting hunger in the city, and TurnAround Houston, to help create jobs. In Compton, the event will help Urban Education Institute, which works with youth through music and the arts. In Detroit, the event will celebrate the resourcefulness of the people of Flint and Detroit.
   Since the announcement of BeyGood, the initiative has claimed to have helped millions of people with employment, shelter and more. Tour dates are available at beyonce.com.

April 20, 2016

Get in NOW for Footnote: four entertaining dances, representing our times

Jack Yan/14.06


Courtesy Footnote

Footnote New Zealand Dance’s NOW 2016 (New Original Work) programme, which hit Wellington tonight after performances in Auckland, presents four original works by New Zealand choreographers Julia Harvie, Sarah Knox, Lucy Marinkovich and Jessie McCall. It’s a particularly enjoyable programme, mixing meanings, humour and, in the case of Elephant Skin, a lot of balloons.
   Each performance begins with a voice recording that sets the stage for the dance that follows, although viewers are still invited to make their own interpretations.
   Centerfolds (sic) begins with a humorous look at gender stereotyping, with the company’s male and female dancers wearing masks with a bun and dresses, signalling that we often take these cues and make automatic assumptions about a strict male–female duality. Marinkovich looks at roles such as waitress, housewife, heroine, songstress, supermodel, and others, questioning our conditioning; and while not every role appears as costumed characters, they are represented through the varied music choices. Masks play a part throughout, along with multiple costume changes, ensuring that Centerfolds never drags for a moment.
   Your Own Personal Exister is one of our favourites, as it examines not only existentialism but its opposite, inauthenticity. McCall does this with the notion of how, at a children’s birthday party, we feel the centre of attention when we wear our paper “crown”, but what if that crown was never removed? It’s an allegory of the selfie era, the “look at me” validation some seek. Three of McCall’s dancers don crowns, but one doesn’t, although he is unaware of this till some way into the performance. Yet this need consumes him eventually, and he joins the inauthenticity of the others.
   One of the regular techniques here had dancers opening their mouths facing upwards while recorded voices played, which worked particularly well, and the voiceover was poignant at the conclusion of the performance (which we won’t spoil here). And what happens when that crown is removed, where does that leave us? Despite the smaller number of Footnote dancers involved, this was a particularly powerful work that was danced beautifully.
   Elephant Skin takes a humorous look with balloons landing on stage at random points, sound effects creating more laughs, and a particularly brave dancer blowing up a balloon till it popped. Harvie explained in a post-show forum that she wanted freshness and tension in the performance, because as humans, we are problem-solvers, and the dance, too, should solve the problem of the randomly placed balloons. There was, of course, an overall structure which the dancers worked around, and one scene where white balloons stood in for clouds as one performer floated across the stage, before the others began popping the cloud around her.
   Harvie also noted that she has a fascination with balloons and that they have a human element to them.
   Disarming Dissent is the most energetic of the four in terms of getting the dancers to generate forceful movements, and by this time one is marvelling at their stamina. Rowan Pearce’s music reached crescendos twice as the energy built up. Dance, exercise and martial arts combine here as Knox talks about the fight we have against the system, but then how we pacify ourselves, drawn back by either that very system or our own impulses.
   The Wellington première at Te Whaea had a unique forum at the end which featured the dancers, Harvie, general manager Richard Aindow as host, and artistic liaison Anita Hunziker.
   The Auckland performances have been (April 15–16), Wellington has one more night (21st, at Te Whaea), Dunedin is on April 28 at Mayfair Theatre, and those in Invercargill will see NOW 2016 on May 1 at Centrestage during the Southland Festival. For tickets and information, head to footnote.org.nz.—Jack Yan, Publisher

New Zealand gets first Renault Zoé glimpse at Leading the Charge event in Wellington

Jack Yan/6.13



New Zealanders got their first look at the Renault Zoé last Friday at the Leading the Charge event in Wellington.
   The electric car, which has been a standard-bearer for the French company’s zero-emissions ambitions alongside its Twizy single-passenger commuter, arrived in the country only that week in right-hand drive form and made its way to the event at the CQ Hotel in Wellington.
   The Zoé posed alongside the Tesla Model S and the BMW i3, which is the subject of an upcoming comprehensive Lucire road test.
   Leading the Charge is a real-world north-to-south road trip from Cape Reinga to Bluff, New Zealand to educate people about zero-carbon motoring, to prove that it is indeed possible, even in a country like New Zealand where major cities are scattered around the landscape, with rural roads linking them.
   Better NZ Trust and EECA are behind the drive, and for Wellingtonians, guest speaker Steve West was on hand to talk about his venture, Charge Net NZ, which aims to have 100 fast-charge stations located nationally.
   Instead of the nightly charge of a car via the mains, which can take all night, these fast chargers pump electricity through in less than half an hour, making the electric car particularly viable. Presently, owners of electric cars pay no road tax.
   In New Zealand, where electricity is in part sourced from hydro sources, electric cars make environmental sense overall.
   Host CQ Hotels had installed eight electric car charging stations in its car park, as part of its social responsibility to the environment.
   The cars have made their way now to the South Island. You can follow @leadingthecharge on Instagram for the latest updates.—Jack Yan, Publisher







Recycle, rejuvenate and rejoice with the Secret Room

Leyla Messian/3.31




Leyla Messian

The MTV Movie Awards should be thought of as the “Real People’s Choice Awards”, as it reflects the pop cultural phenomena people are actually paying money to see. By the same token, the Secret Room’s annual event for this event should be considered a solid barometer for new things people are going to want to try and buy. This spring edition of the pre-show party was a most refreshing mix of products which allowed people to recycle, rejuvenate, refresh and rejoice, not only against a pop-cultural backdrop, but also social changes in US culture taking root in California.
   The star attraction was Parfaire, a Pasadena-based medical æsthetics’ spa that also provides on-site services. In a private suite high above the revelry in the SLS’s bustling ballroom, guests enjoyed a choice of a Red Carpet Rejuvenating Facial or Botox treatments.
   Parfaire, under the direction of Dr Winnie, is one of the few Los Angeles “med-spas” that provide Kybella treatments, which permanently dissolve double-chin fat. Their patience and calming demeanour provided a welcoming respite for celebrities, press and other attendees pressured by the demands of the upcoming award show and related public appearances. The treatments were short, but remarkably relaxing and effective, providing living proof that a spa is only as good as the expertise and attitude of its doctors and staff.
   The last gasp of a southern California winter allowed guests to enjoy the pleasure of sipping wine while bundled up in cashmere in colours that matched the varietals. From JaM Cellars comes a new kind of Hollywood breakfast: Butter Chardonnay, Jam Merlot and Toast sparkling wine. Guests appreciated Repeat Cashmere’s buttery-soft scarves and ponchos crafted from snuggly but deceptively light and delicate fabrics. Among the rich neutrals and jewel tones, burgundy was the most popular colour with celebs.
   There was also plenty of bling to liven up the classic cashmere pieces. The Fleur de Lys and Me offered youthfully chic jewellery made of stainless steel (including VIP wrist bands with MTV logos). Other items included clever, customizable bracelets with snap-on, interchangable charms covered in crystals. Gris by Allison Hall tempted VIPs with fine modern jewellery designed with a nod to Ancient Rome, the Byzantine Empire and the Victorian era. Mixed metals, from rose gold to rhodium, provided the backdrop for precious and semi-precious stones swimming in ornate diamond pave settings.
   Tracey Tanner Studios offered Italian leather purses and make-up bags that allowed guests to make a statement beyond fluorescent snakeskin and dyed crocodile leather. The company’s simple bag designs were covered in psychedelic colours, tie-die patterns, and digitally printed images of the natural beauty of the cosmos. And what star would not want to walk down the red carpet carrying the universe in her hands?
   Sagjol showcased comfy yet edgy clothing for men and women of all shapes and sizes. The new line featured a denim-like fabric made from recycled ketchup bottles—here is fashion feeding the soul instead of landfills. Sagjol’s toasty jackets, soft-to-the-touch jeans and frayed biker vests are perfect for throwing over graphic T-shirts and sexy camisoles.
   Beauty and grooming aides were also geared for the young as well as the young-in-spirit. Prep’s Strands like Steel hair care line is marketed as ‘cool care for young hair’—especially for trendsetters who often put their locks through hell. The leave-in treatment protects stressed hair from sun, heat, hot spotlights and other sources of thermal damage. It also works great as a de-tangler for kinky and naturally curly hair that finds its way into annoying dreadlocks.
   ClixIt Heal and Conceal pens offered a convenient way to hide blemishes and heal in-grown hairs. These little pens conveniently fit into the tiniest of clutches. In terms of larger cover-ups, Fake Bake was back to invite celebs to step into the mobile tanning parlour for a double shot of ‘Espresso Tan’. They also premièred their anti-ageing self-tanning facial lotion, along with a daily moisturizer that also amplifies and preserves an existing natural or fake tan.
   There were also several tables devoted to the most intimate of female concerns. Disposable PantyPads are biodegradable period panties complete with padded reinforcement to protect ladies during long flights and longer business meetings. For those of us who get really cranky under these circumstances, there’s always Serenol, a non-prescription dietary supplement that has been clinically shown to put a smile on women’s faces during that time of month. Made with Swedish flower pollen extract, it reduces water retention and junk food cravings while promoting a good night’s sleep.
   Speaking of things that annoy the “lady of the house” and her overnight guest, Jack’s Furr­fighters showcased their newest fur-fighting gear: suede gloves that remove cat and dog hair from little black dresses, boyfriends’ suits, living room sofas and boudoir pillows. All the lady has to do is put on the glove, and pet the sofa or the man covered in cat hair.
   Hemp-based products, backed by their 9,000 year-old history, came out from the shadows for a star turn. Hemp oil beauty products from Kannaway.com introduced Hollywood to hemp-oil infused cleansers, serums, and moisturizers. When combined with hyaluronic acid and other botanicals, hemp oil banishes signs of premature ageing. RSHO Raw Hemp Oil (by HempMeds), is a dietary supplement known to reduce anxiety without making you high.
   For those who prefer to smoke their herbs, Hydra Vapor Tech showcased its state-of-the-art vapourizer carrying cases. Available in gold, silver, white and black, the sleek Titan II allows you to carry all of your vaping supplies in a tasteful and tidy manner. While vaping, you could chill out to your favourite music with jewel-toned Spider ear buds, engineered with a focus on bass, vital to one’s enjoyment of rap, hip-hop and rock.
   The event also came with a cherry on top, which was definitely not for kids: no pre-award show event would be complete without a platter of Jello-shots from Twisted Cherries. Guests and vendors alike could not resist gin and whiskey-infused cherries encased in tangy cherry gelatin. While Girl Meets World star Ava Kolker and Disney’s Lexie Kolker enjoyed their cookies, the rest of us indulged in those festive sips.
   Favourite stars from MTV-flavoured movies past and present in attendance included Judge Reinhold, Vincent Spano, Daphne Blunt, Kirk Morrison, Ken Davitian, Charisma Carpenter, Lauren Potter, Ryan Ochoa, Ginger Gonzoga, Ashlee Keating, Jessica Barth, as well as veteran soap opera divas Kate Linder and Diedre Hall.—Layla Messian, LA Correspondent










Leyla Messian

April 19, 2016

Sponsored video: Louis Cole looks at Nestlé’s sustainable cocoa harvesting for Kit-Kat

Lucire staff/1.27

A Lucire special promotion

Louis Cole, the man behind Fun for Louis, has over 1·7 million followers on his YouTube channel, making daily vlogs about his travels around the world. He’s built up that following without mass media: it’s all through clever content that people want to watch.
   When you combine Cole with international footballer Didier Drogba, then you’re likely to get a lot of eyeballs.
   Nestlé has done just that in promoting Kit-Kat in its latest series of videos, hiring Cole as its front man in a series made in the Ivory Coast, showing how sustainable the process is. It’s a move toward transparency by the Swiss giant, appealing to consumers who want goods that have a socially responsible element.
   The video series humanizes the chocolate production chain, beginning with the local families on the Ivory Coast who harvest the cocoa beans.
   Cole heads to the Ivory Coast to see workers who use a unique tool developed by Stanford University to harvest cocoa beans, replacing the dangerous machetes that they once used—and which are still commonplace in the country. The tool is more efficient and safer and, as Patricia Ekaba from the Nestlé Cocoa Plan notes, the cocoa is sustainably harvested. In fact, she says, Kit-Kat is the first global confectionery brand using 100 per cent sustainable cocoa—although it should be noted that this applies to those manufactured by Nestlé.
   The typical family-run cocoa farm in that part of the world is 2–3 ha.
   The wet cocoa beans are put on banana leaves for five days, during which the flavour is developed. Once the beans are fermented, they are taken to the local village, where they are dried under the sun, naturally.
   The final stop sees the cocoa taken to a cooperative’s warehouse, where their quality is checked and the farmers are paid. The cocoa is then taken to a processing factory, including one in York, and they are turned into cocoa liquor.
   Additional videos show Drogba, who is Ivorian, visit a local school in a farming town. Nestlé, it turns out, has built over 40 schools in Ivorian towns to provide better infrastructure for farming families, and Drogba has a charity working with the company to build another. The company also has initiatives supporting women, and preventing child labour.


Post sponsored by Kit-Kat

April 18, 2016

Fashion Cities Africa gives a snapshot of four cities on a varied, rich continent

Jack Yan/3.51

The second largest continent on the planet is, logically, home to a massive number of fashion designers and movements, although out of Africa, there hasn’t been as much recognition of them till recently. Fashion Cities Africa, the book, inspired by the exhibition of the same name at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery that opens at the end of April, is one high-profile development which seeks to shine a light on the variety present on the continent, while on a similar note, next month’s Africa Fashion Festival in Wellington will do the same for its designers.
   Hannah Azieb Pool, who edits the new book, is a Eritrean-born, London-based journalist, who, along with Helen Jennings, has co-writing duties, resulting in a cohesive, beautifully presented book that examines contemporary fashion in Nairobi, Casablanca, Lagos and Johannesburg. It doesn’t pretend to be a fully comprehensive guide, stating from the outset it is meant to provide mere glimpses on a continent that is incredibly diverse. The foreword by Binyavanga Wainaina, a flâneur, reminds us that there are clusters scattered throughout the land that have their own tendencies, and that her favourite designer is Nigerian, Chioma Chukwulozie.
   The reader is thrown in to the colour of Nairobi, where sibling bloggers Velma Rossa and Papa Petit (a.k.a. Oliver) take one half of the first spread with their über-stylish and proudly urban Kenyan clothes, and stylists, musicians, designers, bloggers and artists profiled on following pages give slices of their lives that shake occidental sensibilities with their own palettes and ensembles. Nairobi, for the most part, emphasizes comfort, and the clothing shot on these pages by Sarah Marie Waiswa demonstrate that the city’s fashion could easily translate to other places, spanning everything from casual to luxury. Adèle Dejak has shown in Milano, for instance, and appeared in Vogue Italia with her collaboration with Salvatore Ferragamo, while John Kaveke and Nick Ondu show the sort of sartorial elegance that could easily influence menswear in other fashion capitals.
   Profiles of some of the personalities from the city follow, reminding us that Nairobi is a crossroads: Ami Doshi Shah is of Indian descent, her family brought there by the British when both countries were under Crown rule, while Ann McCreath is a Scots émigrée who fell in love with the fashion there. There’s a dose of youthful energy, too, with Anthony Mulli, a jewellery designer who started when he was 16, pointing the way forward.
   The book follows a similar structure for subsequent cities, moving on to Casablanca next.
   Lucire readers will be familiar with Morocco thanks to travel editor Stanley Moss’s writings, and Jennings’ chapter, with photographs by Deborah Benzaquen, takes us on a similar journey through the country’s largest city. It was, of course, a home for Yves Saint Laurent at one point, as well as a drawcard for many western celebrities, when a first wave of Moroccan designers became known outside of the region. A second wave, Jennings explains, emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, with Zineb Joundy a graduate of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. A greater sense of artistic freedom and Casablanca’s position that blends Arabic, European and indigenous cultures has resulted in some looks that may seem familiar—perhaps thanks to the likes of Saint Laurent and his influence. Again the profiles are well selected, a cross-section of the highly varied cultures in the city: Amine Bendriouich, Amina Agueznay, Yassine Morabite, Saïd Mahrouf, and Zhor, Chadia and Aida Raïs each cover a very different parts of the fashion spectrum, from T-shirts to traditional caftans.
   Once the book gets to Lagos, it’s apparent that there’s a sense of “bubbling under”, with Lakin Ogunbanwo’s photographs, paired with Jennings’ words again, showing slightly more subdued looks for men, but prouder, more flamboyant looks for women. Jennings notes that civil war and Nigeria’s military juntas stalled its fashion scene for some years, before a revival when democracy returned in 1999. Foreign labels were seen as cool till recently, with the country discovering its confidence in its own æsthetic, to the point where one of her interviewees, stylist Bolaji Anumashaun, says that fashion can be one of Nigeria’s ‘greatest exports’. Anumashaun founded thestylehq.com with a pan-African fashion focus, and Arise magazine, founded in 2008, also stepped up the promotion for Nigerian designers. With Nigeria’s GDP now greater than South Africa’s, that confidence is bound to increase, and Jennings looks at Nike Davis Okundaye, who owns the biggest gallery in West Africa in Lagos, and happy to promote young talent. Others, such as Yegwa Ukpo and Amaka Osakwe, both were schooled in the UK before returning to Lagos to found their brands, while PR consultant Zara Okpara and luxury concept store owner Reni Folawiyo complete their city’s picture.
   Johannesburg completes Fashion Cities Africa, and it’s perhaps fair that Pool chose to put it last. Many mistakenly think of South African fashion when they refer to ‘African fashion’, spurred in part by the Republic’s sporting ties to many other countries in the Commonwealth. Victor Dlamini has the photographic duties here, and Pool pens the words, and she goes through the various Jo’burg neighbourhoods, noting that its fashion is more established than Nairobi’s but less self-conscious than Lagos’s. There is a western infusion here in some parts, she notes, but on closer examination there are accessories that reference Soweto streets or Zulu culture. The city even has two fashion weeks: South Africa Fashion Week and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg, making the city spoiled for choice when it comes to giving its designers a platform. David Tlale, whom Lucire readers will have heard of, and who has shown at New York Fashion Week, hails from here, and Jo’burg designs have a greater sense of familiarity thanks to western media exposure. It oozes colour and vibrancy, much like the photos chosen for Pool’s first chapter on Nairobi, and in similar fashion (pun unintended) there are profiles from across the spectrum: designer Thula Sindi, creative collective, the Sartists, accessories’ and shoe designer Maria McCloy, and womenswear designers Marianne Fassler and Anisa Mpungwe.
   It’s our hope that we can cease talking about ‘African’ fashion and instead replace the dialogue with specific cities or countries, just as we do for smaller continents such as Europe. Just as there is no such thing to fashion observers as ‘European’ fashion, there is equally no such thing as ‘African’ fashion: it is impossible to generalize at a continental level. Both as an informative volume and a coffee-table flick-through (as it is softcover), Fashion Cities Africa succeeds, and it’s exceptionally good value with full-colour photographs (needed for its story, over 196 pp.) at £20 (available via Amazon UK here, or Book Depository here) or US$28·50, (Amazon link here). It is published this month by Intellect Books, as part of its Street Styles series.—Jack Yan, Publisher

April 16, 2016

Actress Katrin Heß the latest to pose nude for PETA, promoting veganism

Lucire staff/12.46


Marc Rehbeck/PETA


Courtesy Katrin Heß via Instagram

In the spirit of PETA’s earlier campaigns featuring celebrities who would rather go naked than wear fur, German actress Katrin Heß has posed nude to promote a vegan diet.
   Heß has long been public about her love of animals, running a prize draw last year for a rescue dog.
   Last week, Heß teased fans on her Facebook and Instagram, saying that she would be posing for PETA Deutschland. The German arm of the worldwide anti-animal cruelty group revealed her promotional image today.
   Heß said, ‘My choice to be vegan is not a trend, but a conscious decision for me and my love of animals. Since I do not eat animal products any more, I look at my surroundings very differently. For example, I finally understand that not only dogs, but cows and pigs, are sentient individuals … Every animal has the right to a happy and full life.’
   PETA Deutschland notes that 800 million animals are slaughtered or die in Germany alone for the meat, dairy and egg industries, and thousands of millions of fish suffocate on the decks of fishing boats or are crushed in nets.
   It refers German visitors to its Veganstart website, www.veganstart.de.
   The promotional image was shot by photographer Marc Rehbeck. Make-up was by Emile van Tile, using Paul Mitchell products.
   The shoot’s release, along with a behind-the-scenes video, coincides with the return of Heß in RTL’s Alarm für Cobra 11: die Autobahnpolizei TV show, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in March. It will reach its 300th episode in 2016, although its 291st was promoted as the 300th by the network.
   In anticipation of the anniversary, the network over-enthusiastically removed fan videos that it did not even own from a Facebook group last month, under penalty of perjury.
   Heß joins celebrities such as Christy Turlington, Pamela Anderson, Charlotte Ross, Tamara Ecclestone, Christian Serratos, and Eva Mendes in posing nude for PETA.

« Previous PageNext Page »

 

Get more from Lucire

Our latest issue

Lucire 35
Check out our lavish print issue of Lucire in hard copy or for Ipad or Android.
Or download the latest issue of Lucire as a PDF from Scopalto

Lucire on Twitter
Lucire on Instagram