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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 HĂŽtel Amelot de Bisseuil, also known as the HĂŽtel 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 mÂČ 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 mÂČ, 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, archĂŠological 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 dĂ©but 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 Kaikƍura 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


Opel previews Insignia B, with clues to next Holden Commodore and Buick Regal

Lucire staff/1.07



GM has shown official photographs of the Opel Insignia B, which will be sold in the UK as a Vauxhall and Australasia as the Holden Commodore. Opel has focused on making the new Insignia more efficient, and it has completely reinterpreted how a sporty, large car should look. The new large car boasts a Cd figure of 0,26, yet lightweight materials have shaved up to 175 kg off the weight.
   Length is roughly the same as before, but it’s 29 mm lower, and the wheelbase has been increased by 92 mm (aiding rear passenger space), and the track by 11 mm. In isolation, it appears larger compared with the outgoing Insignia, something which will help its prospects internationally, where a version of the Insignia has to compete in China as the upscale Buick Regal, and in the former E-segment in Australia as the Holden Commodore. There is an increasing commonality between Opel and Buick design languages, too, with GM saying the Insignia B has a ‘sweepspear’ line that begins at the front door—a term that was first used at Buick in the 1940s. A coupĂ©-like fastback roofline and an upper chrome strip—the latter is also tipped for the estate—give the Insignia B a more distinctive appearance. The driver also sits 30 mm lower than before.
   Opel’s design vice-president for Europe, Mark Adams, says that the Insignia B is meant to look more upscale than its predecessor, saying it has ‘the aura of a car from the premium, upper class.’ Inspiration came from the Opel Monza Concept of 2013.
   There is a new eight-speed automatic transmission, and a wide range of engines, though Opel has not yet revealed specifics before the Insignia B’s official launch in GenĂšve next year. The big news under the skin is all-wheel drive with torque vectoring, aiding stability: this feature is expected on the top models worldwide. FlexRide adapts dampers, steering and throttle response to suit a driver’s style.
   Its LED headlights adapt to the traffic conditions, and there are other premium features, including a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, lane assist with lane-departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. GM’s Onstar service is also standard, with automatic crash response and stolen vehicle assistance, with a concierge service allowing occupants to book hotels, launching with the car next year.







December 5, 2016

Video: British Fashion Awards 2016: Gigi Hadid is model of the year, Simone Rocha and Craig Green scoop top designer honours

Cecilia Xu/23.51




British Fashion Council

In a room of 4,000 outstanding individuals, designers, supermodels and stars, the 2016 British Fashion Awards took place in London tonight. With many renowned and iconic designers such as Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford and Donatella Versace present, as well as the new and upcoming, the show sure was a varietal and multifarious mix.
   Of the top awards of the night, Craig Green won the British Menswear Designer Award, while Simone Rocha won the British Womenswear Designer Award, and Alexander McQueen won the dominant British Brand of the Year award.
   David Beckham presented the Outstanding Achievement Award to Ralph Lauren, a celebratory award to the individual for their significant contribution to the global fashion industry. Gigi Hadid scooped her sister Bella and best friend Kendall Jenner in the International Model of the Year Award, a defining and prestigious award so it was no surprise to see emotions on stage as she accepted the honour.
   Jaden and Willow Smith were surprised with the New Fashion Icon award; with no nomination prior, the award comes as a revelation on the night.
   My personal adoration this year was for Gucci, so it came as no surprise to see Alessandro Michele take home the Accessories’ Designer of the Year award. With such a rich and flamboyant collection for Gucci in 2016, this prestige was well deserved, don’t we all agree? Gucci, all in all, has done extremely well this year as a wrap, as the brand sweeps away two awards, with Marco Bizzarri taking the International Business Leader award.
   VĂȘtements, an urban and streetwear brand that has been taking Instagram by storm, and the likes of the youth especially in Asia this year, won the award for International Urban Luxury Brand.
   Britain’s Emerging Talent Award was taken by Molly Goddard, Franca Sozzani won the Swarovski Award for Positive Change, Bruce Weber, as announced earlier, was honoured with the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator, and the International Ready-to-Wear Designer was taken by Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga. And last but not least, 100 Years of British Vogue took the Special Recognition Award of 2016.
   VIPs attending included David Gandy, Molly Goddard, Erdem Moralioglu, Christopher Bailey, MBE, Nicole Scherzinger, Derek Blasberg, Adwoa Aboah, David and Victoria Beckham, Jack Whitehall, Karlie Kloss, Lily Donaldson, Vivienne Westwood, Nadja Swarovski, Abbey Clancy, Jourdan Dunn, Olivia Palermo, Eva HerzigovĂĄ, Winnie Harlow, Anya Hindmarch, Giovanna Engelbert, Laura Bailey, Julien Macdonald, Jordan Kale Barrett, Hamish Bowles, and Lady Gaga. The British Fashion Council’s Dame Natalie Massenet and Caroline Rush looked like stars as they walked the red carpet.—Cecilia Xu








British Fashion Council

Red carpet

Molly Goddard, Erdem Moralioglu, Christopher Bailey, MBE

Dame Natalie Massenet, Nadia Swarovski, Caroline Rush, CBE

Lady Gaga

Simone Rocha, Derek Blasberg, Adwoa Aboah

Eva HerzigovĂĄ, Jack Whitehall, Amber Valletta, Winnie Harlow

Anya Hindmarch, Giovanna Engelbert, Laura Bailey

Julien Macdonald, Nicole Scherzinger, Jordan Kale Barrett, Hamish Bowles

Craig Green

100 Years of British Vogue

Simone Rocha

Franca Sozzani

Ralph Lauren

Molly Goddard

Bruce Weber

VĂȘtements

Marco Bizzarri

Alessandro Michele

Alexander McQueen

Demna Gvasalia

Jean Paul Gaultier reports for Swarovski

December 2, 2016

Jessie J and Make Up For Ever team up for #Iamanartist; video shot by Rankin

Cecilia Xu/19.20

Make Up For Ever has announced an artistic collaboration with iconic superstar and artist Jessie J, to advocate and celebrate self-expression through make-up.
   â€˜Life is a stage’ is what Make Up For Ever believes in: that people are the artists of their own lives, and this was the driving force behind the #Iamanartist campaign with Jessie J.
   â€˜I enjoy revealing different parts of my personality in my look which makes Make Up For Ever such a great partner,’ said Jessie J. ‘The core of the brand is what I am about: creating characters to showcase who you are, exploring and expressing yourself in the way you want through make-up, colours and energy. I definitely feel that my make-up reflects how I feel whether you want to do just a lip or a full-blown smoky eye, your mood can be reflected in your make-up and this is why “Life is a stage”!’
   The collaboration is introduced with Jessie J covering Frankie Valli’s original song ‘Can’t Take My Eyes off You’ in a new video directed by Rankin. Sammy Mourabit has created her make-up in upcoming visuals and videos.
   The campaign’s purpose is to ignite the artistic spirit, inviting make-up enthusiasts to get creative, and express themselves throughout the year with the hashtag #Iamanartist, uniting them in a community of inspired individuals.
   Founded in 1984 by make-up artist Dany Sanz, Make Up Forever offers a wide collection of vivid colours, face and body foundations, and expert artisan formulas.—Cecilia Xu

December 1, 2016

Redken and Stolen Girlfriends’ Club team up in style for the holiday season

Cecilia Xu/2.50


Stolen Girlfriends’ Club and Redken have again joined forces to create something you won’t find anywhere else: the Redken × Stolen Girlfriends’ Club bathroom bag. The creative duo have worked together to bring you a limited-edition toiletry bathroom bag filled with Redken goods, Stolen Girlfriends-style.
   Co-founder of SGC, Marc Moore says, ‘We wanted to design something you could be proud of the next time you had your bag searched at customs. It’s tough, it’s understated and it’s fully functional and we dig it. We love that Redken always trust our direction and let us do what we do and we get to have a whole lot fun whilst doing it—dream partner!’
   Each pack contains a full sized shampoo and conditioner from one of the four Redken ranges: Color Extend Magnetics; High Rise Volume; All Soft; or Frizz Dismiss.
   The bags are available until December 31, 2016 at any Redken salon nationwide, including Rodney Wayne, retailing for NZ$58.—Cecilia Xu

November 30, 2016

An upward experience with Off & On beauty bar

Cecilia Xu/21.45



Cecilia Xu

I had the privilege to experience the new Off & On beauty bar’s exuberant services in Wellington. With newly opened doors at 22 Panama Street, Wellington, New Zealand, the salon shouts contemporaneity, style, and professionalism.
   The interior and graphic design of the space is vibrant and colourful, reflecting the advanced services the bar offers. Getting my quick tour, it was the first time I’d seen some of this high-tech equipment. I was briefed on the lash lift (what I was in for), their signature micro-blading browography, and introduced to services I was interested in such as brow extensions and eyeliner micro pigmentation. What a range!
   Off & On is a combination of the Off Wax & Laser service, and the On Browhouse. This is a great idea, combining these services in one place, and the name works perfectly. They are all about the experience, and not just getting the job done. I was sure pampered! The service and people were extremely friendly; I chatted away with the girl who did my lash-lift about the wedding I was about to attend in the weekend, and she told me about the exciting wedding she’d just been to. We shared some interesting stories and laughs together. This makes the experience extremely relaxing and laid-back, the lash-lift itself was a 45-minute session which flew by in a flash, and when I opened my eyes, I couldn’t believe the difference! My lashes looked so great, even my guy friend (and guys barely notice these differences) responded in surprise and awe.
   The lash-lift lasts around four to six weeks but I can say, so far, I love waking up with doll-like eyes, and mascara is definitely not necessary during this time. The quality, modernity and level of the service mean you’re paying a slight premium, but this is all detailed on their website.
   The location of Off & On is great—just pop in for a quick intro and take away a menu of what they can offer. They could become the next go-to salon for all your beauty needs! I’ve heard when one lady from the nearby office visits, the whole office comes through the week after.—Cecilia Xu





Cecilia Xu

November 28, 2016

Grayton announces first mechanical watch with smart features

Cecilia Xu/23.18


‘Technology evolves but style is timeless’ is a value in which boutique watch designer brand Grayton strongly stand by. This is exactly what the brand has produced, raising the bar in what a classic watch can do with the release of their Origin mechanical watch, available for pre-sale beginning today on Indiegogo, with a commercial release slated for May 2017.
   The unique selling-point of the Origin is its smart strap, which is interchangeable and connected to your smart phone. The Origin is crafted in a brushed 316L stainless steel case with polished accents, with a see-through back cover that gives a glimpse of the watch’s self-winding mechanism. Its power reserve is 41 hours.
   The well hidden, built-in electronics make the strap indistinguishable from the best traditional leather straps. The accompanying app is compatible with both Iphone and Android platforms, and is ideal for receiving notification alerts in the office or recording workout fitness data at the gym, activity tracking, phone notifications, music control and more.—Cecilia Xu

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