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March 21, 2014

Eva Mendes shows her spring 2014 collection at California events

Lucire staff/23.44

Actress Eva Mendes has launched her spring 2014 fashion collection with New York & Company, at two events in California earlier this week.
   New York & Co. had Mendes as guest of honour at the opening of its new Beverly Center pop-up store at 8500 Beverly Boulevard on Tuesday, while on Wednesday, she celebrated her spring collection with NY&C customers at Los Cerritos Center.
   The earlier event saw guests use Instagram with a hashtag, #EvaMendesNYC, to update a live feed at the store, while the later one saw Mendes pose with the first 75 customers who bought from her collection.
   NY&C says that Mendes was inspired by New York in the spring. The collection features ‘rich blues, oranges, vintage floral prints, and soft, earthy tones.’ Mendes was also inspired by family archives and vintage pieces.
   The range hit stores on March 19, on- and offline, with accessories priced from US$22·95 to US$35·95, separates at US$46·95, US$59·95, and US$64·95, and dresses from US$79·95.

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March 17, 2014

Designer L’Wren Scott, 49, found hanged in apartment—death treated as suicide

Lucire staff/18.03


Above Mick Jagger and L’Wren Scott pictured last November.

Fashion designer L’Wren Scott, 49, has been found dead in her Manhattan apartment, with her death being treated as suicide by New York police.
   Scott was found hanged by her assistant, whom she had texted earlier in the day to go to the apartment, at 10 a.m. EDT.
   No suicide note was found, according to police, whose investigations continue.
   Her company was in millions of pounds of debt. The firm, LS Fashion Ltd., had a loss of ÂŁ3·5 million, and it had been run at a loss for several years before. Some ÂŁ4·6 million was owed to creditors, with ÂŁ1 million due within a year. LS Fashion Ltd. had ÂŁ1·1 million of assets.
   Scott’s autumn–winter 2014–15 show at London Fashion Week had been cancelled. Late last year, Scott launched a line in collaboration with Banana Republic.
   She was born Luanna Bambrough in Utah. Having reached 6 ft in height by age 12, she learned to make her own clothes as she struggled to find anything that fitted her. She modelled in Paris before heading to Los Angeles to become a stylist and costume designer. Her label started in 2006.
   Her designs were a favourite of this publication, and US First Lady Michelle Obama, and celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Amy Adams, PenĂ©lope Cruz and Christina Hendricks were among her fans.
   A spokesman for the British Fashion Council said, ‘We are deeply saddened at the news of L’Wren Scott’s tragic death.
   â€˜She was an iconic woman who inspired so many, and a designer whose contributions to the fashion industry were both extraordinary and unique.
   â€˜She will leave behind an exceptional legacy, however we are so incredibly proud to have had her in our midst.’
   She was the long-term girlfriend of the Rolling Stones’ Sir Mick Jagger. They had been together for nearly 13 years and Jagger had spoken about her fashion collections in the past.
   Jagger had arrived in Australia for the Rolling Stones’ tour there, which may be cancelled.
   Bianca Jagger, Sir Mick’s ex-wife, led tributes, saying, ‘Heartbroken to learn of the loss of the lovely and talented L’Wren Scott. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. May she rest in peace.’
   Supermodel Naomi Campbell wrote on WhoSay: ‘I am deeply shocked and devastated by the news. L’Wren was someone I knew since I was 17. We travelled the world together many times. L’Wren was someone I always loved. She was the epitome of elegance and femininity yet still had a girlish quality. I will miss her honesty and I will miss her friendship. My heart goes out to Mick and all who loved her and were loved by her. May she Rest in Peace.’
   Actress Nicole Kidman issued a statement, reading, ‘Nicole and L’Wren were close friends for 25 years. She is heartbroken and in shock right now, and unable to say anything.’

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March 16, 2014

The Royal New Zealand Ballet prepares a unique, 21st-century Coppélia

Lucire staff/2.47


Above Sir Jon Trimmer and Lucy Green in Coppélia.

The comic ballet CoppĂ©lia is next on the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s programme, opening in Wellington on April 17.
   This 21st century version, staged by RNZB ballet master Martin Vedel, is unique, with the presentation sharpened up while retaining its core messages of love, devotion and friendship.
   Vedel said, ‘When RNZB artistic director Ethan Stiefel asked me to stage CoppĂ©lia I was instantly intrigued—it is a ballet in which I have performed many times both as a student of the Royal Danish Ballet School and later with the Royal Danish Ballet. It is a wonderful ballet for all audiences with exhilarating character dances, including the show-stopping CsĂĄrdĂĄs [Hungarian folk dance], wonderful classical solos and pas de deux, to a memorable score.’
   Production design is by the late Kristian Fredrikson, whose work featured in the RNZB’s recent production of Swan Lake. The original score is by LĂ©o Delibes.
   The story revolves around a life-sized automaton who is mistaken for a real girl.
   Also noteworthy is Sir Jon Trimmer reprising the role of Dr CoppĂ©lius, the inventor. Sir Jon first performed the role for the RNZB in 1964, and danced it again in 1983.
   After Wellington, CoppĂ©lia tours to to Palmerston North, Invercargill, Dunedin, Napier, Rotorua, Takapuna, and Auckland.

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March 14, 2014

Max Fashions’ Lambton Quay store a more inviting space

Lucire staff/23.53



Top Lighter woods and brass give the revamped Max store a more retreat-like feel. Above Max’s Emma Tate, down from Auckland for the event.

Max Fashions’ Lambton Quay store is looking refreshed in Wellington, as Lucire checked out the new space earlier in March at its press opening.
   The logo may be familiar, and the façade isn’t that different to what customers are used to, but inside, the store has a far more welcoming feel.
   Thanks to a canny use of materials (maple and brass) and the available space, the store now feels more homely. Max’s description of a ‘relaxed retreat’ is not far off: when you get inside, especially further down the back of the store, there is a sense of private spaces and a less “commercial” atmosphere to what existed before. Max has also been careful to divide the clothes into themes, helping customers interact based around lifestyle rather than types of garments.
   Cheshire Architects’ Nat Cheshire and Emily Priest were behind the redesign. The new store reopened on February 25.

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Filed under: fashion, Lucire, New Zealand
March 12, 2014

Video: Alessandra AmbrĂłsio, Behati Prinsloo show off Victoria’s Secret Swim for 2014

Lucire staff/10.59

Victoria’s Secret models Alessandra AmbrĂłsio and Behati Prinsloo have added to the promotions for the brand’s 2014 Swim collection at the London West Hollywood.
   The press day for the swimwear line saw Ambrosio in a white halter-style bikini, while Prinsloo was impressed with her crop-top from the spring–summer 2014 line. ‘The biggest trends for this season [are] definitely high-waisted bottoms, the longer lined torso bikini tops, the crop-top that I’m wearing—I’m in love with it, I think it’s really fun and you can play sport in it, you can go swimming in it,’ she says.
   AmbrĂłsio pointed out, ‘Another big trend is the cut-out. It’s all about the details that season.’
   Eight years separate the models, though one would not know it from the event: mother-of-two Ambrosio is 32; Prinsloo, the fiancĂ©e of Adam Levine, is 24.
   AmbrĂłsio later visited Extra TV to talk to Mario LĂłpez about the collection.

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March 11, 2014

Jameson Irish Whiskey shows limited-edition bottle for St Patrick’s Day 2014

Lucire staff/10.22

In the spirit of St Patrick’s Day 2014, Jameson Irish Whiskey will release its fourth limited-edition design bottle, this time the work of illustrator Dermot Flynn.
   Flynn was inspired by the sights and sounds of Dublin, and his illustration features a pub, statues, monuments, and humorous Irish sayings.
   Jameson says the limited-edition bottle is a must-have for those who love Ireland and the Irish character. Says Kathryn Love, Jameson’s marketing manager in New Zealand, ‘In addition to its smooth, balanced taste, one of the things that whiskey fans around the world tell us they love about Jameson is its intrinsic Irish character. Jameson embodies the down-to-earth character of Dubliners so with this new limited edition, we wanted to bring that to life and celebrate the great city which inspired John Jameson to make his now iconic whiskey for the first time over 230 years ago.’
   The limited-edition bottle retails for NZ$64·99 from March 17, 2014 at selected outlets, while stocks last.

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March 8, 2014

Top of the world and top of the Beverly Hilton with top beauty ïŹnds

Elyse Glickman/8.29

So many suites, so little time. However, one that was literally head, shoulders and eight storeys above the rest was the TMG International Red Carpet Ready Luxury Suite, which was very international in its products and its welcoming vibe for a carefully curated guest list of celebrities, VIPs and media. The set up atop the Beverly Hilton Hotel had a funhouse feel—albeit a most glamorous funhouse for sophisticated fashionistas—with each room having its own set of surprises that popped out at you.
   TMG International’s pre-Oscar thrill ride started off in a front room of a penthouse suite set up almost like a velvet-lined jewellery box focused on the dazzling and highly covetable gold accented sterling silver pieces from Ariva, a Rhode Island-based company focused on reconciling the look and craftsmanship of fine jewellery with the prices of silver “investment” pieces that could be worn every day. Though these precious items were there for the trying and the borrowing, the company’s representatives couldn’t have been nicer or more genuine about the enthusiasm about their collection.
   You could say the second room was the “family room”. Moms and Moms-to-be received a lovely care package from Rockabye Mommy, a “Mommy concierge” that puts together personal and customized shopping for the selective prospective parent. Their nifty package was geared toward girly glam, with baby jewellery, barettes and bib for baby, and leggings, camera strap and organic fruit and vegetable wash for Mom. The affiliation from Kitson brought more Hollywood Mommy-and-me street cred to the charming bundle.
   Grown-up men and women could protect and accentuate their personal bundles with shapewear by Rounderbum. Made in Mexico, these underpinnings feel cotton-soft on the skin, with some pieces adding stylish flair while holding the essentials in place. Adding extra ambiance was LifeNSoul’s candy-coloured line of high-performance earphones, high-tech ear buds and speakers.
   Although we were breezed past the hair salon room, which was packed to the rafters with VIPs hoping to salvage their rain-soaked tresses, our lovely escort led us to the next room, which took the form of a luxury day spa with Montana-based skin care line Sevique prominently featured. As celebrities were pampered with treatments such as the ‘Eye Relaxation with Anti Aging Benefits’, ‘Facial Massage with Deep Cleansing & Protection’, and ‘Neck & DĂ©colletĂ© Hydration & Anti Aging Massage’, Sevique’s founder Susan Nickell and other reps highlighted step- by-step benefits of their natural, cruelty-free products while focusing on guests’ red-carpet ready concerns such as close-up interviews and strapless gowns.
   From the serenity of the Sevique spa, we then thought we landed in Barbie’s Dream House, awash in pink. However, it was a showcase for Cocoa Brown Tanning, devised by Irish inventor Marissa Carter, who, with her doting mother, showed how her three products used together could add a very convincing and realistic glow even to the fairest Irish rose (as opposed to US House Speaker John Boehner orange). A short passage to India concluding our journey, with a room that featured the Icandy Salon from San Francisco, and SHAPES Brow Bar, which brings Indian threading to many locations through southern California, including Sherman Oaks Fashion Square. The teams in that room would not rest, or let us get up, until we were looking our very best (at least under rainy circumstances).—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor



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March 7, 2014

A Montage of luxury, invention and indulgence

Elyse Glickman/4.53


The venue (the Contessa Ballrooms at the lavish Montage Hotel Beverly Hills) may be new for the Secret Room, but the approach to pre-Oscar Primping is the same. In the case of the event, that’s a very good thing, as far as successful Hollywood formulas go. The headlining charity, once again, was the SPCA LA, focused on animal rescue, adoption and medical attention throughout Los Angeles County. One animal rescue story underscoring the SPCA LA’s mission is Sadie, whose fight for life has captured the nation’s heart.
   Celebrities were not only out in full force, but there fluffy friends were also welcome, as were vendors focused on the well-being of dogs and cats. Sadie herself is a fan of GooFurr, a cat medication delivery system that is also safe for dogs, developed by pastry chef and cat rescuer Barbara Cappelli. Real salmon and other natural ingredients mask the odour and taste of the pill, making medicine and vitamins a treat and a reward for the pet, rather than a chore for the human owner.
   The most buzzed about device (literally!) was Voyce, a collar that in some ways allows a dog to “talk” with a monitor that tracks its vital signs and current health situation. The inventors note a version for cats is in the works, given the strong reaction the dog version is currently receiving. It’s fitting the launch is timed with the Oscars, as the whimsical notion of a collar allowing a dog to talk was first introduced in Oscar-winning animated feature Up!.
   Toys for kids ran the gamut from the German-made Hape Toys to the eco-friendly Jetson Bike that’s apparently as easy to learn to ride as the one you had as a kid—but much faster. There were also exclusive vacations to Timbers Collection, which have second home properties throughout the world, from the American Rockies to Mexico, the Bahamas, Italy and Ireland.
   There were also household essentials that allow people to transform their homes to a paradise of their own. Exotic offerings included Divine Design’s Indian-made home accessories and Pacific Green Furniture’s palm-based wood pieces from Fiji to Rocket Farms’ fresh potted orchids, which all guests received on their way out of the suite. The icing on the cake was a coffee and bar outfitted by Wolfgang Puck (down to its sassy, Oscar-themed signage), which paired nicely with pastries from LaBrea Bakery.
   Of course, the Secret Room would not be the top draw it is without handcrafted jewellery and new beauty products hitting the market-place.
   Louisville’s Ronaldo, the wizard of wire, was back in Hollywood after a turn at the Grammys, charming guests with his 14 ct and sterling wire bracelets. The featured Love Knot is made up of undulating flat wires Rolando says represents melding together of a woman (depicted with smooth gold wires) and a man (diamond cut silver wires). The metaphor of the design reflects the strong bond between couples because the textures and colours work together. La Corza’s collection of sterling silver pieces is inspired by nature and architectural details that were at once bold and streamlined. Dallas-based Betty James Jewelry, meanwhile, showed chunky, earthy pieces could also be feminine and formal. An outfit with Betty James’ hand-wrought stone pieces would be nicely finished with hand-made rope sandals from Nomadic State of Mind.
   The brand 2xist has marked time by evolving from a small line of men’s underwear to a full-blown sportswear collection that includes a just-launched line of watches designed in tandem with award-winning industrial designer Jason Wilbur. The architectural timepiece (which looks great on many women, too!) features a unique, three-hand movement that floats freely between a transparent case and delivers in a selection of fine finishes and colours.
   Beauty products included high-tech skin care from Atzen, Biodara to cause-minded Curology Shampoo (raising awareness and funds for Breast Cancer) to Lipinc which keeps pouts perky and polished all day.
   Celebrities in attendance included James DuMont (Dallas Buyers’ Club) as well as cast members and crew from Oscar-nominated American Hustle (Alan Baumgarten, Judy Becker, Crispin Struthers), 12 Years a Slave (screenwriter John Ridley), The Artist (Ken Davitian), Captain Phillips (Chris Mulkey, Chris Burdon), top athletes (from the NFL and NBA, and talk show presenter John Salley) and Stephen Kramer Glickman from the TV series Big Time Rush (no relation).—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor











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