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January 18, 2014

Behind the Lucire 2014 redesign, and a features’ round-up

Jack Yan/13.31

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Surface Too Deep

Top A promotional image from Surface Too Deep. The model on the left is reading Lucire. It’s a better photo than we could have come up with to promote ourselves. Above Lucire’s new look for the web edition’s news pages for 2014.

You may have noticed we’ve continued to do some housekeeping around the place. Our web news pages now sport a new look for 2014, following on from the facelifted home page. We’re still finding our feet a little with the image sizes, but we should settle into things by the lunar New Year.
   You’d never guess, but getting the new search button at the top of the page, as well as having DuckDuckGo handle our searches, took around an hour. (This switch means we will have no record of what you searched for. In the last 10 years, we knew which keywords were used, but we never bothered looking beyond that. With people increasingly concerned about online privacy, DuckDuckGo is a search engine that doesn’t leak anything to the NSA et al, for the simple reason that it doesn’t keep any search records.) The new footer took an hour and a half. And creating the template for these pages and making sure they worked took around 11 hours. The comment system is now driven by Disqus across the entire Lucire site, not just the features. We also switched from Feedburner for the daily email newsletters to Feedblitz, since there may have been a bug that saw Feedburner deliver the wrong news. We wanted to be safe rather than sorry.
   However, we hope you like it, although if you’re browsing on a cellphone and some mobile devices, you should be seeing a reduced version of these pages as before.
   There have also been new articles on the main part of the website. Elyse Glickman checked out Düsseldorf in her ‘Volante’ feature (the first of three in Germany)—the first article to get the new look. Next up was Stanley Moss, writing as Lovejoy, with our serialization of his novel The Crimson Garter.
   It’s a departure for us to feature fiction, though readers may remember a few road tests by yours truly where I aped the style of another author—my Aston Martin V8 Vantage review was linked and even posted on a forum at the time. However, Stanley’s novel is so compelling it bears the hallmarks of many great Lucire travel stories (many of which were penned by him), and it covers subjects that are familiar to readers. Plus, you can also check out some of the places covered through the related links at the bottom of the page. The icing on the cake is that The Crimson Garter is a really good yarn. The first two chapters are up now, and we’ll add more regularly. Since many of you get into novels over summer, it seems to be an ideal time to serialize his novel. You can also order the whole thing if you want to read ahead—click through and there are links to Kobobooks and Amazon to the right of the title.
   In case you missed the features, Lola Saab has the low-down for spring 2014 from New York; Tamara Madison interviewed Alexandra von Bromssen; and Anna Deans looks at Lindex’s latest campaign with Matthew Williamson and Karlie Kloss. There were also two looks back at 2013: our news-makers, and my personal review of the year.
   Finally, though certainly not least, we have to give props to swimwear label Surface Too Deep for the great photograph above. The model on the left is reading Lucire. The model on the right has put down another title. I think it says it all: the print editions of Lucire, as we regularly hear from readers, truly engage you from cover to cover.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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January 13, 2014

Style this week: do the American Hustle

Anna Deans/4.20

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This week’s style round-up is inspired by the widely talked-about, Golden Globe-winning and Academy Award-nominated movie, American Hustle. This gangster movie, set in the ’70s, has two stunning leading ladies, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence. The ’70s glamazon-style wardrobe these ladies have enlisted for the movie is what I have been inspired by in creating this week’s look. Although both Amy and J-Law have the ’70s con-artist’s wife look going, their characters also have their own personal æsthetic.


   Jennifer’s is a slightly off-kilter sex-kitten: a little rough-glam. Her roller-curled bed hair, and silver hoop earrings stay throughout the movie, while she skips between body con-dresses and men’s oversized Ts in terms of attire.


   Amy’s look is more sleek-and-smart con-lady of whom everyone is afraid, her trade-mark look being super-low-cut garments. She sports glam dresses with fur and pencil skirts, with barely-there blouses and über-chic hats.
   My look is inspired by these two ladies’ characters, but I was sure not to be too literal. Why? Because who wants to look like they are in a costume, or, too overly sexy.


   A few weeks ago, while flicking through Aussie label Bec and Bridge’s current collection, I came across this modern, snakeskin-print leather dress. I remember thinking: although it is a far cry from my usual, less obviously sexy style, I like the slightly sex-pot, but still modern-and-classy, vibe of this dress. The red colour, snakeskin print, body-con nature and spaghetti straps scream sexy mixed with various vibes of ’70s and ’90s. The cut-out, very current design lines and longer length create more modernity and make it quirky-cool, not quirky-slutty. I think it is the creative contrast that make the dress really work, and also a perfect, more modern, interpretation of the Hustle ladies’ dresses.
   The first pairing I made had to be a chunky and somehow fluffy jacket. I didn’t want it to be fur though, as that would be a cliché bore and also date the dress. Therefore, I chose its modern counterpart: ostrich feather. I love the current comeback of all things ostrich feather and will most definitely be rocking this look in winter. The particular jacket shown is vintage, but many high-end designers bought them in 2013, therefore, they will be in your local stores in no time. I chose black, as it is classic, and lets the red tone of the dress really speak.
   These Alexander Wang heels were also an obvious choice to me, being modern with an element of ’70s to them. I came across these while having a drooling look at Alexander Wang’s current shoe collection. The whole collection is incredible. This particular pair came to mind, as the black complements the look in a subtle way and the tie-up straps somehow scream con-lady-chic to me. They also further modernize the look with the creative use of straps overlaying in an unusual way.
   This look is quite full-on-busy already, so I didn’t think it needed too many jewels. The obvious choice were earrings, as I couldn’t get away from the idea of modernizing J-Law’s character’s ’70s silver hoops. They are almost her signature in the movie, alongside her tousled curls. I wanted to stick with silver, but make them a take on hoops, not actually hoops. I saw these Meadowlark geometric-patterned, circular earrings the other day and was sold. They perfectly complement the look, while also somehow being an incredible stand-alone piece.
   Matchy-matchy ended up being a funky ’70s component of this look, but I don’t think it’s bad matchy. Therefore, I couldn’t resist including a matching dark-red nail. The ladies seem to have vixen-red nails and lips throughout the movie so I figured, why not? Red lips and nails are always a good way to feel sexy and have fun with your look.
   Lastly, the hair is a fun take of the frizzy curls seen in the ’70s. The model is also wearing minimal make-up, with the red lips, which is what I envisioned alongside this look. I am not recommending everyone go for this crazy-haired look, however, but more let it inspire you to look to the ’70s and have a little fun.
   How do people feel about my newfound sex-pot style?—Anna Deans

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December 30, 2013

NPO names Taylor Swift 2013’s most generous celebrity; One Direction in second place

Lucire staff/23.52

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Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

American NPO DoSomething.org has published its list of the top 20 celebrities who have given to charity. While the criteria are not given, it does appear restricted to celebrities who have made an impact Stateside.
   The site places Taylor Swift (above) in first place, with donations including US$100,000 to the Nashville Symphony out of her own pocket, and an event for Centrepoint, helping homeless youth.
   One Direction is in second place although their totals are more substantial—albeit not paid from their own net worth. The boy band’s Red Nose Day single raised over £2 million to help charities, and a further US$784,345 in donations for cancer research.
   No figure was given for third-placed Beyoncé, other than headlining the Chime for Change charity concert in London. Nor was an amount given to the late Paul Walker, who founded the Reach Out Worldwide charity, ‘a network of professionals with first responder skills,’ according to the website. Walker was killed in a car crash while aiding a charity raise funds for the Philippines’ disastrous Typhoon Haiyan.
   Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were placed fifth, while Sandra Bullock came sixth for her work in disaster relief and education. Kerry Washington was given seventh place, helping in the arts for low-income areas, Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries) followed for his work on the environment and animal rights, and Ryan Seacrest gave back through his foundation to children’s hospitals.
   Carrie Underwood made it into the top 10, donating US$1 million to the Red Cross, to help her home state, Oklahoma. One of our celebrity newsmakers of 2013, Jennifer Lawrence, was just outside the top 10, with her screening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in Louisville, Kentucky, which raised funds for St Mary’s Center, helping those with intellectual disabilities.
   The remaining nine can be found on DoSomething.org’s website.

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Angela Lansbury, Penelope Keith become Dames in New Year Honours’ List

Lucire staff/22.55

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Eva Rinaldi/Creative Commons 2·0


Hugo Bernand/Cartier

Top Angela Lansbury, who receives a DBE in the New Year Honours’ List, announced today. Above Katherine Jenkins receives an OBE for her contribution to music and services to charity.

Actresses Angela Lansbury and Penelope Keith are to become Dames in the New Year Honours’ List. Lansbury, 88, best known for her role in Murder, She Wrote, is on the diplomatic and overseas list for her work in drama, charitable work and philanthropy, while Keith, 73, is honoured for her services to the arts and charity.
   The Honours’ List this year has more women than men for the first time—611 out of 1,195—though men still outnumber women in the higher honours. Five per cent are from ethnic minorities.
   Singer and actor Michael Crawford, 71, receives a CBE for services to children’s charities.
   Nicholas Parsons, now 90, receives an OBE for his work in drama and broadcasting. Comedienne Sandi Toksvig also receives an OBE for her services to broadcasting, while mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins gets hers for her contribution to music and for services to charity. Lynda Bellingham, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, receives her OBE for her services to charity.
   Author Anthony Horowitz (Foyle’s War) receives an OBE for services to literature.
   Celebrity recipients on the list receiving MBEs include actress–writer Ruth Jones (Gavin & Stacey), for her services to entertainment, Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs) for his work on sustainable buildings, and DJ Pete Tong for services to broadcasting and music.

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December 29, 2013

Miss France 2014 your top story, and Princess Madeleine your favourite newsmaker

Lucire staff/1.19

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Bruno Ehrs/Kungahuset

Above HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden was the person you searched for the most this year.

We’ve told you who we thought 2013’s newsmakers were. But who did you want to read about this year?
   In first place: HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden. The younger of HM King Carl XVI Gustaf’s daughters was married this year, to Anglo-American financier Chris O’Neill, and there was plenty of interest from you in the Royal Wedding.
   Keira Knightley and Penélope Cruz held your imaginations in second and third place this year, followed by Kylie Minogue, Leah Remini, Sonam Kapoor and David Gandy.
   Olivia Newton-John proved that she could still get readers’ interest a generation after Grease, while last year’s World Miss University Mia Hasanagic found herself in ninth place after an influx of searches in January. Fearne Cotton and the new Miss France, Flora Coquerel, manage 10th and 11th respectively, with Jay Kay, Honor Dillon and Adriana Lima following. Jeremy Renner and David Beckham were tied at 15th.
   Our top news items of 2013—unless something drastic happens in these final two days—were, as usual, the election of Miss France (right), while you were also very interested in GHD’s Candy Collection of straighteners.
   Pandora showed that it was a favourite among fashionistas, with its Black Friday charm getting plenty of attention.
   Given that Princess Madeleine was the most-searched person, the Royal Wedding slipped in to fourth and fifth on our charts. Another Royal Wedding story, on the couple’s honeymoon destination, was ninth.
   The current James Bond, Daniel Craig, launching the Range Rover Sport in New York came sixth, followed by Lana Del Rey releasing her new film Tropico last month.
   The top Kiwi story was on the Brancott Estate World of Wearable Art winners, in a year where New Zealanders took the top prizes.
   There remained plenty of interest in last year’s World Miss University, with our story on Mia Hasanagic’s win coming in 10th.
   Last year, Whitney Houston’s death made it into our top 10. Bad news, sadly, still sells, though it was the death of photographer Kate Barry (the cause remains unannounced) that came in at 11th.

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December 28, 2013

Dopo Natale: letter from Venezia

Lucire staff/23.19

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Paula Sweet

Greetings the week after Christmas 2013! I’m living here for the month, writing and reporting, and the city is grand. You still see huge tour groups of curious Asians—welcome, friends! But the lanes are comparatively empty now, and they will thin out next week after the New Year. It’s the perfect season to visit. Just bring your warm clothes.
   I’m gearing up to write an article for www.italiantalks.com about shopping with Cosimo from the Luna Baglioni, one of my favourite hotels in the world. Paula and I will accompany Chef Cosimo on an odyssey to the Rialto market and observe him as he selects the best of the region for the Canova Restaurant. We’ll photograph him, take some movies, and share his secret places and choices with you. Stay tuned!



Paula Sweet

   This week we dropped by the Luna to finalize our appointment, and we shared a coffee with Cosimo, our old friend GM Gianmatteo Zampieri, and were expertly taken care of by the legendary Nicoletta. Cosimo sent out a dessert sampler with zabaglioni, dates and mascarpone, cheesecake, chocolate mousse, and a delicate custard. It’s always great to visit the Luna, since it feels like home and family—also to consult with the world’s greatest concierge, Antonio Massari about the latest insider places of interest. He always knows what’s happening.
   Later, we went wandering, due east, out to the Castello neighbourhood, where a local resident pointed us to the Campo Ruga. It doesn’t get much more real than this. You may need your GPS to find it, but tucked away in this tiny square you’ll find Trattoria alla Nuova Speranza, where chef Alessandro (and his Viszla dog) welcomed us for an authentic Venetian lunch. A half litre of Valpolicella, traditional salad, and a lasagna which made us cry out loud, ‘Mamma mia!’ Then traditional Venetian cookies and vin santo, followed by a macchiatone, a coffee service unique to the Veneto—ask for it anywhere else and get a blank stare. The Trattoria is one of those real experiences that can’t be choreographed. True to custom, we had a shot of grappa before stepping back out into the windy chill. As the winter sun set behind the Gothic silhouettes, we strolled along via Giuseppe Garibaldi, back to the lagoon, where fantasy lights illuminated a temporary row of kids’ rides.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor








Paula Sweet

Trattoria alla Nuova Speranza
Campo Ruga
Castello 145
Venezia
Telephone and fax 39 041 52-85-225

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Filed under: Lucire, travel, Volante

Lucire TV: fashion’s significant moments and trends of 2013

Lucire staff/11.57

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While we had our newsmakers, what else summed up 2013 in the fashion business?
   In a nutshell: Marc Jacobs’ departure from Louis Vuitton after 16 years and his last show at Paris Fashion Week, the return of Tom Ford and a big show to London, the revival of Schiaparelli under Christian Lacroix, the return of grunge on the streets and the catwalks, the Met-inspired revival of punk, the exhibitions on Azzedine Alaïa at Palais Galliera, Chanel at the Palais de Tokyo and Christian Dior at the Grand Palais, Ralph Lauren’s restoration and patron sponsorship of L’École des Beaux-Arts and Fendi’s restoration of the Fontana di Trevi, under Karl Lagereld and Silvia Venturini Fendi.
   There were also more films promoting fashion this year, and while promotional in motive, they have increasingly become works of art. Kenzo had its Electric Jungle by Mat Maitland and directors Smith & Read, Fendi at the Palazzo Farnese, Miu Miu’s dancing women, Martin Scorsese directing Scarlett Johansson and Matthew McConaughey for Dolce & Gabbana’s The One, Sienna Miller and fiancé Tom Sturridge for Burberry, Monica Bellucci for Dolce & Gabbana, and Wes Anderson directing his film for Prada. Karl Lagerfeld’s astonishing works for Chanel get special mention, revealing more each season about the history of la maison.
   Our final video shows this year’s most intriguing fashion show scenery, featuring Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Rick Owens, Vionnet, Rodarte, Jason Wu, Yves Saint Laurent, Proenza Schuler, Antonio Berardi, Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Moncler Gamme Rouge, Hermès, Kenzo, Alexander McQueen, Prada, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, and Chanel.

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Ready for ’14: a new look for Lucire’s home page

Jack Yan/11.04

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Above Out with the old, in with the new—with J-Law doing the honours as the first cover girl of the new look. (It was Kylie Minogue a year ago.)

Our home page has had a nip–tuck today. Well, it’s closer to a full redesign.
   During 2013, there seems to have been a trend toward longer and longer web pages, probably thanks to mobile devices and tablets, and our ease of “swiping”.
   This has changed the way we consume web publications, although the new design breaks a few rules that were de rigueur when we started in 1997.
   If you head there today, you’ll see a more impressive, “bled” home page image (Jennifer Lawrence is the ideal person to kick this off—especially if you read my ‘Newsmakers of 2013’ story) but the menu bar isn’t where you expect it to be.
   We still haven’t quite got there in terms of making the page perfect for lower resolutions—some images still don’t resize properly—but we will make these corrections through 2014.
   One of our advertisers, Vidal Sassoon, was arguably the inspiration behind the new look. While we can’t be quite as fancy—a magazine must still present easily digestible facts first, and dazzle with new products second—we began rethinking how Lucire should look. We also felt, that with how quickly blogs had caught up with magazine-style layouts, we had to differentiate ourselves again.
   It’s interesting to note that the last redesign for Lucire’s home page took place around this time last year—and at the time, we all thought the new look would last us for a couple of years (as most have). It’s the shortest stint of any home-page look Lucire has had in its 16-year history.
   Internally, we feel the new look is closer to that of the print editions of Lucire, which only makes sense. Each should reinforce the other.
   We’ll phase in the new look, as we want to wait to get your feedback.
   I mentioned my ‘Newsmakers’ story earlier. Click through here and see if you agree with our team’s top six for 2013. We didn’t include Miley.
   Have a wonderful 2014, and please let us know your thoughts on the redesign in the comments or via our social media presences (we’ve had a few positive ones on our Facebook group and our Facebook page).—Jack Yan, Publisher

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