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April 21, 2015

IWC Schaffhausen hosts 2015 Beijing International Film Festival dinner; Peter Chan honoured

Lucire staff/3.49

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Emmanuel Wong

In Lucire 30’s ‘Red alert’ by Geneviève Hole, we noted how brands continued to focus their attentions eastward, and the trend continues with IWC Schaffhausen sponsoring its third Beijing International Film Festival.
   The fifth edition of the festival sees IWC return as an official sponsor and partner, spying an opportunity to promote its luxury Swiss watches.
   The day after the official opening last Thursday, IWC held its For the Love of Cinema filmmakers’ dinner, with 250 celebrities and VIPs from around the world.
   IWC Schaffhausen ambassador Zhou Xun was present, along with models Xi Meng Yao and KarolĂ­na Kurková, Kurková’s husband Archie Drury, Francis Ng, Yuan Quan, Wang Luodan, Dou Xiao, Ming Xi and Liu Chang. Thai-born producer–director Peter Chan (Comrades: Almost a Love Story, The Love Letter, The Warlords, Bodyguards and Assassins) was honoured with the IWC Filmmaker Award, presented by IWC Schaffhausen China MD Dennis Lee.
   Singer–songwriter Tayu Lo and a team of kung fu masters performed live at the dinner.
   It also launched a limited-edition watch from the Portugieser family, dedicated to the Festival.
   The Beijing International Film Festival, now with Venezia and Locarno festival veteran Marco MĂĽller as artistic adviser, has proved to be a growing success and increasingly important to the international film market. The Beijing Film Market has reported 140 exhibitors from 25 countries, with foreign players exceeding domestic ones; and 36 deals were signed there totalling US$2,230 million. Forty films are having their world premières at the Festival.
   The event runs till the 23rd.




















Emmanuel Wong

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April 16, 2015

A spring in their steps: Secret Room’s pre-MTV Movie Awards’ suite

Lucire staff/10.22

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Leyla Messian

As usual, Rita Branch and Amy Boatright’s Secret Room Events lined up a docket of product talent filled with delights for girls and boys of all ages. However, young Reef Carneson was the true VIP of the day. At age six, he is a cancer survivor as well as the first pediatric bonemarrow recipient in his native South Africa. Unfortunately, he developed Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) after his procedure. When a diagnosis of skin cancer made matters worse, his family came to the United States for further treatment. To help offset the costs for his family, Rock It 4 Reef has been established to keep Reef and his family going strong in his quest to beat his illness. This year, generous Style Lounge attendees have enabled the Secret Room to collect for little Reef’s health care.
   As befitting any pre-awards show fĂŞte, a red carpet led into one of the brightly lit ballrooms of the elegant SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. But this was no ordinary trade show. A sparkling hall showcased a hit parade of new products, accompanied by high-energy pop blasting out of a small device that looked like a coffee pot. In spite of its appearance, the Archt One 360-degree sound system did not dispense Lavazza or Starbucks. Instead, a pulsating brew of multi-directional sound poured straight from the Singapore-based inventor’s Iphone, through the device and to the farthest corners of the ballroom. Information for this percolating Kickstarter invention can be found at archtaudio.com.
   Another impressive device we discovered is Cheero’s Ingress Power Cube, offering 12,000 MHz of juice that allows the user to charge two devices while flying, camping, mountain biking or surviving on a deserted island. Even castaways and hermits need their music and games. Cheero has several models of chargers available, including one that comes with a flexible toy “transformer” whose eyes light up when the gadget is fully charged. Speck was on hand with a colourful array of Ipad, tablet and phone covers with mid-century modern patterns in vivid turquoise, teal, yellow and vermilion.
   One literal highlight of the day is best used at night-time, and not only by children. Total Dreamz by Aloka Designs USA offers a variety of hypnotic, colour-changing nightlights. Little girls will fall asleep alongside a rainbow-tinted horse, puppy, or fairy, while little boys will ride a train or spaceship to Dreamland. Children over 18 will be mesmerized by the psychedelic heart and butterfly designs that bring an aurora borealis effect to their bedroom. Sleepyheads can program these night lights to turn off automatically when the fun is over.
   After splitting a surprisingly tasty, probiotic-packed Effi Bar made of raw dates, cashews, and goji berries, we moved on to the clothing and accessories. Wiley X Eyewear outfitted attendees with the same sleek model of shades worn by Bradley Cooper in American Sniper. Although designed for men, these are quite flattering on women. Lightweight yet durable, they cool off the eyes by cutting the glare effectively. It is interesting to note that this brand also provides eye protection for the Australian military.
   No style lounge is complete without introducing designers who turn trash into fashion. Protecting the earth while making us look good: we’ve all seen or worn recycled denim, restructured vintage clothing, and jewellery created from old glass. Made from recycled plastic bottles harvested in the US, Underground Chic has a collection of stylish handbags, clutches, and totes in a variety of fun, crayon-coloured hues. One style looks and feels like genuine, soft brown suede. It’s easy to forget that these cute accessories were once bottles that could have ended up clogging our oceans.
   Anje, also based in New York, has created a line of luxurious yet minimalist cashmere garments in multiple shades of grey, charcoal and black. Although expensive, the generous, flowing silhouettes flatter all figure types. They are true and timeless investment pieces for one’s wardrobe.
   So, what about colour? After all, it is spring here in North America, and not only the Ipads should be attired in teal and vermilion. When choosing the most flattering gowns, celebrities the world over reach out to color consultant Jill Kirsh. She provides one-on-one as well as online consultations for international clients to determine the best colour palette based on the individual’s hair colour. She also customizes make-up to complement each client’s hair colour, skin tone, and wardrobe, thereby ensuring a uniform look.
   We had already shared our second better-for-you-than-yoghurt Effi Bar (this time it was coconut and cacao) when we started to explore the multitude of beauty products and services. Joey New York introduced their newest skin care product, This N That, a multi-use liquid to shrink pores and exfoliate; their Keep It Up, described as an instant natural facelift, is one of their best-selling products. Coconut water and ginseng, used in some Joey New York products, lift and tighten sagging skin and pesky jowls. The new Cellusanaskin care line rejuvenates the skin with the same stem cell technology used for burn victims. Cellusana looks forward to the launch of injectable stem cells, which eliminate wrinkles and other imperfections, without the use of paralysing toxins.
   EMK presented attendees with a gift of plant placental anti-ageing face serum with firming kelp and clarifying tea tree oil. Used together with their Supra night cream and their firming eye gel, we can look forward to waking up with brighter, more refreshed skin. The line has a devoted following in Malaysia and Dubai, where hot climates wreak havoc upon delicate skin. Our first whiff of Kuumba Made botanically infused organic body care and first-aid products brought back memories of the late 1960s and early 1970s, of bell-bottomed jeans, incense and free love. We were particularly drawn to the jasmine, white ginger and black coconut scents. The all-natural scented coconut oil relieves feminine dryness, and the vanilla-infused variety improves intimacy. And speaking of which, Matt Titus is the first nationally recognized male matchmaker to develop a fragrance collection. The YOU collection (also known as the Scent of a Woman collection) consists of three distinctive fragrances sold together, each with notes of fresh green tea, warm musk or feminine florals.
   Korean bath houses are becoming increasingly popular outside the Korean community. Men and women enjoy a variety of saunas, hot and cold plunge pools, and body treatments au naturel. Tikkun Holistic Spa is one of the better known, high-end Korean spas with heat therapy and infrared rooms that help soothe tired muscles and tense moods. The ladies of Tikkun are delighted to introduce Lucire readers to an indulgent cleansing ritual designed for our “lady bits”. One just sits on the specially designed ‘V’ treatment chair (‘A’ treatment for the boys), and allow the steam to do its thing. Afterwards, one retires to either the clay or the salt room at the spa to further detoxify and relax. A day at Tikkun is an all-day affair. Karen’s Skincare is the secret behind the effectiveness of Tikkun’s facials. In particular, the Advanced C and E Infusion Complex diffuses highly concentrated vitamins to combat wrinkles, age spots and sagging skin. Made in the US without animal testing, Tikkun’s products are paraben-free and customized for various skin types.
   Of course, time is ultimately a thief, and steals our youthful appearances no matter how carefully we take care of ourselves. Dr Jason Emer offers facial contouring with fillers as well as surgical and non-invasive procedures. Boasting clients like Sofia Vergara and Cara Delevingne, Dr Emer offers the Venus Treatment, guaranteed to lift and tighten one’s face, neck or body.—Leyla Messian, LA correspondent, with Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor









Leyla Messian

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News in brief: Living Nature revives skin; Desigual, Alexa Meade team up; Cole Haan searches for the American Dream

Lucire staff/7.51

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From issue 34: Living Nature’s Skin Revive Exfoliant is a wonderful addition to the range that’s known for its 100 per cent certified natural ingredients (by BDIH in Germany), its safety on skin, and its ban on animal testing. There’s a nice scent here—as with Living Nature’s products, it’s not overbearing—along with gentle jojoba and candelilla beads that lift dead cells from the skin, stimulating renewal. Being natural, there will not be any damage to the skin and they’re biodegradable, unlike the plastic microbeads that make their way into the oceans. The hero ingredient, kumerahou, is rich in phytosaporins and provides antimicrobial protection. More at www.livingnature.com.
   Celebrating World Art Day on Wednesday, Desigual teamed up with artist Alexa Meade, who has painted on to the set of a photo shoot, including the models and the bags themselves. The company says it chose Meade as a collaborator because of her unconventional, edgy approach. She has painted on three scenarios as part of the collaboration.
   Another recent collaboration has been between Cole Haan and Happy Marshall Productions, on a film production called The American Dream Project. It partnered with FilmBuff to première the series on April 15, with Amazon, Dailymotion, Google Play, Apple Itunes, Ora TV, Vessel, Vimeo and YouTube, examining whether the American Dream still exists across the US and what it looks like today.
   British-born, New York-based filmmaker James Marshall and American photographer Todd Williams were armed with $250, travelling from New York to California through 15 states on Indian motorcycles, exchanging their work for food and shelter, and getting to know the people on the way. They stopped in eight towns and cities en route. ‘The generosity and kindness of the complete strangers I met has stuck with me the most. We are constantly told how dangerous it is out there and how different we are from each other. My experience was that people are mostly generous, kind and we have more in common than not,’ said Marshall.
   The trailer can be found at ColeHaan.com/americandream; the entire series can be found here and each episode also appears embedded below.

Episode 1: Braddock, Pa.

Braddock: Courage & Rebuilding from FilmBuff on Vimeo

Episode 2: Rendville, Ohio

Rendville: Working Together from FilmBuff on Vimeo

Episode 3: St Louis, Mo.

St Louis: Equality, Appreciation from FilmBuff on Vimeo

Episode 4: Iowa, part 1

Iowa: Part 1, Live to Fight Another Day from FilmBuff on Vimeo

Episode 5: Iowa, part 2

Iowa: Part 2, American-made, American Pride from FilmBuff on Vimeo

Episode 6: Wyoming

Wyoming: Faith & Resilience from FilmBuff on Vimeo

Episode 7: Taos, NM

Taos: Innovation from FilmBuff on Vimeo

Episode 8: Los Angeles, Calif.

Los Angeles: Life Philosophy from FilmBuff on Vimeo

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April 9, 2015

Specsavers identifies trends for autumn–winter 2015

Lucire staff/2.27

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Specsavers has identified six trends for autumn–winter 2015, endorsed by its Sydney style ambassador, General Pants Co.’s Pip Edwards.
   Taking the Pantone report for the year, the marsala colour is in; as are grey and blue (including aquamarine, navy and azure); bold, graphic shapes; the return of the aviator styles; and transparent glasses.
   While the retailer will launch items from Osiris Eyewear, Tommy Hilfiger and Puma this season, they also offer their own designs.
   Some of the “in” styles for each of Specsavers’ trends are shown below.
   Edwards was named a Specsavers ambassador in mid-2014.


Osiris Brontë, NZ$369 for two pairs; Pentax single vision lenses included


Alfa, NZ$119 for one pair; Pentax single vision lenses included


TH 75, NZ$459 for two pairs; Pentax single vision lenses included


Osiris Gino, NZ$369 for two pairs; Pentax single vision lenses included


Osiris Luigi, NZ$369 for two pairs; Pentax single vision lenses included


Player, NZ$169 for two pairs; Pentax single vision lenses included

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April 8, 2015

Little Ghost launches a delightful line of leather accessories

Lucire staff/23.18

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Above The two personalities of Little Ghost: the Roma (NZ$279). The Lilac Empress (NZ$199).

We’re impressed with Little Ghost, a new label we were introduced to at Lucire recently. The brainchild of Amber Bibby, who knew she had to make a venture with the name a reality after the two words popped into her head five years ago, the range consists of cool wallets, clutches and handbags, all with a sense of sophistication and adventure.
   The range is new, but Bibby already has something for those who want subtle (the Roma fold-over handbag complete with cellphone pocket and detachable and adjustable strap, NZ$279), or attention (the Empress, a clutch in black with gold studs, or the Lilac Empress, in white with silver studs, NZ$199), or in between (the Blue Moon Chariot is striking but has a classic design, at NZ$199). The Juno wallet and the the Fortress shoulder bag offer Little Ghost magic in other sizes.
   The Little Ghost range is available online via its website, www.littleghost.co.nz. There are also Facebook and Pinterest pages, and an Instagram account.




Top Little Ghost’s Blue Moon Chariot has a baby blue finish. Centre Little Ghost Fortress (NZ$229). Above Juno wallet (NZ$199).

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March 26, 2015

Kenneth Cole Connect watches see fashion brand join the wearable tech trend

Lucire staff/22.14

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Kenneth Cole has joined other brands in announcing an entry into the wearable technology market at Baselworld, with his new Kenneth Cole Connect Smart Watch collection, hitting stories on April 1 at a base price of US$135.
   The watches are being produced by Geneva Watch Group, which also creates timepieces for other fashion brands in addition to Kenneth Cole.
   The new watches feature Bluetooth and functions for incoming calls, texts and calendar events. They also have music functions and a camera, which allow users to take selfies.
   Other features include a stopwatch and alerts when users are about to lose their Bluetooth connection, as the watches require a device to connect with.
   The watches operate on a standard watch battery and do not require a charger, says the company.

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March 20, 2015

Will.i.am, Gucci collaborate on wearable technology: a new, stand-alone smart watch

Lucire staff/22.59

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The Image Gate

Will.i.am’s star power saw him create I.am+, a brand for consumer products that link fashion and technology. A camera accessory for the Apple Iphone was introduced several years ago, and now Will.i.am can add a Gucci timepiece to its credits.
   The new watch has been described as a a stand-alone ‘smartband’, untethered from a smartphone, by Gucci. So far only a concept has been shown at Baselworld, and planned functions include telephone, SMS, emails, music, maps, calendar, a fitness app, and a voice-activated personal assistant.
   The musician noted, ‘I.am+ and Gucci Timepieces are setting the pace with our vision for a untethered wearable. In creating a device that is both fashionable and technologically advanced, we aim to define this category. I coined the term “fashionology”, a merging of the worlds of fashion and technology, and that is exactly what this collaboration with Gucci represents.’
   StĂ©phane Linder, president and CEO of Gucci Timepieces, said, ‘Today, through this innovative collaboration with I.am+ and Will.i.am, Gucci Timepieces is fully embracing the future of wearable technology that is now ahead of us, with the objective of launching a wearable device concept that is a fashion accessory, incorporating the most comprehensive and advanced technological functionalities.’

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March 7, 2015

Top of the world and top of the Beverly Hilton: the TMG luxury suite

Elyse Glickman/12.20

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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 price points 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, barrettes 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 MĂ©xico, 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 Ageing Benefits; Facial Massage with Deep Cleansing & Protection; Neck & DĂ©colletĂ© Hydration & Anti Ageing Massage, Sevique’s founder Susan Nickell and other reps highlighted step- by-step benefits of their natural, cruelty-free products while focusing on guest’s 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 concluded 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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