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April 14, 2014

Video interview: Alexander Wang on his collaboration with H&M, at the Coachella Music Festival

Lucire staff/22.39


Above H&M’s Margareta van den Bosch and New York designer Alexander Wang.

Alexander Wang (王大仁) is the next designer to collaborate with Hennes & Mauritz, with the announcement made on Saturday at the Coachella Music Festival in Palm Springs, Calif. Online above is video footage from the event, featuring interviews with Wang, Kate Bosworth and Emmy Rossum, along with highlights from the party.
   Wang is the first American to collaborate with H&M in a series that began in 2004, and has seen team-ups with Karl Lagerfeld, Comme Des Garçons, Sonia Rykiel, Roberto Cavalli. Stella McCartney, and Viktor & Rolf. The collaboration will be called Alexander Wang × H&M.
   A beaming Wang says, ‘It’s such an honour. H&M is a brand with so much creativity and they’ve done something so different with these collaborations, and I am so excited to be a part of it with the 10th year anniversary and also be the first American brand that they have collaborated with. It’s really exciting and we have a lot of stuff that’s going to be new for the collaboration that I’m just really excited to reveal in November.’
   In his release, he notes, ‘I am honoured to be a part of H&M’s designer collaborations. The work with their team is an exciting, fun process. They are very open to push boundaries and to set a platform for creativity. This will be a great way for a wider audience to experience elements of the Alexander Wang brand and lifestyle.’
   Bosworth says, ‘I’m so excited for Alex. I’ve known him for such a long time and been an admirer for just as long, and I just live seeing all the success at the moment. H&M is such an accessible label and there is something so inspirational obviously about Alex, and I’m really excited to see what he brings to the brand.’
   Rossum adds, ‘Because I love Alex and I’ve been waiting for so so long for him to ask me to do anything … I was happy that I could do something in advance so I could finally wear something of his. I think it’s awesome [he] is doing something for H&M and making it more accessible.’
   Wang’s label was launched in the 2007 and known for its contrasts. The Alexander Wang × H&M collection will have womenswear and menswear, and the Swedish retailer says he will ‘propose a new take on the lifestyle product offering that goes beyond fashion.’
   Margareta van den Bosch, H&M’s creative adviser, says, ‘Alexander Wang is one of the most important voices in fashion today. He understands exactly what people want to wear and does it with an energy and passion that’s infectious. It feels incredible to be collaborating with him this year.’
   The collection will be available in 250 H&M stores worldwide and online, from November 6.

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April 2, 2014

Emma Watson, about to graduate, ponders the next stage of her life

Lucire staff/10.05


Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Above Emma Watson at the Berlin première of Noah last month.

Gracing the April issue of Elle Australia, Emma Watson gives readers the opportunity to realize that despite all her success, she just wants to be normal, and she doesn’t want to be criticized for calling an ‘eraser’ a ‘rubber’, a mistake, she tells Elle, she made during her first week at Brown University. In a few months, she will graduate with a degree in English, and she admits, she has no idea what the next chapter of her life is meant to look like, yet she’s optimistic about the whole ‘post-grad situation.’
   ’Look,’ she tells Elle’s Mickey Rapkin, ‘I just want to know exactly what the next 10 years of my life is going to look like, OK? And to have it organized on a colour-coordinated calendar. Is that really too much to ask for?’ And as most of her graduating class would ask the same question, it becomes clear that, although Watson has graced the film and fashion worlds, she is just like any other “almost graduate” deciding where the next chapter of her life is heading, or at least, trying to figure it out.
   But Watson admits she is jealous of other actresses, whose rise to fame have been less embarrassing to hers, citing her role as Hermione Granger as her greatest, yet not her most stylish, role.
   ‘There are these actresses who have emerged in the last year or two and they get to emerge as this complete human being,’ adding, ‘And I’m so jealous! Because everyone has seen me with my terrible haircuts and my awful teeth and all the terrible things I wore and said.’ But that’s the beauty of Watson, she’s so candid and honest about her own insecurities and afflictions that she seems unable to understand why people love her now as the style icon she is, but Watson worries that her best days are already behind her.
   ‘I’ve got so much left to do and prove,’ she tells Rapkin, adding that her absence from the screen wasn’t due to the lack of offers, but, rather the lack of a challenging character. ‘I was being offered roles that I didn’t feel were very complicated. Women that were one-dimensional. Roles that required me to be one thing, but real women never are.’
   Watson admits that she doesn’t want her real life to happen on screen, remembering a quote she once read by Elizabeth Taylor, ‘She had her first kiss in character on a movie set. It really struck me. I had this sense that if I wasn’t really careful, that could be me. That my first kiss could in somebody else’s clothes. And my experience could all belong to someone else.’ The desire to form her own identity is something that Watson emphasizes, she wants to create her own memories, and not just play the role. As the interview progresses, you get the sense that Watson is just trying to find out who she is, without all the Hollywood hype, the movies, the fashion labels; none of that seems too important to her. Emma Watson is on a course to find a “normal” life, but, as she tells Rapkin, finding answers can be tiresome, but finding a safe place is the ultimate goal.
   ‘If I’ve learned anything, it’s to stop trying to find the answers and certainties.’
   Her desire to feel safe and balanced we all share, even Watson admits her quest is a little mad, but she won’t give up on trying to build a “normal” life. ‘You might think I’m crazy,’ she says, ‘but I was like, “I need to find a way to always feel safe and at home within myself.” Because I can never rely on a physical place.’
   Whatever happens in her quest to build a “normal” life, we hope that Watson continues to dazzle us with her acting performances and that she finally discovers what all graduating students search for: the next chapter of her life.—Snjezana Bobič

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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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February 5, 2014

Selena Gomez kicks off Adidas Neo Label teasers, tied in with online competition

Lucire staff/10.28

Selena Gomez has begun previewing and teasing Adidas Neo Label’s spring–summer 2014 collection, in which she has had a hand as a guest designer. The full collection launches February 12, but its teaser campaign launched today.
   Hashtagged #neosneakpeek, Gomez has ‘hidden’ preview films across the web, according to Adidas. ‘Each film will offer an exclusive preview of key pieces from her Neo spring–summer 2014 collection.’
   A new film was released today, to be found by netizens, and a new one will follow each day till the 12th. Each will be live for only 24 hours. The films show off the behind-the-scenes development of the line and Gomez’s involvement and inspirations.
   Those who uncover the films in the online competition, run via the web and social networks, have a chance of winning items from the Adidas Neo Label range.
   A one-hour, global Twitter contest takes place on the 12th, where one fan will win a chance to meet Gomez in person.
   The Neo Twitter account can be found at twitter.com/adidasNEOLabel. Adidas Neo is available via Adidas’ website, and Neo stores internationally.

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January 30, 2014

Scarlett Johansson, Oxfam formally sever ties over Sodastream endorsement

Lucire staff/23.18


Above Scarlett Johansson in an unaired commercial for Sodastream.

Oxfam, which has been under pressure to sever its ties with Scarlett Johansson after she became the spokeswoman for Sodastream, confirmed that it no longer has the actress as a goodwill ambassador.
   Johansson, who has worked with Oxfam since 2005, issued an earlier statement about her departure.
   ‘She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam,’ her statement read.
   Sodastream, which is part-owned by Israeli interests, has a factory in a settlement in the West Bank. Oxfam opposes goods produced by Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories.
   Oxfam stated, ‘Oxfam has accepted Scarlett Johansson’s decision to step down after eight years as a Global Ambassador and we are grateful for her many contributions.
   ‘While Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors, Ms Johansson’s role promoting the company Sodastream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador.
   ‘Oxfam believes that businesses, such as Sodastream, that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support.
   ‘Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law. Ms Johansson has worked with Oxfam since 2005 and in 2007 became a Global Ambassador, helping to highlight the impact of natural disasters and raise funds to save lives and fight poverty.’
   Activists had been quick to seize on the Sodastream campaign after it became public on January 13.
   Previously, Johansson had stated, ‘Sodastream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbours working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma’ale Adumim factory every working day. As part of my efforts as an ambassador for Oxfam, I have witnessed first-hand that progress is made when communities join together and work alongside one another and feel proud of the outcome of that work in the quality of their product and work environment, in the pay they bring home to their families and in the benefits they equally receive.’
   An advertisement for Sodastream will air during the Super Bowl in the US this Sunday, starring Johansson.
   Sodastream CEO Daniel Birnbaum told the Forward that he would not have located a plant in the settlement himself. He became CEO after the plant had been established in the 1990s, but said he would not close it due to his 500 Palestinian employees, who could not work at another plant on the other side of the Green Line. ‘We will not throw our employees under the bus to promote anyone’s political agenda,’ he said.
   Birnbaum also stressed that if a Palestinian state comes into being, his company would be happy to remain there and pay taxes to the new state.

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Filed under: celebrity, film, living, Lucire, media
January 20, 2014

Style this week: the Audrey Hepburn look—wherever you’re going, I’m going your way

Anna Deans/4.26

The concept for this week’s style profile began while I was shoe shopping at local Wellington-based store, Shoezies. This shop is full of exquisitely made, usually hand-crafted, European brand shoes. I came across these forest green, sling-back, pointy-toe, kitten heels and fell in love. I am celebrating the comeback of kitten heels as they are über-chic in every sense. The sophisticated quality of these delicate heels reminded me somehow, of classic style icon Audrey Hepburn. Audrey, coincidentally, also wore a lot of kitten heels over the years.

   Audrey’s style is timeless elegance. Simplistic, chic tailoring mixed with the exact right amount of originality. Here, I have shown some of my favourite looks of hers. Audrey was one of the initiators of the little black dress, and she really knew how to nail it with a structural cinched waist, ’60s square neckline and straight-down skirt. Her pairings were always simple. She usually matched her dress to kitten heels or flats with a classic up-do and fine jewels, usually earrings. Audrey also nailed dressed-down chic with Capri pants, sweaters, ballet flats, short-shorts and man-style shirts. Her make-up look is also to die for, consisting of super-strong brows (which I am rocking at the moment, only less extremely!), flawless skin, dusty pink lips and slight cat eyes. Gorgeous!

   Here’s the look I came up with inspired by Audrey’s timeless style and starting with my to-die-for kitty heels.

   When researching Audrey’s looks, one of my favourites was most definitely her cute-as-a-button short-shorts and shirt look. I also happen to think kitten heels look extra-good with a pair of tailored shorts. Phillip Lim 3.1 was the obvious choice to me for shorts, as in my mind, Phillip is the king of modern tailoring. I found these textured, white and tailored shorts by him and was sold. I also love the forest green-and-white combo.
   I wanted to bring in an element of pattern or texture to the look. This super-stunning Isabel Marant top I came across the other day immediately sprung to mind: the colours tie in well as it includes white and green, but in minimal amounts resulting in nothing too matchy. I also like the late ’50s–early ’60s Chanel vibe it projects, which is very Audrey, but in a modern way. Ladies will be also glad to know the inward-pointing arrows in the print will also effortlessly flatter your figure, projecting a more hourglass-like frame.
   I couldn’t resist adding the classic flap-front Chanel bag in a low-key taupe tone. It screams ’60s while still being relevant today. I would kill to have one of those babies: they literally look good with anything and everything.
   Audrey was known to wear little pearl drop earrings so I decided to incorporate a modern and more edgy version. This pair by Taranaki-based designer Jennifer Laracy combines a classic top half of pearl and silver, with a more edgy and out-there black stone and chain bottom half. I love the edged-up but still classy vibe. I feel Audrey may consider these if she were to be dressing in 2014.
   Nails-wise, I decided to just do it and go for the classic ’50s- and ’60s-style bright red. The red also brings out the other colours in the look as a contrasting tone as well as a more sexy vixen element. I like to think Audrey had a more wild side we don’t know about.
   As I love a good pair of one-off vintage sunnies, I decided not to include a specific pair. Why not go to your favourite local vintage shop and pick up an Audrey-inspired pair of your own to go with the look? Be sure to consider you face shape when picking your pair.
   How do you feel about my more sophisticated-than-usual look?—Anna Deans

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January 14, 2014

Lucire’s style round-up: fashionable Instagrams this week, January 14

Anna Deans/0.11

Today’s fashion Instagram round-up includes, first, my current model-crush, Bambi Northwood-Blyth. Here, she is looking effortlessly sexy-chic with her head out a car window. Only Bambi could wear a vintage looking bralette and pink shirt to do this and make it look unsilly. Bambi’s best friend and DJ Bip Ling is also included this week, in a snap from Bambi’s fiancé Dan Single’s Instagram. Bip is looking super-alty and stylish in a peach-pink and green skirt and top set with flamboyant frills. She has paired this with stark white platforms with Nike ankle socks, a wicked pair of sunnies and a tousled, beachy mane. I am dying for this super-original look.
   Also included from Australia this week is model and 4th and Bleeker blogger, Alexandra Spencer. Here she looks über-sexy in a hat over half her face with her sumptuous lips showing underneath. I appreciate the black-and-white element of this shot making it even more edgy-sexy. I have also included world-class blogger from Fashiontoast, Rumi Neely, this week. Rumi is a constant style icon of mine and this week she is wearing a sheer-dusty-grey silk organza T, with a soft-cup barely-there bra underneath. Her make-up is its usual minimal self, with a slight cat-eye, paired with her usual tousled mane.
   The last Instagram shot from a blog this week is from Jak & Jil. This blog is a compilation of renowned street-style photographer Tommy Ton’s imagery. This shot is a true pink confection: Tania Gačić looks fabulous wearing an oversized fuchsia blazer with matching bag and lip. Somehow this Barbie-pink look, even on a blonde, still works.
   I have included two more high-profile celebrities this week, the first a stunning shot of Jennifer Lawrence off Vogue Brasil’s Instagram. I am adoring her vulnerability in this shot where she is wearing a robe, most likely having her make-up done. Her expression and make-up are both soft and this endears her very much.
   Rita Ora makes the last celeb spot this week, as I couldn’t resist but include her fabulous eyebrow-advice shot: it is so true. Ladies, take note from Rita’s advice about keeping your brows a less-dramatic, more natural shape.
   Last, I included a shot from my own Instagram. This week I thought I would mix it up and have a beauty-inspo shot of myself, rather than an outfit. Here, I am having fun with my make-up look wearing my usual minimal make-up paired with a statement orange lip by MAC and a tousled pony. Let me know what you think of my more bold look. And that’s a wrap!—Anna Deans

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January 13, 2014

Scarlett Johansson announced as celebrity ambassador for Sodastream

Lucire staff/5.52

A lot of products have celebrity endorsers these days, but we never expected to see Scarlett Johansson flog Sodastream. But it is official, with the Golden Globe nominee and Tony Award winner announced Saturday as the face of Sodastream, with the first TVC featuring the actress going out during the Super Bowl in the US on February 2.
   The official release says Johansson is already a long-time Sodastream user. CEO Daniel Birnbaum adds that she is ‘a role model for healthy body image and a champion for environmental responsibility, making her the perfect choice for our global ambassador. She truly embodies our brand values and we are honoured to have her join our team.’
   The company is pushing a healthy, independent and environmentally friendly image with its latest marketing, stressing that its soda mixes generally contain two-thirds less sugar and calories than other carbonated beverages. By having a reusable bottle, it reduces the waste from other beverages’ plastic bottles and cans.
   Sodastream says it is ‘confident that in her role as global ambassador, Johansson will help consumers embrace home soda making as the future of the beverage industry.’
   The televised Super Bowl match reaches some 100 million viewers.
   Johansson is no stranger to celebrity endorsements: she signed up with Dolce & Gabbana in 2009, and appeared in a Martin Scorsese-directed film for Dolce & Gabbana, alongside Matthew McConaughey last year. She has also fronted for Calvin Klein, Mango, L’Oréal, and Louis Vuitton.

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