Lucire


  latest news   fashion   beauty   living   volante   in print   tablet   tv
  home   community   shopping   advertise   contact

Catching our eye: stand-outs at the 2017 ID Emerging Designer Awards


NEWS  by Chris Park/March 26, 2017/11.52

Thirty finalists were selected to showcase their capsule collections at the 2017 ID Emerging Designer Awards’ runway show. Hosted on a crisp autumn evening in the iconic Dunedin Railway Station, the finalists were chosen by a panel of judges from over 150 different entrants, with designers coming from all over the world.
   Head judge Tanya Carlson said that, although it might sound cliché and make her sound like a broken record, she truly believes that the standard of the submissions continues to rise and we were fortunate to see some of the talent.
   Here were some of the designers which particularly caught our attention.

Marina, Talia Jimenez, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW
Winner of the Golden Centre Prize for the Most Commercial Collection




Chris Park/The Park Brothers

   First off the runway, the collection featured playful digital prints of overlapping marine animals. Jimenez balanced the vibrant imagery by using mostly pastel colours for the prints and keeping the overall colour palette minimal.
   The collection was inspired by a trip to the Sydney Fish Markets in Piermont, where she experienced an overwhelming cacophony of marine-themed advertisements, overfilled crates of prawns, and mud crabs tied up in string everywhere.
   The prints were featured on PVC overalls faced with cotton worn with merino turtleneck knits, and oversized raincoats, referencing clothing traditionally worn by fishermen. The prints might be fun but the imposition of the prints on top of “fishermen” alludes to the over-exploitation of the marine ecosystem, and our excess indulgence in the spoils of the sea.




Chris Park/The Park Brothers

Above: Close-ups from Talia Jimenez’s Marina collection.

The Daily Show, Megan Stewart, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
NZME and ‘Viva’ Editorial Prize for Best New Zealand Collection







Chris Park/The Park Brothers

   This collection is a sharp critique on the distortionary effect that electronic communication and mass media have on our perception of reality. The distortionary effect is expressed in a very literal sense by the use of distorted imagery from television shows and twisted knits.
   She references digital media and the pixels of a screen by incorporating 90-degree angles and rectangles in her patterns, which further add to the warping when the square clothing twists around the human form.
   The television imagery was selected and distorted by Stewart herself, before being printed onto hessian-like material. The shoulder construction hangs by the elbows, adding to the warping effect on our perception of the clothing.
   The bright playful colours and mesmerizing patterns belie the warning messages that Stewart transmits to the viewer, of how being absorbed into media will warp one’s perception of reality.

XXX, Nehma Vitols, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW
H&J First Prize








Chris Park/The Park Brothers

   Vitols’s collection was ethereal. The pieces looked like they were hovering in front and behind the models rather than being worn by them, and yet it the composite fabric used by Vitols that gave it a stiffness belying the translucency of the wraith-like materials.
   Nehma created this material by taking silk organza and bonding it with stiff cotton organdy, then applying laser-cut Tyvek detailing in white to add visual depth. As the models walked down the runway, the fabric would shimmer and float, as if it had a mind of its own.
   The pieces were cleverly constructed from scraps of fabric left over from creating archetypal garments, held together using a combination of ties made out of leftover strips of fabric, contrast top-stitching and golden zips, which provided some weight and textural contrast to the sheer fabric.
   The complexity of the construction, the innovative materials and the brilliant execution led to Vitols taking out the grand prize at ID for 2017. Congratulations!—Chris Park, Special Correspondent




Chris Park/The Park Brothers

Above: Detail from Nehma Vitols’s collection, XXX, which took first prize at the ID Emerging Designer Awards.

Countdown to the Oscars: more beauty secrets are out at the Secret Room Red Carpet Luxury Lounge


NEWS  by Elyse Glickman/February 23, 2017/23.02




Elyse Glickman

Even with savvy Amy Boatwright surprising us every awards’ season with her magic in putting together the Secret Room Red Carpet Luxury Lounge, finding new beauty discoveries (and being treated to an amazing array of treatments ranging from Botox to hair services) never stops being exciting. As we’ve come to expect, the pampering and products for people were nicely balanced with fundraising and awareness for the Best Friends Animal Society and No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) shelters, both dedicated to ensuring cats and dogs get the medical treatments, owners and fur-ever homes they deserve.
   However, as this is part of the countdown leading up to Hollywood’s biggest night, the 2017 Academy Awards, the ladies once again pulled out all the stops with sweets and 100 per cent arabica bean coffee from Wolfgang Puck and beauty treatments (including Botox!) from Pasadena-based Parfaire Medical Æsthetics who did a fantastic job of introducing prospective clients to their services and practitioners, and topped it off with a US$50 gift certificate for VIPs. Other services that transformed the suite into a spa included Cecilia Alcala’s massage services, braids and up-dos from Toni & Guy stylists, and Celebrity Gold face masks, and décolleté and hand treatments from European Skin & Massage Studio.
   However, the best beauty surprise of all was the return of Chaz Dean to the main stage at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. A decade ago, he opened his house (that is, his Hollywood bungalow house-turned-salon) to Lucire and other outlets for pre-award show beauty lounges that are still the stuff of awards’ week legend. He introduced us to the wonders of all-purpose, all-in-one products under the Wen line. Although Chaz had been through a lot in recent years, including a fire at the salon and some controversy surrounding his products, he’s bounced back in a big way, with lavish new formulas for Wen, as well as pet grooming products, elegant fragrances, and body care in an ever-changing offering of seasonal aromas as well as year-round scents.
   Speaking of magic gardens (specifically, Chaz’s assortment of fragrances), guests learned about one of Los Angeles’ best hidden treasures, the Gottlieb Native Garden, in a stunning coffee-table book. Located a few minutes drive from the SLS, this inspired hideaway open to the public features California native vegetation as well as once-lost forms of wildlife returning to this new habitat. Other nice things ripe for the picking included skin care from Dermatologic Cosmetics Laboratories, Axia Medical Solutions, Dermis RX Skincare, EstheProLabo HerbZyme Elixir, Allomind’s 3-D movie viewing glasses, and luxury items and other incentives to visit Croatia from the Croatian Tourist Board. There had to be something special for pets, and Sally Snacks‘ Venison Dog Treats fit the bill.
   Repeat “nominees” returning to the lounge included Australia-based Auspect Skincare International with full travel kits filled with their all-purpose line, starring anti-ageing serums for fine lines and wrinkles and eye cream for dark circles to solutions for rosacea and acne-prone skin. Forever in My Heart Jewelry by Mira, whose founder was also devoted to animal welfare, returned with more chic silver statement pieces and pet-oriented baubles. We also enjoyed a second helping of Storm Rejuvenate Pro’s tidy box of perfect gel primer serum packet whose contents erase the appearance of wrinkles and loose skin, and a double dip of gourmet peanut butter from Julie’s Real Foods, Pasta Chips and Goodie Girl cookies.
   At many Secret Room events, media guests can pick up extra bonus products to try. However, this go-round, Amy gave the familiar “and wait … there’s more” sentiment a lift by sending press away with an L. L. Bean tote brimming with such desirables as make-up palettes from Anastasia Beverly Hills, a free year-long subscription to New Beauty, vitamins from Hero Nutritionals, a gift certificate for Sasaki Advanced Æsthetic Medical Center, a gift certificate for shoes from Hey Lady Shoes, and some hand-crafted home décor items. It was a grab bag worthy of being treated with kid gloves.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor





















Elyse Glickman

A Golden mine of beauty finds, as the Secret Room honours 74th Globes nominees


NEWS  by Elyse Glickman/January 6, 2017/22.42




J. C. Olivera

Among the celebrities attending: Rénée Oldstead, Amara Karan, Katie Leclerc.

Anyone attending a Secret Room event during an award show weekend can count on discovering cutting-edge, kind-to-the-environment beauty products. However, the Secret Room Events honouring 74th Golden Globe Awards nominees and presenters focused almost entirely of skin care and wellness products made with medically or environmentally sound ingredients.
   Thanks to the product displays and the æsthetic finesse and artistic skills of platinum sponsor Anne Neilson of Charlotte, NC’s Anne Neilson Home, the SLS Hotel main ballroom in Beverly Hills felt like the ultimate hotel spa reception area. Neilson’s candles, coffee table books and spa beverage dispenser greeted guests after having their red carpet photos taken. However, not many hotel spas admit pets. Here, pets were not only welcomed with open paws, but also Paw Works, the event’s official charity. The non-profit animal rescue organization is dedicated to partnering with county and city businesses to provide abandoned animals through rescues, adoption services and other services.
   Like a good spa, there was a world of skin care products at one’s fingertips with tempting displays and open testers. First, the Pacific Ocean side of the world: South Korea was represented with UrbanHeal’s soon-to-launch line of home facial masks, while Japan’s McCoy Ltd. returned with a new post-workout body care marvel called Non F Expert designed to further advance a sleeker appearance with stem cell extracts and rice-based components. Australia-based Auspect Skincare International introduced its all-purpose line with some products made in the US that includes everything from anti-ageing serums for fine lines and wrinkles and eye cream for dark circles to solutions for rosacea and acne-prone skin. Aromababy touted its Australian-made ranges of pure and gentle aroma-free or therapeutic grade (essential oil) aromatic products for babies and young children.
   There was much to discover in the world of European beauty. Crossing over the Atlantic, guests encountered Storm Rejuvenate Pro, which proved powerful do indeed come in small packages. A tiny box with 50 little packets contains a few drops of a gel serum that instantly diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and loose skin, creating the perfect canvas for one’s make-up. Russia’s Splat encouraged smiles with its prolific line of ultra-premium dental care as well as Heya balsam shampoos. Bioderma was not only back with its popular Sensibio H2O micelle solution but also representative products from its Sebium (acne remedy) and moisturizing Hydrabio lines. European Skin and Massage Studio introduced Woda European Natural Skin Care products from Poland.
   It is no surprise that there were also several made-in-California remedies on hand, from spa equipment supplier Martinni Beauty’s cooling at-home masques to Beverly Hills-based Serumtologie, featured on CNBC’s business programme, showcasing Cserum 22 and Pure Whipped Chiffon moisturizer. The ultra-luxurious CelleCle Skincare, based in Orange County, builds its niche on products tackling skin problems brought on by urbanization, environmental stress, technology and pollution with ‘unique plant flavonoids’ and other ingredients that penetrate several dermal layers. Cote Hair Care, hailing from Las Vegas, rolled out its professional vegan hair care products replacing such nasty stuff as parabens, GMOs and gluten with quinoa oil and plant-based complexes.
   Speaking of plant-based, there were some edible and nutritious treats offered by Barlean’s and Julie’s Real. The real Julie (Fox) behind Julie’s Real was handing out samples of her grain-free granola and almond butters while reps from Barlean’s got us excited about their superfoods with omega-3 fish oil, flax oil and vegan greens powders that make everything from salads to smoothies more nutritious and delicious. All one tastes in the key lime fish oil, straight or mixed with a smoothie, is creamy tropical goodness.
   Many celebrities were on hand to sample and compare, but the most interesting spotting was comedy legend Elayne Boosler, who spent her day behind the tables promoting her Tails of Joy and supporting the inventor of Mighty No Bitey, Inc. insect repellant. I had the privilege of interviewing Boosler when she performed in Chicago back in my college newspaper days, and was delighted to see that face to face, many years on, she’s as passionate, politically astute, progressive and feisty as ever. Here’s hoping she continues to speak out, whether it’s for animal rescue or human rights in America as a new presidency approaches.
   The lone fashion-oriented sponsor was Forever in My Heart Jewelry by Mira, whose founder was also devoted to animal welfare. Her eclectic collection contained mix of special lockets (holding ashes from departed pets), statement pieces and everyday jewellery. The Happiness Box, meanwhile, was something that would be inside a spa reception area. The cylindrical can contains 365 statements of affirmation one can select to ensure every day of the year starts with a positive thought.
   There was also a handy gadget of note, the Dripo Japanese-style ice drip coffee maker, which brews potent and flavourful iced coffee without any electricity. If you have access to ice and 25 g of your favorite coffee on hand, follow the directions, go and do something else for 90 minutes, and return for a warm weather pick-me-up. The packaging for the gadget, a large cardboard carton that would normally contain prefabricated stuff, is also genius.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor







J. C. Olivera

Above, from top: Peter Mackenzie and Graham Beckel. Sara Rue. Kevin Dillon. Priyanka Bose. Annie Funke. Saniyya Sidney.















Elyse Glickman

NGV and Dior announce House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture exhibition, starting August ’17


NEWS  by Lucire staff/December 10, 2016/1.57



Wayne Taylor

Top: National Gallery of Victoria and House of Dior announce House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture at NGV International, opening August 2017. At the media announcement on Friday, Sandra Sundelin, Alejandra Zuluaga, Ella Bond, Maddison Lukes, and Bela Pelacio Hazewinkel model various Dior designs. Above: Ella Bond models the Dior bar suit from the spring–summer 1947 haute couture collection, Maddison Lukes wears the Francis Poulenc dress from the spring–summer 1950 haute couture collection, and Bela Pelacio Hazewinkel the Abandon dress from the autumn–winter 1948–9 collection.

The National Gallery of Victoria kept media in suspense as it led up to its unveiling of its major exhibition for 2017, The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture.
   Beginning August 27, 2017, and running through November 7, the exhibition is a collaboration between the NGV and the House of Dior, and will feature over 140 garments from the company.
   The exhibition covers everything from Dior’s New Look spring 1947 collection to contemporary designs from its first female head designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri (see Lucire issue 36). Iconic designs from the intervening years will also be shown, including work by Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, and Raf Simons. It will also feature original sketches, photographs, toiles, archival material, and multimedia displays, says the Gallery.
   The Christian Dior spring 1948 fashion parade at David Jones Sydney, which featured house models in 50 designs, is also explored. David Jones serves as the exhibition’s principal partner.
   ‘It is a great pleasure and honour for the House of Dior to be celebrating its anniversary in 2017 in Melbourne. This exhibition will be the biggest Dior retrospective ever held in Australia. It will cover 70 years of creation, presenting the emblematic work of Christian Dior and his successors, including Maria Grazia Chiuri, who arrived last July and is the first woman at the head of the couture house,’ said Sidney Toledano, president and CEO of Christian Dior Couture.
   A black-tie gala will take place on August 26, 2017, with proceeds supporting the NGV fashion and textiles’ collection.
   Tickets for the exhibition are now available from the NGV online, retailing at A$26 for adults, concession A$23·50, A$10 for children aged 5 to 15, and families (two adults and three children) for A$65.

Interview clips

With subtitles

Promotional video

The Christian Dior story (archival video)


Copyright ©1954 Mark Shaw/mptvimages.com


Christian Dior





Wayne Taylor

Above, from top: Christian Dior adjusts the accessories to the Zaire dress, on his star model Victoire, during rehearsal for the autumn–winter 1954–5 haute couture show. Christian Dior and model, c. 1950. From the media announcement, Ella Bond in the Dior bar suit from the spring–summer 1947 haute couture collection. Sandra Sundelin models the Dior Embuscade suit from the autumn–winter 1950–1 haute couture collection and Alejandra Zuluaga the Gruau gown from the autumn–winter 1949–50 haute couture collection. Alejandra Zuluaga in the Gruau gown from the autumn–winter 1949–50 haute couture collection and Maddison Lukes in the Francis Poulenc dress from the spring–summer 1950 haute couture collection. Maddison Lukes wears Dior’s Francis Poulenc dress from his spring–summer 1950 haute couture collection.

News in brief: Chris Scott, the Rees Hotel win international awards; Barceló announces new brands


NEWS  by Lucire staff/November 21, 2016/11.18




Above, from top: The Rees Hotel Queenstown’s Executive Lake View Penthouse. The Barceló Bavaro Grand Resort. Church Road Winery winemaker Chris Scott.

Church Road Winery winemaker Chris Scott, whom Lucire had the pleasure to meet earlier this year as he introduced his Tom vintages, has been named New Zealand Winemaker of the Year 2016 by Winestate magazine. Scott also won the title in 2013. Winestate also awarded Scott’s Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2014 with the Syrah/Shiraz of the Year trophy and New Zealand Wine of the Year trophy.
   The Winestate New Zealand Winemaker of the Year award is given to the individual who achieves the highest score from the top 10 different wines judged throughout the year.
   Another international win was scored by the Rees Hotel Queenstown, which was judged Best New Zealand Ski Hotel at the 2016 World Ski Awards in Kitzbühel, Tirol, Austria. The awards are considered ski tourism’s most coveted prizes. The Rees Hotel is within easy reach of Coronet Peak, the Remarkables, Treble Cone and Cardona, while its complimentary ski concierge services cater to the most demanding of skiers. The Rees team can help with arranging skiing or snowboarding packages, gear hire, lessons and heli-skiing.
   Barceló Hotel Group will create new brands to complement the parent one: Royal Hideaway Luxury Hotels & Resorts, Occidental Hotels & Resorts, and Allegro Hotels. After acquiring Occidental, which brought the Spanish-HQed company into Aruba and Colombia, Barceló has had to rethink its structure. Royal Hideaway (seven per cent of its portfolio) is the top brand, with luxury resorts; Barceló Hotels and Resorts represents affordable but upscale resorts, with U-Spa Health and Wellness Centres, and includes its flagship Barceló Emperatriz; Occidental Hotels & Resorts is for families, friends and couples with adventure inclusions; and Allegro Hotels (five per cent) is aimed at budget travellers.

Gillian Saunders takes top honours at 2016 World of Wearable Art Awards’ Show, with Supernova


NEWS  by Lucire staff/September 23, 2016/11.00




WOW

New Zealand designer Gillian Saunders has scooped the Brancott Estate Supreme Award at tonight’s World of Wearable Art (WOW) Awards’ Show. Saunders, who had entered 15 garments before her winning entry, Supernova, has won eight awards prior to 2016, but this is the first time she has taken out the top prize.
   Saunders, who was born in England, has been involved in television and theatre for most of her working life. She was trained in Yorkshire, and went on to Christchurch, New Zealand, where she worked as a props’ maker for the Court Theatre.
   ‘I had been making stage props for theatre and TV for years. WOW was the perfect challenge—could I make props for the body as well?’ she said.
   Supernova was inspired by ‘Thierry Mugler’s Chimera dress [from the autumn–winter 1997–8 collection], … the iridescent spiny fins of the Hippocampus from the Percy Jackson movie The Sea of Monsters, and some incredible NASA images taken by the Hubble Telescope,’ she noted. ‘Once all these elements were combined, Supernova was brought to life.
   ‘The large gems represent new stars being born and the dark shadows represent deep space. Each scale has been individually cut, shaded with marker pens and then hand-sewn on to the garment. Each gem has had its sticky backing removed and then glued on by hand.’
   Saunders also won the Avant-Garde section in this year’s competition, judged by WOW founder Dame Suzie Moncrieff, Zambesi’s Elisabeth Findlay, and sculptor Gregor Kregar.
   Dame Suzie said, ‘Supernova has the design innovation, the construction quality and vibrant stage presence in performance to win WOW’s top award.’
   Saunders’ 2013 design, Inkling, won the Weta Creature Carnival Award and an internship for her at Academy Award-winning Weta Workshop. It is currently part of the WOW international exhibition, touring around the world, and presently at the EMP Museum in Seattle, Washington, where it will be displayed till January, after which the exhibition will head to the Peabody Essex Museum in Boston, Mass.
   She also won the Avant-Garde section in 2007 with Equus: behind Closed Doors, while in 2009, Tikini was second in the Air New Zealand South Pacific section.
   Designers from New Zealand, China, India, England, Australia, and the USA won awards in each section.
   The American Express Open section this year saw Renascence, by Yuru Ma and Siyu Fang of Shanghai take first place. The Spyglass Creative Excellence section was won by Mai (I), by Pritam Singh and Vishnu Ramesh of Gujarat. Queen Angel, by Adam McAlavey of London, won the MJF Lighting Performance Art section.
   Baroque Star, by Natasha English and Tatyanna Meharry of Christchurch, won the Weta Workshop Costume and Film section, netting the duo a four-week internship at Weta Workshop, plus travel, accommodation, and prize money.
   The Wellington Airport Aotearoa section was won by Maria Tsopanaki and Dimitry Mavinis of London, with their creation Princess Niwareka. The World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum Bizarre Bra section was won by Julian Hartzog of Tarpon Springs, Fla., with Come Fly with Me.
   Of the special awards, Dame Suzie chose Incognita, by Ian Bernhard of Auckland, as the most innovative garment, giving it the WOW Factor Award. Renewal, by Alexa Cach, Miodrag Guberinic and Corey Gomes, won the First-Time Entrant Award. The Knight by Jiawen Gan of the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology won the Student Innovation Award. The Sustainability Award, recognizing the protection of our environment and the use of materials that would otherwise be discarded, was won by Bernise Milliken of Auckland, for Grandeer. Digital Stealth Gods, by Dylan Mulder of Wellington, won the Wearable Technology Award. The Wellington International Award, given to the best international entry, was won by Daisy May Collingridge of Woldingham, Surrey, England, for Lippydeema. Collingridge also won the UK–Europe Design Award with this entry.
   Khepri, by Miodrag Guberinic and Alexa Cach of New York, NY, won the Americas Design Award. Yu Tan of Shanghai won the Asia Design Award with The Renaissance Happens Again, while Cascade, by Victoria Edgar of Geelong, Victoria, won the Australia and South Pacific Design Award.
   The David Jones New Zealand Design Award was won by Voyage to Revolution, by Carolyn Gibson of Auckland.
   The Cirque du Soleil Performance Art Costume Award, chosen by Denise Tétreault, Costumes Lifecycle and Creative Spaces Director of the Cirque du Soleil, was won by Digital Stealth Gods, by Dylan Mulder. Mulder receives prize money, flights and accommodation for a one-month internship at Cirque du Soleil’s headquarters in Montréal, Québec.
   WOW runs in Wellington, New Zealand, through to October 9, and will be seen by 58,000 people live during its run. It employs over 350 cast and crew.
   This year, 133 entries by 163 designers (some worked in pairs) were received, competing for a prize pool of NZ$165,000.



WOW


Renascence, by Yuru Ma and Siyu Fang, Shanghai.


Mai (I), by Pritam Singh and Vishnu Ramesh, Gujarat.


Queen Angel, by Adam McAlavey, London.


Baroque Star, by Natasha English and Tatyanna Meharry, Christchurch, New Zealand.


Princess Niwareka, by Maria Tsopanaki and Dimitri Mavinis, London.


Come Fly with Me, by Julian Hartzog, Tarpon Springs, Fla.


Incognita, by Ian Bernhard, at AUT, Auckland.


Renewal, by Alexa Cach, Miodrag Guberinic and Corey Gomes.


Grandeer, by Bernise Milliken, Auckland.


Digital Stealth Gods, by Dylan Mulder, Wellington.


Lippydeema, by Daisy May Collingridge, Woldingham, Surrey.


Khepri, by Miodrag Guberinic and Alexa Cach, New York.


The Renaissance Happens Again, by Yu Tan, Shanghai.


Cascade by Victoria Edgar, Geelong, Victoria.


Voyage to Revolution by Carolyn Gibson, Auckland.

A Billion Lives has world première in New Zealand, revealing powerful forces aiding the tobacco industry


NEWS  by Jack Yan/May 12, 2016/11.16


Jack Yan

Above: The team behind A Billion Lives, and Doc Edge organizers Dan Shannon and Alex Lee.

Those of us outside the vaping world have probably looked at e-cigarettes, wondering why on earth these could be better for your health. Or we may have thought they were a fad, since the only people I knew who vaped were tech hipsters, who enjoyed vaping as though it was a matter of course, and nothing to be curious about—thereby keeping their habit a closed shop. But then, perhaps they were tired of repeating themselves, and had settled into being comfortable with their e-cigs.
   A Billion Lives is a documentary that takes a look into this world, but it does so much more. The title refers to the number of people who can be saved if they give up smoking, but there are powerful forces at play to ensure that people don’t. And those forces have ensured that there is misinformation about vaping and the potential for the technology to save lives.
   Filmmaker Aaron Biebert, who directed and narrated the film which had its world première in Wellington as part of the Doc Edge Festival, journeyed to 13 countries on four continents to find similar patterns worldwide: here is a life-saving technology of e-cigarettes, but governments were banning them or fining citizens over their use, ignoring the science and deciding to be complicit with the tobacco industry in keeping people addicted to a harmful product. Instead, governments spend money spreading lies about e-cigarettes, calling them a gateway to cigarettes, or that one could get formaldehyde poisoning, claims that the film demonstrably refutes. E-cigarettes are not completely safe, and the film acknowledges that, but they have proven to be a successful tool to help those giving up smoking, especially where mainstream solutions have failed.
   In his own country, the US, Biebert points out that governments collect far more revenue from cigarette taxation than from several industries combined, and have no real incentive to cut off the flow of dollars. E-cigarettes, which were invented by pharmacist Hon Lik in China, were conceived as a way to give up smoking, and have been successful for 30 million people around the world. A Billion Lives points out that nicotine is not what causes lung cancer, and that the US Surgeon-General has said as much. What are harmful are the tar and 4,000 chemicals in modern cigarettes. It equates nicotine with coffee in terms of addictiveness, and the figure of 95 per cent less harmful than a typical cigarette featured prominently in the film. Vaping essentially allows one to get the pleasure of nicotine without the harm of the tar and toxins.
   Yet as a society, we have come to equate nicotine as being the evil, addictive substance, and that’s no accident.
   This point is made halfway into the film, with a good part of the first section looking into the history of cigarettes (Flintstones sponsor announcements for Winston cigarettes elicited laughs from the audience), and David Goerlitz, the Winston male model from the 1980s, being a particularly effective interviewee, discussing how he went from a smoking advocate earning millions to having a crisis of conscience when his brother developed lung cancer and died. Goerlitz went to the other side, and became a high-profile spokesman who was able to talk in plain language just what governments, Big Tobacco, and Big Pharma (which sells patches and gum, and would like to continue doing so) were doing. Health professionals were being marketed to far more than the public, permitting Big Pharma to continue to sell its products, the film notes.
   Biebert was able to get other interviewees at a very high level, including Dr Derek Yach, the former executive director of the World Health Organization, and Dr Delon Human, former president of the World Medical Association, among others, speaking plainly about how lives could be saved through vaping e-cigarettes, a tool which could get smokers to kick their habit.
   Meanwhile, the pro-smoking side was represented through historical clips—you get the feeling that we had only touched the surface of what was out there, with corporations spending thousands of millions to fund biased studies and get on to our airwaves.
   Beautifully shot and scored, this independently funded feature tells a story about our times and just why so many citizens today are wary of their governments and multinational corporations. Those who oppose global trade agreements, for instance, do not do so in isolation—and while A Billion Lives takes no political side, it does tap into the Zeitgeist of our modern suspicion about what is on our airwaves and what are the motives behind it. Like Adam Curtis, whose documentaries seek to explain the complex in simple terms, Biebert has done the same, narrating and directing, although he appears on camera as well when narrative gaps need to be plugged. He is an honest, frank speaker, and gives the film a personal touch.
   Young smokers who tried e-cigarettes were often people who already smoked and saw them as a way to give up their addiction, and most, Biebert pointed out in a post-screening Q&A, were not even using nicotine in their e-cigarettes.
   Yet the state of California, where Biebert is based, spent $75 million telling us about the evils of e-cigarettes, said the director in his Q&A; while in the film, he points out that US federal funds were being illegally used for lobbying activities. The American Lung Association had deceived the public, too, notes Biebert, who told the audience, ‘If you get powerful charities on side, you can do anything.’ The increasing restrictions on e-cigarettes in the US, the subject of federal lawsuits, was equated to ‘Prohibition II’.
   Dr Marewa Glover of End Smoking NZ, who introduced the film at its première, said that young people were using e-cigarettes as a way round peer pressure, when people in their circle smoked.
   However, Australia has already banned e-cigarettes, with one interviewee, Vince, who sold them, telling a story about being raided by authorities and now faces losing his home as he fought the government on principle. He believed firmly he was saving lives. There are massive fines for vaping in Brunei and Hong Kong. There were restrictions in New Zealand, too, noted Glover, although those who sought to misinform were technically in breach of the country’s health legislation.
   Biebert says he is neither a smoker nor a vaper; but all good documentary-makers, he had a commitment to get the right information out there. He acknowledges that vapers have not given themselves the best image, either, and that A Billion Lives can only be one small part of getting the truth out.
   ‘We need to cut the head off the monster,’ said Biebert, ‘and the monster is being funded by big business. We need more than the movie. People need to get the right information.’
   He added, ‘The truth ends up winning. Even condoms were illegal in the US at one time.’
   A Billion Lives will begin making its way to other countries. The website is at abillionlives.com, while the movie’s Instagram is at abillionlivesfilm.—Jack Yan, Publisher


Above: The author (centre) joins Aaron Biebert, director (left) and Jesse Hieb, producer, for a photo.

Margot Robbie to model in Deep Euphoria Calvin Klein fragrance campaign


NEWS  by Lucire staff/May 5, 2016/14.03


Neil Rasmus/BFA

Australian actress Margot Robbie is the new face of Calvin Klein’s latest women’s fragrance, Deep Euphoria Calvin Klein.
   The Coty fragrance will début in August, with Robbie appearing in print and on TV. It builds on the goodwill of the existing Calvin Klein Euphoria fragrance.
   ‘Ms Robbie perfectly embodies the modern femininity of the empowered deep euphoria woman that we believe will resonate with women around the world,’ said Vincent Brun, senior vice-president of global marketing for Calvin Klein Fragrances at Coty Inc.
   ‘We are thrilled to work with Ms Robbie on this exciting addition to the Calvin Klein Fragrances portfolio,’ said Melisa Goldie, chief marketing officer for Calvin Klein, Inc. ‘Her beauty and talent is an expression of the incredible legacy of women who have been captured in Calvin Klein campaigns over the years.’
   Robbie first came to prominence with her role in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, and had the female lead in Focus, opposite Will Smith. She also appeared briefly in The Big Short, based on the Michael J. Lewis book. She will appear this summer as Jane Porter in The Legend of Tarzan opposite Alexander Skarsgård, and as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, which reunites her with Smith, and which also stars Jared Leto.
   She follows in the footsteps of Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Christy Turlington, Natalia Vodianova, Rooney Mara, Diane Krüger and Doutzen Kroes.

Next Page »

 

Get more from Lucire

Our latest issue

Lucire 36
Check out our lavish print issue of Lucire in hard copy or for Ipad or Android.
Or download the latest issue of Lucire as a PDF from Scopalto

Lucire on Twitter

Lucire on Instagram