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December 18, 2014

Video: Jennifer Lawrence puts paid to romance rumours; Lady Gaga in white

Lucire staff/14.35

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Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, the most Googled celebrity of the year and one of our news-makers of 2013, was looking stylish as she left the Greenwich Hotel in New York wearing a Breton striped sweatshirt, blazer, skinny leather pants and Givenchy sandals. Lawrence has denied that there is any involvement between her and producer Gabe Polsky, with the actress clarifying that he is the boyfriend of her best friend. The gossip media enjoy speculating—when there’s nothing happening.
   Similarly, a quick adjustment by Lady Gaga after a wardrobe malfunction revealed her Spanx merited headlines although what was more impressive, to us, was her feathery white dress, then her plunging white gown and netted overlay that she wore for her guest appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon later that day. Gaga performed Cole Porter’s ‘Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye’ while on the show, featured below.

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December 8, 2014

Sponsored video: Airbnb gives you a home, not a space

Lucire staff/14.19

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A Lucire special promotion


While Lucire has traditionally talked about flash accommodation at luxury resorts, there is a whole market that many now prefer: short-term living quarters where everyday people can be a host to travellers, bridging the gap between Couchsurfing and a hotel.
   Started in 2007 by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, offering their own loft up for those attending the Industrial Design Conference that year. They turned their living room into a guest room, with three air mattresses, and gave a homemade breakfast. The site, Airbedandbreakfast.com, launched the following year after a third founder, Nathan Blecharczyk, joined Chesky and Gebbia. The name was later shortened to Airbnb.com.
   Now with 800,000 listings in 33,000 cities and 192 countries, Airbnb has reached a level of maturity, and dĂ©buted a new identity and tagline earlier this year. ‘Belong Anywhere’ reiterates what Airbnb is all about. As Chesky puts it, their first guests in 2007 ‘learned our favourite places to grab coffee, ate the best tacos in the city, and had friends to hang out with whenever they wanted. They were thousands of miles from where they lived, and yet they felt right at home.’ A house, he says, is just a space, but ‘a home is where you belong.’ The rewards to staying with an Airbnb property are personal, not financial, because people can connect, rather than have the bland experience of some of the mass-market spaces.
   They’ve even gone so far as to allow people to make their own Airbnb logos, provided they roughly follow the official symbol, and like all of the best ones, it’s remarkably easy to draw and identify. A revamped website and a new commercial have come as part of the rebrand, the latter showcasing the variety of places that a typical Airbnb customer might find on the website. Littered cleverly through the animated ad are Airbnb logos and, being an internationally targeted spot, all manner of homes and locations are suggested, from chĂąteaux to beach bungalows.
   Chesky notes that since he co-founded the business, he has been invited to the wedding of one of his guests. One host who was trapped in his house during the 2011 London riots was fine—as seven of his former guests went to see if he was OK. And another offered up her home for free during Hurricane Sandy. These are all examples that Chesky says have made Airbnb far more personal than the mass-market experiences.


Article sponsored by Airbnb

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Filed under: branding, travel
December 7, 2014

Paris editor’s diary: events with Ji Wenbo, Pandora and Wacoal

Lola Cristall/12.43

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The FĂ©dĂ©ration française de la couture, du prĂȘt-Ă -porter des couturiers et des crĂ©ateurs de mode, l’Institut français de la mode, the China Garment Association and the China Fashion Association came together to celebrate half a century of unity. Following the China–France fashion summit, Ji Wenbo (left) presented his most recent collection at the prestigious HĂŽtel d’Evreux at la Place VendĂŽme. Ji, who is also director of the China Fashion Designers’ Association of Fashion and Art Committee, is known as the ‘king of fashion’ in China. He is head designer of Li Lang, a famous menswear brand. His outlook on the western fashion world incorporates a stunning, vivacious colour palette and original, effervescent styles. Imperial and bold shades came to life on the green and gold catwalk, with delicate prints on bold fabric.
   Pandora and brand ambassador Kellie Pickler, along with lifestyle expert Tai Beauchamp, hosted the Hearts of Today Awards at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. Pandora is more than just a fine jewellery company: it also serves to support good causes. The concept was launched in July and serves to honour and celebrate females who work to improve the lives of women and children. The eight chosen honorees, out of 700 nominations, are each provided with $25,000 that would help them continue to reach their desired goal in ameliorating lives.
   Wacoal Europe invited guests to an intimate evening at the Salon Paul Ricard. The venue featured a number of Wacoal collections, from vibrant shades to neutral colours that attracted onlookers as they touched, felt and admired. Premier by Dead Sea, a brand founded in 1990 specializing in body, skin and hair rejuvenation for men and women, presented guests with natural products that revitalize hands and nails. Lillet featured their distinctive, delicate and sweet French aperitif wines, reviving one’s taste buds. In order to indulge in light-tasting guilty pleasures, Yohan Kim—once JoĂ«l Robuchon’s pastry chef—introduced a number of delicate French pastries from financiers with green tea to madeleine and pĂąte de fruits, exploding with bursts of fruity delight. Throughout the evening, numerous illustrations by Eudoxie were projected on the wall for the audience to enjoy.—Lola Cristall, Paris editor


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November 21, 2014

News in brief: Kendall Jenner chooses District; you choose for Charlie’s; Alejandra Alonso models Carrera y Carrera

Lucire staff/3.44

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District notes that Kendall Jenner, the new face of Estée Lauder, wears a top from its range. The blush pink top retails for US$108. Blake Lively had also recently chosen District for a photo shoot for her new website, Preserve.


   Charlie’s wants New Zealand customers to try their Straight Up cola, and decide whether it should become a permanent part of its range. Kiwis are invited to post their feedback with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down selfie, or simply write a few words, at Charlie’s Facebook or Instagram, using the hashtag #straightupcola.
   Finally, Carrera y Carrera, the Spanish jewellery brand, has launched new visuals with model Alejandra Alonso as its new face. The campaign has been conceived by MAFIA, and features items from Carrera y Carrera’s new Seda Imperial range, as well as from CĂ­rculos de Fuego, BambĂș and Ruedo. It will break in publications internationally this month.






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November 18, 2014

Bentley gauges interest with Grand Convertible concept as it guns for Rolls-Royce Drophead

Lucire staff/13.19

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Since Volkswagen took over Bentley, the company has only fielded one convertible line in the top tier, the Azure. Since 2010, the marque has left the convertible market for the Continental GTC to pursue, but those wanting something more exclusive have had to turn to Bentley’s former sister brand, Rolls-Royce, which had tapped into the Azure’s former market with the imposing Phantom Drophead. The Rolls-Royce took cues from expensive motor boats, with its wooden rear deck, and the cubic capacity was 6,749 cmÂł, a single cubic centimetre less than the 6,750 that the company’s cars had as standard for much of the period under Vickers ownership.
   Bentley, not to be outdone, has taken its Mulsanne, which dĂ©buted in 2009, and created a new convertible, called simply the Grand Convertible. Under the bonnet is the company’s 6,752 cmÂł twin-turbo V8, developing 537 PS (395 kW), while externally, the Grand Convertible has a wooden deck, signalling just which car it is gunning for. However, it is just a concept for now, developed to gauge potential consumer interest.
   Bentley calls the Grand Convertible its ‘most sophisticated open-top car’ and it is relying on being more understated than its rival. It is certainly elegant, and its proportions are more classical than the Continental GTC’s.
   Bentley chairman and CEO, Wolfgang DĂŒrheimer, said at the car’s unveiling in Los Angeles, ‘This concept demonstrates Bentley’s ability to create a pinnacle convertible Grand Tourer, while embodying elegance beyond compare. With this car we combine the opulent Mulsanne experience with the full sensory indulgence of open-air touring, continuing to unite luxury and performance in new ways.’
   The car will go on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show from November 19. In December, it will be displayed at Art Basel in Miami.

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November 11, 2014

Kipling’s Always On, as are our spring–summer 2015 picks from Paris and New York

Lola Cristall/22.34

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When we think about the agile monkey symbol, Kipling automatically comes to mind. For fashionistas, it is a brand, but for the literary critics, the name is associated with the world-renowned British author Rudyard Kipling. Neither fashionista nor literary critic is wrong, considering more than two decades ago three designers in Belgium found their inspiration from the author’s The Jungle Book.
   The brand is known for their stylish bags, luggage and travel accessories. Post-fashion week, Kipling took over the remarkable Grand Central Terminal in New York to introduce their Always On collection. The different pieces on display were trendy and practical; music from Harley Viera Newton echoed throughout the site. Have a glance at their styles here:




   On the main part of the site, you’ll find Lucire’s picks for spring–summer 2015 from both the Paris and New York catwalks, and US west coast editor Elyse Glickman looks at Israeli footwear brand Naot, and a recent venture they did with Bellagio Shoes to help the residents of Beit T’Shuvah, a treatment centre that aims to get people back on their feet (pun intended).—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor

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November 5, 2014

Heading eastward: glamorous events from Los Angeles to Paris

Lola Cristall/21.27

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Top Poolside at the Peninsula Beverly Hills. Centre Inside the Eileen Fischer cabana at the Organic Spa Magazine event. Above TV host Nancy O’Dell.

The Peninsula Beverly Hills is known for its sophistication, adding a European flair in a Californian setting. It was a perfect location for Organic Spa Magazine to host the launch of their 2014 Los Angeles Experience Wellness Media and Eco-Celebrity Event. Celebrities included John Salley, Katie Chonacas, Jennifer Taylor and their stunning October cover girl Nancy O’Dell. With natural holistic services offered in cabanas by the poolside on the rooftop, overlooking marvellous views, the event was based around the beauty and delicacy of naturally infused products.
   Eileen Fischer’s stylish, restrained fashion appeared alongside Nubian Heritage, founded by Richelieu Dennis and Nyema Tubman, who presented a slew of high-end natural skin care products. Others tapping in to their organic creativity included Ikove, Ayushi, Jurlique, the Organic Face, Susie Frazer, Two Bunch Palms, Organics Brasil, Plantlife, Shankara, Aura Cacia, Tsuiya, GaĂ«lle Organic, Malebranche, Nordic Naturals, Green Spa Network, Vana Retreats, Immunocologie, Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, Natracare, Kari Gran, Riviera Maya, Dahliana Skincare, Fifth Dimension Clothing, Golden Door and Shea Moisture. The brands had one special factor in common: they brought the mind, body and soul together in the midst of natural products.




Top John Salley. Centre Nancy O’Dell and her Organic Spa Magazine cover. Above Organic Spa Magazine publishers Rona Berg and Bev Maloney Fischback with Nancy O’Dell.

   Travelling cross-country, we arrive in New York where Alyson Dutch hosted her Valentine’s Day Gift Guide Event. The Artisan Group was in attendance to present everything from jewellery pieces to skin care products. Brainy Pac presented their conveniently designed hats, where separate compartments permit the wearer to store away important items, including their gadgets, while staying chic. Signature Soul Socks introduced their comfortable socks, with solid soles that can easily slide into a boot. Lulu DK’s jewellery-like metallic temporary tattoos, in gold or silver, illuminate. Grande Lash-MD is perfect for the woman interested in elongating her eyelashes, with a product made out of exclusively natural ingredients. Dollipop Cosmetics featured their radiant eye shadows consisting of a range of various shades from lusterless matte to shimmering gloss.
   In Paris, Deux A’s head designer and founder, Anna-Liza, presented her spring 2015 collection during an intimate gathering in Paris. The collection entitled Naga Botanicus added her personal take on floral creativity, with vibrant, vivid shades and slightly psychedelic features. Casual, basic knee-high skirts to hip-hugging dresses are accompanied by large floral headdresses.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor







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September 1, 2014

The Eco-Luxe Suite: a penthouse with a view

Elyse Glickman/14.31

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Debbie Durkin’s Eco-Luxe Suite at the Beverly Hilton, Hollywood’s go-to property for all civilized award show shindigs, truly lived up to its name and purpose, offering up an engaging range of products and equally impressive inventors or coordinators. Also moving was the fact that the focus charity was Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, whose programmes encompass community-based mentoring, school-based mentoring and vocational programmes for children and teens in need of positive role models. The organization also matches the right mentors to the right kids and teens down to a science with thorough application and interview procedures.
   Immediately after our arrival, we were greeted by Bill Schultz and his associate promoting his company, AlignMed. While the shirts they were distributing to guests looked like sleek, high-end fitness-wear, it’s what we didn’t see that makes this line special. They sporty way it is sewn actually helps the wearer self-correct posture and back issues. Another design in the collection helps spinal curvature at night while the wearer sleeps or works on the computer, when the spine is most vulnerable, according to Schultz.
   On the more formal end, we were quite impressed with the men’s ties and women’s couture dress selection displayed by Chicago-based Mark Roscoe. Every dress on the rack, perhaps not by accident, seemed to evoke different eras and different television shows up for nomination (e.g. silk brocades of the Mad Men era; the gauzy beaded bias cut flapper dresses of Downton Abbey; a special, sexy mermaid gown that would be as fabulous on a womanly form as it would be on Mitzi Gaynor or Jane Russell in their ’50s prime). Roscoe and his team welcome clients of all shapes and sizes, which is refreshing to hear, especially as not every designer can create something special for women with curves.
   Serengeti showed off its forthcoming collection as well as raising funds and awareness for a US veteran’s organization. The styles, in contrast to other collections, were timeless and clean, as well as wearably lightweight, yet substantial and flexible. The Isola and Sophia frames were our favourites, but you really could not go wrong with many of the wire, wire–plastic hybrid or plastic lenses crafted with photochromic technology.
   We love products that multitask, and Kellyann Novak, creator of Youth Eternal serum, immediately had us at “hello” and (her tagline), ‘You don’t have to lie about your age—your skin will do that for you.’ The Vegas-based entrepreneur (who can ship her product internationally), takes pride in the fact that her potion is made up of 24 essential oils that work equally well for daytime under-make-up primer moisturizing and night-time rejuvenation. She also mentions it can be used to take off make-up and remedy stretch marks and discolouration, and soothe redness. It smells like an herb garden with sage, lavender and rosemary. It’s a perfume, too! What it doesn’t have are preservatives or artificial emulsifiers.
   OC Hair and Makeup not only touches up celebrities and media at fabulous events like Durkin’s gatherings, but also makes house calls. While founder Stacy Mealin worked the celebrity crowd, Bridget Hight offered us some touch-ups and tips. She suggested bringing your highlighter or concealer up to the temples to make eyes more prominent and reduce the appearance of dark circles. If your concealer looks too light, pat on some slightly darker foundation powder for a customized look—but never use a concealer that’s the same skin tone. The company is also good with body make-up to conceal scars, and blemishes on arms and legs.
   Across the way, J. AndrĂ© introduced her line of hypoallergenic, Latex-free make-up applicator sponges and puffs packaged in sensual lotus-print boxes. She also demonstrated Natural Vibe, a vibrating applicator that stimulates collagen and elasticity during use as well as helping create a pore-free appearance.
   Guys in attendance truly appreciated the fact that Fresh Body’s Fresh Balls product was very self-explanatory and got right to the bottom of a man’s problem with pesky chafing, itching and sweating. Other Fresh Body products on the horizon include Fresh Pits for men as well as women’s personal hygene products for the “other down under”.
   Jiff the Dog, the teddy bear-like canine (who appeared at the Teen Choice Awards) and other celebrity dogs were also treated to fine luxury gear ranging from blankees and bedding from Baylee Nasco to customizable the Rein Coat pet harness for dogs of all sizes, to Canine Caviar and Feline Caviar Holistic pet food.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor, and Leyla Messian, Los Angeles Correspondent







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Filed under: Lucire
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