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December 10, 2014

News in brief: Chanel’s Parisā€“Salzburg collection; Lady Gaga, Eva Longoria in NYC; Anja Rubik launches perfume

Lucire staff/10.59

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Karl Lagerfeld has unveiled the 13th Chanel MĆ©tiers d’Art collection in Salzburg, Austria, recognizing its historical connection with Gabrielle Chanel (she got the inspiration for the Chanel jacket there, at the Hotel Schloss Mittersill, then owned by Baron Hubert von Pantz, with whom she had a fling). Lagerfeld discusses his collection in the video clip below, which showcases the Parisā€“Salzburg collection, featuring Cara Delevingne, who not only closed the show, but is the face of the collection itself.
   The presentation, at the Leopoldskron chĆ¢teau, showcased the fine work of the feather-workers, milliners, tuckers and bootmakers. Lagerfeld took inspiration from traditional Austrian clothing, revisiting the dirndls and lederhosen, using loden, tweed, felt, leather and satin cashmere mix, taffeta and lace. Evening dresses featured pin-tucked fronts, frills, pleats and voluminous sleeves.
   ā€˜You can take inspiration from the apron, from the sleeves, from all the little details, but you have to forget it all and we do it in a new way,’ said Lagerfeld. ‘The star of Salzburg is about the jacket, but what I like is the craftsmanship, the embroidery with all the feathers. There is an unbelievable craftsmanship in all those clothes: most of the embroidery includes stones and many feathers, itā€™s like fur, itā€™s like flying fur. If you look at them closely, itā€™s quite unbelievable; when you see them or you touch them. So I tried, with beautiful fake pearls, to make interesting pearl jewellery that looks like embroidery. Itā€™s the updated version of what I think it should be, could be, and had to be today.’
   In New York celebrity sightings, Lady Gaga has been spotted wearing the Blake wide-brim hat in oyster felt with pearl trim from Eugenia Kim’s fall 2014 collection last week, while Eva Longoria wore a Ralph & Russo springā€“summer 2014 white silk crĆŖpe cap sleeve embellished jacket with structured peplum, pencil skirt and black alligator belt to the ninth annual L’OrĆ©al Women of Worth event.
   L’OrĆ©al Paris notes that Longoria’s look uses True Match liquid foundation in C2 Rose Vanilla, the Volume Million Lashes Excess in Extra Black, Color Riche Le Kajal in 501 Oriental Black, the Super Liner Brow Artist Plumper in medium to dark, and the Elnett Volume Excess hairspray. Blake Lively, very much this year’s L’OrĆ©al Paris celebrity with all the attention she garnered at Cannes, was also at Women of Worth, her look accomplished with True Match in N3 Creamy Beige, the Glam Bronze Powder Duo in 101 Blonde, the Flash Lash Butterfly in Intenza, Txt Wave Creating Spray, and the Nude Rose Color Riche La Palette.

   Polish model Anja Rubik, 31, meanwhile, has released her new perfume, Original. At Colette in Paris, she discusses some of her beauty tips from her career, including using eyelash curlers and moisturizing your skin. Rubik also reveals that Brigitte Bardot is her ‘ultimate beauty’, and rates Charlotte Gainsbourg and Patty Smyth highly.
   The perfume scents are those that have followed her over the years, namely white lilies and green tea, while the black-and-white imagery was inspired by her love of black-and-white photography and the work of Robert Mapplethorpe.
   Carrera y Carrera is going from strength to strength: the Madrid-based luxury jewellery brand has opened a boutique in Macau, as a first beach-head into China. Manuel Carrera, a fourth-generation descendant of the Carrera family who founded the brand, was on hand with CEO Svetlana Kupriyanova.
   Finally, in the main part of our site, travel editor Stanley Moss fits museums and great food into 48 hours in Torino, while publisher Jack Yan tests the BMW X1 Sdrive18dā€”readers might like the title.


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December 4, 2014

Sam Mendes reveals Spectre, next James Bond ļ¬lm, and Aston Martin DB10

Lucire staff/23.27

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As we suspected, the DB10 moniker will not go to the DB9 successor at Aston Martin, but to a limited-edition model released for the 24th EON James Bond movie, Spectre.
   Aston Martin says it will build 10 of the bespoke cars next year, hence the name, and claims that the vehicle was developed specifically for the film, to star Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci (who was tipped to be in a Bond movie even in the 1990s), LĆ©a Seydoux, David Bautista, Andrew Scott, and Naomie Harris. Sam Mendes (Skyfall) returns to direct.
   The car, along with the name of the film, were officially released on the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios. Mendes himself took the cover off the DB10.
   Aston Martin’s chief creative officer, Marek Reichman, worked closely with Mendes to develop the car. It previews the company’s design direction for the next generation of production models.
   Dr Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin, said, ‘In the same year that we celebrate our 50-year relationship with 007, it seems doubly fitting that today we unveiled this wonderful new sports car created especially for James Bond.’
   The cinematic James Bond first drove an Aston Martin in 1964, when Sean Connery got behind the wheel of the DB5 model in Goldfinger.
   The car will be built at Gaydon, Warwickshire. Spectre, which begins filming on Monday, including locations in London, Roma, Ciudad de MĆ©xico and the Austrian Alps, will be released on November 6, 2015.

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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 cmĀ³, 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 dĆ©buted in 2009, and created a new convertible, called simply the Grand Convertible. Under the bonnet is the company’s 6,752 cmĀ³ 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 DĆ¼rheimer, said at the car’s unveiling in Los Angeles, ‘This concept demonstrates Bentleyā€™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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September 25, 2014

News round-up: Stella McCartney’s Jaguar XE; Ralph Lauren shifts ā‚¬22,000 Rickys; Perriam launches new brand

Lucire staff/23.59

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Ralph Lauren has been shifting its ā‚¬22,000 crocodile skin Ricky bags at an event at its Amsterdam store, and gifted one of them to the Netherlands Museum of Bags and Purses. The bag, says the Museum, is regarded as an icon, on a par with the HermĆØs Birkin and the Chanel 2.55. The company also showed a Ricky bag with a USB port and LED lighting on the inside, which will be released worldwide in December, and sold on order.
   On Monday, Stella McCartney did indeed show her version of the Jaguar XE, as part of the Feel XE campaign for the Indian-owned company’s new compact executive saloon. The McCartney XE features her springā€“summer 2015 ‘Superhero’ print, and a fleet of the cars will be seen on the streets of Paris on Monday to coincide with her new collection. The next reveal of the XE will be at the Salon de Paris on October 2.
   We’ve been fans of Otago designer Christina Perriam for years, and she will unveil a new luxury lifestyle brand, Perriam, in October. The label will adorn New Zealand-made merino clothing and a summer 2015 catwalk launch will take place for the line on October 18 in Bendigo. An online shop will go live at the same time, at perriam.co.nz. Perriam will begin with Woman and Little with Sleep ranges, and Man and Home will be added in 2015.
   And don’t forget the features that appear in the main part of the Lucire website. Jack Yan has tested the BMW 435i, the car that has attracted the most attention out of anything we’ve featured in our pages; Elyse Glickman tries the NutriBulletRx; and Stanley Moss takes in the 500th anniversary commemoration of Magellan’s voyage around the world, in Vicenza. We also had webcast the Miss Universe New Zealand grand final from Sky City Theatre last week, which you can still watch as an archived stream. The best way to keep up with the latest articles is to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus.



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September 9, 2014

Jaguar launches XE in London, with David Gandy, Stella McCartney, Eva Herzigova, Laura Whitmore

Lucire staff/1.28

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Jaguar has launched its most important car in years with the brand-new XE, a saloon that sees the Indian-owned company tackle a segment dominated by the BMW 3er and Audi A4. The XE also marks a new generation of Jaguars powered by the company’s new series of Ingenium engines, and features a first-in-segment aluminium-intensive monocoque structure for lightness and strength.
   Jaguar Land Rover, which has seen its profits soar in recent years, spared no expense with the XE’s launch in London, bringing celebrities including Stella McCartney, David Gandy, Eva Herzigova, Sir Stirling Moss, JosĆ© Mourinho, Laura Whitmore, Damian Lewis, Ruben Cortada, David Blakeley, Sam Riley, Sienna Guillory, Steve Redgrave, Brian Johnson and Gary Lineker together at an event that saw Emeli SandĆ©, the Kaiser Chiefs, Eliza Doolittle, the Royal Ballet, Max Milner (The Voice), and members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform, and John Hannah narrating.
   While many saw the helicopter delivery of the red XE into London on Monday, Jaguar formally kicked off the launch event that evening at Earls Court with its VIP audience, with the performances evoking models from the company’s past, including the SS100 of 1935.
   SandĆ© composed a ‘Feels Like’ track for the event that had been inspired by the public via social media and the hashtag #FeelXE. The song received its premiĆØre live on a floating stage on the Thames in a 45-minute set later in the evening, with the London Eye and County Hall as a backdrop.
   The performance was complemented with a projection-mapping show on London’s County Hall, showing the public’s messages that inspired the composition. Red flares lit up the London skyline in red to match the hero colour of the new car.
   McCartney will reveal her Parisian Feel XE experience later this month, while Idris Elba will reveal his Feel XE project afterwards.
   Earlier in the day, employees at Jaguar’s Solihull plantā€”where 1,700 jobs are expected to be createdā€”formed an XE shape as the Red Arrows flew past, and the car was airlifted by helicopter toward London. It was placed on a high-speed landing craft on the Thames to Chelsea Harbour.
   In another nod to its past, Jaguar then had the new XE escorted by two 1960s Mk II police cars from Battersea Bridge to Earls Court.
   The “delivery” was intentional: Jaguar wanted to signal that the XE is the spiritual successor to the Mk II, still considered by many fans to be the quintessential Jaguar close-coupled sporting saloon, and the car that arguably pioneered the segment in which the new model now competes.
   One car from Jaguar’s past that was not mentioned was the X-type, the company’s turn-of-the-century attempt to tap into the compact executive market. Younger buyers rejected that model partly because of its unadventurous styling, overseen by Jaguar’s then-parent company Ford. The X-type was also hampered by its front-wheel-drive transmission on cheaper models, something that Jaguar has avoided repeating by giving the XE rear-wheel drive. It is also the most aerodynamic Jaguar made, with a drag coefficient of 0,26.
   The cab-backward fastback look of the XE takes styling themes established by the XJ and XF, and features a short front overhang and a low driving position. The car looks more aggressive and taut than the larger models, which should appeal to buyers in the segment.
   ā€˜Our mission was to create an exciting and dynamic design clearly reflecting the XEā€™s positioning as a serious driverā€™s car. The cab-rearward proportions and tight packaging achieve that and give the XE the appearance of movement even when itā€™s standing still. It bears a strong family resemblance to the F-type and will stand apart in the crowd,’ says Jaguar’s director of design, Ian Callum.
   The aluminium components also mean more effective recycling, and in a world first for cars, Jaguar has specified RC5754, an aluminium alloy made from recycled material.
   The high-tech features extend to Jaguar’s new electric power steering, which is more efficient than a traditional hydraulic system, and what the company calls All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), which works as a low-speed cruise control that can control the brake system and powertrain for the best traction in slippery conditions. The XE also features a laser head-up display, nearly a third lighter than existing systems. Jaguar also dĆ©buts a new InControl infotainment system, which is claimed to be more intuitive, especially with a pioneering plain-speech voice control. The car is also a wifi hotspot for internet-enabled devices, and both Apple Iphone and Android users can control various functions remotely.
   Full details of the XE range will be released at the Salon de Paris on October 2. The range will be topped by a supercharged V6 delivering 340 PS, while the two-litre Ingenium diesel is claimed to deliver 75 mpg (Imperial) with carbon dioxide emissions of 99 g/km. Prices are set to begin at Ā£27,000.















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September 2, 2014

Land Rover Discovery Sport revealedā€”claimed to be most versatile, capable premium compact SUV

Jack Yan/23.22

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Tata’s Jaguar Land Rover unit has released the Land Rover Discovery Sport, the successor to the Freelander.
   Land Rover has abandoned the Freelander name, which mainly had support from the UK market, but was less known elsewhere. By using the Discovery name, the new model can trade off the larger, more established SUV’s goodwill in more international markets.
   The compact SUV sector continues to be strong, especially in markets such as China, which has seen many launches over recent years.
   The Discovery Sport is the company’s most versatile entry in the compact sector, rivalling the Audi Q5ā€”yet is shorter than that model while managing to have three rows of seats as standard (in the UK).
   BMW’s X3 and Volvo’s XC60 will also be in the Discovery Sport’s crosshairs.
   The styling combines elements of the existing Freelander’s design language with its clamshell bonnetā€”which can trace its origins to the Range Roverā€”and the thick C-pillar, but expressed in sleeker terms. Land Rover’s exterior design challenge was to give the Discovery Sport its sporting appearanceā€”putting the S into SUVā€”while maximizing interior space.
   Land Rover says it has tried hard to ensure that the Discovery Sport is comfortable for urban use, while maintaining the sort of off-road abilities people have come to expect from its brand. It claims that the vehicle is more suited off-road than its immediate rivals in the compact premium SUV sector, aided by improvements in its Terrain Response software. The Discovery Sport has approach, departure, and breakover angles of 25, 31 and 21 degrees respectively, says the company, and can wade to 600 mm.
   Revised multi-link suspension at the rear has allowed greater space, while making the third row a reality.
   The bodyshell uses steel and aluminium, the latter to reduce weight.
   The interior features high-quality materials, an eight-inch touch-screen system, four 12 V power points, and the option of six USB charging ports for all three rows.
   The launch engine is Land Rover’s 2Ā·2-litre turbodiesel with stopā€“start, developing 190 PS, with both nine-speed automatic and six-speed manual transmissions. A two-wheel-drive turbodiesel with carbon dioxide emissions of a targeted 119 g/km will be released in 2015.
   The digital reveal of the Sport was at Spaceport America, alongside a Galactic Discovery competition, which will see four winners head to space with Virgin Galactic.ā€”Jack Yan, Publisher










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August 26, 2014

Volvo releases details of second-generation XC90

Jack Yan/15.03

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Volvo has released official information on the second-generation XC90, replacing the original SUV that first caught the public’s attention in 2002.
   The new XC90 is aimed at a more affluent audience while preserving traditional Volvo values, as the Swedish brand aims to increase its international sales as a prestige marque, especially in China.
   The XC90 is the first car from the Swedish brand, now a subsidiary of China’s Geely, developed after its sale by the Ford Motor Company.
   The engine line-up features D4 and D5 diesels, producing 190 and 225 PS respectively, and T5 and T6 petrol units, developing 225 and 320 PS. A Twin Engine T8 is the flagship of the range, with 400 PS and a hybrid driveline (petrol engine driving the front wheels, an electric motor driving the rear), in line with Volvo’s loftier ambitions for its big SUV, while showing its social commitment. Volvo says a three-cylinder unit is in the XC90ā€™s future.
   Size has increased, too: length is up to 4,950 mm (compared with 4,807 mm), with a wheelbase up from 2,857 mm to 2,984 mm, ensuring the new car is more commodious. Width is 2,008 mm, an increase from the current model’s 1,936 mm, helping distance it from the mid-sized XC60. Height is now 1,775 mm, the only measure which has decreased from its predecessor, by a mere 9 mm. The tracks are also wider, front and rear, by 3ā€“4 inches.
   Volvo’s new design language, already previewed on the Concept CoupĆ©, Concept XC CoupĆ© and Concept Estate, is a sportier, simpler expression of many of its traditional cues, but shakes off Swedish restraint for a more expressive, aspirational feel. The iron logo has been reinterpreted to appear more solid, with the ribbon at a lower angle. The sides are straighter, with the waistline more parallel with the ground.
   The SUV is on Volvo’s new SPA scalable architecture, which will form the basis of future Volvo models.
   The interior has also been rethought with a new design language, with a large Sensus screen in the middle of the dashboard, divided into GPS at the top, media and phone in the middle, and climate control settings at the bottom. Cloud-based services can also be accessed through the Sensus system, with compatibility with Android and Apple, including Google Maps and Spotify through those OSs. A head-up display is also available. The interior is also more luxurious, with more sumptuous, redesigned seats. Volvo claims the third row of seats provides class-leading room. The Bowers & Wilkins sound system is unique to the XC90, and features an air-vented subwoofer.
   In safety terms, Volvo dĆ©buts two features. The first is automatic braking when turning left (turning right for RHD models) into oncoming vehicles. Secondly, Volvo launches an active safety feature in cases where, should the car begin to depart from the road, it will tighten the front seat belts to hold the passengers in place. Meanwhile, its engineers have developed an energy-absorbing function between the chair and chair frame to dampen the vertical forces, helping to prevent back injuries.
   Volvo Car Group CEO Hakan Samuelsson says, ‘This is one of the most important days in our history. We are launching not only a car, but we are also relaunching our brand. Today begins a new era in our company.’
   The first-generation model continues in China as the XC90 Classic.ā€”Jack Yan, Publisher

















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August 20, 2014

Audi’s new TT is leaner and greener, with whole-life environmental impact reduced

Lucire staff/14.24

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Audi’s third-generation TT, which goes on sale later this year, is greener and lighter than its predecessor, something which Lucire readers will applaud.
   The iconic sports’ car, which came on the scene in 1998 with its Bauhaus, geometric looks, carving its own niche, continues similar themes for 2014, but looks sleeker, with Audi’s hexagonal grille, and wider. However, it is virtually the same length as the outgoing model, while having a 37 mm longer wheelbase.
   The body is stiffer by 25 per cent and the centre of gravity lower by 10 mm, aiding handling. Power is up 14 per cent, while greenhouse gas emissions are down 11 per cent. The monocoque shell is a mixture of steel and aluminium, with the weight dropping by 50 kg compared with the second-generation model which Lucire tested in 2007. The weight, in fact, is only close to that of the original TT, which is no mean feat considering how much more modern cars pack, with the front-wheel-drive 2Ā·0 TFSI model tipping the scales at 1,230 kg. By comparison, a 1998 1Ā·8 front-wheel-drive TT weighed 1,240 kg.
   Audi has also reduced the whole-life impact on the environment, with each car saving 5Ā·5 tonnes of greenhouse gas (not just carbon dioxide, but methane, nitrous oxide and halogenated organic emissions) in its lifetime. The construction sees a saving of 800 kg of greenhouse gas emissions (nine per cent) compared to the earlier model.
   UK deliveries commence in December 2014.


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