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January 22, 2015

Ed Sheeran is Top Gear’s next Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: BBC releases photo

Lucire staff/13.34

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West Yorkshire-born singer–songwriter Ed Sheeran, 23, is the next celebrity to appear on BBC2’s Top Gear.
   Sheeran will be the long-running show’s Star in a Reasonably Priced Car in the next episode to air in the UK on Sunday, January 25.
   Sheeran, who does not have a driving licence, piloted the Vauxhall Astra automatic around Dunsfold Park in Surrey for the episode earlier this week.
   He had claimed earlier that he had put off taking his licence due to his fear of fast cars.
   The BBC has just released a photograph of Sheeran with the show’s ‘tamed racing driver’, the Stig.
   The time to beat on the Top Gear celebrity leaderboard with the Astra is 1 minute, 44·7 seconds, recorded by American actor Aaron Paul, who drove a manual version of the car. Jack Whitehall, who like Sheeran drove the automatic, recorded 1 minute, 54·5 seconds.

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January 6, 2015

Wearable technology from Misfit and Mercedes-Benz’s lounge on wheels are visions of the future

Lucire staff/11.36

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Wearable technology is all the rage as we head into the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.
   Misfit has announced its Swarovski Shine line. The company, which makes trackers that can sync with your phone so you can measure your walking, running, swimming, cycling and other activities, including sleep quality and calories burned through its wireless technology, will show two new products. The clear Swarovski Shine, with a crystal face, is the first, while a violet Swarovski Shine has an “energy crystal” technology that allows solar charging, eliminating the need for charging or batteries. Both are waterproof.
   The collection is available for pre-order in the US at misfit.com, and will go on sale in the spring at Swarovski retailers in the US, China (including Hong Kong) and online at swarovski.com.
   Meanwhile, the Robotic Spider Dress, designed by Anouk Wipprecht, is 3-D printed, and reacts to motion through proximity sensors. Wipprecht told Motherboard that the dress will react to aggression by getting into an attack position, but if one approached the wearer more calmly, it would have more ‘suggestive gestures’.


Robotic Spider Dress (Intel Edison-based) from Anouk Wipprecht on Vimeo.


   Another vision of the future at CES is the Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion concept car, which is a self-driving saloon. Mercedes-Benz says that the ‘car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a private retreating space. This new way of travelling gives passengers the freedom to use their valuable time on the road in manifold ways.’ Mercedes-Benz sees people retreating to their cars in a more urbanized future, where time and space are the real luxuries.
   Its interior adopts the theme of a lounge, with open-pore walnut wood, soft white nappa leather, and metal and glass surfaces. It features four rotating lounge chairs in polished aluminium, which can swing outwards for easier egress, and the front seats can face forward if the driver opts for manual driving. The steering wheel then extends from the dashboard. Six screens are incorporated into the instrument panel and rear and side panels, which respond to gestures, eye-tracking and touch.
   Outside, the car glows blue if it is driving autonomously, or white if its driver is in control. The body structure uses carbonfibre-reinforced plastic, aluminium and high-strength steel, making the bodyshell 40 per cent lighter than today’s production cars’. Rear suicide doors allow easier access, and the B-pillars have been eliminated. The front and rear doors are interconnected with an interlocking system.




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December 20, 2014

News round-up: Paolo Roversi’s Shang Xia images; Lamborghini’s Pirelli Edition; Estée Lauder buys Glamglow

Lucire staff/9.39

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Shang Xia, a Chinese lifestyle brand, has launched its new Le Chant du Thé campaign images, photographed by Paolo Roversi. Jiang Qiong Er, the artistic director of Shang Xia, with the collaboration of the Fred & Farid agency in Shanghai, and Roversi himself, came up with the concept, playing on the brand’s Chinese roots. Jiang says, ‘More and more Chinese people, after spending so long dominated by western style, have a need to return to their own cultural heritage.’ By linking it to tea, at the core of Chinese civilization, the photographs feature tea leaves and even a pool of tea, alongside the Shang Xia Lan Yue leather and bamboo bag, the Sculpture overcoat in cashmere felt, and Bridge, a tea service crafted in bamboo.


   Italian supercar brand Lamborghini has announced a limited-edition Aventador LP700-4 Pirelli Edition, celebrating its collaboration with the tyre manufacturer. Pirelli has equipped Lamborghini cars since the beginning in 1963, and the Pirelli Edition, for which orders are being taken now, will be available for delivery in the northern summer. Coupé and roadster models are available. The Pirelli Edition features a two-tone colour scheme (matt black detailing combined with a body in Giallo Spica, Rosso Mars, Bianco Isis, Nero Aldebaran, Grigio Liqueo or Grigio Ater, or gloss black for the upper parts of the car and the air intakes, with four matt finishes in Bianco Canopus, Nero Nemesis, Grigio Adamas or Grigio Titans for the remainder). There’s a smidge more information on the new model at Lucire Men.

   Estée Lauder will acquire Glamglow, a Hollywood skin care brand with a collection of high-end treatment masks, with the deal to close in January.
   The current line includes five mud-based facial skin mask products, each targeting a different skin care concern: Youthmud for anti-ageing, Supermud for problem skin, Thirstymud for hydration, Powermud for deep cleansing, and Brightmud for the under-eye area. A range of daily cleansers will appear in January.
   The four-year-old company, originally called Hollywood’s Boutique Secret, already retails in Sephora, Douglas, Neiman Marcus, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Bloomingdale’s and, from January, Nordstrom.







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December 10, 2014

News in brief: Chanel’s Paris–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 Métiers 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 Paris–Salzburg collection, featuring Cara Delevingne, who not only closed the show, but is the face of the collection itself.
   The presentation, at the Leopoldskron château, 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.
   ‘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, it’s like fur, it’s like flying fur. If you look at them closely, it’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. It’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 spring–summer 2014 white silk crêpe cap sleeve embellished jacket with structured peplum, pencil skirt and black alligator belt to the ninth annual L’Oréal Women of Worth event.
   L’Oréal 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’Oréal 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 Sdrive18d—readers might like the title.


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December 4, 2014

Sam Mendes reveals Spectre, next James Bond film, 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), Léa 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 México 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 cm³, 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 débuted in 2009, and created a new convertible, called simply the Grand Convertible. Under the bonnet is the company’s 6,752 cm³ 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 Dürheimer, 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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September 25, 2014

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

Lucire staff/23.59

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Ralph Lauren has been shifting its €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 Hermès 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 spring–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, José 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 Sandé, 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.
   Sandé 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 première 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 plant—where 1,700 jobs are expected to be created—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.
   ‘Our mission was to create an exciting and dynamic design clearly reflecting the XE’s positioning as a serious driver’s car. The cab-rearward proportions and tight packaging achieve that and give the XE the appearance of movement even when it’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 débuts 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 £27,000.















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