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August 11, 2016

A renewed energy for the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Giselle

Jack Yan/14.51


Stephen A’Court

Every opportunity to see the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Giselle is a renewed pleasure. First performed in 2012, and garnering a great review from this publication for its outstanding choreography and production. Conceived in Wellington four years ago by then RNZB artistic director Ethan Stiefel, with Johan Kobborg, Giselle has become one of the company’s signature ballets, performed in China, the US, the UK, and Italy.
   What was astonishing was being able to enjoy Giselle as though we had never seen the 2012 première: there was a freshness about the latest performance, despite our being familiar with the story. On opening night, Qi Huan, who had retired from the RNZB to teach at the New Zealand School of Dance, returned to take up the role of Albrecht, which we saw him perform in 2012. The years since his 2014 departure haven’t diminished his skills one iota: the ballerino still has a star quality that places him a cut above so many, and his entrechats in the second act showed the power and grace that we have come to expect from someone who has mastered his craft. Also performing Albrecht on other occasions is Daniel Gaudiello, former principal dancer of the Australian Ballet, who is similarly acclaimed.
   Lucy Green took the title role on opening night and it was her youthfulness that gave Giselle a fresh take; the drama of Giselle descending into madness in the first act was so well done that one couldn’t help but sympathize with her character’s pain. Her pas de deux with Huan were exquisite and romantic.
   Also of note was the extensive pointe work by the Wilis in the second act, which demonstrated that the RNZB remains on top of its game.
   Jacob Chown’s Hilarion and Mayu Tanigaito’s Myrtha deserve mention in supporting roles: the dancing by both performers was integral to the story and Chown’s battle with the Wilis was emotionally done; Tanigaito kept the pace of the less plot-driven second act going with intricate skill till we saw what had happened to Giselle and Albrecht. Tanigaito also plays Giselle in performances where Gaudiello is Albrecht, and it’s not hard to see her take on the role with aplomb.
   Stiefel returned to Wellington to fine-tune the production, working with his successor, Francesco Ventriglia, who was responsible for the casting of Huan and Gaudiello.
   Marc Taddei conducted Orchestra Wellington, also giving the performance a new energy, performing the full-length score by Adolphe Adam. He will also conduct the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra when Giselle reaches those cities.
   Giselle opened in Wellington on August 11, before touring to Napier, Christchurch, Dunedin, Auckland, Rotorua, and Palmerston North, where the season concludes on September 9. Full details are at the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s website, rnzb.org.nz.—Jack Yan, Publisher

July 19, 2016

Beauty potion no. 43

Lucire staff/21.40




Elizabeth Zuluaga

Above: Founder Nicci Levy and VIP guests check out the services at Alchemy 43.

A dash of Botox. A sprinkle of Juvederm. A pinch of Restalyne. No, it’s not a recipe from a sorcerer’s manual. It’s a “beauty compound” that is only part of the magic at Alchemy 43 in Beverly Hills, a revolutionary new beauty lab that merges the concepts of luxury and medical sophistication. Members of the press got an up close and personal look at the future of non-invasive cosmetic medicine at their July 12 media event. Guests sipped blueberry cocktails and nibbled colourful macarons while experiencing the Alchemy 43 recipe for a lifetime of gorgeousness.
   If you think med-spas are all about attitude, think again. The only attitude here is genuine joy: endless smiles and a warm welcome greet you upon entry. The sleek storefront space boasts a well-appointed waiting area with sunny atrium, chic treatment rooms, and a VIP loft for private events. But that is just the beginning. No, this is not a “sign your name at a busy front desk and wait” med-spa. After enjoying a chilled beverage, you will have your photo taken for 3-D imaging. A licensed staff “alchemist” will then discuss your needs and goals, using the enlarged image to show precisely how each treatment will look when finished. This allows you to view countless possibilities and combinations, and to quell the anxiety that often accompanies cosmetic procedures. These skilled practitioners have mastered the art of natural enhancement. No duck lips or frozen, expressionless faces here. The desired result is a subtly enhanced, rested visage.
   Post-treatment, everyone receives a refreshing oxygen infusion for faster healing. Or you can choose from the menu of reasonably priced beauty boosters including serums, peels, and microcurrent therapy. The final stop is the make-up studio featuring Kevyn Aucoin products, where an artist will give you an expert touch-up before you head back to work, home, or a night out. No one will know where you were, only that you look amazing. It`s all included, and their introductory packages make it downright affordable. For even more benefits and savings, “wrinkle relaxing” memberships are available to keep those fine lines far, far away.—Jody Miller and Leyla Messian




















Elizabeth Zuluaga

Gigi Hadid helms Tommy Hilfiger’s The Girl fragrance campaign

Bhavana Bhim/15.18

Tommy Hilfiger has announced the launch of The Girl by Tommy Hilfiger, a new eau de toilette, with a campaign featuring Gigi Hadid, the company’s global ambassador for womenswear, accessories and fragrance.
   Launching at the end July 2016, the new scent is anchored in a dynamic digital campaign, which reflects Gigi’s optimistic attitude, confidence and effortlessly cool style. As part of her ambassadorship, Gigi has also teamed with the iconic American designer to create her first capsule collection, which further celebrates her modern take on style fused with Hilfiger’s signature “classic American cool” heritage.
   Hadid explained, ‘The Girl means being true to yourself and having fun while you’re at it. For me, that’s appreciating every moment, laughing at myself and surrounding myself with everything that makes me feel happy.’ Her influential attitude and fun-loving personality is encapsulated in the campaign.
   The scent opens with a burst of green pear, violet leaf and green figleaves before moving to the heart of velvety jasmine petals and silky muguet. Cedarwood and cashmeran envelop the fragrance for its signature finish that captures Hadid’s sense of individuality and confidence.
   The Girl by Tommy Hilfiger eau de toilette will be available at exclusive retailers.—Bhavana Bhim

July 16, 2016

Launch of John Varvatos’s new fragrance, Bad-Boy Biker, at New York Men’s Fashion Week

Bhavana Bhim/2.56

John Varvatos introduced his newest fragrance, Dark Rebel Rider, during a celebratory concert featuring Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown at his New York City Bowery store.
   The event was held immediately following the John Varvatos spring–summer 2017 fashion show on July 14. The night featured a special performance by Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, a band specially selected by John Varvatos. There to support the Dark Rebel Rider launch were musicians Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Mills, as well as actor Corey Hawkins and athlete–model Dale Moss.
   ‘Dark Rebel Rider is an extension of the Dark Rebel fragrance collection, which originally launched in 2015. The fragrance is inspired by the bad-boy biker, who walks to his own beat and has an edge but also doesn’t try too hard,’ said John Varvatos. ‘Just like my clothes, the Dark Rebel Rider fragrance is iconic, timeless and represents a courageous attitude. It is a clear expression of a personality that defies the norm.’
   The alluring scent features bitter orange, saffron with black violet and Somalian frankincense amongst the heart of the fragrance. The fragrance is the result of a long-standing collaboration between Varvatos and Givaudan vice-president of perfumery, Rodrigo Flores-Roux. ‘Dark Rebel Rider captures the heart and soul of rebelliousness and bad boy idols through ultra-sexy leather and ambery notes,’ said Flores-Roux. ‘It is luminous but has incredible gravitas and depth; it is supple and sensual but delivers a punch. It is voluminous but never heavy, it is an extraordinary olfactive chiaroscuro.’
   The fragrance is available now exclusively at Bloomingdale’s, and other retailers beginning August 2016, with an MSRP of US$89 for 4·2 fl oz.—Bhavana Bhim

July 13, 2016

Ellen DeGeneres launches eyewear line in collaboration with Modo

Bhavana Bhim/17.04


Ellen DeGeneres has launched her own range of eyewear in collaboration with Modo, a contemporary lifestyle brand.
   The eyewear range features both sunwear and optical collections. With a mix of seriousness and fun, DeGeneres’s personality and vision is showcased through the variation of designed lenses in a mix of colours and shapes.
   With a passion for interior design, architecture and fashion, DeGeneres brings her unique vision to this beautifully designed, high-quality collection.
   ‘I am excited to partner with Modo on my new collection of ED eyewear,’ said DeGeneres. ‘We have regular opticals and sunglasses in some amazing designs that will have you shouting, “I wear, you wear, we all wear ED eyewear!”‘
   Sunwear styles are available at US$155 at EDbyEllen.com as well as Eyefly.com, in 17 styles in stainless steel or acetate. The optical collection will be available for purchase in September at additional retailers.
   ‘We are thrilled about the launch of ED Ellen DeGeneres eyewear on EDbyEllen.com,’ said Alessandro Lanaro, CEO of Modo. ‘Modo appreciates this partnership with Ellen and the ED team, and we look forward to this collaboration.’—Bhavana Bhim

June 29, 2016

Oh, pretty woman!

Elyse Glickman/21.06



It’s hard to believe that it’s been 27 years since Julia Roberts’ career and her character in the film Pretty Woman were transformed in the confines of the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. It also speaks volumes that Julia Roberts and this storied Beverly Hills property (now under the Four Seasons umbrella) still turn heads after all these years.
   Just as Julia Roberts has kept herself up to date, so has the hotel’s spa with some new additions. It was only fitting that the crowd-pleaser movie was playing in the background as beauty bloggers and journalists made the rounds to experience sample treatments including products from just added lines Évolué (officially styled in all lowercase, évolué) and Elemis.
   Évolué, created by Beverly Hills-based Jean Seo, features products integrating nourishing and luxurious ingredients sourced from around the world that mimic what the body naturally produces and loses with age. Besides her bubbly personality, Seo’s other top selling point is that her products are tested actresses and models rather than animals. Although Elemis is one of the UK’s top spa skin care brands, the Spa at Regent Beverly Wilshire will be one of the few US spas to feature the new Elemis Biotec system into several treatments. The focal point of the spa experience is a machine combining five technologies that are scientifically proven to increase cell energy for optimum skin function.



   With the event staged from 5 to 8.30 p.m., we could not think of a better way to spend happy hour, with beauty indulgences replacing food. However, as there were so many treatments in so little time, we each had our own differing sets of treatments. As there are usually drinks during happy hour, this event did not disappoint. Invitees were offered champagne or cold pressed juices by LA Juice to stay refreshed (though water consumption was also recommended.)



Elyse: After starting the evening with a manicure where I went outside my comfort zone, colour-wise (a robin’s egg blue by Creative Nail), I signed up to have a practitioner give my face a workout with a light, effervescent Brightening Antioxidant treatment. Next, I balanced things out with an oxygen facial with Natura Bisse products from Spain, and an indulgent Time Reversal Facial using a cocktail of products from Évolué. Between each 15-minute facial session, I enjoyed experimenting with essential oils by Dõterra (officially, dõTERRA) and had a blissful foot massage expertly handled by a cheery member of the spa staff. The practitioner at the Dõterra display claimed that the nose is a conduit to the psyche. After she guided my nose to the right scent suiting my mood and personality at the moment, she handed me a book and turned it to a page that explained how the aromatic oil could put me in a happier state of mind.

Leyla: I enjoyed the Time Reversal Facial, which uses Évolué’s simple, organic formulations. After removing a day’s worth of foundation, powder and eyeliner with their pure jojoba oil cleanser, they gently exfoliated my skin with a natural and less invasive alternative to microdermabrasion. The Évolué Resurfacing Grains, made with oat and milk powder, gently softened my skin without creating unsightly red patches. The treatment was topped off with a mask of face-plumping elastin and collagen. Next, I treated my face to the Biotech Firm-a-Lift by Elemis, which uses a combination of plant stem cells and hyaluronic acid to nourish the skin and reduce fine lines.
   The æsthetician also used an ultrasonic device to oxygenate the skin and stimulate cell growth. I appreciate the fact that Elemis’s products are steeped in scientific research. They do not make any claims without clinical trials. I followed this with a mini-version of the spa’s Elemis Amber and Orchids body wrap. The æsthetician massaged sweet orchid oil into my tired hands, and wrapped them in warm towels. The fragrance stayed with me for several days. For the final touch, I went to the Lea Journo Hair Salon adjacent to the spa for a lesson in contouring my face, “Kardashian-style”.

Jody: After already indulging in a couple of lovely mini-facials, I pondered whether I should sample another. OK, twist my arm! And lucky for me I did, because the Hydrafacial was my favourite. In a nutshell, it is a soothing hydra-dermabrasion procedure that combines deep cleansing, exfoliation, extraction (that’s right—it replaces painful extractions), hydration, and infusion of antioxidants. The result is skin that is clearer and more luminous without the discomfort or down time. It is an all-in-one facial wonder suitable for all skin types, and the cool mist topping it off is a perfect summer pick-me-up.

   Although the schedule was tight for all the guests, everybody found time to be treated to deliciously cool under-eye “gold” or “diamond” masks by Knesko. Better still, they sent everybody home with a gift bag that itself was the spa “to go”. The care package included a generous envelope with Knesco masks for face and neck, full-sized products from Évolué (Resurfacing Grains and Cleanser) and Elemis’s Biotech Skin Energizing Cleanser and Day Cream, featuring electrolytes and minerals our skin thirsts for. Of course, to maintain those benefits, it’s always good to provide incentive to return and leave it to the pros to work their magic.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor; Leyla Messian and Jody Miller, LA Correspondents

June 28, 2016

Keira Knightley to front Chanel Coco Crush campaign for autumn 2016, directed by Mario Testino

Lucire staff/1.48


Mario Testino

Keira Knightley is the new face of Chanel’s Coco Crush haute joaillerie campaign, directed by Mario Testino and scheduled to break in the northern autumn.
   In 2011, Knightley became the face of the Coco Mademoiselle perfume, and she also fronts the company’s Rouge Coco collection.
   Chanel describes its Coco Crush collection as ‘euphoric’ and ‘hedonistic’, featuring pieces that are ‘voluptuous, sensual and timeless’.
   Knightley’s upcoming film is Collateral Beauty, directed by David Frankel, where she co-stars alongside Will Smith and Kate Winslet.

June 22, 2016

Kate Moss and Rimmel celebrate 15 years with new lipstick and nail polish collection launched in London

Lucire staff/17.02




David M. Benett

Kate Moss and Rimmel London have released their latest collaboration celebrating the supermodel’s 15-year relationship with the beauty brand.
   The Kate Moss Rimmel 15th Anniversary Collection comprises Moss’s favourite nude and red lip and nail shades.
   Journalists, bloggers and other guests were invited to a London house where Moss modelled two outfits, initially a black Equipment shirt with red hearts, and a green jacket over a sheer black top.
   Guests were treated to manicures using Rimmel’s new Supergel nail polish shades by manicurist Adam Slee, before a lipstick master-class by make-up artist Kirstin Piggott.
   Stylist Zoë Bedeaux and Scott Wimsett hosted a session where Moss talked of her 15-year association and how her fashion outfits inspired the Collection. Guests then could inspect those outfits and discussed how they inspired the nude and red shades.
   In a release, Moss said, ‘I’m incredibly proud of my 15-year relationship with Rimmel. It’s a brand very close to my heart; my first ever lipstick was Rimmel Heather Shimmer. The partnership has strengthened and evolved over the years, with me taking an actively creative role. The new anniversary collection echoes some of my favourite London looks from the last decade and a half. I’ve focused on reds and nudes because they’re the colours I love to wear—each shade reflects a different side of me.’
   In the collection, the Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate comes in six shades and can last eight hours, numbered 51 through 56; and the Super Gel Nail Polish by Kate gives a shine that lasts for 14 days, and comes in four shades (nos. 15, 42, 44 and 71).











































David M. Benett

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