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April 17, 2014

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s CoppĂ©lia expertly executed at every level

Jack Yan/13.46


Royal New Zealand Ballet


Evan Li/Royal New Zealand Ballet

Top A publicity photograph from the Royal New Zealand Ballet for Coppélia, with Swanhilda, Franz and Coppélia. Above Kohei Iwamato as Franz and Lucy Green as Swanhilda from the premiÚre.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s CoppĂ©lia, which opened in Wellington on Thursday, is a lovingly designed and staged production that will suit family audiences.
   Set in a mountain village in Hungary, the RNZB’s production of CoppĂ©lia retains its well known storyline and period setting, with beautiful sets and costumes. The work of the late, award-winning designer Kristian Fredrikson is particularly poignant in the second act, inside Dr Coppelius’s house, where his seven very distinctive automatons, as well as CoppĂ©lia, rest. Two incomplete mannequins hung from the top. The third act, with the wedding scene, is another testament to Fredrikson’s design ability, evident through the villagers’ and Franz and Swanhilda’s wedding costumes. Jason Morphett’s lighting lifted the story, making it easy to follow—and it was the second act, too, with its moody atmosphere, where his work shone.
   Martin Vedel, ballet master on CoppĂ©lia, stayed true to the core of the story, with classical and folkloric dances playing out the plot. The energetic divertissements in the third act were perfectly performed. Vedel was, according to his notes, aware of the pre-modern, romantic period in which CoppĂ©lia was created, and sought to retain its beauty, but tightened up the storyline and more clearly portrayed Dr Coppelius—performed by Sir Jon Trimmer, who first danced it for the RNZB in 1964—as a social outcast.
   The 21st-century touches are, then, in the theatrics of the performance rather than the look and feel, although the limbless, faceless automaton, beautifully performed by Paul Mathews, could feel at home in science fiction to modern audiences.
   One cannot help but smile at the performances—after all, CoppĂ©lia is a happy, comedic ballet, and we noticed that the children on opening night enjoyed it as much as the adults. Lucy Green and Kohei Iwamoto were the well cast leads tonight, as Swanhilda and Franz respectively, dancing their roles expertly—and deservedly receiving standing ovations from some of the audience. Unsurprisingly, Sir Jon received similar acclaim, and Joseph Skelton as Zoltan, both in his emphatic solo and his dance with Katherine Grange as Ima, brought immediate reactions as well as loud applause at the end.
   Orchestra Wellington faithfully performed the LĂ©o Delibes score.
   After Wellington, CoppĂ©lia tours to to Palmerston North, Invercargill, Dunedin, Napier, Rotorua, Takapuna, and Auckland, with the season ending on May 31 inclusive. Further information on dates and venues, as well as booking, can be found at the RNZB website.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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March 11, 2014

Jameson Irish Whiskey shows limited-edition bottle for St Patrick’s Day 2014

Lucire staff/10.22

In the spirit of St Patrick’s Day 2014, Jameson Irish Whiskey will release its fourth limited-edition design bottle, this time the work of illustrator Dermot Flynn.
   Flynn was inspired by the sights and sounds of Dublin, and his illustration features a pub, statues, monuments, and humorous Irish sayings.
   Jameson says the limited-edition bottle is a must-have for those who love Ireland and the Irish character. Says Kathryn Love, Jameson’s marketing manager in New Zealand, ‘In addition to its smooth, balanced taste, one of the things that whiskey fans around the world tell us they love about Jameson is its intrinsic Irish character. Jameson embodies the down-to-earth character of Dubliners so with this new limited edition, we wanted to bring that to life and celebrate the great city which inspired John Jameson to make his now iconic whiskey for the first time over 230 years ago.’
   The limited-edition bottle retails for NZ$64·99 from March 17, 2014 at selected outlets, while stocks last.

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January 20, 2014

Six young designers selected for Rotterdam museum, to exhibit alongside Viktor & Rolf, Martin Margiela

Lucire staff/9.29


Iris van Herpen/Jean Baptiste Mondino


Karl Giant

Top Iris van Herpen is among the six winners of the Han Nefkens Fashion on the Edge Awards. Above Olek of Poland, also on the winners’ list.

An exhibition, The Future of Fashion Is Now, will open on October 11, 2014 and run to January 18, 2015 at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, featuring the works of Viktor & Rolf, Christophe Coppens, Martin Margiela, Hussein Chalayan, and others.
   Additionally, six young fashion designers will feature among the 60 who will exhibit, having just won the Han Nefkens Fashion on the Edge Awards.
   To find the emerging designers, 20 international scouts selected two or three designers for the exhibition and the Han Nefkens Fashion on the Edge Award. A jury of six—made up of Viktor & Rolf, Vogue Nederland editor-in-chief Karin Swerink, Vassilis Zidianakis, Han Nefkens and JosĂ© Teunissen, selected the final six.
   The winners are Iris van Herpen (the Netherlands), Craig Green (Great Britain), Dolci & Kabana (Australia), Olek (Poland), Digest Design (China) and Lucco (Peru).
   The Award, the brainchild of Nefkens and Tenuissen, supports fashion talent, offering designers the opportunity of creating new work, then given on perpetual loan to the museum.
   Swerink notes that the winners ‘had to engage, inspire and surprise me. All six designers met these three criteria.’
   The six will not fly blind: the jury will assist them up to the opening, says the Museum. The public can follow the process online.
   â€˜The exhibition addresses the critical position young fashion designers adopt towards the fashion system and the role of clothing in today’s society. Sustainability, new technologies and the value of clothing for the identity of an individual or a community are themes with which they open the discussion about fashion of the future,’ says the Museum.


Santos RomĂĄn



Above The jury included Han Nefkens, Karin Swerink, and Viktor & Rolf.

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January 18, 2014

Behind the Lucire 2014 redesign, and a features’ round-up

Jack Yan/13.31


Surface Too Deep

Top A promotional image from Surface Too Deep. The model on the left is reading Lucire. It’s a better photo than we could have come up with to promote ourselves. Above Lucire’s new look for the web edition’s news pages for 2014.

You may have noticed we’ve continued to do some housekeeping around the place. Our web news pages now sport a new look for 2014, following on from the facelifted home page. We’re still finding our feet a little with the image sizes, but we should settle into things by the lunar New Year.
   You’d never guess, but getting the new search button at the top of the page, as well as having DuckDuckGo handle our searches, took around an hour. (This switch means we will have no record of what you searched for. In the last 10 years, we knew which keywords were used, but we never bothered looking beyond that. With people increasingly concerned about online privacy, DuckDuckGo is a search engine that doesn’t leak anything to the NSA et al, for the simple reason that it doesn’t keep any search records.) The new footer took an hour and a half. And creating the template for these pages and making sure they worked took around 11 hours. The comment system is now driven by Disqus across the entire Lucire site, not just the features. We also switched from Feedburner for the daily email newsletters to Feedblitz, since there may have been a bug that saw Feedburner deliver the wrong news. We wanted to be safe rather than sorry.
   However, we hope you like it, although if you’re browsing on a cellphone and some mobile devices, you should be seeing a reduced version of these pages as before.
   There have also been new articles on the main part of the website. Elyse Glickman checked out DĂŒsseldorf in her ‘Volante’ feature (the first of three in Germany)—the first article to get the new look. Next up was Stanley Moss, writing as Lovejoy, with our serialization of his novel The Crimson Garter.
   It’s a departure for us to feature fiction, though readers may remember a few road tests by yours truly where I aped the style of another author—my Aston Martin V8 Vantage review was linked and even posted on a forum at the time. However, Stanley’s novel is so compelling it bears the hallmarks of many great Lucire travel stories (many of which were penned by him), and it covers subjects that are familiar to readers. Plus, you can also check out some of the places covered through the related links at the bottom of the page. The icing on the cake is that The Crimson Garter is a really good yarn. The first two chapters are up now, and we’ll add more regularly. Since many of you get into novels over summer, it seems to be an ideal time to serialize his novel. You can also order the whole thing if you want to read ahead—click through and there are links to Kobobooks and Amazon to the right of the title.
   In case you missed the features, Lola Saab has the low-down for spring 2014 from New York; Tamara Madison interviewed Alexandra von Bromssen; and Anna Deans looks at Lindex’s latest campaign with Matthew Williamson and Karlie Kloss. There were also two looks back at 2013: our news-makers, and my personal review of the year.
   Finally, though certainly not least, we have to give props to swimwear label Surface Too Deep for the great photograph above. The model on the left is reading Lucire. The model on the right has put down another title. I think it says it all: the print editions of Lucire, as we regularly hear from readers, truly engage you from cover to cover.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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January 16, 2014

Golden Globe suites: another great GBK “signature” event

Elyse Glickman/1.16



Cole Zimmerman, courtesy GBK

Behind every Golden Globe-nominated performance or directorial effort, there’s a great writer. However, it is not just the screenwriters who make the Hollywood world go around. The public relations’ reps and the payroll departments (who sign the cheques) deserve some credit, too. That’s why it is only fitting that Pilot Pens’ new affordable luxury line of fountain pens as well as their chic disposable models made for one of the best presentations among the sponsors. Behold, the GBK and Pilot Pen Luxury Gift Lounge made its mark on the 2014 award season while getting the point across for Lambda Legal (providing legal defense on behalf of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV across the nation for 40 years) and Guard-A-Heart.
   The other stand-out sponsor was Airweave, which showcased its innovative line of mattress toppers from Japan fashioned from resin strings similar to what’s used in their fishing industry. The mattress is made by three-dimensionally entwining and heat-bonding thin polyethylene strings. The resulted structure gives the mattress superior air permeability.
   While there were some familiar faces and product lines, like Sabra and Yoplait Greek Yogurt, there were some new fashion and beauty essentials in the mix worth writing home about. SAAS Hot Sauce rolled out bottles of its two flavours of savoury, authentic, all-purpose, and spicy sauce winning over foodies nationwide. Rolf Bleu by Caryn Sterling has expanded her line of Iphone and cross-body Ipad covers to jewellery and whimsical message beanies, costume jewellery and other goodies.
   Tweezerman had some clever new grooming instruments, including a spring-y facial hair remover, cuticle cutter and adorable minis designed by Isaac Mizrahi and for the Art of Elysium, a non-profit organization, founded in 1997 by Jennifer Howell, encouraging actors, artists and musicians to voluntarily dedicate their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions. Spanx was back with a new laser line that should remedy the problem of waistband roll-down that can undo the desired effect of shapewear.
   Self-proclaimed ‘heart-ist’ and art glass jewellery designer Hillel Rzepka has teamed up with sponsoring charity Guard-a-Heart to drive home the importance of regular check-ups, common-sense health practices and preventative medicine to protect one’s coronary health. The suite also provided a nice platform for GWEN (Global Women’s Empowerment Network) which offers women in need a variety of services.
   I was completely enthusiastic about Fluxmob, an ingenious little company that just plugged in to the scene with its Bolt, the world’s smallest battery pack and wall charger combination charger.
   Though not plugged in or wired, some of the beauty essentials were also quite interesting. These included Sleep-in Rollers (comfy hair rollers that are designed to flatten like a sponge) Minerva Research Labs’ Pure Gold Collagen (a liquid food supplement with hydrolyzed collagen and active ingredients essential for the production of collagen and skin hydration), Embellash Eyelash Conditioner and Hands-Free Skin Brightener from the Crave Collection, and Burke Williams Spa, offering their newest products along with massages.
   Pink Diamond Jewelry by Fiamma dazzled, not only because of the gems’ radiance against filigree designs in white and yellow gold, but its continued efforts to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Representative Tigerlily Skye not only wore those sparklers well but also reminded guests of how the purchase of the line’s pieces would benefit people beyond the wearer. Made By Survivors, an international non-profit gifting silver and brass hand-made jewellery made by survivors of human trafficking, made a similar impact with its modern, rustic designs.
   The Artisan Group was back, and GBK would not be the same without their grab-bags of creativity. My bag featured beautiful stationery from Angsana Seeds Photography and GeekGirly Photography, plus accessories from Jems by JB & Company, Jewelry by Andrea, Alison Lundahl Jewelry, Ruby White Tips nail enamel (in blingy bottles) and Maureen Connor of Meant 2B Cherished.
   One cool feature of the event was the way L’Ermitage Hotel’s new V Wine Room was introduced to all the tastemakers in attendance. V Wine Room is the only dedicated tasting room in Los Angeles, proudly pouring limited-production boutique California wines exclusively on their premises. This fabulousness is set against a backdrop of a 1930s-inspired library–speakeasy hybrid.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor











Cole Zimmerman, courtesy GBK






Elyse Glickman

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January 12, 2014

Bugatti shows menswear and accessories for autumn–winter 2014–15 at exclusive event

Lucire staff/12.56



Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Bugatti, Volkswagen AG’s most exclusive brand with its heritage in Alsace, has extended into menswear at the autumn–winter 2014–15 Milano shows, as part of what it calls its Lifestyle Brand project.
   The “blue carpet” event on Friday was held at Casa Manzoni, the home of the nineteenth-century poet Alessandro Manzoni, in association with L’Uomo Vogue, hosted by editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani and Bugatti Automobiles SAS president Wolfgang Schreiber. Guests included Gaia Trussardi, Stephen Dorff, Anna Dello Russo, Gaia Trussardi, Dean and Dan Caten, Leonardo Ferragamo, Moncler chairman Remo Ruffini, the President of the Italian National Chamber of Fashion Mario Boselli, Cecilia Capriotti and Andrea Perone, Carlo Mazzoni, Leonardo Ferragamo and his sons Pietro and Riccardo, Luca Calvani, Elke Palmaers, Carlo Borromeo, Marta Ferri, and AndrĂ© van Noord.
   The capsule collection, made in Italy, is meant to highlight the same values as Bugatti itself, namely ‘art, form, technique’. The clothing dĂ©buts along with an exclusive Bugatti bag.
   Fabrics for the EB (Ettore Bugatti) tailored clothing lines (Flamboyant, Formal Wear and Blue Carpet SoirĂ©e) have come from Biella, while the Bugatti Extreme Performance outdoor line uses high-tech treatments and processes. Both follow the philosophy of the cars: ĂŒber-luxury through some of the highest and most exclusive technology. The company also says the collection blends ‘Italian creativity, French savoir-vivre and German engineering’.
   The collection will be sold through exclusive Bugatti boutiques, the first of which will open in Hong Kong and Beijing, highlighting where the brand’s growth markets are.









Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images










Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

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December 28, 2013

Ready for ’14: a new look for Lucire’s home page

Jack Yan/11.04



Above Out with the old, in with the new—with J-Law doing the honours as the first cover girl of the new look. (It was Kylie Minogue a year ago.)

Our home page has had a nip–tuck today. Well, it’s closer to a full redesign.
   During 2013, there seems to have been a trend toward longer and longer web pages, probably thanks to mobile devices and tablets, and our ease of “swiping”.
   This has changed the way we consume web publications, although the new design breaks a few rules that were de rigueur when we started in 1997.
   If you head there today, you’ll see a more impressive, “bled” home page image (Jennifer Lawrence is the ideal person to kick this off—especially if you read my ‘Newsmakers of 2013’ story) but the menu bar isn’t where you expect it to be.
   We still haven’t quite got there in terms of making the page perfect for lower resolutions—some images still don’t resize properly—but we will make these corrections through 2014.
   One of our advertisers, Vidal Sassoon, was arguably the inspiration behind the new look. While we can’t be quite as fancy—a magazine must still present easily digestible facts first, and dazzle with new products second—we began rethinking how Lucire should look. We also felt, that with how quickly blogs had caught up with magazine-style layouts, we had to differentiate ourselves again.
   It’s interesting to note that the last redesign for Lucire’s home page took place around this time last year—and at the time, we all thought the new look would last us for a couple of years (as most have). It’s the shortest stint of any home-page look Lucire has had in its 16-year history.
   Internally, we feel the new look is closer to that of the print editions of Lucire, which only makes sense. Each should reinforce the other.
   We’ll phase in the new look, as we want to wait to get your feedback.
   I mentioned my ‘Newsmakers’ story earlier. Click through here and see if you agree with our team’s top six for 2013. We didn’t include Miley.
   Have a wonderful 2014, and please let us know your thoughts on the redesign in the comments or via our social media presences (we’ve had a few positive ones on our Facebook group and our Facebook page).—Jack Yan, Publisher

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December 5, 2013

Ford releases ofïŹcial 2015 Mustang photos and details

Jack Yan/6.45


’Stangers—diehard fans of the Ford Mustang—will have already seen it due to leaks of the official photographs half a day ago. Lucire ran the leaked photos on our Facebook page. But now, we can officially talk about the unveiling, in six cities around the world—New York, Dearborn, Michigan, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Sydney and Barcelona—of the 2015 Mustang, codenamed S550, which commemorates the model line’s 50th anniversary.
   Executive chairman Bill Ford was present at the Barcelona event, in front of an audience of 2,500 journalists, dealers and Ford employees.
   While the Mustang has officially been on sale in Europe and other markets before since the original model was released in New York on April 17, 1964, the 2015 model is the first which will be sold as a “world car”, as part of Ford’s core range.
   Ford notes that the Mustang is its most iconic range, and that it is the world’s most-liked vehicle on Facebook. Nine million have been built since the original’s launch.
   Stephen Odell, executive vice-president for Ford in Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in a release, ‘The Mustang’s formidable reputation for performance and its iconic status as a symbol of freedom and optimism precedes it even in those parts of the world where the car has never been sold. The new Mustang epitomizes Ford’s aggressive product acceleration; technologically advanced and forward-looking, but without forgetting the heritage that has inspired Ford customers for generations.’
   The new model certainly lives up to the promise. It has the classic Mustang proportions and blends them with Ford’s present design language.
   The design language has been seen on other global products such as the facelifted B299 Ford Fiesta and the CD391 Ford Fusion, which will be sold in Europe and other markets as the Ford Mondeo. It is an evolution of some of Ford’s earlier design principles.
   The grille opening apes that of the Fiesta and Fusion, but appears in a more exaggerated form, with the Mustang horse placed in the centre, as with the original, the Mustang II, and the models dating from the 1994.
   There are also shades of the ItalDesign Ford Mustang concept of 2006, which brought some Italianate touches, such as a tapering cabin.
   The rear lights also reflect the classic Mustang ideas, with the tri-bar design that also harks back to the original.
   Ford has also injected the rear-wheel-drive Mustang with the latest technologies, equipping the pony car for the 2010s and beyond.
   Technologies include Ford’s Sync with voice control and eight-inch touchscreen (in Europe), and drivers can adjust between driving modes.
   The convertible has an insulated cloth top, which has a sleek profile when folded, according to Ford.
   Moray Callum, Ford’s executive director of design for the Americas, said, ‘You only get one chance to make a first impression and when you see this car, you immediately see a Mustang strong and true.’
   Inside, the Mustang has an aviation-inspired cockpit, designed for the driver, and there is more space, thanks to a wider cabin and an all-new rear suspension. The cockpit again blends modern and classic: the two large dials hark back to the original, but the look is more geometric and structured.
   The boot can now accommodate two golf bags, thanks to the new platform.
   The suspension brings Mustang bang up to date. The front has double ball-joint Macpherson struts, while the rear gets rid of its agricultural live rear axle in front of an integral-link independent suspension. The Mustang promises to be a far better drive than the models of old, suiting worldwide markets. Ford’s stability control includes torque vectoring.
   Engines are the classic five-litre V8 (with 426 PS and 529 Nm of torque) and a new EcoBoost 2·3-litre four delivering 309 PS and 407 Nm. The automatic model has steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles.—Jack Yan, Publisher












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