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GBK puts the ‘lounge’ back into its Golden Globe Century Lounge


NEWS  by Elyse Glickman/January 7, 2017/22.23




Elyse Glickman

For GBK’s last several award show-outings, Gavin Keilly and his troupe went high volume and high production, complete with backdrops at such larger-than-life places as the W Hollywood. The sampling, gifting and revelry went on for days at these things (well, two, to be exact, but you get the idea, based on our coverages from the past). This time, Gavin went back to basics, staging his 2017 Golden Globes pre-party in At the P (a delightfully pared-down and intimate space not far from Paramount Studios, yet far from the maddening crowds of past parties).
   With excess stripped away, guests could give their undivided attention to marquee charities, American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) and Lambda Legal, whose contributions to the world will be especially welcome and needed in the changing (and more challenging) social climate brought on in force during 2016. Lambda Legal is a non-profit US organization whose members, since 1973, have worked tirelessly to attain and protect the civil liberties of gays, lesbians, transgender people and those affected by HIV through impact litigation, public policy work, activism and education. The MDA, Israel’s national emergency medical response agency and Red Cross affiliate, is a global pioneer in mass casualty response, sharing its knowledge with governments throughout the world.
   The comfy, gallery-like space also provided a nice backdrop for some wonderful bites and drinks from 4 Copas Tequila, IXIB DimSum Eats, and SuShe Art. The former put on quite a show, starring female sushi chefs doling out handrolls and cut roll pieces atop leaf-covered models. Napa Technology, meanwhile, demonstrated its Genesis Perfect Pour wine dispensing system that not only dispenses perfect glasses but extends the shelf life of uncorked bottles.
   GBK regulars were there to the delight of guests, including Tweezerman with its men’s grooming sets and metallic travel sets for women; Babar Hair Tools (including the Babar Mini Max cordless and rechargeable flat iron and its new hair-drier release); and the always welcome Artisan Group with their grab bags. Highlights from my surprise bag reflected that small jewellery items are big again. They included delicate semi-precious stone necklaces from Little P’s, Creations by Kristel and CY Designs, and earrings from Fizz Candy. BeezKneez is still buzzing with modern paper products that beg to bring back the art of handwritten notes.
   There was something for the sports fan (NIMA Sports college football helmet speakers), the amorous (virtual “toys” from SenseMax), savvy designer-brand shoppers (TemptBrands.com, offering guests Street Affaires sunglasses); Drew Barrymore followers (super cute Flower sunglasses) and shoe fanatics (guiltysoles.com). However, we really liked the new line of stylish, pet-feeding pieces from OnoFriends.com that mitigate food and water over-spill as well as the EZPZ all-in-one sectioned food dish and placemat for infants and toddlers.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor







Elyse Glickman

Opel previews Insignia B, with clues to next Holden Commodore and Buick Regal


NEWS  by Lucire staff/December 7, 2016/1.07



GM has shown official photographs of the Opel Insignia B, which will be sold in the UK as a Vauxhall and Australasia as the Holden Commodore. Opel has focused on making the new Insignia more efficient, and it has completely reinterpreted how a sporty, large car should look. The new large car boasts a Cd figure of 0,26, yet lightweight materials have shaved up to 175 kg off the weight.
   Length is roughly the same as before, but it’s 29 mm lower, and the wheelbase has been increased by 92 mm (aiding rear passenger space), and the track by 11 mm. In isolation, it appears larger compared with the outgoing Insignia, something which will help its prospects internationally, where a version of the Insignia has to compete in China as the upscale Buick Regal, and in the former E-segment in Australia as the Holden Commodore. There is an increasing commonality between Opel and Buick design languages, too, with GM saying the Insignia B has a ‘sweepspear’ line that begins at the front door—a term that was first used at Buick in the 1940s. A coupé-like fastback roofline and an upper chrome strip—the latter is also tipped for the estate—give the Insignia B a more distinctive appearance. The driver also sits 30 mm lower than before.
   Opel’s design vice-president for Europe, Mark Adams, says that the Insignia B is meant to look more upscale than its predecessor, saying it has ‘the aura of a car from the premium, upper class.’ Inspiration came from the Opel Monza Concept of 2013.
   There is a new eight-speed automatic transmission, and a wide range of engines, though Opel has not yet revealed specifics before the Insignia B’s official launch in Genève next year. The big news under the skin is all-wheel drive with torque vectoring, aiding stability: this feature is expected on the top models worldwide. FlexRide adapts dampers, steering and throttle response to suit a driver’s style.
   Its LED headlights adapt to the traffic conditions, and there are other premium features, including a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, lane assist with lane-departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. GM’s Onstar service is also standard, with automatic crash response and stolen vehicle assistance, with a concierge service allowing occupants to book hotels, launching with the car next year.







Grayton announces first mechanical watch with smart features


NEWS  by Cecilia Xu/November 28, 2016/23.18


‘Technology evolves but style is timeless’ is a value in which boutique watch designer brand Grayton strongly stand by. This is exactly what the brand has produced, raising the bar in what a classic watch can do with the release of their Origin mechanical watch, available for pre-sale beginning today on Indiegogo, with a commercial release slated for May 2017.
   The unique selling-point of the Origin is its smart strap, which is interchangeable and connected to your smart phone. The Origin is crafted in a brushed 316L stainless steel case with polished accents, with a see-through back cover that gives a glimpse of the watch’s self-winding mechanism. Its power reserve is 41 hours.
   The well hidden, built-in electronics make the strap indistinguishable from the best traditional leather straps. The accompanying app is compatible with both Iphone and Android platforms, and is ideal for receiving notification alerts in the office or recording workout fitness data at the gym, activity tracking, phone notifications, music control and more.—Cecilia Xu

Porsche Design Sport by Adidas releases spring–summer 2017 collection, for year-round activity


NEWS  by Lucire staff/November 23, 2016/3.01


Adidas and Porsche Design, the design company founded by Butzi Porsche, have released their spring–summer 2017 Porsche Design Sport by Adidas collection.
   These sportswear items blend the idea of Adidas’ performance heritage with efficient design. Jacques Chassaing, senior design director for the label, says that wearers are active even during Europe’s cold winter months, and need items that help them stay warm and dry.
   Because customers wear the items not just at the gym, but as part of their everyday travel and commuting, the padded jacket is designed to keep them warm, thanks to PrimaLoft Gold insulation. There is also a vest that can be paired with the wool mix top, and a water-repellant, five-pocket Commuter pant.
   Porsche Design Sport by Adidas also has the UltraBoost trainer collection, again blending Porsche Design’s functional ideas with Adidas’ performance ones. Foam aids comfort, while the leather adds luxury. The Drive Team bag has an EVA-moulded compartment to protect valuables, and ventilated slits allow wet clothing inside to dry out.
   Unifying some of this season’s designs is a subtle hexagonal pattern, intended to give a futuristic look, and features reflective elements for safety, appearing on the Reflective jacket, Reflective Cap II, Seven-Eighth Tight and Endurance 2·0 shoes, and the OT back-pack.
   The colour palette is focused on dark blue and black, though some pieces are in a bright red shade, which is particularly eye-catching and fitting for this season.




Ralph & Russo, Charlotte Tilbury, Anya Hindmarch among Walpole winners; Lucy Hale named ambassador for Casetify


NEWS  by Lucire staff/November 16, 2016/12.50

Pretty Little Liars’ Lucy Hale has been named as a spokeswoman and creative director for Casetify, a company retailing cellphone cases, Apple Watch bands, Macbook sleeves and clutches.
   The capsule collection of 34 pieces has been launched in time for the new Apple Iphone 7, based around the idea of ‘delicate but daring,’ a motto credited to the actress. The designs reflect Hale’s tastes, including one with the quotation, ‘I like big brows and I cannot lie,’ as well as cheetah, floral and cacti prints, and one featuring her own dog, Elvis.
   Prices begin at US$40, and the range can be found at www.casetify.com/lucy-hale.
   The 15th annual Walpole Awards, presented in London on Wednesday, saw numerous fashion and beauty brands honoured for their contribution to luxury. Ralph & Russo won Outstanding Achievement in British Luxury, presented by Nadja Swarovski (right).
   Other winners included make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury, who won British Luxury Brand of the Year, and accessories’ designer Anya Hindmarch won the prize for Digital Innovation in British Luxury. Burberry and House of St Barnabas jointly won the Champion of British Luxury Sustainability award.

Royal New Zealand Ballet’s ’17 line-up: triple Academy Award winner James Acheson designs for Romeo and Juliet


NEWS  by Lucire staff/October 17, 2016/0.01



Ross Brown

Top: The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Carmen, premièring on February 16, 2017. Above: A new version of Romeo and Juliet, premièring on August 16.

Royal New Zealand Ballet artistic director Francesco Ventriglia has announced his second full season for the company, kicking off 2017 with Two Ballets by Roland Petit: Carmen with L’Arlésienne, premièring in Christchurch. Both have scores by Georges Bizet: Carmen was composed for the opéra comique in 1875 before Petit adapted it into a ballet in 1949; Petit created the ballet for L’Arlésienne in 1974, using the score originally composed for the play. They have been performed internationally, though not in New Zealand till the RNZB performances running from February 16 to April 1 in eight centres.
   The RNZB will perform three of Alexander Ekman’s works—Cacti, Tuplet and Episode 31—in a full programme from May 17 to June 15, in Wellington, Auckland, Napier, Christchurch, and Dunedin. For Cacti, the RNZB will be joined by the New Zealand String Quartet.
   The pièce de résistance for 2017 will be the Ryman Healthcare Season of Romeo and Juliet, in a new version by Ventriglia. Using the score by Sergei Prokofiev from 1935, the new work features set and costume design by three-time Academy Award winner James Acheson (The Last Emperor, Dangerous Liaisons, Restoration) working on his first ballet. Working with Auckland Live, the RNZB will offer a live audio description of this ballet for blind and visually impaired patrons on September 3. The season kicks off August 16 and runs till September 24, reaching nine centres.
   Ventriglia said in a release, ‘Not only does this bold programme celebrate international talents like France’s greatest-ever choreographer Roland Petit and the contemporary genius of Alexander Ekman, it’s also about creating great art here in New Zealand with a new version of Romeo and Juliet. The talented dancers of the RNZB and I look forward to bringing you another year of world class productions. See you at the theatre.’
   Executive director Frances Turner added, ‘It’s a big and beautiful year which will take the incredible artists of the RNZB around New Zealand for 70 performances in 16 cities and towns. We are proud to be taking the highest quality art to the widest possible audience.’
   The RNZB will help the New Zealand School of Dance, its official school, celebrate its 50th anniversary with a season in Wellington on November 24–5, while Tutus on Tour with Ballet in a Box return to the regions through the year.
   More information can be found at the RNZB website.

Natalie Chan releases her Savoir-Faire couture millinery collection


NEWS  by Lucire staff/October 13, 2016/0.55



Natalie Chan’s latest couture millinery collection, entitled Savoir-Faire, has been released, inspired by the designer’s ongoing exploration of the old world meeting the present day. The pieces are feminine and confident, with headwear shapes varying from headbands to button, pillbox and percher hats. The hats themselves have clear, structured shapes, though the embellishments (butterfly wings, silk lilies, leather chrysanthemums and silk organza folds) are deconstructed—yet another point of contrast and stylistic tension. Chan has chosen colours of ivory, black, French navy and nude, with scarlet red and rose pink highlights.
   As before, Chan continues to offer a bespoke service. All are made in the traditional, artisan way, with embellishments all constructed by hand.
   Natalie Chan celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, with humble beginnings above a florist’s boutique in 2001. Today, her boutique is located at 229 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand. Her brand includes bridal wear, an extension she made in 2012, inspired by her own wedding and discovering that she had her own take on modern wedding dress design. Design and production take place above the Parnell boutique. The full collection can be tried on at the boutique, and personalized viewings are available.


Gillian Saunders takes top honours at 2016 World of Wearable Art Awards’ Show, with Supernova


NEWS  by Lucire staff/September 23, 2016/11.00




WOW

New Zealand designer Gillian Saunders has scooped the Brancott Estate Supreme Award at tonight’s World of Wearable Art (WOW) Awards’ Show. Saunders, who had entered 15 garments before her winning entry, Supernova, has won eight awards prior to 2016, but this is the first time she has taken out the top prize.
   Saunders, who was born in England, has been involved in television and theatre for most of her working life. She was trained in Yorkshire, and went on to Christchurch, New Zealand, where she worked as a props’ maker for the Court Theatre.
   ‘I had been making stage props for theatre and TV for years. WOW was the perfect challenge—could I make props for the body as well?’ she said.
   Supernova was inspired by ‘Thierry Mugler’s Chimera dress [from the autumn–winter 1997–8 collection], … the iridescent spiny fins of the Hippocampus from the Percy Jackson movie The Sea of Monsters, and some incredible NASA images taken by the Hubble Telescope,’ she noted. ‘Once all these elements were combined, Supernova was brought to life.
   ‘The large gems represent new stars being born and the dark shadows represent deep space. Each scale has been individually cut, shaded with marker pens and then hand-sewn on to the garment. Each gem has had its sticky backing removed and then glued on by hand.’
   Saunders also won the Avant-Garde section in this year’s competition, judged by WOW founder Dame Suzie Moncrieff, Zambesi’s Elisabeth Findlay, and sculptor Gregor Kregar.
   Dame Suzie said, ‘Supernova has the design innovation, the construction quality and vibrant stage presence in performance to win WOW’s top award.’
   Saunders’ 2013 design, Inkling, won the Weta Creature Carnival Award and an internship for her at Academy Award-winning Weta Workshop. It is currently part of the WOW international exhibition, touring around the world, and presently at the EMP Museum in Seattle, Washington, where it will be displayed till January, after which the exhibition will head to the Peabody Essex Museum in Boston, Mass.
   She also won the Avant-Garde section in 2007 with Equus: behind Closed Doors, while in 2009, Tikini was second in the Air New Zealand South Pacific section.
   Designers from New Zealand, China, India, England, Australia, and the USA won awards in each section.
   The American Express Open section this year saw Renascence, by Yuru Ma and Siyu Fang of Shanghai take first place. The Spyglass Creative Excellence section was won by Mai (I), by Pritam Singh and Vishnu Ramesh of Gujarat. Queen Angel, by Adam McAlavey of London, won the MJF Lighting Performance Art section.
   Baroque Star, by Natasha English and Tatyanna Meharry of Christchurch, won the Weta Workshop Costume and Film section, netting the duo a four-week internship at Weta Workshop, plus travel, accommodation, and prize money.
   The Wellington Airport Aotearoa section was won by Maria Tsopanaki and Dimitry Mavinis of London, with their creation Princess Niwareka. The World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum Bizarre Bra section was won by Julian Hartzog of Tarpon Springs, Fla., with Come Fly with Me.
   Of the special awards, Dame Suzie chose Incognita, by Ian Bernhard of Auckland, as the most innovative garment, giving it the WOW Factor Award. Renewal, by Alexa Cach, Miodrag Guberinic and Corey Gomes, won the First-Time Entrant Award. The Knight by Jiawen Gan of the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology won the Student Innovation Award. The Sustainability Award, recognizing the protection of our environment and the use of materials that would otherwise be discarded, was won by Bernise Milliken of Auckland, for Grandeer. Digital Stealth Gods, by Dylan Mulder of Wellington, won the Wearable Technology Award. The Wellington International Award, given to the best international entry, was won by Daisy May Collingridge of Woldingham, Surrey, England, for Lippydeema. Collingridge also won the UK–Europe Design Award with this entry.
   Khepri, by Miodrag Guberinic and Alexa Cach of New York, NY, won the Americas Design Award. Yu Tan of Shanghai won the Asia Design Award with The Renaissance Happens Again, while Cascade, by Victoria Edgar of Geelong, Victoria, won the Australia and South Pacific Design Award.
   The David Jones New Zealand Design Award was won by Voyage to Revolution, by Carolyn Gibson of Auckland.
   The Cirque du Soleil Performance Art Costume Award, chosen by Denise Tétreault, Costumes Lifecycle and Creative Spaces Director of the Cirque du Soleil, was won by Digital Stealth Gods, by Dylan Mulder. Mulder receives prize money, flights and accommodation for a one-month internship at Cirque du Soleil’s headquarters in Montréal, Québec.
   WOW runs in Wellington, New Zealand, through to October 9, and will be seen by 58,000 people live during its run. It employs over 350 cast and crew.
   This year, 133 entries by 163 designers (some worked in pairs) were received, competing for a prize pool of NZ$165,000.



WOW


Renascence, by Yuru Ma and Siyu Fang, Shanghai.


Mai (I), by Pritam Singh and Vishnu Ramesh, Gujarat.


Queen Angel, by Adam McAlavey, London.


Baroque Star, by Natasha English and Tatyanna Meharry, Christchurch, New Zealand.


Princess Niwareka, by Maria Tsopanaki and Dimitri Mavinis, London.


Come Fly with Me, by Julian Hartzog, Tarpon Springs, Fla.


Incognita, by Ian Bernhard, at AUT, Auckland.


Renewal, by Alexa Cach, Miodrag Guberinic and Corey Gomes.


Grandeer, by Bernise Milliken, Auckland.


Digital Stealth Gods, by Dylan Mulder, Wellington.


Lippydeema, by Daisy May Collingridge, Woldingham, Surrey.


Khepri, by Miodrag Guberinic and Alexa Cach, New York.


The Renaissance Happens Again, by Yu Tan, Shanghai.


Cascade by Victoria Edgar, Geelong, Victoria.


Voyage to Revolution by Carolyn Gibson, Auckland.

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