Lucire: News


September 29, 2015

Huawei, Vogue China and Fornasetti collaborate on custom smart watch, released at Milan Fashion Week

Alex Barrow/23.17

Pin It

Vittorio Zunino Celotto

A collaboration between big names Huawei, Vogue China and Fornasetti sparked the creation of the Fornasetti smart watch, the unveiling of which was done at Vogue China’s 10-year anniversary celebrations. Celebrated at the closure of Milan Fashion Week, the introduction of the special edition watch has allowed for it to be seen in the limelight of the fashion world.
   Huawei, a global innovation company, works towards bettering and expanding on telecom networks. With a focus on consumer product, technical innovation and research and development, the company has expanded through Asia, Europe, the US and Russia. Huawei’s crowd-sourcing specialists have opened up a platform for outside artists and designers to contribute designs for appropriate accessories to complement the watch such as customized skins, or potential ideas for future technologies such as smart phones or smart watches.
   The watch itself is a product of Huawei Business Group, but the design was customized by Fornasetti, the celebrated interior design and fashion label. The watch has all the traditional makings of a high-quality, sophisticated watch such as the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal class and stainless steel frame, as well as the traditional 42 mm diameter of the watch face itself. What makes this accessory stand out is its technical capabilities, inclusive of playing music downloads offline, Bluetooth connections and a heart rate and motion sensor. These make it the ideal companion for monitored physical activity without the bulk of other smart technologies.
   Designer Barnaba Fornasetti said his design had a multi-dimensional inspiration to it which contributed to the final product. ‘The Fornasetti brand is built upon the revival and reinvention of its classic designs and objects, giving them a new purpose and always keeping its artisan approach. The Lina face is a part of my father’s legacy and to reinforce its timeless design, I paradoxically decided to apply it on a cutting edge product that keeps time.’ The image on the watch face is a vintage-style depiction of a woman’s face, namely inspired by that of Lina Cavalieri, an Italian opera singer. This image is an established symbol of Fornasetti and has been used in a similar fashion in the label’s past designs.
   The collaboration between the three large names has allowed space for future business endeavours, opening up each other’s company networks. Glory Zhang of Huawei said, ‘This collaboration with Fornasetti is the start of an exciting journey for Huawei, delivering connections between innovative technology and art, design and culture. This is the first of many exciting cultural collaborations as we move to become an innovator within the arts’.
   Notable attendees of the event included models Karlie Kloss and Sean O’Pry, AC Milan footballer Riccardo Montolivo and model Cristina de Pin, fashion photographer Mario Testino, Giorgio Armani, Vogue China editor-in-chief Angelica Cheung. Representing Huawei was Glory Zhang, its chief marketing officer. All attendees of the event were gifted with the smart watches and modelled them for the evening.—Alex Barrow

Vittorio Zunino Celotto

September 24, 2015

Brancott Estate launches new vintages for 2015 in limited-edition World of Wearable Art bottles

Lucire staff/23.11

Pin It

Top Into the Blue and Rosebud with Patrick Materman, Brancott Estate chief winemaker. Above The two new limited-edition Brancott Estate bottles.

With the Brancott Estate World of Wearable Art (WOW) Awards’ Show back again for 2015, the famed winemaker and naming rights’ sponsor of the event has released two limited-edition bottles along with new vintages in celebration.
   The Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 and South Island Pinot Noir 2014 will appear in bottles featuring two former World of Wearable Art entrants by New Zealand designers. The sauvignon blanc features Into the Blue: Māori Living in a Thermoplastic World, by Marie Gant Roxburgh, and the pinot noir features Rosebud, by Kate Hellyar.
   The new Brancott Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 is described by the company as ‘fresh, crisp and lively’, with fruit flavours, while the South Island Pinot Noir 2014 is ‘vibrant and fruity with dark fruit and lovely textural interest.’
   ‘As winemakers, we are constantly creating new expressions of wine to enjoy and WOW is much the same through their celebration of innovative design. Together we are putting New Zealand wine and design on the world map,’ said chief winemaker Patrick Materman in a release.
   Dame Suzie Moncrieff, founder of WOW, notes, ‘The new limited-edition Brancott Estate WOW bottles are the perfect way to capture and share New Zealand wine and creativity. We’re excited to be able to bring our designers’ creations to life through these beautiful bottle designs.’
   The World of Wearable Art Awards’ Show season runs till October 11 in Wellington, New Zealand. The limited-edition WOW series for 2015 will be available for a limited time at NZ$17·29. The official hashtag for the event is #brancottestatewow.
   Lucire will have the 2015 WOW winners’ names later on Friday.

September 8, 2015

Rolls-Royce launches Dawn convertible, a car for the ‘most exclusive social hotspots’

Lucire staff/17.06

Pin It

Rolls-Royce has unveiled the Dawn convertible, which the company says is the sexiest car it has built.
   While some Rolls-Royce cognoscenti might be able to think of some classic models that deserve that title, the Dawn is a well balanced, well designed convertible in the modern range.
   Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös​ tells model and TV host Jodie Kidd in the launch video below that the Dawn will appeal to a younger, more social customer than the Phantom Drophead, which it sees as the last word in glamorous, open-top motoring. Like the Phantom, it seats four properly.
   In a release, he said, ‘Our new Rolls-Royce Dawn promises a striking, seductive encounter like no other Rolls-Royce to date, and begins a new age of open-top, super-luxury motoring. Dawn is a beautiful new motor car that offers the most uncompromised open-top motoring experience in the world. It will be the most social of super-luxury drophead motor cars for those who wish to bathe in the sunlight of the world’s most exclusive social hotspots.’
   Rolls-Royce design director Giles Taylor says the chrome line that rises from the A-pillar is meant to convey a sense of protection and a convivial atmosphere for its occupants.
   Rolls-Royce engineering director Philip Köhn insists that it is not simply a convertible version of the Wraith, but a model line in its own right, with its own character, with 80 per cent of the exterior body panels unique to it.
   However, mechanically, it shares a great deal with the Wraith, which itself is a highly engineered sports car, including the twin-turbo 6·6-litre V12. Where the Dawn differs under the skin is with its suspension and active roll bars, while the tyres are also not shared.
   The roof, which Köhn says is the engineering highlight of the Dawn, rises in 22 s and can be operated while the car is travelling up to 50 km/h.
   The new car takes its name from the Silver Dawn, a range which included a very rare convertible that the company made from 1949 to 1955. The earlier convertible served as inspiration.
   Rolls-Royce says the Dawn is the most torsionally rigid four-seater convertible available, and that it is the quietest one ever made.
   Retail price is expected to be over £250,000.

Filed under: design, living, London, Lucire, TV
September 5, 2015

Maison Mumm and David Guetta collaborate in advance of Melbourne Cup and Kentucky Derby

Lucire staff/1.12

Pin It

Stephane Cardinale

Maison Mumm and David Guetta have announced their second collaboration, with the musician reimagining the classic Mumm bottle, and in November, launching a music video. Mumm says there will be a ‘digital activation’ for one of its marketing campaigns, to be released through its social networks at the beginning of October.
   Guetta’s redesigned Mumm Cordon Rouge bottle, launched at the reopening of Parisian nightclub Queen, is in platinum, intending to create a mirror effect under club lighting. The limited-edition bottle will be available in 750 ml and magnum sizes in France, Australia, UK, Italy, Spain and other markets.
   Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët chairman and CEO César Giron hosted the event on Thursday.
   The original collaboration saw Mumm and Guetta work on the music video for his number-one track, ‘Dangerous’. The next one sees the two collaborate before two major horse-racing events where Maison Mumm is an official partner: the Melbourne Cup and the Kentucky Derby.
   The new promotion is centred around the idea of an avant-garde ‘urban horse race’, with the music video, launching November 1, supporting this concept.
   To kick off Mumm’s participation in the Melbourne Cup, Guetta is performing at the Hisense Arena on November 2, the night before the famous horse race.

Stephane Cardinale

August 20, 2015

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: where talent surpasses itself

Jack Yan/16.19

Pin It

Stephen A’Court

Top Dancers Tonia Looker and MacLean Hopper in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Above Tonia Looker and Harry Skinner.

If you ever wish to see the Royal New Zealand Ballet when everyone has reached beyond what you knew was their peak, then A Midsummer Night’s Dream presents that very opportunity: a ballet where the quality is jaw-droppingly magnificent, where choreographer, designer, lighting designer, and musical director have surpassed themselves, and where the dancers have revelled in bringing a production to life.
   In tonight’s (August 20) world première, Tracy Grant Lord’s designs are the first thing you notice, a galactic image of the night sky projected on to the curtain before the action is revealed, then a set that can only be described as her best work reviewed by Lucire to date. Set in a fairy dell in the wood, Lord’s imagination takes us into a world of cabanas and fungi, with electric blue shades offsetting the dark, night sky. It is the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s largest set, complete with bridges, multiple staircases, even a pole from which Puck slides down. Lord notes that her design ‘includes particular structural, decorative and technical elements that exist only for this production, and have all been developed and manufactured in the company workshops.’ This is a unique interpretation, a master-class in ballet set design, all the more impressive when one considers that Lord had a budget to work to. She envelopes us with her world even before the dancers take their first step.
   Kendall Smith’s lighting design comes into its own with Lord’s set, keeping the cabanas’ interiors dark when unused and lighting them subtly when dancers appear. His moon, in Act II, appears as a round, fluorescent ring, emerging from behind the mesh. With Lord employing a single set for the entire ballet, Smith’s lighting gave the production a sense of variety and change throughout. We noted earlier that Smith employed 4,000 LEDs and 2,000 m of fibreoptic cable, and we can certainly say they were put to excellent use. Smith, whose résumé includes lighting for Andrea Boccelli and Luciano Pavarotti, and some of the most respected companies in the US, was flown out with the support of the US Embassy, giving another world-class aspect to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
   Lord also stretched her imagination with the costumes, giving the initial illusion that the fairies were petite; it was only when Oberon and Titania appeared that you began realizing their true scale. Oberon’s and Puck’s costumes had a more cinematic, modern bent than seen in other interpretations of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with the former having a plunging neckline and a science-fiction feel to it. The fairies’ wings and headgear had metallic detailing, again taking us beyond the typical dell and going past the usual, traditional elements that earlier productions tend to rely on.
   Rising star Liam Scarlett did not disappoint, either, with choreography that expresses a witty yet respectful take on the Shakespeare play. Whether it was transforming Bottom into a donkey, and his subsequent comical pas de deux with Titania, having Puck swing down à la the cinematic Tarzan to commence his antics in the second act, or the strongly romantic pas de deux between Oberon and Titania, Scarlett’s interpretation brought the Mendelssohn score to life, matching movement masterfully to music.
   The music, too, saw RNZB musical director Nigel Gaynor go further than he typically has. Mendelssohn’s score was insufficient for a full-length ballet. Gaynor and Scarlett collaborated, choosing additional Mendelssohn pieces to give the characters greater depth and the story more completeness. Various opuses have been added along with incidental music, and Mendelssohn fans will recognize them and marvel at just how well they have been incorporated, not least how fittingly the choreography has been applied. It’s this characterization which marks out Scarlett’s work. The interactions between the characters—Oberon and Puck, Titania and Bottom, Hermia and Lysander, Helena and Demetrius, and the comical pursuit by both Lysander and Demetrius toward Helena—gives the RNZB’s production exceptional entertainment value. Like its The Nutcracker of 2010, the dance techniques are rich enough for the adult ballet-goer to appreciate, while the structure and comical elements give children plenty to enjoy.
   Adding incidental music from Mendelssohn is not new—Balanchine did the same in his version—but the level of dedication is apparent.
   And all this before commenting on the dancing itself, which was exquisite.
   MacLean Hopper had the commanding nature of Oberon on opening night. Tonia Looker’s Titania had a beauty and elegance that never diminished even when dancing with a donkey, thanks to her control. However, Kohei Iwamoto arguably stole the show as Puck, with an irreverence that the audience loved. Harry Skinner’s Bottom may have had a relatively minor role but his transformation, complete with tail, ensured he was remembered. Lori Gilchrist (Hermia), Joseph Skelton (Lysander), Abigail Boyle (Helena) and Demetrius (Paul Mathews) contrasted each other’s emotions through simple movements; when both men are entranced by Helena, Boyle’s movements conveyed her shock at the energetic pursuit—accompanied by an equally energetic rejection of Hermia. Scarlett was never too clever for his own good: he kept to the story and the score, and delivered through the characters in subtle ways, a sign of a choreographer who works in close collaboration with his dancers.
   It was a privilege to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Wellington as a world première; after its New Zealand tour (which runs till September 20), it will next be performed by the Queensland Ballet, with whom the RNZB co-produced, in 2016.
   The Vodafone season of A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs through August 23 in Wellington; Christchurch sees the ballet from August 27 to 29; it opens in Auckland on September 2, running to September 6. It reaches Rotorua for a single performance on September 10, Palmerston North on September 16, and Napier on September 19 and 20. Full details can be found at—Jack Yan, Publisher

Top Promotional image for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Above Forget retro: the sketch for Oberon’s costume.

August 9, 2015

Footnote New Zealand Dance celebrates its 30th anniversary this August with première and events

Lucire staff/14.02

Pin It

Above Footnote at its home at 125 Cuba Street.

Footnote New Zealand Dance celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and on August 28–9, it will première 30Forward at the Wellington Opera House to mark the anniversary.
   The première will take place in Wellington, before heading to the Christchurch Arts Festival, Auckland’s Tempo Dance Festival, then to Gisborne, the Kokomai Creative Festival in Carterton, and the Tauranga Arts Festival.
   The production features highlights from past works, as curated by founding director Deirdre Tarrant, and a new commission from choreographer Malia Johnston.
   Footnote will begin its celebrations on August 21 with The Art of Footnote, at a venue on Cuba Street to be announced during August. This exhibition shows posters, programmes and concept designs from Footnote over the last three decades, and runs till August 30.
   A Pecha Kucha event at the Wellington City Gallery, focusing on the culture of movement (covering dance, music, visual art and performance) takes place on August 27. The Tarrant Dance Studios at 125 Cuba Street, Wellington welcomes visitors on August 29 to an open house, while the August 29 performance of 30Forward will be followed by a function.
   The Christchurch dates are August 31–September 1; Auckland on October 15 and 17; Gisborne on October 21; Carterton on October 24; and Tauranga on October 30.
   Tickets are on sale now—visit for ticketing information.

Above Rehearsing in 2012.

July 23, 2015

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: a world première for the Royal New Zealand Ballet

Jack Yan/5.47

Pin It

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is not just a Royal New Zealand Ballet première, it’s a world première—so if you’re looking for a ballet event to attend in mid-August, this should be the one on your calendar.
   Created by Liam Scarlett, ballet’s fast-rising star who is now one of the most sought-after choreographers today, A Midsummer Night’s Dream will have its première in Wellington on August 20, before heading to Christchurch, Auckland, Rotorua, Palmerston North and Napier over the following weeks. As well as Scarlett’s choreography, it features the biggest set ever created by the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
   Ipswich-born Scarlett, 29, is already known for his witty, inventive approach and is one of the most passionate choreographers in ballet today.
   He was the Royal Ballet’s first Artist in Residence, creating ballets for that company including Despite and Vayamos al Diablo in 2006, through to the Jubilee pas de deux to celebrate HM Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee.
   He has created works for Ballet Black, New York City Ballet, Miami City Ballet, K-Ballet, the English National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.
   A Midsummer Night’s Dream is his third full-length ballet.
   ‘We are incredibly excited to showcase this sensational new ballet created for the RNZB by the talented Liam Scarlett. This magical tale will cast its spell on audiences of all ages. And as with all the best stories, true love and friendship triumph in the end,’ said RNZB artistic director Francesco Ventriglia in a release.
   Said Scarlett, ‘Shakespeare’s tale of wit, love, petty quarrels and mistaken identities has captured the hearts of audiences young and old for centuries and has secured its place in history as one of the greatest stories ever told. It is with great pleasure and responsibility that I have the opportunity to transform this magical piece of work into a ballet. Being able to create this for the RNZB is a joy, and the end result will be a testament to their talent and enthusiasm and all that this wonderful company has to offer.’
   RNZB managing director Amanda Skoog notes that the company is partnering with the Queensland Ballet to realize the production.
   Tracy Grant Lord, known for Cinderella and many of the RNZB’s other successes, will design the new production, which the company notes will have ‘thousands of lights, glitter and butterflies.’ The make-up look sees Lord working closely with MAC Cosmetics, while Kendall Smith, who worked on Giselle, is lighting the set using over 4,000 LEDs and 2,000 m of fibreoptic cable.
   The Mendelssohn score will be performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Wellington, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in Christchurch, and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in Auckland, conducted by RNZB music director Nigel Gaynor.
   Vodafone New Zealand continues its national sponsorship of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
   A Midsummer Night’s Dream begins in Wellington on August 20, and runs through August 23; Christchurch sees the ballet from August 27 to 29; it opens in Auckland on September 2, running to September 6. It reaches Rotorua for a single performance on September 10, Palmerston North on September 16, and Napier on September 19 and 20. Full details can be found at—Jack Yan, Publisher

June 11, 2015

Chivas Regal the Icon launches with Dubai tasting; on sale for US$3,500

Fenella Clarke/14.29

Pin It

Warren Little

Chivas Regal has released its most iconic Scotch whisky yet, called, appropriately, Chivas Regal the Icon. Having released its first luxury whisky in 1909, Chivas Regal has since been known for its style, substance and exclusivity.
   Its latest whisky is Chivas Regal’s biggest feat yet, mixing from more than 20 different distilleries, including some rare whiskies from distilleries that have gone. ‘Chivas Regal the Icon is a truly exquisite blend, perfectly smooth with an intense concentration of sumptuous flavours that develop into an exceptionally long, lingering finish,’ said Colin Scott, master blender, a veteran at the company who joined in 1973, and learned his craft over the decades under his predecessor. At the heart of the whisky is a malt from Chivas Regal’s spiritual home, Strathilsa, a distillery the company brought in the 1950s which has featured in all of the brand’s blends.
   Chivas Regal the Icon has rich notes of honey, vanilla and dark chocolate, creating a bold, balanced and unforgettable blend. It comes in a hand-blown crystal decanter created at Dartington Crystal that has been delicately etched and finished with precision metalwork. The bottle itself has a slight green finish that is a homage to the first Chivas bottle, which was also green. It is finished with the signature luckenbooth stopper, a traditional Celtic symbol of love.
   Chivas Regal celebrated the release of its new whisky with both a tasting and a launch party in Dubai. From May until September 2015, this whisky will be sold at Dubai Travel Retail at an RRP of US$3,500.—Fenella Clarke

Warren Little

Filed under: design, GCC, living, Lucire
Next Page »


Get more from Lucire

Our latest issue

Lucire 34
Check out our lavish print issue of Lucire in hard copy or for Ipad or Android.
Or download the latest issue of Lucire as a PDF from Scopalto

Lucire on Twitter
Lucire on Instagram