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November 28, 2016

Grayton announces first mechanical watch with smart features

Cecilia Xu/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

November 23, 2016

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

Lucire staff/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.




November 16, 2016

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

Lucire staff/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.

October 17, 2016

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

Lucire staff/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.

October 13, 2016

Natalie Chan releases her Savoir-Faire couture millinery collection

Lucire staff/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.


September 23, 2016

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

Lucire staff/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.
   â€˜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.
   â€˜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.

June 24, 2016

Jameson’s Caskmates launch in New Zealand, blending whiskey and stout; Stadler Form launches art-déco fan

Lola Cristall/23.23


Jameson Caskmates has launched in New Zealand, after its successful run in Ireland last year. Jameson loaned some of its Midleton Distillery casks to the Franciscan Well brewery in Cork to see what would happen to the brewery’s Irish stout, after a plan was hatched by Jameson Master Distiller, Brian Nation, Master of Whiskey Science, Dave Quinn, and Franciscan Well founder and head brewer, Shane Long when they met in Cork. The casks were then returned to the Distillery and filled with Jameson Irish Whiskey.
   The result was a Jameson Caskmates: a triple-distilled, ‘once stouted’ whiskey with a distinctive taste that features notes of coffee, cocoa, butterscotch and gentle hints of hops.
   Jameson expects that those who enjoy craft beer and whiskey will take to the blending of two disciplines, with a particularly versatile drink. Jameson Caskmates is bottled at 40 per cent ABV and goes on sale in New Zealand from July 2016, with an RRP of NZ$55·99.
   Stadler Form’s art-déco Q Fan is a stunning work of art that looks gorgeous in any part of the home. While it’s a considerably quiet fan, the strength of the three blades projects plenty of cool air. Whether the simplicity of silver or the boldness of bronze, each colour flawlessly complements its surroundings. Weighing as light as 4 kg (slightly less than 9 lb) the fan comes in three distinct speed levels, adapting according to the environment. Despite the intensity of the hot temperature, it rapidly releases cool air in a minimal amount of time. Designed by famous designer Carlo Borer, the fan is in the form of the letter Q, its stainless steel shaped into an absolute work of art.
   The brand was founded by Martin Stadler in 1998 in Zug, Switzerland. Stadler Form collaborates with renowned Swiss-based designers including Kurt Zimmerli, Fabian Zimmerli and Mathias Walker. Stadler Form has become an internationally distinguished brand, distributing its array of inventive products to more than 40 countries, including humidifiers, fans, air purifiers, heaters, dehumidifiers and aroma diffusers.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor, and Lucire staff




June 22, 2016

Aston Martin reveals Vanquish Zagato, with production limited to 99

Lucire staff/22.25



As expected, the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato concept that was shown at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Lake Como has become a production reality, with the company saying that it will produce 99 examples at Gaydon, Warwickshire, with deliveries commencing during the first quarter of 2017.
   Aston Martin says the car is an example of its collaboration with Zagato, though its press information does not say whether the model, based on its Vanquish flagship, was styled by the Italian coachbuilder or done in-house, as it had been for the V12 Vantage Zagato in 2011.
   The company notes that the new car has ‘Aston Martin’s acclaimed dynamic and material qualities with Zagato’s signature design language.’
   At the launch of the concept last month, Zagato CEO Andrea Zagato noted, ‘We pride ourselves on our strong partnership and the creation of the Vanquish Zagato Concept was a true shared experience. It represents the essence of an important design relationship that dates back over fifty years,’ but there was no elaboration on where the design took place.
   The first collaboration began with the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato of 1960, and it was revived under Victor Gauntlett’s leadership of the company in the 1980s with the V8 Vantage Zagato. Neither car was considered attractive on launch, though both were perceived to be future classics—which they became. The DB4 GT Zagato is now valued at over £10 million and has few critics today.
   Subsequent collaborations were the 2002 DB7 Vantage Zagato, which used a lightly modified version of the donor car’s front end so it did not have to be retested for safety; and the 2011 V12 Vantage Zagato.
   The Vanquish Zagato has an engine uprated to 600 PS, with a claimed 0–60 mph time of 3·5 s. The company says the suspension set-up will be unique to the model. It features a unique carbonfibre body that has new round rear taillights, LED technology shared with the Aston martin Vulcan supercar, a sculpted rear end that has a profile similar to that of the DB11, with a downward contour and pronounced spoiler splitting the taillights. There is a pronounced side strake, reinterpreted so it now runs more deeply down the height of the front wing aft of the wheels, and, as expected, there is the famed Zagato double-bubble roof. The Vanquish Zagato is a liftback.
   Inside, the Vanquish Zagato uses herringbone carbonfibre, and shadow and anodized bronze leather, with the option of aniline leather. The seats and doors have a Z-pattern stitch, and the Zagato Z is embossed on headrests and stitched into the centre console.















Filed under: design, history, living, London, Lucire
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