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January 22, 2015

Ed Sheeran is Top Gear’s next Star in a Reasonably Priced Car: BBC releases photo

Lucire staff/13.34

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West Yorkshire-born singer–songwriter Ed Sheeran, 23, is the next celebrity to appear on BBC2’s Top Gear.
   Sheeran will be the long-running show’s Star in a Reasonably Priced Car in the next episode to air in the UK on Sunday, January 25.
   Sheeran, who does not have a driving licence, piloted the Vauxhall Astra automatic around Dunsfold Park in Surrey for the episode earlier this week.
   He had claimed earlier that he had put off taking his licence due to his fear of fast cars.
   The BBC has just released a photograph of Sheeran with the show’s ‘tamed racing driver’, the Stig.
   The time to beat on the Top Gear celebrity leaderboard with the Astra is 1 minute, 44·7 seconds, recorded by American actor Aaron Paul, who drove a manual version of the car. Jack Whitehall, who like Sheeran drove the automatic, recorded 1 minute, 54·5 seconds.

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January 12, 2015

Brian Clemens, British TV screenwriting legend, passes away at 83

Lucire staff/2.47

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Above Two series indelibly tied to Brian Clemens: The Avengers, for which he wrote and produced, and The Professionals, which he created, regularly wrote and executive produced.

British screenwriter Brian Clemens, OBE, passed away on Saturday, sources say.
   Clemens was the creator of the cult 1970s LWT show The Professionals, with a string of credits to his writing career including The Avengers, The Persuaders, The Protectors, Bergerac, Diagnosis: Murder and Bugs. He also created the German show Blaues Blut (Blue Blood) in the 1980s.
   Brian Horace Clemens was born in Croydon in 1931, and was a weapons’ training instructor during his National Service. He wanted to be a journalist but began his career at J. Walter Thompson as a messenger, before becoming a copywriter. During this time a screenplay of his that he had sent to the BBC, Valid for Single Journey Only, had been accepted and produced in 1955 and starred Ernest Clark and George Colouris.
   Clemens wrote for B-movies and half-hour serials made by the Danziger brothers in the mid- to late 1950s, including Mark Saber, White Hunter, The Man from Interpol and Richard the Lionheart. The Vise and Dial 999 were also from this period, with Clemens using the pseudonym Tony O’Grady around this time.
   In the 1960s, Clemens’ scripts were made by various ITC shows, including The Invisible Man, Man of the World, The Sentimental Agent and The Champions, and he wrote the pilot for Danger Man. He also wrote the pilot for The Avengers, where he was script editor and associate producer, and he was responsible for casting Diana Rigg as Emma Peel. He wrote for The Baron, and he penned the pilot for The Persuaders. Some of the last ITC action series such as The Protectors and The Adventurer also saw Clemens scripts.
   In the 1970s, Clemens created a sitcom, My Wife Next Door, and wrote a US TV movie, The Woman Hunter. He also wrote the anthology series Thriller for ITV, Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde, a 1971 Hammer horror, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad in 1973, and wrote and directed Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter in 1974.
   The Avengers was revived in 1976 was The New Avengers, earning Clemens a new generation of fans. As executive producer, he had cast Joanna Lumley as Purdey. In response to Thames’s The Sweeney, Clemens created and produced The Professionals for LWT, which proved to be the series he is most associated with. A TV movie, Escapade, was made in 1978, and meant to have been a pilot for a US version of The Avengers.
   In the 1980s, Clemens wrote for Remington Steele, Bergerac, Worlds Beyond, The Father Dowling Mysteries (where he served as executive story editor), and Perry Mason. In the 1990s, Clemens wrote for Diagnosis: Murder, Bugs, The Highlander TV series (he had also co-written Highlander II: the Quickening), and a revival of The Professionals, entitled CI5: the New Professionals. Attempts to revive The Professionals as a feature film were not realized, although The Avengers was shot as a Hollywood movie in 1996, starring Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman and Sean Connery.
   Clemens also wrote numerous plays, beginning with a stage adaptation of The Avengers in 1971, and continued until 2012 with Murder Weapon.
   Clemens and his wife, Brenda, divorced in 1966. He was with the actress Diane Enright till she committed suicide in 1976. He married his second wife Janet in 1979, and they had two children. He was awarded the OBE in 2010.
   Brian Clemens was related to Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain.

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December 17, 2014

Belvedere Vodka kicks off James Bond partnership, with Lily Cole, Tinie Tempah, Pixie Geldof, Amber Atherton

Lucire staff/0.30

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The $300 million budget set aside for Spectre, the 24th Eon James Bond film, will need a marketing bonanza. After Aston Martin revealed its DB10—10 cars built exclusively for the film and not general sale—and Jaguar Land Rover confirmed that they would be supplying a C-X75 and Range Rover vehicles, Belvedere Vodka is next, launching its global partnership with James Bond at the Bond in Motion exhibition at the London Film Museum last night.
   Guests included Lily Cole, Tinie Tempah, Amber Atherton, Pixie Geldof, Douglas Booth, Kim Hersov, Ella Catliff and Christophe Navarre, while Belvedere president Charles Gibb played host.
   Belvedere’s limited-edition bottles see the Belvedere palace replaced with an image of the MI6 headquarters from the film, while its trade-mark blue will be changed to green, on one. These will be limited to 100 bottles. The second change will be to Belvedere’s Silver Sabre bottles.
   The marketing programme commences in February, with point-of-sale promotions. Updates will be put on Belvedere’s Instagram account.
   Spectre, which is named after the fictional terrorist organization from the Ian Fleming novels, will première on November 6, 2015. Daniel Craig will return as the super-spy, and the cast includes Monica Bellucci, Léa Seydoux, Andrew Scott, Dave Bautista, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, and Christoph Waltz as the villain. Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson produce, while Sam Mendes (Skyfall) returns to direct.




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December 14, 2014

Global beauty news: Alive Skin & Hair launches, Living Nature opens Tokyo store, Spiezia Organics rebrands

Lucire staff/11.46

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Above Alive Skin & Hair offers Australian and New Zealand customers a range of 3,000 beauty products.

Alive Skin & Hair has launched, stocking over 3,000 hair care, make-up, beauty and skin care products, targeting Australian and New Zealand customers. The website stocks brands including Alpha H, ASAP Skincare, Dermalogica, Elemis, Jane Iredale, Joico, Matrix, Moroccanoil, Skinceuticals, St Tropez, Thalgo, and Youngblood, supplied straight from the manufacturer, and sold ay 15 to 35 per cent off the recommended retail price. Alive Skin & Hair can ship the same day for orders placed before 12 p.m. AEST, and shoppers earn points with each purchase. There are experts to help with online and telephone enquiries. Alive Skin & Hair also gives shoppers the chance to choose two new samples to try, for free, with each order.
   New Zealand natural skin care brand Living Nature has gained a bigger footprint in the Japanese market with a concept store on the second floor of the Grand Tree Musashikosugi Shopping Centre near Shibuya, Tokyo. Operated by @Star Japan, the Living Nature distributor there, the new store reaches thousands of Japanese shoppers, located a few minutes from the busy Musashi–Kosugi train station, which sees 390,000 commuters per day. @Star Japan, meanwhile, has operated since 2000, and has had a long-standing relationship with Living Nature.
   In a release, @Star sales and promotion manager Ai Takahara said, ‘This development of the concept store provides a way to engage with consumers and enable our highly trained staff to share their experience of the Living Nature range, which offers truly natural products for face and body.’
   In Cornwall, England, Spiezia Organics has rebranded, and is about to launch three new hair and body products, containing 95–8 per cent certified organic ingredients and botanicals. Its Organic Gloss shampoo features ingredients including lemon peel extract, zizyphus joazerio bark extract and dandrilys; its Organic Shine conditioner helps stimulate hair growth with ginger oil and lemon peel extract, and contains royal jelly to strengthen the follicles and prevent hair loss; and its organic hand and body cleanser has aloe vera gel, radish oil and lemongrass oil. Spiezia Organics’ commitment to the environment extends to its 100 per cent sustainable packaging, while it is the first UK company to have Soil Association accreditation across its whole skin care range.

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December 4, 2014

Sam Mendes reveals Spectre, next James Bond film, and Aston Martin DB10

Lucire staff/23.27

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As we suspected, the DB10 moniker will not go to the DB9 successor at Aston Martin, but to a limited-edition model released for the 24th EON James Bond movie, Spectre.
   Aston Martin says it will build 10 of the bespoke cars next year, hence the name, and claims that the vehicle was developed specifically for the film, to star Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci (who was tipped to be in a Bond movie even in the 1990s), Léa Seydoux, David Bautista, Andrew Scott, and Naomie Harris. Sam Mendes (Skyfall) returns to direct.
   The car, along with the name of the film, were officially released on the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios. Mendes himself took the cover off the DB10.
   Aston Martin’s chief creative officer, Marek Reichman, worked closely with Mendes to develop the car. It previews the company’s design direction for the next generation of production models.
   Dr Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin, said, ‘In the same year that we celebrate our 50-year relationship with 007, it seems doubly fitting that today we unveiled this wonderful new sports car created especially for James Bond.’
   The cinematic James Bond first drove an Aston Martin in 1964, when Sean Connery got behind the wheel of the DB5 model in Goldfinger.
   The car will be built at Gaydon, Warwickshire. Spectre, which begins filming on Monday, including locations in London, Roma, Ciudad de México and the Austrian Alps, will be released on November 6, 2015.

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Video: a sneak peek from the 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Lucire staff/22.24

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Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Although the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in London won’t be broadcast till December 9 on CBS in the US, we have an early sneak peek at the event, with models Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio. Videofashion also looks back at Lima and Ambrosio at the start of their careers as Victoria’s Secret ‘Angels’.
   From this year’s show, Elsa Hosk and Lily Aldridge also comment, while you can catch an early glimpse of the performances from Taylor Swift—the undoubted star of this year’s show—Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran and Hozier.
   Swift’s presence at the 2014 show, which has taken place this year in London, has boosted its profile, especially with the singer’s ability to tap in to the 18–24 market. Victoria’s Secret publicity has dubbed Swift an ‘honorary Angel’.
   Swift has 15 million Instagram fans, and a further c. 48 million on Twitter and a whopping 72 million on Facebook.
   Victoria’s Secret has also released its own video from the fittings, with the background story behind the first section, ‘Gilded Angels’, with executive producer Monica Mitro and collection creative director Sophia Neophitou.


Taylor Swift, via Instagram

Above Taylor Swift has released her own glimpse at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to her 15 million Instagram fans.

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December 1, 2014

Video from British Fashion Awards 2014: Erdem, J. W. Anderson take top honours; Emma Watson tops vote

Lucire staff/23.42

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Dan Sims

Above, from top Poppy Delevingne, Joan Smalls, Karlie Kloss, and Cara Delevingne, Model of the Year. Victoria Beckham, winning Brand of the Year. Emma Watson, who won the British Style Award.

Before an audience of 2,070 at the London Coliseum, the 2014 British Fashion Awards have seen Erdem and J. W. Anderson take out the coveted prizes of Womenswear Designer of the Year and Menswear Designer of the Year respectively. Anya Hindmarch was named the Accessories’ Designer of the Year.
   Actress Michelle Dockery, racing driver Lewis Hamilton, and models Karolína Kurková and Eva Herzigová, presented the much-awaited top three awards of the night.
   Actress Emma Watson won the British Style Award in a public vote (based on 3,000 participants), as the individual who best embodies the spirit of British fashion and is an international ambassador for London as a fashion capital. Harry Styles presented her award.
   Celebrity presenters on the night included Kylie Minogue, Naomie Harris, Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Irvine, Liya Kebede, John Galliano, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Naomi Campbell, Suzy Menkes, OBE, Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls and Poppy Delevingne, Kate Moss, and Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw.
   Victoria Beckham was named the best brand, recognizing her work in distribution, retail, campaigns and ecommerce.
   Cara Delevingne became the Model of the Year, while the Alexander McQueen brand took home the Red Carpet Designer award for creating global awareness of its designs in the media. Sarah Burton collected the award for the Alexander McQueen label from supermodel Moss.
   Preen was the awarded Establishment Designer of the Year with her work in global retail and ecommerce, while Simone Rocha was named the New Establishment Designer, for her impact on the industry.
   Of the awards named earlier, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, OBE, was given the Outstanding Achievement Award for her contribution to the industry. W fashion and style director Edward Enninful won the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator, and Chris Moore won the Special Recognition Award for his six-decade-long career and contribution to the industry.
   Names to look out for are Marques’Almeida, which won the Emerging Womenswear Designer award, Craig Green, the Emerging Menswear Designer winner, and Prism, the Emerging Accessory Designer winner.
   Nicolas Ghesquière, for Louis Vuitton, was recognized as the non-British designer who helped shape the fashion industry in the past year both in the UK and internationally, with the International Designer award.
   Louis Vuitton was recognized for its advertising in 2014 with the Creative Campaign award.
   The late Prof Louise Wilson of Central Saint Martins was also honoured in a special tribute, with looks by designers she had taught, including Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou.
   There were 63 nominees in total for the various categories, with 400 industry members worldwide casting their vote.
   Sponsors for the British Fashion Awards 2014 are Swarovski as principal partner; Canon, MAC, Toni & Guy and Vodafone as presenting sponsors; and American Express, Marks & Spencer, Mercedes-Benz, Penhaligon’s and Rightster. The British Fashion Council also recognizes Fashion Monitor and Harrogate Spa.



Dan Sims

Above, from top Michelle Dockery, and Womenswear Designer of the Year Erdem Moralioglu. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award.

Red carpet highlights

Highlights

Prism: Emerging Accessory Designer

Anya Hindmarch: Accessory Designer of the Year

Marques’Almeida: Emerging Womenswear Designer

Cara Delevingne: Model of the Year

J. W. Anderson: Menswear Designer of the Year

Edward Enninful: Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator

Victoria Beckham: Brand of the Year

Emma Watson: British Style Award

Louis Vuitton: Creative Campaign Award

Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton: International Designer

Alexander McQueen: Red Carpet Designer

Erdem: Womenswear Designer of the Year

Chris Moore: British Fashion Council Special Recognition Award


Doug Rimington/Detune Photography

Above Marques’Almeida is the name to look out for in British fashion, as the label won the Emerging Womenswear Designer award at the British Fashion Awards 2014 tonight.


Above This campaign helped net Louis Vuitton the Creative Campaign Award at the British Fashion Awards tonight.

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November 29, 2014

Backes & Strauss and English National Ballet continue partnership into 2015

Lucire staff/13.19

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Backes & Strauss and the English National Ballet will continue their partnership for a second year, with the Ballet’s artistic director Tamara Rojo becoming the brand’s new ambassador.
   Rojo had endorsed Backes & Strauss’s Victoria collection last year. She will become the face of the Backes & Strauss in its 2015 campaigns.
   English National Ballet celebrates its 65th anniversary in 2015, while Backes & Strauss can lay claim to being the oldest diamond company in the world, founded in 1789.
   The ballet company has worked with Rudolf Nureyev, Sir Frederick Ashton, Natalia Markarova and Carlos Acosta, and Backes & Strauss sees this heritage and quality complementing its own brand.
   Vartkess Knadjian, CEO of Backes & Strauss, said in a release, ‘As a company proud of its British heritage we are thrilled to continue our partnership with English National Ballet and Tamara Rojo, the quintessential British dance company that through its creativity broadens the appeal of ballet throughout the world.’
   Rojo added, ‘I am delighted to be an ambassador for Backes & Strauss, and English National Ballet is enormously grateful for its support. I look forward to continuing our collaboration together to highlight our outstanding work.’
   Now part of the Swiss Franck Muller group, Backes & Strauss retains its London base.

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