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April 28, 2016

Wataru Tominaga, Vendula Knopova win top prizes at 31st Hyères fashion and photography festival

Lucire staff/14.21



Villa Noailles

Above: Winners of the two grand jury prizes at Hyères: Vendula Knopova for photography and Wataru Tominaga for fashion.

The 31e Festival International de Mode et de Photographie à Hyères was held from April 21 to 25 at the Villa Noailles, with exhibitions running from April 28 through to May 22.
   The Festival was chaired by Paco Rabanne artistic director Julien Dossena for fashion, and American–French photographer William Klein for photography.
   Founder Jean-Pierre Blanc says, ‘Here we launch a competition, people take part. It’s demanding, it costs money, it takes a lot of energy and people want to come. They want to come more and more. That is what makes it such high quality, as first and foremost we take gifted, interested and interesting people.
   ‘It’s pretty impressive to see these young people evolving in such a tough world. We think we’ve grown up in a tough world, but for them it’s even harder, and despite it they are energetic, they are happy, they adore colour. I just love this genration.
   ‘Fashion has to be connected with life, and I hope the Hyères festival is. People say it is anyway, and honestly that is the most rewarding thing for me to hear, and the biggest compliment you could give me.’
   One of the contestants in the photography section, Anaïs Boileau, says they could spend as much time with the jurors, including Klein, as they liked, even up to an hour.
   Dossena says, ‘It’s great to be able to actually select and rank candidates that I believe in for different reasons.’
   The Grand Jury Prize was awarded this year to Wataru Tominaga for the fashion section, for his colourful menswear collection.
   Tominaga says he has been interested in colour in fashion from the 1960s and 1970s. ‘Young people did not care whether it’s women’s or men’s, they make [their own] styles.’
   Vendula Knopova won the photography prize.

April 20, 2016

Recycle, rejuvenate and rejoice with the Secret Room

Leyla Messian/3.31




Leyla Messian

The MTV Movie Awards should be thought of as the “Real People’s Choice Awards”, as it reflects the pop cultural phenomena people are actually paying money to see. By the same token, the Secret Room’s annual event for this event should be considered a solid barometer for new things people are going to want to try and buy. This spring edition of the pre-show party was a most refreshing mix of products which allowed people to recycle, rejuvenate, refresh and rejoice, not only against a pop-cultural backdrop, but also social changes in US culture taking root in California.
   The star attraction was Parfaire, a Pasadena-based medical æsthetics’ spa that also provides on-site services. In a private suite high above the revelry in the SLS’s bustling ballroom, guests enjoyed a choice of a Red Carpet Rejuvenating Facial or Botox treatments.
   Parfaire, under the direction of Dr Winnie, is one of the few Los Angeles “med-spas” that provide Kybella treatments, which permanently dissolve double-chin fat. Their patience and calming demeanour provided a welcoming respite for celebrities, press and other attendees pressured by the demands of the upcoming award show and related public appearances. The treatments were short, but remarkably relaxing and effective, providing living proof that a spa is only as good as the expertise and attitude of its doctors and staff.
   The last gasp of a southern California winter allowed guests to enjoy the pleasure of sipping wine while bundled up in cashmere in colours that matched the varietals. From JaM Cellars comes a new kind of Hollywood breakfast: Butter Chardonnay, Jam Merlot and Toast sparkling wine. Guests appreciated Repeat Cashmere’s buttery-soft scarves and ponchos crafted from snuggly but deceptively light and delicate fabrics. Among the rich neutrals and jewel tones, burgundy was the most popular colour with celebs.
   There was also plenty of bling to liven up the classic cashmere pieces. The Fleur de Lys and Me offered youthfully chic jewellery made of stainless steel (including VIP wrist bands with MTV logos). Other items included clever, customizable bracelets with snap-on, interchangable charms covered in crystals. Gris by Allison Hall tempted VIPs with fine modern jewellery designed with a nod to Ancient Rome, the Byzantine Empire and the Victorian era. Mixed metals, from rose gold to rhodium, provided the backdrop for precious and semi-precious stones swimming in ornate diamond pave settings.
   Tracey Tanner Studios offered Italian leather purses and make-up bags that allowed guests to make a statement beyond fluorescent snakeskin and dyed crocodile leather. The company’s simple bag designs were covered in psychedelic colours, tie-die patterns, and digitally printed images of the natural beauty of the cosmos. And what star would not want to walk down the red carpet carrying the universe in her hands?
   Sagjol showcased comfy yet edgy clothing for men and women of all shapes and sizes. The new line featured a denim-like fabric made from recycled ketchup bottles—here is fashion feeding the soul instead of landfills. Sagjol’s toasty jackets, soft-to-the-touch jeans and frayed biker vests are perfect for throwing over graphic T-shirts and sexy camisoles.
   Beauty and grooming aides were also geared for the young as well as the young-in-spirit. Prep’s Strands like Steel hair care line is marketed as ‘cool care for young hair’—especially for trendsetters who often put their locks through hell. The leave-in treatment protects stressed hair from sun, heat, hot spotlights and other sources of thermal damage. It also works great as a de-tangler for kinky and naturally curly hair that finds its way into annoying dreadlocks.
   ClixIt Heal and Conceal pens offered a convenient way to hide blemishes and heal in-grown hairs. These little pens conveniently fit into the tiniest of clutches. In terms of larger cover-ups, Fake Bake was back to invite celebs to step into the mobile tanning parlour for a double shot of ‘Espresso Tan’. They also premièred their anti-ageing self-tanning facial lotion, along with a daily moisturizer that also amplifies and preserves an existing natural or fake tan.
   There were also several tables devoted to the most intimate of female concerns. Disposable PantyPads are biodegradable period panties complete with padded reinforcement to protect ladies during long flights and longer business meetings. For those of us who get really cranky under these circumstances, there’s always Serenol, a non-prescription dietary supplement that has been clinically shown to put a smile on women’s faces during that time of month. Made with Swedish flower pollen extract, it reduces water retention and junk food cravings while promoting a good night’s sleep.
   Speaking of things that annoy the “lady of the house” and her overnight guest, Jack’s Furr­fighters showcased their newest fur-fighting gear: suede gloves that remove cat and dog hair from little black dresses, boyfriends’ suits, living room sofas and boudoir pillows. All the lady has to do is put on the glove, and pet the sofa or the man covered in cat hair.
   Hemp-based products, backed by their 9,000 year-old history, came out from the shadows for a star turn. Hemp oil beauty products from Kannaway.com introduced Hollywood to hemp-oil infused cleansers, serums, and moisturizers. When combined with hyaluronic acid and other botanicals, hemp oil banishes signs of premature ageing. RSHO Raw Hemp Oil (by HempMeds), is a dietary supplement known to reduce anxiety without making you high.
   For those who prefer to smoke their herbs, Hydra Vapor Tech showcased its state-of-the-art vapourizer carrying cases. Available in gold, silver, white and black, the sleek Titan II allows you to carry all of your vaping supplies in a tasteful and tidy manner. While vaping, you could chill out to your favourite music with jewel-toned Spider ear buds, engineered with a focus on bass, vital to one’s enjoyment of rap, hip-hop and rock.
   The event also came with a cherry on top, which was definitely not for kids: no pre-award show event would be complete without a platter of Jello-shots from Twisted Cherries. Guests and vendors alike could not resist gin and whiskey-infused cherries encased in tangy cherry gelatin. While Girl Meets World star Ava Kolker and Disney’s Lexie Kolker enjoyed their cookies, the rest of us indulged in those festive sips.
   Favourite stars from MTV-flavoured movies past and present in attendance included Judge Reinhold, Vincent Spano, Daphne Blunt, Kirk Morrison, Ken Davitian, Charisma Carpenter, Lauren Potter, Ryan Ochoa, Ginger Gonzoga, Ashlee Keating, Jessica Barth, as well as veteran soap opera divas Kate Linder and Diedre Hall.—Layla Messian, LA Correspondent










Leyla Messian

April 18, 2016

Fashion Cities Africa gives a snapshot of four cities on a varied, rich continent

Jack Yan/3.51

The second largest continent on the planet is, logically, home to a massive number of fashion designers and movements, although out of Africa, there hasn’t been as much recognition of them till recently. Fashion Cities Africa, the book, inspired by the exhibition of the same name at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery that opens at the end of April, is one high-profile development which seeks to shine a light on the variety present on the continent, while on a similar note, next month’s Africa Fashion Festival in Wellington will do the same for its designers.
   Hannah Azieb Pool, who edits the new book, is a Eritrean-born, London-based journalist, who, along with Helen Jennings, has co-writing duties, resulting in a cohesive, beautifully presented book that examines contemporary fashion in Nairobi, Casablanca, Lagos and Johannesburg. It doesn’t pretend to be a fully comprehensive guide, stating from the outset it is meant to provide mere glimpses on a continent that is incredibly diverse. The foreword by Binyavanga Wainaina, a flâneur, reminds us that there are clusters scattered throughout the land that have their own tendencies, and that her favourite designer is Nigerian, Chioma Chukwulozie.
   The reader is thrown in to the colour of Nairobi, where sibling bloggers Velma Rossa and Papa Petit (a.k.a. Oliver) take one half of the first spread with their über-stylish and proudly urban Kenyan clothes, and stylists, musicians, designers, bloggers and artists profiled on following pages give slices of their lives that shake occidental sensibilities with their own palettes and ensembles. Nairobi, for the most part, emphasizes comfort, and the clothing shot on these pages by Sarah Marie Waiswa demonstrate that the city’s fashion could easily translate to other places, spanning everything from casual to luxury. Adèle Dejak has shown in Milano, for instance, and appeared in Vogue Italia with her collaboration with Salvatore Ferragamo, while John Kaveke and Nick Ondu show the sort of sartorial elegance that could easily influence menswear in other fashion capitals.
   Profiles of some of the personalities from the city follow, reminding us that Nairobi is a crossroads: Ami Doshi Shah is of Indian descent, her family brought there by the British when both countries were under Crown rule, while Ann McCreath is a Scots émigrée who fell in love with the fashion there. There’s a dose of youthful energy, too, with Anthony Mulli, a jewellery designer who started when he was 16, pointing the way forward.
   The book follows a similar structure for subsequent cities, moving on to Casablanca next.
   Lucire readers will be familiar with Morocco thanks to travel editor Stanley Moss’s writings, and Jennings’ chapter, with photographs by Deborah Benzaquen, takes us on a similar journey through the country’s largest city. It was, of course, a home for Yves Saint Laurent at one point, as well as a drawcard for many western celebrities, when a first wave of Moroccan designers became known outside of the region. A second wave, Jennings explains, emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, with Zineb Joundy a graduate of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. A greater sense of artistic freedom and Casablanca’s position that blends Arabic, European and indigenous cultures has resulted in some looks that may seem familiar—perhaps thanks to the likes of Saint Laurent and his influence. Again the profiles are well selected, a cross-section of the highly varied cultures in the city: Amine Bendriouich, Amina Agueznay, Yassine Morabite, Saïd Mahrouf, and Zhor, Chadia and Aida Raïs each cover a very different parts of the fashion spectrum, from T-shirts to traditional caftans.
   Once the book gets to Lagos, it’s apparent that there’s a sense of “bubbling under”, with Lakin Ogunbanwo’s photographs, paired with Jennings’ words again, showing slightly more subdued looks for men, but prouder, more flamboyant looks for women. Jennings notes that civil war and Nigeria’s military juntas stalled its fashion scene for some years, before a revival when democracy returned in 1999. Foreign labels were seen as cool till recently, with the country discovering its confidence in its own æsthetic, to the point where one of her interviewees, stylist Bolaji Anumashaun, says that fashion can be one of Nigeria’s ‘greatest exports’. Anumashaun founded thestylehq.com with a pan-African fashion focus, and Arise magazine, founded in 2008, also stepped up the promotion for Nigerian designers. With Nigeria’s GDP now greater than South Africa’s, that confidence is bound to increase, and Jennings looks at Nike Davis Okundaye, who owns the biggest gallery in West Africa in Lagos, and happy to promote young talent. Others, such as Yegwa Ukpo and Amaka Osakwe, both were schooled in the UK before returning to Lagos to found their brands, while PR consultant Zara Okpara and luxury concept store owner Reni Folawiyo complete their city’s picture.
   Johannesburg completes Fashion Cities Africa, and it’s perhaps fair that Pool chose to put it last. Many mistakenly think of South African fashion when they refer to ‘African fashion’, spurred in part by the Republic’s sporting ties to many other countries in the Commonwealth. Victor Dlamini has the photographic duties here, and Pool pens the words, and she goes through the various Jo’burg neighbourhoods, noting that its fashion is more established than Nairobi’s but less self-conscious than Lagos’s. There is a western infusion here in some parts, she notes, but on closer examination there are accessories that reference Soweto streets or Zulu culture. The city even has two fashion weeks: South Africa Fashion Week and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg, making the city spoiled for choice when it comes to giving its designers a platform. David Tlale, whom Lucire readers will have heard of, and who has shown at New York Fashion Week, hails from here, and Jo’burg designs have a greater sense of familiarity thanks to western media exposure. It oozes colour and vibrancy, much like the photos chosen for Pool’s first chapter on Nairobi, and in similar fashion (pun unintended) there are profiles from across the spectrum: designer Thula Sindi, creative collective, the Sartists, accessories’ and shoe designer Maria McCloy, and womenswear designers Marianne Fassler and Anisa Mpungwe.
   It’s our hope that we can cease talking about ‘African’ fashion and instead replace the dialogue with specific cities or countries, just as we do for smaller continents such as Europe. Just as there is no such thing to fashion observers as ‘European’ fashion, there is equally no such thing as ‘African’ fashion: it is impossible to generalize at a continental level. Both as an informative volume and a coffee-table flick-through (as it is softcover), Fashion Cities Africa succeeds, and it’s exceptionally good value with full-colour photographs (needed for its story, over 196 pp.) at £20 (available via Amazon UK here, or Book Depository here) or US$28·50, (Amazon link here). It is published this month by Intellect Books, as part of its Street Styles series.—Jack Yan, Publisher

April 16, 2016

Kasia Smutniak launches Mya special edition of Lancia’s last car, the Ypsilon, at Spazio Arôme in Milano

Jack Yan/12.09



We might as well enjoy it while it lasts, because this is the last Lancia.
   With the demise of the Delta—one of our favourites—in 2014, there’s a single model line left for the fabled Italian brand: the Ypsilon. After that, Lancias will be no more, the 110-year-old brand being consigned to history as Fiat kills it off.
   The Ypsilon is effectively the successor to the old Autobianchi superminis such as the A112 and Y10, a marque which had also disappeared, after once being the brand where Fiat tried out new concepts such as hatchbacks and front-wheel drive.
   Not even a brand that has had cars such as the Aurelia, Fulvia and Gamma coupés, Stratos and Beta Montecarlo can survive a lack of attention, and the Mya is one of the last editions of Ypsilon that will wear the Lancia badge.
   Fiat’s now busy, of course, with profitable Jeeps and the renaissance of Alfa Romeo, although it still pumped some money into an event in Milano for the Lancia Ypsilon Mya at the Spazio Arôme.
   This special edition sees Polish actress Kasia Smutniak (known to Anglophone audiences for the actioner From Paris with Love) as its spokeswoman, succeeding other Lancia faces such as Carla Bruni.
   The launch used video mapping imaging techniques behind Smutniak, projecting graphics on to real surfaces. Lancia says it sees the Ypsilon Mya as a ‘second home’, with Antonella Bruno, head of Lancia for EMEA even interviewing Debora Conti, a life coach, on the relationship between space and emotion, and Fire Cars’ Annacarla Giusti confirming that the car has style and elegance.
   Admittedly, the tipo 846 Ypsilon, which has been around since 2011, has aged remarkably well, and the shape still has a certain elegance to it. The interior features Alcantara and a denim-look fabric. The exterior sees the addition of two shades—though they are both grey. Ardesia Grey is standard, and a three-layer Lunare Grey comes as an option. Neve White, Vulcano Black and Blu di Blu are also available from the regular Ypsilon line, which sees a palette of 12 colours.
   To give it a subtle lift, there is a satin finish on the front bumper, the lower grille inserts, door mirrors, door handles, the Ypsilon badge on the tailgate, and the Mya logo on the wheel arches.
   The Ypsilon features at the Spazio Arôme this weekend, and that of April 23–4.—Jack Yan, Publisher






April 15, 2016

Lucire TV: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hike to monastery on Bhutanese cliff face

Lucire staff/12.35


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge headed to Paro Taktshang, Bhutan, on the second day of their royal visit to the kingdom. They had flown in from India on Thursday.
   Paro Taktshang, also known as the Tiger’s Nest monastery, is located on a cliff face, 3,000 m above sea level. The royal couple walked 900 m to the revered site, taking three hours to reach the monastery, built in 1692.
   The Duchess wore a Jaeger white blouse, Really Wild khaki leather waistcoat, khaki Zara jeans, and her 10-year-old, calf-length Penelope Chilvers boots.
   ‘It was quite tough on the way up,’ noted Prince William. The Duchess said that it was a ‘great way to burn off the curry.’
   The Prince’s father, the Prince of Wales, half-completed the hike in 1998.
   In the evening, they attended a reception for British nationals and people with close ties to the UK that evening. The Duchess wore a red gown with a poppy print by Beulah, from its spring–summer 2015 collection. The poppy is Bhutan’s national symbol.

April 14, 2016

Gwyneth Paltrow stars in Tous’s fourth instalment of Tender Stories, promoting its spring–summer jewellery

Lucire staff/4.16



Gwyneth Paltrow stars in the fourth instalment of Tous’s Tender Stories, promoting its spring–summer 2016 jewellery collection.
   The Spanish-headquarted firm alerted non-Spanish media to the new film earlier this week, although it had been uploaded to YouTube the week before.
   The film has been created by SCPF, the Spanish creative agency.
   Paltrow, playing Alice, starts each day and hears a male voice, but he is not seen with her. Is she hearing a spirit? Is it her conscience talking to her?
   Without spoiling the ending, this latest instalment in Tous’s Tender Stories campaign is about how distance can be bridged when a loved one is far away.
   It does leave us with a few questions—watch the video to find out.
   Víctor Carrey of Puente Aéreo Films produced the film, as with earlier entries in the campaign.

April 12, 2016

Rihanna begins eighth week on Billboard Hot 100; Fenty Puma collection nearing release

Lucire staff/9.36



Puma

Rihanna has started the week on a high, as she is now neck in neck with the Beatles for the number of weeks spent at number one, thanks to her song ‘Work’, featuring Drake. It is her eighth week on the Billboard Hot 100.
   At the same time, her newest Fenty Puma by Rihanna collection (hashtagged #FentyxPuma) becomes available this month, after its début at New York Fashion Week. Rihanna serves not only as a brand ambassador but as a creative director for the brand. The collection takes its inspiration from Japanese street culture and fashion.
   The singer has previewed some of the offerings from the Fenty Puma by Rihanna collection on her website, noting the availability of the fur slide on April 22.
   Her chart-topping success now puts her ahead of icons such as Michael Jackson, while she rivals the Fab Four and Mariah Carey.
   Rihanna had Tweeted on April 4 about her seventh week on the Hot 100, crediting her faith for her success, something she has never been shy about doing.

April 11, 2016

H&M launches M.I.A.’s ‘Rewear It’ to mark World Recycle Week; Olivia Wilde supports Conscious Collection

Lucire staff/10.27



Max Larsson

Olivia Wilde is the face of H&M’s Conscious Collection, and promoted it in New York last week alongside her friend Barbara Burchfield.
   She wore a lace skirt and matching blouse from the range, complemented by a Balenciaga leather jacket.
   Wilde and Burchfield co-founded Conscious Commerce, which she discusses in our video below. Her venture encourages companies to work in sustainability into their day-to-day operations, and says that H&M is a good ally, a company that proves that one does not need to sacrifice style for nobler aims.
   On a related note, H&M today (April 11) launches its campaign for World Recycle Week 2016, with a video entitled ‘Rewear It’, featuring British performer M.I.A., who also composed the song exclusively for the company.
   The video encourages people to recycle old or unwanted clothes. The Swedish giant says M.I.A. ‘personifies the conscious consumer with a social awareness.’
   Aaron Sillis choreographed the video, which runs for 3 minutes, 37 seconds and features a cast of music and dance artists and allies in sustainability, shot all over the world.
   H&M aims to collect 1,000 tonnes of unwanted or worn-out garments from its customers worldwide, through its 3,600 stores. It is part of the company’s goal to close the loop in fashion, recycling unwanted garments to create textile fibres for new products.
   ‘World Recycle Week is about embracing important environmental issues such as the landfills, and highlighting a global movement,’ she says.

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