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Greed a topical comedy about fast fashion and the practices that support it

Filed by Jack Yan/June 28, 2020/12.01

Greed, the new Steve Coogan comedy directed by Michael Winterbottom (The Trip), is a satirical tale about a thinly disguised version of Sir Philip Green, the head of Arcadia Group, who stood accused by various British government committees of plundering British Home Stores while it was under his company’s control. The phrase levelled at Sir Philip, ‘the unacceptable face of capitalism’, once dealt to Tiny Rowland, is used here at Coogan’s Sir Richard ‘Greedy’ McCreadie, just in case you weren’t sure whom they were parodying.
   Lucire attended one viewing at a packed cinema, where moviegoers were turned away as it proved to be far more popular than anticipated.
   Given the cast—Coogan, Isla Fisher, and David Mitchell—it would be wrong to expect much more than a comedy, and on this count, it delivers, with more topical panache than most films of the genre.
   Up for criticism by the film are fast fashion—McCreadie spends his adult life pushing suppliers in Sri Lanka (the Indian locations are unconvincing) into a race to the bottom—as well as the shallow “unreality” of reality TV, or, as the trade calls it, unscripted drama. Included in the mix are the corrupt practices of modern business and their legal loopholes, and tax havens such as Monaco, where McCreadie’s ex-wife, Samantha, played by Fisher, is resident. Through all of this is the device of the officious bystander, Sir Richard’s biographer, Nick, played by Mitchell, who gets to interview certain parties, which Winterbottom shoots in documentary style.
   Sir Richard’s 60th birthday bash on Mykonos obviously references Sir Philip’s £5 million 50th on Crete in 2002, right down to the togas, and this is where things take a turn that not even Sir Philip’s enemies would wish on the milliardaire. Asa Butterfield, as the McCreadys’ younger son, and Dinita Gohil, as Amanda, a Sri Lankan-born Brit working for McCready, give the film more depth at the points where it’s needed, showing that the farce in which the ultra-rich live have real victims, inside and outside of the immediate family. Whovians will spot Pearl Mackie as Cathy, the director of the reality show in which daughter Lily McCready, played by Sophie Cookson, stars, trying the Method whilst playing herself.
   There’s a sense from earlier reviews—inevitable that we would have seen them given New Zealand’s later release—that the film doesn’t know what genre it is, whether it’s comedy, drama or documentary, an assessment with which we disagree. While the film puts a new spin on the term ‘eat the rich’, the last act wraps up the entirety of the film neatly: namely that for all the lessons that we might have learned, the fictional McGready family ticks on, with little changed. No, the outcome isn’t funny, but it is a call to action—it’s Winterbottom exercising pathos. Showing statistics about fast fashion, the income gap, and the single-digit earnings of Asian garment workers takes that one step further. Are we choosing to fund these lifestyles and the fast-fashion machine, or should we opt for the sort of designers often championed by this magazine, who work with Fair Trade, eschew seasons, and emphasize quality?
   And sometimes it takes a film that is largely entertainment to make us realize just what has been going on. The message could well be lost if this were an out-and-out documentary, which would have had a limited audience; better to have us question our consumerist habits—you know, the ones we still observed as we lavished Amazon with US$11,000 per second as the COVID-19 pandemic panic began—in the form of entertainment, ensuring a wider reach. It’s not the first to do this, and it won’t be the last—it’s a long tradition that includes The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and South Park on television and, more recently, the oddly slow-moving Brexit with Benedict Cumberbatch, and the German feature Curveball. There’s nothing more appealing in the grey depths of winter, with overseas travel not available to us, than sunny, colourful Greek locales. And when you can travel again, pack those labels with a more ethical background.—Jack Yan, Publisher

 


Katherine Langford named brand ambassador for L’Oréal Paris

Filed by Lucire staff/June 23, 2020/16.07


Katherine Langford, the 24-year-old Australian actress known for her role as Hannah Baker in 13 Reasons Why, is the new L’Oréal Paris international ambassador.
   Langford, who hails from Perth, WA, was a nationally ranked swimmer before embarking on an acting career, with a Skype audition for 13 Reasons Why. On the silver screen, she was one of the ensemble cast in the Daniel Craig starrer Knives Out, playing Meg Thrombey, and starred as Leah in Love, Simon, about a young man who comes out. Her next role is as Nimue in Cursed, a retelling of the Arthurian tales but with women in the main roles.
   Langford has become a role model for youth and is an advocate for mental health. She is also passionate about equality across gender, sexual orientation, age and race.
   She currently has 16·4 million followers on Instagram, making her a particularly influential celebrity for the French giant to reach a millennial audience.
   ‘L’Oréal Paris is the brand that creates what’s next in beauty with an essential message: everyone is worth it. It is all about learning how to love yourself, how to be bold, how to be confident!’ said Langford. ‘People my age should not be afraid to be themselves, because that’s what makes us beautiful. When you know you are worth it, you live your life to the fullest. Having always valued empowerment, I can say that I am very grateful to be part of such an inspiring group of women spokespersons.’
   ‘We are thrilled to welcome Katherine to the L’Oréal Paris family. She is a role model, a talented and confident young woman using her platform for positive influence. Katherine’s star will only continue to rise. As a young radiant heroine who encourages people to believe in themselves, she’s the perfect spokesperson to embody our signature brand message: we are all worth it,’ said Delphine Viguier-Hovasse, L’Oréal Paris’s global brand president.
   Langford’s first campaign breaks later in 2020, for Air Mascara and Casting Crème.

 


Arthur Chen becomes global ambassador for Tissot, promotes the Chrono XL

Filed by Lucire staff/April 7, 2020/10.40


Fashion sector activity is returning in China, with news that US-born Chinese actor, Arthur Chen (Chen Feiyu, 陳飛宇 or 陈飞宇) has been named a global brand ambassador for Tissot.
   Chen, 19, has been chosen to represent and to market to Generation Z, an era that grew up with the internet.
   Tissot says Chen was chosen as someone who does not define himself or set limits for himself, and has the freedom to play and to try new styles.
   Chen, whose father is a film director and whose mother is an actress, made his cinematic début aged 10 in 趙氏孤兒 (Sacrifice), and has since tried numerous different roles, avoiding typecasting. He played both Duan Bowen in 秘果 (Secret Fruit) and Yu Huai in 最好的我們 (The Best of Us) when he was 17—two characters that showed his acting chops as well as his appeal to younger audiences. In 我和我的祖國 (My People, My Country) last year, he went against his popular youth image and instead played a rural, nomadic teenager. Chen acts for the love of the performance, rather than fame and fortune, and it was felt that this authenticity complemented Tissot’s ‘innovation, derived from tradition’ concept.
   The first watch promoted as part of the tie-up is the Tissot Chrono XL, a watch with a 45 mm oversized dial and contrasting colour schemes. The Chrono XL has a vintage design but a modern movement, with 100 m water resistance, a stainless steel case with black PVD coating, and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. In China the Chrono XL has a retail price of 2,700元 (the US retail is US$375), making its Swiss technology (and manufacture) particularly affordable.

 


Royal New Zealand Ballet to broadcast Hansel & Gretel online from Friday, April 3

Filed by Lucire staff/April 1, 2020/10.40

Commencing Friday, April 3, the Royal New Zealand Ballet will broadcast performances, originally recorded live, through Facebook Première—and you don’t even need a Facebook account to watch them.
   Hansel & Gretel, which premièred in Wellington last November with the support of Ryman Healthcare, is first up, with performances taking place on Friday, April 3 at 7.30 p.m., Saturday, April 4 at 1.30 p.m. and Sunday, April 5 at 10.30 a.m. The performance runs for one hour 45 minutes, with an interval. The ballet was choreographed by Loughlan Prior (his first full-length ballet) and scored by Claire Cowan, with designs by Kate Hawley (whose cinematic credits include Suicide Squad, Edge of Tomorrow, Pacific Rim), lighting by Jon Buswell, and visual effects by POW Studios. Lucire reviewed the ballet première last year, asking rhetorically: ‘what can be made when you have every creative firing on all cylinders?’
   Kirby Selchow and Shaun James Kelly are in the title roles, and Hamish McKeich conducts Orchestra Wellington.
   ‘Last year, audiences around New Zealand fell in love with our zany production of Hansel & Gretel,’ says RNZB artistic director Patricia Barker. ‘Being faced with so much uncertainty as we are glued to our televisions for any good news, we at the RNZB thought we could all use a little extra sweetness and pick-me-up. We are so pleased to be able to share this special ballet, 100 per cent made in New Zealand, with audiences again. Stay tuned for further announcements!’
   RNZB executive director Lester McGrath adds, ‘We have an amazingly loyal following on Facebook, and they are already used to tuning in to live-streamed events such as our annual participation in World Ballet Day. However, you don’t need to have a Facebook account in order to enjoy these broadcasts. We encourage anyone and everyone with internet access to make the most of this great opportunity to connect with their national ballet company.’
   The company is also putting together online resources for those isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic. RNZB Education’s NCEA resources are available, and ballet masters and dance educators are developing online classes. Vodafone is the RNZB’s telecommunications’ partner.
   Full details can be found at rnzb.org.nz/live.

 


Hollywood: at your service

Filed by Elyse Glickman/February 20, 2020/11.11




At the TMG and Smile Direct Club 16th annual pre-Oscar lounge, celebrities, media and influencers joined in the pre-Oscar beauty treatments such as Smile Direct Club’s Teeth Whitening Lounge, ab-toning and cellulite-reduction treatments by Emsculpt and Emtone, make-up consultations and beauty makeovers by Senegence International, red-carpet express facials by Celebrity Spa Oskin Med Spa, lash extensions and brow services by celebrity make-up artist Shareen Adair of Icandy Salon, massages by celebrity masseuse Cinthia Dahl, blow=outs and styling by Aquage Haircare and manicures by OPI and My Beauty Spot. Above, from top: Anne Winters (13 Reasons Why) gets her smile ready. Drew Seeley and Amy Paffrath enjoy a family outing with daughter Ember Seeley.

Before we get started on our annual post-Oscar pre-show wrap-up, we wanted to extend our congratulations to Taika David Waititi, the first Māori to win an Oscar for best adapted screenplay on a history-making night that also included the multi-Oscar-winning South Korean film Parasite crowned best picture.
   Not everybody will agree on whether the line-up of nominees or winners reflected what made 2019 one of the best years in recent movie history—especially when it comes to gender or diversity. However, one thing we all share is necessity of presenting our most winning selves, regardless of who’s voting and what’s being voted on. The sentiment seemed to prevail at a few of the pre-show extravaganzas leading up to the red carpet.
   The TMG Pre-Oscar Luxury Suite certainly had that idea down, with their annual chill fest at the Beverly Hilton. It was built around achieving that winning smile with their lead sponsor, the Smile Direct Club. Every guest was treated to that “glow from within” right off the bat, via the opportunity to try out their revolutionary teeth whitening kit, and get sent home with their own compact cosmetic dentistry office. The goods needed to stay bright for a full six months included a whitening device and solution small enough to fit into one’s computer bag or purse, along with a daily whitening toothpaste and sleek electric toothbrush. The whitening device plugs into a smartphone and should be used about 10 minutes twice a day for a week.












At the TMG and Smile Direct Club 16th annual pre-Oscar lounge: Carly Hughes (ABC’s American Housewife) after her teeth-whitening treatment. Sheryl Lee Ralph (Showtime’s Ray Donovan). Peyton Elizabeth Lee (Disney’s Andi Mack) in the Senegence Beauty Lounge. UFC and Celebrity Big Brother’s Chuck Liddell experiences the Emsculpt ab-toning treatment. Vincent Rodriguez (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on CW, Insatiable on Netflix). Dania Ramirez gets brow and lash services from Shareen Adair of Icandy Salon. Fivel Stewart (Atypical on Netflix). Actor Craig DiFrancia (Greenbook, The Irishman) with Aquage Haircare. Lauren Tom gets an Aquage treatment. Grey’s Anatomy’s James Pickens with Olivia Quido-Co shows off his glowing red carpet facial from Oskin Med Spa. Edy Ganem.

   Christine King and Ruben Diaz also picked the perfect cosmetics line, SeneGence, to keep up the smiles with what may be one of the best “kiss-proof” lip colour we’ve tried. There was a process involved with putting it on, demoed by skilled make-up artists on the spot. By following the instructions, one gets all-day colour maintained with a moisturizing top coat–gloss. While the line is not yet a household name, it delivers the goods we want in long-wearing make-up—something that performs at the office or on the red carpet with the wearer leaving the mark instead of the lipstick. This makes us all the more eager to try out the rest of our starter kits, including a neck-lift moisturizer and mascara, and purchase a few more shades of lip colour and eyeliner.
   Getting a little more skin deep, we also indulged in collagen facials from the Olivia Quido skin care collection that administered the beneficial creams and serums with a delicious cold press method that brings real refreshment into professional facials.
   Like best supporting actor winner Brad Pitt, old favourites were a welcoming presence and hardly showed their age, thanks to new colours, packaging and performance. With an assist from a local manicure salon, OPI nail care took us to México City while moisturizing hair care line Aquage offered new dos and products in festive updated packaging to get that blow-dry bar look every day.







   Across town, dynamic event duo Matt and Mark Harris were back on the built-in red carpet lining the halls of (the aptly selected) W Hollywood Hotel for their WOW Oscar Suite. This go-round, the event once again offered some interesting new K- and J-Beauty products (including the posh-but-affordable Vitabrid line, quality wines from the American west coast and Bordeaux, plant-based snacks from Nirvana Bars and some flashy athletic wear from Florida-based Mperial. Donna Leah Designs provided requisite glamour with sequinned accessories reflecting her contemporary eveningwear collection.
   That said, the majority of guest vendors were in the business of making the lives of busy people stress-free and more convenient. Instead of finding reps from a luxury hotel or island retreat on hand, Carefree Boat Club promoted their unique offering of yacht and sport boat rentals for executive DIY vacations and functions. Christine Pacheco, founder of Concierge RN noted she was in the process of providing house (and office) calls for post-operative services and other health concerns, while Spring Rayne explained to prospective clients how as she could help them instil healthier sleeping and eating habits as a ‘health coach intuitive’, with an approach mixing her experience as a professional chef, reiki master and herbalist.
   As many celebrities and their assistants can always improve organization, Hilton Society (not a Paris Hilton fan club, but a provider of financial advice and budgeting) explained their expertise, while Tix Lover showed them how their company could help them source tickets to the hottest sports events, concerts and theatre productions. With home and office entertaining being an essential part of doing business, Cask Cartel provided a nifty sampler as well as information on their online retail endeavour, which they described as a sort of Amazon for high-end wine and spirits.
   The next generation of entrepreneurs was represented by 15 year-old James Cruickshank, founder of TreetingCards.com. With a bit of a writing assist from younger brother, Jack, the concept combines clever greeting cards with attached mini-boxes of candy to convey a very sweet sentiment as well as fundraising for his SOS (Save Our Sharks) initiative to protect the ocean animals from environmental perils of the day.












   Earlier in the week, French brand La Roche-Posay was thinking beyond the Oscars and into “rest of your life” territory with the rollout of its Anti-Aging Serum line. The new power trio of retinol B3 pure retinol serum, 10 per cent pure vitamin C serum and hyalu B5 serum, available separately or as a set, can be used in a variety of combinations based on the user’s unique skin care needs. Teamed with the Anthelios SFP 100 sunscreen, any user can mitigate past sun exposure sins while preventing new ones.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor

 


Actress Shay Mitchell leads Cacharel’s Yes I Am Fabulous fragrance campaign

Filed by Lucire staff/February 15, 2020/8.14

Cacharel has launched Yes I Am Fabulous, the third fragrance in a range it has dubbed Yes I Am. Actress Shay Mitchell (Pretty Little Liars) fronts the campaign.
   Mitchell currently stars in Dollface on Hulu, and had been in the Netflix series You, produced by Greg Berlanti. Thanks to her appeal to teen audiences in Pretty Little Liars, Mitchell built up a substantial social media following, which she has built on with a YouTube channel and clothing and jewellery lines. She is behind a lifestyle and travel line called Béis. Through these media, she has four million YouTube subscribers and c. 26 million Instagram followers.
   Cacharel’s Yes I Am range comprises three fragrances, three scents and three colours, aimed at ‘today’s generation of empowered young women: diverse, outspoken and determined to get what they want and deserve, all the while happily obsessing over celebs or sharing the latest trends in make-up.’
   The new fragrance is described as unveiling a personality that is ‘bolder, more sensual, more glamorous and unexpected.’ There is a common base with the already launched Yes I Am fragrances: a signature called Spicy Cremoso, which contrasts a creamy accord with a spicy cardamom.
   The scent has top notes of blackberry and rhubarb, amplified with pink pepper, a heart of jasmin sambac, ginger flower, and purple heliotrope, and base notes of santal, vanilla and hazelnut milk.
   Its packaging mirrors lipstick, with smoky glass and a gold-toned collar.
   The promotional film directed by So Me features Mitchell, Mademoiselle Gloria, Rachel Tee-Tyler, Marta Lozano, and Cajsa Wessberg. The soundtrack features Norman’s ‘Feelin’ Good’.

 


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