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February 3, 2014

Horsing around with Sue Wong for New Year in LA

Elyse Glickman/4.31




Elyse Glickman

Sue Wong not only has it all, but can certainly share her good fortune with great gusto. She usually opens the Cedars, her 1920s-era Hollywood mansion, to serve as a backdrop for informal fashion shows. However, on this auspicious New Year’s Eve, her home (which itself had many lives, from the home of early film director Marcel Tourneur and wife Norma Talmadge, to a set for the movie Sunset Boulevard, to rock-and-roll haven for Jimi Hendrix, Dennis Hopper and other ’60s figures) was a stage for her to channel Coco Chanel and Auntie Mame (the 1958 version with Rosalind Russell), put out a fine banquet (because life is, after all, a banquet), serve cocktails and put on a show featuring traditional Chinese performances, pop music, opera and folk music.
   Sue Wong was the consummate master of ceremonies, and her guests were a colourful assortment of artists, actors, writers, socialites and musicians. It was a collection of people Mame Dennis herself would be proud of.
   While LA Fashion Week is a few weeks off, and we’re sure fashion and lifestyle empress Sue Wong has another great collection ahead of her for fall–winter 2014–15, a few hours in her stunning, jewel-toned home is one of the best representations of Old and New Hollywood coming together visually.
   Celebrities on hand included Jane Seymour, Miss Hong Kong 2014 Erin Tjoe, Carly Craig, K. D. Aubert, Kimberly Kates, legendary LA publicist Ed Lozzi, Joyce Giraud and Michael Ohoven.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor




Elyse Glickman

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January 20, 2014

A tie for Gravity and 12 Years a Slave at the Producers’ Guild Awards; Kiwis and James Bond get special awards

Lucire staff/8.38

It was a tie between Gravity and 12 Years a Slave at the 25th annual Producers’ Guild Awards, which now puts Alfonso Cuarón’s space-set drama, starring Sandra Bullock, among the front-runners for the Academy Awards.
   The films both won the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures—Gravity for Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman; and 12 Years a Slave for Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt, and Dede Gardner.
   In the television category, Breaking Bad won the Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama (producers Melissa Bernstein, Sam Catlin, Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Mark Johnson, Stewart Lyons, Michelle MacLaren, George Mastras, Diane Mercer, Thomas Schnauz, and Moira Walley-Beckett), while, for the fourth year running, Modern Family won the Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy (producers Paul Corrigan, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Elaine Ko, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Jeffrey Morton, Dan O’Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Chris Smirnoff, Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, and Danny Zuker).
   We Steal Secrets: the Story of Wikileaks (Alexis Bloom, Alex Gibney, Marc Shmuger) was the best documentary film, while Behind the Candelabra (Susan Ekins, Gregory Jacobs, Michael Polaire, Jerry Weintraub) won the David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television.
   Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (Anthony Bourdain, Christopher Collins, Lydia Tenaglia, Sandra Zweig) won the non-fiction TV prize.
   Frozen (Peter Del Vecho) was the top animated feature; The Voice (Stijn Bakkers, Mark Burnett, John de Mol, Chad Hines, Lee Metzger, Audrey Morrissey, Jim Roush, Kyra Thompson, Nicolle Yaron, Mike Yurchuk, Amanda Zucker) won for competition television; and The Colbert Report (Stijn Bakkers, Mark Burnett, John de Mol, Chad Hines, Lee Metzger, Audrey Morrissey, Jim Roush, Kyra Thompson, Nicolle Yaron, Mike Yurchuk, Amanda Zucker) won for live entertainment and talk television.
   SportsCenter and Sesame Street won for their categories in sports and children’s programmes. Wired: What’s Inside was the winner for digital series.
   This year’s event also saw the first David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures, which was awarded to Eon Productions’ Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. The stepson and daughter of Albert R. ‘Cubby’ Broccoli have guided the James Bond franchise into its 50th anniversary celebration. Current lead actor Daniel Craig and former United Artists boss David Picker gave the award.
   Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory) won the Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television; Robert Iger won the Milestone Award; Weta’s Sir Peter Jackson and Joe Letteri, ONZM, gave the Kiwis representation when they won the Vanguard Award; and Chris Melendandri won the Visionary Award. As announced earlier, Fruitvale Station, which had been passed over for nomination at the SAG Awards and the Oscars, won the Stanley Kramer Award for raising awareness of social issues. The film looks at the real-life January 1, 2009 killing of Oscar Grant at the BART station in Fruitvale. Grant was shot by transit officer Johannes Mehserle in the incident. The killing sparked riots and protests in the Bay Area in 2009 and, after the criminal trial of Mehserle, in 2010.

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January 8, 2014

YSL, first of two bio-pics on Yves Saint Laurent, opens today amid controversy

Lucire staff/7.48



Thibault Grabherr and Anouchka de Williencourt/SND

Top Pierre Niney as Yves Saint Laurent and Guillaume Gallienne as Pierre Bergé in YSL. Above Pierre Niney as Yves Saint Laurent and Charlotte Le Bon as Victoire Doutreleau.

The first of two bio-pics on fashion design legend Yves Saint Laurent opens today in France.
   YSL, directed by Jalil Lespert, stars Pierre Niney, whose make-up is so convincing that Saint Laurent’s last surviving dog reportedly mistook him for his master. Saint Laurent’s former partner and business manager, Pierre Bergé, has also called Niney’s performance convincing.
   Women’s Wear Daily noted that Niney studied footage of Saint Laurent and took sewing and drawing classes to prepare for his role.
   Bergé has endorsed Lespert’s film, which covers the period between 1957 and 1976, and provided the producers with access to the Pierre Bergé–Yves Saint Laurent foundation archive.
   Even from the trailer, there is a sense of visual verisimilitude, and the film has already received acclaim from Paris Match and Elle.
   Bergé has said, ‘The film does not take sides, but tells the truth. All men have a dark and a light side. My life with Yves Saint Laurent was not a fairy tale, but I would not change anything.’
   However, critics of Lespert’s film claim that it glosses over Saint Laurent’s genius. Thomas Bidegain, scriptwriter for the rival bio-pic, told The Daily Telegraph that YSL was ‘simply recounted by Bergé, like Mozart recounted by Salieri.’
   One can see the origins of Bidegain’s claim. In a positive review in L’Express, Mathilde Laurelli notes that YSL recounts a ‘pygmalion du couturier,’ and that it could be more objective.
   However, she and other reviewers tended to praise the film for exploring Saint Laurent’s inner demons, and the clothes from the archive.
   The rival film, which also claims “official” status, has the blessing of François Pinault, the owner of the Yves Saint Laurent brand. Saint Laurent, to be released in May, is directed by Bertrand Bonello, and stars Gaspard Ulliel as the designer. Léa Seydoux plays Loulou de la Falaise and Jérémie Renier portrays Bergé.
   Yves Saint Laurent started at Dior in the mid-1950s and succeeded the designer on his death in 1957. He was drafted in 1960 to fight in the Algerian War of Independence. On his return, Bergé, an art dealer who had met Saint Laurent while he was in a military hospital, tried to have Saint Laurent reinstated at Dior, but the house refused. They successfully sued for breach of contract. They went on to start the Yves Saint Laurent label along with some of the Dior staff. Saint Laurent was appointed Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur in 1985. The following year, the company took control of its fragrance business and floated on the stock exchange. In December 2007, President Nicolas Sarkozy appointed Saint Laurent Officier of the Légion d’honneur. Saint Laurent died in 2008.


Thibault Grabherr and Anouchka de Williencourt/SND

Top Charlotte Le Bon plays Victoire, Dior’s muse, later at Saint Laurent. Above Yves Saint Laurent and Victoire Doutreleau in 1962.







Thibault Grabherr and Anouchka de Williencourt/SND

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January 7, 2014

Original 1960s Karl Lagerfeld sketches for Tiziani to be auctioned

Lucire staff/12.55



Above Lots 173 and 174: an original Karl Lagerfeld sketch, and the corresponding Tiziani coral gown with feathered cape.

Fashion sketchbooks and drawings by Karl Lagerfeld will be auctioned on January 11 by Palm Beach Modern Auctions in West Palm Beach, Fla.
   The drawings were done for Tiziani, which was set up by American designer Evan ‘Buddy’ Richards in Roma in 1963, catering to celebrities and royalty. Lagerfeld freelanced for the house and the drawings illustrate how haute couture made the leap to designer ready-to-wear.
   Rico Baca, auctioneer at Palm Beach Modern Auctions, notes that the collection is unique. Even though Lagerfeld was in the habit of throwing out old work, Richards meticulously held on to the sketches produced for him by the young designer. The collection was maintained in full by subsequent estates.
   He also says that the drawings showed the shift from haute couture to prêt-à-porter: ‘Evan Richards and his brilliant designer Karl Lagerfeld were right at the forefront. Richards had grown weary of his couture designs being purchased, taken apart and copied line for line by New York department stores. Eventually he thought, “Why shouldn’t we be the ones selling our designs as ready-to-wear?” That was the beginning of it all.’
   Baca says, ‘It contains Lagerfeld sketchbooks—some showing entire ready-to-wear lines for a season—hundreds of individual sketches by Lagerfeld and other Tiziani designers, hundreds of photos of couture shows, and several signed photos and personal notes from Elizabeth Taylor to Tiziani.’
   Tiziani designed for Princess Marcella Borghese, Doris Duke and Gina Lollobrigida, and was a favourite of Elizabeth Taylor. Tiziani designed for Taylor for several films, and some of the drawings are marked for ‘Elizabeth Taylor Burton’.
   The auction includes a Tiziani coral gown with feathered cape, matched to Lagerfeld’s original pre-production sketch. There are also four other pieces of Tiziani couture—three dresses and a beaded top—plus four Mary McFadden couture garments and a mod-style Kiki Hart pantsuit, according to the auction house.
   The 400-lot archive will be auctioned on January 11 at 12 p.m. EST, at 417 Bunker Road, West Palm Beach, Fla. 33405. Internet bids will be taken via LiveAuctioneers.com. The online catalogue can be viewed at LiveAuctioneers.com. A cocktail party preview benefiting the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens will be held at Palm Beach Modern Auctions on January 9 at 5 p.m.


Above Lots 95 and 3: original sketches by Karl Lagerfeld for Tiziani. The one on the right bears a note that it is for ‘Elizabeth Taylor Burton’.

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Chinese film pioneer, Sir Run Run Shaw, passes away at age 107

Lucire staff/9.18




Top Sir Run Run Shaw. Centre On the set of one of the films he produced, Meteor, with Natalie Wood, director Ronald Neame, and Sean Connery. Above Harrison Ford in Blade Runner.

Sir Run Run Shaw, the Hong Kong movie mogul and founder of television network TVB, passed away today at age 107.
   He was born near Shanghai in 1907. One of his brothers, Runje, went to Singapore in the 1920s to market films to the Chinese community in southeast Asia, and eventually opened 139 cinemas in the region. Two older brothers set up Tianyi Film Productions (or the Unique Film Production Co.) in Shanghai, which produced silent pictures and the first Chinese talkie. A Cantonese film was produced in 1932, leading to Unique setting up a branch in Hong Kong in 1934, to where the entire company eventually shifted. It was renamed South Seas Productions, then Shaw Studios.
   Run Run and his brother, Runme, were also credited with pioneering the film industry in Malaya and Singapore.
   Postwar, the brothers shifted the focus to film production and the business was renamed Shaw Brothers. In 1961, they opened Movie Town, a studio in Clearwater Bay, Hong Kong, which comprised 10 soundstages. The company produced 40 movies, mostly B-grade actioners including kung fu films, each year. This built Shaw Brothers’ library of some 1,000 films, which was sold in 2000 to Celestial Pictures.
   In 1967, he started Television Broadcasts Ltd., one of the premier television network broadcasters in the British Crown Colony. It held on to its position after the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China. It would remain his primary interest, having shut down movie production in 1983, till he retired as chairman at age 104.
   With his philanthropy, he was knighted by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 1977, after receiving a CBE three years before. After the handover, he was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal in 1998.
   He also produced Meteor, which starred Sean Connery and Natalie Wood, and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.
   Shaw Brothers helped launch the careers of directors such as John Woo, while TVB brought Chow Yun Fat, Andy Lau, Stephen Chow and Wong Kar Wai to prominence in Hong Kong.
   They had originally contracted Bruce Lee, but were unwilling to accede to the star’s salary demands. Lee went on to sign with a rival, Raymond Chow, who himself had started at Shaws. Jackie Chan was also signed by Chow’s company.
   Tan Sri Dr Runme Shaw passed away in 1985 in Singapore, aged 84.
   He created the Shaw Prizes in 2002, which gave away US$1 million to individuals who had made significant breakthroughs in astronomy, life science and medicine, and mathematics.
   Sir Run Run Shaw passed away peacefully with family by his side, and is survived by his wife, Mona Fong Yat-Wah, his three sons and two daughters.

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Grand Prix photography exhibition opens at Getty Images Gallery on February 6

Lucire staff/2.29




Rainer W. Schlegelmilch

Top Michael Schumacher comes to the Mercedes-Benz pits at the Shanghai Grand Prix, April 17, 2011. Centre John Surtees and others do the opening sprint at Le Mans, July 21, 1964. Above Nina Rindt waiting for her husband Jochen to pass by. He had a fatal accident at Parabolica just moments after this picture was taken, on September 6, 1970.

An exhibition at the Getty Images Gallery, Freeze the Speed, showcases the work of Rainer W. Schlegelmilch, the famed Formula 1 photographer.
   Schlegelmilch began his career as a Formula 1 photographer in 1962. The 50 years’ worth of images form an enviable archive of 350,000 photographs, some of which appears at the Gallery between February 6 and March 1.
   The work includes his first race at the Nürburgring in 1962, taking portraits for his final exam at the Bayerische Staatslehranstalt für Photographie, before he set up his studio 18 months later. From 1970 he began shooting only in colour. He has attended more than 500 Grands Prix, including taking candid pit and trackside shots.
   Schlegelmilch tends to rely on natural lighting rather than digital enhancement. His work has been published in, among others, Auto Revue, Auto Motor und Sport, Powerslide, ADAC, Sports Car Graphic, Car & Driver, Road & Track and Car Review. Philip Morris, Mobil, Shell, Champion, Mercedes, BMW, Tag Heuer, DHL, and Red Bull are among the clients who have featured his work.
   Louise Garczewska, Director of Getty Images Gallery, says, ‘In the run up to the 2014 F1 season, we are delighted to represent this iconic collection and bring it to a wider audience through this latest touring exhibition.’
   The Getty Images Gallery is close to Oxford Circus, London, and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, and 12 to 5.30 p.m. Saturday.




Rainer W. Schlegelmilch

Above, from top Swiss racing driver Jo Siffert waits with bandaged road shoes at Monza, September 8, 1968. A portrait from Monte Carlo, 1963. A recent Monaco Grand Prix.

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December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela: the last portrait photo shoot

Lucire staff/13.07


Photographer Adrian Steirn’s film, 21 Icons South Africa, was released in the summer, and featured footage with Nelson Mandela, who passed away Thursday night South African time, aged 95.
   Mandela was a symbol of South Africa’s struggle against apartheid, and was incarcerated by the country’s government for his active opposition to the racist, anti-democratic policy.
   After spending 27 years in jail at Victor Verster Prison on Robben Island, Mandela was released in February 1990 by then-president F. W. de Klerk, who had decided to bring about the end of apartheid.
   Upon his release, Mandela expressed no bitterness toward the apartheid régime and, instead, urged forgiveness toward it.
   Mandela became the country’s first democratically elected president in 1994, after winning the Nobel Peace Prize the previous year with de Klerk, and regarded as the father of the modern nation by some.
   During his imprisonment, he became a symbol for equality and freedom-fighting around the world.
   In his later years, Mandela suffered from an ongoing lung complaint that had seen him hospitalized on many occasions.
   Steirn says he became fascinated by the recent history of South Africa and its struggles, and had hoped he would get to shoot Mandela. He was originally told that that would be impossible, but his persistence led to the former president sitting for the portrait. The final shot is of Mandela looking into a mirror.
   The footage shown below shows the making of the image, and features interviews with George Bizos, Ahmed Kathrada, the Most Rev Archbishop Desmond Tutu and de Klerk.

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December 5, 2013

Ford releases official 2015 Mustang photos and details

Jack Yan/6.45


’Stangers—diehard fans of the Ford Mustang—will have already seen it due to leaks of the official photographs half a day ago. Lucire ran the leaked photos on our Facebook page. But now, we can officially talk about the unveiling, in six cities around the world—New York, Dearborn, Michigan, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Sydney and Barcelona—of the 2015 Mustang, codenamed S550, which commemorates the model line’s 50th anniversary.
   Executive chairman Bill Ford was present at the Barcelona event, in front of an audience of 2,500 journalists, dealers and Ford employees.
   While the Mustang has officially been on sale in Europe and other markets before since the original model was released in New York on April 17, 1964, the 2015 model is the first which will be sold as a “world car”, as part of Ford’s core range.
   Ford notes that the Mustang is its most iconic range, and that it is the world’s most-liked vehicle on Facebook. Nine million have been built since the original’s launch.
   Stephen Odell, executive vice-president for Ford in Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in a release, ‘The Mustang’s formidable reputation for performance and its iconic status as a symbol of freedom and optimism precedes it even in those parts of the world where the car has never been sold. The new Mustang epitomizes Ford’s aggressive product acceleration; technologically advanced and forward-looking, but without forgetting the heritage that has inspired Ford customers for generations.’
   The new model certainly lives up to the promise. It has the classic Mustang proportions and blends them with Ford’s present design language.
   The design language has been seen on other global products such as the facelifted B299 Ford Fiesta and the CD391 Ford Fusion, which will be sold in Europe and other markets as the Ford Mondeo. It is an evolution of some of Ford’s earlier design principles.
   The grille opening apes that of the Fiesta and Fusion, but appears in a more exaggerated form, with the Mustang horse placed in the centre, as with the original, the Mustang II, and the models dating from the 1994.
   There are also shades of the ItalDesign Ford Mustang concept of 2006, which brought some Italianate touches, such as a tapering cabin.
   The rear lights also reflect the classic Mustang ideas, with the tri-bar design that also harks back to the original.
   Ford has also injected the rear-wheel-drive Mustang with the latest technologies, equipping the pony car for the 2010s and beyond.
   Technologies include Ford’s Sync with voice control and eight-inch touchscreen (in Europe), and drivers can adjust between driving modes.
   The convertible has an insulated cloth top, which has a sleek profile when folded, according to Ford.
   Moray Callum, Ford’s executive director of design for the Americas, said, ‘You only get one chance to make a first impression and when you see this car, you immediately see a Mustang strong and true.’
   Inside, the Mustang has an aviation-inspired cockpit, designed for the driver, and there is more space, thanks to a wider cabin and an all-new rear suspension. The cockpit again blends modern and classic: the two large dials hark back to the original, but the look is more geometric and structured.
   The boot can now accommodate two golf bags, thanks to the new platform.
   The suspension brings Mustang bang up to date. The front has double ball-joint Macpherson struts, while the rear gets rid of its agricultural live rear axle in front of an integral-link independent suspension. The Mustang promises to be a far better drive than the models of old, suiting worldwide markets. Ford’s stability control includes torque vectoring.
   Engines are the classic five-litre V8 (with 426 PS and 529 Nm of torque) and a new EcoBoost 2·3-litre four delivering 309 PS and 407 Nm. The automatic model has steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles.—Jack Yan, Publisher












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