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March 8, 2015

A traditional tale told well

Lola Cristall/23.45

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The tale of The Legend of Mulan made its way in revitalized form to the David H. Koch Theater in March for a limited time at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York. The Hong Kong Dance Company (HKDC) brings its expertise to the stage for the first time outside Asia. The China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG) presents the flawless production, an adventurous tale of audacity and stimulating depth. The intricately detailed, traditional costumes are designed by Hong Kong-based designers, with eye-catching workmanship.
   The enticing story, derived from ancient China, was originally in the form of a poem, entitled The Ballad of Mulan, in the fifth century. Many years later, the story, about a youthful peasant girl, Fa Mulan (花朚蘭), who disguises herself as a man in order to take her father’s place as a combatant in the army, lives on. There is a yin-yang effect: Mulan’s beauty and refinement unites with her inner strength and vigour. As both warrior and maiden, Mulan symbolizes a true heroine, underlining her courage and aptitude. In many ways, the protagonist’s gender is simply an unimportant factor as she proves her strength and will to fight.
   The overall performance is a beautiful creation, combining theatre and culture on an international stage.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor





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February 23, 2015

Sponsored video: Bambi Northwood-Blyth and Dan Single help reinvent Impulse for the mid-2010s

Lucire staff/23.53

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A Lucire special promotion


‘If a man suddenly gives you flowers, that’s Impulse,’ has been one of the most famous catch-phrases of the last generation, since FabergĂ© introduced it in South Africa in the 1970s. Variations on the theme have come and gone, and in 2015, Impulse moves to a new generation with Bambi Northwood-Blyth—one of Lucire’s newsmakers of 2013—and her husband Dan Single, formerly of Ksubi, fronting its latest campaign.
   Northwood-Blyth has been securing campaigns, including fashion label Ba&Sh, because she somehow taps into the Zeitgeist. She also has her own fashion line, B.BAM, and her sense of style and levity have made her more real and endearing to her fans. At Impulse, she joins former Lucire cover girl Zippora Seven and Erin Heatherton and was even placed in charge of the brand’s Instagram for one week.
   The new video, which broke for Valentine’s Day, is not just about the day itself, but embracing love, life and friendship every day. It’s unusual in featuring a real-life married couple who are very much in love, and Northwood-Blyth’s popularity among fashion cognoscenti, plus her social media following, bring it right into the mid-2010s. Gone is the “flowers” theme in favour of the couple on a getaway, and emphasizing that true love isn’t just about that initial “impulse” that drove the original, and perhaps dated advertising. It’s about a real partnership between a couple, in everything they do.
   Like Northwood-Blyth’s other appearances, there is a genuine feel to it, even though the Impulse campaign is more stylized than her own social media, which have shown more behind-the-scenes material. It’s bound to earn her even more fans, while helping to reinvent Impulse as less fanciful, and more part of a real, lasting, romance.


Post sponsored by Unilever

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February 11, 2015

Olga Kurylenko, Nastassja Kinski, Emma Heming-Willis, Lilly zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg celebrate divas at Berlinale

Lucire staff/12.45

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Franziska Krug/Getty Images

Bulgari’s Diva Cinema Night at the Berlinale, the Berlin International Film Festival, on Tuesday celebrated divas past and present with an exclusive party at the Metropolpark in the German capital.
   The event celebrated divas including Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Anita Ekberg and Grace Kelly, and their connection to the world of film. Modern actresses were also celebrated by co-sponsor Bulgari, including Carla Bruni, Jennifer Garner, Sharon Stone, Keira Knightley and Naomi Watts.
   Notable VIPs included Olga Kurylenko, Nastassja Kinski and Lilly zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, as well as Anna Maria Muehe, Julia Dietze, Emma Heming-Willis, Sonja Kerskes, Paz de la Huerta, Sanny van Heteren, Tanja BĂŒlter, Natascha Ochsenknecht, Chiara Schoras, Nicolai Kinski, Ina Paule Klink, Kweku Mandela, Lelio Gavazza, Sandra Mohsni, Natalia Avelon, Shermine Sharivar, and Alessandra Mastronardi.
   With Bulgari, unsirprisingly Elizabeth Taylor’s starring role in Cleopatra, resplendent with jewellery, were among the memories shared during the evening. BMW was the event’s second sponsor, countering the festival’s partnership with rival Audi. DJ Nick Cohen performed at the do, while MoĂ«t & Chandon served champagne.











Franziska Krug/Getty Images

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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 23, 2014

Auckland University Press explores New Zealand cultural identity through poetry

Eleanor Wright/13.13

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Two fantastic works exploring very different aspects of New Zealand culture and identity have come across our desks here at Lucire, from the Auckland University Press.

Puna Wai Kƍrero: an Anthology of Māori Poetry in English
Earlier this year, the first anthology of Maori poetry in English was published featuring a wide collection of prominent Maori poets. Edited by two leading Māori writers and scholars, Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan, who previously edited the award-winning Whetu Moana: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English (winner of a Montana New Zealand Book Award) and Mauri Ola: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English II (finalist in the New Zealand Post Book Awards), Puna Wai Kƍrero offers the most diverse range of Māori voices ever published.
   The poems themselves are organized into chapters featuring short biographies about each writer, providing a richer background to the history of Māori poetry. They combine the traditional forms of oral poetry—including waiata ringaringa, waiata tangi and waiata aroha—with the influence of western poetry and the English written language to create new poetic genres, developing alongside modernist and postmodernist movements. Their assemblage of styles provides a unique perspective on numerous outlooks on life and modes of writing, laments for koro and hopes for mokopuna, celebrations of the land and anger at its abuse, retellings of myth and reclamations of history. The rich ensemble of established writers and exciting newer poets, examines political and social commentaries from early days of contact to the present, from Aotearoa and the wider world.
   This comprehensive anthology presents one hundred and twenty years of poetry written in English by Māori poets. The authentic lineage of each poet enriches the engagement with these poetic forms, Puna Wai Kƍrero traces this past whakapapa and celebrates its present–day strength. This anthology strives to bring together Māori writers and editors and through language and ideas, through stories and shared experiences, this books offers an opportunity for the readers to discover or rediscover what it is to be Māori.

How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes, by Chris Tse
A dĂ©but collection for New Zealand-born Chris Tse delivers a lyrical narrative, focused around the 1905 Wellington murder of Cantonese gold miner Joe Kum Yung by white supremacist Lionel Terry. Tse’s poetry has previously been featured in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies. This collection demonstrates his emotive power of language and creatively striking narrative coherence. This new addition to New Zealand literature offers an expansive collection from a unique cultural and historical perspective.
   Tse’s poetry serves as a vehicle to give a voice to the dead man, by paying respect to the many lives consumed by the crime. Tse uses ‘the year of the snake’—1905—as a symbol to focus the narrative through a moment of culture contact and to consider the time gap between then and now. Tse’s collection provides an emotionally driven occurrence of a cultural and historical event by summoning the ghost of Joe Kum Yung to question justice, empathy and tolerance and how they remain today. The poetic memorial effectively challenges the reader to ponder over who owns the stories, what can we learn from the past and what should we take forward to the future.
   The works are organized around the central narrative of the murder, intertwined with poems focused on contemplating and provoking ideas from the author’s perspective, the perspective of the characters, and the nation as a whole. Tse’s language invites the reader to explore and discover truth and meaning behind this episode and to bring focus to the significance of this tragic event within New Zealand history.—Eleanor Wright

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December 10, 2014

News in brief: Chanel’s Paris–Salzburg collection; Lady Gaga, Eva Longoria in NYC; Anja Rubik launches perfume

Lucire staff/10.59

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Karl Lagerfeld has unveiled the 13th Chanel MĂ©tiers d’Art collection in Salzburg, Austria, recognizing its historical connection with Gabrielle Chanel (she got the inspiration for the Chanel jacket there, at the Hotel Schloss Mittersill, then owned by Baron Hubert von Pantz, with whom she had a fling). Lagerfeld discusses his collection in the video clip below, which showcases the Paris–Salzburg collection, featuring Cara Delevingne, who not only closed the show, but is the face of the collection itself.
   The presentation, at the Leopoldskron chĂąteau, showcased the fine work of the feather-workers, milliners, tuckers and bootmakers. Lagerfeld took inspiration from traditional Austrian clothing, revisiting the dirndls and lederhosen, using loden, tweed, felt, leather and satin cashmere mix, taffeta and lace. Evening dresses featured pin-tucked fronts, frills, pleats and voluminous sleeves.
   â€˜You can take inspiration from the apron, from the sleeves, from all the little details, but you have to forget it all and we do it in a new way,’ said Lagerfeld. ‘The star of Salzburg is about the jacket, but what I like is the craftsmanship, the embroidery with all the feathers. There is an unbelievable craftsmanship in all those clothes: most of the embroidery includes stones and many feathers, it’s like fur, it’s like flying fur. If you look at them closely, it’s quite unbelievable; when you see them or you touch them. So I tried, with beautiful fake pearls, to make interesting pearl jewellery that looks like embroidery. It’s the updated version of what I think it should be, could be, and had to be today.’
   In New York celebrity sightings, Lady Gaga has been spotted wearing the Blake wide-brim hat in oyster felt with pearl trim from Eugenia Kim’s fall 2014 collection last week, while Eva Longoria wore a Ralph & Russo spring–summer 2014 white silk crĂȘpe cap sleeve embellished jacket with structured peplum, pencil skirt and black alligator belt to the ninth annual L’OrĂ©al Women of Worth event.
   L’OrĂ©al Paris notes that Longoria’s look uses True Match liquid foundation in C2 Rose Vanilla, the Volume Million Lashes Excess in Extra Black, Color Riche Le Kajal in 501 Oriental Black, the Super Liner Brow Artist Plumper in medium to dark, and the Elnett Volume Excess hairspray. Blake Lively, very much this year’s L’OrĂ©al Paris celebrity with all the attention she garnered at Cannes, was also at Women of Worth, her look accomplished with True Match in N3 Creamy Beige, the Glam Bronze Powder Duo in 101 Blonde, the Flash Lash Butterfly in Intenza, Txt Wave Creating Spray, and the Nude Rose Color Riche La Palette.

   Polish model Anja Rubik, 31, meanwhile, has released her new perfume, Original. At Colette in Paris, she discusses some of her beauty tips from her career, including using eyelash curlers and moisturizing your skin. Rubik also reveals that Brigitte Bardot is her ‘ultimate beauty’, and rates Charlotte Gainsbourg and Patty Smyth highly.
   The perfume scents are those that have followed her over the years, namely white lilies and green tea, while the black-and-white imagery was inspired by her love of black-and-white photography and the work of Robert Mapplethorpe.
   Carrera y Carrera is going from strength to strength: the Madrid-based luxury jewellery brand has opened a boutique in Macau, as a first beach-head into China. Manuel Carrera, a fourth-generation descendant of the Carrera family who founded the brand, was on hand with CEO Svetlana Kupriyanova.
   Finally, in the main part of our site, travel editor Stanley Moss fits museums and great food into 48 hours in Torino, while publisher Jack Yan tests the BMW X1 Sdrive18d—readers might like the title.


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October 24, 2014

H&M celebrates 10 years of designer collaborations with new book launching November 6

Lucire staff/13.58

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Time has flown: it has been 10 years since Hennes & Mauritz began its designer collaborations, the first with Karl Lagerfeld.
   The company will release a book, The First Ten Years, coinciding with its Alexander Wang x H&M launch on November 6.
   At the time, Lucire called it a move toward ‘attainable luxury': that even at a budget price, customers deserved to look good. It was a move toward democratization, something that had been seen en masse with technology, extended to fashion.
   The first Karl Lagerfeld for H&M collection prompted the designer to say, ‘Taste and looking chic is no longer a question of money or how you spend, but how you create a unique sense of style.’
   H&M’s collaborators have included Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Viktor & Rolf, Roberto Cavalli, Commes des Garcons, Matthew Williamson, Jimmy Choo, Sonia Rykiel, Lanvin, Versace, Marni, Maison Martin Margiela, Isabel Marant and Alexander Wang.
   The book features imagery from all designers, and will retail for US$34·95, available through select H&M stores in the US. A quarter of the cover price will go to Unicef.
   H&M will begin its celebration with a design retrospective at its flagship 589 Fifth Avenue, New York City store on October 27, with looks from each past designer.
   The store will showcase a new look from the Alexander Wang x H&M collection each day by way of preview.

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October 21, 2014

Fashion design legend Oscar de la Renta passes away

Lucire staff/17.18

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Above The image of Oscar de la Renta used by his company today to signal his passing.

Oscar de la Renta has passed away at his home in Kent, Conn., aged 82 after a six-year battle with cancer, his family has confirmed.
   De la Renta had only appointed his successor, Peter Copping, earlier this month, with little public sign of his long fight with his condition.
   De la Renta was born in the Dominican Republic, which has announced that it will hold a day of mourning in his honour on Wednesday.
   He went to Madrid to study art but wound up in fashion, working first as an apprentice with CristĂłbal Balenciaga, and joined Elizabeth Arden and Jane Derby, before setting up his own label in New York in 1965. Between 1993 and 2002, he designed Balmain’s haute couture collections.
   His designs showed a classic, feminine sensibility, and was a mainstay of New York Fashion Week for decades. He had dressed US first ladies from Jacqueline Kennedy to Michelle Obama, and, most recently, Amal Alamuddin for her wedding to George Clooney. Former US first daughter Jenna Bush wore Oscar de la Renta on her wedding day.
   De la Renta, in this publication’s experience, never played favourites, and provided access to fashion magazines based on merit rather than circulation numbers.
   He had served as president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America from 1973 to 1976, then from 1986 to 1988, and received the Gold Medal of Bellas Artes and La Gran Cruz de la Orden del MĂ©rito Civil from Spain and the LĂ©gion d’honneur from France.
   He is survived by his wife Annette.

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