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April 17, 2014

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Coppélia expertly executed at every level

Jack Yan/13.46


Royal New Zealand Ballet


Evan Li/Royal New Zealand Ballet

Top A publicity photograph from the Royal New Zealand Ballet for Coppélia, with Swanhilda, Franz and Coppélia. Above Kohei Iwamato as Franz and Lucy Green as Swanhilda from the première.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Coppélia, which opened in Wellington on Thursday, is a lovingly designed and staged production that will suit family audiences.
   Set in a mountain village in Hungary, the RNZB’s production of Coppélia retains its well known storyline and period setting, with beautiful sets and costumes. The work of the late, award-winning designer Kristian Fredrikson is particularly poignant in the second act, inside Dr Coppelius’s house, where his seven very distinctive automatons, as well as Coppélia, rest. Two incomplete mannequins hung from the top. The third act, with the wedding scene, is another testament to Fredrikson’s design ability, evident through the villagers’ and Franz and Swanhilda’s wedding costumes. Jason Morphett’s lighting lifted the story, making it easy to follow—and it was the second act, too, with its moody atmosphere, where his work shone.
   Martin Vedel, ballet master on Coppélia, stayed true to the core of the story, with classical and folkloric dances playing out the plot. The energetic divertissements in the third act were perfectly performed. Vedel was, according to his notes, aware of the pre-modern, romantic period in which Coppélia was created, and sought to retain its beauty, but tightened up the storyline and more clearly portrayed Dr Coppelius—performed by Sir Jon Trimmer, who first danced it for the RNZB in 1964—as a social outcast.
   The 21st-century touches are, then, in the theatrics of the performance rather than the look and feel, although the limbless, faceless automaton, beautifully performed by Paul Mathews, could feel at home in science fiction to modern audiences.
   One cannot help but smile at the performances—after all, Coppélia is a happy, comedic ballet, and we noticed that the children on opening night enjoyed it as much as the adults. Lucy Green and Kohei Iwamoto were the well cast leads tonight, as Swanhilda and Franz respectively, dancing their roles expertly—and deservedly receiving standing ovations from some of the audience. Unsurprisingly, Sir Jon received similar acclaim, and Joseph Skelton as Zoltan, both in his emphatic solo and his dance with Katherine Grange as Ima, brought immediate reactions as well as loud applause at the end.
   Orchestra Wellington faithfully performed the Léo Delibes score.
   After Wellington, Coppélia tours to to Palmerston North, Invercargill, Dunedin, Napier, Rotorua, Takapuna, and Auckland, with the season ending on May 31 inclusive. Further information on dates and venues, as well as booking, can be found at the RNZB website.Jack Yan, Publisher

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March 23, 2014

Former Miss Universe New Zealand titleholders feature in upcoming Lucire editorial

Lucire staff/23.20



Two former Miss Universe New Zealand titleholders will appear in an upcoming feature in the printed edition of Lucire, with New York-based photographer Jon Moe travelling to Los Angeles to capture the pair for the magazine.
   Laural Barrett (2007) and Samantha Lochhead (née Powell, 2008) both live in the LA area, with Barrett pursuing her musical career and Lochhead recently arriving with her husband, footballer Tony Lochhead.
   In addition to Moe, the crew consisted of Jamie Dorman on make-up, Carina Tafulu stepping in at the eleventh hour for hair, Lei Phillips on styling (assisted by Janice Gonzalez). The venue, Riviera 31, is a cocktail lounge at the Sofitel luxury hotel in West Hollywood, arranged through Pivotal PR.
   Lucire publisher Jack Yan and fashion editor Sopheak Seng guided and coordinated from head office in New Zealand, with the aid of US west coast editor Elyse Glickman.
   The current issue, no. 32, is on sale now and features a cover shot by Claire Harrison in the UK.
   Entries are open, meanwhile, for Miss Universe New Zealand 2014, after the new consortium put the event back on television in New Zealand after two decades.




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January 30, 2014

Elin Kling goes “one” with Oriflame, just as Stefan Engeseth might suggest

Jack Yan/4.01


Oriflame

Our good friend Stefan Engeseth, author of Detective Marketing, Sharkonomics and One: a Consumer Revolution for Business, recently gave a presentation to Oriflame, the Luxembourgeois cosmetics’ group.
   Engeseth usually styles One in all capitals—he has done ever since his book came out in 2006, and frequently gives presentations based around his titles. In our work for a related company to Lucire, we have espoused this title a lot, too, in our dealings, and credited Engeseth accordingly.
   So it was quite fascinating to see Oriflame since come out with a new campaign, called The One, with the second word also in all caps, in the wake of the presentation. And it’s used another Swede to promote it: Elin Kling.
   It makes sense. Engeseth’s One can be summarized thus: forget “them and us” when it comes to consumer relations, and try to be on the same side as your customer. Learn about what matters to them, and side with them. That helps build engagement and loyalty, and those are the drivers of your business performance in the 21st century.
   The information that has come out of Resumé, Sweden’s leading advertising and marketing newspaper, mirrors the Engeseth One approach.
   Oriflame is gearing up to the largest launch in its history and Kling becomes its main ambassador. The concept behind The One: a group of influential trend-setters who are linked to the launch of a new make-up brand of the same name.
   Kling has spent years building up her blog to be one of the most successful worldwide and often takes the stance of being “one” with her readers. It’s a formula that many other bloggers use, and it has come naturally as the blogosphere developed. Companies have seen fit to use these connections in the latter part of the previous decade. Kling has been the face of other campaigns where there is a formal agreement for a blogger to be a spokesperson.
   Her own magazine launched on the basis of the strong loyalty she had from her blog.
   She stated in a release, ‘It is an honour to be the global ambassador for Oriflame, a company that I really admire for its values and knowledge in beauty. I look forward to inspire Oriflame customers worldwide by sharing with you my creativity and expertise.’
   In other words, if you follow her already, either online or through her publication, you can feel “one” with her and—the theory goes—see Oriflame as a beauty brand that’s already on your side.
   If it is as good as the manufacturers claim, that’s a positive thing. It’s also a good way to battle some of the larger budgets Oriflame might encounter, and they are betting a lot on this one which appears to engage social media. It could be just right for the mid-2010s.—Jack Yan, Publisher


Above Author Stefan Engeseth photographed in New Zealand.

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January 24, 2014

Lucire’s Instagram round-up, January 24

Lucire staff/11.13

Kicking off this week’s most interesting and stylish Instagrams is Australian blogger Sara Donaldson of Harper & Harley, photographed by Ana Suntay-Tañedo. Finding the ideal outfit for summer work and socializing is a toughie, especially with the longer days—so to solve this, Donaldson has chosen an ensemble of a Zimmermann dress, Windsor Smith sandles and a Givenchy bag, encapsulating the season’s look well.
   But it’s not summer everywhere. Kristina Bazan of Swiss blog Kayture headed to Paris to shoot a fine jewellery video for Love Gold, and she is snapped outside Chanel at the Place de la Vendôme. The look’s spot on, with the Chanel umbrella, but it’s the pairing of a black coat with stonewashed skinny jeans that’s particularly chic for the cool, zero-degree temperatures in the French capital. (You can see more of the Love Gold shoot on Bazan’s blog.)
   On the subject of black coats, our own Instagram shows the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s principal guest artist Gillian Murphy trying on a Tamsin Cooper coat, especially designed for her. Murphy liked the elegance and practicality of the coat and picked it over two others that Cooper had brought up. Cut at knee length, it’s ideal for this winter.
   The black-and-white trend is really emerging this week. Judged the most influential blogger of the year, Kenza Zouiten has shown off her outfit for the Elle-galan (the Swedish edition of Elle had a gala earlier this month). You can see Zouiten’s own photos in a larger format—she wears a stunning dress by Ida Sjöstedt with a clutch by Malene Birger, and pulls the look off immaculately.
   And coming back to summer, our own fashion editor Sopheak Seng successfully styles with black and white stripes for the races, as he dressed models for the Wellington Cup’s barrier announcement on Wednesday. Taken behind the scenes is one of his models, from Kirsty Bunny Management, wearing Deryn Schmidt, available at Kirkcaldie & Stains.
   While our own Anna Deans is away today, we thought we’d cheekily check in to her ’Gram to see her latest hairstyle, which she posted during the week. It’s inspired by Brigitte Bardot—and she means the youthful French icon rather than the right-wing activist. Australian model Miranda Kerr, meanwhile, has shown off her make-up by Lisa Storey and hair by David Keough, both of Los Angeles, with bright lips and the apples of her cheeks highlighted—skilfully. Both these images, and some of the others that are coming through from cosmetics’ companies, are indicative of a more purposeful make-up look in the Zeitgeist over the natural face.
   Doutzen Kroes, meanwhile, has gone on her Instagram to promote the Victoria’s Secret Sport line, which she also promoted in person last week in Florida. It’s a bit of fitspo this week to get you pumped for the weekend!

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January 23, 2014

The Royal New Zealand Ballet heads on US tour, accompanied by Tamsin Cooper’s fashion

Jack Yan/10.59


Jack Yan

Above Gillian Murphy and Tamsin Cooper, with Murphy donning her choice of coat for her tour, created especially for her. The pattern is an adaptation of the one Cooper created for the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s 60th anniversary.

From January 31, the Royal New Zealand Ballet will go on tour in the US, performing in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Minneapolis, and New York. The Californians will get to see the company perform its acclaimed production of Giselle, with Angelinos enjoying it with a live orchestra; while Minneapolitans and New Yorkers have a mixed programme: 28 Variations on a Theme of Paganini by Benjamin Millepied, Little Improvisations by Antony Tudor, Banderillero by Javier de Frutos, and Bier Halle pas de deux by Ethan Stiefel, in the midwest; and 28 Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Of Days by Andrew Simmons, and Banderillero, in the Big Apple.
   Designer Tamsin Cooper, who has collaborated with the Royal New Zealand Ballet over the last several years, has created limited editions commemorating the tour, which she showed at the company’s premises today. It builds on one that celebrated the RNZB’s 60th anniversary last year.
   Gifted to some of the dancers were a mixture of bags, some from her regular range, while the fancier, beaded designs were from her 60th anniversary one, though in different colours to those at last year’s ID Dunedin Fashion Show. Only black and white ones were shown then, to tie in with the Black Swan and White Swan in the RNZB’s 60th anniversary presentation of Swan Lake.
   Her pièces de résistance, however, were limited-edition designs created especially for the RNZB’s principal guest artist, Gillian Murphy. Three Tamsin Cooper coats were especially made for Murphy, and the dancer modelled each before deciding on the one she would take to the US.
   South Carolina-born Murphy was looking forward to her tour, to ‘sharing a great company with an American audience. Everyone is curious about the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and is excited to see it,’ she says.
   The Royal New Zealand Ballet is ‘off-the-radar and the tour will elevate the profile. I feel they are going to be impressed.’
   Murphy is no stranger to Los Angeles or New York, having danced in both cities, and having lived in New York for half her lifetime—she had moved there when she was 17.
   She stresses that this is the first time the RNZB version of Giselle has been performed Stateside, so Californians will be in for a treat.
   Her family will attend, with her parents flying from Virginia to Los Angeles for Giselle, while her sister will see her in New York.
   Ethan Stiefel, artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Murphy’s fiancé, has family from Wisconsin who will attend the Minneapolis performance.
   The tour begins January 31 and concludes February 16.—Jack Yan, Publisher

Los Angeles
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, LA Music Center
January 31–February 2

Santa Barbara
Granada Theater, University of California
February 5

Minneapolis
Orpheum Theater
February 8

New York
The Joyce Theater
February 12–16

Publisher’s note: If you want to enjoy more ballet-related content, head over to our serialization of Stanley Moss’s novel, The Crimson Garter.—JY


Jack Yan


Christine Min

Top Gillian Murphy checks out Tamsin Cooper’s bags. Above Tamsin Cooper.






Christine Min

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January 18, 2014

Behind the Lucire 2014 redesign, and a features’ round-up

Jack Yan/13.31


Surface Too Deep

Top A promotional image from Surface Too Deep. The model on the left is reading Lucire. It’s a better photo than we could have come up with to promote ourselves. Above Lucire’s new look for the web edition’s news pages for 2014.

You may have noticed we’ve continued to do some housekeeping around the place. Our web news pages now sport a new look for 2014, following on from the facelifted home page. We’re still finding our feet a little with the image sizes, but we should settle into things by the lunar New Year.
   You’d never guess, but getting the new search button at the top of the page, as well as having DuckDuckGo handle our searches, took around an hour. (This switch means we will have no record of what you searched for. In the last 10 years, we knew which keywords were used, but we never bothered looking beyond that. With people increasingly concerned about online privacy, DuckDuckGo is a search engine that doesn’t leak anything to the NSA et al, for the simple reason that it doesn’t keep any search records.) The new footer took an hour and a half. And creating the template for these pages and making sure they worked took around 11 hours. The comment system is now driven by Disqus across the entire Lucire site, not just the features. We also switched from Feedburner for the daily email newsletters to Feedblitz, since there may have been a bug that saw Feedburner deliver the wrong news. We wanted to be safe rather than sorry.
   However, we hope you like it, although if you’re browsing on a cellphone and some mobile devices, you should be seeing a reduced version of these pages as before.
   There have also been new articles on the main part of the website. Elyse Glickman checked out Düsseldorf in her ‘Volante’ feature (the first of three in Germany)—the first article to get the new look. Next up was Stanley Moss, writing as Lovejoy, with our serialization of his novel The Crimson Garter.
   It’s a departure for us to feature fiction, though readers may remember a few road tests by yours truly where I aped the style of another author—my Aston Martin V8 Vantage review was linked and even posted on a forum at the time. However, Stanley’s novel is so compelling it bears the hallmarks of many great Lucire travel stories (many of which were penned by him), and it covers subjects that are familiar to readers. Plus, you can also check out some of the places covered through the related links at the bottom of the page. The icing on the cake is that The Crimson Garter is a really good yarn. The first two chapters are up now, and we’ll add more regularly. Since many of you get into novels over summer, it seems to be an ideal time to serialize his novel. You can also order the whole thing if you want to read ahead—click through and there are links to Kobobooks and Amazon to the right of the title.
   In case you missed the features, Lola Saab has the low-down for spring 2014 from New York; Tamara Madison interviewed Alexandra von Bromssen; and Anna Deans looks at Lindex’s latest campaign with Matthew Williamson and Karlie Kloss. There were also two looks back at 2013: our news-makers, and my personal review of the year.
   Finally, though certainly not least, we have to give props to swimwear label Surface Too Deep for the great photograph above. The model on the left is reading Lucire. The model on the right has put down another title. I think it says it all: the print editions of Lucire, as we regularly hear from readers, truly engage you from cover to cover.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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December 28, 2013

Ready for ’14: a new look for Lucire’s home page

Jack Yan/11.04



Above Out with the old, in with the new—with J-Law doing the honours as the first cover girl of the new look. (It was Kylie Minogue a year ago.)

Our home page has had a nip–tuck today. Well, it’s closer to a full redesign.
   During 2013, there seems to have been a trend toward longer and longer web pages, probably thanks to mobile devices and tablets, and our ease of “swiping”.
   This has changed the way we consume web publications, although the new design breaks a few rules that were de rigueur when we started in 1997.
   If you head there today, you’ll see a more impressive, “bled” home page image (Jennifer Lawrence is the ideal person to kick this off—especially if you read my ‘Newsmakers of 2013’ story) but the menu bar isn’t where you expect it to be.
   We still haven’t quite got there in terms of making the page perfect for lower resolutions—some images still don’t resize properly—but we will make these corrections through 2014.
   One of our advertisers, Vidal Sassoon, was arguably the inspiration behind the new look. While we can’t be quite as fancy—a magazine must still present easily digestible facts first, and dazzle with new products second—we began rethinking how Lucire should look. We also felt, that with how quickly blogs had caught up with magazine-style layouts, we had to differentiate ourselves again.
   It’s interesting to note that the last redesign for Lucire’s home page took place around this time last year—and at the time, we all thought the new look would last us for a couple of years (as most have). It’s the shortest stint of any home-page look Lucire has had in its 16-year history.
   Internally, we feel the new look is closer to that of the print editions of Lucire, which only makes sense. Each should reinforce the other.
   We’ll phase in the new look, as we want to wait to get your feedback.
   I mentioned my ‘Newsmakers’ story earlier. Click through here and see if you agree with our team’s top six for 2013. We didn’t include Miley.
   Have a wonderful 2014, and please let us know your thoughts on the redesign in the comments or via our social media presences (we’ve had a few positive ones on our Facebook group and our Facebook page).—Jack Yan, Publisher

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December 20, 2013

Lucire’s Instagram round-up, December 20

Anna Deans/11.09

This week’s stylish Instagram moments include the absolutely stunning supermodel and former Victoria’s Secret “Angel” Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. This shot shows Rosie looking like a 1960s bombshell with big hair, winged lashes and a vixen-like expression: this look really suits her! Another awesome make-up look this week is from Miroslava Duma, who has become a regular in my Instagram fashion round-ups. Fashion writer Miroslava looks effortlessly chic and radiant in a tan sweater with a wavy bob, glowing skin and wine-red lips.
   My mani-gram this week is off DJ Bip Ling’s Instagram. I have never been a fan of square nails until now—I’m really getting behind these ones, and they look awesome! And in a fabulous powder-pink tone, no less.
   Aussie clothing label Friend of Mine posted a vintage pic of Drew Barrymore. The ’90s shot shows Drew looking funky and truly bangin’ in a black bra with a chunky cross necklace showing off her body. Her smile here is the real winner though, so beautiful and natural. Speaking of beautiful, this week, the Olsen twins’ label, the Row, posted a once-again vintage image from photographer Richard Avedon. The pic shows the model in a ’60s-type pose with a dramatic-sculpted floral dress.
   One of my girl-crushes, actress Mila Kunis, posts a pic of herself this week looking utterly stylish in double denim. Mila pairs this with a smoky-eye, a slim gold bracelet and an indie-style black hat. Another stylish lady is shot by Australia’s Lover the Label. The mystery lady wears Lover’s limited-edition recut of the Rosebud Halter Dress—I want one!
   My Instagram pic this week is shot on Lucire publisher Jack Yan’s deck. I’m very casual in Dutch label Nanushka boxer shorts, a vintage grey marle T, my usual jewellery, OPI classic red nails and, finally, January 6 plaforms (January 6 is Aussie shoe label Beau Coops’ diffusion range). And that’s a wrap!—Anna Deans

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