Lucire: News


May 22, 2015

Superb and deeply meaningful: the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Salute: Remembering WW1 impresses

Jack Yan/12.27

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Ross Brown

Above Dancer Joseph Skelton in the core image used for Salute: Remembering WW1.

Three years in the planning, the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Salute: Remembering WW1 commemorated the Great War in a memorable, respectful, and meaningful way, with a mixed programme that saw two world premières tonight.
   Gareth Farr’s specially commissioned score for Andrew Simmons’ Dear Horizon opened proceedings, with what could be described as a cinematic theme with a strong melodic base as the action unfolded on stage. Tracy Grant Lord’s backdrop, of barbed wire barriers used in World War I, loomed over dancers lying on the stage, as a lone ballerino walked among them. Lighting came on gradually, Jason Morphett’s design using shadows and darkness to build tension. This sombre start gave way to a beautiful, haunting and contemporary choreography, with an underlying bleakness, as Simmons highlighted the loss suffered in war. Costumes were grey, further emphasizing the sense of despair and focusing us on the dancers’ movements. The solo cello by Rolf Gjelsten gave a sense of minimalism that contrasted other elements of the brassy, powerful Farr score. While composed for the ballet, and only complete with the action, it’s not hard to imagine the work released on its own for lovers of ballet and cinematic scores.
   An all-male cast of twelve followed in Soldiers’ Mass. The genius behind Jiří Kylián’s choreography was how it conveyed emotion: a highly energetic and graceful ballet where the dancers move in a unified way, into battle constantly, pulling each other from the front and yet, still confronting, then falling to, the enemy. The score, by Bohuslav Martinů, set to the text by Jiří Mucha, was played back, and one scene sees the men lip-synching proudly to the Czech lyrics, yet with a sense of what they knew would follow. The ballet finishes as it started, with 12 backs to us, each dancer dropping his shirt in another representation of death as well as the annexation of the Sudentenland by Hitler in World War II. Shirtless ballerinos, incidentally, seemed to elicit greater applause from the audience as they took their bows. This restaging was by Roslyn Anderson, who had helmed the 1998 RNZB production of Soldiers’ Mass, with lighting design by Kees Tjebbes.
   After the interval, Johan Kobborg’s Salute injected comedic moments into a classical ballet, set to the score by nineteenth-century composer Hans Christian Lumbye. It saw the return of live music after the recording in Soldiers’ Mass, performed by the New Zealand Army Band. These skilful musicians adapted themselves easily to the lighter atmosphere, with Sgts Riwai Hina and David Fiu, and Pvts Joseph Thomas and Tom Baker rearranging Lumbye’s music to the Band. Natalia Stewart’s costumes (jackets with epaulettes for the men, red peplums and plenty of tulle for the women) shone on stage in a very cheerful ballet involving different sets of dancers, highlighting different aspects of love, from shyness and confusion to overconfidence and partnership; as well as the inevitable farewells as men went off to war.
   The battle vignette, with the General leading the charge, was equally enjoyable, interspersed with the long waits the women endured back home, before the conclusion as the soldiers returned home. Created for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2010, Kobborg intended it to be a reflection of what happens when young people come together; the RNZB dancers showed their expressiveness in a ballet that injected a light-heartedness to the evening. Salute was staged by Florica Stanescu, with Morphett again behind the lighting design, with a brightness and cheer in contrast to his earlier work.
   While the RNZB often picks the cheery production number to end on, it chose Neil Ieremia’s Passchendaele, a world première, which gave this reviewer initial fears that the infamous battle would leave audiences on a down note. The fear was unfounded, because of the scale of Ieremia’s ballet, involving 19 dancers, and the superb execution in dance of this tragic battle, notable for being the day on which more New Zealanders had died or had been wounded than on any other day. Dwayne Bloomfield, formerly of the New Zealand Army Band, composed the score, which the band performed: the moments of martial music signalled the flawed advance by the New Zealand Division under Gen Haig. The dancers moved with great pace at times, in groups, on- and off-stage, representing the power of the soldiers and artillery, through impossible conditions. At other moments they recalled memories of home, contrasting with the loss that families suffered. Geoff Tune’s backdrops, in red and black, signified the blood on the battlefields, and his first one hinted at skulls, shifting gradually to other scenes of burned trees and desolation. The end of Passchendaele was chilling, after the soldiers each fell, their loved ones releasing them, as knocks were heard around the St James, representing the messenger bringing home to 845 New Zealand families the worst news they could receive.
   Ieremia was ingenious in how his choreography brought so much emotion and energy to the performance that the house was left in admiration. The message was indeed cautionary, telling us about the human tragedies of war, but the RNZB and the NZAB brought it to life with such conviction that Passchendaele received the greatest applause of the evening. It was a high note after all, but one that was more absorbing. Salute: Remembering WW1 is a superb programme, and a fresh way of appreciating the messages in the ongoing centenary commemorations of New Zealanders fighting ‘the war to end all wars.’—Jack Yan, Publisher

Salute has been supported by the Lottery Grants Board, New Zealand Defence Force, Qantas, the Göthe-Institut, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, national sponsor Vodafone, and Pub Charity. Dates are May 22–4 in Wellington; May 28–30 in Christchurch; June 3 in Dunedin; June 10 in Hamilton; June 13 in Takapuna; June 17–20 in Auckland; and June 24–5 in Napier. The Royal Ballet will feature the UK première of Passchendaele in November. Further information can be found on the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s website at

May 18, 2015

Karst is the New Zealand School of Dance’s most innovative season yet

Jack Yan/13.09

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Stephen A’Court

Top New Zealand School of Dance third-year contemporary students. Above Latisha Sparks, William Keohavong and Jadyn Burt.

The New Zealand School of Dance always puts on a stellar performance, especially with its final-year class, but Karst, its Choreographic Season for 2015, adds some unexpected and welcome twists, and puts audience members into the performance, at least during the first half.
   Arriving at Te Whaea, you’re aware something is different: instead of the waiting area that you’re accustomed to, there’s blackness. The auditorium, meanwhile, has become the new waiting area, with TV screens showing the final-year students’ faces in the centre, and the tables moved within. As the show started, we were escorted to the catwalk above the plaza, where the show takes place.
   Wind over Sand (See below) gives you a different perspective as we viewed this from above, or on the stairwell, and there was some getting used to seeing a performance while standing. However, this didn’t detract from the enjoyment at all, and, as it turned out, Wind over Sand was simply a prelude to the cleverer and more entertaining numbers that were to follow. Audience members in wheelchairs were wheeled to ground level and watched from there, but would have had the same appreciation we did.
   Felix Sampson, one of the class of ’15, motioned us comically to come down from the stairs, surrounding the stage, where Jadyn Burt danced to Exhibit: J, using a single box as her prop, positioning herself on each side as she explored it.
   Seated at what would be our vantage points for the rest of the evening, Samuel Hall and Jag Popham began their number stood at different corners of the set, one motioning ever frantically while the other stood still. Without Regard contrasted movements and styles as the pair moved closer on stage.
   Another seamless segue, as bright lights shone from the end of the building, and we were into Volume, set to Planningtorock’s ‘Public Love’, with the notes asking, ‘If you could live in that place every day? Think of the possibilities.’ But, like some of the performances in Karst, those possibilities had a catch, the choreography signalling the old adage of, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ (Manifest) the Subliminal, similarly, strikes at the idea of balance, with backgrounds moving, essentially reiterating that the universe is structured the way it is for a reason. Upset that balance, and there is chaos. Loscil’s ‘Esturine’, with its repetitive rhythms and crackles contributed to an airy, almost lonely effect.
   Fragile Mortalities was the first number that blended visual effects as each dancer brought out a television screen with their face on it, looking cheerful, yet each began revealing their insecurities more and more, performing their internal collapses. In a similar world of paranoia, You Are My, set to the Harry Roy arrangement of ‘You Are My Sunshine’ saw cheer erupt each time the music started, but the despair soon strikes one dancer, then more and more, in different forms; words displayed at the back of the set disintegrated from hopeful to hopeless. At this point, one wondered if this reflected concerns students had about their lives in 2015; after all, who are better insights into the Zeitgeist, and more focused on the future than those who have settled in their careers?
   The 79 Bonnie Special brought the mood up slightly with the background video showing what appeared to be an old cassette-recorded programme. A tribute to New Zealand singer Connan Mockasin, using his song ‘Do I Make You Feel Shy?’, this was a comedic take, with Georgia Rudd donning a silk gown and shades, and lip-synching into a microphone, perhaps telling a tale of fleeting fame and the low-rent world that some inhabit, thinking they are on the A-list. Again, it seemed to be on the pulse of where popular culture is, in what might be deemed a post-reality-show world. Such shows still air, but in terms of the cycle, are they beyond maturity?
   Unfortunate Help, with Jessica Newman and Latisha Sparks in the main roles, see the dancers together with lengthy cardboard tubes, but pulled apart, others’ attempts at rejoining failing to unite the pair, who also fall into their darkness. At its end, Rowan Rossi emerges on stage, curious about the state of affairs, and we hear Sampson utter complete sentences for the first time, beckoning others to go as he and Rossi begin Only in Istanbul. Sampson narrates the piece, joking about Rossi and providing personal details about him, and the two come to dance in unison. Only in Istanbul is described as ‘A rigmarole’ in the programme notes, and the description fits: the movements are expert, but the story culminates in ‘Istanbul, Not Constantinople’ and the entire cast reemerges for Absent Ritual, a number that leaves Karst on an upbeat, positive note.
   Te Aihe Butler’s music, which is at the fore in Absent Ritual, actually comes through in many of the numbers, and is the effective, unseen uniting force behind Karst. It deserves special mention.
   Taken together, one does have to ask: where are society and culture today? Are we in times where we are leaving some of our citizens behind? What is the value of fame if it lacks fulfilment? If the students, who choreographed the works, are forcing us to ask these questions, then they have succeeded.
   The season is directed by Victoria Colombus, an NZSD graduate, and is the most innovative Lucire has reviewed at the venue. Colombus rightly used the space to great effect, and we hope that there will be future performances there. Removed from the traditional shape of the auditorium, the students made very effective use of their new stage, and the architectural structure helped give a scale beyond what the auditorium offers.
   Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School students worked on the lighting, which also showed a youthful passion combined with professionalism, while Donna Jefferis’s costumes were the icing on the cake.
   The season runs at Te Whaea in Newtown, Wellington, till May 23, with tickets from NZ$12 to NZ$23. Bookings are available at—Jack Yan, Publisher

May 1, 2015

It’s full circle for back to its origins in fashion retail

Jack Yan/14.17

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Top Earlier today, attempting to get into meant a virus warning—the only trace of this curiosity is in the web history. Above is back, with a note that it will be transforming into an e-tail site.

If there’s one constant in fashion, it’s change. The other one, which we notice thanks to a number of our team being well schooled on fashion history, is that trends always return, albeit in modified form. Both have come into play with, which announced earlier this week that it would become an ecommerce site.
   When Lucire started, we linked to, but it wasn’t in our fashion magazines’ directory. It was, instead, in our shopping guide.
   In 2000, that all changed, and it began appearing under our fashion magazine links, where it was until today. An attempt to log in to the home page was met by a virus warning, preventing us from going further. We figured that this was part of the transformation of the website as it readied itself for the next era, discouraging people from peering. However, having had these warnings splashed across our own pages two years ago courtesy of Google’s faulty bot, when our site was in fact clean, there was a part of us taking it with a grain of salt. In either case, given the impending change, it was probably the right time to remove the link.
   This evening, is back and virus-free, with an overlay graphic announcing that the website will be changing. Plenty of our media colleagues have analysed the closure over the past week: the Murdoch Press has gossiped about how the layoffs were announced, WWD suggests editor-in-chief Dirk Standen didn’t know it was coming, based on rumours, while Fashionista puts it all into context by analysing just where ecommerce is within the fashion sector, and that content should be the answer over clothing sales.
   What is interesting is no one that we’ve spotted has mentioned how the domain name (we’ve carefully noted it in lowercase there) has effectively come full circle. Perhaps we really are in the age of Wikipedia-based research, as this fact is not mentioned there at all.
   When Lucire launched in 1997, was the website for Express Style, later more prominently, and simply, branded Express, a US fashion retailer. It’s not hard to imagine that had Express remained at the URL, it would have become an e-tailer; it has, after all, made the move into ecommerce at its present home, Like a fashion trend that comes back two decades later, has gone back to its roots: by the autumn it’ll be e-tailing.
   The omission from the above paragraph is the sale of the domain name by Express to Condé Nast in the late 1990s. We never completely understood the need to start a new brand to be the US home of Vogue and W; for many  years, typing into the browser in the US would take one automatically to Then, somewhere along the line, Condé Nast decided that should be the online home of Vogue after all.
   But having made the decision to forge ahead with, Condé Nast did it with a lot of resources, and took its site to number one among print fashion magazine web presences in a remarkably short space of time. It devoted plenty of resources to it, and it’s thanks to that certain things that were once frowned upon—e.g. showing off catwalk collections after the show—became acceptable. Designers used to enjoy the fact that we and Elle US delayed online coverage, the belief being that the delay ensured that pirates could not copy their designs and beat them to the high street.
   To get itself known, Condé Nast bought advertising at fashion websites that were better known, including this one (yes, in 2000 that really was the case), at a time when online advertising cost considerably more than it does today.
   The muscle from the best known name in fashion publishing changed the way the media interacted with readers. Designers figured that if they wanted coverage, they would have to accept that their work would be shown nearly instantly. We became used to that idea, so much so that we now have to show the catwalk videos live in the 2010s.
   In some ways, the change makes sense: we’re talking about an Alexa rank in the 4,000s, which translates to plenty of traffic. The name is known, and most shoppers will make some association with Vogue. The official word is that Franck Zayan, formerly head of ecommerce for Galeries Lafayette, will helm the revised website, and he’s reporting that brands are coming on board rapidly.
   One shouldn’t mourn the loss of as a fashion news portal, since the content we’re all used to is bound to appear at Vogue. And in all the years we had it in our magazines’ directory, it was listed under our Vogue entry anyway. We await the new site to see what Condé Nast will do with it, and it may yet return to the spot where it once was in the 20th century, in the shopping guide.—Jack Yan, Publisher

April 14, 2015

Goodness and Noa Noa welcome the winter blues

Lucire staff/5.56

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Nikita Brown Photography

When the scene gets quiet, you can always trust our own fashion and beauty editor, Sopheak Seng, to helm a show to get things buzzing again. In collaboration with Goodness, which was the first out of the gate at a two-label show at Caffè l’Affaré last Thursday, Wellington fashionistas and guests escaped the first wintry blasts for one of the more memorable social events on the calendar.
   Goodness’s Chris Hales, whose boutiques have been selling fashionable and sometimes harder-to-find independent designers for some time, launched her own range to complement the likes of Loobie’s Story, Kowtow, Nyne and Deborah Sweeney some time ago, but this was the first catwalk outing that Lucire witnessed. And she understands her customer well: casual separates, paired in unexpected ways, tapping in to the floral trend that’s been forecast for autumn–winter 2015. Taupe and olive similarly conveyed the winter vibe, right on time for the colder months Down Under.
   The second half of the show, styled by Lucire’s Sopheak Seng, showcased Danish label Noa Noa, with a winter collection ‘inspired by the tapestry of life,’ says Seng. Trawling through the markets in France to the bazaars in Marrakech—not unlike our last few print editions, then—the eclectic collection saw masculine lines meeting feminine fabrications, tied with the first half of the show through floral motifs in forest green, Moroccan blue, and tawny red. Sunglasses were donned by each of the models, resplendent in jackets and coats, looking cool as they wandered down the catwalk, much as the designers would have wandered through those bazaars.
   Live music from Ophelia, the indie folk–dubstep duo of Patrick Shanahan and Alex Louise, served as the unique soundtrack to both shows, cranking up the non-mainstream vibe of the show, while in the café, itself one of the trendy spots of the capital, sponsors served up Triple Rock vodka (the jaffa and liquorice varieties were very memorable), Colombo wines, Moa cider, and l’Affarè coffee itself. Clinique did the make-up, Chop created the hair looks using Kevin Murphy, and Rydges were credited with their support for the band. Shoes were from Shoe Connection. Finally, Gazley’s support was very evident with four stylish Alfa Romeo Giuliettas parked outside and a MiTo on the catwalk, upping the Euro credentials with Italian chic. The blue lights shining on the walls surrounding the catwalk served to remind us that one can, indeed, stay warm with the winter blues!

Nikita Brown Photography


Nikita Brown Photography

The Scene

Nikita Brown Photography

February 20, 2015

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York fall–winter 2015–16, days 6 and 7: glamour and soft palettes

Lucire staff/23.16

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Dan Lecca

Above Lie Sangbong’s autumn–winter 2015–16 looks, which also feature in Lola Cristall’s forthcoming New York report.

Our final clips before Lola Cristall’s Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week report for the fall–winter 2015–16 collections are below, with videos from Michael Kors, Jenny Packham, Zang Toi, Lupe Gajardo, the Art Institutes, Bibhu Mohapatra, Lie Sangbong, Francesca Liberatore, Leanne Marshall, Thomas Wylde, Anna Sui, Erin Fetherston, Iijin, Malan Breton, Tokyo Runway, Sergio Davila, Dorin Negrau and AmFAR.
   Our London Fashion Week live player is currently on our home page. On the main part of the site, NYC beauty editor Jamie Dorman has her picks for skin-like foundations, while publisher Jack Yan samples the Peugeot 308 Allure Blue HDi in our ‘Living’ section.

Michael Kors

Jenny Packham

Zang Toi

Lupe Gajardo

The Art Institutes

Bibhu Mohapatra

Lie Sangbong

Francesca Liberatore

Leanne Marshall

Thomas Wylde

Anna Sui

Erin Fetherston


Malan Breton

Tokyo Runway

Sergio Davila

Dorin Negrau


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 Métiers 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 château, 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.
   ‘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 crêpe cap sleeve embellished jacket with structured peplum, pencil skirt and black alligator belt to the ninth annual L’Oréal Women of Worth event.
   L’Oréal 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’Oréal 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.

November 23, 2014

Tested: we indulge in the Body Shop’s Christmas 2014 selection

Lucire staff/9.46

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The Body Shop’s Christmas shopping selection has some of its most indulgent products, and Lucire has tried some of them out.
   There are plenty of products in the Body Shop’s Glazed Apple body care line, from the very simple but effective Bonbon Soap (NZ$10·25) to the indulgent bath jelly (NZ$33·95). The soap has a faint apple smell: it’s subtly scented and does not feel “chemical”, thanks to its plant-derived ingredients, such as its moisturizing sodium palmate. The bath jelly is also subtle but the smell gets released in water—don’t be deceived if you take the lid off for a sniff, as it’s quite lovely when mixed.
   The Glazed Apple lip balm (NZ$19·95, above right) is hydrating, and a wonderful addition to gift-giving this season. If you really want luxe, the Glazed Apple body butter (NZ$36·95) is rich with a more noticeable scent—it’s a must if you wish to spoil someone special.
   The Body Shop also has Frosted Cranberry, and Vanilla Brûlée products, which we have sampled in the past. These favourites are back for Christmas 2014.

   When it comes to make-up, the company has it covered there, too. We’ve tried the eyeshadow palettes, namely the Frosted Pastels (NZ$50), which are on-trend with its shades for summer. We love the fact they haven’t been tested on animals, and the cute packaging. If you’re not that sure of how to apply the eye make-up, the Body Shop provides instructions, complete with the order of what goes on first.
   The Sparkler (NZ$50), meanwhile, is a spritzer that gives a fine dust of shimmer for your skin, available in Glazed Apple (which we tried), Frosted Cranberry, and Vanilla Brûlée. You do need to get in the right light to show off the sparkle.
   The Body Shop’s Lip and Cheek Doll (NZ$49·95), a lip and cheek stain, has a limited-edition packaging for the holiday season. It has a natural colour, which you can build on, and it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. As a highlighter on the cheeks, it gives a healthy glow.

   The Glitter Eyeliner (NZ$24·95) is easy to apply, though you do need two layers. However, it lifts the eyes and gives a nice effect.
   Trying the Body Shop’s Colour Crush nail colours (NZ$12·95 each), which are happily free of harsh chemicals, we noted the base went on very well. We sampled Red My Mind, which was a deeper orange, Mint Cream, which we could only describe as very mint, and the Body Shop Green, a very Christmas colour. There was an easy application for all three, with none getting on the skin. For extra embellishments, the Body Shop’s nail art pen (NZ$15·95), with fine and thick ends, proved to be a very effective and precise tool.
   Meanwhile, to remove nail varnish, the Body Shop has an acetone-free formula that uses sweet almond oil, soya oil and Community Fair Trade sugar cane essence. The smell’s still quite strong, but the non-drying formula is effective and worked better than a rival product we compared it to.
   Get in to the Body Shop today for a one-stop location for some great Christmas presents.

November 3, 2014

News round-up: letter from Marrakech teased; Jessica Alba favours Jane Iredale; our road tests

Lucire staff/22.02

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Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Stanley Moss

Top Olivia Wilde, Jordan Hewson and Jessica Alba at the 2014 Global Citizen Festival to end extreme poverty by 2030, in Central Park on September 27. Above Paula Sweet photographs exclusively in Morocco for Lucire: the secrets of Berber Saffron Tea. From left to right, Amanjena GM Gabriel Louzada, Paula Sweet, Abdelhadi.

In an upcoming edition of Lucire: letter from Marrakech. An exclusive report from travel editor Stanley Moss which includes a private visit behind closed doors at the original home of Yves Saint Laurent in the Medina, then the lost recipe for saffron tea, a Berber delicacy prepared for our readers at Amanjena in Marrakech.
   In beauty news, Jessica Alba has publicly declared her love of Jane Iredale’s real gold shimmer powder in OK. Says Alba, ‘If I’m going to show some leg, I’ll mix a little into my body lotion too. It creates a subtle shimmer that makes cellulite lumps and bumps a tad less noticeable.’ The powder is the headline product commemorating the brand’s 20th anniversary year. And they really mean ‘real gold': it contains 24 ct gold leaf and mica, and it’s available alongside silver and bronze shimmers in a limited-edition Jane’s Signature Gilded Collection tin (£32). The gold and silver can be used on top of the cheekbones as a highlight, while the bronze can be applied over the body.
   Meanwhile, publisher Jack Yan has been testing more cars in the ‘Living’ section in Lucire. There’s the BMW 116i here, a real driver’s car for those seeking something small, while he dons his halo and channels his Simon Templar in his test drive of the Volvo S60 T6 AWD R Design Polestar.

Paula Sweet

Above, from top One of several hidden courtyards at Saint Laurent’s house. An elegant sitting room in St Laurent’s home in the Medina. Saffron, rarest of spices, more expensive than gold, used in an exclusively brewed tea at Amanjena, Marrakech. An elegant tabletop displaying traditional tea-making ingredients at Amanjena.

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