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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 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.


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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.

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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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October 30, 2014

The Royal New Zealand Ballet performs A Christmas Carol, the feel-good ballet of the season

Jack Yan/14.03

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Ross Brown/RNZB

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s final season for 2014, sponsored by Vodafone, sees Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol brought to life. Created for the Northern Ballet, it’s a true crowd-pleaser and the perfect family outing.
   The RNZB’s Christmas performance has often been a spectacular that audiences of all ages can enjoy, and A Christmas Carol is no exception. The familiar Yuletide tunes and original music by American-born composer Carl Davis, CBE make A Christmas Carol musically accessible. Davis’s work will be familiar to television and film audiences (he scored The French Lieutenant’s Woman, the 1995 TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and, most recently, an episode of the 2012 continuation of Upstairs, Downstairs), and he brings a similar lyrical, orchestral style to the ballet.
   The familiarity of Dickens’ novel also helps: the characters are well known, especially to children, and this version, created for the Northern Ballet, stays close to the original Victorian setting. The humour is distinctly English: the second act’s dance between Mr and Mrs Fezziwig (played by Rory Fairweather-Neylan and Brontë Kelly on opening night) is Carry on in nature, while the Ghost of Christmas Present’s (MacLean Hopper) tendency to throw glitter made him the least frightening of the trio that visit Ebenezer Scrooge.
   Paul Mathews, in the lead, exuded energy and still yielded surprises despite the well known storyline, but it was the flashback scene with a pas de deux between Young Scrooge (Shane Urton) and Belle Fezziwig (Lucy Green) that was the most touching and graceful in the ballet.
   Belle, knowing the relationship had come to an end, expressed a lifelessness as she moved en pointe away from Young Scrooge, ever focused on finance.
   The loss of love between the two was poignant, and the point at which Scrooge became the miserable character at the beginning of the story. It gave an extra element, almost a humanity, to Scrooge, that was seen in the novel.
   Bob Cratchit, played by Kohei Iwamoto, was perfectly cast.
   Each set was lovingly created, with production design by Lez Brotherston, the backdrops faithful to the emerging industrialization of the Victorian era, and the lighting by Jon Buswell (presumably following the original design by Paul Pyant) was used to eerie effect on two occasions: the emergence of Scrooge’s business partner’s ghost (light streamed up in a ghostly form before the dancer playing Marley appeared) and the Ghost of Christmas Past (who appeared to float as he visited Scrooge). Transitions between sets were cleverly handled, particularly Scrooge’s grave in the last act.
   This is the first performance Lucire attended where the company sings, and young Wilson Jack, as Tiny Tim Cratchit, performs a touching solo of ‘How Far Is It to Bethlehem?’ (and never mind that it was composed outside the Victorian era). Nigel Gaynor, conducting Orchestra Wellington, excelled handling this extra dimension.
   It was the finalé that was the most upbeat of any recent Royal New Zealand Ballet season, something that could be seen not just with the lengthy applause but the smiles on the audience’s faces as members began departing the St James Theatre.
   The Wellington performances began October 30 and run till November 8 inclusive; Dunedin is from November 15 to 16; Christchurch from November 20 to 22. A Christmas Carol then returns to the North Island, in Palmerston North on November 26, Napier on November 29 and 30, Auckland on December 3 to 7, and Takapuna from December 13 to 14. Full details of dates and venues can be found on the Royal New Zealand Ballet website.
   The late Christopher Gable directed the original production for the Northern Ballet, with choreography by Massimo Moricone; Daniel de Andrade serves as producer. It is the first ballet by the RNZB performed after the appointment of its new artistic director, Francesco Ventriglia, who takes up his new position during the run.—Jack Yan, Publisher


Bill Cooper

Above An image from the Northern Ballet’s production of A Christmas Carol.

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October 27, 2014

Ikea will move into fashion next, predicts Swedish author Stefan Engeseth

Lucire staff/10.50

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Swedish author and business thinker Stefan Engeseth predicts that Ikea’s next move will be into the world of fashion.
   Engeseth says that Ikea’s expertise lends itself easily to the world of apparel. ‘Fashion is an expression of how to package and sell design,’ he says.
   He believes that fashion is in a repetitive cycle, stuck in history and needing renewal.
   Ikea could offer both complete apparel items and composite parts that customers could assemble themselves, says Mr Engeseth. The parts could be “tailored” at home in inventive ways without the need for complex sewing.
   ‘Emotionally, this connects people to how life was in the beginning,’ he says. ‘Customers can personalize and “hack” the designs.’
   Jack Yan, publisher of Lucire, and a branding expert in his own right, says Engeseth’s ideas have a great deal of merit.
   ‘This taps in to its existing fan base, and just as importantly, Ikea can make full use of its channels, outmanœuvring many existing fashion labels,’ says Yan. ‘Ikea has an international retail base and it has distribution down to a fine art.’
   For completed clothing, Engeseth says that Ikea could offer Unisex dressing, without the divisions of male and female, but as an ‘Ikea member’.
   He sees Ikea clothing as being high-tech and low-cost, harder-wearing than the apparel found in mass-market retailers.
   ‘We’re already seeing some shoppers go to outdoor and living stores to buy longer-lasting clothing. Ikea already sells reusable Kr 4 bags that are good and cheap; their clothes could be equally practical, as strong as work clothes,’ he says.
   ‘You could even extend this hard-wearing philosophy into wedding gowns—after all, there are already some people opting to get married in Ikea stores.’
   Engeseth says Ikea could offer the clothing range to its fans first, so they have a “uniform”, much like football teams.
   ‘There are 57 million Ikea “family members” already, so let them be the only ones who can buy the clothes first. This would be the longest catwalk ever.’
   He goes further, saying that those wearing Ikea clothing could qualify for greater discounts at the point of sale. ‘Not only will this build their tribe, it will “dress it up” to become a worldwide community.’
   Fans who have furnished their homes could host ‘Ikea days’, where dressed-up fans could invite their friends to their homes, which become pop-up fan showrooms. ‘That could give Ikea millions of stores, and greater exposure to how homes can be designed. That would bring in sales and the company could treble its profits,’ he says.

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September 25, 2014

News round-up: Stella McCartney’s Jaguar XE; Ralph Lauren shifts €22,000 Rickys; Perriam launches new brand

Lucire staff/23.59

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Ralph Lauren has been shifting its €22,000 crocodile skin Ricky bags at an event at its Amsterdam store, and gifted one of them to the Netherlands Museum of Bags and Purses. The bag, says the Museum, is regarded as an icon, on a par with the Hermès Birkin and the Chanel 2.55. The company also showed a Ricky bag with a USB port and LED lighting on the inside, which will be released worldwide in December, and sold on order.
   On Monday, Stella McCartney did indeed show her version of the Jaguar XE, as part of the Feel XE campaign for the Indian-owned company’s new compact executive saloon. The McCartney XE features her spring–summer 2015 ‘Superhero’ print, and a fleet of the cars will be seen on the streets of Paris on Monday to coincide with her new collection. The next reveal of the XE will be at the Salon de Paris on October 2.
   We’ve been fans of Otago designer Christina Perriam for years, and she will unveil a new luxury lifestyle brand, Perriam, in October. The label will adorn New Zealand-made merino clothing and a summer 2015 catwalk launch will take place for the line on October 18 in Bendigo. An online shop will go live at the same time, at perriam.co.nz. Perriam will begin with Woman and Little with Sleep ranges, and Man and Home will be added in 2015.
   And don’t forget the features that appear in the main part of the Lucire website. Jack Yan has tested the BMW 435i, the car that has attracted the most attention out of anything we’ve featured in our pages; Elyse Glickman tries the NutriBulletRx; and Stanley Moss takes in the 500th anniversary commemoration of Magellan’s voyage around the world, in Vicenza. We also had webcast the Miss Universe New Zealand grand final from Sky City Theatre last week, which you can still watch as an archived stream. The best way to keep up with the latest articles is to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus.



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September 18, 2014

Rachel Millns crowned Miss Universe New Zealand 2014, in front of a live, global audience

Lucire staff/16.33

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Alan Raga

In front of a live global audience, and a full house at Sky City Theatre in Auckland, Rachel Millns of the Kapiti Coast was crowned Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 on Thursday night.
   Millns beat out Monique Cooley of Queenstown and Becky Hingston, originally of Dunedin, after a combined judges’ vote (with the panel consisting of Colin Mathura-Jeffree, Megan Alatini, Jo Holley, Stephanie Charles of Starnow, Emma McLachlan of Diamond Entertainment, and special guest judge Chalita Yaemwannang, Miss Universe Thailand 2013), and a public vote (through Miss Universe New Zealand’s online I-vote and SMS voting).
   Alatini did double duty as she and Joe Cotton, Erika Takacs and Keri Harper reformed TrueBliss—the original Popstars band—for one night, performing both one of their earlier hits and a new song.
   Russell Dixon, back from performing lead roles on the British stage, Michelle Varte, and Lavina Williams also entertained the crowd at the Theatre.
   Miss Universe New Zealand executive director Nigel Godfrey announced the Miss New Zealand Consortium Ltd.’s intention to hold a Mrs New Zealand competition in 2015, and registrations of interest are being taken on the nextmissnz.com website.
   He and Lucy Gallaugher MCed the event, which was streamed at nextmissnz.com, livestream.com, virtualticket.co.nz and right here at Lucire. The grand final will air on Face TV in New Zealand as a delayed telecast.
   Both Yaemwannang and Holly Michelle Cassidy, Miss Universe New Zealand 2013, crowned Millns on stage at the conclusion of the show.
   Other awards were given to Alyx Pivac (Miss Congeniality), Monique Cooley (Miss Photogenic) and Brenna Watson-Paul (World Miss University representative for 2014, as judged by Alex Lee).
   Golden Gowns, Antique & Modern Jewellery, Jewels by Aqua, Jucy, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand were platinum sponsors for the evening.
   Millns will head off to Doral, Florida, in December, to participate in Miss Universe 2015 on January 18.

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August 26, 2014

Volvo releases details of second-generation XC90

Jack Yan/15.03

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Volvo has released official information on the second-generation XC90, replacing the original SUV that first caught the public’s attention in 2002.
   The new XC90 is aimed at a more affluent audience while preserving traditional Volvo values, as the Swedish brand aims to increase its international sales as a prestige marque, especially in China.
   The XC90 is the first car from the Swedish brand, now a subsidiary of China’s Geely, developed after its sale by the Ford Motor Company.
   The engine line-up features D4 and D5 diesels, producing 190 and 225 PS respectively, and T5 and T6 petrol units, developing 225 and 320 PS. A Twin Engine T8 is the flagship of the range, with 400 PS and a hybrid driveline (petrol engine driving the front wheels, an electric motor driving the rear), in line with Volvo’s loftier ambitions for its big SUV, while showing its social commitment. Volvo says a three-cylinder unit is in the XC90’s future.
   Size has increased, too: length is up to 4,950 mm (compared with 4,807 mm), with a wheelbase up from 2,857 mm to 2,984 mm, ensuring the new car is more commodious. Width is 2,008 mm, an increase from the current model’s 1,936 mm, helping distance it from the mid-sized XC60. Height is now 1,775 mm, the only measure which has decreased from its predecessor, by a mere 9 mm. The tracks are also wider, front and rear, by 3–4 inches.
   Volvo’s new design language, already previewed on the Concept Coupé, Concept XC Coupé and Concept Estate, is a sportier, simpler expression of many of its traditional cues, but shakes off Swedish restraint for a more expressive, aspirational feel. The iron logo has been reinterpreted to appear more solid, with the ribbon at a lower angle. The sides are straighter, with the waistline more parallel with the ground.
   The SUV is on Volvo’s new SPA scalable architecture, which will form the basis of future Volvo models.
   The interior has also been rethought with a new design language, with a large Sensus screen in the middle of the dashboard, divided into GPS at the top, media and phone in the middle, and climate control settings at the bottom. Cloud-based services can also be accessed through the Sensus system, with compatibility with Android and Apple, including Google Maps and Spotify through those OSs. A head-up display is also available. The interior is also more luxurious, with more sumptuous, redesigned seats. Volvo claims the third row of seats provides class-leading room. The Bowers & Wilkins sound system is unique to the XC90, and features an air-vented subwoofer.
   In safety terms, Volvo débuts two features. The first is automatic braking when turning left (turning right for RHD models) into oncoming vehicles. Secondly, Volvo launches an active safety feature in cases where, should the car begin to depart from the road, it will tighten the front seat belts to hold the passengers in place. Meanwhile, its engineers have developed an energy-absorbing function between the chair and chair frame to dampen the vertical forces, helping to prevent back injuries.
   Volvo Car Group CEO Hakan Samuelsson says, ‘This is one of the most important days in our history. We are launching not only a car, but we are also relaunching our brand. Today begins a new era in our company.’
   The first-generation model continues in China as the XC90 Classic.—Jack Yan, Publisher

















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