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June 25, 2015

Grey, the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel, disappoints

Lucire staff/0.36

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The highly anticipated sequel to E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey novel, Grey, as told through Christian Grey’s perspective, was released last week.
   I’m a fan of the first three books and I was excited to see how the events that helped us all fall in love with Mr Grey in the three books, as told through Anastasia Steele’s perspective, would differ from Mr Grey’s. I have to admit, I feel utter disappointment.
   Not only does the book feel like a cut-and-paste section of a badly written essay leaving the reader thinking, ‘Hang on, I’ve read this before,’ but Grey gives the impression that it was written way too fast with not enough time or thought given to explore the psyche of Mr Grey.
   Sure, it has some funny points, I’ll give James that, but it hasn’t had great reviews so far. Maybe I expected too much; maybe I thought that Grey would reveal something more than a 27-year-old man behaving like a 15-year-old boy who has to analyse every single little comment that is made to him by Miss Steele. The amount of self-loathing and hate Grey describes is enough to drive the reader to throw their hands in the air and say, ‘I’ve read enough,’ and leave the book lying on the floor.
   For a series that has won a lot of acclaim and attention for being fresh, there is nothing fresh in Grey. So much of the book is a repeat of the first, as told by Anastasia, with minor insights into the psychopath that Grey is.
   What I found interesting was that his psychologist is called Mr Hyde. This observation made me think of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Grey has two personalities that battle for dominance over him, and therefore, over Anastasia. That small reference could have been explored, in my opinion, in more depth, but I guess the pressure to produce a sequel was too much for James.
   As a fan, I was let down completely. I felt James was just changing a few words and names around, and didn’t really explore the psychopath enough. We know he has childhood issues, we get it, but that doesn’t give him the right to tell Anastasia how she should behave. Perhaps, someone should have given Grey a lesson on how he should behave towards he woman he claims to love.
   In this case, the movies will be better than the books.—Snjezana BobiÄŤ

Filed under: culture, living, Lucire
June 11, 2015

Chivas Regal the Icon launches with Dubai tasting; on sale for US$3,500

Fenella Clarke/14.29

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Warren Little

Chivas Regal has released its most iconic Scotch whisky yet, called, appropriately, Chivas Regal the Icon. Having released its first luxury whisky in 1909, Chivas Regal has since been known for its style, substance and exclusivity.
   Its latest whisky is Chivas Regal’s biggest feat yet, mixing from more than 20 different distilleries, including some rare whiskies from distilleries that have gone. ‘Chivas Regal the Icon is a truly exquisite blend, perfectly smooth with an intense concentration of sumptuous flavours that develop into an exceptionally long, lingering finish,’ said Colin Scott, master blender, a veteran at the company who joined in 1973, and learned his craft over the decades under his predecessor. At the heart of the whisky is a malt from Chivas Regal’s spiritual home, Strathilsa, a distillery the company brought in the 1950s which has featured in all of the brand’s blends.
   Chivas Regal the Icon has rich notes of honey, vanilla and dark chocolate, creating a bold, balanced and unforgettable blend. It comes in a hand-blown crystal decanter created at Dartington Crystal that has been delicately etched and finished with precision metalwork. The bottle itself has a slight green finish that is a homage to the first Chivas bottle, which was also green. It is finished with the signature luckenbooth stopper, a traditional Celtic symbol of love.
   Chivas Regal celebrated the release of its new whisky with both a tasting and a launch party in Dubai. From May until September 2015, this whisky will be sold at Dubai Travel Retail at an RRP of US$3,500.—Fenella Clarke










Warren Little

Filed under: design, GCC, living, Lucire
May 30, 2015

News in brief: Chi launches Touch 2; Electra bicycles’ 1970s’ inspiration; Hair La Vie’s new video campaign

Lucire staff/7.29

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Farouk Systems’ Chi has launched a new touch-screen hair-drier, the Touch 2 (MSRP US$199·99), with more customization options. It features a 2·24-inch touch-screen control and that control the temperature, ions and speed, and allows users to tailor their blow-outs based on one’s hair texture. The drier can emit more ions for thick, coarse hair, and fewer for normal and fine hair. Chi’s ceramic technology generates moist heat and a consistent temperature.
   Electra reminds us that for summer 2015, its range of retro-styled bicycles are ideal for getting to the fun events of the season. The 1970s-inspired designs and bright colours of orange, pink and yellow, along with flower prints that some will remember were staples in period interiors, mark out the line. There are also interchangeable tassles for the handlebars, and other customization features. However, Electra’s Robin Vallaire, creative director, notes that the bicycles have the latest technology beneath all the 1970s styling.
   Hair La Vie, the natural hair-growth vitamin, has launched a video campaign which features testimonials, including celebrity hairstylist Stephanie Hobgood, who works with the likes of Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, and Rosario Dawson. Hair La Vie includes 20 natural, clinically proven ingredients, and no synthetic fillers, binders or additives. It says there are visible results after two to three weeks, priced at US$39. ‘When clients ask me for a product to help them repair and regrow their hair, I recommend Hair La Vie, because honestly, it’s the first vitamin I’ve seen that actually works. And I’ll tell you right now not a lot of them do,’ says Hobgood. Some of Hair La Vie’s profits are donated to worthy causes and to a scholarship for women.


May 27, 2015

Reasons to raise a glass as Stoneleigh, Mumm, Hennessy and Ardbeg celebrate around the world

Lucire staff/12.49

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Victor Boyko/Getty Images

Top Mark Ronson celebrates with Champagne Mumm in Monaco. Above Julie Nollet, Raphaël Gérard, Hervé Mikaeloff, Olga Kisseleva, Bernard Peillon, Laurent Pernot, and François Xavier Desplancke pose at the ribbon-cutting ceremony during the Hennessy 250 Tour at the New Manege in Moskva. Below left The award-winning Stoneleigh Latitude Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014.

Several wine and spirits brands have reasons to celebrate today. New Zealand’s Stoneleigh has received a gold medal at the 2015 Decanter World Wine Awards for its Latitude Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014. This honour, from the world’s largest and most influential wine show (competing against over 10,000 wines), joins others than Stoneleigh has received lately, with the same vintage winning gold at the New Zealand International Wine Show and Easter Show Wine Awards, and a trophy at the Marlborough Wine Show.
   Maison Mumm, meanwhile, celebrated the launch of the world’s first digitally connected champagne bottle. And since Mark Ronson was in town, why not get him on board another yacht to DJ the event?
   When the cork is popped at the Formula One podium, a sensor sends a signal to the venue’s AV system, triggering the programmed entertainment. VIP guests at the event included Cara Delevingne, Poppy Delevingne, Eddie Jordan, and club owner Jean-Roch. Singtank, the duo of Ronson’s wife Josephine de la Baume and her brother Alexandre de la Baume, also performed.
   Ronson was asked to present the winning Mumm jeroboam to Nico Rosberg on the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix podium.
   The Hennessy 250 Tour has arrived at the New Manege in Moskva. This travelling art and culture exhibition, curated by HervĂ© Mikaeloff, in collaboration with scenographer Nathalie Crinière and Hennessy heritage expert RaphaĂ«l GĂ©rard, celebrates Hennessy’s history and future, with archival materials, portraits and films. Artworks and installations by Xavier Veilhan, Pierrick Sorin, Constance Guisset, Tony Oursler, Charles Sandison and Anton Corbijn feature, while the Russian stop additionally sees Olga Kisseleva’s work, Dancing Spirit, and a contemporary dance performance by Farfor. The tour is open till May 30.
   VIPs at the launch include Maurice Richard Hennessy, Corbijn and Kisseleva, GĂ©rard, Hennessy CEO Bernard Peillon, François Xavier Desplancke, Laurent Pernot, seventh-generation master blender Yann Fillioux, Interview Russia editor Aliona Doletskaya, and Tatler Russia editor-in-chief Ksenia Solovieva, Olga Karput, Sofia Zaika, Olga Thompson, Miranda Mirianashvili, and Museum of Contemporary Art director Vasili Tsereteli and his wife Kira Sacarello. The gala dinner was followed by a performance from stars from the Bolshoi Theatre and a tasting of the Hennessy 250 Collector Blend.
   Ardbeg celebrates its 200th anniversary this year, and marks the occasion with a grand Ardbeg Day on May 30, when Ardbeg “embassies” around the world hold a series of events. This year’s limited-edition Ardbeg Perpetuum will be present, and New Zealand, which will be the first to hit May 30, will hold its Ardbeg Day celebrations at House of Whiskey, 50 Courthouse Lane, Auckland; Regional Wines & Spirits, 15 Ellice Street, Mt Victoria, Wellington; and Whisky Galore, 66 Victoria Street, Christchurch.


















Victor Boyko/Getty Images

May 24, 2015

Cara Delevingne, Fernando Alonso, Poppy Delevingne, Mark Ronson on board TAG Heuer’s Monaco Grand Prix party

Lucire staff/10.38

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David M. Benett

It’s all on over in Monaco, as the Monaco Grand Prix gears up. TAG Heuer, a major sponsor whose logo has been seen for decades at the event, hosted an on-board party on Saturday, with brand ambassadors Cara Delevingne and Fernando Alonso.
   TAG Heuer, an official partner of the Automobile Club of Monaco, which originated the Grand Prix in the principality, hosted its party on board the SeaDream, moored in the harbour. Jean-Claude Biver, LVMH’s watch division boss and TAG Heuer’s CEO, held court, with Delevingne, Alonso, and the McLaren–Honda team, with which the watch brand has partnered for 30 years.
   Other guests at the event were Poppy Delevingne, James Cook, Ron Dennis, and Natalie Pinkham.
   TAG Heuer is promoting its McLaren Formula 1 watch to commemorate its three-decade-long partnership with the racing team; the Ayrton Senna Chrono special edition with the Legend steel bracelet, named for the late racing driver; the Cara Delevingne special edition; the Carrera Heuer-01 manufacture chronograph; and the Aquaracer 300M.
   TAG Heuer was the first watch-making brand to sponsor a professional driver, Jo Siffert, and it was worn by Steve McQueen on the poster of his film, Le Mans. Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen, David Coulthard, Kimi Räikkönen, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have all worn TAG Heuer over the years and have taken the chequered flag at the Monaco Grand Prix. Its current campaign sees the hashtag #Dontcrackunderpressure, as part of its internal and external branding efforts.




















David M. Benett

May 23, 2015

Liu Wen, Jourdan Dunn on the day 10 red carpet at Cannes; a glimpse behind the scenes before the AmFAR gala

Lucire staff/10.25

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Courtesy Ralph & Russo

Day 10 of the Festival de Cannes saw Ralph & Russo gowns chosen by models Jourdan Dunn and Liu Wen for The Little Prince screening: Dunn had a black tulle strapless fishtail gown with floral crystal embellishment from the spring–summer 2015 couture collection, while Liu wore the label’s ice blue silk pencil peplum gown with pearl and crystal embellishment from its autumn–winter 2014–15 couture collection.
   Among the auction items bid on that we didn’t note in our previous report on the AmFAR gala were Tom Ford dresses auctioned by Eva Longoria (fetching US$900,000) and a Banksy original from the collection of Leonardo DiCaprio (US$1,000,000). DiCaprio also auctioned a date with himself on his yacht, getting US$280,000. Proceeds went to Aids research.
   MoĂ«t Hennessy, which was a Gala sponsor, auctioned a luxury experience with accommodation, wine tastings and visits to châteaux, and three golden jeroboams of MoĂ«t Imperial champagne, for €70,000. It also announced a three-year global partnership with AmFAR, where it will be the exclusive wine and spirits partner for all its events.
   L’OrĂ©al Paris has released a series of behind-the-scenes images revealing the preparation for the Gala, featuring Soo-Joo Park, Barbara Palvin, and Karlie Kloss.
   Finally, our Celebrity Wire video, filed earlier today, briefly covers day nine’s Women in Film event, where Calvin Klein hosted Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel Weisz, Sienna Miller and Emily Blunt.
















Courtesy L’OrĂ©al Paris

May 22, 2015

Aishwarya Rai, Karlie Kloss, Paris Hilton, Kendall Jenner, Liu Wen among celebrities at AmFAR gala at Cannes

Lucire staff/2.04

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Ian Gavan


Dominique Charriau


Venturelli

Cannes’ AmFAR Gala is the big bash during the film festival, with celebrities this year flocking to the Cinema Against Aids event at the HĂ´tel du Cap-Eden-Roc at the Cap d’Antibes. Over the years, the event has raised US$140 million for AmFAR’s research programmes designed to consign Aids to history.
   Celebrities attending this year included Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (wearing a mauve Elie Saab gown; husband and co-event chair Abhishek Bachchan could not be present due to work commitments), Kendall Jenner (in Calvin Klein), Toni Garrn (in Elie Saab), Irina Shayk (in Atelier Versace), Doutzen Kroes, Paris Hilton (in Yanina, with jewellery by Avakian), Selita Ebanks, Eli Mizrahi, Chanel Iman, Petra NÄ›mcová, Jourdan Dunn, Karlie Kloss (in a silver Tom Ford), Eva Longoria (in Georges Hobeika), Soo-Joo Park, Barbara Palvin, Isabeli Fontana, Antonio Banderas, Li Yuchun, Natasha Poly, Sienna Miller, Marion Cotillard, Adriana Lima, Liu Wen, Rita Ora (in Marchesa), Lily Donaldson, Dita von Teese, Lara Stone, Gigi Hadid (in Tom Ford), Noomi Rapace, Diane Kruger, Sara Sampaio, Bella Hadid, and Tom Ford. Donning jewellery by de Grisogono were Kloss, Sampaio, Joan Smalls, and Izabel Goulart. Sharon Stone commemorated 20 years of supporting AmFAR at the event.
   This year’s Black and White Collection fashion show was curated by Carine Roitfeld, with music by Mark Ronson. Imagine Dragons, Mary J. Blige and Charli XCX (wearing Vivienne Westwood) performed live at the event.
   Sponsors included Bold Films, Harry Winston (who created an Epic Cluster necklace for the auction, with proceeds going to HIV–Aids research), the Weinstein Company, and MoĂ«t Hennessy.
   L’OrĂ©al Paris treated the evening as the perfect opportunity to showcase its support of the entire Festival de Cannes, with 10 of its spokeswomen attending—promoting its Superstar line of mascaras and eye-liners and Infaillible lipsticks and foundations that have proven to be staples for celebrities this year.
















Gareth Cattermole






























Ian Gavan; Pascal Le Segretain/AmFAR15; George Pimentel/AmFAR15; Venturelli; courtesy AmFAR

May 21, 2015

Aishwarya Rai, Araya A. Hargate, Soo-Joo Park, Karlie Kloss, Barbara Palvin hit Cannes on day 8

Lucire staff/3.07

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Andreas Rentz


Pascal Le Segretain


Venturelli

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s Ralph & Russo Couture dove grey silk gazar layered ball gown with crystal, feather, perspex and velvet embellishments, from the house’s autumn–winter 2014–15 collection, was the talk of Cannes yesterday, as the Bollywood star attended the première of Youth, the new film from Neapolitan director Paolo Sorrentino. She wore minimal make-up, too, with L’OrĂ©al Paris noting that her beauty look was relatively simple: Glam Bronze in Eau de Soleil, Super Liner So Couture in black, and Color Riche 30 Years in Nuit Blanche (231). Rai Bachchan proved the old adage: it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it.
   Fellow L’OrĂ©al Paris faces were there, too. Thai actress Araya A. Hargate, a huge draw for southeast Asian audiences, went for a tiered look, too, but with a more floral style as she chose Giambattista Valli for her second appearance on the Cannes red carpet. Those familiar with this season’s L’OrĂ©al Paris products won’t be surprised to see Superstar Mascara being part of her make-up, as well as the Superstar Eye Liner; la Palette in Beige and Infaillible Mega Gloss, in You Know You Love Me (509) gave Hargate her summer movie-star looks.
   Soo-Joo Park (the platinum blonde Korean star made her first appearance for 2015), Barbara Palvin (with a more startling look this season, using bold, dark eyelashes and eye-liner, including L’OrĂ©al’s Miss Manga Punky mascara for that extra volume), Doutzen Kroes (a classic beauty, with a more natural look, with only a very light blush complementing VML So Couture in black, the Superstar Eye Liner, and the Brow Artist Plimper; finished off with the Color Riche 30 Years in Greige Amoureux), Karlie Kloss (in Louis Vuitton, with de Grisogono Allegra ring and bracelet and tubetto Gypsy earrings), Lara Stone (in a dark metallic Versace dress), Jane Fonda, and Megan Gale were out in force, too.
   De Grisogono, still on a high since its Divine party on Tuesday night, noted that its jewellery was the choice of Izabel Goulart (in Azzedine AlaĂŻa, with jewellery totalling 60 ct in diamonds and rubies). Chanel Iman had appeared earlier in the week wearing de Grisogono’s titanium earrings set with diamonds and pearls, and sparkled her way on to the red carpet yesterday in a red, strapless Donna Karan gown.
   Finally, behind the scenes, Eva Longoria celebrated her first decade with L’OrĂ©al Paris, and the company threw her a party to commemorate the event.
























Ben A. Pruchnie; Andreas Rentz; Pascal Le Segretain; Venturelli; Ian Gavan; Dominique Charriau; courtesy companies

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