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A grand Petit double bill: Royal New Zealand Ballet performs Carmen and L’Arlésienne


NEWS  by Jack Yan/March 22, 2017/13.15




Stephen A’Court

Above, from top: Joseph Skelton as Don José and Natalya Kusch as Carmen in Carmen. Yuri Marques, with Shaun James Kelly as Frédêric and Madeleine Graham as Vivette in L’Arlésienne. Madeleine Graham as Vivette and Shaun James Kelly as Frédêri in L’Arlésienne.

What a treat to see two of Roland Petit’s ballets—L’Arlésienne and Carmen—performed by the Royal New Zealand Ballet, faithfully executing two of the late Parisian maestro’s works, staged by the Roland Petit Trust’s Luigi Bonino.
   They are particularly close to RNZB artistic director Francesco Ventriglia’s heart, having worked with Petit himself and having danced the role of the Toreador in Carmen in Milano and New York after the maestro cast him. ‘Maestro Petit was the first to trust me as an artist, and it was a turning point,’ writes Ventriglia in the notes to the season’s performances.
   Both are passionate ballets, but perhaps more so tonight as the RNZB returned home to Wellington to perform them for the first time, dedicated to their late senior costumier, Andrew Pfeiffer, who passed away March 3 after three decades’ service to the company.
   Ventriglia, accompanied by RNZB executive director Frances Turner, made the announcement on stage before the curtain went up.
   When it did, we were taken into Provence with the first ballet, L’Arlésienne. It’s the briefer of the two ballets (and receives a lower billing in RNZB publicity: it’s Carmen with L’Arlésienne) but particularly intense, exploring themes of dreams, isolation and solitude. The ballet draws from Provençal folk music and costumes—costumier Christine Laurent gives black shawls to the women and vests with a red sash to the men—and the pas de deux between Frédéri (Shaun James Kelly) and Vivette (Madeleine Graham) is tinged with intensity and tragedy. Frédéri’s descent into madness through his obsession with the unseen Girl from Arles is well portrayed by Kelly, especially his solo at the end as he tries hard to break through his mental turmoil—for a finalé it’s particularly powerful and Kelly builds to it and carries it. Graham’s Vivette tries in vain to save him with emotions showing in her light and flowing dance and her expressions. It’s a tragic end for a man who refused to conform and who allows his obsession to dominate him.
   The ballet is characterized by the small steps from folk dance, contrasting Frédéri’s wilder, grander contemporary moves as he tries to break from the rigidness of Provençal society; while simple sets by Réné Allio keep the focus on the leads, from a canvas cloth with an abstract landscape to the final window.
   That simplicity is in contrast to the rich and somewhat sinister reds in the first two scenes in Carmen: the tobacco factory exterior that opens the second ballet sees a giant wooden frame and hanging laundry as the full cast performs; the tavern scene has a touch of surrealism with the barren frames of the wooden chairs adding to the spectacle. There’s fake cigarette smoke emanating from the stage (the scene calls for dancers to light up). Here it’s the late Antoni Clavé’s costume and set design at work, the women in bodices with zig-zag lines. Among this we first meet Carmen, played to perfection tonight by RNZB’s Ukrainian-born, Wien-trained guest artist Natalya Kusch, a powerful ballerina in total control of her craft. Her Carmen oozed defiance, with her cropped hair and short black dress. It’s the company’s ability to attract international talent that adds to its world-class performances, and Kusch’s Carmen was a veritable femme fatale, her en pointe moves emphasizing her prowess.
   After Carmen and Don José (Joseph Skelton) spend the night together, their pas de deux was particularly sensual—watch for one explicit move where Skelton arches his back and Kusch lays and rubs on top of him—and hinted at the peril ahead. Skelton’s tense portrayal as he stabs the victim drew you more deeply into the ballet, while his final confrontation with Carmen is powerful and tragic.
   Carmen is the grander of the two, and a spectacular note to finish on. With the relatively short run time, it packs a great deal in, making it more concentrated than the Rio de Janeiro-set version performed by the RNZB in 2010, a full-length ballet by Didy Veldman.
   The Two Ballets by Roland Petit, Carmen with L’Arlésienne, continue till April 1, with four more performances in Wellington (from March 23 to 25) before moving to Auckland (March 29 to April 1). Further details are available at the RNZB’s website.—Jack Yan, Publisher



Stephen A’Court

Above, from top: Massimo Margaria as Chief Bandit, Joseph Skelton as Don José and Natalya Kusch as Carmen in Carmen. RNZB dancers with Joseph Skelton as Don José in Carmen.

Javier Bardem visits the Scottish Highlands’ home of Chivas Regal for future promotional film


NEWS  by Lucire staff/March 13, 2017/12.52

Chivas Regal has teased an upcoming film featuring the actor Javier Bardem, who endorses the brand. Bardem visited Strathisla Distillery, the source of the single malt used in Chivas Regal and, as Lucire discovered in an exclusive tasting a few years ago, the oldest working distillery in the Scottish Highlands dating back to 1786.
   Bardem met Chivas Regal’s custodian master blender, Colin Scott, discussing the art of blending, while director of blending Sandy Hyslop presented him with his own exclusive blend of Chivas Regal Ultis.
   The film will be released through Chivas Regal’s social media channels.
   Bardem appears in Chivas Regal’s Win the Right Way advertising campaign, an affirmation of ethics, selflessness and truth in the face of a turbulent, sometimes incomprehensible world.



Little Golden day: TMG pens a new chapter on pre-Oscar fun


NEWS  by Elyse Glickman/March 4, 2017/2.16



Elyse Glickman

Main photo: Real housewife of Beverly Hills Eden Sassoon and Random House publicist Jillian Vandall. Above: Displays for Y2K Jewellers and Eufora.

Many movie buffs could equate the Academy Awards as a golden door that opens once a year to “classic” status for the nominated films, screenplays, actors, and technical achievement. And while invitees prepared for a golden night, TMG used their two-day event, TMG Beauty & Style Destination Pre-Oscar Luxury Lounge, to pay tribute to the 75th anniversary of another classic, Random House Little Golden Books. Just like classic movies, these little literary treasures have delighted generations of families with their enduring themes and illustrations.
   We love that TMG has continued offering their beauty-and-spa-focused suite in the fabled Beverly Hilton Hotel penthouse, especially as others have come and gone. We also appreciate kid-friendly activities that simultaneously have solid adult appeal. What could be more fun than a candy buffet, a selfie-op with the forever-young Pokey Little Puppy, and getting a first look at the 75th anniversary treasury of stories that never grow old?
   Essie nail care offered manicures with a matte gold shade specially formulated for the occasion. Guests wanting to completely let go of the Oscar week hustle relaxed with a spa session from professionals representing Nelly de Vuyst, a spa-grade line of products developed in Belgium and based in Montréal. The invigorating products, only available in spas and med-spas, contain active ingredients (e.g. vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, Dead Sea salt, and various essential oils) that leave skin feeling invigorated. Ginny Cosmetic Skincare’s team created red carpet-ready looks using their assortment of jewel-toned hues for lips, cheeks and eyes. Eufora hair care, meanwhile, topped things off with professional styling and their women’s and men’s product lines.
   Actual jewels were available for red carpet loan or sale. Y2K Jewelers featured opulent styles inspired by the old Hollywood (Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly) æsthetic, while Gienia Design displayed its contemporary styles for men and women. Actress-turned-designer Kathrine Baumann continues to shine in Hollywood thanks to her intricate, whimsical-themed Swarovski crystal handbags.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor, and Leyla Messian, LA Correspondent








Above, from top: Eden Sassoon from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Julia Butters of ABC’s American Housewife Steve Bauer of HBO’s Ray Donovan with Jean Lalonde, VP of business development for Nelly de Vuyst Skin Care. Celebrity make-up artist Spencer Barnes with Shareen Malik of Beverly Hills Beauty Group. Chris Mulkey radiates after his Nelly de Vuyst skin care treatment. Landry Bender of Disney’s Best Friends Whenever gets glammed for the red carpet by Eufora stylist Mirza Batanović. Carly Hughes of American Housewife stops by Y2K Jewellers for some red-carpet jewellery. Edy Ganem of Devious Maids looking fabulous in Gienia Designs’ earrings. Lucire US West Coast Editor Elyse Glickman with the Poky Little Puppy.

Range Rover Velar launched at the Design Museum: Jaguar Land Rover bets on a future design classic


NEWS  by Lucire staff/March 1, 2017/21.42

Jaguar Land Rover is betting on its Range Rover Velar becoming a design classic, launching it today with the Design Museum playing host to the new SUV in its first car exhibit.
   Velar is a name from Range Rover’s archives: the name was originally a fictional one that adorned prototypes of the original 1970 Range Rover. JLR has dusted the name off and applied to the fourth member of the Range Rover range, slotting in between the Evoque and Sport, with a wheelbase of 2,874 mm.
   The Range Rover Velar (called Blade during development) is a sleeker, more avant-garde model, with the idea of simplicity driving each stage of its development. The drag coefficient is a low 0,32, a figure seldom seen in this class.
   The interior is an exercise in simplicity and calmness, with a sustainable seat material developed with Kvadrat, in place of leather. The Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, with two 10-inch high-definition touch screens, is said to be state of the art, with controls not appearing till they are lit up. The exterior features clean surfaces, slim LED headlights, flush door handles and a sleek tailgate. The Velar’s 22-inch wheels give it a show-car presence, but they help to give it Land Rover’s all-terrain capability, something Range Rover customers expect. A locking rear differential is optional. It will also have outstanding ride, says JLR, with standard air suspension on six-cylinder models, and Adaptive Dynamics for all models. The Velar uses plenty of aluminium in its structure, contributing to its lightness.
   The launch at the Design Museum, which drew guests including Poppy Delevingne, Damien Lewis, Rob Brydon, Jimmy Carr, Kostja Ullmann, and Rag ’n’ Bone Man, saw a capacity audience, who checked out both the new car and a photo exhibition featuring it, shot by Gary Bryan.
   There was a simultaneous unveiling at a pop-up display on Kensington High Street, West London.
   JLR also announced a partnership with the Design Museum, with events over the next three years.
   The Velar goes on sale in mid-July priced from £44,830. Engines range from a four-cylinder Ingenium diesel to a supercharged 3·0-litre V6 petrol engine delivering 380 PS.

A 2017 Academy Awards suite that’s all heart


NEWS  by Leyla Messian//9.00




Above, from top: Dancing with the Stars (the US version) Karina Smirnoff with Footmate. Title sponsor Buywine.com with Allen Maldanado (Black-ish, 2017 Golden Globe-nominated series). Jewellery from Twisted Silver.

Who says you need Valentine’s Day to show a little love? As event planner Doris Bergman sees it, every day should be Valentine’s Day—with the flair of a blockbuster movie première!
   In other hands, an event like this would be just another free-for-all. However, after nine years of helming the annual Valentine Romance Oscar Style Lounge & Party and Post-Holiday Gift Drive, Doris is one of the undisputed masters of the pre-award party. From her selection of an always-reliable venue (West Hollywood gathering place Fig & Olive) to her stable of interesting sponsors and vendors offering products that have a story to tell, she appeals to a broad audience.
   As every celebration requires a few toasts to those being honoured, it was fitting that the lead sponsor was Buywine.com, which shared an incredible array of fine wines from Napa, California boutique wineries. Bryan David Scott and LA mixologist Flairin’ Farron were back to fuel up guests with velvety iced espresso drinks brewed with his top grade, ethically sourced coffee beans. Rekorderlig Cider and Spa Girl Cocktails rounded out the refreshing afternoon with bright, refreshing blasts of fruit flavour. Spa Girl Cocktails, founded by Karen Haines in 2012, is offered in two vodka-based flavours—cucumber Martini and pear—that weigh in at 48 calories per drink.
   Art Lewin Bespoke Suits & Tuxedos and Sue Wong made sure that talent attending events and ceremonies were perfectly attired. Lewin even gave silk ties to the diligent Fig & Olive staff working the event. Wong’s latest collection of vintage-inspired gowns reflected the trend toward muted tones and subtle sparkle. Timmy Woods, meanwhile, showcased her one-of-a-kind pop culture themed handbags available for loan. Imagine walking down the red carpet with a Swarovski crystal-encrusted bag of popcorn.
   Single and Kaya di Koko were also back by popular demand, with a selection of casual and cocktail dresses in a flattering array of cuts and sizes. Be ready for jewel tones and lace overlays that go from day to dinner. Samiah, one of our favourite regulars, had more fabulous coats for purchase as well as tote bags crafted in regal fabrics. However, there’s more to the bags than what meets the eye: they hold contents in so well that they could be a portable-yet-luxurious file cabinet as nothing shuffles around in these well-designed bags.
   My Saint, My Hero returned with a few new additions to their range of faith-oriented bracelets and bangles, including grown-up friendship bracelets sold by the pair.
   Twisted Silver strutted their stuff with a dazzling display of favourite and new designs in their eco-friendly, found-object-inspired necklaces, cuffs, bracelets and statement pieces for men and women. This year, the designer is reaching out to Lucire readers with a 15 per cent off plus free shipping code, OSCARS2017. The offer excludes gift certificates, subscription club, and outlet items. The code will be good through April 30, 2017.
   While day spas and med spas have been de rigueur sponsors at pre-Academy Awards events from the early days on, Doris’s team raised the bar with an impressive display from Dr Perricone MD, topped with an appearance of Dr Nicholas Perricone himself! Guests were among the first to try his new Cold Plasma lifting and firming line for face, eyes and décolletage. They also received some of his classic skin care staples and his new Essential Multivitamin, packets of water-soluble Super Greens, and H2 Elemental Energy water. We were also impressed with Dr Sal Nadkarni, the rare cosmetic surgeon who makes calls through his Rejuvenation in Motion Mobile Med-Spa. His candour and consummate knowledge of the latest fillers and procedures for face and body were refreshing.
   There were also fun items that appealed to the kid in everybody. Fibrum Mobile Virtual Reality headsets take the smartphone gaming experience to the next level. Game players use a visual mouse (their own eyes) to kill zombies, monsters and other menaces. Illinois-based Sassy Locks Custom Baby Clothing introduced new and expectant parents to their adorable, custom-made infant apparel.
   Attendees included Oscar nominees Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (who penned the Best Song for La La Land), David Greathouse and David Permut (producers on Best Picture nominee Hacksaw Ridge), Saniyya Sidney (appearing in nominated films Fences and Hidden Figures), Oscar winner Bruce Dern, Allen Maldanado (Golden Globe nominee for Black-ish), Dale Goldboldo (The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story), Rénée Olstead (Grammy-nominated for ‘Do You Want to Know a Secret?’), Frank Stallone, Matt Walsh (Veep), Patrika Darbo (Acting Dead), Dancing with the Stars US beauties Karina Smirnoff and Edyta Sliwinska, Sam Trammell (True Blood), Steven Bauer (Ray Donovan), Lauren Makk (Fablife), Dr Nicholas Perricone, Michael Campion (Fuller House) and Tony Denison (Major Crimes). Along with the VIPs, two lucky teens in foster care benefiting from Wednesday’s Child were in attendance, as was celebrity charity spokesperson–presenter Christine Devine of KTTV FOX 11 News, Los Angeles.—Leyla Messian, LA Correspondent




Above, from top: Fuller House’s Michael Campion with Dr Perricone Hydrogen Water. Multiple Oscar nominee Bruce Dern with Hearts by Hillel. Sam Trammell with Fibrum Virtual Reality.








Gifts and services were provided by:
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Dr Perricone Hydrogen Water, Vida Emanuel European Day Spa, Isdinceutics, USA, Photo Tee-Shirts, Buywine.com, True Love Skin Care, the Footmate System by Gordon Brush, Rejuvenation in Motion Mobile Med-Spa, Timmy Woods Handbags, Twisted Silver, My Saint, My Hero, Sassy Locks Custom Baby Clothing, the Coffee Chef, Samiah Hinton Designs, Fibrum Virtual Reality, Sue Wong Couture Gowns & Fragrance, Single Dress, Kaya di Koko, Single Underwear for Men, Rekorderlig Cider, Handmade Hearts By Hillel, Hint Water, Art Lewin Bespoke Suits & Tuxedos, Spa Girl Vodka, M&R Photo Gallery, Pura d’Or Hair Care, Spongelle, Zozo Bean Bakery, Zenful Water and Dr Perricone Gift Boxes (containing Cold Plasma, Cold Plasma Eye, Cold Plasma Sun-D, the Essential Multivitamin, Super Greens and H2 Elemental Energy. VIP gift bags were also provided by Dr Perricone.

Suite to go: Madison & Mulholland fashions “it” bag LA’s A-list and fashionistas seek out in honour of Academy Awards


NEWS  by Elyse Glickman/February 23, 2017/11.34

Hollywood-based journalists, bloggers, publicists and celebrities have spent the last two months canvassing the city to report on new products and services in beauty, fashion, lifestyle and travel getting rolled out, red carpet style. Oscar week, of course, is the grand finalé of a social season filled with teas, luncheons, ceremonies, and impromptu fashion happenings. Madison & Mulholland, anchored by founder Jane Ubell Meyer, has been a part of this evolving tradition since 2002.
   When we first crossed paths with Jane, during the 2006 season, she and her wondrous satchel of treasures was a part of the Haven House suite that occupied a West Hollywood Hills mansion. Today, she is flying solo and flying high in her 11th year on the scene with a particularly coveted awards’ season gift bag, valued at over US$25,000. The self-contained suite is filled with a mix of home, beauty and fashion essentials from high-profile and independent entrepreneurs. There is also a luxury getaway and edibles suited for home Oscar parties for good measure.
   Confirmed nominees receiving the bag delivered directly to them include Emma Stone, Nicole Kidman, Viola Davis, Ruth Negga, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Natalie Portman and Octavia Spencer.

Some of the highlights
   All the better to see you with: Madison & Mulholland starts with a pair of optical quality Swiss-designed readers and as well as a pair of Madison & Mulholland sunglasses.
   The ultimate statement accessory: Liberti USA’s Refugee Coordinates cuff, the Embrace ring and Classic cuff are not only designed, sourced and made in the USA. Every purchase made has a direct impact toward supporting resettled refugees here.
   Rediscovering Sex and the City’s impact on fashion: Lizzie Scheck Jewelry, which Sarah Jessica Parker put on the map during the Carrie years (that horseshoe necklace, and the stacked necklace trend) is still turning heads on celebs such as Kristen Bell, Amy Adams, Jennifer Garner and Tyra Banks. Other trend-setting baubles in the bag include a piece from the B5LineNYC’s Rock-n-Roll Grit line, the Convertible Collection’s bracelet and statement necklaces, and an item from Caterina Jewelry’s Kiss Kiss collection.
   Brushing up: Brushopolis’s Monroe USA Glamour (an hourglass round styling and finishing brush) and Teasedale (engineered to create maximum volume with minimum breakage) bringing professional flair to any vanity table and head of hair.
   In good taste: Kiklos Greek extra virgin olive oil and Michelle’s Maccs (revolutionary coconut macarons covered in élite Belgian chocolate) accessorize any home-Oscar party table, especially if they are served alongside pieces from the hand-crafted Julia Knight Collection nesting bowls, trays and spreading knife forged in sand-cast aluminium.
   Hair for all: Culture Hair Products’ hair care system designed for multicultural, curly, unmanageable, multi textured hair types.
   The eyes have it: One Two Cosmetics’ Magnetic Eyelashes, named Best of Beauty Breakthrough by Allure in 2016, takes some drama out of creating a dramatic eye for evening.
   Coffee clatch: Bio Miracle Skincare heats up with its new line of coffee-based body wash and scrubs.
   Haute Hamptons: top-tier recipients receive a three-night getaway at the posh Baron’s Cove Sag Harbor in Sag Harbor, NY, the heart of the legendary Hamptons. Activities at the Four Diamond AAA resort include massages, yoga classes, and gourmet cuisine.
   Picture this: the A-1 Array by Super A OK multi-camera ensures perfect 3-D red carpet shots, vacation shots at Baron’s Cove, or any special occasion. It’s the state-of-the-art trend in digital 3-D photography.
   That’s a stretch: made-in-Miami yoga gear from OM Shanti Clothing (handy for the Baron Cove yoga classes) and Tinsley Radix’s Becca tank with black sequins. Finish off the look with Isabella Hearst New York’s cheeky ‘No Paparazzi’ Italian leather luxe designer handbag.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor

Margot Robbie shows you can in a Nissan, with BladeGlider electric sports car


NEWS  by Nathalia Archila/February 20, 2017/23.19



Patrick Gosling

Margot Robbie (Focus, The Wolf of Wall Street, Suicide Squad) has become a spokeswoman for Nissan, showing off the Japanese brand’s electric car credentials with its BladeGlider sports car around the streets of Monaco, and into Casino Square.
   The Australian actress tested one of the two BladeGliders on closed roads in the principality, racing against its twin. She drifts around Fairmont Hairpin, and slid sideways around the Massenet corner.
   The petite sports car has a very Japanese appearance with its origami-like folds and detail-rich surfaces, and seats three, with the driver in the central position. It’s not for sale—it’s a prototype that will be unveiled at the Salon de Genève later this year.
   It’s in direct contrast to the bulky Nissan Leaf, the world’s best selling electric vehicle.
   The Renault–Nissan Alliance has invested heavily in electric cars, staking its future on the growth of the sector.
   In a release, Robbie said, ‘It’s a really exciting time for electric vehicles. More people are choosing to go electric, leading the way to a more sustainable future and the Nissan BladeGlider hints at the future of smarter performance cars,’ said Margot Robbie.
   Nissan chose Monaco as it has a sustainability programme that aims to reduce carbon emissions by up to 50 per cent by 2030. ‘We want to inspire people to take small steps towards cleaner, safer cities, and working with Margot is the perfect way to do just that,’ said Gareth Dunsmore, Director of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe.
   The advertisement forms part of a campaign, hashtagged #ElectrifytheWorld, to get people talking about sustainability and zero emissions living.—Nathalia Archila and Lucire staff

Adriana Lima and Jourdan Dunn host Maybelline’s London Fashion Week opening party


NEWS  by Lucire staff/February 19, 2017/12.01



Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

Maybelline hosted a Bring on the Night party on Saturday at the Scotch of St James in London, to kick off fashion week.
   Celebrities included Adriana Lima and Jourdan Dunn, who hosted, along with Neels Visser and Zara Martin DJing on the decks, and Tinie Tempah, Daisy Lowe, Vanessa White, Ella Eyre, Anaïs Gallagher, Ashley Roberts, Dougie Poynter, Lou Teasdale, Lottie Tomlinson, Oliver Proudlock, Pandemonia, Roxie Nafousi, Vogue Williams, Liza Owen, Kara Rose Marshall, Lucy Mecklenburgh, Tallia Storm and Kyle de’Volle.
   Maybelline is again the official make-up sponsor of London Fashion Week. It partnered with New York-based jeweller, Maria Tash, on the night.

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