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July 23, 2015

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: a world première for the Royal New Zealand Ballet

Jack Yan/5.47

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream is not just a Royal New Zealand Ballet première, it’s a world première—so if you’re looking for a ballet event to attend in mid-August, this should be the one on your calendar.
   Created by Liam Scarlett, ballet’s fast-rising star who is now one of the most sought-after choreographers today, A Midsummer Night’s Dream will have its première in Wellington on August 20, before heading to Christchurch, Auckland, Rotorua, Palmerston North and Napier over the following weeks. As well as Scarlett’s choreography, it features the biggest set ever created by the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
   Ipswich-born Scarlett, 29, is already known for his witty, inventive approach and is one of the most passionate choreographers in ballet today.
   He was the Royal Ballet’s first Artist in Residence, creating ballets for that company including Despite and Vayamos al Diablo in 2006, through to the Jubilee pas de deux to celebrate HM Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee.
   He has created works for Ballet Black, New York City Ballet, Miami City Ballet, K-Ballet, the English National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.
   A Midsummer Night’s Dream is his third full-length ballet.
   ‘We are incredibly excited to showcase this sensational new ballet created for the RNZB by the talented Liam Scarlett. This magical tale will cast its spell on audiences of all ages. And as with all the best stories, true love and friendship triumph in the end,’ said RNZB artistic director Francesco Ventriglia in a release.
   Said Scarlett, ‘Shakespeare’s tale of wit, love, petty quarrels and mistaken identities has captured the hearts of audiences young and old for centuries and has secured its place in history as one of the greatest stories ever told. It is with great pleasure and responsibility that I have the opportunity to transform this magical piece of work into a ballet. Being able to create this for the RNZB is a joy, and the end result will be a testament to their talent and enthusiasm and all that this wonderful company has to offer.’
   RNZB managing director Amanda Skoog notes that the company is partnering with the Queensland Ballet to realize the production.
   Tracy Grant Lord, known for Cinderella and many of the RNZB’s other successes, will design the new production, which the company notes will have ‘thousands of lights, glitter and butterflies.’ The make-up look sees Lord working closely with MAC Cosmetics, while Kendall Smith, who worked on Giselle, is lighting the set using over 4,000 LEDs and 2,000 m of fibreoptic cable.
   The Mendelssohn score will be performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Wellington, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in Christchurch, and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in Auckland, conducted by RNZB music director Nigel Gaynor.
   Vodafone New Zealand continues its national sponsorship of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
   A Midsummer Night’s Dream begins in Wellington on August 20, and runs through August 23; Christchurch sees the ballet from August 27 to 29; it opens in Auckland on September 2, running to September 6. It reaches Rotorua for a single performance on September 10, Palmerston North on September 16, and Napier on September 19 and 20. Full details can be found at www.rnzb.org.nz.—Jack Yan, Publisher

July 21, 2015

Loxy’s brings its hair expertise to Wellington, New Zealand

Jack Yan/23.30

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Loxy’s Boutique opened its Wellington location on Tory Street earlier this month, with a pink-carpet event hosted by founder Kate Jarrett.
   Jarrett, a Wellingtonian by birth, originally opened Loxy’s in Auckland, where she and her husband had moved. After years in the corporate world, she found she had a passion for hair extensions, and learned a micro-weave technique that she trained herself to do. She swears by the technique (and was a fitting ambassador for it on the night), enough to have started her salon in Ponsonby, and always had in mind to open up in her home town.
   She was encouraged to open in Wellington after her clients began asking whether Loxy’s had a branch in the capital, and the boutique finally opened its doors with a very welcome mid-winter celebration.
   As Jarrett was expecting a baby (carrying her daughter very well), naturally guests could choose from San Pellegrino water (restocked midway through the event) but those who were more adventurous could opt for Sileni wine and Rekorderlig cider. Canapés from Jess’s Underground Kitchen were served, while visible around the boutique were products from Loxy’s suppliers, including O&M and Davines. Guests were treated to goodies from them, as well as Libertine blends, Eleven Australia, Tailor Skincare, Snackpack, and Skin Spa.
   Oliver Marchant, already well known in the Wellington hair scene, manages the new boutique, which offers both hair services—including its well known micro-weft extension technique, as well as spray-tanning. Hair extension consultations are free, and its services are very reasonably priced for the level of expertise clients will get. There’s more at www.loxys.co.nz.—Jack Yan, Publisher








July 7, 2015

News round-up: Scandale Paris in Canada; Swymbag protecting gadgets in the water; Oilily shows womenswear

Lucire staff/2.16

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Above The waterproof Swymbags: take your belongings with you and don’t risk them getting stolen at the beach.

Scandale Paris, Academy Award winner Halle Berry’s lingerie line, has secured distribution in Canada, through Boutique la Vie en Rose’s 63 outlet locations and online at lavieenrose.com. La Vie en Rose is Canada’s largest lingerie retailer.
   Originally founded in 1932, Scandale Paris was reintroduced by Berry, who serves as its creative director and curator, as well as having a co-ownership of the label with the Hong Kong-HQed Hop Lun Ltd. The basic and autumn–winter 2015–16 collections are available in nearly 50 styles, priced from C$9·95 to C$25·95.
   After Emily Gayton and Kristina Oliver had their belongings stolen when they left them on a beach, they decided to do something about it: invent a waterproof bag that you can put your belongings in, then take it swimming with you. They’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to get their Swymbag range, in three styles, into production.
   Oilily, known best for its children’s line, will release its next womenswear collection at the Westergasfabriek during Amsterdam Fashion Week on July 13. ‘To show that Oilily moves with the times, we started the campaign Little Girls Grow up. The idea behind this campaign was to photograph women who grew up with our brand in the ’80s and ’90s wearing our new women’s collection,’ said Gijs de Kogel, Oilily’s marketing director. The campaign will break in time for the spring–summer 2016 season. The company aims to make “slow fashion”, staples that will still look good in half a decade’s time.



Top Halle Berry, promoting Scandale Paris. Above The spring–summer 2016 looks from Oilily in the Netherlands.

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 Bobič

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 Hervé Mikaeloff, in collaboration with scenographer Nathalie Crinière and Hennessy heritage expert Raphaël Gérard, 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, Gérard, 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

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