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January 10, 2017

Bringing Confucius’ legend to life

Lola Cristall/11.04




Liu Haidong

After Asia, Europe and Australia the dance drama, Confucius, lands in New York. The China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG) returned with a marvellous performance at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. The China National Opera and Dance Drama Theatre presented an inspiring feature, directed and choreographed by a 77th-generation descendant of Confucius, Kong Dexin. Written by Liu Chun with costume design by Yang Donglin, the set and its design make for a magnificent backdrop for this dramatic, expressive tale. The beautifully decorated Asian-influenced stage, upbeat traditional tunes and eye-catching outfits make the crowd yearn for more. The full 90-minute performance is divided into six parts: ‘Inquiry’, ‘The Chaotic Time’, ‘Out of Food’, ‘Great Harmony’, ‘Mourning for Bene­volence’, and ‘Happiness’, each explicitly telling a tale, evoking philosophical concepts brought about by the arts. The renowned philosopher’s life blossoms on the stage, sharing various profound messages. As dancers expressed the story, Confucius’ words of wisdom are highlighted on two screens on either side of the stage.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor









Liu Haidong

January 7, 2017

GBK puts the ‘lounge’ back into its Golden Globe Century Lounge

Elyse Glickman/22.23




Elyse Glickman

For GBK’s last several award show-outings, Gavin Keilly and his troupe went high volume and high production, complete with backdrops at such larger-than-life places as the W Hollywood. The sampling, gifting and revelry went on for days at these things (well, two, to be exact, but you get the idea, based on our coverages from the past). This time, Gavin went back to basics, staging his 2017 Golden Globes pre-party in At the P (a delightfully pared-down and intimate space not far from Paramount Studios, yet far from the maddening crowds of past parties).
   With excess stripped away, guests could give their undivided attention to marquee charities, American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) and Lambda Legal, whose contributions to the world will be especially welcome and needed in the changing (and more challenging) social climate brought on in force during 2016. Lambda Legal is a non-profit US organization whose members, since 1973, have worked tirelessly to attain and protect the civil liberties of gays, lesbians, transgender people and those affected by HIV through impact litigation, public policy work, activism and education. The MDA, Israel’s national emergency medical response agency and Red Cross affiliate, is a global pioneer in mass casualty response, sharing its knowledge with governments throughout the world.
   The comfy, gallery-like space also provided a nice backdrop for some wonderful bites and drinks from 4 Copas Tequila, IXIB DimSum Eats, and SuShe Art. The former put on quite a show, starring female sushi chefs doling out handrolls and cut roll pieces atop leaf-covered models. Napa Technology, meanwhile, demonstrated its Genesis Perfect Pour wine dispensing system that not only dispenses perfect glasses but extends the shelf life of uncorked bottles.
   GBK regulars were there to the delight of guests, including Tweezerman with its men’s grooming sets and metallic travel sets for women; Babar Hair Tools (including the Babar Mini Max cordless and rechargeable flat iron and its new hair-drier release); and the always welcome Artisan Group with their grab bags. Highlights from my surprise bag reflected that small jewellery items are big again. They included delicate semi-precious stone necklaces from Little P’s, Creations by Kristel and CY Designs, and earrings from Fizz Candy. BeezKneez is still buzzing with modern paper products that beg to bring back the art of handwritten notes.
   There was something for the sports fan (NIMA Sports college football helmet speakers), the amorous (virtual “toys” from SenseMax), savvy designer-brand shoppers (TemptBrands.com, offering guests Street Affaires sunglasses); Drew Barrymore followers (super cute Flower sunglasses) and shoe fanatics (guiltysoles.com). However, we really liked the new line of stylish, pet-feeding pieces from OnoFriends.com that mitigate food and water over-spill as well as the EZPZ all-in-one sectioned food dish and placemat for infants and toddlers.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor







Elyse Glickman

January 6, 2017

A Golden mine of beauty finds, as the Secret Room honours 74th Globes nominees

Elyse Glickman/22.42




J. C. Olivera

Among the celebrities attending: Rénée Oldstead, Amara Karan, Katie Leclerc.

Anyone attending a Secret Room event during an award show weekend can count on discovering cutting-edge, kind-to-the-environment beauty products. However, the Secret Room Events honouring 74th Golden Globe Awards nominees and presenters focused almost entirely of skin care and wellness products made with medically or environmentally sound ingredients.
   Thanks to the product displays and the æsthetic finesse and artistic skills of platinum sponsor Anne Neilson of Charlotte, NC’s Anne Neilson Home, the SLS Hotel main ballroom in Beverly Hills felt like the ultimate hotel spa reception area. Neilson’s candles, coffee table books and spa beverage dispenser greeted guests after having their red carpet photos taken. However, not many hotel spas admit pets. Here, pets were not only welcomed with open paws, but also Paw Works, the event’s official charity. The non-profit animal rescue organization is dedicated to partnering with county and city businesses to provide abandoned animals through rescues, adoption services and other services.
   Like a good spa, there was a world of skin care products at one’s fingertips with tempting displays and open testers. First, the Pacific Ocean side of the world: South Korea was represented with UrbanHeal’s soon-to-launch line of home facial masks, while Japan’s McCoy Ltd. returned with a new post-workout body care marvel called Non F Expert designed to further advance a sleeker appearance with stem cell extracts and rice-based components. Australia-based Auspect Skincare International introduced its all-purpose line with some products made in the US that includes everything from anti-ageing serums for fine lines and wrinkles and eye cream for dark circles to solutions for rosacea and acne-prone skin. Aromababy touted its Australian-made ranges of pure and gentle aroma-free or therapeutic grade (essential oil) aromatic products for babies and young children.
   There was much to discover in the world of European beauty. Crossing over the Atlantic, guests encountered Storm Rejuvenate Pro, which proved powerful do indeed come in small packages. A tiny box with 50 little packets contains a few drops of a gel serum that instantly diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and loose skin, creating the perfect canvas for one’s make-up. Russia’s Splat encouraged smiles with its prolific line of ultra-premium dental care as well as Heya balsam shampoos. Bioderma was not only back with its popular Sensibio H2O micelle solution but also representative products from its Sebium (acne remedy) and moisturizing Hydrabio lines. European Skin and Massage Studio introduced Woda European Natural Skin Care products from Poland.
   It is no surprise that there were also several made-in-California remedies on hand, from spa equipment supplier Martinni Beauty’s cooling at-home masques to Beverly Hills-based Serumtologie, featured on CNBC’s business programme, showcasing Cserum 22 and Pure Whipped Chiffon moisturizer. The ultra-luxurious CelleCle Skincare, based in Orange County, builds its niche on products tackling skin problems brought on by urbanization, environmental stress, technology and pollution with ‘unique plant flavonoids’ and other ingredients that penetrate several dermal layers. Cote Hair Care, hailing from Las Vegas, rolled out its professional vegan hair care products replacing such nasty stuff as parabens, GMOs and gluten with quinoa oil and plant-based complexes.
   Speaking of plant-based, there were some edible and nutritious treats offered by Barlean’s and Julie’s Real. The real Julie (Fox) behind Julie’s Real was handing out samples of her grain-free granola and almond butters while reps from Barlean’s got us excited about their superfoods with omega-3 fish oil, flax oil and vegan greens powders that make everything from salads to smoothies more nutritious and delicious. All one tastes in the key lime fish oil, straight or mixed with a smoothie, is creamy tropical goodness.
   Many celebrities were on hand to sample and compare, but the most interesting spotting was comedy legend Elayne Boosler, who spent her day behind the tables promoting her Tails of Joy and supporting the inventor of Mighty No Bitey, Inc. insect repellant. I had the privilege of interviewing Boosler when she performed in Chicago back in my college newspaper days, and was delighted to see that face to face, many years on, she’s as passionate, politically astute, progressive and feisty as ever. Here’s hoping she continues to speak out, whether it’s for animal rescue or human rights in America as a new presidency approaches.
   The lone fashion-oriented sponsor was Forever in My Heart Jewelry by Mira, whose founder was also devoted to animal welfare. Her eclectic collection contained mix of special lockets (holding ashes from departed pets), statement pieces and everyday jewellery. The Happiness Box, meanwhile, was something that would be inside a spa reception area. The cylindrical can contains 365 statements of affirmation one can select to ensure every day of the year starts with a positive thought.
   There was also a handy gadget of note, the Dripo Japanese-style ice drip coffee maker, which brews potent and flavourful iced coffee without any electricity. If you have access to ice and 25 g of your favorite coffee on hand, follow the directions, go and do something else for 90 minutes, and return for a warm weather pick-me-up. The packaging for the gadget, a large cardboard carton that would normally contain prefabricated stuff, is also genius.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor







J. C. Olivera

Above, from top: Peter Mackenzie and Graham Beckel. Sara Rue. Kevin Dillon. Priyanka Bose. Annie Funke. Saniyya Sidney.















Elyse Glickman

January 5, 2017

Special features to kick off Lucire’s 20th anniversary year

Lucire staff/10.31


Paula Sweet

Above: Stanley Moss heads to Punta Ala in one of his best travel pieces to date. Click here to read it.

Welcome to Lucire’s 20th anniversary year.
   Remember that if you don’t see a news update (which will come with an RSS update), you can go to the main part of the website and check out our features.
   In the last couple of weeks, we’ve had Lola Cristall’s 2017 living guide; an archive interview with Thor director Taika Waititi; one of Stanley Moss’s best travel pieces to date, on five Italian centres, and another on Flemings in London; Elyse Glickman heading to Seoul, and Jack Yan testing the Mazda 3, or Mazda Axela. We’ve also looked at a natural skin care range, Kokulu, and made our picks from the spring–summer 2017 shows from New York Fashion Week.
   And, of course, there’s our print edition: issue 36 features stories on Delikate Rayne and author–filmmaker Leslie Zemeckis, and it’s a particularly strong issue on female power. Never mind the outcome of a certain country’s election: as Bhavana Bhim writes in the opening feature in issue 36, women have been increasing their power throughout the ages.
   Expect to see more of our Golden Globes’ suites coverage with Elyse Glickman this weekend in the news section, and more fashion, beauty, travel and living features through January.

December 8, 2016

Gigi Hadid headlines Reebok #PerfectNever event with Aly Raisman, Lena Dunham, Ruby Rose, Zoë Kravitz, Jessica Mendoza

Lucire staff/22.19


Fresh from her recognition as model of the year at the British Fashion Awards, Gigi Hadid appeared as the high-profile headliner #PerfectNever Revolution event for Reebok, for whom she is a spokeswoman. Hadid, along with Olympic medal-winning gymnast Aly Raisman, actresses Lena Dunham, Ruby Rose and Zoë Kravitz, joined broadcaster Jessica Mendoza as host in a panel discussion on the notion of perfection, tying in with Reebok’s Be More Human campaign.
   The panel discussed the pressures of perfection and how they combat impossible standards. Originally streamed live, it can be viewed on Reebok’s website, at reebok.com/perfectneverpanel. For those who get redirected because of Reebok’s national websites, it is embedded below instead.
   Hadid said, ‘A lot of people expect us to be perfect, and it’s often the times when we haven’t been perfect that have made us more human and more relatable.
   ‘My Mom always talked about growing in different areas, and I think that’s really important. I think that’s where sports became a really big part of my life, and I learned many ways that you learn from your mistakes that I use in every aspect of my life now.’
   Dunham said, ‘The reason that I started doing my job was to connect with other women, with other people, and to let them know that their flaws, their complexities and their darkness were an important part of who they are. So any time I can engage with something that busts open narratives, traditional narratives, about who women are supposed to be, I’m there.’
   Ruby Rose said, ‘The #PerfectNever campaign resonated with me because I think that it embodies female empowerment and it’s about being authentic to yourself, being true to yourself and being the best that you can be. We are all so unique and if you can’t be true to that and be authentic to who you were born to be, then you are not living the life you deserve.’
   Kravitz said, ‘The #PerfectNever campaign is important to me because I think it’s something we don’t see enough in the world. I think it’s important for women to embrace the fact that we’re not perfect and celebrate that.’
   Mendoza called the event ‘one of the most powerful panels I’ve been on.’
   Inga Stenta, senior director at Reebok, noted, ‘Reebok’s mission is to empower people to be the best versions of themselves not just physically, but mentally and socially.’
   Hannah Jeter, Olivia Culpo and Shanina Shaik also joined the audience at the #PerfectNever Revolution, representing Six: 02.
   Hadid then joined guests in a mass boxing workout with trainer and Gotham Gym owner Rob Piela. To conclude, guests saw an installation where balloons featuring negative ideas turned into positive ones, while social media commentary hashtagged #PerfectNever also featured.

December 7, 2016

Dragonfly launches this season’s must-have cookbook at Mojo St James pop-up venue

Cecilia Xu/18.25



Dragonfly has been a local favourite in Wellington Central since it opened: it’s the perfect bar to chill out at after work on any day of the week, even better on a Friday. It’s the spot to hit in the weekend, whether for fine dining or distinctive cocktails. It boasts a spacious and expansive breadth of contemporary environment in its indoor, bar, and outdoor garden seating. The atmosphere is beautifully constructed and decorated, which is what makes it such a magnetic regular spot for the locals, and a gem for the newcomers. It’s subtle, too, with no brash lighting or signage cluttering up its Courtenay Place location.
   Dragonfly’s mixture of modernity, with rustic Asian influences, romanticism and relaxation matches its cuisine perfectly. This is reflected in the launch of their début cookbook, featuring the restaurant’s name on the cover—Dragonfly—Asian Dining Lounge—but referred to as the Dragonfly Cookbook. After years of successful cuisine perfectionism and experience, the book is a compilation of Dragonfly’s finest recipes, credited on the cover to brother and sister co-owners Brent Wong and Tania Siladi, with copy by Siladi and her daughter Jenna. Aided by a copious number of beautiful photographs and food imagery, by restaurant manager Ginny Maddock, who is a trained photographer, the book draws you to want to either dine at Dragonfly, or begin your own rustic Asian food adventure and exploration.
   The book has been painstakingly art-directed, and lavishly printed in Wellington, New Zealand; and priced at NZ$55. Wong explains that they won’t be making much on the book—and once time is factored in, the price will barely cover the cost. However, they see it as a way to share Dragonfly’s expertise. The Dragonfly Cookbook is available at Moore Wilson’s and online at www.orient-nz.com/dragonflycookbook.
   Due to the recent 7·8 Kaikōura earthquake that also affected Wellington, Dragonfly was one of the many businesses and stores closed for safety reasons. However, nearby Mojo in the St James Theatre just metres away has opened its doors for regular night time pop-up openings of Dragonfly. To see many of their regular customers quick to attend this as well as their book launch event on Tuesday night reflects how well Dragonfly is liked and respected by many in the capital, and perhaps a little change in operating venue may be great for the Christmas season.—Cecilia Xu; with Jack Yan, Publisher


Opel previews Insignia B, with clues to next Holden Commodore and Buick Regal

Lucire staff/1.07



GM has shown official photographs of the Opel Insignia B, which will be sold in the UK as a Vauxhall and Australasia as the Holden Commodore. Opel has focused on making the new Insignia more efficient, and it has completely reinterpreted how a sporty, large car should look. The new large car boasts a Cd figure of 0,26, yet lightweight materials have shaved up to 175 kg off the weight.
   Length is roughly the same as before, but it’s 29 mm lower, and the wheelbase has been increased by 92 mm (aiding rear passenger space), and the track by 11 mm. In isolation, it appears larger compared with the outgoing Insignia, something which will help its prospects internationally, where a version of the Insignia has to compete in China as the upscale Buick Regal, and in the former E-segment in Australia as the Holden Commodore. There is an increasing commonality between Opel and Buick design languages, too, with GM saying the Insignia B has a ‘sweepspear’ line that begins at the front door—a term that was first used at Buick in the 1940s. A coupé-like fastback roofline and an upper chrome strip—the latter is also tipped for the estate—give the Insignia B a more distinctive appearance. The driver also sits 30 mm lower than before.
   Opel’s design vice-president for Europe, Mark Adams, says that the Insignia B is meant to look more upscale than its predecessor, saying it has ‘the aura of a car from the premium, upper class.’ Inspiration came from the Opel Monza Concept of 2013.
   There is a new eight-speed automatic transmission, and a wide range of engines, though Opel has not yet revealed specifics before the Insignia B’s official launch in Genève next year. The big news under the skin is all-wheel drive with torque vectoring, aiding stability: this feature is expected on the top models worldwide. FlexRide adapts dampers, steering and throttle response to suit a driver’s style.
   Its LED headlights adapt to the traffic conditions, and there are other premium features, including a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, lane assist with lane-departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. GM’s Onstar service is also standard, with automatic crash response and stolen vehicle assistance, with a concierge service allowing occupants to book hotels, launching with the car next year.







November 28, 2016

Grayton announces first mechanical watch with smart features

Cecilia Xu/23.18


‘Technology evolves but style is timeless’ is a value in which boutique watch designer brand Grayton strongly stand by. This is exactly what the brand has produced, raising the bar in what a classic watch can do with the release of their Origin mechanical watch, available for pre-sale beginning today on Indiegogo, with a commercial release slated for May 2017.
   The unique selling-point of the Origin is its smart strap, which is interchangeable and connected to your smart phone. The Origin is crafted in a brushed 316L stainless steel case with polished accents, with a see-through back cover that gives a glimpse of the watch’s self-winding mechanism. Its power reserve is 41 hours.
   The well hidden, built-in electronics make the strap indistinguishable from the best traditional leather straps. The accompanying app is compatible with both Iphone and Android platforms, and is ideal for receiving notification alerts in the office or recording workout fitness data at the gym, activity tracking, phone notifications, music control and more.—Cecilia Xu

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