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SMoss’s Great Again charts the course of the Trump presidency

Filed by Lucire staff/April 11, 2021/2.08





Lucire travel editor Stanley Moss, writing as SMoss, has put together a limited edition volume documenting the presidency of Donald J. Trump, available in both a hardcover collectors’ edition and a smaller paperback.
   Entitled Great Again, the book begins with a cover showing a worn ‘Make America Great Again’ cap discarded on the pavement. Inside are images from the 45th presidency, including press coverage, artwork, memes and other cultural artefacts from the four-year period.
   The large-format version measures 30 cm square and retails for €102, with the price going up to €120 after April 15. The price includes international shipping. Its smaller counterpart measures 20 cm square, and is available at €51 (€60 after April 15).
   They are privately printed in Italy. Both are individually numbered hand-signed by the author.
   They are available only by special order through emailing the author at info@diganzi.com, and will not be made available on Amazon. There are some videos showing the books and their contents at the official page, www.secondguesspress.com/greatagain-book.


 


Where have the fun fashion magazine websites gone?

Filed by Jack Yan/February 6, 2021/21.45


Above: The very first site (alphabetically) linked from our Newsstand pages, Annabelle of Switzerland, complete with large lead image and smaller subsidiary ones.

I took a look at Lucire’s Newsstand reviews tonight. This section is a relic of the early dot-com days that Lucire came from (in the 1990s), when people exchanged links with each other to help with their search engine positioning, and, to make the sections look legitimate, you put your favourite websites in there as well. When it came to Lucire, naturally, we included our competitors as a resource for readers. I have to say that we were pretty choosy.
   Each time I re-examine the list, which is probably every couple of years, I’m removing sites. Many have fallen by the wayside over the last 23 years, and some that we link have content frozen in the mid-2010s. They are still good resources, so they’re staying. They might even be a good read for those countries who are still dealing with COVID-19 cases in a very real, confronting way.
   What I did remove throughout the three pages of reviews, however, were the ratings. We used to rate quite a few of the sites on content and design, because when we first started, there was a huge variety. It was a relatively new medium, so people were still experimenting. They were a guide, nothing too serious—though I still remember one New Yorker getting so upset that, if I recall correctly, he felt he had to retaliate by linking Lucire with a negative review. (The low score came in part from home page art that was only tested on certain monitors, and on higher-res ones, its elements didn’t line up, with ghastly results. Cutting up images and have them reassemble on screen was something we all did back then, to cope with slow download speeds.) I suspect all that did was send his readers intrigued about our supposed terribleness our way, who then would have found his review somewhat childish and unreliable, since we were winning awards for the online edition of Lucire. Other than that humorous blip of small-mindedness—which I suppose underlines how elements of New Yorkish Trumpism was there long before the real estate magnate ran for president—the ratings were an accepted feature of the pages for many years.
   The reason for their removal is, sadly, the lack of creativity in web design these days. I’m not saying we’re breaking new ground ourselves, though what you see here was still designed by someone on our team and not part of a template that comes with a web-page service. And don’t get me wrong on that, either: some of those templates are really, really good.
   But we’ve settled into a certain look being acceptable on the web, including mobile devices (which have limited creativity in publishing). As browsers and computers have become more powerful, publishing packages have made use of more of their capabilities. Also a good thing, because this enables more people to make websites. However, this means there is less need for someone to tinker and create something from scratch, because there are great programs that have more than half the legwork done. Then there are those developing templates for these software packages, bound somewhat by the features that form their foundation. That has led to standardization, because, like it or not, there are certain things you must do to make a site work for the range of devices that will be pointed at it nowadays.
   The ratings, then, become meaningless, if so many of the sites reviewed have a similar design concept: big lead image, smaller ones on the home page pointing to the significant articles, similarly sized text (and, in many cases, pretty big text), etc. With fonts now transmitting with web pages, it’s no longer special for a website to have bespoke typography. And with so many fonts available, many have opted to get creative on their typographic choices—which could give us some basis for separating the great from good, but outside of the design world, this seems to be an unfair criterion on which to judge.
   We could still rate for content, but to get in to the directory, the content had to be reasonably decent to begin with.
   While there’s big type on the web, the trend in print appears to be very small body type, so small that it’s uncomfortable to read. I don’t know what’s driven this, since the physiology of the human eye and what point sizes we find legible and readable haven’t changed, but needless to say it’s not one that Lucire in print has, or will, follow. Trend-wise, I hope that we might get to a more sensible balance again.


Above: A spread from Rolling Stone, November 2020, showing the small type now seen in print.

   Right now the mobile space is getting all the love, hence this standardization, even though I’ve tired of those devices for some years now. We anticipated that the tide would turn with Facebook and removed all the gadgets sourced from that site before The Observer broke the Cambridge Analytica story. I’ve tired of the privacy intrusions by some of the Big Tech websites, even though I have a Google-free Android phone; and I’ve tired of the tiny keyboards and the utterly inefficient ways of entering words on phones, and that includes voice recognition. Technology is here to serve us, not the other way round.
   Therefore, I’m not sure that pandering to the limitations of the smaller screen is the right thing to do, which I know, given the time people spend on their devices in 2021 could be an unwise decision. But maybe some of us have to take those first steps and say: there are better things to do with your day, and better ways of reading that won’t strain your eyes. Look up from your devices. Enjoy life. Find the medium where your posture’s not compromised. Even if the trend is to fixate you to your phones and strain your eyes there, and then to make life difficult for you in print with tiny type that strains your eyes even more. We want to be humane, take part in making your lives better, and not hooking you for every moment possible.
   Another reason this site doesn’t get as much mobile support as others—a reason to knock our own design score down—is that each time we create a version for handheld devices (at the turn of the century, you could download Lucire news on to PDAs like Newtons), the technology is quickly rendered obsolete: either programs are invented that distil the large images and web page layouts into something that the devices can tackle, or resolutions improve, or browsers come with a text-only mode. Worryingly, the means of having smaller devices being able to deal with traditional web pages haven’t appeared as quickly this time, which may point to a dearth of innovation in the occidental online space in the 21st century.
   That is what you get when the technology space is dominated by giants, as it leads to the suppression of innovation, something that isn’t serving humankind one bit. Standardization hasn’t just happened because we all settle: the clever inventions aren’t getting out there because the barriers to entry are high. Big Tech isn’t just about suppressing speech and getting political: it’s affecting our everyday enjoyment and appreciation of online media. YouTube and others have “exit pages” that hinder us from leaving their sites, in an attempt to keep us from departing and score themselves an extra page view that they can record (if we the people do this, the search engines penalize us). They want to keep us where they can watch us, not the other way round.
   I’d love to see that “old-fashioned” innovation return, with great websites that knock our socks off, getting 10 for content and 10 for design again. I’m sure there are clever people out there bucking the trend, and we’d love to hear from them. With all the sites out there, discovering them is as hard as ever, with search engines like Google potentially getting less reliable as their algorithms feed us content that might hook us more than help us, such as giving us political news that appeals to our own biases rather than help make us better rounded people.
   It’s really down to us to get the word out about great sites, businesses and organizations. I realize that most of us can only do this through the services Big Tech provides. You’re probably on this page because you followed a search engine result or a social media referral. But if we want to break free of them, if we want to see great sites and innovation return, then we each need to do our bit, by freeing ourselves from the dominant players that are holding things back. Get those searches from Duck Duck Go, where they’re less biased. Ask yourself whether it’s that vital to share that Tweet, Facebook post, Instagram photo, or social media comment. And, I say this without irony, let us know in the comments of some of those great online destinations that you think deserve to be linked.—Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher

 


Naersi closes China Fashion Week with Water Cube spectacular

Filed by Lucire staff/November 3, 2020/9.38

EEKA Fashion Holdings’ brand Naersi closed China Fashion Week with its spring–summer 2021 25°Lan show at Beijing’s Water Cube, the National Aquatics’ Centre. The show also marked the brand’s 25th anniversary, and was attended by celebrities, fashion editors, and the industry’s movers and shakers.
   In another sign of China’s post-COVID-19 rebound, the show featured 60 models on a 138 m long catwalk, with a 26 m by 6 m screen, plus an additional eight screens, showing the action to the audience.
   VIPs included actresses 韓雪 (Han Xue, or Cecilia Han) and 蔣夢婕 (Jiang Mengjie), singing duo Xiaohua Wu, artist Li Siyu, Chinese media boss and fashion week chair Su Mang, and media expert Zhang Xiaodong.
   Naersi’s collection was divided into four themes: futuristic commuters (with designs adopting blue film technology fabrics), ‘E’ cube (the use of digitalization and digital patterns), print–trace (inspired by Shenzhen’s architecture), and decoding the future (using a yellow theme, signifying healing in a post-pandemic world).





 


YOOX and Vogue Italia launch sustainable, responsible fashion programme with €50,000 top prize

Filed by Lucire staff/February 23, 2020/1.09




Jacopo M. Raule

YOOX and Vogue Italia celebrated the launch of their mentoring programme, the Vogue YOOX Challenge—the Future of Responsible Fashion, at the San Paolo Converso church in Milano yesterday, during the city’s fashion week.
   The programme aims to support and mentor designers, creatives and start-ups who are investing in social responsibility and sustainability.
   The Challenge culminates in September when 10 finalists are selected by a group of sustainability experts. An international jury then evaluates the projects during the Milano moda donna for spring–summer 2020 in September. The winner is then announced, and their project is celebrated in February 2021, at the autumn–winter 2021–22 collections. In addition to the support, mentoring, communications and distribution, the winner will receive a cash prize of €50,000 to realize their project.
   The international jury includes Federico Marchetti, chairman and CEO of Yoox Net-à-Porter Group; Emanuele Farneti, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and L’Uomo; Sara Sozzani Maino, deputy editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and head of Vogue Talents; Liya Kebede, model and women’s rights’ activist; Amber Valletta, model and actress; Lisa Armstrong, head of fashion at The Telegraph; Alice Ben Arous, chief of staff of Richemont’s fashion and accessories’ division and a member of its CSR committee; Carlo Capasa, president of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (Italian Chamber of Fashion), Rosario Dawson, actress and co-founder of Studio 189; Orsolo de Castro, founder of Fashion Revolution; Tonne Goodman, sustainability editor of Vogue; Eva Herzigová, model and editor-at-large of Vogue CS; Suzy Menkes, international Vogue editor; Clare Press, presenter of the Wardrobe Crisis podcast; Dilys Williams, director of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at the London College of Fashion.
   The sustainability experts are Alex McIntosh, founder and creative director of Create Sustain; Giorgia Roversi, director of sustainability and inclusion at of Yoox Net-à-Porter Group; Francesco Perrini, ordinary professor of the Department of Management and Technology of Bocconi University; Francesca Romana Rinaldi, director of the Master in Brand & Business Management and New Sustainable Fashion at the Milan Fashion Institute (an inter-university consortium composed of Bocconi University, Università Cattolica di Milano and Politecnico di Milano); Elisa Pervinca Bellini, sustainability and talent editor of Vogue Italia and a member of the Condé Nast Global Employee Council on Sustainability.
   Guests at the event welcomed by Marchetti, Farneti, Valletta and Kenede included Karolína Kurková, Coco Rocha, Bianca Balti, Anna Wintour, Suzy Menkes, Carla Sozzani, Giuseppe Zanotti, Walter Chiapponi, Maurizio Cattelan, Francesco Vezzoli, Aya and Ami Suzuki, Nataly Osmann, Miriam Leone, Greta Ferro, Arthur Arbesser, Sara Battaglia, Linda Tol, Stella Jean, Ekaterina Darma, Ilenia Durazzi, Ferdinando Verderi, Nina Yashar, Matteo Ward, Paula Cademartori, Gabrielle Caunesil, Andrea della Valle, Vogue Russia’s Masha Fedorova, Helen Nonini, Massimiliano Locatelli, Kris Ruhs, W’s Stefano Tonchi, Candela Pelizza, Vogue Japan’s Anna dello Russo, Andrea Incontri, Abrima Erwiah, and former Miss Italia Miriam Leone.
   Wines were provided by Masi Agricola.

Jacopo M. Raule

 


Instagram won’t replace the fashion magazine

Filed by Jack Yan/January 31, 2020/12.14


Lindsay Adler

Above: The cover from Lucire KSA, January 2020, modelled by Camille Hyde with fur by House of Fluff. Photographed by Lindsay Adler Photography, styled by Cannon/the Only Agency, hair by Linh Nguyen, and make-up by Joanne Gair using Danessa Myricks Beauty.

A few weeks ago, I got out of the habit of Instagramming. Since 2012, I did it initially out of fun, then as a way of keeping up with hobbies and a few friends, but when some personal changes happened, the habit left. Facebook I had departed for any personal updates in 2017, after some well documented problems—before Christopher Wylie voiced his concerns to The Observer, incidentally—while Twitter has revealed that its data-gathering doesn’t stop even when you’ve opted out of personalized advertising. Facebook does the same, and it’s public knowledge that it’s quite happy to sell these data to others.
   I thought it was a massive mistake for Facebook to remind us that it owned Instagram and Whatsapp through its latest branding efforts, because surely the parent company and its flagship product are tainted by now? It’s been further tainted by the stench of politics, the tribalism that they exhibit, and the outright lies its bosses tell.
   At some point, some government will develop the cohones to say monopoly power is bad and stifles innovation, changing Big Tech significantly. Perhaps some agency will have the guts to point out that regular deceptive comments to the public do have consequences. But till then, this first year of the decade won’t look too different from the last year of the last in terms of how the majority of people consume media, old and new.
   None of these fleeting media give you much depth, and Instagram is arguably the least tainted by politicking and negativity, showing pretty pictures (for the most part) that you can either like or scroll past.
   I was, therefore, surprised that in the last few years, I read one proclamation that the days were numbered for fashion magazines since there was Instagram. I beg to differ, and it’s not just out of a personal bias, but out of keen observations of the ebbs and flows of social media. Yes, I may have got out of the habit of Facebooking and Instagramming, but millions of others haven’t. But to say fashion magazines were a thing of the past? It’s hard to fathom.
   Instagram does give a few obvious benefits. Immediacy, for one. Users can then link the item to a smartphone-optimized shopping site. As a retail aid, it’s clever. It has video, where brand stories can be told. But, like any new medium, at best this complements what already exists. Instagram doesn’t replace long-form journalism told by an objective observer.
   At home we have a 34-year-old copy of The Australian Women’s Weekly. It’s the Christmas issue, and it’s packed with articles that entertain, with barely any sensationalism. The magazines of this era, buoyed by healthy advertising prices and editors who arguably enjoyed educating as much as entertaining, aren’t, to me, relics. Lucire has always strived to be a decent read, more so in our print editions, and while our presentation is more contemporary, our values haven’t changed. We moved past offering a magazine that was based around today’s news, with retail specials for the following month, long ago. We could see that wasn’t relevant in a digital age. But we repositioned and kept what did work. World-class photography. Interesting articles, properly subbed. You deserve a good read, where you pick up a copy and gain something from it. We also wanted to reflect (perhaps even preempt) your values about the environment and our place in this world. I think that’s why Lucire, in particular our original edition; our newest edition, Lucire KSA; and the former Twinpalms Lucire in Thailand, have reader appeal. It should last you for more than a single sitting. That December 1985 issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly could even last beyond the date the February 1986 issue went on sale.


Aleksandr Mavrin


Hilde Osland, via Instagram

Top: Like travel editor Stanley Moss, Russian model Viki Odintcova headed to Canggu, Bali, and shared this image from Wapa di Ume Sidemen photographed by Aleksandr Mavrin on her Instagram. Above: Hilde Osland models Fashionnova, not far from Lucire’s HQ in Wellington, New Zealand.

   Social media have only really replaced any medium that was fleeting and shallow. You could potentially get more insight into your favourite reality TV stars on their personal ’Grams than in a gossip magazine. Glamour models and certain celebrities—Viki Odintcova of Russia, and Norwegian-born, Australian-based model and singer Hilde Osland for two—may show more on their accounts than in lads’ magazines. Cellphone cameras can rival some professional ones in resolution, and while there’s no substitute for the professionally shot photos, those surfing social media and its small, rectangular, black-mirror format of all of seven inches are quite happy with “near enough”. And, indeed, for those professional images, especially editorials, a beautifully printed page has a totally different effect to something seen on screen.
   Digital is here to stay—and being one of the earliest proponents of that, we should know. Social will also stay, maybe offered by other firms, but we won’t break our addictions easily. Admittedly, as a company, we never expected social to play as big a part as it ultimately did. But print, and the long-form articles that appear in it, are going to stick around for a long time to come, too.—Jack Yan, Publisher

 


Genius in a bottle

Filed by Jody Miller/November 13, 2019/23.28

While a hope and a prayer never hurts, the best anti-ageing secrets are much easier to come by than magic lamps and polysyllabic passwords. Autumn is a time of harvest for much of the world, and we had the opportunity to discover what’s cropping up in the worlds of skin care and CBD wellness.








Jody Miller

   Global skin care brand Algenist, whose Liquid Collagen Serum is an international best seller, joined forces with nail care brand Orly for an evening of manicures, custom colouring, and getting a sneaky-peek at Algenist’s upcoming 2020 product launch. Held at Orly Color Lab in West Hollywood, the guest list of bloggers and influencers created their own Orly lacquer with nail-colour mixologists. After getting their mani, guests received an exclusive gift bag from featuring Algenist favourites and the soon-to-be-released Genius Collagen Calming Relief.
   Just a few blocks north at the élite and oh-so-private Soho House, lauded Canadian naturopath Dr Andrew Kerklaan introduced his line of premium CBD wellness. Renowned for his natural and non-invasive therapies and cutting-edge research, Dr Kerklaan Therapeutics goes far beyond your now run-of-the-mill CBD and hemp products. Dr Kerklaan spoke about the now wildly expanding CBD wellness industry and enlightened attendees that while there are great benefits to CBD’s newfound accessibility, he also warned about the numerous subpar manufacturers and misleading labels. Dr Kerklaan Therapeutics are formulated with only the highest-grade cannabinoids and plant extract with an unprecedented amount of pure hemp-derived CBD extract.




Jody Miller

   Speaking of misleading labels, chef Pam Bailey and photographer Darren Tieste got sick and tired of beauty brands that claimed to be organic, but upon closer inspection of the ingredients, were far from it. Both passionate about health and clean living, they handcrafted their own oils at home before launching Mizz Bloom Organics. Vegan, cruelty-free, and non-GMO, with toxin-free ingredients, Mizz Bloom is one of the few brands that is USDA-certified organic.
   In honour of the brand, Mizz Bloom Organics hosted a poolside launch party at the boutique Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills. The cast and crew of upcoming reality show Men of West Hollywood were spotted sipping cocktails and sampling product as they filmed a future episode. Brand founders Darren and Pam were on site along with VIP media. Everyone left with a big smile and gift bag of Mizz Bloom to take home.—Jody Miller, Correspondent

 


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