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August 30, 2014

Triumph launches its Magic Wire bra and shapewear lines at Manhattan party

Lucire staff/23.15

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Neilson Barnard

German lingerie brand Triumph launched its Magic Wire brassière and shapewear lines at the House of Triumph at Old Bowery Station, Manhattan, New York, on Thursday, with celebrities Taryn Manning, Gina Gershon, Jill Hennessy, Debi Mazar, Katrina Bowden and Aimée Garcia in attendance.
   Magic Wire is the first Triumph bra (available up to a G cup) with a flexible silicone wire, which the manufacturer says provides the support of an underwire without the discomfort. The use of silicone leads to a very light weight.
   The bust support system is within the bra’s padding, while a mesh stabilizer offers additional support that moves with the body.
   Magic Wire is available on both Triumph’s Body Make-up and Contouring Sensation bra ranges.
   The event featured champagne, live music by harpist Erin Hill, a contortion and dance performance, and a digital fireworks’ display. Guests were also treated to professional bra fittings with the Magic Wire bras.
   Magic Wire débuts in the US during the first week of September 2014.

























Neilson Barnard

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August 15, 2014

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Allegro journeys from classical to science fiction

Jack Yan/15.57

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Ross Brown

Top A classical approach for Allegro Brillante. Above Larry Keigwin’s Megalopolis.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Allegro: Five Short Ballets, was a bittersweet performance, knowing it would be the last time many in the audience would see the company’s principal guest artist, Gillian Murphy, dance.
   Murphy and her fiancé, RNZB artistic director Ethan Stiefel, are set to return to the US, and she kept a composed, dignified air after the performance when Lucire wished her well for her future.
   The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Andrea Tandy noted that Auckland audiences, who had seen Allegro prior to Wellington’s for a change, gave the five productions a wonderful reception.
   In the first ballet of the five, Allegro Brillante, Murphy and Kohei Iwamoto led a small cast of 10 to Tchaikovsky’s Third Piano Concerto, with choreography by the late George Balanchine. Russian-born Balanchine’s works have been staged by the RNZB from time to time, and Allegro Brillante was performed in 1999 and 2001. With a classical structure and technique, staged by Eve Lawson, it proved an endearing opening to the performances on the first night in Wellington.
   As skilful as the dancers were, Qi Huan’s presence was missed opposite Murphy—Huan moved on to the New Zealand School of Dance, teaching classical ballet, telling us earlier that he could not pass up the opportunity.
   The simple settings allowed Nigel Percy’s lighting to set a very different mood each time.
   Les Lutins, which followed, was a particularly enjoyable comedic ballet. It would be the only one with live music of the five, performed by the impressive Benjamin Baker on violin, and Michael Pansters on piano, while Rory Fairweather-Neylan, Arata Miyagawa and Lucy Green played the role of the goblins, in trousers and braces, with simple, carefree choreography by Johan Kobborg. The interaction between the dancers and Baker was cleverly staged, and the neatly executed jetés and tours en l’air from Fairweather-Neylan and Miyagawa deserve mention.
   Satellites, after the first interval, brought a scientific theme, conveying the equilibrium that satellites maintain in orbit: as dancers go off, new ones emerge. Graphically, orbits appear in the background, designed and animated by Jac Grenfell, dancers held circular mirrors, while electronic music by Jan-Bas Bollen emphasized the high-tech feel. Kinetic sculptures by Jim Murphy continued the theme (segmented planets hanging in the air), as did Donnine Harrison’s costumes (the discs worn by two ballerinas again reflecting the circular theme). Daniel Belton, who was behind the concept and choreography, was inspired by the Bauhaus movement, with its practitioners Oskar Schlemmer, Paul Klee and Moholy-Nagy, successfully blending the geometry and modernistic approach of the school with balletic expression. For once, those who are disciples of, or simply aware of, Bauhaus principles have a ballet that translates those ideas.
   Mattress Suite, choreographed by Larry Keigwin for his own company, delighted in a simple, playful setting, with a mattress as the one prop, telling the story of newlyweds who drift apart, the groom discovering he is homosexual. It is the only one with mature themes and popular songs (‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ as sung by Stevie Wonder, and ‘At Last’ by Etta James) and the mattress itself was used as everything from a wall to a trampoline in six short dances. Cheekily, the dance with a gay threesome is called ‘Straight Duet’.
   The RNZB is the first to perform Mattress Suite outside of Keigwin & Company.
   It was Keigwin again for the finalé, Megalopolis, which went beyond science and into science fiction, blending the cinematic Flash Gordon and Studio 54 into a single ballet, finding great favour with the audience. Megalopolis was certainly energetic—RNZB finalés often are, and rightly so, when presenting a series of ballets—while Fritz Mason’s costume design, in black with silver details, was a retrofuturistic delight.
   Allegro: Five Short Ballets continues in Wellington till the 17th at the St James. Invercargill follows on August 20 at the Civic, while Dunedin’s Regent Theatre plays host on the 23rd inst.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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August 12, 2014

H&M collaborates with Kate Mara and Johnny Wujek on New York stores’ windows

Lucire staff/15.12

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Hennes & Mauritz

Hennes & Mauritz, with its flagship Fifth Avenue store open in New York alongside other locations in the city, is collaborating with actress Kate Mara (Fantastic Four) and stylist Johnny Wujek to kick off Fashion Week there.
   Mara and Wujek will curate windows in nine H&M New York stores, and introduce their picks in select stores in the US, as well as online.
   On September 4, they will meet fashion students at the Fifth Avenue store for a panel discussion, as the first event of Fashion Week. It also marks the launch of the H&M Studio range for autumn–winter 2014–15.
   The pair are close friends and H&M says the windows will reflect their personalities: Mara with a chic, approachable sensibility, and Wujek with bold and quirky styles.
   Their inspiration has come from black-and-white photography of New York’s cityscape, and its light projections, bridges and building windows.
   ‘It was a no-brainer for us to work together on this as we both have a true appreciation for accessible high fashion and our favorite city of New York,’ said Mara in a release.
   Wujek added, ‘Immediately I said yes to work on this incredibly creative project with H&M and Kate. H&M is a pioneer in the field of fashion and being asked to creative-direct their store windows for the opening of New York Fashion Week was my Mannequin dream come true—one of my favourite movies growing up. I can’t wait for people to walk by and see the beauty we make in the H&M windows.’




Hennes & Mauritz

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August 11, 2014

Rihanna on the cover of W September 2014, with unmissable Meadowlark Jewellery

Lucire staff/2.03

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Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Rihanna is on the September 2014 cover of W, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, styled by Edward Enniful, the magazine’s fashion and style director.
   There’s a New Zealand connection, with the pop star wearing Meadowlark Jewellery’s large Thorn Septum ring, from its upcoming spring–summer 2014–15 collection, Dynasty, on the cover. The singer wears the ring on her nose on the cover.
   Two versions of the ring, one with diamonds and one without, feature in the editorial inside.
   Meadowlark says it gifted Rihanna the diamond-set septum ring on the day of the shoot, and she had been spotted wearing it.
   She also wears a Donna Karan New York dress, an Ashley Lloyd headdress, Amrapali ruby and diamond ear cuffs, and a Stephen Dweck sterling silver necklace. The shoot took place in July.
   Rihanna is currently on her Monster’s Ball tour with rapper Eminem.

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July 2, 2014

Sarah Jessica Parker and Cindy Chao collaborate on brooch to benefit New York City Ballet

Lucire staff/12.33

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We’ve had Tamsin Cooper create a line for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Backes & Strauss partner with the English National Ballet, and now, Sarah Jessica Parker and contemporary fine jeweller Cindy Chao have teamed up to create the 2014 Black Label Masterpiece Ballerina Butterfly brooch to benefit the New York City Ballet.
   It’s not quite a full line: this is a one-off to be auctioned by Sotheby’s Hong Kong this October, at the Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Sale. However, it was created with the New York City Ballet, on which Parker serves as a director, in mind.
   Parker and Chao connected during Chao’s 2011 Masterpiece Exhibition in Beijing. In 2012, when Chao opened her Beijing boutique, at which Parker was guest of honour, that the pair would collaborate on a piece for charity.
   The collaboration, which took place over the last two years, saw them review sketches, wax models and gemstones together.
   The brooch has a titanium and 18 ct gold body. It features a cushion-cut fancy brown diamond weighing 26­·27 ct, three rough brown diamond slices weighing a total of 47·71 ct, three pieces of conch pearls weighing a total of 7·25 ct, surrounded by 4,698 diamonds and fancy-coloured diamonds weighing a total of 98·09 ct.
   It is meant to be signify the beauty, structure, strength and movement of a ballerina, and can be worn either right-side-up or upside-down.
   It will be first shown in Paris during haute couture fashion week, from which Lucire will report next week. It will then travel throughout Asia, before heading to New York and Hong Kong.
   ‘I have had the great pleasure of knowing Cindy and her work for several years, and it has been an incredibly special experience to collaborate with her,’ said Parker. ‘Cindy’s jewellery designs are true works of art; they capture the eye and imagination in a memorable way. I am so pleased to partner with her on this project, which benefits the wonderful work of the New York City Ballet, an organization that is close to my heart.’
   Chao has created a Black Label Masterpiece Butterfly each year since 2008, to symbolize her own metamorphosis, says her company, Cindy Chao—The Art Jewel, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
   ‘Sarah Jessica and I are two very different creative minds sharing the same artistic vision and passion,’ said Chao in a release. ‘She truly appreciates the essence and soul of my creations, and I admire her innovative yet classic view on fashion and style. My annual butterflies carry special meaning for me. Collaborating with Sarah Jessica for a cause we both deeply care for and believe in makes this Ballerina Butterfly all the more special.’
   The net proceeds from the auction will go to the ballet company.

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June 28, 2014

Brooks Brothers taps Zac Posen for its women’s collection

Lucire staff/1.40

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Steven Pan

Leading US designer Zac Posen, whom Lucire first interviewed not long after he started in the business, has been appointed creative director for Brooks Brothers’ women’s collection and accessories.
   The company says that Posen will direct the design and merchant teams, and have input on brand development for its women’s label.
   ‘We are thrilled to have Zac join us as creative director of our women’s collection,’ said Claudio Del Vecchio, chairman and CEO of Brooks Brothers in a release. ‘He is one of the most talented and influential American designers working today.’ Del Vecchio pointed out that Posen understood that the brand needed to modernize its range.
   Posen said, ‘I am truly honored and excited to be embarking on this incredible opportunity to take the Brooks Brothers women’s brand into the future while respecting its deep, rich American heritage as an institutional company.’
   Posen’s first women’s collection will début in spring 2016.
   Currently, Posen’s labels include Zac Posen, ZAC Zac Posen and Z Spoke Zac Posen, covering clothing and accessories, with Truly Zac Posen his bridal label in association with David’s Bridal. His eyewear line, in partnership with Kenmark Optical, retails from September. He also judges Project Runway with Heidi Klum and Nina Garcia.
   It is expected that Posen will remain with his own labels while working with Brooks Brothers.
   Brooks Brothers is the US’s longest established apparel brand, and began selling womenswear in 1874. Presently, women’s fashion only represents 20 per cent of its sales.
   Thom Browne will continue to design the Black Fleece line for men and women.

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Filed under: fashion, Lucire, New York
June 27, 2014

Jessica Stam, Alice Callahan, AnnaLynne McCord help Many Hopes raise funds for Kenyan children

Lucire staff/12.54

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Top Jessica Stam and Thomas Keown, founder of Many Hopes. Above Actress AnnaLynne McCord (90210, Dallas).

Many Hopes, the charity dedicated to building homes and schools for children in Kenya—and creating sustainable local businesses to make themselves unnecessary in the long term—had its gala on Tuesday.
   Celebrities at the Discover Many Hopes NYC Annual Gala at Canoe Studios on West 26th Street included Jessica Stam, Jeremy Penn, AnnaLynne McCord, Krysta Rodriguez, Jon Batiste, DJ Zeke Thomas, and Alice Callahan Thompson and her husband W. Kyser Thompson.
   The celebrities are said to be big supporters of Many Hopes, and the amount raised exceeded the target, netting $400,877 for the charity.
   Actress Alice Callahan Thompson, who along with her husband chaired one of the auctions, noted, ‘We believe the problem of street children in coastal Kenya is also the solution. I have been involved with this unique organization that rescues and empowers children and teens in Mtwapa, Kenya since 2011.
   ‘My husband and I have travelled to Kenya twice to visit and serve our kiddos and look forward to returning this December. We have witnessed that no one cares more about fighting for justice than those who have suffered injustice. Our oldest girl Brendah is in her second term in law school in Nairobi, as she resolved seven years ago when Many Hopes fought for her rights, that she, too, would fight for the rights of others.’
   Batiste and Thomas provided the music for the evening. Penn had donated a painting of French actress Brigitte Bardot for the silent auction.



Top Jeremy and Jessica Penn. Above Alice Callahan Thompson (Gossip Girl, One Life to Live).

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June 24, 2014

Kiwi artists exhibit in New York, while films on Raf Simons and YSL come to New Zealand

Lucire staff/15.22

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Four New Zealand artists are exhibiting in New York from July 1 at Forty:67, at the Artifact Gallery at 84 Orchard Street in the lower east side of Manhattan.
   The exhibition, which comprises painting, photography and jewellery-making, features the work of Sarah Elsby, Nikki Clark, Aphra Ellen, and Jodi Clark. Elsby and Ellen are mother and daughter, and Nikki and Jodi Clark are sisters.
   The work examines the ideas behind identity, place, and culture, or: what does it mean to be a foreigner transplanted to an international centre such as New York City?
   Elsby uses watercolours on paper, exploring the tensions between biomorphic and architectural forms. Photographer Nikki Clark contrasts New York City with the tranquillity of the Whanganui River, near where she grew up, and the similarity of the power in both locations. Jodi Clark’s painting explores how symbols can transcend cultures and history, ‘arranged so they become abstracted from their original intent; taking on a new meaning and life while still triggering memories and nostalgia,’ she says. Ellen’s hand-crafted jewellery has what has been described as a playful approach, inspired by organic forms and odd shapes.
   The gallery is open from 12 to 6 p.m. daily.
   Meanwhile, two fashion films will be part of the New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF), taking place between July and September in Auckland, Wellington and other centres.
   The first, Frédéric Tcheng’s Dior and I (France, 2014), is a behind-the-scenes documentary, following Raf Simons as he creates his first collection for Christian Dior, taking over from John Galliano. It’s already on Lucire fashion editor Sopheak Seng’s must-see list as the festival takes place.
   Yves Saint Laurent, which has had a lot of coverage in Lucire already, is the second film. This is the Jalil Lespert film, which opened in January 2014 in France, and was authorized by Pierre Bergé. (The rival film was authorized by François Pinault.)
   Session dates are available online from nziff.co.nz: the Auckland ones are up now, with the Wellington schedule appearing on Friday, and other centres on July 4.



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