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August 18, 2015

Fan Phenomena: James Bond gives 007 fans more; while Sugoi invites you to the world of Bill Murray

Jack Yan/12.09

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In the year of a new James Bond movie, many books emerge. Invariably, there’ll be one on the films themselves, taking readers through the 50-plus years of the Eon Productions’ series, and, if it’s very comprehensive, the 1950s CBS TV version of Casino Royale, the 1967 spoof of the same name, and Never Say Never Again will rate more than a mention. There’ll be something about Ian Fleming, and another book on one aspect of the Bond world (gadgets, stunts, music, or something else). Seasoned Bond fans will think the circus is in town again, because the new book about the films adds little to their existing knowledge.
   Claire Hines’s Fan Phenomena: James Bond, from Intellect Books (£15·50, US$22, releasing November 15), is something different altogether: Bond from an academic and completely cultural viewpoint. Intellect is famous for its titles on popular culture and creative practice, with a rigorous academic bent, and Fan Phenomena: James Bond continues the series but takes the reader into the world of Ian Fleming’s super-spy.
   Hines serves as editor, and there are 11 very distinct contributions to her volume, dealing with everything from canonicity to 007’s appearance as ‘Ladykiller Jimmy’ in Alan Moore’s comics; Bond as a cult brand and cultural phenomenon to the clothes he wears; from the James Bond films through a feminist viewpoint to analyses of his masculinity and identity. Interspersed between these are four ‘Fan Appreciation’ sections, featuring an interview with über-fan and former Bond novel continuation author Raymond Benson, artist and collector Peter Lorenz, 007 Museum owner James Bond (who had his name legally changed by deed poll) and cross-players CousinCecily and Winter.
   Even the most seasoned Bond fan might not have considered the impact of the character, books and films, and the book fulfils a very important role: it gives them something new. William Proctor’s analysis of continuity gets the book off to a healthy start after Hines’s introduction, though typographically it suffers: the type is inexplicably small, though the layout is modern and the visuals help lift things. Getting Raymond Benson in there early on also helps position Fan Phenomena: James Bond as a book for the cognoscenti as well as those who want an academic examination, and Benson reveals a little more behind the scenes of his years as the official continuation author.
   Matthew Freeman, in considering the many media in which Bond occupies, including the gaming world, shows just how the phenomenon breaks the established rules and succeeds, while Jesús Jiménez-Varea and Antonio Pineda’s chapter on Moore’s comics is bound to take many fans into uncharted territory. Joshua Wille’s chapter on fan edits does the same: while many know about ABC-TV’s cutting of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service when it aired on US TV, but there are numerous fan edits made in the digital era that had this author hunting the forums.
   Artist Peter Lorenz’s Bond film posters are stunning and present a nice visual break before Lucy Bolton’s chapter analysing the phenomenology of Bond. Bolton’s piece is perhaps closest to those Bond “collectable” books that come out with the films as she analysed the films from Dr No to Skyfall, and fans may have their own interpretations of their cultural significance through the years. Editor Hines’s own chapter looks at Bond as cult brand, and is fascinating in her study of the 1960s Eon films. Hines reconciles how cult and mainstream come together with the Bond series, successfully. Lisa Funnell gives Bond a feminist slant and the enjoyment she derives as an assistant professor teaching women’s studies.
   Stephanie Jones looks at the Bond lifestyle but primarily through the analysis of one work, The Complete James Bond Lifestyle Seminar, which she reveals is relatively light on Bond references, leading to a less satisfying chapter—though it could hardly be blamed on Jones. Llewella Burton’s chapter on Bond and fashion, and how it became a style through the rise of merchandising as the movies became blockbusters with Goldfinger is punctuated by photos from Galeries Lafayette as it opened a James Bond boutique in 1965, again gold dust for Bond fans. Karen Brooks’s and Lisa Hill’s chapter analyses the new and old masculinities through the three Daniel Craig films of 2006, 2008 and 2012.
   Crossplayers CousinCecily and Winter talk about their love of James Bond and Q, leading neatly on the final chapter by Elizabeth J. Nielsen, which deals with Bond’s homoerotic moments and subtexts. She traces them to Fleming himself in the torture scene in Casino Royale, before covering the flirting between Bond and the new Q in Skyfall, which itself has a phenomenon, attracting both women and the LGBTQ community.
   This is a volume for the intelligent Bond fan, someone who appreciates learning about the impact of Ian Fleming’s creation. Of course the films are covered more, as it was through them that Bond became a global phenomenon. The reader walks away having been better informed: this is not a Bond book for the light reader who wants reassurance of the facts they already know, but one which gives them something more satisfying to consider.




Top A scene from What About Bob?, by Jon Boam. Centre Lost in Translation, by Grace Danico. Above Lost in Translation, by Henry Kaye.

On a briefer note, but still tied with film, Sugoi Books has released an A5 book called Cook Your Own Food: a Bill Murray Scratch and Sniff, retailing at £6. There are 20 pp., with 10 smells, with some stunning illustrations, with artists reinterpreting key moments from Murray’s films, focusing on his culinary habits. ‘Scratch the smelly pads at the top right and enter the world of Bill Murray,’ the publisher asks, and you are spoiled with scenes from Lost in Translation, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, What About Bob?, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and others. For £6, the illustrations are so good it doesn’t even matter if you have a poor sense of smell.—Jack Yan, Publisher

July 31, 2015

News in brief: Manfred Baumann shows in NYC in ’16; Derma Rescue’s new look; Carrera y Carrera celebrates 130 years

Lucire staff/14.55

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Manfred Baumann

International photographer Manfred Baumann (left) will have an exhibition of his celebrity portraits in New York in 2016, featuring Kristanna Loken, David Hasselhoff and his daughter Hayley, John Carpenter, Mark Hamill, Alison Eastwood, Evander Holyfield, Jorja Fox, Fran Drescher, Molly Parker, JoBeth Williams, Harry Hamlin, Trevor Donovan, Carlos Bernard and Annie Wersching.
   He will also release a “best of” book covering the last few years of his work at the exhibition.
   Kinderma has announced that Derma Rescue, its high-end, luxurious skin moisturizer, has a new look.
   Derma Rescue has a higher concentration and quality of ceramides and antioxidants than competing products, according to Kinderma. It has been helping those suffering from eczema and psoriasis, and a trial with the National Psoriasis Foundation has shown ‘significant results.’
   Finally, Spanish luxury jewellery brand Carrera y Carrera commemorates its 130th anniversary this year. It has launched a book, downloadable as a PDF, as well as a video (below), covering its history.


Carrera y Carrera history from Carrera y Carrera on Vimeo












Manfred Baumann

May 12, 2015

Full Harper’s Bazaar archive joins those of Vogue and WWD, digitalized by ProQuest

Lucire staff/15.10

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With the entire Vogue US archive already available to researchers, it was a matter of time before its rival, Harper’s Bazaar, followed.
   ProQuest has announced that it is creating the first digital archive of the magazine, from 1867 to the latest issue. It joins ProQuest’s earlier digitalizations of Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily. The archives are known for their ease of search as well as their high-resolution imagery.
   ‘We know scholars and students are using more than journals and books to conduct their research,’ said ProQuest’s senior director of product management for humanities, Stephen Brooks. ‘Digitization programmes such as this one with Harper’s Bazaar unlock valuable, historical primary sources from the confines of print, making them easy to access, text mine and use within researchers’ workflows.’
   Harper’s Bazaar, originally Harper’s Bazar, was the US’s first fashion magazine. Carmel Snow, Diana Vreeland, Elizabeth Tilberis, Alexey Brodovitch, Man Ray, Richard Avedon, Patrick Demarchelier, Andy Warhol, Daisy Fellowes, Gloria Guinness, and Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd have all featured prominently in the magazine since its inception.

May 1, 2015

It’s full circle for style.com: back to its origins in fashion retail

Jack Yan/14.17

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Top Earlier today, attempting to get into Style.com meant a virus warning—the only trace of this curiosity is in the web history. Above Style.com is back, with a note that it will be transforming into an e-tail site.

If there’s one constant in fashion, it’s change. The other one, which we notice thanks to a number of our team being well schooled on fashion history, is that trends always return, albeit in modified form. Both have come into play with Style.com, which announced earlier this week that it would become an ecommerce site.
   When Lucire started, we linked to style.com, but it wasn’t in our fashion magazines’ directory. It was, instead, in our shopping guide.
   In 2000, that all changed, and it began appearing under our fashion magazine links, where it was until today. An attempt to log in to the home page was met by a virus warning, preventing us from going further. We figured that this was part of the transformation of the website as it readied itself for the next era, discouraging people from peering. However, having had these warnings splashed across our own pages two years ago courtesy of Google’s faulty bot, when our site was in fact clean, there was a part of us taking it with a grain of salt. In either case, given the impending change, it was probably the right time to remove the link.
   This evening, Style.com is back and virus-free, with an overlay graphic announcing that the website will be changing. Plenty of our media colleagues have analysed the closure over the past week: the Murdoch Press has gossiped about how the layoffs were announced, WWD suggests editor-in-chief Dirk Standen didn’t know it was coming, based on rumours, while Fashionista puts it all into context by analysing just where ecommerce is within the fashion sector, and that content should be the answer over clothing sales.
   What is interesting is no one that we’ve spotted has mentioned how the style.com domain name (we’ve carefully noted it in lowercase there) has effectively come full circle. Perhaps we really are in the age of Wikipedia-based research, as this fact is not mentioned there at all.
   When Lucire launched in 1997, style.com was the website for Express Style, later more prominently, and simply, branded Express, a US fashion retailer. It’s not hard to imagine that had Express remained at the URL, it would have become an e-tailer; it has, after all, made the move into ecommerce at its present home, express.com. Like a fashion trend that comes back two decades later, style.com has gone back to its roots: by the autumn it’ll be e-tailing.
   The omission from the above paragraph is the sale of the style.com domain name by Express to Condé Nast in the late 1990s. We never completely understood the need to start a new brand to be the US home of Vogue and W; for many  years, typing vogue.com into the browser in the US would take one automatically to Style.com. Then, somewhere along the line, Condé Nast decided that vogue.com should be the online home of Vogue after all.
   But having made the decision to forge ahead with Style.com, Condé Nast did it with a lot of resources, and took its site to number one among print fashion magazine web presences in a remarkably short space of time. It devoted plenty of resources to it, and it’s thanks to Style.com that certain things that were once frowned upon—e.g. showing off catwalk collections after the show—became acceptable. Designers used to enjoy the fact that we and Elle US delayed online coverage, the belief being that the delay ensured that pirates could not copy their designs and beat them to the high street.
   To get itself known, Condé Nast bought advertising at fashion websites that were better known, including this one (yes, in 2000 that really was the case), at a time when online advertising cost considerably more than it does today.
   The muscle from the best known name in fashion publishing changed the way the media interacted with readers. Designers figured that if they wanted coverage, they would have to accept that their work would be shown nearly instantly. We became used to that idea, so much so that we now have to show the catwalk videos live in the 2010s.
   In some ways, the change makes sense: we’re talking about an Alexa rank in the 4,000s, which translates to plenty of traffic. The name is known, and most shoppers will make some association with Vogue. The official word is that Franck Zayan, formerly head of ecommerce for Galeries Lafayette, will helm the revised website, and he’s reporting that brands are coming on board rapidly.
   One shouldn’t mourn the loss of Style.com as a fashion news portal, since the content we’re all used to is bound to appear at Vogue. And in all the years we had it in our magazines’ directory, it was listed under our Vogue entry anyway. We await the new site to see what Condé Nast will do with it, and it may yet return to the spot where it once was in the 20th century, in the shopping guide.—Jack Yan, Publisher

February 9, 2015

Hannah Davis defends her 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover

Lucire staff/20.46

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Ben Watts

Hannah Davis appears on the cover of the 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, as revealed last Thursday.
   Davis, appearing on the Today show, defended her cover, featuring her tugging ber bikini bottoms down, which some called risqué.
   ‘I think you’re making it look a lot naughtier than it really is, to be honest … SI always tried to do something a little different every year and I think this year it’s the year of the torso,’ she told host Matt Lauer.
   Davis said she would like to model her career after Kathy Ireland, who appeared in the Swimsuit Issue in the 1980s and 1990s. ‘She honours the fact that Sports Illustrated was the platform that sort of got her to that place,’ she said.
   The magazine will also host Swim City events in New York on Monday and Tuesday, and Nashville on Wednesday and Thursday, including a concert by Kings of Leon on Wednesday night, which will be live-streamed.
   The events will feature model appearances and shops selling Sports Illustrated Swim gear.
   A Travel Channel five-part special will première on February 15—considerably up on the one-hour specials that pushed the Swimsuit Issue a generation ago.

December 29, 2014

Ellen DeGeneres your most-searched celeb for 2014; Miss France 2015 article tops our chart

Lucire staff/8.17

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David M. Benett/Getty Images

Above Candice Swanepoel was the most-searched professional model in Lucire’s online news pages this year, coming in sixth.

In 2012, Keira Knightley was the most searched-for celebrity in the news section of the Lucire website. In 2013, that honour went to HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden, followed by Knightley and Penélope Cruz. They are, largely, what you would expect from a fashion magazine.
   The 2014 rankings were a surprise when we began crunching the data before Christmas. In first place, talk show host and selfie queen (or was it talk show queen and selfie host?) Ellen DeGeneres: this year, everything from the Oscars to a homeware line meant she was on the consciousness of readers the most.
   Showing you can’t keep a Doctor down, Matt Smith surprisingly leapt into second place, after showing up at Cannes post-Doctor Who. Smith has plenty of fans out there, and Whovians apparently form a good part of the internet, getting the Eleventh Doctor this unexpected honour.
   Camille Cerf, the new Miss France, found herself in third place, which is not a huge surprise given that our article on the subject is the first one online. Our former cover girl, and the new Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot came in fourth, while HRH Princess Madeleine, still getting plenty of press attention, was fifth.
   Candice Swanepoel, was the most searched-for professional model, finding herself in the second half of the top 10. Clémence Poésy came seventh, showing that France remains firmly on the radar when it comes to fashionistas. Rio de Janeiro-born model Camila Alves found herself in eighth place.
   Honor Dillon, now Honor Carter, has plenty of admirers, and might net herself a few more with the signing of her husband Dan to a rugby club in France. The sole Kiwi in the top ten found herself in ninth spot this year. Rounding off the top ten was Mădălina Ghenea, the Romanian-born, Milano-based actress and model.
   Our biggest surprise was that Lupita Nyong’o did not appear—we even called her our ‘Woman of the Year’ on our Tumblog.
   Pageant news was top, since we were the first to announce both Miss France and Miss Universe New Zealand—Camille Cerf and Rachel Millns—while the Brancott Estate World of Wearable Art Awards was the third-most-read news article of 2014 here (another news outlet beat us to it, thanks to a WordPress glitch). An advertorial for the Sports Illustrated Air New Zealand safety video was fourth, which perhaps is no surprise given that the cover announcement, historically, is well read. A “proper” fashion article, on Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York’s fall–winter 2014–15 collections, came fifth. Matt Smith, along with Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, and Gemma Arterton, helped get an article from the Festival de Cannes into sixth place.
   Overall, traffic for the top 10 was down due to regular Wordpress glitches that prevented some articles from being picked up properly—highlighting how online publishers can now find themselves at the mercy of software.
   Hard data aside, pop over to the main part of the site where we name our news-makers of 2014—Ellen DeGeneres is in there, but there are some surprises, too.

December 23, 2014

Auckland University Press explores New Zealand cultural identity through poetry

Eleanor Wright/13.13

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Two fantastic works exploring very different aspects of New Zealand culture and identity have come across our desks here at Lucire, from the Auckland University Press.

Puna Wai Kōrero: an Anthology of Māori Poetry in English
Earlier this year, the first anthology of Maori poetry in English was published featuring a wide collection of prominent Maori poets. Edited by two leading Māori writers and scholars, Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan, who previously edited the award-winning Whetu Moana: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English (winner of a Montana New Zealand Book Award) and Mauri Ola: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English II (finalist in the New Zealand Post Book Awards), Puna Wai Kōrero offers the most diverse range of Māori voices ever published.
   The poems themselves are organized into chapters featuring short biographies about each writer, providing a richer background to the history of Māori poetry. They combine the traditional forms of oral poetry—including waiata ringaringa, waiata tangi and waiata aroha—with the influence of western poetry and the English written language to create new poetic genres, developing alongside modernist and postmodernist movements. Their assemblage of styles provides a unique perspective on numerous outlooks on life and modes of writing, laments for koro and hopes for mokopuna, celebrations of the land and anger at its abuse, retellings of myth and reclamations of history. The rich ensemble of established writers and exciting newer poets, examines political and social commentaries from early days of contact to the present, from Aotearoa and the wider world.
   This comprehensive anthology presents one hundred and twenty years of poetry written in English by Māori poets. The authentic lineage of each poet enriches the engagement with these poetic forms, Puna Wai Kōrero traces this past whakapapa and celebrates its present–day strength. This anthology strives to bring together Māori writers and editors and through language and ideas, through stories and shared experiences, this books offers an opportunity for the readers to discover or rediscover what it is to be Māori.

How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes, by Chris Tse
A début collection for New Zealand-born Chris Tse delivers a lyrical narrative, focused around the 1905 Wellington murder of Cantonese gold miner Joe Kum Yung by white supremacist Lionel Terry. Tse’s poetry has previously been featured in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies. This collection demonstrates his emotive power of language and creatively striking narrative coherence. This new addition to New Zealand literature offers an expansive collection from a unique cultural and historical perspective.
   Tse’s poetry serves as a vehicle to give a voice to the dead man, by paying respect to the many lives consumed by the crime. Tse uses ‘the year of the snake’—1905—as a symbol to focus the narrative through a moment of culture contact and to consider the time gap between then and now. Tse’s collection provides an emotionally driven occurrence of a cultural and historical event by summoning the ghost of Joe Kum Yung to question justice, empathy and tolerance and how they remain today. The poetic memorial effectively challenges the reader to ponder over who owns the stories, what can we learn from the past and what should we take forward to the future.
   The works are organized around the central narrative of the murder, intertwined with poems focused on contemplating and provoking ideas from the author’s perspective, the perspective of the characters, and the nation as a whole. Tse’s language invites the reader to explore and discover truth and meaning behind this episode and to bring focus to the significance of this tragic event within New Zealand history.—Eleanor Wright

November 26, 2014

Edward Enninful to be honoured at 2014 British Fashion Awards

Lucire staff/11.35

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Edward Enninful will receive the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at this year’s British Fashion Awards, the British Fashion Council announced today.
   Ghanese-born Enninful is a stylist and the current fashion and style director of W.
   In 1991, he became fashion director of I-D, at the age of 18, making him the youngest editor at a major international title. Seven years later, he became contributing fashion editor of Vogue Italia, and he held the same post at Vogue in 2006. In 2011, he took on his role at W.
   Enninful has also worked on campaigns for Gucci, Comme des Garçons, Christian Dior, Dolce and Gabbana, Celine, Lanvin, Mulberry, Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Jil Sander, Calvin Klein, Fendi, Alessandro Dell’Acqua, Hugo Boss, and Missoni.
   I-D founders, Terry and Tricia Jones, said, ‘When the wonderful Simon Foxton first introduced Edward into the I-D family, we had no idea that he would become one of the most outstanding stylists of his generation. He not only brought his own talent to the magazine, but started working with hundreds of other individual youngsters at the beginning of their careers. His fashion corner in the I-D office was always a mecca for ideas and supermodel diversity became one of his many contributions to the international fashion industry.
   ‘We are thrilled and super proud that I-D’s youngest-ever son has travelled so far in his career and feel very privileged to have known him as a teenager. Edward’s own individual talent, his absolute loyalty, his encouragement and promotion of other peoples’ careers, as well as his love and belief in diversity within the industry, is rare and quite unprecedented. We truly believe that Edward’s creative voice, experience and original inspiration fully justify this very prestigious award!’
   Supermodel Naomi Campbell said, ‘Edward is not only one of my dearest friends and brother, but he is also one of the most outstanding people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. His unique talent, drive and imagination are poured into his work, making him responsible for some of the most heart quickening imagery in the history of fashion.’
   Fashion photographer Stephen Klein added, ‘Edward has exquisite taste and precision and is both sensitive to the aim of the photographer and venue without compromising either.’
   Speaking for the British Fashion Council, Natalie Massenet, its chairman, said, ‘Edward’s creative energy and level of vision captures the mood of our times: his work is original, energetic, sincere and unforgettable. His creative journey may have started in London, but today his influence spans the entire globe intersecting the worlds of fashion, art and business.’
   The British Fashion Awards 2014 is sponsored by Swarovski, Canon, MAC, Toni & Guy, Vodafone, American Express, Marks & Spencer, Mercedes Benz, Penhaligon’s, and Rightster.

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