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February 27, 2015

Debbie does glamping

Elyse Glickman/12.38

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Igor Spektor

In a very friendly, relaxed and airy Stardust Penthouse atop the Beverly Hilton, guests of Debbie Durkin’s 2015 edition of the Eco Luxe Oscar Style Lounge could receive posh perk-ups, including blow-drys, organic spray tans and make-up touch-ups by OC Hair & Makeup. Celebrity pets were treated to eco-friendly goodies from Canadog and other vendors.
   Choices Recovery was the very timely charitable focus of the event, and reps from the organization were on hand to educate and raise awareness of the options that exist for those struggling with substance abuse. To set the mood, Durkin’s team joined forces with innovative company Under Canvas, known for its retreat packages to such healing destinations in the US as Moab, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. The hotel penthouse was transformed into a glamorous camping-style escape (hence ‘glamping’) with stylish hunting lodge-chic décor. Élan Event Rentals, LBPS Events and Frances Lynn Creative Florals provided beautiful assistance in setting the mood for both the day- and night-time festivities (hosted by Real Housewives of Orange County cast member Gretchen Christine Rossi and Chris Booker of AMP Radio).
   Attendees included nominees and winners from the crews of films such as American Sniper, The Theory of Everything, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hobbit and Whiplash. They included Ben Wilkins (Oscar winner, Whiplash, for best sound mixing), Elise Robertson (Oscar nominee, American Sniper), Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou (Oscar nominee, Guardians of the Galaxy, for make-up and hairstyling), Jason Canovas (Oscar nominee, The Hobbit, for sound editing), Lisa Bruce (producer of The Theory of Everything), Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), philanthropist Nancy Davis (Race to Erase MS), Carolyn Hennesy (Revenge), Ken Davitian (Borat), Christian Oliver (Alarm für Cobra 11: die Autobahnpolizei), Amanda Adrienne, Claudia Wells, Kelly Perine, Jillian Murray, Craig Scime, Cassandra Michaels, Daisy Jacobs, Suzan Brittan, Adina Porter, May Wang, Andrea Bogart, and our friends Donna Spangler and Richie Benveniste.
   Daytime guests stopped by for make-up, spray tans and hair touch-ups from nationwide mobile company OC Hair & Make-up, stocked up on pet gear from CanaDog and KD Pet Protector, and canine babysitting services from Gardena-based Camp Run-a-Mutt. VIPs left with gift bags containing gift certificates for dog collars by Let There Be Collars and complimentary services at Animal Healing & Wellness. Humans got certificates for free candles at Sugar Mint Candle Co. and complimentary sessions at Body & Brain Yoga in Burbank.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor, and Leyla Messian, LA Correspondent







































Igor Spektor



Israel David Groveman

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February 26, 2015

All in good taste: the Secret Room’s 2015 Oscar lounge

Elyse Glickman/5.40

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Depending on how you see it, an Oscar event staged in a small courtyard and an adjoining room can either read as “exclusive”, “intimate” or “scaled down”. While the roving day spa-and-boutique complexes staged on sprawling estates of 2005 have found their place in Hollywood lore, in 2015, they are pretty much replaced with self-contained pocket-sized lounges whose live vendors support the theme of an event’s charity of choice. And sometimes, less really can be more.
   This go round, Rita Branch and Amy Boatwright’s Secret Room Beauty Bar & Luxury Lounge trumpeted the organization Fashionomics Live!, which offers high school students an engaging career exploring process behind the scenes at businesses and events. The group’s Tour Stop and Pop-Up internship programme helps students embrace the process of exploring multiple professions and careers in fashion and other industries with the intention of helping them become better prepared for their college years.
   Tony & Guy took over one corner of the W Hotel Westwood’s courtyard (where Red Carpet Events staged their pre-Grammy celebration), treating VIPs to with spa, beauty, massage and hair services, while those waiting could sip on new branded coffees from Guy Fieri and the Cake Boss and snack on decadent ice-cream-flavoured yoghurt from German company Müller or sip BrainToniq energy drinks. Ancestry.com was also on hand to provide a perspective on the unique things that made the guests (literally) what they are today.
   After those nifty touch-ups press and celebrities could stock up on fat blockers by Calorease, vitamin gummies from Fiber Choice for immunity and metabolism boosts, heartburn relief from Gutsy Chewy, brow boosters from Revitalash, and fantastic wine from Argentine and Chilean producers. Silver Jewelry by Night Fox by Kate Finley was the fashion highlight of the event, with its rough hewn elegance offset by semiprecious and precious stones. Kate’s pieces are hand-crafted from recycled sterling silver and gold using techniques such as Torch fusion (connecting metal without solder) reticulation (surface of the metal is heated to melting point and then quickly cooled) and lost wax casting.
   Bags reserved exclusively for celebrity guests included vouchers for vacations at some of the world’s great resorts (including Anantara, Waiakea, Old Bahama Bay, West Glow Resort & Spa and the Aria Hotel in Budapest) as well as fashion and accessories from LeTarte, Elizabeth Jane, Huit, Paula Callejas and Uzurii Swarovski-encrusted flip-flops.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor



Above Night Fox by Kate Finley was the jewellery stand-out at the Oscar edition of the Secret Room Beauty Bar & Luxury Lounge this year.












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February 3, 2015

Don Quixote opens the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s 2015 season

Lucire staff/2.35

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Ross Brown

The Royal New Zealand Ballet opens its 2015 season in March with Don Quixote, marking its first production under the company’s new artistic director Francesco Ventriglia.
   The sets and costumes have been conceived by former artistic director and designer Gary Harris, whose prior work for the RNZB included The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty, with choreography by Adrian Burnett after Marius Petipa.
   This version of the classic ballet, set in Barcelona, was first seen at the end of 2008 and is known as a vibrant, effervescent take, set to the music of Ludwig Minkus, conducted by Nigel Gaynor. Sir Jon Trimmer had the lead role in the earlier production.
   Ventriglia said in a release, ‘I’m very happy that in my first season I can push our young talented dancers to rise to the challenge that this ballet presents to combine brilliant balletic technique with the great acting ability. The dancers have a superb story to tell and they will give it their all.’
   The story follows the ageing Don Quixote and his young nephew Sancho, as they aid the two lovers, the beautiful Kitri and the penniless Basilio, while dealing with the villainous Gamache, and Kitri’s pretentious father.
   Don Quixote opens at the St James Theatre in Wellington on March 4, touring until April 1 to Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin, Auckland and Palmerston North. More details can be found at www.rnzb.org.nz.
   The following season sees Salute, a collaboration between the Royal New Zealand Ballet, the New Zealand Army Band, and Dwayne Bloomfield, Gareth Farr, Neil Ieremia and Andrew Simmons, commemorating the centenary of World War I.

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January 27, 2015

Stoneleigh hosts pop-up bar for Volvo Ocean Race’s Auckland stopover

Lucire staff/4.16

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From top The Stoneleigh pop-up bar at the Auckland stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race. Scenes at sea over the weekend during the Volvo Ocean Race: from the all-women Team SCA, where Sam Davies and crew sail past a traditional Vietnamese fishing boat; and on board Dongfeng Race Team.

When the Volvo Ocean Race hits Auckland, Stoneleigh will host a pop-up garden bar from February 27 to March 15.
   The bar will be located at Te Wero Island on the Auckland Viaduct, and Stoneleigh will serve its Latitude wines from Marlborough’s Golden Mile, complemented by food from Masu restaurant.
   It will open from 11.30 a.m. to 10 p.m. during this period.
   ‘We’re thrilled to be associated with such a highly anticipated event,’ said Stoneleigh winemaker, Jamie Marfell. ‘The Auckland stopover of the 2014–15 Volvo Ocean Race is being held in a superb location and we look forward to taking in all of the in-port action.’

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January 12, 2015

GBK and Pilot Pens take off with their 2015 Golden Globes’ extravaganza

Elyse Glickman/11.05

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When Gavin Keilly calls a party, A-list celebrities and press show up, rain or shine, especially when the food is delicious, the goodies are stylish and functional, and the charities are truly doing some worthwhile things to make the world a better place. Once again, GBK’s Golden Globes’ suite took place in the ballrooms of the W Hotel Hollywood with an international array of covetable goodies and worthy causes.
   World Vision is best known for their infomercials and work to benefit children in developing countries through fundraisers and holistic community development programmes. At this event, they went above and beyond timely to present a programme that provides unusual way for groups to give back: a group- or team-building activity involving the assemblage of ebola kits for workers in stricken areas. They also offered hand-crafted tote bags from Thailand whose manufacture benefits rural communities.
   Lambda Legal continued their work advancing civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy advocacy. Yes! Beat Liver Tumors continued to get their message out about providing information, resources and support for people affected by cancer in its advanced stages. Citizen E-Cig, meanwhile, was on hand to help with the cause of encouraging people to quit smoking for the sake of the environment at large and their own personal health with their classy line of e-cigs.
   You could say the fashion offerings were quite “crafty” this go around, and not only because Artisan Group was back with some beautiful one-off pieces on display. The ladies of Samiah Fine Clothing encouraged guests to express their inner rock star through trying on their bespoke jackets and coats, and sending them on their way with hand-made brocade shoulder bags. Sledge USA was all about team spirit with its forthcoming Major League Baseball collection (I was partial to the Chicago-related gear), stunning contemporary silver and brass pieces from Westland Jewelry, a gift card from Canada-based Beyond the Rack (which allows us to select something we really want or need-genius!), empowerment-themed jewels from BraveChick.com and some Canadian-made, chic-yet-homespun hats from Canada Bliss.
   Smart items for the avid traveller included elegantly crafted totes, laptop bags and tablet cases from Solo from their upcoming spring collection, a three-night stay at Puerto Vallarta Beach Club in a private, spacious three-bedroom villa, feather-light headphones in jazzy colours from LG Electronics and the new H2V Eye-tox 3 serum from Burke Williams and a Burke Williams Advanced Eye Lift enhancement (much welcome after 18 hour-flights from abroad and red-eye flights from New York). In at-home pampering, VIPs received home spa products and soaps from Beauty Kitchen by Heather Marianna and a full set of Sheex bedding fashioned from performance fabrics.
   At this suite, nobody went home hungry, with the presence of GBK regulars Barrys Gourmet Brownies and Sabra savouries. Newcomers included Cupcake Fusion LA, a bakery known for delightful and whimsical combinations of sweet and savoury cupcakes, which was on site providing gift cards and cupcakes; kosher sweets from My Candy Basket; and Corazons Custom Catering, a family-owned Filipino business catering yummy Filipino–French snacks and gifting certificates for complimentary food tasting parties. You could wash all this good stuff down with cocktails made with Bare Organic Mixers, which are organic, low-calorie, gluten-free delights made with juice, water, and agave syrup as well as portable and potable Nuvino Wines from South Africa, Argentina, Chile and Australia.
   Pilot Pen not only offered fashionable and exceptional writing instruments, but also a chic Japanese ambiance that covered much of the GBK space, inspired by the centuries-old Japanese art of maki-e. VIPs received the Vanishing Point Fountain Pen, while all guests received FriXion Clicker Erasable Gel Ink Pen 8 Pack Pouch, an entirely new kind of erasable pen that is retractable, has striking good looks and ink that is formulated to write smooth and erase cleanly.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor







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Paris shows solidarity in Sunday’s March for Unity

Lola Cristall/5.08

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Lola Cristall

The March for Unity that took place today in Paris was announced as the largest demonstration in the history of France, with an estimated 1·5 million to 2 million on the capital’s streets. The interior ministry believes that there had not been so many since the liberation of Paris in August 1944. A number of people from around the world, politicians and celebrities walked the streets throughout the afternoon.
   Lucire’s Paris editor Lola Cristall took these photographs as she joined others to commemorate and celebrate the victims of Paris’s terror attacks last week.
   The deaths included staff at the satirical Charlie Hebdo, where cartoonists Charb, Cabu, Tignous et Wolinski (the pen names for Stéphane Charbonnier, who was also editor, Jean Cabut, Bernard Verlhac and Georges Wolinski) and police officers Franck Brinsolaro and Ahmed Merabat were slain in a massacre on Wednesday. Police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe was killed the following day in a related attack, and four civilians were killed in a siege on Friday.
   ‘While my domain is predominantly the luxury and entertainment sector, the pictures might be of interest to some people to see how so many came together in the city to support the innocent journalists, artists and victims,’ said Cristall.
   ‘The city is coming together as one. They were phenomenal artists,’ she added.
   Those in the march chanted, ‘On est tous Charlie’ (‘We are all Charlie’) and ‘Charlie Charlie Charlie,’ holding up banners and placards, reading everything from ‘Je suis Charlie’ (‘I am Charlie’), which began trending on the day of the massacre on Tumblr and other social media, and ‘Nous sommes Charlie’ (‘We are Charlie’) to ‘Je suis Muslim’ (‘I am Muslim’). French flags, hearts and Charlie Hebdo covers were also seen in the march.
   World leaders also participated in the march, including French president François Hollande, HM Queen Rania of Jordan, German chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, British prime minister David Cameron, Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Këita, Polish prime minister Ewa Kopacz, Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu, and Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry, US attorney-general Eric Holder, European Council president Donald Tusk, and UK opposition leader Ed Miliband were also present.
   Reporters sans frontières were critical of the presence of Davutoglu and Shoukry, as their countries had restricted press freedoms.
   Public transport was free in Paris to discourage private car use for the march.
   Earlier in the week, Jean Paul Gaultier and his staff posed for a photograph where they held up ‘Je suis Charlie’ print-outs, showing unity with the fallen journalists.


Jean Paul Gaultier

Above Jean Paul Gaultier and his staff with ‘Je suis Charlie’ banners, showing solidarity with the fallen at the massacre at Charlie Hebdo. Below More scenes from Paris on Friday and during the March for Unity on Sunday.












Lola Cristall

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December 18, 2014

Brancott Estate Falcon Encounter opens in Marlborough

Lucire staff/10.37

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The Marlborough Falcon Trust Falcon Valley has opened at the Brancott Estate Heritage Centre this week, a memorable destination for travellers in New Zealand this summer. The result of a partnership between the Trust and Brancott Estate, visitors can check get up close with a kārearea (New Zealand falcon) for a donation. The donations will go toward falcon awareness and rehabilitation at the Trust’s aviary in Marlborough.
   The Trust has two advocacy birds in flight that visitors can see as part of the Brancott Estate Falcon Encounter. The birds help keep grape-eating birds away from the vineyard, and can reach 200 km/h when hunting.
   There are fewer than 3,000 pairs if kārearea in the wild, and they face a number of threats, including loss of habitat, electrocution on power poles, collisions with turbines on wind farms, predation by cats and hedgehogs, and stoats and rats preying on eggs and nestlings. They are listed as a threatened species by the Department of Conservation.
   The Falcon Encounter also includes a tasting of wines from the Brancott Estate Living Land range of organic wines. The range has raised a good deal of the NZ$500,000 that the winery has given to the Trust, where NZ$1 from each bottle is donated to the Living Land Fund. The funds have helped finance a 16-pen rehabilitation and breeding aviary, and the ongoing care of falcons.

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December 8, 2014

Sponsored video: Airbnb gives you a home, not a space

Lucire staff/14.19

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A Lucire special promotion


While Lucire has traditionally talked about flash accommodation at luxury resorts, there is a whole market that many now prefer: short-term living quarters where everyday people can be a host to travellers, bridging the gap between Couchsurfing and a hotel.
   Started in 2007 by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, offering their own loft up for those attending the Industrial Design Conference that year. They turned their living room into a guest room, with three air mattresses, and gave a homemade breakfast. The site, Airbedandbreakfast.com, launched the following year after a third founder, Nathan Blecharczyk, joined Chesky and Gebbia. The name was later shortened to Airbnb.com.
   Now with 800,000 listings in 33,000 cities and 192 countries, Airbnb has reached a level of maturity, and débuted a new identity and tagline earlier this year. ‘Belong Anywhere’ reiterates what Airbnb is all about. As Chesky puts it, their first guests in 2007 ‘learned our favourite places to grab coffee, ate the best tacos in the city, and had friends to hang out with whenever they wanted. They were thousands of miles from where they lived, and yet they felt right at home.’ A house, he says, is just a space, but ‘a home is where you belong.’ The rewards to staying with an Airbnb property are personal, not financial, because people can connect, rather than have the bland experience of some of the mass-market spaces.
   They’ve even gone so far as to allow people to make their own Airbnb logos, provided they roughly follow the official symbol, and like all of the best ones, it’s remarkably easy to draw and identify. A revamped website and a new commercial have come as part of the rebrand, the latter showcasing the variety of places that a typical Airbnb customer might find on the website. Littered cleverly through the animated ad are Airbnb logos and, being an internationally targeted spot, all manner of homes and locations are suggested, from châteaux to beach bungalows.
   Chesky notes that since he co-founded the business, he has been invited to the wedding of one of his guests. One host who was trapped in his house during the 2011 London riots was fine—as seven of his former guests went to see if he was OK. And another offered up her home for free during Hurricane Sandy. These are all examples that Chesky says have made Airbnb far more personal than the mass-market experiences.


Article sponsored by Airbnb

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