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September 9, 2014

Jaguar launches XE in London, with David Gandy, Stella McCartney, Eva Herzigova, Laura Whitmore

Lucire staff/1.28

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Jaguar has launched its most important car in years with the brand-new XE, a saloon that sees the Indian-owned company tackle a segment dominated by the BMW 3er and Audi A4. The XE also marks a new generation of Jaguars powered by the company’s new series of Ingenium engines, and features a first-in-segment aluminium-intensive monocoque structure for lightness and strength.
   Jaguar Land Rover, which has seen its profits soar in recent years, spared no expense with the XE’s launch in London, bringing celebrities including Stella McCartney, David Gandy, Eva Herzigova, Sir Stirling Moss, JosĂ© Mourinho, Laura Whitmore, Damian Lewis, Ruben Cortada, David Blakeley, Sam Riley, Sienna Guillory, Steve Redgrave, Brian Johnson and Gary Lineker together at an event that saw Emeli SandĂ©, the Kaiser Chiefs, Eliza Doolittle, the Royal Ballet, Max Milner (The Voice), and members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform, and John Hannah narrating.
   While many saw the helicopter delivery of the red XE into London on Monday, Jaguar formally kicked off the launch event that evening at Earls Court with its VIP audience, with the performances evoking models from the company’s past, including the SS100 of 1935.
   SandĂ© composed a ‘Feels Like’ track for the event that had been inspired by the public via social media and the hashtag #FeelXE. The song received its premiĂšre live on a floating stage on the Thames in a 45-minute set later in the evening, with the London Eye and County Hall as a backdrop.
   The performance was complemented with a projection-mapping show on London’s County Hall, showing the public’s messages that inspired the composition. Red flares lit up the London skyline in red to match the hero colour of the new car.
   McCartney will reveal her Parisian Feel XE experience later this month, while Idris Elba will reveal his Feel XE project afterwards.
   Earlier in the day, employees at Jaguar’s Solihull plant—where 1,700 jobs are expected to be created—formed an XE shape as the Red Arrows flew past, and the car was airlifted by helicopter toward London. It was placed on a high-speed landing craft on the Thames to Chelsea Harbour.
   In another nod to its past, Jaguar then had the new XE escorted by two 1960s Mk II police cars from Battersea Bridge to Earls Court.
   The “delivery” was intentional: Jaguar wanted to signal that the XE is the spiritual successor to the Mk II, still considered by many fans to be the quintessential Jaguar close-coupled sporting saloon, and the car that arguably pioneered the segment in which the new model now competes.
   One car from Jaguar’s past that was not mentioned was the X-type, the company’s turn-of-the-century attempt to tap into the compact executive market. Younger buyers rejected that model partly because of its unadventurous styling, overseen by Jaguar’s then-parent company Ford. The X-type was also hampered by its front-wheel-drive transmission on cheaper models, something that Jaguar has avoided repeating by giving the XE rear-wheel drive. It is also the most aerodynamic Jaguar made, with a drag coefficient of 0,26.
   The cab-backward fastback look of the XE takes styling themes established by the XJ and XF, and features a short front overhang and a low driving position. The car looks more aggressive and taut than the larger models, which should appeal to buyers in the segment.
   â€˜Our mission was to create an exciting and dynamic design clearly reflecting the XE’s positioning as a serious driver’s car. The cab-rearward proportions and tight packaging achieve that and give the XE the appearance of movement even when it’s standing still. It bears a strong family resemblance to the F-type and will stand apart in the crowd,’ says Jaguar’s director of design, Ian Callum.
   The aluminium components also mean more effective recycling, and in a world first for cars, Jaguar has specified RC5754, an aluminium alloy made from recycled material.
   The high-tech features extend to Jaguar’s new electric power steering, which is more efficient than a traditional hydraulic system, and what the company calls All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), which works as a low-speed cruise control that can control the brake system and powertrain for the best traction in slippery conditions. The XE also features a laser head-up display, nearly a third lighter than existing systems. Jaguar also dĂ©buts a new InControl infotainment system, which is claimed to be more intuitive, especially with a pioneering plain-speech voice control. The car is also a wifi hotspot for internet-enabled devices, and both Apple Iphone and Android users can control various functions remotely.
   Full details of the XE range will be released at the Salon de Paris on October 2. The range will be topped by a supercharged V6 delivering 340 PS, while the two-litre Ingenium diesel is claimed to deliver 75 mpg (Imperial) with carbon dioxide emissions of 99 g/km. Prices are set to begin at ÂŁ27,000.















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September 3, 2014

Sponsored video: La Redoute wants you to convey the language of love

Lucire staff/11.10

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A Lucire special promotion

The French way of life has always seemed more appealing to Britons. Publicis took this tack in introducing us to Nicole and Papa for the Renault Clio over 20 years ago, with sunny imagery and a sense of joie de vivre. It goes beyond “the grass is greener”, and it’s that Frenchness that retailer La Redoute has taken for its latest campaign.
   It’s not sunny scenery this time, but the French language, which, to most Anglophone ears sounds more appealing. Maybe it’s the way the French have marketed themselves as romantics, and that the ideal language of love is theirs. And with Mr La Redoute (or is Monsieur?), the Francophone character in its latest spot played by Florent Thevenot, things certainly sound smooth.
   Britons are arguably more reserved, partly for cultural reasons and the notion of the “stiff upper lip”, and La Redoute believes the French can help us lighten up and express ourselves.
   In fact, we seem to need Valentine’s Day, birthdays or Christmas to show people we love them—in fact, 22 per cent of people in the UK haven’t said ‘I love you’ in over a year, and only 30 per cent say it daily—but 82 per cent of us wish to hear it. Eighty-three per cent of Brits believe that ‘I love you’ sounds better in a Continental tongue, with 20 per cent preferring to hear it in French. Fifty-five per cent of women admit they have a penchant for French poetry.
   While the spot won’t be lost on Francophones, Mr La Redoute tells unsuspecting Brits charming words of endearment—and without spoiling it, let’s say the participants are not only impressed by the language of love, but he has one more surprise left up his sleeve.
   La Redoute continues to sell French style—its fashion website is number one in fashion and homewares in its home country, and has partnerships with Viktor & Rolf, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Jenzo, Paco Robanne, Yves Saint-Laurent, Isabel Marant and others.
   And it wants to encourage readers to get their messages of love out there, too. Share it with the #languageoflove hashtag on Twitter and Facebook, and get some extra tips from Mr La Redoute via the website.


Post sponsored by La Redoute




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Filed under: culture, fashion, London, TV
September 2, 2014

Land Rover Discovery Sport revealed—claimed to be most versatile, capable premium compact SUV

Jack Yan/23.22

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Tata’s Jaguar Land Rover unit has released the Land Rover Discovery Sport, the successor to the Freelander.
   Land Rover has abandoned the Freelander name, which mainly had support from the UK market, but was less known elsewhere. By using the Discovery name, the new model can trade off the larger, more established SUV’s goodwill in more international markets.
   The compact SUV sector continues to be strong, especially in markets such as China, which has seen many launches over recent years.
   The Discovery Sport is the company’s most versatile entry in the compact sector, rivalling the Audi Q5—yet is shorter than that model while managing to have three rows of seats as standard (in the UK).
   BMW’s X3 and Volvo’s XC60 will also be in the Discovery Sport’s crosshairs.
   The styling combines elements of the existing Freelander’s design language with its clamshell bonnet—which can trace its origins to the Range Rover—and the thick C-pillar, but expressed in sleeker terms. Land Rover’s exterior design challenge was to give the Discovery Sport its sporting appearance—putting the S into SUV—while maximizing interior space.
   Land Rover says it has tried hard to ensure that the Discovery Sport is comfortable for urban use, while maintaining the sort of off-road abilities people have come to expect from its brand. It claims that the vehicle is more suited off-road than its immediate rivals in the compact premium SUV sector, aided by improvements in its Terrain Response software. The Discovery Sport has approach, departure, and breakover angles of 25, 31 and 21 degrees respectively, says the company, and can wade to 600 mm.
   Revised multi-link suspension at the rear has allowed greater space, while making the third row a reality.
   The bodyshell uses steel and aluminium, the latter to reduce weight.
   The interior features high-quality materials, an eight-inch touch-screen system, four 12 V power points, and the option of six USB charging ports for all three rows.
   The launch engine is Land Rover’s 2·2-litre turbodiesel with stop–start, developing 190 PS, with both nine-speed automatic and six-speed manual transmissions. A two-wheel-drive turbodiesel with carbon dioxide emissions of a targeted 119 g/km will be released in 2015.
   The digital reveal of the Sport was at Spaceport America, alongside a Galactic Discovery competition, which will see four winners head to space with Virgin Galactic.—Jack Yan, Publisher










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August 20, 2014

Lindex will open London store for spring 2015

Lucire staff/13.45

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Above An image from Lindex’s autumn 2014 campaign.

Lindex, the Swedish brand now part of the Finnish Stockmann group, will open a store in London in spring 2015.
   The company has been gradually raising its profile over the last few years, including hiring actress PenĂ©lope Cruz to model one of its collections.
   This latest move sees Lindex open at Westfield Stratford City, along with a UK distribution centre. UK customers can already purchase online at lindex.com.
   The store promises to reflect Lindex’s Scandinavian heritage with its dĂ©cor and service.
   â€˜This is a great day in our history. We have longed to offer our affordable and inspiring fashion in an exciting city like London, one of the world’s most attractive shopping destinations,’ said Lindex CEO Ingvar Larsson in a release.
   Lindex notes that London has more global fashion brands than any other city.

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Filed under: fashion, London, Lucire, Sweden
August 6, 2014

Aston Martin announces 2015 Vanquish and Rapide S, with eight-speed Touchtronic gearbox

Lucire staff/12.21

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One concern observers have for Aston Martin, one of the few specialist car makers without a major parent (though Daimler now owns 5 per cent), is the ageing model range. There have been some newer models lately at the top end—the Vanquish and Rapide S—both on advanced adaptations of the VH platform, and the announcement by Aston Martin Lagonda today of improvements to these ranges should bring some solace to its fans.
   The 2015 model year improvements see a new Touchtronic III eight-speed automatic gearbox, which has been integrated, with the help of ZF, to the ranges. The 0–100 km/h times have improved, with the Vanquish reaching the mark in 3·8 s, and the four-door Rapide S hitting it in 4·4 s. Maximum power is now 576 PS for the Vanquish and 560 PS for the Rapide S, with torque up to 630 Nm at 5,500 rpm for both lines. Carbon dioxide emissions have dropped 10 per cent, to 298 g/km for the Vanquish and 300 g/km for the Rapide S; while fuel economy is now a claimed 31 mpg (9·1 l/100 km) for both lines, an 11 per cent improvement, on the EU’s extra-urban cycle.
   Ratio changes and a revised final drive see the top speed at over 320 km/h.
   The revised software has Drive and Drive Sport modes as well as Paddle Shift and Paddle Shift Sport options, and the shifts are quicker (130 ms) with the new gearbox.
   The dampers have also been uprated on the Vanquish (15 per cent stiffer at front and 35 per cent at rear), aiding dynamics. The Rapide S gets larger front brakes. Rear suspension bushes are 20 per cent stiffer.
   Visually, there are new alloy wheel designs and colour options, including the Diavalo Red that was previously only available on the V12 Zagato. There are also new leather trim options inside.
   While Aston Martin has not said that the improvements will filter to the rest of the range, recent history suggests that upgrades are eventually shared.
   Deliveries commence in the third quarter.






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Filed under: design, living, Lucire
July 28, 2014

Sponsored video: getting real people behind L’OrĂ©al Paris’s Elvive Fibrology

Lucire staff/12.19

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A Lucire special promotion

We are used to seeing L’OrĂ©al Paris have the world’s most glamorous models and celebrities appear in their advertisements, so it makes a nice change when everyday people are asked to appear—as they do in its latest Elvive Fibrology thickening hair care promotion.
   Between January 22 and April 24, 2014, Boots UK, looking at its online and offline purchases, says one item from the Fibrology range is sold every 12 second on average, making it one of L’OrĂ©al’s most popular lines.
   Having real people makes the advertisement more easily related, and L’OrĂ©al builds on the initial promotion by having each woman in the ad—ZoĂ«, Sarah, Priya, Jade and Lucy—elaborate even further on their favourite Fibrology hair care product.
   For ZoĂ©, it’s the Thickness Booster serum; Sarah says she can feel the Fibrology shampoo ‘expanding’; Priya favours the Double Serum; Jade likes the Fibrology Thickness Booster; and Lucy names the conditioner.
   Each woman gives her tips on using the product and reveals her one secret based on her use of Fibrology.
   Their Q&As are made complete by their sharing thoughts on how their L’OrĂ©al Paris TV shoot went—where they were treated just as one might see Eva Longoria, Cheryl Cole, Aishwarya Rai or Araya A. Hargate pampered on set.
   Each was auditioned beginning with a casual casting session, while the day of filming saw the women choose from a variety of outfits. ZoĂ« says, ‘More importantly, my hair has never looked better!’ It does seem that the enjoyment they’re having in L’OrĂ©al Paris’s promotional video below is genuine—and, after all, they are worth it.



Post sponsored by L’OrĂ©al Paris

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Filed under: beauty, hair, London, modelling, Paris
July 3, 2014

Luxury watch brand Christopher Ward develops its own innovative movement

Lucire staff/23.17

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British luxury watch brand Christopher Ward has announced the development of its own watch movement, the Calibre SH21.
   Mike France, one of the co-founders, explains that the brand breaks the rules and ‘to be the masters of our own destiny.
   â€˜Last year, the CEO of a major Swiss luxury watch brand heard rumours about SH21 and his—frankly, affronted—comment was, “What gives you the license to do that?”
   â€˜We give ourselves license to do this. Ten years ago we launched the world’s first pure online business model for luxury watches; a new paradigm in blending supreme quality with unprecedented value that challenged the industry norm. Today, we are advancing to a new level of independence that strengthens the future growth of the business and enables us to develop a family of movements, the first of which is the beautiful C9 Harrison 5 Day Automatic, housing the Calibre SH21, which we also launched today.’
   France expects to see Calibre SH21 being the core of a whole suite of movements.
   The development was spurred by young watchmaker Johannes Jahnke, who examined medical industry tooling and car manufacture, thinking outside the square.
   Jahnke, along with industry veteran Jorg Bader. came with Christopher Ward’s merger with Synergies HorlogĂšres.
   Chris Ward, the co-founder from whom the brand takes its name, calls the development of the new movement ‘probably the most significant watch industry development by a British brand in the past 50 years.’
   The new movement gives Christopher Ward independence from movements supplied by Swiss companies, with Swatch the largest player.

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Filed under: design, fashion, living, London, Lucire, TV
June 18, 2014

A sporting day at the Cartier Queen’s Cup: Lady Natasha Finch, Kristin Davis, Michelle Dockery, Astrid Muñoz

Lucire staff/11.29

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Hugo Burnand


Tim Griffiths

The Cartier Queen’s Cup Final was held on Sunday, marking the jeweller’s 30th year of sponsorship. Team Zacara beat Team Talandracas 10–7 in the match on June 15 on the Queen’s Ground at Guards Polo Club, Windsor Great Park.
   The Grenadier Guards performed before the match, parading in the shape of the figure 30 to mark the anniversary.
   HM Queen Elizabeth II and HM Queen Noor of Jordan were in attendance. HM Queen Elizabeth II presented the trophy to Zacara’s Lyndon Lea, the well known financier. Cartier executive chairman Arnaud M. Bamberger and managing director Laurent Feniou played host, and guests included the Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven, Sharlely Kerssenberg and Boris Becker, Stefanie Powers, Bianca Jagger, Michelle Dockery, Rupert Finch and Lady Natasha Finch, Kristin Davis, Jilly Cooper, OBE, Christopher Biggins, Astrid Muñoz, Frances O’Connor, Galen Weston and the Hon Hilary Weston, Eduardo Novillo Astrada, Lady Beresford and Caroline Beresford, best friends Greta Bellamacina, Amber Atherton and Poppy Jamie, Giorgio Veroni, Emily Tarrant, Garth Bearman, Urs Schwarzenbach, and Hugo Bamberger.
   At the reception, Cartier served its own brand of champagne with lunch by Mosimann’s, which consisted of Dorset crab and poached lobster, pickled cucumber, heritage tomato and radish salad, with a dill dressing for the starter. For the main, guests enjoyed fillet of Angus beef accompanied by warm summer vegetables and Jersey royals with herb vinaigrette and horseradish cream. Vanilla panna cotta with English strawberries and honeycomb alongside coffee and petits fours were served for dessert. John Carter supplied the floral arrangements, with red dahlia, red antirrhinum, deep pink peonies, artichokes, red rose plants and red gladioli.
   The two teams had begun the tournament in a field of 15, commencing May 20.


Tim Griffiths






Hugo Burnand







Tim Griffiths



Hugo Burnand


Tim Griffiths


Hugo Burnand






Tim Griffiths


Hugo Burnand

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