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August 19, 2014

Essentials for a WOW of a home Emmy party

Elyse Glickman/11.40

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Elyse Glickman

Sometimes we like to play dress up, and other times, we like to celebrate to the max at home. For their 2014 Emmy suite, WOW Creations’ dynamic duo (and brothers) Mark and Matt Harris made all guests coming to the Luxe Hotel’s penthouse in Beverly Hills feel right at home.
   While the dips, wine and cheese will be up to you, set your gathering apart from the others’ with wholesome things. Forgo the chemical filled tortilla or potato chips for hearty, crackers from Cottage Kitchen, GMO-free accompaniments made without hydrogenated oils, no yeast, no sugar and a lot of flavour. HeatSweets also provided guests with a nice set of condiments balancing sweet and savoury through jams and relishes (jalapeno strawberry jelly, habanero strawberry jelly, jalapeno ginger jelly and sweet jalapeno relish) to jazz up meat and cheese canapés.
   The Maui Cookie Lady was on hand to send celebs and media home with inspired indulgences with such apt names as Da Bacon-Nator, the Dentist’s Dilemma, Kona Coffee Espresso and Nutella Raspberry Truffle, while WOW veteran Sarah’s Skinny Sweets balanced things out with biscuits that are big on flavour but low in carbs, diabetic and paleo-friendly, and free of soy, dairy and gluten.
   The Harris brothers also made sure guests would have something on hand—Rockin’ Wellness—for their visitors on a diet or cleanse. The shake mix, which works with coconut, almond or soy milk, is loaded with vitamins, minerals, Omega 3, 6 and 9 as well as being high in fibre and protein.
   The perfect accent for your guest bathroom or visible sink were liquid and hand soaps in beautiful bed-and-breakfast inn ready packaging from Ranch Organics, a line of hand-crafted, mineral-rich products produced from a real farm in America’s heartland. For post-entertaining laundry, Millstone Farm & Organics invited guests to try out their Natural Wool Dryer Balls, which can be scented with various oils and can help dry machine-washed clothes will dry in half the time. Last-minute sleepover? Beantown Bedding was there to help with their biodegradable and disposable linens.
   The pièce de résistance for this Emmy’s edition of the WOW Suite (that thing you will want to keep and use for a long time) was the innovative Koreball, an easy-to-store-and-pack medicine ball–kettleball hybrid to help you get a jump on working off those calories.
   And what to wear for your red-carpet workout (in anticipation for the following week’s festivities) or a super-comfy and casual at-home Emmyfest? Fun, ’80s-inspired cropped T-shirts from Gary Red Brand Apparel, a Los Angeles-based clothing line featuring positive messaging as ‘Touch the heart, open your mind’ to push forth the designer’s values of community and diversity. Certainly more complex than, ‘Frankie says relax’. Pair that with sandals from Pedi Princess by Laura Slipak: they’re one step ahead of those high-fashion flips from Brazil, offered in a carnival of exotic designs and toe separator gems that protect a fresh pedicure and stay on your feet rather than “flop”.
   Neo Choice was on hand with much necessary hair irons (as LA’s hottest and most humid time of year is usually around Emmy time), while Derwood Couture had ties to make men and pets more dapper than ever.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor









Elyse Glickman

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Sponsored video: Wasa uses paid parental leave to sell crisp bread

Lucire staff/10.53

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A Lucire special promotion



Wasa’s blue and yellow logo already indicates its origins—Sweden. It’s a brand that most Swedes already know, as the company has been making knäckebröd, a type of cracker or crisp bread, for decades. The company, founded by K. E. Lundström in 1919 in Skellefteå, might now be under Italian ownership, but it still has its royal warrant, probably helped by Wasa’s name’s connection to the 16th-century monarch Gustav I and the Vasa dynasty.
   The new advertising campaign, aimed at the US, doesn’t look into the name’s royal origins, but plays on its perceived Swedishness. As multinational food brands go, many of them, now absorbed into bigger players, rely on their national origins for differentiation, and Wasa is no exception. The difference is that Wasa knäckebröd remains very Swedish in its execution and is seen as quintessential.
   But what is Sweden about? It certainly makes a telling contrast to the United States. The advertisement stays away from anything controversial like health care or law enforcement, and touches on Sweden’s image of an egalitarian democracy.
   Clarissa, the American businesswoman in Sweden for work, attends a yoga class, only to find that her classmates are a group of attractive fathers with their babies.
   Sweden offers 16 months’ paid parental leave or föräldraförsäkringen. Ninety per cent of Swedish fathers take the leave. This can be contrasted to New Zealand, which offers 14 weeks, increasing to 18 in 2016, after the policy was introduced by the Alliance in the 2000s. The US, where the ad is targeted, offers none—joining Lesotho, Liberia, Swaziland and Papua New Guinea.
   Proclaims one of the Dads in the ad, ‘This is Sweden. We have something called pappaledighet. It’s when the daddies stay at home for six months while the moms are working.’ Clarissa breaks the fourth wall, and ponders, ‘We sent a man to the moon. What a waste, when we could have sent him to the playground as our Swedish sisters do.’
   And to seal the deal, perhaps in a very obvious fashion, a baby brings her a box of Wasa crisp bread.
   It’s an unusual approach to selling a fast-moving consumer good, but it emphasizes that the Swedish national image remains a very healthy one for companies that have a connection to the Nordic nation.


Article sponsored by Wasa

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Filed under: culture, living, society, Sweden
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 13, 2014

Wild kingdom

Elyse Glickman/2.16

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Elyse Glickman


Red Carpet Events LA

Red Carpet Events LA teamed up with the PETA2 organization to use the 2014 Teen Choice Awards as a platform for positive messages: starting the school year right and embracing a cause teens and young adults can, literally, make their own. Glitz and glamour met with common sense in mid-August in the SLS Beverly Hills’ now fabled ballroom.
   PETA2, the little sister of cause célèbre organization PETA, was born in 2002, when PETA realized there were young people as eager to support animal rights and take on a vegetarian lifestyle as their adult counterparts. PETA2’s birthplace was the 2002 Warped tour, featuring the likes of Fall Out Boy and Rise Against. Young concert attendees took on the now iconic ‘I Am Not A Nugget’ slogan (complete with cute chick graphic) as their first battle cry, and committed to steering clear of fast food giants and designers using materials sourced from non-ethical means.
   Humanely made grooming products offered to the young trend-setters in attendance (snapped here are Brendan Robinson, Hunter King and Joey King, Mia Talerico, Paris Berelc, Samantha Logan, Simonna, Lexi Noel and Kathryn Newton) included Rock Your Hair by Michael O’Rourke hair products (love the tastefully bejewelled bottles), Joy and Mario Footwear (beautiful and sturdy espadrilles crafted with colourful fabrics and styles that caused a near riot among the attendees); Worx Toys, bronzers and brushes from celebrity favourite Ofra cosmetics, the space-saving Hot Iron Holster, closet space-saving glam from the Diva Box, Artwear Designs Ts and tanks, and adjustable Hipsy Headbands for Women. Some celebrities snapped up breezy late summer fashion from Nredom Snoitome.
   Dermalogica (the Clear Start Line) and Tikkun Spa were on hand to provide young attendees with perfect skin care solutions for acne and complexion issues, while internal nourishment was offered via Zico coconut water and SoyJoy bars.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor





Red Carpet Events LA





Elyse Glickman

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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 29, 2014

Pandora launches Hearts of Today programme to reward charitable causes

Lucire staff/11.23

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Scott McDermott

In true Scandinavian fashion, jewellery brand Pandora continues to be engaged in corporate social responsibility, launching its Hearts of Today programme on Monday.
   Pandora plans to support charitable causes, beyond the ones it is already engaged in now, such as those for breast cancer awareness, and is asking the public to nominate the ones it feels are the most deserving.
   Hearts of Today is for the US only at this point. Pandora has appointed five women who will form the jury that will pick from the public entries, narrowing them down to 20 semifinalists. The public then votes on the top 20, bringing the final number to eight, who will be honoured at a luncheon in November. Each of the eight receives a US$25,000 donation to help their organization.
   The jurors are Penny Abeywardena, human rights advocate; Shaun Robinson, Emmy Award-winning journalist; June Sarpong, philanthropist; Dr Pepper Schwartz, sociologist and author; and Andrea Alvey, member of the Pandora A/S board of directors.
   The jurors will look at health and well-being, community development, and professional and social empowerment, says Pandora.

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July 28, 2014

Amy Malin, AnnaLynne McCord, Corey Feldman, Rani Hong commem­orate World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Lucire staff/13.58

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Igor Spektor

Above Amy Malin gives her powerful speech on being a survivor of rape, assault and torture; actor Corey Feldman looks on.

Amy Malin, AnnaLynne McCord, Corey Feldman, all of whom have suffered serious sexual assaults, joined Rani Hong, a survivor of slavery and child trafficking, at an event on Friday in Los Angeles, hosted by Malin and the Tronie Foundation, to celebrate World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
   Pianist Chloe Flower, Hill Harper, Nestor Serrano and Ryan Devlin were among the celebrities who attended the event, where Malin, McCord, Feldman and Hong recounted their horrific events from their past to highlight the world’s ongoing problems with human trafficking and domestic violence.
   Malin’s story of rape, imprisonment, and physical and mental torture at the hands of one sociopathic tormenter, and violent physical relationships for 11 years of her life, was incredibly compelling, and brought a powerful, real human face to the issues. ‘In my humble opinion, domestic violence is the worst plague on humanity and is the root cause of so many of our other social problems. Everyone in this room knows someone who is a survivor or a victim of domestic violence, only you just might not know it yet, and that’s because the shame-and-blame culture of our society makes most survivors of abuse too afraid or ashamed to come forward with their stories and get the help that they need. It takes most survivors many years before they can even process the atrocities that they have experienced, and then even longer before they are comfortable in a safe, physical and emotional space to share what they gave endured with somebody else.’
   She reminded the audience that she was not alone, and that events like this continue every day around the world, in our own communities behind closed doors. (Her passionate address from the event can be found at her website.)
   Hong, who co-founded the Tronie Foundation and is a special adviser to UN.GIFT (United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking), was taken from her family at age seven and sold to a slave master. Her mental and physical condition was so poor by the time she was eight, she was sold into illegal adoption. She also shared her story at the event: like Malin, she gave a voice to the millions who were unable to.
   McCord and Feldman also shared stories of sexual assault. McCord, who noted that she was always careful, recounts that she was sexually assaulted at home by someone she trusted. She has recently written and directed a short film, I Choose, about ‘a woman who chooses and a woman who doesn’t, because I’ve been both.’ (The film is embedded below, as our fourth video.) It was important for McCord to tell real-life stories, again to bring a human face to the massive problems of sexual assault. Feldman, meanwhile, notes that rape is Hollywood’s darkest secret, and that that had driven him to years of substance abuse, and that fellow actor Corey Haim was similarly a victim, having been raped at age 11.
   They believe that people in the entertainment industry can help to eradicate human trafficking and domestic violence. Malin suggests that producers should, when filming abroad, do due diligence to ensure that they do not do business with those using slaves or people being paid a pittance. She also adds that audiences should see strong, female characters who have overcome great odds, including stories reflecting hers and Hong’s. Hollywood, she believes, has a unique opportunity to make real change.
   The cycle of violence would never be broken, says Malin, if the film industry continues to reward Roman Polanski with Oscars after his admission of sexual assault, or if it continues to work with men such as Woody Allen, who has been accused by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow of sexual assault.
   She and her husband Scott, who have a son, plan to adopt a daughter from the Los Angeles foster system who has been a victim of abuse, to show that ‘she will have the beautiful and amazing life she deserves, and that she will never go through the hell that I did.’—Jack Yan, Publisher

AnnaLynne McCord’s film, I Choose


Igor Spektor



Splash News





Igor Spektor


Splash News

Above, from top AnnaLynne McCord. Special adviser to the United Nations, Rani Hong, speaks at Amy Malin and the Tronie Foundation’s salon to celebrate World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Rani Hong and Amy Malin. Isabelle Katz, AnnaLynne McCord, Yelena Zava, Amber Bobin and Chloe Flower. AnnaLynne McCord, Corey Feldman, Amy Malin and Amber Bobin. Attorney Paul Hirose, actor Corey Feldman and DAMA Tequila CEO Philip Delacruz. Actor Nestor Serrano and his wife Debbie.

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