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Margot Robbie is the newest face of Chanel’s J12 watch campaign

Filed by Lucire staff/April 27, 2021/23.38


Chanel Watches

Australian actress Margot Robbie is the new face of Chanel’s J12 watch campaign.
   Robbie, who has been associated with Chanel since March 2018, appeared earlier this week at the Oscars in a custom mermaid dress inspired by look 47 in Chanel’s autumn–winter 2019–20 haute couture collection. The dress took 205 hours of work. She also donned Chanel fine jewellery.
   Since 2018, she has helmed numerous Chanel campaigns and was photographed by Karl Lagerfeld for Coco Neige in July 2018. She also modelled for the Gabrielle Chanel Essence fragrance.
   As the new face of the J12 watch, Robbie joins, inter alia, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Ali McGraw, Vanessa Paradis, Lily-Rose Depp, and Keira Knightley. The new campaign features a total of nine ‘iconic women’, according to Chanel.
   Robbie said in a release, ‘It’s a dream to represent such a timeless and iconic brand. The history of the Chanel woman is so exciting and the brand has remained such a power feminine standard of style. I’m thrilled to be part of the Chanel family and continue their celebration of women and fashion.’
   After a career in television in Australia, including the soap Neighbours, Robbie came to worldwide attention in Martin Scorsese’s 2013 film, The Wolf of Wall Street, opposite Leonardo di Caprio. She also starred in, and produced, I, Tonya, playing Tonya Harding, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. She also received a nomination for best supporting actress in another real-life-based drama, Bombshell. Her most recent appearance at the Oscars was for producing the Carey Mulligan starrer Promising Young Woman, which was nominated for five Academy Awards. It took home the best original screenplay gong, for first-time winner Emerald Fennell.

 


Giselle, a Royal New Zealand Ballet favourite, returns for May–June 2021

Filed by Lucire staff/March 29, 2021/0.06


Giselle is back: the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s acclaimed ballet from 2012, which toured the world after its première in Wellington, and which became a 2013 feature film by Toa Fraser, will return in May and June 2021.
   Conceived by former RNZB artistic director Ethan Stiefel and choreographer–director Johan Kobborg, Giselle was praised by this magazine both at its début and its 2016 tour. We wrote in 2012: ‘it distinguishes itself through clever choreography … stunning costumes by Natalia Stewart, and Kendall Smith’s lighting (and lightning). Howard C. Jones’s scenic design gave Giselle a visual depth, using different shades to gain perspective, and making the production feel even grander …
   ‘The high standards in these areas complemented the outstanding choreography and production by RNZB artistic director Ethan Stiefel and Royal Ballet principal dancer Johan Kobborg. Stiefel and Kobborg, both of whom have danced the role of Albrecht, have collaborated brilliantly …’
   Audiences will have a chance to experience it again in Wellington (May 12–15), Palmerston North (May 19), Napier (May 22–3), Auckland (May 27–9), Christchurch (June 4–5) and Dunedin (June 9). Hamish McKeich will conduct the Adolphe Adam score with Orchestra Wellington, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in those centres, with the Wellington recording used elsewhere. More details can be found here.
   RNZB artistic director Patricia Barker says, ‘We have reached into our vault of precious gems and great, beloved ballets, and can’t wait to be on stage again with Giselle. New Zealand audiences and dancers have shared an almost 70-year love affair with this ballet, which continues to enthrall us all with its elegance and timeless story.’

 


Fila brings back the spirit of ’76 with collection inspired by Adriano Panatta

Filed by Lucire staff/March 25, 2021/12.51



Fila has tapped into the 1970s with a range inspired by its clothing for tennis star Adriano Panatta in 1976.
   Although the brand began in 1911 by the Fila brothers in Biella, Italy, it is perhaps most memorable after the 1960s when it became a global sporting brand, specializing in tennis outfits. In the coming years it would provide the clothing for Björn Borg and Panatta, as well as Paolo Bertolucci and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
   In 1976, Panatta first defeated Borg, the only player to do so at the French Open. He eventually won the French Open men’s singles’ championship trophy, and set the highest ranking of his career in singles’ matches. The new series pays tribute to Panatta’s Fila clothing from that year, with its dark green and navy blue colours deconstructed and forming the base of a range of on- and off-court items. The on-court material is a breathable lightweight polyester mesh, with Comfi Dry moisture absorption and Lycra SPF 50-plus protection. Off-court items include polo shorts, jackets, and round-neck T-shirts, and go beyond the core two colours with lavender and pink in the range, as well as oversized script lettering. These are made of Askin cool fabric, which is skin-friendly.
   The Heritage 1976 and Master 1976 tennis polo shirts reproduce Panatta’s style, and, in China, actor Huang Jingyu (a.k.a. Johnny Huang, 黃景瑜) and actress Wang Likun (a.k.a. Claudia Wang, 王麗坤) serve as the range’s ambassadors.
   The collection is now available at the official Fila website, select stores, and the Fila Tmall official flagship store.


 


Bridgerton’s Phoebe Dynevor models Self-Portrait’s autumn–winter 2021–2 collection

Filed by Lucire staff/February 24, 2021/11.50



Nigel Shafran/Self-Portrait

Bridgerton’s Phoebe Dynevor is the face of Self-Portrait’s autumn–winter 2021–2 collection, photographed by Nigel Shafran.
   Given the UK’s difficulties with COVID-19, Self-Portrait forged on with showing its key looks with a more down-to-earth campaign, rather than a traditional fashion show, opting to photograph at Dynevor’s home in London. The aim was to capture a day at home with Dynevor, ‘finding joy in simplicity and solitude’.
   Malaysian-born Han Chong, Self-Portrait’s founder and creative director, noted, ‘As I was designing this latest collection, I was thinking a lot about the British sensibility and that effortless approach to British style, which I am so often inspired by. I felt we needed to work with someone to bring this to life rather than present the collection in a traditional show format, and having captured the hearts and imaginations of so many people over the last few months, I knew Phoebe would be the perfect woman. The moment I met her, I loved how down-to-earth she was whilst still having this incredible spirit and energy that perfectly emulates the attitude and values of the Self-Portrait brand. She is warm, independent, sensitive, expressive and completely captivating. It’s been a real joy getting to know and work with Phoebe and I’m incredibly excited to have her on this journey with us.’
   Dynevor added, ‘I was delighted and honoured that Han chose me to work with him and such a talented team on his latest collection. I first spotted one of his dresses on a photo shoot and it was an instant love affair. Han’s collections for Self-Portrait have always been an inspiration, I love the strong structures he creates from such delicate and stunning fabrics and this collection is a testament to his incredible work. I’m so proud to be a part of this new project and hope to have a chance to wear the pieces when life goes back to normal again!’
   Chong creative-directed the campaign, and was joined by Marie Chaix as stylist, Isamaya Ffrench on make-up, and Gary Gil on hair.
   The season sees a reworking of Self-Portrait’s staples, as well as new, relaxed styles, with an emphasis on simplicity and lightweight fabrics. Dresses, knitwear, cardigans and jumpers form part of the collection, in fabrics ranging from organic cotton to recycled polyester chiffon.
   Self-Portrait uses responsibly sourced fibres and began introducing organic cotton and recycled chiffon and polyester in 2019. Last year it introduced recycled viscose.
   The collection will begin retailing in July, both online at self-portrait-studio.com, and offline at Self-Portrait stores (including flagship stores in London, New York, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Taipei), and select retailers.

 


Pierre Cardin, visionary designer, dies aged 98

Filed by Lucire staff/December 29, 2020/13.43


Claude Iverné/Creative Commons 3·0

Top: Pierre Cardin’s official portrait in 1992. Above: The cover of the book accompanying Pierre Cardin’s 60th anniversary retrospectives in 2010.

Legendary fashion designer Pierre Cardin died December 29 aged 98, according to the Académie des Beaux-Arts, of which he had been a member since 1992.
   Born Pietro Costante Cardin in Treviso, Italy to a working-class family, he would find himself in France in his youth. His parents, along with their 11 children, headed to St Etienne, France, and he became a tailor’s apprentice as a teenager.
   Although fascinated by architecture, he stuck with the clothing trade, joining Paquin, the couturier, in Paris in 1944. At Paquin, he helped cut and sew the costumes and designed masks for Jean Cocteau’s film La Belle et la Bête along with Christian Berard. He also apprenticed with Elsa Schiaparelli.
   Cocteau introduced him to Christian Dior, where he was appointed the head cutter for coats and suits for the designer’s New Look collection, which appeared in February 1947. Branching out on his own, with the new company located at 10 rue Richepanse, Cardin began designing masks and costumes for the theatre, and attracted a clientèle that included Rita Hayworth and Eva Perón. The commissions allowed him to take over the rest of the premises.
   In 1951, André Oliver joined the firm and became Cardin’s friend and right hand, and who created the haute couture with him.
   By 1953, Cardin, now at premises on the rue du Faubourg St-Honoré, showed his first proper collection, and in 1954, he eschewed the feminine form and tradition by showing the “bubble” dress.
   He became a member of the Chambre Syndicale but left soon after, finding its rules cumbersome, and in 1959 he showed his first prêt-à-porter show at Printemps. This expanded his brand’s reach, but at the time it was unprecedented: couturiers did not take themselves downmarket. The same year, Cardin travelled to Japan and recognized the potential of Asia.
   The following year, he showed his first men’s collection, Cylindre, and established a men’s prêt-à-porter and accessories’ department. Eventually, supporters included Gregory Peck and the Beatles, who wore Cardin’s collarless suits.
   Cardin understood the relationship between haute couture and prêt-à-porter all too well, arguably before many others: the former would grab the headlines and could act as a loss leader, while the latter was where money could be made thanks to economies of scale. By 1963 he had launched a women’s prêt-à-porter department. The same year he met actress Jeanne Moreau when he was commissioned to design the costumes for her film La baie des anges. The two had a relationship for some five years, which additionally helped Cardin’s profile. However, Cardin identified as gay and Oliver was, with the exception of this period, his partner in life as well as in his work, until Oliver’s death in 1993.
   In the ’60s, Cardin, along with André Courrèges and Paco Rabanne, created what were regarded as futuristic, space-age designs, inspired by the decade’s forays into the space by the Soviet Union and the US. He even developed a synthetic fabric, Cardine, which Lauren Bacall wore. Another celebrity connection was the menswear for Patrick Macnee’s John Steed in the British TV series The Avengers.
   In 1970, Cardin took over the Théâtre des Ambassadeurs, turning it into the Espace Pierre Cardin, which celebrated the arts. Cardin was impressed by Jean Paul Gaultier’s sketches and gave the 17-year-old his break into the industry. During this decade, his business expanded massively to some 100,000 outlets.
   From a business perspective, he was known for licensing his brand name to a wide variety of products, many outside fashion (inter alia, cigarettes, frying pans and soaps), and claimed to have been involved in their creation. With a mistrust of bankers and lawyers, Cardin did the licensing deals himself. In 1972, Cardin launched his first men’s fragrance, Pour Monsieur.
   While still firm in the grips of communism, Cardin showed in mainland China in the late 1970s, believing the country would eventually open up and become a major economic force. In 1981 he opened a boutique in Russia, then still part of the Soviet Union. Cardin was one of the designers who showed power suits in the 1980s.
   Cardin spent his wealth on properties as well as purchasing Maxim’s restaurant in 1981, which he also grew, with additional branches, and here, too, he licensed the name beyond its original scope. Also in 1981, he launched a women’s fragrance, Choc. In 1983, he was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour and decorated as Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.
   In 1991, Cardin held a fashion show in Moskva’s Red Square to an live audience of 200,000, the first time such an event took place in Russia. He was promoted to Officer of the Legion of Honour and became an honorary UNESCO ambassador; in 1997 he was promoted again to Commander of the Legion of Honour. By 2001, no longer doing regular collections, he bought the Marquis de Sade’s castle, Lacoste, in Provence.
   He remained active well into his 90s, with even Lady Gaga donning Pierre Cardin at one stage. He continued to mentor younger designers and visit his Paris office.

 


Future imperfect

Filed by Jack Yan/December 15, 2020/10.59




Adi Constantin/Unsplash

Above, from top: The real 2015 and one photo that summarizes the decade: Kendall and Kylie Jenner go shopping for Ugg shoes in New York, and take a selfie. The 2015 of fiction: Michael J. Fox outside a cinema in Back to the Future Part II (1989). Still from Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner, set in a Los Angeles of 2019, in some ways mirrored more by the metropolises of China. Unpredictable to most: few in the 20th century, with perhaps the exception of Norman Macrae, foresaw the rise of China to this extent—Shanghai’s cityscape could have been the stuff of science fiction 30 years ago. Below right: Twins Alan and Alex Stokes with another TikTok video.

Travel editor Stanley Moss sent me a news item on twin brothers who staged a mock bank robbery on public streets for their social media accounts. The brothers, Alan and Alex Stokes, have nearly 28 million followers on TikTok, and over 5½ million on YouTube. One prank saw an Über driver, not involved with them, held at gunpoint by police. Now, Orange County, California district attorney Todd Spitzer says the brothers could face criminal charges for putting the public and the police in danger.
   While social media have done a lot of good, there are those who take things to an unhealthy extreme for the sake of an audience. Once upon a time, there would be a controlled set and paid actors, but the Stokes brothers decided to do their stunts in the real world.
   They’re not alone in doing outrageous things for an audience, and this isn’t a piece about the decline or the dangers of social media influencers, a topic that Lucire has covered for some time. It’s whether this environment—the incident took place in 2019—could have been something that any of us foresaw in earlier times.
   People are notoriously bad at predicting decades into the future. This magazine has attempted to look a few months forward, such as our recent story about what a post-COVID world might look like, with China as an example (Lucire issue 42; Lucire KSA September 2020). However, once we begin looking at years and decades things look fuzzier.
   The twins’ pranks could have been foreseen mid-decade: people have been seeking attention for social media since they became the norm, and those who potentially make a living from it—with 28 million followers it’s likely that they do—might wish to see just how far boundaries could be pushed. In societies which are less outwardly focused, it is possible that they did not consider the consequences or the harm to others.
   But could this world have been foreseen in, say, 2010? Or 2000? A glance back through our culture shows predictions of our time looking very different the further back you go.
   In Blade Runner (1982), Ridley Scott foresaw a crowded technological world where androids (‘replicants’) walk among humans. Set in 2019, Scott’s vision is dystopian, with human colonies on other planets, flying cars, and overcrowding. The last point is probably accurate in terms of our global population; Scott envisaged skyscrapers and street scenes devoid of natural light. Down on the streets of his 2019 Los Angeles is a mixture of cultures, with English used alongside other languages. Blade Runner’s Los Angeles is a dirty place, with lots of old stuff that lacks the sheen of the latest signage and advertisements, just as our urban world is today. Science fiction films often make the mistake of giving everything a modern, new sheen, but "blanket newness" doesn’t ever exist in real life: visual futurist and conceptual artist Syd Mead understood this well.
   The protagonist in the film, Deckard, is disenchanted with the technologist society that places little emphasis on human emotion; in some ways it illustrates how humans have become slaves to technology rather than having technology improve their lives. Memories can be implanted into replicants; today one supposes that editing photos on social media paint an idealistic and not always real story about our humanity. Once upon a time a photo album was private, with stories attached to them; today social media and online photos are often offered without explanation, to show one side of life—no wonder studies reveal that social media can make some people more depressed as they gaze at their friends’ seemingly perfect existences.
   Blade Runner might not look like 2019, nor was it right on androids and planetary colonization, but in many ways Scott identified the themes that make humans lonely because of technology.
   Later in the 1980s, Back to the Future Part II (1989) also had flying cars in its world of 2015. Robert Zemeckis, the director and co-writer of the film, said that the future could not be predicted so he and Bob Gale, who co-wrote, decided to have fun with it. Their 2015 is an intentional parody: an antagonist with microchip implants in his brain, hover boards, which are wheel-less skateboards that defy gravity, and a nostalgic hangout for young people called Café ’80s. In the cinema yet another Jaws sequel played, with a holographic projection coming out into the street as part of its promotion. Light switches at home are voice-activated, while what was once a posh neighbourhood was, in 2015, considered a lower-class area. Faxes hung on walls while videophones and multiple tv screens on a wall were part of the 2015 household.
   There’s less cerebral thinking here as it’s played for laughs, though video calls and voice activation are reasonably on the mark, as is the theme of urban decay. It’s not unusual to see a society nostalgic for the past—in fashion we saw our share of 1980s, even 1990s, revivals during the 2010s. An obsession with screens, as the teenage Marty McFly, Jr has in 2015, is accurate, even if those screens weren’t all on the wall, but hand-held.
   Wim Wenders’ 1991 film Bis ans Ende der Welt (Until the End of the World) only had to go as far as 1999, and is more accurate what it predicted: a highly digital society, with hand-held assistants, search engines, and consumer GPS. Wenders foresaw a commercialized East Berlin—a reasonable prediction given the Wall had recently come down—and a San Francisco with a massive income disparity. However, the new invention where brainwaves can be read and dreams can be turned into digital images remains the realm of science fiction. Its main character, Claire, lives an empty life of endless parties before she decides to return to Europe to spend time with friends.
   The films are correct in some respects, illustrating that the human condition hasn’t changed much: it’s always possible to feel lonely and outcast from the world, and it is up to the filmmaker to identify causes. A designer must make similar predictions if a collection or a product is to be a hit: what is it about the human condition in the coming year that we expect to be highlighted? As we stand on the verge of 2021, is it a sense of optimism, that things will get better now that two companies have announced COVID-19 vaccines? Or is it a sense of caution? And how are these expressed? Those that somehow address human feelings, no matter how they are expressed, tend to do better than high concepts that are divorced from what people are going through.
   Some of it will come down to instinct—what are termed intuitive predictions. The more experience one has, the better the prediction one might make. Students of history are often well equipped to look into the future based on their knowledge of the past; our older citizens may well have witnessed phenomena similar to what they see today.
   Statistical predictions, meanwhile, rely on data and algorithms, and the more data one has, and the more reliable they are, the better the prediction. Factor in external events and their impact. Meteorologists rely on these for their forecasts, and designers might be in a position to do the same.
   One individual who had a better record than most was the former deputy chief editor of The Economist, Norman Macrae. He foresaw the rise of China, the ubiquity of the internet, and growing income inequality decades before they hit, all through hard, economic analysis.
   Norman Macrae is an anomaly in how accurate he was, as it is rare to allow for those external events accurately. The further out your prediction is going to be, the more external events you face, with increasing potential to render them inaccurate—just as we had with Blade Runner. Its sequel, naturally, had to take place in 2049 for the world it created to remain just out of reach of us.
   And while some events are cyclical, it can be tricky predicting just how long that cycle is. Economics is one field where smarter practitioners could work it out, but lay people might not see the cycles when they are living it.
   The 1980s were regarded by marketers as a "me decade": in the west this was fuelled by consumerism and free-market ideologies, but more than one author then predicted that the 1990s would be more a "we decade", more caring and more collective. It didn’t happen: the cycle was far longer than any of them expected, to the point where we have just been through a selfie decade aided by cellphones whose forward-facing cameras are often better than the backward-facing ones.
   The decade we have left behind was one that might be remembered for the Kardashians, who shot to fame precisely because the sight of self-indulgent celebrities caught the Zeitgeist. Many a successful Instagram account, especially in the modelling and glamour modelling fields, are founded on selfies, as everyone wants to be seen to be living their glamorous best. The Stokes twins took this to the next, dangerous, and selfish level, in a country that seems to encourage it.
   In 2021, it might be fair to ask if “weism” has finally arrived. Countries that have managed to push the COVID-19 curve down—e.g. China, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia—have done so with an eye on the collective good, demonstrating that we are stronger together. Have we tired of selfies? Certainly Facebook and Instagram engagement continues to fall each year. TikTok may be on the rise because of its novelty, but are enough of us now beginning to enjoy what nature has for us that we can put down the phones?
   In earlier issues (see Lucire KSA June 2020) we covered how some of nature has returned because of our lockdowns, and it seems the countries that respect nature more are the ones who have come out the other side more quickly.
   That’s perhaps an easy one to forecast. But it will still depend on how we see the human experience—just what mood will we, as people, possess in the year ahead.
   Additionally, Simon Sinek, in his book The Infinite Game, believes that having a just cause can overcome those unexpected external factors. It isn’t about having a finite position in the future, or some defined endgame; instead, it’s about understanding what you stand for and nurturing that for the long term. Here at Lucire, for instance, we have never stopped looking to the whole world for our stories, in the belief that the world can come together if we are exposed to more of it. We believe our readers are intelligent, hence we run stories like this: we are not in the business of dumbing down, and never have been. The quest for knowledge—the human thirst for it, and to gain an advantage as evolution would have us do—is part of the condition that doesn’t go away. And in the 2020s, we’re hoping people might want to pursue depth again, coming out of the selfie and Kardashian decade.
   Those that remained sure of their purpose through COVID-19 in 2020 have probably endured without facing some crisis over what they stand for. That’s ultimately what we have to create: a sense of purpose within us. We can look to the future as much as we like, and we can make an educated guess about what people will be going through, but the most sure thing is what we can do about ourselves.—Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher

 


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