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Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Giselle revival has a fresh, youthful energy

Filed by Jack Yan/May 12, 2021/12.28





Stephen A’Court

Giselle has become one of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s signature productions since this version was conceived by Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg in 2012, and each season—this is the third in New Zealand—brings with it a different energy, as well as newfound elements to enjoy. The cast changes this time bring with them a more youthful take, while the production values and design give Giselle a sense of depth and quality.
   Opening night’s Mayu Tanigaito, in the title role, is no stranger to Giselle, having taken the role in the 2016 season on occasion opposite Daniel Gaudiello, though that time Lucy Green and Qi Huan took the leads on opening night. Qi is still missed as one of the great ballerinos of the company, but in his place tonight, Laurynas VÄ—jalis has the required regal manner to carry out the role of Albrecht.
   Tanigaito is a seasoned dancer yet exudes a youthful quality as Giselle—a perfect casting—and her solo seeing her en pointe with a series of fouettés brought spontaneous applause from the audience at the Opera House in Wellington. VÄ—jalis and Tanigaito were convincing as young lovers in their pas de deux in the first act; VÄ—jalis’s solo is happy, upbeat and confident. It’s hats off to Paul Mathews who brought real energy to Hilarion, who is frustrated and hurt by Giselle’s love for Albrecht. Being a taller dancer than VÄ—jalis, and executing large moves on stage, you could feel Mathews’ Hilarion trying to demonstrate desperately his feelings for Giselle—and one would almost be forgiven for sympathizing with him, if his character hadn’t also brought out a knife at the first sign of feeling he had been jilted.
   We had seen Tanigaito perform the role of Myrtha, queen of the Wilis, in 2016, and it remains a role that has a dominant presence in Act II. Sara Garbowski’s solo at the start of the second act was a skilful and beautiful piece of classical ballet, and there is a beauty to the sight of the veiled Wilis, resplendent in tulle. It’s in this act that the principal roles really shine in this production: Hilarion is consumed by the forces of the Wilis and shows a vulnerable side, while Albrecht dances for his life more passionately than the assured aristocrat of the first act. This is a more touching, emotional act, performed successfully by the principal dancers.
   When you see the minor roles—such as the group of 12 Wilis—you realize that there is plenty of young talent in the company and its future seems assured.
   Special mention must be made once again to Howard C. Jones’s scenic design, and lighting design by Kendall Smith. Natalia Stewart’s costumes remain as exquisite as they did when we first viewed this ballet in 2012. Clytie Campbell, who herself had performed in Giselle in 2012, faithfully staged the revival with Stiefel and Kobborg’s supervision, as neither was able to travel to New Zealand.
   Hamish McKeich faultlessly conducted Adolphe Adam’s music, more than ably performed by Orchestra Wellington, who give the impression of a bigger score.
   After Wellington (May 12–15), Giselle heads to Palmerston North (May 19), Napier (May 22–3), Auckland (May 27–9), Christchurch (June 4–5) and Dunedin (June 9). Hamish McKeich conducts 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.—Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher





Stephen A’Court

 


Andalou Naturals arrives in New Zealand, with affordable, natural skin care

Filed by Lucire staff/May 11, 2021/2.35



Andalou Naturals merited a mention in Lucire when we spotted them at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif. back in 2017 and, finally, it’s made it to our shores here at our New Zealand head office, with a well thought out cruelty-free skin care range and, as in the US, decent prices for a range that’s non-GMO, 98 per cent naturally derived.
   It’s clear which one caught our eye the most: Andalou Naturals’ Brightening Honey Pumpkin Glycolic Mask (NZ$27·99), with fruit stem cells, vitamin C, and glycolic AHA, blended with manuka honey and organic pumpkin. This one’s 99 per cent naturally derived, with a mix of certified organic and Fair Trade ingredients, suitable for combination skin types. The pumpkin and glycolic AHA exfoliate the skin, while the honey hydrates, leaving skin tingling initially. Leave it on overnight and come but looking refreshed the next morning.
   The Brightening Probiotic + C Renewal Cream (NZ$39·99) also uses fruit stem cell complex and vitamin C, plus skin-friendly probiotic microflora. It’s an effective moisturizer and works under make-up.


   And if we thought the pumpkin mask was a treat, Andalou Naturals also has the Avo Cocoa Skin Food Mask (NZ$27·99), with fruit stem cell complex, resveratrol CoQ10, organic avocado oil and (you’ll notice the scent) pure dark cocoa, which is rich in antioxidants. It’s part of its age-defying line. The result: smoother, brighter and softer skin.
   Andalou Naturals also has a fruit stem cell Revitalize Serum (NZ$39·99) and a Deep Wrinkle Dermal Filler (NZ$34·99) as part of the age-defying line. The serum, with fruit stem cell complex, resveratrol CoQ10 and goji glycopeptides support collagen and elastin in the skin, while the dermal filler has the addition of capuacu butter to reduce skin tension and plump and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. It’s particularly well priced for a filler and has a noticeable effect on those fine lines.
   We recognize everyone’s skin is different, so others’ experiences may differ. Our judgement is this is a high-performance, well priced range that should do as well here as it has done overseas. Chemist Warehouse now stocks Andalou Naturals in New Zealand, with a much broader line than we’ve featured here, including gluten-free and vegan items. More information can be found at its Australian website, andalou.com.au.

 


Have palette, will travel: Anastasia Beverly Hills preps summer 2021 palettes for take-off

Filed by Lucire staff/May 10, 2021/3.25




Above, from top: The warm and wearable Italian Summer palette. Sun-kissed hues await inside the golden Off to Costa Rica palette. Online exclusive, Tropical Getaway, is a departure from ordinary bronzers and shimmer powders.

Leave it to Anastasia Soarer of Anastasia Beverly Hills to have her eye on what her customers truly want when it comes to colour, convenience and a touch of luxury. While her focus was on making the most of masking up by upgrading brows in a customizable way last fall, this summer, her focus is on easy, glowy glamour inspired by Italy, Costa Rica, southeast Asia and Belize—destinations we’ve missed during quarantine.
   The Tropical Getaway, an online exclusive, offers the most dramatic of the trio of trios, consisting of Coconut bronzer, Belize highlighter and Dragon Fruit blush. Off to Costa Rica evokes the sun and rain-drenched hues of central America with Amber Brown bronzer, Sunset Beach highlighter and the bright coral Hibiscus blush. The very wearable Italian Summer puts a Mediterranean glow within reach with its Pompia bronzer, Sardania highlighter and Camellia blush. The luxe formulas, suitable for all skin types and tones, are layerable and lasting, as well as packaged in stylish, sparkly compacts. We think these (retailing for US$58) mark the perfect intersection of minimalist to-go beauty and maximum versatility.
   For more information, other summer beauty essentials and pro-tips, visit www.anastasiabeverlyhills.com. Palettes are also available at Ulta Beauty and Sephora sites and brick-and-mortar stores.

 


Nomos Glashütte scores product design win at Green Good Design Awards

Filed by Lucire staff/May 7, 2021/14.52



The Chicago Athenæum’s Good Design Awards have honoured Germany’s Nomos Glashütte six times for its watches, and now the Green Good Design Awards, which focus on sustainably produced products, have highlighted the company once more for its Tangente Update watch in its product design category.
   Its latest incarnation, the Tangente Neomatik 41 Update, features a ring date at the edge of the dial, with two red markers that frame the current date. It is available with both a white and a midnight blue dial.
   It’s those little things that Nomos Glashütte does that build up the sustainable picture. The cooling oil, metal filings and used brass blanks from the production process are returned to the suppliers to be converted back into raw materials. The water used to rinse newly produced parts is purified and returned to the wider supply. The majority of parts are produced on-site and in-house, shortening supply chains and reducing emissions.
   Find out more at nomos-glashuette.com.

 


How ethical are the clothes we buy today?

Filed by Lucire staff//12.23

Top photograph: Amanda Vick/Unsplash

Our garments speak volumes of our values and set the stage for the image we want to build of ourselves. We wear red to portray power. Black is our surefire way to exude sophistication. Silk is luxurious while denim is urban and rebellious. The clothes we put on every morning tell a story—but they also build our intricate relationship with the world.
   What might feel good on your skin might not lie so comfortably on your conscience. With sweatshops, underaged workers, toxic dyes, and seasonal collections rushing to the shelves, the restless beat of fast fashion has stirred many to take a different approach. We now have access to a wide selection of brands that are paving the road toward a better, cleaner, safer future.

Ethical stamps and labels
Fortunately for us, fashion aficionados, it’s relatively easy to come across labels that can be trusted today. However, you can also go beyond what you find online and research what your locally present brands are all about. Perhaps they can offer ethical certification to show just how committed they are to the cause, and what they are doing to make a difference.

Local shops for a greater impact

Becca McHaffie/Unsplash

Large-scale fashion brands often lack the transparency we need to know if they don’t have any sweatshops handling the manufacturing, or similarly unethical processes behind their public image. Small, local businesses are the ones that offer all that information openly—you can easily find their manufacturing facilities or design shops around the corner and talk to their employees.
   In eco-conscious regions like Australia, everything from casualwear to formalwear can be purchased in the same spirit. The selection of ethical women’s workwear in Australia is also on the rise, and many professional women are choosing the kind of attire that lasts for years on end. This philosophy combines the idea of timelessness and the spirit of local brands to support the development of ethical fashion.

Long-lasting, not seasonal
As alluring as it is to switch our wardrobes at the turn of every season, that is precisely what keeps the wheels of fast fashion turning. We can do better. Opting for timeless instead of trendy, and choosing durable pieces made of materials that can last for more than a couple of months should be one of the pillars of ethical shopping.
   Go for garments made of sustainable and durable fabrics like linen, hemp, and bamboo. Look for other alternatives that will keep your items wearable for a good, long while.

Brand transparency and reports

Mr Lee/Unsplash

Brands that turn to vague terminology and zero access to real data are the ones we should steer clear of. Fashion labels that are transparent in the kind of efforts they are making are the ones we can turn to for truly ethical dressing. Be it accessories the likes of Elvis & Kresse, or athleisure, you can easily find brands that share their impact with the public.

The fabrics and dyes in use
Sustainable processing and manufacturing are two major aspects of ethical brands. Microplastics in synthetic fibres tend to cause irreparable damage to the marine world and the entire planet. As for the toxic dyes so frequently used, they also cause immense damage to water even in urban areas where that same water should be safe for drink and the local ecosystems.
   Some brands are looking for ways to recycle and repurpose for the sake of ethics. Like Coco Veve from Britain and Horizon Athletic from Australia, many are making way for smarter choices in fabric selection, for us to make better choices in how we dress.
   Ethical brands don’t hide behind vague terminology such as ‘responsible’ or ‘clean’. They showcase the impact of their work in data, reports, and employee reviews, and they make sure you can access it all in a matter of clicks.
   The idea that ethical clothing is costly should be dismantled right away—it all depends on the price you’re willing to pay for the health of your family, yourself, the people participating in the making of your clothing, and the natural world. Is the extra couple of dollars really going to offset your budget as much as toxic dyes and unfair labour can devastate our economies and the planet for the long haul? The choice is, ultimately, yours to make.—Peter Minkoff

Peter Minkoff is a fashion and lifestyle editor at Trend Privé magazine. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.

 


Monokel Eyewear introduces biodegradable sunglasses

Filed by Lucire staff/May 6, 2021/12.08




Stockholm archipelago-based Monokel Eyewear has always made sunglasses that last, but its latest collection ensures that they do—only up to a point.
   Its spring–summer 2021 collection, anchored on the Edvard Munch quotation, ‘From my rotting body, flowers shall grow, and I am in them, and that is eternity,’ is fully bio-based and biodegradable, with the company saying, ‘still made to last, but not forever.’ Lenses are by Carl Zeiss Vision.
   Monokel had used recycled acetate made from cotton and wood fibres, but its latest type will now decompose, and won’t wind up in landfills or as microplastics in our oceans.
   There are three shapes: Polly, a wide, oval frame with thick temples; Memphis, with a rectangular front, sharper edges, a medium width but a slim depth; and Forest, inspired by vintage reading glasses, and featuring hinges, rivets and a keyhole nose bridge. Each frame is hand-crafted, with the process taking over three months.
   Third-party lab tests and factory audits are conducted with each production run, says Monokel. You can find out more at monokel-eyewear.com.


 


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