Posted: May. 23rd, 2013 | Comments 0 | Make a Comment
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When it comes to guys’ sunglasses, the standard old athletic style is no longer the only option. Men’s sunglasses have evolved as a trendy accessory and are an important part of the outfit. Unlike women, who accessorize with jewelry, handbags, and shoes, sunglasses are the one everyday item through which men get the opportunity to reflect their personal style. That said, it’s no wonder the size, shape and color of men’s frames have become varied and unique to befit a wide range of consumers with different tastes, styles, and personalities. Take a look at this summer’s hottest trends below, and don’t forget that you don’t need to settle on just one pair— build a collection so you can pick and choose a style depending on how you feel on any given day!
Photo Courtesy of Ray Ban
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Photo Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana
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Photo Courtesy of Carrera
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Coco Chanel, a doyenne of the Jazz Age, wanted her perfume to be undeniably modern and reflect the times and the tumultuous changes since World War I. A perfume that embodies every major avant-garde movement since World War I?
It’s a mighty claim, yet one that a new exhibition, which opened in Paris earlier this month, is happy to make. Entitled Culture Chanel (I know, only in France), the exhibition is actually a pretty serious attempt to demonstrate how Chanel No5 stands at the fragrant intersection of art, music, fashion, design and the dramatic social changes that took place after 1918.
Launched in 1921, Chanel No5 was undeniably a radical perfume. For one thing, it was the first to use synthetic aldehydes. That doesn’t sound romantic, but Coco Chanel, mainlining the heady androgyny of the Jazz Age, wanted her first scent to smell utterly modern. As ever, she was ahead of the curve. La Garconne, Victor Margueritte’s novel about a young woman who, on discovering her fiance has been cheating on her, decides to live her life on a man’s terms – with multiple lovers and cropped hair – caused a stir when it was published in 1923. In many ways, it could have been written for Coco.
So it was an androgynous scent, at least by the standards of the day. That meant no single dominating floral notes, nor any overpoweringly woozy musks. The only way to achieve it, Chanel’s accomplice Ernest Beaux (a dashing native of pre-revolutionary Moscow and a famous “nose”) convinced her, was with aldehydes, which he argued enabled him to create the fragrance of a garden in all its complexity – and what’s more, one “with shade”.
Chanel, who hadn’t wanted any flowers in her juice, ended up choosing a bouquet’s worth of blooms, including jasmine, iris and rose – plus a further 77 ingredients, which I challenge you to identify, since true to Beaux’s promise, they’re seamlessly blended. It was Beaux’s fifth version, hence No 5.
Or is there another explanation for the name? “Five” was significant to Chanel for many reasons. For a modern woman, she was remarkably attached to charms and symbols. Five is significant in Hinduism and Buddhism. Moreover, Igor Stravinsky, whom she had welcomed into her home outside Paris in 1920 for over a year, had composed a collection of short pieces for children while he was there, entitled The Five Fingers.
Then there was that minimalist bottle, now a classic – a direct steal from Cubism and an audacious rebuttal of the ornate, emphatically “feminine” bottles ubiquitous at that time. Chanel borrowed the typeface from leaflets the Dadaists were producing at the time, the black lines and collage effect on the label from the Bauhaus, Picasso and from Marcel Proust’s galley proof corrections, which he made by cutting and sticking rewritten passages over the old ones. Originally the cardboard packaging was beige and black because, for Chanel, beige was the colour of nature.
Beige turned to white when she realised that in order to keep up with demand for her scent in her four boutiques she would have to industrialise production. It’s ironic that Chanel, who blotted her otherwise inspiring copybook big time when she hooked up with a Nazi officer during World War II, ended up going into business with a Jewish family. But that’s what happened when she signed a deal with Paul and Pierre Wertheimer in 1924, with whom she co-founded the Societe des Parfums Chanel, still one of the world’s most successful perfume houses. It was about this time that the stopper was fattened up into the shape of an emerald, to make it more robust for the foreign distribution that was about to take off.
So, yes, though the exhibition is a shrewd piece of marketing, it also works as social history.
If you happen to be in Paris and go, be sure to book a session afterwards in the workshop upstairs. You’ll need the accompanying booklet – the display cases, as airily glassy as that bottle, are also as minimalist in their explanations. But you’ll have plenty of time to browse – it’s open from noon till midnight.
The opening day was packed. It seems the further we move from Chanel’s life, the larger she looms. Certainly No 5 has played a big part in the lives of many major figures from the past 90 years.
A discerning patron of the arts, who carried her favourite poems around with her, Chanel was a loyal friend to Cocteau, Picasso and Dali. There’s a snap in the exhibition of the latter lounging in the garden of La Pausa, her villa in the South of France, which recently came on the market for €33 million ($52 million).
I hope the Wertheimers buy it, if only to prevent it being turned into a dodgy nightclub for lizard-skinned billionaires.
As it happens, Chanel had quite a thing for millionaires, but she was also a feminist by example if not dogma, a proto-Green, an early proponent of global exporting, and one of the first designers to star in her own ads. She also followed the most meticulous spritzing regime I’ve come across.
According to the exhibition’s brochure, “Every morning a young assistant would spray No 5 in the entrance to the building of her empire on the Rue Cambon in Paris, a moment before Mademoiselle Chanel walked in, having been warned of her imminent arrival by the porter of the Ritz. The perfume still lingers around the mirrored staircase and in her apartment. Incidentally, she sprayed No5 on to the live coals in her fireplace”.
Cha-coal No5. Now there’s a product waiting for an elaborate launch.
Culture Chanel is at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris until June 5.
- Daily Telegraph UK
By Lisa Armstrong
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The No1 seller on a top Australian department store’s cosmetic floor last year was a brow-shaping service. The Benefit brow bar treatment beat sales of any one cosmetic item at Myer nationally, including favourite products from big-name brands.
Now the Benefit brow bar is coming to Smith & Caughey’s central Auckland store, where the signature seven-minute brow arch wax is expected to create a similar buzz.
Quick-fix beauty solutions are what have propelled Benefit Cosmetics’ global growth, and if the lunchtime queues in Sydney and Melbourne are anything to go by, women are still more than willing to spend money on appearance maintenance paired with convenience.
The American brand has enhanced this winning formula by adding a dash of fun at its counters and Smith & Caughey’s managing director, Andrew Caughey, says this mix is what first attracted his team to Benefit, which it had been eyeing up for several years. “The brand is fun, and has attitude and a real point of difference, particularly with the brow bar. There’s nothing quite like it on the market.”
The company is ever on the lookout for good new brands, and works continuously with its existing brand partners to deliver the best services and the latest counters and products to ensure customers enjoy new experiences at each visit.
“Our online launch in late June is also an exciting development for us, and will make many of our beauty brands accessible to customers New Zealand wide,” says Caughey.
The store’s cosmetics buyer, Lynda Grant, said a second Benefit counter would open in September in Newmarket, to coincide with a wider cosmetics department refurbishment.
Benefit’s “Brow King” Justin Fullerton, who led the Sydney team to a Guinness World Record for brow waxing, is now the company’s Australasian general manager and has been in Auckland twice in the past fortnight, for the opening of the first Benefit counter at Auckland International Airport and to ensure tomorrow’s launch at Smith & Caughey’s goes off in high style. He told Viva that brows made up around a third of Benefit’s business in Australia, with 150,000 services performed each year at Myer stores alone.
A typical week in the Sydney CBD store sees 1400 brows tended to.
Fullerton says his favourite celebrity brows belong to Keira Knightley, but adds that brows should match an individual’s face rather than copy a particular style. Here he shares Benefit’s “brow mapping” technique, which you can try at home – although he’d rather you turned yourself over to the Benebabes.
Brows are obviously a record-setting deal at Benefit – what’s behind the brand’s focus on brows?
Benefit is obsessed with brow grooming and has been raising eyebrows since 1976, in our first Benefit boutique in San Francisco. Your brows are the frame to your face, and you wouldn’t put a pretty picture in an ugly frame! Benefit boutiques are a one-stop shop for all your beauty dilemmas and brows come high up on the list.
Benefit Myer Sydney City holds the Guinness World Record for performing the most eyebrow waxes in an eight-hour period, with 385 services. The proceeds went to the cancer charity Look Good Feel Better.
What should first-timers expect?
We will provide the full range of Benefit make-up, skincare, fragrance and brow services at all our locations in Auckland. The style of our counters represents the fun, playful spirit of the brand. We always have music playing, a party atmosphere where everybody is welcome to sit down, play with the products and have make-up demonstrations. In a few minutes we’ll take you from now to wow.
What does the ideal brow look like?
Well-defined, full, natural-looking brows frame your face, lift your brow arch and open up the eyes, making you look fresher and younger, and when you look good you feel good too. Older women’s brows thin out, so we tint the brows – usually one shade darker than your natural hair colour – and keep them as full as possible to present a more youthful appearance.
All Benefit brow experts are qualified beauty aestheticians who must then complete an intensive brow-school programme and graduate from our “Browbar University.” They perform a signature Benefit brow service using our brow-mapping technique, which gives the best brow shape for your face, rather than following brow trends or using brow stencils, which could give the wrong shape. It’s like an instant facelift, without the surgery.
What should we look for in a good brow service?
A qualified brow expert who listens to your concerns with a proper consultation, has excellent technical skills and exceptional hygienic standards. At Benefit we provide affordable, salon-quality services with the convenience of your local department store.
Do you cater for men?
Absolutely. Men of all ages too: young men with a mono-brow to older men with crazy curly brows – the nesty ones! When their brows get wild, thick and super-curly, a brow wax and trim takes years off their appearance. Often they’re brought in for the first time by their wife or girlfriend, then they just drop in on their own at lunchtime, and send their mates in to see us too.
What are your tips for women wanting to develop or maintain terrific brows?
Stop tweezing now! Hand over your tweezers to a brow expert for safe keeping. And don’t thread your brows unless you want a generic thin pencil brow, which makes you look older. Have an expert take care of your brow-shaping and grooming every three weeks.
We don’t always wax a customer when they first drop in to see us. If they’ve over-tweezed or misshaped their brows, we put them into “brow rehab” and ask them to come back in a few weeks. We then tint their brows to create fuller and longer brows to shape and create that signature brow arch. In between services, we recommend using Brow Zings, our wax and powder brow-shaping kit ($57); or Speed Brow ($34), our tinted brow gel, to brush and hold brows for a quick fix on the go.
Justin Fullerton’s brow-mapping technique
1. First, we take a pencil and line it up with the corner of your nose and the inner corner of your eye. Then, we make a mark there using Brow Zings or any other brow pencil. This tells you where your eyebrow should start.
2. Next, we hold the pencil horizontally from the corner of your nose to the outerpart of your pupil and make another mark – this is where your arch should be.
3. Finally, we line up the corner of your nose with the outer corner of your eye to make the final mark – this is where your eyebrow should end. Now, we can carefully fill in with Brow Zings from mark to mark to create your new-and-improved brow.
A Benefit Brow Arch Wax at Smith & Caughey’s is $29. The Benefit counter opens tomorrow at the Queen St store, with walk-in customers welcome and bookings also taken on (09) 377 4770.
By Janetta Mackay Email Janetta
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Photo Courtesy of Hugo Boss
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Donald Trump’s Miss USA pageant will be hosted by a Jonas brother and an E! News personality.
Pageant officials announced said Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers pop act and Giuliana Rancic, co-anchor of “E! News,” will host the June 16 pageant.
The winner of the 62nd annual pageant in Las Vegas goes on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.
Jonas’ brother Joe Jonas was among the judges last year, and Rancic hosted.
Contestants will be judged in swimsuit, evening gown and interview categories. The show will also feature a performance by the Jonas Brothers.
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Posted: May. 21st, 2013 | Comments 0 | Make a Comment
Photos Courtesy of Stella McCartney
Back in the ‘60s and ’70s when you heard the name “McCartney” your mind went immediately to one person, and one person only. Paul McCartney is still as widely known today as he was back in the Beatlemania years, and he’s built a legacy in more ways than one. Today, his daughter Stella is a rock star in her own right— the luxury designer’s fashion house is home to three labels that include a lingerie line, a skincare line, and perfume— all of which were established before she was even 40!
Photo Courtesy of Featureflash/Shutterstock
But perhaps her biggest support group is her family. Her late mother continues to be a source of inspiration for Stella, who named her most recent perfume, “L.I.L.Y.,” after her. Lily, an acronym for “Linda I Love You,” was a nickname that Paul frequently used for Linda McCartney. Stella married British publisher Alasdhair Willis in 2003, and together they have four children that they are raising in London.
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Photo Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and other prominent labels are vying to hook up with filmmakers. And haute couture isn’t just appearing in the movies— fashion houses are supporting the business in front of and behind the cameras. Designers are even taking on philanthropic endeavors to break into the film biz by partnering with film-preservation projects and funding film museums, festivals, schools, and actual productions. It’s an all-encompassing effort.
Why the change? The designers are shifting gears because super models today do not receive the attention that they did in the 1980s and 1990s. Apparently, the size-zero wearing denizens of the 21st century simply do not have that standout star power any longer. So, the industry’s largest labels are hopeful that their works will reach a broader audience by appearing in films. The movement has gone from a fad to a trend to a megatrend.
Take it from an expert: in a recent interview, Milan-based marketing exec Roberta Ciappi confirmed that the fashion world is strongly gravitating towards film, which has always sculpted the world’s largest icons. Read the full story at Variety.
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The handbag Donna Karan was showing off this week lacked her signature logo, or any designer’s logo. It was made of paper mache and, the fashion designer said, represented Haiti’s handmade carnival masks in wearable form.
She said the tote bag and other similar fashion and decorative items made by Haitian artisans are part of her “dressing and addressing people” campaign: taking art to where the most people will buy it.
“A painting can say anything, but let’s get it out there in the world where people buy T-shirts,” Karan said at the opening of a Little Haiti Cultural Center exhibition of art, accessories and furnishings produced by artisans in Haiti and sold through Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation.
It’s no charity craft fair. The items artfully displayed in the Miami gallery would sell in any mainstream home furnishings store. What sets them apart is their origin: handmade in Haiti from stone, wood, metals and textiles sourced or repurposed in the Caribbean country.
Tobacco leaves are moulded into neutrally coloured vases. Strings of crystals dangle from wrought-iron chandeliers. Naughty, charming, seahorse-shaped figures cut from tires strut in lines across a wall.
Discarded cartons and wrappers have been coiled into beads for multi-strand, statement necklaces. Fully functional tote bags are made from recycled cotton T-shirts or paper mache (“It’s so durable, it’s scary,” Karan said).
The exhibition also includes oversized metal work by contemporary Haitian artist Philippe Dodard. He also is the director of Haiti’s national arts school and is working with Karan to train Haitian artisans with techniques that will help them bring their traditional skills to a global marketplace.
“What we have to do is give them the tools to produce a product that is equal to their competition. That doesn’t mean factory. That means artisanal,” Karan said.
Karan started her Urban Zen Foundation after the death of her husband in 2001. A Haitian employee at the foundation urged her to turn her focus to the Caribbean country after Haiti was devastated by an earthquake three years ago.
Karan is among the designers, celebrities and retailers who have advocated for Haitian artisans amid ongoing, sputtering reconstruction efforts. Many of the artisans lost tools, studios, homes and loved ones in the earthquake.
“She understands what we as a people, what we as a government, want to do with our art: show the world the riches of Haiti and commercialise it,” said Haiti’s consul general in Miami, Francois Guillaume. “But, we don’t want to lose our identity. We don’t want to lose whatever it is that makes Donna Karan like Haiti that much.”
The “Discover Haiti Exhibition” will run at the Little Haiti Cultural Center for two months.
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Miranda Kerr’s underwear has reportedly been stolen by a gang of teen thieves.
The former Victoria’s Secret model’s enviable lingerie collection was specifically targeted by the notorious gang of celebrity-obsessed teen burglars, The Bling Ring.
Nancy Jo Sales, who first exposed the fame-crazed teens in an article, told Vanity Fair: “They wanted to look sexy. Looking sexy in a celebrity’s clothes, well that’s even sexier.
“Especially Miranda Kerr, who [was] a Victoria’s Secret model. The fact that they stole the underwear just seems so weird, but it’s not weird when you think about it, because they’re growing up at a time when their culture is constantly telling them to be sexy.
“Everything from toys to video games to music to fashion is hypersexualised for girls.
“Stealing their underwear was part of a whole trend to emulate these celebrities. They don’t just want expensive underwear; they want Paris Hilton’s underwear.”
The events have been made into a film by Sofia Coppola and starring Emma Watson called The Bling Ring about the materialistic thieves, who also targeted Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Megan Fox.
Hilton has a cameo in the film but admits she is still traumatised by what happened.
“They came to my house five times, stole millions of dollars of my things: Birkin bags, family heirlooms, jewellery that was in my family for years, and then they sold it on Venice Beach like a yard sale,” she said.
“I didn’t get a cent back in insurance money, and I will never be able to replace those things.”
- BANG! Showbiz
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The other day, as I wasted precious time on Facebook, my eye caught a little ad pushing a product called The Men Pen, a concealer stick for men. Give yourself the gift of confidence, it said, stop feeling embarrassed. Conceal it today! Hmm, I thought, good luck with that.
But maybe my reaction was too hasty. Maybe at some point in the near future, as the importance of physical appearance seeps further into the male domain, men too will start to paint their faces. Sculpt their jawlines with bronzer, fill out their eyebrows a bit, or even out their skin with said Men Pen. After all, it’s not like blotchy skin is inherently masculine.
I asked the nearest male, my boyfriend, if he’d ever consider wearing makeup and he looked at me like I’d just suggested gender reassignment surgery. That wasn’t such a surprise – or an unusual reaction. The prevailing feeling in society around the topic is that makeup is worn by women, therefore any man who wears makeup is gay (because gay men are all secretly women), overtly feminine, or just not really a “proper” man. Even if it’s not couched in such specific terms.
It wasn’t always that way: Men and women in ancient Egypt lined their eyes with kohl, used blue-green eyeshadow made of copper, and wore henna nail stain.
Men and makeup are even mentioned in the Old Testament (Ezekiel 23:40) with reference to “face painting”.
During the Regency period in England both genders wore geranium petal rouge. And in Renaissance Europe men as well as women used powder to whiten their faces so they looked like they were moneyed enough to stay indoors all day, doing precisely nothing. Also: sage to whiten teeth, and an egg and honey mask to smooth away wrinkles. And these were “manly” men – kings, dukes and nobles.
And for the jewel in the crown of historical-men-who-wore-makeup: Alexander the Great, who – having traveled extensively in Asia – became addicted to the region’s wealth of makeup and aromatics and set up a botanical garden from cuttings when back home so he’d have a self-replenishing supply.
He then set about slaying, commanding and conquering and all sorts of man-things that definitely aren’t woman things.
An Ask Men article on the matter sums up prevailing attitudes pretty neatly. Having conducted a small all-male survey – 25 “hip, urban professionals” – writer Douglas Cooney discovers, to his abject horror, that 20 per cent of them responded positively when asked if men should men use makeup:
Sensitive New Age Guys have heeded the constant female pleas for men to be more sensitive. In doing so, they assumed more feminine traits of sharing their feelings and spending more time in front of the mirror.
Which I think is slightly off the mark, because since when does spending lots of time in front of the mirror equate with being sensitive? Anyway. Perhaps Cooney doth protest too much – who knows. He continues:
How long will it be until men start going to the bathroom in pairs to touch up their foundation? Or gossip about their girlfriends while sitting under the perm hair dryer, their feet soaking in skin toner?
There is something admirable about the man who takes his imperfections with grace and carries on with his life. Maintaining a good image is fine, but let’s draw the line at face paint. Let the drag queens keep that.
But it’s not just the drag queens, apparently. According to recent stats quoted in The Daily Beast, makeup for men is no longer taboo, with American gents spending US$5 billion on men’s grooming products last year – and half of that sum spent on skincare and cosmetics. (Relevant fact: The word “cosmetae” was first used to describe Roman slaves whose job it was to bathe men in sweet perfumes.)
To be honest, I think I would be concerned if my boyfriend was right beside me applying lipstick pre-party, even though I don’t know how to justify that concern without sounding suspiciously like Douglas Cooney. Maybe I, too, only associate makeup and men with drag queens, because that’s the only time I’ve witnessed the two together, and somehow I might (irrationally, I know) fear he was gay. Which would be fine, obviously, if he weren’t my boyfriend.
Alternately, it’s just artwork. On faces. And there is nothing wrong with the wonders that are KISS, David Bowie, or Johnny Depp. I repeat: nothing at all. They can come be my second boyfriends/get ready for a party with me any time of the week.
So could Alexander the Great – if he were alive, just for a laugh. He might even tell me, as he plundered the long white cloud – that our contemporary gender norms would look pretty alien if transported back to his time. Which is a useful thing to remember – as is the idea that our rules will probably also seem pretty alien when looked back on from the future. Where no self-respecting man is without his Men Pen. Maybe.
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By Rebecca Kamm @rebeccakamm Email Rebecca
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