Saturday, May 31, 2008

#62 Russian and Turkish Baths

I was in Turkey two years ago and I really regretted not going to the famous Turkish Baths and getting washed - apparently you come out cleaner than you've ever been before. I finally had my opportunity in New York last week, there was a Russian and Turkish Bath House two streets down from where I was staying in the East Village, so off I went. As soon as I walked in the door I was accosted by an Uzbekistanian man who told me he'd scrub me so hard I'd be feeling it for days. I felt several emotions at once: fear, excitement, disgust, intrigue, confusion? He led me into the changing rooms and watched as I undressed, then handed me a pair of house shorts, slippers and a robe to put on.

We walked downstairs to the shower cubicles, where he pulled off my robe and pushed me into the cold water: "First, we wash." Then, taking me by the wrist, he pulled me to a door that read
Russian Steam Room - Do Not Enter Heart With Condition! I didn't even have time to giggle at the Rusglish as the door swung open and I was struck in the face with a blast of the hottest heat I'd ever encountered. He immediately poured ice cold water over himself and me, and made me lie down on a bench near the wall. A sense of panic engulfed me - I was frightened by the temperature, but even more frightened at what would happen if I tried to run away. He began hitting me all over the torso and legs with a big stick with bushy leaves, glistening with oil that almost began to bubble as the radiating heat hit it. Every so often I'd let out an almighty scream as the temperature got too hot for me to bear and he'd pour a bucket of cold water over me. He sat on top of me and struck me over and over again, then bent my legs backwards and my back upwards with moves that would have impressed Hulk Hogan himself. Finally, it was over. He took me by the wrist and walked me outside and threw me into the cold pool. I'm sure the water steamed as my overheating body plunged in.

Thankfully all was well, and after being wrapped up as tight as a new born baby, my Uzbekistanian friend took my pulse and declared "You have good heart. Strong Heart. Like Ruski!" I asked him the temperature in the Steam Room. "EEt was hot today. 215 degrees Fahrenheit." I checked it out, and that's 101.6 degrees celcius. Hot enough to boil water.

Five days later, I haven't showered yet, and I swear I'm still clean. I still wake up in a hot sweat screaming out to Boris to stop, but that's becoming less and less regular.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

#61 MANicures

My lovely sister shouted me a manicure for my birthday today, she's a nail fiend and was getting one and told me to come along for the ride. I was led to a chair and sat down in front of a little old lady who told me she was from Nepal. She said she'd been here for "three or por years" and that I had "very nice pingernails."

It was thoroughly enjoyable for all concerned, and though my "pingernails" turned out more jagged than the Himalayas themselves - I'm an avid filer - I'd definitely recommend it to the boys. Who knows... I may even try a pacial next time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

#60 My birthday

Isaac it's your birthday... Happy Birthday Isaac!
I'm 24 today!

#59 Hair by Hamilton Brooks

Hair trends come and go, some good, some we would rather forget. But when it comes down to it, we all want something fun and modern, and something we feel comfortable with. So don't go jumping on every bandwagon that comes trundling past.

In saying that, what I like right now is Kate Moss' fringe.. hot damn, if I had my way every girl would have one. Likewise with her colour - but not everyone has the qualities of a chameleon, so a good rule of thumb is to try and stay within four levels of your natural colour. That means if you are a blondie, dont go black and vice versa. Traditionally coming into winter, women tend to go darker with their colour, but there are no set rules so why not be a blonde beach babe all year round.

For guys there is nothing worse than a spiky gelled up do - it's all about natural texture, it just shouldn't look too done, so please please please put your girlfriend's ghd's down.

Ultimately, put a little faith in your stylist, if they are good they wont go for some futuristic asymetrical technicoloured monstrosity, rather something that will suit you!

Hamilton is one of New Zealand's top hairdressers AND an all round nice guy. I like Hamilton! Next time you're in Auckland check him out at D&M Hair Design - Redmond Street, Ponsonby, Auckland. Phone: +649 376 3666

Monday, May 26, 2008

#58 Lists

Hotdogs (street meat), African drummers, the Dior store wowwwwww, talking to randoms all day long, and telling people Bret from Flight of the Conchords is my cousin.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

#57 Quote of the Day

"Hey look! That guy's the same colour as what he's pouring."
Spoken tonight by Roya at Max Brenner (Chocolate by the Baldman).

#56 Puns that don't always work out

Ok so last night's post was written at 3:30am after I'd just gotten home. Turns out the bar we went to last night was called Fat Cat not Mad Cat. Still true about the three legged dog though.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

#55 Mad Cat

I like going out in New York. Tonight I met up with a ragtag bunch of misfits; a fellow New Zealander, three awesome Brits, an Egyptian American, an Iranian American and a 22 year old dude with his own late night talk show - it's called The Edge, it's on ABC, go check it out. We went to a place named Mad Cat, an underground (as in downstairs) bar entirely devoted to game playing. There's pool, table tennis, chess, fooz ball and even a crazy game that's like that ice bowling game where they mop the course, but on a 20 metre long wooden board. It costs three dollars to get in, and once you're in, you can stay and play till your heart's content. Imagine a gigantic rumpus room with all the toys you'd ever need, filled with hundreds of people having maaaaad fun. I'm a table tennis fiend so I was like Michael Jackson on the dance floor, though with less moonwalk and more trash talk - "Noone wants to beee defeeeeated!"

There were no crazy kitties to be seen, but an alcoholic, three legged dog did lope around drinking out of people's glasses...good pool player though. Whoever said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Friday, May 23, 2008

#54 Opening Ceremony

Today, my first official day in New York was spectacular, unbelievably exciting, and ultimately exhausting. I'm still jetlagged so I woke up at 6am, and we (me, my sister, her friend Jen, and my two friends Jae and Jaimee from Auckland) ended up walking around the entire lower half of Manhattan from 10am till 6pm. I'm dead.

One of our many stops - besides the Magnolia Bakery famous from Sex and the City - was the ultra cool store Opening Ceremony. It's three storeys of some of the best clothes I've ever seen; they carry labels as diverse as Band of Outsiders, Top Shop, Maui and Sons, and their own inhouse brand Opening Ceremony. Jae and I were kinda freaking out about how cool everything was, but then we found out about the downstairs section. We went down there and totally flipped out. It's insane. They had a small but perfect selection of guys shoes, mainly styles based on the classic Clarks Desert Boot, but more stream lined and made up in canvas, leather and suede. I bought a black suede pair, and was so close to buying them in beige AND cream as well, but just couldn't bring myself to do it with the enevitability that I'd kill them after a few wears, and kill myself afterwards. They were that good.

The guy who served us was an absolute David Archuleta lookalike, even in speech and body language. I asked a girl working there if she'd noticed it and she replied in classic cool kid style: "I wouldn't know. I don't watch American Idol." Whaaaatever.

One of the highlights for me so far in watching New Yorker's style is the African American dudes dressed in really preppy classic American fashion - khaki trousers or raw indigo denim, button up shirts with bow ties, and cashmere cardigans. So fresh and so clean. I'm seeing boat shoes everywhere and I'm officially sold on them. Cool guys wear brown leather ones sockless with beige pants. Geek chic at its best.

I'm going to bed!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

#53 Those Powerful Jews

I was flying into land at JFK and I saw something that made me marvel. We all know that New York is home to the second or third largest Jewish population in the world. I'm also an eighth Jewish myself, so everything to do with Jews/Jewish culture intrigues and excites me to no end. So I'm flying in, about 3 minutes away from the airport and I see a bunch of houses in a group, arranged in a semi circular pattern. Sounds like nothing, until I took a closer look and realised that the houses weren't arranged in any old semi circular pattern, they were set out in the shape of a Menorah!!! That's what I call power.

Also on my flight, two Amish girls - go figure, and one near death experience. As we were landing, another plane landed on the perpindicular runway that we were swiftly approaching. We slammed on our breaks - like serious G forces, and narrowly missed hitting each other. Freaky man!

I'll report more on what I do in New York tomorrow once I've seen it in the day time. Special thanks to Roman for having me to stay and chauffering me around. He's my main man!

p.s. My friend Sheida said that I had to write about this, so here it is: iPod Farts. According to him, it's when someone's listening to loud music on their headphones and simultaneously lets one rip - thinking they're being sneaky. Awkward for everyone around BUT the farter. I dare someone to give it a go and share the results!

p.p.s. I saw that new Steve Carell film on the plane, Dan on his own or something like that, and Goldstein from the ASB ads plays a shop assistant with one line in it. So awesome

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

#52 Shopping on Melrose

It's late, I'm tired, so this is gonna be quick. Arrived into LAX and was warmly greeted by my good friend Roman who lives here, and my lovely sister and her friend who are on holiday here at the moment. Went to Roman's house to drop off my stuff, then got food at a Mexican takeout joint named Hugo's. It was my first reminder of the day of how cheap everything is here, and how gargantuan the servings are. I got a chicken quesadilla that would have fed a small country.

Then shopping. Went to Melrose Ave. Fred Segal first, checked out the hot John Varvatos shoes, everyone's wearing boat shoes over here and it's a good look - preppy and tres insouciant, and! I kid you not, every shop boy was rocking a well tailored moustache! They must've been reading Isaac Likes. Upstairs was the Lanvin collection, ultra-luxe, possibly the first time I've seen real haute couture for men. They also had Obedient Sons, which was every cool kid's nautical dream, tried on the cropped double breasted jackets with shiny bronze buttons, if clothes get better than that, someone better show them to me.

Across the road and down the street a bit was the Penguin store, which sells the type of clothes you'd imagine on chilled out collegiate boys in the 50s. Everything had a vintage but clean American feel which is very different from what people are wearing in New Zealand, but a welcome change - nice to see a bit of colour and the kind of thing you'd wanna wear to meet your new girlfriend's parents. I bought two pairs of swimming trunks, both thigh skimming of course, and they even had those built-in undies - one of them is the red pair up the top. Next door was the Paul Smith store which seemed to be half the size of a rugby field and had everything from the men's and women's collections to a tailoring department, shoes, luggage, accessories, books, art and curios, it was a full outfittery - I could have spent the whole day in there. They had an excellent selection of pocket squares (the little silk scarves men put in the breast pocket of their suits), and the shoes were great - cheeky and British and unlike anything I could ever hope to get back home.

Went to an Iranian restaurant for dinner, had great chicken kebab and beef koobideh, fresh and tasty. For dessert we went to an icecream place which serves a massive scoop of ice cream in between two cookies, all for $1.50. Only in America.

LA's been great, so exciting to be here, off to New York tomorrow!

p.s. Love to everyone back home, missing you already xx

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

#51 Leavin' on a Jet Plane

In a couple of hours I'm off to the States. Keep checking in on my progress as I go from LA to New York to Chicago to LA and back home. It's gonna be fun!

Monday, May 19, 2008

#50 Point Break 2!

Bodhy and Jonny Utah are back! Easily the best surf movie, and extraextraextra easily one of the most exciting movies for teenage boys everywhere, ever, Point Break is set for a sequel. It's been 17 years since ultimate onscreen combo - Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze - have graced our lives, in a film about a band of rogue surfers who dress up like dead presidents to rob banks; and the FBI agent trying to catch them. Point Break is also one of the most quotable movies of all time, with gems such as...

"It's like every 50 years a wave comes along SO BIG, it's like God's trying to tell us how small we really are."

And my personal favourite:

"Look at it! It's a once in a lifetime opportunity man! Let me go out there and get one wave, just one wave before you take me in. I mean, come on man, where am I gonna go? Cliffs on both sides! I'm not gonna paddle out to New Zealand!"

The new film will take place in South East Asia 20 years after the disappearance of Swayze's character Bodhy. Both the original and sequel were written by W. Peter Iliff. Plot details and possible character reprises have not yet been disclosed, and there's no word yet if Keanu and Patrick will be involved, so we can only hope.

Surf's up!

p.s. I forgot to say, Lori Petty who plays both the main characters' love interest, rocks the hottest high waisted super short faded out denim cutoffs in this movie. So hot in fact, she inspired me to cut off this old pair of calvins to upperupper thigh level. I'm off to the States tomorrow, so if you see a skinny white guy with lots of thigh and little short, that's totes me. PEOW!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

#49 Moustaches

The young men of today are lazy with their facial hair. Too many forget to shave, or don't even bother, leaving unsightly stubble for days on end. Let's see some skin! I'm not talking about big biker bogan mo's, I'm talking about slick rick, tightly cropped moustaches. I want to see guys clean shaven, with a bit of well cultivated upper lip growth.

Traditionally, moustaches have been the realm of military men. I've said this before and I'll say it again. Girls love a guy in uniform. What's better than a hair uniform? I have a love/hate relationship with moustaches. My dad's had a moustache my whole life; he wears it with pride, and he wears it well. My good friend Sheida also puts a lot of effort into his upper lip hair cultivation, and it's a constant cause of jealousy for me.

Sadly, although I have the ability to grow a quasi-beard, my upper lip remains naked as the day I was born. No matter how often I shave it in an attempt to promote growth, nothing seems to come. So, to all you young lads with moustache growing ability, this is my call to you: GIVE IT A GO...GROW A MO!

And don't forget the old adage: "That which is grown without effort, is viewed without pleasure."

Friday, May 16, 2008

#48 Freedom of Religious Belief

The Baha'i Faith is the largest religious minority in Iran. Under the current Iranian political regime, it’s illegal to be a Baha’i – which is a total breach of a person’s human rights. On Wednesday a group of Baha'is were arrested for no apparent reason, and have been imprisoned with no charge.

The Baha'i Faith is a religion that actively seeks to unite the world by eliminating prejudice and promoting equality between all people - regardless of their religion, race, class, age or gender.

The following article explains what happened on Wednesday and gives a brief background on the plight of the Iranian Baha'is. This is a problem which is extremely important to me and which I feel more people need to know about.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

#47 Truthfulness (Virtue of the Week)

Truthfulness is being honest in your words and actions. It's not telling lies even to defend yourself. It's not listening to gossip or prejudice. It's seeing the truth for yourself. It's not trying to be more than you are to impress others. Be yourself! Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues.


#46 NO. Magazine Likes Sinatra

Yes folks, winter is upon us. It's an undeniable truth I'm afraid! This means bringing out that extra blanket, stoking up that fireplace and slurping spoonfuls of vegetable soup. But for the team at NO. Magazine here's one winter wonder that sends the warmth straight through the audio canal... Mr Frank Sinatra.

Although the man himself is 6 feet under, his music continues to make the ladies swoon, be it your grandma, your mum or your girlfriend. Sinatra still does it for the ladies in a way Barry White only wishes he could. He's suave! Like James Bond only with more swagger and better vocal pipes. Preferably listened to on vinyl with a steaming mug of hot chocolate, it's an experience that can be provided by no other.
Old Blue Eyes is back.... Or was he ever gone..?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

#45 Making Tracks

Nick D needs no introduction to New Zealanders as a much watched presenter on C4, and a much listened to DJ on BFM. For everyone else, he's like New Zealand's answer to Ryan Seacrest, but the misbehaving Kiis FM Seacrest when he doesn't have to worry about child listeners. And he's a true representation of what happens when you take a regular guy and throw some Ds on that on that... His new show Making Tracks chronicles his journeys to Brazil, India, China, Israel, South Africa and Jamaica on a mission to push, promote and play New Zealand music in any way he can.

What do you like right now?
The fact that after nine months of living out of a suitcase I finally have a home, and after living for about four years before that by myself, it's actually quite nice living with other people. Friday evening scrabble games tend to get a little boring on your own.

You've been travelling pretty extensively overseas lately, what are some musical trends that are getting big abroad that we haven't heard about yet here in NZ?
I think on the whole Kiwis are pretty up to date when it comes to musical tastes, especially with the explosion of audioblogs over the last few years. In terms of dancefloor based stuff though, a lot of the 'Third World Riddim' fusions are starting to blow up in the UK and Europe which hasn't really taken off here so much, although a few DJs play Baile Funk (a style that comes from Rio's favelas), which you don't hear too often in clubs here. Also Kuduro is starting to get big with artists like Buraka Som Sistema signing to Modular, MIA getting well behind it and DJs like Diplo and Sinden championing it in a big way. It's a rhythm from Angola, a former Portuguese colony, and has quite a big scene in Lisbon which is now finding favour on floors all over Europe.

Is there anything that we're doing musically in NZ that is progressive compared with overseas?
There are a lot of artists that are doing great stuff at the moment, and I guess one of the problems with playing rock/guitar based music, is in some ways it's always going to be derivative of UK and US styles, but I think bands like Cut Off Your Hands and The Mint Chicks really are truly original. In my opinion it's one of the first periods in NZ music history since the Flying Nun heyday of the 80s that there is some truly original music of that ilk coming from NZ. Also, as we already know Fat Freddy's Drop are doing something completely original, and case in point is just how wildly Europe is taking to them at the moment, selling out 5000 capacity shows everytime they hit France and the UK is testament to that.

What was your favourite place to travel to and why?
Hmmm, it's a hard one, because each place meant something to me for a different reason. The music nerd in me loves Brazil and Jamaica, just to see how fueled by their music these nations are. Seeing the Samba schools in preparation for carnival is incredible, as was getting the opportunity to shoot in the favelas, which are just insane, kids running round with guns, the whole thing is a coke operation, and we had to get permission from the druglord etc... crazy.... also going to a proper Jamaican Dancehall party was pretty wild, gunshots when tunes are being appreciated, wild dancing, heavy heavy sound, pure vibes. The culture geek in me loved Varanasi in India which is the holiest city for the Hindus right on the banks of the river Ganges. And Israel was incredible in so many more ways than one....

What was the most important lesson you learned on your travels?
Never leave your laptop in the boot of the car where taxi drivers can drive off before you can open it.

You went to some pretty out of the way places. Had people heard of NZ?
Yes, I say pretty much everyone had heard of NZ, and most people were just quite chuffed that you'd flown all the way to check out their music.

How did the girls overseas like your accent?
Well i met my girlfriend on a flight from Heathrow to Tel-Aviv, and it seemed to be ok with her.

Any last words?
Hope you like the show :)

Making Tracks is premiering on C4 on Wednesday May 28th.

#44 Coco the Movie!

I don't know where I've been because it seems this was announced last May, but I haven't heard anyone talking about it and it's pretty exciting. Audrey Tautou, star of Amelie and Priceless has been signed up to play Coco Chanel in a hot new biopic! I'm a big fan of Audrey but I'm not sure if she's got the cahones to pull this one off - Coco was pretty fierce, but I'll eagerly await its release to make up my mind. Do you think in preparing for the role she wore nothing but No. 5 to bed? I'll have to ask her someday...

p.s. I had to lift the pic off so that explains the writing.

#43 Stars

May is New Zealand Music Month and this week I'm feeling pretty musical so I thought I'd put up a selection of my favourite songs. This one is Your Ex Lover is Dead by Stars - they're from Montreal, not New Zealand but they're still c'est bon! Formidable! eh eh ehhhh! I'm a firm believer in the healing powers of catharsis, and when I'm feeling sad this one always makes me feel way more sad. Like my logic?

Monday, May 12, 2008

#42 Soko

This is the cutest song ever. Listen!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

#41 Alive Sisters!

My sister Rebeccah is a daredevil. She'll gladly bungy jump, white water raft, sky dive and kickbox all in one day. I, on the other hand, am afraid of heights, dying in car accidents, and bigger boys walking past me on the street.

Rebeccah's in the States on holiday at the moment, gallavanting around and seeing the sights, and this past weekend she went to check out the bottomless pit of clay that is the Grand Canyon. The closest I'd get to the edge of the Grand Canyon would be the tour bus. But not my sister. She's not content with the stuff of mere mortals. Instead of just gazing at the view behind the barrier like everyone else, she decided to clamber down a precarious dirt track to get a "real" view.

As she was making her way to the edge of the cliff, it seems she had an anxious goat moment and experienced a stiffening of the extremities, thus slipping and skidding down the path where, thank the good Lord above, she came to a halt, with her legs hanging over the edge! Her travelling partner, a lovely girl named Ween, said later that she'd really thought that Rebeccah was about to die.

The photo above shows Rebeccah taking a photo from the edge of the cliff. Almost falling to an early death didn't deter her from getting the shot she wanted. As they say, pride comes before a fall, so I hope next time she goes to scramble down a death-trap path, she'll get a case of Isaacitis - for those of you who don't know, it's the fear of just about everything.

So, needless to say, Isaac Likes his sisters alive and well... though maybe not quite so lippy?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

#40 Riddles

Four men sat down to play.
They played all night till break of day.
They played for gold and not for fun,
With separate scores for everyone.
When it came time to sqaure accounts,
Each one received a fair amount.
Can you the paradox explain,
How none could lose but all could gain?

Try to guess the answer. First correct will receive a massive shoutout. If no one gets it, I'll announce the answer on Monday. Good luck!

Friday, May 9, 2008

#39 Quote of the Day

"I just hope that young people today can get back to dressing and looking like something instead of just wearing blue jeans every day, all day long. They look messy. They just don't know how to put it together anymore. But I'm an old-timer." James Galanos, ex designer to the stars, on the modern day dressing habits of youth.

#38 Funnies

Why did the farmer win the Nobel Prize?
Cos he was outstanding in his field.

#37 Excellence (Virtue of the Week)

Excellence is doing your best, giving careful attention to every task, relationship and endeavour. Excellence is effort guided by a noble purpose. It is a desire for perfection. The perfection of a seed comes in its fruit. When you practice excellence, you bring your gifts to fruition. Excellence is the key to success.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

#36 Quote of the Day

"It would be weird, like going to an ex-girlfriend’s wedding. We might go but we won’t be dancing.” Dan Cutforth, one of the creators of Project Runway, when asked if he and partner Jane Lipsitz would continue to watch the show once they stop working on it at the end of this season.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

#35 NO. Magazine likes Coca Cola

So we know Coca Cola or Coke as it's more commonly known is almost as old as time itself, but you still just can't beat it. Whether it be an ice-cold can of the brown soda on a sweltering day at the beach, or a tall glass with a dollop of vanilla ice cream as a treat for that special someone. Coke rulz supreme.

And it's not just the taste and the tickling bubbles that we like, it's also the many different varieties of the drink that we really dig! There's Coke, Vanilla Coke, Cherry Coke, Frozen Coke, Diet Coke (for those weight conscious folk), Diet Coke with twist of Lemon, Coke Zero, Caffeine Free Coke and Coke with Raspberry... WOW! You can get Coke in a can, plastic bottle, glass bottle, in a paper cup, a plastic cup or straight from the tap....or do we just wish it so...

With all this said.. We proclaim it to be true.. Coke is NO.1...Excellent!

Ed's note: This is the first of many NO Magazine posts for Isaac Likes. NO Magazine is the hottest new magazine on the world stage right now. It's fashion, it's people, it's music, it's films, it's actors, it's artists, it's big effin woop awesome! I LOVE NO MAGAZINE! Check it out at all good news-stands today!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

#34 Des Rusk

I first met Des when I was 18 years old. We worked together at Little Brother, one of New Zealand's top menswear labels, but in quite separate entities; he was the designer and I was a lowly shop assistant. (I remember him telling me I needed to be more animated with the customers...) He's now moved onto designing his own collection of semi-tailored menswear, and a much publicised collaboration with New Zealand menswear chain Barkers. Along with being one of the tallest people I know, he's a great guy and always lots of fun at parties. He's the sharp looking guy in a crisp shirt a head above everyone else, usually yelling YEAH BOY!

1. What do you like right now? Sleep.

2. Tell us about your winter collection - and a bit of a sneak preview about summer. Winter is loosely based on Stormtroopers from Star Wars given that sci-fi is kind of in at the moment. Plus my brother gave me a stormtrooper key ring not so long ago which got me pretty psyched. Na but seriously, winter is a continuation of my semi-tailored style mixed with more street pieces. Slim silhouette with suits, trenchcoats and waistcoats mixed with oversized cardies, jersey jackets and sweats. Summer has more casual pieces with muted colours such as greys and soft blues sitting in among the black and white.

3. Favourite piece from the collection? The Bridge coat - double breasted wool/cashmere trench coat. Toasty.

4. What are the advantages of being so tall? Cleaner air. Plus the view of the Waitaks (mountains in West Auckland) from pretty much anywhere.

5. What's the best way to walk up to someone you don't know and just start talking?
Hi and how are you is always a good start - sometimes a cliche can be the
best way. Sometimes.

6. How's the Barkers collaboration going? All good, summer sold exceptionally well and winter is just about to hit the stores. That will be the second season that I've done the capsule range.

7. Any last words to the ladies? "Hi, how are you?"

Check out the winter 08 Des Rusk collection here.

Monday, May 5, 2008

#33 Mala Brajkovic

I like Mala Brajkovic. She designs the kind of spicy, trailer rock clothes that I would wear everyday if I was a girl. They're the type of clothes girls can wear if they want to intimidate other girls, not because they're so sophisticated, but because they're so effortlessly thrown-together looking that everyone else will be ashamed of the amount of time they spent preparing their outfit.

Sad news today, Mala announced that she would be taking a two season (one year) hiatus from designing her eponymous collection, but for a very good reason: she's become a mum! Her baby girl Mickey is now 6 months old, and she's decided to devote herself fulltime to looking after that baby's momma's baby.

“The decision has been a tough one as the label is also very important to me,” Mala explains, “but in business terms, there had been some potentially, very positive international opportunities. However taking them up would have been very demanding. So it came down to a very difficult choice and a bit of bad timing. I had to decide where to devote myself.” As
the young mother puts it, “I’ve decided to take a year off to give Mickey my full attention and to enjoy every minute with her.”

On the plus side, Mala's said that she'll be doing bits and pieces throughout the year and will keep everyone posted on anything of interest. I'd like to wish Mala all the best for the year off and I'll be very excited to see what she comes back with! Maybe a coupla' boys pieces....?

Check out the latest Mala Brajkovic collection, Pepe's Revenge, and stockists here.

#32 A Coincidence, or Something Else

Lance Henriksen jokes aside, this is pretty crazy. I was trawling through the blogs in the weekend and I came across this clip. It's the trailer for the new Batman: The Dark Knight film, alongside the trailer for Tim Burton's original Batman. The similarities are startling to say the least.

Check it out here.

We all have to get inspiration from somewhere, so if that means going back to the archives, then how can we blame them. It's certainly not going to stop me from going to see it opening night!


UPDATE: I just found this underneath the video (it pays to read the comments):

The 1989 trailer, is NOT the original trailer, they just edited scenes to make it look like it matched. That is also why there is no sound in it.

Still cool!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

#31 A Bit of Controversy...

Many of you in New Zealand and Australia will have heard about the controversy surrounding Kate Sylvester's show at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week this week, but for all the rest of you, here's the scoop. Sylvester was heavily criticised by the Australian Returned Services League for styling certain looks on the runway with models wearing war medals down the left hand side of their coats. Unbeknownst to me, wearing war medals on the left hand side is a privilege reserved only for those who've actually fought in a war. The RSL complained that her show displayed a lack of respect for war veterans, especially this close to ANZAC Day. Kate Sylvester hastily apologised, saying she'd meant no disrespect, and then revealed the irony of the situation: her husband had taken her young sons to the ANZAC Day dawn parade the previous Friday.

My bet is that an overzealous reporter saw the show and thought: "there's a story there," and promptly went and told the RSL about it and asked for a comment. Poor old Kate got caught up in the crossfires of a reporter wanting to break a big story, and the RSL seeing an opportunity for a touch of much needed publicity. But as Oscar Wilde said, "there's only one thing worse than being talked about, and that's not being talked about," so I'm sure the media attention didn't hurt her too badly.

Check out the show here and the Kate Sylvester website here.

UPDATE: This just came in from Paul Blomfield, the former head of fashion for Trade and Enterprise New Zealand:

This latest controversy about Kate Sylvester in Australia isn't the first time she has created a stir in the Lucky country. One of her most powerful and extraordinary shows at the (then) Mercedes Australian Fashion Week was called simply 'Fight' and it attracted criticism from various parties for quite different reasons.

The inspiration for Fight was boxing. To an amazing soundtrack (a masterpiece created by Wayne Conway) that overlayed the commentary of a Sugar Ray Robinson bout (from memory) over the soundrack from the Al Pacino movie Raging Bull on a square runway, female models wearing boxing gloves and fight belts stalked the corners like gorgeous, sexy pugilists.

Why the controversy? Because only days before a female Australian boxer had died as a result of a bout and there were calls in the media to place a ban on female boxing altogether. The Kate Sylvester show seemed to feed directly into that argument and hence the strong reaction from anti violence groups.

As Kate said to me once, it was just timing - a few years later when "Million Dollar Baby" was hot at the movies, it would have been a hit (my pun - intended).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

#30 Geeks

When I was at school, being called a geek was a major insult. I’m not sure when it happened, but there’s no denying it…the times, they have a-changed. These days, being a geek is cool. To be called a geek is becoming a great compliment; it indicates that you have superior intelligence or an extraordinary skill or talent. And let’s not forget that line in uber-geek Bill Gates’ much-quoted speech: “be kind to geeks. One day they’ll probably be your boss.”

If you take a second to look beyond the thick-lens glasses, slicked hair and skinny limbs, you’ll see that a geek is a person with a devotion to something in a way that places him or her outside the mainstream. There’s nothing better than a person with passion. In Spain, there’s a holiday devoted entirely to geeks. It’s called Nerd Pride Day and it’s held every year on May 25th. The holiday promotes the right to be geeky, and to express it in public without shame. Also, geek-chic is a trend that deliberately celebrates geek traits as a fashion statement – the buttoned up shirts, the black plastic glasses, the braces, the rolled up pants hitched up too high.

So here’s my call to you all. Celebrate your inner geek. Celebrate your outer geek. Celebrate the geeks you know. Forget the prejudiced masses with views harking back to yesteryear. And who knows. Perhaps one day you’ll be their boss. JR