Wednesday, July 30, 2008

#126 Jordan Rondel's Tremendous Ten

1) High tea at the Langham hotel – a great thing to do on a cold, rainy day. Go and indulge on earl grey tea, cakes, tarts and other niceties.

2) To Sir With Love Cashmere – incredibly warm, soft and light. The v-neck sweaters make wardrobe staples and are must-haves for winter.

3) Saunas – leave you relaxed, content and de-stressed. They also make your skin softer than ever and help get rid of winter colds.

4) See through bubble umbrellas – no more wondering where you're going in the rain.

5) La Mer face cream – although expensive, this moisturizing cream contains specially harvested algae and works miracles on any type of skin.

6) Agnes Curran – my favourite place on a wintery day for a pot of tea and a bowl of soup with crunchy bread.

7) Learn something creative – take pottery classes or learn how to knit.

8) Tom Cruise movie marathons – on a rainy day there's nothing better than a Top Gun, Risky Business and Cocktails combo.

9) The Tin Tin series – I love these French comic books with their classic drawings and cute stories, I could read them all day long.

10) Diptyque Feu de Bois candles from Tessuti- a beautiful candle that releases the comforting scent of a crackling fire – perfect for winter.

#125 NO. Magazine likes Déjà Vu

Now we’re not talking about the 2006 action/drama film starring Denzel Washington nor the 2005 R&B club joint taken from Beyonce Knowles's B’day. Were referring to the actual experience of paramnesia – commonly referred to as ‘Déjà Vu’.

Wikipedia defines Déjà Vu as "the experience of feeling sure that one has witnessed or experienced a new situation previously (an individual feels as though an event has already happened or has happened in the near past)".

Déjà vu is one of those strange experiences that can either be weirdly exciting or a little frightening. Most of us have experienced it at some time in our lives and it tends to give the recipient a slight sense of the paranormal... oOoOoOoO!

It may seem like a funny thing to admit to liking but I recently had the strange experience of a déjà vu marathon of sorts; where in one single day I experienced the feeling of déjà vu in multiple capacities...first while eating breakfast, then while driving to work and again and again throughout the day. As someone who has experienced it sporadically in the past I wondered why it had been concentrated on said day. Had I eaten some slightly wrong blue cheese? Or had I accidentally inhaled too much of the girlfriends hairspray that morning. I got curious so I did a little research.

It turns out there are other forms of the phenomenon:
Déjà vu - Already seen
Déjà vécu - Already lived
Déjà Senti - Already felt
Déjà visité - Already visited
Who Knew!

I came to the conclusion that since it wasn't hurting me I would enjoy it. Hence the newfound appreciation for Déjà Vu.

The pic above is of the beautiful Chachie from NO. Magazine

Monday, July 28, 2008

#124 Exclusive Fashion Week Tidbits - Karen Walker

I’ve just heard from Murray Bevan of Showroom 22 that Karen Walker will be doing an in-season show at the Stephen Marr store in Newmarket on the final day (Friday 19th September) of Fashion Week. The show will be of a similar nature to the six-monthly shows Karen Walker does in conjunction with Stephen Marr and will be attended by VIPs of both companies alongside the Fashion Week delegates. The show will run from 7:30pm making it the second to last show of the week, and the final show – Huffer, will start at 8:30pm. Huffer’s car sponsor is Porsche, so here’s to hoping we can expect some luxury ferrying from Newmarket back to the Viaduct.

So why an in-season show? Murray told me that Karen really wants to support ANZFW but due to her showing at New York Fashion Week the week before, the pressure of doing two new shows back to back was too great. The New York shows are for the Northern Hemisphere Summer 2009 season and the NZ Fashion Week shows are for Southern Hemisphere Winter 2009, and one must assume that the majority of Karen’s business would be in the Northern Hemisphere so I know where I'd be expending the most energy.

So there we have it. Karen Walker inseason show with Stephen Marr, then on to the Huffer show and paaaaaaarty!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

#123 The Dark Knight

A two and a half hour explosive extravaganza, Batman: The Dark Knight feels as much like an interactive theme park ride as a cinematic experience. Director Christopher Nolan has truly mastered the art of the action film. He knows the power of the pregnant pause, the calm before the storm and the surprise attack and holds your nerves teetering on the edge of a cliff. And it's so much fun, you might just jump.

The film broke nine world records in its first five days playing in the States, which is as much a testament to Nolan's genius as it is to the spotlight cast on the late Heath Ledger's turn as The Joker. His was a maniacal, schizophrenic and cold performance, whose random acts of terror reflected the randomness of his character - with no consistent backstory and a distinct lack of cronies, this terror told a punchline he alone seemed to get.

I personally preferred Aaron Eckhart's performace as Harvey Dent/Two Face. His gut wrenching descent from hero to villain was so well characterised that when he finally hit rock bottom the audience's collective empathy was palpable. Add to that the tension between Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes, the three noble characters with no personal agendas - Michael Caine's Alfred Pennyworth, Morgan Freeman's Lucius Fox, and Gary Oldman's Lt. James Gordon, and a killer plot with so many twists and turns you don't know which way is up, and you're presented with an action film that surpasses its Blockbuster roots and is catapulted into Oscar territory.

"The night is darkest right before the dawn. But I promise you. The dawn is coming..."

Friday, July 25, 2008

#122 Exclusive Air New Zealand Fashion Week Tidbits - WORLD

This just came in from Benny Castles - Menswear Designer at World. They've been gone from Fashion Week for four years so it's very exciting to see them back on the schedule. For the past few years Fashion Week has been inundated with classic New Zealand fashion - dark, sombre, moody, you know the stereotypes. I can't wait to see what World, a brand notorious for their clashing acid colours will do on the runway. No doubt it'll be a spectacular festival of excess.

Hi Isaac, WORLD is very excited to be back on the list again at ANZFW after a 4 year hiatus, which has been due to overseas selling commitments and as our dates have changed this year we will be in the country, so we are to once again support the event. A very special element to the show is that we will be flying our Hair and Make up team headed by Brent Lawler back to the country from NYC and Sydney for the event, we have worked with Brent exclusively for over 10 years and he has been responsible for WORLD’s previous couture Hair and Make Up looks, he now lives and works in New York as a freelancer for publications such as Italian Vogue and companies such as Dolce and Gabbana.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

#121 Little Brother's Lick of Paint

I dropped into the new look Little Brother High St store today. I was amazed by the bold colour on the walls – it's from Murray Crane's upcoming collection for paint company Aalto – named carbon paper blue, (inspired by the colour of actual carbon paper) it's such a royal blue it's almost purple. In Murray's words, "The new high impact store is the ideal backdrop for the low fuss wardrobe staples Little Brother is famous for."

Retailers are definitely feeling the pinch in these days of recession anxiety, so congratulations to Murray Crane for throwing caution to the wind and giving the store such a daring overhaul. Somebody needs to put on a bright face amongst the all pervasive doom and gloom!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

#120 Exclusive Air New Zealand Fashion Week Tidbits - Karen Inderbitzen Waller

I've just heard that Karen Inderbitzen Waller is styling two of the hottest tickets at Fashion Week - Lonely Hearts and Stolen Girlfriends Club. Karen is a New Zealand fashion industry icon and in my opinion one of the few stylists in this country who has the creative talent to take clothing and create art with it. She was the master behind Nom*D's 21 year retrospective at Fashion Week last year which was in my top 3 shows of all time - each outfit was unbelievable. Look out for something a little twisted, a little subverted and definitely a little unexpected on the catwalk from Lonely Hearts and SGC and therein will lie the stamp of Karen Inderbitzen Waller.

#119 Green Tea by Jordan Rondel

I love and couldn’t live without tea. In fact, I like to consider myself a tea connoisseur. Everyday I drink green tea by the litre – partly because I know it has health benefits, and partly because a cup of steaming green tea infused with delicate jasmine is delicious and refreshing at any time of the day. Amongst other things, green tea is a powerful source of antioxidants, to fight off cancer and keep the skin glowing. Much to my delight, a new development in Auckland called Elliott Street Stables has just set up a tea lover’s haven. It’s called Aaah Tea! which is the first thing I said when I walked into the shop. Walls are stacked to the roof with every kind of tea imaginable, there is a tea of the day that can be sampled and they even sell tea accessories. Check out Aaah Tea! in Elliott Street Stables, Elliott Street, Auckland CBD.

#118 Exclusive Air NZ Fashion Week Tidbits - Huffer

I had a little chat with Dan Buckley, one half of the two smooth dudes who make up New Zealand's top streetwear label Huffer. It went a little something like this, HIT IT!

Yo Dan! What up boyeee?
No much baaaaa de

I was wondering if you could give me a brief outline of a theme for the show, your inspirations, and how you're feeling about it all?
Feeling good maN ! Theme bro its all about fishing this year - aaron our menswear designerer who you know ? Is the main man and he is all about fishing in this current period in his life he lives for it - all about it. Fishing and fashion, so we decide that heckyes lets run with that - and so we get all fishyfied thinking about fashion and then tane the williams our other main man man he snoops upon this dude called corey arnold, who we get in touch with and he is this dude that Is a photog and he shot the images for this tv show called the 'deadliest catch' and his images is so sicK ! and we speak with him, and he gives us permission to use his snaps as inspiration for this range.

And maaaaaybe he might come down to nz from canada where he lives for the show and for nz fashion week which would be cool.

So we selected the images out of a DEEP batch of pics that this guy has taken, and use these images for inspiration like - COLOUR STORY, and we also pull ideas for garment lines out of these images. Its all in the process right now, we are moments away from getting garments back but its feeling prettty siiiiick.

You guys are doing the last show of the week right?
Yeah I think so ! Westpac red collect is on same time ish - little bit before hand we in that also! Will be a busy day!

Big afterparty at the Hilton right? Is that classified or can I run it?
Hellyeah ! - that's right! You can run it manis.

Na, you're a manis.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

#117 Exclusive Air NZ Fashion Week Tidbits - Kirrily Johnston

I've just had confirmation from Anna Jobsz, PR agent for Fashion Week, that Kirrily Johnston will be opening NZFW with the first catwalk show on the morning of Tuesday the 16th. She also opened Sydney Fashion Week this year, so I guess the girl likes being number one!

Stay tuned for what Kirrily has to say about coming to New Zealand.

#116 Exclusive Air NZ Fashion Week Tidbits - Jaeha

I've just heard a rumour that we can expect an offsite show from Jaeha this year. Jaeha's show last year chanelling Tim Burton's tortured hero Edward Scissorhands was lauded as the best breakthrough designer's collection by countless media outlets including Sportswear International (USA), ELLE (USA), Theme (USA), ZINK (USA) and Australian publications Oyster, Nylon and UV.

I for one can't wait to see what he dreams up to do in an offsite venue, and with Chris Lorimer behind the show you know it's going to be a goody.

#115 Confirmation - it's Kate Sylvester!

This email just came in with photo attached from Chris Lorimer - stylist of the Air NZ Fashion Week campaign, and as Isaac Likes exclusively reported yesterday, the dress is Kate Sylvester – despite the fact that she is not participating in Fashion Week.

Just read your blog - the outfit in the campaign is Kate Sylvester - I styled it again this year and it was revealed to all on Friday at the designer announcement to those who attended.
Kate created a special colourway of the Cordelia bodice (from the new S/S 08/09 collection) for me to use as 1 of 4 options for the outfit (all from different designers) and that's the one the creatives at Colenso BBDO and executives at Air New Zealand chose.
Attached is the pic.
Hope that clears it up..

Monday, July 21, 2008

#114 Louise Van de Vorst - Rising Star

I met Louise in October 2006 when she came over to New Zealand from Chadwick in Australia to do Fashion Week. The girl had stamina. We partied a few nights together – when I'd crawl out of bed each morning I'd look like a wombat, when we'd meet up the next day she'd look like a goddess. She'd only been modeling for a couple of months but still managed to book every show she went for. What happened next goes like this, (or so the legend goes). She went to Paris for Fashion Week where she auditioned for all the shows, then, when she'd booked them, her agent pulled her, saying that she couldn't do them due to an exclusive campaign. Everyone went crazy over the girl they couldn't have, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Add a budding relationship with Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns to her list of campaigns, (Viktor & Rolf, Thierry Mugler Cosmetics, Sass & Bide) and editorials, (Italian, Japanese and German Vogue, Oyster, Russh, Yen) and we have a hot new supermodel in the making.

#113 Kate Sylvester not to show at NZFW 08

I just received this email from Kate Sylvester's PR person.

The reason Kate decided to forgo Fashion Week was because "we're focusing on our export markets just for this year". Also, I haven't seen the ANZFW campaign shoot yet, so I have no idea what was shot, and Kate has no idea either! Sorry we couldn't be more helpful, but let me know if you hear if our stuff is actually in the campaign!

As the winner of the highly coveted Air New Zealand Export Growth award at Fashion Week last year - about $30,000, I wonder how Air New Zealand and the Fashion Week organisers are feeling about Kate Sylvester choosing not to participate this year – to focus on her export markets?? I'm disappointed – shows from great New Zealand designers like Kate Sylvester are what keep the week exciting!

#112 Whose dress is it?

I'm still waiting to hear back from Kate Sylvester with a comment on why they're not doing Fashion Week, but I've just heard whisperings *not confirmed yet* that the dress worn by Karla Devine in the official Fashion Week image is by Kate Sylvester.

More to come - you read it here first!

#111 Batman: The Dark Achiever

Batman: The Dark Knight
has broken all the records in its opening weekend in the States. Taking $155.34 million at the box office, The Dark Knight surpassed Spiderman 3 ($151.1 million) for highest grossing opening weekend ever. With reports from critics and fellow actors that the late Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker is one of the greatest character achievements of all time, fan fever has been at hysteria levels. The film set a further box office record with $66.4 million on its opening day. The Dark Knight began with a record $18.5 million from midnight screenings, topping the previous high of $16.9 million for Star Wars: Episode III -- The Revenge of the Sith. The opening day grosses for The Dark Knight far exceeded the full weekend haul of its predecessor, Batman Begins, which took in $48.7 million in its first three days in 2005.

"We've really never seen anything like this," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers. "The death of a fine actor taken in his prime, a legendary performance and a movie that lives up to all the hype. That all combined to create these record-breaking numbers."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

#110 Doing it all for Chaaaaarity

Following their hugely successful event at Sydney Fashion Week, Stolen Girlfriends Club brought their exhibition of Helmut Newton reproductions back to New Zealand for a party and charity auction last night. The premise was simple: ten of Australasia's top photographers were asked to reinterpret their favourite Helmut Newton photograph in any way they wanted. The results require some statistical information. Of the ten photos, four featured full frontal nudity, five featured breasts, three featured topless girls with breasts obscured from view, two featured wild animals (a crocodile and a bear – alongside or ridden by a nude or scantily clad model), three featured Australian next big thing model Louise Van de Vorst - more to come on her later, and one featured a mangina. I think the 40-something year old lady's comment I overheard said it best: "There sure are a lot of c***s!"

The photographs were auctioned off with all proceeds going to the NZ AIDS Foundation, (Helmut's wife June is a strong supporter of the AIDS cause). I felt sorry for the auctioneer; with that many people milling around he had to scream down the microphone and deal with the drunken fools pretending to bid then pulling out, yelling "psyche!" A whopping $10395 was raised for the cause, with the highest price going for Derek Henderson's image of Louise Van de Vorst lying alongside a grizzly bear – it caused a bidding frenzy among the men and eventually sold for $2000.

Was it gratuitous? Absolutely. But enjoyable? Definitely. There's something about males being allowed to leer at naked girls in the name of art analysis that never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Friday, July 18, 2008

#109 Obedient Sons

Speaking of announcements, the nominees for the CFDA awards have just been listed, and up for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award is my favourite American label Obedient Sons – stay tuned for an interview coming soon. If they win they're in for a sweet little $200,000 cheque which I'm sure won't go amiss. (Someone once told me: "Isaac, if you want to learn the hardest way to make money in this world, start up a high end fashion label.") Second or third place isn't too bad either, with a casual $50,000 being handed down to the runners up.

Click here for the full list of nominees.

#108 NZ Fashion Week Lineup Announced!

It's official, the designers have been announced! Among the usuals - Zambesi, Nom*D, Cybele and Trelise Cooper, we've got a few big names back after an extended hiatus - Karen Walker and World have both announced their return to the New Zealand catwalk. And Australian designer Kirrily Johnston is the first to come across the ditch for the event. IMG's Transeasonal Fashion Week in Sydney has been cancelled and NZ Fashion Week has invited Australian's to show here for the first time. I'll be looking for excitement on the runway from the young guns and we've got a fair few of them we can expect bangs from: Stolen Girlfriends Club, Jaeha - whose show last year was heralded as the hottest newcomer, Twenty Seven Names, Lonely Hearts and Huffer. Notably absent is Kate Sylvester - I'll try to get some info on why.

I'll be doing daily updates of the best shows so keep checking back for all the action from Air New Zealand Fashion Week.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

#107 Hayden Panettiere - Not So Heroic?

I've just heard Heroes star Hayden Panettiere's new song Wake Up Call. (With a voice reminiscent of Amy Winehouse, who knew she was so multi-faceted?) Now call me old fashioned, but there's something about an 18 year old girl, famous for playing innocent female characters - among others the voice of the animated Cinderella, singing about having to give her boyfriend a "wake up call" that doesn't sit right with me. To quote the lyrics: "I think I'm gonna have to cheat, to keep your eyes on me, cos maybe if I make you jealous, you'll finally start to wake up."

The song, with its catchy tune and even catchier lyrics, will probably soon be hitting the top 40 charts, and preteen female fans all around the world will be singing along to it. It's all part of that wonderful marketing engine that is Hollywood. Sex sells everything, so why not expand the buying audience?

Check out the song for yourself.

#106 Control

Last night Des Rusk held a special screening of Control, the biopic of Ian Curtis – Joy Division's ill fated lead singer. Born in 1956, he married his girlfriend at 19, formed Joy Division at 20, had a baby by 22 and killed himself at 23. The film tells the story of his journey from angst ridden teenager to forced adulthood, unable to cope with the combined stresses of fame, young marriage and a baby, and a crippling disability, all of which ultimately led to his self loathing and suicide.

The film's plot is certainly a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions, but it's the twin performances of Sam Riley as Curtis, and Samantha Morton as his wife Debbie that catapult the film from just sad to gut wrenchingly rip your heart out and jump all over it wretched. Riley, a relatively new comer to acting plays the role with mastery and subtlety in such a way that the audience is always able to identify with him even at his most cruel moments. He is definitely one to watch. And Morton alongside him as the innocent and hurt Debbie is the queen of playing the downtrodden underdog and this film is no exception.

The film's cinematography is a feat in itself, every shot of Curtis reminiscent of Hedi Slimane's shoots with Pete Doherty, the camera gently capturing a neck with sweat drenched hair stuck to it, or intensifying a moment you think can't get anymore powerful as Curtis loses control on stage. And the clothes. Curtis's wardrobe was almost it's own character. Long dark trench coats, tucked in long sleeve shirts with epaulettes and sleeves rolled up past his elbows, and pleated pants rounded off the most impressive character in the most impressive biopic of its kind that I have ever seen. I've lost control.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

#105 Reliability - Virtue of the Week

Reliability means that other people can depend on you. It's keeping your commitments and giving your best to all your endeavours. It's being responsible. It's not forgetting, and not needing to be reminded. Other people can relax knowing things are in your reliable hands.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

#104 Shoes shoes shoes by Jordan Rondel

Once upon a time, when I was 12 years old, I remember longing for the day when I would be old enough to wear high heels. Now that I am, the world of high heeled shoes seems to know no limits. A striking pair of shoes can make any outfit – whether they add a quirky pop of colour, some rough and tumble chunkiness or delicate elegance. The styles of footwear seen on the latest runways are eccentric and diverse; black biker boots by McQueen, dainty Mary Janes by Chanel and sexy stilettos with ankle cuffs by Chloé. Step into a pair of spicy high heels and you'll feel as wild as you look.

Pictured: Chloé

#103 The Bigger Picture

Ryan Seacrest on Kiis FM this morning to his French correspondent: "Are you guys just thrilled and relieved and celebrating the fact that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have had their babies?"

French correspondent: "You know in France, nobody cares. Nobody cares. They just care about one thing - it's to get the 20 million dollars if they get the photos of the twins."

RS "So, uh, just to get, uh, so noone, um, people aren't excited that they had these babies?"

FC "No."

RS "They just want the money for the photos?"

FC "Yeah."

Monday, July 14, 2008

#102 Patty Huntington - Blogger Extraordinaire

I met Patty last year at Sydney Fashion Week. I believe she was writing for the Sydney Morning Herald at the time, and I was immediately impressed (and a little intimidated) by her style, dry wit and vast industry knowledge. She's just started up a new blog – FROCKWRITER where she sounds off about the breaking news in the fashion world – and it is hot! Go check it out: FROCKWRITER

Saturday, July 12, 2008

#101 Bow Ties

With the movement toward casual dressing permeating youth society, I'm feeling more inclined to dress up rather than down. Tee shirts have lost their appeal, and I'm enjoying the regimented elegance of wearing a shirt and tie. Bow ties are the ultimate in neck attire, and should be a staple in every young sartorialist's wardrobe. (Self tied of course.)

The bow tie originated among Croatian mercenaries during the Prussian wars of the 17th century – the Croats wore scarves around their necks tied in bows by the loves they left behind. This was soon adopted (under the name cravat, derived from the French for "Croat") by the upper classes in France, and flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries. The French novelist Honoré de Balzac even wrote a book on the subject.

Bow ties have been popular among countless men - from Winston Churchill to Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra to Lanvin's Alber Elbaz - who is never seen without an oversized velvet bow. I'm going to spend the next week perfecting my bow tie knot so I can introduce it into my daily wardrobe. With the aforementioned bow tie alumni, it doesn't sound like too bad a club to join.

#100 A Century

This is my hundredth post. Happy birthday to Isaac Likes! No longer a spring chicken.

Friday, July 11, 2008

#99 A Joke from Yesteryear

There are these two cows standing in a field in England chewing some grass. One cow looks up and says to the other, "Jeez I'm really starting to get anxious about this whole Mad Cow epidemic that's going around." The other cow gives him a peculiar look and says, "Whatever for? We're helicopters."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

#98 Colin Forbes Abrams - Notorious F.A.G.

I love Colin. We were childhood friends but lost touch for about 12 years, only reconnecting in late 2005. He's witty, cutting, a social force unto himself and endlessly quotable. He also plays contrabassoon in the Wellington Symphony Orchestra. He's the only person I've ever met who can talk about penises in front of my grandmother and make her laugh uproariously. Here's what he has to say for himself.

What do you like right now? My pyschiatrist.

If your plane was going down and you had to save NKOTB or the full cast of Beverley Hills 90210, who would it be? I'd save the Beverley Hills kids because Shannon Doherty is an inspirational bitch. I'd turn her on the others with a wet towel and a circular saw.

What's it like playing in the Wellington Orchestra? It's like a warm bath.

What's the difference between the contrabassoon and the bassoon? The bassoon is an instrument, the contrabassoon is a life force.

Why do you like Wellington? Because my house is pretty and full of lesbians.

Who is your style inspiration? Keira Knightley. I love white people.

Any last words? Get amongst it boys.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

#97 Improv Everywhere

Imagine walking into a subway train and sitting down next to a bald guy wearing round glasses, a striped shirt and beige pants. Then looking across at the seat opposite you and seeing an identical bald guy in the same round glasses, striped shirt and beige pants. You might not notice anything at first, but after a while, you look around and see that there are 5 more identical sets sitting opposite each other in the carriage. Just as everyone in the train starts looking at each other and thinking the same thing, the train reaches a certain stop and all the identical sets get up and exit. You've just been Improv Everywhere'd.

Improv Everywhere is an organisation in New York whose sole aim is to go into ordinary, everyday situations, and make them extraordinary. The pranks they pull are genius, and as long as they make a few people scratch their heads or smile, they're happy. Why didn't I think of it first?

Improv Everywhere

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

#96 Toto - Rosanna

Monday, July 7, 2008

#95 Chasing Amy

Boy meets girl, boy falls for girl. Girl turns out to be a lesbian, shocking and humiliating boy. Boy runs away. Girl finds boy. Friendship develops, plot thickens. My favourite film from Kevin Smith's Jay and Silent Bob series, Chasing Amy is a story that delves into that subject we all feel most passionate about: human relationships. It's a cluttered love story, but also a timeless one, and no matter how many times I watch it, the final scene always brings a tear to my eye. There's something about two people who love each other but can't be together that is so heart wrenching in its simplicity.

It's Ben Affleck at his best, Jason Lee at his angriest and Kevin Smith (Silent Bob) at his most insightful. It's the boy's version of the chick flick, complete with comic book and Star Wars references, ice hockey fights, lesbians and sentimentality - with a logical reason behind it. Who needs Sex and the City?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

#94 A few words with Karen Walker

I'm a big fan of Karen Walker's. She's the first New Zealand fashion designer to make it overseas, and she has a no-nonsense, independent spirit that I really admire - she always does her own thing, her own way, on her own terms. When the New Zealand Four ( Nom D, World, Zambesi and Karen Walker) show took place at London Fashion Week in 1999, she was the only designer to appoint a London based PR agent to look after her collection, and subsequently became the only designer from the group to continue to show in that competitive market. Walker's now moved onto New York Fashion Week where she receives constant rave reviews, and she's swiftly becoming the designer of choice for international girls with a craving for clever clothes with a little bite. Read on to see what she has to say about the changing nature of her business in the face of motherhood, and the importance of proof reading my work.

What do you like right now? We've been looking at a lot of Siouxsie and the Banshees videos and I'm also really interested in cults right now. Also really been enjoying watching Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky.

Whose work are you continually inspired and intrigued by? Ralph Lauren.

Has motherhood changed your design sensibility? It's changed the approach that I have to my work, but not the work itself. These days, with way less time, we don't get to overlove design, it's a lot more to the point. So it's probably improved the method of design because we're more definitive. We've gotten rid of all the fluffing around.

What is your guilty pleasure? Expensive hotel rooms.

Who is your favourite character of all time? Richard Parker from Life of Pi.

What do you do to calm the nerves before a big show? I make sure I have things to do so there's no time to worry.

Any last words? I've read your blog on Kate Sylvester and Paul Blomfield was wrong: it wasn't Al Pacino in Raging Bull, it was Robert de Niro.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

#93 Skate or Lie

My dad and I used to have constant arguments about my commitment to skateboarding. I swore I'd skate forever, he had no faith in my stickability. He was right. These guys however, have made a whole career out of never giving up on it. Skate Study House is a company established by a group of skaters who have a serious passion for mid century design and the California lifestyle.

This chair is based on the classic Eames Lounge Chair, made from recycled skateboards with a wetsuit type material for cushioning. Looks like the safest ride you can take on a board. I'd know - I've got three skateboarding related broken arms under my belt.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

#92 Writing Speeches

You may remember about two months ago that I went to get a tailor made suit from Crane Brothers. I went in for my final fitting yesterday and the suit was delivered to me today. It looks pretty amazing if I do say so myself, especially when paired with the navy suede Dior boots I bought in New York. So what, I hear you ask, has a suit got to do with writing speeches? Good question!

On Friday at 4 pm, my best good friend Nic will be getting married to a beautiful girl named Lua. I'm the best man, so as well as wearing a suit, I also have to say a few words. Public speaking is listed in the top ten most common fears that people have, but I've got a few tricks up my sleeve to get me through it. First of all, a rather high embarrassment threshold. Second, I'm a huge fan of awkward moments. Remember that bit in Wedding Crashers when the sister of the bride gives a speech and tries to make jokes and nobody laughs? Hillarious! That said, I'm a fan of awkward moments when they happen to other people, so it may not be quite so funny if I say something meant to be humorous and it's met with a roomful of blank stares and rolling tumbleweed.

So far, here's my format:

Act 1 - Nic's mid teenage years (objective: make Nic blush)

Act 2 - Nic's late teenage years (objective: make Nic look good)

Act 3 - Tips for Lua (objective: make fun of Nic's idiosyncrasies)

Epilogue - Why they've made the right choice with each other (objective: make every woman in the room utter a communal ohhhhhhhh, make bride and groom cry)

Wish me luck! And if one of those tumbleweed moments does occur, I'll be sure to post it as a video for all to laugh at my expense.

#91 Paris Fashion Week Day 4


1-2 Paul Smith 3-8 Lanvin
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