Sunday, August 31, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Hugo Boss officially opened in Auckland this evening, so Jordan and I went along to have a little look see at the new store. It was quite a swank event, with floodlights lining the footpath outside, a door list, security guards, and my favourite part – Anika Moa on the mic.
The German label is the third European megabrand to open a new store in Auckland this year, after Gucci and Louis Vuitton. They all seem to be Australian financed – must be a tax write-off, but I guess any presence in a market is better than no presence at all. Hugo Boss chose not to fight it out with the big boys on Queen Street though, opening instead next to the Polo by Ralph Lauren store on the ground floor of 277 on Broadway.
The clothes have that highly polished European look that probably works well for wealthy Remuera/Parnell types, but I can't imagine too many young people shopping there. New Zealand youth culture's whole ugly/cool obsession doesn't allow for shiny fabrics, bright colours or anything looking too new.
I was bursting to tell someone the juicy Hugo Boss gossip I'd heard yesterday but didn't get a chance, so I'll share it here. Did you know that Hugo Boss designed and manufactured both the Nazi's SS uniforms and the Hitler Youth uniform? Scandalous! Has anyone else noticed that every big German company has a sordid Nazi connection somewhere in their past?
But back to my favourite part, Anika Moa. She walked up to the microphone and said, "I'm just going to sing a few songs, feel free to talk amongst yourselves......But if you do, I'll kill you." Hilarious! Then, "These high heels are way too high for me, I'm just going to take them off." And finally, in true Maori fashion, "Ha ha Look, I'm bringing in a new style: Horey!"
I'm not sure what zee Germans would have thought, but it sure made me laugh.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
New Zealand is a goldfish bowl. We all know it. Nevertheless, when I went to meet Chris Dobbs, owner of Working Style, for a tour of their new Parnell store yesterday, we were both surprised at our six degrees of separation. I've been good friends with the head tailor of the Parnell store for years, went to high school in Christchurch with the head tailor of the Chancery Store, and stayed in New York with another former Working Style employee a few years ago.
But I digress...
What was once a simple two-room, upstairs/downstairs suit shop has expanded to become a four-room menswear experience. New additions include a full suit-hire department and an expansive open plan room with top-shelf suits, shirts, shoes, and themed fitting rooms - one even has vintage rudie pictures on the walls. (Chris was quite keen to show me THAT room but held off when he saw me blushing furiously at the mere suggestion.) The store offers the total menswear experience, made to measure, off the rack, drinkies, signed pictures of the old Bond girls and loungey couches. It's the type of place you want to spend an afternoon at, debating your alliance to peak versus notch lapels.
Speaking of alliances, I've long been a staunch supporter of Crane Brothers and so I've always held a prejudice against Working Style. But after going in there yesterday and seeing what they do first hand, I've realised that I can support both companies. As Chris said to me, "I used to be freaked out by competition, but now I embrace it. It makes us all work harder to make better clothes."
And that suits me.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
NO. Magazine’s NO. 3 is out this Friday! AIIYYOOOOOO!
Australasia’s hottest magazine (and my favourite collaborators) were kind enough to send me a preview of the issue’s two covers, and here they are exclusively for Isaac Likes readers. The first features MC Uffie shot by Mark Hunter, aka Cobrasnake, and the second features Canadian supermodel Meghan Collison shot by our own Derek Henderson.
Inside it’s filled with sexy pictures and interviews with exciting people galore (yes, galore), including The Teenagers, Vinne Jones, We Have Band, Meghan Collison, MC Uffie, and the infamous (and impossible to touch) author James Frey – NO. was the only magazine in the world apart from Vanity Fair to be granted an interview with him.
BUY NO. MAGAZINE THIS FRIDAY!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Hollywood celebrity magazine InTouch Weekly has unearthed some interesting information – The Hills stars’ per-episode income!
And it’s not small. According to InTouch, these are the figures:
Lauren Conrad: $75,000 per episode
Heidi Montag: $65,000 per episode
Spencer Pratt: $65,000 per episode
Audrina Patridge: $35,000 per episode
Whitney Port: $20,000 per episode
Brody Jenner: $10,000 per episode
Lauren “Lo” Bosworth: $10,000 per episode
Stephanie Pratt: $8,000 per episode
An insider has said that Lauren Conrad gets paid the most because “She demanded in her original contract that no one could ever get paid more than her.” That’s some good negotiation technique! Hopefully she’ll spend millions on Karen Walker sunglasses so New Zealand can get a bit more of a taste of all that Hollywood money.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Drumroll please! Rising-star New Zealand model Zippora Seven has just been booked for the latest H&M worldwide campaign. Zippora was discovered at the tender age of 12 and since then has been widely labelled as the next Kate Moss. That's a lot of pressure for a 16 year old!
I said congratulations and asked her a couple of questions – what happened in the casting, who's shooting it, what's the theme... and got this back:
Oh, hahaha thanks buddy.. um nah I didn't have a casting or anything, not really excited, don't know the theme and forgot the photographer.
Despite that heavy dose of nonchalance, it's a big deal – the H&M campaign is plastered everywhere and its alumni includes Daria Werbowy, Erin Wasson and Madonna.
If all goes to plan, Zippora will fly out to Los Angeles on the 30th of this month to shoot the campaign. Forget about sports, I wish you could bet on models. Seven always was my lucky number...
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Rapping or singing about the joys of paper currency is one of life's many puzzlers. One has to admit that, sure! having Cash, Money, Cling, Brass, Ka-ching or Green (as it's known in more tempestuously suburban circles) is great... But why the need to gloat about your financial fortune (or misfortune) through the medium of song? Surely this medium should be used to talk about life's higher joys – love, hate, loss or having "hoes" in different area codes.
It got me a-thinking???
Mr O'Shea Jackson, aka Ice Cube, raps about the joys of having bulk amounts of one hundred dollar bills in his song Hundred Dolla Bill Y'all, and sure; some may be of the opinion that the higher the number on the currency the better, but after much thought I'm inclined to agree with the more every-man approach of Wu tang, Wyclef or Coolio, proclaiming the prevalent genius of the Dolla Dolla Bill (Y'all).
Wouldn't one dollar bills be far more convient for the New Zealand punter? If you're anything like me – and I hope for your sake you aren't – you probably don't have that much money to spend in the first place and are often sheepish about handing a small mountain of coin over the counter when completing a purchase. Not to mention the weighty strain our minor currencies inflict upon our pocket seams. The convenience factor would boast a staggering improvement should we follow the lead of our American brothers (and Sistas!).
A lot easier to carry, and a lot classier to hand over, is a wad of cash than a pile of pennies and as previously mentioned, a lot easier on the stovepipes. I imagine myself shuffling my bills and flicking my paper, and smile at how Tony Soprano I would feel having giant wads of rolled bills in my man-bag.
Many an hour did I think about this and thought I'd found the answer to all of New Zealand's currency inconveniences.
Then i remembered. Eftpos.
Thanks to the fantastico Matt Offord (Chachie to his friends) of NO. Magazine who wrote this one. I caught up with Chachie yesterday and we started talking about Beverley Hills 90210 2.0, which got us talking about Tiffani Amber Thiessen. He told me that (besides being every 90s boys' first crush), she happens to be the only Hollywood star who shares his birthday. So, just for Chachie, here's Tiff (as she's known to her friends) at her best.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Continuing New Zealand-Hollywood links...
Bilbo is coming back to New Zealand! After searching for months to find writers for The Hobbit films, executive producer Peter Jackson and director Guillermo del Toro have decided no one is better suited for the task than the Lord of the Rings writing team. del Toro will team with Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens to adapt the J.R.R. Tolkien book.
Three factors have come into the decision. 1. Both Jackson and del Toro originally thought their schedules were too full to allow them to take part in the writing process, but they’ve since been freed from other commitments. 2. During the search and subsequent discussions, they both realised how much love they have for the material. 3. They’ve also realised that since the search took so long, the release date is looming – so who better to do the job efficiently than the people who have the most intimate knowledge of Tolkien’s Middle Earth. (aka Jackson, Walsh and Boyens.) Oh and 4. New Zealanders do it best!
The films will be shot simultaneously like the Lord of Rings trilogy, with principal photography tentatively scheduled for a late-2009 start. New Line and MGM hope to release The Hobbit in 2011 and its sequel in 2012.
p.s. Anybody else notice a striking resemblance between Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro? I guess if you're going to try and get into the mindset of a hobbit, looking like one can't hurt the process!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I'm not going to lie to you, I'm a huge Laguna Beach/The Hills (and now Gossip Girl) fan. But I do think their styling is a little questionable. (How two of them got their own clothing labels funded is beyond me.) I was just on the Showroom 22 website and saw that Lauren Conrad has been wearing Karen Walker's Annie Sunglasses (pictured above). And there I was thinking she had no taste!
I sent Karen an email to ask her what she thought about it all, and this just came back:
Nice to hear from you.
Not too much to say about Lauren. Except that I'd never heard of her 'til this morning! You can probably tell I've never watched the show but a lot of the girls at work are fans as it turns out. She looks great though and clearly has perfect taste!
Navy blue originally got its name from the dark blue worn by officers in the British Royal Navy and has been adopted as the typical colour for sexy sailors' uniforms. Navy is as versatile and practical as black, but less harsh, making it more suitable for spring and summer. The rich, midnight colour also looks hot with with black, as seen in the tartan pants designed by Lonely Hearts. Navy blue, which naturally conjures up ideas of sailing and nautical adventures, is the up-and-coming colour for spring. Twenty Seven Names have done a great nautical inspired navy blue blazer in their spring/summer '08 collection. Navy blue shoes are also a must have for the emerging warmer seasons; leather boat shoes or Clarks suede desert boots are perfect. A couple of other ways to incorporate the colour into your look is through Chanel's Blue Satin nail polish and M.A.C's Hyacinth eyeliner. These electric blue additions will turn heads. So go ahead and introduce some navy blue into your wardrobe because, quite simply people, navy is the new black!
Monday, August 18, 2008
I’ve just heard a rumour that British tabloid queen Amy Winehouse is booked in to play a few shows here in New Zealand next year. Still unconfirmed at this stage but how good would that be? There’s nothing like a bit of drama to spice things up. Wonder if she’ll play at the Beehive? Get it – Beehive?
Friday, August 15, 2008
Attention Harry Potter fans: The Half Blood Prince will NOT be coming out this November. According to the Hollywood Reporter, everybody’s favourite boy wizard won’t be coming back to the big screen until July 2009. The studio behind the film, Warner Bros. is blaming the Writers' Strike. Due to the strike some of the biggest U.S. summer 2009 blockbusters won’t be ready in time, so they’ve chosen to postpone Harry Potter to prop up their lesser films and keep the money rolling in.
Here’s what they have to say about it:
"Like every other studio, we are still feeling the repercussions of the writers strike, which impacted the readiness of scripts for other films-changing the competitive landscape for 2009 and offering new windows of opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of. We agreed the best strategy was to move Half-Blood Prince to July, where it perfectly fills the gap for a major tent pole release for mid-summer."
"At time of writing New Zealand are below such Olympic superpowers as Azerbaijan, India, Tajikistan, Togo and Zimbabwe. Yes, Tajikistan."
Taken from the NZ Herald Website. Pictured is the Togo kayaker Benjamin Boukpeti who won bronze medal in the men's slalom race.
Also heard yesterday on why rowing is our greatest chance of an Olympic medal:
"New Zealanders can only win medals in one situation: when they're sitting down."
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Forget putting their best foot forward, the Chinese government refuse to put anything but their best faces forward. Remember the little girl who sang at the Opening Ceremony bringing tears to us all? Turns out she didn't sing anything at all – a decision was made that the real singer (pictured on the right) wasn't cute enough so they got a stand in who 'better embodied' the Chinese ideal. A Chinese official said, "The main consideration was the national interest. The child on the screen should be flawless in image, in her internal feelings, and in her expression."
How do you explain that to a parent??
"Excuse me sir, your daughter.." "Which one?" "You know the one, the unattractive one who sings." "What about her?" "She's not quite what we're looking for in a performer. But don't worry, she can still sing the song, we'll just get a cuter girl to pretend to sing it. It's a great honour." "Oh...well...um..ok then, as long as it's a great honour.." "It is."
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Capri pants and pedal pushers had a short stint in the mid '90s as the summer style of choice for ladies of a certain age. They soon fell by the wayside though, along with that lime green and orange colour-combo-du-jour. It's been a while and the legs have gotten a bit longer, but once again we're seeing a return to the '50s housewife inspired short pants. First seen on the runway at Gucci Spring/Summer 08, the look is more sophisticated than the '50s versions which were usually made from cotton and worn during the day with ballet flats or sneakers. Now they're coming in wool, waxed cotton and denim, you can pair them with sky high ankle boots and they'll make a classy alternative to normal pants or jeans during the day and a sexy substitute for dresses at night. After seeing the Gucci show I took a pair of Country Road black work pants to get tightened and shortened and also got myself a pair of Siwy cropped jeans. I haven't been able to take them off ever since!
(pics are from Gucci Spring/Summer 08)
Monday, August 11, 2008
Speaking of designer-designed uniforms, I just did a little research into the sportingly chic Team USA Olympic uniform and guess whose name came up? Only the king of classic American prep, Ralph Lauren. Lauren designed the uniform with 1930s American style in mind, and the pieces hark back to Jesse Owens' hey day – driving hats, white slacks and navy blazers embroidered with white Olympic rings.
Oh and if you were wondering about Team New Zealand, all you need to know is they were wearing Crocs. When will one of our top designers take control!?
Until then, chant with me: U S A! U S A!
Hong Kong retailer Lane Crawford recently invited 12 major fashion houses (3.1 Phillip Lim, Alberta Ferretti, Alexander McQueen, Burberry Prorsum, Costume National, Emilio Pucci, Givenchy, Maison Martin Margiela, Neil Barrett, Rick Owens, Stella McCartney and Yves Saint Laurent) to create one-of-a-kind garments to showcase their take on Olympic sports uniforms.
As you can imagine, most of the creations aren't practical per se, but since when have the Olympics favoured function over fashion? Anybody else remember Flo Jo? My favourites are Phillip Lim's design – table tennis needs more knitted, tiered ensembles, (those ladies are all so serious!) and Stefano Pilati for Yves Saint Laurent's silk jersey sprinting gown. It's inspired by Icarus – wind resistance isn't such a factor when you're flying.
The fruits of the designer's labour will be on display at various events over the course of the games, but I'll personally give a hundred bucks to any athlete who wears one of the outfits in their event. Promise!
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
As I've already mentioned, Karen Inderbitzen Waller is New Zealand's stylist extraordinaire. What I hadn't mentioned was that she's just added Nom D to her show schedule this year. To put it mathematically, styling Stolen Girlfriends Club plus Lonely Hearts plus Nom D equals heart-attackingly busy week for Karen. Read on to see how she does it, and what her favourite part of the week is – you might not be too surprised.
What do you like right now? Repetto shoes, Kate Sylvester chain necklaces, Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir, The Curfew Girls, Gordon Ramsay, honey flavoured vodka with apple juice, French singer Camille, Zambesi's two-tone brogues, Rialto channel, French food, Sophie Dahls new book Playing with the Grown Ups.
What are you inspired by when you style shows? Lots of different things, especially when I am working on more than one show, and often ideas or images that I have had stored in my mind that I finally can do something with! Its a really creative time of year where I get to research a lot, and look at lots of different films, books and images, I love it.
I hear you just got back from France. What did you do over there and did you bring anything exciting back? I took a holiday and shot for Fashion Quarterly in Paris. I always seem to be weighed down with far too much luggage especially since I mostly buy books and magazines.
You're styling Lonely Hearts and Stolen Girlfriends Club at Fashion Week. What's your trick for making streetwear look exciting on the catwalk? Well I try not to think of anything as purely streetwear and more about the shape and feel of the collection and always aim for a show that has interest the whole way. I think clothes have to be put together in an interesting or inspiring way to create an impact and not look like boring old clothes walking the runway.
What's the most exciting thing about Fashion Week for you? I would have to say the end, its a week of hard work and too much champagne. I usually need to take a holiday to recover and not think about fashion for a while!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Wellington band 'Holiday with Friends' – super cute and usually drunk. Word on the street is that they have an EP on the way. Be excited.
Capitol's broccoli and feta bruschetta - unforgettable.
Mamma Mia - Meryl Streep does ABBA. It's special.
Ladyhawke - let's all jump on the pop-rock les-fes bandwagon!
Snapper cards - cheap & uncomplicated public transport in Wellington, who knew?
Upper Hutt Savemart - It doesn't even smell.
CoastFM - I was told by one of their marketing people that I am in the 1% of people under the age of 45 that listen to coast - really, get your coast freak on people!
Judith Tizard – At the launch of NZ Music Month (an excuse to play BAD NZ music) after failing to get any answers right in an NZ music quiz she was quoted as saying "I just write the cheques, darling". That's funny.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
This just came in from the girls at Cybele. They're just as excited as me!
A month and a bit out from Fashion Week how are you guys feeling about everything? Very very excited. We love Fashion Week. This year we're upsizing our show and it'll be in the larger venue of the Tent.
Are all your samples made? Sampling is in progress!
What's the scariest part about putting a runway show on? We don't find it scary, but there's a huge element of adrenalin involved.
Is it true you guys style the show the night before? Actually styling is a process so its already underway, but sometimes elements are not finalised until last minute.
What sort of look are you going for in terms of models? The look is very much tied in with the theme so we don't want to give anything away.
What's your theme for the show and have you made signature fabrics? The theme will be revealed on the day! (Although our Japanese media & buyers get first look when the collection heads to Tokyo shortly). Yes new fabrics and other bits & pieces too!
Who's styling it? We're working again with our superstar creative team - Chris Lorimer at Mint Condition Ltd who will be styling, Stephen Marr and MAC.
I had a talk with those hotties from Twenty Seven Names (formerly Love Lies Bleeding) and here's what they have to say about showing at Fashion Week this time round...
What's the theme?
Film and Music. Steven Sebring’s film Patti Smith Dream of Life and Dave Chappelle's Block Party. Sebring's documentary on Patti Smith was shot over the course of a decade, mainly on a grainy black and white 16mm. The film and Smith's style has left a strong imprint on the collection. Chappelle's hip-hop concert documentary is undoubtedly a favourite with everyone who has seen it. Both movies have an intrinsic quality that celebrates artists and performers working in arguably cynical times.
What was the scariest thing about showing last year?
You have 8 minutes to show what you’ve been working on for the last 6 months. It's a pretty intimidating task.
Are you more confident this time round?
Yes and no. We know what we’re in for this time around, but there is always beginners luck to account for.
What's the one song that you guys can't stop listening to right now and will it make it into the show?
Ludacris and Nate Dogg's Area Code. Not sure if it's catwalk appropriate?
SO CATWALK APPROPRIATE!!!