Tuesday, September 30, 2008

#192 A Very Salty Lunch

I went out for lunch today with my good friend Graig Douglas. Graig is an Australian part-time filmmaker/full-time Working Style tailor, and he cuts a sweet little made-to-measure suit. He's arrogant as all hell but I love him for it, and I've never known a young man to pull off fat-cat Denny Crane suits like he can - I'm sure all that Australian self confidence helps. We went to a friendly vegetarian place opposite the Parnell Working Style store called Kokako. Graig got the eggs Florentine, I ordered Athena; an omelette with olives, feta and tomato. It arrived, and I reached for the salt.

Big mistake...

Some trickster had loosened the top of the salt container and the whole lot went on my plate! It was just like being in a cartoon.

Seeing what had happened, my waitress swooped in and whisked the plate away quicker than I could say "Pepper...?"

Thank you to all the Kokako staff for their swift service and diplomacy, and I promise, next time I'll leave the seasoning to the chef.

Monday, September 29, 2008

#191 All My Fashion Week Photos

From Nom*D to Huffer, Juliette Hogan to Karen Walker, here are all the photos I took at Fashion Week.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

#190 NO. Magazine Likes ANZFW

To Joe and Jane Smith Air New Zealand Fashion Week may come across as an over the top, pretentious four days. A time for the socially inept to further scale the Auckland social ladder by dressing in snappy attire and nodding their heads to over-styled, unwearable garments sashaying down the catwalk. And they'd be spot-on. But who are they to judge, it's a damn good time!

Favourites would have to include the (all you can drink) Air NZ lounge. Super friendly hostesses passing around freshly cooked canap├ęs and catering to your every whim... Well almost! (Not that I tried.)

The offsite shows were a highlight. Jaeha and Zambesi get extra props for being two of the best organised and run shows of the week. I'll leave the critiquing of the clothes to my fashion editor but from what I saw it all looked Veeeeery Nice! (Adopt Borat accent for full effect.)

And despite the judgmental ups and downs being dished out during the week, everyone was in high spirits and intermingled like troopers. Magazine editors bonded over their disdain for dangling participles, photographers swapped tips on how to best capture aging socialites, designers attended other designer's shows, and models managed to string together more definitive sentences than ever before.

If one thing can be said about the week it is that it definitely makes the industry closer and stronger and that's a big thumbs up in my book.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

#189 Olivia O'Driscoll – Misses Prada and Possible Humiliation

Well, she may not have gotten the Prada/Miu Miu exclusive everyone was talking about, but at least she didn't suffer extreme shame on her first outing on the Milan catwalk - see video clip at 1:46.

O'Driscoll was put on hold by Prada's superstar casting agent Russell Marsh – a man with a knack for launching some of the world's top model's careers, (including Sasha Pivovarova) and a reputed obsession with being the discoverer of up and coming talent.

It was widely known that Russell Marsh had put O'Driscoll on hold for the Prada/Miu Miu exlusive; the Dominion Post wrote an article about it, Patty Huntington blogged about it on Frockwriter, as did I on this blog. O'Driscoll had also done the rounds on the popular forum The Fashion Spot.

During NZ Fashion Week an international model booker told me a story about an American girl who had flown herself to Milan for a possible Prada exclusive, only to be dropped from the show by Marsh while in makeup backstage. The reason? The girl had told friends about the booking on her Myspace page.

Did Olivia O'Driscoll miss out on the Prada booking due to too many people talking about her online, or is hers just another case of the Kiwi preoccupation with trumpeting New Zealanders – particularly models – who have any success overseas? As Chadwick Models' head booker Joseph Tenni said when I interviewed him last week, "[Olivia O'Driscoll] is New Zealand’s new hype bunny."

It'll be interesting to see what happens in Paris... Will the hype be realised?

#188 Karen Walker Eyewear Giveaway!

If you're imagining what these Karen Walker glasses would look like on you, stop immediately.

I said stop!

There's no need to imagine, because they could be yours. All yours. Muwhahahahaha

I have one pair of the above sunglasses by Karen Walker Eyewear to give away. To win, simply answer the following three questions:

1. Who is the model in the above shot?
2. Which New Zealand model was on hold for yesterday's Prada show in Milan? (Hint: look above...)
3. What is Karen Walker's husband's name? (Hint: look below...)

Email your answer to isaac@isaaclikes.com

The winner will be announced Thursday 2 October – that's seven days from now. Seven dayssssss

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

#187 Imogene Barron's Fashion Week Favourites

Yen Magazine's Fashion Director Imogene Barron has been coming to New Zealand for Fashion Week for about as long as I can remember. She's always fresh, always fun and always sitting in those front row seats. Here's what she had to say about last week's shows:

Favourite show?
Nom*D or Zambesi. It's a tie.

Favourite model?

Favourite person you've met?
(Laughs) Bryan Boy.

Favourite clothes for editorial?
Jimmy D, and the final exit in Nom*D.

Best styling?
Nom*D. Karen Inderbitzen Waller is amazing.

Favourite outfit?
Ryan's from yesterday (laughs). The sasquatch. (Ryan Lobo wore a hair collar and hair boots on the Thursday of the shows. Like real human hair.)

Favourite shoes?
Those barbed wire heels from Stolen Girlfriends Club.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

#186 The Man Behind the Orange Mask at Huffer...

Remember the lone fisherman sitting on the edge of the wharf at the Huffer show? There were a good few people scratching their heads as to his identity, and knowing the Huffer boys, it was bound to be someone interesting. Well I have it on good authority that it was none other than All Black lock Ali Williams.

I'll lay the facts out for you:

1. Ali Williams used to live with a member of the Huffer workforce.
2. I saw him wandering around before and after the show, but NOT during.
3. I've had two people who would know (including Air New Zealand Fashion Week's official photographer Michael Ng) tell me it was him.
4. All Blacks love to fish! (That last one is 100% fabricated, but I bet it's true.)

So there you have it.

I was sitting directly behind Mr Williams-as-Huffer-fisherman and I have to say that he has quite the good casting form, so if that whole rugby thing doesn't work out...

#185 Bryan Boy's Favourites from Fashion Week

He might only be 5 foot 8 and 19 years old, but Bryan Boy managed to cause quite a stir while staying here in New Zealand – he even managed to drag me to Family Bar on Saturday night! Here are his favourite picks from last week:

Favourite show?
World, Nom*D, Jaeha, Alexandra Owen and Zambesi.

Favourite model?
Lea Lazarescu who I thought was a tranny during one of the after-parties. She's gorgeous!

Favourite offsite show?
Jaeha, of course! It was hysterical looking at all these old housewives drinking champagne inside a bloody church at 9 in the bloody morning!

Favourite bar?
As trashy as it is, I have to say Family! It's hilarious when the fash pack invaded this teeny little bar and all the gays got freaked out!

Favourite shoe?
Those tranny sex slut hooker shoes at Jaeha. I got the chance to wear them (albeit 2 sizes smaller) at the NO Magazine photo shoot and they're so easy to walk in. I didn't trip at all!

Favourite person you've met?
Definitely Benny Castles of World. He's sooo adorable! He is so charming he can sell anything to a blind person.

Best goodie bag score/swag score?
Mints from DHL! They come in handy after days of boozing and chain-smoking!

Any last words?
It's my first time here in Auckland and I'm very impressed with this year's New Zealand Fashion Week. It truly is a world-class event and it's such an honor to be invited to take part in the festivities. I came here knowing very little about Kiwi fashion, designers, people and culture -- now I know better. See y'all next year!

Monday, September 22, 2008

#184 Going Up in Sunday Magazine!

If you can make out from the photograph, (click to enlarge) Isaac Likes featured in Sunday Magazine's Going Up section yesterday!

The text said:

A man so fashionable he has a haircut named after him blogs about fashion trends.

So what is this fabled haircut, I hear you ask? Why, it's the Hindin of course! About a year and a half ago I started getting the cut by Rowan Duley of Stephen Marr (short on the sides and back, and big and curly on top) but it was Hamilton Brooks of D&M who first started calling it the Hindin.

Next time you're at the salon, just ask for it by name.

Thanks Sunday Magazine, and thanks Rowan and Hamilton too!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

#183 A Few Stories from Mikhail Gherman and Simon Lock

We all know Mikhail Gherman is a fantastic ideas man – as a creative director at Publicis Mojo and Karen Walker he does some of the slickest advertising campaigns I've ever seen. (Including the KW Eyewear campaign to the right.) What I didn't know though, was that he's also a fantastic story teller. I managed to stop him for a few moments at the Karen Walker show on Friday night to hear a few tales. It went a little something like this:

Me: Have you managed to get to any shows?
Mikhail Gherman: It's like being a chef. You spend so much time in the kitchen, you don't wanna go and walk around the tables. You don't go and check out the other restaurants unless someone's coming out with some new crazy shit. If we were in Paris and we get an invite to Yves Saint Laurent we'll go, but otherwise no. 15 years ago Karen and I used to go to Paris a lot. She was 23 and we were so excited. We had a friend who was a photographer for a lot of the Conde Nast publications and he used to have a big suitcase full of invites. He'd say I don't want to go to those parties with these young girls. I knew their parents. Do you guys want the tickets? We were like kids in a candy shop (laughs)!

Me: Things must be so much busier having a baby now.
MG: Having a baby changes the way you design. The clothes are better. You don't get to overlove everything because you don't have the time anymore. And your first ideas are usually the best so you don't overlove and lose track so your clothes are better.

Me: So will you have more children?
MG: I love being a dad. With Valentina she used to be so quiet travelling, she'd sleep the whole way. But now she's all what's this? What's that? I think two (children) is good. After that, I don't know how you'd do it (the business).

At that point Mikhail had to run off to talk to someone else, but a few minutes later I ran into him again. This time, he was with Simon Lock (both pictured above).

MG: You know this guy (Simon Lock) and Karen go way back. They've known each other for a very long time.
Me: Tell me about it!

MG: Well his agency was the one we were with whe we first went to New York.
Me: That's Spin Agency right?
Simon Lock: Yeah we were in New York before we even knew what we were doing (laughs).
MG: And Simon had this guy Michael Bragg working for him in New York who really opened up all the doors for us there. Simon found Karen years ago.
SL: Yeah I found Karen, I got Nom*D from Dunedin, and Zambesi. And you know, this guy (Mikhail) is a genius. You know the greatest idea, the craziest show I've ever been to was when he decided to give everyone headphones so they were listening to their own music in their ears.
MG: Yeah and we recorded the show and somebody's phone went off and someone in the audience said "turn that fucking thing off!" and since they had headphones on they thought they were being quiet but they were really loud. And people were bitching about each other and you could hear everything they were saying (laughs)!
SL: And the models were laughing they could hear themselves walking and the photographers were loving it.
MG: (Laughs) Yeah there was this Czech model who was walking down the runway and this one photographer was yelling at her, saying "You're a real credit to your industry, love!"

Saturday, September 20, 2008

#182 Huffer

Thank God for Huffer! After a week of blacks, drabs and grunge, Huffer came through with a clean, colourful and FUN collection last night on Princes Wharf. The boys from Huffer claimed fishing as their inspiration for the range, and a lone fisherman cast his line out into the water as the models walked down the pier. I ran out back to have a quick word with Steve Dunstan (director of Huffer) after the show, and he told me: "It's crazy man, you have this dream and you don't know how it's going to work out. We came here to the wharf six weeks ago and we were like shit is this going to work? But I think we did it alright."

I'm exhausted after such a huge week and my fingers are too tired to keep typing. All I can say is that Huffer blew my mind. Full credit to those boys – this range is a gigantic step up for them, the perfect range to launch into the US – more details on that to come, and mad pops to Atip Wananuruks who styled it to perfection.


Photo by Michael Ng

Friday, September 19, 2008

#181 Lonely Hearts

They might not have the big name status of a Zambesi, Nom*D or Trelise Cooper, but those Lonely Hearts kiddos can sure pull a crowd. The masses forcing their way through the doors last night was testimony, and I'm sure I heard a few whispers of "Lonely Hearts... They're so hot right now."

I was amped with great expectations for the show, and it was another one of Karen Inderbitzen-Waller's masterpieces. The show opened with gunshots and screams to get us in the mood for a bogan collection – things get messy out west. According to the stereotype, bogans are rough as guts, poorly educated and love to wear cheap clothing, and Lonely Hearts' collection encapsulated just that. The first few models trudged out wearing rugby head gear and knee pads, a safety measure – bogans like pulling stunts don't ya know?

Footwear came in the form of muddy boots, leaving a trail of dirt on the runway not unlike that Little Brother show from three years ago, only that time, it was blood. If there's one thing a bogan loves, it's biker leather; needless to say it was incorporated into most garments – jackets, shoulder pads and straps on dresses. Leather jackets with cut arms fell off the girls' shoulders to reveal serpent tatoos – and those same tats found their way onto breasts and bellies. Hot.

The strongest pieces in the collection were the tweedy pilot jackets, nana-knitted cardigans and man blazers but the show highlight was when Derya walked out wearing a pair of knitted knickers (and not much else), the quickest way to get picked up by a bogan with a hot V8. The collection had a very op-shoppy feel to it; everything looked as though it was picked up off the floor of a junk shop.

Although as of late I've been more inspired by clean, well tailored, high end fashion (something more along the lines of Alexandra Owen), I really enjoyed the show and its grunge aesthetic. Is anyone else getting a bit sick of seeing plaid though?

We talked to an exhausted Karen Inderbitzen-Waller while waiting to get into the Zambesi show last night. She explained that the Lonely Hearts collection only consisted of girls' clothing because she wanted the designers to focus on doing one thing really well. She also made it pretty clear that she is over the clean look, which isn't surprising after seeing this collection!

Jordan Rondel

Photos by Michael Ng

#180 Model Talk - Interview with Joseph Tenni from Chadwick

I had a chance to sit down with the fantastic Joseph Tenni, head booker from Chadwick Sydney, after the Lonely Hearts show – which he missed due to pushy Aucklanders elbowing their way in! (I apologised on their behalf.) Topics of conversation included Vanessa Milde, Louise Van de Vorst, his thoughts on New Zealand models and the whole no stopping at the end of the runway debacle…

Me: Tell me a bit about Vanessa Milde.
Joseph Tenni: Vanessa is Australia’s rising star. She’s 17, she’s Gemini and she’s from South Australia. She’s with Chadwick in Australia, 62 here and IMG in New York, Milan, London and Paris. She just got back from a great season in Paris where she walked for Chanel, Nina Ricci, Lanvin and Christian Lacroix.
Me: So what’s she doing here in New Zealand then? Why didn’t she go to do the New York shows?
JT: She decided not to go to New York, she’s still at school, New Zealand’s so close it’s easier to come and do it here, and she’s been here before (about 2 years ago). And she can be a really big fish in a small pond here. I think she’s on a different level to a lot of the girls here.
Me: What have you thought about the standard of the models here at Fashion Week?
JT: I was here last year for Fashion Week and I think the standard of models is better than last year. But there are some girls here who wouldn’t work anywhere else.
Me: Which of the New Zealand girls do you think have a bright future ahead of them?
JT: The girls who standout to me are Samantha Shorter (from 62), I love her, she’s like a baby Paulina Porizkova. I love love love Elena Zubielivitch (from 62), she's got a big career ahead of her. Georgia Fowler from Clyne is incredible and I love Jessica White from Nova. India (from 62) has potential but she’s still very young.
Me: I’ve noticed a distinct lack of blondes this year. Have you noticed that?
JT: It didn’t strike me, but maybe it’s just not a blonde season. Overseas it’s all about Asians and African girls at the moment, they’re getting away from the Northern European look.
Me: What are your thoughts on Zippora Seven?
JT: I think Zippora looks like a cross between Hillary Duff and (French actress) Melanie Thierry and I think Amanda Betts did an absolutely amazing job making everyone believe in her when she wasn’t that amazing, and she had all that work put into developing her and now she’s grown into this amazing thing. Amanda Betts did an incredible job with her.
Me: And what about Katie Braatvedt?
JT: Katie Braatvedt is an exceptional beauty. They’re still holding her back because of school but she’s doing as well as she can while not being a full time model.
Me: And Olivia O’Driscoll?
JT: Love Olivia O’Driscoll. Love her and want her (laughs)! She’s New Zealand’s new hype bunny.
Me: What do you think of how the models haven’t been posing at the end of the runway?
JT: I find it strange, it’s not what I’m used to. Even watching Fashion TV you don’t see it, it’s unorthodox. It seems to be a statement but I can’t work out what it is!
Me: How’s Louise Van de Vorst going?
JT: I love Louise. Everyone knows her in Australia, she’s done everything. She’s getting papped everywhere she goes, it’s crazy. She’s about to go to New York and Europe again.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

#179 Interview with IMG's Simon Lock

I've been seeing Simon Lock, IMG's Managing Director of Fashion for Asia Pacific around the tents a lot this week. IMG is the world's largest management companies, counting many of the world's top fashion week events in its portfolio – including Rosemount Australian Fashion Week. I asked him a few questions about his possible business interest in the event.

Me: Is this your first time at New Zealand Fashion Week?
Simon Lock: The last time I came it was in the town hall, so it was quite a while ago, about five years ago.
Me: What are your thoughts on it (New Zealand Fashion Week) now?
SL: It's great – it's really a step forward. It's a great event for servicing the New Zealand industry. It's a world class fashion week event.
Me: How does New Zealand Fashion Week compare with your Sydney event?
SL: This (ANZFW) is a different event, it appeals to a New Zealand domestic audience. It's good to see an Australian designer showing here, and representatives from the States (media).
Me: Do you think IMG would be interested in taking over New Zealand Fashion Week?
SL: IMG's role is to own and operate good quality Fashion Weeks around the world. We run Fashion Week in New York, Berlin, Miami, Sydney, Moscow (laughs). I'm here in New Zealand to expand business opportunities.
Me: So do you think we might be seeing IMG New Zealand Fashion Week next year?
SL: I'm not going to say that.
Me: Do you think it would be better to combine forces and have both events in Sydney or alternate between Auckland and Sydney?
SL: We've dropped our Autumn/Winter Fashion Week in favour of a retail based event (Rosemount Australian Transeasonal Collections). There's a lot more opportunity for collaboration - we're looking at greater collaboration between New Zealand and Australia. There are more opportunities for New Zealanders to show in Sydney and Australians to show in Auckland.
Me: So if IMG did come and take over the New Zealand event would Pieter Stewart still be involved?
SL: Of course. It's her event.

#178 Salasai

As we previously mentioned, due to Salasai’s Jeep sponsorship, (Audi is the official vehicle of fashion week so no other car companies can park onsite), we were treated to another offsite show this morning. The location was a glass-walled room at the top of the Vector Arena car park that – despite the grey clouds outside – was flooded with morning sunlight. The space was filled with the aroma of fresh coffee, but sadly not jam-packed with people; I guess partying two nights in a row was too much for some. Nevertheless, most of the international media and delegates were there and lots of faithful locals were in attendance, (we sat next to Ana McDonald and Catherine Schaer who were both particularly chipper despite the early start).

Speaking of starts, after a good chat with the aforementioned ladies, the show began. The first few outfits had a fun Eskimo-esque appeal, with long knit jumpers, fur additions, hoods, layers and a good helping of greys and blues. The chunky heels worn with thick woolen socks brought to mind a good snow trek.

Did I say snow trek? I meant wintery fairy tale. Little Red Riding Hood had ditched the red for blue, and the wolf – reincarnated here as a fox – had already been skinned and was slung nonchalantly around the neck or belted around the waist.

My favourite piece was a bunched-front skirt that zipped allllll the way up. In blue denim or sexy printed silk it’d be sure to provoke a few reactions.

On leaving the venue, the silly machine in the car park swallowed our parking ticket and crisp new five dollar bill. We had to risk our lives AND the wellbeing of Isaac's Honda by zooming out behind the car in front – narrowly missing being crushed by the barrier arm. If the coffee didn’t wake us up, that sure did!

Jordan Rondel

Photo by Michael Ng