Thursday, April 30, 2009

#481 Best of the bunch - Karla Spetic

Video courtesy of MAX

You know how New Zealand fashion has a particular look - dark, moody, intellectual, brooding and grungy, well Sydney's is quite the opposite. Fun, flirty, clean, shiny, pretty and revealingly in your face. It's not a style that I particularly warm to most of the time, but I've just seen the best of the bunch. Karla Spetic just showed a fantastic collection of scalloped-edged blazers, floral print pants and crocheted cardigans. I loved it. It was soft and beautiful and everything I wanted to see from one of these Sydney designers. If you're wondering who the gorgeous man in the pink shirt is backstage, he's my mate Steve Wood - he shot the backstage shots after the jump.

Karla Spetic and her girls

#480 Juli Grbac video and backstage

Video courtesy of MAX

Project Runway Australia winner Juli Grbac. All I can say is Double U Tee Ef? Once again featuring NZ girls Jess White and Samantha Shorter - the latter closed. Backstage shots from my BFFL Steve Wood.

#479 Gary Bigeni video and backstage shots

Video courtesy of MAX

Myf opened and closed... I saw a girl being sprayed backstage... I'm about ready to go home for today!

Backstage shots care of my best good mate Steve Wood after the jump.

Gary Bigeni and girls

Just Gary

#478 Backstage at Sara Phillips

This time from a real life photographer - my new BFF Steve Wood.

#477 Slickbacks at Sara Phillips

Video courtesy of MAX

Check out the killer slickbacks at Sara Phillips - I'm a sucker for that wet look. Might be a 10 year old crush on Trinity from The Matrix? Plus a coupla Kiwi girls - Samantha Shorter and Jess White.

Backstage shots after the jump.

Samantha and one of the Russian girls

Jess White

#476 Front row at Kate Sylvester

Photo courtesy of Steve Wood

Me and Samantha (still in her hair and makeup from Konstantina Mittas) before the Kate Sylvester show started. Ms Sylvester gave me the challenge of sneaking in with no invite and I told her I'd bring a friend along for the ride. Here's proof. Don't you love the extreme flash action? Real life air brushing! Check out Steve Wood's website above - he was one of the most prolific photographers of Princess Diana, he was there live at 9/11, and when the Tsunami hit and he shoots a bit of backstage fashion in his downtime. (He's also the famous kisser.)

#475 Skinny boys and a couple of Kiwis at Beat Poet

Video courtesy of MAX

Beat Poet showed a skinny rock n roll boy's collection this morning, a wearable Dior Homme inspired Sydney streetwear range. Alongside the Sydney boys, the three NZers from Kate Sylvester walked - Vinnie P from 62, Bruce from August and Red from Red11. My favourite moments were the purple pants, shirts, light knitwear and OBVIOUSLY the cuffed beige pants. You know I love those beige pants!

#474 Believe me when I say... Romance Was Born beeped a mermaiiiiid

Video courtesy of MAX

Romance Was Born might not have been on a boat, but they definitely went underwater with their show this morning. Of all the shows this week this one was the most extreme, call times were 1am for staff and 4am for models. Check out the merman and the beginning. I'm a Merman pop... MERMAAAAAAAAAN!

#473 Kirrily Johnston excerpts and finale

Video courtesy of MAX
From last night. Highlights include the white jeans with zips/oversized knit combo, and the gold dress going by the girl front row wearing the same dress (about half way through).

#472 HOT HOT HOT intro video at Kirrily Johnston

Video courtesy of MAX

Internet is FINALLY back on so I can FINALLY upload all my videos from last night and this morning. Hurrah hurrah hurrah! This one was the intro video at Kirrily Johnston. The music and the greeny black and white and the highly erotic sexualisation of the young Eurasian brother sister lookalikes reminds me so much of the old Calvin Klein banned commercials. It was made by Alex Goddard at Oyster Productions - the guys behind Oyster Magazine. Blood was boiling all round!

#471 Spotted: A sleepy Kiwi on the catwalk

NZ model Jess White (Nova, Chadwick) laxing out on the runway at Romance Was Born.

#470 Spotted: Internet journos all Locked up

A couple of fiery bloggers (Patty Huntington and Linlee Allen) with IMG's Asia Pacific chief Simon Lock at Romance Was Born

#469 Spotted in the front line: Myf Shepherd's early morning Romance

Myf Shepherd supporting her own at Romance Was Born.

#468 RAFW Day 3 recap

It's never too early - Karen IW having celebratory champers backstage at Kate Sylvester

I think I may have found the cure to all my RAFW ails: food. Who'd've thought it? (Well apart from my mum, who'd've thought it? Hi Mum.) After yesterday's demoralising disaster of a day, today actually went by quite nicely indeed. I woke up late, not wanting to get off my two seater non-fold out couch (due to yesterday's mare), finally dragged myself off and into the shower, decided not to shave because who cares what I look like, it's going to be crap anyway, then put on basically the same outfit as yesterday, because who cares what I look like, it's going to be crap anyway. But there's one good thing about hitting rock bottom, there's only one way to go - up.

Jimmy D sequinning it up in Cooper by Trelise Cooper pants. Yes, Cooper by Trelise Cooper

My bad mood continued for most of my bus ride to the venue, until I had two thoughts that put things into perspective. First, it's only fashion, it was one bad day and there are far greater things going terribly in this world, and second, everything's going to be alright. Amazing how much those five words can do for a guy. I was almost smiling when I arrived at RAFW headquarters with ten minutes to spare before the first show, and headed up to the media centre. When I got there I was greeted by the chipper faces of my fellow bloggers and other assorted journalists. Everything was going to be alright.

Grace Jones flat tops and golden panda eyes at Konstantina Mittas modelled by our own Samantha Shorter

First up was Konstantina Mittas, styled by New Zealand's Tulia Wilson (formerly of Zambesi and Ksubi fame), and which also featured Kiwi model Samantha Shorter. The lights went down and a single model stood at the entry to the catwalk, engulfed in a cloud of dry ice smoke. Slight hitch, the smoke kept coming. And coming. And coming and coming and coming that by the time the third model had walked the catwalk, nobody could see a foot in front of their faces. A woman sitting next to me holding her baby looked terribly upset and got up out of the front row and walked out, cradling the poor child as if it was dying in her arms. I should have told her it's only dry ice - everything's going to be alright. Konstantina showed a great collection, definitely one of my favourite so far. There's a bit of a sweater movement going on in this town and she showed a couple of the better ones yet. But most spectacular was the hair - Grace Jones flat tops that took three stylists two hours to create on each girl. No wonder their call time was five am. Yowsers.

High shine wraparound hair backstage at Kirrily Johnston

Next thing we ran back to the media room to upload videos and a lovely sight met our eyes. Food. Glorious food. Piles of sandwiches, pastries, grapes, strawberries, mini Asian noodle boxes, wonderful delicious food. I ate and ate and started to feel even better than before.

Identical twins flanking unknown blonde - all from Sydney but all born in New Zealand

Kate Sylvester took the stage next and showed a cute collection of outdoorsy linen sacking with a few prim nana cardigans thrown in. The colourful Doc boots went down a treat, spray painted especially for the show by the Sylvester's panel beater. Kate Sylvester has a bit of a track record for scandal and drama here in Australia, one year showing a collection based on boxing a couple of days after a female boxer was killed in the ring, and last year putting war medals on the outfits on ANZAC Day. This year was no exception, with Myf Shepherd, Fashion Week's highest profile model, almost being pulled from the show by her agency Chic 40 minutes before start time over an opening/closing debacle. Word has it that a town car was dispatched to pick the poor girl up as she cringed over the fiasco. She ended up opening and the show went on without a hitch. Critics raved so I hope Sylvester didn't take it to heart. She'd told me a couple of days earlier that she was hoping for a drama free show this year.

Tom foolery in the media centre

The rest of the day went by without a hitch, no huge internet dramas, shows missed or entry refusal. Tonight's highlight was Jayson Brundson, a quaint salon show filled with opulent old world glamour - Grecian goddess dresses, silk taffeta gowns and 40s shorts and blouse combos. Brundson dedicated the show to his mother who sat front and centre. What a good son.

Myf who? A very relieved looking Kate Sylvester backstage after her show

I wrote the lion's share of this while I was on the bus home, and I'm finishing it off on my two seater non-fold out couch. I learnt my lesson today - the more food consumed, the happier I am. I'm not even exhausted right now. Or maybe my new philosophy to life is a self fulfilling one - everything's going to be alright.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

#467 Old world glamour at Jayson Brundson

Timeless, elegant, beautiful. Just like what your Nana used to wear. It brought smiles to the faces of all who saw it. I'd imagine that's what going to a salon show back in the day would have been like. Loved it! Show was dedicated to his mother Dorothy. Awwww.

#466 Buffalo Souljahhhhh, Dreadlocked TVstah

Video courtesy of MAX

TV just showed an early 90s collection of incredibly high cut leotards (so Models INC!), heavy drill pants in rust orange and brick red, form fitting long dresses with cut out panels, but obviously my favourite pieces were the sweaters with laser cut holes. Featuring special performances by Kiwi girls Samantha Shorter and Jess White - both here with Chadwick.

#465 Spotted: Two NZ models alongside a random NON NZ model

Sofie Mikkelsen, Samantha Shorter from 62 and Jessica White from Nova backstage at TV. You go girls!

#464 Spotted at RAFW Jimmy D in Cooper by Trelise Cooper!

James Dobson in Cooper by Trelise Cooper sequinned pants. What can I say? The boy works it. (Closeup after the jump.)

#463 Marnie Skillings makes some noise at RAFW

Video courtesy of MAX

It started with a bang, had a near fall halfway through, and ended with an explosion. Marnie Skillings tests the big bang theory with S/S 09/10.

#462 Spotted Wunderkind Dion Lee

Outside the Marnie Skillings show.

#461 Dhini/Gail Sorronda vid

Video courtesy of MAX

Internet went down for the last hour, but we're back online now! Check out the shoe closeup - both broken. HUNGRY HEELS!

#460 Take a Hike Australians, Kate Sylvester has landed!

Video courtesy of MAX

After a week of cocktail frocks, bulging breasts and see through skirts, it was an absolute pleasure to see some healthy hikers in Kate Sylvester's latest womenswear collection. Highlights include the thigh high sequinned spats, the linen sacking and the custom painted Doc boots (done specially by Wayne Conway's panel beater). And always good to see a Kiwi model trifecta - all three boys in the show were NZers - Vinnie P from 62, Bruce from August and Red from Red11. Myf Shepherd did an unplanned opening - according to Patty Huntington's latest Tweet, Chic threatened to pull her from the show 40 minutes before starting unless she opened or closed. Dramas! (Full story here on Frockwriter.) You might remember I asked Sylvester on Sunday if there were any hidden firecrackers to follow up on last year's medalgate fiasco, she answered a definitive no - I guess this one surprised everyone involved. Poor old Kate, I feel for you! But don't worry, the show definitely spoke for itself.

Backstage pics after the jump...

Triumphant Kate Sylvester with models

The show's stylist Karen Inderbitzen Waller - time for celebrations!

(Despite being 11am... that's not too early... right??)

#459 White out at Konstantina Mittas

Video courtesy of MAX

Looks and finale from the Konstantina Mittas show, styled by NZer Tulia Wilson. My second favourite show to date, despite the dry ice white out at the beginning and the falling debris from Illionaire. Check out the Grace Jones hair, gold foil eyes and NZ model Samantha Shorter strutting her stuff.

Pics after the jump.

First lady of Australian online journalism Linlee Allen with NZer and stylist Tulia Wilson

Samantha 'Grace Jones' Shorter

And again, only this time with a nudie rudie in the background

#458 Antipodium

Video courtesy of MAX

From yesterday (Youtube was down, remember?). Check out the punks, trannies and tattooed mafia - oh and the tampon jewellery.

#457 Zambesi finale

Video courtesy of MAX

Finale from yesterday. Go the Kiwis!

#456 RAFW second day recap

The Big Zambowski - Zambesi's Neville Findlay keeping it cool

If yesterday was the most perfect start to a fashion week I've ever had, then today was it's crueler uglier, despicable older sister. Whatever could go wrong did, and by crikey waddaya know, most of the time all at once. Not that it began badly though. I woke up bright and early at 6:50am, excited, energised and rearing to go. First show was Dion Lee, this year's potential star, and he put on such an incredible show that not only did everyone around me proclaim Sydney Fashion Week over, but I kept going all day telling everyone who'd listen that his was the most perfect womenswear show I've ever been to. Not a lie.

But then things went downhill. Swiftly.

Margharita Missoni expertly responding to reporter's questions - a bit of media training does wonders for a girl

After racing back to the venue from the Kings Cross car park where Dion Lee's show was held, Patty Huntington, Helen (Sassybella) and I sprinted through to the backdoor of the Zimmerman tent. 'No backstage pass, no entry,' leered the burly security guard. 'Go downstairs.' Going downstairs to go back upstairs sounds ridiculous to you and to me, but to this guy it was as simple as telling us the time. Oh to be big and strong and intimidating to burly security guards. We finally made it to the doors just as Zimmerman was about to begin. The doorman there was being a jerk too and not letting in fellow bloggers Aych and the Despotic Queen himself, so, being the gentleman I am, I waited outside with them. We'd been there about thirty seconds when the lights went out. Oh joy. A citywide power cut.

Bad bunnies at the RTW show

Forty five minutes later the power came back on, and Zimmerman showed a pretty collection of swimwear and florals. I wanted to keep up the speed and immediacy of yesterday's blogging effort so I bolted back to the media room to upload my Dion Lee and Zimmerman videos. Not so fast. Youtube had decided to do a little maintenance on the site - no uploading available. For FRENCH CONNECTION UNITED KINGDOM'S sake. Why!? I was forced to upload the videos straight to Blogger which takes a good eight times longer and they come out smaller and blurrier. Great.

Someone teach me how to use a camera - front of house at Zimmerman, I believe

The next few shows passed by in a blur of bad seats, late starts and near misses, and running back to the media room to upload videos to Blogger was a painful agitation. Media room food comes in the form of sandwiches and mini asian noodle snacks, but goes as quickly as it's brought out due to the vulture-like photographers swooping as soon as they smell fresh blood (or chicken).

Light installation at Dion Lee

If I sound bitter, it's because I am.

Punk girl punking out with punky necklace made from varnished tampons - what can I say - the girl's got Moxie

I guess it wasn't all bad though. Highlights included a meet and greet with Margharita Missoni who smiled very politely as the bloggers crowded in for a photo, and didn't even slap me when my hand mistakenly grazed her posterior. I must say I was impressed by the answers she gave to reporters, especially to the lady who asked why Little Black Dresses are so classic. 'First off, because they're black,' she said. I do love a bit of lateral thinking.

Whole lotta woman on the catwalk at Antipodium

I did a couple of fun little backstage videos at Zambesi, including a striptease from former Cleo Bachelor of the Year Nick Curnow. My gift to you, ladies. The show itself was a refreshing change from swimsuits and boobs, and I absolutely loved the bright red in the menswear. After such a craptastic day the whole thing did seem a little long to me, 60 odd outfits is a lot to sit through, but we've gotta support our own. They even had a couple of NZ boys in it - Bruce from August and the aforementioned Nick Curnow from Nova. Go the kiwis!

Me and Miss Shorter

Along the way I photographed Patty Huntington being repeatedly kiss-raped by a hilarious photographer whose name I don't know, and at the very worst possible end to a bad day - the Diet Coke Little Black Dress show which ran an hour and a half late and took place in a room that felt at least 40 degrees - he struck again. I caught it from afar, see below.

Patty Huntington and the kiss thief, take two

First up tomorrow morning is Konstantina Mittas which will feature formerly monobrowed NZ model Samantha Shorter. In other NZ news, Kate Sylvester will show her collection Take a Hike at 10am. I'll have the video up within fifteen minutes this time. Promise.