Sunday, May 31, 2009

#544 Shot of the day - Seeing as there's none outside...

Image /Sean O'Neill

I'm stuck in freezing four degree Christchurch right now, so this photo sent in by marketing guru, all round nice guy AND uncle of Jordan and Anouk Rondel, Sean O'Neill reminded me of sunny days long gone, and warm weather to come.

Keep the photos coming people,, and don't forget to add me on Twitter!


#543 It's my jam by Jordan Rondel - Anti-boredom alphabet

Y is for Yoshimoto Nara - Image /Moon Canvas

Whenever I feel a spell of boredom coming on, I try to snap out of it quickly - you know the old saying, 'only boring people get bored'. Instead of letting boredom get the better of me this morning, I created an alphabet of things I'm loving right now.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

#542 Shot of the Day - The Lean Grocer

Mr Johnson inside Johnson's Imported Grocery store, Colombo St, Christchurch.


#541 Where in the WORLD?

I'll tell you what, the team behind WORLD can put together a damn good store, and their new Christchurch location is no exception. Situated in the old ANZ Bank Chambers on the corner of Lichfield and High Streets, WORLD has the feel of one of those classic Parisian corner stores; all light pouring in through windows on both street fronts, white washed walls, vintage cabinets and untouched wooden floors. But don't just visit it for the clothes - in quintessential WORLD style, the store showcases a blend of clothing, books, perfumes, candles, curiosities and taxidermy animals. Company director Francis Hooper has been in town all week setting it up, and they open doors for good on Tuesday next week. As a natural born retailer, he couldn't resist opening up to let people come through today, and in the ten minutes I was in there, at least 15 people popped their heads in.

#540 Stoop Sale - like a garage sale but without the garage

At St Kevins Arcade 10am - 4pm. Go along for the vintage clothes, stay for the cakes. It started five minutes ago so hurry along! More details here.


#539 NZ's Next Top Model Series Two confirmed!

Screengrab /TV3

Everybody's favourite 'reality' TV show has rated so highly they're coming back for seconds! After a hugely successful first season, with more hype and media attention than anyone could have anticipated, TV3 have put a registration form on their website taking applications for the second series of New Zealand's Next Top Model. If I was female and just a little bit prettier I'd apply - who doesn't want a slice of the NZNTM pie?? Actually, while we're here, if you're reading this - influential TV3 producers, keep me in mind for a guest judge spot next season, I want to get on that show!

Friday, May 29, 2009

#538 New Zealand's Next Top Model LIVE BLOG


#537 Shot of the day by Catherine Wei

Old man walking

Catherine is a Law and Arts student at Auckland University who is obsessed with all things Belgian and loves to take pretty pictures. She took this one while travelling through Italy last year.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

#536 NZ's Next Top Model Recap - Episode 11

All images /TV3

Another week, another episode of New Zealand's Next Top Model, another young girl's hopes and dreams shattered on the rocks. This time it was my favourite contestant, Victoria, who got the chop, after failing to impress in the go-sees and the photoshoot. Before we get into it though, this week's Modelism. There wasn't anything particularly stupid said in episode 12, but my favourite quote of the week came from Colin:

"As models, 99% of the time wear neutral underwear...unless you've got another evening planned."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

#534 Ooh la la! Lonely Lingerie by Lonely Hearts

It would seem that most of our Auckland based designers didn't get the memo about the country being in economic despair. If they're not opening up new stores like Karen Walker, WORLD, Zambesi or Annah Stretton, they're heading into sexy new waters like Lonely Hearts. Lonely by Lonely Hearts is the mouth wateringly hot new lingerie line by the Auckland based streetwear company, and, as a special Happy Birthday treat for me, they gave me first dibs on the lookbook photos. So here they are for you. They were shot by Karen Inderbitzen Waller, and feature international model Mak from August. So far the lingerie has been picked up by a few Australian stores, including the online MyCatwalk. It will also be available in Auckland from MyHart.

#533 Happy Birthday to me

I turned 25 today. Quarter Life Crisis, here I come.



#532 Shot of the day by Jordan Rondel

The duckling blossomed

To all budding photographers or people who just enjoy taking a picture every now and again, if you're interested in submitting a photo for Shot of the day, email me!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

#531 Anouk Rondel, all grown up...

Image /Coup De Main Magazine

It seems like only yesterday Anouk was Jordan's bratty little sister who stayed out too late on school nights and didn't listen when I tried to tell her what to do. Now she's at Law school and doing editorials with boys (more pics below).

Where do the years go? I'm turning 25 tomorrow. Ahhhhh!

#530 What's in store at WORLD Man

I did something I've never done in my whole life today - tried on clothes at a WORLD Man store. You know my tastes, I like my clothes uniform, preppy and neat so I've always found WORLD Man's clashing colours and garish fabric combos crass and off putting. With clothes like this, I guess polarising people is the point - you either love them or you hate them. But as promised yesterday, now that the new store is open (opposite WORLD DELUXE), I thought I'd give it a go. And guess what... I surprised myself and really quite liked a few of the pieces! The bow ties were a no brainer, I loved them from the moment I saw them, and the purple/grey pants were some of the best fitting I've tried on in a very long time. Add to that the funny, friendly and tremendously helpful shop staff (WORLD PR Matt Vogts and store boy Steve? Ok so totally not Steve at all, in real life his name is Kido. Don't know how I got that one so wrong?), and I ended up having a great time in the process. They even served tea!

#529 A Colourful Guy Drowning in a Sea of Penguins has a blog!!

Screengrab /ACGDIASOP

Best news of my life! Everybody's favourite commenter has a blog! Check out A Colourful Guy Drowning in a Sea of Penguins IMMEDIATELY!!


#528 Shot of the week/day by Jordan Rondel

Missoni's Monkey Business

I always marvel at Jordan's ability to make seemingly ordinary items look quaint and perfect (remember her bedroom?) so yesterday I called her up and told her I wanted her to start a new weekly section on Isaac Likes called Shot of the week. But just now I've been thinking, why not really push her and make it Shot of the day?

Please leave feedback and tell me what you think!


Monday, May 25, 2009

#527 Area 51 jumping on the Teed St liner to Newmarket

Image /Candy Whistle

In other retail news, remember how I said that Teed Street was becoming the new High St? I was emailed on Saturday by Sarah from High St/Durham Lane streetwear store Area 51 who told me that they were also opening a new store on Teed St, and according to her, taking the spot right next to Zambesi in the heritage Hayes Foundry building. It's all happening!

More on all this as the transformation begins.


#526 New WORLD Man store open for business

Image /Murray Bevan

WORLD Man's new retail spot in Little High St that I blogged about last week is officially open for business, and looking a little less minimal than last time you saw it. My flatmate, good mate and reality TV star Murray Bevan of Showroom 22 just sent me this snapshot of the store. The guy waving is Benny Castles - the brand's head designer. I'm going in tomorrow to have a look around and take a few pics, so stay tuned.


#525 Yeezy taking it to the MAX

Screengrab /Kanye West: Blog

Well I'll be damned. Kanye is loving New Zealand right now! Just two weeks after he gave a shout out to Karen Walker Eyewear on his blog, I turned on my computer this morning to find that he has also showcased MAX's progress bar ad campaign (above), shot by NZer Derek Henderson. It's unknown what percentage of the blog is updated by Kanye himself, but I'd like to think that everything is run past him before it goes up. According to the blog, Kanye (or his people) found the MAX campaign via this trendland post. If you haven't seen the cheeky campaign before (full shots below), it's advertising MAX's new online presence (which I write a weekly blog on), and e-tail store.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

#524 It's my jam by Jordan Rondel - Tokyo Dreaming

I’ve never been to Tokyo but I constantly dream about going there. Everything about it attracts me - the culture, the food, the people, the lights, the cherry blossoms. I plan to move there at some stage, if only for a few months, to sip on jasmin green tea and experience the ebullient city. I know someone who went there to teach English. She got a beautiful apartment to live in, rent free, and got well paid for teaching conversational English to some sweet little Japanese girls. Since it's unlikely that I will be able to afford staying at the Park Hyatt, that sounds pretty perfect to me. In a city of 13 million people it would be hard to become someone but I rather like the idea of being lost in translation.

Friday, May 22, 2009

#523 New Zealand's Next Top Model Live Blog LIVE NOW

I thought I'd start things off early today, so if you have any pre-show thoughts, get into it!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

#522 Air Yeezys pull a big crowd

100 metre queue outside Qubic tonight as sneaker fans flock to get their chance to buy one of the thirty pairs of Nike Air Yeezys on sale in New Zealand. Three of the six guys who stayed up all night to get a pair actually got them, including the number one man - who'd been waiting for 30 hours.

UPDATE!! As I predicted, the first pair of Air Yeezys in a size nine have gone up on TradeMe for a whopping $1000. Guess who gave me the tip off... Yeap, Simon.


#521 Hayden Panettiere - still no regrets??

Image /Perez Hilton

I worked at a hairdressing salon in Christchurch in the late 90s with an English girl who I'll call Mandy. She had one of those real 90s Spice Girl style Chinese character tattoos in a rather intimate spot which she'd gotten as an 18 year old in Leeds. One day she went swimming with a Chinese friend and when they were getting changed, her friend started laughing. Mandy asked the friend what was so funny, and she pointed at Mandy's tattoo. Mandy was all, "You whaaaat? What's so funny about my tattoo gov? It says prosperity." Her friend kept laughing and said, "Your tattoo no say prosperity, it say Beef Fry Noodle!" True story. Which is why I thought it was pretty funny when I saw Hayden Panettiere's tattoo on Perez Hilton today. It's Italian, and says "Vivere senza rimipianti," which translates roughly to "To live without regrets". Only problem is the word rimipianti - it's actually spelt rimpianti. The tattooist added an extra i in there.

The question is - will Miss Panettiere follow her own tattoo's advice?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

#520 Sneaker freakers camp out - it's gonna be one long Nike

Six sneaker freakers brave the cold outside Qubic in hope of purchasing a pair of Kanye West's much coveted Nike Air Yeezys that go on sale tomorrow night in Newmarket, Auckland. As I reported yesterday, only 30 pairs are coming in, and each of the first 100 in line get a lottery ticket that gives them a chance to buy a pair. That means that despite being there 24 hours in advance, there's no guarantee that any of those guys will get the shoes! As one of the hopefuls said to me, "well, if I don't get them, at least I can tell my kids I waited all night and all day for a pair of shoes that never came through". Now that's a fan. Once again my main man Simon Hoffman alerted me about the happy campers. Thanks Simon - you're everywhere at the moment... You're like the wind.


#519 My sister's wedding? Or the first day of shows at Milan... What to choose what to choose?

It's been a week full of kerfuffles and arguments with my (ahem, lovely) sister over her wedding date. Here's the thing. My sister is getting married next month. I'm very happy for her. Terribly terribly happy. I think it's great that she and her fiancee Andrew have chosen to take the plunge and unite in holy, sacred matrimony. But why does it have to conflict with MY travel plans? Call me selfish, but some of us are trying to get themselves over to the menswear shows next month! Milan starts on the 20th, so what day does my sister choose?

The 19th.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

#518 Nike Air Yeezy - Kanye West designed shoes part II

Images /solejam

I'm no sneaker-freaker and I don't generally get into thugged out style, but that don't mean I'm not straight East Coast gangsta. Plus, if Mr West's in, I'm in too. (Remember those Kanye for LV shoes back in Paris?) And I do have a bit of a soft spot for Nike, I was quite into Dunks for a while there and used to try to wear a different pair most days of the week – until I realised how much more fun could be had by wearing the exact same outfit everyday! So here's the dillyo. Kanye West has designed an extremely limited edition pair of shoes (above) for Nike, named the Air Yeezy. Each country is being sent 30 pairs, and all the New Zealand ones are going to Auckland store Qubic on Broadway. To celebrate, the store is having a bit of a shin-dig with music, giveaways and all that sort of jazz.

#517 Outtakes by Karen Inderbitzen Waller

"Outtakes from my trip to Paris where I shot for Fashion Quarterly. The girls are so so beautiful in Paris, paired with the scenery it's pretty hard to go wrong. Eva from Czech Republic wears the 'J'adore paris' tee we bought from a souvenir shop just as she'd had her makeup finished before we headed for the streets of paris to shoot for the day. Rosannne from Holland poses in the carousel at the end of a long day's shooting as we are about to get kicked out of the Sacre Coeur. The last shot is taken outside Serge Gainsbourg's apartment where we photographed Eva, its a pretty special place and no one was around, I love the tributes to Serge spray-canned outside."

Monday, May 18, 2009

#516 NZ's Next Top Model Episode 10 rant

Ahhhhh NZNTM. How I missed you. After a lacklustre last episode (that couldn't even inspire me to write a recap), Friday night's show delivered with more punch, more brutal honesty and even a real life celebrity. Sometimes you've just gotta leave the safety of little old New Zealand to get some perspective on things. And I think Alexis Borges seriously put the show into perspective with his truthful and accurate-as-hell opinion on the girls. And that leads us nicely into this week's modelism - which I didn't choose based on its stupidity, but rather its utter lack of perspective.

"He never said I couldn't be a high couture fashion model - look at Kate Moss."
- Hosanna.

#515 Michael Whittaker - if you've got it, FLAUNT it UPDATED

Image /Flaunt Magazine

Remember Michael Whittaker? As far as I know, he's the only NZ male model working internationally at the moment. For the past five months he's been based in New York, shooting copious amounts of editorial, but recently he's been working in Milan and Paris, and word on the street is that he'll be showing up on the European catwalks next month (I'll be there to report it first hand as it happens). One of his new editorials has just come out, in LA based fashion magazine Flaunt, shot by Ben Watts. It's an urban/sporty three boy ed, which he shares with Mark Cox and number 29 on the Top 50 Male Models list, Eddie Tucker.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

#514 It's my jam by Jordan Rondel - Refurbishing

I spend a hell of a lot of time in my bedroom. It's big and warm and cosy and most importantly it's my space. I'm currently in the process of refurbishing it, which is a good thing to do when you feel like you need a bit of a change in life. I'm already sleeping better and get a little twinge of happiness when I walk into my refreshed room. First I gave it a big clean and de-cluttered my wardrobe by getting rid of anything I hadn't worn in the last 6 months. I changed the position and direction of my bed so it's no longer facing the door - bad feng shui I'm told, and geared it up with a bulging feather duvet and lots of pillows in preparation for inevitable cold nights. It's the small things in life which keep me in good spirits, so I light my delicious Comme candle and I've made a vow to have fresh flowers every week.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

#513 The new WORLD Man store

A few hours after I wrote this blog about Auckland retailers yesterday, I received an email from a friendly reader with the subject: "could this be the new World Man store on little high?" Attached were two pictures of a pristine square space with polished concrete floors, white walls and a pinky/orange pillar smack bang in the middle of the room. A quick call to Matt Vogts this morning confirmed that this is indeed the new WORLD Man space, and it will be fitted out within the next week or so. At this stage it's looking quite minimal (ha ha) but I'll be very interested to see how it's transformed over the next few days.

Friday, May 15, 2009

#512 New Zealand's Next Top Model Live Blog - starting at 7:15pm on the dot


#511 Auckland retailers throwing all caution to the wind? In-Teed!

Expansion phase number one: the new Isaac Likes office.

There are two schools of thought when dealing with a recession (well probably more than two, but I'm no economist and these are the only ones I know) - consolidate, act conservatively and attempt to stay on your feet; or EXPAND EXPAND EXPAND! I'm terribly excited to see that some of Auckland's most prominent fashion retailers are choosing the latter option. I've been hearing rumours about new stores opening for a week or two now, so I thought it was about time I got off my comfortable chair in my cushy new bedroom-office (I too have expanded, off my bed and onto a real live desk), and started getting some solid facts about what's happening in this city of ours.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

#510 What's in store at MADE

Hat by MAW. Jacket, shirt, vest and shoes by APC. Jeans by April 77.

Most of you know my best good mate Atip Wananuruks as a stylist, fashionisto and a general all round nice guy, but did you also know he runs a store? That's right, MADE next to the ill fated Gubb and Mackie on Customs Street in Britomart. I stopped in this afternoon expecting to pull a few outfits off the racks and take some pictures, but I was treated to a full service makeover by the man himself and Ant Gratten, shop afficianado and budding stylist.

These are the results.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

#509 Hepburn - it's a family business

I must admit that prior to this afternoon, I've never set foot inside Hepburn on Ponsonby Road. I first met its owners Fenella and Cy (pictured above) about five and seven years ago when they were working at Fabric and Wunderkammer respectively. At that point Fenella was a lawyer and it always confused me as to why a laywer would moonlight in a retail store, but legend had it that she loved clothes so much that nobody could keep her away. Cy was older, cooler and infinitely better dressed than me, and I'd go into Wunderkammer all the time to talk fashion with him and Mark, and ask them advice about my fledgling tee shirt label Misfit - which they gave out in spades. Since then I haven't talked to either Fenella or Cy at all, until I received an email out of the blue from Fenella last week.

#508 Taking it to the MAX

Screengrab /Isaac Likes blog for MAX

If you were following my coverage of RAFW closely, you might have noticed that every video came 'courtesy of MAX'. That's because those lovely ladies at MAX have thrown all caution to the wind and taken a chance on this white boy wannabe rapper/blogger. As of two weeks ago, I've started doing a weekly blog on their superfly new website So far my blog topics (blogics?) have included ME and 'A picture may paint a thousand words, but a video camera opens a thousand doors' - posted below. Please go check it out and buy lots and lots and lots of clothes online!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

#507 They's got the bad style blues

I've wanted to be a rapper for about as long as I can remember. If I was I think I'd be just like these guys. Only whiter.



Image /COACD

When I was in Paris in January, just before the start of the menswear shows, I happened to be walking across the street by Madeleine when I saw this 6'3 Rick Owens looking guy walking towards me. He had long black hair (past his shoulders), long leather boots, and he was dressed head to toe in Margiela, Demeulemeester and Rick Owens. He was pretty much the most fashion guy I've ever seen. He was talking to a friend, and as I got closer, I could hear that he was an American. But not just any old American, he was the most FASHION sounding American I've ever heard speak. He made Tim Gunn sound like a Jersey construction worker. Just as I was about to pass him, he turned to his friend and delivered this stellar line:

"You know the thing is dahhhhhhling, it's just going to be soooooOOOOOoooo Gee-von-shayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy."

Monday, May 11, 2009

#505 Bloggers backstage and more adventures to come!

Photo /Sonny Vandevelde

Hot diggity dog do I miss Sydney! I mentioned when I got home that I find it really difficult to keep my spirits up after a good fashion week - the excitement and adrenaline of working so fast and so hard for 18 hours per day is my favourite thing in the world. Nothing beats it. So it was nice to get a little reminder from Sydney this afternoon when Sonny posted the above photo on his blog. I'm with Patty Huntington, the girls from giant German blog Lesmads and the Despotic Queen himself.

#504 Another day, another cover for O'Driscoll

Image /The Fashion Spot

The Japanese covers and editorial keep rolling out for Oliva O'Driscoll. Here she is on the cover of Nonno More Wedding magazine. With her newly beefed up book, what can we expect to see from her on the European catwalks come September? Will Prada come knocking?

Tons more editorial after the jump - special thanks to my mate James for the heads up.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

#503 It's my jam by Jordan Rondel - Pastel Hues

Image /M.A.C.

From dusty rose, sage and lilac to baby blue and soft canary yellow, pastels make me feel happy. I'm so into these muted, gentle shades at the moment, whether they're to do with food, makeup or my wardrobe. M.A.C's collaboration with Ungaro has produced lipsticks in pretty pink and coral shades. A slathering of one of these pastel hues will make you look angelically chic.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

#502 Brain Slaves Inkorporated

I respect (and/or am baffled by) anybody who has the balls to get a tattoo. It's the commitment factor - how do you know that whatever you think is cool now will be cool for you in five years time? Or fifty years time?? You'll be all like 'When I was young laddy, the boys and I used to all try and kiss one-eyed Sue whenever we went to the Fat Lady's Arms, that's why I've got this here tattoo of a one-eyed belly-dancing albino on my arm.' Girlfriend/Boyfriend name tattoos are the worst. If you walk in on Gertrude or Bernard getting it on with someone else you're going to feel pretty darn silly about that big name you have slap bang in the middle of your bicep.

#501 A shot from Polaroid is Dead

Me and my mate Steve Tilley - the man behind Polaroid is Dead - last night at his exhibition. I'm STIL waiting on more shots of the works... Come on Steve!


Friday, May 8, 2009

#500 New Zealand's Next Top Model Live Blog STARTING AT 7:15pm


#499 Polaroid is Dead - so get in while you STIL can!

Do you love photography? Do you love exhibitions? Do you love polaroids? Do you love models? Do you love boobies? If you answered yes to any of those questions then do I have the perfect Saturday activity for you. My main man Steve Tilley is having a photographic exhibition named Polaroid is Dead tomorrow from 10-4 at Process PR - Suite 2, 58 Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn. I first met Steve two years ago when he was commissioned to take photographs for an article I was writing for the now defunct FQ Men. We bonded over Dr Dre and making fun of Olivia Hemus (who, if you haven't noticed, is in just about every campaign in this city right now!!) and I've loved him ever since. I remember him telling me about his polaroid art project then - basically, he takes heaps and heaps and heaps of pictures of models and puts them all together to create a kind of life sized, slightly abstract version of the model - like the above piece, featuring a pre-famous Abbey Lee.

I'm going to the pre-exhibition party tonight so I'll take pictures and update this post later. But make sure you go tomorrow!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

#498 Olivia O'Driscoll, all covered up

Image /

I haven't heard much from Olivia O'Driscoll for the past couple of months, so I was happy to see this one show up in my Google Alerts this morning. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this girl is 100% New Zealand's brightest star in the making right now. I love that face. Here she is on the cover of Japanese magazine Spur, which she shot alongside Elle, Figaro, Harpers Bazaar, Dazzle and Gisele when she was in Tokyo in March. Is it just me or is there ten times more writing on that cover than on a normal magazine?

Word on the street is that she's planning a return to the runways in Europe and the States for next season - I'll be watching out. Tons of new O'Driscoll editorial after the jump.

All images Spur Magazine /the fashion spot