Friday, July 31, 2009

#699 Agyness Deyn wants some Mohr

All images /Fashionisto

I just saw this over at Fashionisto and had to repost it. Agyness Deyn with Cole Mohr in the new ME&CITY Fall 2009 campaign. It's hot. I'm obsessed with kissing photos right now. Obsessed. I think Thom Kerr should start getting all his models to pash on shoots. Who's with me?

#698 Dunedin models are taking over our city! Part II - Felix Bartholomew Terpstra

All Images /Thom Kerr

Felix shot his first test with Thom Kerr on Sunday. The styling is a bit all over the place - one minute it's early 90s Versace grunge, the next Huckleberry Finn meets colourful dandy, but I guess that's just to show off the versatility of his look (insert Zoolander joke here). As you can see, the boy has an incredible face. He's feline and androgynous with the high cheekbones and everything, exactly what I like in a male model. Plus he's about 6'1 and extremely thin - perfect for shows. And the guy's name is Felix Bartholomew Terpstra. I think he should drop the Terpstra and just roll with Felix Bartholomew, with a name like that he's destined for fame. Now the only question remaining is this... Who's going to shoot him for his first proper job? I'm looking at you Karen Inderbitzen Waller! And you Dayne Johnston!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

#697 An EXCLUSIVE sneak peek at Stella Maxwell's new Ricochet campaign

Image /Ricochet

Like I said, those Dunedinites are EVERYWHERE. This one was shot by Aaron K at Kingsize Studios on Tuesday, he told me earlier she was a dream in front of the camera. Others must agree - from what I hear she's been fully booked all week including two jobs in one day today. Hot diggity.


#696 Dunedin models are taking over our city!

All Images /Thom Kerr

I'm obsessed with the three Dunedinites in Auckland right now - Nicole Clulee, Stella Maxwell and Felix Terpstra. Either Dunedin is New Zealand's Perth (the birthplace of Gemma Ward) or Ali McD just has an incredible eye for finding roses among all those Southern thorns (snap). I can't wait to see what becomes of them all - especially Nicole who's been taking a break the last few months but is back in this test, but especially Stella who was off overseas within two weeks of signing on and apparently has some biiiig options in her chart, but especially Felix who is supposed to be in Europe by the end of the year - I can see him walking Prada first season. Ali McD is signing all her models exclusively with Red11 so as soon as they land in Auckland you know they'll be heading straight into Thom Kerr's capable and efficient hands (he's going test crazy right now). This shoot, styled by Kylie Cook, was done on Sunday and put up on the websites just this morning. Best test I've seen come out of New Zealand in a long time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

#694 It's Yuri again! This time for Margaret Howell

All images /MENS RAG

Yuri the ubiquitous male model has just shown up again, this time in Margaret Howell's A/W 2009 lookbook. His is becoming a meteoric rise to fashion fame, and it keeps reminding me of Cole Mohr's career. First the shows and editorials, then a few campaigns (Margaret Howell included), though it took Mohr a lot longer to get his infamous Marc by Marc Jacobs gig. What's Yuri got in him next? I'd love to see one of the luxury brands take him on - we've seen plenty of Yuri the street kid, someone show us Yuri the English gentleman... or Yuri the Italian rake?

#693 The Sartorialist - "I'm pretty good at the sex. And pretty good at picture taking."

Remember how Scott Schuman aka The Sartorialist was in Toronto last week getting all up close and personal with (slash terrified by) my best good friend Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith? The meet and greet I spoke of was actually a publicity appearance held at Holt Renfrew (Canada's Bergdorf Goodman/Smith and Caughey's) for Schuman's new book, named, appropriately, The Sartorialist. I have a copy sitting right next to me and it is probably the greatest style reference book I've ever seen. If you're a daily visitor of the blog you'll recognise all the photos, but it's amazing to have them all compiled in hard copy form. There's even a little Kiwi cameo in there - Trelise Cooper's son Jasper appears on page 243. Back to Toronto though, an interesting interview Scott Schuman did with Amy Verner of Canada's The Globe and Mail started doing the online rounds yesterday.

#692 The Hindin Part 2

Last Wednesday I went to Cassette for a night out. While I was there I saw three other curly haired guys with very similar haircuts to me - short on the sides and back, long on top - aka, The Hindin. I've had that haircut for about four years now, so I decided it was high time to change things up a bit. So yesterday morning I made an appointment with my best good friend Hamilton at d&m to sort it out. He came up with an immediate solution - undercut the sides and back, leave a big overhang. Sound familiar? That's because it's a curly version of a haircut we all knew and loved in the late 80s and early 90s - The Mushroom.

My flatmate Murray walked in last night and was like, "What's up Sideshow Bob?" I'm into it. More photos below.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

#691 Forget Forbes, this is Zippora Seven's Top Ten male models

Remember last week I gave my two cents on the Top Ten male models in the world right now according to Forbes? The very next day I received a message from New Zealand model Zippora Seven telling me they'd gotten it all wrong. In her most esteemed opinion, they'd left out some of the key boys in the business, and she wanted it to be known. She set to work creating a new list. Let's call it The Official Top Ten Male Models in the World Right Now According to Zippora Seven.

#690 Quote of the day - Elle MacPherson

Image /Chic in Paris

"[Feminism] is one of those coined phrases that has a lot of innuendo and not much meaning...I believe men and women are different and they have different needs, therefore the concept of equal rights doesn't really sit with me..."
[The Guardian]

Elle MacPherson just bought herself some (more) fem-hate.


Monday, July 27, 2009

#689 Shot of the day - Felix's in town

Image /Model Go-See

I'm yet to catch up with Felix Terpstra but from all reports he's in town, he's booking jobs and he's having fun.


#688 Beige days

Along with the beige pants I wear everyday, I only ever wear beige socks. It started out as a thing I liked to do with this one pair of beige shorts, but then it started taking over. Now all I ever seem to buy are beige socks. They go with everything - beige pants, blue jeans, maroon sweaters... I've had cheap socks and expensive socks, but my favourites are the ribbed ones from Hallensteins. My school socks were beige. Must all be part of my obsession with dressing like a schoolboy.


#687 It's the pleat in my pants... don't act like you're not impressed

I've been going on and on and on about pleated pants over the last few weeks, so when the opportunity came for me to snap up a pair, I jumped at the chance. Last week I started a new enterprise - personal shopping. Basically, I take men out to a whole bunch of stores, get them to try on copious amounts of clothes then tell them what looks best (in my humble opinion). It's all about building a wardrobe from the basics up. I was working with a middle aged man last Friday, and before beginning our expedition we had a look through his closet. While dissecting its innards (rows and rows of white Kenzo shirts and blue and cream cargo shorts), I came across this pair of massive beige Polo by Ralph Lauren pleated pants. They were 15 years old, lightweight, voluminous and tapered at the bottom. I had to have them. The gentleman was kind enough to oblige me, and I am now the proud owner of the best pants ever. So far I've had conflicting reactions. My male friends love them (and just quietly I think Dayne wants to steal them for himself), but my flatmate Anna said something about them being the ugliest things she'd ever seen. Huge call!

What say you? More shots below.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

#686 Karl Lagerfeld to Valentino - "Compared to us, the rest are making rags"

Definitely quote of the day - see it in context in the video below. There's nothing better than a bit of well placed narcissism, don't you think? I went along to the Valentino film this afternoon and walked out so stupidly happy afterward I swear people must have thought I'd just given birth or something. This film exemplifies everything I love about the fashion industry - the hype and glamour of the shows, the weekly flitting from one city to another and the daily encounters with fascinating people. Ain't it grand?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

#685 Jonathan K easy as APC

All Images /Hypebeast

Remember that guy Jonathan Kramloft I blogged about before Milan Fashion Week? I predicted that he'd be one of the breakout models of the season, and, while he did appear in a few shows, I didn't see him all that much (so basically I was wrong). Same went for Zdenek Zaboj but I'm still predicting big things for them both. Anyway, I was doing the rounds yesterday when I spotted Kramloft in the new APC lookbook. Once again I need to stress that a lookbook is not a campaign, but it's a start all the same. He still has that deer-stuck-in-headlights look about him so I reckon give him another couple of seasons and he'll be good to go. He reminds me of a young Vincent Hoogland.

#684 Karen Walker Eyewear makes NY Times Top Ten

Image /The Moment

The New York Times' The Moment blog put together a top ten sunglasses of the season list yesterday, and Karen Walker's Helter Skelter came in at number five. Speaking of Karen Walker and New York, I'm planning a little trip up to the motherland late next month so might have to stop in and see her show at New York Fashion Week.


#683 I'm doing this at my wedding!!

Best wedding dance EVER.


Friday, July 24, 2009

#682 Irina Shayk... going up

[IMG] Now Representing Irina Shayk from Andrei Dan on Vimeo.

I just saw this over at Fashionista and had to repost it. To commemorate signing Irina Shayk (face of Guess and Intimissimi), IMG has created a special one off video and it is awesome. I say flag polaroids, video for life! Oh, and apparently the elevator guy is really the elevator guy in the IMG building - not a bad place to work right?


#681 The world's top ten male models right now, according to Forbes

Number 1 - Sean O'Pry All Images /

Forbes' annual top ten male models list has just been released, and Sean O'Pry was given the number one spot. He was GQ Style's top model of the year in... hmm when was it... oh yeah, that's right, 2007! (I'm not such a fan.) The other placers were (in this order) Matt Gordon, David Gandy, Danny Schwartz, Garrett Neff, Ollie Edwards, Tyler Riggs, Jon Kortajarena, Taylor Fuchs and Cole Mohr. I'm not going to argue with Gordon and Gandy - they both have major fragrance campaigns under their belts. Garrett Neff makes sense - he's the face of CK underwear and perfume. Jon Kortajarena is in every fashion magazine on the planet as Tom Ford's main man, and Ollie Edwards and Danny Schwartz have been smashing campaigns from Armani to D&G. Tyler Riggs had Louis Vuitton, but I'm surprised he was placed higher than the others, which leaves my two favourites - Taylor Fuchs and Cole Mohr.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

#680 Shot of the day - Startling the Sart

The Sartorialist
held a meet and greet in Toronto today, and my good friend Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith went along for a look-see. Here's what he had to say:
"So I met Scott Schuman today. He didn't take my picture, but I took his. To be honest, I was floored by how short he was. He looked like a kid drowning in a designer suit -- sort of mafia-like with a classic all-American haircut. Knowing he's shorter than myself, and I'm rather short, gave me perspective as to why all of his 'icons' on The Sartorialist are these towering gorgeous giants. He can't help but have them tower above him. The camera's always pointed up. Anyways, it's nice know he's a midget -- like me. After all, we midgets live together, but diet alone."
In other Scott Schuman related news, I'm supposed to be interviewing the man on Saturday for New Zealand magazine Pulp. Any questions anybody would like me to ask?


#679 Yuri bags Marc by Marc Jacobs - Didn't tell you so!

All images /Fashionisto

I'm known among my friends and family for having a slight need to be right all the time. I like to be able to say I told you so. This time though I can't, and I'm a bit annoyed with myself about it. Remember Yuri? As soon as I saw those shots I posted I thought to myself... 'that boy really looks like Juergen Teller for Marc Jacobs material'. I didn't mention it on the blog though and now I can't claim to have been right about it. Anyway, fast talking Bronx-boy Yuri Pleskun has just come out as the face of Marc by Marc Jacobs this season (all the campaign images below). This shoot looks about as classic a Marc by Marc Jacobs campaign as I've ever seen. Yuri was born to be shot by Juergen Teller.

That certain friend of mine will be pleased.

#678 Coco Avant Chanel - her finest sartorial moments

All images /IMDB

I went to Coco Avant Chanel last Sunday with Dayne and my Aunty Debbie who co-owns designer collective/Grey Lynn institution Moa. I was quite astounded to find that the film had received mixed reviews - especially from my mate Helen over at Sassybella. Dayne, Debbie and I all loved it and I was absolutely swept away by the entire production - every shot looked like a painting, the clothing was incroyable and I thought Audrey Tautou was splendid as Coco Chanel. All week I've been planning on doing a recap of my favourite outfits but I couldn't think of where to find the photos. Luckily a young lady by the name of Katherine emailed me and happened to know exactly where to find them, so finally I've assembled them here for you (below).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

#677 Shot of the day - First, you cut a hole in a shoe

Image /SmallTownBoys

No, wait, can someone please tell Ash Stymest it's supposed to be in a box?


#676 Tatiana the Anonymous Model blogger reveals herself... and she's a Kiwi!

Image /Jezebel

Well well well, Tatiana the Anonymous Model Blogger has just outed herself over at Jezebel, and it turns out our mate Patty Huntington was right all along - it's none other than American born, New Zealand raised model Jenna Sauers. But even better than that, she's from my own hometown Christchurch - and, if I'm not mistaken, she went to Rangi Ruru - the most expensive private girl's high school in town. If you haven't been following the A.M.B., she's basically been like a voice for the myriad of voiceless girls worldwide who model in the industry. Topics of blogs range from eating disorders to sleazebag photographers and everything in between.

#675 Isaac Look-a-Likes

I was eating dinner at Renkon last night with Dayne, Michael and Derya when this guy walked down the stairs and up to the counter to order. Dayne looked over at him, looked at me, looked at him again, then kept eating. "You think he looks like me don't you," I said. "Mmmmmm, yeahhhh," replied Dayne, "he's like got the exact same hair as you." The guy sat down at the table right behind ours. Michael started staring. Derya was talking to me, got up to get soya sauce, saw him, let out a little squeal, then sat down again. "Oh my god oh my god I was just talking to you then I turned around and you were behind me as well!" We all started staring. The poor guy tried not to notice and kept eating. We all kept staring. He kept eating. We started discussing the possibilities of a photo. He kept eating. After a while it just all got a bit too awkward so I called him over to join us. He was a very polite young Canadian student by the name of Rupert who'd just moved to Auckland for a semester of uni. We took a few photos, he ate the rest of his meal with us then left.

#674 Karla Devine - Good Girls Go Bad

Remember that most awesome of awesome songs (and movies) Snakes on a Plane? Obviously the greatest artistic achievement of 2007. I think I preferred the song to the movie though. There were all those cameos in the video - Pete Wentz, Samuel L Jackson, Travis from Gym Class Superheroes... But I digress. The point is that Cobra Starship have a new song out, named Good Girls Go Bad. That's not really the point either though. The REAL point is that New Zealand's own Karla Devine features in the video clip. Watch it and you'll see her within the first three seconds, and plenty of other times throughout the rest of the clip. It's one of those party scene videos and she's one of those party girls. Oh and Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf) is in there too - singing no less.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

#673 The Sartorialist, the book

Image /The Sartorialist

We all know it, we all probably try to hide it, but there's no denying it - what greater validation of cool exists than being photographed by The Sartorialist? Wherever he walks people try to not-not look conspicuous, hell, there's even a comedy flow chart with tips for attracting the man's attention. Well guess what... the book is here. Available on August 12th from Amazon, The Sartorialist will showcase a selection of Scott Schuman's favourite shots. When I was in Paris in January he took a picture of me and Anouk huddling under an umbrella that ended up on (about two thirds of the way down the page), but I was very jealous that his individual photo of Anouk made it onto his website. I guess I can take some small satisfaction that she was wearing my sweater at the time... right? I don't know about you but I'm pre-ordering a copy today. From what it says on his website, it seems like most of the shots were taken this year, so who knows - Anouk might be in the book!


#672 New on my blogroll - The Fashionisto

Vinnie Woolston - All images /The Fashionisto

I've recently gotten slightly obsessed with menswear blog Fashionisto. It's my new go-to-blog for all things relating to clothes, campaigns, male models and scandal in the menswear business. I'm a former addict, but their blog has gotten a bit too non-fashion related for my liking of late. So anyway, imagine my surprise and delight when I logged on to Fashionisto this morning and saw our boy Vinnie Woolston as their Photo of the Day - they did a piece on Michael Whittaker's Kult editorial last week too. Also on the blog today - a 12 page editorial with new-on-the-scene male model Yuri. I met Yuri in Paris, he's of Russian stock but lives in the Bronx, and he speaks with that amazing New Yawk accent - a molotov cocktail of mafia and ghetto slang. A certain friend of mine was rather enamoured of Yuri while we were in Paris, but lost the spark after they heard the voice. Well, certain-friend-of-mine, just for you, here's the editorial in full - no voice included.

#671 The Ones2Watch(ing) Part 2 - Chloe and Emily

Emily Triggs - Image/ The Ones2Watch

If we're to believe seminal new faces website The Ones2Watch, New Zealand could just be the great white hope of the international modelling world. Overnight, two more Kiwis made it onto their homepage - both girls, both from 62 Models:
"It's called the Land of the Long White Cloud, but New Zealand could be renamed the Land of Incredible Beauty! We're loving Emily Triggs, 15 years old, who is garnering lots of international agency interest. And we are equally enamoured by Chloe Graham, another young star in the making. Both girls are with 62 Models & Talent in Auckland, and both have worked for top NZ talent like Black Magazine, Helen Cherry and Zambesi. New Zealand, we are feeling the love!"

Monday, July 20, 2009

#670 "I cannot work with bitches" - Alber Elbaz

Alber Elbaz greeting Suzy Menkes before the Lanvin menswear A/W 09/10 show in January

"I cannot work with biches, I can't, I can't. Maybe I am too sensitive, I get blocked. There are some people who don't give a damn. With me, I find that if there is no energy flowing or no connection, I can't think. Talent is amazing - I love it, appreciate it. I respect talent a lot. But if you ask me, 'Talent and bitch, or less talent and good?' I'll go with less talent. We have such an amazing rapport and I think one of the reasons is the food. We are always eating together. At first, I was worried. Is it horrible to ask someone who work for us for three months, 'What did you learn?' And they say, 'Where the best sushi is in Paris.'?"

#669 Simon Miller Jeans (no family relation)

Don't you love those people you can talk with about one subject over and over again for hours on end and never get bored? I've got that with Marty and Leon at Fabric. I reckon I go to Fabric about once a week and spend a good fifteen minutes chatting with one or both of them about the merits of this sweater over that one, the latest collections, Comme des Garcons (a lot) or the new Monocle perfume. They're two of the only people I get to be a full on clothes nerd with and I love them for it. Anyway, I was in Fabric on Friday and Marty asked me if I ever wore jeans. This may sound like an odd question, but the amount of time I spend in my beige pants (13 out of 14 days at least) makes it a fair one. I replied yes, sometimes, but I haven't found any in ages that I liked. I'd actually bought some baggier ACNE jeans from Fabric about five months ago but never really figured out how to fit them into what I'm wearing right now. He told me to come back in on Saturday when Leon was working as well to try on the new Simon Miller Lyric jeans - and if I liked them, they were on the house. Needless to say I went back on Saturday.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

#668 It's my jam by Jordan Rondel - New York New York

Anouk Rondel (with icecream) on the New York street

My sister and I got back from New York the other day. It was my first time there and after just a week I fell madly in love with the city. It is the most incredible, inspiring, stimulating and stylish place. I won't list everything we did because there's far too much, but our days revolved around walking for kilometres, shopping, eating amazing food and spotting famous faces. My mum, a faithful and dedicated New York lover, prepared an elaborate itinerary for us to follow so we didn't waste a second of our time. Much to my despair my camera stopped working on me on the second day so I have nothing to show for my travels except for this one of Anouk enjoying a road-side ice cream and one of my Magnolia cupcakes being gobbled on the hotel bed (below). If anyone is planning a first time trip to New York please feel free to ask me for ideas on where to go and what to see, I have a pretty good itinerary on hand.

Friday, July 17, 2009

#667 All Day I Dream About Stella

Images /Fashionista

I was going to call this one Stella Cat, Stella Cat, what are they feeding you? but my friend Michael said I'd be the only one who got the joke. Tell me he's wrong people, tell me he's wrong. Anywho, I just logged onto Auckland based fashion blog Rag Pony and found this Stella Maxwell editorial showcasing the new Jeremy Scott for ADIDAS collection. It's from UK based Exit Magazine, which (from what I can tell) seems to be some kind of streetwear blog - but possibly has a print version too? I would do more investigating, but it's 12:57am and I'm still very jetlagged - where's Bamhutt when I need him. Like I said the other day, Stella's arriving in Auckland in about a week and I'm excited to see her again.

#666 This suit! I NEED THIS SUIT!

Image /

This suit would make a delightful addition to my wardrobe don't you think? It's from Rei Kawakubo's new Dover Street Market in-house collection. It's like everything I love about Comme but on a much more conservative scale. Just what I always wanted.

More details here.


#665 Hedi Slimane shoots Prada Take 2

All images /Men's Rag

I am, like just about everybody else in this world, a pretty massive Hedi Slimane fan. I loved what he did at Dior Homme (especially this season, but especially this season) and mourned the fashion world's loss when he departed the company. Then I started getting into his photography, and got pretty obsessed with the way he manages to get everything right - the model, the colours, the composition, the moment - without ever looking like any effort was put in.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

#664 Shot of the day - One of these things is not like the others

I bumped into Zambesi's Liz and Neville Findlay outside their new Teed Street location in Newmarket this afternoon. We chatted about Dayne (who's sick in bed at the moment), our recent trips (Liz just got back from Japan) and their new store's opening date (about a month away).


#663 The Ones2Watch(ing) Felix Terpstra and Michael Whittaker

All images /The Ones2Watch

I hate to say I told you so... no no, that's a bold-faced lie. I love to say I told you so. So here goes. Some of you may remember I went to Dunedin ID Fashion Week back in March of this year. While there, I noticed and blogged about a young male model (with Ali McD) by the name of Felix Terpstra - as far as I'm aware, it was the first mention of his name on the web. Since then he's kept a pretty low profile - a few tests with David Shields here, a TFS thread popping up there, but the wait is over my friends. Felix is due in Auckland to start doing the NZ rounds (with Red11) in the next two weeks, and then my guess is he'll be straight off overseas (with MHI). Well I'm not the only one to have taken notice. Just today, Felix featured on's New Faces website The Ones2Watch (probably the biggest New Faces website on the planet) as, ahh, one to watch.

#662 Model antics backstage in Berlin

There's nothing like watching a fashion show unfold from backstage. On the catwalk it's always polished and professional, but backstage is something entirely different. You've got models running, clothes flying, dressers getting screamed at by producers and the designer freaking out quietly in a corner. I'm always fascinated to see how the models act in that split second moment when they're just coming off the catwalk, so while I was in Berlin I caught them in the act. Some are boisterous, some are demure, some are fun and flirty and some are straight thuggin' gangsters. Holla!

Wow so Youtube is really cracking down on music copyright - I had Moonriver as the backing track but the audio's been disabled!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

#661 Pleats Please

Lanvin pleats - Image /NYMAG

I'm so utterly obsessed with pleated pants right now that if I don't get some immediately I think I might spew. I don't know why everyone's been so anti them for the past couple of years, that whole GQ driven 'you MUST wear flat front pants!' tirade can't have helped the cause, but I guess there were some pretty bad pleats going around for a while there. I love the volume, shape and texture pleats give to pants. I love them cuffed, I love them cropped, I love them in wool suiting, cottons and even satin (as seen above at Lanvin). I especially love those really bad American beige chinos that Country Club members wear - especially when cool guys roll them up.

Below are some more that I like. Ron Burgundy said it all - "It's the pleat in my pants... Don't act like you're not impressed!"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

#660 Haute Couture Video Highlights

With secret bag-cam footage of Karl Lagerfeld backstage at Chanel, a few celebs/Olivier Zahm out front at Dior and Armani (Marion Cotillard, Cate Blanchett), and some finales - Givenchy, Christophe Josse, Elie Saab and Armani Prive. I'm going to post a biiiiig backstage video of all the models backstage at Berlin Fashion Week soon. Look out.


#659 Breakfast chats with your mate

Screengrab /TVNZ

I woke up at 6am this morning - better early than late, but no matter what happens or what time I have to be somewhere, I never manage to walk out the door until five minutes before I'm due. I left the house at 7:55am, drove the short distance to TVNZ, got out to pay for parking and of course the machine was broken. I had to run 100 metres down the road to pay at another meter. I made it into the building at 8:03am and went straight into makeup where I chatted with a Romanian lady while the makeup artist made me look all pretty like. I sat in the green room for a few minutes then went in and did my bit. So just in case you missed it this morning, here's the interview I did with Alison Mau (not Paul Henry as I previously blogged) on TVNZ's Breakfast. I managed to send a few Twitpics while I was in the building, you can see them here, here and here. All in all it was a bit nervy but lots of fun - my one regret is that I sat within a metre of my hero Paul Henry and didn't talk to him once! Also I had planned to say thanks to Telecom XT for giving me the BlackBerry and covering my data usage and roaming charges while I was away but I didn't get the chance, so let me just say thank you very much Telecom - I couldn't have done it without you.

Oh and last thing - I'm pretty sure I freaked Alison Mau out with my whole getting-into-shows vacant-look-face haha.


Monday, July 13, 2009

#658 Breakfast with me in the morning

Zippora Seven, your mate and Moroccan Mint Green Tea pre-Lanvin

Just in case you're around tomorrow morning at 8:20, I'm going to be on TVNZ's Breakfast with Paul Henry talking about my trip. That's Channel 1, 8:20am. I'll be sure to shave my mo.


#657 A wistful moment outside Christian Lacroix

Anna Piaggi outside Christian Lacroix - Image /Steve Wood

I ran into an Australian fashion writer among the teeming masses out front at Christian Lacroix. We spoke about home, fashion and writing, and I asked her if she was looking forward to what was quite possibly going to be the designer's last ever show. She looked at me and paused. "You know what? I was here at the beginning, I don't think I want to be here at the end." With that, she shook my hand and walked away.


#656 Panic Backstage and Front Row at Armani Prive

Mario Testino and Michael Roberts All images /Steve Wood

Of all the shows I got into at Paris Haute Couture, Armani Prive was undoubtedly the most stressful. Getting into the building wasn't the problem, there were crowds of people outside and at least 10 security guys guarding the various entrances, but somehow we managed to walk right past them all with no dramas. Inside was the challenge. There were two ways to the backstage area - through the kitchen and off the catwalk. The latter was so heavily patrolled we had no hope, so we strolled casually past the chefs and waiters who ignored our trespass. Past the kitchen was hair and makeup, and once we'd made it through there it was all plain sailing. I put my bag down next to Steve's and ran to the bathroom to pee. On the way back I saw a blonde woman walking towards me flanked by two huge bodyguards - it was Cate Blanchett. I whipped out my BlackBerry to take a picture but they were too quick and brushed me aside like a fly. Backstage again, Steve had disappeared. So had my bag.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

#655 It's my jam by Jordan Rondel - Lolita

I’m currently reading Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, the classic novel about a man and his obsession with young girls. Humbert, the French literary genius, falls in love with 12-year-old Lolita and the story follows their adventures all over America. This book is written so beautifully and is full of the most dense and passionate descriptions. I sometimes find myself thinking in the style of narrative the book is written in because the language is so dramatic and captivating. You must read it if you haven’t already. Here’s a little excerpt that shows what I’m talking about.
“As she bent her brown curls over the desk at which I was sitting, Humbert the Hoarse put his arm around her in a miserable imitation of blood-relationship; and still studying, somewhat shortsightedly, the piece of paper she held, my innocent little visitor sank to a half-sitting position upon my knee. Her adorable profile, parted lips, warm hair were some three inches from my bared eye-tooth; and I felt the heat of her limbs through her rough tomboy clothes. All at once I knew I could kiss her throat or the wick of her mouth with perfect impunity. I knew she would let me do so, and even close her eyes as Hollywood teaches. A double vanilla with hot fudge—hardly more unusual than that.”


Saturday, July 11, 2009

#654 Stella Maxwell crowned McQueen (of the lookbook)

All images /Alexander McQueen A/W 2009

I blogged about NZ model Stella Maxwell scoring the Alexander McQueen lookbook months and months ago, and just yesterday when I flew into Singapore an email popped up from her mother agency AliMcD with all the images. I met Stella in Paris - where she was living with a hip hop dancing Canadian ginger model named Alise - I'm not sure how much we can claim her as a New Zealander - she speaks with a pretty strong English accent (though someone mentioned something about her coming from Northern Ireland?) but apparently she lived in Dunedin for a few years during high school. Word on the street is that she'll be coming to Auckland with Red11 to work for the first time in about two weeks, so no doubt we'll be seeing her in all the local editorial and campaigns pretty soon.

Until then you'll have to content yourself with all the McQueen images... below.

Friday, July 10, 2009

#653 Hello Auckland Film Festival!

I'm in Singapore (back in Auckland at 10:25pm), but as I write the first screening of The September Issue at the Auckland Film Festival will have begun. There are a few fashion films on during the festival that you really must see - The September Issue - all about the making of Vogue's biggest issue of the year - starring Anna Wintour herself (Saturday the 11th, 7pm at the Civic); Coco Before Chanel - the Coco Chanel biopic with Audrey Tautou (Friday the 17th, 10.30am and Sunday the 19th, 6.30pm at the Civic) and Valentino: The Last Emperor - where a film crew followed the aging designer around for the last two years of his career before retirement (Friday the 24th, 4.15pm and Sunday the 26th, 1.30pm at the Civic).

Trailers for the Valentino and Chanel films below. I'll be at The September Issue tomorrow night with my main man Dayne, see you there!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

#652 Goodbye Paris!

I'm about thirty seconds away from boarding my A380 Airbus to Singapore. I miss Paris already! Love to everybody I met, spent time with and worked with, especially Steve, Michael, Elena, Megan, Tessa, Tarik, Rodolphe, Zippy and Jasper. BONJOURRRRRR and GOODBYE!


#651 Backstage at Jean Paul Gaultier

A model, a Magnum and Tanya Dziahileva - All images /Steve Wood

With Jean Paul Gaultier, Natasha Poly, Lara Stone and a special cameo by Mickey Rourke. All the pics below.

#650 Paris Haute Couture Final Day Recap - Burping Beauties at JPG, Failure at Valentino

My future wife - Natasha Poly backstage at Jean Paul Gaultier

I was standing against a wall backstage at Jean Paul Gaultier this morning surrounded by a choice selection of the world's most beautiful women. Here was Natasha Poly having her eyes done, there Magdalena Frackowiak being attended to by a team of hairdressers. A little further away sat a chain smoking Sasha Pivovarova, sketching furiously and not seeming to notice as a blonde woman set hair extensions in place then hacked at them with reckless abandon. Did I mention Tanya Dziahileva, Lara Stone, Kim Noorda, Alexandra Agoston, Karlie Kloss and Emina Cunmulaj? They were there too. I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say that there'd be worse ways to spend your final day in Paris.

#649 La Mademoiselle et Le Garcon

Interview mit Isaac Likes from LesMads on Vimeo.

I met up with the multi talented, tri-lingual and very pretty Natalie Weiss of big time German fashion blog Les Mads yesterday. She'd seen a bit of my Fashion Week coverage on Twitter and wanted to catch up to talk fashion and blogging with a fellow onliner. We stood together watching the invited few enter Lacroix then went for a walk to the park next to the Tuileries. The weather turned sour but we managed to have a little chat about what I'd been up to over the past few weeks (see video above). We finished it off with a L'Africain hot chocolate at Angelina's, then took the train together to Givenchy. What a lovely girl. Meeting her was almost enough to make me take back everything I said about Germans last week. Almost.

Thanks Natalie, thanks Les Mads!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

#648 Backstage at Chanel

All images /Steve Wood

With Kaiser Karl, Iekeliene Strange, Vlada, Sasha Pivovarova, Abbey Lee, Lara Stone, Baptiste Giabiconi and more. All the shots below.

#647 Haute Couture Day 2 Recap - The Chanel Saga

Father-of-the-bride Karl Lagerfeld with Lara Stone and Baptiste Giabiconi - Image /Steve Wood

Clothes fly in all directions. Hair and makeup artists rush to touch up and de-wig models as they sprint off the catwalk. A perfectly calm bride and groom stand chatting in a corner. I'm backstage at Chanel Haute Couture, the biggest show of the week, and it's all happening. Getting there was a lot easier than I imagined it would be though. Pre show, 70 photographers, most of them Italians, stood crammed into a tiny velvet-roped area. I was in front of New Zealand photographer Michael Ng holding a very heavy bag filled with three cameras, four lenses and two flashes. The photographers were getting antsy. Normally they rush into a show venue the moment they arrive and stake claim on the best pieces of podium real estate. But not at Chanel. Chanel is the Fort Knox of fashion shows. Everything is controlled. Eight security guards policed a narrow entrance through which four airport-style metal detectors could be seen. Finally the chief of security stepped forward. "Invitations, s'il vous plait!" 70 fed up men barged forward. "Invitations, S'IL VOUS PLAIT!" The security guard screamed. I stuck close to a particularly aggressive Italian and pushed as hard as I could. By some stroke of luck the the two guards to my left and right looked away as I stormed past the front door. Through the metal detector. I was in.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

#646 Shot of the day - The Canadian Inquisitor

Image /Steve Wood

Me and Jeanne Beker. She's my mate - even if she does ask me a hard question every now and again.


#645 Christian Dior Couture

All images /Stardust Fashion

The one that got away... all the shots below.

#644 Paris Haute Couture Day 1 Recap - Another go at Dior

Magdalena Frackowiak grabbing a brief break before Christian Dior Couture

There's nothing, I repeat nothing more frightening than being interviewed by somebody and getting asked a question you simply cannot answer. For some reason, it always seems to happen to me in Paris. Outside Louis Vuitton at the menswear shows in January, a French reporter interviewed me for the six o'clock news about 'Le Dondee Steeeeel'. What exactly 'Le Dondee Steeeel' was, I had no idea - it took me a good three questions in to realise he was saying ' The Dandy Style'. I managed to fudge my way through for a minute or so until he threw me this bomb: "And what hees le origin of Le Dondee Steeeel?" Six months on I still don't think I know. Well it happened to me again today outside Christian Dior Couture. The vivacious Canadian Jeanne Beker - face of Fashion Television and judge on Canada's Next Top Model, heard me speaking English, threw a camera in my face and asked, "So what do you think is the significance of Galliano bringing Dior Couture back to Avenue Montaigne? Especially with this pared back collection. Sign of the times? Or is he making a greater statement about fashion - and the Dior house - in particular?"

"Um, um, um, hmmm, um, hmmm, um... Sign of the times??"

Monday, July 6, 2009

#643 Back in gay Paree avec Blackberry

I've just flown back into Paris from Berlin and my phone was waiting for me when I arrived. Thanks Telecom! Prepare yourself for a Twitpic storm coming from Haute Couture all week. First big show tomorrow is Dior. Can I break my 100% failure record? We'll soon find out.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

#642 Berlin Fashion Week Final Day Recap

Verushka von Lehndorf at the Kai Kuhne show - All images /Steve Wood

Kai Kuhne, the final show of Berlin Fashion Week had just ended and I was walking out of the backstage area with Steve when he stopped abruptly in front of me. A striking elderly woman shrouded in charcoal cloth grabbed his hand and said in thick accented English: "David! David, is that you?" "Verushka my dear," replied Steve, "how are you? It's me Steve." "Oh!" She gasped. "Steve, I'm so sorry. I thought you were David." We were in the presence of Verushka von Lehndorf - Germany's answer to Twiggy - and she'd just mistaken Steve Wood for David Bailey. Guess those swinging 60s really were swinging.

Georgia Fowler channeling Storm backstage at Kai Kuhne

Besides maybe one major show to close the event, the final day of most Fashion Weeks is generally reserved for those designers you could afford to miss. The reason for the big bang at the end? To keep media and buyers around - otherwise they'd all bugger off on the second to last day. I watched one show from the front of house today, it was one you could afford to miss. The clothes were fine, nice even - floaty dresses in aqua-esque printed silks - but it was the finale that killed it.

Andreea Diaconu running off the catwalk

If you look at shows like Prada, Gucci or Burberry, the designers come out at the end for a split second then run off again as quickly as possible. Few designers can get away with walking the entire catwalk - John Galliano is the only one that I can think of - he can strut a 100 metre long runway, pull his signature pose a few times and have the crowd screaming for more.

Grrrrreorgia Fowler

Then there are the gimmicks. I like my fashion shows short and sharp - models walking down the catwalk, posing once, then walking back off. Call me conservative, but for me there's nothing worse than models walking up and down the catwalk twice, or three models walking at once, or complicated formations where nobody quite knows what's going on. You see it a lot with student designers - and it's always a gigantic cringe fest.


The finale of this show included a full runway walk by the designer and a gimmick - girls lining up at 10 metre intervals all the way along the catwalk. Oh, and did I mention the flowers? Not one bouquet, not even two, but three gigantic bunches of flowers the designer could hardly carry. But topping it all off was the microphone. For some reason the poor woman had decided to thank the audience audibly with the help of the venue's full PA system. Only it didn't work. So she was walking down the runway, carrying two bunches of flowers, then a third, and speaking into a microphone that just would not make any sound. New Zealand model Georgia Fowler was in the show, and I could have sworn I saw her stifle a giggle.

Jeanne Bouchard and Georgia Fowler - they only have eyes for you

The big bang show of the day was Kai Kuhne, a designer who'd shown in New York for the past few seasons but this time chose to come back home to Germany. I slipped backstage with Steve and immediately went to work setting up his mini studio. He's the only one who does this and I can never figure out why - the shots always come out looking so perfect you'd think they were already retouched. Pretouched if you will. When I say studio I mean he finds a clear piece of white wall and surrounds it with two big sheets of polystyrene, or a sheet of polystyrene and a mirror - to create a sort of light box effect. That done, we herded all the models one-by-one into our little lair to shoot beauty (the closeups of the face to showcase hair and makeup). There must have been some kind of alien theme to the mostly white and gold collection because all of the girls wore white or black contact lenses. Channelling Storm from X-Men perhaps?

Testing out the flash pre show, jumped a little too high and the flash cap flew off - I received a stern telling off from Steve

My favourite backstage shots are the ones taken when the girls have just stepped off the catwalk - they're always hyped up and willing to pull crazy shapes. This one was wild. With the freakish white colour contacts the girls looked like aliens running around in dresses and heels, and with it being the last show of the week they really went for it. The minute the show had ended and the crowd departed, the security guards arrived, proclaiming "everybody must leave right now!" We packed our bags and walked out as workers stormed the tent dismantling anything and everything in sight. Very efficient, very German. It was all over.

Jeanne Bouchard - Hold that face

Would I go again? Definitely - it's still a very young event and it'll get better and better each time, though perhaps next time I'd just come for Hugo Boss and Michalsky. While I did enjoy myself, it was always going to be tough to live up to the hype, success and fun times of Paris menswear. I guess the one thing that really sullied the experience for me was the people working on the doors - the security guards and ushers who insisted on seeing my pass everytime I walked near them - sometimes even four times in one day. I understand that they were just doing their job but come on - if I could remember their faces, surely they could remember mine. Let's call it a cultural difference. Us New Zealanders are notoriously relaxed when it comes to most things so the idea of such strictly controlled procedures is always going to be abhorrent to me. Maybe I'll get used to it with time?

Next stop, Paris Haute Couture.