Sunday, February 28, 2010

#1119 Ella Drake gets her Gucci exclusive

Photo: wwd

GO THE KIWIS! Predictions were correct - just four hours ago, New Zealand model Ella Drake walked in the Gucci Fall/Winter 2010/2011 show at Milan Fashion Week. Photos have just emerged from the runway, and the entire show clip is up on Youtube and can be viewed here and here (screengrab from the show below). Ella walked once, coming out as girl number 27 amongst a lineup of some of the biggest names in the business - Natasha Poly, Freja Beha (opened the show), Anja Rubik (closed the show), Karlie Kloss, Abbey Lee, Chanel Iman, Vlada and Kasia Struss. Not a bad wee coup for a girl who's been in the business more than five years. If I'm not mistaken, Ella is the first New Zealander - male or female - to ever book a Gucci show exclusive. Note to aspiring models - never turn down a fit model job. Nice work Ella, can't wait to see what you do in Paris, and good luck for the campaign!

Updated with backstage photos below.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

#1118 John Key - wears New Zealand made, on hand to answer queries

I bought my first dictaphone a little over a year ago. It was my new toy and I spent many a happy day ringing different people for comments about this or that. One of the first calls I made was to the Prime Minister's office. Somebody had told me that John Key wore non New Zealand made suits and, as a serious and responsible fashion blogger, I was determined to get to the bottom of this vicious and dirty rumour.

#1117 Happy Karl/Sad Karl

Photos: Steve Wood

Karl Lagerfeld backstage at Fendi Fall 2010.


Friday, February 26, 2010

#1116 Terry Richardson meets Jersey Shore

Photo: Terry Richardson's Diary

Terry Richardson shooting the full male cast of Jersey Shore - The Situation, Vinny, Ronnie and DJ Pauly D. It's like all my favourite guys in one room. BEAT THE BEAT! Somebody pass me the gel. Does it get any better than this?


#1115 Ever wanted to beat up a male model?

Screengrab: Wrangler

Well now you can. Wrangler's new Blue Bell ad campaign is both multimedia and interactive - and about to go seriously viral. Basically it's a video of a male model dressed in Wrangler clothes, and you can click on different parts of him and do different things to him, like... rip his shirt off, throw him around a room or haul his ass off a chair. And make sure you turn your speakers right up - it comes equipped with a vaguely porno sounding backing track. Sound like fun? In a word, yes. It lagged on me a little bit, but I spent a happy 45 seconds or so throwing him one way, then another, then back, then forwards, trying to get the most dramatic looking screengrab. Though to be perfectly honest, I wasn't really loooking at the clothes.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

#1114 Hedi Slimane on his own cultural significance


Hedi Slimane has just given his first interview in three years. It covers plenty of topics, from social media and its impact on the fashion world, to his favourite band du jour. First off, let me say that I'm a huge fan of Hedi Slimane's work. Dior Homme's Spring/Summer 06 collection was the first collection I ever looked at and thought, 'Jesus. Who knew clothes could look this good?' and his photographs are works of art in their own right. The guy has probably the purest aesthetic in the world, and a knack for - I was going to say - capturing the zeitgeist, but dictating the zeitgeist is probably more appropriate. In the past I've had a rant about Slimane's glamourisation of Pete Doherty, and I still probably agree with what I said back then, but I'm not going to argue his cultural relevance or significance.

Neither is he.

#1113 NZer Aaron De Mey is Purple Magazine's favourite makeup artist

Photo: Purple Diary

So says Olivier Zahm on Purple Diary today. I must confess to ignorance - before the Dior Homme show in Paris in January I had never heard of Aaron De Mey. Michael Whittaker and I met him backstage at the show and we all had a good laugh listening to our three accents combined. But since that day, I've seen his name everywhere. Everywhere! Magazines, newspapers, on a 1996 New Zealand fashion awards video tape, and now, today, on the Purple Magazine blog. Talented, in high demand and a nice guy to boot. Go the Kiwis!


#1112 Wise words from the best dressed

For the past couple of months I've been working on the Working Style Best Dressed Businessman Awards for 2010. Alongside being a judge, one of my duties involves meeting the nominees and interviewing them about their wardrobes, their stylistic quirks, their sartorial preferences and all that other good stuff. I've met CEOs and surgeons, architects and crime reporters, men from all different industries and walks of life. But one thing that has remained constant throughout is the importance of clothing in creating trust between them and their clients.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

#1111 Technical meltdowns... bear with me

Hey so somebody in my house (who knows, it might have been me), has gone way over our 20 gig per month bandwidth allotment and my internet is going so frustratingly slowly that all I want to do is close the curtains in my room, lie on my bed and listen to My Chemical Romance with a blunt knife in my hand. As you can imagine, it's a good time. I've bought another 10 gigs, but it won't kick in until tomorrow so I think I'm going to take the day off because uploading photos at a rate of one every 17 minutes is a little too much for me to handle. If something extraordinary happens I'll be back on but otherwise, see you tomorrow. Bright and early. With something exciting. I hope. In the meantime, you can amuse yourself with the hilarity that is Isaac Likes Diary. Yes, Lyle Lovett and I were separated at birth.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

#1110 Behind the scenes at Crane Brothers' first ever campaign shoot

Photo: Olly Rose

Crane Brothers shot their first ever campaign today. I went along with Olly Rose to interview all the protagonists and shoot a little behind the scenes film. The campaign is named Black Sheep and features two boys who share a lot, but not in personality or aesthetic. All will be revealed next week.


#1109 Ella Drake on Gucci F/W 2010 show exclusive?


If I'm not mistaken, New Zealand model (and Gucci fit-model) Ella Drake appears to be on a Gucci show exclusive for Milan Fashion Week. This just showed up on overnight: "Blonde, blue eyed, and signed to Next worldwide, New Zealander newcomer Ella is on a certain show exclusive in Milan, something that always signals to us that a girl is going places. Clients are obviously finding Ella to be molto bella!" If it is indeed a Gucci exclusive that Ella's on, then look out world. Gucci show exclusives often beget Gucci campaigns, and Gucci campaigns often beget entire careers.

Monday, February 22, 2010

#1108 - Layers, patch pockets, tortured artists and the colour green - my picks of the week from New York

Rag and Bone - What better way to keep warm than wearing your entire winter wardrobe in one go?

#1107 Alexander McQueen taken off schedule at Paris Fashion Week

Screengrab: Federation Francaise de la Couture

Despite assurances last Thursday from Gucci Group's CEO Robert Polet that Alexander McQueen's Fall 2010 collection show - scheduled for 9 March at Paris Fashion Week - would go ahead, the Chambre Syndicale (French fashion's governing body) has taken McQueen's name off the timetable. Polet spoke to media last week, telling them that McQueen's final collection would be presented in two invitation-only, private salon shows on Tuesday 9 March and Wednesday 10 March. If that's the case, why has Alexander McQueen's show been taken off the schedule? It's fairly common for high profile shows to be printed on the schedule with the words 'voir invitation' (see invitation) replacing an address - presumably to stop non-invitees from attending - but to remove a show altogether, and especially this show, seems like an unusual move.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

#1106 New Zealand's Next Top Model coming back in 2010

Photo: Andy Pickering

First, New Zealand's Next Top Model had been scrapped, then a return to screens was a 'distinct possibility', then an exciting announcement was hyped on the show's Facebook fan page. The latter was a surprise to TV3's group publicist Nicole Wood, who told me that if there was an announcement to be made, she would be the one making it - and she hadn't. Unusual, seeing as the Facebook page is controlled by TV3 - perhaps some overzealous minion got trigger happy before the self-imposed embargo was lifted. No update has been made on the fan page since, but TV3's own website has begun calls for pre-applications.

Friday, February 19, 2010

#1105 ANTM judges scored lots of free swag in NZ

"[Jay Manuel] added that while they were filming in New Zealand, AndrĂ© would visit showrooms of young designers and bring him back presents. 'He’d be out there and say, 'Oh, these glasses are so Jay Manuel, he’s gotta have them.' And I’d come back and they’d be in my trailer and I’d be like ‘AndrĂ©!’' Jay raved." - The Cut

The above is something I meant to talk about at the time that America's Next Top Model was filming here in New Zealand, but it must have slipped my mind.

#1104 Michael Whittaker immortalised in print - New York Times

"Idling in a nearby corner, his mouth stretched in the kind of broad yawn one associates with bored boys and hounds, Michael Whittaker, a 19-year-old model from New Zealand, rubbed his hand along the arm of his garment and said, 'Feel this.' What looked to be an ordinary V-neck woolen tennis sweater was, in fact, hand-knit from mink. A carved banner above Mr. Whittaker’s head read Pro Patria et Gloria (For Country and Glory), a motto for valiant roughnecks of the 107th Infantry during World War I — immortalized on a monument in Central Park near East 66th Street. 'It’s kind of insane,' Mr. Whittaker said — of the sweater, I think, but possibly also the whole scenario. Perhaps, in a way, it was." - NY Times

Isn't it funny how words can capture a moment so much better than a photograph sometimes?


Thursday, February 18, 2010

#1103 Karen Walker's Salzburg Sweater

Photo: Fashionista

This is the sweatshirt I wrote about on Sunday, as far as I'm aware, the first one Karen Walker's made in the past six or so seasons. It's like a gym sweatshirt from a small town high school somewhere in the middle of America. I'm so into it. Here's hoping she makes some for the boys.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

#1102 Marcel Castenmiller thinks about beer on the runway

The Cut gave Canadian model Marcel Castenmiller a camera to film his New York Fashion Week shenanigans. He plays table tennis (at Fat Cat?), rides the overground train and hangs out with Mark Cox, Cole Mohr, Bastiaan Ninaber, Charlie Westerberg, Tomek S and Matthew Hitt. They sit around waiting, eat and hang out at bars. It's a pretty accurate depiction of male models. But my favourite bit is when he goes to film a piece of paper, then changes his mind. It's all in the editing.


#1101 Tavi Gevinson on hater comments

“I read my own comments because I rarely get a negative commenter on my blog. I don’t read comments on other sites when other people have written about me and I generally don’t read the article. I have to be with myself all the time, and I don’t really want to read about myself. If somebody doesn’t like me, it’s probably somebody I’m never going to meet. It’s just part of the game.” - The Cut

Like I said yesterday, anybody - especially any adult - who would hate on any 13 year old kid is messed up in the head. But to hate on a 13 year old as clever, creative and cool as Tavi Gevinson is just nuts. It doesn't make any sense to me. As my good friend Dayne Johnston would say, 'Don't hate it cos you ain't it!'


#1100 NZers at NYFW - Michael Whittaker and Karla Devine

Billy Reid

There's nothing I love more than seeing New Zealand models doing well on the international circuit. Let's face it - it's not the most common occurrence. Nevertheless, Michael Whittaker's having a good week so far in New York, having already walked for Billy Reid, Tim Hamilton, Richard Chai, Duckie Brown and Thom Browne, with more to come. And (thanks to Joseph at Chadwick) I managed to spy Karla Devine on the catwalk at Betsey Johnston. Interesting to note that both Michael and Karla come from Auckland's Clyne Management - as far as I know the only agency to have models doing the shows in New York right now.

All the catwalk photos below.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

#1099 Tavi Gevinson - child blogger, conscript?

Tavi Gevinson backstage at Marc Jacobs - Photos: Steve Wood

She might be the wunderkind of the fashion blog community, but now, it would seem, even the US Army wants a piece of the Tavi Gevinson action. I kid. But this is why I love Steve Wood - that guy always gets the good shot.

More of Tavi below, including one with Bryanboy.

#1098 Peaches Geldof to Karen Walker - "You were strutting it like Claudia Schiffer"

Here's a little Karen Walker backstage and show highlights package presented by Peaches Geldof for NYLON TV. It showed up on Youtube yesterday (thanks Sassybella). Alongside a couple of shots backstage and a 90 second clip from the show, Peaches Geldof does a mini interview with the lady of the moment, where they discuss the inspiration - "Sound of Music meets Bob Dylan... Freewheelin', that whole period." And Karen's finale bow - "You were strutting it like Claudia Schiffer, like Naomi Campbell and the greats. Did you practice that walk?" Watch the video to see Karen Walker's response.


#1097 Mark Cox is a P.I.M.P.

Photo: Fashionista

Just saw this photo of Mark Cox backstage at the Robert Geller show. How's his Snoop Dogg in Starsky and Hutch fur coat and bowler? Big pimpin'.


#1096 Being (in the company of) John Malkovich

Photo: Steve Wood

Hamish Bowles with John Malkovich front row and centre at the Michael Bastian show yesterday, New York Fashion Week.


Monday, February 15, 2010

#1095 Lindsey Wixson's walking contradiction

Lindsay Wixson - Photo: NYMag

Just 10 days ago The Cut reported that 15 year old model Lindsey Wixson had requested a flesh coloured bra on the set of a recent W editorial because her top was see-through. In her words, "I'm 15 and even though I freaked a little, I know for a fact that my mom would freak ten times as much. I just couldn't be flashing everyone out there." I was impressed - not every 15 year old would have the confidence to make such a request; and not every magazine would allow it. So I was very surprised to see Lindsey Wixson (above) in the Lacoste show today, wearing a see-through top. Did her attitude change in the last fortnight or did the Lacoste stylists not allow her to wear a cover-up?


#1094 Blazers that button ALL the way up

Patrik Ervell Fall 2010 - Photos: The Fashionisto

It's good to have obsessions. They help keep your mind off things like heartbreak or hunger or homework. I have this friend Anna Beath who once told me that she often day dreams about winning first division Lotto, and what she'd do with the money. It got me started. The possibilities were endless, as was the amount of time spent thinking about it - and if time is the most precious commodity, then surely time well wasted trumps time poorly spent. I already have sweaters and beige pants and religion and relationships to obsess over, plus more recently boiled wool and bottle green, but I can now add blazers that button all the way up.

#1093 The Pause vs The Stop - a beginner's catwalk tutorial for the pros at Duckie Brown

The Cut writes - "Most of Duckie Brown's models this year had never worked a show before, so Lynne O'Neill had to get back to basics during her training session." Hmmm really? Duckie Brown's lineup included top 50 listers Yuri Pleskun and Tyler Riggs, alongside regular show boys Charlie Westerberg, Taras Koltun, Clinton Weber, Isaac Carew and our own Michael Whittaker. No doubt some of them might be a bit miffed at the aforementioned description. My favourite bit in the video though, is watching Michael Whittaker being given instruction. He's the first guy in line at the end of the catwalk, you start seeing him around the 50 second mark. He don't look too happy.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

#1092 Happy Valentine's Day!

Photo: James K Lowe


#1091 Karen Walker Fall 10/11 - The hills are alive...

All photos: WWD

Karen Walker made a full departure from all things nautical this season, with a collection inspired by two quite disparate (but equally influential) musical hits of the 1960s - Bob Dylan and The Sound of Music. The Bob Dylan references were immediately apparent - a sheepskin lined jacket, navy woolen parka and a massively over sized cable knit scarf. Printed cloths are always a motif in Karen Walker's collections, and this season they took their cue from Maria's resourcefulness in The Sound of Music - reused curtains in kitsch florals and hippie woodland scenes. For those who can't stomach a head to toe pattern on pattern look, there were plenty of Walker's masculine blazers and tailored pants to choose from, in everything from grey, navy and rust-orange wools and velvets to forest green suiting (see above). The most exciting thing for me though - Karen Walker's first printed sweatshirt in something like six seasons. It showed up in dropped shouldered grey marle, alas the full print was hidden behind one of those chunky scarves. My first foray into Karen Walker menswear came in multiple purchases of her printed tees and sweatshirts - I used to buy them in every colour option. Here's hoping she'll do a few more for the boys.

All the looks below.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

#1090 Zambesi Winter 2010 Enigma campaign

Photos: Marissa Findlay

Zambesi's Winter 2010 campaign imagery for their Enigma collection has just been released - you can see it all in store in the form of postcards and giant wall prints (I stole a whole bunch of the postcards and they're hanging on the bulletin board in my lounge). Shot at Woodhill Forest in West Auckland, the campaign features Zippora Seven and Jeremy Bowden against a rugged background of felled trees and gloomy skies. Very moody, very Zambesi. My favourites are the final two images below, they're a fantastic use of the New Zealand landscape, and just incredibly beautiful photographs. And speaking of Jeremy Bowden, the Auckland based model is in Sydney right now seeing agencies - I'll let you know which one he signs with.

#1089 Kiwi fashion designers shocked at McQueen’s death

TV3 News did a story last night on Alexander McQueen's passing, including interviews with designers - Denise L'Estrange Corbet of WORLD, Neville Findlay and Dayne Johnston of Zambesi, and a quick quote from me. You can watch the clip here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

#1088 Felix Terpstra headed for... Korea?

Photo: Thom Kerr

I've just read on the blog of Dunedin-based agency Ali McD (mother agent to Stella Maxwell and Nicole Clulee) that Felix Terpstra is finally heading overseas. Felix was probably my favourite New Zealand-based new face of 2009, and I was very excited to see him get out into the world and try his luck on the international scene. Fast forward a few months and he's been living in Auckland a while, but besides a couple of tests and Remix editorials, his workload seems to have been pretty quiet of late. New Zealand is a hard market for male models full stop, but if you're an edgy boy, forget about it. But I must say I was surprised to discover that the country of choice for his first international foray was Korea. Tokyo or Sydney would have been far more traditional destinations - for a reason. When I was working as a booker a few years back, Korea was the one country whose clients we forced to pay upfront. Bouncing cheques and forgotten payments were commonplace in the Korean market - at least when I was at the agency. So it's with that in mind that I wish Felix the best of luck overseas, I hope he's got an airtight contract signed.


#1087 Backstage at Duckie Brown - NYFW

Michael Whittaker with the designers, other models and a Yuri Pleskun doppelganger (top right) - Photos: Steve Wood

The show must go on. Steve's just sent me through the first lot of backstage images from New York Fashion Week, which include a couple of our own Michael Whittaker. More below, with Yuri Pleskun, Tyler Riggs, Charlie Westerberg and a few other guys whose names I don't know. If you do, please help me out in the comments.

#1086 My Alexander McQueen piece for the NZ Herald

It's been a crazy morning. I was woken at about 8:00am by my phone, which was buzzing with three messages simultaneously - an email, a text message and a BBM, all of which were telling me to wake up, because Alexander McQueen had died. The text message was from Eveline Jenkin, Online Life and Style Editor of the NZ Herald, asking me to write a piece for them about the designer's passing. I did as much research in as short a time as possible, and the article is up on the Herald website now. Apologies if my initial report on the death (my previous post) sounded a little callous, I was in a daze and trying to get things done as quickly as I could. I never met Alexander McQueen, nor did I have the chance to attend any of his shows, but it really was an honour to be asked to write about his life and death. You can read my Herald piece below.

#1085 Alexander McQueen found dead in his London home

Photo: The Guardian

British fashion designer Alexander McQueen was found dead in his Central London home around 10am this morning (local time). Suicide is suspected but not confirmed. The Times Online has reported that he was found hanged, after being unable to deal with the death of his mother on 2 February. His company has released a statement saying,
"On behalf of Lee McQueen's family, Alexander McQueen today announces the tragic news that Lee McQueen, the founder and designer of the Alexander McQueen brand, has been found dead at his home. At this stage it is inappropriate to comment on this tragic news beyond saying that we are devastated and are sharing a sense of shock and grief with Lee's family."
RIP Alexander McQueen.

No word yet on whether his final collection will be showed posthumously on-schedule at Paris Fashion Week next month.

Below, a list of Tweeted reactions from celebrities, models and designers.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

#1084 It's a white out, a white out

Photo: The Cut

And suddenly, I don't feel quite so bad that I'm not in New York for Fashion Week.


#1083 The perils of being a male model

Nick Snider - not the male model in question. Photo: The Huffington Post

I was sitting in my room, minding my own business a couple of days ago when I received this message on Facebook from a middle-aged Western-European man who had recently added me as a friend. "Hi Isaac, you know John Smith*? Are you model? You friends with John Smith? You want see nude pictures of John Smith?" (*Not his real name.) "Yes I know John, no I'm not a model, he's a friend, why are you trying to show me naked pictures of him?" I replied. "I have naked pictures of John Smith," he added helpfully, just in case I hadn't gotten the point the first time. Over the next few days, the same thing happened again and again - the same guy offering to show me the same naked pictures.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

#1082 Scott Sternberg's clothes are true to his words

Fall 2008 - All photos: GQ
"I don’t harbor any lofty ambitions or ego around innovating the state of menswear, nor do I think good design needs to be something that hits you over the head in either concept or execution. Fashion is about timing to me, more than anything, and menswear for me is about reaching into the past to re-interpret classics in a way that feels particularly fresh and relevant for right now. There’s a ton of room for innovation within that, but not the type that would necessarily impress a fashion critic or belong on a runway."
- Scott Sternberg.

[The New Order Issue Three via: SlamXHype]

With the above in mind, I thought I'd pull some looks from the Band of Outsiders archives that I think have stood the test of time. I'll be interested to see what Scott Sternberg does with footwear this season though, surely there are only so many different ways the boat shoe can be reinterpreted.

#1081 Atip Wanunuruks dreadless!

Photo: Showroom22 Twitter

Well smack me over the head and call me Charlie. Stylist, style icon, man about town and all-round nice guy Atip Wanunuruks has just cut all his dreadlocks off - as you can see in the above photo just Tweeted by Murray Bevan of Showroom 22. I put a picture of him on Isaac Likes Diary yesterday so you can see the difference - I don't know - 10 years of dreadlocks makes. Crazy. He must be at least 15 kilograms lighter. I wonder if he'll be like Samson and lose all his power now?


#1080 My Radio NZ interview with Noelle McCarthy

I did a phone-in interview with Noelle McCarthy for her Radio New Zealand show Summer Noelle while I was waiting to check-in to my flight from Milan to Paris. We talked about all sorts of stuff, from how and why I started going to the European Fashion Weeks, who actually buys the clothes, the best and worst things about Milan and my excitement for the upcoming Paris week. The feedback was really good, and my own Mother told me that Noelle is obviously a fantastic interviewer because she managed to make me sound more interesting than I am in real life. Thanks Mum. You can listen to it here if you're on a PC. Or here if you're on a Mac.

Thanks Noelle and Radio New Zealand.


#1079 Brain Slaves are no more

Auckland expat band Brain Slaves (formerly The Coshercot Honeys), have officially broken up.
"Brain Slaves no longer exist due to the complication of having creative differences. Over the last year some of us have grown apart musically and found new priorities and directions to follow. Unfortunately, it has now become impossible to do what Brain Slaves did."
- Jordan Morris (guitar).

Story, photos and music videos below.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

#1078 Tanya Gold is a brave, brave lady

Photo: The Guardian

Before January the twenty third, I'd never once heard of Tanya Gold. Little did I know how much I'd been missing. I was flicking through my blog reader that day when I found this tantalisingly titled post by BryanBoy: Hater Extraordinaire Tanya Gold Wants You To Know Why She Hates Fashion. He was responding to an article she'd written named Why I hate fashion. So I read his post. Then I read her article.

#1077 Australians do it better

Photo: Chronicles of the Fashion Cupboard

Just saw this photo on the aforementioned blog and had to repost. What a babe. Her name's Angela and she's an intern at ACP in Sydney. The hotness.


#1076 I love Kanye West

"I feel bad that people believe this kind of stuff or any random rumor that is taken as fact because 'it's on the internet.' This rumor is particularly ironic because I was actually happy with a business class seat and was offered a seat in first class. A friend of mine was sitting in coach so asked if they could bump him up to business instead of putting me in first. There was absolutely no altercation in any way. There's been many a time where I've given someone in coach my business or first class seat in order to sit next to a friend I bumped into. I really could care less about where I sit on the plane. It's hard to deal with the rumors sometimes. As a good person with a warm heart, it does bother me. I'm not bigger than feeling pain, embarrassment, stress and worry. Have you ever been lied on??? How does it make you feel??? You wanna tell everybody it's not true right? Thank you to all my fans who still love and support me even though it's not the trend right now! I'm sleeping in the studio and I won't let you guys down!"

[Kanye's Blog - in response to a rumoured meltdown over being given a business class seat.]

#1075 Someone snuck a camera into the ANTM judging panel

Photo: The Cut

Remember way back in December when America's Next Top Model was filming in New Zealand? Those were the days. Chasing celebrities, getting removed from restaurants by bodyguards, helping Jay Manuel pick up suitcases... And remember how it was so under wraps and nobody was allowed to take any pictures or reveal any information for fear of breaching the $USD5,000,000 confidentiality contract? Well somebody managed to get a camera into the judging panel and snap this photograph of Andre Leon Talley in custom-made Ralph Rucci - it showed up on Fashionista and The Cut today. It could well have been supplied by the producers (update: it was supplied by the producers), but either which way it's irrelevant. What is relevant is the giant Maori carving behind ALT. That thing is massive. Massive and kinda reminiscent of... Oh wait.


#1074 Auckland Fashion Festival announced

Auckland's first ever Fashion Festival (the NZ Fashion Week organisers' one, not that other one) has just been officially announced, and I've got the details. It'll be a one day/night in-season (Autumn/Winter) show on Tuesday 16 March. 16 designers, including Adrian Hailwood, Cybele, Workshop, Huffer, Juliette Hogan, Kate Sylvester, Stolen Girlfriends Club, Trelise Cooper and Zambesi will show 10 looks each. Tickets are $45, and are limited to 700 guests. The event will also include the New Zealand Garage Sale, and live music mixed by George FM DJs. Being an in-season show, everything you see on the catwalk will be available for sale in stores at the time. The whole thing follows the newest trend in fashion - accessibility. Everyone's doing it; Burberry, Prada, Z Zegna and Dior Homme all live streamed their shows for the public to see at the menswear Fashion Weeks last month, and it's just the beginning. You can buy your Fashion Festival ticket online now from iTicket. And, yes, that's the logo above. Will you go?


Monday, February 8, 2010

#1073 Backstage at Paul Smith

Yuri Pleskun - All photos: Steve Wood

"Alright boys, that was good, that was good, but some of you were looking a bit glum, a bit down beat. I want you to be full of energy, you're having fun, you're on your way out to a party. Let's do it!" I'm sitting backstage at Paul Smith, and the man himself has just finished his preshow pep talk. All the boys are cheering. In a corner of the room sits a 20-or-so-year-old English model named Jonny. He's being interviewed by an Italian fashion TV channel. As it ends, they tell him to say hello to the camera. "Who am I saying hello to?" he enquires. "Say hello to whoever you want," comes the reply. He looks straight down the barrel. "Hello to whoever I want!" Then, pausing, "Oh wait, let's do that again. That last bit made me sound like a proper wanker didn't it?" The boys cheer again. Click here for the whole story.

All the photos below, with Jethro Cave, Marcel Castenmiller, Ethan James, Ty Ogunkoya, Armando Cabral and Paul Smith.

#1072 To market, to market we go

What: Plaything Gallery's monthly market.
When: 12-4pm, Saturday 13 February.
Where: Plaything Gallery, 21 Dacre Street, Newton
What (take two): Vintage clothing, cool crafts, art, second hand bric a brac, collectables, baked goodies, zines, comics, free drinks, barbeque. Under $100 stalls from MADE and Store Room and a sweet sale stall from Lonely Hearts.
Why: Because it's the perfect place to buy your babes a Valentines Day gift!


#1071 Thirty nine dollars, sixty cents

All photos: Olly Rose.

I snatched two opportunities to go shopping while in Paris. The first, on the second-to-last day of Haute Couture in between shows, the second, on my last day before flying out. Three stores - Comme des Garcons (for the Comme Play Chucks), UNIQLO and The Gap. UNIQLO is my favourite of the chain stores. It's like the Japanese version of H&M but better - great basics, no unnecessary details, the best unbranded knitwear. I was after another cashmere sweater like the navy vee neck I bought in New York, but when I got there, all the cashmere was gone. What they did have, though, was a giant selection of heavy lambswool cardigans. And they were cheap. So, so cheap. €19.90. $NZD39.60 at today's exchange rate, but I'm pretty sure that while I was there it was more like $35.00. How anybody can make a profit on a fully knitted lambswool cardigan while selling it for less than forty NZD is beyond me. The mind boggles. I picked up the forest green melange version, it being the colour of the season and all. The shirt is +J (Jil Sander for UNIQLO). It was ten euro more expensive. The mind boggles.

More photos below.

Friday, February 5, 2010

#1070 Bear with me

Photo: Dayne Johnston

I'm best man at my best good friend Sheida's wedding tomorrow so right now I'm running around the city like a crazy man trying to get everything organised. So please bear with me - I might not get a chance to post today. In the meantime, feel free to amuse yourself with my photo diary. There's a special looped photo on there too, but don't look at it too many times or it will drive you crazy. Until next time...


Thursday, February 4, 2010

#1069 Slash probably a case of mistaken identity

Photo: Mysteria

There have been no further sightings of Slash, and my source has no photographic evidence to back up the claim, so I'm going to go out on a wild limb and say that it was all most probably a case of mistaken identity. Perhaps my mate saw Angus Young of AC/DC and got his heavy metallers confused. It'd make sense - AC/DC is currently in Auckland and will be playing a show at Western Springs tonight. Let's hope he busts out that school uniform.


#1068 Is Slash in the city?

Everybody's favourite top hatted axeman, Slash from Guns'n'Roses, is apparently in Auckland right now. According to a source, he was just seen walking down Auckland's Karangahape Road. The sighting would seem to conflict with Slash's own Twitter account, however, with one of his latest tweets saying, "Thurs the 4th I'll be performing w/Beth Hart at George Lopez' Help Haiti Benefit at the Nokia Theater." It's a little after three in the afternoon (the third) right now in Los Angeles, so if he caught a flight tonight NZ time, he could still make it back for the show. If anybody has any more sightings, please let me know -


#1067 What up New Zealand?

With Matvey Lykov, Oliver Welton, Michael Whittaker, Aiden Andrews, Andy Burmeister, Gordie Walker, Johannes Linder, Nick Rea and William Eustace. Filmed backstage at Raf Simons F/W 2010/2011, Paris Fashion Week.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

#1066 Backstage at Lanvin

Lucas Ossendrijver, Alber Elbaz, Jakob Hybolt, Alex Dunstan and Jeremy Young - Photos: Steve Wood

Lanvin is always my favourite show of the Paris week. Not just for the clothes or the opportunity to stare unashamedly at Alber Elbaz (though both are good enough reasons), but for the food. You'd think with all the money these designers throw at their fashion shows, they could afford a few croissants. Mais non, Lanvin is the only house to feed its guests. This time, caramel macaroons and peppermint tea. Exactly what you feel like on the morning of the final day. I arrived late and sat on the stairs about a metre and a half from Pharrell Williams, who was standing chatting to Kanye West while Amber Rose posed for photographers nearby. Click here for the whole story. And here for all my catwalk photos.

All the backstage pics below, with Johanes Linder, Alber Elbaz, Lucas Ossendrijver, Benoni Loos, Jeremy Young, Alex Dunstan and way more.

#1065 The Lover

There's a play named The Lover by Harold Pinter opening in Auckland tonight. I know virtually nothing about it, besides the fact that it's a two-person piece about sex, adultery, desire, fantasy, jealousy and all that sort of good stuff. But it's the team behind it all that's most exciting for me.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

#1064 My Twitpic made The Cut!

Screengrab: The Cut

Oh my most exciting of extremely exciting moments. This last week has been a good one. First off, linked a couple of times by Jezebel (my favourite go-to guide for celebrity, sex and fashion for women), and now, The Cut has used my Tavi Gevinson/Siri Tollerod Twitpic from backstage at Christian Dior Couture. Holla! It's an interesting article too - all about how magazine editors and buyers are complaining about the proliferation of bloggers at fashion shows; in front row seats, getting freebies and all the attention.

#1063 Backstage at Raf Simons

Michael Whittaker - Photos: Steve Wood

I arrived early at Raf Simons and went straight backstage to watch the action unfold - the hair, the makeup, the catwalk rehearsals, the backstage photographers getting in the way while the dressers tried to get the models into first looks, the makeup touch ups, the outfit tweaking, the lineup, the countdown. If last season's Raf Simons collection was a journey into luxury suiting with a conservative twist, this season was all about the body. Buttons and velcro strips adorned every piece, allowing the garments to be pulled and stretched around the body to achieve figure hugging contours or stretched out exaggerated shapes. Knitwear was key, with lambswool wraparound skirts (yes, skirts) over long, tight woolen tops, and the long layering so common this season appeared in sweaters underneath suit jackets. Last season seemed to be all about looking back, and this season couldn't have been more progressive. The final look featured a plastic parka, velcroed and shaped to achieve a jacket that wouldn't have looked out of place on a spaceship. [Excerpt from this blog.]

Photos below, with Adrian Sahores, Johanes Linder, Nick Rea, William Eustace, Lucas Mascarini and more.

#1062 Backstage at Dior Homme

Robbie Wadge - Photos: Steve Wood

Every fashion week has its big show. That one show that everybody wants to see, that everybody tries to see, but only the exclusive few actually do see. Milan has Prada, New York has Marc Jacobs, Paris has Christian Dior. Dior Homme for menswear. It's a show I've wanted so badly to see for the past two seasons, but no matter how hard I've tried, I've never succeeded in getting in. Today was the day. It just felt different. Plus I knew somebody on the inside... Click here for the whole story.

Photos below, including Charlie France, Douglas Neitzke, Reinaldo Berthoti, Philipp Kharabarin, Mario Testino, Kanye West, Amber Rose and Karl Lagerfeld.

Monday, February 1, 2010

#1061 Mikhail Gherman - ad man, creative maestro, artiste?

Drawing: Mikhail Gherman

It's Mikhail Gherman's birthday today, and right now he and a crew of revelers are celebrating at a bar on Ponsonby Road. As well as being a top creative director at Publicis Mojo, husband to Karen Walker and regular mentor to me, it would seem Mikhail has quite the talent for drawing. I've just been sent the above picture - drawn by Mikhail in a quick-art competition with acclaimed Kiwi photographer Deb Smith. I haven't seen Deb's picture, but his one gets a hearty Yarrrrr from me. Happy Birthday Mikhail! Here's to another 46 (or 47).

They've just sent me Deb's picture too, feel free to compare and contrast, rate and debate in the comments below.

#1060 New shoes PLAYA!

It was back in August last year that I first heard about the Comme des Garcons/Converse collaboration resulting in Comme Play Chucks. The excitement nearly overwhelmed me. Fabric was supposed to be stocking them here in Auckland but there was some problem or other and they never seemed to arrive. So when I was in Paris I stopped by the Comme store and picked up a pair. Cream high tops with the red heart. They were €86, which is kind of funny because normal Converse Chuck Taylors are around the €95 mark in Paris. When have you ever heard of Comme des Garcons being the cheaper option? I've worn them once already, to the wedding on Saturday, paired with my blue cotton Crane Brothers suit, new blue GAP shirt and new blackwatch check UNIQLO cotton tie. Only one problem - they clash with my beige socks. Might have to invest in something new.


#1059 Bonne Chance Bunnies

Busy Big City Bunny

While I was away, I received an email from an Aucklander named Emma Ng. In it, she told me that she'd begun knitting these tiny bunnies, and that the one above (with its burgundy pants and navy sweater) had reminded her of me. I'm not usually one for toys, but the combination of knitting and mini sweaters and maroon and navy got me obsessed. She's made a whole series of them which can be viewed on her website Bonne Chance Bunnies, and each one has a cute name and little background story. And best of all, they're only $NZD8 (plus postage) each! That's like €4 or $USD5.50 or $AUD6. So good.

More bunnies (and their descriptions) below.