Wednesday, June 30, 2010

#1323 Simon Miller on The Monocle Weekly

Photo: Monocle

Los Angeles based, expat Kiwi Simon Miller makes the best pair of jeans I have ever worn*. Slim, raw, indigo denim with selvage detailing. Nothing else. I've worn them every day since I've been in Paris and I'm desperately trying to make my mark on them before I wash them for the first time. Miller was interviewed by The Monocle Weekly (Monocle Magazine's weekly podcast) who described his jeans as "The best we've found in our travels."

Here's what he had to say for himself.

#1322 Cotton DBs, nurses and gigolos - my picks of the week from Milan

Photos: style.com

Z Zegna – Cotton double breasted blazers. Who knew?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

#1321 Snapped at Paris Fashion Week - final days


Karl Lagerfeld surrounded by admirers after Dior Homme. It was lovely to witness how he responded to all the people who approached him – each one was given his full attention and all were left with a kiss. With people skills like those (alongside all that talent), it's no wonder he's gone so far.

Monday, June 28, 2010

#1320 Paris reviews - Thom Browne

Photos: GQ

Thom Browne takes his themes very literally. One season, an underwater inspiration brought full scaly fish suits to the catwalk. In Milan, his Moncler Gamme Bleu presentation took place at a velodrome, featuring models riding round and round in circles (he'd been watching the Tour de France). Today in Paris – his first time showing in the French capital – he chose astronauts. The glory of space travel, the thrill of the unknown, the heroic men who went there first. Held inside a white concrete dome on the outskirts of the city, he threw everything at the audience but the spaceship itself.

#1319 Paris reviews - Paul Smith and Dunhill

Photos: GQ

Moments before the Paul Smith show started this afternoon, I sat in my seat flicking through street style photos taken around and about the Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks by the maestro of detail, Tommy Ton. One pair of gentlemen looked oddly familiar. I looked to my left, then back at the photo, left again, then back down. I proffered my phone to the two guys sitting next to me to take a look. There they were, in the exact same positions, immortalised on the internet and in real life beside me. Every single day this digital world we live in gets smaller and smaller. But that doesn't rob it of its magical moments. As the lights went up and the music began, a lone Japanese cameraman ran the full length of the catwalk – gear flying behind him – and burst onto the photographers' riser. His typically aggressive comrades patiently made space for him as he set up. Once he had, the first model walked out.

#1318 Paris reviews - Lanvin

Photos: wwd

On the fourth day of Fashion Week after all the shows, the heat, the parties, the appointments, the late nights and the work, a sort of painful fatigue begins to set in among the attendees. But Lanvin is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Breakfast is served buffet style as you walk in, complete with tea, coffee and well chilled juice. It's just what you need when the temperature is already an unforgiving 30 degrees at 11 o'clock in the morning, and works perfectly to soak up the folly of last night's excesses (in my case, far too much writing). Summer can be a hard season in which to dress elegantly, but Lanvin's answer to the heat was suits and layers, coats and cardigans, all in soft couture cloths or high-tech athletic fabrics. There's always that sense of subversion in a Lanvin collection – menswear made from traditionally feminine materials; formalwear slashed and resewn (or just plain unfinished); and sporty pieces in the richest brocades, tweeds and silks.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

#1317 Paris reviews - Raf Simons

Photos: GQ

Backstage at a Raf Simons show is one of the few places you can find a decent meal here at Paris Fashion Week, and the models love him for it. It's a mutual admiration – he greets each one warmly by name as they enter the venue. With 30 minutes before the scheduled starting time, the scene in hair and makeup was one of stressful energy and frenzied pace. Boys who'd arrived late from the show before were sitting in the makeup chairs being worked on by multiple people. Two dry-shampooing their hair, one on makeup, another looking out for stray hairs to shave. Sure they're a naturally good canvas, but it takes a whole team to get these guys runway ready.

#1316 Paris reviews - Dior Homme

Photos: wwd

Set inside the same vast warehouse as Kris Van Assche's eponymous collection was shown yesterday, Dior Homme's catwalk area was a raised white square in the midst of grey concrete industrial oblivion. The Isle of White. Chairs formed the border, and two huge transparent spherical circles of fabric hung in the centre from which models would appear, casting multiple shadows as they walked. Moments before the show started, Karl Lagerfeld appeared, forcing a communal hush as audience members grabbed for their cameras. As soon as he took his seat, drum beats heralded the beginning, accompanied by women's voices whispering chants like a secretive religious rite.

#1315 Paris Reviews - Kenzo

Photos: wwd

The last time we were gathered in the school courtyard at Lycee Carnot, it was unbearably cold. Warm air had to be blown in through enormous tubes in order to keep the guests from dying of hypothermia. That was Lanvin in January 2009, but today we were there for the Kenzo show. This time, the temperature was painfully hot. Who can regulate these things? Luckily, the clothing was cooler than a polar bear's toenails. Navy, cream, French, sailor, striped. And that was just the first section. The best bits were the breton suits and peacoats, done the traditional way, with blocks of blue above a wall of cream stripes (or vice versa). Those stripes slid their way down the body onto pants too, though in chalkier, vertical versions.

#1314 The fabulous life of Bryan Boy

Bryan Boy with Carine Roitfeld

I had the pleasure of spending an entire day with Bryan Boy in Paris today; from shows to appointments, restaurants to subway trains, chronicling the ride wherever it took us. As you'll see from the photos below, it was filled with hilarity. And fashionelebrities. And male models. And Bears. And working it up against inanimate objects.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

#1313 White Birds and Lemons call it quits


Back in the day, there were just two Auckland bands that could get me out of the house on a Friday night – Brain Slaves (formerly The Coshercot Honeys) and White Birds and Lemons. Brain Slaves broke up in February, citing creative differences, and now White Birds and Lemons have followed suit. Lead Singer Scott Frantz said that the band called it quits on Monday in Melbourne after one too many disappointments. "Having had so many problems with vans and our gear getting stolen, everyone lost motivation to continue putting so much effort into a 'brand' they weren't excited about anymore."

RIP White Birds – we'll miss the music. One more for the road, below.

#1312 Paris review - Comme des Garcons

Photos: style.com

Comme des Garcons shows hold a magical appeal for me. It's a combination of things – the nervous anticipation over whether or not I'll get in, the eclectic clash of East and West, the peculiar casting, the nonsensical clothes and the fact that Rei Kawakubo doesn't ever come out to take a bow after the finale. I've had a successful run in the last two seasons. In June last year, a well placed name drop got me through the door; in January, a kindly Japanese journalist worked his charm. This time around, I grabbed the bull by the horns and spoke to the French PR agent. I mentioned I'd left her about four phone messages (no exaggeration), and she asked for my name. In a surprising turn of events, I was on the list but the delivery of my invitation had failed. She ushered me in with a smile.

#1311 Snapped at Paris Fashion Week - Dan Lecca


Name: Dan Lecca.
Where: Outside Comme des Garcons.
Occupation: Catwalk photographer (arguably the best in the world).
From: Romania, but lives in New York.
Bio: Dan Lecca has been shooting catwalk for more than 30 years and is the house photographer for many of the big name designers. He also shoots for Harper's Bazaar and Esquire.
He says: "There used to be a lot more photographers, but there's so much less money now. With the rise of the internet and so many pictures available online for free, it's not a viable career choice unless you have those long held contracts."
Claim to fame: Lecca is credited with having started the tradition of shooting shows from the end of the runway (before that they were shot from the sides). He was also a rockstar in Romania – his band Choral had a number one hit in 1968.
How we met: We both missed the bus to Comme des Garcons and had to take the subway instead. Amazing how much you can learn about someone in 20 minutes.

I LIKE YOU!

#1310 Paris review - Walter Van Beirendonck

Photos: style.com

I'm one of the few people who doesn't go out every night during Fashion Week. It's probably the only week when I listen to my brain, my body and my mother, all of whom constantly tell me to go to sleep. The last two nights, however, I've broken my own rules. Three AM Thursday night (after Australia's soccer win), three AM last night (there was a Karl Lagerfeld sighting to be had). I'm feeling it now. You might not think that being driven around in a bus all day and watching good looking young men walking up and down a runway is tiring work, but you'd be surprised. My fingers are clunkier than bricks and my brain is not working as it should. When one sentence might usually take a split second to write, it's now bordering on the minutes – I just wasted two on that one. Good thing I had a sleep in this morning before my first show of the day, Walter Van Beirendonck. And good thing it's always a laugh – a failsafe wake up remedy. Ever been to that gentlemen-only bar Urge on Auckland's K Road? If not, let me tell you about Bears.

Friday, June 25, 2010

#1309 New Zealanders are taking over the fashion world

Backstage photos: Sonny Vandevelde

I'm not sure if anybody else has noticed, but New Zealanders are taking over the fashion world. Here at Paris Fashion Week, there are about five of us. That might not sound like many, but just think – it's a niche industry, and we're a tiny country. I'd assume there are about 500 people (not counting the locals) in town for the shows. Five into 500 equals one percent. But 4,000,000 (NZ's population) into 6,000,000,000 (the world's population)? Not even point one of a percent! If you're wondering, the Kiwis include Zambesi Man's Dayne Johnston (here to show his spring collection to the European buyers and to buy the international menswear imports for Zambesi), Michael Whittaker (model), Aiden Andrews (expat model), Tim Blanks (writer), and me. Just a quick update on the models – as far as I've seen, Michael Whittaker walked Issey Miyake yesterday, and Aiden Andrews walked Rick Owens and Gaspard Yurkievich (in Milan he did Prada, Jil Sander and Burberry, among others).

Photos of them walking and cavorting below.

#1308 Paris review - Louis Vuitton and Dries Van Noten

Louis Vuitton - photos: wwd

It's a courageous act to take something quite passé and attempt to imbue it with a new cool. At Louis Vuitton today, the show notes suggested a virtual reality traveller, a man who skips from one continent to the next, all with the click of a mouse. But the clothes harked back to those mid 90s backpackers who toured South-East Asia (a la Leo in The Beach), picking up local customs, dress habits and tribal tattoos along the way. That multi-ethnic mix came through in a leather blazer with etched-in Chinese dragons, and pants held up by Thai rolled-fabric belts. The tattoos were signs from the Chinese zodiac (including the formerly ubiquitous dragon), painted on by the man behind Marc Jacobs' personal body art, Scott Campbell.

#1307 Paris review - Rick Owens and Juun J

Rick Owens catwalk photos: wwd

After the Invercargill-esque summer we were treated to in Milan, it's nice to have arrived in Paris where the sun is shining, the temperature high and the hospitality a familiar combination of unhelpful and rude. To kick things off, it was a short train ride over to Bercy Stadium where Rick Owens was presenting his spring collection. Outside, ghostly fashionistas withered beneath the UV rays, but inside, darkness prevailed – low lighting, rows of black seats, and a predominance of moody, avant-garde dressers. I was seated with Zambesi Man's Dayne Johnston and other buyers and media from the Asia-Pacific region. (We made up 100% of the Pacific contingent.) As the lights went out, an industrial, thumping noise began.

#1306 Snapped at Paris Fashion Week - Day 1


Pharrell Williams at Louis Vuitton. You can always guarantee a Pharrell or Kanye appearance at the Paris men's shows, but it's usually Kanye who turns up at Louis Vuitton. (He is the Louis Vuitton Don, after all.) No sign of him thus far, but there's always tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

#1305 The day that was - Giorgio Armani and DSquared2

All photos: Sonny Vandevelde

There are two schools of designers – those who view fashion as serious business, and those who see it as spectacle. The first set typically puts on a somber presentation, where the clothes are expected to speak for themselves. The second pushes theatrics; a giant iceberg on the catwalk, or a live performance by Annie Lennox. DSquared falls firmly into the latter category. Their shows are pure cabaret; camp, outrageous and non-stop entertainment. Last season they chose horror films as inspiration, with blood splattered models walking out alongside the gender-bending lead singer from emo band Tokio Hotel. This time around it was Richard Gere's Julian from American Gigolo. In lieu of show notes, an eviction letter sat on each seat, but alongside the grim news came words of advice: "Get it chic and sleek and back to the street: you better hustle, rent is due!"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

#1304 The day that was - Gucci and Etro

All photos: style.com

The sun came out today. And thank God for that. The last few days have been so cold and wet, it's no doubt these Milan shows have been filled with clothes one might not normally associate with summer. Another reason to be thankful – there's always a bit of a wait outside Gucci, and there's nothing fun about being rained on. Held at midday in a hotel on the corner of a particularly busy intersection (trams, trains and taxis form a pedestrian's hazard), the scene outside is always well worth a watch.

#1303 Snapped at Milan Fashion Week - Day 3


Masafumi Suzuki, Editor-in-Chief of Engine (a Japanese magazine focussing on fashion and cars), in head to toe Thom Browne at Ermenegildo Zegna. Suzuki is a front row fixture at the menswear shows, and is a perennial favourite of the streetstyle photographers - this is one of his more conservative outfits.

#1302 One hundred years of Zegna


While constant rebirth is key to the success of a fashion house, heritage plays a huge part in keeping the prestige alive. What would Louis Vuitton be without those trunks, Yves Saint Laurent without Le Smoking, or Chanel without its legendary founder? This morning in Milan at the Triennale Design Gallery, Ermenegildo Zegna held a special showing of its eponymous and Z Zegna labels, celebrating 100 years in the business.

Monday, June 21, 2010

#1301 The day that was - Emporio Armani, Gianfranco Ferre, Vivienne Westwood and the All Whites

West is best – expat Kiwi Aiden Andrews backstage at Prada. Photos: Sonny Vandevelde

Allow me to state the obvious. I'm more likely to get excited by a good fashion show than an All Blacks victory. More interested in a well-tailored suit than a perfectly executed field goal. More intrigued by the career of a model than that of our greatest sports-stars. However today I chose the soccer over the sartorial. And witnessing that 1-1 draw in a bar filled with the most aggressive Italian supporters in Milan trumped any fashion show. There's nothing like leaving your home country to multiply your patriotism rates to new heights. GO THE KIWIS!

Now, back to the matter at hand.

#1300 Snapped at Milan Fashion Week - Day 2


models.com's 30th ranked male model (and son of a Russian movie star), Matvey Lykov, enjoying the Italy/New Zealand soccer game in a bar near the Duomo. Lykov is in the cushiest position possible for a male model here in Milan – on a Gucci exclusive. He works with the designers all week doing fittings and looks, doesn't have to go to any castings, walks in just one show, and gets paid fairly well too. I would say it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy, but I won't – he was rooting for Italy in the game. But who can blame him. It makes sense to support those who support you.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

#1299 d'management pays tribute to Tom Nicon

screengrab: d'Management

Tom Nicon's Milan agency d'management currently pays tribute to the late model on its website. The inscription reads, 'A friend to all of us always so special, always so brilliant and such a great model and human being'. His Paris based mother agency, Success Models, have not yet followed suit. Nor have they taken his online portfolio off their website. Like I mentioned yesterday, the mood backstage among the models is one of shock and disbelief, and speculation is rife. Without going into details, the general consensus among those who knew Nicon is that he took his own life. "There are so many rumours going around - it was this, it was that, but I don't want to hear any of that," one model told me backstage at Costume National. "I didn't know him well but I always talked with him backstage. I saw him only two days ago at a fitting. I just don't understand why he came to Milan if he was feeling like that."

#1298 The day that was - Costume National, Calvin Klein and Burberry

Charlie France backstage at Burberry - All photos: Sonny Vandevelde

After the untimely death of French model Tom Nicon yesterday, one might have expected a sombre mood among the attendees at Milan Fashion Week today. As it turned out, almost everybody seemed blissfully unaware of the tragedy that had taken place less than 24 hours before – almost everybody. Backstage, many male models were visibly shaken, with murmurs of "But I was just with him two days ago," intermingling with the inevitable, "I'll tell you what I heard..." As far as I know there was no mention of him by any of the designers today, but that could be due to the lack of any formal confirmation of his passing. (Nicon's Milan based agency d'Management has since posted a tribute to him on their website.)

#1297 Snapped at Milan Fashion Week - Day 1


New Zealand model Christopher Landon backstage at Dolce and Gabbana - his first ever fashion show. Not a bad one to start with. He had two looks - the second of which was this pair of shorts. After Milan Fashion Week he told me he's flying to New York to shoot a pretty hefty editorial with Mariano Vivanco. More on that when it happens.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

#1296 Burberry Prorsum Menswear Spring/Summer 2011 show live stream



The Burberry Prorsum Menswear show will be live streamed above at 3pm Milan local time today, 1am New Zealand time, 11pm Sydney time, 9am New York time, 6am Los Angeles time. Look out for me – I'll be the guy holding up the 'HI MUM!' sign every time the camera rolls by.

I LIKE YOU!

#1295 French model Tom Nicon found dead in Milan

Photo: tfs

This tragic information was just told to me by a friend of Tom Nicon's here in Milan.

22 year old French model Tom Nicon was found dead in Milan this morning after he fell from his apartment window. According to the friend, "He did the Versace fitting this morning. After that he was supposed to go to his agency but he never arrived. I don't know if it was suicide or if he fell." His agency declined to comment. Nicon was a top show model, and had walked for Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Costume National, Versace, Kenzo, Gareth Pugh and Hugo Boss among others. He is the eighth model to die in the last two years (including Ambrose Olsen and Lina Marulanda this year alone). As a fellow model said this afternoon, "People think we are young and beautiful and rich and happy. But we're not. We go to castings and the directors take one look at us and then we're dismissed. You spend your whole life wondering what's wrong with you. Why didn't I get that job? You're competing with your friends, you're away from your family. The pressure is huge. It's not the fairytale life people would expect." Milan Fashion Week begins tomorrow. A tribute seems likely - several of the designers showing on the first day (including Costume National and Burberry) were regular clients of Nicon's.

My sincere condolences go out to Tom Nicon's family and friends.

Friday, June 18, 2010

#1294 Jil Sander - pure maximalism


Jil Sander's namesake was quoted recently saying she doesn't like the word "minimalist", so often assigned to her former label. (She prefers "pure".) Raf Simons must have been listening – his collection for the label unveiled last night in Florence was anything but an exercise in minimalism. Set inside a topiary garden (and live streamed online for the world to see), the Jil Sander summer offering was heavy on colour – orange trousers with sky blue sweaters, peach sweaters with purple shorts, multi-coloured stripes, brightly-hued florals; and ultra-slim – drainpipe cotton trousers and slim tees, tiny short shorts and short sleeve shirts, tightly belted trenches and suits. Each outfit was paired with seemingly traditional black leather oxford shoes, but their Louboutin-esque blue,red or orange soles were visible with every step taken. It was like a snapshot of the Swinging 60s filtered through Simon's refined eye. Maximalist, yes, but pure all the same.

View the show video here.

I LIKE YOU!

#1293 Pity I'm not at Pitti

All photos: Tommy Ton for GQ

The best style inspiration generally comes from the guys at the shows rather than the guys in the shows. Nothing beats a good runway presentation, but there's something about seeing a real life outfit put together by an individual that I find especially riveting. As far as menswear goes, Florence's Pitti Uomo is the Mecca. It's where all the menswear obsessives come out - the details are insane. It's not about fads or trends, but classic menswear worn incredibly well. That said, looking at the streetstyle photos that Tommy Ton has been taking for GQ, a couple of classic menswear trends have emerged - a resurgence of khaki, double breasted sports coats and rolled denim. Good thing I packed my beige pants.

Check it out below.

#1292 Travel stories

Photo: The Sartorialist*

The first time I ever really felt like I was overseas was in 2006 during a two hour stopover at Dubai International Airport. I'd been away the year before to America and Canada, but this was a new experience entirely. Dark skinned Middle Eastern men walked by in floor-length, all-white ensembles, while Muslim women in black burkas glided along, trailed by children dressed like Westerners. I had a similar feeling upon arriving in Dubai this morning, but for a different reason - exiting the plane, I was hit by a scorching Arabian wind. Despite being 4:45am and still semi-dark, it was already 36 degrees outside. Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

#1291 Airport shenanigans


I love a good international flight as much as the next guy, but sometimes it can get a little boring not talking for 30 hours straight. That said, nothing kills me more than a chatty seat-mate. But this time - for the first time ever - I have a friend travelling all the way to Dubai with me. It's Carter Were, identical twin sister of Harriet Were who I interviewed last week. She's off to Greece for a few months of European summer. See the sticker she's holding? A parting gift from my best good friend Katherine. I'm going to stick them all over Milan and Paris... and maybe Auckland airport.

I LIKE YOU!

#1290 The three Kiwi boys in Milan

via models.com

I look at fashion weeks like I look at sport - no matter where in the world you might be, you always support your fellow countrymen. We have three New Zealand boys repped in Milan for the shows - Michael Whittaker, Christopher Landon and Aiden Andrews. All are with Why Not. Whittaker has done two prior seasons in Milan, walking for Bottega Veneta, Moschino and Moncler Gamme Bleu among others. Andrews is a show favourite and has walked for everyone from Burberry to Prada. This is Landon's first season - I can imagine him doing pretty well with the more commercial clients.

Check out their showcards above and below. And best of luck with the bookings, gentlemen.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

#1289 Milan and Paris - 28 days, 3 fashion weeks, 1 film fest

Backstage at Lanvin with Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver.

Friends! I'm flying to Europe tomorrow! I'm a crazed mixture of excited and scared, ecstatic and anxious. First stop Milan, where I'll catch up with everybody's favourite German Corinna Studier, plus fellow New Zealanders Christopher Landon, Courtney Fallow, India Ross and maybe even Michael Whittaker. Milan menswear begins on Saturday and ends on Tuesday, and I'll be covering it all - the shows, the people, the adventures, the celebrities and whatever else I can get my hands on. Shows of note include Burberry, Gucci, Jil Sander, Prada, Zegna... Let's hope I have invitations to all of the above when I arrive at my hotel.

Monday, June 14, 2010

#1288 The future of print

Photo: Chicago Postcard Museum

People are always talking about the death of print, the rise of online media and the battle raging between both. I've been thinking about it a lot, especially after picking up INDUSTRIE for the first time yesterday. I believe that magazines still have their place, but they need to adapt with the times. It doesn’t make sense to do a news-type piece in a magazine that only comes out once every three months. So much is covered online now that magazines need to do what magazines do best - meaty profiles, beautiful editorials, a tiny escape from reality - that can’t be readily achieved or replicated online. Don’t try and cover something a blog has already written about three months earlier, you’ll just end up looking outdated and obsolete. Due to higher budgets and the power of collaboration, magazines have the ability to create something whereas blogs will often merely report on what others are doing.

#1287 INDUSTRIE - the future of print

Panos Yiapanis - Photo: Inez and Vinoodh for Industrie

My flatmate brought home a copy of INDUSTRIE magazine last night and - no exaggeration - it's the best fashion magazine I've read in years. It hits the trifecta - superb design, interesting profiles and great writing. The layout is particularly impressive - it's no mean feat to put together a text-filled double page spread and make it appealing to read (narrow columns are key). Its subject is the fashion industry - not the trends or the latest must have items, not even the collections, but the people who make fashion what it is, the challenges the industry faces and the way forward. I'm yet to put it down.

My favourite quotes (from Tommy Ton, Panos Yiapanis, Sarah Mower, Marie-Amelie Sauve, Rick Owens and Natalie Massenet) below.

Friday, June 11, 2010

#1286 A few words with Harriet Were (my girl in Paris)


Harriet Were is a remarkable young lady I've known about for a few years but only gotten to know recently. I met her in Paris in January, on my last day there, just before I had to catch a flight back to New Zealand. I was a little nervous - from what I knew, she was very quiet and I was too exhausted to carry a conversation over lunch. But from the moment I saw her, she didn't stop talking - her boss, eBay, the homeless people, Comme des Garcons (she was wearing an amazing charcoal woolen coat), knitting and the French. Turns out she hadn't spoken much English over the past couple of months. She was planning an escape from the cruel family for whom she was working as a nanny/slave. The breakaway was successful, and now she works for another family with a fairly prominent neighbour. You might have heard of them... the Sarkozys?

Q&A and photos, below.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

#1285 Ask me anything is the new streetstyle blog


Don't get me wrong, I'm still a fan of the streetstyle blog - Jak and Jil and The Sartorialist will always be favourites for outfit inspiration. But there's a new trend emerging on the fashion blogosphere: the ask me anything tumblr. They might not be as pretty as the aforementioned, but they're a constant stream of fascinating, relevant and helpful information. In short, an ask me anything tumblr is a series of questions and answers, all related to a specific topic. Whatever you niche, there'll be something to satisfy your demands. Denim experts, check. Sneaker freakers, check. Americana fiends, check check check. Log on, ask questions, read the other posts while you're waiting for an answer.

#1284 Jenna Sauers is gangz

Photo: Jezebel

Jenna Sauers is hands down my favourite ex-pat New Zealander right now. That lady has got balls of steel. She's not afraid to pen a tell-all story about her time as a model and why she gave it all up (to an audience of millions); she's quite happy to take on Terry Richardson over his alleged exploitation of models; and now she's getting one in there for the bloggers. This morning over at Jezebel on her daily fashion news breakdown, she wrote, "I guess I can now exclusively reveal that not only was I not among the bloggers asked to vote on the CFDA Awards, nobody at Jezebel even rated an invitation. But such is the epic struggle for meaning when you write for a little upstart blog with an audience bigger than Vogue's." Jenna, you are my hero.

I LIKE YOU!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

#1283 New Zealand Fashion Week's talent quest

Mathew Hoghiemster

New Zealand Fashion Week is holding a talent quest of sorts, in the PR build up to the September event. I took part in a talent quest once, as an eight year old boy at Westburn Primary School in Christchurch. I sang Do You Hear The People Sing? from Les Miserables. I didn't place, but if there'd been a people's choice award, I would have taken it hands down. The cheers I got as I walked off that stage... But I digress. Fashion Week's talent quest is slightly different (no singing, dancing or lip synching required). Their one is called NEW TALENT and features five categories - male model, female model, hair, makeup and styling.

#1282 Remix issue two looks to Atip Wananuruks - and Avatar - for guidance


Newly refurbished local mag Remix is back for its second issue, and this time around the team have brought Atip Wananuruks on board as guest editor. "Atip's talents as a stylist and fashion commentator are immensely respected in the NZ fashion industry," says Editor Tina Moore. With that in mind, we let him take the reigns of our fashion content, and the resulting shoots are just outstanding. We had a very difficult time keeping the fashion section to just 123 pages, as everything he produced was of such high quality. We can't wait to see how it's received!" I've had a quick scan through the shoots, and there's something in there for everyone - classic NZ fashion editorials shot outside with little photoshopping, dramatic studio shoots, a bit of menswear and even some couture headgear. My favourite is an Olivia Hemus-lensed story shot on a rooftop. Very cool.

And they've even jumped on the Avatar bandwagon with a three dimensional fashion shoot and alternative cover (see below) by Garth Badger.

#1281 Snapped - Ben St George


Name: Ben St George.
Occupation: Tailor - Crane Brothers.
Where: Featherston Street, Wellington.
From: Palmerston North, lives on Cuba Street.
Favourite place: Fitzroy, Melbourne. "Good atmosphere, good shopping, lots of nooks and crannies to explore and it's handy to town."
Favourite suits: "I like to keep it classic. Not too tight but very well tailored. English heritage with a twist. Blacks, greys and charcoals."
Advice for youngsters: "Men - don't be afraid of buying clothes that fit properly. Even if bad clothes fit well they'll always make you look better."

I LIKE YOU!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

#1280 Rock Legends in pictures

David Bowie, 1978. Photo: Bruce Jarvis, courtesy of Gow Langsford Gallery

Stairway to Heaven was barely audible over enthused voices inside Gow Langsford on Tuesday 25 May, where patrons of art, angsty teens and survivors of the 70s stadium rock scene were gathered to check out photographer Bruce Jarvis' exhibition Rock Legends. The pictures were as diverse as the crowd – Stevie Nicks, Bob Geldof and John Mayall hung alongside Frank Zappa and Bryan Ferry; well coiffured businessmen in black suits chatted with aged rockers, while long haired 17 year old boys kept their distance from one and all.

Monday, June 7, 2010

#1279 New Zealand's Next Top Model could be a boy

Pebbles Hooper, me, Ben Boyce - photo: Katherine Lowe

Here's a doozy - males are allowed to compete on New Zealand's Next Top Model. According to TV3, it's against the law to discriminate against people on the basis of gender, so guys are welcome to apply. Am I the only one who thinks that's a little strange? Are we living in crazy town? It's like saying men should be allowed to play in women's rugby teams or women should be allowed to drive. Apparently men who do apply probably won't make it onto TV, but they might get signed by 62 Models if they're the right look. Always the comedian, Pulp Sport's Ben Boyce minced up in this winning ensemble - pink tank top, denim mini and black kitten heels. One can only assume that 62 took one look and snapped him straight up. Or perhaps he'll be the first male contestant on the show... Lord knows a transvestite TV star could bring a bit of drama to the mix.

I LIKE YOU!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

#1278 You wanna be on top? New Zealand's Next Top Model is auditioning


A 17 year old girl walks into the judging room and stands in front of Sara Tetro, Chris Sisarich, 62 Models' head booker Andrea Plowright and a producer from TV3. She's shaking. Tetro greets her with a big smile and attempts to put her at ease. "S-s-sorry," the girl stutters, "I'm really nervous." "Hey, you have nothing to worry about," says Tetro, "We're just going to ask you a couple of questions to get to know you, and there are no wrong answers." The girl nods, and it begins. "Where are you from? How old are you? What school do you go to? Who was your favourite girl in the last series?" With each question answered, the girl comes out of her shell a little more. After the fourth, despite no consultation between the judges (they have a secret signal), the TV3 producer speaks up. "We won't be asking you back for the next round, but you should feel proud of yourself for coming - it's a very brave thing to have done." She's right, it takes guts to turn up to a reality TV show audition in the hopes of becoming New Zealand's Next Top Model. After being there four hours, I didn't envy the position of the contestants or the judges.

Friday, June 4, 2010

#1277 Mark and Louis - from Wellywood to Hollywood (bypassing Auckwood)



I hate to brag, but last night I watched a film at Peter Jackson's personal cinema inside Park Road Studios in Wellington. We were there to toast Mark and Louis - the men behind award winning short films Run and The Six Dollar Fifty Man. I must have missed the memo on this one, because before this trip was planned I'd never heard of them or their films, but they're hitting the big time - Run and The Six Dollar Fifty Man won Honourable Mention and Jury's Choice prizes at Cannes - making them the first directors in the festival's history to win both awards award back to back.

#1276 Snapped - scrapwall


Name: scrapwall
Where: At his store.
Occupation: The one at ONE. 5O4 Krd
From: Auckland CBD, now 5O4 K Road.
Favourite place: "Home is where the heart is."
Obsessed with: "Beautiful, simple things."
Advice to youngsters: "In the infamous words of my old mate Dekko, 'If it feels good, touch it.' Really though, I'd say take all the advice you can get, listen, learn, but always do your own thing. I think Louise Bourgeois put it well when she was asked to advise young artists. 'Tell your own story, and you will be interesting,' she responded. 'Don't get the green disease of envy. Don't be fooled by success and money. Don't let anything come between you and your work.' Basically - do what you love."

I LIKE YOU!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

#1275 Jeremy Bowden hits The Fashionisto twice in one week

Photo: Marissa Findlay

Local model Jeremy Bowden might just be having a moment after appearing on menswear go-to site The Fashionisto twice this week. The 21 year old first showed up on Monday, in an all-Louis Vuitton shoot for Men’s Uno Hong Kong, and then once again today, in Zambesi's Winter 2010 The Enigma campaign. Not bad for Bowden, Zambesi or New Zealand fashion. Sources tell me the model is heading to Europe later this month - though there's no word yet on whether he'll be making an appearance on the catwalks in Milan and Paris.

I LIKE YOU!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

#1274 On the up - Christopher Landon

Photos: Clyne

Christopher Landon is a young man going places. Besides studying full time he's been working steadily over the past few months; an editorial in the upcoming Remix, a Zambesi Man lookbook and a couple of AS Colour ads. And just yesterday, the 20 year old Aucklander flew out to Milan for his first European show season. Mariano Vivanco is said to be a fan - according to rumour, the photographer met Chris earlier in the year and immediately suggested him for Dolce and Gabbana. Chris reminds me of a young Adam Senn - I can imagine him doing very well with the commercial clients. Abercrombie and Fitch anybody?

More photos below.

#1273 Zambesi Man's going to Paris

Photos: Marissa Findlay*

Coming from New Zealand is both a blessing and a curse. Sure, we live in one of the most beautiful countries on the planet, but let's face it - we're down the proverbial buttocks-end of the world. It goes without saying that our home front success stories don't always translate into global triumphs. Our greatest brands are those that use New Zealand's strengths but compete on a global scale - Peter Jackson, 42Below, Weta Workshop, Canterbury of New Zealand, Ice Breaker. The difference between them and the rest (besides, perhaps, a better product and extreme ambition), is that they took a risk, and gave it a go. Another company about to give it a go (though on a slightly smaller scale), is Zambesi.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

#1272 Ben Ford's new suit

Photo: Olivia Hemus

Remember Ben Ford, New Zealand's Best Dressed Businessman for 2010? One of the prizes he received was a made to measure suit of his choosing from Working Style. As you can see above, the suit's been made - it's a blue two button in Dormeuil flannel. Unlimited Business Magazine has just come out with a photo shoot of Ben in the new suit, and an interview with the man himself. Like me, he believes men look better in plain coloured suits. I do not understand conservative guys who wear crazy pinstriped suits and floral ties. If the word funky springs to mind, run a mile. And don't take your wife shopping. Nothing screams tragedy like a man forced into a dressing room by his special lady friend, trying on 'trendy' pink shirts (I hear they're all the rage in Europe!). Trust the shop assistants. They know what they're doing.

Quotes below.