Thursday, September 30, 2010

#1525 Top 12 things to do in Wellington

Photos: Katherine Lowe

1. Visit Caffe L'affare. Go for the coffee, stay for the hilarious wall art.

#1524 Pulp magazine's publisher in voluntary liquidation


Like I said back in March, New Zealand's magazine market is well and truly over saturated. How all those indie titles manage to stay afloat while competing for the same advertising dollar is beyond me. The truth is – they're not all managing to stay afloat. Reports surfaced in the weekend that Pulp Media, the publishing company that owns Auckland based fashion and culture magazine Pulp has gone into voluntary liquidation. Citing a one-off slump in advertising revenue in its final issue, liquidator Damien Grant of Waterstone Insolvency said that Pulp Media's final estimated shortfall would be "less than $100,000." Waterstone hopes to sell the company as a going concern. This is a sad day for local publishing, but it should also serve as an eye opener. With such high competition in the marketplace, magazines must offer something truly distinctive and unique in order to get those circulation numbers and advertising revenues up – especially when so much content is now available online. Say no to rehashed press releases and bought-in fashion stories. The need for insanely-good original content has never been higher.

UPDATED.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

#1523 Meeting the WOW winners

Photos: Katherine Lowe

For the past few years my Mum's been telling me (over and over again), "Go to the Wearable Art Awards, it's a world class event, you won't see anything like it anywhere else you go, Kiwis do it better..." Like always, she was right. Last night's performance was quite literally a billion times better than I expected. Sure it was a little longer than I'm used to (over two hours and I had to get up to pee three times), but the spectacle was insane. Ever seen explosions, dancers, acrobats, trannies and dogs dressed up as elephants at an ordinary fashion show? Neither. After it was all finished I got the opportunity to get photos with two of the winning garments – The Ring Mistress (above) by Richelle Dynae of the UK, and Loops (below) by Chaudhary and Manas Barve of India. Check out the detail on Loops. It's a laser-cut felt onesy. Insane.

#1522 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – all the people, all the days

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Anouk Rondel: "I like being casual and boyish."

#1521 Australia's Next Top Model's major winner fail



Say what you like about New Zealand's Next Top Model – sure they might have the odd topless controversy, a fairly well publicised photoshop boo-boo, and let's not forget the shoot that bore an uncanny resemblance to Bulgari's latest campaign, but I'll tell you what – they've never told the wrong girl she's won the competition in front of a live studio audience (not to mention the millions watching on their TVs at home). Oh haiiiiiiii Australia's Next Top Model. Watch the clip above. Die a little inside. I've been an avid AusNTM fan ever since Bryan Boy started posting the full episodes on his blog. It was a slick production filled with extraordinarily hot girls, snazzy camera work and judges who weren't in the least bit afraid to drop the M-bomb (midget). But this right here is a fail of Homeric proportions. Imagine what's going to happen to the poor guy who gave Sarah Murdoch the incorrect information? Yeesh. Full credit to Kelsey for taking it like a trooper. Australia's poor sportsmanship must only apply to actual sports.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

#1520 Lookalikes – Derek Blasberg and Eddie Warren


Above – New York Times bestselling author Derek Blasberg.
Below – Wellington law student Eddie Warren.

Freaky man.

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#1519 Windswept in Wellington

Photo: Katherine Lowe

I'm here in our nation's fair capital to attend WOW (the World of Wearable Arts Awards – which I keep mistakenly referring to as World of Warcraft, much to my embarrassment). Katherine and I flew in yesterday and arrived at our accommodation – the Museum Hotel – to quite the hilarious scenario. Sitting in the lobby was the cast and crew of New Zealand's Next Top Model. You should have seen the producers' faces when they saw us. Priceless. I promised them I wouldn't reveal anything so I won't, but trust me when I say that it was an amazing moment for us all. We're going to the performance tonight, it's my first time ever, and all I know is that it's supposed to be a cross between a fashion show and Cirque du Soleil. More on that tomorrow.

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#1518 I designed a flying purple unicorn tee shirt for an Alt-Country singer

Photo: Parinto

Alt-country singer Flip Grater recently asked me to design a tee shirt for her brand new album While I'm Awake I'm At War. The instructions were simple: the tee shirt had to correspond in some way with the album's title or themes in Flip's music. Naturally, I chose a flying purple unicorn. (Read up on Pegasus – you'll get it.) Mine was one of four created specifically for Flip Grater's album and tour, the others were designed by Twenty Seven Names, Two Hands Tattoo and Scizzorface Design. Check them all out here, and support local artists! GO THE KIWIS!

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#1517 Backstage at Blak Luxe

Samantha, Dempsey and Ella. Photos: Katherine Lowe

Blak Luxe was the second to last F/W 2011 show that Katherine and I went to last week. I must admit that prior to Fashion Week I'd never heard of the brand before, but it was a surprisingly cute collection – lots of cool black lace dresses and vibrant colours like scarlet red and rich forest green. Being so late in the game, the girls were in fine form backstage – Katherine said it was one of her favourites to shoot. However, that pesky faux fur popped up again (you'll see it below). Some fabric merchant must be laughing all the way to the bank on that one after this week. With such a natural abundance of sheep in New Zealand, why not use shearling instead!? Nevertheless, I reckon this label is one to watch in seasons to come.

Monday, September 27, 2010

#1516 Jessica Clarke continues S/S 2011 domination with Ferre, Ferragamo, Pucci and Dolce & Gabbana

Jessica Clarke on the catwalk at Dolce & Gabbana S/S 2011.

Shut the fricken gate! New Zealand might just have its first modern-day supermodel in the making – Spring/Summer 2011 is fast becoming the breakout freshman season for Palmerston North 17 year old Jessica Clarke. It all started in New York with her exclusive Calvin Klein appearance (to my knowledge she's the only Kiwi in recorded history to have bagged that accolade). Moving onto London, Clarke walked five shows, including Paul Smith and Julien MacDonald. Milan Fashion Week started well with D&G, but that was just the beginning. Over the last couple of days she has landed Gianfranco Ferre, Salvatore Ferragamo, Pucci and Dolce & Gabbana (photos below). And let's not forget there are two days of Milan Fashion Week still to come, plus Paris Fashion Week.

GO THE KIWI!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

#1515 Huffer's new womenswear gets the thumbs up

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Huffer's show last night heralded two things – the launch of ex-Lonely Hearts designer Aimee MacFarlane's first womenswear collection for the brand, and the close of the NZFW Fall 2011 collections. No expense was spared. Held at the new Auckland University Business School building, I counted about five different bars, a coffee cart, four giant lighting rigs, three All Blacks (Dan Carter, Richie McCaw and Ali Williams) and one America's Next Top Model winner – Krista White. Did I mention the $50 Telecom prepaid voucher in the goodie bag? Ching Ching!

#1514 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – Jae Mills Day 4

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Snapped before the Huffer show, designer Jae Mills wears a Friedrich Gray jacket, Claude Maus sweater, Commoners Alike scarf, Bassike jeans and Chronicles of Never boots. "Blue jean baby, LA lady, seamstress for the band..."

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#1513 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – Derya Parlak Day 4

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Shot before the Huffer show (in which she was walking), model Derya Parlak wears a Topshop cardigan, Stolen Girlfriends Club dress, Harley Davidson tee shirt and Beau Coops shoes. "I have a bike to match this tee shirt."

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#1512 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – Atip Wananuruks Day 4

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Shot straight after the Huffer show (which he was styling), Atip Wananuruks wears a Barbour jacket, Huffer scarf, Bedwin sweatshirt, Visvim moccasins, Goorin hat and Retro Superfuture glasses. "Backstage working."

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Friday, September 24, 2010

#1511 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – Anouk and Jordan Rondel Day 4

Photo: Katherine Lowe
Snapped in the (very) early hours of NZ Fashion Week day four, Anouk Rondel wears a Topshop dress, Yvonne Bennetti jacket, Dear Prudence bag and Et Vous boots. "Jzujed up."

#1510 No Milan exclusive for Jessica Clarke, but the top designers are still calling

Photo: tfs

Rumours were circulating last week about the possibility of a Milan exclusive for Kiwi Jessica Clarke but they proved incorrect – the upwardly-mobile model was seen walking the D&G show at midnight (and if I'm not mistaken, Dolce and Gabbana doesn't do exclusives). Thanks to Patty for the heads up. Though we were hoping for a Prada appearance, the show came and went (at 4am this morning NZ local time), with no sign of any Australasians. The D&G spot comes straight off the bat of a particularly successful London Fashion Week for Clarke – she walked Julien MacDonald, Antonio Berardi, Erdem, Nicole Farhi and Paul Smith. There are still a number of days left in Milan, then it's onto Paris. Still early days yet, there are plenty of big shows to come. Best of luck to Miss Clarke, we'll be rooting for her. GO THE KIWIS!

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#1509 Salasai is one to watch

The giant sweater. Photos: Katherine Lowe

It's hard to imagine a giant sweater (like, oversized to knee-length) looking so good, but Salasai managed that and more in their offsite show last night. Grey with a white geometric pattern on the front, it hung long and floppy and was one of the more interesting pieces we've seen all week. The rest of the collection was centred around a couple of elements – the pleats on a kilt, some cropped gold pants reminiscent of Hedi Slimane-era Dior Homme and colour panelling in garments like a tan and black double-breasted shawl-collar cardigan. There were moments that looked a little overworked, particularly a pair of houndstooth trousers that would be better suited to a restaurant's kitchen than a catwalk, but even those pieces had two saving graces: Salasai's designer Kirsha Witcher really knows how to design clothes.

#1508 Stolen Girlfriends Club – more bang for your buck

The groom – Vinnie Woolston. Photos: Katherine Lowe

There's something to be said for a brand that can keep the punters waiting over an hour for their show and still have them cheering the moment the lights go down. So it was at Stolen Girlfriends Club last night, where, according to eyewitnesses, the crowd was so large, a queue was still snaking around the corner of the street 30 minutes after scheduled start time (rumour has it 200 too many people were invited). SGC has amassed a cult following over the last couple of years, known as much for their massive parties as for their ripped up jeans and poppy tee shirts. The party was still huge, but last night's collection showed a new, consolidated direction for the brand, and it was easily the best we've seen from them yet.

#1507 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – Derya Parlak Day 3

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Shot after the Stolen Girlfriends Club show tonight, Derya Parlak wears a Stolen Girlfriends Club dress, Therese Rawsthorne blazer, To Sir With Love cardigan, Pearl leggings and Adidas sneakers. "I was two hours late waking up this morning!"

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#1506 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – Atip Wananuruks Day 3

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Snapped on the runway before the show at Salasai, Atip Wananuruks wears a Nike jacket, Stussy cardigan, Neuw pants, Visvim moccasins, Goorin hat and Retro Superfuture glasses. "Off the reservation."

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

#1505 Nicole Miller – after the show

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Hollywood designer Nicole Miller showed her pre-fall collection this afternoon – a series of sassy party frocks and very Los Angeles jeans and tee shirt combos, including some that were bejazzled with diamante skulls. According to Fashion Week, Miller is attempting to grow her business in the Southern Hemisphere right now, so presumably she was looking to pick up some stockists with this show. Best of luck to her. Photographers weren't allowed backstage during the runway presentation, but Katherine ran out the back as soon as it had all finished to snap these ones. The guy in the bottom photo is Derek Warburton of Derek Loves Shopping fame – he's here from New York as one of the VIP international delegates.

#1504 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – Jae Mills Day 3

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Caught outside the Black Box/Stolen Girflriends Club predrinks this evening, designer Jae Mills wears a Zambesi coat, Chronicles of Never cardigan and shoes, Claude Maus pants and a Friedrich Gray tee shirt. "Don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."

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#1503 Nom*D does live theatre

Jasper Seven and Dempsey Stewart.

Did I understand Nom*D's live theatre extravaganza last night? Not entirely, but nevertheless, a dramatic presentation complete with kissing, live singing (courtesy of the beautiful Rebekah Davies), fisticuffs, food fights, smokey rituals and story time on a bedspread made from vintage knickers is certainly one way to grab the audience's attention. Speaking with ginger-haired model Peter David after the show, I asked what it was all supposed to mean. His reply: "I don't know really, I think they just wanted to mess with people's heads." Consider it done. Oh, and that smashed up car was super neat.

#1502 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – Jordan and Anouk Rondel Day 3

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Snapped at the Twenty Seven Names afterparty, Jordan Rondel wears a Lonely Hearts cardigan, Nom*D tee shirt, Skylark jeans and Chloe shoes. "I felt like being a little dark today."

#1501 Twenty Seven Names' back to school special

Lauren M and Ella Verberne backstage before the show. Photos: Katherine Lowe

Those transitioning years from primary to high school can be awkward for a kid, but Twenty Seven Names claimed them as inspiration behind their Fall 2011 offering. "It was 1996, we'd just started high school and there were all these different groups of girls all over the place," said designer Anjali Stewart after the show. "We were remembering how badly we used to dress but we wanted to try to do all those clothes again." Split into five sections, the collection represented a broad cross section of 90s high school subcultures. It started with the thrift shoppers, who'd run about in little lace dresses and grandma knit cardigans. Then there were the rich girls in their preppy blazers trimmed with collegiate crests. Indie, Winona Ryder types walked out in self-consciously ugly-cool floral-print dresses in a peculiar shade of raspberry red – with matching backpacks to boot.

#1500 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – Atip Wananuruks Day 2


Snapped outside the Alexandra Owen show, stylist Atip Wananuruks wears Nike shoes, Simon Miller jeans, Retro Superfuture glasses, a black jacket, Huffer scarf and hooded sweater. "Urban camouflage."

#1499 Alexandra Owen and her chesterfield quilting

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Alexandra Owen has asserted herself at the forefront of the upcoming Kiwi designers. Her architectural eye and technical expertise (coupled with the fact that she's making real life high fashion), makes Owen an exciting talent to watch. Her collection tonight appeared to have been inspired by a chesterfield couch – or at the very least it was a study in quilting. It started in a dress, but swiftly morphed into a coat buttoned like the aforementioned sofa, and even trousers with fully quilted front panels. Sleeves were tucked, draped and folded, and ballooned at strange angles. It's perhaps not the easiest range to wear, nor is it the most accessible, but there's no doubt the clothes are intelligently designed and painstakingly created. And Owen did manage to breathe new life into stale pieces like a lady's business skirt (the Alexandra Owen version was quilted and paired with a sheer blouse). Mark my words, this designer will go far, but maybe not in her home country. The European market will appreciate her talents far more than New Zealand ever will.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

#1498 WORLD sure knows how to put on a good show

Emily Theyers backstage at WORLD. Photos: Katherine Lowe

Held at the aptly titled Great Room inside the Langham hotel on Symonds Street, WORLD did what no other brand this week has done so far – they sat us down in comfort for a heavenly half hour, fed and watered us, then knocked our socks off with one hell of an explosive show. Attempting to explain the clothes would be a futile enterprise – the pictures speak far louder than words ever could. WORLD labels themselves a factory of ideas and experiments, and like all experiments, some work, while others blow up in your face. Crowd pleasers included a series of clear plastic blazers and trench coats worn over fluro pink anoraks and fair isle sweaters; and three uber-camp Diana Ross-era gowns in cobalt, magenta and sunflower yellow that flew down the runway. They're unabashed in their extroverted WORLDliness, and their brand of no-holds-barred fashion takes a lot of guts. Sure it might be veer into ludicrous territories at times, but we're lucky to have them here in New Zealand. Without characters like WORLD poking fun, we might all end up taking ourselves a little too seriously.

#1497 NZ fashion is seriously lacking some sheep

Evgeny backstage at NeverBlack. Photo: Katherine Lowe

We're known globally as the sheep capital of the world. Sure, Australia might actually have a higher sheep count, but per-capita, we beat them hands down. So why don't more of our designers utilise the incredible resource that is literally roaming around in our backyards? Emerging label NeverBlack did a whole series of shearling coats in their show this afternoon. Nothing beats shearling for warmth or style. Established designers follow suit. Sheep for the win!

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#1496 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – Jae Mills Day 2

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Jae Mills, after the NeverBlack show (and standing in the rain), wears a Commoners Alike long sleeve tee, jacket and scarf, Claude Maus pants and Beaucoops boots. "All Black Everything."

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#1495 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – Derya Parlak Day 2

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Derya Parlak after the Ruby show (in which she was modelling), in a vintage fur jacket, Lonely Hearts dress and Pedro Garcia boots. "It was all thunder and rain at 6:30am for Ruby – a possum jacket seemed the warmest thing to put on straight after bed."

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#1494 Jimmy D's Goth Army

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Bless James Dobson, for he has sinned. It's been five long years since his last Jimmy D show. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not like he's been frittering his time away willy nilly; there have been a few developments in all those years off – most importantly Children of Vision, the K' Road store he started with best friend Vicky Chan. Today's show heralded his return: James Dobson is back. He showed a layered gothic collection with draped tee shirting over sweatshirting over silk georgette over wool voile, and his girls wouldn't have looked out of place in a 90s Marilyn Manson video. But don't let the complicated styling fool you, there were some very wearable moments in the mix.

#1493 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – Anouk and Jordan Rondel Day 2

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Snapped outside Ruby this morning, Anouk Rondel wears a Cos shirt, Asos jeans, Chloe Sevigny by Opening Ceremony loafers and a Uniqlo sweater. "It's nice and crisp for a crisp morning."

#1492 Ruby for the win!

Derya Parlak backstage. Photos: Katherine Lowe

Ruby had its beginnings in casual sportswear: think cotton pants, hooded sweaters and cute printed tees. This morning, in their first ever outing at New Zealand Fashion Week, the brand showed just how far they've come since those early days. Over the past couple of seasons Ruby has gained a lot of momentum by way of the blogosphere – their particular version of fun, on-trend womenswear is a hit among the personal style girls. Methinks this collection will go even further. Filled with vivid colours – a forest green that would've made Robin Hood's Merry Men proud; and patterns – everything from a box check to a diamond grid, the show was a joy to watch. For the tomboys, there was a hunting and hiking vibe in woolen coats paired with check shorts, and flannel-look shirts beneath sturdy quilted vests. Girly girls will enjoy the short skirts, sheer floor length pleated dresses, and fine knits with pandas printed on the front. And I don't care how a young lady dresses, every female in this country should get one of their woollen coats.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

#1491 Zambesi – Athletics Inc

Dayne Johnston with Jasper Seven. Photos: Katherine Lowe

"Athletics, French sailors and the campus," declared Zambesi Man designer Dayne Johnston after his show tonight, "Those were our influences." Three quite disparate ideas, but Johnston managed to combine them to create his most cohesive collection to date. The boys' makeup was war paint, inspired by the competitiveness of sports matches. Trouser cuffs and jacket collars were ribbed like a team's tracksuit, and a tee shirt that hung low at the back evoked a baseball catcher's. The collegiate strain could be found in simple outfits like a camel blazer paired with a sweater and shirt; and the French sailor appeared in a baseball jacket's shawl-collared ribbing – propped up to guard against chillly sea winds.

#1490 Retro futurism at Adrian Hailwood

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Hailwood was a mashup of so many retro looks, it was hard to take it all in at once. There were the Canadian tuxedos, the 70s wide leg pinstriped jeans paired with western shirts, the mustard tights and shaggy jackets. Stripy merino tees were cut and sewn together so that the lines went all over the place and polka dots were served up multicoloured. Adrian Hailwood has long been a master of graphic prints, and his pamplemousse (grapefruit) printed grey marle crewneck sweater was a winner. Giant black circles were fixed onto the front of his finale dress, closing a collection with no discernible theme, but plenty of visual stimulation – see below for multicoloured-striped tights and more.

#1489 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – Atip Wananuruks Day 1

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Atip Wananuruks, stylist and fashion editor of Remix Magazine, wears an ACNE beanie, Retro Superfuture glasses, Huffer scarf, Barbour jacket, Comme Play cardigan, Dover Street Market tee, Neuw pants and Nike shoes. "Colourful casual."

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#1488 Kathryn Wilson – These boots were made for walkin'

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Shoes, shoes, shoes and more shoes. Plus leggy (with a capital L) ladies in leotards. Oh, and Michael Jackson on the soundtrack. Solid gold.

See them all below.

#1487 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – Derya Parlak Day 1

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Kiwi model Derya Parlak wears a Ksubi dress, Topshop cardigan and her stacked sneakers and bag are from Hong Kong.

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#1486 Cybele – The Wickerman

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Ever seen that horror film The Wickerman? Imagine a countryside pagan village, remote from any kind of civilisation, where burning victims at the stake is an acceptable form of capital punishment. Welcome to Cybele. A giant stake featured at the entrance to the catwalk, ready to burst into flames at a moment's notice – all it needed was a match. The collection was filled with beautiful floaty silks, long merino tee shirt dresses and scratchy woollen cardigans with asymmetric fronts and domed backs. Despite its lightness, there was something eerily wild about the show – sheerest silks had fiery orange fringes dancing off them and patent leather corset vests screamed confinement. Cybele's signature prints took the form of dissected flowers, repeated in a mirror-image pattern on silk tops and splashed on colourful pants like rorschach blots. The most interesting bit was a recurring diamond shape sewn into the front of an ankle length jersey dress – it looked like a dream catcher. This was Cybele at her best yet – sophisticated, cool, dark and challenging.

#1485 Sera Lilly's veritable piñata

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Like a Trojan Horse hanging from the rafters, a long white curtained box surrounded the models on the catwalk at Sera Lilly today, and in a long show encompassing 45 looks, it heralded what was to come: Lilly was not going to leave the runway without a fight. The designer went South o' the Border this season, looking to Mexico for inspiration. This meant a nod to the Day of the Dead festival, knitted ponchos, gothic hats, the whole piñata and more. There were moments of genius – Aztec knitted dresses and long skirts cut on the bias, and real shearling jackets that looked too good to be true. But those moments were outweighed by what was otherwise a rather heavy-handed collection: think leopard prints, feathers on a vest and loud floral dresses big on flounce and excess frill. Sera's sister Rachel closed in a black veiled gown, the most dramatic in the show. She was the perfect pale corpse bride, but she should have come out about 15 looks earlier. The collection was in desperate need of an edit – a catwalk show should always leave the audience wanting more.

#1484 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – Jae Mills Day 1


Jae Mills, designer of Commoners Alike, wears a Commoners Alike tee and scarf, Friedrich Gray denim jacket, Chronicles of Never jeans and shoes and Graz sunglasses. "Comfortable styles for the unpredictable weather!"

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#1483 Backstage at Starfish

The many faces of Dempsey Stewart. Photos: Katherine Lowe

Sadly I didn't manage to catch Starfish this morning (I was judging the Moet+Chandon Couture Challenge – watch Close Up tonight for plenty of hilarity), but Katherine got some great backstage shots while it was all happening. Check out Frockwriter for a full Starfish review and a video interview with designer Laurie Foon.

#1482 Good girls gone bad at Juliette Hogan

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Juliette Hogan has carved out a niche for herself as New Zealand's princess of prim – she's one of the few local designers who consistently espouses girly over grunge. It's a winning formula, perfect for lady-like lovelies in search of a full-length pleated skirt or a pastel blouse. But every now and again, even good girls wanna let their hair down and have some late-night fun. Hogan's offering for Fall 2011 was a conservative take on naughty; a model student's attempt at rebellion by sneaking out for a midnight soirée. Cute scalloped skirts came paired with cropped leather biker tops, Nana-knits had little holes perfect for a spot of peek-a-boo, and schoolmarmish houndstooth skirts were hitched well above the knee – très provocateur!

#1481 NZ Fashion Week Uniform Diary – Jordan and Anouk Rondel Day 1

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Day one at the shows, Jordan Rondel wears a Topshop coat, Jac and Jack cashmere sweater, Stolen Girlfriends Club jeans, Kate Sylvester boots. "It was cold."

Anouk Rondel below.

Monday, September 20, 2010

#1480 Dirty Work – my Sunday Magazine feature on the darker side of male modelling

Bruce Raubenheimer walking Zambesi F/W 2010 and Michael Whittaker walking Raf Simons S/S 2011. Photo: Sunday

Male models tend to be young and tall, with high, Slavic cheekbones and short back and sides that Sir Edmund Hillary himself would have been proud of. Jet-setters, they’re in New York one day, Paris the next; paid handsomely for their ability to sell clothes, an ideal of luxury and, by implication, a model lifestyle - an impossible dream of effortless beauty and sublime happiness. But here’s the reality: months on the road away from friends and family, apartments crammed six guys to a bedroom, pay rates that pale in comparison to that of their female counterparts. And then there are the creeps – predatory men who offer money and fame in exchange for sexual favours, and who have the power to kill careers if scorned. The drugs and drinks flow freely up the noses and down the throats of vulnerable boys barely old enough to drive. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle. If one says no, there’s always another waiting to take his place.

#1479 Jessica Clarke – cheesing at Calvin Klein

Photos: Sonny Vandevelde

17 year old Kiwi model Jessica Clarke has good reason to be smiling – nothing tastes quite so sweet as a Calvin Klein exclusive in New York. Except, perhaps, following it up with a back-to-back exclusive in Milan. According to sources, Clarke flew straight to Milan from New York, to meet with designers. Can the teenager from Palmerston North make it two exclusives in a row? Here's hoping... It's about time us New Zealanders got a slice of the top model pie.

More shots below.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

#1478 Meet the top internationals in town for New Zealand Fashion Week

Samantha Harris. Photo: Chic Management

New Zealand Fashion Week is almost upon us! Only two more sleeps before the shows, the parties, the after-parties and the madness begins. It's gonna be fun. Unlike the big fashion weeks overseas, we don't have the pleasure of having hundreds of international models swarm our fair city hoping to score that career-making exclusive show. Nor do we have the Russell Marshes, the Calvin Kleins or the Pradas with the clout to launch them internationally. Nevertheless, every year anywhere between five and 15 foreign girls do make the trip over to Auckland. We've had some pretty big names in the past – even Abbey Lee Kershaw gave it a go back in 2006 (about two or three years before she became The Abbey Lee Kershaw as we know her today). This year is no exception – by my count there are about 10 internationals in the city.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

#1477 The Boys and Girls of New York Fashion Week by Justin Wu



Remember Justin Wu? He's the guy who made that hilarious Boys of Paris Fashion Week film from the menswear season just gone. When that one came out I said I couldn't wait to see what he did with the girls during fashion month. I was picturing all sorts of crazy antics... Natasha Poly freestyling, Sasha Pivovarova doing the robot – the possibilities were endless. In a feat of lightning fast editing, his New York Fashion Week video has just been released, and it is literally about a billion times better than expected.

Friday, September 17, 2010

#1476 Kiwis rejoice – Jessica Clarke just scored herself the Calvin Klein exclusive

Jessica Clarke on the CK catwalk. Photo: Calvin Klein Facebook

Kiwi model Jessica Clarke has just achieved what no New Zealander has achieved before: She walked the Calvin Klein exclusive. Pre-New York Fashion Week, the 17 year old Palmerston North native was tipped as one to watch by top casting director Ashley Brokaw, who called her, "Classic supermodel material from New Zealand." Clarke's own New Zealand based agent, Marama Nicholas at Clyne, told me a lot of work had gone into preparing her for this first season.
"The last two years have been spent grooming her for this season, we've been prepping Jessica in a very specific route to get her where she is."
Well friends, it looks like the past two years have paid off. An exclusive turn on the Calvin Klein runway is the most prestigious booking a model can get at New York Fashion Week, so with London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks to come, we can expect plenty more excitement for Jessica Clarke. GO THE KIWIS!

[via Frockwriter]

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

#1475 Best in show – Marc by Marc Jacobs

Photos: NYMag

Marc Jacobs got his Marc by Marc menswear seriously right this season. His inspiration appears to have been schlubby late 1950s – early 1960s career-men who dressed conservatively, worked long hours and enjoyed a solid round of tenpin bowling on a Friday night; namely, the antithesis to TV's hyper-glamourised Mad Men. In Jacobs' hands the workers' boring (not to mention ill-fitting) officewear suddenly appears covetable – short pants belted low with mini paper bag waists feel modern, proper width ties trump their skinny and ubiquitous counterparts, and check suits in all manners of dull shades look fun. He even managed to make an attractive harrington jacket – in my opinion, that's a feat of design genius. Next to all those gormless khakis, greys, beiges and charcoals, the colourful Marc by Marc Jacobs signature quirks pop, like little red polka dots on a white shirt, a luxury orange fanny pack on a pair of walk shorts and some bossy leather belts in teal, red and navy. Best menswear I've seen all week. Superb casting too – that's Kiwi Aiden Andrews in the shot above.

All the rest below.

#1474 Model Perspective #5 – Live from the V Magazine Party

Chris with Nicola Formichetti

New York Fashion Week's not all shows, castings, model apartments and waiting around – there are also the obligatory parties that simply must be attended. These photos come from the V Magazine party, which Chris told me was the most amazing that he'd ever been to. Click below for more photos from the party, including Chris with photographer Mariano Vivanco, Vogue Editor at Large Hamish Bowles, plus Leighton Meester (who looks none too pleased to be having her photo taken) and a few other familiar faces.