Tuesday, May 31, 2011

#1853 Making the most of winter with Zambesi Man (and Raf Simons)

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Auckland is the worst in winter. It rains every day of the week, it's chilly and damp and yet still not actually cold enough to wear proper winter clothes. Regardless of that, I took a trip to the Zambesi Man store on Teed Street in Newmarket this morning to try on some winter outfits. The new Raf Simons collection has arrived, and includes some very cool knitwear with giant luxury wetsuit zippers down the back and shoes with elastic straps; and the Zambesi suits and coats are fantastic for something a little different from the business norm – I've got one coming in grey. You might notice the sullen expression on my face in these photographs – this god damn rain is bringing me down! I cannot wait for hot weather.

Monday, May 30, 2011

#1852 The Model Agency is the greatest fashion reality TV show ever created

Julia Nobis and Bambi Northwood Blyth – both repped by Premier in London. Photo: tfs

Are you up to date with Entourage, Californication and The Office? Me too. It sucks. Gossip Girl has wrapped for the summer with a melodramatic and ridiculous finale, and I'm still waiting on that second season of Freaks and Geeks. So yesterday I was flicking through the Watch Series website, trying to find something new to entertain me on a Sunday morning, when I came across a show named The Model Agency. I clicked on it, and immediately became obsessed. Filmed in the weeks leading up to fashion month in September last year, it's a fly-on-the-wall look at the real-life, everyday goings-on at one of London's top agencies, Premier. Recognise the name? Not only do they represent stars like Julia Nobis, Baptiste Giabiconi, Hannah Holman and Bambi Northwood Blyth, but founder Carole White was the woman who told a war crimes court last year that Naomi Campbell had lied about the nature in which she received blood diamonds from ex-Liberian president Charles Taylor.

Friday, May 27, 2011

#1851 The facts of life – birthday edition

Photo: The Hangover Part 2

1. I saw The Hangover Part 2 last night, and these are my thoughts: it was way funnier than the first film; Ken Jeong steals the show every time he opens his mouth, and has the smallest penis I've ever had the pleasure of seeing on the big screen; that facial tattoo is my worst nightmare; lady-boys look way more like ladies than boys; I need to go to Bangkok immediately.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

#1850 Emily Baker debuted at number 31 on the models.com top 50 list

Photo: Vogue China

Modelling is one of those jobs where validation is everything – it comes in the form of booking editorials, shows and campaigns; making a distinctive mark on the blogosphere; and getting invited to designers' private super-yachts. The culmination of all of the above is appearing on models.com's top 50 ranking system. It's a big deal: models.com is the unofficial authority on the entire industry, and nothing goes down without its masterminds knowing about it first. So with all that in mind, massive congratulations go to 17 year old Matamata native Emily Baker, who has just debuted at number 31 on the models.com top 50 list, making her the first New Zealand female model to have ever been ranked. Besides that extraordinary breakout show season – Baker walked 60 shows, including Prada, Calvin Klein and Chanel – the Kiwi model has appeared in a beautiful Vogue China editorial, and there is a lot more to come.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

#1849 Katie Lockhart's house is cooler than yours

Photos: The Selby

It should come as no surprise that interior designer, Karen Walker-collaborator and proprietor of online knick knacks store Everyday Needs Katie Lockhart has an exceptionally cool house. Lockhart's living quarters were shot by Todd Selby when he was in town, which is awesome for two reasons: no house is more fascinating than an interior designer's house; and it answered the question that has been bugging me for quite some time – yes, Katie Lockhart does indeed place vases, birds' nests and tomatoes in simple yet genius arrangements on her kitchen shelves, just like in the editorials she styles. The other burning question on my mind is whether or not she takes off her jacket, sweater and scarf and dumps them on (or off) her bed at the end of the day like the rest of us, but due to the impeccable nature of the photos below, that one will just have to be left to the imagination. For the record, I'd hazard a guess at no.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

#1848 Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong

Corinna Studier in front of the Duomo, Milan.

Plans change: Not always when we want them to or how we want them to or why we want them to, but that's life. Due to specific US visa requirements around working for American companies, I'm not heading to New York next month like I'd hoped I would. That's not to say that it won't happen at all, but it won't happen right now. A wise man recently told me, "If you're standing still, you're going backwards." So with that in mind, after wallowing in a pool of self pity for a few days, I jumped online and booked a flight out of town. Auckland - Singapore - Paris - Milan - Paris - Singapore - Auckland. 26 days away, two fashion weeks (Milan and Paris menswear), European summer. When all else fails, there's nothing like a blast on the show circuit to get your head back in the game. Woody Allen said it best: 80% of success is showing up.

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#1847 Rodd and Gunn wants YOU to front their new ad campaign

Rodd and Gunn's new High Street concept store. Photos: R&G Facebook

Gentlemen: Are you ruggedly handsome? Particularly photogenic? A real man's man? Ladies: Do you have what it takes to be the other half in an international menswear campaign? If you answered yes to any/all of the above, Rodd and Gunn wants you. The Kiwi retailer is currently on the search for a guy and girl to front their next advertising campaign, shot by Derek Henderson in Turkey of all places. "We are not necessarily after the traditional model look," says Mike Beagley, Managing Director of R&G. "R&G is for real men and that’s who we want representing our brand; a guy with rugged good looks and of course a gorgeous girl to match him." Here's what you've got to do – be 18 years or older, and upload a photograph of yourself to the R&G Facebook page. It's that simple. Entries close 10 June, and finalists will be announced 17 June. Best of luck.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

#1846 The new Isaac Likes sweaters and tees go on sale today

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Back in August last year, I put my money where my mouth was and got in the grey marle crewneck sweater game. The result was SHAWTY WANNA THUG? – the very first piece of Isaac Likes branded clothing, designed in collaboration with Katherine Lowe. Following in its footsteps, we're proud as punch to present the second Isaac Likes sweater: THUGGED OUT SINCE CUB SCOUTS. This time around we've gone a little bigger – with multiple colours (maroon/white and blue/white), a bunch of tee shirts and a SHAWTY WANNA THUG? reissue. All the sweaters will be available in real life exclusively at Area 51, and online at the all new Isaac Likes Store. HOLLA!

Friday, May 20, 2011

#1845 Zambesi's summer collection is filled with uncharacteristically bright colours

Photos: Marissa Findlay

Zambesi is a label that I associate with the Henry Ford approach to dressing: you can have any colour you want, as long as it's black. With that in mind, the spring 2011 men's collection is the most colourful Zambesi offering to date; filled with – dare I say – vibrant hues like magenta, orange, sky blue and even a technicolour vintage floral print from way back in the house archives. What brought about this uncharacteristic shift? "The bright colours were picked because we liked them," says designer Dayne Johnston. "I was influenced by utilitarian/army surplus and the fabric selections I made with Elisabeth Findlay... We never really begin with a concept, each collection always begins with fabric."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

#1844 Stolen Girlfriends Club's Luke Harwood is moving to New York to crack the American market

Luke Harwood. Photo: Zara Mirkin

The three men behind Stolen Girlfriends Club serve three quite different roles: Marc Moore is the charismatic, man-about-town designer; Dan Gosling is the business brain with his fingers in multiple pies; and Luke Harwood is the branding guru whose job it is to steer the ship and manage relationships with retailers, agents and distributors. Harwood is about to undertake his biggest challenge thus far: setting up Stolen Girlfriends Club's first ever international showroom – in New York City – and attempting to take the brand to the next level in what is potentially the largest market for their type of clothing in the entire world. I sat down with Harwood to discuss his plans for New York, the current state of Stolen Girlfriends Club's US business, the costs and challenges involved, and most importantly, how to make it in America. Here's what he had to say.

#1843 Karen Walker's new store Playpark will house a rocket ship and a jungle gym

Backstage at Karen Walker Fall 2011/12. Photo: Katherine Lowe

Karen Walker's Newmarket store is about to go from quite big to really, really big, in the form of a 200 metre-plus expansion named Playpark – achieved by knocking down the Southern wall and taking over the recently-emptied space next door. "We were running out of space in Newmarket, and there are a lot more brands that we want to sell," says Karen Walker's husband and creative director Mikhail Gherman. "There are about 15 or 20 brands that have been lurking in the background that have a relationship with us either through us being friends with the designers or just admiring what they do."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

#1842 August Models owes a lot of models a lot of money

Top model Alice Burdeu (repped by August in New Zealand). Photo: tfs

Many of you would have seen the story that Campbell Live ran last Friday about Tay Lee, the young student who booked a job through August Models some two years ago, and never received payment. Despite calling, emailing and stopping by the office multiple times, Lee says the $300 remained unpaid. But that $300 is just a drop in the ocean, according to industry insiders. I've been contacted by three models in the past 10 days: Two internationals who were placed with August in 2009 and 2010 are both owed upwards of $4000 each, despite their respective agencies repeatedly attempting to get the money; and another model, based in Australia, is owed $2000. Bookers from other agencies – while quick to say that it's an incredibly hard market out there – have denounced August's actions as making the entire industry look unprofessional.

Monday, May 16, 2011

#1841 The boys behind Black Box have started an online store named White Box


Dan Gosling at Black Box has a lot of strings to his bow: retailer, The Department Store co-founder, distributor of brands like Moscot, Ksubi and Insight at Stem and one third owner of Stolen Girlfriends Club. His new project is White Box, an online store specialising in price-pointed brands from Australia, USA and Scandinavia. White Box launched online this week and offers a tightly-edited selection of goods at this stage, but Gosling tells me it's soon to expand, with New Zealand brands, collaborations and crazy international scavenger hunts to come. Shipping in New Zealand is free, and here's a special offer for Isaac Likes readers: type the promo code ISAACLIKES in to receive a free Insight singlet with any purchase. Holla!

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

#1840 Appearing on The Erin Simpson Show



A couple of weeks ago, Katy Thomas from The Erin Simpson Show interviewed me for a spot on fashion blogging. This was my first foray into kids' TV and I was a little nervous about how it would go down. My initial fears were well-founded – the director asked me to pretend I was catwalking and vogueing for the camera (which I did to the very best of my limited abilities), but I'm quite pleased to say that none of it made the final cut. The rest of the morning was spent chatting with Katy and roaming the backstreets of Newmarket to find well-dressed people. Special thanks to Emma at Area 51 and Mark at Zambesi Man for being such good sports, and to Katy and the Erin Simpson team for having me on the show. Note to self: being asked to describe one's blog in three words does not give one liberty to use six or more words. Even the youngest kids know that.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

#1839 Emily Baker is scared of nothing, because she's a Kiwi

Emily Baker for Vogue China. Photo: tfs

Another day, another win for upwardly mobile Kiwi model Emily Baker. The 17 year old upstart was profiled on New York Magazine’s The Cut this morning, and, proving she hasn’t let success go to her head, she took the opportunity to thank her family straight off the bat, and kept tight-lipped about upcoming campaigns..

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

#1838 The facts of life

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Photo: Katherine Lowe

1. Sherie Muijs makes an extremely strong case for mustard yellow pants in her new collection, presented yesterday at Hotel DeBrett. It may well have something to do with the pants being an excellently boyish fit, and the way in which they perfectly exemplify the cropped and hemmed leg I'm enjoying so much right now. Either which way, wear them with roman sandals, as evidenced above, and you'll be sitting pretty come summer.

#1837 26 year old Dan Ahwa has replaced Alice Rycroft as the fashion editor of Canvas

Alice Rycroft and Dan Ahwa. Photo: Katherine Lowe

There are a couple of well-placed jobs in the New Zealand fashion media that very rarely change hands: editor in chief of Fashion Quarterly, fashion editor of Viva, fashion editor of Sunday, and fashion editor of the Weekend Herald's Saturday lifestyle pullout Canvas. The latter position has been held by Alice Rycroft for the past six years, but the veteran stylist quietly departed some weeks ago to take over fashion editorship of ACP's Next Magazine. Replacing Rycroft at Canvas is 26 year old stylist (and wearer of good duffel coats) Dan Ahwa, whose portfolio includes shoots for Harpers Bazaar, Fashion Quarterly and Elle Mexico; show styling for Salasai, Sera Lilly and Jaeha; and commercial work for Hallensteins and Calvin Klein Jeans. Fantastic to see a bit of young blood in the mix, here's hoping he'll inject a bit of much-needed youth and vitality into the Weekend Herald. Ahwa has shot his first lot of images for the newspaper, which will appear in print in three weeks' time. Best of luck to him.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

#1836 Billy Apple barters for his bespoke tailoring


If a famous artist, let's say Picasso, was to walk into your store and say, "Listen, I want to buy this here thing, but I've got no money. How's about I just scratch out a little dove on a piece of paper, sign my name on it and call it a day?" You'd be well advised to nod, give the man his goods and send him on his way. Artist Billy Apple has been bartering to pay the bills for years. In 2005 he famously exchanged an artwork for legal services performed by Minter Ellison to the tune of $100,000 (the work explicitly stated its own value). Another exhibition, I'm told, involved the artist signing household bills that collectors snapped up at face value – if a power account had $359.81 owing, that's how much the artwork cost. (A friend of mine has a $170 Billy Apple speeding ticket.) Kiwi tailors Crane Brothers are the latest recipients of Apple's attentions. Murray Crane began making clothes for the artist's retrospective exhibition held in London last year, and in payment, Apple created BESPOKE A barter between Billy Apple and Crane Brothers. Why beat around the bush?

Monday, May 9, 2011

#1835 Are New Zealand designers giving the consumer value for money?

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Do you know what I like about Australians? They tell it like it is. If they've got an opinion about something, they'll say it out loud, and they'll put their names to it. (New Zealanders always want to be quoted anonymously.) On Saturday, one day after Rosemount Australian Fashion Week had wrapped, The Australian published a piece quoting Vogue editor Kirstie Clements and Australian Fashion Week founder Simon Lock saying that the local industry was in dire straits. The problem? According to Lock, "People want to come to fashion week and find things that are different to what they see in Europe and North America." Judging from the majority of the fashion seen last week, most of the designers had spent their summers studying the European and North American collections a little too closely. For the record, Raf Simons at Jil Sander should feel mighty proud for having influenced so many of them.

#1834 Todd Selby shot Fast and Loose owner Charlotte Rust's house for The Selby

Photos: The Selby

It's a given that anybody who owns a vintage store is going to also own a whole bunch of awesomely hoarded stuff, that when put together in precisely the right combination of ways, will make a crazy eclectic house. Meet Charlotte Rust: Fast and Loose owner, hoarder of awesome stuff. Just six days after the announcement that Rust's well-loved thrift store Fast and Loose was closing down, Todd Selby uploaded photos of her house to his well-loved blog The Selby. As you'd expect, it's a hipster's fantasy: a bed above the kitchen sink, candles melted into the dining table, its own rooftop, porcelain Bambis by the dozen and a taxidermic turtle. In the interview, Rust shares her favourite op shop scores, which include a large ceramic leopard, a Thierry Mugler dress and a 1950s papier-mache cow head. Fellow Aucklanders Karen Walker and Gidon Bing have also had their houses appear on the blog since Todd Selby was in town.

#1833 Derek Henderson is shooting a book of nude photographs with Zippora Seven

Photo: Derek Henderson

Photographer Derek Henderson has only felt negative media attention once: over a shoot he did with then-16 year old Zippora Seven for Russh Magazine in 2008. In the offending photograph, Seven is depicted naked in a bath alongside model Levi Clarke, with four champagne bottles in the foreground. At the time, Seven's agent Priscilla Leighton-Clark said, "Had I known it was to be a topless shoot, (Seven) would never have done it." Three years later, Henderson is still spooked. "We were emulating those famous photographs of Johnny Depp and Kate Moss. We'd done the research and had all these images printed out, and we were just trying to capture that energy. I had reporters calling me every day and cameras following me when I was walking down the street with my daughter. I didn't know what was going to happen." The magazine was eventually let off the hook by the Australian Literature Classification Board, the issue experienced record sales numbers and Henderson and Seven continued to work together. And now they're teaming up once again; this time for a book of nude photographs.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

#1832 Hanging with Robert Pattinson in the Koru Lounge

Photo: Katherine Lowe

I'm just hanging with my mate Robert Pattinson in the Air New Zealand Koru Lounge before flying back home to Auckland. What are you up to today?

I LIKE YOU!

Friday, May 6, 2011

#1831 My Australian Fashion Week outfit diary

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Day 1.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

#1830 Stolen Girlfriends Club say it with flowers

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Stolen Girlfriends Club designer Marc Moore was understandably a little freaked out in the lead up to the show. The brand's first ever shoe collaboration with Jeffrey Campbell hadn't turned up from China, and options were limited. A plan was hatched: shoes from the recent supermarket show were urgently couriered over from New Zealand, and sandals that they'd designed were given an extra boost in the form of paint, glitter and giant creeper soles. Another collaboration was unveiled tonight: the team's first with fine artist Karl Maughan. Shorts, shirts, dresses and pants came printed with the painter's signature floral scenes.

#1829 Dion Lee's collection was mind-bogglingly complex

Photos: Katherine Lowe

There's no denying Dion Lee's visionary design talent. One look at any of his origami-fold dresses or precision-cut suits is enough to leave most experts scratching their heads. I'm no expert and eight hours later I'm still scratching mine. Wearing any of the outfits seen today would require a fairly extreme level of personal style. Perfect for those who've got it, but pity the fool who tries and fails. One can only hope the Australian buying public appreciates his efforts – typical Sydney fashion this ain't.

#1828 Camilla and Marc was the hardest show to get into all week

Photos: Katherine Lowe

As a fashion designer, you can't ask for much more than to have teams of show-goers queuing for an hour-plus just to get a chance to view your latest collection. So it was at Camilla and Marc last night, where PR agent extraordinaire Holly Garber ruled the entrance with an iron fist, turning away ticketless hopefuls, and forcing GAs (General Admittance invite holders, such as myself) to stand clear of incoming power-editors and Sydney celebrities. One young girl approached Garber toting her RAFW delegates' pass. "That's not actually an invite to this show," said Garber. "Nice try though!" Two middle-aged women tried their luck, attempting to use the same name to get in. "So your name's Wendy?" she said to one. "And your name's Wendy too?" she said to the other. "So you're both Wendy? Yeah, I don't think so."

#1827 Jae Mills is taking Commoners Alike global – one country at a time

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Jae Mills and I have been friends for a long time, born of a shared love for streetwear initially, and higher end fashion more recently. But in the past few years, our tastes have changed dramatically; mine towards conservative tailoring, sweaters, suits and uniform dressing; his towards avant-garde, conceptual menswear, drapery and the colour black. Commoners Alike is Mills' one year old label, specialising in conceptual, draped, and avant-garde price-pointed basics. Despite our often conflicting aesthetics, I'm a giant fan of his work, and so, it would seem, is the buying public. In Commoners Alike's first year of business, it had a near 100% sell-through at retail, staggering for any brand let alone a start-up.

#1826 Alice McCall showed dresses printed with patterns that looked like Blue Willow porcelain

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Remember when you were young and you made your toast in the morning and you went to put it on that blue and white patterned plate because it was the biggest one and it caught all the crumbs when you were meticulously applying the butter? And your mum came along and said, "Don't use that, it's the Blue Willow. That's for guests only." Well now you can go one step further and butter your toast in a Blue Willow-esque printed dress by Alice McCall. Rodarte may have done a similar number first, but I don't think a single item of clothing has made me so happy all week.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

#1825 Therese Rawsthorne, Amber and Thomas and Manning Cartell – the top nine looks of RAFW day two

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Last year Therese Rawsthorne wowed me and many others in the audience with both her show venue (a former train storage facility), and her breakfast (Sonoma muesli). This time around she chose a similar, albeit grungier site (an industrial warehouse), and a sweeter, albeit smaller breakfast (jam pastries). The garment offering was a blend of pretty dresses, which worked best when they covered up the models, as seen below, and graphic trouser/tee shirt combos, which absolutely ruled when paired with an actual log of wood backpack, as worn by Amanda Ware above. With a Twin Peaks soundtrack and neon light backdrop, Rawsthorne's show was one that made the early morning hike feel worthwhile.

#1824 Lisa Ho showed a tight, tailored collection of actual clothes at the Art Gallery of NSW

Skye Stracke. Photo: Katherine Lowe

Hats off to Lisa Ho – Australia's only designer to manage to show an entire range of summer clothing with no visible breasts, plunging-to-the-navel necklines or bikini bottoms/buttock cheeks masquerading as pants. Not to sound jaded-chic or anything, but real-life clothing can be a rare sight on the Sydney catwalks. Ho's show this morning, held at the spectacular Art Gallery of New South Wales, was a fantastic, tightly edited collection of mannish suits, cool dresses and colour blocked skirt, top and pants separates. Paced superbly, with at least eight girls on the 60 metre-long runway at a time, it was over as quickly as it began. There's something to be said for a designer who knows how to leave people wanting more. Best show of the week thus far.

#1823 Rene Vaile is good at colour blocking too


Rene Vaile decided to brighten things up this morning with a colour blocking look that almost rivalled his girlfriend's best efforts from earlier in the week. (He tells me she gave him the nod of approval before he walked out the door.) The Vogue Australia backstage photographer's outfit blended seamlessly with the colour blocking present at the Lisa Ho show – held at 9:00am at the Sydney Art Gallery – so he is literally pre-trend. (It's the new on-trend, haven't you heard?) For the record, his trousers and shirt are both old Commes des Garcons – the moral of that story is: buy well and it'll never go out of style. Also, he's a New Zealander. GO THE KIWIS!

#1822 Kate Sylvester showed her collection in a darkly-lit horse auction ring

Photos: Katherine Lowe

It was an ambitious move to show off-site a good 15 minute drive from the downtown RAFW venue, and one that could have resulted in a sea of empty seats. But Kate Sylvester's show site was well-populated when I arrived; filled with Australians and Kiwi compatriots, including designers Marc Moore and Luke Harwood of Stolen Girlfriends Club, Juliette Hogan and Sherie Mujis. Held at a horse stable in Randwick, we sat on tiered seats in the circular auction ring. Spotlights suspended from above flashed at random intervals, illuminating your seatmate for a split second before dancing in another direction. Sylvester favourite Julia Nobis opened, walking straight into the sawdust centre of the ring. She stood deathly still as moody spotlights hit her from every direction, then circled the pit, followed by dull light.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

#1821 Blake Headland gets excited when he sees his fabrics on the runway, streetstyle photographers get excited when they see him

Blake and Natalie Headland. Photo: Katherine Lowe

Blake Headland is a Sydney-based fabric merchant who specialises in quality cloths for high end designers. Some may recognise him as the current face of Bonds' Hoodie campaign, or from the pages of the most recent issue of Oyster, in which he features alongside workmate Elliott Serjeant. During the Bec and Bridge show yesterday, Headland sat quietly in his seat, until a particular shorts suit walked out on the runway. "That's our fabric!" he said, nudging his seatmates. "We sold them that one!" After the show, his particular brand of rugged workwear style proved enticing for the streetstyle photographers waiting outside the venue. A young guy snapped a few shots, then approached for outfit details. "Where's your jacket from?" he asked. "It's Ann," said Headland. The photographer looked at him blankly. Headland apologised. "Oh sorry, Ann Demeulemeester." The cloud of confusion passing over the blogger's face was immediately replaced by an all-knowing nod. "Ann Demeulemeester," he said. "Yeah, thought so."

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#1820 Meg Gray is good at colour blocking

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Vogue Australia Fashion Editor Meg Gray is a personal hero of mine. Anybody who can rock hot pink hair, year in and year out, and still look fresh is pretty much hands-down awesome. This week she's been hitting the Prada fairly hard – as seen above – and entertaining me to no end with her vibrant colour blocking. But best of all, she's the much lovelier other half of expat-Kiwi photographer Rene Vaile. (The perfect woman: good at colour blocking and attracted to New Zealand men.) Holla!

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#1819 Jaded-chic is the look du jour at RAFW

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Blame it on dress-fatigue resulting from the royal wedding, the death of Osama Bin Laden, cultivated nonchalance or a lack of exciting shows, but pretty much the only sentence I've heard anybody saying here at RAFW is, "Oh God, I'm, like, so over Fashion Week already." (Full disclosure: I'm personally having a bloody good time.) Jaded-chic looks best on young assistant fashion editors working on ACP, Hearst or News Limited titles, and often comes accessorised with bored facial expressions, first or second row yawning, constant phone-checking, leg-crossing and gripes about how at least last year they saw something new. Fashion Week isn't all pretty dresses and champagne parties y'know, the youngsters wanna get inspired!

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#1818 Stolen Girlfriends Club's show shoes haven't arrived in Sydney yet and Marc Moore is freaking out

Marc Moore on site at RAFW. Photo: Katherine Lowe

Stolen Girlfriends Club designer Marc Moore was nervously pacing the balcony at the Overseas Passenger Terminal yesterday, stopping every couple of seconds to look at his watch. His primary concern was the rental car that he'd parked down the road; specifically the metre that was about to run out in the next 10 minutes. The show that he was waiting to watch was looking unlikely to start within 20. "I'm freaking out man!" he said. Asked how preparations were going for his show, which takes place at 6:30pm on Thursday, he replied, "I'm freaking out about that too! We've done a shoe collaboration with Jeffrey Campbell and they still haven't arrived from China. They still haven't even finished making them yet! We're hoping they'll finish them overnight and post them out in the morning. Freaky!"

#1817 Lover, Flannel, Bec and Bridge and Arnsdorf – the top 10 looks of RAFW day one

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Lover celebrated 10 years in business this evening with a show that was big on flowing volume, pretty lace, dramatic red and innocent white. Add 10 years of campaign imagery, a cool projected video installation and a cast that included Julia Nobis, Myf Shepherd and Louise van de Vorst, and most agreed it was the best outing of the day.

Monday, May 2, 2011

#1816 Kiwi hairdresser Richard Kavanagh is leading three shows at RAFW and then keeping out of the way of young stylists

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Richard Kavanagh is the top ranking session stylist at RAFW. As a member of Guido's show team, the Kiwi hairdresser regularly works backstage for houses like Marc Jacobs, Prada, Miu Miu and Calvin Klein. Here in Sydney, he's leading three shows: Magdalena Velevska, Kooey and Arnsdorf, which walked this afternoon. "We wanted to capture the essence of a casually elegant woman who gets out of the shower, puts her hair in a wet bun and walks out the door," he said about Arnsdorf (see the photos above and below). The hair for Magdalena Velevska, he said, "Is like a complex mathematical equation. There's a ponytail, then about 8 sections of the hair braided and crossed over the back of the head. It's like science." Elaborate hair-ups aside, his most difficult task this week is keeping out of the way of enthusiastic young stylists. When asked how many other shows he'll be working on, he laughed. "I might try to help out on a couple, but the young hairdressers get so hands-on I feel like I'm just getting in their way!"

#1815 Anja Konstantinova is the shortest model at Australian Fashion Week

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Anja Konstantinova has a special honour - she is the shortest model at RAFW. The 164 centimetre Melbourne native has been doing the editorial rounds in Sydney, appearing in Oyster, Grazia and an online special for Fashion Gone Rogue, and she's about to do what few (if any) 5'4" girls have done before her: take a turn on the RAFW runways. To put her height into perspective, she is four centimtres shorter than Kiwi favourite Zippora Seven, and nine centimetres shorter than famed Australian Bambi Northwood-Blyth – all are represented in Sydney by Priscillas Model Management. It's rare to find a runway model standing shorter than 176 centimetres (5'9"). Often likened to a pint-sized Abbey Lee Kershaw, Konstantinova, who refers to herself as a "Pocket-rocket," had this to say for herself: "I'm doing it for the short girls!" More power to her.

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#1814 Tommy Ton arrived in Australia this morning and has already gone to work

Photo: Katherine Lowe

I've made no attempt to disguise the fact that I am an enormous Jak and Jil fan – Tommy Ton regularly takes photos that inspire me to buy potentially unnecessary items such as a floppy hat, a green blazer or a monogrammed leather satchel. But alongside his prowess with a camera, he's also a hell of a nice guy; I accost him outside shows on a regular basis and he always greets me with a smile. Ton landed in Australia from Los Angeles at 6:30am and was already shooting subjects when I saw him at 11:30am. What a trooper. He's one of four big international bloggers here for RAFW – Yvan Rodic (Facehunter), Phil Oh (Street Peeper) and Susie Lau (Style Bubble) are all in the house. Holla!

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#1813 Elliott Serjeant came to RAFW to look at all the hot girls

Photos: Katherine Lowe

Kiwi, fabric merchant, former Coshercot Honey and lead guitarist of Pineapple Head Elliott Serjeant was wandering around the RAFW venue this morning with one goal: "To look at all the hot girls," he said. Serjeant, who has had more stylistic overhauls than any young man I've ever known, is currently chanelling Dee Dee Ramone with his leather jacket/singlet/cropped jeans/Chuck Taylors combo. According to Serjeant, several pairs of his jeans have gotten the chop – a simple procedure that involves re-hemming the pants-leg above the ankle. I like it so much I'm going to try it myself the moment I get home. Look out for Pineapple Head – it's Serjeant's new band with former Coshercot Honeys/Brainslaves lead singer Sasha Carlson. Sounds like they're going to be big.