Sunday, July 31, 2011

#1947 James Goldstein is a professional enjoyer of life

James Goldstein.

Meet James Goldstein: leather connoisseur, NBA superfan, fashion week regular, professional enjoyer of life. I've had a small obsession with the man ever since I met him at the Rick Owens show in summer of 2009 – he wore a bright yellow Galliano jacket with a Warhol-esque banana applique on the back, leather pants and a python hat. He's one of those guys who's always there, but nobody seems to know his deal. Legend has it he made bank on real estate investments (some say he owned trailer parks); he is credited with being the highest spending fan in the NBA (attending over 100 games per season, courtside, though he doesn't support any particular team); and he owns a John Lautner-designed Los Angeles house that always seems to pop up in Hollywood movies. But ask him what his deal is, and he'll dodge the question like a pro. I got a couple of minutes with him before the Yohji Yamamoto show during Paris Fashion Week, and discussed his outfit, his love of Balmain jackets and his favourite bar in the city (snap: it's the same as mine).

Friday, July 29, 2011

#1946 I may have made a couple of girls cry during my New Zealand's Next Top Model appearance



Having seen the New Zealand's Next Top Model episode promo, my mum is feeling rather nervous about my appearance on the show tonight. "It's a hatchet job," she said. "They're going to make you look as nasty as they possibly can." The truth is, I was invited on the show to judge the girls' runway walks, and I undertook the task to the best of my abilities. If that meant upsetting a couple of model-hopefuls in the process then so be it. What's a little constructive criticism between people who've just met? The entire experience was as much of a good time as I imagined it would be – in between takes Colin Mathura-Jeffree and I horsed around on stage at the Skycity Theatre, ate fantastic sandwiches and took the opportunity to lecture the girls on the dos and don'ts of international modelling. At this early stage, if I was to pick favourites, the two that stood out miles above the rest were Rosanagh and Brigette. My money's on one of them to win. Check out my comments, below.

#1945 Zambesi's S/S 2012 campaign features two boys, a girl, and – gasp – colour

Photos: Marissa Findlay

In a fun little episode of life imitating art, I'm currently sitting in my chair, typing away, wearing the exact same shirt that David Kemp is wearing in the photograph above. I know what you're thinking – how is that a Zambesi shirt? It's so bright! The answer is simple my friends: S/S 2012 is the typically moody label's most colourful in 30 years of business. Shot here in campaign form by Marissa Findlay (daughter of Zambesi's founders Elisabeth and Neville), and featuring three platinum blondes (David Kemp, Joshua Skelton and Krystal Glynn), the collection takes on a sort of eerie, Star Trek uniform feel – particularly in the flesh-coloured looks below. Back in May when I spoke with menswear designer Dayne Johnston about the uncharacteristically vibrant hues, he said, "The bright colours were picked because we liked them." Can't argue with that.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

#1944 A dog ate Zippora Seven's passport

Zippora Seven, as shot by Dayne Johnston (on a disposable camera) at La Perle in Paris.

Losing your passport in a foreign country is not an ideal scenario. I watched it happen to a friend of mine a couple of years ago – he went into a kind of catatonic shock followed by hyper ventilation and later a full blown panic attack. The first I heard about Zippora Seven's predicament was a few nights ago when she called me up to ask if I would be the witness on her passport application. Here's what she told me: "I was walking to a casting for an American job when my roommate called me up. She said, 'I'm sorry, I have some really bad news. I just got home and found my dog with your passport. He ate it. Like, he actually ate it.'"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

#1943 Ovadia & Sons' S/S 2012 collection is great enough for Gatsby

Photos: Sartorially Inclined

The first time I remember hearing about Ovadia & Sons was three weeks ago today, on July the sixth, when GQ interviewed the designers/twin brothers for its 10 Essentials spot. Then one of those things happened where every time I turned around, I'd see their name. Needless to say I'm late to the party on this one, but I'm pleased to have arrived – the brand's offering for S/S 2012 is pretty close to my dream collection: the pants are slim and cropped with fat cuffs and a longer rise (nothing kills me more than men's pants with a short rise); the blazers are cut trim through the body with wide lapels and schoolboy short sleeves; and the colours are bold and look like they'd go with just about anything you could throw at them. That blue blazer below – dayamn. If Jay Gatsby was alive and well and living in 2012, I'm pretty sure that he'd be wearing Ovadia & Sons. Brought back to life by Leonardo DiCaprio later this year, who knows? Maybe he will be.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

#1942 Paris – a week in photos

Me and Caitlin Lomax in front of her apartment.

My Canon G11 was stolen a week and a half ago. Desperate times called for desperate measures, but all was solved when a friend tweeted that he was selling his camera (I told him I'd buy it and it's getting shipped over in the next couple of weeks); and when another friend showed me the photos he'd taken with a disposable camera in Paris. Disposable cameras: €5.50. One hour processing: €11. The difference between digital and film: Priceless. For everything else, there's photo booth. What follows is a week in real-life, hold-in-your-hand, printed-on-paper photographs.

#1941 The Beginning Of The End – Entourage season 8, episode 1, in review

Turtle, E and Johnny Drama. Absent: Vinnie Chase and Ari Gold. Photo: HBO

The greatest moment of Entourage season seven occurs in the closing minutes of the final episode: Vinnie mouths off one too many times to the wrong person – Eminem – and gets hooked straight in the jaw. It's a sweet pay off. I've always liked Vinnie, empathised with his character and enjoyed his successes; but last series, for the first time, I began to see what it was that every girl I ever debate Entourage with seems to see: the guy errs on the side of self-involved jerkdom all too often. It ends with him in hospital, bloodied up, angry and pointing the finger at anyone who'll listen: Sasha Grey, Johnny Drama and Ari, but most of all, at E. The deus ex machina arrives in the form of a police officer holding a bag of cocaine, and it's rehab time for Mr Chase. Season eight's promo promised plenty of action for one and all – E and Sloan broken up; Ari and Mrs Ari on the brink of divorce; Johnny Drama eclipsed on his own show by hooligan comedian Andrew Dice Clay; and Vinnie's last dash attempt at the big time. If you haven't yet seen the first episode, I suggest you stop reading now.

Monday, July 25, 2011

#1940 The facts of life

Photo: Unfashionable Sarah

1. One of the things I love most about travelling is how you're forced to become best friends with whoever you meet along the way. You're all thrown together in extraordinary circumstances and you end up becoming insanely intimate in an incredibly short amount of time. Can you imagine spending 18 hours a day for three weeks with your friends from back home? Of course you can't – you'd all kill each other. It's a dynamic that only works because there's no baggage or strings attached. And because you know the relationship has a finite shelf-life, you'll often get to know them better than your best friends and family – why hold back when it's all going to end? There's only one problem: when you meet those people down the track and try to relive the jokes, the fun times and the hilarious misadventures, you never can. It's a moment in time. Once it's gone, it's gone.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

#1939 ACNE's kitschy, incorrectly-labelled tourist sweaters are all kinds of awesome

Photos: The Fashionisto

Due in no small part to budgetary constraints (and the fact that my daily wardrobe is ascetic to say the least), I don't often watch the menswear shows and think, 'I am going to get me one of those shirts, suits or Hermes emerald green suede henley tees.' However, when a friend showed me ACNE's postcard sweaters from the Fall 2011 collection, I decided that in this case, the forbidden fruit must be tasted. I'm obsessed. It's a combination of the navy blue, maroon and grey marle colourways; the slim, cropped shape; and the amazingly kitschy, incorrectly-labelled tourist prints. I might even go so far as to get two – blue and maroon. Speaking of which, AS Colour are about to release a new navy box crew and a new maroon tee shirt, so Katherine and I are currently locked in ruthless negotiations over releasing a limited edition print run of THUGGED OUT SINCE CUB SCOUTS sweaters and tees. Holla! Keep an eye out.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

#1938 Tailored cargo pants are not a good time (so stop drinking the Kool-Aid)

Photo: Tommy Ton

Things have gone too far. This must be said: Tailored cargo pants, the likes of which every menswear blogger, American editor and post-heritage fashion junkie has been wearing for the past few months, is the most ridiculous looking trend* since Crocs. Cargo pants with a shirt, tie and blazer? Come on! I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. Most great menswear has military origins, but this might be the greatest army —> fashion fail of all time.

Friday, July 22, 2011

#1937 Vinnie Woolston plays himself in Hilfiger Denim's Spring 2012 campaign

Vinnie Woolston for Hilfiger Denim Spring 2012. Photos: The Fashionisto

If models can be typecast in much the same way as actors – ie Woody Allen and his self-imposed neuroses, Jackie Chan and his unassuming kung fu heroics, Owen Wilson and himself – then Vinnie Woolston is the perennial mischievous-yet-soulful street kid. By that I mean, whenever I see him in a denim campaign, he's so utterly believable in the role that you'd think he'd just strolled on set in his own clothes, hung out for a bit in front of the camera and then gone on his merry way. His Spring 2012 Hilfiger Denim campaign was just released today and if you look at the pictures I think you'll see what I'm getting at.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

#1936 Six degrees of separation in Stolen Girlfriends Club's Spring 2011 campaign

Photos: Derek Henderson for Stolen Girlfriends Club Spring/Summer 2011/2012.

Despite its 1,000,000 strong population, Auckland is a small town, and here's a prime example: Stolen Girlfriends Club's Spring 2011 campaign was released today, starring Penny Pickard, as shot by Derek Henderson. For those of you who don't know her, Penny Pickard is probably the closest thing we've ever had to a modern-day Kiwi supermodel (besides Emily Baker). To the best of my knowledge, she's appeared on more Fashion Quarterly covers than any other model, and she worked extensively overseas throughout the late 90s and 2000s. If we dug deeply enough we'd probably find that Derek Henderson shot her for her first ever job. But here's where it gets interesting: yesterday it was announced that Pickard had left her agency of the past decade, 62 Models and Talent, and would now be represented by N Model Management.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

#1935 The Photo Booth Diaries #2


Another day sans camera, another Photo Booth Diary. This is actually a photo boothed reproduction of an outfit shoot I did with my camera, specifically intended to show off the fact that I was wearing my Mark McNairys without socks. I've done it three times now; the first two I strolled around without a care in the world, the third time I gave myself blisters the size of 50 cent coins and had to borrow a poor girl's socks because I was bleeding on the inside of my shoes. That was Saturday night and I haven't attempted it again – besides gingerly walking around my apartment to take these pictures – due to the fact that the blisters haven't healed yet. So when they say that you should wear sockettes or loafer socks to achieve the sans sock look, believe them. In other exciting news, Entourage season eight starts in four days and have you seen Jerry Ferrara aka Turtle? The guy lost 50 pounds! That is some next level LDD ish.

#1934 A conversation about the menswear collections, filing on-the-go and touch-typing with Tim Blanks of style.com

Tim Blanks – a vision in Prada bananas.

Way back when I was still at university – years before I started coming to the menswear shows – I discovered the (now defunct) site men.style.com. I became a fanatical devotee – it was there that I first read Tim Blanks' reviews and marvelled at the way in which a writer could sum up a collection so succinctly in just a few paragraphs of text. About two years later I found out he was a fellow New Zealander, and I'd pinpoint that as one of the inciting incidents in my decision to pursue this writing hobby of mine as a career. I'd like to say that I didn't get starstruck the first time I met him, but that would be a bold-faced lie (I've gotten only slightly cooler over the past three years). On the final day of Paris Fashion Week, I cornered the man between the Paul Smith and Thom Browne shows to ask him a few questions for Gilt Manual. Here's what they didn't publish.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

#1933 The Photo Booth Diaries


You know what's harder than you'd imagine? Taking a full length outfit shot with your computer's webcam. But that's what it's come to here in Paris folks – city of lights, love, broken dreams and stolen cameras. But you know what? I'm going to rise to the challenge. For the next little while (until I find a replacement camera, photographer or both), I'm gonna do all my outfit posts with Photo Booth. Let's call them The Photo Booth Diaries. First up, a series with me wearing just about everything I packed – Crane Brothers pistachio green blazer, maroon Comme Play sweater, lilac Uniqlo oxford cloth button down and blue Crane Brothers pants. Why am I wearing so many layers (and mismatched colours) in the middle of European summer? Because it's 16 degrees outside, that's why. The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in Paris. True story.

#1932 And here's the full Boys of Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012 video



As teased on Friday, here's Justin Wu's latest all singing, all dancing male model extravaganza video, to the tune of A Little Less Conversation by Elvis Presley. Particular moments of note include the 21 second single shot intro featuring eight different models in one model apartment; the Bruce Lee ninja spinning-kick dude at 50sec (guy's got mad skillz); Paolo Roldan's toprock at 54sec (b-boys can spot b-boys a mile away); every time Adrian Cardoso comes on camera; Thiago Santos' L-kick at 2:07; Anthon Wellsjo's over the shoulder "Satisfy Me" at 2:17; capoeira at 2:31; Aiden Andrews' ukelele cameo at 3:08; and the superman flying shot at 3:18. I had lunch with Justin Wu yesterday and he told me that he asked each model if they had any particular talents during the casting sessions. As evidenced above, these boys are not just pretty faces. Congratulations to Justin on a job well done – here's to many more where that came from.

I LIKE YOU!

Monday, July 18, 2011

#1931 My whole world is falling apart


My camera was stolen on Friday night. It's my fault really, I left it somewhere I thought was safe and it obviously wasn't as safe as I thought it was and when I returned it was gone. Thus the Photobooth shot above. (And the pained expression.) But in possibly more distressing news, my favourite pair of beige pants that I have had repaired and patched a million times has an absolutely gargantuan hole in the knee, and I only have one other pair of pants here with me. To normal people this wouldn't pose much of a problem – they'd just head down to the closest shop and pick up a new pair. But I am not normal, and these are no ordinary trousers. They're made to measure to my exacting specifications by Crane Brothers in Auckland, and they're the only pants that I ever wear. But honestly – to be real for a minute – the camera being stolen is approximately seven times worse than the pants problem (in monetary terms, anyway). And I have no insurance. So pretty much what I'm saying is: GD it.

I LIKE YOU!

#1930 Caitlin Lomax shot Prada, and the upward trajectory continues

Photos: Vogue

One of the things that I find so endlessly fascinating about the fashion industry is how one minute a kid is walking down the street, minding their own business, and the next they're flying all around the world, walking shows for the top designers, shooting campaigns, attending the right parties and all that other good stuff. The end game isn't the exciting bit for me though, it's watching the process as it happens. It's not often as overnight a success story as you'd imagine (Lara Stone modelled for seven years before she became the Lara Stone, as we know her today), but when the ball starts rolling, there's no looking back. It's early days yet, but I'm pretty sure that Caitlin Lomax is poised for some of that greatness.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

#1929 Lawrence Schlossman: "Menswear dudes are nerds too, let's not get it twisted"

Photo: GQ

One of my favourite menswear bloggers (and a guy I feel proud to call an occasional email acquaintance) – Lawrence Schlossman aka L.A.S. aka SartoriallyInc aka HTTTGAP – was interviewed by GQ Eye a couple of days ago about Tumblring, hip hop and his own personal style philosophy: Anglo-Italian. Like the interview states, the guy gives a great sound bite, and here are a few of his best.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

#1928 Boys of Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012 – Exclusive Teaser Video



Start counting down the days, people: the tour de force that is Justin Wu (with a little help from his troop of all singing, all dancing models) is about to unleash a brand new short film on the world. This time around the vibe is classic rock'n'roll, and due to multi-billion dollar non-disclosure agreements, I can't say anything more than that. What I can reveal is that the new film was shot over the course of the Milan/Paris menswear shows: backstage, on the catwalk, behind the scenes, all over town, in studios and on aeroplanes. Mr Justin Wu was kind enough to share this exclusive teaser video with me, featuring Leebo Freeman, Francisco Lachowski, Paolo Roldan, the Sampaio twins, Noah Mills, Martin Langreve and Rael Costa. Are you excited? You should be! I've seen the final cut and it is possibly his best work yet. Only three more days till it launches on models.com. To whet your appetite, check out all his previous work, here. Holla!

I LIKE YOU!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

#1927 The facts of life – how to make friends in Paris edition

b Store Loves Liberty. Photo: Style Salvage

1. It's hard to make friends with Europeans! Since I've been in Paris, I've pretty much only hung out with New Zealanders and Australians. Somebody explain to me the process of becoming BFFs with the French because I am failing no matter how hard I try. (Therein may lie the problem – screaming "LET'S BE BEST FRIENDS!!!!" the first time you meet somebody might be a little off-putting.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

#1926 Swide interviewed me backstage at the D&G show in Milan



A few weeks ago when I was in Milan for the menswear shows, something happened that had never happened before: I was invited to the D&G show, taken backstage to meet Stefano Gabbana, introduced to the team (where famed hairdresser Guido sent a very special message to Kiwi Richard Kavanagh) and interviewed for Dolce and Gabbana's own social media platform Swide. The interview was conducted by Yigit (not his real name) – the guy behind Dolce and Gabbana's famed anonymous Twitter account IWORK4DG. We discussed social media – from going viral to the close relationship between editorial and e-commerce, advice for bloggers and whether or not I think the front row will ever change. The best bit about the video: they cut it with a heap of footage of both Rebecca Black and Justin Bieber. It honestly doesn't get any better than that. Check it out, above.

I LIKE YOU!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

#1925 Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony fame are Kenzo's new creative directors

Opening Ceremony Los Angeles.

The Kenzo menswear show is always a major highlight for me here in Paris, for several reasons: the clothes are wearable and totally up my alley; the invitations are awesome; the showmanship is amazing (one year they poured tonnes of sand onto the runway from about 50 hanging cauldrons, this season they made it rain bubbles); they gave me my first ever European front row seat (and for that, they'll always have a special place in my heart). Just this morning some big news was announced – creative director Antonio Marras is leaving the company, and Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony fame are taking over. According to Kenzo, the duo will split their time between Paris and New York.

#1924 The Selby shot Karen Inderbitzen Waller and Delphine Avril Planqueel at home in Auckland

Photos: The Selby

Remember when Todd Selby went to New Zealand earlier in the year to speak at The Department Store and shoot the spaces of Auckland's hipster elite? The jewel in the Aotearoa crown has just appeared on his blog – la maison de Karen Inderbitzen Waller et Delphine Avril Planqueel. I've had the pleasure of going to their house on a number of occasions, and it is incredible. If you ever get the chance, I'd recommend it just for the Crown Lynn collection, the wall-to-wall library of Vogue Italias or the pet rabbit Petit Gris. But there's so much more on offer: crazy collages, an intricate balsa wood village named Tiny Town carved by Planqueel, art that'll make your eyes pop out, toys, pinup girls, collectibles, Maori matryoshka stacking dolls and a duvet cover made entirely from vintage knickers. I'd even go so far as to say that it's the greatest house that's appeared on Selby's blog to date (I might be biased, but I think I'm right). For those of you who don't get the chance to see it in the flesh, enjoy the photos. They're almost as good as the real thing. Not quite, but almost.

#1923 It has recently come to my attention that I love Chloe Sevigny



It's not all that often that a video comes along and slaps you in the face with some comedy that makes you laugh so hard you think you're going to die. Zoolander did it for me, as did Anchor Man and Napoleon Dynamite, but it's been a while since anything really had me on the floor (ROFLing, I mean). That was until a week ago, when my French flatmate Tessa showed me the Chloe Sevigny series. Created by comedian Drew Droege, the Youtube shorts are a pastiche on the hipster/indie/scenester lifestyle that Chloe Sevigny epitomises. Taking on everything from the wonderment of toast to Oscars pre-party-preview-finalist-nomination luncheons to Mickey Avalon's neon loft on Avenue B to the spring collection of Rodarte (featuring undefinable silhouettes, bodice-hugging mud skirts and rusted razor belts); these videos have kept me laughing like a squealing newborn for days. Check them out. If anybody's interested in Droege's other work, he also plays the voice of a talking unicorn named Feathers in the webseries Planet Unicorn.

Monday, July 11, 2011

#1922 Emily Baker booked the Gucci Fall 2011/2012 campaign!


The Crusaders may have lost the Super 15 final to the Reds, the Silver Ferns may have lost the Netball World Cup to the Australians, but what does sport matter when New Zealand has its very own supermodel in the making? Emily Baker booked the Gucci Fall 2011/2012 campaign! Rumours have been flying for the past month or so about a big campaign score for the Kiwi 17 year old (who, just this week was not able to walk the Chanel Haute Couture show due to her under-18 age status), and when her DSQUARED2 campaign was released on Wednesday, many thought that was the one. But many were wrong. Behold: Emily Baker in all her glory as shot by famed photographic duo Mert and Marcus for Gucci's Fall 2011/2012 campaign.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

#1921 A Montparnasse Moment

Tour Montparnasse, as seen from my window.

I just went for a walk down the road to look for some dinner. I chose this half takeaway/half sit down kebab spot with picnic tables out the front, halogen lights and a fairly depressing atmosphere. Put simply, it was a dive, but I couldn’t say no to a five euro meal. As I was enjoying my double cheeseburger with fries, this homeless guy walked in. He was about 65 years old with olive skin, a big moustache, a dirty old baseball cap and ragged but semi-presentable clothes. He strolled right past me, tossing a “Bon appetit!” in my general direction and headed to the counter.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

#1920 The new Crane Brothers website looks anti-technological, old-fashioned and brilliant

Photo: Karen Inderbitzen Waller

Auckland boutique tailoring outfit Crane Brothers has a new website, and it is unlike any website I've seen before. I worked for Murray Crane for a number of years back in the mid-00s and he has extremely strong opinions about graphic design. His grandfather was a sign-writer, he is obsessive about fonts and typesetting, and he always favours a certain classic but punchy style of bold text on plain backgrounds, like the Crane Brothers logo itself. His new website manages to look old-fashioned, anti-technological, bookish and billboard-esque at the same time, and you can't stop clicking through it. I'm no expert when it comes to 1960s magazines, but I imagine that they were designed in a similar manner – all bold colours, giant titles and blaring pull quotes.

#1919 My sole acquisition in six weeks of travel is this little braided strip of leather


My motto is to own as little as possible so that if you need to leave somewhere quickly you can throw everything into a suitcase and run. Thinking I was incredibly clever, I way underpacked in the smarmiest way possible for three weeks in Europe, but the joke's on me on this occasion – I only have two pairs of pants, a couple of shirts, a few tees and two sweaters here in Paris. But to the point of this post: the only thing I've acquired since I left home is this friendship bracelet – it was given to me by Bryan Boy on my final day in Milan. I am supremely detached when it comes to personal possessions, but I've become quite attached to this little braided strip of leather. It hasn't left my wrist in three weeks. Who knows – maybe I'm getting sentimental in my old age. He aha te mea nui? He tangata. He tangata. He tangata.

I LIKE YOU!

Friday, July 8, 2011

#1918 A conversation about Givenchy, gay wedding-wear and jackets-as-capes with Bruce Pask of the New York Times

Bruce Pask, Men's Fashion Director at the New York Times and T Magazine.

Of all the editors and stylists who attend the shows, I'm pretty sure that Bruce Pask of the New York Times is the most inspiring to me on a personal wardrobe level. He's the ultimate uniform dresser – his outfits generally consist of combinations of a blue blazer, a white or blue shirt, a denim jacket, a pair of brown leather shoes or Clark's Desert Boots, and a pair of navy pants or these awesome beaten up Prada khakis. He's also an incredibly nice guy – I'd been chasing him for an interview every day since day one of the Milan shows, and I kept on approaching him at inconvenient moments. Finally, on the last day of Paris, I saw him outside the Lanvin show and he suggested we do it then and there. We discussed the Givenchy collection – which he said would make great gay wedding-wear – and his penchant for draping jackets over his shoulders like a cape – a habit that he said might look a little pretentious, but helps with temperature regulation. Check it out, below.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

#1917 Caitlin Lomax walked up to Karl Lagerfeld and said, "Hey! How's it going?"

Karl Lagerfeld and Caitlin Lomax.

As a model working in Paris for the first time, booking the Chanel Haute Couture show must be up there with non-models getting the dream job they've been hoping for their whole adult career. So it was for Australians Caitlin Lomax, Claire Collins and Rose Smith last night: all three had just arrived in Paris, went along to the casting, met Karl Lagerfeld and got booked to walk. Simple as that. Collins hadn't ever walked a fashion show before. Crazy. I asked Lomax to snap a few backstage shots for me and she very kindly obliged, sending me the one of her and Karl Lagerfeld above, plus another in her outfit and one with Smith and Collins. This morning I called her up to ask about the experience, which she described as being happy, scary, nerve-racking and exciting all at the same time. Here's what she had to say for herself.

#1916 It's Cool To Kōrero!



It's Maori Language Week back home in New Zealand right now, and if there's one thing I love, it's Maori Language Week. You see, when I was 16 years old and in my final year of high school, I took year nine Maori with all the 13 year olds – and came top of the class. Holla! I come from a family of proud Maori speakers: My cousin Nikau has spoken Te Reo fluently since she was five; my sister took it at university and recently spoke it live on national TV in front of Prince William at the Christchurch Earthquake Memorial; and my mother and father were adamant that their children would have good pronunciation and comprehension and thus sent us to Te Kohanga Reo from the age of one. True story. So to everybody back home, Happy Maori Language Week! To all non-New Zealanders, I've put together a video of key phrases above. Don't forget: It's Cool To Kōrero!

I LIKE YOU!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

#1915 Emily Baker is the face of DSQUARED2 Fall 2011/2012

Emily Baker for DSQUARED2 Fall 11/12. Photo: tfs

Due to strict Parisian modelling laws stating that no under 18 year old may work a job that runs later than 10:00pm, 17 year old Kiwi Emily Baker wasn't able to walk the Chanel Haute Couture show last night. While that may have disappointed fans of the young star, every cloud has a silver lining: Baker's first only-girl campaign came out overnight for DSQUARED2. I say her first only-girl campaign because Baker also appeared in the Fall 11/12 Hilfiger campaign last month, but she was joined by 15 other models, a vintage deep sea diving costume and a dog. Baker is bronzed and brooding for DSQUARED2, and – coincidentally – wearing quite the Lagerfeld-ian collar and tie get-up. (No doubt it's a sign of things to come.) Big ups to Baker! That's how they do it in Matamata.

I LIKE YOU!

#1914 What's better than being young and in love and in Paris in the summertime? All of the above plus walking Chanel Haute Couture

Caitlin Lomax. Photos: Fashion Gone Rogue

Congratulations go to Australian Caitlin Lomax who has debuted big time here in Paris, walking the Chanel Haute Couture show for Karl Lagerfeld. Held at the Grand Palais in a mock-Place Vendome set (complete with street lanterns and tower), the show was heavy on classic Chanel black and white suiting, with a little fuchsia thrown in for good measure. Other Antipodean-walkers included Julia Nobis, RAFW breakout star Rose Smith, and the complete newbie Claire Collins, who told me yesterday that – besides taking part in a few hair parades – she had never walked a fashion show before. Chanel Haute Couture ain't a bad place to start. Kiwi Emily Baker was unable to walk the show due to Paris modelling laws, which state that no model under 18 is allowed to work past 10:00pm; and there was no sign of Chanel regular Abbey Lee Kershaw either. All the same, GO THE ANTIPODEANS!

#1913 A conversation about Prada with Gert Jonkers – editor-in-chief of Fantastic Man

Gert Jonkers.

Thanks to the good folk at Gilt Manual (Tyler Thoreson, Josh Peskowitz and Jared Flint), this menswear show season was the most fruitful and personally gratifying of my seven to date. Alongside my NZ Herald show reviews, HintMag show reviews and personal blogs, I was commissioned to interview about 30 of the top editors, stylists, writers and buyers, an experience that I found both fascinating and immensely enjoyable. (Plus it gave me a good excuse to talk to all these guys I've looked up to for a long time – read the Q&As here.) One of the highlights was interviewing Gert Jonkers, editor-in-chief of Fantastic Man. In between asking Jonkers about his favourite tipple, Paris shopping destination and runway moment, I took the opportunity to discuss a couple of other things, in particular, his thoughts on the one show that left me most bemused this season – Prada. Check it out, below.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#1912 Caitlin Lomax is about to have a big time fully sick debut here in Paris

Caitlin Lomax with Edmond Roosendaal.

It's Haute Couture week here in Paris right now, and everywhere you look there are models running around the city from castings to fittings to shows to castings to go-sees to shows to fittings to re-sees to shows to after-parties to runway rehearsals to makeup tests to go-sees to showroom appointments to fittings and then back to shows again. At least one familiar local-ish face is in town – Australian Caitlin Lomax, who spent a considerable chunk of time modelling in New Zealand last year with Red11. It's the Perth-native's first time working in Europe, and she's already got some incredibly exciting options lined up (seriously, watch this space). Lomax is staying in Paris with her boyfriend, Dutch male model Edmond Roosendaal. What's better than being young and in love and in Paris in the summertime? I'll tell you tomorrow.

Monday, July 4, 2011

#1911 Fashion Media Fatigue

Photo: Haw-Lin

I used to wake up every morning so excited to read the latest news on all these fashion gossip/current affairs sites, and now they’re all so incredibly irrelevant to me. Their sole interest seems to be in perpetuating the petty disagreements between designers or jumping on the latest model issue band-wagon to get a few extra hits due to their unique take on what every single other website is saying. It's all so played out.

#1910 A night at Le Montana

Me and Jenny Albright at Le Montana.

Thanks in no small part to Kiwi expat (and French modelling sensation) Stella Maxwell, I have a pretty sweet crew of friends here in Paris. They include Le Montana resident DJs Wladimir Schall and Rafael Wallon and androgynous model/extreme hot babe Agathe Moulin. Jenny Albright (aka the rapping model) is also in town right now, as is Kiwi India Ross, plus there's my amazing roommate Tessa Taittinger, so there are plenty of people around to keep me entertained on my nights off from work. Last night I headed to Le Montana in St Germain to watch Wladimir and Rafael DJ – I'm pretty sure that they're the only guys in this city who can mix Busta Rhymes with Phoenix and make it sound good – besides People of Paris they're the best at getting the dance floor jumping that I've ever had the pleasure of partying with. It's early days yet, but I may need to start making enquiries into French permanent residency. I love this town.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

#1909 Le Loir Dans La Théière makes the best lemon meringue pie in the whole dang world


I am not a food person. I can't profess to having a sophisticated palate, any particular skill in the kitchen, or any real interest in developing either. If I could get all my dietary requirements from a pill, I would. My favourite foods are corn chips, watermelon, french fries, guacamole, sandwiches, and toast with avocado and tomato (Dizengoff does it best). But whenever I tell people I'm going to Paris I end up getting stuck in one of those awkward conversations about how amazing the food is, how the restaurants are out of this world and how I must be ever so excited about all the eating I'm soon to be doing – after all, Paris is a gourmand's dream city. The truth is, I don't really like French food. I find it heavy and way too saucy and filled with peculiar things that I don't want to put in my mouth like liver and pâté. However: there is one place that I have to go to every time I come to Paris – Le Loir Dans La Théière. It's a cafe in Le Marais that specialises in lemon meringue pie, and in my extremely humble opinion, theirs is the best in the whole dang world.