Friday, September 30, 2011

#2022 We blog, blog, blog, phi blog, bunch of bloggers

Hanging on the LES with Nicolas Lazaro from nickelcobalt and Noah of NOVH fame.

I went away to the university with the least school spirit in the entire world, I never stayed in a dorm, New Zealanders aren't big on clubs or societies and if you said you wanted to join a fraternity, most of my compatriots would laugh at you. But here in New York there's this actual, real life brotherhood of menswear bloggers that hangs out all the time. It's the best. I now understand what it must be like to be part of a high school football team (holla at Friday Night Lights) and I now take back my cynicism towards jocks and their crews. There's nothing quite like geeking out with a group of guys who will never get sick of discussing pick stitching or the menswear hashtag on Tumblr or the way in which Kanye's lyrics perfectly fit Mark McNairy's new collection (nobody knows what it means, it's provocative). Bloglife.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

#2021 Behind the scenes at the Mark McNairy New Amsterdam S/S 2012 Womenswear lookbook

In terms of awesome things I've had the privilege of getting up to in New York, going behind the scenes at Mark McNairy New Amsterdam's first ever womenswear shoot was way up there. Mark McNairy is a true eccentric. When I arrived on set at BPMW 30 minutes after the scheduled start time, he was rifling through his bag of tricks which included a slotcar set, giant Rice Krispies Treat and a prize stag-head on a block. No looks had been styled, there was no official schedule, and when asked what was going to happen, he said, "We'll see."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

#2020 New acquisitions of the Chuck Taylor variety

So Katherine arrived yesterday with a suitcase full of my stuff from back home, which is awesome because a) I can try wearing something different than this for a change; and b) free blog topics. First up, and possibly the thing I'm most excited about, new navy Chuck Taylors. They're the perfect pair of shoes – they work with almost everything, they look great brand new and they look great battered to death (check the fade on the old pair below). This is a good day.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

#2019 Kiwis in New York – Georgia Fowler

The last time I caught up with Georgia Fowler for a meal was in Berlin back in July 2009. She was doing Fashion Week and I was running around Europe with a marginally insane 63 year old backstage photographer. (He shot lots of stuff like this.) As I remember, we walked to a restaurant about 200 metres from the show venue, she had the grilled chicken salad, I had fries, and we did what all New Zealanders do when they meet overseas: reminisce about home. Since then, I've seen her backstage at probably 100 shows in Auckland, Sydney and New York, and she's always the most animated girl in the group – never afraid to throw down some shapes or climb the rafters.

Monday, September 26, 2011

#2018 The facts of life

Photo: Men In This Town

1. A couple of streetstyle photographs of me have recently popped up on the internet, and, just in case anybody was wondering, the answer is yes: I did wear the same outfit for every day of New York Fashion Week.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

#2017 First look: Crane Brothers' Spring/Summer 2011 collection

Photos: Karen Inderbitzen Waller

In perfect seasonal synchronicity, Crane Brothers has just released images of their Spring/Summer 2011 range, but here's the good news: unlike the collections we've just seen here in New York, this one is available for purchase right now. It's no secret how much of a Crane Brothers fanatic I am (a good 80% of my wardrobe is made to measure from the store), so let me break down a couple of key points that the untrained eye might miss. First up, the lapel size – Murray Crane has been a huge proponent of the skinny lapel for years, but this season he's widened things up a bit, both in the single and double breasted varieties. Next, all the casual blazer options come with triple patch pockets – my jam. The tuxedo comes double breasted, which, as an off the rack option, is a first for the brand. And finally, there's a lot of linen in the mix, which makes this a dressier summer collection than the cotton-filled seasons of yesteryear. I've made a selection of my favourite looks below. Get in there.

Friday, September 23, 2011

#2016 How To Wear... The Blazer – my first feature for 1972

Since trailing Tom Bull around Fashion Week for T Magazine, the man has become my go-to guy for any scenario that requires a model. So when Barkers couriered me over a 25 kilogram box of clothes to shoot a blazer story for 1972, I requested his services once again. How To Wear... is my new regular feature for 1972, and I'll be shooting, styling and writing it all right here on location in New York City. To set the scene, we kicked things off on my favourite New York block, Bond Street.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

#2015 An evening with Bryan Greenberg and Victor Rasuk of How To Make It In America

Last night's outing at the Apple store was so much fun that I decided to head back for tonight's entertainment: an evening with Julian Farino, Victor Rasuk and Bryan Greenberg – the executive producer and stars of How To Make It In America. Going was a good call. Before the trio came onstage, we were given a sneak screening of the second season's first episode. Without giving too much away, the boys are still on the grind, Rene is still pushing his Rasta Monsta, Crisp is growing at a steady rate, Rachel is still a giant emo, Leigh Lezark cameos as herself, and the cops show up. The event's highlight came when a young dude stood up to ask a question – and, in perfect Cam style, queried whether Greenberg and Rasuk would accept the tee shirts that he'd just happened to bring along from his own line 13 Maven. They laughed and said, "Definitely, you can't knock the hustle." Check below for quotes from the Q&A.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

#2014 Post-match highlights from the Michael Bastian X Josh Peskowitz Q&A

Michael Bastian Spring/Summer 2012.

Tonight in New York, the menswear cognoscenti descended on the Soho Apple store to witness Michael Bastian going toe-to-toe with Josh Peskowitz in a Q&A that lasted little over an hour but offered endlessly Tweetable quotes. Bastian gave an honest account of what it's like to be a menswear designer in the social media age – the real-time feedback: "I go home after the show and read the live Tweets," the democratisation: "I think that whole exclusivity thing is bullsh*t," and the role of the reviewer: "Everyone's equal but some have a bigger microphone." Peskowitz steered the conversation like a pro, kicking things off with a question about the supermodel nip-slip that occurred during Bastian's Spring/Summer 2012 show. I transcribed as much as I could on my Blackberry. Check it out, below.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

#2013 Lacoste's Global PR Coordinator Pierre Macaigne has an unhealthy obsession with magazines

Alongside the multitude of experiences this city affords its visitors, you can't beat New York for the endless opportunities to meet people you'd usually only communicate with on the internet. This is Pierre Macaigne. He's the Global PR Coordinator for Lacoste and we've been talking via email for quite some time. We caught up this afternoon and he was rocking a garment that I've been coveting for about three years – the ACNE X Lanvin denim double-breasted blazer (atop a navy Lacoste polo and jet black jeans).

Monday, September 19, 2011

#2012 Behind the scenes on Justin Wu's Empire State of Mind set (i.e. New York)

Sydney Edmonds and Ataui Deng.

Over the past couple of weeks I had the distinct pleasure of trailing Justin Wu around New York City as he shot his Empire State of Mind video for Jay Z's site Life + Times. In short, that meant hanging out with a bunch of awesome guys (the film crew) and taking photos of amazing girls (the models). Highlights included getting my c-walk on with Selita Ebanks; going way up town to that McDonald's in Harlem with Jenny Albright, Dierdre Reimhold and Leilani Momoisea; meeting – and subsequently falling in love with – Shu Pei; and hanging with Ataui Deng's absolutely gangsta bulldog (you'll see why below). Justin is a total sweetheart in real life, but he transforms into this uber professional, authoritative director onset. There is no way your average person could organise and execute such a highly polished – and potentially disastrous – production, but he just steps up and owns it. The guy is going to be huge. Who knows? Maybe he'll turn up in the lyrics of a Jay Z song someday.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

#2011 Karlie Kloss, Hailey Clauson and Selita Ebanks spit mad rhymes in Justin Wu's new video

It's becoming a seasonal event: The day after the shows finish, Justin Wu debuts one of his girls (or boys) of Fashion Week videos and the blogosphere goes berserk. This time around – as he told me two weeks ago – it was filmed in collaboration with a "very big musical artist." What he didn't mention was that the musical artist holds the record for most number one records on the Billboard 200; co-owns the New Jersey Nets, Roc-A-Fella Records and Rocawear; and is married to Beyonce Knowles. Who better to cosign your New York Fashion Week film than the city's favourite son, Jay Z?

Friday, September 16, 2011

#2010 The scene outside Calvin Klein

Grace Coddington.

Calvin Klein always has two different shows on the final day of New York Fashion Week: one at 2:00pm and one at 3:00pm. You know you're doing something right if you're invited to the first show. There, you'll be sitting alongside the likes of Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington, Uma Thurman, a Jonas Brother and maybe even a Twilight star or two. My invitation read: Isaac Hindin Miller, 3:00pm. Still, better late than never. And anyway, the advantage of being invited to the second sitting is that you get to watch said stars file out from the venue.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

#2009 The scene outside Gant by Michael Bastian

Mordechai Rubinstein: streetstyle photographer – Mister Mort.

I had an epiphany today while standing outside the Gant Rugger presentation. I was taking pictures of all the guys I always take pictures of, alongside all these other guys who always take pictures of the guys that they always take pictures of; there were other photographers shooting us shooting people and then I was shooting other photographers and then my friend Olivia turned to me and said, "Wait, who are all these people?" And it suddenly dawned on me how much of a bubble this menswear world is.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

#2008 J Crew has a handle on this menswear game

Ryan Kennedy and Lenz von Johnston.

J Crew showed my favourite menswear collection of the week this morning, and I'll tell you why: Not only did I want to wear a huge chunk of it, but you could see just about every guy in the room thinking the same thing. Hello menswear that guys actually want to wear, it's been a while. Here in New York there seems to be a bit of a disconnect between what's shown and how guys actually dress – so much of what we've seen seems to miss the mark. A tailored jacket doesn't need a leather armband around the bicep. Colourful camo is a stretch. Fluro panels on coats might be good for an evening bicycle ride, but I don't know about everyday wear. Call me conservative, but I like my menswear with a side of realism. J Crew serves theirs up piping hot.

#2007 Kiwis in New York – Zara Mirkin

Zara Mirkin and I go way, way back. It all started at a bar called 420 on Auckland's Karangahape Road – I was 19, she was younger, we shared a mutual obsession with hip hop and going out at least three nights per week. We worked together once in 2006 – on a styling job for a now defunct online fashion magazine – and I've been assured that if the photographs see the light of day, I'll be murdered. Since then, Zara's upward trajectory has been truly impressive. Now 24 years old, she's risen to the top of the game in New Zealand and regularly contributes to top magazines the world over. And, as of three days ago, she's a newly minted resident of New York City. I caught her at the Karen Walker show this afternoon, dressed inappropriately for the weather in a red velvet top. "I'm so hot," she complained. I concur. Holla!


#2006 Karen Walker clothes the lady and the tramp

Held during the same time slot as one of New York's most highly anticipated shows, Rodarte, there's no doubt Karen Walker pulled the short straw this season. But New Zealand's favourite international designer still managed to bring in a strong crowd, including a few familiar faces: Fashion Toast's Rumi Neely sat front row, Tim Phin of Remix was a couple of seats over from hairdresser Richard Kavanagh, NO Magazine's Zara Mirkin sat alongside Vogue Australia's Meg Gray, and even Kiwi entrepreneur Derek Handley turned up to say hello.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

#2005 Perry Ellis before the show – a short film

For my final series of interviews with Tom Bull, I headed backstage to the Perry Ellis show this afternoon to shoot the scene. It was like a who's who of male modelling up there: Matvey Lykov sat alongside Nicolas Ripoll and Mark Cox as the producer gave them catwalk instructions; the Davenport twins were trailed by massive TV cameras as they got their Q&As on with the guys; and Francisco Cominelli could be seen joking around with Danny Beauchamp outside. But the best cameo of all came from Nicki Minaj who walked out the back straight after the Betsey Johnston show had finished, posing for pictures with fans and answering questions fired at random from the queuing journos. Her answers were drowned out by the screams of teenage girls, but I'm fairly sure they would have sounded something like this: "I just thought the blue wig would make my eyes pop." Holla.


#2004 The good news and the bad news on day six of New York Fashion Week

Nicki Minaj.

Bad news first: I missed two really important shows today, and I swear it wasn't my fault – Thom Browne, due to Michael Bastian running late, and Marc by Marc Jacobs, due to it running crazy early. I caught a cab down from the Lincoln Center, arrived at the Armory at 8:07pm for an 8:00pm start, and the audience was already filing out of the venue. I mean, come on! Since when did an evening show ever start on the dot at its scheduled time? The good news is that I was hanging around outside the Lincoln Center waiting to interview Tom Bull, when I spied a mass of frizzy blue hair atop a candyland fairy. It was Nicki Minaj and she was saying hello to fans after the Betsey Johnson show. And she was amazing. Other not quite so amazing but still pretty cool stuff I saw today, below.

Monday, September 12, 2011

#2003 The top five things that happened on day five of New York Fashion Week

Photo: Justin Chung

1. I sat next to Omarion at the Y3 show and, finally, after all these years, got the chance to tell him how much I loved his and Bow Wow's song Let Me Hold You. To honour the man, and to commemorate the occasion, I made this photo montage. Such good times.

#2002 Patrik Ervell was best in show

Patrik Ervell can be credited with two things: helping bring the club collar back into fashion, and injecting a bit of life into a lacklustre New York show season. His Spring/Summer 2012 collection was right on point. The reason for its success? They were garments that guys will actually want to wear. His suits were cut crisply with fuller lapels, his workwear pieces were attractively sturdy, and the more creative elements – colourful ink blotch shirts, floaty parkas and contrast sleeve jackets – never veered into ridiculous territories. In a season filled with over-styled, out of touch menswear collections, Ervell's was a breath of fresh air.

#2001 The scene outside Alexander Wang's Matthew Schneier.

It might be a little early on in the piece to call it, but Alexander Wang definitely wins the prize for most exciting show of the week to date (and most like the entire week full stop). Being a standing ticket holder afforded me plenty of time to hang around outside before it all began, which I spent hunting out familiar faces and snapping away with gay abandon. First up,'s Matthew Schneier, who gets bonus points for wearing Obedient Sons – still the greatest label to ever have come out of New York City. They designed his blazer, and I may have to mug him for it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

#2000 Alexander Wang was so pop culture

Terry Richardson and Carine Roitfeld outside Alexander Wang.

A frenzied scene met us outside Alexander Wang this afternoon. As each tinted-windowed town car rolled up, a screaming team of pap photographers would swarm the exiting passenger. If a socialite appeared, a phalanx would form, moving slowly backwards as the guest attempted to enter the building. If it was a regular joe, the group would heave a collective sigh and recede to the trenches to wait for the next. Courtney Love caused a stir, Glee's Lea Michele had an effeminate teen in tears, but it was Alicia Keys who really got the crowd going. When her blacked out SUV arrived, she kept the photographers waiting five minutes with the doors closed. "Is it Kanye? It's gotta be Kanye," said one. "Maybe it's Pippa Middleton," piped up another. "Na-uh," cried the effeminate teen, "I just know it's Mama Madonna." Despite their predictions falling short, all seemed pleased.

#1999 Lacoste S/S 2012 (plus a bonus crocodile drawn by Richard Haines)

I made the trek uptown to New York Fashion Week headquarters at the Lincoln Center this morning to watch the Lacoste show. It's a different world up there – the streetstyle photographers number in the dozens, onlookers in the hundreds, and the rowdiest troop of Chinese fans stood waiting for a famous singer who appeared for a second, waved, then disappeared in a burst of camera flashes. I took a video of the show's finale, which featured Australasians Julia Nobis, Emily Baker and Aiden Andrews. But even better, check out Richard Haines' depiction of the Lacoste crocodile after the jump.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

#1998 The top five things that happened on day three of New York Fashion Week

Bryan Boy.

1. Of all the fashion week friends I've made over the years, Bryan Boy is my number one favourite. I walked into the elevator at Milk Studios this afternoon and found him leaning against the wall and literally had to stop myself from making a giant scene and tackling him in a bear hug in front of the New York Times menswear team. Good thing I'm so cool under pressure.

#1997 Tommy Hilfiger took colour to a whole 'nutha level

The hottest spot in New York City today was the West Side High Line at 5:30pm. The sun was blazing over the Hudson River with no buildings to filter its fire, and Tommy Hilfiger's menswear show was running late. Good thing they thought to provide refreshments for the guests, plus plenty of visual spectacle in the form of Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl's Chuck Bass), Kellan Lutz (Twilight's Emmett) and a bunch of other TV actors whose names you can't quite remember but you know they're famous all the same.

#1996 Kamaryn Potter and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Pants

I'd been staying with Kamaryn Potter here in New York for exactly one day when she pulled out this insane pair of pants. It's taken me two weeks to pin her down for a photograph, but it was well worth the wait. Purchased just six months ago from Christina Kornilakis' vintage store Portia & Manny, they're 1990s Esprit and pretty much the best example of go to hell pants I've ever seen. Is it creepy to steal your female roommate's trousers? I guess we'll find out soon enough.


Friday, September 9, 2011

#1995 I got amongst it on Fashion's Night Out

Bruce Pask with Lara Stone and Italo Zucchelli at Calvin Klein.

It's 1:00am, Fashion's Night Out is just starting to wind down and I believe I may have gone to more events than anybody else in the city besides Ms Wintour. Trailing New York Times' Men's Fashion Director Bruce Pask, I made 10 stops – Assouline Books, Calvin Klein with Lara Stone, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Louis Vuitton, YSL with Nicki Minaj, Prada, Armani and the Mr Porter party on top of Soho House, where I met the amazing Natalie Massenet. I was going to say that I've never seen so many people on the street in my whole life, which, up until about three minutes ago was true, but then I saw this photo of the crowd in Auckland for the Rugby World Cup opening party. Nothing trumps New Zealand's love for the not-so-beautiful game. Go the All Blacks! Happy Fashion's Night Out everybody!


#1994 Duckie Brown adds a touch of zoot to your suit

If you're going to keep things tightly buttoned up top, you've gotta give a guy room to breathe down below, right? That's right, according to Messrs Silver and Cox, who showed a collection of restrictive suit jackets with billowing six-pleat pants at Duckie Brown this afternoon. Huge through the thigh and tapering down to break on boots, the trousers recalled those once worn by zoot-suiters, but the jackets were as skinny as Slimane-era Dior Homme. Paired with loose, untucked tee shirts, the look was at once restrictive and relaxed.

#1993 Duckie Brown before the show – a short film

It's been a while since I spent any real time backstage at the menswear shows, but this afternoon it happened quite by accident. I arrived 30 minutes early and asked if I could please be allowed into the venue due to the likelihood of expiration by sunlight if I stood outside for too long. The girl on the desk obliged me, I walked in, took a wrong turn and found myself in the midst of a catwalk rehearsal. Never one to let an opportune moment go to waste, I pulled out my camera and filmed what I saw. The best moment came when Mister Daniel Silver lost his patience with the boys' continued muck ups and delivered the golden line: "Come on guys, this is hardly rocket science!" Happily, they got there in the end. Photos below.

#1992 The scene outside Duckie Brown

Tyler Thoreson of Park & Bond, Luigi Tadini and a septuagenarian photo bomber.

I may have overstated my case when I said that as of yesterday morning things were going to get crazy. I've been to three things in two days – yesterday's were presentations, today's was a real life show courtesy of Duckie Brown (review to follow). Besides the obvious highlight of seeing my first show in two months, the best bit was observing the menswear mafia congregate – representing Park & Bond, Details,, GQ and the blogs, they were out in full force. I snapped off a couple of shots outside the venue – check them out above and below.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

#1991 The top five things that happened on day one of New York Fashion Week

Corinna Studier.

1. I got to chat with/hang out with a bunch of people I think are totally awesome today, including: Tommy Ton, Jenna Sauers, Justin Chung, Lawrence Schlossman, Mordechai Rubinstein, Bruce Pask, Matthew Schneier, Craig Arend, Corinna Studier, Aiden Andrews, Benoni Loos, Mark Cox, Matvey Lykov and Georgia Fowler.

#1990 Steven Alan stays on trend for summer

Chris Arundel and Anthon Wellsjo.

Wearability is the Steven Alan MO – tried and tested garments that you can throw on and walk out the door. It might not be the most boundary-pushing approach, but it's one that will no doubt keep loyal customers happy. After all, who can trump wearability where summer clothing is concerned? Keeping cool is no mean feat when it's blazing outside. For the warmer months, Steven Alan proposed easy basics - cotton suits, chinos, white jeans, short sleeve shirts and striped tees for the boys; and tablecloth check sundresses, shifts and colourful silk skirts for the girls. All styles we've worn before, and all styles we'll be happy to wear again. It proved (most obviously in the menswear) that all you need to do to jazz up a simple outfit is add a little stylistic flair – a rolled cuff here, a hat or tie there. Too easy.

#1989 Lawrence Schlossman isn't going to bust out his best dub monks just because it's fashion week

Justin Chung and Lawrence Schlossman.

We're one show in, folks: New York Fashion Week has officially started. At the Steven Alan presentation this morning – which featured a plethora of commercial, wearable summer looks – I bumped into Lawrence Schlossman, the man behind How To Talk To Girls At Parties and Sartorially Inclined. He's one of 20 bloggers that Tumblr has brought along for the Fashion Week ride, the perks of which include a hotel suite and car service for the duration. His sidekick on the grind is photographer Justin Chung, a rookie who has built up a giant fanbase for his menswear-centric streetstyle shots in just six months on the internet. The two are currently working on a collaborative project, said to be the "Illest sh*t you have ever seen on this blogging platform." (Their words.) Always the gentleman, Lawrence sat down for a Q&A after the presentation. Here's what he told me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

#1988 The Isaac Likes content guide to New York Fashion Week

Justin Wu, Shu Pei and me on the Hudson River pier.

New York Fashion Week begins tomorrow at 9:00am with the Steven Alan presentation and finishes nine days later at 8:30pm with the Marc Jacobs show. From now till then, things are going to get a little hectic. The good news is this: There's going to be plenty of content coming your way – alongside my typical mash up of stories and news snippets, backstage shenanigans and Q&As right here on the blog and the Tumblr, I'm going to be writing show reviews for the New Zealand Herald, and filming video interviews with a whole raft of exciting characters for The Moment, T Magazine's online arm. (Special thanks to Mr Bruce Pask for that golden opportunity.) So pretty much what I'm trying to tell you is that I'll be running around like a mad man shooting photos and video, writing scores of stories and trying to keep myself out of too much trouble. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? I sure hope so – after all, whoever heard of anything good getting done by people with time on their hands?


#1987 Sonny Vandevelde is exhibiting at the Tribeca Grand Hotel for Fashion's Night Out

Photos: Sonny Vandevelde

If you're in New York this Thursday and wondering which of the many and varied Fashion's Night Out events to go to, let me throw Sonny Vandevelde's hat in the ring. The Australian photographer is hosting his seasonal exhibition at the Tribeca Grand Hotel from 8:00pm – 10:00pm so stop in, say hello and enjoy the work of a guy who is well and truly on top of his backstage game. I must admit I'm a little biased – I've done the menswear circuit with Sonny for about six seasons now, we stay in the same hotels and eat breakfasts together and he makes fun of my amorous love for sheep – but I'm a true fan of his work. He achieves that same quality in his photographs that I like so much in Justin Wu's videos – a combination of energy and momentum and just plain old fashioned good times.

#1986 A few more words with Justin Wu

The highlight of my day yesterday was taking a trek way up town to Harlem to watch Justin Wu shooting three of my favourite girls for his upcoming video project. Like Justin says in the interview above, the thing he loves about New York is that every neighbourhood is different. You can catch a subway a couple of stops and get out and the streets will bear little resemblance to those a few blocks over. Also discussed: the necessity of crowd control in this city, his favourite models and the pros and cons of shooting boys versus girls. Get in there.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

#1985 Kiwis in New York – Richard Kavanagh

There are plenty of New Zealanders doing impressive work right now, but hairdresser Richard Kavanagh is an example of a guy who, in my eyes, is absolutely killing it. I've told the story of his first meeting with Guido so many times I'm not even sure which parts I've fabricated at this point, but here it goes again: Richard was backstage at a New York Fashion Week show about seven seasons ago shooting a live cross for TVNZ's Good Morning, when a bunch of models arrived extremely late to hair and makeup. Everyone went into full blown panic mode and like a true New Zealander, Richard rocked up to Guido, the most famous name in hairdressing, and asked if he could give him a hand.

#1984 A few words with Justin Wu

You could just about publish a fanzine with all the blog posts I've written about how much I love Justin Wu's work. From where I sit, he's the first person in years to bring lighthearted fun back to fashion – his all-singing, all-dancing model videos are a celebration, plain and simple. For the past week or so, I've been trailing Justin around as he shoots his latest offering, and I've witnessed him directing some next level heavy-hitters. The video launches this Thursday night (to coincide with Fashion's Night Out), and it's going to be huge. You wait and see. I grabbed Justin for a quick interview in between shots the other day for a quick Q&A. Part one is above, part two is coming soon.


Monday, September 5, 2011

#1983 Kiwis in New York – Emily Baker

Photo: Justin Wu

This city flips me out on a daily basis. Yesterday afternoon I walked out of my building and ran smack bang into Emily Baker – the Kiwi model who booked 60 shows in her freshman season, plus the Hilfiger, DSquared2 and Gucci campaigns, then debuted at number 31 on's top 50 ranking list. That's the sixth time in a couple of weeks that I've randomly bumped into Kiwis on the street. You know what I love about her? Success hasn't changed her one bit. She's still the unassuming girl I met backstage at Alexander Wang last season, with just a hint more self confidence. I cannot wait to see how she goes this time around. We'll await developments with keen interest. GO THE KIWIS!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

#1982 An NZFW tribute... to me!

Anouk Rondel. Photos: Katherine Lowe

I have never in my life missed New Zealand as much as I've missed it this week. Watching all the Fashion Week coverage online – the shows and parties and backstage antics – has left me with a serious case of FOMO, and though I'm loving being here in New York, the homesickness has been kicking in something chronic. Being the sweetheart that she is, Katherine Lowe rallied the troops and put together a tribute post in my absence, featuring some of my favourite faces from back home. Special thanks to everybody involved, it made my day. I miss you all too!

Friday, September 2, 2011

#1981 A real life, cinematic, New York moment

You know that feeling you get when you're all alone in a foreign airport and you're lonely and missing home and feeling nostalgic and reminiscent and reflective about life in general? That was me this morning. I was heading home from a friend's house and I walked down the stairs into the subway station to catch the 6 train, and just as I reached the bottom of the stairs I saw the train pull in so I ran over to the turnstile, swiped my card, and sprinted for the doors, which closed just as I reached them. I went and sat down in a chair, tired and defeated, and about 20 metres down the platform, a busker began to play Jeff Buckley's rendition of Hallelujah. It was a real life cinematic, New York moment.


#1980 New Zealand Fashion Week should impose an age restriction on models walking shows

Photo: Katherine Lowe

Murray Crane, who's a cynical kind of guy, wrote a list of things that would invariably occur during this year's New Zealand Fashion Week. One thing he mentioned was that there would be the usual plus-size/too-skinny/underage model debacle. Proving him right, last night I was interviewed by Jim Mora for Radio New Zealand about the use of hyper-sexualised underage models. According to the Herald, models as young as 14 have been hitting the runways wearing inappropriate outfits. While this will come as no surprise to anybody who keeps a close eye on industry news, it should not be happening in a market like New Zealand. Auckland's a small town. There are maybe six stylists who work regularly, they know all the models and all the agents, and they should take responsibility and not allow an underage girl to be presented to the public in age-inappropriate outfits.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

#1979 Stolen Girlfriends Club's designers carried a life size cutout of their absent Creative Director down the catwalk

Photo: Michael Ng

Stolen Girlfriends Club can always be counted on to throw a damn good show full of hilarious gimmicks and cameos (not to mention the most banging after party of the week). One year musician Sasha Carlson went down the catwalk in a gold miner's onesy beneath a clear plastic raincoat; Lily Montana has walked alongside her mother, 80s model Brigette Berger; and last night's show opened with a troop of girls wearing particularly tacky 80s prom gowns, which they stripped off on the runway. This season, one third of the Stolen Girlfriends Club team was absent. Creative Director Luke Harwood moved to New York in July to open the brand's North American showroom, and, in perhaps the cutest move in the history of New Zealand Fashion Week, his co-owners Marc Moore and Dan Gosling carried him in the form of a lifesize cardboard cutout when they took their finale bow. The surprise guest appearance was kept a secret from Harwood, who learned of it for the first time when he watched the show video this morning. I'm told he was particularly chuffed. Now all I need is for someone to seat a lifesize cardboard cutout of me next to Colin Mathura-Jeffree and I'll feel the love. I wait in anticipatory hope.


#1978 Kiwis in New York – Levon Wigeslworth and Molly Kennedy

The day after I arrived in New York I was walking up Lafayette Street when I saw somebody waving in my general direction. Not wanting to get caught in one of those awkward moments where you wave back and then they look at you all weird and you realise that it was actually the person behind you that they were waving at, I ignored it for a while until it became apparent that I was indeed the object of the wave. The waver was Molly Kennedy, a Wellington native I've known for about 12 years, and who is now making a name for herself as a stylist here in New York. She was accompanied by her boyfriend Peter Villiger – the brother of photographer/master collager Maya Villiger, and Levon Wigelsworth, a guy I've been partying with back home for about seven years. We caught up for lunch today at The Smile on Bond Street and it was amazing to hear what these guys are doing. Molly is working for Christina Hutson (one half of my favourite – now deceased – New York label of all time Obedient Sons) and Levon is a research fellow in psychology (and probably the coolest looking guy in academia). New Zealanders: doing it better since 1840.