Wednesday, February 29, 2012

#2131 Gavin Hurley for Crane Brothers

Gavin Hurley for Crane Brothers (courtesy of Melanie Roger Gallery)

About a year and a half ago I went to the opening party for Michael Lett's new gallery in Auckland. By 'went to' I mean crashed, and by 'crashed', I mean I showed up uninvited to trail coffee entrepreneur Tony Kerridge, who I was writing a profile on at the time. The concrete bunker-cum-gallery was dimly lit by hundreds of candles scattered on tables and seemed a fairly major fire hazard considering the giant haystack sitting in one corner (the joke was that anybody who managed to find the needle within would be given an artwork of their choosing). It was one of those typical insider art events filled with a mixture of extremely wealthy older people dressed in Margiela and Comme, and cool young scenesters brought along to keep things fresh.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

#2130 What's in store at Giorgio Armani – up now on The Moment

Photos: Noah Emrich of NOVH fame

Last Friday, Noah Emrich (of NOVH fame) and I made the trek up to the very plummy Upper East Side to shoot our first What's in store of 2012 at the newly renovated Giorgio Armani boutique. It was a stressful couple of hours at first, as we tried to make lemonade from a bunch of beautiful clothing sized for the label's typical clientele (wealthy older men). But we got there in the end and I learned a thing or two in the process. The moral of the story is: There's a moral to every story. Click here to read all about it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

#2129 Get your THUGGED OUT SINCE CUB SCOUTS tees now!

Tom Bull and I in our brand new THUGGED OUT SINCE CUB SCOUTS tee shirts.

Why hello. The new THUGGED OUT SINCE CUB SCOUTS tees have been on sale for exactly two hours and 24 minutes, and they are selling like hot cakes, so get in the game! Thank you to everyone who's already put in an order, we like you all. I believe I speak for both Katherine and myself when I say, HOLLA! Click here to order your THUGGED OUT SINCE CUB SCOUTS tee!

UPDATE: Okay so we actually sold out last night, but due to overwhelming demand, we'll be doing another print run asap. We'll take orders for one more week, then we'll close the store and deliver the tees. HOLLA!


#2128 Tom Bull for Barkers

NB: This is not a photo of Tom Bull for Barkers.

Barkers is a brand that's grown exponentially over the last couple of seasons. They're swiftly departing from the staid, Kiwi-bloke outfitters that I grew up with and heading in a direction that's far closer to the great American menswear chains we all know and love. Proving just how willing they are to explore new creative possibilities, today we're shooting the Fall/Winter 2012 campaign right here in New York City, with Tom Bull in the starring role, and Greg Lewis behind the camera. Photos to come.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

#2127 The facts of life

Bill Cunningham. Photo: Greg Lewis

1. On Thursday night, after fashion week was done and dusted, I went to see Guns'N'Roses play to a club crowd of about 300 people. That's far more intimate than I ever thought I'd be getting with Axl Rose. I had one goal: To shake the man's hand. It took me about 10 minutes, a few elbows to the face and quite a lot of heckling from annoyed audience members, but I managed to push my way right up to the front until I was standing less than a metre away from him. Whenever he came particularly near, I'd stretch out my hand to get a touch. Four times it happened, four times I got rejected. The cute girl standing next to me started laughing, and said, "Maybe I should try?" I laughed too, knowing she had no chance, and said, "Go for your life." She reached out her hand and he grabbed it straight away. Good to see he still has his priorities straight.

Monday, February 20, 2012

#2126 The THUGGED OUT SINCE CUB SCOUTS tees go on sale this Thursday

David Dallas, YDNA and Fire & Ice – THUGGED OUT SINCE CUB SCOUTS.

After months of broken promises, dilly dallying and extensive international research, the new THUGGED OUT SINCE CUB SCOUTS tees will officially go on sale this Thursday at 5:00pm (NZ time). They come in two limited edition colourways: Blue on blue on blue and maroon and white on grey; and they will most definitely help you get a boyfriend/girlfriend if you are single and looking. Rumour has it that Barack Obama has already put in an order for each member of his security detail (just to give them more street cred), but we couldn't possibly comment. The tees are selling exclusively through our new ISAAC LIKES KATHERINE IS AWESOME store (URL to come), and there's a free shipping within NZ deal if you buy them on opening night to coincide with the giant Shop One Night party that'll be going down. My one arrives from New Zealand early next week, so I'll be giving New York NZ-itis (holla at David Dallas). No but seriously, holla.

Friday, February 17, 2012

#2125 Calvin Klein closes NYFW

Dempsey Stewart at Calvin Klein. Photos: Greg Lewis

There are only a couple of New York shows that model-watchers look to for evidence of big girls doing big things. Calvin Klein is one of them. This season, the label took it upon itself to Lisbeth Salander several of the models' hair. Some got off easy-ish, like Dempsey Stewart whose short black bob will no doubt become a calling-card the rest of the season; but others, with their shaved undercuts or asymmetrical wedges might struggle. Then again, this is fashion and if there's one thing the industry loves, it's a reinvention. After going to 20-something shows this season, one thing is certain: No designer put on a more polished, impressive or international display of womenswear than Calvin Klein. And that, my friends, draws my New York Fashion Week coverage to a close. Best of luck to everyone going on to London, Milan and Paris!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

#2124 The coolest kid at Gant by Michael Bastian

Photo: Greg Lewis

It takes a lot for one girl to stand out in a room filled with 40 models. Presentations aren't the easiest setting for a model to work – they've got hundreds of people staring at them, they have to stand still and look cool, and they're stuck in the same spot for an hour at a time watching the audience drinking, laughing, talking, staring, and occasionally photographing the clothes. But this young lady caught our eye today at the Gant by Michael Bastian presentation. Every time we passed by, she was just so on – posing, flirting, playing and enjoying herself. So this post is dedicated to the beautiful blonde in the red and white striped pullover and beanie. You are awesome. That is all.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#2123 Highlights from Marc by Marc Jacobs

Lindsey Wixson at Marc by Marc Jacobs. Photo: Greg Lewis

1. 90s grunge was what sky-rocketed Marc Jacobs to fame, and this season he took his Marc by Marc collection right back there. If you've seen the 1999 classic She's All That, you'll recognise the geeky girl in thrifted clothes just waiting to let her tightly-wound ponytail down and release the hidden beauty beneath.

#2122 Highlights from Thom Browne

Photos: Greg Lewis

1. Thom Browne is the master showman. Last night's womenswear presentation was held at the New York Library in a room laid out like a mausoleum with flickering candles, dimmed chandeliers and a long row of coffins. 10, to be exact, holding the bodies of "Beautiful girls who died for fashion." Twice a year, we were told, they come back to life to dream of the possibilities the art-form holds. Like clockwork, they awoke, clambered out of their sarcophagi and stood watching as the heroines of their dreams circled the room.

#2121 Happy Valentine's Day from Justin Wu

Happy Valentine's Day everybody! (Or as I prefer to call it, Mum's birthday. Happy Birthday Jenny!) If you're sitting at home alone and lonely, depressed at the dismal state of your love life, just remember that somewhere out there, beautiful people are having more fun than you. And thanks to Justin Wu and V Magazine, you can see just how much fun that is. The new video from my favourite fashion filmmaker launched today, and features all your favourite faces – from Francisco Lachowski to Jacqueline Jablonski and Andrej Pejic, plus the Australian Winklevossers of modelling, Zac and Jordan Stenmark. Filmed at Le Baron in Paris, and scored by the late, great Etta James, this video proves yet again that Justin Wu can do no wrong. Also, that Andrej Pejic is the sexiest boy ever born. Now go get a date for tonight. There's still some good hours left in the day!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

#2120 Highlights from Karen Walker (the only Kiwi to show in New York)

Photos: Greg Lewis

1. Karen Walker's signature looks are a cropped blazer and a pair of mannish pants; boldly printed frocks and cutesy blouses with little frills. Today's show offered updates on her classics, this time with a psychedelic twist – think the moment The Stones and The Beatles began their obsession with Ravi Shankar's sitar – lots of Indian-inspired golds and a Koru-esque vine print. As per usual, my favourites were anything inspired by menswear.

#2119 This one time, in December, I flew to Wellington to shoot a TV show

Remember last year when I flew back to New Zealand to film a travel reality show in Wellington? A segment of it just launched online, with the rest scheduled to show on Australian TV sometime in the near future. Here's how it went down: Patrick Stevenson, a Sydney-based photographer, fixed-gear enthusiast and all-round-good-guy, was hired to go on the adventure of a lifetime – an all expenses paid trip to Berlin, with a crew of cameramen following his every move. Only he wasn't actually going to Berlin at all. As he found out on the flight over, his final destination was Wellington, New Zealand, and he wasn't happy. I'd been brought on as the tour guide to show him a good time, and to prove once and for all that Wellington is a viable destination for Sydney hipsters.

Monday, February 13, 2012

#2118 Highlights from Patrik Ervell

Photos: Greg Lewis

1. Patrik Ervell does a simple outfit incredibly well. In his show today, the two that stood out most were a flecked grey suit with club collar shirt, and a navy single breasted blazer worn with nylon pants and a pale blue club collar shirt. Other standouts were the backpacks, the shearling trims, and the best textured menswear fabrics seen in a show this week.

#2117 Highlights from Band of Outsiders

Rose Smith at Band of Outsiders. Photo: Greg Lewis

1. As a guy who loves wearable menswear, the boy's collection was right up my alley: Khaki, bottle green, charcoal and blue and white butcher stripes as the base colours, in simple shapes that always work, like DBs, duffel coats, shearling-trimmed parkas and quilted nylon scarves (basically mini sleeping bags for your neck).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

#2116 Gisele, Shalom Harlow and Carmen Kass walked Alexander Wang (and I watched from the bleachers)

Gisele walking Alexander Wang. Photos: Greg Lewis

There are two shows at New York Fashion Week that are impossible to get into without an invite: Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang. They're both run by powerhouse PR agency KCD, and security is tougher than US border control – they smell fear, and they're quick to deport. When it comes to hype, celebrity, spectacle and all those other good things that keep me loving this business, those are the two that you have to be at in New York City. So after the Band of Outsiders show, we headed up the West Side Highway to try our luck at Pier 94 for Alexander Wang. There were two entrances: One for ticket-holders on the left, and one for those of us hoping to be on the list, on the right.

#2115 Highlights from Lacoste

Photos: Greg Lewis

1. 60s ski bunnies never get old. The whole show with its feather snow installations and camp tri-colour onesies reminded me of that James Bond film For Your Eyes Only where Roger Moore has the affair with a barely-20 ice skating prodigy. That's pretty French, right?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

#2114 My little boy, all grown up

There's nothing quite like clinging onto your mate like a proud grandmother backstage at a fashion show when he's trying to act all cool and tough in front of his model friends. Yeap, I'm that guy. My good friend and roommate Tom Bull walked the Billy Reid show tonight like a consummate professional. And by that I mean, I may or may not have held up the large DD seating assignment placard to my chest every time he walked past me (which in my opinion was quite a genius visual joke), and he didn't even crack a smile. What a thug. Am I the only person who feels like misbehaving at fashion shows?


#2113 Highlights from Rag and Bone

Miles Garber on the catwalk at Rag and Bone. Photos: Greg Lewis

1. Rag and Bone showed a great example of what is swiftly becoming my favourite look for Fall/Winter – an overcoat over a shirt with pants and shoes. No blazer or sweater necessary. Their jackets came in all variations, from military greatcoats to three quarter length floral numbers to boldly striped boiled wool overcoats, and looked best with a straight shirt, or Victorian with a waistcoat and collarless button down.

Friday, February 10, 2012

#2112 Highlights from Duckie Brown

Photos: Greg Lewis

1. Everything heavy, woolen, plaid and textured – especially the shirting, blazers and overcoats. The winter-weight shirts were thick like jackets but without those enormous droopy collars I always expect from a shacket. Short and sharp is the only way to go. This was without a doubt my favourite collection from Messers Silver and Cox, and I want to try it on asap. That said, I'm still not ready for drop-crotch-to-the-knees leggings on a man. Call me old fashioned, but I'm still stuck on regular trousers.

#2111 Zombie Boy Rick Genest sat front row at Duckie Brown

Rick Genest aka Zombie Boy at Duckie Brown. Photo: Greg Lewis

The menswear shows are an anomaly: More attention is paid to the editors and streetstyle stars than to the celebrities sitting front row. You go to a womenswear show and the paps will go wild for Rihanna, Courtney Love and Kim Kardashian; at men's week, it's all about Messers Wooster, Peskowitz and Pask (though most people make an exception for a shot at Kanye). But at today's Duckie Brown show, the aforementioned sat undisturbed in their front row seats. Taking their limelight was none other than Zombie Boy aka Rick Genest, who rose to fame when Nicola Formichetti cast him in the Mugler campaign in January of last year. Dressed in what looked to be a combination of vintage and Formichetti originals (spiked vest, cap and sunglasses), he was literally the opposite of everything you'd expect: Animated, personable, friendly, chatty and not in the least bit terrifying. The moral here is simple, children – don't judge a book by its cover. Also, if you want to get famous, just tattoo every inch of your body. It's that simple!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

#2110 This New York Fashion Week, I'm gonna kick it old school

I'm currently in the throes of a love/hate relationship with life in general, and fashion in particular. Due in no small part to the fact that I've just moved house, had little access to internet and been spending my entire life on the phone with incompetent staff at Time Warner, Con Edison and the National Grid (internet, power and gas), I haven't been enjoying New York much the past week. The gas still hasn't been switched on which leaves my apartment as cold inside as it is out, my attitude has been terrible and my workload has suffered. As a result, I didn't really muster the initiative to request invitations to the shows. I take full responsibility, it was a silly mistake. In a last ditch attempt to make something of a bad situation, I've just spent the best part of the morning frantically calling PR agencies in the hopes that they'll take pity on a foolish lad and let him stand at their shows. So far, I'm not doing too badly.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

#2109 The Ermenegildo Zegna take on prep

I'm not going to lie, I grinned when Zegna sent me photos to write about their take on preppy style. Here’s why: The outfit comprising of a navy blazer, button-down shirt, knit tie and rolled khaki pants looked so similar to my daily uniform that I was immediately sold. Call it Ivy League, call it schoolboy style, call it the influence of the wealthy North East, but regardless of which way you spin it, prep is perennially cool. After all, menswear is at its very best when it’s timeless. Here, Ermenegildo Zegna offers a simple way to dip a toe in the water – start with a red and cream striped navy cardigan, add a white button-down, a silk knit tie and some slim cropped pants; and on the weekend, try swapping the shirt out for a slim fit polo and you’ll be good to go.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

#2108 The facts of life

Photo: Streetpeeper

1. Tonight I'm going to the launch party for Sara Ziff and Jenna Sauers' new initiative The Model Alliance – the first ever organisation that aims to secure workplace rights for American models. I know what you're thinking – they're so beautiful and lucky and they make so much more money than me. Here's the thing: If a model gets injured on a job, they're not covered by insurance. If a model gets sexually harassed on a job, they're often told to grin and bear it. If a model gets charged ridiculous, unexplained expenses by their agency, there's no human resources department to help them come to an amicable solution. The Model Alliance aims to expose and solve all those problems and more, one step at a time. Read the testimonials, they're great. I'm backing them 110%, and you should too.

Monday, February 6, 2012

#2107 How to rent an apartment in New York City

There are a few moments in a man's life that automatically take him from child to adult: Embarking on a career; having a baby; proposing to the woman he loves; signing a 12 month lease on an apartment in New York City. After browsing Craigslist for about five hours and viewing apartments in four different areas of the city, Tom Bull and I had seen everything we needed to see – cramped two-and-a-half-bedroom squats in the Lower East Side (for only $4500 per month!!); flexi-bedroom shoeboxes in Flatiron with great rooftops and a doorman (for only $4350 per month!!); and punky warehouses with vegan graffiti on the walls in the depths of Brooklyn ($2500 per month). But it was the first phone call we made, and the first apartment that we viewed that caught our eye.

Friday, February 3, 2012

#2106 We're re-releasing the Thugged Out Since Cub Scouts tees

Tom Bull, me and Jenny Albright – thugged out since cub scouts. Photo: Katherine Lowe

Did you miss out on buying one of our Thugged Out Since Cub Scouts tees the first time around? Did you buy one and like it so much you want it in a different colour? Did you see some random guy walking around in one in Singapore? Did somebody steal yours off the washing line? You're not alone – these bad boys were so hot they spontaneously combusted straight off the printing table (lawsuits are pending). Katherine Lowe of Katherine is Awesome fame and I have reunited to drop a limited edition run of Thugged Out Since Cub Scouts tees in two new colourways for Shop One Night (New Zealand's answer to Fashion's Night Out), launching February 23. Stay tuned for more details. HOLLA!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

#2105 Drizzy made me do it

Photos: Greg Lewis

Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, a guy doesn't have any need for a pair of leather boots. It doesn't snow, temperatures hardly drop below a balmy 10 degrees, and it might rain all the time, but that's what cars are for. Here in New York, things are different: Chuck Taylors don't cut it in snow, and wet feet will give you the man flu faster than drinking a cup full of pneumonia. So for the past few months I've been jumping puddles, holding umbrellas over my sneakers and walking miles in the wrong direction to avoid patches of sidewalk snow.