Monday, April 30, 2012

#2169 The Likes List – Movies Edition

Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson in Lost in Translation.
1. Lost in Translation – because it's my favourite film of all time. Easily the best movie about the relationship between an aging star and a bored young married girl named Charlotte. And that bit at the end when he whispers in her ear – greatest film moment of all time.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

#2168 The problem with girls, highlighted by Girls

I have this friend Rachel who went for dinner with a guy and his girlfriend last month. The guy brought a friend along (Matt) to keep the numbers even, and my friend and the new guy got along pretty well. They talked a lot over dinner, had some drinks, talked some more, had a few more drinks, flirted, made eyes, went to a bar afterwards, danced, held hands, walked home together, then kissed on her doorstep. He then went home like a gentleman should. After they said bye, she realised he hadn't asked for her number. Not to worry, thought Rachel, he can easily get my number off his friend. The next day, she got a text from her friend, saying he hoped she'd had a nice time, but no text from Matt. A week later, the awesome foursome got together again. It was a repeat of the first time – talking, drinking, flirting, making eyes, dancing, hand holding, except this time, at the end of the night, she invited him inside. The next morning he got up, said thanks for a lovely evening, and didn't ask for her number.

Friday, April 27, 2012

#2167 This Modern Love – James and Celine

The first time James saw Celine, he was standing on the south side of the quad at his new private school in Melbourne. She stood at the opposite end, surrounded by a group of girls. She had thick dark hair, flawless tan skin, beautiful white teeth, a petite frame, enormous breasts and tons of energy. He'd just moved to the school on a full sporting scholarship two days earlier from a small country town and knew nobody, so he turned to the closest person – a nerdy looking guy with thick glasses and a bad haircut – and asked, "Who is that girl?" The nerd stared. "Celine Martelli. Join the queue." Within a couple of weeks James' spot on the first fifteen rugby team had afforded him some handy popularity, and despite being in year 10, he'd been asked to the Year 11 semi-formal by a girlfriend of Celine's. He wanted to swap his date.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

#2166 What's in store at Maison Kitsune – the outtakes

Photos: Noah Emrich  

When you're as obsessed with shirts, pants, tees and sweaters as I am, you spend a disproportionate amount of time searching for clothes that fit so well, you'd swear they were cut for you by the world's greatest bespoke tailors – but at off the rack prices. Well, friends, I found them at Parisian label Maison Kitsune. Noah Emrich of NOVH fame and I shot the brand's brand new New York outpost for T Magazine last week, and here are the results. If you're in town, stop by for a look, if you're in Paris, check them out at 52 Rue de Richelieu, and if you're in just about any other major city in the world, track them down – you won't regret it. Article spoiler alert: Kitsune is pronounced Kit-soo-nay, and it's Japanese for fox. Thus the logo! Here are some of the photos that didn't make it past the cutting room floor. Please enjoy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

#2165 The facts of life

Photo: Haw-lin 

1. If I ever get the chance to properly interview Kanye West, I'm going to ask him what he thinks when white people are in the audience at his concerts rapping along to his songs and they drop the N-bomb. (ie 'Got my N-bombs in Paris, and they goin' gorillas, huh!') Is there some kind of get-out-of-jail free allowance given to white people at hip hop shows?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

#2164 Good Question

Anonymous asks: My friend decided to set me up with a friend of hers. After a lot of emails, I realised he is also one of my very good friend's exes (I never met him then as they broke up years and years ago before I met my friend, but my friend is not really over it). I was feeling guilty but still decided to go ahead and meet him. And boom, disaster, it looks like it could really work. What should I do? 

Ah yes, that old chestnut. Back when I was 19 years old, I dated an amazing French girl named Camille for about two or three months. It was short but sweet and I ended up breaking up with her to get back together with an on-again-off-again girlfriend. We stayed good friends, and eight months later, she invited me and my best friend Rick to a costume party at her new house (he and I both went as the backwards man from Freddy Got Fingered). I noticed at the party that Rick and Camille were spending a lot of time together, and towards the end of the evening there were a couple of those subtle signs that something was going to happen – prolonged eye contact, whispering, hand on the small of the back and the rest. I didn't think too much of it at the time, and I was getting tired so I told Rick I wanted to go home. He wanted to stay, so I drove home and left him there. Rick didn't come home that night.

Monday, April 23, 2012

#2163 The Likes List – Music Edition*

1. Way Too Cold – Kanye West.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

#2162 The problem with hindsight

Photo: Haw-lin
Some friends and I went to the courts on Wythe and South First in Williamsburg to play basketball last night. We arrived at 7:30pm and started playing pick up ball with these two kids – one was a tough talking Puerto Rican 10 year old named Joe, the other was a miniscule, bespectacled seven year old named Jason. We split the kids up, one on each team with the big kids, and had a 45 minute game. They were very different in their approach – Joe was aggressive, never stopped talking and complained constantly about fouls; Jason hardly said a word and passed the ball as soon as it came to him. Joe went home at about 8:15pm, and we kept playing with Jason. It was dark by this stage. After a while we wanted to leave, so we asked him how he was going to get home. He told us his older brother was coming in five minutes to pick him up. We decided to hang out and wait for his brother to arrive, but 20 minutes later, there was no sign of him.

Friday, April 20, 2012

#2161 This Modern Love* – Gala and Mike

If Mike were telling the story, it'd go a little something like this: "I was riding my motorcycle through the West Village one evening, when I pulled up to a stop sign and saw a cute girl with pink hair and tattoos standing on the corner. I said, 'Hey babe, get on my bike,' she said, 'Okay,' and away we went." But that's not what really happened. The reality is not quite so fairytale, but equally cinematic. Blogger, self-help guru and international playgirl Gala Darling was sitting at home at 11:00pm one Friday night in 2008 about to go to a concert, when she received a message on OKCupid (one of the world's largest online dating sites). It was from Mike. He wrote, "Hey, you look really cute and it seems like we have a bunch of stuff in common, why don't we hang out?" Gala took a look through his profile and saw photos of him walking his pit bull and racing his motorcycle and thought to herself, 'He does look pretty awesome,' so she replied: "Yeah, that sounds good, what are you doing right now?" He wrote back, saying he was free, so she sent him another message and said, "Alright, well, let's go out for a drink then."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

#2160 The facts of life

1. Three intelligent, successful, well-spoken, intellectually intimidating and militantly pro-women's rights ladies came over to my house on Sunday to watch the premiere of the TV show Girls. I made a comment/joke about how one of the female characters had an extraordinarily comical body and it went down like the Hindenberg, except with more flames. As did my attempt to liken my joke to a similar thing I might say about Will Ferrell's extraordinarily comical body. But what really sealed my fate was when I accused them of being reverse sexists. Or was it when I told them to quit their whining and go bake me a cake? I forget. Hell hath no fury like a staunch feminist in the presence of a feeble minded male. I never stood a chance (and I'm still waiting on that cake).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

#2159 Good Question

Anonymous asks: What is the best way to deal with unrequited love on the part of the person who is in love?

Good question. I was hopelessly and utterly in love with a girl from the ages of 14 to 17. It took me about 30 seconds to decide that she was the woman I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with, and about three years to figure out that it was literally never going to happen. As they say, love is blind, but it's also blinding – so much so that the glaringly obvious can be invisible before our eyes. The problem for me was that we were basically best friends. We'd spend hours talking on the phone, we'd hang out all the time and when we were alone it felt so right. The other problem was that she had a long-term boyfriend.

Monday, April 16, 2012

#2158 The Likes List

Gangz of New York. Pic: Olivia Fleming

1. Hanging out with Kiwis here in New York. This past week we've had David Dallas, Peter Wadams (aka P Money), Andy Murnane (Dawn Raid's CEO) and Simon Oscroft (guitarist for Midnight Youth) in town, plus old faithfuls Georgia Fowler, Olivia Fleming, Tom Gould and Jack Tame. It's the expat equivalent of catching up with your cousins after a long gap – the familiarity's there, all the old jokes are the same and you never have to explain yourself; they all just get it. GO THE KIWIS!

Friday, April 13, 2012

#2157 A girl I used to know

I met Josefina at a wedding in Toronto in 2005. She was the younger sister of the bride, and I was tagging along with my older sister, who'd been in a touring dance group with the groom. The first time I saw her was at her house the night before the big day; she was sitting on the floor in the kitchen writing place settings. I noticed her immediately – she looked like a young Penelope Cruz with dark eyes, dark eyebrows, long hair and golden skin – but we were ushered out as quickly as we arrived so all I got was a quick glance but no introduction. The next day I sat behind her during the service and spent more time admiring the back of her neck than I did concentrating on the vows. As the night wore on, I positioned myself directly opposite her at every opportunity, staring at her with what I hoped was a seductive intensity.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

#2156 The facts of life

Me, bleeding.

1. Yesterday, in a fit of misguided heroism, I attempted to catch a glass that had fallen on the bench and toppled over the side. Only what I didn't realise until my hand was wrapped around the rim was that it had shattered upon impact with the counter top. Blood sprayed - on the wall and the floor – and I proceeded to swear both violently and repeatedly as I attempted to stem the flow. Then, as I was applying pressure at various points and running my hand under cold water, my nose started to bleed. Oh, sweet irony. Did I mention hemophilia runs in the family?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

#2155 Good Question

Bruce Pask. Photo: T Magazine

Anonymous asks: Who do you, as a person look up to? Who do you look up to in a professional stance? Are these two (or perhaps more than two) people different?

Professionally, whenever anybody asks me this question, the first person who pops into my head is Tim Blanks. He's my favourite menswear writer, his reviews are often as artful as a collection's clothing itself and he's a fellow Kiwi (originally from Auckland). When I was at university, I used to read religiously and spend hours poring over the menswear collections from Milan, Paris and New York. Tim Blanks was my go-to-guy. A couple of years later, when I found out he was a New Zealander, I just about flipped my wig. If I could steal three things from Tim, it would be his sentence structure, his savant-like knowledge of music, and his short sleeve shirt collection.

Monday, April 9, 2012

#2154 The Likes List

1. Call Me Maybe, LOLCATS edition... featuring Katherine Lowe of Katherine is Awesome fame, tonnes of Kiwi models, lad-about-town Connor Nestor, TVNZ's US correspondent Jack Tame, the most gangsta female model in the world (my mate Jenny Albright), heaps of other friends, gratuitous nudity and me. Ashley Tisdale, eat your heart out.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

#2153 The curse of the freelancer

Thom Browne at Pitti Uomo. Photo: Trendland

I am guilty of glossing over the realities of day-to-day life as a freelancer on this blog – the struggles, the anxieties, the endless emails to potential employers, the too-good-to-be-true projects that invariably fall through and the occasional long stretches of time when you don't have a single job on the horizon. When you're starting out in this industry, it pays to present a rose-tinted view of your life: 'Look! I'm in Paris backstage at Lanvin,' or, 'A free suit pour moi? Thanks!' Sure, it sounds a little wanky, and in a way it is wanky. But it follows that whole philosophy of dressing for the job you want, not the job you have.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

#2152 The Fall/Winter 2012 Barkers campaign with Mister Thomas Bull

Photos: Greg Lewis

Barkers have begun rolling out the campaign images we shot in New York with Tom Bull last month, to coincide with the company's 40th anniversary celebrations. But allow me to digress for a second. Did you know that back in the early days, Barkers was one of the first stores in New Zealand to illegally trade on weekends? The story goes that founder Ray Barker got together with the Record Warehouse on Vulcan Lane and opened the doors on Saturdays to the general public. It proved such a success that the fines didn't deter them, and within a year so many other retailers had followed suit that the laws were changed. Gangsta.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

#2151 The facts of life

Christy Turlington. Photo: Peter Lindbergh

1. Remember my mate's lady friend who was so unimpressed by my comments regarding her attendance of FIT that she got up at dinner, stormed out (followed closely by my mate), then turned around and told him she'd never talk to him ever again? Yeah, that one. Lo and behold, she turned up again on Saturday night. It was at a bar in TriBeCa, and we bumped into each other in the extremely narrow corridor at the entrance. I said hello. She looked at me, made a small puking sound, looked away, then walked off. But no matter where we went in the bar, the other would just happen to be standing in ridiculously close proximity. Eye contact was inevitable, frequent, and prolonged. Sure, I kept glancing at her, but she was actively staring. Every time I caught her eye, I'd raise my hand and give her a little wave. She'd see it, scowl, and look quickly away. This happened no less than seven times. Finally, I made my approach. "Listen," I said. "This is crazy. Can't we just be friends?" Her response was swift and unexpected: In one fluid motion, she threw her drink in my face. I staggered back, wiping water from my eyes. "Wait, wait, wait," I spluttered. "So that's a no?"

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

#2150 Good Question*

Photo: Katherine Lowe (from here)

Anonymous asks: How long have you been an expat? What's it like in the big apple?

I left New Zealand for Singapore on June 9 last year. From there I went to Milan, then Paris, and I arrived in New York on August 8. So I've been gone from New Zealand about 10 months now, and in New York about seven. This city is amazing. You have ready access to the best people in the industry, you're surrounded by your heroes and the opportunities are insane if you can seize them. You learn very quickly that you have to be confident and sell yourself in order to get ahead, and if someone gives you their business card, you chase them up. In my experience New Yorkers are always keen to give you a chance (both professionally and personally), and because everyone came here to reach great heights, those who have seem to be able to relate to your quest so there's a real sense of nurturing young talent or giving people a leg up.

Monday, April 2, 2012

#2149 The Likes List

1. The 50/50 possibility that I'm going to Coachella in two and a half weeks.