Wednesday, May 30, 2012

#2189 The facts of life

1. Katherine Lowe and I have spent the past three weeks fighting; it's been business as usual. But this time, there was a light at the end of the tunnel – we were duking it out over the design of Little Brother's labels, swing tags, tee shirt and sweater prints. This morning at 3:30am New Zealand time/11:30am New York time, we cracked it. And at the risk of counting our chickens before they hatch, I reckon it's the best work we've ever done. I am so god damn excited to launch this collection! Might have to start leaking some imagery over the next couple of weeks. Keep an eye out.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

#2188 Good Question

Photo: Haw-lin
Anonymous asks: My boyfriend keeps telling me he wants to go on a break. He says I'm too controlling because I don't like it when he goes out without me, but when he does go out, our mutual friends tell me he ends up flirting with other girls, or going to strip clubs. Plus, he's cheated on me twice. My friends all hate him and tell me to break up with him, but I'm so in love with him and I'm scared that if we break up he'll just end up hooking up with another girl straight away (he's really good looking and funny). I'm 21, he's 22 and we've been together three years. What can I do?

Sounds like you're stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you break up with him, you're going to be upset for a while. If you stay with him, you're basically telling yourself, him and everyone you know that you're not worthy of being treated with respect. Your friends have good reason to hate him – he sounds like a complete and utter douche bag. Don't get me wrong, I can imagine exactly why you like him: He's good looking, funny, he keeps you on your toes, it's exciting, you never know what to expect, it's dramatic, passionate and nobody knows what it's like when it's just you and him. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

#2187 The Likes List – Birthday Presents Edition

1. I didn't bother to organise anything for my birthday until yesterday afternoon when I texted a couple of friends to ask if they wanted to have dinner the next day. They all replied in the affirmative, and that was that. At about 8:30pm, after being out of the house for the whole day, I walked up to my apartment door and found it locked. 'Dark,' I thought to myself, 'How dare my roommates go out without telling me.' I put my key in the lock, opened the door, and turned the light on in my pitch-black living room. "SURPRISE!" screamed 30 of my favorite New York mates. It was amazing. Best birthday present ever.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

#2186 The problem with birthdays

This is my two year old niece Sofia Grace. She always makes me smile.
I turn 28 on Sunday. Twenty eight years old. That's nearer 30 than I'd prefer and when I really think about it, quite old, but everything's relative and I know how annoying it is when 21 year olds tell me how old their age sounds, so apologies to anyone in their twilights (or post 29). But like I was saying to the two Kiwi girls I ate lunch with this afternoon (aged 25 and 20, respectively), I don't feel a day older than I ever have, and life seems to get better with age. My beef is not with getting older, it's with birthdays. When I was growing up at Muriwai Beach in the early 90s, I used to have these neighbours named the Stents. The Stents were Jehovah's Witnesses and I felt sad for the three children (all aged similarly to me), because J Dubs don't celebrate birthdays or Christmas. No cake, no presents, no Santa Claus. But the older I get, the more I feel like they might have had the right idea. Why? See below for a chronological list of all the reasons I hate birthdays.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

#2185 What's in store at BLK DNM – the outtakes

Photos: Noah Emrich of NOVH fame
I've been intrigued by BLK DNM and its founder Johan Lindeberg's sudden rise to indie fashion fame for a while now, so last week Noah Emrich and I shot the store for the New York Times to see what all the fuss was about. It's a cavernous space on Lafayette Street in Soho, filled with Downtown-type art, walls of denim and stacks of Purple magazines – the staff are all young and good looking, the air perfumed with musky candle smoke, and Lindeberg himself is an exercise in tousled aloof. Read the full story over on The Moment, and check out our outtakes below.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

#2184 The facts of life

Photo: Haw-lin
1. You know those completely unfounded ideas you have about people from TV? Well I briefly hung out with Kunal Nayyar who plays Raj on The Big Bang Theory on Saturday night and discovered that the thick Indian accent he does on the show is 100% real. All this time I've thought he was playing it up for the cameras. The guy was a champion – hilarious in real life and an extremely gracious host. We could all learn a thing or two from Indian hospitality... and not being ashamed of our peculiar accents.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

#2183 Good Question

Jack Purcells, Mark McNairys, Chuck Taylors.
Jack asks: I'm overhauling my closet and starting with shoes. What, in your opinion, are the best basics/staples I should get?

Hi Jack, good question. I wear the same pair of navy blue Chuck Taylors every day of the week, and they are, in my opinion, the perfect shoes. However: I will concede that I don't have to go to an office for work, my only dress code is whatever I feel like wearing on the day, and I wouldn't wear them to a wedding. So after a bit of thought, I have come to the decision that there are seven pairs of shoes that should keep you (and every other man) well-shod no matter what the occasion. They are...

Monday, May 21, 2012

#2182 The Likes List – Quotes Edition

Photo: Haw-lin
1. “I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” Clarence Darrow

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

#2181 The facts of life

Club Monaco's take on the short-sleeve sweater.
1. Male models like to brag. The bragging generally covers three topics: Their sporting prowess, their comedic prowess, and most commonly, their sexual prowess. The other day six male models were sitting around playing FIFA in my living room when an English guy spoke up: "There's only one problem with having a face that looks this good, and that's having an even better looking piece." High fives abounded. He continued. "My agency should make a comp card for my piece. I bet it would get more work than all of you put together. It's that handsome." You literally couldn't make this stuff up.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

#2180 Good Question

Take Ivy
John Lemmon asks: I'm considering the idea of studying sociology because on paper it interests me, but how useful is it once I've left uni?

That old chestnut... Will my arts degree get me a job? Here's the thing – If I had a dollar for every commerce or science graduate who's ever made fun of me for doing a BA, I'd be about a hundred bucks richer than I am now. If I had a dollar for every arts graduate I know who can destroy a commerce or science graduate in any argument that requires critical thinking, I'd be a billionaire. Zingggg. I guess the more pertinent question is: If you're not going to university to become a doctor, lawyer, engineer, architect, teacher, accountant, dentist or academic (etc etc), how useful is any course of study? Answer: Very useful.

Monday, May 14, 2012

#2179 The Likes List – Gripes Edition

Photo: Haw-lin
1. Friends who promise they're going to stop attempting to hook up with every girl they meet – regardless of her relationship status or the fact that she's your other friend's date, then spend the next three hours sending her messages on Facebook.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

#2178 An unconventional tour of New York, with Lacoste Live and me

A few weeks ago Lacoste Live tapped me to take them on an unconventional tour of New York City that was, in fact, so unconventional, that it included a few spots that I'd never been before. Starting off on top of the world (my beloved Williamsburg Bridge), we hit Rosario's for a slice, went a few rounds at Gleason's Boxing Gym, interviewed the most chilled out tattoo artist of all time at East River, watched the sunset from my rooftop, met up with some mates at Zebulon (holla at Jenny Albright, Dierdre Reimhold and Simon Oscroft), then finished up at Le Bain. All in all, a bloody good day out in New York. And in case you were wondering, Thibault, the film's 25 year old French director, actually did get that THE END tattoo – if that's not commitment to the cause, I don't know what is.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

#2177 The facts of life

Opening Ceremony's awesome new sweaters.
1. I love Girls and hate Girls all at the same time. The female characters suck, the male characters suck and everybody acts in the most cringe-inducing ways. One girl stands in the doorway of a guy who treats her like dirt crying about how much she cares about him; all he can respond with is a crack about her eyebrows. Another girl (from a privileged background) tells a group of poorly paid nannies that they should unionise; and loses the kids she's supposed to be looking after in the process. Another girl hates her boyfriend for smothering her with love; so he writes a song about it and performs it to her and a crowd of 25 people at a bar in Bushwick. It's basically just Jersey Shore without the Ed Hardy tee shirts. The only half-decent character seems to be the unemployed, goateed Dad, but you know he's going to make a pass at his school-aged kids' babysitter. So why can't I stop watching it?? Somebody desperately needs to write Boys and I think that somebody should probably be me.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

#2176 Good Question

Clive Owen in Closer
Sarah asks: If you are in a committed/monogamous/long-haul-this-is-the-real-deal-baby relationship, is it shady to meet your ex who treated you incredibly badly to talk about things/closure/make peace, without telling your current partner because current partner disapproves strongly of said ex and your past in general?

The short answer, in my opinion, is yes I think it's shady to meet up with an ex without telling your long term partner. The question I wish I could ask you is this: Why do you feel the need to talk about things/get closure/make peace with someone who treated you incredibly badly? Also, despite the fact that you are now in a happy, committed and real deal relationship, are you still holding onto the pain resulting from your ex's past actions? (Genuine question, not an accusation.)

Monday, May 7, 2012

#2175 The Likes List – New York City edition

The Meatball Shop, 3:55am on a Friday morning.
1. Eat at The Meatball Shop. It's possibly the most fun dining experience I've ever had, for the simple reason that they give you a bunch of markers, you get to draw on your menu, then your fellow diners, and then your waiter (but only if he or she is in a particularly good mood). I'd recommend ordering the classic beef meatballs with mushroom gravy on top of mashed potato, with a peanut butter cookie/chocolate ice cream sandwich for desert. And the best bit? They stay open till 4:00am.

Friday, May 4, 2012

#2173 The problem with boys

Jude Law in Alfie – the personification of this post.
I have this friend named Jack who does very well with girls. He's tall, good looking, supremely self confident, and he gets away with murder. For the past three months he's been spending a lot of time with a girl named Kate, but they're not dating. Despite seeing her most days of the week, sleeping at her apartment every other night and doing everything a normal couple does, they've decided not to put a label on things. You see, at the very beginning of the relationship when they first started hanging out, Jack was quite clear about one thing: He wasn't looking for a girlfriend. Kate was fine with this, she told him she wasn't looking for anything serious either. But Kate recently cornered me late one night at a bar after she'd had a few drinks, and told me that she secretly hoped Jack would come around. The next day when I told Jack what she'd said, he shrugged it off, saying, "Na, it's all good, she told me she likes things the way they are – she wants to keep it casual."

Thursday, May 3, 2012

#2172 Why I like Richard Haines

Illustration: Richard Haines
I was first introduced to Richard Haines by Bruce Pask back in September during New York Fashion Week. It'd be safe to say that we hit it off immediately – our irreverent senses of humour and mischievous personalities seemed to gel in the midst of an industry that famously takes itself too seriously; he became my partner in crime as I stole a few extra cookies off chairs at Band of Outsiders or snuck into the Alexander Wang show (he even didn't mind when I rapped along a little too loudly to Gin and Juice on the soundtrack). He's become a man that I'm proud to call my friend, and I look up to him immensely for his insane talents as an illustrator, his jaw-dropping prowess as a story-teller, and his endless positivity (but always with that cynical New York edge). The guy slays me.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

#2171 The facts of life

1. You know how guys always say 'No homo' after saying anything that could be misconstrued as being the least bit gay? My friends and I are trialling a new one out – 'No hetero'. You say it after anything that could be misconstrued as being the least bit straight. For example: "Woah did you see that girl's ass? No hetero." "The game's on. No hetero." It also works pretty well to reinforce a statement, lest there be any doubt: "Curled up on the couch with my mates and a big bowl of popcorn, watching The Notebook. :-) No hetero." "God he's got good abs. No hetero." Give it a go. You'll love it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

#2170 Good Question

Karl Lagerfeld, Lara Stone and Baptiste Giabiconi backstage at Chanel Haute Couture, Summer 2009.
Anonymous asks: Off the top of your head, what posts did you really feel like you hit the nail on the head on Isaac likes? What are your favorite posts? 

I'd be lying if I said I didn't love you for asking me that question. See below for the answers.