Monday, June 30, 2008

Top Ten Stevie Wonder songs - this week anyway...

I don't know about you but I go through musical cycles and rediscover music on a regular basis. This week it's Stevie Wonder. Going back through his albums, it's astonishing how many wonderful songs the genius wrote and how many phenomenal albums he produced - albums without a dud song on them. Songs In The Key Of Life is simply one of the greatest albums of all time. So, here's the Top Ten for the week:

1. Sir Duke - 1976 - Songs In The Key Of Life - funky is an understatement, sitting somewhere between disco, funk and house this is a bubbling masterpiece
2. Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away - 1974 - Fulfillingness' First Finale - still looking Godward a fair bit in the early records, this features some great harmonies with himself
3. All I Do - 1980 - Hotter Than July - just beautiful, was made into a monster dance hit a few years back by The Cleptomaniacs
4. Golden Lady - 1973 - Innervisions - super production for the time, nice shuffle beat
5. Venus Flytrap & The Bug - 1979 - Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants - Stevie's most experimental album, this track munts off down a jazzy Funkadelic path and ends up near The Beatles in their acid period
6. Superwoman [Where Were You When I Needed You] - 1972 - Music Of My Mind - swirling delayed keyboards at their laconic best
7. I Believe [When I Fall In Love] - 1972 - Talking Book - a love song, he wrote many, but a solid message
8. As - 1976 - Songs In The Key Of Life - another tune turned into a house hit but this is the original
9. Ngiculela - Es Una Historia - I Am Singing - 1976 - Songs In The Key Of Life - simply Stevie's voice at it's very best
10. Pastime Paradise - 1976 - Songs In The Key Of Life - sampled and covered and run all over. Again, the original and the best

Thursday, June 26, 2008

M.A.C 'n' Dosh

M.A.C's support of HIV/AIDS funding through the M.A.C Viva Glam campaign is a truly wondrous thing. HIV/AIDS is a cause very dear to our heart so when we heard that M.A.C NZ had just donated $53,000 via the M.A.C Aids Fund to the INA HIV/AIDS Foundation we felt compelled to tell you about it. The donation will help the set up of this particular foundation which focuses on improving the quality of life for people living with HIV and AIDS within the Maori and Pacific Island communities in New Zealand. The M.A.C AIDS Fund has raised $115 million dollars world wide purely through the sale of M.A.C Viva Glam lipstick and lipglass but it is especially heartening to see the results here in Aotearoa. The picture shows the lovely Jodie Matthews, Brand Manager for M.A.C delivering the healthy cheque to Marama Pala, Founder and Director of the INA HIV/AIDS Foundation. Great result M.A.C...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Half Time Oranges

We met Melinda Butt at a recent Billy Apple event at the fabulously yummy eatery known as Gala Cafe in Mt Eden. She asked ask for a cigarette and, almost defenestrating a nearby Otis Frizzell with a swish of her hand said "I'm an artist." "Are you?" we said "Then by all means, send us something then..." So she did, and here it is. Her exhibition Half Time Oranges - perhaps indicative of her candid personality - opens at Satellite Gallery, cnr St Benedict and Newton from July 1 - 13, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Colour me colourful

The residue of last seasons gothic eyliner may still be fresh in our minds, but it's now time to prepare ourselves in readiness as the hottest colour shades in years are about to start gracing even the most die-hard monochrome faces. With so many shades of bright colour splashed over the new seasons runways, it's time to start experimenting with some of the amazing products that are on offer this season. The more faint hearted should start by experimenting with a generous dose of vivid pink blush, brush it on the apples or flush on the cheekbones, bold shades of pink will add freshness to the face without overpowering your features. Try Smashbox Blush in Aperature, start with less and then build up the colour as you dare.

For the more adventurous, don't hold back with colour on the eyes. Choose from the wide array of shades available this season and dab your eyes with almost any of the colours of the rainbow. Use a sheer wash of pink or orange on the entire lid, try MAC eye shadow in Passionate {pink} or Rule {orange} or rim your eyes in energetic hues of green, purple or blue, YSL- 5 Colour Harmony For Eyes in Shades 6 and 2 and Mac eyeliner pencils are not only fantastic true colour pigments they also come in the most gorgeous textures.

Try brightening up a rainy winters day with any of the incredible selection of lip colours available this season. Bright does not have to mean strong scary colour. YSL have done the most stunning shade of vivid baby pink with a hint of shimmer to make this bold colour more wearable. Stunning red lip colour seems to be everywhere this season, alongside old favourites like Chanel Red and MAC Lady Bug or Russian Red are some vivid new kids on the block. Most notable is NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl, it has the convenience of applying with a lip pencil while giving you the texture of a stay fast lip colour, don't try though unless you want to buy, this lip colour will last all night long and still be there for breakfast.

Daily My Space prezzies

Every couple of days when we check our MySpace inbox, we're taken aback by some of the quality posts from [mainly] photographers around the world who are wanting us to run their submissions. Today, there was a veritable gold mine of quality images in our in box from just a few of our 18,000 MySpace friends. Here is a sample of a few, we think you'll agree the standard is high. find out who did what.

Certain Wordshop

One of New Zealand's longest standing fashion-art collaborations goes one step further with the release of New zealand artist and icon John Reynold's book Certain Words Drawn and the simultaneous release of a limited edition Workshop T-Shirt range featuring Reynold's prints. Workshop and Reynolds have worked together in this vein for 20 years. An entire section of the book is dedicated to their relationship and includes photographs of Workshop/Reynolds garments including Architectural Weave, Rockpool variations, Crazy White Folk and the politically inspired Ta Ra Ra Boom Decay print.

Over the years both Workshop and Reynolds have clearly enjoyed exploring the moment where fashion meets art. As well as being a fine artist, Reynolds has a way with words and phrases which clearly lends itself to display on your chest. Significant past collaborations include; the image of episodes from Giotto's Scrovegni Chapel overlain with spidery Batman forms, the dense rubber doily patterns and simple acronyms. The 1992 Corbans Fashion Show saw Workshop and Reynolds at it again with one of the labels most recognisable and memorable pieces - the Rockpool prints on linen shirts. Many made it to the office workspace breaking up the sea of bland white and blue shirts on offer at the time. The original Workshop Newmarket store also featured a giant Reynolds work on the wall. Unable to leave it behind the Cherry's re-installed the entire plaster artwork at the current Morrow Street site.

There are five of Workshop's favourite Reynolds prints available, one of which, The Rockpool is available in both mens and womens T's. Mens T's feature the Doodle and Crazy White Folk prints and womens features another variation of the Rockpool and Miss Behaving.

The John Reynolds collaborative T shirt collection is available at Workshop now as well as a unique and individually signed numbered artist edition of Certain Words Drawn which comes with a commemorative Workshop Denim tote bag. Both Auckland stores also currently feature installations created by Reynolds and Arch MacDonnell - his collaborator and the books designer.

So get on down to the Workshop stores and do a little collaborating yourself by taking home a limited edition Workshop/Reynolds.

Workshop City - Cnr Vulcan Lane and High Street
Workshop Newmarket - 18 Morrow Street, Newmarket

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Hairess

Diana Moar, the Schwarzkopf New Zealand Hairdresser Of The Year, has a provisional license. Not to cut, colour or style hair but to drive a car. So when this worthy recipient of the award received one of her prizes, 3 months of burling around in a Porsche Boxter, she faced something of a conundrum. Luckily the good folk at Porsche have been more than accommodating and the offer stands until Diana gets a full license. So impressed were we with Diana's work, we decided to get her on board for a hair shoot for the upcoming issue of Black, on sale the first week of August - and she delivered. Her salon D&M, of Ponsonby did rather well too, picking up Salon Team Of The Year, Northern Hairdresser Of The Year [Diana again], photography [Hannah Richards] and Make Up [Steph Lai]. The hairess to the throne, we suspect...

All black

Under its inspirational editor, Franca Sozzani, Italian Vogue has over the years gained a reputation for being more about art and ideas than commerce and big beauty companies. Ms. Sozzani doesn’t mind a touch of controversy and breaking new ground, and the latest issue featuring models that are all women of colour is totally in line with that. In a reverse of the general pattern of fashion magazines, all the faces are black, and all the feature topics are related to black women in the arts and entertainment. Leaked pics have been popping up on the internet all week, and this is probably my favourite. Can’t wait for it to hit the stores!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Parklife 2008

While festival season is still faintly glistening in our rearview mirror, the clever kids at Fuzzy have just announced the initial lineup for Parklife 2008.

For me, it's all about Peaches and Goldfrapp, but there's plenty more where that came from - like local lads Grafton Primary ('Relativity' has to be one of the most lyrically astute tracks of this year, and the Tommy Trash mix is beyond.)

Parklife kicks off in Adelaide (Sat 27 Sept) then heads to Melbourne (Sun 28 Sept), Perth (Mon 29 Sept) and Brisbane (Sun 4 Oct), before signing off in Sydney (Sun 5 Oct.) 

Now, if only they would ban fluoro... 

Not so Useless...

Wuyong or Useless is looming as a must-see at this year's 40th Auckland International Film Festival, especially for those with an interest in fashion and an eye on fair trade and sustainability. Wuyong aka Useless is actually the name of Chinese designer Ma Ke's new clothing line which premiered at Paris Fashion Week in 2007. Ma Ke and her designs are the antithesis of sweatshop, lovely hand made couture, created in her workshop, a zen sanctuary compared to the industrialised cacophany of the Chinese clothing industry. The film's three parts deal effortlessly with the juxtaposition between Ma Ke's serenity, the fierce nature of industrialised Guandong where fashion is akin to steel production and a small tailors shop in a nearby mining town. Director Jia Zhangke comments that clothing "also has memories" and Jia's almost constantly moving camera reminds us that even in the modern day industrialised Goliath that is China, fashion can still be art.


Wuyong, Hong Kong/China 2007, 84m
Director: Jia Zhangke

Monday, June 16, 2008

Louis Louis

The Louis Vuitton store offers much to clients including the first designed concept watch area in the Asia pacific region outside the Canton Road Maison. The area also previewed a new Louis Vuitton watch, the Tambour Orientation, a refined yet modern travel watch that spells out just how far the company has come as an horologer.

The flagship of the store is the upstairs VIP room, where customers can spend a little more time and soak up this world class luxury brand.

Louis Vuitton. 56 Queen Street, Auckland

Word Up With Doctor Dic

You have heard the old adage " A picture tells a thousand words" and by and large it is true. Yet sometimes a single word can be just as descriptive or emotive as a picture. If you love words or simply want to develop your vocabulary or use the English language better then you need the Daily Word from This online mega resource will send you a daily word from "Doctor Dictionary" with the word's meaning and a variety of uses. These are usually very well written sentences from well established sources ranging from The Guardian and New York Times to Hemingway. Today's word:


1. A group hired to applaud a performace
2. A group of fawning admirers

Charles Bukowski suffers from too good a press - a small but loudly enthusiastic claque 
- Kenneth Rextroth "There's Poetry In A Ragged Hitch-Hiker" - New York Times, July 5, 1964

Or perhaps:

The garishly clad socialite entered her third envelope opening with a giggling claque of piglets in tow...
- Mark Myword "Who Invited You?" - Parnell Press, 2008

Sign up and word up.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm not there...

Well...what can you say...multi-faceted and the many persona's of a living legend. I know it's been out a while, don't wait for DVD for this one.

Sony Black Eye, aye ai

Our good friends at Sony have been helping us uncover emerging talent in the photographic arena since we launched Black Magazine. Photography is king at Black Mag, we simply love it. We established Sony Black Eye to provide a forum for the many photographers who assist us on our shoots, for the artists out there who don't know how talented they are yet and for the simple purpose of providing a regular forum for the art itself. Issue 8 we ramped this component up to 6 pages. We have already chosen two of the three photographers we will publish in Issue 9 - Phillip Simpson and Himiona Grace. Himiona sent us an email, taken with Black's ability to run a feature story on Civil Rights side by side with a bunch of fashion spreads. Himiona also sent us some photos and wondered if they might be considered for Sony Black Eye this issue. We went to Himiona's site and considered for about 3 seconds. This is a seriously good eye as we are sure you will agree. 

Great great songs number 2

Paper Doll by Louis XIV. From the excellent The Best Little Secrets Are Kept 2005. A sexier mix of lyric and groove has rarely been heard.

Ah bang a gong or get it on, we don't need to take off our clothes to get it on....

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Little Bushman vs The APO

Oh yes! New Zealand music icons the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Little Bushman are joining forces for what promises to be the show of 2008. Little Bushman frontman Warren Maxwell, already a legend from his outings with Fat Freddy's Drop and Trinity Roots, and the band have been working with one of New Zealand's greatest living composers, John Psathas to score some of their killer tracks for orchestra. They will perform a selection of songs from their albums, Onus of Sand and Pendulum with the APO on Sunday 13 July at the Auckland Town Hall.

A couple of years ago the APO presented a similar show with drum and bassers, Shapeshifter, which was massive. Tickets were selling on TradeMe weeks before the show for more than 5 times the ticket price. Little Bushman are a little different with their brand of spacial, psychedelic rock. There are definitely strong influences from 60s and 70s icons like Led Zep and Jimi Hendrix but they never forget their Pacific roots and there's always a mellow groove weaving amongst the walls of guitar and keyboard.

I for one am not going to miss this!! If you've got a bCard you can get a 15% discount!

Maia "hydro couture"

If you have zero interest in the Top Ten Taupes for Lips This Spring or whether or not Shea Butter is the devil’s own work, then please skip this post. If however, you get as excited as me about new developments in the beauty industry, then do read on as I uncover this year’s most essential luxury. Good old Methven, New Zealand's leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of distinctive, water conserving showerware (and a legend in taps), recently debuted its latest breakthrough product, Maia, the world's first beauty shower. Carrying a RRP of USD$395, the new hand held, luxury personal shower takes showering to a whole new level, delivering the healthy benefits of an individualised spa experience directly to the privacy of your bathroom. As well as several settings depending on how you want to shower, Maia even has an inbuilt Vitamin C filter which neutralises chlorine to revitalise the skin and hair and allows it to be used directly on the face, which up until now has been a strict beauty no no. A best seller in stores like Barney's New York, Maia also comes in its own travel kit - don't leave home without it (I cetainly don’t).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fragrant anti hero

The name of a perfume is often as evocative as its smell - J.Lo invites you to Glow with top notes of mandarin and white cherry, whilst Coco by Chanel allows you to ape a small part of the great woman's style and name, along with a distinct whiff of Tunisian orange blossom. Some of us proudly adopt them as our signature scents, but the next time you are asked “what are you wearing?” would you want to reply: “ah, that'll be my Putain des Palaces AKA Hotel Slut. Thanks for asking…”?
The charming Etienne de Swardt thinks you just may, and he's provided just the range to furnish your desires through his infamous Etat Libre d'Orange, a fragrance company that for once elevates creativity over marketability. This man has single-handedly created the kind of provocative fragrance blends that can be used for pre, during and post-coitus gymnastics, and is fiercely proud of it as only a lusty Parisian can be. Originally from the South African state of Free Orange (hence his company's moniker) and now a resident of the French capital, he calls himself a “seducer first and creator second”, and his perfumes are definitely not for the faint of heart. I interviewed him recently and found him to be as awesome as his fragrances suggest, and was ecstatic to come across the marketing campain for his new men's fragrance, Tom of Finland, whilst trawling the net. Using a truly inspired guerilla marketing technique, the company has been posting images along the same line as gay art legend Tom of Finland's infamous works - awesome illustrations of leather daddy-type men—in public spaces, attaching the images at the crotch to protruding fixtures. Love it!

Portraits By Craig

Craig Owen's name has long been synonymous with quality fashion photography but his upcoming exhibition, simply entitled "Portraits" will see Craig stripping the fashion out of his photography. The models will still be there though and some of NZ's finest appear - Penny Pickard, Teresa Moore, Sara Sandring, Grace Barcelos, Joanna Tatham and the lovely Ngahuia Williams [pictured] among them. "In a sense, the exhibition is a collaboration" says Craig, whose work has appeared in Fashion Quarterly, Australian Vogue, Interview, several international Elle's and soon Black Magazine "these are all girls I've believed in, and each is so much more than just a good face or a good body. Their individuality and personality makes them unique".

The exhibition is large in size and spirit with 20 big works on show. 

Portraits by Craig Owen. The Letham Gallery, 35 Jervois Rd, Ponsonby, Auckland from 15 - 29 August, 2008. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What A Buzz

Sigur Rós' new album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust ("with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly" - they even make tinnitus sound beguiling!) is due to hit the shelves on 28 June, just in time for their appearance at Splendour In The Grass.

If you can't possibly wait that long, however, head to online radio site, which will be streaming the album in full from 9 June.

The first album they have recorded outside of Iceland (in New York, London, Reykjavik and Havana, no less), Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust is also the first to feature Jon "Jonsi" Thor Birgisson's vocals in English on one track.

For more info and to (legally and freely) download the first single, 'Gobbledigook', visit

The Always Divine Tatty Devine

Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden are a couple of English birds who also happen to be behind the ever-covetable Tatty Devine accessories label.

I've seen this necklace pop up on a few street style blogs of late, and think it's almost as great as the inspiration behind its design, the never common Jarvis Cocker.

This little beauty is made of alloy and acrylic, and will set you back 35 pounds from


We love Tattys! Forget Trade Me. If you live anywhere near Ponsonby, or even if you don't, then drive to Ponsonby Rd [Auckland's new high street] and go straight to Tattys with all of those beloved-but-beyond items from your wardrobe. "Bring in your old clothes now!" says the window in Tatty's trademark cursive script. Tattys is not just the best place to sell your wares though, it could very well be one of the best places to buy them - loads of near new goodies from well known designers at desirably accessible modern! 

Friday, June 6, 2008

10 Great Rare Groove Disco Tunes

1.Brandi Wells - Watch Out 1994 - yeah babe you better watch out
2. Lamont Dozier - Going Back To My Roots - Lamont returns from whence he came
3. Supermax - Love Machine 1977 - Austria has more to offer than Hitler and weirdos
4. The Armed Gang - For You My Girl 1985 - more Euro niceness from Italy
5. Rod - Shake It Up [Do The Boogaloo] - Rod proves he's a lot more interesting than his name
6. Love International - Dance On The Groove 1981 - French supergroove
7. Pino De Angio - Ma Quale Idea 1980 - Italian smooch disco
8. The System - You Are In My System - systematic simplicity
9. Idris Muhammed - Could Heaven Ever Be Like This 1977 - spawned huge house tunes
10. David Bendeth - Feel The Real 1980 - spawned Masters At Work maybe

Twinkle Toes

I'm not sure which movie dance off I love more - Mia and that bob twisting to a tee in Pulp Fiction, or the lovely in lemon Sandy doing the kangaroo bop in Grease. With Johnny 'Jack Be Nimble' Travolta partnering them both, I'm sure you'll agree that cinema cha cha cha'ing just doesn't get much better.

Either way, I'm all for a good old boogie battle, and as such will be dusting off my disco dips at Oxford Art Factory on Thursday night for the third annual DUKE Magazine dance off. Competition starts at 9pm sharp. Be there or be square (ah, Mia Wallace, you are forever in my heart.)

Loving Lars (And The Real Girl)

It sounds ridiculous - sweet, socially inept Lars Lindstrom (The Notebook's Ryan Gosling) meets a girl online, and brings her home to meet his family. Bianca is gorgeous - flawless, even - and well, so she should be. She is a doll, a Real Doll, anatomically correct from head to ... toe and crafted to Lars' every specification.

Wide open for the cheapest of one trick chuckles, instead Lars And The Real Girl is a quirky, gorgeous film that's equal parts laugh out loud funny and softly unsettling. I haven't loved a film this much in a very long time...


I haven't seen the film as yet (sacreligious, I know) but here is the first of what I presume to be many SATC posts...

Asked what happens to Stanford Blatch in his version of the sequel, Willie Garson echoed the thoughts of many a fabulous woman and their fagulous best friend:

“I get a sex change and Carrie gets a sex change. We go off and get married in Amsterdam, as was always meant to be.”

Love it.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

New Yawk, New Yawk

I'm not sure if there's anyone left who hasn't discovered the joys of Overheard In New, but for all those not-so-early adopters, here's a little sample...

Annoying hipster: "Hey man, you still have that hook up for blow?"
Guy #1: "No man, he went under, I have a new connection now. Just go to the second bodega at the corner and ask the guy for a fairy dust pizza."
Annoying hipster: "Really? Alright man, thanks."
Guy #2, after hipster leaves: "That's not true, is it?"
Guy #1: "Of course not."

Delivered straight to your inbox - delicious.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Lets we forget - Yves Leaves

One of the greatest couteriers, a fashion icon among the greatest and the first designer to put black models on the runway. A true legend has passed. RIP...

Monday, June 2, 2008

What's Up Sweet Pea?

We've featured some of Louise Cuckow's work in Black Magazine before. She makes a cute and cuddly range of wee things called Sweet Pea Home, available at Karen Walker. She also made a little black cat for us called Kat, after Katherine Mansfield Churchward, our smallest, now pregnant puddy. A couple of days ago she sent through some of her illustration work and, like her stuffed creatures, it's as cute and desirable as a Sweet Pea in a garden salad.