Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Xmas!

Merry Xmas to our Blacklog readers! We'll be posting over summer at various times but in the meantime, enjoy your Xmas break!

Love Grant & Rachael x

Thursday, December 17, 2009

August's next top model #3 - Rhianon

And last but not least, Rhianon, wearing Workshop and Helen Cherry turned up for her test in a casual outfit that impressed immediately. Her sense of fashion and outgoing attitude translated perfectly in the shoot. She also walked for us recently in the Workshop/Helen Cherry Ponsonby store opening show and we have no doubt she will be a feature on the modelling scene next year.

Photography: Russ Flatt
Styling: Rachael Churchward
Hair & Make-up: Amber Haldane

August's next top model #2 - Ashleigh

Ashleigh, wearing Deadly Ponies, Ruby and See by Chloe boots was the winner of the August Models Talent Search at Girls Day Out and is a very new face at August but has fabulous bone structure and features that will only enhance her look as she gets older. This girl has a big future...

Photography: Russ Flatt
Styling: Rachael Churchward
Hair & Make-up: Amber Haldane

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

August's next top model #1 - Ariel

There has been a plethora of hot new faces coming through the model agencies of Aotearoa over the past few months, there is no doubt New Zealand is heating up as a model resource. In recent weeks Black Fashion Director Rachael Churchward has begun consultancy work with August Models in Auckland, and in a short space of time she has unearthed some gems. First up in a series of August's next top models :-) in Bettina Liano, Ariel...

Photography: David Shields
Styling: Rachael Churchward
Hair & Make-up: David Shields

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Blacklog Feature: Massey's Tenth Edition Part #4: Alice Howard

Alice Howard

In one sentence, what have you learned at the course? Most importantly I have learnt to think outside the square with my designing and then to be able to draw it back into something unique but very wearable.

Who, or what is your biggest inspiration? I'm a real people watcher, I get a great rush from seeing someone really eccentric wandering down the street but looking totally unique but so
fantastically happy in themselves and their clashing colours and textures, that they somehow look completely stunning. Also, I have always envied the glamour and sophistication of my grandparent's generation, I would adore to wear clothes that my grandmother wore at my age.

How would you describe your style as a fashion designer? Colourful and eclectic, I love working with combinations of varying pattern and texture. Very feminine and soft with a hint of grunge.

How would you describe your style personally? I'm a big vintage shopper so a bit of a mixture of old and new, lots of colours and textures. I guess I dress very similarly to the way I design. A bit of a combination between grunge and elegance.

What does fashion need more of? COLOUR!! I feel people are becoming more and more afraid of using it and very safe in their combination of colours. Also, I think fashion could definitely do with a bit of a kick of old world glamour - the likes of the 1920's and early Chanel...

Blacklog Feature: Massey's Tenth Edition Part #3: Anna von Hartitzsch

Anna von Hartitzch

In one sentence, what have you learned at the course? I learnt that to design and create takes heart and soul.

Who, or what is your biggest inspiration? Inspiration exists everywhere. I can be inspired by a single image or a collection of images that interact together, a feeling or a topic that needs visually expressing - all depending on what is happening around me.

How would you describe your style as a fashion designer? My concepts and designs are very emotionally based. I tend to be a hands-on designer who goes with my feelings and moods. This process creates couture pieces that have a little piece of me secretly entwined within them.

How would you describe your style personally? To be perfectly honest, I am not very fashionable, to the point where I'm not sure if I even have a personal style. I grew up on a farm where I lived in trackies and tees and haven't really changed from this. I think I make beautiful clothes for other people and feel more comfortable with that.

What does fashion need more of? I think fashion needs more meaning and memory. I believe clothing and even fabric have essences that should be better enjoyed, more than the modern day's fast fashion industry allows for. Clothes used to be treasured and we are missing that connection that prevents us from just them throwing away...

Blacklog Feature: Massey's Tenth Edition Part #2: Jess Kerr

Jess Kerr

In one sentence, what have you learned at the course? The best thing I have learned is to stay true to my ideas and concepts.

Who, or what is your biggest inspiration? My biggest inspiration is France around the 1940 - 1950s. The glamour, beauty and the way women made such an effort with grooming.

How would you describe your style as a fashion designer? My style as a fashion designer is big and beautiful. A little bit of fantasy is in my designs as I see fashion as something you can dream with.

How would you describe your style personally? My personal style is quite classic with a touch of old worn glamour.

What does fashion need more of? Fashion needs more style in it. Anything goes nowadays, which sometimes can be good, but there are fads that should not be worn!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

macaroon love

Macaroons are the most delicious, delicate and pretty little things ever. I've been obsessed ever since my first visit to Laduree in Paris where you can get the best macaroons money can buy. I've discovered a couple of places to get really good ones in Auckland though: Philippe's Chocolate and French pastry shop in Grey Lynn and the Vaniye stall in Alexandra Park farmer's market on Sunday mornings are definitely worth a visit.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Blacklog Feature: Massey's Tenth Edition: Zhang Shuai

Zhang Shuai

It's great to see that New Zealand's tertiary fashion courses are unearthing and nurturing an increasing number of talented young designers; AUT, Whitecliffes and Wellington's Massey Creative Campus are all fostering talent that augurs well for the future of our fashion industry. Recently students of Massey's four-year Bachelor Of Design (Fashion Major) held their end of year show entitled "Tenth Edition" - in commemoration of the campus's 10 years of existence. This year Karen Walker was invited to moderate the marking of the final year collections and offer an unbiased view. She was impressed by the standard of the fledgling designers work and we have been too, so over a series of posts, we thought a short interview and showcase of the work of four of the best from the 4th year show would be in order:

Zhang Shuai

Can you describe in one sentence what you have learned at the course? I have learned how to be creative in fashion design and enhance the diversity of design.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration? My inspiration is the thorny rose for women - luring and enticing, but resolute and self-protected as well.

How would you describe your style as a fashion designer? In my design I want to show really strong-looking and high fashion.

How would you describe your style personally? Personally, I like to put on a different style everyday, but at this stage I prefer womenswear in a men's style.

What does fashion need more of? I think fashion is not just about clothes or art. It can promote economic growth so we need more people to give more passion to inspire a fashion designer's imagination and power.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Photo Of The Week: Girl Meets NYC

Girl Meets NYC = Susannah Cole doesn't post very often but her images are worth the wait. She adds some beautiful words are our photo(s) of the week from Girl Meets NYC...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Black 11 - the digital version

Black 11 is on sale now in New Zealand and will be in Australia shortly. We've had a number of enquiries since receiving a bit of attention across the internet over Black 11 from people wanting to know where and how they can get a copy of the mag in their territory. US Vogue we are not but anyone, anywhere in the world can buy a digital version of the issue right now by simply going here to You will have to join Zinio and download the free Zinio Reader (takes only a few minutes) and the digital issue costs only NZ $10.00. Every little bit of content is there, is zoomable, all of the urls are live and overall it is actually a very nice digital experience. So if you live in Alaska or Antarctica, or Argentina - this is your best bet - and within half an hour of reading this you could be reading Black 11...

Tickl-ed Pink and ReelFilm - bringing back the art

The good folks at The Impossible Project have advised this week that they will be sending down the first batch of their exciting new instant film at the beginning of 2010 and we will be sending that out to a bunch of our key photographers to shoot a themed editorial for issue 12. It seems the impending re-establishment of the much-loved film format is also creating a flurry of activity online and they have drawn our attention to Tickl Magazine, an instant film treasure trove that describes itself as "a naughty bookazine, plain sensual and frankly arty." Polaroid has always been seen as a sexy format and Tickl, and it's contributors clearly understand this well. If Polaroid is art, then Tickl is Polaroid.

Also this week, Auckland photographer, musician and behind-the-scenes bFm personality Josh Hetherington (below) announced the launch of - a website dedicated to the lost art of Super 8 filmmaking. Josh is offering a Super 8 service to shoot weddings and other special occasions and given that the capturing of a wedding or special event can sometimes be a deflating experience, this seems like an interesting alternative. Hetherington adds the right tunes to his edits to as the montage film on the site's front page shows.

So good to see sites like Tickl and ReelFilm wearing their passion for these pure, simple yet astonishing formats on their sleeves...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

so fresh and so clean clean

I love men's colognes and often choose them over women's perfumes, preferring to smell clean and subtle over sweet and flowery. I also love a boy who takes pride in his scent and think it's so important to always smell good. Waiting for my delayed plane in Sydney airport the other day, I had a good hour to do some research into colognes. Of course you can never go past a Jo Malone or Comme scent, but for a bit of a change here's what I recommend for your boyfriend's christmas present this year:

1. Lanvin L'homme Sport.

This fragrance is incredibly clean and fresh; exactly how a male should smell.

2. Burberry For Men.

When I sprayed this one I immediately thought this smells like something Comme des Garcons would create. It's so cinnamony and musky and delicious.

3. Acqua Di Parma Colonia

This one reminds me so much of my French grandfather. It's a classic, sophisticated and luxurious scent.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A little bit of trumpet blowing...

It's hard to do something well in New Zealand, to believe your are as good as anyone in the world, to have big dreams, and still live in New Zealand. Ask Graham Henry. Ask Peter Jackson. Ask NO Magazine. We briefly saw the new issue of NO today and it is fantastic, as each issue of the fledgling magazine has been. It isn't easy to publish a quality fashion and culture magazine in this country when the prevailing influences are: television, trends, rambunctious commerce and the hand-me-down edicts of other cultures which are fed to the unsuspecting populace like baby food. If you are going to do something outside of the New Zealand Square, you must think outside that square, and the good people of NO are. Here at Black we have also followed that vision from day one so we appreciate seeing it in others. You have to believe, almost blindly, in this country - and with Issue 11 we feel we are now getting the response that we have sought for so long. Since the release of Black issue 11 we have been humbled by the international response and (continued) posts on sites like Fashion Gone Rogue, The Fashionisto, F-Tape and among many, many more - it makes it all worth while. It's deeply rewarding for us, our contributors and we hope it will be inspiration for our friends at NO. Just do it. So that's our trumpet blown, we're hard out on Issue 12 and it's all just getting better...Grant & Rach x

Dunedin, the model factory...

We've said before here on Blacklog that Ali McD is a scouting/casting genius and today's email from the southern model maven reiterates that. In such a small city she still manages to find world-class models on the street, in the malls and the supermarkets of a city about the same size as Cambridge (UK) and Cole Hillman: age 21, height 6ft has it all...bring it on Ali you legend you...

At last!

For some time now Auckland has lacked a bar/restaurant/cafe/watering hole that you can pop into after work and snack on a good sized meal, created on the barbecue, alongside a quality beer or wine that doesn't break the bank. Enter Ponsonby Social Club on a Tuesday or a Sunday. The Barbie is set up in the courtyard and manned by a quality barbecurist (is there such a word?) and for only $7.50 you can tuck into a scrumptious (above) roll/bap with sausages from Westmere Butchery and salad. The menu on those days is built around the barbie and is all super affordable. Fill the gap? You bet. Perfecto!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Reason To Believe

We've recently re-discovered Bruce Springsteen's magnum opus Nebraska. The album was recorded by Springsteen and the E Street Band but it was deemed that Bruce's original demo tapes; folk music with little more than guitar and harmonica, loads of passion and a fine voice was better. What an inspired choice. The Boss, irrespective of his hanky pants and bad dance moves can write a tune or two, and on this album virtually every track's a winner in a gentle, folksy-rock way. A twist in the tale is that during the recording of the demos Springsteen heard the seminal electronica of Martin Rev and Alan Vega's Suicide who, alongside Kraftwerk are the underground Godfathers of the genre, and State Trouper is an obvious homage to Frankie Teardrop. Country fans will love the eponymous Nebraska, Atlantic City and Reason To Believe. Nebraska was recorded on a Portastudio which made a small recording apparatus renaissance in the early eighties and it lends an intimacy that most modern folk bards would die for. Pure song writing at its best.

banana milkshake

I've been obsessed with banana milkshakes lately. They are so easy to whip up and they make the perfect cold and refreshing sweet treat. My simple recipe involves a blender and some delicious ingredients:
1 banana
1 cup of milk
1 scoop of good vanilla ice cream
1 tablespoon of honey

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black 12: Masha and more

Issue 12 of Black Magazine is well under way with a number of shoots in production or completed and the editorial template well advanced. In Sydney, two of Australia's finest fashion stylists, David Bonney and Paul Bui will each be contributing to Black for the first time. In London Robert Erdmann has completed his first shoot for 12, this one a cutting-edge beauty shoot with Katie Felstead, Kirsten Piggott and Lyndall Mansfield. In Paris Paul Empson, June Nakamoto and crew have just shot Masha Novoselova (above) for Issue 12. Masha appeared in a single shot in Black 9 as a model in Karen Walker's New York Fashion Week show of that season. She is well established, is known for her "lips and body" and in recent times has amassed a plethora of commercial editorial and campaigns but she was perfectly in synch with Paul's requirement for this editorial. Paul casually described the shoot as "off the hook" and given the quality of our Paris team's past three shoots that's saying something...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Flickring Nick

Here's our photo of the week by Nick Weihe which we found at COACD. He takes photos of the things we all do; family, friends, animals, bikes, skies, hedges, rivers...and does it well.

Get on the ModaCYCLE

Karen Walker S/S 2010 Image: Frida Henry

ModaCYCLE is an international fashion site which offers alternative coverage of developing and established designers from around the world, including our own Karen Walker (above). The site has been created by a group of fashion photographers who "wanted more out of the industry in which they work" and showcases a high standard of catwalk photography. Editor Charles Beckwith is well aware of the bunfight photographers experience on the podium at the end of a runway when 200 snappers are vying for the same space and in many cases, the same shot, and encourages his team to think outside the square. A good example of this thinking can be seen in Sandy Ramirez's capture of the Argentinian showcase at this season's New York Fashion Week. Ramirez used a Sigma DP-2, a camera "half the size of a fist" which produces images "big enough to print on a door." The image below is from that showcase and features fashion by Benito Fernandez. It's refreshing to see thinking outside the very small square of the catwalk photographer's podium...

Tree People!

I wandered in to Wunderkammer yesterday to congratulate them on the fantastic black metal Christmas tree they had erected across the road. So metallic, so black, so curious, so Wunderkammer. Of course, it wasn't them. Telecom it seems have erected the tree. It was not designed as I was told on the street by an overseas artist but by local artist David Eversfield and team and there are now two of them, one in Auckland and one in Wellington. Endearingly, it is surrounded by four red phone booths that kids can go into and call Santa. How cool is that?

Dear fabulous tree creators, I have returned home tonight to discover that the tree was installed at Vic Park last year and is indeed a thing of beauty at nights as the clip below shows. Please accept my apologies and thanks for brightening up the Christmas season with your art.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Workshop & Helen Cherry store opening show pics

As mentioned in the post below Workshop & Helen Cherry opened their new store at 74 Macelvie Street, Ponsonby last Friday night. It was a swell party and featured a show of new seasons Workshop Denim and Helen Cherry. We're big fans of both ranges. The Helen Cherry range is one of her best yet and Chris Cherry is pushing the denim the denim shirts..all pictures by Olivia Hemus.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hunterman From The Hills...

Image: Go Go Paris

...well mountainous Switzerland anyway. Swiss national Yvan Rodic started the Face Hunter blog in Paris but has since travelled the world covering street fashion from his new base in London. Face Hunter is wildly successful as a style report and broadly admired as there is no doubt the man takes a mean street pic and has an eagle eye for personal expression, oh, and he's in Auckland this week as a guest of Designer Direction and Plaything/Slam X Hype. If you don't get along to the invites-only gig and want something more than the online experience then the good news is that Thames & Hudson will be releasing a 320 page book (above) of Yvan's fashion vision in March 2010...Eye candy for the style hungry indeed.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Beam Me Into Ponsonby

Tonight, we were fortunate to be able to help Workshop Denim & Helen Cherry open their new store in Mackelvie Street, Ponsonby, and celebrate a new era for the iconic New Zealand fashion labels in Auckland's new fashion centrality, Ponsonby Road. The venue is not short on size or stature and resonates all that is good about both brands and their collaborative history. The work of artist Martin Popplewell is ubiquitous, with a substantial painting on the building's exterior, features and finishing around the room, a hand-painted Workshop logo on the building's facade, and a to-die-for rug near the changing rooms - all extending a love affair with collaborative art projects that has spanned three decades for founders Chris & Helen Cherry. Embellishing the family name tonight was head music man Dylan Cherry and his friend Jake and a bunch of hard-working staff and crew who have put in long hours of effort to ensure that this is the ultimate local store for the brand. Perfect then, that tonight should also signal the arrival of another new partnership, with one of the world's great car companies, BMW. The picture above was taken yesterday, of Helen alighting her new BMW in a pair of Alexander Wang's - which of course are only available at Workshop & Helen Cherry...more pics of the night to come.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Daul Kim

It's weird to think that the beautiful girl we're all going to be seeing for the next 3 months on the cover of Russh magazine is no longer with us. Daul Kim apparently committed suicide in Paris yesterday at the age of 20. How incredibly sad.