Monday, March 30, 2009

Float, Float On

One of our favourite Australian designers, the very talented Gary Bigeni, has just released a range for AW 09 called "Floating On Water." Not only does the new range possess Gary's visionary take on shape, form and draping we have (already) come to expect - but it is also avaible in New Zealand for the first time at Children Of Vision in K.Rd. Terrific! You can see more of Gary here...

Nice Lunchbox!

In true Westwoodian style, Ben Westwood, the British photographer - and eldest son of fashion doyenne Vivienne Westwood - has released a range of 'fetish lunchboxes' not necessarily to pack a banana, or sammys for the kids, but to protest. New laws in the UK aim to outlaw 'extreme pornography' which it seems may include bondage or a little bit of restriction. Funny really, when it's highly likely that the halls of Westminster (or at least the back rooms) are no stranger to a little rubber, latex or restraints anyway. Good to see another Westwood who refuses to be bound and gagged by the powers that be....

Kate Moss's Mista In Meadowlark

It seems that when The Kills were in town last week they fell for Meadowlark's local range of jewellery. Clever Mint Condition, Meadowlark's PR company, took the opportunity to take some snaps of mega-musos Jamie Hince - Mr Moss, if you will - and Alison Mosshart. Nice work...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Blazing Angel

Late Friday just after leaving Tattys in Ponsonby Road we noticed the billboard on the corner of Ponsonby Road and Richmond road was, for once, empty. There it sat, a large rectangle of pitted silver tin sans sponsored communication. Instead it was home to an avenging angel stencil, replete with twin shootin' spray cans. Art for art's sake...or at least we hope so. In the days of ambient marketing it could just as easily be an ad for Angelfire Energy drink and we'll be let in on the gaff next week! Either way, outside of last year's Prime TV call-girl campaign probably the best thing we have seen there...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Point That Thing - an historical photo archive of Auckland music and places

The Clash's Joe Strummer, on stage in Auckland BITD

Some people are good at capturing a time and a place with their camera and Jonathan Ganley is one of these. Throughout the eighties and nineties Ganley got around Auckland shooting gigs, largely of the Flying Nun or indie kind - and buildings before they were knocked down in the greedy property development destruction of the time. He has started a blog to showcase some of these images called Point That Thing and whilst the blog is new there is the promise of much more to come. The man takes a nice photo too...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Blog Love: Starkwhite; Fuck Art Let's Blog

Martin Basher, Free Spirit No Interest, 2009, installation views - runs until April 4

Starkwhite, the home of great art in K. Rd, Auckland, is putting their vision online via the Starkwhite Blog. The forward-thinking directors John McCormack and Dominic Feuchs also happen to curate the Black Art Gallery pages, for which we are very grateful, especially as Issue 10 will feature a double pagework from perhaps our biggest art name to date - Thomas Hirschhorn - but you will need to buy Black in a few weeks to see that.

The pair - whose credentials are impeccable - have a finger on the pulse of the cutting edge of art both here and internationally. If you need a regular, and they are regular, art fix - then RSS the Starkwhite Blog now..

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's Good To Be American Again...

Perhaps the most telling media soundbite to circulate amidst the funky euphoria of Obama's historic US election win was the common refrain of the ex-pat American living in Amsterdam, Afghanistan or Auckland who had become ashamed of their homeland: "At last, I can say I am an American again!" Well, the good news is that you don't have to be an American to love these tributary, and timely, flag jeans from Ksubi - and it is good that the US flag has once again taken it's place amongst popular culture. And, it doesn't matter whether you are boy or girl - the Ksubi Flag Jean is unisex. On sale in NZ though Superette and Black Box.

The Grand Designer

Many of us have grand designs on life but Ian Ferguson, aka Friends Of Design is just a Grand Designer! Ian has been responsible for the look and feel of Black Magazine since day one and we love his creative, instinctive approach. Ian is also art director for Remix Magazine and whips up a mean corporate or brand ID - witness the Black Box Boutique branding above.

You can see more of Ian's work on the new Friends Of Design website...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

From Barely There To Wondrous

James Cant (above) Australian rocks...

Derek Henderson. Bear facts...

The MLC Centre is a prodigious monolith located in Central Sydney that houses a highly desirable shopping destination. The MLC has also, for three years, been home to fantastic fashion photography exhibitions. This year's exhibiton, entitled “From Barely There to Wondrous” (with florals and tulle in between) features works by 21 of Australia’s leading and emerging fashion photographers including Derek Henderson, Georges Antoni, Richard Bailey, Carlotta Moye, Simon Lekias, Sam Borich, James Cant and more. The images are "Shot on location from the Outback to Dubai - there’s everything from Miranda Kerr floating on a duck to handsome desert cowboys and Eva Mendes bringing some true glamour to Bondi."

Sam Borich - Girls wearing film...

All limited-edition prints are available for sale for $750 with profits directly benefiting the Australian National Breast Cancer Foundation. During the past exhibitions many of the limited editions were snapped up within minutes of the guests arriving. The exhibition will run until Wednesday April 8 and will be on display at the MLC centre during business hours.

Deadly Cool

The deadly ones - Liam Bowden and Katie Smith

Last weekend we shot some of Deadly Ponies fabulous jewellery range Deadly Ponies Precious with Dan Max at Kingsize Studios but we aren't going to show you that yet, we just wanted to run this pic of the pair because we liked the photo so much...

Best Music We Got Sent This Week - Mel Parsons

Here at Black Magazine we're partial to a bit of alt country/pop/folk and have listened to Jenny Lewis's wonderful Acid Tongue about nine thousand times. Ok, maybe 29 but you get the drift - we put music like that on because it is easy, and lovely, to work to. Mel Parsons is a native of the West Coast of Aotearoa's South Island and her tunes exude a fresh naturalness which makes you want to sit on the deck of a ramshackle pub, eat whitebait fritters and sip on the local ale while she croons somehwere nearby. Over My Shoulder the debut album by Parsons and band The Rhythm Kings is more than easy though. Parsons has a voice that could work any night in Nashville yet sounds somehow intrinsically New Zealand - and the songs are good, very good. We're converted...

Mel Parsons and The Rhythm Kings are on tour now round NZ - in fact you can catch her tomorrow night at the Buller Workingmens Club in Westport so all you West Coast Blackloggers get along! The debut album Over My Shoulder is out now on Border Music.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Full Moon

While we are on the subject of great photography let's celebrate one of Robert Erdmann's favourite references; Sarah Moon. A great photographer in every sense Moon is viewed as a founder of feminist photography - after being the first woman to shoot the famous Pirelli calendar in 1972. Joyce Tenneson in 1989 and Annie Leibovitz in 2000 were the others.

Below: Moon's Pirelli look in '72

Here's another beauty at the with a Sarah Moon interview.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gavin Watson - The Real Thing

In the early 1980s, 13-year-old Gavin Watson began to take photographs of his mates, the Wycombe Skins. His Dad soon upgraded his Hanimex to an Olympus OM1 and by the time he was 14 the young Watson was snapping his brother's, mate's and girlfriend's every move. His images include thousands of shots that candidly document a subculture which is often misunderstood by the mainstream as being right-wing. A collection of these images, Skins by Gavin Watson, was first published in 1994 to widespread critical acclaim and in recent times his work has been featured internationally in VICE Magazine, and as a core reference for Shane Meadow's This Is England which, like Watson, portrays a ska/rude boy culture steeped in cross-culturalism and style - not racism and the National Front.

His photos show the versatility of rude boy style; as well as the Crombies, rolled up Levi's, braces, Doc Marten's, Fred Perry's and Harrington jackets (that are seen as standard) capped sleeve T-shirts, Trojan Record T-shirts, tweed caps, tartan bondage trousers and cricket jumpers all feature in the extensive archive of his work. In the upcoming Issue 10 of Black Magazine we are proud to have a series of as yet un-published photos from Gavin and an interview with him in London by the ubiquitous Mr Monaghan.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


We recently received two separate bills that had a number of miscellaneous charges attached to them. Hmmm! What is 'miscellaneous' we wondered and why should anyone pay a 'miscellaneous' component of an invoice when the exact nature of the item is not itemised? Here is the meaning of the root word according to

1. a miscellaneous collection or group of various or somewhat unrelated items.
2. a miscellaneous collection of literary compositions or pieces by several authors, dealing with various topics, assembled in a volume or book.
3. miscellanies, a miscellaneous collection of articles or entries, as in a book.

Well that clears that up then. The transportation company is invoicing us for several unrelated items, a division of authors in the back room or their staff magazine...

Carine Roitfeld CNN vids

Fans of French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld will be pleased to know that CNN has done a series of interviews and profiles with the fashion doyen. In the third of the videos (above) Roitfeld is seen shooting with Patrick Demarchelier at what appears to be an agricultural field day - although with the clothing and brands that Ms Roitfeld has at her disposal it wouldn't matter if they were shooting in a cess pit, the images would still look hot. In the middle of the interview the question of a potential succession to Anna Wintours throne is raised but, somewhat surprisingly, Roitfeld says the job is not for her.

Here is the first part. And the second where she attends New York Fashion Week

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's Tim Up North

We love Tim White.

Not just because he is a foundation photographer for Black Magazine. Not just because he is cute and cuddly. No, we love Tim White because he is a very clever photographer and artist who always puts a lot of thought and effort into everything he does and the results are often phenomenal.

On May 15 at the Letham Gallery in Ponsonby, Tim's creative project of the past four years will come to fruition. True North is a series of photographs taken within the Maori communities of the far north of New Zealand which will emerge as a book, exhibition and video documentary. White liked the irony of calling the exhibition and book True North. “There is no truth in photography. Photographs lie. Words lie. Truth and lies are relative to the observer and the observed" he observes.

In addition to the exhibition and book Whakarongomaikio, which translates from Maori as ‘listen towards ambience’, is a three-part video documentary that experiments where still photography leaves off and explores the sounds and movement of the Northland community where White stayed.

The exhibition True North and Whakarongomaikio open at the Letham Gallery on 15 May, and runs until [5] June.

Children Of Vision

Vicky & Jimmy welcome the fashion forward

There is not exactly a view inside Jimmy D and Vicky Chan's new K.Road store Children Of Vision but there is certainly foresight. The store, which opened last night in St Kevins Arcade on Auckland's Karangahape Rd, offers a "keenly edited selection of the finest avant-guardians from the world to New Zealand, many of whom have not been available in NZ before."

DJ Shaun looking suitably visionary outside Children Of Vision

Indeed it does. For it’s A/W 09 debut season, Children of Vision is stocking: A’N’D (London), Andrea Crews (Paris), Bernhard Willhelm (Paris), C.Neeon (Berlin), Commence (Auckland), Gary Bigeni (Sydney), Hansel from Basel (Los Angeles). Jimmy D (Auckland), Kitsuné candles (Paris), Postweiler Hauber (Berlin), Romance Was Born (Sydney), Six Scents fragrance: Cosmic Wonder, Bernhard Wilhelm, Gareth Pugh (NYC), Trosman (Buenos Aires), TV (Melbourne).

Last night's opening was well attended by Auckland's fashion lovers and mercifully free of the C-List. Much wanted, much needed. We love it....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hey Big Noter!

Loaded Zimbabwe style!

We met up with a friend yesterday who had recently returned from Zimbabwe. "Here. I have wanted to give you some money for a while so take this 5,000,000,000 dollar note. You can cash it in Zimbabwe for a can of coke" he said. Is any administration in the world more ridiculous than Mugabe's? It is highly unlikely. After things became fiscally confused the Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe simply re-issued a bunch of bills, chopping a few zeros off in the process. Consequently, prices for even the most basic commodities would see-saw each and every day. You may not be able to see it but this FIVE BILLION DOLLAR note had to be cashed on or before Dec 31, 2008 or it would be useless. Oh dear. Five billion down the drain. And just why it is called a 'special agro cheque' is anyone's guess but at least the giraffes are cute...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hot Descendants

Do the boys from the new New Zealand label Descendant have something special to offer? We think so. Here is an outake from their recent lookbook shoot by photographer Russ Flatt and Black Fashion Director Rachael Churchward. Look out for the Descendants article in Issue 10 of Black Mag or check them right now at Wunderkammer in Ponsonby Road.

Mert & Marcus Magnificence!

Merts & Mercus catch Kate having a quiet one

Ok, so while we wait for the arrival down under of perhaps the most anticipated fashion magazine yet, Katie Grand's Love Magazine, it is interesting to read various reports on the mag coming in from overseas. Reportedly a record retail sellout in it's native London, Love Magazine appears to be a solid step forward in the direction that Grand's iconic Pop was travelling. One of the most obvious features though is the reuniting of Grand and the photographers that have helped to create her legend Mert & Marcus. So while we wait let's enjoy these two images by the M&M maestros - Kate Moss above and cover girl Beth Ditto below - we love LOVE and we haven't even seen it yet!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Chillin Cello

Tony, the chillin' cellist

On Thursday we were lucky enough to have spent a couple of hours watching the Urban Soul Orchestra and a bunch of talented locals rehearsing for that evening's People In Your Neighbourhood performance at the Transmission Room - congrats to Gareth Farry and the substantial crew involved for pulling this great idea together. The Urban Soul Orchestra is a contemporary and versatile British string ensemble that has been breaking down barriers since their legendary early performances with Soul II Soul.

A line up of USOs

As we are featuring PIYN in Issue 10 of Black, photographer Shaun Pettigrew began setting up backstage for a series of portrait shots. I got talking to Tony Wollard USO cellist who told me about (and gave me a sneak preview of) a solo cello performance he was doing this Monday night at The Pumphouse, Takapuna. Tony is an award-winning cellist who has won many prizes including first prize at the John Lil Awards and the South East Music Awards. He said he would play a piece by William Walton which was actually written for Prince Charles - as all Princes Of Wales apparently play the cello and have a piece written for them. Prince Charles has never actually resined his bow for this piece though as it lay hidden in a draw for many years, until now. Among other pieces, Charlie's will be performed for the first time ever by Tony and a selection of local cellists on Monday night. See you there...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sneaky Squizz - Black 10

Georgia Frost by Michael Schwartz, New York - Black Issue 10

Black 10 is shaping up nicely. In New York Michael Schwartz has shot Ali Stephens for our main girl cover, Dree Hemingway and Georgia Frost (above) whilst the list of photographers who have work featured in Issue 10 is making us wish we had the time and wherewithall to pull them together for an exhibition: Robert Erdmann, Nick Knight, Gavin Watson, Michael Schwartz, Paul Empson, James Demitri, Russ Flatt, Craig Owen, Max Doyle, Derek Henderson, Shaun Pettigrew, Asha Fuller and Andre Jewell are all high quality photographers we are proud to publish.

Word Of The Week - Ululate

ululate \UL-yuh-layt; YOOL-\, intransitive verb:

To howl, as a dog or a wolf; to wail; as, ululating jackals.

She used harrowing, penetrating nasal tones and a rasp that approached Janis Joplin's double-stops; she made notes break and ululate.
-- Jon Pareles, "On the Third Day There Was Whooping and There Was Moshing", New York Times, August 18, 1998

Or perhaps:

Passing the property developers house at the cusp of dawn, the stillness of the moment was shattered. Above, behind smoked glass railings, a group of shirtless former All Blacks were ululating in unison.
-- Mark. E. Fellis Getting To Know Susan Of Herne Bay, Parnell Press 2005

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Neighbourly Love

Joshua Jang is in the hood

OK. So you live in Aotearoa, Argentina or maybe Arkansas but the question remains; who are the People In Your Neighbourhood? Not sure? Well The British Council, New Zealand are and they're right into bringing the whole neighbourhood together - albeit from other sides of the world.

P.I.Y.N is a UK loves NZ loves UK love story. A meeting of musical cultures, the realisation of which will be held at the Transmission Room this Thursday - and at WOMAD in Taranaki on the weekend. P.I.Y.N is described as "a celebration of Auckland's cultural diversity through music" - and importantly - is underpinned by a unique and much-loved-in-this-neck-of-the-woods British crew. The Urban Soul Orchestra were the strings behind Soul II Soul. Say no more, you happy face excuse me, was that a thumping bass for a loving race?

Some of the diverse local talent to collaborate with the USO on both the live show and album includes; Richie Setford, Brother J, Kadambari Raghukumar, Levani Vosasi, Joshua Jang, Maite Elguetta Clavelle, Kelly Kahukiwa, Mani Fegundes, Renee Liang, Daniel Larsen, Greg Brice and more.

People In Your Neighbourhood really is a lovely potpourri of culture and sound. And it's on high rotate here at Black...

People In Your Neighbourhood
8 pm, Thursday March 12
Transmission Room
Tickets are $20 on the door.

Alexander Wang At Workshop

Local sartorialists will be excited to hear that Alexander Wang is joining the likes of Miu Miu, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Vanessa Bruno, See by Chloe and other internationals at Workshop's Auckland stores. First up is T by Alexander Wang, a diffusion line of super soft luxury basics ranging from tank tops to t-shirt dresses in his signature languid style. Given Alexander Wang's current successes in the Northern Hemisphere collections you can expect to see the style savvy flocking to Workshop Newmarket and Workshop Vulcan Lane in the coming weeks. It's great to see the folks at RCM continuing to expand the retail offer here in Aotearoa - enriching local wardrobes in the process - by adding class labels like Alexander Wang to their excellent Workshop, Workshop Denim and Helen Cherry labels. We're all for a positive approach amidst the naysaying doom and gloom...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mag Elvis Is Leaving The Arena

A couple of posts back we remembered Nova Magazine fondly. It would be somewhat tardy of us NOT to remember that soon, we will also be remembering Arena Magazine in the past tense after 22 years on the newstands. According to current publisher Bauer Media the iconic British monthly is set to bid farewell on March 12 and a quick glance at Arena Homme would offer some sort of explanation as to why. Offspring Homme (below) is a modern, directional, conceptual, fashion-driven and targeted tome. Arena itself (above) had simply become another mass market man mag...

Young, graceful and black

I was lucky enough last week to be present at the opening night of the latest performance by New Zealand contemporary dance saviours Black Grace, the mesmerising and powerful Gathering Clouds. Gathering Clouds is once again choreographed by Black Grace founder and internationally acclaimed choreographer Neil Ieremia, who has proved himself as one of New Zealand’s greatest living talents. Beautiful in its fury, Gathering Clouds responds to controversial claims made by economist Greg Clydesdale in which he warns that Polynesians display “significant and enduring under achievement” - a problem that he believes immigration is making worse. The piece fights back at his controversial call with a voice that is strong and proud, and the segment depicting the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s (when the homes of many Polynesian families in New Zealand were brutally raided in search of alleged “overstayers”, spawning the movement known as the The Polynesian Panthers) is particularly powerful. The production will be touring the North Island for the rest of March and into April so try and grab a performance if you can – I can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Super Nova

Here at Black we like to remember and respect good magazines from days gone by - call it research. One that has popped up somewhat ubiquitously for us lately is Nova Magazine. In the 1960s Nova was the number one style bible in Britain with a fashion-leading brand legacy that lasted well into the '70s and beyond. Nova wasn't just your average light-as-Twiggy mini-skirt mag though. Nova had a voice and tackled some of the 'issues' of the time head-on. Feminism, homosexuality and racism were all addressed with serious and sometimes controversial features and if that isn't one of the best cover lines of all time (above), to illustrate the fact, then we don't know what is.

The magazine ran its natural course for 10 years until its closure in 1975. Unfortunately, IPC the publishers and owners of the masthead decided in a moment of confusion to resurrect the title in 2000. Large publishers it seems often mis-read the market, timing or even validity of magazines they launch and Nova 2000 died a year later. Best let sleeping mags lie...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wild Weston

Aussie jeweller Matt Weston's gypsy punk creations bring out the Hunters & Collectors in us.

Describing his collections as a 'sub-cultural lost and found with a measure of subversion and a light hearted twist', Weston's innovative ideas have culminated in collaborations with Friedrich Gray and Marnie Skillings amongst others and a burgeoning reputation.

Weston is beston.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Radical, Modern and Black

Rad's black

The current cover of Black Magazine features Heather Marks wearing a Rad Hourani creation. Inside the magazine we profile the young, gifted American who is undoubtedly one of the rising stars of world fashion. Hourani's A/W 09 showing confirms that he is a master of shape and concept, is wonderfully futurist, and more than ever, is an unabashed lover of black. In a useful issue-to-issue segway, Ali Stephens (below, walking for Rad Hourani) is Issue 10's covergirl. This time though, the cover girl will be wearing Alexander Wang...

It all seems perfectly synchronistic that Rad also chose Suicide's late 70's electro gem Ghost Rider too. A man after our own heart. Here's the video on Enjoy.