Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Black Frame: Twiggy, the Mannequin

In 1964 Adel Rootstein created a series of mannequins that looked good with a Mary Quant mini-skirt and he based them upon the emerging style icons of the time; Patty Boyd, Sandy Shaw and (above) the immortal Twiggy.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cover Issue 10 - Michael Schwartz shoots Ali Stephens

Black 10 is on sale at Mag Nation NZ now and nationwide (NZ) end of this week. This is the girl cover for Black 10 by Michael Schwartz and featuring Ali Stephens, the number 15 model in the world according to the model-o-meter @

Ali Stephen's page

Tee From Two

Dermit & Horn. Tailors of Men's Clothing and Fine Hats. Upstairs, 309 Karangahape Road, Newton. Est. 1942. Please telephone for fittings.

With a name like Dermit & Horn they sound like a classic tailor of yesteryear but far from it.When we first saw these Dermit & Horn tees a few weeks back we were impressed by; the tees themselves, the styling, H&M, photography (Ian McRae) and also by the names (Manbox, Kitty, Ratty) of each shirt. The designs feature pretty things like birds, kittens, mice "Awww" says the PR "but there is a darkness lurking beneath these art-inspired illustrations. 'There’s an air of the absurd,' the designers say. 'As though the narrative might unnerve you if you look too long.'” It's possible the panty hose might unnerve some people, or the knee braces - but the overall package is, we think, a fashionable and well-considered one.

"Dermit" aka Will Handley is a successful NZ artist with three "mostly-sold-out solo exhibitions to his name. His half of the business is named after his former piano teacher. He no longer plays piano but he still likes the name. Handley decided it would be a good idea to start a label with Wilson after he saw her wearing a cat mask at a party (and it wasn’t a costume party either)."

"Horn" aka Elizabeth Wilson is a past finalist of the reputable Deutz Fashion Design Ambassador Awards also interned at the even more reputable Karen Walker workroom for a year and "decided it would be worth starting a label with Handley after he walked into a café wearing a top he’d made, featuring the face of a young David Bowie."

Dermit & Horn's debut collection is in store now

Fabric – Auckland, Wunderkammer - Auckland, Plume – Christchurch, Plume – Dunedin

Words quoted by Cathrin Schaer

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Top 5 Indie Tunes At Black HQ This Week

1. Are Friends Electric by The Dead Weather

OK, they are a super group consisting of Alison “VV” Mosshart (vocals, guitar) of The Kills, Dean Fertita (guitar) of Queens Of The Stone Age, Jack Lawrence (bass) of The Raconteurs and Jack White (drums, vocals) of The White Stripes and Raconteurs - and they are covering one of the greatest songs of the last half Century. Must be shite then. Nup, it's awesome - cover of the year to date.

2. Black Hearted Love by PJ Harvey & John Parrish

Has P.J Harvey ever sounded better than on this tune? It's debatable but John Parrish's contribution cannot be ignored either; beautiful instrumentation and production. The end result? Epic.

3. Ambulance by The Albertans

This lovely tune by The Albertans is completely fabulous and not just because it sounds like the Jean Paul Sartre experience have reunited and reignited. Interestingly, they don't really look like the song sounds...

4. Tunnelvision by Here We Go Magic

Everything this trio from New York have done sounds brilliant to us - at the forefront of a wave of bands that have that er...utterly contemporary sound. Tunnelvision has a driving rhythm, more so than say Fangela but is every bit as interesting.

5. Everything Goes To Shit by Silent Land Time Machine

Clocking in at just under 8 minutes is becoming de riguer in indie circles and sometimes you wish they'd listen again and do some editing. Not so Everything Goes To Shit, jagging cello aka John Cale and cool little samples supplement the chugging-est song around. Also epic.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cover Issue 10 - Robert Erdmann shoots Vinnie Woolston

Here's one of our Issue 10 covers, our boy Vinnie...

Hair Today, Hall Of Fame Tomorrow!

A Greg Murrell creation - Black, Issue 7

Talk about wig out! We're very, very proud of our Hair Editor, the inimitable Greg Murrell who has just been nominated by the Australian Fellowship of Hairdressers with a Master’s Award. Greg will be honoured at the Sydney Opera House this coming Tuesday night. The biggest concern he has now, is which wig to wear! Here's his submission video...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Zaney? No, brilliant!

Every now and then we receive something out of the blue here at Black HQ which makes us sit up and take notice. So it was when we opened our email box this morning to find a series of t-shirt designs from a guy called Zane Wright who said " Hi my name is Zane Wright and i am 29 years old, I am looking for coverage as an illustrator and was wondering if i could possibly feature in Black Magazine?" We were intrigued by the designs (below) and asked Zane for a little more information - it seems he lives in the Bay Of Islands, loves big game fishing for Marlin (perfect with a name like Zane) and is inspired by the ocean, land and people of the far North. He also sent us some of his paintings (above) which we plain fell in love with. Zane has limited edition T-shirt prints and paintings available.

If you are interested in either you can contact him at:

If Zane Grey were alive today we're sure he would have bought one!


Gold's Worthy Too!

It seems that Punga & Smith aren't the only New Zealand designers going to Salone in Milan. Fellow Wellingtonian Nathan Goldsworthy a.k.a Conscious Design is also showing his wares to the design cognoscenti - which has a rather nice ring to it...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fashion Central

We were tickled black last week to receive an email from Julian Gregory one of the founders of Ftape, a new fashion resource site in London. Julian wondered if we would like to be included in their selection of top fashion magazines from around the globe. Upon sighting Ftape's selection of fashion titles we were rather humbled - a collection of magazines that we adore/aspire to/fawn over/wish we shared an office with. After having a good look at the site, we're even more impressed - a fashion resource it truly is. Excellent sections include "Roar Talent" - work from emerging photographers, designers, stylists and make-up artists that are currently learning their trade at the likes of London College of Fashion - the work is uniformly fresh, vibrant and exciting. "Spotlight" takes that concept but applies it to the working fashion industry in general and, although the site is new, there is already a body of work here which exudes "quality" including photographer Seiji Fujimori - whose first image appeared in Black two issues ago. "The A-Z Listing" is a killer reference for agencies and individuals across the gamut of fashion industry business and the "News & Media" section is as sharp and contemporaneous as anywhere online. The design is excellent, the navigation smooth and the images are BIG.

Ok, so you get the drift. We love it. Here's the magazine covers page...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What A Beast!

Wellington artist and designer Matt Smith calls himself a "glorified shed tinkerer" and his company Punga & Smith as "Jacks Of All Trades - Masters Of None" A humble supposition for what is clearly robust design, as there is nothing modest about the "Beast Rug" featured above. Exciting news too that Punga & Smith will be attending Salone Satellite, one of the world's leading international get-togethers of all things design and home furnishings, in Milan, Italy later this month. We wonder if they will have one of their classy mobile "Vodka Trolleys" on-site - stacked with 42 Below of course - to cultivate customer response...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sneaky Squizz - Black 10 - 4

Issue Ten of Black Magazine is dedicated to Jesse Valentine.

In this shoot, the fashion featured is by Tim Hamilton
and the shoot in Paris was produced for Black Magazine by Jesse.

Photography: Asha Fuller

Monday, April 6, 2009

Smoke & Mirrors Fidgetry

The kids at Turn Me On Design in Sydney refer to their jewellery, their art, their obsession as a "jewellery fiddling addiction." T.M.O.D's latest collection entitled Smoke & Mirrors provides "purpose to the ‘fiddled’ action, in the form of horseshoes, keys and cubed pieces." There's no doubt that T.M.O.D make compelling jewellery but they also, it seems, understand it very well "Smoke & Mirrors draws on geometric form and resolution, while merging the boundaries of object and fashion design. Jewellery is no longer a static form, but a multifunctional enigma, one that tests and celebrates the mind’s logic; communicating rationality and reason." No disillusionment or smoke & mirrors about that statement whatsoever! T.M.O.D is stocked throughout Australia, and also in New Zealand - including Good As Gold, The Auckland Art Gallery and Belle Birdcan or they can be found online here.

Vinka's Booty

Webbs have made a real effort in the past couple of years to expand the content and delivery of their auctionable offerings. There have been rare, highly covetable motorcycles; collections of Playboy paraphenalia and rare NZ music. In keeping with this trend we note the latest foray is of a fashionable kind. Vinka Lucas is a NZ fashion institution and let's face it, how many of those are there really.

Vinka arrived here B.I.T.D after training at the Academy of Dress & Design in Zagreb, Yugoslavia and promptly set up one of Auckland's earliest designer boutiques the fabulously-named Marée de Maru. Not long after she proved what a genius of nomenclature she really is by starting her label Vinka Lucas After Five and even had a French branch of the Vinka empire Vinka Lucas Paris. Vinka still operates as a couture bridal designer but it is her archived collection of gowns and luxury evening wear that will have fashionistas popping into Webbs for a viewing - with a view to owning - as most of these special garments are on the block for under $1,000. Auction date is Sunday April 1 at 10am - follow the link above to check the archive on sale.esign as Zagreb

Friday, April 3, 2009

The New Wests?

This was the best picture we received inside an invite all week. Jaimie Boutique sent us this as part of an invitation to celebrate the boutique's burgeoning relationship as the NZ partner to Vivienne Westwood. The Churchword described this shot as "The Cougar and Scooby Doo come across The Queen of Punk and Hairy Young Man Thing...on a traffic Te Atatu."

We love it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Kate! Kate! Kate!

When I saw this picture today on I was once again completely thrilled to see how gorgeous this woman still is...

Louise Pedersen - Au Courant and Timeless

One of the things we love about is the occasional insight into the on-set goings-on of a fashion shoot. We remember seeing this campaign a few years back and thinking how cool it was of Gucci to take a risk as it were. The model, Louise Pedersen, a chameleon if ever there was one, is back on the catwalk after walking for Givenchy at Paris AW09 amidst a sea of recent supermodels. MDC's Of The Minute interviewer Janelle quizzes her about the Mario Testino Gucci shot above and Louise explains the mood of the day "The Gucci campaign was my first big job. One of my favorite photographers, Mario Testino shot it. It was Mario that got me started, I remember the first time I went to see him he asked me to walk. Obviously I wasn’t very good at it and he smirked. Tom Ford had the great idea to shave a G in my pubic hair, I knew both Tom Pecheux and Orlando Pita from the shows, and they definitely knew me a little better at the end of the day…The ad was banned in a few countries, and some people argued that it was degrading to women. I think, if anything, it was quite the opposite." Here's Louise in one of our favourite I-D covers...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Great, Great Songs Number 8

Talking With Myself by Electribe 101

Billy Ray Martin is perhaps one of the greatest singers you may never have heard of. Her gorgeous laconic tonality is like kryptonite - a rare essence indeed - and the band's signature sound. More than anything this tune captures the e-fuelled optimism of late eighties European clubland, and was the ultimate back-to-mine number for DJs of the time. Timeless...

Living Inside An American Suburb

Helmut Lies Down On The Job

Several issues back we featured a 6 page spread by LA-based photographer Doug Rickards or DR as he prefers to be known after we were blown away by his incredible portraits. Doug's unique style can be found here at but it seems he is also something of a photographic historian/academic too. He has created a second site called AmericanSuburb X which is a substantial collection of essays, interviews and musing on all things photographic and interesting. The gamut of great and obscure photographers is here from Newton (above) to Avedon (below) and everyone in between - DR does a great job of curating some incisive and encompassing discussions as well as publishing the work. Highly recommended.

Sneaky Squizz - Black 10 - 3

Kim Noorda shot - exclusively for Black of course - by Paul Empson in Paris, styled by June Nakamoto