Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shoemaker Shines - Black Hearts Kathryn Wilson

What a load of new cobblers! Or so it seems at present with New Zealand shoe designers starting to proliferate on both sides of the Tasman. In recent times we have seen the emergence of Chaos & Harmony, Aussie-based Beau Coops and the highly desirable Yours - and we are starting to see some real quality form, fashion and function for our feet, to boot (sorry). Thus, when local shoe designer Kathryn Wilson sent us some images of her new range we were eager to see how far she had progressed in the recently competitive pantheon of local shoe design and we can say without a word of a lie that she is on fire. For her Winter 09 collection Kathryn created a cute little black-and-white loafer named after our fashion director, the Churchward Loafer. The Summer 2010 range features a number of loafers again, plus killer high and low boots, moccassins, boat shoes, heels, pumps and some fabulous brogues (above). Add a wad of coloured patent leather and the range signals a coming of age for New Zealand's resident shoe queen.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Brief History of Pink

Speaking of nice album covers, album of the week at Black HQ is A Brief History Of Love by The Big Pink (above). One of the first 'rock'albums of recent times reflecting the x-factor Brit-gat-vocal of The Verve or Jesus And Mary Chain - at their best - wrapped in quality contemporary production. The album's highlights include song du jour Dominoes, the building Velvet, the Mary Chain-esque title track and the verging-on-epic Too Young To Love. Pink is good. Very good.

Pleasant Rebel

The Walls of the Well is the lovely laid-back new album by Phoenix Foundation drummer Richie Singleton aka Rebel Peasant that's more chilled than Dan Carter, which is saying something. Like just about everything that comes out of Welli's Pretty Foundation enclave, it is an accomplished package including a shoe-in, we think, for NZ album artwork of the year so far. The quality fashion photography by Amelia Handscombe (above) and final treatment (below) is good enough to hang on your wall.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sneaky Squizz - Black 11 - 2

We received a lot of love for Paul Empson and June Nakamoto's Parisien contributions last issue - in particular the shoot with Kim Noorda for which Nakamoto pulled and combined some classic pieces - notably the Westwood strapped boots and the Dior couture. The pair have collaborated once again for Issue 11 and the result is rather special. Empson cast Marloes Horst for the shoot as she had recently shot the Pirelli calendar with Terry Richardson and was very "comfortable with herself" whilst Nakamoto once again trawled the cities showrooms and press agencies looking for beautiful fashion.

We love the international flavour that our Paris team are bringing too - US-born Empson lives in Sydney but is spending more and more time in the city whilst Nakamoto, a regular contributor to the likes of I.D magazine, is of Japanese heritage but has been based in Europe for some time. The above image will feature in a 16 page spread shot once again in the splendiferous surrounds of Europe's romantic city.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Here Comes The Night

Swedish-born Andre Savaria was the most active graffiti-artist in Paris in the 1980’s before his trademark ‘Mr. A’ signature became an icon of Parisian life, travelling from the city walls to high fashion magazines and into fashion collaborations. He has a clothing line called Black Block, loves the nightlife, and appeared on the cover of the revered Purple Fashion Fall/Winter 2008 issue so when leading vodka brand Belvedere announced a collaboration with Savaria, it looks very much like a Paris match, made in heaven.

Belvedere IX will be available exclusively from select bars and restaurants around New Zealand, including Agents and Merchants, Bar3 at SkyCity, Clooney, and Hotel DeBrett in Auckland, Fat Eddies, Indochine and Sticky Fingers in Christchurch and Carousel in Dunedin, from August, 2009.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Impossible (Polaroid) Dream

Photo: Cathleen Naundorf

When production of analogue instant film stopped at Polaroid's plants in Mexico and The Netherlands last June, photographers all around the world let out a collective "No!" The film has been widely loved as a creative medium and as a pre-shoot option when the main event, usually large format film was too expensive to waste on lighting set-ups and make-up finals. When local photographer (and instant film format lover) Stephen Tilly exhibited his excellent Polaroid Is Dead show here in Auckland as recently as May 2009, he obviously didn't know about The Impossible Project.

Impossible Project is a collective culled largely from former Polaroid factory workers who refuse to let the Polaroid company's transformation from an instant film company to a global consumer electronics and digital imaging company affect their desire to see the format continue. They have signed a 10 year lease on the old Netherlands Polaroid factory, engaged a team of the world's leading analogue film experts and plan to release their first instant film, a film that works in vintage Polaroid cameras, in 2010. They stress that this is "NOT Polaroid" and the film will have it's own characteristics "consisting of new optimised components, produced with a streamlined modern setup. An innovative and fresh analogue material, sold under a new brand name that perfectly will match the global re-positioning of Integral Films."

We can hear a collective "yes!" emanating from our photographer friends around the world.

The Impossible Project will be supplying Black Magazine with some of the new product for a shoot here in New Zealand that will appear in Issue 12.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Zam Zam Zam!

We are loving the new Zambesi Summer 09/10 campaign shot by Marissa Findlay. The images feature Vinnie Woolston, who needs little introduction to Blacklog readers, and the recently departed Alina who worked extremely hard in Aotearoa while she was here. Good to see the Zambesi brand and Marissa's photography more in sync than ever.

The range is in store at Zambesi now.

Tangential Divergence

Photography by director of Tangent Emmanuel Giraud and excellent styling by Heather Cairns

The figurative dictionary meaning of tangent; a completely different line of thought or action, is an apt description of the new online fashion magazine which launched in Sydney two nights ago. There seems to be a proliferation of online fashion mags over the ditch and this can only be a good thing. Academy For Men and now, Tangent. We know only too well what it costs to produce a big, quality-printed edition of a magazine so why not go down the path of getting as much content and concept online for far less outlay as possible? Like AFM, and locally 1am, Tangent is a good-size Issuu-powered page-turning format with some really good local fashion shoots inside that suggest style is alive and well in Australia. All-in-all, a nice new line of thought or action.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Top 5 Indie Tunes at Black HQ this week

You Push, I'll Go by Baby Dayliner.

Ethan Marunas aka Baby Dayliner is a graduate of La Guardia High School of Music & Art - better known as FAME school - but don't hold that against him. You Push, I'll Go is a sublime mix of eighties vocal a la The The or Orange Juice and a smooth little house groove. Loving this direction, maybe more indie types will absorb the great nineties house grooves instead of the super dull techno-trance rhythms underpinning so much of the so called 'new electronica'

Rats by The Black Heart Procession

This bands forefathers include Three Mile Pilot but they may also be shapeshifters judging by their publicity pics. Rats is a slow swamp country groove spliced with synths and overlaid with a laconic vocal - a tune that wouldn't be out of place on you guessed it, True Blood.

Deli by Delorean

The car of the same name is now famous and whilst this Spanish dance pop group aren't quite famous yet their synth-infused sound is not too dissimilar to Empire Of The Sun or MGMT so they could well be, quite soon. Best when it chugs along...

Zoomba by Starlight Mints

Alan Vest, the Nunez's and Javier Gonzalez, aka Starlight Mints, describe their sound "bubblegum synch" but on this tune they sound more like Bowie-Queen synch, and that's much better than it sounds.

Bull Black Nova by Wilco

Wilco's new album (The Album) will keep fans of this Chicago folk-country-indie sextet more than happy - yet the nicely-named Bull Black Nova is something of a departure - for the better. Unlike the rest of the album this tune has a groove based upon stabbed keys and even more interestingly, a searing twin guitar break that crescendos toward the end of the song. More please...

Dust Sisters

Serene Thain

When sixteen of Auckland's finest female artists decided to get together and form a visual artist cooperative called the Dust Collective it was always going to be a big call to find a space big enough to exhibit all of their work at once. Thus Auckland in September will host two simultaneous exhibitions; Dust 1.2 at AUT's St Paul Street Gallery and Dust:Dispersion at Artstation in Ponsonby.

Collective member Elaine Conway suggests there is a broad range of creative expression on offer: "We have Juliette Laird who crochets fishing line into balls of expanded dust; Juliet Monaghan who invites her audience into a wedding veil to experience the hopes and dreams of brides-to-be, Serene Thain who combs $2 stores to find an array of colourful plastic objects to create intricate Luna Park-like constructions and Jude Graveson who has stretched and dried animal gut to invite a look form the inside."

The women are all graduates of A.U.T, Elim and M.I.T and work in an assortment of media and when naming the collective, liked the analogy that dust moves, settles and inhabits spaces - a perfect segway from the post below. Both exhibitions open on Thursday September 17.

Juliette Laird

Elaine Conway

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sandy Dee-lite

Kseniya Simonova's sand massaging techniques in this performance for Ukraine's Got Talent are so flitteringly clever, it beggars belief she has only had 700,000 and something hits on You Tube. The sand-shifting artistic kaleidescope she orchestrates may be a mere performance on a Ukranian TV show but her Talent far exceeds it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Black 11 - On Set - Street Life

Ajoh, our favourite last top model, with make-up by Amber D

Levi surveys the burgers and wonders about "Mermaid Dollars"

Believe it or not Commerce Street in Auckland's Britomart district is an interesting place, even at 7 o’clock on a Thursday night. Multi-national food outlets dot either side of the wide-ish thoroughfare, there is a metallic carpark centre-piece and The White Lady, open for almost every day since 1948, lights it all up with her fairy lights and quality burgers. A good place for the third part of our shoot thought photographer Russ Flatt, and by and large it was. Then the er, freaks came out. In the case of Freaky Glasses Guy (below) and his impressive ensemble, it was a welcome intrusion. The Churchword commented that the combo of outfit, glasses and particularly the positioning of the eyewear on his head was a styling moment that she could not have thought up herself. Street magic.

Freaky Glasses Guy gets in the picture with Lewis

Rachael fits Ajoh into the Alexander Wangs

Angus pulls a pukana and (below) Russ Flatt's lens action...

Got A Crush On Cider?

An increasing number of people do. Once upon a time it was commonly asked for by those recently returned from their British OE in their best London accent "Got a cider mate?", " Any snakebite guv'?" to bemusement from those at home or a "Nah sorry mate, we don't serve vinegar."

But times have changed and Monteiths the venerable brewer based in Greymouth on the South Island's West Coast see the sense (or perhaps cents) in it all. While their crushed apples, picked from the finest orchards in the surrounding regions, have been fermenting they conducted a little cider research. Monteith's brand manager, the media-friendly sounding Russell Browne says the market in NZ is worth $4.5 million a year and growing at nearly 13 percent. And, given that cider is seen by many as a refreshing summer drink, the September release of the new 4.5% Monteith's Crushed Apple Cider looks like a smart move all round by the innovative brewery.

The tipple comes in a four pack with an rrp of $14.99 and will be available on tap too at selected locations.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Black 11 - On Set - A Rural Moment

Michael Whittaker glamours the town while lighting assistant Dan Max waits for Russ Flatt

Here is a snapshot of our shoot yesterday with Michael Whittaker and Natalya D (both at Clyne). Russ Flatt, Rachael Churchward, Greg Murrell and Amber D are shooting a story over three different days in as many locations with nine different models. Yesterday meant a trip to Puhoi although we have to admit that after 10 minutes of trying to use the pre-paid booth to drive through the new tunnel, we couldn't, it was broken, so we went round the old way over the hills. Here are a couple of sample images from one location in the iconic town. Thanks to Vicotria Bell and The Dennerleys.

Black Hair Editor Greg Murrell and Rachael Churchward do their final checks on Natalya

Rachael styling the lovely MAW dress on Natalya

In our experience, great NZ male models like to climb trees. So it was with Michael Whittaker yesterday...

A local waka!

The Ki To Future Life

The Ki is shaping as something different when it comes to eco-events. Described as an "eco lifestyle and technology event that immerses Earth-conscious consumers in a posh new reality" The Ki takes place on the de-commissioned runways of Alameda Point in San Fransisco from October 22 - 29, 2009. The event is shaping as something of a Burning Man for the eco-conscious with a fast-forward vision to the near and not-so-near future we may all face.

Companies committed to The Ki include heavyweights like Mercedes Benz as well as a plethora of eco/sustainable/green visionaries and the entire experience, which is limited to 3,000 people on-site, looks like a full immersion experience in every sense. If the website is anything to go by it will showcase the new frontier of technologies too.

Top Shop Just Around Corner

Popular British fashion store/site/brand/juggernaut Topshop announced yesterday that they have expanded their international shipping destinations to include Aotearoa. New Zealanders have long spoken the words "Topshop" and "London Experience" in the same sentence and the Kate Moss collaboration is surely one of the most successful of recent times.

Kate Walmsley, Head of Topshop's E-Commerce division comments: “We’re thrilled to be able to offer an increased number of international customers the chance to buy at Topshop. We’ve listened to our customers, many of whom make regular pilgrimages to our Oxford Circus flagship, and look forward to expanding into other territories in the future."

Black 11 - The Schwartz Report # 3 - Heidi Mount

Numero 09 cover by Sebastian Kim

We are pleased to announce that Heidi Mount will be our third cover girl for Issue 11 of Black Magazine. Having shot Constance Jablonski and Siri Tollerod, Michael Schwartz, Valery Gherman and Elizabeth Sulcer have now shot the supermodel ranked Number 10 at and they are amping about the images. Our fourth cover girl is equally exciting but we will wait until she has been shot before we tell Blacklog readers about her. Super!

Above: V Magazine editorial by Mert & Marcus
Below: Vogue Italia editorial by Paolo Roversi and
Numero August 08 cover by Greg kadel

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Melbourne Street Style by Nadia Sliwka

We have a nice selection of street style images in from Nadia Sliwka in Melbourne over on The Black Eye. Melbournites are so good at dressing smart-casual in a creative way.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Here's Lucie

Lucie Marquis is a British-based fashion designer with tangible New Zealand links. Her maternal grand-parents live in Pukekohe and other family live close by. In 2006, on a whim, she entered Dunedin's Vodafone ID Emerging Designer Awards as an overseas entrant. She was joint-winner that year and enjoyed New Zealand so much she is back for an extended stay to work, learn more about our fashion industry, and enjoy the New Zealand summer. Having recently completed a stint as designer for the iconic Betty Jackson, and having a role at Burberry and Sonia Rykiel Paris prior to that, Lucie is currently assisting Black Fashion Director Rachael Churchward on this issue and will be main assistant to Rachael on the Huffer show at this year's Air New Zealand Fashion Week. Haere mai Lucie...

Whale of a Groove!

We were fascinated to read in this morning's New Zealand Herald that Danish researchers have discovered that Bowhead whales change their songs from year to year and never repeat songs from previous years "like human pop music." The scientists from the University of Copenhagen have been studying the whales in Disko Bay, on Disko Island - just off Denmark - and say the whales "sometimes sing with more than one voice" and produce "two different songs which are then mixed together" in order to attract new mates. Given the funky, old school (sorry) location, and the mixing process, we wonder which songs these might be exactly? Let No Man Put Us Under, Everybody Get Down, Going In Circles and Fantastic Voyage would all rate a mention...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cooper To Helm House Of Last

Some of the first Beau Coops samples off the production line

NMI is an Australian-based fashion and footwear company with an extensive tradition, started in 1955 by the newly-emigrated Mr Nick Mascitelli. Half a century later and his two sons Rocco and David have turned the business into one of the most respected fashion and footwear houses in Australia. House and home to brands that range in scope from designer, European luxury labels, to street-savvy lifestyle brands, NMI offers Australasians access to a list of greats; names like Lagerfeld, C’n’C, Costume National, Galliano, Replay and more.

The company obviously has a fashion-forward approach as they recently appointed New Zealander Carrie Cooper (whose previous footwear design incarnations include Alexander McQueen for Puma, Eley Kishimoto, Bernhard Willhelm and most recently, Ksubi) to work with the Mascitelli brothers on a new portfolio. The new portfolio, under the umbrella company The House of Last, will focus specifically on design, development, production, sales, and licensing of unique, in-house designs - the first of which will be Carrie's own Beau Coops label. The range is in the sampling stage and will be available in NZ & Australia a little later this year. Congrats to NMI and Carrie on a match made in sole heaven.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Black 11 - On Set - Michael Whittaker & Stella Maxwell 2

Really good models know how to act a little when it is asked of them. So when Michael and Stella were asked for a little 'chemisty' by photographer Craig Owen, they didn't have too much problem creating some. Shot on a Sony Cybershot DSC-T900 and cut to the Eels Fresh Blood. We thought this was apt as Michael is a huge True Blood fan - as we are.

The Lotus, The Snowbird and the Beauty Cake

Collaboration is nothing new to Boh Runga. After all, she spent many years in a band and few careers are more collaborative than that. Thus, when her eponymous jewellery collection was released last year in partnership with NZ Mint, it seemed like a good fit and a nice direction for the songbird - and that collection has been very successful. Runga and NZ Mint have wasted no time on a follow up, this time with a third collaborative partner on board, the Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido.

The Lotus and the Snowbird
, a collection of signature Runga jewellery and a limited edition Beauty Cake by Boh Runga for Moisture Mist started with a lovely fable concocted by Boh, possibly in the garden of her LA home. The fairy tale tells of a mysterious travelling snowbird that happens upon a lotus flower in a garden and invites said flower to leave the comforts of home and see The World beyond. The fable and attendant imaging is delivered superbly across all three brands and there's something nice about having a story at the centre of it all.

The Moisture Mist compact (above) and it's signature red case is quite iconic in New Zealand so this limited edition version should fly off the shelves when it goes on sale, along with the jewellery, in October this year. This looks like a winning combination to us and another step forward into the talented, yet somewhat shy singer's multi-faceted future.

Black 11 - On Set - Michael Whittaker & Stella Maxwell

We are currently into day four of a five day shootathon and yesterday's beauty/fashion shoot with Craig Owen lived up to expectations. Stella Maxwell and Michael Whittaker where equally awesome as solo portraits as they were together. We will post a video a little later today from the shoot which quite simply says "chemistry" in a modelling sense. There is no doubt that these two have huge futures internationally - together they are dynamite. All images Grant Fell on a Sony Alpha 700

Hair Editor Greg Murrell preens Stella

Make-up artist Stefan Knight checks the shot with Craig Owen

Michael at work on screen

Michael at work on set

Black Fashion Director Rachael Churchward checks the Ruby Mariani outfit on Stella