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.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Love Want More

Tonight in Sydney, Imogene Barron and Bec Parsons release the second of their Love Want "self-published creations." This time they have joined forces with Bartolomeo Celestino and art director supreme Jonathan Zawada to take the whole shebang to a new level. Other contributions or appearances come from Ben Sullivan (with whom Barron teamed for the current issue of Black), stylist Talvin Charter, creative of many talents Axel Moline and the fabulous Hannah Holman (above) whom we are sure you know by now. Hopefully Love Want will be available in Aotearoa soon but in the meantime as their strapline says "Love Want leaves you wanting more."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Bux Dean Starts Here

We received this image a couple of days back from Bux Dean with little explanation but when a photograph is this good, who needs one...


I love love love and want want want one of these new Alexander Wang bags. You can order them from the Opening Ceremony website for a pretty price of US$795. Combined christmas and birthday present for the next 2 years?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

From Paris With Love

AGATHA Paris, Vulcan Lane, Auckland

I popped into the new AGATHA Paris boutique in Vulcan Lane today - across the way from the iconic Zambesi store - and was immediately struck by the smart, clean, Parisian presentation - the boutique was created in Paris and then shipped to Aotearoa, and it shows. The walls are painted an opulent blue, the display cases are all superbly lit and the jewellery and accessories on display are just what New Zealand needs, French flair that is accessible and affordable with a broad range of styles and concepts on offer. We particularly like the way necklaces and pendants are hung on the wall in such an easy-to-see way. AGATHA Paris's six annual collections all reflect the trends from the world's big fashion houses, and with 260 boutiques around the world and over 1,000 AGATHA Paris designs sold every hour, they are clearly onto a good thing.

We like what Asia-Pacific director Renaud Litre has to say about the new Auckland store: "It is wonderful to be bringing a slice of Parisian style - along with a large helping of AGATHA Paris's chic and sassy spirit - to Auckland with this new, Australasian-first boutique. I know New Zealand women will find AGATHA Paris as much of a delightful discovery as their peers around the world have, and I look forward to seeing how New Zealand's style and fashion leaders influence AGATHA Paris in years to come." That's not just refreshing, it's encompassing. Congratulations Mitchell, and welcome AGATHA Paris...

35b Vulcan Lane,
Auckland Central
Ph: 302 1100

Here's the local Facebook page

Be My Lover

With summer just moments away, I'm on the search for beach and ocean attire. This Lover bikini is perfect don't ya think? I love the fact that the bottoms are high waisted - out with the skimpy bikinis I say. Lover's Spring/Summer '09/10 collection is the perfect mixture of femininity and practicality, with pretty floral one-pieces and leopard print bikinis. Luckily for us Aucklanders, it's now possible to purchase the range from their online store.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sartorial Sixties Sindy

"Who's the swingingest girl in town? Who rates high on everyone's best-dressed list? Sindy, of course! She has complete wardrobes of casual and smart go-ahead clothes that match the exciting and fascinating life she leads." So says the intro to the The Sindy Set booklet which accompanied the original Sindy doll set of the late sixties and early seventies. Produced by Pedigree Dolls Ltd in London, Sindy was always far more fashionable than Barbie back in the day - although Barbie has enjoyed some fine collaborative fashion in recent times from world-class designers. The Churchword has in her collection this original New Zealand Sindy doll replete with some of her fabulous fashion-forward outfits so we thought we could dress her up on occasion and pop her up here on Blacklog to showcase some of her rather desirable wardrobe. Here Sindy wears her "Weekender" outfit - blue jeans with yellow stitching, blue, white and red striped cotton jersey top, pea coat with front fastening in wool and white sneakers - matched with a B.O.A.C shoulder bag. Hair & make-up by Sindy herself, of course!

Shiny, Black and Rare

We love the way Webb's Galleries are opening up the nature and content of their auctions. The latest interesting auction to emerge from the auction house, and contender for the best black image sent to us in recent times, centres on important and vintage motorcycles. Held off-site at the excellent Deus Ex Machina on Wed Nov 25 at 7pm, this rather beautiful Velocette and many other rare bikes will go under the hammer. You'll need deep pockets, as the title says; these are important motorcycles, but even if if you are not a buyer the event is sure to be aesthetically pleasing on the eye.

Black 11's Internet Connection

Following our appearance on America's influential style blog Fashion Gone Rogue last week we were inundated with international visitors and curious fashonistas wanting to know more about Black from New Zealand, and Black 11 covers and/or editorial are now featured on a number of blogs around the globe. Our friends at F-Tape in London have gone a step further and published a feature on the issue which, suffice to say, we are excited about. Black 11 is on sale nationwide in NZ now, so go grab a copy!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ed's Bass Tones

Ed Westwick may just have the most formidable jaw line since Brando but the Englishman is it seems, far from Chuck Bass's privileged pedantry. In recent episodes of Gossip Girl the actor has exhibited an unerring ability to open night clubs, spend his fathers money, sup cocktails, emerge from limos and comfort, or rebuke, the ever-hilarious but fragile B - all as a gentrified teenage New Yorker with flared nostrils dressed twenty four seven in luxury brands. Irrespective of Gossip Girl's next report, or Victoria Beckham's on-set fashion feud, Ed Westwick's acting future looks assured for his ability to roll an accent, and cast an on-cue look in the camera's direction. This is our vote for the best Arena Homme Plus cover for some time...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Cultural Heartland - a Blacklog feature

Winner Linda Le Pou with her amazing creation

Manakau Mayor (and first choice Supercity Mayor) Len Brown took the stage at the Villa Maria Cult Couture awards last Saturday night and delivered a passionate speech about the event, embued with a deep understanding of the vast creative talent that lies within the sprawling borders of Auckland's deep south. He was effusive, and rightly so, for this year's Cult Couture did much to confirm the event's potential as one of Aotearoa's most important creative events. It might be set each year at the waka-like Telstra Clear Events Centre but the awards are open to fashion designers from anywhere, any age, any culture, and of any persuasion. 

It's an intoxicating amalgam of fashion, art, performance, music and the unexpected - and we love it. Black Fashion Director Rachael Churchward and designer Adrian Hailwood were a judges for the third year running, this year, alongside Showroom 22's PR maestro Murray Bevan, and all of the judges were impressed with the quality of creativity, craftsmanship and plain hard work that had gone into the winning outfits this year. Yet Cult Couture is more than just frocks; music, dance, sets, stage, choreography and lighting all play an integral part. The three divas (and I don't use that term lightly) from Diva, the band, once again filled the auditorium with voices so sweet and strong the hairs on the back of our necks were doing a jig. 

Diva's Cherie Matheson played hostess appearing regularly on moving podiums and in the wings of the room, introducing each award or segment with a song. TV3's Alistair Wilkinson narrated the evening to a fabulous script, and presented the awards like the professional he is. Throughout the night the performances were punctuated with great touches - ballet dancers, hip-hop dancers, Marie Antionette and to the Churchword's delight, marching girls from the British Guards Marching Team. A Cult Couture has to be experienced rather than written about though, so next year, make a point of getting along. Cult Couture is something special...

Popping Up!

Hopetown's Aria Campbell and Ruth Ellison are two of the nicest people we have met in fashion in recent times, and their bubbly demeanour at the recent Process media day may have something to do with the fact they know they are onto a good thing. We certainly think they are. The current range, sparked simply by a shared vision of an old man fishing in a wooden boat, indicates they have a right to be hopeful. All the better then, that you can pop along to their pop-up store over the next three days - provided you live in Auckland of course -  and take home Hopetown's Spring/Summer 09 collection at wholesale price. 

Hopetown Pop-Up Shop
Suite 2, 58 Surrey Crescent
Grey Lynn, Auckland
Thurs Nov 12 - Sat Nov 14


You've probably all heard it by now, but Luella is no more. The British designer has announced that her fashion company has been forced to stop trading due to financial problems. What a shame. I've always loved Bartley's sweet and smart, sixties inspired, colourful and floral Sunday-best sort of clothes and it'll be sad to no longer see her pretty collections on the runway.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cover 4 - Issue 11 - Michael Schwartz shoots Heidi Mount

Here's our fourth cover, Heidi Mount shot by Michael Schwartz. Styling by Tom van Dorpe, make-up by Valery Gherman and hair by Tuan Anh Tran...

Cover 3 - Issue 11 - Michael Schwartz shoots Siri Tollerod

Happy Monday! We hope you have had a good start to the week...

Here is the Siri Tollerod cover shot by Michael Schwartz in New York. Styling by Elizabeth Sulcer, make-up by Valery Gherman and hair by Tuan Anh Tran.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I Can See For Miles...

...or at least, it's likely Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson can if  his brilliant debut album is anything to go by. This could well be song writing genius at work. A great album grows and grows on you until you can't live without it and it might be premature to consider Summer Of Fear great, but it is very, very good. Produced by Kyp Malone of TV On The Radio, the album shares some of that band's sensibilities but it is imbued with song writing that reflects Dylan, Bowie and the Stones...among others. Love it!

It's A Small World

 In the past few days we've had some nice words from other bloggers liking what they see here on Blacklog, which in turn leads to us looking at their sites. Today we received an email from Venezuela, from OH! NENA, and although our Spanish is terrible we love some of the fashion and photography on their site. Interestingly, we have 364 friends from Santiago, Chile, 232 from Buenos Aires and 97 from Caracas on our Facebook page so South America beckons. We're wondering though, if the attention may have something to do with Fashion Gone's the OH! NENA blog

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cover 2 -Issue 11-Michael Schwartz shoots Hannah Holman

The Hannah Holman Michael Schwartz, Valery Gherman, Yi Guo and Shawn Mount...