Monday, August 30, 2010

Karping about with Kapura

Last week we popped into our favourite watering hole, Ponsonby Social Club, for a quick tipple while the motorway was congested with traffic and met Kapura Kaka, from Matawaia, Northland. Having studied fashion design at AUT and graduated from the fashion degree programme in 2009, the talented young designer has since been working on a small denim range for girls and guys, a fresh take on the classic five pocket cut. We were impressed with her concepts and lateral thinking and wondered what her influences might be: "My influences are always growing and changing" she enthused "I like to check out photography and art books and also like conceptual designers like Aitor Throup, Comme Des Garcons and Margiela." Kapura has "a huge passion for the denim fabric" and wishes to learn and create new denim concepts from her space within the SOBI collective group in High Street. We also loved the energy of her look book starring consummate barman Johnny Harnett and fellow fashion designer Ella Moore. Shot by James Watkins and styled by Kaka, Moore and Sera Taylor, Karps is indeed, a breath of fresh air....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Black 13: Michael Schwartz shoots Sara Blomqvist in Berlin

Above: Armani Jeans campaign and Muse editorial

Black NYC photographer Michael Schwartz knows a good face when he sees one, and clearly Sara Blomqvist has a wonderful visage. The Swedish native has had a short but stellar career sprinkled with achievements; face of Armani Jeans, Missoni and one of the faces of D&G as shot by Mario Testino. Her photographer role call is also starting to build; Mert & Marcus, Peter Lindbergh, Steven Meisel, Sebastian Kim and Craig McDean, she has walked for established houses from Lagerfeld to Louis Vuitton. Schwartz captured her strength in a tough editorial whilst on a sojourn to Berlin for Black 13.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stichbury in New York

 Estelle1_Stichbury studio

 Mr Phil McEwan

Zach Klein

If you are going to be in New York for New York Fashion Week, Sept 9-16, then we urge you to visit wonderful New Zealand artist Peter Stichbury's first solo exhibition in North America. The Proteus Effect, a series of paintings and prints that showcases Sitchbury's unerring penchant for hyper real portraiture, runs from September 10 to October 30 at Tracey Wiiliams Ltd gallery, 521 West 23 Street, New York, NY.

Unknown Pleasures with Hooky

Unknown Pleasures, cover by Peter Saville

A couple of months back after reading The Hacienda - How Not To Run A Club we asked Bernard D.McDonald if he could 'hook' us up with an interview with Peter Hook, Joy Division and New Order's bass playing stalwart, so taken were we with his ingenous account of the legendary club and its machinations. Of course Barney is an expert on everything New Order/Joy Division so we're very excited to be running that interview in Black 13. Timely too that Hooky will be arriving in Aotearoa to play Unknown Pleasures, one of the greatest albums of all time, in its entirety at The Powerstation on Saturday, October 2. Captain Hook and a group of musicians and friends will play the album plus two of our favourite JD singles Transmission and Love Will Tear Us Apart. We've already seen some negative comments about the gig online, but hell, if anyone can do this, it's Hooky. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster, Real Groovy and Marbecks. Can't wait...

JUST ANNOUNCED: Support acts will be Die! Die! Die! and that legend in his own lunchtime, Harry The Bastard.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Secret Garden Party, Cambridgeshire, UK

Cast aside all your inhibitions and dive into the extraordinary and magical world of the secret garden...I wanted to write about Secret Garden Party as it is probably one of the most beautiful, colourful and visually stimulating festivals I have ever been too. Set in a 10 acre landscaped garden, bordering a river and lake, it is just 70 miles out of central London in Cambridgeshire, but feels in the middle of nowhere. It was inspired by the Burning Man festival in the US - where it is all about being involved in the festival - not only being performed to, but being part of the performance too! However it is essentially British full of eccentric characters willing to take part. Festivals generally have evolved over the years from being about the music to becoming a full on experience involving the arts ……. a fairground and playground for adults, a fantasy world where people can escape for a few days.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Interactive Eniko

Our New York Editor Valery Gherman has been busy on all sorts of projects lately, including Black 13 of course, but we were particularly interested in this one for the venerable Show Studio. Photographer/film maker Barnaby Roper teamed with stylist Keegan Singh, Valery and Black New York hair stylist Tuan Anh Tran to shoot mega model Eniko Mihalik in a studio. The difference is that the whole thing is interactive, you can set off a few different beats then every key on your keyboard cuts between a variety of short clips making Eniko quite simply dance around at your fingertips. It might take a wee while to load but it's a fun, fresh idea and you can record your own 'track' so to speak, however, this isn't easy and it takes a little practice to create something meaningful...

Skin Deep

Above: Shadow Dress Photo by Stephen Tilley

We are really liking the look of 'Skin' - the third season collection from young Auckland designers Hopetown. Ruth Ellison and Aria Campbell have celebrated all things epidermal with the range in a colour palette of natural tones; nudes, peaches, marles, pistachio and spearmint - and a range of shapes and cuts that create the illusion of a "protective shell." Materials in the range include aged leather, gauze, perforated cotton and lush silks which "mimick the various temperatures and and areas of skin." All-in-all it's a cohesive and accomplished range from the young duo who are clearly showing they have what it takes to step up to the big league. Congrats...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Black 13: Paul Empson & June Nakamoto shoot Dioni Tabbers

Black Magazine's Paris-based stalwarts Paul Empson and June Nakamoto have shot Dutch beauty Dioni Tabbers in a French field setting for Black 13 and as usual Paul has an epic eye for a powerful fashion shot whilst June delivers beautiful fashion. The Dutch beauty is a favourite of Ellen von Unworth who is making a habit of capturing Dioni's sexiness, as the two images above from Vogue Italia's July 2010 issue confirm.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Valentino, Couture Masterclass

Phenomenal. Inspiring. Magnificent. Gorgeous. Legendary. These five words go some way to describing the Valentino Restrospective; Past/Present/Future which opened at Brisbane's GoMA gallery last Friday night but only some way. Valentino Garavani requires little introduction to fashionistas as one of the world's great designers and the only designer to have been recognised by the French government as an official haute couture house outside of France. His life has been a sparkling cavalcade of fabulous women; Jackie O, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett head up a raft of movie stars, princesses and socialites who quite literally loved Valentino - many became close personal friends. Walking into the exhibition the stature of the garments themselves is overwhelming. This is fashion as art, and art as fashion...Blacklog readers, New Zealand or Australian who have been considering a weekend away in the next few months, we encourage you to make the trip to Brisbane to see this. It will be well worth your while.

Each of the garments has been 100% hand-sewn by Valentino's army of artisans and to see the absolute mountain of work, time and craftmanship that has gone into each creation is breathtaking, like great art should be. Every piece also has a life, and provenance, of its own and whilst the fashion trends that emerged through the five decades of Valentino's work are there for all to see, every garment on show transcends time, genre and trend effortlessly.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Brisbane, Australia's New World City

Oh, how Brisbane has changed. Whilst we have never officially lived there, we have spent large tracts of time in the sunshine city since the 1980s and have always enjoyed it's charms; its weather, beaches, architecture, sunshine, people, buildings, rivers, parks and places. In recent years though, the city has undergone a transformation that has, as Aucklanders, left us wishing and hoping that someone, somewhere - we're looking at you new Super City team, whoever you are - will finally do something about the municipal madness that has ground Auckland's potential as a fine harbour city, into the ground. Brisbane, take a bow, the South Bank area alone, home to the sprawling Brisbane Convention Centre, Griffith University, the fabulous GoMA and numerous other arts, culture and interesting people-friendly institutions offers much to visitors and locals alike.

We were in Brisbane this past weekend courtesy of Tourism Queensland to attend the opening of the wonderful Valentino Retrospective; Past/Present/Future at the Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland. The fact that Brisbane is the only city in the world outside Paris (Les Arts Decoratif) to ever host this stunning, substantial exhibition speaks volumes for the city, its infrastructure and the forward-thinking state government who are boldly pushing Brisbane as Australia's "New World City." The quality and breadth of the exhibition itself : 95 gowns from the "Last Emperor of Couture" from the late 1950's through to his retirement in 2008 and a further five equally outstanding creations from Maria GraziaChiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, the creative directors of the house since Valentino's departure, is enhanced by concurrent events in the area, notably the Brisbane Fashion Festival and a fashion and film festival held at the Australian Cinematheque that explores fashion and its relationship to cinema.

Further posts on the exhibition itself will follow but we had such a great time in the city with our NZ media delegation: Justine Smith (Tourism Queensland), Alice Neville (The Listener), Zoe Walker (NZ Herald), Carolyn Enting and Casey Taylor (Dominion Post) and Lucas De Jong/Charlie Vlassof (TVNZ) that we felt compelled to mention a few highlights:

1. GoMA

If there is one thing that struck us about GoMA, aside from the perfectly blended Scott
Redford (Black arts section, issue 3) statue outside (below), it is the sheer size and height of
the gallery and space for the artworks. Two halls house the Valentino retrospective and a more public space (above) screens videos and the Valentino journey in print. Set on the banks of the river, GoMA is beautiful gallery.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Blacklisted #4

It's all about Eve

Yesterday we shot brand new face at August Models, Eve. She had never really modelled before but we quickly discovered that she was a natural in front of the camera. She has a number of other attributes that suggest she may be on the eve of something big (sorry); a great, quirky face with beautiful jawline, a unique mouth and nose, beautiful hair, great personal style, a great figure and plenty behind the eyes. Lensman David Shields captured her beauty, Rachael Churchward styled and Shirley Simpson (of the S-Doubles) was on the hair and make-up. Rachael dressed her in Bettina Liano (above) and Bettina Liano and Glassons skirt (below). One to watch? Definitely...

A little natural beauty from Ecoya

When Captain Cook arrived at Botany Bay in Australia a few years back, he had on board one Joseph Banks, a botanist who was overwhelmed at the array of flora and fauna he found in the bay. Fitting then that Ecoya, the brand of luxury candles and bathroom goodies made from ecologically sound products should have it's headquarters on Joseph Banks Drive, Botany Bay, Sydney. The company was founded by Craig Scheighhoffer, who in turn, had in involvement in NZ luxury vodka brand 42 Below's success story. The investment in Geoff Ross, Grant Baker and Stephen Sinclair's iconic brand has now been returned with the trio now partners in Ecoya. Just like 42 Below, Ecoya is a quality brand with quality products and a global vision made by New Zealanders and Australians. Love it.

The Naked and Famous to be Famous?

The Naked and Famous recently went to number one on the the New Zealand charts with the sublime single off their new album, Young Blood. Listening to some of the other tracks off the forthcoming album, including the creeping genius of The Sun, suggests that before the year is out this band could easily be riding the bus toward international fame and recognition. All of the key elements of a great band are in place as this video, from the band's website of a live-to-air performance on C4, testifies. Nice live performance direction by Mike Carpinter. The awesome video for Young Blood by the talented Special Problems is also on the band's website.

Highlights of a Heaven to Hell Hollywood by David LaChapelle, from Taschen.

Nothing says "Hollywood" like David LaChapelle's new book, Heaven To Hell. At 350-odd pages, it's a cornucopia of colourful celebs, actors, musicians and everyday (Hollywood) weirdos, acting out ultra-chintzy conceptions that only LaChappelle can see. Paris, Courtney, Pam, Britney and, Philip Johnson, sit side-by-side in Sunset caravans, hotel rooms and swimming pools with the fabulous Amanda Lepore, Elton (I've got eggs on my face) John, Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor, Lance Armstrong, and a consummate cavalcade of inner American trailor trash and celebrities. Serendipitously, whilst thumbing through this book at about one page per second, we discovered the Julia Dean's tune Skin (Everything Is Coming To A Halt) to be frighteningly perfect musical accompaniment....speed reading picture books to music? Book clubs will never be the same...

Monday, August 2, 2010

New stories from Julia

Modern Fables starts with Ice Cream, runs through the wishes of friends and ends with the clear skinned dialogue of a recovered modern fable. That probably doesn't make much sense but if you look at the track listing for Julia Dean's new album, it might. Modern Fables is an accomplished album from one of New Zealand music's more accomplished female singers. Songs such as Skin (Everything Is Coming To A Halt), High and Clear, the title track and the utterly lovely Little Survivor make this an unmissable outing from the Kiwi songstress...