Thursday, May 31, 2012

Party people at Pravda

We spotted some lovely ladies (and men) at the Pravda pop-up fashion show. A portion of the ticket proceeds went to the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation, and everyone put on their glad rags to show their support.

Yuka wearing Cue and Mika in Karen Walker.
View all the great photos by Locheen Craig on Thread at http://www.thread.co.nz/news/6514/51/Street-Chic-Pravda-in-Wellington/d,thread-article

Pravda pop-up fashion show

Pravda, Deutz, im Designer Bodywear and Andrea Moore pulled together an amazing fashion show in the beautiful setting of Pravda cafe in Wellington. I was super excited to attend, along with Locheen Craig behind the camera, to enjoy an afternoon of fashion and food.


Read the full article at http://www.thread.co.nz/news/6513/15/Parade-at-Pravda/d,thread-article with photos by Locheen Craig.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Miss Ink North Island: tattooed beauties strut their stuff


Miss Universe eat your heart out, this is a pageant for sultry sweethearts with branding to boot. Some could have done with some congeniality training, but proving to the judges how they will change the world with cut-and-paste fluffy-kitten bullshit wasn’t part of the criteria to win this bad boy. You needed attitude, sex appeal, and a whole lotta ink.

Miss Ink North Island was crowned on Friday 25 May, but not before an eager audience got to see a parade of tattooed ladies in various states of dress. States of undress proved more popular when the burlesque entertainment hit the stage, and all eyes were on carefully placed pasties as the tassles turned.

The Miss Ink competition draws a different kind of contestant, and backstage talk was focussed on the thoughts of children. Almost every girl in Friday night’s line-up was a proud mother, and the conversation turned to comparing gems from the mouths of babes.

“Tell me you’re not going to wear that mummy,” one dismayed child had begged. Another stating “You don’t have enough tattoos”. Precious encouragement from loved ones. Something we can all put our trust in…

Lucky for these ladies their confidence drew on other streams.

Miss Bon Bon Rocher took the stage between segments to show off her burlesque prowess. Bon Bon has bodacious curves, and was this year crowned Miss Burlesque New Zealand 2012 Miss Congeniality and Miss Sponsors’ Choice. If that doesn’t give you a boost heading into the competition I don’t know what does.

My vote was biased to the beautiful Miss Kaysey; unfortunately my vote meant nothing to the judges and Kaysey was pipped by one point to come in third. So runner up went to Miss Nikki Needles, and crowd favourite Bon Bon took the crown in a much-deserved win.

The next night Miss Ink headed down to vamp up Christchurch, where the local bogan community got a well-deserved treat of bootylicious babes, rockin music, and pole dancing by the looks of things.

Oh how I stereotype. The competition actually seemed to appeal to a wide range of spectators. And why wouldn’t it. No one can resist a bit of skin, tattooed or not.

Photography by Oren Oaariki
Miss Kaysey

Runner up Miss Nikki Needles and Miss Ink North Island 2012 Bon Bon Rocher


Monday, May 28, 2012

Dance takes a trip into the human phyche

New Zealand School of Dance shared their choreographic season with an enthralled audience at Te Whaea on 18 May.
Samantha Hines in 'On the other hand', photographed by Stephen A’Court.

Read the full article on Thread.co.nz at http://www.thread.co.nz/news/6501/15/Come-dance-with-me

Matchbox Studios opens in Wellington


Artist Jade Townsend with her work 'Bay of Plenty'.

Quirky and cool. Matchbox Studios opened its doors on 19 May to a bubbly crowd of art and design enthusiasts. Pay them a visit at 166 Cuba Street and peruse the range of art, design, and photography on display.

Check out my full article on Thread.co.nz at http://www.thread.co.nz/news/6508/15/Match-highlights/d,thread-article. With photography by Locheen Craig.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fashion Flashback: the mini backpack

I know I was guilty of owning one, but something I really hated from the early 90s was those tiny backpacks that came into fashion.

They seemed to be a replacement for handbags, but I can’t begin to tell you how ridiculous they looked. I was a kid at the time, so perhaps I can be excused. It may have simply looked like a child-sized bag. It was kind of woven material and this black and white geometric pattern. I think I liked it at the time, but now I do not remember it so fondly.

But this trend wasn’t limited to pre-teens. And now the resurgence of 90s fashion has taken a turn for the worse and now I’ve seen adults in the year 2012 sporting these things.

If you need a reminder, this is what you got. Inanely long straps that left your mini backpack sagging like old lady boob flung over the shoulder. Sure backpacks are super handy. But they are also a pleasantly presented target to pick-pockets. Most of these bags had drawstring pulls to close them, and then a flat over the top, usually attached by Velcro. The larcenist’s dream. Non-waterproof material – meaning you couldn’t carry anything that had a chance of getting soggy (which in those days included paper money). And because you could fit very little in there, you received a jandal like slap on the back with every step, thanks to your insecure strappage.

Function – hardly. Form – barely. So what was the point?

And what is the point still, now that I have seen some of these unfortunate characters flopping around town.

Yes we have all enjoyed the 90s flashback fashion. But recycling styles is about taking the good and reinvigorating it for the new decade. And forgetting the bad. Sometimes, there’s just nothing to be salvaged.

Then, some of my favourite fashion crazies, the Olsens deux, put out this monstrosity from their label The Row. And at US$39,000 you might think that people would give it a miss, but the alligator skin back pack flew off the shelves.

Trickle-down effect ensues. And although you won’t be seeing alligator skin versions in New Zealand any time soon, you might start spotting leather or (god forbid) canvas options in stores near you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Peplum: fun to say, fabulous to wear

You know when you get a word stuck in your head and just say it over and over without any context or meaning. A few years back I heard the term ‘peplum’ for the first time and was intrigued by my desire to enunciate those two syllables repeatedly; along with the great wonderment of now knowing what that little skirt over a pencil dress was.

So for the uninformed, that is what a peplum is. It’s that over-skirt big frill dealey that shoots out over your hips. It could be on a jacket, a blouse, a skirt or dress, and you’re more and more likely to see them these days.

These babies have been around for years, and why not? Although it might seem a little extreme for some, there is good reason to wear a peplum-adorned outfit.

For hourglass shapes, peplums accentuate your slim waist and lovely hips. For those with zero waist and hips it creates the illusion of these things for you. I wouldn’t go there if I was a pear or an apple, but a figure-fixer that covers two out of four shapes ain’t bad.

Peplums were big in the 80s, and easily mistaken for frills. They also go back to the 40s, where they were most often seen on jackets. And this is where the peplum began. It’s slowly moved down to be known as a feature of dresses and skirts, but back in the day, when women wore big-ass skirts with bustles, a peplum jacket was required to fit over the top of the skirt. As skirts got slimmer, I guess designers realised the peplum still had a place in women’s clothing, accentuating smallness of waist and child-bearing qualities of the hips.

And it seems like we’re finally cottoning on. Stars have been wearing peplum dresses down the red carpet for a few years, now there are two out of three dresses in the window at Cue with various peplum styles and even some cute peplum tops in Glassons and Dotti. So expect to see them on the street any time soon. Until then, enjoy these looks from past and present.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

coloured denim cools down for winter

Coloured denim has made it through the spring/summer season and has now migrated into the cooler months. If the hot spring colours put you off the first time round – bright corals, blues, and yellows featured heavily – then maybe give a splash of colour a chance for the winter season.

New arrivals stick to cooler colours to reflect the changing season, and you might just find that burgundy, burnt orange, or forest green are a bit more up your ally. Darker colours are usually a bit more forgiving and I’ve been tempted into a wine-coloured pair to add to my skinny jean collection.

If you’re not sure about colouring up your legs, my advice would be to go and try them on with a range of on-trend knits and jumpers. And don’t let those top-halves go monotone either.

The great thing about coloured bottoms is it opens your wardrobe up to all sorts of contrasting separates. Try deeper tones with a clash of this season’s hottest colour, mustard. Apparently it suits more people than you might think. And if worst comes to worst and you look like you’ve just had a face-to-face with the toilet bowl, no one is there to see you behind the changing room curtain. You are allowed to make mistakes in there!
Because coloured denim is likely to come and go and the hues will change season to season, my best suggestion is New Zealand’s favourite fast fashion outlet, Glassons. Their Miss Who jeans are ridiculously priced at $39.99, so if you wear them twice and decide it’s not for you, you won’t feel bad giving them away. They stretch over time and it doesn’t cost the moon to replace them. I’ve got a nice little collection going, one of which has never been worn beyond the velvet curtain, but I’m not crying about the spilt milk of $40 after a pay-day purchase.

Once you go black you never come back does not fit all situations. Black jeans might seem to be the answer to many-a wardrobe crisis, but I implore you to add a little colour to your winter wardrobe. Wellington gets a lot of rap for wearing only black, and while my black skinnies are still up there in the wardrobe hierarchy, I’m seeing colour taking over one piece at a time. So colour up this winter! Take a chance with coloured denim and you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Letter jackets: emulating American douchery

If I said “American college jocks” in relation to fashion, what instantly comes to mind? Letter jackets.

Growing up reading Sweet Valley High and watching BH 90210 meant one thing. Letter jacket envy. It was a symbol of elitist clique culture. Popular girls got to wear there boyfriend’s letter jacket on the sidelines of football games – social branding at its best! I didn’t even know what those letters meant but boy did I want one. And the boy to go with it.

This Chilean boy that a friend and I stalked throughout the course of his exchange at high school wore one. I don’t even know if they have them in Chile, but it was exotic. It made him so much more alien to our little world. He was already hot, but I recall it adding to the hotness in a way that will never be explained but in the minds of 14-year-old girls.

Even a badass like Danny Zuko was willing to go from leather to letter for his Sandra Dee. Luckily she went all big-hair-plether-pants on him in the nick of time. Because it made him look like a total plonker. But I digress.

Dude, you didn't even finish high school.
Letter jackets have once again made it into the New Zealand fashion forum. I still believe the attraction is that we just don’t get them over here, so it is therefore exotic and ‘cool’. They aren’t flattering in any way – generally oversized and rigid – much like the dicks that inevitably wear them.

And what do you wear them with? I’m concerned.

I’m concerned doubly about the fact that they are appearing on both women’s and men’s racks at the same time. (For men also are baseball jackets. Do we even have baseball over here?) So now we can all be little Yank clones walking around in the same jackets, male and female alike.

So what’s up with the American invasion? Don’t we [I] think [90% of] those guys are complete idiots? Do we really want to emulate jock culture that’s so far removed from our world down under? Maybe we should also start wearing matching rings, funny hats, and take to paddling blindfolded and trembling first-years on their undeserving behinds at orientation. Let’s add in some big hair and ridiculously white teeth just for fun. The secret society of Americlones. Except that it’s completely overt. Because we all know American’s have a zero-tolerance policy on subtlety. Just as I clearly have zero tolerance of cultural stereotyping.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hair wonders by Matt Forsman at Haight Ashbury

before
People that know me well know how I feel about free stuff. But who doesn’t love a good freebie?! That’s why fashion events are made just that much more fabulous by the bag that’s sitting on your chair.

At the Noa Noa launch in April, we were treated to some seriously special goody bags, including lovely Noa Noa accessories and a free haircut by the evening’s hair stylist, Matt Forsman from Haight Ashbury.

In serious need of a cut, I swiftly took up the offer and booked myself in to see Matt last week. My hair had grown out for about 8 months after the last drastic chop, and was pretty much confined to an updo.


before
Despite it being an hour of work for free, Matt took the time and care I would expect if I was a paying client. Needless to say, this was an excellent opportunity to gather some return custom, but some people will take their freebie and never return. I certainly didn’t feel like I was being rushed through or deprived of the necessary steps that create a great haircut.
What makes a good hairdresser for me is being able to go in there with a flaky idea of what I want and letting the expert go forth and make the call for me. I want someone who offers me something new and something that suits me, after all, they are the experts and the artists. It’s a bit of a test I guess, but you can spend a lot of money at the hairdressers and I think a stylist should be able to prove themselves with vision as well as execution.

after
Matt took my vague musings about ‘shorter but not too short and something smooth, not choppy’ and turned it into the exact image I had in my mind. A sleek bob that frames my face, accentuates my features and colouring, and projects the young professional image I desire.

Apologising for ‘not being much of a conversationalist’, Matt proved to me that he was more focused on making my cut perfect, rather than engaging me in trivial drivel about my life or the weather. I don’t want the distraction of chit chat when I’m editing a piece of writing, so I could totally understand his need for uninterrupted attention on my head. Cutting hair is an art, and a physical edit of someone’s appearance. Matt is clearly a detailed-focused person, a perfectionist, and an artist. These are things I can appreciate.

after
His hour of free work is paying off already. I’ve told numerous people who have complimented my new hair where to find the man behind the style. Without a pressured pitch or any form of tedious upsell, I’ve rebooked with Matt in six weeks to keep my new bob sleek and tidy. Retouching the lovely work he started. 

You can find Matt at Haight Ashbury on Johnston Street in Wellington and experience his professionalism and confidence in his trade for yourself.