Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oyster shelved

oyster via obsessee

A few weeks ago frockwriter received a tip that Australia’s longest-surviving indie fashion/lifestyle magazine Oyster had closed. It was dismissed as nonsense at the time by editor Paul Bui, who said he was about to put out his next issue. Very similar rumours began circulating late last year, following the news that Oyster’s then parent of 12 months, Destra Corporation, had gone into receivership. On November 20, 3D World Publishing co-founders Jonathon Morris and Monika Nakata reacquired the company and its various publishing interests, including Oyster (only to sell 3D World to Street Press Australia in July). Well as it now emerges Bui has since left the magazine, along with editor in chief Rachael Squires and art director Eliza Iredale, citing creative differences with the publishers - part of what frockwriter has learned has been an exodus of staff since the Destra buyback, that includes beauty editor Leticia Dare, sub editor Hilary Board, sales director Zoe Sainsbury and Oyster Vision producer Alex Goddard. This leaves Morris, Nakata, ad manager Prav de Silva and former intern-turned-web editor Alyx Gorman, who is acting editor – while attending to fulltime university studies. Gorman confirmed that there will be no December/January issue and that the magazine is going on hiatus online until further funding is sourced. No monies are owed to staff. Update 5.52pm: According to publisher Monika Nakata, a Feb/March issue will go ahead.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Kate Sylvester once had a mohawk

Or so she told me at the conclusion of this video, below, recorded after her Diamond Dogs AW10 show in Auckland on Wednesday night. The collection was inspired by a 1980s Auckland punk-turned-gossip writer by the name of Judith Baragwanath, aka Black Lips, due to her signature black lipstick. Baragwanath was in fact the second local show muse to emerge in as many days, after Annah Stretton dedicated her show to 1940s Auckland burlesque dancer Freda Stark. All the Sylvester hallmarks were there - masculine tailoring, lingerie, sporty grey marle, swans - but this collection was particularly well pulled together, from the hometown theme to the disused industrial warehouse venue, punk styling and the edgy Horrors/Crocodiles/Stranglers soundtrack. Considering the boxy tweed boyfriend jackets, the smart ciré trenchcoat, military-nosed suiting, bodycon microdresses with exposed, articulated seamwork, punk hardware and faux fur chubbies, little wonder that US glamour blogger Rumi Neely later noted she could see herself in the entire collection.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stolen generation

A really quick post to clock the awesomeness that was tonight's 'Welcome to Nowhere' show from Stolen Girlfriends Club. The last show that I saw from this Auckland hipster collective was last year. And while it was well-styled, with a massive turnout, the distressed jeans, cutoff shorts and graphic T-shirts just, well, didn't really seem to have that much of a point of difference to every other jeans-and-t-shirts outfit on the market. Not so this new collection, which seemed to be three parts Little House on the Prairie, one part The Clan of the Cave Bear, with nary a pair of jeans in sight. In their place, some extremely cute, chunky cable knitwear, charming Liberty print western shirts - some with gold pyramid studding - a suite of sweet dresses, including sexy knit singlets and some faux fur chubbies, such as the mulberry version sported by NZ It girl Zippora Seven.

The cast also included rising NZ male modelling star Levi Clarke, who was still 16 in May last year when he starred alongside Seven - also 16 at the time - in a controversial RUSSH magazine editorial. The magazine's depiction of underage models, alcohol and implied sexual activity prompted an investigation by the Australian Classification Board. The matter was eventually dropped.

As frockwriter walked through to backstage, to spot alcohol laid on pre-show, we wondered just how many under-18s might have been on deck. One male model boasted that he had consumed four Steinlagers.

Apologies for the lack of posts from Auckland. I am doing some coverage via Twitter, but sadly that is restricted to the wifi-enabled on-site shows (I was not sufficiently well-organised to sort out a suitable, and cost-effective, off-site alternative).

I am also doing a photo diary for one publication and a city guide for another and find myself extremely short of time. Will post more in the days to come.

Nom*D's renegade chic

Yesterday, Dunedin's Margie Robertson presented her Nom*D collection in exactly the same venue used by Zambesi on the previous evening - Auckland's SkyCity Theatre. Zambesi being of course designed by Robertson's sister, Liz Findlay (we'll get to Zambesi when we have more time). Instead of a traditional runway show, Robertson presented an eight-minute film from Auckland filmmaker Kirsty Cameron, accompanied by a few models in Nom*D's 'Turncoats' collection of fabulous recoupage chic, which included dresses fashioned from socks, nighties and other sundry intimate apparel - all styled back by NZ's premier stylist, Karen Inderbitzen-Waller, with gladiator spats, an intriguing series of fringed, sporran-like leather purses (which weren't purses at all) and a painterly beauty look, created by Margo Regan.

It's what you could call a perfect indie fashion/film hookup.
Cameron is an erstwhile costume designer herself, whose credits include Whale Rider and the sci-fi vampire thriller Perfect Creature.

Sadly, frockwriter missed the show because we were tied up with a live cross to TVNZ, but here is an exclusive portfolio of Nom*D's own shots from the fittings.

Apologies to those who may have spotted a player for the Turncoats film in frockwriter's feed yesterday. Something was wrong with the embed code so we eventually took it down. Hopefully will have it back up soon.

all shots: nom*d

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Alexandra Owen's bridled passion

In town for Air New Zealand Fashion Week, as anyone following me on Twitter will already be aware. Frockwriter is here this year as a guest of the organisers, so let’s just get that out of the way upfront. And while in every other year this journalist has covered all her own expenses to/from the event, this year it was a question of being their guest or not covering the event at all. First up, Alexandra Owen. We met this rising star last year. This season, Owen's silhouettes were far less sculpted. Inspired by English aristocrats, the mood was one of tailored sobriety in fact. But the restraint ended with the redingotes, trench coats and smart pinstriped trousers. The styling included horse bridles as breastplates and taped legs and shoes - which proved the devil of a job to remove later. As Owen mentions in this quick live video chat recorded after the show, come February, expect to see her at New York Fashion Week.

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