Saturday, January 31, 2009

We Love

Introducing Alexander Wang and his first shoe collection. These booties are sexy as sin and tough as nails. Just what we need to take us into the bracing winter - wear them now with the shortest of shorts and skirts, and then layer up the scarves and pull on the woolen tights when the weather packs in.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Inspiration Station

A rise in temperature doesn't have to mean dropping your dark style. Turn up the heat and sweat it out in lace, layers, clambering hemlines and tough hardware.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Owen't we lucky?

Sculptural design queen Alexandra Owen is set to be taking Wellington wardrobes by storm when she opens her first store in our capital. Situated next to Smashbox cosmetics on Wakefield street, the store is currently wrapped up like a present to deter prying eyes. We will be getting our first taste any day now...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Intense Violent Pornography

Gee, well that really gets me going. I wonder about the little rebel who tagged it on my fence. Great speller. In my early days, the closest I got to graffiti was carving “School Sux” into the slide at the school playground, then as an afterthought scrubbed out “Sux” and put “O.K”. What a sop.

Years later I experienced graffiti again, this time as an art school kid in Dunedin. My buddies had got into graf art in a big way, and soon the city was overrun by Lichtenstein-esque and film noir characters. I was often roped in as the transporter, holder or runner (often running away from security guards). Many Monday nights were spent shimmying up fire escapes and dangling perilously from the edges of two storey buildings in order to access the blank concrete walls that were our canvases. During the day we would scour the streets for previously untapped real estate, venturing down back alleys and sneaking up lifts in office blocks to get to the rooftops. Once a potential hit site was spotted, we would huddle in coffee shops and plan our attacks in whispered voices, sketching detailed plans onto paper napkins. Often our work was painted over by humourless building owners, but mostly it was accepted and enjoyed.

Pretty soon after we got into the swing of things, the graffiti trend picked up in Dunedin, and kids of all ages and skill levels were spraying paint onto concrete walls. When one of the local skate shops cottoned onto the trend and began selling spray paint cans, we knew our prime time was over. So we packed away our cans, craft knives and rolls of rubber stencil, and scattered – some to Melbourne, some on their big OE, and some, like myself, up to the big capital. Those that stayed round Dunedin are now shuffling round behind coffee bars, or making pictures in their studios to pay their way.

But the graffiti trend lives on. On a recent visit to my hometown, the walls of the alleyways were awash with colour, and strange creatures scaled shop fronts, hung from windowsills, and crept their way out of the guttering. Statements, quotes and poems wormed across the pavements.

Usually thought provoking, often humorous, and sometimes sad, these works of street art reveal the passions, concerns, and inspirations of the kids who make them. Back at home I check my fence daily, eagerly anticipating the next instalment from my local pornographic tagger. Who knows, he may become the next banksy, in which case I’ll be sawing up my fence and taking it with me when I move house.

Tired Eyes, Black Morning

Bloody Heel! (the end)

It was a relief to climb into my chucks the next morning, and I kicked about the day quite happily. This week of practice seems to have paid off though, because by nightfall I was getting withdrawal symptoms from the heel, and had a sudden urge to put a pair on to go to my social engagement that night.

Two weeks on, I am proud to say that I have happily incorporated high heels into my everyday life, slipping into them most evenings and at least a few days a week. I have even managed to wear in all of my previously unworn shoes. Now that’s an achievement.

Bloody Heel! (day 7)


It’s the last day already, and despite the injuries I acquired, I’m rather sad to see my week in heels come to an end. I must go out with a bang on my final day, but as I am playing with children again today I choose a “sensible” orange Brazilian snakeskin wedge (I am keeping away from spindly heels as I anticipate a park visit or three). It is put together with a leaf green silk dress and dark rinse denim (the chicken in me added the jeans. Damn.) A glorious day, chased down by an equally glorious night spent with an even more glorious man. The heels stayed on of course.

Bloody Heel! (day 6)


Sunday bloody Sunday. Still half asleep I stumble and re-stub my toe this morning on the corner of my desk. The red splodges on the carpet will be there for many years to come. I bandage up my feet the best I can and jam them into gold Karim Rashid for Melissa works of art that up until now have taken pride of place in the centre of my bookshelf, unworn. The shoes are a statement in themselves, so the rest of my outfit is simple, and simple to choose: black cigarette trousers, fake Chanel T, flannelette check farmer shirt and a tuxedo jacket.

I join a friend for a mad jaunt across town in search of pearl tea – a mysterious Asian concoction of flavoured milk, tea, tapioca pearls, and garnishes of sugary syrup. It is textural heaven. The rest of my day takes me through the Cuba/Newtown districts, where I manage to meld in successfully with the bohemians, and in comparison feel comfortably conservative…

A boozy picnic in the park follows, and I am thankful that I didn’t choose stilettos today; the thought of sinking into the ground at every step terrifies me. I imagine getting stuck and never making it out of the park, condemned to be frozen forever like a Greek statue, to be shat on by pigeons and grow lichen on my nose until I finally crumble away to dust. As it happens I make my way home safely bundled in the back of a Green Cab, and climb into bed with an environmental do-gooder grin plastered upon my face.

Bloody Heel! (day 5)


Bar the slightly tired balls, my feet seem to have righted themselves over the last 24 hours, and I can fit into closed toe shoes again. I wriggle into some thick heeled black ankle booties with glee and feel like I am walking on marshmallows – oh the comfort! A blissful day spent swanning about town, drinking coffee and catching up with friends. 8 hours on my feet and not a pinch, so feeling indestructible I accept offers of entertainment and go out. Another 8 hours later I fall into bed and sleep deep and painlessly.

Bloody Heel! (day 4)


My room is a bomb site. Shoes are strewn everywhere as I hunt for a pair that will be kind to my wounded feet. I finally find a pair that I can wear, though they are entirely inappropriate for the event of the day. Surely originating from the same family as the Perspex hooker heel, the items of offence on my feet today are reflective silver soled stilettos, with blue, aquamarine and white glossy straps. And the item in the diary today is entertaining children; two to be exact, girls aged 2 and 4.

I decide that the only way to make my appearance excusable is by hamming up my outfit to out-do the footwear. Thinking Carrie Bradshaw slash Angelina Ballerina, I rootle a voluminous tutu out of my dress-up box and slip it over blue jeans and a mad flower print singlet by Cybele. It painted a great picture - arriving at the family home on my red scooter, small dog in a pouch on my front, leather riding jacket, shiny heels and sprays of white tulle flying in the wind.

Bloody Heel! (day 3)


Oh the pain. I cannot see my feet for the multitude of band-aids swaddling them. Somehow the soles of my feet have developed blisters – I didn’t know it was possible. Thanks to my grossly stubbed little toe, my feet will not fit inside shoes today. Even slippers are a no-go. Time spent sleeping is legally heel free time so I stay in bed the entire day dozing. What a write-off. This is the time in my life that I need Hermione Grangers’ quick healing spell.

Bloody Heel! (day 2)


I had a dream last night about running a 30km marathon in high heels, and wake up feeling invincible. Choose 4 inch gladiator sandals with huge buckles, and bravely team them with thigh skimming floral mini, waist cinching fetish belt, and sack forming stripy grandpa top.

My entire day is devoted to shopping for someone else’s wardrobe. Walk 6 hours on asphalt and my calves are tired from being flexed all day. Apart from the legs, I was doing great until the crucial last hour of the shop, when the side of my foot decides to slide off in a circle of popped blister. Have to taxi to my dinner destination, as taking steps brings on yelps of agony.

7pm: God is watching. I remove my heels in the restaurant for 5 minutes reprieve and immediately stub my toe on the way to the bathroom. Blood everywhere, I have to grovel at the waitress for an embarrassingly large blue plaster. Cobalt blue is so Fall 2007.

Bloody Heel! (day 1)


Dilemma of what to wear. I stare at my rows of footwear with a lost expression. Choose tan MiuMiu inspired wedges with gold hardware (never been worn), then pull the lame card and play it safe with cuffed up dark denim, plain white T and my signature leather jacket. Look in the mirror, like what I see, but all the time kicking myself for being conservative. Oh well, I tell myself; it is early on a Tuesday and I have a whole week to be mad. Leaving the house I have a last minute stress about looking contrived, so dash back inside and swathe myself in a massive tie-dyed muslin scarf. Now I’m rock and roll.

Tottering down the road for my first coffee of the day, it takes a bit of practice to eradicate the giraffe-ish lope that goes with wearing high wedges. After some rehearsal down a back alley, problem solved. Solution? Tight tummy, long strides. I feel sure the eyes of everyone on the street are burning into me. The coffee is lovely, though my paranoia endured, and I get a few prolonged glances at my feet.

By lunchtime my feet are killing me, toes have been all but severed by the too tight top strap of my shoes. My lunch date scoffs; saying it serves me right for trying to break in new shoes on my first day of a week of heel wear.

End of the day. In the privacy of home I inspect my war wounds and discover three small blisters. I prepare myself a peppermint foot bath and sob into the hot water.

Bloody Heel!

Lordy Lordy, I own 15 pairs of heels. That’s 30 single heels, and 15 pairs I never wear. Plus the 3 pairs I bought on my recent 3 week holiday – that’s one pair for each week I was away.

I am in love with heels, and with the idea of wearing heels, but can never bring myself to actually leave the house in a pair. I have a mild phobia of looking too “done”. I gaze at casual heel wearers in awe, but I myself am always afraid of looking overdressed. But after unpacking the three latest purchases from my holiday luggage and discovering that I have no room for them to live - despite my entire bookshelf devoted to shoes – I decided that this silliness had better stop. For a while I excused my obsessive heel buying as “like buying a piece of art”, but 15 unworn pieces of art lying around is a bit ridiculous. Wearing my flats all the time is a bad habit, and wearing heels is a good habit. I just have to force myself out of my bad habit and into a good habit. My theory is that practice makes perfect.

Over the course of a few late hours and a few too many glasses of Riesling, I hatched what I thought at the time to be a cunning plan. I would endeavour to wear high heels for all of my waking hours for the next week - A: in order to get into a habit of wearing them more often, and B: in order to get some cost-per-wear out of my shoe collection. Up until now I’ve been practically losing money.

My week begins on Tuesday, as the post-unpacking from holiday brainwave struck late on Monday night. My only quandary is how to get around the dog-walking chore, as it is more like dog running, and ladies never run in high heels. The dog must be exercised, so if you will allow me a brief daily reprieve, I promise to make it up to you by spending an entire night until morning in my stilettos.

Love this shit

1998. Daft Punk. His styles are rockin, as is his dance.

Good god! I'm in lust

Are you feeling the oonst oonst?
These beauties were unearthed when my flatmate was rifling through boxes from her past life. Costing more than a couple of hundred and worn only once, these would have been the cutting edge of style in 1998 - their date of purchase. Remember those days? The time of the dance party, 1998-2000, when every man and his dog were sodding off to London to earn big bucks and drop acid every weekend.
For those of us stuck back in little old NZ, the most we could do was buy the shoes, slip into our lycra cowl-neck dresses with strategic cutouts and dance in our bedrooms like it was 1999. Oonst oonst oonst...I'm blue Da Ba Dee Da Ba Dai...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How To - this is the new self help 3

How to make yourself (believably) presentable in proper company

Be it your Grandmother, your boyfriends’ grandmother or the Queen mother coming to tea, sometimes you have to pretend you are not a wanton hussy with an empty fridge and an un-emptied rubbish bin in order to be accepted in life. Here’s how to do it right.

Do tidy your house, empty the rubbish, and scrub the dried toothpaste dribbles from the bathroom sink.

Don’t be tempted to fill your house with pink peonies, or any other effeminate blooms.

Do hide away your massive collection of spirits, but leave out your interesting collection of books/music to show you have a personality.

Contrary to popular belief, high neck sweaters, cardigans, and demure cotton day dresses are not convincing. Toned down versions of your usual style are.

And one more thing – do not, I repeat, do not attempt to lose your nerves by drinking wine at the first formal event. I know from experience that the results are far from desirable.

How To: this is new self help 2

How to get a kick when you’re bored of life

Head down to the two dollar shop and choose the ugliest shade of nail polish imaginable. Take it home, apply to coats and snigger at yourself in the mirror. Then imagine the breed of person who actually likes that colour and snigger some more.

Ask the guy in a random shop/café for his number. Act entirely confident and most likely he will be so blown away by your boldness that, stammering somewhat, he will dutifully hand it over. Give him a smouldering look and leave, never to call him. Then you will know how guys feel when they never call you and say they will. What a fantastic power trip.

Call up your most rock and roll of friends and get hammered on a Monday night. Rebel.

Buy a two dollar scratchy, scrape away at half the card, and then throw the entire thing into the fire to burn. The frustration will make you feel alive.

How To - this is the new self help

How to feel good about yourself when you’re not feeling good about yourself:

Have a backup “bad day” outfit on hand that you know makes you look great, for those heavy period days, hung over days, or boyfriend-just-broke-up-with-you days. Wear the outfit only when you are in your most dire of straits. My bad day outfit looks like this: my best bum jeans, comfy wedges, slim-fit singlet and a blazer with the sleeves rolled up. Chic, but relaxed. If I’m having an entire bad week, I simply change the singlet daily, so nobody guesses that I’m secretly falling to pieces.

Cull your wardrobe. It’s a double whammy in that it is like an emotional detox, and you get that warm fuzzy do-gooder feeling inside when you drop it all off at the Sallies.

Book yourself in for a massage. Sounds overly self indulgent I know, but half an hour spent with a masseuse in training from the school of massage does wonders for your stress levels and self esteem, and not much to your pocket. If you are flush enough to go to the established pros then by all means splash out, but $15 at the school of massage is pretty hard to pass up.

Run away on a wet afternoon to the local library and immerse yourself in unusual hobby magazines – the more bizarre, the better. It can be highly amusing and escapist to explore other peoples’ strange obsessions, and who knows – you may be sufficiently inspired to take up crocheting picture frames yourself.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Siwy Denim
Is it just me or does the S/S 09 collection by American denim brand Siwy look suprisingly similar to the Lonely Hearts Club from spring/summer 2006? Looks like we might have a bit of influence on those Yankees after all.

Lonely Hearts Club

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stolen Flowers

Calvin Klein bra, Stolen Flowers
Photo: Bron Williams

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Currently Channeling...Le Smoking

Le Smoking. Le hair. Le glasses. Le polish. Le pants. Go forth and mimic.

The Boots

Guess by Marciano. I have been salivating over them since I found them online two nights ago. They are old news for the other side of the world so are all of $US126. The only struggle is getting them here from the USA - it will be tough, but I won't give up.

Bravo Victoria

Except for a mild morbid interest much like investigating a dead bird, our Lady Beckham has never really got me going. I was, however amused by the ad campaign for her new line of dresses. It seems like her experience in the Marc Jacobs ads inspired her (or her gangs of ideas people) to do something a bit quirky. Watch and see.