Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Foot Love

Some extraordinary new footwear in quite different styles.

Fitting like a glove with the recent-past and current grunge trend, I feel like I need to throw a few key phrases around when looking at these Givenchy shoes: Grunge-chic, Slasher, Tough-Lady-Tough. Apparently these come in black too, but it's a refreshing change to see some white-toned toughness. (Look out for the white leather look next season - ladies, start painting your leather jackets white!)
What can I say about footwear so fine? Nothing, but sit back and admire their immense beauty and complete un-wearability. What art!


These two ruffled lovelies, both from Christian Louboutin bring back wonderful memories of Prada Fall/Winter 08 footwear. The concept of leather frills is very exciting, and it's great to see somebody else having a go at this trend - it's clearly got a bit of life in it yet. I can easily picture the snakeskin sandal being worn poolside chic with perfectly pedicured toesies. It could just as comfortably be thrown together with acid brights than with the plethora of tan/beige hues we are currently spotting on the catwalks. The mary jane gold and silver creations are stand alone beauties. I can't bear to think of putting anything with them but a body con short black dress and a great pair of legs - voila!

Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Emerging designers part 3

Winners Hani Sagiv, Cem Cako, and Jonathon Stern with models

First place winner Jonathon Stern and hot model

Meg Gallagher, Dunedin

Sarah Schofield, Australia

Jonathon Stern, Israel
Photos Emily Cannan

Emerging Designers Part 2

Ruth Bucknell, N.Z

Kate Rich, Australia

Jennifer Hancox, Dunedin

Mariam Seddiq, Italy

Kapil Sangwan, India

Emerging Designers part 1

Hadas Betzalel, Israel

Nadeesha Godamunne, Auckland

Judges Katie Newton and Stefano Sopelza, and Tanya Carlson

Twenty Seven Names designers Rachel Easting and Anjali Stewart
Photos by Emily Cannan

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Behind the Scenes at ID Emerging Designers

Ali McD's twin models

The Redken team in action

The Presenters

Pumping up a Fiona Paine creation

Photos by the glorious Emily Cannan

Cute kid - what a winner

I spotted this great girl on the street on Thursday, then realised on Friday night that it was Nadeesha, one of the Emerging Designers. Even better then when she won the MittelModa Special Prize, entitling immediate entrance into MittelModa. Congratulations Nadeesha, you're very cute and your Mum has fantastic sunglasses!

Broken City Bliss exhibition opening

Tara, Renata, Dallas and the jeweller Henry Devereux

Paintings by Phillip James Frost, bags and clothing by Company of Strangers, and jewellery by Anne-Mieke Ytsma and Henry Devereux.
Photos thanks to Emily Cannan

Love Love Day Birger et Mikkelson! Thanks Waughs!

I visited the lovely mother daughter team Diann and Amanda Waugh of Waughs clothing in Dunedin to check out their stocks of Day Birger et Mikkelson. I love love love this brand, and it turns out they are pretty excited about it too.
"It's a brand I am so passionate about." says Diann. "Usually in the rag trade we are having to buy in a lot of things that are “safe". But then occasionally a range will come along that will just be amazing. Day Birger et Mikkelson is one of those brands, and to see and stock it really gives us a rush."
The Denmark based design company, who describe their style as "Haute Bohemia" also make menswear, and interior collections. Check out
I couldn't resist a play in some of the Autumn/Winter range, here are the pics. (Please excuse the boots and horrible accessories, remnants from what I was wearing that day)

Aubergine velvet tunic

Cotton peasant frock and embellished waistcoat
Photos thanks to Isabella Harrex

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I talk to Ali McDaniel of Ali McD Agency about the Emerging Designers Awards, and her own young emerging models, soon to be signed to Trump

On the makeup:
Aliana: Our trainee makeup team is doing the faces for both the Emerging Designers and the ID show. The Emerging Designers show has one look – it is a subtle make up with quite strong lips. ID has a different makeup look for each designer. We are using Revlon, one of the sponsors of the show. They had a bit of a break but have come back on board this year which is fantastic. They are an awesome brand.

Bron: How many makeup artists on your team for Emerging Designers?
Aliana: There are ten of us, some of them in my advanced makeup class, and some from the beginners’ class. The beginners will just be doing lipsticks and foundation, and the advanced students will be doing the full look. It’s a great opportunity for them. You could have been on that team Bron! (Small chat off the record, Ali has been trying to lure Bron back to Dunedin for a while now)

Bron: Are all the models in the shows (Emerging Designers and ID) from your agency?
Aliana: Yes, they are all Ali McD. We sourced about a quarter of the models this year at orientation week (Otago University), and the rest are already on our books. We have been training the Orientation Models up over the last couple of weeks. We wanted the models to be a bit taller this year than last, so they are all above 5”8 (the minimum height for international models), and they are all aged 14 upwards. Models for New Zealand Fashion Week must be aged 16 upwards, but because ID is just two shows, and we are very protective over them – we are all there, watching over them – the polytech tutors, the whole fashion community, they are in safe hands.

Bron: Have you discovered any potential golden girls in your latest model hunts?
Aliana: I have found a couple of very amazing girls lately that are going to be represented internationally. One of them I found at a local school, she walked past me, I stalked her and gave her my card, and the next day her Dad called me up.

(A break in the interview as a cute bumbling schoolgirl comes shyly in. “There’s no class today remember Daarling? REMEMBER? It’s fashion Week! Sorry Daarling!” The uniformed girl smiles coyly and shuffles out. Back to the interview and Alis’ new discoveries)

Aliana: Both of the girls are amazing, one is just 13 years old though, and they have to be 14, so she is on hold. From the age of 14 the models can start being developed and trained. They both sign next month to Trump Models. You just wait, at the end of this year they will be everywhere. Here you’ve got to see them (Like a proud Mother, Ali pulls up snapshots of the two girls on her laptop. Sans makeup, they pose in their school uniforms, looking rather awkwardly at the camera. It is hard to believe that these two coy school girls have international model potential. These basic photos Aliana tells me are the exact images that Trump Models look at when gauging a models’ potential). “They have to be bare faced, no makeup.” Ali says. “We have to be able to see their face shape.”

Bron: How does it feel to know that you have been instrumental in changing all these girls’ lives so dramatically?
Aliana: I have this eye (for talent spotting), and I didn’t even know it until recently, so it is happening to a lot of girls now. (Aliana stops answering my questions now, and begins scrolling through images of her models, chuckling proudly and pointing out particular favourites and their stories. The interview naturally comes to a close, and as I leave her it is very obvious that she is as happy as the models are with their new jet setting lifestyles.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Where's My Service?

photo: Grant Kennedy

Bron Williams contemplates the beginning of a new era

Written Christmas 2008

Arriving at Wellington Airport for a flight to Dunedin recently I was unnerved to be greeted not by smiling airport ladies, but by two monstrous space-like rounds in the centre of the departures terminal. A big sign screeched “Welcome to the new Self Check-in!”

I cowered in the corner awhile, observing others as they fumbled their way through the automated check-in before finding the courage to tackle the beast myself. After a few false starts, I managed to blunder through the ticket printing part, but got completely wrapped up in my sticky luggage tag. That was when I admitted defeat and walked, baggage sticker tangled in my fingers, to ask assistance from a not so smiling airport lady. In a few swift moves, she untangled me from my mess, printed off a new tag, applied it correctly (giving me a few steely glances while doing so, just to make me squirm), took my bag and swept me on my way. With tail between my legs I sloped off to recover with a coffee.

Some time later in the herding pen that they call boarding gates, I met an old acquaintance of mine, also Dunedin bound. After relaying my tale of anguish, he nodded vigorously in agreement and confessed to how he too had been bewildered by the new check-in. He had stood dumbly at the self-drop conveyor belt until someone had come to his aid, prying the bag from his hand and placing it for him on the belt. “I couldn’t do it – it felt naughty to be doing it myself” he explained.

The airport self check-in is just the beginning of a new phenomenon sweeping our cities. 2009 will be noted as the year of The Death of Service. Wellington public transport has caught onto the self service trend, introducing the Snapper card. Pre-loaded with funds, the snapper card allows the bearer to “Snap on and Snap off” city buses by simply swiping their card over scanning machines situated in the doorways of each bus. No contact with bus driver necessary. Originating in Hong Kong and London, the re-loadable transport card has made its’ way to our capital, and soon will be taken up in Auckland. Obviously aware of the major profits possible in such a scheme, large companies Infratil, ANZ, National Bank, NZ Post, Eyede, Unisys and Beca Group are all getting involved in the Snapper card. With the GPS traceable snapper card soon to be usable to pay for your morning coffee, it may be possible for others to track your every move. Snapper Services general manager Charles Monheim comments on the power of the scheme: "Not only will it be used for small value purchases, parking and public transport, but it is our expectation it will be used in various ways for access control and loyalty schemes.”

Tracking forward to Christmas Eve, I was lined up amongst the madness of last minute shopping in New World supermarket to try out the recently installed self-service check-out system. A total of 16 self check-out machines were supervised by two young staff members whose duties were to support shoppers through their self-purchasing experience, and to supervise our honesty. There definitely is a certain degree of trust involved in the self check-out procedure. Shoppers can take advantage of the system in many ways, from incorrectly naming an item ($8.99/kg button mushrooms in place of the actual $11.99 flat browns), to scanning one cheese and placing two in your bag.

While there are precautions put in place to minimise this sort of criminal gallivantary in form of cameras and bag weighing stations, the financial risk analysts would have surely taken this all into account. They must have concluded that, customer dishonesty put aside, they still made profit. And what a profit it must be. Where I usually have time to skim read both Woman’s Weekly and New Idea in the time it takes to get from the back of a pre-Christmas queue to the check-out, this time I had barely picked up my first gossip rag of choice before the polite coughs of a customer behind me alerted me to the empty self check-out machine in front of me. We positively whizzed through that checkout line, with minimal waiting.

On board our flight, my acquaintance and I reminisced about a certain café that opened on George Street in Dunedin about 5 years ago, attempting the then unheard of approach of self-service. The café consisted of a number of holes in a white wall into which you posted money, and after a bit of button pressing you were presented with your order of burger or fry, which popped out of a small microwave sized door beside you. Apparently there were actually people behind the mysterious white wall making your food, but no one knew for sure. The whole structure had the feeling of a public urinal, the fluorescent signage overhead being about the only thing alerting you to the fact that it was not.
[I understand that the café was often mistaken for a toilet by students on their late-night stumbles home - but then most shop fronts look like urinals to a drunken Dunedinite.]

As you can imagine, the hole in the wall café didn’t last two months. This could have been partly due to the unappetising food on offer, but most likely because its’ self-service idea was just way ahead of it’s time. Five years ago in Dunedin nobody accepted an impersonal machine in place of real people, but today this development is taking over our airports, buses and lives. It is only a matter of time before our old friends of the urinal café dredge up their business plan and re-presents it to New Zealand with great success.

With more and more people in the service sector losing their jobs to machines; our future may be one where café culture and smiling service people are but a fast fading memory. Sounds over the top but you better believe it. The next step is to replace all the waitresses at your local coffee joint with robots…

Die and go to heaven?

I hope to become a Balenciaga angel, with white feathered wings and these on my feet. I Just discovered these trophies from the Fall/Winter 2007 collection, they are very now - even two years on. Somebody mentioned they were up for sale on Ebay???

I'm off to watch a designer emerge

My bags are packed and I'm on my last sleep before I board a plane tomorrow bound for Dunedin, to cover the ID Emerging Designers Awards for Lucire Magazine. Pictures and Stories will ensue... See you in the deep south! X B

Shoe Porn

For now... (Dolce Vita)

... and for next Summer (Berny Demore)
Shoes and images from Shopbop

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Wild Pair Gives us Catwalk Trends - does them well

Wild Pair are quick off the mark this season, and have some of the seasons key runway looks on offer. With inspiration being drawn from Louis Vuitton, to Yves Saint Laurent, to Balmain, it's all there for us to emulate.
Yves Saint Laurent cage boots

Wild Pair $149.90


Wild Pair $179.00

Louis Vuitton s/s 09

Wild Pair $129.00

L.A.M.B peep toe booties US$430 from

Wild Pair $169.00

Opening Ceremony Boots US$440 from

Wild Pair boots $199