Friday, August 29, 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The first controversy happened yesterday at the Trelise Cooper New Zealand Fashion Week show, with the use of head gear from Indigenous American Indian First nation peoples. Now, that comes with a whole lotta baggage, considering the genocide that occurred in North America, leaving a whole race and culture almost wiped out. So there is that. The other thing, is that there has been an awareness of late not to culturally appropriate objects and signifiers from other cultures, without at least making some sort of recourse to the peoples to whom they belong to. So this all blew up in a huge amount of negative comments on Facebook, exacerbated by the fact that many of the comments on the Trelise Cooper page were removed, only to resurface as screen grabs.
The other thing of course, in fashion speak, some might say, is that it’s been DONE. It’s all rather Pinterest 2011. So on that angle it surprises. Anyhow…you thoughts. Is it racist? Is it just, as some one said on my instagram: ‘Tired old hipster shtick’ or, does it, at the end of the day, not matter a jot.
[image: Trelise Cooper ]
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Monday, August 25, 2014
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Had a wonderful chat about fashion with Doris de Pont. We talked about the Belgian love of tailoring, the return of customisation, fashion films, and the perilous nature of local fashion at present. She has a huge fashion knowledge. Doris is behind the NZ Fashion Museum. Bag is Leila Jacobs.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Monday, August 18, 2014
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Friday, August 15, 2014
Thursday, August 14, 2014
I was alerted to an urban raincoats label called Okewa rainwear, made by a husband and wife team, who are making these great lined raincoats. It came as a nice surprise, as I was really put off raincoats early on because quite frankly, they all sucked! But these NZ Made numbers, in charcoal and Navy, put together by a family run manufacturer really hit the spot. Of course, it’s never easy in fashion, so you can help them out on kickstarter, and we’ll be giving one away sometime next month. I asked Nick and Nevada a few questions.
Tell me a little about yourselves. Are your backgrounds in fashion or clothing?
We're a couple in our mid-20s living in Wellington. Nevada's background is in fashion - she studied the Fashion Diploma at Massey University after completing her BA in English and History at Victoria. Nevada and I met here in our first year of university. I studied architecture at Victoria and am working part-time in an architectural practice. Our backgrounds have both been design-focused.
Why did you go for rainwear? I must admit a decent raincoat is hard to find - is it as simple as that?
It's pretty much as simple as that! I'd been looking for a decent raincoat that would keep me as dry as one of those tramping coats people throw on, but something a little more inspiring. Having never been able to find anything, this seed of an idea for a rainwear label continued to grow.
We've also driven ourselves into this label by necessity really, as we live centrally without a car. Like so many Wellingtonians we walk everywhere, so every time it rained and we had to venture outside that would be a fairly effective prompt to keep the idea moving! Getting wet is pretty good motivation!
Why not just put up an umbrella? There are shitloads of umbrellas in Wellington!
There are a lot of umbrellas! They definitely have their place, but as we know they aren't really an option on a lot of Wellington days given the wild weather. Blunt have done a good job engineering an umbrella that holds up pretty well to the craziness.
In horizontal rain, an umbrella can only do so much... You can't beat the rain protection of a decent coat (especially if it looks great) close to the body, with a decent length.
You’re funding via kickstarter – what are you funding for, and why are you going about is this way ?
We're asking for pledges on Kickstarter in return for a pre-order from our first run (see http://kck.st/WMh5Al). We are ready to go into production as soon as we have finalised all Kickstarter 'backers' pre-order selections, and we are aiming to deliver the raincoats to backers around the end of October. The main reason we're starting through this channel was to overcome our lack of initial capital. Setting up a crowdfunding campaign is a great low-cost way to get started without incurring expensive production bills first. It's also proved to be a great channel for feedback directly from customers.
What do you look for in a persons style?
I love it when people get that elusive balance right between overall simplicity and colour, print and texture. Ultimately it's always simplicity and confidence that catches my eye, as well as an amazing pair of shoes!
How do you feel about Wellington? It’s certainly creative. Is it a ‘fashion’ city would you say?
I probably wouldn't call Wellington a 'fashion' city, but I mean that in a good way! I think people have a more individual style here and to me that's so inspiring! I love that we don't all dress the same. I like that we are driven by practicality - be that shoes decent enough to walk a long way in or keeping dry in the rain.
Physically, Wellington's very interesting. Unapologetic hills, a harbour that is sometimes wild / sometimes serene and a nice compact urban core really make this place. I love that you're not often more than a 10 minute walk to a coffee with someone, and our reasonably small size means people are very open and supportive. There's a great collaborative spirit crossing over between industries and groups of people.
What are your ambitions for Okewa Rainwear?
We're looking forward to our post-Kickstarter steps, working out the mix between stockists and more direct retail (pop-ups, etc), and growing from there. Our ultimate ambitions are to become a globally-relevant rainwear brand, operating in all sorts of interesting wet cities around the world.
In terms of design, I'm looking forward to continuing to refine the styles we've already developed and also introducing a few other exciting ideas. I'm really looking forward to designing prints, and also different waterproof textile options.
A book that you’ve loved recently?
#GIRLBOSS was a great read - Sophia Amoruso's killin' it!
And a film ?
We saw Dior and I in the Film Festival - it was a great look inside the workroom!
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Friday, August 8, 2014
I had a great night being ‘in conversation’ with fashion blogger Ari Seth Cohen. His message really inspired the audience. “Respect your elders and let these ladies and gents teach you a thing or two about living life to the fullest”, as Cohen says. Advanced Style offers proof from the wise and silver-haired set that personal style advances with age.
He is the founder and editor of AdvancedStyle, described as a ‘Sartorialist for the superannuated set’, and he goes about his merry way in New York “chronicling the stylish and often eccentric get-ups of a crowd that’s largely ignored by the fashion system”.
It was a great event, and the sweetest thing is that you could really tell that this young man had not just the style, but the care for the elderly at his heart. He even goes into Rest homes, and talks and takes photos with the women there. And he spoke touchingly of his Grandmother Bluma, who he was very much influenced by. Lina Pliopyte is the woman standing next to Karen Walker who co-directed the kickstarter funded film about the women Ari has met via his Advanced Style adventures. All in all, good on him for doing something new. Well done The Department Store and Karen Walker for putting on this cool event. [images:Sam Lee]
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Monday, August 4, 2014
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Japanese designer Rina Ogura is a Wellington based designer, who is behind these beautiful Ogura MEMO notebooks. We have one to giveaway, so put your name & email down below if you want one.
The Ogura MEMO is a writing notebook bound with Japanese fusuma style paper. Typically used in Japanese architecture for sliding doors or wall panels, the treated ivory paper is ideal for notebooks as well. “The inspiration for the Ogura MEMO comes from the Japanese fusuma. I’m a big fan of stationery (and all things Japan), so I asked Rina a few questions:
You have quite a family history of making paper I understand?
My family have been crafting fusuma paper doors since the 1920’s. My great-grand father began his workshop in 1923 – the same year Tokyo was almost completely destroyed by the Kanto earthquake, though he ended up rebuilding the workshop.
Your Grandad used to make Japanese Fusuma paper doors?
Yes! My great-grandfather Hirokichi Ogura started the workshop, and now, my grandad continued the business and still makes Fusuma doors today.
Have you ever lived in a traditional Japanese house with such doors and are they still used ?
In Tokyo the house I lived in until I was about 12 was traditional style and had tatami mats on the floor (no shoes!) as well as fusuma and shoji doors. It is still a very popular style, even for new houses.
What is unique about the Japanese approach to paper that differs to say other cultures?
I think for Japanese people, paper isn't so easily replaced by plastic or other materials. From the wrapping of a present to a writing notebook, paper is simply more honest. Japan is also quite forward in regards to recycling and using sustainable materials such as paper.
In the digital age, many people wouldn't have grown up writing in diaries or journals as I did. Do you think people still want to write by hand?
I once had the pleasure of talking with an architect who helped design some of Tokyo’s iconic skyline during the 60's and 70's. I wrote a few quick notes as he spoke wise words about classic style, to which he complimented my writing. I think the written word will always have a place. Sometimes all the digital technology around us gets in the way.
Where do you get your inspirations from? Name three things that inspire you ?
My inspirations come from Japanese calligraphy, architecture (I admire Hawke's Bay Art Deco), and of course, Jazz.
Rina, how did you come to be in Wellington?
My kiwi partner is from Wellington. We met in Tokyo last year and worked together on a small photography business, he sold me on the idea of Wellington from day one for the new Ogura MEMO adventure. I love how compact the city is and all the different shops and cafes. It really is a special place with a great creative atmosphere, especially for what I am doing with Ogura MEMO.
Tokyo - the world’s largest city. Many will say up there with the worlds best cities of style & fashion & culture. You must miss it!
I love Tokyo culture & fashion, but it is my home - the style sometimes gets a bit too normal for me. Some of the best inspiration comes from new places and cultures I think.
What do you look for in good stationary?
Quality is number one. And it must be simple and useful – not kitsch.
Japan has some amazing fashion. Who is a favourite?
I admire the designer of COMME des GARCONS, Rei Kawakubo. She has a particular kind of strong design and passion. I think true fashion and style should be strong.
As I’ve mentioned, if you want to be in to win one – post your email below.