July 31, 2008
I am obsessed with accessories for the head. I know, I know, I am lagging behind - it's all a bit Bat for Lashes circa last summer. But! I am now in possession of a bowler hat, several headbands, a big floppy wide brim straw hat, berets and more. I'm thinking this weekend will involve a little DIY creating of floral headbands a la Little Doe is Love.
There's a really cute button shop in Newtown, Sydney called All Buttons Great and Small for all the materials I will need! One of my favourite designers, Erin Fetherston, has instructions for creating a DIY headband on Teen Vogue.
And who knows, perhaps I might even start rocking a 90s raver beanie like the top picture and/or Alexander Wang - surprisingly, the picture I've put here is from the APC autumn lookbook.
July 30, 2008
How great is this cake? Combining two of my favourite things - typography and baking. It's made by illustrator Marian Bantjes for a Monograph project, comissioned by Creative Review magazine - they asked her to create an ode to all the things she loves.
Vivre sa vie (1962) Godard
This is definitely my favourite Godard film with Bande à part (1964) and Une femme est une femme (1961) very, very close behind it.
A very dark creature. He was a British occultist, writer and poet, and a member in the occult organization the Golden Dawn.
A very interesting man that I am forever leaning more about.
I will be forever in love with Scott Walker. He is an American singer-songwriter, originally in the 60s band The Walker Brothers then moved on to solo work coving Jacques Brel songs and then darker solo work in the 90s.
The most beautiful, influential, tragic showgirl and silent film actress. She is so captivating in her 1929 film Pandora's Box, directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst. LuLu and Clara Bow are very important people to me.
Bjork's costumes by Bernhard Willhelm
Bjork worked with Willhelm (I have always been a big fan of both of them) for her Volta album and stage show, and what they produced is so, so amazing! Hand- dyed kaleidoscopic costumes. I love every bit of it!
Laffoley is an American artist and inventor. He produces precise, architectural paintings about time travel and the fourth dimension. I find them very beautiful. See the paintings here.
PRIVATE LIFE OF A CAT
A film made in 1947, about the lives of some cats and there newborn kittens. A friend showed me it on YouTube. I love being cat obsessed! Leroy my cat is a big, big part of my life!
Is an American filmmaker has been big for me for years. I am yet to see all his films, but the ones I have seen make him a visionary in my mind. See here for more.
I have collected all things Pierrot, Harlequin and Egyptian on and off for years now.
LA BEAT DEBAUCHERY
Lucy Hunt and I have a DJ team! We play at parties, bars and concerts around New Zealand.
My little ever expanding clothing/ T-shirt label
When a friend walked into my room and saw it sitting on my bookshelf, she looked at me like I was crazy and asked why I had such an "ugly" painting in my room. Perhaps she's right - it is the sort of thing you’d see hung up in your great grandmother's house. But I love how the ballerinas look so poetic, prancing in an enchanted looking forest. They could almost be fairies. Plus aren't their tutus lovely?
My mum was obsessed with her when she was younger, and has an amazing scrapbook of images and articles that she cut out of magazines and newspapers in the 60s. I found the scrapbook hidden in a box when I was about six, and remember being absolutely fascinated by it. It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I found out who the skinny girl in the scrapbook actually was, but I remember being mesmerised by her lashes, her coloured tights, her shift dresses, her knock-kneed pose. I still am, and have since stolen mum’s scrapbook for my own inspiration.
Years later I found out that Twiggy and her family were the inspiration behind the Sheffield family in The Nanny, which only adds to my obsession with her. I just try to block out her bland turn as a judge in America’s Next Top Model.
July 29, 2008
I love the writing of Brett Easton Ellis, especially his first book, Less Than Zero. I think it's the way he captures the meaningless, dissatisfied nothingness of the privileged LA lifestyle and then tempers it with debauchery. Disaffected youth, eighties pop culture references, cigarettes, fast cars and dinner at Spago, mothers with prescription drug habits and Wayfarers, Wayfarers, Wayfarers. If you haven't read anything by Ellis before, I suggest you start with Less Than Zero and follow it up with his collection of short stories, The Informers. A warning - it can get pretty dark at times, particularly in his later work, ie American Psycho (obviously).
In a BBC article written when he released his most recent book, Lunar Park -
"Bret Easton Ellis is a phenomenon. Whether you want to kiss him or stab him with a knife – a serrated 12-inch Swiss Army is recommended - there is no denying the impact Ellis has had on the public consciousness in the past two decades."
July 28, 2008
Keytars are embarrassingly lame, but I have had a long love affair with the 80s favourite. While most people probably think of the keytar player in Devo (above), I'm more inclined to think of Jem and the Holograms hip synth player Kimber.
She got to play the coolest instrument, wear the coolest threads, and she came up with the coolest line. Forget Jem, Kimber is truly outrageous.
I'm also a big fan of Shy Child, a band that consists of two New York hipsters playing the drums and keytar. The first time I saw these two was at a festival in the middle of nowhere in Belgium. I saw them for a second time with Natalie at a Vice party, where we danced like complete idiots. It was brilliant. There's just something about the keytar that makes you want to dance.
July 27, 2008
1. The Collected Sherlock Holmes.
I have been reading Sherlock Holmes stories, since I was eight years old. He got straight on to the newly born crush list, alongside Count Dracula, Han Solo and Simon Mc Corkindale in "Manimal" The stories kept me up all night. Sold by the titles alone. The Adventure of the Creeping Man,The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Sign of Four. Lurid. Brilliant. There needs to be a lipstick called a Study in Scarlet."Come Watson, the game is afoot!" two decades on and I still get a shiver down my spine when I read those words. Holmes was my window into the world of Victorian England, hansoms and pistols and sleepers to Dover. And poor old dopey, well meaning Dr Watson. Holmes and Watson were the original odd couple, well before Lemmon and Mathau, or John and Paul had worked out their schtick. Lanky and tweedy, with some odd dietary habits (no food whilst deducing. Such willpower!) and a prediliction for morphene, tobacco and coke, Holmes was still, unquestionably a victorian gentleman of the highest order, although nowadays he'd have a place on the Asbergers spectrum for definite. The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes has kept its place by my bed for the last twenty years. "Elementary my dear", with apologies to Dr. Conan Doyle.
An Auckland bar where it always feels like something mad and great and crazy is about to happen every night. Fitted out like the boudoir of your average nineteenth courtesan, if said lady of pleasure liked ming vases, candelabras in the shape of little black boys big shiny pianos and extra gilt on everything. I brought a friend there once and she wanted to know who "the dude in the dressing gown' was. Thats not a dressing gown, Milla you peasant. Thats a chong sam. All the better for the charmingly loony Russell to serve you lychee cocktails in. The perfect place to take someone you shouldn't be seeing for a drink you shouldn't be having.
3. Karl Lagerfeld
Whenever I'm having a day that is distinctly lacking in style and matters fabulous I think of Karl Lagerfeld and what he might be doing at that very moment. Planning his next Fendi collection with 15th century Japanese urns and Genghis Kan as inspiration? Sewing moonlight and ocelot breath into a cape for Amanda Harlech? Listening to Adam and the Ants on one of his topaz encrusted ipods? Or just taking it easy, kicking back with a diet coke and a protein shake served on a silver salver by a cringing aide in one of the thousand rooms in his endless mansion? I think of Karl, with his rings and his fans, and his crazy childhood pillow, and I smile. I'm not sure he's human, but I'd trade his home planet for ours any day.
Kristine Crabb makes clothes that make a lady feel sexy and fearsome and like finding a good time. Her dresses are beautiful and original and fun. Crabb of choice+ a pair of heels and a slick of MAC Lady Danger = Failsafe start to any night. Miss Crabb boutique on Ponsonby Road in Auckland is full of her wonders, plus other delights from fellow talented ladies the likes of Penny Sage and jewels by Shona Dem. It's all presided over by the gorgeous Kate-put yourself in her hands, let her bring the fabulous and put a whiskey on the board for her at DOC to say thank you when you're done.
5. Talking Heads, Naive Melody (This Must Be the Place)
I heard this song again a few months ago, on the soundtrack to Lars and The Real Girl and I haven't been able to get over it. I listen to it on youtube at least once a day. It makes me really happy-it's so hopeful and melodic and upbeat. A song from a better world. Karl Lagerfeld's world maybe? Or Paul Simon's more like. There's a moment in the video when David Byrne looks over at that blonde chick playing bass and she just shrugs her shoulders and gives him this great big grin. Kills me every time.
6. Fracas by Piguet
It's funny with perfumes, I always go by name initally, rather than smell. Sounds silly, but if the name works for me, the fragrance usually does too. First it was Angel, then Contradiction, then Flower Bomb, now Fracas. I bought it sight unsmelt, but I knew by the sound of it that it would be right. She's a strong one though, so it took a while to get the hang of it. All that tuberose takes a bit of getting used to.Applying perfume is definitely one of my favourite parts of getting dressed. I love the ceremony of it, the sensuality. And now, finally, I can buy it in New Zealand at last. Thank you Mecca Cosmetica, much obliged.
7. My Hairdresser
Lauren Gunn from Stephen Marr Ponsonby. A genius and a treasure full stop. I have a lot of fine, fluffy curly hair. Left to it's own devices it arranges itself into a frizzy cloud last seen at a sheltered workshop near you. Mostly, I treat it with the contempt it deserves. It wouldn't even get washed if it wasn't for Lauren.
Aren't llamas lovely? With their long graceful necks and lovely white pelts. I went to Peru last year and spent a day at Machu Pichu chasing them around trying to get a pat in. They weren't having any of it and moved on quick-smart. Up close they're not quite as picturesque, being a bit grubby, not to mention pungent. I bought a toy one at the airport. Its real llama wool and the softest thing in the world. People squeal when they touch it, its that surprisingly strokeable. I can't sleep without it. Childish, I know.
My brother at home in Ireland has a tea shirt that says "I fucking love tea" I do too. Ceylon is my favourite, and I love jasmine as well. There's a lovely smoky Russian one too, I can't remember its name, but it's delicious. Mostly though, I just have gumboot.Choysa is good, but dilmah is a bit weak.its a really Irish thing “making a cuppa tea.” Its not too hard to get a decent cup of tea in New Zealand, for which I am thankful. People can be so precious about their coffees-short skinny flat-this, soy-that. I don't really get all that. Put the bag in the cup and get on with it.
10. Shona DEM
Makes the most beautiful jewellery in the whole wide world. Out of found things, carefully crafted into ropes and waves and curtains of metal that hang and fall and twist against your skin in an incredibly, possibly obscenely sensuous manner. I defy any woman to put on a pair of Shona's earrings and not be immediately aware of her collarbone.I always think about that Guy De Maupassant story "The Necklace"when I wear them. When we studied it in school, the text in my English reader had the hottest picture alongside. A woman in a low cut green dress with the most amazing necklace on. I always wanted to wear jewelery like that. DEM is my real life version. Consistently inspiring.
I watched 'Last Days', Gus Van Sant's 2005 film about the last days of Kurt Cobain this weekend. I was OBESESSED with Nirvana between the ages of 12 and 14, and it was strange to think about his work again. Don't shoot me for saying this, but I was disappointed. Not so much for the film itself - I love Van Sant's work, and the colour and cinematography was beautiful - saturated, slow. But in retrospect, the tired, self-involved navel gazing of heroin addiction and depression that created Nirvana's music just seemed teenage. I still love the music, but the 'rock'n'roll cliche' (as Kim Gordon says in the film) is just...pathetic. And Jim Morrison, Hendrix and Brian Jones did the tortured junkie a whole lot better long before Cobain. I do find the '27 Club' thing really creepy though.
I bought this Sara Moon print from a second-hand shop near where my parents live a couple of years ago. I love it, but most people think it's hideous. A few months after I bought it, Russh did a spread on stealing the Sara Moon style, and the girl who did my facials in Auckland (Maryse at the Powder Room, amazing, go see her) mentioned that she had an entire collection! So, I'm not alone in my affection for these soft-focus Seventies ladies.
There's an interesting (read: tacky and funny) story about the scandalous real story of Sara Moon here. Who knew that someone could be so obsessed with Miss Moon? Who, by the way, turns out to be a dude.
July 26, 2008
"What's your damage Heather?"
"Grow up Heather, bulimia's so '87."
"Lick it up, baby. Lick. It. Up."
"Our love is God, let's go get a Slushie."
"Dear Diary, my teen-angst bullshit now has a body count."
"Well, fuck me gently with a chainsaw. Do I look like Mother Theresa?"
"Greetings and salutations... you a Heather?"
The best fashion biography ever that no-one seems to have ever heard of. It's about the rivalry between Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent in the heady atmos of 1970s Paris. You would not believe the lies, the bitching, the sycophantic entourages...or then again if you work in fashion maybe you would.
Joss Whedon, who masterminded it, is a genius of mythic proportions. I'm currently revisiting season five - Harmony with her 'minions' trying to be an arch nemisis is hilarious.
Harmony: "So Slayer - at last we meet!"
Buffy: "We’ve met already Harmony, you halfwit!"
3. The Thomas Wylde clutch with the jewel encrusted skull
...that my sister recently bought for me on a trip to Shanghai - it's sort of a slurry green patent leather and the jewelled skull clasp is massive and very Damien Hirsty.
4. Jo Malone's dark amber and ginger lily bougie candles
5. This Popbitch link
6. Winter exercise, F.O.C. style
7. Birthday mixtape
8. The Daily Show
Still, even though it's been stupidly moved to the later slot of 10.30pm.
9. Mark Todd riding at the Olympics.
The man who was officially named 'eventing rider of the century' makes a comeback on a horse named Gandalf. I write pony fiction but I couldn’t make that up if I tried...
10. My air tickets to Spain in September
Yesterday I spent four heavenly hours at a "monster" book fair that was fundraising for Variety. Think two massive rooms crammed with rows and rows of books for twenty cents and lots of very friendly old people. I ended up with a box full with great things, including a Tiffany album on vinyl, the novel of 70s film Love Story, Rosemary's Baby, a book about Goldie Hawn, and a copy of Fran Drescher’s now out of print biography, Enter Whining.
(BTW, doesn't her dress look similar to one Karen Walker did earlier this year?)
July 25, 2008
Equally favoured amongst Wellington bar snobs and patrons at my Dad's local in Fielding, Taakawa Ale is probably the most delicious beer I have ever tasted. Brewed in the Manawatu region by the independent Waituna breweries, Taakawa bills itself as NZ's first indigenous beer, due to the inclusion of the native kawakawa plant. Not only does Kawakawa lend the beer a slight Chi taste but many claim it allows you to drink Takaawa all night without even the thought of a hangover.
Nothing is more gorgeous than a road-side with a thick covering of Monet-come-to-life wildflowers; pretty, tough, dancing, messy, happy, crazy. It's pretty hard to find wildflowers that you can keep in a vase at home - after all, they should not be caged - but in Australia one of the best places to see them in their glory is the Grampians. Located west of Melbourne, Grampians contains a tiny township that swells in the spring when tourists flock to see hills and fields blanketed with beautiful native wildflowers. I couldn't find a picture of the spectacle so instead I'm including one from La Porte, Indiana, which is also famous for it's freewheeling fauna.
Bon Iver - Stacks
Why are the songs you never get sick of always the saddest? I can barely get through this knife-turning track without getting misty, which I think it has something to do with the fact it was on the recent season finale of House - the one where Amber died and I realised I was not in fact above crying during a prime-time television show.
An angry, chubby, jewish, ex alcoholic and bulimic who also happens to be a fantastic columnist at The Guardian (where else?!). I'm particularly enamoured with a recent piece in which she tracks down ex-boyfriends and writes about the experience with a frankness, lack of self-conciousness and maudlin desperation that's missing from so many "I am the Carrie Bradshaw of (insert city here)" newspaper columnists.
Berny Demore Shoes
Also known as a cherimoya, this voluptuous, fleshy, ice-cream-flavoured fruit was once gushed over by Mark Twain as "the most delicious food known to man" and I say aye to that brother. Although native to Peru, the custard apple is readily available in Australia - during the winter months you can head to Haymarket and find cherimoya the size of footballs. My tip is to put one in the freezer for a couple of hours; the texture becomes almost identical to gelato. Nom nom.
I recently died my hair a copper-penny shade of red (meaning I have now been every hair colour that John Freida makes shampoo for) and though the upkeep is probably beyond my means and I now use intensive treatments in place of conditioner, I must say that it was worth it.
The Bell Jar
Often cited as Catcher in the Rye for the fairer sex, The Bell Jar is a most emotive and affecting coming-of-age story that will stick with any creative young thing prone to a bit of obsessive thought and such. Based on her own adolescence and written under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas, The Bell Jar was Sylvia Plath's first and last novel - Plath killed herself a month after it was first published.
Anna Hoffman is a famous figure in Auckland; a witch who, as a 16 year old in the 1950's stowed away on a ship to Sydney, where she a enjoyed bohemian lifestyle and several arrest for vagrancy and mischief. Anna was also the first person in new Zealand to be arrested for selling marijuana - way back in 1960! Anna still wears her hair in two white, waist-length plaits and has also released two absolutely fascinating memoirs.
OPI French Collection
We just received a few colours in the office, one of which was "Louvre me, Louvre me not"; the sexiest, richest shade of purple my nails have ever had the pleasure of wearing.