April 3, 2014

Interview: Nick Cave on Sound Suits and Shapeshifting

The AUT Shapeshifting conference launches next week bringing together fashion designers, practitioners and researchers for three days of presentations, panel discussions  installations and workshops. I have a few fashion crushes who will be presenting at this conference including Nick Cave and Otto von Busch. Remember that time I got stranded at Wellington airport with Otto and it changed my life? I can't even begin to imagine what a dinner party would be like with TWO of my fashion crushes in attendance!

One of the workshops I am most excited for is the Studio Mechanics workshop hosted by  artist, designer and performer Nick Cave. I am a huge fan of the way that Cave's work is able to make me feel delighted, challenged and uneasy all at the same time. You can imagine how excited I was when I had the opportunity to interview him recently ahead of his arrival in Auckland!

I love how you always seem to be able to capture a sense of both movement and magic in your sound suits and I am intrigued to hear more about the relationship between the wearer and the suit?

The wearer must surrender to the suit and feel what he is allowed to do within it. This is the magic. There becomes a real collaboration between the suit and the performer as the suits can both restrict regular movement, but at the same time provide liberation of the spirit as they fully mask race, gender and class.

You walk a through a delicate overlap of disruption and playfulness in your practice and I am interested to know if this energy is present in other spaces in your life?

As an aquarian I am fully open to change and disruption of the expected. I think it is what allows us to grow in our own skins and become what we are made of inside. My performances as well as installations are on this earth to try and help others get to this space …one of dreams and possibilities.

When you embark on making a new work, what happens first?

Each work is inspired my something specific … a found object, a thought or something I see out in the world. It can be on the bus or on youtube. It really doesn’t matter where or what it is, just that is evoke an emotion in my body. Then I take it from there.

What is one piece of advice you would give to an early career interdisciplinary artist?

To be fearless when it comes to your work. Keep your eyes open and step confidently on whatever path feels right in front of you. Don’t worry if the surface is rocky or unsettled. If you are stable inside, your journey will powerful.

And finally, who would you want to make sure was on your team in a zombie apocalypse? 

Damn … I don’t know. How about Grace Jones. She’s one bad mother.

Tickets to Studio Mechanics workshop by Nick Cave are available from Event Finder.

More information on Shapeshifting can be found here and over on Facebook


March 26, 2014

How do YOU see the world?

I remember when I got my first pair of glasses that really felt like "me". I was 21 and working in a law firm (remember that chapter?!) and wanted to be like all of the first year lawyers who wore their grey suits, leather satchels and oversized dark frames to work every day. After much hunting through thousands of pairs, I finally found a look that sufficed. It changed how I saw myself and gave me a new layer of confidence as I negotiated both corporate and fashion worlds. Such bold frames gave me the confidence to embody myself in a far more present way. Here is to fashion that affirms identity!

When a parcel of new season frames arrived for me to have a wee try on from my friends at Luxotica last week, I got a bit silly with some selfie action in the name of "research". After playing with new looks from Persol, Ray-Bans and Coach I have found several looks I am keen on for my next optical purchases. Pictured above in black and white is my number one optical crush of the season, the Laura frame by Coach. This beauty retails for $340 from OPSM:

Other favourite looks from my delicious delivery include several pairs of Ray-Bans and a few by Persol (check out the gif above). In particular I am crushing on these three pairs of Ray-Bans ($299 each) and need them in my life. Next question, which pair?

Can I please have all of the glasses? 

All looks pictured can be tried on, adored and purchased from OPSM.


March 25, 2014

The global sweatshop economy

Today is the anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 25th March 1911 that killed 146 New York workers. This was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York. The tragedy lead to the movement for workers rights, the right to unionize, and labour laws that radically changed the face of garment production in the United States. Two years ago, just shy of the 100th anniversary of this Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, an almost exact tragedy saw the death of 112 garment workers in Bangladesh. What has changed in the last one hundred years? We have increased our labour laws and moved our production offshore. How does this help anyone?

It is time for us to get real about the money we are investing in garment production as designers, retailers and consumers. We must lobby our governments to ensure we are only importing goods made in fair and equitable working conditions. As Charles Kernaghan (director of the Institute for Global Labour and and Human Rights) said in this video, "Let us do in the international economy what we did in the domestic economy".  Let's break this global sweatshop economy. 

March 21, 2014

KICKSTART "Family Portraits" by Sam Orchard!

Sam Orchard launched his kickstarter a few days ago and is already over half way! You may remember Sam from his famous Queer and Trans 101 comic and his weekly webcomic Rooster Tails. He has launched this kickstarter this week to raise the moolah to self publish the first two editions of his book series "Family Portraits" and to do an American tour. I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS PROJECT! Stories of queer and trans* people living in Aotearoa in a book. Can you imagine that? Can you help make this happen? Get clicking here to donate or read more!
Also, how awesome is this portrait Sam drew of me for my birthday last week? I love it so much! You too could have a portrait drawn of you or a loved one. There so many good rewards in this Kickstarter! CLICK CLICK CLICK! 


March 17, 2014

Cam and Mitch can't say "I do!" in Oz...

Australian Marriage Equality have released a video starting Cam and Mitch from Modern Family. Actors Jesse Tyler and Eric Stonestreet lend their voice to the movement reminding viewers that despite the fact that over 60% of Australians are in favor of marriage equality, their government has failed to allow a free vote on the issue. National director for Australian Marriage Equality Rodney Croome explained to Same Same that while it is a funny video it has a serious message:
"The right of loving same-sex couples to marry is becoming a defining difference between Australia and similar western countries like New Zealand… This is reminder that marriage equality is not a left/right issue, and it provides voters across the political spectrum with an opportunity to vote for the reform. From State Elections to one of the world’s most popular TV shows, the momentum for marriage equality will only continue to grow as we wait for the Prime Minister to grant a free vote to his Party.” 

March 16, 2014

March 11, 2014


Pretty amazing news to hit the press release portion of my inbox this morning: Lorde is collaborating with M.A.C! I can't even cope with this news. The collaboration will be a limited edition collection available globally for Winter 2014. I'll update you with the specifics as soon as the news lands.
"I have loved M•A•C Cosmetics since I was a little kid. I remember saving up to buy my very first M•A•C lipstick [Snob] at 14, and it was used by about 20 of my friends! M•A•C has a very clear aesthetic, that has always felt fashion forward to me. So I was really excited to work with them on these products, which I use pretty much every day and night. I hope you will too." – Lorde
I can't cope. So amazing!