Matt Hall for NO Magazine 2010




Matthew Hall written for NO magazine, published in
# 9 February 2010
The REINVENTION Issue
photo by Karen Inderbitzen-Waller




Prison is a place of heavy odds. But the odds that can be lifted, or shifted, can sometimes reveal a blinding lot of potential below.


In other words, there are a heap of Matt Halls in jail , who could win, but they are guys who have been given shit lives, with bad, bad odds. Many of them will never climb from their rut high enough for society to see them clearly. Many will never work, or be educated, or be happy . Some will live the majority of their lives within the prison system, and a small few will never leave it. But then, we have Matthew Hall . There but for the grace of god goes he.
It's my favourite round and round topic ; the question of why and how some people end up O.K and some don't. There is probably no single answer or explanation , but to offer hope you need to understand it , and I therefore think there is value in telling this kind of story .


Matt Hall is a name that has been synonymous with many things over the years , and he's the first to admit that those things have mostly been, well, pretty shit. His childhood nights were often spent in a dog kennel, cowering from the violence that daily life dished out, and his youth was spent paying it back; largely to unsuspecting strangers. Fourteen schools, long bouts of addiction, a term inside Rimutaka Prison's Violence Prevention Unit , deaths of friends to drugs , high speed chases and suicide ... you'd be forgiven for shaking your head and labelling Matt Hall doomed, for sure. Plenty of people have done just that. But this is a leopard who has well and truly changed his spots, a man who sits before me clean, proud and happy. With a head full of gratitude, and glass.


" I used to be famous for breaking it, not making it" he laughs, as we sit down to chat in the sunny garden of an immaculate home he shares with partner Morgan and a plethora of much adored fur babies. Matt's new love, glassblowing, is a mysterious discipline that he refers to by turn as " a dance" ," a dream" and " the perfect mistress." He first watched the delicate art in process when, at 12, he visited the studio of lifelong friend Luke Jacomb's father, John Croucher. " It was alchemy. It was unbelievable" he remembers ." I couldn't wrap my head around it."
Luke has gone on to become an internationally renowned master of the art, and Matt has caught the bug bad. He has become very good, relatively quickly, at glassblowing - and is now selling enough work to be able to focus on it full time. His work has recently been on display at Compendium Gallery in Auckland .

There are elements of glassblowing that seem to speak strongly of life mirroring art. It is a very old, intensely difficult and precarious process. It's not for the faint of heart. " When I'm doing it.. when I first open the furnace.. it's confronting, and frightening" Matt explains. " And once you've done a stage.. you can't go back and fix it. There are endless possibilities.. but when you think you've created the perfect piece, there's every chance that when you finish ... it won't be in one piece anymore. The art is in the process. It's one of the only art forms left where you have to start froom scratch. We collect the sand, the hot ash, all the raw ingredients... and as separate things, they are nasty... but once you've melted it together, it's harmless. I've learnt a lot of patience."


I can't help but ask if he thinks of the process philosophically at all, if it makes him look at his life. " Yeah" he enthuses. " You know, the guy I train under is Buddhist. And his mentor, once he saw my friend at work with glass, told him - you don't need to come to church anymore. This is your church."



That's a pretty meaningful sentiment, coming from a guy who used to believe in nothing other than his own sure demise. " I never thought I'd live this long. I was a sick baby, I was never meant to be here anyway. So every day is a freebie" . After serving time , he tried the straight and narrow , ditching thug life for a suit . But it didn't feel right. " I always knew I'd be a criminal or a businessman - one or the other" he says, describing his stint as a car salesman for a fancy Auckland yard. " But I guess I realized I had more to offer people than affordable weekly payments" . " Thank God " I respond - because there really can be no brighter new beginning than the one he has embarked on.


" If I ever had to give advice" says Matt Hall, " I would say find something that you like doing, that you really love. And do it. You wont make money straight away, but if you do it, and you enjoy it, sooner or later you' ll be good at it, because you enjoy it, and people will see that. And you'll start to reap the rewards. People look too close in front. You gotta look further on. You can upskill your job or whatever and, in a short time, be someone else . And if someone's young and interested - it's a rarity these days, and its quite precious - people will take you onboard. If you're keen, and you show up on time and shit, it will happen for you. You never know how the world's working behind your back." Is he finished ? No." Oh - and get a dog."



So there was a dog at the beginning of Matt's days, and it looks like there'll be one till the end. When he first had dog Pete as a puppy ( taking him from some guys at a park who'd found a litter) , everyone who knew Matt ( including me) wondered the same thing - with no ability to look after himself, how was he going to take care of a dog?


I look at Pete, now eight years old and the most intelligent, well trained and adored animal I have ever met, and Matt says ; " we've never looked back." Which is where I beg to differ, because I think he's looked back a lot , and maybe that's the secret. A young man learning from his past , who has made a very authentic kind of peace with life. " I was lucky, I think, to run myself into the ground before I had anything to lose. We are so lucky to live in New Zealand... the land of the 20th chance - people should embrace that. You can do some bad stuff in your life, learn your lessons, and still be considered a valuable member of society. And I think that's dope."

Maori Wardens/ for M2WOman magazine/ 2010



Maori Wardens written for M2Woman magazine

published Winter 2010






Do not be afraid if you are lost. These words are written on a fairground sign, in my favourite photograph, taken by Ans Westra somewhere in New Zealand in the 1960s. I don't remember what the rest says because these words are all I see; a message that gives hope without asking questions, pure and simple.



On the streets of Auckland on any given day, we can see the lost , and thankfully we can depend on the presence of those who hold hope ; the Police, social workers, teachers and countless others who make it their job to fight fear .. . who give direction in all senses of the word. I think of them as people who stand not just at the heart of society but at its bleak perimeters; watching and shepherding those who have all but given up. And I think we should be grateful - we should know, acknowledge and support those amongst us who do their bit to help.



So when I was in Henderson one day last year , in search of fabulous vintage clothes from my favourite secondhand shops ( secret's out ) , I felt ashamed. Not because I love beautiful, meaningless things and I get upset by things like cullottes - though there is shame in that - I felt this way because , there in Henderson square , was a group of young people talking to some Maori Wardens and I had no idea who Maori Wardens were. This bothered me. What they did, and who they were eluded me, as did one other thing; how on earth they had managed to stroll up to the kids they were laughing with and not get told to get lost. After all, those Hendo daytime youth are more than a little intimidating to some, and these Wardens - with their black uniforms and fluro vests and RTs - look like cops. Or at least security. At a time in my life when I was searching desparately to find myself, along with the raw silk tangerine number I took home that day, I went home, looked in a phone book and found Maori Wardens and I called them up.



Junette Reilly is a widow, a grandmother and the matriach of a family who love her dearly. With a face that summons the warmth and crinkles of my own much adored late grandma, she sounds just like you'd expect on the phone; very knowing and very content. Hers was the first on a list of contacts that I discovered on the wardens' website , and she answered before I'd really figured out what i was going to say. I told her my name, she said hello. I said - I found you and I want to know more about what you do. I'm not a journalist or a student ( I am kind of both now but was neither then.) And I am not Maori ( still not ) . But I feel I should know you, and I was wondering if we could talk.



Why I was calling didn't seem to matter; what mattered was that I cared enough to show some interest, and as Junette said; if you don't ask you don't get. She simply began talking to me, freely and with warmth, about her life and the life of the wardens, and at the end of our conversation, I had an invitation to accompany the wardens on their regular mission; patrolling the streets of Auckland from 11pm till 4am in a not very flash white van on a Friday night. I said yes.



The Maori Wardens have been around since the 1840s and were put in place to ' protect the well being of Maori' . In a practical sense, this meant keeping the peace at such things as marae gatherings when leaders spoke; to an extent, this is the kind of stuff they still do, offering the services of crowd control, traffic managing and general security patrolling. The movement has suffered and enjoyed various changes over the last 30 years but has been officially recognised by government since 1962 and still goes strong today. They are a voluntary body of people whose organisation aims to ' play an effective part in the social development of the community' - a vision which is carried out in hospitals, where they support families in times of accident or bereavement, in courts , and it seems, most importantly, on the streets . This is where they find the truly lost .



Like a total schmuck, I arrived at the headquarters of the Akarana Maori Wardens with a thermos of soup my boyfriend had made and insisted I take , and a dictaphone. Both came home untouched. Not because the evening was so busy and like a circus of Police 10/7 moments but, more because it wasn't . It was a night where I learnt so much that I felt full, and where I didn't need to record anything because the story wrote itself.



The Akarana Wardens are based in Fort St, inside the downtown police station - living proof of the mutual respect and memorandum of understanding that exists between the wardens and the New Zealand Police . It's not flash , and there are fake plants and bad coffee but I expected this - having done my own time in voluntary roles within Womens Refuge and Mt Eden Prison among others , I know what voluntary simplicity looks like. Sadly, the people who we are all so thankful for - the shepherds - don't get beautiful things regardless of whether they want or deserve them. Rather, society tends to say; you are doing a great job, you are the backbone of the community, so here is a rickety white van and some mismatched coffee cups. What I was expecting , however, was a sense of bravado and attitude that I never got. Even after talking to Junette and being made to feel welcome before I arrived , I expected some kind of a wall - a feeling that in all reality I didn't actually belong. I was instead received warmly and without judgement .



Fort St was alive and kicking when I got there at ten pm and was let in through an appropriately non- descript door. There was a small group of people in the room and a relaxed, familiar air. I was amazed to meet the team ; all, in some way, part of Junette's family. The process of selecting and recruiting Maori Wardens seems to be an unwritten one and to attain the title, a hierachy of members must give their collective blessing - the wardens I met were of varying ages yet all shared a clear and deep commitment to the cause. The fact that they were mostly blood related reflects the holistic nature of their resolve; to be a warden is not an activity or a personal hobby. It is a family affair. What moved me most, on arrival, was being introduced to Junette's teenage granddaughter Jordyn who sat quietly at a table completing her geography homework. Inside Fort St police station at half ten on a Friday night ? Yes. This is what they do as a family; both nights, every weekend, year round, rain or shine. As you and I are snuggling up or heading out, the Akarana Wardens are beginning their shifts. Unpaid.



The Wardens' van has an RT system that links in with police communications, so that the wardens are privvy to callouts happening in the area. It works like this; the wardens are there to patrol, observe and help when they see fit. The see fit part is important - safety is an integral value of the warden movement, and always has been. They work ' by persuasion rather than intimidation.' They do not involve themselves in breaking up fights or approaching dangerous situations - both warden and cop agree this rule is paramount.



But through their presence the wardens get to know the faces of our city's walking wounded; runaways, prostitutes and homeless especially. Junette and her team know many by name and for most of these they know a lot more . Junette tells of two 12 and 13 year old cousins who she took home one night after convincing them to come off the streets and stop selling their bodies to strangers - the place they called home was run by a caregiver who only wanted to know, that night, ' where her fucken money was '. Jarmon, Junette's nephew, tells me of a German tourist , set apon and attacked by a group of men , whom he stayed with and cradled untill help arrived. They all discuss One Dread - an infamous Auckland homeless man who can often be seen skulking down Queen Street talking to himself - except when they talk about him, they use his real name, Ed, and they tell me that he's alright. He does know when he gets stuff thrown at him, and when he gets laughed at, and it makes him sad.



They are true angels of the night, the Maori Wardens. Winding our way through the city, as they talk to me they are always eagle eyed, peering out at parks and alleyways, seeking out the very spots of trouble and darkness that most of us steer clear of. They hold council keys to public parks and they know, back to front, what goes down where. A mental and physical list of runaways stays with them during the night and they are looking, always, for the kids most at risk. I ask at one stage what would happen if we spotted someone they know is on the run - the response is simple. Lots of talking, cajoling and time. The wardens are not there to force - they even make jokes about how often they use the word ' please' . But by all accounts, given how well they are received at every corner, the approach works. We hear various reports of violence - cars being smashed up, a restaurant being trashed, fights breaking out - sadly, the RT provides a constant stream of incidents for us to investigate. Nothing gets ugly on my watch but you don't have to close your eyes to imagine just how precarious this work can be.



At the end of the night, when I'm dropped home in the wee hours, I no longer feel ashamed but instead, enlightened. It makes sense to me that there should be this movement of hope on our streets; an alternative kind of authority, a kind of light for people in need that is different from what they are used to. It makes sense to me now that those kids in Henderson were happy to hang out with the Wardens; who wouldn't be ? There's nothing insincere in their intentions and no swagger in their walk. While it is easy to shake your head at kids like that and mutter someone should do something, it's not such an easy or common thing, to be the do-er. But Junette and her team, and hundreds of other Maori Wardens throughout the country , are part of a wider yet largely invisible force who get on and ' do ' as a matter of course . I for one feel grateful.


TODD SELBY/ for THE DEPARTMENT STORE NEWS/ JAN 2012


If the home is the treasure chest of living, as Le Corbusier suggested, then Todd Selby might just be the greatest treasure hunter of our time. California born and New York based, Selby worked as a lifestyle and fashion photographer before becoming tired of the “perfect shot” – in 2008 he began www.theselby.com, a site that has become globally cherished, a place for him to showcase the spaces and places he finds which appeal to him – real ones, with a good dose of “creative chaos and collage”.

From friends to founding fathers, Selby has shot them all; surfers and models sit alongside the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Olivier Zahm, and many of Selby’s subjects have never let media behind their closed doors before. Blessed with an artist’s eye for detail and a distinct lack of pretension, Selby specializes in sniffing out the little things that mean the most in a home; family photos, prize collections  and flea market finds are what he’s after . He is famous for his dislike of minimalism and commercially styled interiors – a recent New York Times profile on Selby was titled “The Rich and Boring Need Not Apply”.

Highly addictive and ever-changing, theselby.com features work that Selby shoots exclusively on digital and without lighting or assistance , but he has proved he can pull out the big guns when he needs to and has been commissioned to work on special projects with Louis Vuitton, Hennessy, Colette in Paris and with Helena Christensen for Paris Vogue. In recent times he has become more involved with film as a medium and has shot special film projects for Tom Sachs and Mitch Alfus, Leather King and is now working on a new project, The Edible Selby. “I have always been obsessed with food” he explains, when I ask him about this progression. “Whenever I travel my first thought is ; where am I going to eat, what should I try? Also I thought that the food world was filled with artistic and colourful characters that would work well for my own style of photoshoot.”

Having never visited New Zealand, Selby didn’t need to be asked twice when invited down by The Department Store in February of this year. The store hosted a one-night event where Selby shared stories and magic with a packed, enamoured crowd and signed copies of his book The Selby Is In Your Place. In the days following he toured the North Island, snapping the homes and workplaces of dozens of kiwi characters, and it seems that as a result, Todd Selby has fallen quite deeply in love with our land and, more importantly, its people. 
“ In other places people just do their own thing” he says . “But kiwis, and your crew in particular, seem to help eachother out a lot, you’re a very entrepreneurial people. Where you are feels so positive.” Does he often feel such a connection with the places he visits? “ I’ve just been in Europe” he tells me, “ nine countries in two weeks... and quite often I just do my work and leave again. But I love New Zealand. I am planning to make a yearly visit part of my schedule from now on.” 

He is proud of the work he did here and can’t wait till his next visit in February which he hopes will see him tour the South Island as well as visiting friends from last time around. He will look for the same things he always does –  spots that feel right, people who interest him and “ places with a lot of love in them.” If he could write New Zealand a letter – to get us through till next time ?

Dear NZ,

  Thank you for all your hospitality. I am really impressed with all the kiwis that I met, they have a lot of class and make things happen. Also you have great food and glow worms and black sand and lots of fun times. Thumbs up NZ.

Sincerely
Todd Selby

ROGER BALLEN/ for www.post-new.com


The Legend, Always Evolving

American born, South African based Roger Ballen has worked for fifty years with the medium of black and white film producing work both controversial and hugely influential. Forever seeking further personal evolution, he has moved into the realm of moving images with his recent collaboration with Die Antwoord, but here he discusses his upcoming book project, Asylum.

Angela Crane: First up Roger...how are you?
Roger Ballen: I’m fine, I’m busy, taking lots of photographs toward my next project, which I have been working on for almost three years ... I think I’ve told you about it?

AC: Yes but can you tell us a bit more?
RB: I’m working on a project about birds, in a very surrealistic place. There are a lot of drawings in the photographs, and a lot of objects, not so many people’s faces... this is symbolic of my progression. You’ll find birds everywhere in the photographs, whether it’s feathers, or flying birds or sculptural birds, every picture has a bird relationship with it one way or another.  We are working towards a book which we hope to release in 2013. The name of the book is Asylum.

AC: What is it that’s important to you about birds? What has led you to this?
RB: Birds have an interesting metaphoric relationship...if one looks at the metaphors that birds are listed in, and relates them back to the time and place that they habitate, all sorts of interesting meanings come out of that. Those meanings are visual in nature and it’s up to people like yourself to describe them. I think in a lot of my photographs the meanings can be very contradictory in nature – in the photograph you can see a beautiful bird, but the place could be very strange and disturbing, so it’s a picture about beauty, it’s about something disturbed..it’s about either one of those things.

AC: Has it been an enjoyable process? A rewarding one?
RB: These projects...you start off with a lot of passion, and you have to have a lot of discipline to finish them. It’s rewarding to work on a project for a long period of time because you really delve into it, expand your photography, expand who you are. Your style evolves. I think that’s the most important thing about an artist – your art reflects who you are at any particular period of time. And this is crucial – if you really are an artist you should be doing the work until you find out more about yourself rather than trying to produce work that appeals to an abstract market.


AC: That’s quite an incredible thing to be able to say, that at your stage of career and life, you are still looking to evolve and learn about your craft...
RB: At the end of the day that’s what it’s all about. One of the nicest things about what I do is I can look at a retrospective show and it deals with 45 years of my life, and it’s nice to be able to see how you’ve evolved and how one part of your life connects with another. It’s an interesting process.

AC: Roger, one of the questions I wanted to ask you was; If you couldn’t work as an artist anymore, what would you lose?
RB: I would lose an important tool that helps define my whole existence...I guess it’s one of the nicer things about being an artist, and one of the difficult things. being an artist isn’t something I would recommend as an easy career. But being an artist is one of the few tools humanity has to define itself, a concrete way to define yourself.

SANDRO KOPP/ for NO magazine



Google him, and the first thing you’ll learn is the name of the famous beauty he shares his life with. Look a little further, and you’ll find whole sites dedicated to the various roles he has played in a certain Peter Jackson trilogy. But deal with him directly, and it becomes very clear, very quickly what is dearest to his heart- because it’s all he wants to talk about. Sandro Kopp is a painter of portraits , making a very new mark.

Of all things, it is the modern magic of Skype that he has chosen as a vehicle through which he shares his talent for portraiture. What this means is less confusing than it sounds ; Kopp engages in Skype conversations with people he knows and as they talk, he paints. It is a lively process – he doesn’t work from stills but rather directly from his subject as it happens. Naturally the images are quite realistic, but realistically they are somehow unnatural. Fleeting moments trapped. Each piece is born through the initial conversation but may not be ready to leave its nest for some time after; “Each sitting usually takes between two and three hours” he tells me. “ About half the paintings are done after that, but if I go back to them, it rarely just for one sitting. Once I start layering, it will usually take 5 or 6 goes until I get something right. When I am painting I tend to be so wrapped up in the process that I can't really objectively judge it. It tends to take some weeks before I can say with certainty that a painting is done.”

“The surrogate reality of the internet has become so powerful” says Kopp, “ and we keep encountering terms like "online presence", that got me thinking, since 'presence' is a concept that I am constantly bumping into in my work. What I am interested in is whether, alongside being a means to communication, Skype is also a means to presence.” He explains that the process started “as an experiment in combining elements of painting from a photograph with elements of painting from life, but in the year and a half that I have been working this way, it has taken on a whole life of it's own and all kinds of ideas have blossomed from it.”

 Kopp has paid his dues to traditional art forms and sees the use of Skype as an extension of what’s come before; “My great love, oil painting, is such a gloriously old fashioned medium... I am always looking for ways of doing something new with it and this Skype process presented itself as a way of marrying this ancient medium with something that is very "now"... a way of further mediating figurative oil painting.”
Kopp, German-born and now largely based here in New Zealand, has painted friends far and wide and among the faces in his portfolio are Yves Saint Laurent, Stefano Pilati, Mike Mills and Tilda Swinton. His work creates ‘highly contrasting features and complex skin tonality’ and for Kopp, the technical process is of great importance. “Technique is always evolving.” He explains. “It's a natural process, but again the media are crucial: A certain type of paint may make me work in different way to another... Working through the Skype medium will make things look different to working from life. I think the how and the what are inextricably linked.”

As for inspiration, his reach extends to “painters Glenn Brown, YZ Kami, Andy Warhol, curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, photographers Jeff Burton and Ryan McGinley, musicians Bj√∂rk and The Knife, writers John Berger and James Meek ..." but Kopp is a lover of life’s simple pleasures too. His work provides “a great way of spending time with friends and making something together ” and his eyes are always open. “Our dogs... Clouds... Cooking... Gardening... it all feeds back into my work eventually.”

ANIKA MOA/ for GOOD magazine



Things have changed a lot for Anika Moa since the beginning of her journey as an award winning musician, but her song remains the same – filled with truth, gratitude and love, it’s a  sound that comes from a very humble heart.  Famous for her grounded,  no-nonsense approach, Moa is a girl whose magic comes from the knowledge that  reaching in is just as important as reaching out . 

These days, life in Moa’s world is defined by love – for her music, for her family, and for her new partner.  Moa is gay - recently joined in civil union with a circus performer, even. The subject of wife Azaria Universe is never far from the conversation, when I talk to Moa at her central Auckland home. 
“ She is so talented, so brilliant"  Moa tells me. “She’s performing in this incredible show called The Carnival of Mysteries, in Melbourne, in October. If you’re there, you should go” . We discuss the show more than we discuss Moa’s latest album Love In Motion ; it is clear that this is a partnership of true mutual respect. In marriage, Moa has found a muse, a sometimes manager and a best mate. “ She’s very efficient. On tour she’ll be the one getting us all up in the morning for a run. And I’ll be saying – go away, stop organising me!"  

This is said with a loving laugh, as is just about everything else Moa shares. When the subject is not her wife, we talk about whales. “God I’m sad" she says, referring to the recent beaching deaths of dozens of whales in the Far North. “ I helped with a documentary  about whales, that looked at why they die this way. There’s been all this study about why they do it and still nobody knows for sure. There are three factors – the lay of the land; sandbars that can mess with how they hear things and communicate . The weather. And then, if one is sick – and drifts toward shore – they all follow, like a family. To stay with it.” It seems that she relates well to their plight and indeed, family is a word she uses often; speaking with audible pride of both her own and Azaria’s . Spending valuable time with each is a large part of their life together. 

Other than this, when I ask about life outside music, it’s a pointless question – for Moa there’s no division - she says her life is all about music. “ I write, I play ... I’d listen to a gig every night if I could. My life is music, music, music.”

This year will see Moa tour for two months promoting Love In Motion, as well as time spent working on a new project – an album in Maori. “ It’s important for me to stay connected with the language” she explains- but admits the reality is harder than she thought. “ I want to adapt my sound, and pop writing, to this very old language. It’s hard .. but I know I can do it. I want to bring it to a wider audience, show people that its beautiful ” she says. “ I want to see it in a contemporary setting,  on store shelves, right up the front .”

Moa is used to doing things her way and is not afraid of challenge , but rather defined by it.  She famously turned her back on a lucrative yet potentially soul destroying US record deal early on, and has chosen largely unbeaten paths  ever since. She came out as openly gay in 2007, she  has admitted family violence in her own past, and she is a tireless supporter of Womens Refuge ; not the most pleasant of causes to discuss over champagne. “ I’m not a person who walks into a charity event to just say hi" she tells me flatly. “I want to take part in direct action, raising lots of money that doesn’t go on venues and expenses ... it goes straight to the houses."  She is referring  to the Womens Refuge houses in New Zealand, which help women and children affected by domestic violence – the organization helped almost 30,000 victims in 2006 and relies heavily on public donation . Next year, Moa is planning to organise a concert of women performers to help aid the cause, and she has recently used Trademe to raise $7000 in funds.

 Moa is a natural activist and holds authentic commitment but plays down the drama when I commend her. “ It’s real simple, real easy" she tells me. “ I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty."

Like a true star, she is also not afraid to scrub up and show support for her other more glamorous friends, attending several functions during New Zealand Fashion Week. “ I love it, I love getting dressed up. And it’s not about playing the game, it’s about being there for people I know , getting behind them"  Moa says. “And when I want to get away, I get away. We go up north, we see our families, I write my music. We just go ."

Moa has been performing all her life,  and is constantly in collaboration with other artists – most recently with Shihad’s John Toogood – but will tour solo this year. She will play intimate shows throughout the country between October and December  and says she can’t wait , that she loves the dual experience of travelling and performing.  Azaria will be there, to be organised and efficient, and Anika will be there ....  to be Anika. She will sing – it’s real simple, real easy.

Phone 0900 REFUGE to make a $20 donation to Womens Refuge
See www.anikamoa.com for tour dates

Alexandra Owen Review NZFW 2010

It’s Fashion Week. I have seen charming, chic and cheery. I’ve seen crazy and crude. It’s been fun. I thought I was coping pretty well, until Wednesday evening.

The collection shown by Alexandra Owen and styled by Karen Inderbitzen –Waller utterly floored me, and try as I might, I won’t do it justice here – my wobbly notes feature ‘ autumnal redheads in dusky scarlet' ,  'dove grey with eggplant’ and other desparate attempts to sum up a range which is the best thing I have seen on a New Zealand runway in living memory.


Two girls walked at once, like ethereal beings toward light, or pairs of exotic creatures from some silk lined ark, and every look was breathtaking. She showed quilted coats, liquid-like satin pants, dream- fine shirts. Some models had faces covered in sheer fabric or fine gauze masks meaning that garments worn seemed to haunt the room rather than overpower it , and the only sound featured was Thom Yorke’s – lines like ‘black eyed angels swimming with me’ could not have been more perfect. Thom and I spend a lot of time together but this is the only time he’s made me cry.


Owen showed her forensic tailoring skills and eye for profound beauty in a way that I wasn’t prepared for, and which could easily be likened to legends. She’s not kidding, and it shows – this is a serious designer with painstaking focus who has truly outdone herself – and by pairing with Inderbitzen-Waller , has now outdone the whole week.


Is it wearable ? Is it affordable ? Will it go with my Ksubis ? That’s not the point. There needs to be one designer in our fair land who sets the bar at a level that can only be reached by those who see fashion as art . One designer who makes things that overwhelm us.

Alexandra Owen is it.





By Angela Crane
September 2010
photo by Kristopher Arden-Housen @ http://www.stylecaster.com/

KAREN WALKER S/S 2010 - ' Perfect Day'

This week in New York, as expected, Karen Walker has shown a collection ( S/S 2011 ) based on the makings of a weirdo. What wasn't expected ( as it never is ) is the way she translated these makings into, well, making things. For this collection, she has evoked the vision of legendary photographer William Eggleston, a man who became famous in the 60s for daring to to use colour - lots of colour - in arthouse photography . Using subjects as mundane as road signs and orange towelling, misty windows and muddy water , he had a gift, like Walker, for turning the ordinary into the truly extraordinary.


The elements of Eggleston's work that Walker has been taken by, and gives back to us in ' Perfect Day ' include the notions of " an idyllic mood with a disturbing undertone" , " colour on colour on confident colour" , and  "mismatching florals " . Walker has used key prints including busy blue laundry pegs , and fawn coloured sparrows against ecru, as well as block colour in odd pairs - camel with orange, canary yellow with marle grey . Each of these seemingly singular ideas will stand strong on its own but the way Walker has knocked their heads together makes for a season that feels crisp, rich and truly new.


The theme of girl meets boy and wears his clothes is no longer a stand- out feature of good fashion , it is one of the building blocks - Walker was a pioneer, and once again produces a mix of the delicate and the dramatic that is also downright wearable; a straight bodied sky blue parka features a sharp little collar and - wait for it - row apon row of ruffles.There is always a piece that says ' I look like a dream, but i'm not a dreamer' ; like this season's pastel , floating tunics . We have the wear- it -on -friday night -and -possibly- still -be- wearing- it -on- sunday basics like the upside down New York tee ... and the piece that you'll want to get married in ( or, let's be honest, be wearing when you sign the divorce) , like the sharp as hell mustard cropped pant .

As always, Walker's collection will be complimented by two ranges of jewelry - little slices of the big idea - Perfect Day sees enamel daisies and bunnies on long gold chains that put hokey and elegant on the same page. The collection also featured giant ruffled purses on long chains and thin, bow-waisted belts that are stand out features in their own right.

Walker's eye, when combined with that of stylist Heathermary Jackson, provides a kind of sharp yet skewed vision that has become the hard to pin down trademark of Karen Walker's collections and is able to tick boxes as diverse as easy daywear, grown up chic and have-it-forever classic. Something for everyone - it's not as easy as it looks, but Perfect Day has nailed it perfectly .


In stores February 2011.

by Angela Crane


VINCENT WARD/
 FOR NO MAGAZINE/
ISSUE 11/
SPRING 2010
http://www.vincentwardfilms.com/


We need to talk about Vincent. There are a couple of ways we can do it .


We could embark on a study of his work as a New Zealand filmmaker - from the beginnings in 1977 to his involvement with Hollywood productions Alien 3 and The Last Samurai, to the difficult , controversial, locally filmed River Queen. We could talk about the New Zealand Order of Merit. I could tell you a story about the time he ate spaghetti with Francis Ford Coppola over a business meeting (Coppola cooked). There are stories of Angelina Jolie and Robin Williams and Keifer Sutherland, and about Ward's foray into advertising ( just a couple of small clients, like US General Motors and Singapore Airlines) .


They are interesting anecdotes and ideas and they provide windows into the world of Vincent Ward. But the best way to talk about him, really , is with a lot less fact and a lot more feeling . It says a lot about his career, to know that in October this year he will release a 200 page book of photographs, drawings and candid personal accounts relating to his career - a book of magic, that dispels myth and captures legend. It says a huge amount that German director Wim Wenders has said of the book - " I don't know if ever a book of pictures has moved me so much ... It will go into my suitcase for that lonesome island. " But what says the most about Ward is that he is holding the launch of " The Past Awaits " in a tiny place called Greytown, in the Wairarapa - " in the place where I was born, in the Town Hall that my great - grandfather built."
His journey as a filmmaker has led him away, but not astray, from these roots and he will always hold a clear truth about who he is. So let's just be honest .
I am the first person that Ward has talked to, ostensibly, about the book, published by Craig Potton and soon to be in laps and hearts everywhere . It is a different project for him and he is excited. After initially turning down the idea of compiling this kind of visual memoir, he was travelling in the ruins of Petra with Potton when Potton dropped his camera, destroying it. This caused Ward to " consider the fragility of film and photography " and he decided that maybe it wasn't such a bad idea - the project would allow him to " look at what I'm doing and see what I make of it, before moving ahead " .


The book is truly exquisite and is sure to become an important record not just for filmmakers and fans, but for any kiwi who takes an interest in their land or their people or the art that these elements have inspired Ward to create. As Ward points out; " they are stories about people ... and it's great to get to tell some of them" , adding meaningfully; " they're not all comfortable."
Ward's most controversial and frought film, River Queen, has posed many questions for and about Ward, but I'll tell you now that I didn't ask him any. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it is a quote that springs to mind regarding this time in his life - and as I understand, he gave up a lot. There has been lengthy commentary from the film industry and the public regarding River Queen - there were actress tantrums, money issues and a curse during filming , depending on who you ask. Ward does address the film in The Past Awaits, but it's a tired subject and not one of his favourites. In my mind, a lesser man would have walked away and Ward didn't , and that's all I want to know.


I have all sorts of deep and meaningful questions to ask, however, regarding his latest film, Rain of the Children. I decide to flag the academic study guide approach pretty early on with Ward, as we sit in his Grey Lynn Villa and he drinks Heineken and I play with the dog. " Rain of the Children " I begin, trying to sound like a grown up. Then I change my mind. " Vincent, how on earth do you make a film like that without standing around crying all day ?"


Rain of the Children is , after all, a hell of a story. It is made up of footage from a documentary Ward made at 21 - he wanted an isolated parent and child dynamic to focus on, and his wish was granted in the form of elderly kuia Puhi and her very unstable, unwell adult son Nicky. Puhi's character is conveyed through heart rendering actual footage as well as dramatisations of her life, which Ward had always felt compelled to go back to. " I had a lot of questions " he explains.
" I didn't go to her tangi, so I didn't really have closure ... My own grandparents died early on, and Puhi was like a grandmother to me. I loved her. I feel that, one way or another, we make up for, or recycle, the relationships that aren't resolved."

Does he remember her in a sad way ? " Not at all." Ward says. " I think of her as one of those trees on the coast, that's been bent double by huge winds, but sustains and retains and endures... and is stronger for what it has endured. She had a very tough life, and I'm empathetic to that. But I'm not sad for her."

Speaking of the film's impact and the fascinating story of Puhi's life that evolved, Ward answers the stupid question about crying. " I don't get like that" he says simply. " I'm a determined sort ... I'm not very sentimental. I have always been drawn to stories of people who exist on the margins of society. "


Ward and I drive to visit an editing suite downtown where he is choosing and manipulating images that will feature in a major exhibition of his work next year. As he talks to his tech guy, he keeps his head down and his eyes closed as he tries to convey how the sequence of shots should look - already cut and coloured and complete in his mind. It is a slow process but as it all comes together, I can see how powerful the moving images will look when they have been Ward-inised to perfection and displayed at the ( yet to be announced ) gallery. " You ok? " he asks me as I watch them work. " You're on the frontline here, Ange". Needless to say, I am more than ok.


In the car we talk about his role as an artist and the struggle , to stay alive emotionally and professionally, that this kind of work brings . " Not a day goes by" he explains " or has ever gone by, since I was 18, that I don't think about how to survive. Things are better here than they were thirty years ago, but the arts are still not particularly valued. But I am inspired by the things that happen here, and the people that live here, and whether you want me to make a film or not, I will make a film ... or have an exhibition, or write a book. I don't think there are any long term answers, you just have to seek solutions."

I ask him, then, about his dream project. " I've had lots of dream projects " he says. " And lots of disillusioned ones. Film is the intersection between vision , and the mechanics of reality. "
The next bit makes me laugh - " I've been run over by reality a few times. The question is whether you end up as roadkill, or as something that walks, at the end of it." Despite the dark subject matters, the tortured visions, he's a funny guy. " Yeah, I am quite funny" he deadpans, sealing the deal.


Two days after our meeting, the phone rings at my house and it's three year old Finch Ward calling to say a bubbling thankyou for the Spiderman mask I brought over when I went to meet his Dad - he assures me that his brother likes the Batman one too, so we're all square. Vincent gets on the line and is so excited, you'd think he was the kid. A clever printer somewhere has worked out how to bring life to Ward's crazy idea of printing the dreamlike, yet somehow unsettling , yet somehow perfect still shots from What Dreams May Come onto giant panels of silk for next year's exhibition. I'm trying to imagine and even I feel excited. The show will be quite something .


If there's one art - related book you're going to buy or sixty bucks you're going to spend that needs justifying, you'd be wise to send it in his direction. Vincent Ward has given voice and vision to some magic throughout his career and this way, you can keep your own little synopsis of it, right there on the coffee or kitchen even bedside table. You can take your time, take each image at its own pace , which is a wonderful prospect . When I showed my best friend Jem these images pre-release, she squealed at the black and white 70s shots of Ward and said he looked like a cross between deNiro and the lead singer of the Strokes . Then she got all serious and said " Vincent Ward hurts my feelings." I totally get it.


image @ http://www.nzonscreen.com/

ROGER BALLEN


FOR NO MAGAZINE


ISSUE 11


SPRING 2010






I phone Roger Ballen on Monday morning - he is eleven hours and thirteen digits away, in his hometown of Johannesburg, South Africa. Here in Auckland, dawn is breaking, and as she rearranges herself into a clear, pretty day, Roger's world falls into darkness. This could not be more perfect.

It is late Sunday night for him and he has spent the day preparing fo a trip to Latvia; he is tired but accommodating. Roger Ballen is 60, a world reknown photographer, born in New York and raised - in a way - in South Africa. His work is utterly, painfully, unthinkably good .


" A lot of people see my work as very dark " Ballen explains. " I say that dark isn't necessarily bad, dark is just another state - if you don't see the dark, you don't know the light." Life's many questions became one for Ballen in the early days of his career - is chaos fundamental to the world around us, or is order? " We're fighting to keep some kind of order in our lives, there are so many forces pushing and pulling us" he says . " ... in the end, chaos wins- science is just a bandaid and we will die with many of our questions unanswered." Somehow, this seemingly hopeless sentiment becomes music as he speaks it. " You just can't battle against a lot of it. You can't battle the day becoming the night."


As a young man, Ballen hitchhiked from Cairo to Capetown and began his extraordinary career as an artist, capturing chaos and calm in ways that have not always been well received . His series Platteland provoked death threats and an arrest; this was 1994 and South Africa was not ready to see South Africa, the way Ballen presented it. These were raw, unapologetically honest portraits and, as Ballen explains, there was a climate of fear around him. His pictures went beyond social and political meaning . " They speak more of an internal process. They brought out a reaction within people that they were scared of. And they outlive their situation." In the recent documentary Forest of Crocodiles, which examines the country's social and political mindset, he goes further; " In some countries, when people get together they talk about the weather, or the schooling, or the food . In this country, people talk a lot about fear. Its hard to distinguish what is a real fear, from what is imagined .. the consequence is that people become more insular, more insecure and anxious and the sensibility feeds on itself. The more you hide, the more you need to hide."


Ballen, in contrast, is not a hider and has instead made his mark by drawing life out of dubious havens. His day job for many years was in geology and when I ask about this, he likens it to a treasure hunt. " For most periods in art history, nature has been an ideal place to look at, in terms of form and mythology and having a spiritual connection to the world" he says. " In order for me to have gotten where I've gotten, I needed another profession. My geological work, combing the surface of the earth in order to find my way in, happened as my art did, as I was trying to find my way into the interior of the mind. There was something metaphoric there, that was able to jump across into my art".

His most recent work, featured in the book Boarding House, gives us an uncomfortable insight into " a strange and alluring place near Johannesburg .. crowded with transients, criminals hiding from the law, witchdoctors and insects" . The act of taking a photo of a character in an eerie setting is just part of this show; the use of props and painting jut out from the work and help knock the viewer from their platform. " For me" he once said, " My best and most challenging works are the ones I don't understand completely- it is quite important to me that the viewer can't get to the core of the work."


An accomplished photographer with an incredible body of work to his name, Ballen's path as an artist continues. " Five or six days a week, from midday till around six o'clock, I work " he tells me. " I feel strongly about it and it feels natural. And it's like any other job - in order to do well, you have to do it. Pictures don't occur in your dreams. If you look at most photographs, reality is accentuated, in some way or another ... and then that reality dissipates. One can't predict what forces will occur within the framework of the camera, the only way is to be out there, taking them." Roger Ballen has produced 8 books since 1979, his photographs are exhibited in 30 museum collections worldwide and he has established the Roger Ballen Foundation which is dedicated to the advancement of photography education in South Africa.
" When you get to sixty" he tells me, "and you've gotten one or two things right ... you're doing ok " .


Scrap
Published in NO Magazine
Issue # 10
June 2010
photograph of Scrap by Guy Coombes - www.guycoombes.com

It seems you can watch a game for a long time and despite your understanding of it, still not be any use on the field. This is the case with me and art - I know what I like and in some ways, it's at the centre of what I do - but I'm no creator. The language of people speaks a lot louder to me than the language of art, yet for Scrap Wall, he is and always has been fluent in both. That's a special thing; to hold an ability to create as steadily as you hold the ability to give.


Scrap Wall for dummies looks like this ; it's the story of a little, born from a lot. Hailing from a family world famous in Auckland for running slick business and turning out dishy talent, he could have done just about anything with his bright young life. At the age of eight , when asked what he wanted to do when he grew up, he said - I want to sell ideas ; and over time he has brought those words to life through painting, sculpture, graphic and garment design and beyond. He invented a role at the forever forward boutique Belinda in Sydney and was instrumental in their creative direction during his time there. He's helped to colour and shape clothing and design companies as well as various art based projects both here and abroad but, in short, he's never had his own gig . Until now.


" I feel like I'm on the planet to make good things" Scrap says . " And i don't want anyone to have anything of mine that I don't think is good, because essentially, that thing is an extension of me" . In trying to set a stage from which these things can be shared, he has opened the doors at 504 K Rd , a space called One which he describes easily as " a room full of beautiful , simple things that are all for sale ".



You will enter ( and you must ) and find extremes - a painting on the wall priced at close to five grand, next to a box of perfect drawing pencils - which sell individually for fifty cents. At this point, you may feel rather connected to the John Reynolds inscription on another wall that reads " I dont get your shit "... because this juxtaposition, of viewpoints and pricepoints, doesnt make sense - unless, of course, you let it.



" Neither of those things is more valuable than the other, in a way" Scrap explains. " Context is key. I want to provide a platform that draws things together and allows them to fit together , so that function as well as form can be celebrated. There should be no reason not to walk away with something that will add to your life. "


He doesnt want his ' name in lights' and instead is cherishing One as an opportunity to also showcase the myriad of innovative, interesting work being made by the friends and followers around him. Change is critical to this idea; there is nothing in the shop that cant be moved around, including light fittings and racks, meaning that the stage can shift and tilt to suit its contents. At present, in its initial phase, One will stay simple - lots of black and white and a little red - " severe and arresting" is how Scrap puts it. The purity of the space allows what's inside to speak for itself. Scrap's own line of mens and unisex clothing - no labels, clean lines, enough said - ties in seamlessly with the selection of recycled menswear he will sell under the name Mr. This in itself is a perfectly organic and logical idea that is absent from the current market ; everything's so ' latest thing' that it becomes hard to see the satorial wood for the trees.



" It's difficult to find the simple things" Scrap laments. " And something that has been overworked always looked overworked. The value of an object is in the idea, not the decoration ."

So he probably hates Christmas, and he's probably never been to St Lukes , but he's not a wanker about it either. There is nothing inaccessible, nothing cold and nothing smug about Scrap or what he's doing. The essence of One is an uncomplicated, authentic desire to make and share ideas both big and small , from the ridiculous to the sublime, from a beautiful form to a functional gem . They need more than cursory glances, these things called ideas, and with One, Scrap - with his busy mind and steady hand - has finally created the perfect nursery. It's enough to make you want to grow your own.

Terzann
Published in NO Magazine
Issue #10
June 2010
photograph; self portrait by Terzann Elliot

It's hard to believe there might be more than meets the eye when you talk to Terzann Elliott, because what meets the eye is surely more than enough.


With a face considered groundbreaking both here and abroad, she is a statuesque beauty ; the alabaster skin, the angles and eyes and endlessness of her marked New Zealand fashion's pages in wonderfully awkward way early on, and from her first stint as a model for Zambesi at 14, she went on to work for Issey Miyake in London and as a body double for Tilda Swinton in the film Narnia .
But it seems that dining out on these stories forever was a boring option for Elliott - on settling here once again, she had bigger and even braver ideas in mind.
While she is deeply grateful for the industry experience she's enjoyed , Terzann's list of life's highlights has broadened rather significantly. " Catching my first pig" is on the list now, along with " Skinning a rabbit with my bare hands, fighting fires blazing for 6 days on the mountains ( as a volunteer firefighter) , and the first time I got to take a ride in a helicopter… to dig up deep burning moss at the top of the mountains. Taking the horses swimming in the lake bareback, and galloping down the beach in a bikini to the pub for a beer. "

Multi talented ? Yes. Dumb? no. Elliott has applied her fearlessness and fascinations to a new project that brings fashion and art to the heart of, you didn't guess it, Kingston. Housed in an old petrol station on State Highway 6 near Queenstown , Mr So and So is a collaborative space in an isolated place.

" Ever since I was a child, Kingston was my paradise" she explains. " It is the middle of nowhere. I like that. Coming to Kingston is like saying 'step out of your world and into this one' - here, you are free from city judgement and perception, surrounded only by mountains and lake. It's like a hide out, you can be quiet here, or as loud as you like. I have been able to do so many things I only dreamed of, and things I would have never imagined I would do. "
The store is more than a store, and according to Elliott is more like an experiment that brings together an array of the weird and wonderful in an accessible, fun way . It houses clothing collections by co-owner Jane Sutherland , Terzann's own Lady Knuckles label and Auckland's A La Robe alongside hand picked treasures such as Curio Noir candles by Tiffany Jeans . Their website http://www.mrsoandso.net/ , brings the concept to life for the rest of the world and offers a personal made to measure service for most garments featured.

Elliott wants customers to feel interested and engaged when they visit, adding " I don't mind if they are bewildered - that's a response I often get from people trying to pay me for their petrol! I hope to encourage people to try something out of their usual, open their minds a little from the restrictions they often have on themselves. Sometimes you just have to explain clothing in a way that they can better understand it, how it should be worn. I want to take away the idea that one thing is for good, and another is to wear all the time - I think you should wear whatever you desire, at any time. I realise this takes courage .. I want people to rethink how they treat clothing - it is important, it is how you express yourself, how you feel comfortable, and how people see you without talking to you ..... It causes a reaction, and an attraction in people's minds. "

Elliott names her business partner Jane Sutherland as an inspiration, explaining that when they first met, Sutherland had ( God forbid ) never even heard of some of the big name fashion brands that Terzann would talk about . " To be that free, was what I was looking for myself." says Elliot. " Jane doesn't strike you as a typical fashion designer, mostly because she is not .. it was amazing to meet her and then to see what she was doing , unknown to most people in the community. She is a quiet achiever, almost totally under the radar .. I had all these ideas I wanted to get out of my head and no freedom to do it. I guess for her to have someone who understood her, and to encourage her, to have someone else that brought interesting ideas and insight to the table helped her see how her business could grow, and what an adventure we would have doing it. "

The partnership between Elliott and Sutherland, nudged along by Elliott's Mum and all their co-conspirators, has certainly provided adventure for all concerned . Each day is different and Elliott explains that she uses the store after hours as a space used for " facilitating random acts of creativity" - in other words, firing a whole lot of reality into a wealth of ideas and seeing what sticks. " Our entire ethos is based on making the make believe real" she says. "We didn't do it with millions of dollars in mind, we wanted a small beginning and the freedom to take it where ever we liked. The result of it's existence has shown us amazing things."

She hopes that there will be something for everyone inside the wonder of Mr So and So , from
" the lady who knows nothing about fashion brands who was looking for a bargain, to the truck driver who was just walking past to get a coffee and a pie from the dairy " ..... and all those in between. So come one, come all to Kingston - out of this world , and into that one .
ANTIPODIUM
Published in NO magazine
Issue # 10
June 2010


It's pretty annoying when you run into someone who's supposed to be good at one thing, and it turns out they're actually kind of good at a whole lot. Great for them, sure, but isn't one talent enough? I mean, multi talented really is a pretty big word. Talented is surely big enough.


However, you have to hand it to some people. The road to fashion hell is paved with 'good' designers - simply being good is not enough - but Geoffrey Finch and Ashe Foster are a duo who seem to have nailed the business nouse and the people skills that are necessary to balance creative ability in the world of fashion and be truly successful. It all came about when Foster and Finch, two Australians living in London, shared a cause; they wanted to bring the talents of home to Europe . A plan was hatched to " bring labels we loved over to where nobody had seen them before. "


This meant, originally, opening the Antipodium store, in Shoreditch, stocking the best Australian and New Zealand designers. Of their Australian background, Ashe explains ;" although this informs and influences the design, we see ourselves as a part of global culture. One of the best things is coming from a provincial outpost, to living right within the beating heart of fashion, and bringing something new to it. "

The shop was well received by its London clients but over time, both Finch and Foster saw a gap in the market they believed they could fill. So they produced a small collection of pieces themselves . It hit the shop floor running - being quickly spotted by British Vogue and bought to be stocked in Harvey Nichols and Liberty - not bad going considering Antipodium the collection was a self proclaimed ' side project' to the idea of Antipodium, the shop.

And the accolades didnt stop there - after realising where this could be headed, Finch and Foster found homes for their accounts, closed the shop and went out on their own. From business owners who were doing pretty well thanks, showcasing other peoples ideas, emerged an independent fashion label creating their own. Says Foster; " we were thrown in the deep end of the one part of the business we had very little experience in. We opened another office in Australia and roped in a new team there, and even though we had to learn a lot as we went along, found the label to be our new strength."

Creative director Geoffrey J Finch was launched as the " untrained design talent" , and the team continued in this new direction. "Antipodium managed to keep its identity through all this - and it has made us stronger".

Antipodium - clever name. Antipodes is what Northeners call Australia and New Zealand, an antipode is the direct opposite of something , and a podium is of course a ' small platform on which a person may stand to be seen by an audience.' It's also a word that just sounds good. Enough slick and just enough wacky.

A deep devotion to their roots was spelt out for their followers with their latest collection, Abfab, inspired by traditional aboriginal artists. Graphic prints feature that Finch and Foster chose not to download from cyberspace or copy from art books - they visited Geraldton and spent time with four contemporary aboriginal artists. Pattern and design are interpreted by Finch who is somehow grand as well as grounded - pieces from that collection include the ' walkabout' skirt and the ' outback' bodysuit.

Currently stocked worldwide and with a comprehensive website, the label produces things both easy to wear ( like a very good shirtdress in marle grey called the Hook-Up Dress ) as well as things to flaunt ( Up Chic Creek top) . They do a tailored pant well, which is not an easy thing to say. They also, by all accounts, throw a great party. Their offshoot ' No Romance ' gigs came about in an effort to reflect the feeling of Shoreditch; " Music, art and fashion all come together with a unique synergy" but with " a friendly, intimate vibe unlike other fashion parties." Sounds like a great night out.

They are mates with Beth Ditto and Alexa Chung, their design idols are Vivienne Westwood and Bernard Wilhelm , they have collaborated with P.A.M and Levis, they dont take themselves too seriously, and they cut a great frock. They are , in other words, verging on annoyingly cool - but they are a down to earth and funny pair. You can't help but like them. Of collaboration, Ashe says the process " brings new influences into the fold, it's always educational." The close knit way in which they work translates for Foster as " a multitalented way to work " . However you package it, Antipodium is an impressive story of success, sharp thinking ,and multi talents. Stocked here at Superette and online through http://www.antipodium.com/ .