Category Archives: fashion

DocEdge 19 | Buddy

Netherlands | 2018 | 86 min | Dutch | Heddy Honigmann

Buddy is a sensitive exploration of the relationship between service dogs and the people they are paired with. The film clearly illustrates the importance of the animal assistance, and the emotional support these dogs provide for their humans. These people suffer from physical disabilities ranging from blindness, mobility issues, degenerative and genetic disorders, through to PTSD and autism.

Heart-warming at times, the film takes on a fleeting darkness of tone when Trevor, a sufferer of PTSD, gives a brief recount of his experience as a soldier, and some harrowing events which may have contributed to his PTSD; in addition to this he also suffers from a degenerating physical disability on-set by stepping on a landmine during his service. You develop the distinct impression day-to-day life would not be manageable for Trevor without his service dog Mister.

Honigmann effectively communicates the significance of these dog/human partnerships, using measured pacing and background score, making Buddy a must-see for animal lovers.

Screenings: Auckland 5 June, 4.30PM & 8 June, 4.15PM at the Q Theatre; and Wellington 21 June, 4.30PM & 22 June, 2.15PM at The Roxy

The 14th DocEdge Festival takes place Auckland 30 May – 9 June and Wellington 13 – 23 June – www.docedge.nz

been | Here Lies Love

If you love live musical performances, then this is a show for you.

The life of Imelda Marcos is narrated through the operandi of music, thanks to the writing genius of David Byrne and Norman Cook (aka.Fatboy Slim).  Directed by Sophie Roberts and with musical direction by Robin Kelly.

The anticipation upon arrival was palpable, and the energy high, as one looked around the lofty quarters of the Rangatira stage, to see a sprinkling of ‘who’s-who’ in NZ TV, Music & Theatre.

The disco themed concept was evident and most welcomely embraced, from the slick and sequin clad 5-pieced band, to the elaborate and glistening staircase, which reflected the luminescent costumes of the show’s star divas.

Ethereal lighting and a gospel-inspired backdrop fall upon songstress Ria Hall, as she opens the stage with powerful and intoxicating vocals, followed by equally as alluring performances by: Villette Dasha, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Colleen Davis and Sarah Nessia.

The suave and polished band deserve a notable mention, with their acoustically flawless rendition of a concept most unusual,  keeping the heady disco rhythm shaking, to the very end ….  A standout for me in particular,  was the percussionist Antonio Karam, whose vivacity and mad musical ability had not only myself, mesmerized.

Conveying the remarkable rise (and subsequent fall) of such a politically controversial icon was never going to be an easy task.  Yet this unexpected collaboration from influential and allying artists (Byrne & Cook) combined with the stage and musical talent of our very own, individually successful artists –  ‘Here lies love’  is a production of great expectation and certain delivery.

By the end of the show, you will be literally dancing in your seats!

Here Lies Love is now showing over these following dates:
November 22 – December 08th
Rangatira @ Q

 

 

 

Been | Retail Therapy

Basement Theater’s Spring Season has sprung!  Most fittingly (excuse the pun) alongside Click-Clack Productions to present ‘Retail Therapy’.  An irreverent and laughter-packed debut by playwright Grace-Amelia Vernal set in the cut-throat, take-no-prisoners, superficial realm of retail.

A successful foray into theater, whilst under an internship at the Basement itself, Grace’s passion for all things thespian clearly shows through the play’s direction, comedic quality of script and a relatively freshman cast that includes:  Louisa Hutchinson as the dedicated & upstanding although somewhat awkward employee Nina, socially libertine makeup artist Mercy (Albertine Jonas), the artistic and decidedly non-camp Charlie (Stephen Lyell) with their bitch-from-hell colleague Vicky (Becky Button) and the store Don Juan, Darren (played by Dylan Thuraisingham).

Carefully placed and laundered shirt/coat/dress racks are in the forefront of the audience, and with the high-pitched positivity of a dept.store voice-over, subtle yet obvious, generic elevator music playing in the background throughout, a scene is set.  One that resonates an early popular UK television show, “Are You Being Served”.

A standout from the get-go, was the vivacious Mercy.  Her questionable work ethic and incorrigible ideas were played to perfection by Albertine Jonas, helping an initially slow story-line gather momentum.  Another highlight for me was the performance of Zoe Larsen Cumming, as she takes the self-obsessed, selfie-taking and utterly narcissistic character, ‘Stefani’ to another level.  A highly amusing and completely believable Kardashianesque level at that!

This play is brutally honest and funny with ‘on-point’ costume design and hysterical (however inappropriate) puns and references such as, ‘slutty toddler’ and ‘putting on the gay’ ….  The character of Holly & Grange’s store manager Stewart (Tim Herbert) is not to be outdone however, as his true and colourful identity is revealed in the 2nd act, after  a comedy of errors at a subsequent staff party, including a misappropriation of A-Class ‘breath mints’ …

Retail Therapy is a light-hearted, yet thoroughly encapsulating show, that delves into the trivial and often ridiculous working lives of it’s characters.  Entertaining and whimsical, the energy of it’s actors and quick interchanges between props and scenes, brings the story to life and keeps the drama going until the very end!

 

*** Retail Therapy is now showing at the Basement:                                                                                                                     Tues 18th – Sat 22nd September

 

NZFW 2018 | Rachel Mills

Rachel Mills opted to present her non-seasonal collection “Ongoing” in an installation similar to her presentation at last year’s New Zealand Fashion Week.

This year’s presentation though was a stripped down affair, with live music provided by the beautiful haunting voice of Lilly Carron. Held at The Studio section of the venue, chiffon drapes hung from the ceiling with a black and white film projection.

Walking around the installation, I encountered models languidly posing at each of the film projections. The collection felt really easy and effortless, the sort that you can slip in and out of without fuss. A muted color palette reinforced that ease within the collection.

What makes Mills’ work even more special is her use of dead-stock and organic fabrics. This does limit the types of silhouettes you can achieve with it but Mills’ pushes herself to create covetable pieces; some which feature a wrap and tie style giving you the option to wear it in more ways than one. Utilising fabric selvedges in her garments, Mills reinforces her sustainable approach by limiting her textile waste.

Embracing a non-seasonal approach Mills wants her pieces to stand the test of time. Ongoing is now available for pre-order.

Images by Phil Walter/Getty Images

been | The launch & pop up of Invis-Able

We meet one of New Zealand’s most unique fashion labels to launch this year… Introducing, Invis-Able, a label dedicated to making high quality, ‘topsy-turvy’ unisex garments full of fine details and hidden features.

Creator and designer, Marc Jun plays a game of ‘hide-and-seek’ with wearers, whilst creating a versatile garment.  Find hidden pockets and zips or buttons that connect to nowhere, removable sleeves, sweaters disguised as jackets, and trench coats that are reversible.  This is like the Winchester Mystery House… of fashion.

I had the pleasure of meeting Marc at his Auckland pop-up located in Ponsonby Central.

Q: Where did Invis-Able come from?

A: I wanted to create a New Zealand based clothing label that re-imagine and creates wearable unisex garments. My aim is to design with unique details to enhance the options and versatility of your wardrobe. My work is deeply inspired by invisible things in life such as one’s thoughts, feelings, words and experience; these are the things that define who we are, and we are all different. Invis-Able is an expression of the invisible, to make it or us Able to be seen, that’s where the name comes from.

Q: What is your current collection about?

A: ’What Fakes Me Happy’ started when I asked myself “What makes me happy?” And I quickly found that ‘things’ that often entertain us and make us happy are short term. Material items or meaningless relationships are satisfying at first but are costly to maintain, the initial happiness will wear away. Instant gratification for long term happiness is fake and unrealistic. I express this in the details and functionality of my garments and challenge the wearer’s “ideal reality”. Just like a playful game of ‘hide and seek’ – you will find all the unexpected features and hidden details. Invis-Able Fakes You Happy!

Q: Describe your aesthetics/style in a few words…

A:  Clean cut, refined, stand out multi-functional unisex wear.

Q: What is your colour palette?

A: Monotone – Black, greys and currently dark green.

Q: Who’s been your most influential designer?

A: Kris Van Assche

Q: What is the ‘must have’ out of your collection?

A: The reversible trench coat

Q: Describe the type of person who’d wear your clothing…

A: Young, 20’s to 30’s working professionals. People whom often transitions from work to going out and seeks trendy and versatile wear, suitable for day and night, serious or play.

Q: Name three celebrities you’d like to see wearing your brand…

A: G-Dragon (Big Bag), Kris Van Assche & ASAP Rocky

Q: Where do you imagine Invis-Able in 10 years?

A: I would love to see my brand everywhere in the world, a global brand.

Head along to Invis-Able’s pop up store to meet Marc and nab yourself 20% Off everything. Be quick, it ends this Sunday! Located opposite Bird On A Wire inside Ponsonby Central. Open from 9am till 6pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

|           www.invis-able.com           |           Invis-Able on Instagram           |

 

Doc Edge 18 | Whispering Truth To Power

South Africa, Netherlands | 2018 | 88 min | English, Sotho, Zulu | Shameela Seedat

“Whispering truth to Power”.  Never a truer word uttered and straight from the film’s main protagonist’s mouth – Thuli Mandosela.  South Africa’s first female Public Protector and direct opposer to the deception and inequity that ran rife within the country’s ruling and democratically elected power under the Zuma administration.

Shameela Seedat (filmmaker and human rights lawyer) produces and directs this film, as she follows Thuli throughout her tenure as ‘Protector of the Public’.  Beginning with initial investigations during her earlier days in office, as she leads a case into alleged corruption, involving President Zuma and a questionably large sum of state funds (246 million Rand to be precise) used in security upgrades to his home in Nkandla, Kwa-Zulu Natal.

His definitively unapologetic and vitriolic response to these allegations, clearly demonstrated the lack of justice that is still prevalent in South Africa,  even decades after apartheid.

The documentary traces back to the Mandela years and the subsequent release of political prisoners in 1990.  Of which Thuli Mandosela had been an active underground member, before they became the ruling party in 1994.  Following thus, her 7 year term in 2004.

It also references the disenfranchised town of Bapong – North West South Africa, and the millions that they stood to gain in mining rights after 1994, but yet to experience any direct benefit into their community, from these supposedly vast profits.

“Corruption derails efforts to improve the quality of life for everyone”  (Thuli Mandosela).

An extremely articulate, well-educated and softy spoken woman,  yet with an innate power within.  Thuli Mandosela proves she is not a person to back down, even when those in power try to denounce the honesty and transparency of her findings.  Case in point; when President Jacob Zuma, with his air of invincibility along with his supporters, try to derail her work.  Using suggestions of association with the ‘White Monopoly Capital” in attempt to deflect the focus from his own scandalous business associations

Thuli is dedicated to her career and to her calling, in a country where the basic needs of it’s people are barely met; food, housing and education.  Accountability is pivotal to her position and the respect that she coincidentally gains is evident, when towards the end of her term, there is a fear among it’s less fortunate citizens, that their personal plight/cases will not be fairly heard without her representation.  Considering the strained history of this country and the continuing social and racial prejudice, theirs is an anxiety that one can vehemently understand.

‘Whispering Truth To Power’  also provides us with a glimpse into her family life; and her children Wantu and Wenzile.  Allowing them to describe their own perception of their mother and the incredible media interest that she holds to the public, as well as how  that impacts them personally.   It also touches on Thuli’s own self-image as a youth and her somewhat blighted perception, to how she perceives herself now …

Moments of humour are felt when her son Wantu and friend laughingly joke about his mother’s soft demeanor and loll voice, the film then also delves into her own daughter’s interest in politics and her opinions regarding this.  A subject very relevant to the foundations of this film, as it outlines the racial conflict still prevalent in universities today in South Africa, regarding inequality and the right to free education for it’s people.

The film then leads us into the final days of Mandosela’s term as ‘Protector of the Public’.  The highly anticipated and publicized release of her ‘Legacy Report’ (also know as the ‘State of Capture’ report).  Emotions are high, as is the social and political unrest of the country.

Those who are abreast of the political status of South Africa, will be aware that this report led to the inexorable resignation of President Jacob Zuma.  Yet the film is necessary to understand the absence of morality in many of our political constitutions today, and the importance of women in power, like Mandosela, in exposing the criminal activity within a corrupt parliament, and in turn bringing justice back to it’s country’s people without violence and without threat.

“Corruption is a cancer that erodes everything that is good”. (Thuli Mandosela).

***4 Stars!

‘Whispering Truth To Power’ –  is showing at the following times in Auckland as part of the Doc Edge Festival 2018:

Loft / Sat 26 May, 9:30PM
Rangatira / Sun 27 May, 9:45AM

 

 

interviewed | Night Vale’s Tamika Flynn

Welcome to Night Vale, is a podcast, presented as a radio show, reporting on the strange events that occur in the fictional town of Night Vale.  Their latest show All Hail, a live incarnation of Welcome to Night Vale, is touring Auckland and Wellington this January. All hail is a stand-alone story for long-time fans and newcomers, featuring the fan favourite character, the Glow Cloud.  We chat to Symphony Sanders who plays Tamika Flynn in Welcome to Night Vale

What will fans of Night Vale expect from All Hail?
A fun and interactive night full of laughs, emotion, and music with some of their favorite characters !

Can you tell us what doesn’t happens to The Glow Cloud in All Hail?
The glow cloud doesn’t completely destroy the town.

How do you choose the music for the shows?
Our show musician and production director Jon Bernstein chooses and plays the ambient underscore during the show. While our weather artist choose a set to open for the show and another song to perform during the show to compliment the script!

Who has been the best guest star performer you’ve worked with?
We have so many wonderful guest stars but one of my favorite people to have with us is Hal Lublin who plays Steve Carlsberg. He is a talented, hilarious actor and improviser. He is just a sweetheart of a person

Do you record each podcast in one take or multiple takes?
It usually requires a couple of takes to perfectly record an episode and to try a few different options for the guys to choose from when editing!

How do you choose your ‘weather’ for each podcast episode?
That decision is up to Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor.

What is the next story line for Night Vale?
You’ll have to wait and see.

Finally, if you had to sell the All Hail show to a non night vale fan …. how would you go about it?
It’s a funny, weird, and touching show about a town where strange things happen when a omniscient glow cloud takes over and it features mind control, group chanting, and, you might have to hold a strangers hand.

Welcome to Nightvale takes place in Wellington on Tuesday 30 January and Auckland on Wednesday 31 January.  Click here for more information and tickets.