Tag Archives: Auckland

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           |

 

been | World Press Photo Exhibition 2018

The World Press Photo Exhibition is currently showing in Auckland’s CBD, and travelling curator Yi Wen Hsia has accompanied this very special collection of photography. The exhibit has a running theme encapsulating current political, social and socio-economic commentary, and is quite fearless in it’s mission. Simultaneously it feels like a very intimate collection, and all the works communicate together in unity and harmony, intensifying the effect.
A large portion of the work on display touches on some very real, confronting subject matter. Simultaneously, you’ll find yourself walking through the exhibit in awe, much of it captivating and beautiful in it’s simplicity.
I’d highly recommend taking up the opportunity to see this exhibition in person while it’s still here in Auckland – it’s a worthwhile event, which will likely leave the viewer a changed person.
Smith & Caughey’s Building
Level 6, 253-261 Queen Street
Auckland
 30 June – 29 July 2018
 $15 Weekdays/ $20 Weekends; $10 students with valid ID
Hours:
Mon – Wed     9.30am – 6.30pm
Thur – Fri        9.30am – 9.00pm
Sat                    10.00am – 6.00pm
Sun                   10.30am – 5.30pm
Rotary Club of Auckland are proudly bringing this fantastic exhibition to Auckland. All profits
going towards their supported charities. 

interviewed | Bringing the gift of laughter, joy, and Bon Qui Qui to New Zealand…

Eleven years ago, the world was given a gift… that gift was Bon Qui Qui, a disgruntled fast food employee with no filter. It’s a gift that keeps on giving for Anjelah Johnson, the American actress, comedian, and former NFL cheerleader who created and brought the character to life.

Bon Qui Qui has since been enjoyed and replicated by over 80 million people worldwide and she has a hit album on Warner Bros. Records titled, Gold Plated Dreams, which Anjelah has toured twice, selling out both times.

“Everyone wants to hear from Bon Qui Qui and you know what, I’m honoured because not every comic gets that. Not every comic has something that’s resonated with so many people who will come to your show because they want to hear that, because they saw it online or whatever.

“I present the joke as a thank you gift at the end of my live shows; I’m done with the joke but the people aren’t and that’s what matters.”

Johnson describes herself as an observational storyteller who connects with her audience relationally.

“I like to tell stories about things that have happened in my life and in my relationships, and I like to connect with my crowd and relate to them – I think the best way to do that is relationally. We’re all going to have different opinions on things, however, most of us have relationships in our life. We all do. Whether it’s relationships with our parents, with our spouse, our boyfriend/girlfriend, with our co-workers, whoever – you definitely have relationships. I love to connect with people and relate to them on something we can all identify with and that’s typically relationships. I’m observational about what I see in society and then talk about it relationally.”

Generally, that doesn’t mean a lot of improv during her live shows.

“I know a lot of comedians that do crowd work, where most of their act is from the crowd in the moment. I definitely have my stories that I tell about my life and there’ll be some moments where I’ll connect with the audience and be like, I do this, does anybody else?

“I like to remind the crowd that this is a conversation I’m having with them; we’re all in this together.”

Sometimes though, things don’t always go to plan. Every comedian has a day or a show where the audience just isn’t buying what they’re selling.

“I feel like that doesn’t go away. As successful as you get, I still hear stories from my friends that some shows are so fire and other shows, the energy is just kind of low and there isn’t really a rhyme or reason for it.

“Everybody in your audience is different and they’ve all had a different day – one may have just been fired, another found out their sick, or somebody just broke up with their boyfriend. Whatever it is, you have no idea what each individual is going through and I’m a firm believer in energy and vibe in the room.

“I feel like people with strong energy can dictate the room. If you have somebody coming in with mounds of joy and excitement and they’re just happy, that will shift a room. But then, you’ll get some people with dark energy; they’re having a bad day and that will shift the room too.

“You can do your material and you can do your crowd work, but if they’re just having a bad day, they’re having a bad day, and you do your best to bring joy to them. It might not be the level 10 laugh, it may be the level 7 because that’s all they’re capable of giving you that day.”

Anjelah has to be doing something right; she’s appeared in huge commercial campaigns for the likes as Visa and Snickers, has guest-starred on TV shows The Shield, Ugly Betty and Curb Your Enthusiasm and her film credits include Our Family Wedding, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Enough Said, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, and Mom’s Night Out.

During her first visit to Australia, she sold out her 2014 Melbourne International Festival season and she regularly sells out comedy shows across the US. And if that’s not enough, she has so far released four hugely successful one-hour comedy specials on Netflix and Hulu.

With such an impressive CV and busy schedule, what gets her out of bed in the morning?

“Different things to be honest – it depends on what I have going on in my life and where I’m at. If I have a lot on my mind, the pressure wakes me up in the morning. In the calmer season, when there aren’t a lot of deadlines, I feel like what wakes me up in the morning is hope for the day.

“I prefer sunrises to sunsets because to me, a sunset, although beautiful, signifies the end and it’s the end of the day, it’s time for rest… but the sunrise, it’s so hopeful. It’s like, you have the whole day to go for your dreams; you have the whole day to achieve something you never thought you’d achieve; you have the whole day to take a risk and go for it.

“That’s what gets me up in the morning – I’m like, wow, I have the whole day to try and do something amazing with my life and that’s what fuels me….. As long as I’m not super stressed out!”

And on that note, here’s what she has to say to her fans in New Zealand:

“I am very excited to come down and meet you and perform for you. I can’t wait to bring this gift of laughter and joy and I hope that this joy just marinates in your home and infiltrates the land. Not to say you don’t already have it, it will be extra joy on top of what you already have. I hope I am able to come and just leave this gift of laughter and joy with you.

“Also, I’m starting out my tour in New Zealand and it’s downhill from there because I’m going back to Australia! So please, come out and share the laughter with me in August.”

 

In 2013, Anjelah reprised her role as her MADtv character Bon Qui Qui for a skit released by Alexander Wang:

Don’t miss your chance to see Anjelah Johnson performing Anjelah Johnson Live for one night only at Auckland’s SkyCity Theatre on Sunday 12 August. Buy your tickets here.

interviewed | Sananda Chatterjee for Dara

Throwing both light and darkness on a crucial moment in world history, the acclaimed Prayas Theatre Company stages a battle for succession that cuts right to the heart of what it means to be devout, with the magnificently ambitious and highly affecting epic DARA.

With over a decade with Prayas, Sananda Chatterjee has seen it all. Starting off as an unsuspecting usher, her love for storytelling has seen her progress from Usher to Director. We spoke to her ahead of Prayas Theatre Company’s latest production, DARA – on at Tapac until Sunday 24 June.

Tell us about your journey starting as an usher to becoming a director…
I was helping out Prayas with the ushering because I was told I had to. Amit Ohdedar, who is a founding member, the President and my co-director on this one, is a family friend, so my parents happily volunteered me and my siblings for the role. I got a real taste for the stories that were being told and started wishing that I had more to do with them, curious about the making of it. After ushering for a couple of seasons (2005 & 2006), I went on to become the AD and Stage Manager (and costume designer!) for the 2007 production of The Terrace and 11 years on, the rest, as they say, is history!

Have you always wanted to be a director?
No, not until I started working as an AD, did I get the taste for it. I have always wanted to be a storyteller – it has always been my passion, my addiction. I started by writing, you know when you are younger, you paraphrase your favourites, and palm it off as your own, not understanding plagiarism? I did that with some Edgar Allan Poe stories, the one I remember most clearly being gripped with, was the Tell-Tale Heart. Anyway, that eventually gave way to short stories and poetry. Poetry is my favourite form of storytelling. I get obsessed with phrases or images. I guess the images, lent itself to theatre too. When I was younger, i wanted to tell stories through journalism, but I quickly discovered that you couldn’t really embellish those stories, that was more factual and reporting (I wish I was aspiring to be a journalist in the Fake News era, I would have fit right in!), then I quickly lost interest! Now I tell stories through theatre, to elicit a reaction. I love directing now, I don’t know how I ever lived without it!

What’s been your most memorable production and why?
Oh, toughie! I am curious, so I loved shadowing people as their AD, so whenever I work with other directors, I love it. I am a sponge, having not gone to school for performing arts (except the Dramatic School of Life). I have loved working with autonomy as well! I enjoy bringing elements I enjoy watching and being immersed in pop culture, onto stage through what I do! Couldn’t isolate one for you!

What can you tell us about Dara? Is it suited to mainly an Indian audience or have you adapted it to a broader audience?
What can I tell you about Dara… it is an epic, period drama! If you understand politics of power and religion, you will have no trouble in understanding the play. I think of myself as a child of the global economy, of universal sensibilities & culture, so the work will never be isolationist! The script was performed by the National Theatre in the UK, we have used the same one. I am confident that it will lend itself to a wide range of audience, no matter what their ethnic or cultural background.

What about the music and the costumes?
The music is influenced by the music of the period – taking notes from Sufi, Hindustani Classical and Persian. It also has accents from a variety of Indian instruments to accentuate moods and evoke feelings. There are also some original compositions from our amazing group of musicians, who happen to be performing before the show on the Saturday nights! We are so lucky at Prayas to have an in house band!
The costumes are special. We have gone for a unique overall design. I don’t want to give too much away, but we have had to evoke an era and a feeling without blowing the budget. It is also a medium of that visual storytelling in the play.

Who have you cast and why?
We have open auditions for every show, a call goes out, and basically, we decide how the show will look based on who turns up! We have managed to build up a company of performers and production crew over the last 13 years we have been in operation, and every year we gain more and more performers. We try to match everyone up based on ability, and experience. The people are passionate and come from all walks of life, they give up their time, weekends, post work.

How is this production different to other productions Prayas has done?
Well, for one it is historical epic! We haven’t done one of those before. It is Prayas’ biggest undertaking in years, more daring than we have ventured into before, including some kick-ass fight choreography from Alexander Holloway, fresh from the Pop Up Globe. I am way too excited to see it in the space myself, it is one of those plays!

Why should we go and see Dara?
Dara will be as much entertaining, as educational. If religion and the politics of power is your thing, you will like Dara. If you like escapism and a good spectacle, you will like Dara. If you, like me, are entrenched in pop culture, you will like Dara. If you like Shakespeare, you will like Dara. If you like learning about world history, and things that have shaped the present of the world’s largest democracy, you will like Dara. If you like to see how global cultures are able to shape people, and how family dynamics shape personalities, you will like Dara!

Prayas are committed to taking audiences beyond cultural notions of Bollywood and butter chicken. With DARA, they take the audience right into the centre of history: the world of the largest, powerful and by far the richest empire of the world at the time. See DARA at TAPAC from Thursday 14 June – Sunday 24 June.  Buy your tickets here.

interviewed | Yorick!’s Oliver Delvin

Q Theatre’s Matchbox Season returns in 2018 with Binge Culture’s, Yorick!. Promising to be an experimental, totally unique, and hilarious show about death… as well as a full-on musical with stunning design.

Yorick! is reinventing Macbeth as you know it.

We chat to Music Composer and Performer, Oliver Delvin, ahead of the Auckland Matchbox Season.

What is your role in Yorick!?
I am the musical composer and musician character “Oli” in Yorick!.

How are you preparing for it?
Well, we’ve made all the tunes and just finished our paper tech and packed everything up ready to go to Auckland. So right now I’m doing some much-needed laundry, doing some polishing of the backing tracks, practicing my 5 lines and preparing a few little surprises.

Can you tell us more about the music of Yorick! – have you composed original songs?
The songs, just like the rest of the show, were devised collaboratively. The cast was given provocations, I played some piano and they improvised lyrics and tunes to what I was playing. I took those improvs and shaped them into the musical theatre song form we were going for, and then gave them to Jake Baxendale who arranged them for his hot band of Jazz cats who we’ve recorded into this beautiful backing. In the show, it’s just me on stage playing piano and the cast singing.

Are you a fan of Shakespeare? Do you have a favourite character or play?
I would say I am a keen theatre-goer. I was lucky enough to be taught Shakespeare all the way through high school so feel comfortable enough going to a show. My favourite has definitely been the Bright Orange Walls production of Midsummer Night’s Dream that was put on in the NZ Fringe in 2014. Also, favourite film/stage adaptation/reimagining would have to be West Side Story – huge fan.

You’re a busy man, in addition to your theatre work, you’re also part of a band, Hans Pucket – can you tell us more about that?
We’re a guitar pop band, making pretty thoughtful and sometimes pretty emo songs you can dance to, and we’ve just released our debut album Eczema. You can get it on cassette!

Where would we find you on a Friday night?
If I’m not at a gig or rehearsal, at home making a meal with some friends and probably watching a movie.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Joel has been picking us up to go out to Avalon at 8:00 so I gotta be up! When we’re not doing this my girlfriend works 9 to 5 so I get up when she gets up otherwise I just feel stink. I keep pretty with music and theatre so there’s usually a reason to get out of bed. And when I’m not busy like – oh boy – when all this is over, there’s nothing wrong with having some much-needed rest – am I right?

What’s currently trending for you?
Westworld season 2 is giving me my TV fix. Also, I’ve gotten really into whiskey this year – nothing fancy, just on ice in the evening. Also would love to spend some more time with Samin Nosrat’s cookbook Salt Fat Acid Heat. Music-wise I am overwhelmed with the good local stuff that’s come out this year: Womb, Onono, Girlboss, The Beths, Wax Chattels, Estère, Dateline, Being, and Kody and Ruben Neilson obviously forever – great to see them playing together again in UMO.

Catch Oliver Delvin in Yorick! – playing at Q Theatre Tuesday 12 June – Saturday 23 June.  Buy tickets here.

been | Hopeless Fountain Kingdom Tour

Last night, Spark Arena hosted Halsey’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom Tour, with special guest Kehlani.

It was clear to see how this was Kehlani’s third visit in 6 months; New Zealand is definitely not bored of Kehlani and it didn’t look like they would be anytime soon. With her fair share of fans in the audience, she was greeted with raucous rapture. Singing her chart topping tracks, she entertained the crowd her Distraction, CRZY, and Good Life.

With her enigmatic stage presence, she hypnotised the crowd with her sultry voice and sexy moves. It was perhaps her cover of Into You (Fabolous ft. Tmia) that was the most memorable, she performed with such finesse, I preferred her version to the original.

For 23 year old artist , Kehlani performed like a stage veteran, giving us a memorable performance. She also addressed her devoted LGBTQ fans; telling them not to change who they are and to be proud. A fitting message considering this week’s news stories. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw her back here again within the next six months.

Now onto the headliner for the night.

Halsey had a plan for her Kiwi fans last night; it was to make sure everyone was having a great time. A plan she executed meticulously.

Halsey graced the stage as a silhouette hiding behind a great white sheet. As soon as she began singing the first verse of Eyes Closed, the sheet was pulled down and she commanded the stage.

Donning a sparkly spandex leotard, accessorised with a headpiece that can only be described as a glittered thin, translucent balaclava, she performed her next three singles with finesse. Amidst her set, she performed a piano version of Closer (by the Chainsmokers). Towards the end of her set, she surprised the crowd, by jumping off stage and walking the perimeter of the arena floor.

Her show and performance was nothing short of electric. She had iridescent visuals, accompanied with lighting, flames and CO2 cannons; and as the crescendo of the show, confetti bombs to end a memorable performance.

Halsey’s true talent as a vocal artist was showcased at the concert. Her vocal range was diverse and unique. Her stage presence is also unique. At point one of the show, Halsey and her dancer jumped into a shallow water pit, kicking water in the crowd, whilst visually stunning, may not have been enjoyed by the security team in front of the stage. Her story telling skills gave context to the chart topping hits she performed.

Despite being 23, Halsey performed put on a show like those with 20 years of performing experience. For Helsey’s first performance in New Zealand, she’s left the crowd wanting more and will be sure to sell out her next tour here.

A post shared by macandmae (@macandmae) on

SFS | 5 mins with Milly Tabak

The Miltones front-woman Milly Tabak took a break from writing her bluesy folk-rock ballads to chat with us about her band’s upcoming summer festival debut at WOMAD. You can also find them this summer at MarchFest in Nelson.

 

 

Describe your perfect summer music festival in three words

Mud, friends, dancing

Name the top three artists who would make up your ideal festival line-up

The Guess Who, Fleetwood Mac and Janis Joplin

What are you looking forward to most about playing the summer festival circuit?

Showcasing some of the new music we’ve been working on. I locked myself away this summer to write about some stuff I’ve been going through and it’s finally at the stage where I can share it with everyone!

In your opinion, what’s this year’s Summer Anthem?

All the Young Girls Love Alice – Elton John, always.

Out of all your tunes, which one is the one that ‘never fails’?

Gypsy Queen is always a crowd favourite.

What’s are the top 3 tracks on your Spotify playlist?

Nothings Wrong – Haim
Depths – Yumi Zouma
Outstanding – The Gap Band

What’s your personal ‘guilty pleasure’ track

I have sooo many!
That Don’t Impress Me Much – Shania Twain
Ignition – R. Kelly
Ride Wit Me – Nelly

What’s your social media of choice?

Instagram – I’m constantly deleting it off my phone so it doesn’t take over my life. I’m addicted to #cakeporn.

Who do you follow and where?

Anika Moa on Instagram because she’s a funny bitch! I even followed her all the way to America last month to attend the International Folk Alliance in Kansas and she had me in tears the entire time.

What’s your go-to festival outfit?

Anything by the amazing Brook Tyson. Her creations make me feel like a goddess! She’s actually just finished two new pieces for me to rock on stage at WOMAD!

Word association:

  • Music – Life
  • Festival – Dancing
  • Camping – New Years
  • Fashion –  @brooketysonnz
  • Roadie – Singing

Returning for it’s 14th year at the stunning TSB Bowl of Brooklands and Brooklands Park in New Plymouth, WOMAD New Zealand is a celebration of music, arts and dance from around the globe. Buy your tickets here.