27.9.14

HAYDEN COX INTERVIEW | HAYDENSHAPES x ALEXANDER WANG #THECAGE22 | i-D MAGAZINE



No doubt by now, you would've seen the cool marble surfboards Alexander Wang released as an installation in his New York Flagship Store, which is now in his Tokyo Flagship store. Named #TheCage22 Installation, the surfboards were exclusively co-created in collaboration with Australian surfboard brand Haydenshapes. Although the boards are not for sale, you can purchase similar ones on the Haydenshapes website here

I had the chance to interview Hayden Cox, the founder of Haydenshapes to chat about surf culture and how this collaboration came about. My piece is now up on i-D Magazine online (here) and below are some outtakes taken at his home in Venice Beach, LA by my friend Mel Tjoeng and the Jaws inspired video they created, plus the surfboard installation.

14.9.14

GENERAL PANTS CO. SWIMWEAR LAUNCH | WATER SLIDE SHOW


Winter has come to an end and although I do prefer the colder weathers, Spring and Summer brings a ray of sunshine and happiness to everyone's faces. This week, I was invited to General Pants Co.'s launch of their exclusive swimwear ranges arriving in stores. There was wet and wild show where models playfully slid down a giant inflatable water slide and basically it was a reminder that if you haven't already got your summer body ready, its probably time to. But, it also reminded us of the fun adventures and outfits the warmer weather brings, like beach parties, outdoor pools parties or festivals and I can't wait! 

Check out some of the exclusive ranges including Stussy, Insight, Evil Twin, One Teaspoon and more at General Pants Co. Online. Here are some snaps I took from the show!
      

18.8.14

ANDY BULL'S NEW ALBUM SEA OF APPROVAL


Alt-Pop artist Andy Bull has one of those voices that makes you fixated to it's ambiguity. Andy's new album, Sea Of Approval is an exploration of the irony in life and being an artist. When listening to his lyrics there is a relatable feeling. Ideas of uncertainty, identity and approval resonate in his tracks, like "Keep On Running", "Talk Too Much" or "Baby I Am Nobody Now" and the obsession to be 'liked' in our world of social media is depicted in "Loved Like You." 

Admitting that he's not entirely the most comfortable with self promotion, I had a chance to chat to Andy about his new album and his involvement in Telstra's Road To Discovery program. Telstra's Road To Discovery is a competition program that help independent and unsigned artists to establish themselves in the music industry with mentoring, advice, recording, touring and much more! You can enter at telstra.com/trtd.

Also, you can read my consolidated interview piece on THUMP (here) where Andy and I talk more about his transition into electronic production, his experience with Kayne, how Sia is an extreme version of himself and his thoughts on the new wave of bedroom beat-makers like Flume and Chet Faker, plus explaining how a tweet from Megan Washington lead her to star in the "Talk Too Much" video clip.
 
Photos taken by me at the Telstra's Road To Discovery 2014 Launch

Hey Andy, how does it feel to finally be releasing a new album with fresh material?
It's a mix of things - relief, excitement and ambivalence, all of it really! It's sort of like interacting publicly again. I've recorded a lot of music over the past year but didn't release it. It's different and nice. I'm not completely comfortable with some of the self promotion aspects of it. For the music, it's kind of like when you finish a project and you want to keep fixing it and working on it to make it better. But a mix of feelings.

You've produced the whole album yourself. What's it like? 
Doing it all yourself gives a kind of freedom and greater responsibility. I found it quite challenging doing it all on my own but the advantage is when you're in a room on your own you are clearly aware of what your bad habits and weaknesses are. It forces you to ask questions like, why I am doing this, since there's no one else making me do it. Also, because there's no one there, all the answers have to come from you and how you want to produce it. Production is partly a practical thing like planning things in and organising time. Then there's the creative as well, like thinking about the creative ideas behind the project. Doing it all myself forces me to face up to myself and didn't allow me the luxury of deferring or blaming someone else. But it was good. I think it should be something everyone should do, just to be alone and be honest with themselves. It's healthy but it's kind of confronting working on your own as well.

You seem quite philosophical and a little sombre in your new album, especially with some of the lyrics. 
Yea, I would say that over the course of working on this particular record, I've tried to honestly engage more with some of those feelings, like feelings in myself that are kind of circumspect or somber or just maybe taking the rose coloured sunglasses off for a bit and being a bit more, what I at least for the moment think, realistic about what life is. Life is, from what I understand, mostly disappointment, failure and everything like that, but that's kind of okay too. Music is a good way of taking events or experiences that you might have otherwise just considered as an outright loss, and turning them into something nice or good. Although, you can see pain in that as well. There's no aspect of life that doesn't have a kind of sombreness to it.

If you could create your own Andy Bull universe, what would it be like? 
Man who knows! I feel like I sort of was in my own Andy Bull universe for the past year (writing the album). Umm…hopefully it would be a very peaceful and gentle place where no one would try to prove any points. It would be a world without extremism of any kind. It would be a world, that would have change a lot. I reckon that's key. A universe that's in constant flux.

You've conducted master classes with Telstra's Road To Discovery. How important do you think programs like this are for young musicians starting out? 
Good question! I didn't do anything like this myself when I was starting out, which I would have benefitted from and I possibly had a comparatively narrow experience. I think if you started performing from the suburbs or a country town, it's really hard to come to the city. A lot of kids I have met moved from more regional areas to places like Sydney or Melbourne and it's quite hard to quickly adjust and understand how things operate, like who is who and how to play shows. There's so much knowledge that you don't just get on arrival. I think any program that provides an environment where people are able to share their experiences without a vested economic interest is good. Like, I'm not their record company, I don't necessarily care what they do stylistically or anything like that. I just want to talk and share experiences. Any environment like that, where people can share experiences without there being an economic interest or commercial imperative to their success, is worth while. You get more genuine shared experience and not guidance that might not be appropriate. The potential for something like this is really good.

For new listeners of your music, how would you describe it in 3 words?
Hmm…let me think about this. There's song on the album called Something I Guess. I feel like I can explain it that way. Something I Guess.

Having signed to US record label Republic Records just last year, will we be expecting tours in US for you soon? 
We will see. I'm just taking it one step at a time and seeing if people are interested. I mean, I'd like to go all over the place but I feel like I'm going to leave it to the people to decide.
 

MONTBLANC | BLACK & WHITE EVENT 2014



Montblanc was founded over a hundred years ago and is known today for their iconic writing instruments. The craftsmanship reflects the highest of quality and made to pass on for generations with a timeless design. Montblanc explains that writing instruments are an extension of one's character and I couldn't agree more. From a young age, many of us learnt to write in print then in cursive and we all uniquely have different styles with individual personality. 

Over the years, Montblanc has also released accessories and leather goods. I was invited to view their new collection launch including the celebration of 90 years of its iconic Meisterstück Collection, which ranks as the world's most famous luxury icons. Here are some snaps from the Sydney showcase!
 

21.6.14

PHFAT | LIGHTS OUT AUSTRALIAN TOUR OUTTAKES | INTERVIEW FEATURED ON THUMP



A few weeks ago I interviewed PHFAT, a two piece electronic rap group from South Africa, who is also their countries biggest independent rap act. They came down to Australia for a self-funded tour, promoting their latest electronic rap fuelled single Lights Out feat. JungFreud. We chatted about them being Puma ambassadors and how it has been a launch pad for their them and also how changes in the group has effected their music making process, plus everything in between. 

My full interview feature piece is up on VICE's new electronic music and culture platform - THUMP. Read it HERE!

Here are some additional snaps I took of them whilst they were in Australia and a video from the interview!
 

31.5.14

UNIKKO 50TH ANNIVERSARY | MARIMEKKO SYDNEY


The iconic Unikko flower pattern which was born in 1964, was kind of a reaction by designer Maija Isola against Marimekko founder, Armi Ratia who decided to never produce flower prints again. However, Isola's designs were so graphically distinct, Ratia fell in love and included them in Marimekko's collections and has now famously become a symbol of Marimekko.

The other week, I was invited to the 50th Anniversary of Unikko, held at Sydney's Marimekko store with Sha'an and Al. Every corner was filled with hundreds of vibrant and colourful Unikko motif. I will admit that I only learnt about the history of such a familiar pattern after attending the party, but the graphic sits vividly in my mind, somehow, somewhere - in my dreams, in my grandmother's wardrobe or kitchen? I don't know, but definitely a radiant impression.
 

10.5.14

WRANGLER SUN CHASER CHALLENGE | CHASING THE SUN


Photos by Alexander Kalyk

For the past three weeks, Wrangler has been running a photo competition, encouraging people to take photos and sharing them on Instagram. Every week, a theme is set and prizes are given away. For their final week of the competition this week, the theme was 'Chase The Sun' and I decided to enter it! 

These are some shots of me taken by Al, at Bronte as the sun was setting. What we wanted to captured, was the idea of chasing the last bit of sun before it set into the evening.

 You can still enter before it ends this week so, check out their websiteFacebook page here for more details and hashtag #WranglerSunchaser to see other entries!

 Wearing: Wrangler Strangler Sonic Black Jeans | Wrangler Massacre Denim Trucker Jacket | Palladium Shoes | Beanie & Top Unknown


9.5.14

LENOVO THINKPAD YOGA | BAG OF TRICKS



Remember the other week when I received the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga to play with? Well, I decided to take photos of the it and create a little GIF art file. The concept was simple. I wanted to showcase in this moving image, the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga's portability, 360 degree flip and it's different modes. In case you hadn't read my previous post, it has a cool 4 different changeable modes - the Laptop, Stand, Tablet and Tent mode. It's like a bag of tricks! I also found out that it's quite durable as well, with magnesium-alloy frame and heavy-duty, scratch- and smudge-resistant glass display. In addition, it was interesting to discover that the ThinkPad Yoga's Active Protection System locks and protects the hard drive when it detects sudden movements, so that data is all under protection! That's a huge thing for most of us who use and reply on computers on a daily basis. That feature alone, I think gives it that extra tick of recommendation.


5.5.14

OPSM X FACE HUNTER | OPSM LOVES AUSTRALIAN FACES PROJECT


Leading eye care retailer, OPSM Australia has partnered with Face Hunter on their latest campaign project - OPSM LOVES AUSTRALIAN FACES PROJECT. Known as a world traveller and photographing faces all over the globe, Yvan Rodic of Face Hunter was selected by OPSM to help them discover modern Australian faces, enabling them to offer the right glasses frames that would suit Australians better. Unlike models or people with faces that seem to fit every frame and look good, I am one of those people that have to try on a million before I find the right shape for my face and then, at that stage, it becomes not choosing the style I like, but one that simply fits! So, it was great to hear that OPSM are researching with the help of Face Hunter to understand consumers like me. 

 The OPSM LOVES AUSTRALIAN FACES PROJECT (which started last Friday) will see Face Hunter visit a variety of different cities in Australia from 2nd May - 9th May, where he will be photographing faces on the street and in local OPSM stores. Those who get photographed, will also receive a $50.00 OPSM voucher too! 

I've met Yvan a few times, partying at fashion weeks but our conversations are short. On Friday, he took a photo of me for the project and I had the chance to sit down and interview him about the OPSM LOVES AUSTRALIAN FACES PROJECT, what he loves about photographing people, what he looks for, and someone famous he'd like to photograph. Watch the interview video below! 

For more information on how to take part and be photographed by Face Hunter for the OPSM LOVES AUSTRALIAN FACES PROJECT, visit facebook.com/OPSMAU.
 

21.4.14

DISCOUNT UNIVERSE | 2014 RUNWAY SHOW & BACKSTAGE | MBFWA


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia was earlier this month and sometimes people go crazy mixing and matching for the attention of street style photographer's lenses. I often personally opt for comfort clothes that represent my personality, although contradictory to that, I'd totally encourage others to step outside of their comfort zone and go styling mania (within reason, because at the end of the day it isn't a theatre stage.. or is it?). 

During the week, there are dozens of shows a day and as one person, you can only go to so many before you need lunch, dinner and a break at the end of the day. One show that I did make an effort to see and to write about, was DI$COUNT UNIVER$E. Just like a hidden bar not visible on a map or known to everyone, DI$COUNT UNIVER$E was an off-schedule show that was definitely one not to have been missed. It was unofficially closing the week and I had only found out about it mid-week. Whilst I wasn't officially invited by them, their official hair partner, Cloud Nine invited me backstage access to capture their ambassador Renya Xydis at work, and seating at the show to take some snaps. The styling of cornrows braided hair with coloured hair attachments on the models, in addition to the cat eye liner and glued on glitter brows by MAC Cosmetics, completed Mark Vassallo's styled looks for DI$COUNT UNIVER$E's equally bold designs that resonated equal parts hip hop, cartoon, sea punk, rock n' roll, gangsta, cyberistic and futuristic space. 

DI$COUNT UNIVER$E is an example of a label that grew out from the internet. From back when co-founders, Nadia Napreychikov and Cami James started their blog, to then designing and creating pieces, their brand DNA arose from what they were inspired by and what their readers actually wanted to buy. Agreeing with Susie of Style Bubble mentioning in her post about DI$COUNT UNIVER$E, that what they are doing may not be entirely something new, they are actively participating and delivering their brand. Their constant presentation of eccentric, vibrant designs and over-the-top embellishments have attracted female popstars and rappers of the moment, including Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Azealia Banks and Iggy Azalea.

 Here are some snaps I took backstage and at the show!