Above The ﬁve ﬁnalist labels of the FedEx Global Access Fashion Award.
One thing fashion journalists are seldom called on to do is the sort of investigative probing that was best exempliﬁed by the ﬁctional Cal McCaffrey, as played by John Simm, in State of Play. We investigate, but it all seems mundane in comparison. Could we ever be in the middle of an event where we could feel like McCaffrey? Or perhaps the television detective Bergerac, working on an island?
The FedEx Global Access Fashion Award gave us a chance to come to an event where the company behind the awards kept enough secret to make Saturday a mystery journey of sorts.
Keeping some mystery in the fashion business is nothing new. We come across designers keeping mum on locations at Fashion Week, to surprise us when we are driven there. However, I had not come across one that involved a ferry crossing.
Media were asked to travel to Waiheke Island, along with the ﬁnalists for the awards. A FedEx sign was clearly erected and we were issued our tickets to board the ferry, which turned out to be one of the most enjoyable events in the business.
Sitting with Marc Moore and Steve Dunstan of Stolen Girlfriendsâ Club and Huffer, we joked about what might await us at the other end, and those of us in the media who I heard from likened the journey, inter alia, to an âAgatha Christieâ novel. Actor Karl Urban was on board the same ferry, and I took the opportunity to say hello to himâwe had not seen each other for 24 years, since our school daysâand caught up on some recent events. Former game show hostess and registered nurse Jude Dobson was also present on the crossing.
Sadly, Urban was not part of our group, and was heading to Waiheke for another matter. But the journey was mostly uneventful save for a journalist and a photographer who asked to take our photograph.
Reaching Waiheke, we were greeted by a bus driver who, we had to surmise later, was hard of hearing. He had had a few details wrong, not least the spelling of FedEx on his board, but it played into the hands of our inner Cal McCaffreys: it was fairly easy to deduce which was the driver for our group, and this contributed to the mystery the event had built up.
Word has it that this proved too difﬁcult for at least one of the media representatives, who gave up after the ferry crossing, and apparently went home. Maybe some of us have had it too easy.
Held at a modernist home on the Island, SiĂĄn-Pearl Going of AP Group, which organized the event, announced that the ﬁve ﬁnalistsâNom D, Huffer, Lonely Hearts, Stolen Girlfriendsâ Club and Zambesiâwere in the running to win a total prize package of NZ$35,000, which included NZ$10,000 in cash. It was also tied to a 2010 consumer event called Style Series, details of which were promised by Going in January 2010. The designers could, at their option, show at Style Series, scheduled for March.
The prize, by our reckoning, would be the largest given in New Zealand fashion in recent memory, and Denise McCamish, one of FedExâs managers who handed out Wilson footballs (a reference to the Tom Hanks movie Castaway, where FedEx was very present), was delighted to have been part of the mystery tour with the rest of us. Designers were also encouraged to sign cards with pairs of Crocs for a charity event in Fiji in early December.
Guests were treated to Zumwohl cocktails. Zumwohl stepped in when another alcohol brand failed to honour its commitments to the event, and most agreed that this was in fact a stroke of luck. The Schnaps from Zumwohl ranked above, rather than Below, the other brandâs, in the estimation of the guests who had sampled it.
Above SiĂĄn-Pearl Going announces the ﬁnalists as FedExâs Denise McCamish and her three children look on. Below Enjoying Zumwohl Schnaps.
The drinks, and the rather lavish lunch laid on for us, helped create the sort of intimate atmosphere where we could chat to the designers and to our media colleagues. It was the sort of intimacy that is often missing from events. A home, we had to conclude, was far better than any ofﬁcial venue such as a hotel lobby or hall. Provided the home was suitably ﬂash.
The only hitch, it seemed, were our colleagues who were so keen to take our photograph aboard the ferry. It turns out that they were with a foreign-owned tabloid and had not been invited, and made use of a personal, non-transferable invitation sent to someone at their ofﬁce. But at least they lasted a tad longer than whomever had given up at the Waiheke terminal.
Call us genteel and old-fashioned, but snapping photographs inside someoneâs home when you arenât invited doesnât rate well in our book, and I seem to remember this is as a no-no in the world of journalism here. The invited colleagues I spoke to agreed.
The mystery solved, the designers enjoyed themselves, especially Nom Dâs Margi Robertson and Zambesiâs Elisabeth Findlay: the two sisters welcomed the opportunity to have a reunion. Steve Ferguson and Amy Farlane at Lonely Hearts, well familiar to readers of our print edition, were delighted that Going was wearing one of their designs, while Dunstan and Moore comfortably looked the part of footballers as they posed.
I will be writing a few more details of recent events, such as Style Christchurch and the Massey University end-of-year show (great photos on the way for both of these), and a recent Sunglass Hut do, but believe the rather entertaining events of Saturday to have made a sufﬁciently lengthy entry. More soon.
The British Fashion Council (BFC) has announced its shortlist of nominees for the 2009 British Fashion Awards, supported by Swarovski. The winners will be announced at the British Fashion Awards on December 9.
The judging panel included: Nadja Swarovski, vice-president, Swarovski Crystal Business; Lucy Yeomans, editor, Harperâs Bazaar UK; Alexandra Shulman, editor, British Vogue; Sarah Mower, leading international journalist and BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent; and Joan Burstein, founder and owner of Browns.
The nominees who have been announced so far follow.
Swarovski Emerging Talent AwardâReady-to-Wear
Mark Fast, Meadham Kirchhoff, Peter Pilotto
Burberry, Mulberry, Pringle of Scotland
Daisy Lowe, Georgia Jagger, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Emma Hill for Mulberry, Katie Hillier, Nicholas Kirkwood
Graeme Fidler for Aquascutum, Kim Jones for Dunhill, Todd Lynn
British Collection of the Year
Christopher Kane, Erdem, Jonathan Saunders
The BFC has a list of nominees for the London 25 award, a one-off award to commemorate the organizationâs 25th year, at its website. No nominees were announced for the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator, BFC Designer of the Year and BFC Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Design categories.
BMW has announced that 20 prototype Mini E electric cars will be on British roads from next month, as part of a research project. They will be driven by successful online applicants, as part of a six-month leasing programme that begins in December. A second round of applications will be accepted in mid-2010, with Mini seeking 20 drivers.
Below videos feature the Mini Es driving around London. Interestingly, all models are left-hand drive, as with the model seen in our February video shot in Berlin.
Above Jean Shrimpton, a.k.a. the Shrimp, as photographed by Bailey in British Vogue.
A selling exhibition, Pure Sixties, Pure Bailey, of David Baileyâs iconic images of the 1960s will be hosted by Bonhams at 101 New Bond Street from March 7 to April 7, the company announced yesterday.
In celebrating the 50th anniversary of the start of the â60s, Bonhams approached Bailey to put together an exhibition.
Bailey, whose work typiﬁes the new energy of the era, began working at British Vogue in July 1960 and was famously quoted as saying, âWhen Vogue offered to pay me to photograph beautiful women all day I thought I was on a dream-boat.â Amongst the many faces he captured were Jean Shrimpton, Penelope Tree, Catherine Deneuve, Brigitte Bardot and Raquel Welch.
Bailey also photographed other headline-makers, including the Rolling Stones, Andy Warhol, Rudolf Nureyev, Cecil Beaton, Michael Caine, the Beatles, David Hockney, Roger Vadim, Kenneth Tynan, the Who and the Kray brothers. Many of the images he shot were very direct, closely cropped portraits.
He continues to be active and has two shows planned, along with an exhibition of his sculpture.
For those who lamented the disappearance of the elegant BMW 5-series, or 5er-Reihe in German, lament no more: the new 5 was unveiled today, and we have the ﬁrst videos of the car.
Itâs a far more attractive vehicle than the outgoing saloon, taking cues from the larger 7-series, and putting them into a sportier, more compact form. BMW claims top-of-the-class dynamics, something which earlier incarnations established for this model line.
We havenât driven it yet, but on looks alone, this looks to reestablish the BMW FĂŒnfer as the most elegant executive-class model on the roads.
Our videos are of the 535i and the 530d, and include footage of the parking assistant featureâimproved from the current 3 and 7-series and the X5 and X6 modelsâand the rear-end-collision warning system, which will automatically slow down the car if it gets too close to the one in front.
Whatâs old is new again. Remember the Diana camera of the 1960s? Originally produced in Hong Kong at a very low cost, many people will remember these as being quite popular, if less than reliable, in the 1970s.
Now produced by Lomography, modern Dianas are quirky, fashionable items. The Diana Mini, smaller than the classic F+ model, is now available at Liberty of London, and can shoot either in the square format, or half-frame, meaning that one can pack 72 shots on to a 35 mm ﬁlm. See www.liberty.co.uk/xmas for more information and online ordering. A colour booklet and lens cap are included in the ÂŁ44 base price.