What exactly is camp fashion? We delve into the theme of next week’s Met Gala

Never has the idea of ‘bad taste’ been more à la mode than right now. Style motifs from the early noughties (until recently, considered boorishly over-the-top) have been riding high on the coattails of sartorial nostalgia and creating eye-catching moments on and off the runways. Unlike the style slaves of the noughties, however (for whom low-slung velour tracksuits were serious ‘fashion’), those buying into the trend today are doing so with far more self-awareness. They’re saying “yes I know I’m wearing a bejewelled vest but that’s the look, silly,” and in doing so, are heralding the renaissance of camp — a movement seemingly tailor-made for the Instagram era, but certainly not one born from it.

Immortalised by Susan Sontag’s 1964, 58-point guide, Notes On Camp, and recently announced as the theme for this year’s Costume Institute exhibition and gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, camp champions kitschness. It is, as Sontag outlines, “the love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration,” and modern iterations of the sensibility in fashion have been quick to gain traction by feeding the Internet’s appetite for showmanship and excess. Consider the commitment of Alessandro Michele to his mind-bending Gucci universe — the ultimate example of modern-day campness— or Saint Laurent’s ostentatious tributes to 80s hedonism. Camp is joyful and revels in irony, theatricality and pastiche. And while it’s naturally flamboyant, its impact on fashion and culture goes far beyond the queer community with which it is historically associated. At a time when the camera-ready proponents of social media seem to be dictating a stylistic uniformity, the return of camp to the mainstream is something we would all do well to embrace. 

Rei Kawakubo certainly thought so. In presenting her AW18 collection for Comme des Garçons last year, the designer cited Sontag’s essay and the ideas of camp as her chief inspirations. She outlined how the ideology of campness was one we needed to be adopting, saying “camp is really and truly something deep and new and represents a value we need,” citing its capacity to “express something deeper and… give birth to progress,” as validation for its importance. This sentiment was echoed by Andrew Bolton (head of The Met’s Costume Institute) who, in announcing this year’s exhibition theme said, “we are going through an extreme camp moment, and it felt very relevant to the cultural conversation.”

Comme des Garçons AW18

At its heart, camp is as political as it is aesthetic. A more apt antidote to the recent rise of conservatism I can’t imagine. Where intolerance has grown, it has stepped in as a stylised, humorous counterpoint. Camp is “a mode of enjoyment,” Sontag outlined, “of appreciation — not judgement.” Injecting a certain joie de vivre into the everyday, it offers some welcome relief from the darker corners of today’s cultural landscape. And although it is inherently fun, performative and built on parody, camp goes deeper than simply being a set of superficial rules. It requires a fearless stepping away from the crowd and a rejection of the judgement that has become so easy to impart on others (and ourselves). 

Left to right: Givenchy, Molly Goddard, Viktor & Rolf, Moschino

In terms of fashion specifically, the movement is alleviating modern dreariness. The painful monotony of young generations dressing like clones (because of a social-media-driven pressure to fit in) has resulted in less willingness to embrace subversive fashion. A realisation that caused me to question how ready I had been to take risks in my own wardrobe. The answer? Not very.

Stylistic motifs of camp are disruptive, and not for the faint-of-heart, but delving into the collections of designers like Mary Katrantzou (and her bold, colourful silhouettes), Michael Halpern (and his unbridled use of sequins) and of course, Alessandro Michele (with his runway dragons, severed heads, extravagant detailing and expert pastiche) proved a timely reminder for me to dress more for myself and re-discover the individuality I felt my repertoire had been lacking. 

Alessandro Michele’s Gucci

When it comes down to it, as much as fashion is an important cultural and social marker and something that should be subjected to analysis, it should also be fun. The resurgence of camp reminds us of this. Think about how quickly Tomo Koizumi’s outlandishly ruffled dresses went viral after the relatively unknown designer presented at NYFW in February; or the furore from fashion’s cognoscenti around Molly Goddard’s latest collection. Camp’s decorative, high-gloss nature is a rich, wellspring of inspiration for designers and consumers alike and its “spirit of extravagance,” as Sontag articulated, encourages us to remove the sartorial restrictions we place on ourselves.

I’m not saying you need to delve into the dress-up box (unless that’s what you really want to do, in which case, go for it). But perhaps it’s time to start experimenting with the combination of high and low in your wardrobe. Take that piece you were saving for a special occasion and wear it with jeans, or combine a distinctly minimalist tee with a pair of bright, patterned trousers. Foster those parts of your personality that are a little outrageous and for goodness sake don’t take everything you see on Instagram as the definitive stylistic blueprint.

If embracing a more camp outlook has taught me anything, it’s that individual style is a far more valuable commodity than any of the new-season pieces — and is much harder to come by. In the words of Oscar Wilde, a prolific proponent of camp, “one should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art,” words to live by, we think.

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See inside the first completed apartment from Auckland’s new luxury residence — The International

Auckland’s increasing status as an exceptional, eclectic city is building an allure that’s irresistible both near and far, resulting in an array of new apartments being created in order to accommodate the masses. The latest, and perhaps most hotly-anticipated of the bunch, are to be housed within the equally exceptional The International, the inner-city apartment development set to deliver a masterclass in world-class living.

Despite being a new architectural landmark, The International is already on its way to becoming one of the most coveted living experiences our country has to offer, thanks in part, to its unparalleled luxury amenities and splendid location. The Sanctuary Group developed building can be found nestled firmly within the centre of the CBD, a stunning complex which towers above the flourishing greenery of the neighbouring Albert Park, delivering a blue-ribbon view of nature or city, dependant on which apartment is chosen.

As delightful as the surrounds are, however, it can be argued that it is the interior aesthetics that really determine the apartments’ high calibre. Crafted by internationally-renowned architect Rufus Knight, each fresh, contemporary interior boasts only the highest quality furnishings and fittings — like the solid Italian travertine benchtop, the glistening Miele appliances or the sleek and natural timber flooring, which can be found flowing seamlessly throughout the living and conservatory quarters. Other standout characteristics include the modernistic, solid timber doors with keyless electronic entry and the floor-to-ceiling windows, put in place to provide ample opportunity for optimum vista viewing.

Each glorious pad is a prime example of exemplary inner-city living. And, if the tremendous purchase rate is anything to go by — over $200 million of the project’s 90 apartments have already been sold — it seems those who are keen to get a slice of the architectural action should make their move sooner rather than later. Apartments like these, evidently, don’t hang around for long.

Open homes at The International will run Sundays 3-5pm and Wednesdays 6-7pm. For private viewings, contact NZ Sotheby’s International Realty: Ross Hawkins on 0274 720 577 or Jason Gaddes 021 994 921.

The International

9 Princes Street
Auckland

www.theinternational.co.nz

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The 13 happenings that should be on your cultural radar this May

The month of May brings fresh cultural bounty to the fore, spanning everything from inspirational festivals for creatives to sheer musical talent. These are the events worth taking note of.

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Aladdin

Aladdin

Aladdin

Aladdin

Another corker in a string of live action Disney remakes, this year’s Aladdin is set to whip us into a nostalgic frenzy. This retelling of the 1992 Disney classic sees Guy Ritchie, aka the creative mind behind legendary Brit gangster films Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, showcase his directorial nous. The unlikely task will see Ritchie working with Will Smith, who plays the wish-granting Genie, along with a raft of up-and-coming talent.
In cinemas 23rd May. 

Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves

Marking her first time on New Zealand soil, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves will be swinging by Auckland’s Town Hall mid-May to deliver a stellar one-off show. With her album, Golden Hour, already heralded as one of the best releases of the year, you can bet that the Texan pop-country star will deliver a captivating show.
For more information and tickets, click here.
Friday, 17th May.

Planet Earth II

Planet Earth II

Planet Earth II

Planet Earth II

A more intimate, more immersive variation of everybody’s favourite docu-series, Planet Earth II, live in concert, is set to be a feast for the senses. The evening will be an epic journey through the world’s spectacular natural beauty, all set to a rousing Academy Award-winning score by Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea and Jasha Klebe, performed by Auckland’s own Philharmonia Orchestra. Spellbinding, to say the least.
For more information and tickets, click here
22nd May – 23rd May.

Auckland Art Fair

Auckland Art Fair

Auckland Art Fair

Auckland Art Fair

Art buffs rejoice because the Art Fair is back at The Cloud on Auckland’s Queens Wharf — this time marking its change to an annual event (from biennial). Giving Aucklanders a serious dose of cultural inspiration once again, 2019’s iteration includes a plethora of artistic talent from both near and far. (Like Max Gimblett and David Shrigley, to name a few.)
For tickets and more information on who you can expect to see, click here
1st – 5th May.

New Zealand International Comedy Festival

New Zealand International Comedy Festival

New Zealand International Comedy Festival

New Zealand International Comedy Festival

For those looking to get their funny bones tickled this month, the Comedy Festival will not disappoint. This year’s extravaganza, hosted by Australian comedian Rhys Nicholson, sees an array of comedic talent splayed out across a number of participating venues throughout the city, from the Q theatre to the Bruce Mason Centre.
For more information on who you can expect to see, click here
2nd – 26th May.

The Hothouse

The Hothouse

The Hothouse

The Hothouse

A decade on from its first iteration, Ford Transit brings back his presentation of Harold Pinter’s The Hothouse, with the original cast in tow. Set in a state-run sanatorium in 1950s England, the play confronts an array of thought-provoking themes, like corruption and loyalty, to create a thrilling black comedy. The production will also be raising money for Shine — a charity that deals with issues around domestic violence in New Zealand — with 25 percent of all proceeds donated to the cause. Whereas a special fundraising performance on the 11th May sees 50 percent of profits donated.
For the full lowdown on the play, and ticket information, click here.
3rd May – 8th May. 

Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert

Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert

Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert

Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert

Arguably celebrating May the fourth in the only way acceptable is the NZSO, with a notably more musical iteration of the timeless classic. On the infamous date, Star Wars will be shown at the Spark Arena, accompanied by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra bringing, with NZSO Associate Conductor Hamish McKeich at the helm, John Williams’ Oscar-winning, spine-tingling score to life.
For more information and tickets, click here.
Saturday 4th May. 

Black Swan White Swan RNZB

Black Swan White Swan RNZB

Black Swan White Swan RNZB

Black Swan White Swan RNZB

In a daring nod to a timeless treasure, Mario Radacovsky’s Black Swan, White Swan takes the traditional Swan Lake tale and strips it down to an enigmatic, elemental masterpiece. With Tchaikovsky’s original score combined with the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s modernistic choreography, this is ballet’s enduring classic at its most beguiling. For more information and tickets, click here
31st May – 6th July

Bright Nights Festival

Bright Nights Festival

Bright Nights Festival

Bright Nights Festival

Fresh off the back of its crowd-pleasing, visual feast that came last year, Bright Nights is back once again to deliver its iconic, enthralling light show to the masses. The Angus Muir-crafted project promises to bring more of its spectacular LED led creations to Viaduct Harbour — be sure to keep your eyes peeled for this one, it’s one for the books. For more information, click here
8th – 12th May. 

Post Malone

Post Malone

Post Malone

Post Malone

Blending R&B and hip-hop with ease as we’ve never witnessed before, it’s no surprise that rapper-singer-songwriter Post Malone has acquired such a swarming fan base during his short years in the spotlight. The multihyphenate will be bringing his bass-heavy beats, outstanding-rap flow and infectious dancing to Auckland, with one Mr Jayden Smith in tow.
For more information and tickets, click here
Saturday 11th May. 

Architecture and Design Film Festival

Architecture and Design Film Festival

Architecture and Design Film Festival

Architecture and Design Film Festival

The Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival is on its way to Auckland, set to showcase the very best in architecture & design from around the world, via inspiring motion pictures. If you only have time to see one film at this year’s iteration, make it Bauhaus Spirit. The 2018 documentary offers a glimpse inside the philosophy that helped to develop the 1919 Bauhaus architecture school, a school noted for its belief in a peaceful society.
For more information on Bauhaus and all the other enticing films showing at Rialto Cinemas, click here
2nd to 19th May

Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys

Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys

Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys

Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys

A celebration of one of New Zealand’s most renowned artists, Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki sees a multitude of conversation-starting works collected from around the globe and brought together in one engrossing exhibition.  The exhibition traces the painter’s creative progression through France, Morocco and Spain to her final days in England, each of which are pinpointed beautifully with her trademark landscape and still life creations.
For more information and tickets, click here
On from Saturday 4th May. 

Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Bach to Bowie — a blindingly brilliant homage to the iconic, musical genius that was David Bowie — comes back to our shores once again courtesy of Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Intertwining some of Bowie’s cult songs (Heroes, Life On Mars, Let’s Dance) alongside phenomenal choreography, dancing talent and pure showmanship, this is ballet like you’ve never seen it before.
For more information and tickets, click here.
9th – 12th May.

Petra Leary Studio Gravity

Petra Leary Studio Gravity

Petra Leary Studio Gravity

Petra Leary Studio Gravity

Award-winning photographer Petra Leary — renowned for her work which captures an out of the ordinary world view — brings her second solo show ‘Zero Gravity’ to Studio 230 Ponsonby Road. Expect to be enthralled by more of her unique work, which works with symmetry and motion in architecture.
17th May

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Pumpkin, mustard fruits, sage and amaretti ravioli (left) and Brussels sprouts (right) from Cotto's new menu

Everything you need to know about Auckland’s dining scene for the month of May

Another four weeks has flown by and with May on our minds, we thought it was high time for another monthly dining roundup. May’s schedule is looking jam-packed with all sorts of foodie news such as pop-up collaborations, menu refinements and a number of new openings. Here is everything you need to know.

Duck month at Euro
Auckland’s iconic waterfront restaurant, Euro is doing wonders with one of our all-time favourite meats — the succulent, smokey and tender duck. Executive Chef, Gareth Stewart has been working for months to create a three-course duck-centric menu, available everyday throughout the month of May from midday until 4pm. Chef Stewart has thought above and beyond with the bird and has incorporated it into the likes of tostadas, pappardelle pastas and more.

The beginning of Akai Doa 2.0
The theatrical Japanese dining experience — Akai Doa 2.0 is back and better than we’ve ever seen. Executive Chef of Azabu, Yukio Ozeki has curated a menu which includes some of his best work. One of our favourite dishes has to be the new style, mixed sashimi. The selection of fish changes depending on what is the freshest, but Big Glory Bay salmon is a staple. The tender, fatty fish is paired with cucumber, pickled daikon and yuzu ponzu dressing to enhance its freshness while the addition of butterfly pea and jalapeño lends a hearty kick.

Akai Doa 2.0 — New Style Mixed Sashimi

Breakfast with Nanam X The Cult Project
Last year was one to remember for Chef Carlo Buenaventura and The Cult Project after he showcased his gastronomic creativity at Kyle Street and Jordan MacDonald’s restaurant, Culprit. This time, he has collaborated with the Filipino chef at Nanam, Jess Granada, for a Filipino-inspired on day, breakfast pop-up. The dishes will resonate with the traditional breakfast items found in the Philippines and will be served alongside artwork by illustrator Marc Conaco which connects to the dishes via the cultural stories its narrates.

A food truck festival that is dedicated to fried chicken
The Auckland Food Truck Collective is back this year with one of its most anticipated events — Fried Chicken Festival. Upscaling from last year, the venue has moved from Parnell’s La Cigale to Shed 10 on Auckland’s waterfront. The festival will take place over 18 and 19 May and will showcase some of this town’s best fried chicken. From Peach’s Hot Chicken, to Mexico, to Judge Bao and more, this is a foodie festival that is not to be missed.

Peach’s Hot Chicken

The Goodside precinct welcomes another eatery — Kai
Smales Farm’s precinct, The Goodside is getting bigger and better by the day. Not only is it home to one of the greatest burger joints, Shake Out, but is now the location of the new store from one of Auckland’s most renowned, fried chicken spots, Kai Eatery. Since its night market beginnings, Kai has come a long way. Its ever-expanding empire includes a food stall in the CBD, a restaurant on Dominion Road and now, another stall on the North Shore. The menu at the Smales Farm location is closer in kind to the CBD store, as opposed to the sit-down restaurant in Balmoral, but as long as the fried chicken and kumara fries are part of the equation, we can’t complain.

Brand new dishes at Saint Alice
Despite delighting Auckland diners with his Oyster McMuffin, Executive Chef of Saint Alice, Maia Atvars isn’t resting on his laurels. Recently he added a raft of impressive new additions to his menu, including baked kimchi clams which use an authentic kimchi recipe that was handed down to one of Atvars’ Korean chefs by his mother. Other dishes that caught our eyes were the crayfish hoagie, the smoked snapper toast with creamed corn and the fig toasties with ricotta cheese.

Smoked snapper toast with creamed corn from Saint Alice

New menu at Cotto
Cotto is a strong favourite among the team at Denizen and our love for the Italian restaurant just seems to intensify as the menu continues to evolve. The beloved spinach and goat’s cheese sage dumplings remain (thankfully) on the menu, while the Brussels sprouts and gorgonzola kumara gnocchi have made their long-awaited comebacks. Brand new dishes include mussel fritti and picci broccoli, but what we are looking forward to the most is the Jerusalem artichoke rotolo which is a cannelloni destined to be utterly delicious.

Learn how to roll your own pasta at Pasta & Cuore
Aucklanders are big fans of Italian food with many of our top restaurants specialising in the cuisine. That said, Mount Eden’s Pasta & Cuore is the go-to restaurant for an authentic bowl of hand-made pasta and the pasta experts are hosting a class in the restaurant to teach you how to roll your own dough at home. Perfect timing to fit in with our winter carb cravings, bookings are essential, so be sure to reserve your spot.

Fish and chips at Sneaky Snacky
The purveyors of the glazed doughnut burger, Sneaky Snacky is refusing to let the Kiwi summer die, having recently introduced a new dish to its menu, the classic fish and chips. Sneaky Snacky’s rendition includes an L&P battered Hoki fish fillet, chunky tartar sauce, Louisiana Andouille sausage crumble and crispy shoestring fries that have been sprinkled with aromatic seaweed powder.

A new crêperie has opened in Victoria Park — Captain Crêpes
Another famous food truck has found a permanent home to settle into, with Captain Crêpes opening a store in Victoria Park. The owner of Captain Crêpes, Ronan Guilloux previously trained at Michelin-starred restaurants in France as well as gaining experience at a Belgian waffle shop in Fukuoka, Japan. His rich knowledge earned him great success with his food truck and things are only about to get bigger with the new store.

Captain Crêpes

The new permanent location of Wise Boys Burgers
Wise Boys Burgers has earned a well-deserved reputation for cooking up some of the tastiest vegan burgers in town. Whether you’re plant-based or not, these undeniably delicious burgers have captured the hearts of everyone that has taken a bite. After travelling all around the North Island for over three years, the food truck has finally found a permanent home in Grey Lynn, meaning that we can all get our Wise Boys fix whenever we please. With more information to come about the new opening, watch this space.

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Lashings (on the left) & Sixes & Sevens (on the right)

Denizen’s guide to the Wellington dining scene: What to eat in the windy city

Wellington — the capital city of New Zealand. Renowned for its cold breeze and historic landmarks such as the Te Papa Museum and the almighty Beehive. Over the last few years, the windy city’s culinary scene has been on the rise, with new restaurants opening in quick succession and a line-up of steady stalwarts. More and more people seem to be recognising Wellington for its food, often heading to the capital for weekends filled with non-stop eating. An endeavour we recently undertook ourselves, here, we deliver a list of the culinary highlights. This is what to eat next time you’re in Wellington.

The caramel slice from Sixes & Sevens
Although this slice may look simple, the flavours are anything but. Sixes & Sevens’ caramel slice features three layers of perfection. The bottom layer is a thick, fudgey brownie that has intense cocoa richness and semi-bitter chocolatey flavours. The middle layer is a thick, decadent sheet of sweet and sticky caramel and the top, is hardened chocolate which offers a crunch with each bite. The flavours blend and balance beautifully to become one of the most indulgent caramel slices we have ever tasted.

Doughnuts from Little Dough Co
If you want to be guaranteed a fresh, fluffy doughnut, the key is finding a bakery that makes them in small batches. Doughnuts do not have long shelf lives due to their deep-fried nature. Little Dough Co’s doughnuts are only available from Friday to Sunday and can be found at only two locations — Customs Brews on Ghunzee St and Ekor on College Street. The doughnuts come in two different flavours which change weekly and include matcha cream, salted caramel glaze and rocky road, to name a few.

Goldburger from Shepherd Restaurant
Earlier this year, Shepherd Restaurant made its way to Auckland for a highly-acclaimed collaboration with Culprit. The Goldburger was featured on the pop-up’s menu and Aucklanders were all over its signature yellow milk buns. Wellington locals are privileged to have the opportunity to bite into these burgers every Sunday at Shepherd’s space on Eva St, but even if you’re not in a burger mood, this restaurant is still well worth a visit for breakfast or lunch.

Goldburger from Shepherd Restaurant (on the left) & The Jackpot (on the right)

The Jackpot from LUCKY
Fried chicken burgers will never be the same after you take a bite into The Jackpot by Lucky. The small and cosy food stall is open from 11am until after midnight, making it an appropriate meal for any time or any occasion. The menu is short, and The Jackpot burger is the way to go. The soft, toasted-buns are filled with juicy yet crispy fried chicken and a thick slab of deep-fried halloumi cheese. The crunch from the slaw and pickles elevates the texture of the burger while the spiced and creamy Lucky sauce enhances its rich flavours.

The SMK cornbread from Sweet Mother’s Kitchen
It may not be the trendiest eatery in town but Sweet Mother’s Kitchen is undeniably delicious. Serving the classics such as curly fries and fried chicken, it’s hard to go wrong when it comes to this stalwart. The SMK cornbread is not something you see every day, especially in the Auckland dining scene. The warm, fluffy bread is packed with kernels of sweet corn and is slathered in butter, which it soaks up perfectly.

Fillet steak from Ortega Fish Shack
Ordering steak at a seafood restaurant may seem odd, but it’s a known fact among Wellington locals that Ortega Fish Shack’s steak is not to be overlooked. The knife cuts effortlessly through the steak which is drowning in a Café de Paris butter sauce, adding creamy indulgence. This pairs perfectly with the side of crispy, shoestring fries that absorb the flavours on the plate.

Ortega Fish Shack (on the left) & Loretta (on the right)

Wet rabbit risotto from Loretta
The all-day eatery, Loretta is always a good idea, no matter what meal you’re going for. The wet risotto on the dinner menu is a soul-warming bowl of creamy goodness. The combination of parmesan, butter and arborio rice is the definition of decadence, while the rabbit meat is melt-in-the-mouth tender. Loretta is also renowned for its vanilla bean cheesecake and free form pie, so remember to save some extra room for dessert.

Fix & Fogg PB&J brownie with trimmings from Lashings
Everything about the Lashings brownie is perfect. From its gooey, chewy texture to its soft crisp edges and deep cocoa chocolate flavours, you could not fault the slice even if you tried. We recommend you get the PB&J brownie, warmed up, so the swirls of peanut butter and raspberry jam intertwine with the chocolate. The brownie is topped with a scoop of mascarpone cream, chocolate drizzle and shavings and each spoonful is pure magic.

A dining experience at Rita
Learn from our mistakes by thinking ahead and booking a table at Rita. The small, intimate restaurant is an apparent must-try when visiting Wellington and the fact that you have to reserve approximately a month in advance validates that. The three-course set menu changes every day, depending on seasonal produce and the moods of the chefs. The kinds of dishes to expect include braised lamb shoulder, snapper and trevally in a saffron broth and rhubarb sorbet — all having the quality of ingredients as the central focus.

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Why ‘The Hothouse’ is the play on our cultural radar

Harold Pinter was a Nobel Prize-winning playwright whose genius use of understatement imbued his work with rich, real subtext and made him one of the most influential figures in British theatre (his name has even made it into common parlance where ‘Pinteresque’ is used to describe a particular atmosphere in drama). His characters are multi-faceted, intriguing, flawed and so compellingly authentic that the experience of watching a Pinter play in the theatre is an enthralling journey of twists and turns that make it quite different from any other.

So you can imagine our delight when we heard that one of Pinter’s iconic plays was opening in Auckland. Brought to the stage by Ford Transit a decade on from its 2008 production of the same play (and even featuring the same cast), The Hothouse will run from the 3rd until the 18th of May at Pitt Street Methodist Church in Newton. Written in 1958, The Hothouse is set in a sanatorium in 1950s England, where ambiguity hangs over whether the patients are political dissidents or family members committed by other family. The dark comedy also puts question marks over whether the staff at the facility are really in control of anything with the Institute’s Director, Colonel Roote (played by Michael Lawrence) constantly being undermined by his subordinates: the industrious Gibbs (played by Phil Brooks), the suave Lush (played by Edward Peni) the devious enchantress Miss Cutts (played by Rachelle Duncan) and the optimistic Lamb (played by Frank Brown).

Playing with corruption, loyalty and sexual favours in the distinct way only Pinter could, this play is a searing examination of institutional bureaucracy and hierarchical power.

The production will also be raising money for Shine, a charity that deals with issues around domestic violence in New Zealand. 25 percent of all proceeds will be donated to the cause with a special fundraising performance on the 11th May seeing 50 percent of profits donated.

With a stellar cast and a thrilling script, The Hothouse is one you don’t want to miss.

For more information about performance times and to book tickets, click here.

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From ultra-long braids to retro barrettes, these are the biggest hair trends of the moment

Whether it is heavily-embellished hair pieces, a punk revival or the big-barrelled waves of the disco era, the hair trends that emerged from the AW’19 shows were an inspirational force to be reckoned with. Here, we’ve laid out some of the best hair looks to try this season.

Accessories galore
If you thought the retro hair accessory furore had died down, you thought wrong — it isn’t going anywhere. Whether with diamanté barrettes, crocodile clips, headbands, scrunchies or bows, everyone is adorning their hair like it’s the 1980s. For those who are too nervous to go all out, a small, elegant hair grip or two tucked behind the ear is the easiest way to dip your toe in.

L-R Balmain, Chanel, Versace

Braids
Never disappearing from the catwalks completely, you can always count on braids in some form to be perpetually on-trend. This season, it’s all about incredibly neat, slicked back plaits — the longer the better.

L-R Tory Burch, Jil Sander, Prada

Punk-inspired
A homage to the punk era, rebellious, off-kilter locks are the hairstyle of the season. You don’t have to go full mohawk (unless you want to — in which case, embrace Johnny Rotten as much as you wish) the style can be achieved just as easily with temporary hair dyes, backcombing and generous amounts of hairspray or gel. The one rule here is that there are no rules.

L-R Tom Ford, Anna Sui, Max Mara

Knotted
The messy bun has been given an elevated up-do, and now it’s more intricate and elegant than ever before. Whether fastened at the nape of the neck or piled high like a modernised top-knot, the latest iteration should see a sleek, smooth, scraping back of the hair and a rope-like twist incorporated.

Gel
A retro throwback reminiscent of the lacquered finger waves of the 1920s, dramatically gelled hair might just have been the most unexpected trend to emerge from this year’s runways. Gel-saturated hair moulded into faux fringes is an easier approach to the look, while those who are feeling daring should look at Burberry’s face-framing creations for inspiration.

L-R J W Anderson, Burberry, Richard Quinn

The sweeping fringe
A windswept take on hair, this undone look is probably the easiest to master of the lot. While some models trotted down the runway with full, face-covering fringes, we suggest you opt for a softer, more feathery approach for a look that will work off the catwalk.

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Disco waves
Another era revival in both make-up or hair, the disco trend is alive and well in the beauty world. Whether large barrelled waves or can’t-be-tamed frizz, the idea is to go big or go home.

L-R Michael Kors, The Blonds, Sonia Rykel

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Nuns, guns and weed: Why Breaking Habits is the fascinating new doco you need to see

“I like to smoke regular, old-fashioned joints, but my kids are always trying to get me into vaping,” Sister Kate chuckles. She’s calling me from her cannabis farm in California, and I’m momentarily taken aback by her words — certainly not the kind of thing I ever expected to hear coming from mouth of a nun. But Sister Kate is no ordinary, run-of-the-mill, garden variety nun. She is, as she explains, the founding member of a movement she started in reaction to what she saw as the ruination of the planet, as well as an unenviable turn of events in her personal life that would be enough to leave anyone reeling — but reeling, she is not. Let me explain.

The subject of a highly-anticipated documentary, Breaking Habits, Sister Kate started her new-age ‘nunnery’, Sisters of the Valley, after a life that suffered the unfortunate side effects of high power corporate jobs, thieving ex-husbands and the ultimate betrayal of family. Spurred on by the need to make ends meet and after discovering the power of marijuana (and its potential business opportunities) Sister Kate shed her former persona to become the name by which she is now known and took up a mission to provide cannabis-based products to those in need by growing marijuana on the land, harvesting it and creating a range of medicinal products from the plant with the other nuns who have joined her cause. “We’re humble farm women getting the medicine of the earth to the people,” Sister Kate explains. “We’re not about religion, we’re not about dogma,” she continues, “we’re just trying to live an intentional lifestyle that sets an example for people.”

Sister Kate

Despite adopting the garb of Christian nuns, Sisters of the Valley are more like earth mothers. Their core beliefs, drawn from the medicinal practises of medicine women in ancient Europe as well as those of the Native Americans, really boil down to two, main points — humanity and the planet. The products being produced at her farm in California reflect this ethos, with a multi-purpose CBD salve touted as their best seller. “People who suffer chronic migraines put a dab behind their ear in the morning to prevent migraines from coming on,” Sister Kate tells me, going on to explain how their products have become incredibly popular for their effectiveness and natural qualities.

In the documentary, Sister Kate is followed as she journeys through the highs (literally) and lows of operating a legal cannabis business in small-town California. Fending off a Sheriff determined to bring her business down as well as defending her precious crops from black market dealers (sometimes with necessary fire power) the question that hangs over the film is whether the altruistic nun can remain undeterred in the face of seemingly impossible odds. As director Rob Ryan says, “the fact that she has persevered with her philosophy to heal often in dangerous circumstances… is a testament to her on going courage.”

But the beauty of this documentary is it’s underlying message of hope, and if it’s doing one thing, it’s encouraging discussion around the ongoing legal status of marijuana — an issue that is set to hold huge sway in the political landscape of the future. Sister Kate tells me how she hopes that the film will “open people’s eyes to what it looks like when you’re crossing over out of prohibition into the legal industry,” before saying, “these are radical times and they call for radical responses… becoming weed nuns is pretty radical but it’s working for us.”

It certainly seems that way. Various satellite chapters of Sisters of the Valley have been opening up all over the world, with Sister Kate telling me that they now have sisters and brothers in the UK, Mexico, Brazil, Canada and even here in New Zealand. Not only that, but other entities in the United States have become proponents of Sister Kate’s cause. On the morning we talk, she explains how she had just come out of a meeting with a company that owned farms in five states, who had expressed interest in converting all its land into Sister farms to start producing cannabis exclusively for the cause.

When asked about how she deals with the naysayers, Sister Kate tells me, “if people say it’s the devil’s weed we just say bless you and move on. We have a saying around here… if you stop to kick every backing dog you’re not going to get anywhere,” she laughs. “It’s not very nunly but that’s the saying.”

Breaking Habits is out from tomorrow, the 25th April. Rialto Newmarket is hosting a special screening on Monday 29th April, where Sister Maria of the New Zealand chapter, will speak (among others). For more information, click here.

Culture


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Left to right: Maggie Marilyn, Edun, BITE

Closing the loop: Denizen’s guide on how to be a better fashion consumer

It’s officially Fashion Revolution Week. A time to pause for thought on how we consume, wear and dispose of our clothes, this week offers an opportunity to take a stark look at how fashion truly impacts the environment. Hint: it’s much more than you think.

The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world — after oil. Let that sink in. Untreated toxic waste-waters get dumped from factories into waterways and huge amounts of fresh water is wasted for producing fabrics like cotton — the ratio currently sits at around 20,000 litres of water to 1kg of cotton. Not only that but microfibres from fabrics (minute, plastic-based particles from synthetic textiles that shed when washed) often end up in the ocean and have become a major polluting factor, ending up consumed by the fish we eat and one of the reasons why humans are ingesting more plastic in their diets than ever before. If all this wasn’t enough, synthetic textiles like polyester can take up to 200 years to decompose, meaning that most of the clothes we throw out (around 72% of the average wardrobe is made from synthetic materials) become landfill fodder and are ultimately hugely detrimental to the environment.

Fashion also contributes significantly to harmful greenhouse gas emissions (10% of global output) – a major byproduct of its manufacturing and transportation of garments. What’s more, synthetic fibres are made from fossil fuels and require far greater energy input to create than natural fibres. These cheaper fibres also emit N20, which is apparently three-times more damaging than CO2.

In light of the damning statistics, we thought we’d cut through the noise to bring you a simple guide on a few things you can do to affect your fashion consumption.

1.Educate yourself
This means on the issues at play but also on the brands you should be turning towards. In reaction to the growing concern with how fashion affects the environment, a number of brands (both well-established and new) have put sustainability at the forefront, answering the question of whether to choose a piece that is beautiful OR good for the environment by saying, well why not both? Some of our favourite brands championing the cause include Maggie Marilyn, Rachel Mills, Stella McCartney, BITE, Chief Studio, Edun, Allbirds, Paris Georgia, KITX, Maison Cleo, KOWTOW, Marine Serre, Elliss, and E.L.V Denim. Although there are many more.
Some of the certifications to be aware of include Bluesign, Eco-Cert, Global Organic Textile Standard, Oeko-Tex, Cradle 2 Cradle, the Fairtrade mark and the Global Recycle Standard.
Good online resources for more information on the environmental effects of fashion can be found on websites such as Fashion Revolution, and Sustain Your Style.

Left: Maggie Marilyn, Right: Rachel Mills

2. Buy higher quality or second hand
It’s pretty simple really. A beautiful piece bought from a brand putting high-quality craftsmanship at the centre of its designs will last significantly longer than a trendy, seasonal one. Yes, the temptation to buy clothes in bulk from fast-fashion retailers is there. But if you take a good hard look at what you actually need and save up to spend slightly more on one or two pieces (as opposed to five or six), you’re not only consuming less, you’re consuming smarter.
The other side of this, is the burgeoning market for second-hand fashion, seeing online consignment stores like The Real Real and Vestiaire Collective grow exponentially over the last few years (The Real Real has even opened physical stores in LA and New York). Making second-hand purchases feel as luxurious and exciting as buying off the rack, these businesses are helping the industry adopt a more closed-loop cycle.

3. Explore other ways of getting rid of old clothes
Instead of throwing out clothes you’ve tired of, try selling them on or donating them to places where you know the pieces will actually reach those in need. The City Mission in Auckland is a great place to donate unwanted clothes (especially warm ones ahead of winter) while other local initiatives like Koha Apparel are establishing more direct links between those who have clothes to give away and those who need them.
Another way to make use of clothing that is unwanted is to rent it out. That dress you bought for a ball once could be rented out to others who need something specific, thus giving the piece more worth per wear.

4. Get behind causes
Donating time and money to causes is an obvious way of affecting change. Fashion Revolution established itself as a platform for spreading awareness about the detrimental effects of fashion via its viral hashtag #whomademyclothes. On its website, it lists a number of things we can do as consumers to get behind the cause including letter templates that can be sent to policymakers and brands, donation options and educational resources.
Here are some causes to get know about and get behind: The World Fair Trade Organisation, Clean Clothes Campaign, the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the Fair Trade Federation, the Ethical Trade Initiative, the Fair Wear Foundation, Fairtrade International, Textile Exchange, Labour Behind The Label, Traid, and Tearfund.

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Volvere arepa — Pulled pork with grilled halloumi cheese, coleslaw and plum sauce
Pabellon arepa — Shredded beef with fried sweet plantains, black beans and feta cheese
Reina arepa — Shredded chicken breast salad with mashed avocado and mayonnaise

From food truck to food stall — Olas Arepas has a cosy new home in Ponsonby

Five years ago, a little food truck took the Auckland food scene by storm with its unique, South American fare. It introduced many Aucklanders to Venezuelan cuisine, specifically the arepa — a delicacy made from ground maize dough that is formed into a circular patty, baked or grilled and packed with a variety of fillings — for the first time and it earned Olas Arepas a loyal and cult following. Finally, Olas has found a permanent home in the heart of Ponsonby, where we can get our arepa fix whenever we please.

Olas Arepas is hard to miss when walking through the lane in Ponsonby Central. It’s right in the centre of the complex, sporting warm yellow signage, welcoming wooden textures and a colourful and cheerful atmosphere. Visuals aside, the wafting smells of the buttered cornflour dough sizzling on the pan is enough to lure you to the stall.

The menu has a variety of options but remains straight-forward and simple. The husband and wife, Maurizio Trotta and Sofia Dostal, stay true to their business’ name and keep the arepas as the central focus. The menu offers 13 different arepa variations as well as a few sides, salads, desserts, and unique drinks (such as the Cocada), all of which represent authentic Venezuelan cuisine. Olas’ arepa dough comes in three forms, the original maize meal, one with an infusion of beetroot and chia seeds or a version using basil and coriander.

Venezuelan ceviche (on the left) & Cocada (on the right)

If you haven’t experienced an arepa before this is what to expect. Flavour wise, an arepa is mild and savoury, similar to a buttered potato roll. But the magic is in the texture. It’s flat yet fluffy, dense yet light and perfect for soaking up all the juices of the filling. One of Olas Arepa’s best sellers is The Pabellon, which includes rice, beans, plantain and stewed beef. The buttered arepa is stuffed with hearty black beans, creamy feta cheese and fried plantains (which taste like caramelised bananas but a little less sweet). The rich, saucy beef drenches all the ingredients, allowing the feta to melt into the beans while the final drizzle of kale and coriander lends the arepa some fresh herby flavour.

The Volvere is another favourite. The basil and coriander infusion gives the arepa a slightly green hue and is filled with succulent pulled pork and halloumi cheese. The addition of coleslaw gives a satisfying crunch and the plum sauce enhances the flavours of the pulled pork while balancing the richness. On every table, Olas Arepas offers an array of housemade sauces to drizzle on top of your arepa as you eat it. The jalapeño hot sauce gives a kick, the chimichurri lends sweetness while the aioli offers an indulgent creaminess.

For those after a lighter option, the Reina arepa is the way to go. The fillings are more simple and it doesn’t have the same kind of sauce-dripping-dow-the-arm action as some of the others. The shredded chicken breast is doused in a creamy mayo and avocado dressing which pairs perfectly with the chimichurri and jalapeño hot sauces. The Vuelve a la Vida is also ideal for a lighter meal. Comprising a medley of seafood, including prawns, calamari, mussels and snapper with onion, cherry tomato salsa, spicy jalapeño sauce and coriander, the Venezuelan ceviche is served with fried plantain and guasacaca — Venezuelan-style guacamole.

Milhojas de Dulce de Leche

To end things on a sweet note, Olas doesn’t hold back when it comes to decadent desserts either. The Milhojas de Dulce de Leche, resembling a French mille-feuille comprises layered puff pastry that has been pressed together with fresh cream and dulce de leche. The flavour of dulce de leche is milkier than standard caramel and the texture is creamier. When it’s married with whipped cream and buttery layers of crispy pastry, it’s a match made in heaven.

Olas Arepas is making fresh arepas and churning out coconut cream milkshakes daily from 11am until 10pm. However, this doesn’t mean that its days in the truck are over. You’ll still be able to see Olas Arepas driving around town and at various food truck events. Whether you catch Olas on the run or at its new spot, its food is so good we guarantee you’ll be going back again and again.

Opening hours:
Monday – Sunday, 11am until 10pm

Olas Arepas

Ponsonby Central
136-146 Ponsonby Rd
Ponsonby
Auckland

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