The whole wearing-activewear-while-not-doing-anything-active trend is something that it’s taken some convincing for us to get on board with. And now that it’s been mainstream for a while, it’s a movement that has started to feel a little stale.
Don’t get us wrong, the idea that we can get away with wearing clothes that are comfortable and practical on a day-to-day basis is great. But we’re sick of watching it cause individual style to morph into a spandex-clad, homogeneous version of its former self.
Now that Spring is around the corner and we inevitably start thinking more about how we can fit exercise into our daily routines, there is a growing impetus to find ways to dress that are casual (without looking like we’ve just rolled out of bed), versatile and easy to transition from a morning walk to a coffee date to work. Athleisure, therefore, is a logical look to start embracing.
So, in a bid to cultivate a wardrobe of athleisure pieces that will do their job while still allowing us to express our individuality and not fade into the (Instagram) crowd, we have looked around to find pieces that fit the athleisure mould, but in a more refined way.
So, is the new incarnation of this hallowed marque the ultimate family vehicle? Watch to find out.
Our automotive series Driving Miss Duncan is back. And this time, Denizen’s resident car expert, Rachelle Duncan is taking the new Land Rover Discovery off the beaten track in search of some farm-grown, organic produce.
Over the course of her intrepid day trip — between picking up veggies, stopping for a cup of tea and trying to corral a cow into the Discovery’s boot — Miss Duncan discovers that the fifth generation of this much-loved marque has seriously upped the ante on all its bells and whistles — without losing any of the charm that made it such a lauded family car in the first place.
For one, it looks sleeker than previous incarnations. The rear of the car pays homage to the Discovery’s rich lineage, with its asymmetrical back and offset number plate, while the body feels more elegantly proportioned and modernised thanks to touches like sleek wraparound LED headlights. It has also lost a whopping 480 kilograms thanks to a new monocoque body that is 83 percent aluminium.
And even though it’s still relatively big-boned, the new Discovery whips around town with agility and grace, its ride is smooth and it sports a sophisticated look that makes it feel as at-home on unsealed country roads as it is on the mean streets of Herne Bay. Not to mention the fact that a 360-degree camera and ingenious parking assist feature make this car a breeze to park — even in the heart of the city.
The luxurious interior, with features like an infotainment touchscreen, heated seats (in every row), stacks of USB ports and a Wi-Fi hotspot, is almost as impressive as the car’s storage. It boasts 2,400 litres of load space, seven comfortable seats (the third row can be put up and down using the Land Rover InControl app), and an ample boot with the option of a pet ramp designed to get the family dog in and out with ease.
From its ‘Automatic Terrain Response’ that makes driving on unpredictable ground a breeze, to the way the Discovery meets the demands of family life, this SUV is, as Miss Duncan discovers, capable of handling anything.
We’ve all been there. Sitting in the chair at the hair salon while the stylist prattles off some must-try products that would be perfect for your unruly mane. I’ll be the first to admit I almost always check out. Firstly, there’s no way my hair will ever look as good as it does when it has just been washed and blow-dried to Julia Roberts-level perfection at the salon. Secondly, my hair is akin to the American actress only ever in my dreams. It’s thin, slicks itself back at the first sight of oil and yet manages to be, at the same time, dry. Or at least that’s what it was like before I gave in to one particularly convincing sales pitch — and bought a bottle of Olaplex.
Olaplex is a system that works at a molecular level to find single sulfur hydrogen bonds in your hair and link them back together (otherwise they eat away at your reserve hair proteins), thus multiplying the bonds and making your hair stronger. In layman’s terms, it repairs broken hair and then works to protect it from the damage caused by things like dyes and heat. I get my hair done approximately every eight-to-10 weeks, and because I don’t enjoy sitting in a chair at the salon for hours, it was promising to know that there was a product that promised to extend the quality of my hair between professional treatments.
My hair has been dyed so many different colours and has been taken from its natural, lacklustre brown to bleached blonde and even pink. So technically, I’m the perfect Olaplex candidate. Although it’s worth noting that this treatment is not exclusively reserved for those with damaged or bleached hair. It will be of benefit to even those with virgin (uncoloured) hair and anyone susceptible to environmental factors and heat damage.
I started off using No. 3, the Hair Perfector — which is an at-home treatment — once a week. Applying a generous amount of it through the roots to the ends of my unwashed, towel-dried hair, I left it in overnight. Olaplex recommends a minimum of 10 minutes, but I decided to sleep in it — why not give it as much time as possible to really work its magic?
The results were instantaneous after rinsing it out the next morning. And although it was similar to what it feels like after conditioning (which is expected), what was really surprising was that this time, the feeling lasted for the entire week.
After getting used to using the No. 3 treatment religiously, six months ago I introduced the No. 4 and No. 5 bond maintenance shampoo and conditioner into my routine too. The results of using these alongside the treatment as my only haircare regimen have been good enough for me to come into the office and present an entire spiel on why everyone should be doing the same. I do not work for Olaplex, but I should. This stuff is magic.
Pre-Olaplex, if I let my hair dry naturally, frizz was always expected, which would see me constantly patting my head down to tame it. This was part of the reason why it had a tendency to turn pretty oily, pretty fast. But, after six months of using this trio, I can honestly say my hair dries with significantly less frizz (if any at all). It is also easier to style and feels a lot stronger. I’m looking forward to seeing how this holds up during summer when I’m constantly exposed to the sun and sea, but so far, it’s safe to say I’m impressed.
I may not have shiny, tousled hair à la Pretty Woman, but what I do have is hair that feels thicker, less unruly and much easier to maintain.
There is a phenomenal footwear regression that has been influencing the trends of the last few seasons. It propelled the ugly ‘dad’ sneaker into fashion’s favour, heralded the return of snakeskin and has recently brought forth from the archives the revival of a noughties fave — the jandal.
And while some find it hard to get on board with the fact that styles like the cowboy boot are ‘back,’ we thought it high time we made a case for embracing the footwear of the moment, turning to one of our go-to stores for shoes that speak to the trends but in a modern and inherently wearable way.
From loafers that evoke the elegance of the 50s and 60s, to bold Western silhouettes, Scarpa’s new styles are helping us put our best feet forward when it comes to not only staying on top of the trends but also cultivating a collection of shoes that will ultimately prove timeless.
It’s been a while since we’ve given our wardrobes a refresh. Perhaps it’s the cold weather — we’d rather spend our money on comfort food and skin treatments — or maybe it’s because this time of the year is particularly busy. That said, we’ll never say no to some online shopping. And as such, have compiled a running list of everything we’ve been ‘adding to cart’ of late. For a spot of sartorial inspiration, look no further…
Marlon James has been widely discussed amongst literary circles for quite some time now, but it wasn’t until his latest book Black Leopard, Red Wolf, that his name was propelled to one of household status. And yet, while he is becoming more well known by the day, James is still very much in the beginnings of what we suspect to be a long and successful career in the writing biz. Big things are happening but, undoubtedly, even bigger things are to come, and so we deem it wholly necessary to knight the pensmith with the coveted title of Author To Know — the fourth in our Author To Know series and, incidentally, the first male.
Now an acclaimed novelist and a professor of literature and creative writing at Macalester College in Minnesota, James is a recognised talent. And yet, unlike our previous Authors To Know, this feature on Marlon James doesn’t discuss an early acquiring of literary fame. He wasn’t scouted when young, he wasn’t snapped up by his local newspapers and he wasn’t awarded coveted accolades and awards early on his career. In fact, James’ first book, John Crow’s Devil, was rejected by publishers on 78 different occasions. Instead, James youth was spent in his birth country of Jamaica, suppressing his homosexuality via a newfound relationship with the church.
Considering that he was born in 1970 in Kingston, much of James’ material is influenced by his homeplace, and its rampant homophobic culture — sex between men is illegal in Jamaica and, while the laws are rarely enforced, homophobia-related violence is still widespread.
His first novel, the previously mentioned John Crow’s Devil, focuses on a biblical struggle in the fictional, remote Jamaican village of Gibbeah in 1957. The writings are mythical, with curses and fantastical beasts, but the two preachers vying for leadership both harbour very real sexual secrets. The prose is stark, confronting and often violent, and yet, despite the book’s initial rejection by publishers, it eventually found its place in the literary world. The debut even incited a few praising reviews from notable publications. The New York Times, for example, noted how James writes with “assurance and control,” while The Independent stated that it “at times” has “real vigour and energy.”
His 2009 follow up, The Book of Night Women, is a story written in the same challenging but compelling vein. In fact, it has been described by The New York Times as “both beautifully written and devastating.” The piece tells the story of Lilith, a girl born into slavery on an early 19th Century, Jamaican plantation, and follows her as she becomes part of a revolt. Even more confronting than James’ previous works, The Book of Night Women paints gruesome and vivid images. It is disturbing but compulsively readable — described by The Independent as containing an “epic narrative” and by the Washington Post as having a “vibrant, violent plot,” with text that is like “an explosion of poetry”.
It wasn’t until his third novel, the 2014-released A Brief History of Seven Killings, that James won his first major accolade. A tale that went on to win the Man Booker Prize, A Brief History tells a fictional story based on the attempted assassination of Bob Marley, in Jamaica in the 70s and early-80s. The sprawling novel covers seven separate narratives, each densely packed with gang crime, CIA interference, drug abuse and violent murders. It is complex and, thanks to its multiple narratives and dark content, far more difficult to read than James’ previous two endeavours.
But it seems those who take the time to invest in the novel will be rewarded greatly, and the book has been applauded by numerous critics. It made Huffpost’s Best Books Of 2014 list, was recognised by The Conversation as being “exciting” and “important”, and was described by the New York Times as “epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex.”
With James, it’s clear that his skills become more honed with each piece he writes, and every new book is better received than the last. This couldn’t have been made clearer when, in February of this year, he released his latest novel, Black Leopard, Red Wolf. The first volume in a fantasy trilogy, BLRW draws on African mythology and history to result in a story described by James himself as an “African Game of Thrones.”
It follows Tracker, a hunter who is renowned far and wide for his skills, as he is assigned a job to find a missing child. Despite his tendency to work alone, this time Tracker joins forces with a group of eight assorted characters — a hodgepodge of fantastical creatures, including a shape-shifting hunter, a giant and a centuries-old witch — to navigate ancient cities to find the boy, escaping the clutches of a few deadly beasts along the way.
The book, to use an overused but entirely fitting cliché, was a roaring success. Immediately after its release, it was described by GQ as “a rare novel that arrives practically destined to be a cultural touchstone for years to come,” while a journalist at The Irish Times dubbed it “one of the bravest and boldest pieces of contemporary fiction” she had read in years. Even Rolling Stone referred to the book as “a stunning, word-drunk take on sword-and-sorcery sagas,” later going on to say how “you could not ask for a better, more tantalizing franchise firestarter.” So compelling is the storyline, in fact, that the film rights have been snapped up by Black Panther‘s Michael B. Jordan, with James set to serve as executive producer for the project.
James clearly has a tantalising future ahead of him. He’s currently plotting the second in the trilogy — which will apparently follow a witch from the first book — while continuing his teachings in English and creative writing. For the UK’s Channel 4, he has written a TV pilot about a former Scotland Yard detective who returns to her home country of Jamaica. The show is still yet to be green-lighted, and little is known about what we can expect if it is, but if his previous work is proof of anything, it’s that James has a penchant for keeping people on their toes, and is unlikely to follow any conventional path.
Really, it should come as no surprise that James is in the midst of being catapulted to literary fame. The fantasy novelist pulls from folklore, fables and history with great bravura, shining a light on cultures and traditions that the majority are not overly familiar with — but, by now, really should be. His novels defy generic genre titles via a whole new realm of fantasy, and his unique tone — not always easy to read but yet consistently impossible to turn away from — is almost addictive. It’s this risk-taking and brashness, his depiction of homosexuality and religion, that make him entirely unique and profound as a writer. He is almost as intriguingly mythical as the characters that he creates. A writer, we think, that you would do well to keep your eye on — we’re forecasting great things.
Some of you might have heard about my questionable behaviour last weekend. Combining a humble gas station steak pie with a Whittaker’s peanut slab created not only the ultimate sweet and savoury combination but also ended up going somewhat viral — covered by national news and local radio stations. I named the culinary combo the Cooney Hooney after our Senior Editor, Margie Cooney, who was the one who told me about it. (Disclaimer: she did it once, years ago, and advised me not to eat the whole thing.) And because it was a food pairing that, at first glance, seemed utterly outrageous, the Cooney Hooney drew vitriol from the public. Comments swooped in left, right and centre from people in disgust, and who, despite not having tried it for themselves, decided that just looking at a picture of it was enough.
But after the dust had settled, and people actually let their curiosity get the better of them — the tone seemed to change. Most who actually tried the Cooney Hooney only had positive things to say about its warm, salty and sweet nature. Which just proves the age-old adage true: don’t knock it ’til you try it.
That in mind, we thought it a good time to encourage you to expand your culinary horizons further. If last weekend’s experience has taught us one thing, it’s to be adventurous with the food you eat. Branch out and try flavour combinations you would never think would work. As these dishes around Auckland prove, sometimes the weirder, the better.
Ebi Mayo Roll from Ebisu Japanese food purists are usually outraged when they read up on what is in Ebisu’s infamous Ebi Mayo Roll. While tiger prawns sitting on top of an avocado roll, drizzled in mayo with tobiko topping sounds like a dream it’s the addition of rockmelon that comes as a surprise. But before writing it off, open your mind — this unexpected, fruity twist is what makes this sushi roll work. After biting into the plump prawn, and tasting the creamy avocado, the burst of sweetness from the rockmelon comes out of nowhere and complements the flavours perfectly.
Raspberry, coconut, coriander ice cream from Duck Island Renowned for its variety of sophisticated flavours, especially the signature roasted white chocolate miso and salted caramel, Duck Island has no boundaries when it comes to creative combos. And while patrons know not to expect the usual when walking into this ice cream store, the raspberry, coconut and coriander flavour still garners double-takes. Coriander in ice cream might sound strange but if you actually think about it, the additional herb makes perfect sense, especially when paired with fruit. Cutting through the richness of the coconut while adding zest and freshness to the raspberry, coriander is definitely an asset to this scoop.
Dessert from Sidart At this progressive fine-dining restaurant, the exceptional menu throws any idea of normal out of the window from the get-go. Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Sidart, Sid Sahrawat is constantly pushing the gastronomic boundaries to make his one-on-a-kind flavours and offer an unparalleled gastronomic experience. But it’s in the final dessert that Sahrawat regularly blows his diners away. Despite the fact that the dishes at Sidart are always changing depending on the season one example we have had before is the Roquefort cheesecake. This dessert saw a combination of flavours that, by themselves, would lend themselves far more to a savoury palate. Decadent yet fresh sheep’s milk Gorgonzola cheesecake was combined with aromatic truffle ice cream, rich olive oil shortbread, pungent red wine jelly and a red wine syrup, and reminded us of a dessert version of a grazing board.
Matcha scone filled with red bean and butter from The Candy Shop Scones are no longer limited to just the savoury cheese and sweet date judging by The Candy Shop’s rendition of the classic cafe cabinet treat. Here, the moist scone is infused with an earthy green tea matcha powder for a slight bitterness which sounds strange, but with the addition of sweet red bean, balance is restored. The main problem for scones, in general, is that they can often be dry, but the amount of butter placed inside these beauties take any risk of this down to zero. Butter and red bean is actually a common combination in modern Korean bakeries as the butter enriches the fluffy and sweet red bean, making it an indulgent experience.
Glazed doughnut burger from Sneaky Snacky In the age of social media food that looks spectacular but tastes underwhelming, you might have already written off Sneaky Snacky’s doughnut burger as just another example of that. But having tasted it for ourselves, we can guarantee that it’s one of the most sinfully delicious things in town. The fluffy doughnuts are glazed in thick sugar syrup and inside, sits salty and succulent wagyu patties and a spicy kimchi fritter for an extra kick. In this beast, you get sweet, salty, spicy and it’s truly sensational.
Jerusalem artichoke ice cream from Han This root vegetable is an oddity on its own and Min Baek, head chef and owner of modern Korean restaurant, Han, has made it even stranger by using it for ice cream as part of his latest dessert — The Winter Garden. The nutty flavour of the artichoke actually pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the dessert, where its flavours complement the ‘edible soil’ made from crumbled dark chocolate. Baek also incorporates fruity sweetness by adding a compressed tamarillo and persimmon and tops it all off with crispy Jerusalem artichoke and dehydrated persimmon leather.
Those at Netflix knew what they were doing when they added Mindhunter to the streaming giant’s repertoire back in October 2017. The program was proffered to us to devour when we were at peak desire for chilling, twisted, true crime-focused content, and we gobbled up each of the ten episodes with fervour as though we’d been starved of sick storylines for months. (NB: We hadn’t, given that Abducted In Plain Sight and The Confession Tapes were also getting binged on at this time.)
Season one followed FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench as they picked the brains of some of the US’s most notorious criminals, with the hope of applying their findings to ongoing and future cases in a very Silence Of The Lambs styled set up. Very unnerving, and very real, criminals featured, with most characters moulded around actual convicted murderers, and their prison scene dialogues based upon real interviews — including that of Ed Kemper, Jerome Brudos, Monte Rissell and Richard Speck.
With each professional breakthrough, however, Ford took a hit to both his mental health and personal relationships, until finally, his career started taking a hit, too. The series finishes with an interview between Ford and Kemper, during which the Agent gets drawn into a hug by the serial killer. In what is seemingly the final straw for Ford and his fragile mental state, on his way out he collapses and falls into a panic attack in the hall, realising, no doubt, how close he had come with danger himself.
Mindhunter‘s roaring success was well predicted, it seems, because just one month after its release the arresting series was renewed for a second season. Now, after almost two years of waiting, avid fans can finally find out how the story progresses in a nine-part successor.
The Plot Season two will fold the previous narratives in with coverage of the notorious Atlanta killings — a series of child murders that took place in Atlanta between 1979 and 1981, killing at least 28, mostly African American teenagers and children. As hinted at in the first season, the second will feature infamous cult leader Charles Manson, alongside a raft of other new criminals, including David Berkowitz (also known as Son of Sam). It’s likely that viewers will see the effect of Ford’s breakdown, following his visit with Kemper at the end of season one, and will see a return from Kemper himself, too, if the trailer is anything to go by.
The Cast Jonathan Groff (Ford), Holt McCallany (Trench) and Anna Torv (Wendy Carr) will all resume their roles as the central criminal profiling trio, this time around joined by Michael Cerveris (Fringe), as a new FBI director. Also confirmed to return is Joe Tuttle, the actor who played Gregg Smith, the new member of the FBI squad that joined the team in season one. Cameron Britton will, of course, be back as Kemper, while Damon Herriman is rumoured to be playing Manson, an actor who, interestingly, also plays the notorious cult leader in Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
The release date Mindhunter season two drops on Friday 16th August.
Even if you don’t know who Tom Gould is, you’ll have likely seen his photographic and film work in campaigns for brands like Reebok and Ralph Lauren. The Kiwi-born, New York-based filmmaker’s relationship with the latter was born from a book he spent six years working on about a sub-culture called the Lo Lifes, who held Ralph Lauren clothing in almost religious esteem. Bury Me With The Lo On was a sellout. And it saw Gould’s work reach a wide audience.
Now, the creative has released his latest creative endeavour — a powerful documentary called Brownsville Born. Set to the soundtrack of gun violence in America, the film is a carefully-constructed piece of storytelling that details the journey of a young boxer, Bruce ‘Shu Shu’ Carrington, growing up in a notorious neighbourhood of Brooklyn in New York. It follows his family who supports the athlete in his pursuit of boxing greatness while also struggling to make peace with the senseless murder of his older brother two years earlier.
When speaking to Gould about the process of creating something that required him to engage on such a personal level with his subjects, he tells me, “it all came down to trust really.” Going on to say, “it became like this kind of therapy between me and the family, because they weren’t really talking to each other about it, but they were talking to me.”
And so, piece by piece, Gould constructed Brownsville Born with fastidious care, ultimately producing a film that is both relevant and deeply moving.
On one level, it plays into the classic cinematic trope of the athlete from ‘the wrong side of the tracks’ succeeding against all odds. Beyond that, it’s a narrative that addresses endemic gun crime in America — an issue with a relentlessness I’m reminded of when Gould, a week after we speak, links me a recent article about 12 people getting shot in a Brownsville playground. At a deeper level still, the film’s message underlines that people in communities like Brownsville, suffering systemic violence, need to realise the importance of confronting the consequences of that suffering, head-on.
For Gould, it seems, the greatest power of film is its transformative capability, and the capacity it has to show a more intimate side of huge social issues — like the gun violence it addresses here. “This incredible family… I really feel are part of the solution,” he says, “and they can be part of the change.”
Brownsville Born is not a long watch, but it’s a compelling and important one, and we couldn’t recommend it more. To watch the documentary in full, click here. To read more about Tom Gould and his impressive work, look out for our piece on him in the upcoming Spring Issue of Denizen — out on 26th August.
In the last three decades, Allpress has grown from humble coffee-cart to iconic brand. Started by Michael Allpress in Auckland in 1989, this innovative company has had a huge hand in transforming the coffee culture in New Zealand into the refined, world-renowned industry it is today and is now taking its unique, flavoursome brews to the world.
As part of its anniversary celebrations, Allpress has installed a retrospective exhibition in its Auckland gallery space (Allpress Studio) that opened today and will run until 5th October. Tracing the evolution of Allpress via audio, video, photography, art and intriguing things from Allpress’ archives, the exhibition will even contain a recreation of the original 80s cart was set up in Victoria Park Market.
Throughout the duration of the exhibition, three events will also take place at the Studio, where notable New Zealanders who embody the same kind of entrepreneurial, disruptive and adventurous spirit as Allpress will lead interesting talks.
Marking the 30th anniversary, Allpress has also collaborated with Bennetts chocolate to produce three limited-edition bars — Double Espresso, JAFA and Flat White — alongside releasing a special, 30th Anniversary coffee blend based on the first one that it ever created.