The Met Gala has been cancelled but these films will give you a much-needed fashion fix

When this year’s Met Gala was cancelled and the accompanying exhibition About Time: Fashion and Duration postponed until October, fans of glamour, creativity and celebrities looking strange on the red carpet clenched their Chanel manicures in rage. The Met Gala is like Christmas and New Year’s Eve all rolled into one for fashion fans.

This is not the time to let Covid-19 stand in the way of our need for style, sophistication and famous people aggressively pouting. Fashion films are perfect for satisfying your hunger for haute couture. From The Met Gala to Raf Simons at Dior, Audrey Hepburn running down stairs and Linda Evangelista pouting for the camera, here are the fashion films that put you in the front row.

First Monday In May
At this time of year we would usually be preparing for Rihanna to steal the crown at the Met Gala, regularly referred to as Christmas for followers of haute couture, but Covid-19 is proving a grinch in 2020, cancelling the event. Instead let Andrew Rossi’s documentary take you inside the 2015 party with the theme China: Through The Looking Glass. There are squabbles between the staff at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the fashion crowd but Rihanna in a canary yellow robe by Guo Pei is the defining masterpiece.

Twenty-five years ago at the height of Supermodel feve, Robert Leacock followed enduring beauty Christy Turlington for the spring/summer 1994 season. From the opening shots of Turlington landing in Milan with still-super Naomi Campbell and a startlingly fresh-faced Kate Moss, you are taken on a rollercoaster ride of fashion theatrics encompassing Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galliano.

Dior and I
Designer Raf Simons three year stint at Christian Dior helped revive the house’s reputation following the infamous exit of artistic director John Galliano. This documentary captures the intense creative process the shy Simons goes through to create his first haute couture collection for Dior’s 2012 autumn/winter collection. 

Fresh Dressed
This documentary debut by journalist Sacha Jenkins looks at the rise of urban fashion in a time before Virgil Abloh entered the mainstream at Louis Vuitton and Kanye West had models falling over at Yeezy shows. Pharrell, Nas and Andre Leon Talley all give voice to the rise of street culture through Will Smith as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, graffiti gangs and the legendary Dapper Dan.Street style with a dash of substance.

Funny Face
One of the few fictitious films to make the cut, Funny Face earns its fashion credentials thanks to Fred Astaire as a photographer modelled on the great Richard Avedon who consulted on the film, Kay Thompson inspired by Vogue editor Diana Vreeland and the beautiful Audrey Hepburn. The much-loved film captures the magnificent absurdity of high fashion.

This revered nineties classic follows Isaac Mizrahi searching for inspiration after a critically crucified collection in 1995. Featuring the super set with a particularly brattish Linda Evangelista and Carla Bruni long before she became France’s first lady, Unzipped is a tribute to Mizrahi’s humour and campy references, all colliding creatively in a rapturous finale.

Franca: Chaos and Creation
In the slew of fashion documentaries released in the past decade, this look at the late Vogue Italia editor by her son Francesco Carrozzini flew under the radar. Franca Sozzani’s singular vision, independence and enigmatic humour are captured lovingly in this captivating tribute.

American director Robert Altman’s star studded cast skewer the big personalities of the fashion industry with this irreverent look at the ready-to-wear show season. Savaged by critics when it was released in 1994, Pret-a-porter is now a nostalgic look at a time before influencers and iPhones. Look out for Julia Roberts, Lauren Bacall, Sophia Loren and Rupert Everett.

Bill Cunningham New York
Before you see the latest Bill Cunningham doco narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker, go back to the moving original directed by Richard Press and featuring an upbeat Anna Wintour, Iris Apfel and model Carmen dell’Orifice. It’s a tribute to one man’s noble dedication recording fashion on the streets of the city that usually never sleeps.

Celebration: Yves Saint Laurent
With a throbbing electronic score, Olivier Meyrou’s harsh look at designer Yves Saint Laurent is a chilling take on the creative toll of a life lived feeding the front row. Saint Laurent’s partner Pierre Berge had silenced the film for many years, unwilling to have the honest stand in the way of any myth-making.


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The Kiwi Classic from Burger Burger

Denizen’s pick of the best takeaway burgers available at Level 3

During lockdown we’ve baked bread, exhausted our repertoire of pasta sauces and defrosted a lot of meat but something has been missing, the kind of joy that comes between two buns. Few things in life are as satisfying as burgers, which is why so many tastebud-challenged people queued for a grubby fast food fix on Tuesday as we entered Level 3 lockdown.

We’ve decided to upgrade your order with our pick of burgers, from businesses offering takeaway and pick-up, that fulfil your dreams and erase all memories of the defrost function on your microwave.

The Home GrownBurger Burger
The burger that dreams are made of and diets are sacrificed for comes with a NZ grass-fed patty, pickles, cheese, lettuce, fried egg, bacon, beetroot, tomato jam, mustard and mayonnaise. Basically it’s a lot of burger but after the weeks spent in Level 4 lockdown, you well and truly deserve this.

The Hot Chicken Sando from Lowbrow

The Fried Chicken ClassicLowbrow 
Owners Kyle Street and Jordan MacDonald have a fierce reputation when it comes to a straight forward fried-chicken sando (we prefer the spicy to the hot version). With a tasty and tender chicken thigh, lettuce, McClure’s pickles, American cheese and mac sauce, it’s a classic ready to send you into a food coma.

Get Smashed – Bar Celeste
Those found guilty of burger cravings would be able to piece this creation together with an IdentiKit. The Smashburger is currently available for pick up from Bar Celeste, with the ground beef patty flattened on the grill to encourage some serious caramelisation. Don’t worry, the rest is straight-forward with pickles, lettuce, special sauce and cheese. We suggest going all out and getting the Double Smashburger with two patties to make your order count. 

The Mushroom Burger from Better Burger

Vegetarian Indulgence – Better Burger
There is something magic about this deep-fried mushroom burger. It packs the crispy crunch of a chicken burger but the noble, superfood goodness of crumbed portobello mushrooms, with a delectable sauce.

The Bao Selection at Simon & Lee

The Almost BurgerSimon & Lee
OK, it’s not a burger, strictly speaking but the tender braised beef brisket with crunchy slaw wrapped in a juicy bao makes the Bulgogi Beef Bao a welcome Asian-inspired cousin from Simon & Lee. We recommend gunning for the bao trifecta and ordering the chicken and pork belly options too.

Something Fishy – Market Galley
Thankfully the summer favourite Hapuka Burger is stretching into autumn, with its satisfying slab of grilled fish slathered in avocado, with the refreshing crunch of fennel and watercress and spicy sauce for some kick. Catch of the day.



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See an iconic eighties home transformed into a chic modern marvel

Designed in the eighties by revered Italian-Brazilian architect Ugo di Pace, this home in Sao Paolo Brazil was recently reinvigorated by Studio Arthur Casas. The aim was to reimagine the distinctive spaces now that the grown-up children had left the family nest.
By eliminating excess details the remaining couple were looking to better integrate the existing spaces . The result is the epitome of sophisticated understatement.
To accommodate the owner’s love of entertaining the living spaces were extended, while the pool was also lengthened to sit beneath the new windows. Even di Pace’s distinctive cylindrical columns were adapted, with one now housing a fireplace. It taps into a simplicity that you could only dream of in the Dynasty decade.

Clockwise: Minotti Russell dining chair from ECC, Vitra Noguchi coffee table from Matisse, Living Divani Bubble Rock sofa from Studio Italia, Bensen Area coffee table from Tim Webber and the Marac Lione sofa from Sarsfield Brooke.


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12 questions with Elle Pugh, co-founder of Elle + Riley Cashmere

Since 2016 Elle Pugh has been keeping New Zealanders covered in cosy cashmere with Elle + Riley Cashmere, the business she started with her mother Yolande Ellis. With the retail success story including stores in Queenstown, Ponsonby, Newmarket and Commercial Bay, we asked Pugh to reveal her insights and inspirations.

In one sentence, describe what you actually do in your job?
Everything. As a new business owner we share every role, design, production, sales, customer service, web design, social media, accounts, management, and my favourite part — being on the shop floor with our amazing customers and educating them about our brand. 

Who or what can you thank for your success?
My mum. This dream started because of her and as my business partner she has pushed me every day to work harder, be smarter, take risks and be brave. She is the reason we are successful as a brand. 

The Flounder from Soul Bar & Bistro

What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten in Auckland?
Impossible to choose but we literally eat at Prego every single week and their Market Fish Risotto is so comforting and unbeatable. The Beef Tostada at Azabu… Green Goddess and Flounder at Soul Bar, the Scampi Tagliatelle at Amano…. Okay stop me now… Has anyone ever given a single answer to this question? 

What’s your poison?
After our trip to Tulum last year I’m loving Casamigos Tequila on the rocks with lots of fresh lime.

What was your first job?
I worked for both my parents — cleaning and doing filing in my mum’s office and washing dishes on movie sets for my dad in the school holidays. Certainly jobs that taught me the meaning of hard work.

Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
You can’t impress everybody and things don’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.

What advice would you give your younger self?
Listen more and travel more.

What’s your favourite pastime?
Going out with my girlfriends for a solid d-floor session.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Watching reruns of Gossip Girl on Netflix.

Where do you go to unwind?
Omaha Beach or the couch.

What are your three favourite Instagram accounts?
(sorry that’s 4)

Who is your favourite Aucklander?
Vinci Gin-Nen. No one is better at bringing people together for a good time. The ultimate party thrower, entertainer and a genuine heart of gold human being. Auckland would not be what it is without him.


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Charles Ninow, Head of Art at Webb’s auction house on Berlin and American Psycho

Charles Ninow well and truly understands the art of living well as one of Webb’s in-house experts. The auction house’s Head of Art appraises his love for Succession and admiration for an American Psycho for Denizen.

My personal style can be defined by: Repetition. If I find something that works, I tend to buy multiple pairs of it so that I never have to think about what I want to wear.

The last thing I bought and loved was: This is probably something I should have done as a teenager but I recently bought my first pair of Doc Martens and I love them. Black stitching, three eyelets.

An unforgettable place I visited was: New York City. I was there at Christmas time. Who could have guessed what was around the corner? It’s such an amazing, resilient city.

Next place I’d like to go to: Berlin. I’ve been fantasising about going back there during lockdown. 

An object I would never part with is: My 1969 Seiko chronograph. That’s a vintage watch by the way.

My favourite app is: I’m addicted to Instagram. It’s a love/hate relationship. 

An indulgence I would never forgo is: Eating out. I can’t wait to get back out there when we’ve got the all clear.

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city it would be: Sheung Wan in Hong Kong. 

My style icon is: Patrick Bateman [American Psycho]. Murderous tendencies aside, his style is beyond reproach.

The best book I’ve read in the last year is: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone.

In my fridge you’ll always find: Wild rocket. It elevates every meal.

My favourite room in my house is: The kitchen. I’m not the most amazing cook but I really enjoy it.

I can’t miss an episode of: Succession. I discovered this on Neon during lockdown and now I’m hooked. 

I recently discovered: My sun, moon and rising signs. Aquarius, Taurus and Pices. 

A gadget I can’t do without is: Airpods. These little bring me one step closer to being a cyborg.

The one artist whose work I would collect is (if price is not an issue): László Moholy-Nagy. I love his photo-grams. 

László Moholy-Nagy, Photogram (1941)

The last meal out I had that truly impressed me was: A curry with jackfruit in it that my friend made for me.

The podcasts I listen to are: The Daily by New York Times, Ear Hustle, Planet Money, How I Built This and Household Name, among others.

The best gift I ever received was: A DVD, surprisingly. It was Martin Scorsese’s documentary about George Harrison called Living in a Material World.

The grooming product I can’t live without is: I recently converted to Aesop’s herbal deoderant.

The last music I downloaded was: I’ve been working out to The Weeknd’s new album [After Hours].

If I wasn’t doing what I am, I would be: A carpenter. Does a carpenter make furniture?

I have a collection of: Art. The last thing I hung on the wall was an early photograph by Peter Peryer.


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Cotto’s takeaway menu helps put food on the table for those in need

Chef John Pountney and Hayden Phiskie are coming to the rescue of those seeking the kind of comfort from carbohydrates that only Cotto can provide, while assisting those in need. The award-winning Karangahape Road stop for spaghetti, ravioli and other delights is currently closed to customers but the Cotto kitchen is thinking outside the square by launching a Pasta Box, available from Wednesday, April 28.

With the Cotto Pasta Box you pick two pasta portions from the mouth-watering line-up, running the gamut of ravioli to maltagliati, which will be accompanied by a salad and focaccia, perfect for mopping up the sauce. Just follow the easy steps to achieve a Cotto culinary finish.

Each box is $50 and will not only satisfy your carb-cravings but $6 from every order will go to the Everybody Eats Charity Trust. Basically, your dinner for two will provide two hungry Aucklanders with a freshly prepared three course meal. Feed your body and your spirit at the same time.

(09) 394 1555



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Would you like some heels with that? Superette launches a unique takeaway menu

As we enter Level 3 everyone is scanning takeaway menus looking for something to sink their teeth into but leading fashion retailer Superette is joining the frenzy with a zero calorie offering that includes new season collections from Bassike, Anine Bing and P.E Nation.

“I think when we have less to work with we are forced to be more creative,” says Superette co-founder Rickie Dee. “We’ve had to pivot our skill-set and come up with new ways to share the Superette story and service our amazing customers.” 

Taking inspiration from the hospitality industry, Superette Takeaways will deliver online purchases (with free express shipping for all orders over $100) or you can take advantage of Call & Collect, visiting your local store for a contactless pick-up.

Making sure that your appetite for style is well and truly satisfied, Superette is also offering the opportunity to make a virtual visit to your local store.  Just look up your local store on Instagram, slide into their DMs and let them know you’re keen to chat. The store will video call you back, take you through their offering, try things on for you and offer invaluable styling advice. All purchases can be sent directly to you or made available for contactless pick-up. 

“At this point in time we are all just trying to survive, this time isn’t going to last forever and I really believe that when the retail industry comes out the other side it’s going to be better than ever,” says co-founder James Rigden. “We’ve been forced to look at how we operate on a day-to-day basis and look at what we can do to make our shopping experience better for our customers. Superette Takeaways has a long term plan behind it, it’s something we want to offer our community for years to come.”

Even better, Superette Takeaways will arrive smoking hot and stay that way.


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A Francois-Xavier Lalanne sculpture in front of the marble fireplace

This flawless Parisian apartment is a masterclass in effortless chic

Joseph Dirand’s design vision is immaculate. A master at making everything striking but nothing overwhelming, his latest project, an apartment in a Haussmann-era building located on Paris’ Avenue Montaigne (a prestigious street that runs off the bottom of the Champs-Élysées), where he was given creative carte blanche, is nothing less than our dream apartment. Littered with amazing art, a task that Dirand was also charged with curating, every aspect of the project is flawless and not an ounce short on material detail.

Featuring all the original Parisian touches including the perfectly restored mouldings, parquet floors and lofty double doors, the owner describes the apartment as “a setting for a modern queen,” according to Dirand’s interview in The New York Times’ T Magazine.

The kitchen features Knoll’s Platner dining chairs which are available locally from Studio Italia
Knoll Platner dining chairs from Studio Italia
The lounge features Knoll’s Platner easy chair which is available locally from Studio Italia


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Keep calm because the wait is over. Azabu is delivering

Over the past four weeks of lockdown, if there is one place that has been unanimously missed among my family’s most loved eateries, it’s Azabu. A firm favourite for any occasion, there is something about Azabu that appeals to all ages and appetites.

So tomorrow, to celebrate life at Level 3, my family and I will be indulging in our favourite BC (Before Covid) pastime of gathering for a meal at Azabu – except it will be in our home. Embracing the new (hopefully temporary) norm, over the following weeks, we’re all going to be able to cast aside the shackles of the kitchen bench and associated dishes, ready to welcome the delectable takeaway offerings from one of the city’s best Japanese restaurants, in our own home.

My children are excited about devouring the ever popular kids bento boxes, with Teriyaki Chicken, Sushi, Dumplings and Rice, while the adults cannot wait to indulge in Fresh Spicy Tuna and Seared Salmon Rolls, Karaage Chicken and Spicy Pork Gyoza Dumplings.

It’s also worth noting that Azabu is offering a range of semi-prep yourself dishes, including frozen versions of their popular dumplings and build yourself ramen kits, so you can have options at the ready at any time.

After what we’ve all been through, it’s simple pleasures, like the familiar tastes of a family favourite, that’s going to make us feel one step closer to normal.



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Get motivated with these productivity apps to help smash working from home

Most Mondays start with the best of intentions. After some exercise you’re going to enjoy a healthy breakfast before conquering all of the work tasks that kept you awake Sunday night and log off from your computer in time to appreciate the sunset. Despite these noble thoughts, by Wednesday you usually find yourself living off black coffee with 75 tabs open on your desktop, scrolling Instagram on your phone to relieve the stress and counting trips to the bathroom as exercise. To help your mental wellbeing we have unearthed the apps that will make you more productive and tackle tasks efficiently. No coffee required.

The easy-to-use interface makes this project tracker one of the most popular productivity apps on the market. Your Monday morning to do list will be organised into projects, complete with customisable labels, that allow you to set reminders, due dates and priority levels. Collaborate with co-workers by handballing projects to them and connect to Gmail, Trello and Alexa for even greater efficiency. If list-making helps you deal with anxiety, you’ve just met your new best friend.

So you need some tough love to get you to keep your head down working, instead of trawling the latest memes and messages from your group chat? With Flipd you nominate a set time to unplug from your phone and focus on the job at hand, Set “Full Lock” and you’re kept away from your phone distractions. Even if you turn your phone on and off again for a social media fix, it won’t work. There’s also a white noise function that lets you block out distracting sounds.

Think of this Cloud-based app as a productivity expert leaning over your shoulder throughout the day. This time tracking app registers how many minutes and hours you spend on specific tasks, analyses your habits and makes suggestions on how you can improve your workflow. It’s perfect for freelancers who want clear reports on their time devoted to a job, allowing them to invoice correctly. Kerching!

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This is an instrumental music app designed to create the perfect aural background to increase your productivity at the keyboard. The music has been composed to keep your brain active rather than encouraging you to get out of your chair for impromptu dance breaks to Cardi B. There are more than 50 channels of music on this subscription service to get you into your ‘flow state’.

If you’re a visual person who is finding it difficult to abandon their classic Moleskine notebook and pen, this app may just convert you to online organisation. This notebook app, from Moleskine, features is perfect for the digital doodler with customisable tools that allow you to select pens, markers, pencils and colours. The ‘paper’ is an endless scroll allowing your stream of conscious creativity to take hold, while the eraser function is intuitive enough to keep your creations looking cool. It’s now wonder that this app picked up the Apple Design Award in 2019.


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