Twelve Questions: Lyall Hakaraia

Lyall Hakaraia is a London nightclub owner, event director and fashion designer whose couture has been worn by Beyonce and Lady Gaga and regularly appears in Vogue. He left New Zealand 23 years ago but is back this month for Auckland’s Pride festival.

Lyall Hakaraia loves the birdsong of a Kiwi morning.Lyall Hakaraia loves the birdsong of a Kiwi morning.

1. Did you have your own aesthetic growing up in New Zealand?

Oh yes. I was my own person from a very early age. I did things on my own terms. I was very caught up in books and had a really good inner fantasy life that was going on all the time and the parents around us really encouraged that. I grew up in Russell and there were a lot of artistic people – potters, painters. (Artist) Seraphine Pick was one of my best friends and we would hang out at her house. Her father had gone to Slade (art school) and her mum was painting too. All the wallpaper in her house had been made by her parents. All the fabric I wore was screen printed by my mum. It was an amazingly creative place.

2. So you went to art school too: was that productive?

Elam was useful in that it made me decide I didn’t want to be in art school any more. I was there for a year but I realised my vision of how I wanted to do things was completely different to everyone else. The way I worked was different. I’d go out and buy second-hand clothes, 1980s gear then, and paint in them and no one could believe I’d never get a drop of paint on my outfit.

The meticulous way I worked in painting actually meant I was great at sewing, though I didn’t realise it then.

3. Did you just happen into fashion?

People had told me they liked my style so when I moved to Wellington I did some work as a stylist with Lorraine Downes at her model agency. Making clothes just happened in London as a way to be able to afford to stay there. I was living in a squat so didn’t need much money but I was making my own clothes then started doing market stalls, then got a permanent market stall and then a shop. The markets were the thing though – the Japanese would fly in and buy up all your clothes then take them back to sell. I taught myself how to do sew and pattern cut and I started to work with amazing skilled people who were doing high-end embroidery or corsetry for La Croix and Dior and Mugler. We’d be working all day on a piece then at night get dressed up together and go partying at clubs with the hot celebrities and amazing performers and endless Champagne.

4. Was that all a bit overwhelming for a boy from Russell?

The boy from Russell never felt he was a boy from Russell anyway.

5. Was your sexuality ever an issue for you?

I’ve always believed that you are what you are whether straight or gay or bi. When I met my (13-year-old) daughter’s mother we fell in love and had a child and got married – the whole thing, then we broke up and now I see men but it might change again. The whole idea of a pre-packaged gay lifestyle is offensive to me and has been since I was quite small. I would classify myself as having a queer sensibility rather than a gay lifestyle.

6. How is that different?

Being queer means I’m much more open to lots of different genders. I’ve got lots of very good friends who are transsexual – women to men and men to women – and I don’t think there’s such a thing as just being gay or lesbian. There are so many variations. You find a lot of gay men who don’t like lesbians and don’t like people in the transgender community.

7. What, to you, is the greatest form of intolerance?

To not educate yourself when you come across a point of view that you do not understand. Ignorance breeds fear and hate.

8. Do you try to teach openness to your daughter?

She’s always been surrounded by it really. One of her aunts is a transsexual dominatrix. She comes with me when we’re putting on an event at Glastonbury or whatever. For her it’s a natural thing. She asks questions, of course, and I just give her straightforward answers. The funny thing is, when she was little, she didn’t even ask questions. Children are very accepting.

9. Do you work directly with the celebrities you dress, or is it through their people?

It’s both: with Lady Gaga it was through her stylists who are friends of mine. Celebrity is an interesting life to choose. I’ve seen how people become slaves to it. With the 24-hour media attention they get these days, life becomes disjointed from any kind of reality because everything you do is examined. The only way to survive it is to not look at TV or newspapers or magazines and isolate yourself from the world, which in turn makes you nutty.

10. You worked on a recent party with Joan Collins: was that nutty?

She was throwing a party for her daughter Tara who is a friend of mine but Joan hijacked it to be a party about her. It can be quite a disastrous thing for you to pander to a celebrity’s whims because then they run with it. You realise that you are feeding a dragon, who is only going to breathe fire at you. I basically spent the night running up and down stairs in heels organising two floors of dancing and DJs.

11. You run a nightclub in the basement of your workroom and home: have drugs ever been an issue for you?

Not really. I’m too busy and drugs will slow you down. Being responsible for a whole room of people who are drinking and on drugs sobers you up. Here you get regular visits from police and fire people and it doesn’t pay to be off your trolley.

12. What are your fondest memories of New Zealand?

The birdsong of a New Zealand morning. There is not much of a dawn chorus in London.

Lyall Hakaraia, as DJ Tranny Dad, plays at the official closing party PROUD at Victoria Park after the 2nd Auckland Pride Parade on February 22.

NZ Herald

Possibly the Most Expensive Piece of NBA Memorabilia Ever Produced

baseketball art

Photo Courtesy of Icon Art Images

Sports fans now have the chance to own the ultimate piece of NBA memorabilia. Legends of Basketball We Made This Game is a commemorative collage featuring 61 of the greatest players to ever grace the court. Icons like Larry Bird and Michael Jordan, along with some of the newest all-stars like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, have all come together on this 40 x 60 piece of history.

In 1997, to honor of the NBAs 50th anniversary, a lithograph was produced in collaboration with Icon Art Images showcasing the leagues 50 greatest players. This new project is a follow-up to that effort and includes the leagues current luminaries.

What makes this piece so coveted are the autographs of each high-profile player under a photo of them in action. Artist Erika King brought the Legends of Basketball to life with her colorful collage work, which she has been creating for people in the entertainment, sports and corporate industries for years. For their participation, each of the NBA superstars receives a collage of their own.

The original lithograph retailed at $25,000 when it came on the market 16 years ago, but has since been sold for $75,000 at the NBA Store in NYC and $100,000 at the Field of Dreams store at the Ceasars Palace Forum Shops in Las Vegas. Benefiting from the sales is The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA). The non-profit assists players with the transition into retirement, and puts on charitable events to help young kids and their communities.

If youd like to find out how much it will cost to get your hands on your own Legends of Basketball We Made This Game, call (305)606-5157. In the meantime, check out this video featuring Miami Heats Dwyane Wade talk about his very own art piece.

Now’s Your Chance to Own Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe

Posted: Oct. 22nd, 2012 | Comments 0 | Make a Comment
Diamond Dust Shoes

Photo Courtesy of Philips de Pury & Company

Any Andy Warhol fans out there should be thrilled to learn that Phillips de Pury & Company is putting on an auction that will include many of the iconic artist’s works. Taking place at the auction house’s 450 Park Ave headquarters, the luxury art auction will also feature important works by many other prominent artists, like Pablo Picasso and Cy Twombly.

Of the Warhol offerings there is â??Diamond Dust Shoesâ?? and “Shoes”, 1980, his homage to femininity and luxury. “Diamond” is estimated at $200,000 to $300,00 and “Shoes” is estimated at a lower $40,000 to $60,000. The prints (both framed and in good condition) combine all of Warhol’s favorite themes of Hollywood glamour, wealth, and image. The artist apparently sent his assistants out to find the many pairs of vintage and modern shoes for his photos.

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330 Pounds Worth of YSL Lipstick on Display in Paris

Photo Courtesy of Palais de Tokyo

Do you ever think of your

luxury makeup

as a work of art? Love it so much that you want to frame it on a wall or put it behind glass in a museum? While most people would imagine these ideas in the figurative sense, Fabrice Hyber took his passion for makeup to a literal level. The artist put his love for luxury beauty on display by crafting a sculpture made of 330 pounds of Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture number one lipstick.

The sculpture called 1M3 de Beaut, which translates to One Cubic Meter of Beauty, is on display at the Palais de Tokyo Museum in Paris. The piece references a past work of Hybers, called 1M2, which hangs on a wall in the same museum. That piece, as you may guess, is a 1-square-meter surface covered in lipstick. Both pieces are a part of Hubers show called Matires Premiers, (Raw Materials) which will run at the museum until January 7.

Explaining the choice of materials used in his newer creation, Hyber said that lipstick is a medium that can be underappreciated in its traditional tube form. On a larger scale, however, his audience is able to see the product in a new light. Its a material that is very supple, lipstick, especially in a large quanitity, the artist told


. The material permanently moves. It is a work that is never finished, which is always evolving. Its a living oeuvre.

So how did Hyber choose the Yves Saint Laurent formula, of all the lipsticks out there? He feels his work correlates with that of the designers fashion, which mixed masculine and feminine elements. And of course, the brands impeccable rouge hue was ideal for Hybers project. It needed to be a red that is very vivid, very present, he said.

NARS Trend Report | Strong Brows At THAKOON S/S 2013

Nars Collage 1 NARS Trend Report | Strong Brows At THAKOON S/S 2013NARS cosmetics is known for echoing a cool, rich image with their provocative product names that often create a stir amongst the fashion world. Their makeup trends have been highlighted this fashion season, particularly, at Thakoon’s Spring 2013 runway show at the New York Fashion Week.

Diane Kendal, the Lead Artist for the Cosmetic brand kept in mind a ‘strong brow’ trend whilst setting the look. “There were ‘20s-era vintage images on Thakoon’s mood board,” Kendal was quoted saying. “While there was something very fragile about them, the eyes were deep and cheeks were blushed. We made the look modern, and more off-beat, with shades of brown to create depth in the eyes. The blush is lower on the face rather than on the cheekbone, like a painting.” Kendal even emphasized on the strong influence of minimalism which led in a compilation of a flapper-meets-90s-chic thus creating a fun inspiration.

Nars Collage 2 NARS Trend Report | Strong Brows At THAKOON S/S 2013

Thakoon Panichgul was quoted while describing the inspiration for his collection as “Everything is light and transparent for the purpose of combining structure and transparency,” which was reflected powerfully on both the collection as well as makeup.

Some of the key products used for the look are – Luminous Moisture Cream and Optimal Brightening Concentrate for the skin; Radiant Creamy Concealer (available from February and march in USA and Globally respectively) Light Reflecting Setting Powder – Pressed (available by February to USA and Global markets) and  Seduction Blush (Available from January in USA and February globally) for the face; for the highlighted brows, Jodhpur Eyebrow Pencil and the Mambo Eyeliner Pencil were used. Bali Single Eyeshadow, Blondie Single Eyeshadow and Santa Monica Blvd Larger Than Life® Long-Wear Eyeliner were used for the intricate eye work. The products used for the exclusive look are new and are or will be available on their official website

– Anupriya Dutta

An Intimate Look into the Work of Les Lalanne

From May 4 to June 16, Paul Kasmin Gallery in Manhattan will showcase more than 30 inventive, sculptural works by French artists Claude Lalanne and the late Franc¸ois-Xavier Lalanne. The husband-and-wife team, who have exhibited their work together since the 1960s under the name Les Lalanne, have made memorable appearances in Christie’s sale of the Yves Saint Laurent collection, at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York, and more. Gallerist and photographer Paul Kasmin followed and photographed Les Lalanne for decades, coming closer to the artistic duo than most. For this exhibit, he has curated a selection of significant sculptures that showcase each artist’s voice. In conjunction with the exhibit, Kasmin is releasing a book of his intimate, never-before-seen photographs of the couple in their home and studio, and depicting their work.

Claude Lalanne’s signature ginkgo motif—a recurring image that derives from the artist’s garden work (including a gate she sculpted for the private garden at their home)—appears in the 5-foot-tall bronze throne, Tro^ne de Pauline (moyen) (2010), which will make its first U.S. appearance at the exhibit. And several of Francois-Xavier’s both surreal and functional, animal-inspired pieces will be on view, including his cast iron Babouin (1973), which stows a working fireplace in the belly of a baboon; and Hippopotame I (1968–1969), a hippopotamus sculpture in blue polyester resin that opens to reveal a bathtub in its body and a usable sink in its head. (212.563.4474,