Editorial 19: NZFW Media Has Become Critical — And I Love It

Jess Wilson


New Zealand Fashion Week shined its pretty head just over a week ago. After completely ignoring it for that past few years, I’m starting to like it again.

When I was a fashion blogger, I never ignored NZFW. I remember, six years ago, sitting at the dinner table at 9pm anxiously waiting with my iPod Touch for the images of the catwalks to hit the blogs. It’s storytime kids...


When the images of the catwalks arrived, accompanied by their blogger reviews (which were always undoubtedly going to be beaming with positivity), I would sit at the dining table digging, and digging, until I had seen every little detail. I would search through agency’s website to find the names of the frequently appearing models, looking at their measurements to see how they compared with mine. I would research what fabrics were used and analyse what references could have been used in the collections. Finally, I would write up little reviews and post them on my Tumblr and Blogger. They provided a nice break from the usual posts about not being able to afford new clothes.

NZFW was the highlight of my year. It was a fantasy — and a reachable one. It was decided, by myself no less, that one day I would schmooze with the New Zealand fashion elite. I wanted to be a model, but if that failed, a fashion blogger.


Did I ever make it to NZFW? Yes, as a model (you can read my tips to becoming one on page 33). But by then NZFW was becoming a frustratingly repetitive event, and for one reason: bloggers. Back then the only credible people who wrote about the week were a few bloggers. Each year they would photograph the same models and their reviews were always the same unconditional love for the same designers which bothered to pay attention to them. It was boring and depressing. Thanks to blogging, fashion week was becoming a mutual-admiration-society that even I, as a fashion week model, didn’t seem to be a part of, and so, three years ago, I stopped caring about NZFW.


But this year something changed. The bloggers who once ruled NZFW are no longer a singular voice. After being linked to the reviews coming out of the week, I have found that they are far less bias and for once, critical. Catalogue Magazine’s Courtney Sanders wrote a scathing review about RUBY’s tired attempt at humour by closing their show with made-up male actors jokingly dancing in the collection’s clothes. Sunday Magazine’s Karlya Smith called Sean Kelly’s strapless dresses “impractical” and Stuff’s Kim Knight compared a pair of Third Form’s pants to “grandma's oversized pantyhose”. Scandalous! NZFW has become interesting again, and I can’t wait for next year.

Blind Date: The One Where He Went Home With Someone Else

His favourite movie is The Intouchables. She replied to all our emails in Comic Sans. The last “book” she “red” was Nexus. He knows all the words to Wake Me Up by Avicii. She knows all the words to Trumpets by Jason Derulo and any Bruno Mars song. We put them on a date where sex, depending on the person, was definitely an option...

The Ladies Experience

Going on the Nexus Blind Date was definitely something I never thought I would end up doing, but there I was due to a sneaky entry from my flatmates. I had a couple of drinks before we left, then got dropped off by my whole flat — who seem to be a lot more excited than I was as they said they felt like proud mothers.

When I walked in I immediately saw an old friend from high school who happen to be there for dinner as well. Now getting a little nervous I was shown to my table where my date was waiting. I also recognised him straight away as he is a friend of a friend which calmed my nerves a little.

We both ordered a cocktail for each other and I decided to be nice and get him a sweet one while I got the Long Island Iced Tea, which was something I wasn’t planning on drinking on a Tuesday night. With both of us being from Hamilton we had a lot of friends in common, including two of his friends who tried to spy on us. Let’s just say their cover was blown pretty quickly as they definitely had a lot more to drink than us. All in all it was a good and entertaining night with good company, definitely would recommend. Thanks again Nexus.

The Gentlemens Experience

I walked into The Bank expecting the worst, but hoping to see a straight 10 with an IQ of about the same — so I could show her the old “how’s yer father”.

When she arrived it was a little awkward because I had definitely seen her around before, and she knew exactly who I was. The general conversation consisted of getting to know each other and finding out just how many friends we had in common.

We each had a few cocktails. All in all she was a lovely girl, very easy to talk with, and a bit of a looker. Still, I had decided early on that she wasn’t for me, and had initiated my back-up plan of going to hospo with a couple mates.

My mates turned up near the end half-cut, and we all went off together. I was probably a little more tipsy than I should have been, and so when she said her flatmate could pick her up I had no objection to seeing her out so I could head back in and cut some shapes. There was some talent floating around in Shenanigans during the rest of the night, and I definitely didn’t wake up in my own bed this morning. Cheers for the good night Nexus (and thanks to my date!)

Beef Burritos

Cooking 4 Students

Yet again I am late with this column. It must be because I have had to put my big boy pants on and have to work full time since I have finished my Masters. Word from the not so wise; grown up life aint much fun. Wake up, work, eat, sleep. Repeat. I’m telling you people, get a job that you like, that you don’t mind spending hours a day plus some doing. It will help your sanity in the long run! Anyways enough about my pooey predicament, some of you guys will be in the same boat as I am and are stretched for time to cook something half decent (nothing like piss marinated mouse – Bear Grylls) So this week it’s going to be something that flys together nice and easy like Captain Underpants, something that can be both meat and meat-free and isn’t going to have to begging or selling your body to pay for.


500-1000g of mince (depend on the number of hungry beasts you’re feeding)
1 large onion diced
1 red capsicum diced
1 can of tinned tomatoes fluid drained
1 Tbs wholegrain mustard
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder or crushed seeds
Salt and Pepper
Beans (for the vegetarian folk)
Salad ingredients (lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream…)

Tortilla wraps (or you can make em yourself – my cooking channel has the recipe)


  1. Heat a large frypan, add in spices and heat until fragrant. Your nose should be transported into Mexico. Then add in some oil and throw in onion and capsicum. Cook until soft.
  2. Add in mince to same pan, cook and add mustard and tinned tomatoes. Let it simmer for 5 mins to cook off excess moisture. Mixture should be nice and thick not like a spag bowl sauce.
  3. Season and the turn out into a bowl for serving. Serve with wraps and salad.

I’m not going to bother telling you how to fill your burrito. You should know what you like filling your burrito with. Don’t go with a Wet Burrito. I’m ashamed to say by checking the plural of burrito (just adding the ‘s’), this came up as a search suggestion.

I always have structural integrity issue with my burrito, perhaps trying to ram to much stuff into it? Who knows, I never learn and I bet some of you have the same issue. The slow to learn bit.

He Puna Korero: Tarae Haati | Try Hard

Tahangawari Tangitu-Huata

" All you fellas that are supposedly too shy to seek help, but not shy to seek loose change from your neighbour, go and ask for help.

Tukua mai tō aroha e te kaihanga ki runga ki ēnei tauira e inoi nei ki a koe. Kei te whakahōnoretia tō tātou Kīngi Māori te pikitūranga o Te Whare Kāhui Ariki te Whare Tapu o Potatau Te Wherowhero rire hau pai marire Waikato Taniwha rau he piko he taniwha ko Tūheitia he taniwha, ko Tūheitia he tangata, ko Tūheitia he Kīngi Māori haumi e, hui e, tāiki e.

A massive kia ora out to you all, my name is Tahangawari Tangitu-Huata. I am your VP Māori for WSU and I’m introducing this new Māori perspective space for all Māori to discuss our issues. It’s not just for us who are completely fluent or who have joined Te Waiora, TRN, or TW, but for all students who identify as Māori and who are whangai into the wider whanau.

This column will take a damn good look at topical Māori issues and I have taken it upon myself to open with a concern that I have observed personally. It was recently brought to my attention that, like most students, we like to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of heading to the Hilly on a payday and then sulking on Facebook about being hungry and stressed about having minimal time to do our assignments.
“Bei, wake up.” A quote far too commonly used, not only by Māori Mentors, but also by our on to it cuzzies that actually crack ‘A’ plusses. They do so by working hard first and then playing hard afterwards. Sometimes they might do it the other way around, but the mahi gets done.

An easy and quick solution is to ask for bloody help. All you fellas that are supposedly too shy to seek help, but not shy to seek loose change from your neighbour, go and ask for help. Even better, come and see me in my office or make an appointment with the WSU advocacy services. No good trying to look cool and walk into class late and hungover or eyes blazed with your work not even done. It’s better you make a good attempt at your studies than a failed one. I’ll finish off with a saying from Ruki Tobin:
“C’s make degrees, but A’s get big pays”

New Locals:New Zealanders’ Quirks

Queenie Tan Pou Eian

"...I sincerely admire your tolerance for pain." 

Having been born in an Asian country, seeing Caucasians on the streets in Asia is a very rare thing. Maybe some of you have been to an Asian country before, and maybe, you have been approached by a tiny Asian lady who was probably older than you were. Then, she asked if she could take a photo with you. Okay, I have to admit that sounds very strange…

However, if you look back at the situation, you were actually being treated as if you were Channing Tatum or Emma Watson (depending on your gender of course). They probably have never seen a Caucasian outside of the television before so they may have been very excited to see you.

So, if you ever travel to an Asian continent again, instead of feeling all awkward and confused about the whole situation, put on your winning smile and strike a pose for the phone for you are like a prized work of art in a museum!

Though what really stands out and amazes me until today is the fact that during summer, New Zealanders like to walk around barefoot — no matter the surface! I was forced to walk barefoot once when my shoes failed me… Initially, it was not too bad, but after like 10 minutes, I had to hop around like a crazy person as the ground became too hot and the stones were hurting my feet! So I sincerely admire your tolerance for pain.

However, what amazes me even more is that during winter, I can still spot many New Zealanders walking outside dressed in just a t-shirt and a pair of shorts as if it is summer! I, on the other hand, am always covered in two layers at the bottom and three layers at the top. When I look at y’all, I feel even colder. So I sincerely admire your tolerance for the cold as well.

Oh and one more thing: New Zealanders don’t use umbrellas when it’s raining. I guess I will not blame y’all for that as the rain in New Zealand is not as heavy as I’ve experienced back home. So when a friend of mine got her umbrella stolen by someone, we were both shocked as we were pretty sure the locals don’t use umbrellas!

Despite all your quirkiness, I guess I have stayed long enough in your country to get used to seeing them.