What We’ve Been Crushing On This September

Violette_FR’s Yeux Paint Twinkling, available from Mecca.

Here’s a selection of things that recently left us with that warm fuzzy feeling, from twinkling eye paint to a documentary series charting local Pasifika history, to a custom corduroy pillow.

Violette_FR Yeux Paint Twinkling

I’ve been following French makeup artist Violette Serrat on Instagram for a while

Still Here documentary series

Local Pasifika history is something important to our place in the world and this month I have been crushing on season two of the documentary series Still Here. As a born and bred central Aucklander from a Samoan family, the stories that make up this unique series are deeply personal and relatable. The first season looked at some of the inner-city Pacific families who continue to live in the central city, and the newly released second season continues in this vein but focuses broadly on four iconic community spaces — The Fineone Hakupu Community House, which serves Aotearoa’s Niuean community; Richmond Rovers Rugby League Club; a 45-year-old kava club in Grey Lynn; and the iconic Samoa House on Karangahape Road. Maota Samoa opened in 1979 as a response to the Dawn Raids era, ironically opened by then PM Robert Muldoon, and previously housed the Samoan consulate which migrated to South Auckland in 2016. As a place that holds so much value to the Pasifika community in central Auckland, the future of Samoa House is uncertain as Pacific community groups no longer have direct or priority access to the space, so it was interesting to shed light on this significant building. Directed and produced by Litia Tuiburelevu and produced by Torisse Laulu. Available to watch on TVNZ. — Dan Ahwa, creative and fashion director

Past Lives by Leah Dodd

While perusing the shelves at Time Out Bookstore, shopping for a friend’s birthday, I picked up a copy of Leah Dodd’s Past Lives. I’m finding myself in a specific niche of being the friend who reliably hands out books for annual celebration — which is perhaps a selfish endeavour as I’m establishing a sure way to borrow the book back for my own reading pleasure (no one tell my loved ones). Anyway, I dove into the pages to work out if this would suit my pal’s tastes and was instantly sure it was the right pick. Within the book, Leah seems to write with a dreamy but realistic perspectives, grounded firmly in pressures of the moment, but wandering off to consider mythical creatures and hopeful ideas. The book also has a wry sense of humour, with poems titled ‘how to astral project in a rental bathroom’ and ‘the things I would do for a Pizza Hut Classic Cheese right now’. As the title would suggest, Past Lives moves across various life stages, considering the ways we remember and look forward — excellent for those prone to nostalgia and a little bit of overthinking. Like so much of New Zealand poetry at the moment, it’s also immaculately covered, with a wistful painting called The Goldfish Bowl from Charles Edward Perugini. If I’m lucky enough to have this gift circled back to me, I’ll be displaying it proudly on my bookshelf. — Madeleine Crutchley, multimedia journalist

EZ-DUZ-IT Can Opener

My shopping habits are generally glacial (save for the in-a-physical-store rare snap purchase) and it takes me a long time to commit to a purchase. This neat can opener has been on my secret Pinterest board for over a year. Now, it may finally be time for me to stop opening cans with an old knife, a task that has happened with more frequency lately; the increase of sans-ring pull cans is suspicious (is this a shrinkflation index?). Not only does this have a great name, but it also comes with a solid fan base of kitchen experts and online reviewers, and even The New York Times, who anointed it “the best can opener”. Originally designed in 1954, little seems to have changed since then (even the packaging). It’s manufactured in the U.S. — Missouri, to be exact — by John J. Steuby Co. Product notes boast ‘heavy-duty’, ‘gear-driven’ and ‘1008 carbon steel’. I also really like the red grippy handles. $21, from Amazon.comEmma Gleason, commercial editor

Celine sunglasses

The future is bright and I’m going to need some stylish sunglasses — like these frames from French label Celine where the great Hedi Slimane is the artistic director. When you’re investing in a quality pair of sunnies you want to know you’re going to get plenty of wear out of them and these are a sophisticated mix of classic and contemporary cool. Should I choose the black or the white? $720, from Sunglasshut.comAmanda Linnell, editor

Bode Custom Senior Cord pillow

There’s something to be said about American label Bode’s commitment to craft. Case in point: Its custom corduroy pillows. You order one, get sent a questionnaire with the kinds of things you might like on your pillow (anything from names to places, images and objects), and then the team sets to work hand-drawing an illustration just for you. It’s a personalised and precious process that takes three to four weeks to complete, and the kind of thing I’m happy to invest a somewhat obscene amount for a pillow for. I can’t wait for mine to arrive shortly. Approx $581, from Bode.comJulia Gessler, digital editor

Swanky Pants pre-loved boutique, Waipu

I love an op-shop but sometimes the volume of clothing and variation in styles can make for an overwhelming shopping experience. Which is why I fell head over heels (and came away with a pair) when my stylish mother-in-law introduced me to Swanky Pants, a new second-hand store that shares a villa with an art gallery in Waipu. Owner Rebecca has a great eye and trawls the top of the North Island each week seeking out beautiful pieces (recent acquisitions include garments by Karen Walker, Charmaine Reveley, Kate Sylvester, Trelise Cooper, Keith Matheson, Minnie Cooper and Beau Coops). I came away with five items for $175 and a renewed excitement about heading north for summer. Open Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm. 3 Cove Rd, Waipu. @Swankypants23. — Rebecca Barry Hill, writer

Shameless podcast

I’m on a self-imposed spending ban for the foreseeable future, so this month I’m focusing on expanding my knowledge, rather than my wardrobe. In this case, that’s pop culture knowledge in the form of the Shameless podcast. Hosts Zara McDonald and Michelle Andrews launched Shameless Media back in 2018, under the guise of creating “a pop culture podcast for smart people who love dumb stuff”. Episodes oscillate between a pop culture wrap every Thursday, a Scandal series (which unpacks celebrity controversies) every Monday, along with monthly book club recommendations. Every episode is well-researched, informative and entertaining, and I always listen the same day it drops in the iHeart Radio app.” — Ashleigh Cometti, beauty editor

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