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. Wednesday, 1 July 2020 .

I've been thinking a lot about movies and why we go see them in a cinema. Throughout the long weeks of lockdown and different alert levels here in New Zealand, I found myself really missing going to the movies. I was craving for that salty, popcorn with butter, longing to recline in a plush leather seat and watching a film in a massive screen. Sure, I still watched movies almost everyday, but nothing beats going into a darkened theatre, laughing with random people in your aisle, holding in the need to go toilet so you don't miss anything, undistracted in another world for a couple of hours at least. It feels like it's what we need at times like this - living through a pandemic, an uprising, and a looming recession - a few hours to forget about reality and be so completely engrossed in a film where we know there will at least be a beginning and a concrete end. There's something comforting in knowing how something ends, how good will defeat evil, how true love always wins, how the underdogs always emerge victorious. I often leave the cinema with a renewed sense of hope and that specific feeling of inspiration that makes me feel as though I can handle real life again after that.

To say I was excited to get back out there again and go see my first film since February is an understatement. I went to the New Zealand premiere of The High Note last Saturday night and honestly, I cannot think of a more apt first film to see after lockdown. We really are starting on a high note! It's a film that's got a bit of everything for everyone - there's an excellent storyline, fabulous outfits, a little insight into the lifestyle of a music icon albeit fictional, beautiful songs, witty script, all set against a dreamy Los Angeles background. I haven't even got to the plot twist in the end yet - it rivals that of a Filipino film and I've only ever seen twists of this calibre in one other recent film.

Official synopsis:

Dakota Johnson and Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross lead this Los Angeles music biz dramedy directed by Emmy nominee Nisha Ganatra.

Middle-aged pop superstar Grace Davis (Ross) wants to record a new album, but her manager (Ice Cube) thinks that taking a Vegas residency is the right move at this stage of her career. Enter Grace's overworked - and often overlooked - assistant, Maggie (Johnson). Aspiring to become a music producer, Maggie tries to hatch a plan that will see Grace succeed while also fulfilling her own dreams.

Tracee Ellis Ross is absolutely phenomenal in this role. It's hard to believe that Grace Davis isn't a real music legend after seeing that thanks to her flawless portrayal of Grace and all her little diva moments. Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross had wonderful chemistry and that became quite apparent in one particular scene on a private plane. I don't want to spoil it too much but let's just say I felt the vulnerabilities of both characters and what motivated their actions thanks to that. I also want to mention that meet cute because it reminded me of why I love rom coms in the first place. The meet cute in this film is every music lovers (and The OC fans) dream. It's so LA, it's so cliched, and yet why couldn't I stop smiling long after the scene played out?

It's also worth mentioning the excellent supporting cast in this film. Ice Cube, Kelvin Harrison Jr, and June Diane Raphael, and Zoe Chao really brought this story to life with their performances. If anything, I would have loved to have seen more of June Diane Raphael and Zoe Chao's story arcs as I think they would have added more depth to the film because their relationships with the leads were complex and that could have been explored more.

All in all, The High Note is a feel good film that will have you laughing, listening to the soundtrack after, and believing in the magic of cinema again. And maybe that's exactly what we need more of.

The High Note opens in New Zealand cinemas tomorrow (July 2) and I feel very fortunate to even be typing that out. Check out the trailer here.

. Monday, 22 June 2020 .

Superette is having quite the year. Not only have they celebrated turning the big 1-8 but they've also just opened their new Commercial Bay store right in Auckland's CBD. It's convenient for city dwellers like myself who just want to browse and shop without having to venture out into the suburbs (I've been frothing over some Baby Anything jewellery ever since chatting to Elle so maybe now is my moment?) and treat themselves to something nice. 

This Superette store have all the Superette classics we love (read on below to hear about some winter staples) as well as a carefully curated selection of exclusive designers set to join the throng.

I caught up with Superette co-founder Rickie Dee on the new store, what she's learnt over the 18 years of Superette, and of course some style tips!

What's the biggest thing you’ve learnt as a business owner?

It’s been quite the journey over the past 18 years and we have learnt so much along the way. A lot of this comes from making mistakes or identifying missed opportunities. We then learn on this and build on it for next time. We are so passionate about what we do so we always manage to find a solution to the problem and move on. Starting a business is not easy and certainly a lot of constant hard work, it’s not something you can turn off from. As our business grew, we learnt that we certainly couldn’t do everything and over the years we’ve been able to build an incredible team who share our same passion and help us to achieve our goals.

What’s different about the Commercial Bay store compared to the other stores?

To begin with the look and feel is quite different from our other stores. It has an elevated feel with an amazing neon yellow and sage green as heroes of the design combined with raw concrete, timber and chrome features. The product looks incredible in the store and it’s laid out in a way that allows our customers to explore and get creative with different pieces.

It is also our first store in this style of complex. It’s been amazing so far and we love being part of such an incredible community where everyone is doing their own thing but it feels like we are all doing it together. 

How did Superette start – what was the inspiration behind it?

My business partner James and I started the business in 2002 when we were just 21. We had this idea to collect pieces we loved with the intention of selling them in an industrial space complete with a cafe on Drake Street in Freemans Bay. It was quite a far out idea as we were so young but at the same time I think that worked in our favour. We never over thought anything and worked around the clock to bring our dream to life. Over the last 18 years we’ve built up Superette slowly and steadily, it’s never been rushed and we are always adapting the concept to keep things fresh.

Must-have pieces for winter?
Superette LA Knit, Agolde Riley High Rise Jeans & Alias Mae Knight Boots

I know you have personal stylists in the Superette International store – how do you approach your own personal style and do you have any tips to anyone to help find theirs?

Our styling sessions at our Superette International store are so much fun! I think the secret is to always wear something you feel like yourself in. There’s no point in following the latest trend if it doesn’t feel like you, you’ll end up feeling self-conscious instead of confident. This is something we focus on with our styling sessions. We ask a bunch of questions the week before the session to make sure we understand the client’s style and from there we can pull options to build an amazing wardrobe as well as push them to try something new whilst making sure it’s still suited to their personality and lifestyle. 

What’s one piece of clothing that will never go out of style?

A good quality leather jacket or crisp blazer.

Shop Superette here. 

. Monday, 18 May 2020 .

1. I have seriously been missing Polyvore lately. So many fond memories of my early 20s involve Polvore. Evenings spent listening to music and creating sets with friends! Getting creative, looking at all the clothes we can't afford (and not available in NZ) and still creating looks regardless. It was the ultimate fashion moodboard and I was so sad when they shut it down! Recently discovered URSTYLE and honestly this is going to be where I spend most of my time in quarantine from now on.

2. There's this pair of shoes I've been dreaming about ever since the day I laid eyes on it back in Feb/early March. The Benson slipper from Mi Piaci is something my feet have been craving for (is it weird to say that? I don't really care. I love it way too much) and I hear it will be out soon! The sheepskin is from Christchurch tannery, Bowron Sheepskins. I just love that this collection in particular focuses on the themes of home so much. I don't think they realised just how significant home was going to be this year for all of us and it's something I've been pondering a lot lately. Anyway. I'll keep you posted when the shoes are on sale. I've been checking the website regularly, much to my wallet's dismay. But oh well, you gotta treat yourself during these unprecedented times, right?

3. Speaking of home... last week I shared my new home - Loudly Quietly - was currently being built. I've always said that the best thing to happen to my blog for the last 16 years was what was once just my home on the internet started feeling like home for other people too. For people I have yet to meet, people I may never meet, people who are part of my gorgeous online community who for some reason is here for me. Mind. Blown. Every. Single. Time! I've been building a bigger and better home but really taking my time because it's important to me that I get this right. Loudly Quietly has existed as a web domain for a year before I decided what I wanted for it. So watch this space. Things are brewing and I'm really excited! What will happen to this blog, you ask? It's still going to be here and I'm excited to turn it back into what it was before social media was a thing, before there was an online community - a place for unfiltered thoughts. A journal, but online.

4. I've been obsessed with "Light On" by Maggie Rogers since hearing it on the Late Night soundtrack last year and recently discovered this rendition. It's magical. I cried the first time I watched/heard it!

5. So, umm, THIS happened. I'm still SHOOK.

6. Is there anything better than dancing alone in your bedroom to Springsteen songs on a Sunday night? I lit up my candles, turned the lights off, and just had a mini dance party for one until I was ready for bed last night. Would totally recommend.

7. I took advantage of the Masterclass sale and split a membership with a friend. HOW GOOD. I've been wanting to join for ages and now I've got a year to learn from some of the people I look up to. My only 'regret' is not buying it during lockdown when I absolutely had more time. But then again everything happens for a reason I guess.

8. Our washing machine broke about a week into Level 4 lockdown and for most of the month we have been washing everything by hand. And it's an exercise in patience and mindfulness, I'm telling you!

9. I wrote about some of my favourite book to screen adaptations in my column over on It was a hard list to narrow down but I think I got there in the end.

10. To dream of a life I have left behind. To forge a life I have only imagined.