View At… is an incredible collection of panaoramic/google map mashups that JuanK just shared over at NOTCOT.org. And they are breathtaking… suddenly feeling the travel bug again, and just clicking through these (with their great ability to navigate and float through these worlds), i almost feel like i’m an arm chair traveler bouncing across the globe. As you can see, you can even embed them… so click and drag to explore Collioure - Chapelle St Vincent: “Famous as one of the most beautiful village in France, Collioure welcomed Van Gogh and Matisse who enjoyed the light and the colors of this place.” A few more random screenshots and panoramas i love below, but for the full experience, you must go see View At.org. Also try clicking the full screen icon on any of these panoramas, they will be a nice little escape between all the working… also don’t forget to tilt up and down, not just left and right… (i.e. you can see the feet and the tip of the eiffel tower below!)
I know it is a bit of a Chanel OD at this point, but there was just so much that they showed us that really kind of blew my mind… but this should be the last post ~ big news that this whole trip was about, the Keira Knightly Coco Mademoiselle film is finally online (go watch it now)… cool thing to look out for, that last scene, she runs into place vendome (yes the No. 5 bottle shaped plaza), and basically runs right past the hotel they put us up at! I wonder if that was intentional.
Things i’ve been dying to show you, but they asked me to wait till today… We got to go inside Coco Mademoiselle’s Apartment ~ which has been frozen in time, filled with tons of pieces filled with stories… from books, to chinese screens she split and used like wallpaper (with her favorite symbol the Camellia on them - which was traditionally for courtesans), and loads of superstitious pieces i was smitten with… my favorite being this crystal ball with the lions holding it up (she was a leo and collection lions)… and there is even a chandelier with 5’s, G’s and C’s worked into the framework of it… So pictures below, but the majority of them are for your browsing in the Gallery.
I also have a map and walkthrough to show you her secret path/shortcut to Rue Cambon through the Ritz which we took ~ and i envy her set up. She lived in the Ritz… and then at 31 Rue Cambon on the first floor was the Chanel Store, second floor is the Haute Couture dressing rooms, third floor is her apartment for entertaining, and forth floor is the workshop… with a rooftop that allegedly has some of the best views in paris (i tried, but they wouldn’t let me go past the third floor… apparently karl lagerfeld and his team were busy preparing for fall fashion week). OH and they are all linked with the most incredible faceted mirrored staircase, that she built so that she could stand in one spot and basically see what was happening on every floor.
Being the packaging/product junkie that i am ~ as cool as traditional Chanel products may be, i found great pleasure in the attention to detail they took to every aspect of our adventure. The name tags… super thick rubbery tags with our names embedded in them with the Chanel logo (see the side view pic below to fully understand)… i have had an obsession with black on black pencils since high school (they were somehow my good luck pencils for SATs and all scantron tests ~ wow did i just date myself?), and the Chanel black pencils with silver logo were so classic, with matching note pads with tiny logo and black backing… the gloss on matte folders for press kits… and the headshots were just to funny not to share, i’m quite sad we didn’t get them first so we could play full on starstruck fan kids and get them autographed. See it all below…
Of the many stories, myths, and just all around Chanel lore that i can’t seem to get out of my head yet (expect a few more posts just so i can clear my head)… the one i woke up with that was driving me crazy was that Coco Chanel designed her first Chanel No.5 bottle to perfectly match the shape of Place Vendome (where the Ritz is, and where she basically lived… although her apartment for inspiration and taking guests was just behind it on Rue Cambon… but more on that in a few days). They also claim that it is unknown whether this matching shape was intentional… and its not like THEY had google maps back in 1921. So i HAD to check. The designer in me had to know for sure, while the rational part of me assumed the Chanel folks wouldn’t just make something like this up. And as you see, they weren’t kidding. Below, more images… and also some quick pics from the Assouline set of Chanel books they left on my bed… its really fun to see the old sketches of the bottles, and even how they have evolved over the years… but still fit the Place Vendome proportions.
I have had a Chanel day. Literally. But before i get into how in one day i was inundated with all things Chanel, and have a new found respect and fascination for the woman, the brand, the perfumerie (with stories from Chanel perfume creator Jacques Polge himself), the stunning timelessness of the jewelry, the sneak preview of the Keira Knightley film (as introduced by THE artistic director, Jacques Helleu), following Coco Chanel’s secret route from the Ritz to the original store, untouched apartment of inspiration, workshop, haute couture dressing rooms, and the incredible staircase… i wanted to show you the incredibly detailed process behind the sealing of the Chanel bottles… and the best part? I actually got to try it for myself ~ and it’s not easy, but if all else fails i suppose i can attempt to join their team of 100, who seal the bottles day after day by hand. (Also, how great is this mini seal tool? I think we need a NOTCOT one!) Loads of images below.
p.s. Before you think Chanel bought me off ~ think of this whole trip as more of the field trip of a lifetime. An interesting move on their part, they brought a group of international bloggers to Paris, and immersed us in the world of Chanel excitedly sharing with us the stories of their past, a peek into how things work behind the scenes, as well as a glance at what they are moving towards and what their brand philosophies are. Honestly, it kind of felt like design school again ~ you remember those studio visits with your design idols? Where they are as excited to be telling you about their work as you are to be there?
Click the pics to see more! I tried to theme the .org roundup this week ~ top row relatively nature related… typographic gorilla, crazy tree in the car advert, photography with wild animals in domesticated spaces, yes - that next one is a ninja turtle, and my nature row wouldn’t be complete without the brilliantly snarky Indie Tits! As for the bottom row, i started out going for robots/gadget-creatures… lke the spray can creature, and the incredible robots of ashley wood, the transformers death star… then somehow started to stray into lego escher land! And ended up with the Google Earth Flight Simulator (How awesome is that? If you haven’t played with it yet, you really should… and although they launched google sky ~ you can’t quite play astronaut flight simulator yet…)
I was browsing for bags (as usual) ~ and ended up on the Lamarthe Paris site, and beyond falling for their products, i also love their web design and the film on it! The layout of the whole site is based around an old hardcore (dust jacket and all) book, and you can flip through the pages of the various sections (more imagery below). The film is just too cute, and you must check it out ~ “Elettra in the City” is “A story that ends with the word handbag.” by Zoe Cassavetes (actress, director, and producer - daughter of Gena Rolands and John Casavetes) and stars Elettra Rossellini-Weidemann (international top model and daughter of Isabella Rosellini and Jonathan Wiedemann). I love the voiceover ~ and if you flip to the script section, it really does feel like a 4th grade reader. More images of some of my favorite ‘pages’ below.
Also, i just love the idea of defining a film in one line by the word it ends with. Especially if that word is ‘handbag’.
Pardon my premature posting earlier (previous Nike Gone Running Clock post) ~ i was too excited to be playing with the real thing in my hands i forgot to hunt down more info. Luckily for you (and me) Rob over at I Love Substance left a note that the online Women’s Nike Store with the Interactive Gone Running Clock ~ best part? You can drag the hands around, and they have an anti-excuse for any time you pick about why you should be running. Some of my favorites are below. AND? For all of you that wanted your own, you can register and get one.
Also, above is my favorite one of all - “The internet will be here when you get back. Promise.” I think thats my cue to back away from the laptop… and perhaps run a little.
Gone Running, will return at: _____. Great little signs that they were giving out in the Portland airport Nike store a while ago (thanks, mom!). Too cute not to post - close ups below. They also had HUGE versions of these in the niketown windows in downtown SF last time i wandered by there. Love that the rambling text on the back ~ fonts, layouts, simplicity.
UPDATE: if you like THIS (or want one of your own) check out the follow up post on the interactive version and how to get your own.
On fun mysterious emails i get with great design pics, this one just showed up. I grew up being shown images of how you shouldn’t throw away these plastic rings that hold 6 packs of cans together without cutting them up because dolphins and seagulls would die in them, etc… Well it looks like Adam Johnston has found a great use for them! (Although it doesn’t look like you should sit on this one naked, or in short shorts, b/c this would leave quite an impression)
Kate Van Zele “Visited a design student friend of mine this weekend at the University of Cincinnati and was introduced to his newly designed chair. I’m convinced the underlying reason was for the beer, he holds tight to the environmental and sustainability story. Made of 6 pack rings that decompose after 3 months in direct sunlight, and the frame can be deconstructed to apply another layer of rings when needed. Seems like a good use of reinventing a common object with a new application.”
UPDATE: check out the Hammock!
Rich Tuzon at Gallery 1988 - it’s something i’ve shown you before (here and also his zorro sketches)… and i know how bad it is to compare artists, for each is incredible for various reasons… but his work grabs me (and doesn’t let go) in a similar way to Audrey Kawasaki’s (who i’ve written about enough times, that you must know her work by now)… something about the gorgeously mesmerizing acrylic woodiness…
Anyhow, Rich Tuzon’s pieces at the Guy’s Guy show at Gallery 1988 LA are an incredible mix of Greek Mythology, Japanese and Wild West motifs, and his beautiful use of wood. And seeing as i am personally often won over by any of those… in combination i’m speechless. Go see the images below… Hercules as a Sumo Wrestler… Achilles as a cowboy (with Chiron as a big cowboy Centaur)… Pandora in traditional Japanese wear… Odysseus’ journey home, with an adorable pup (and LOVE the waves on this piece)… Medusa’s incredible tattoos… poor poor tiny Icarus… i blame oO for reminding me of this great show and the octopus tree by Roland Tamayo he shows off on his blog is adorably cool as well.
You’d buy it. (You = all designers reading). I mean how could you not? I just kind of caught myself laughing out loud a little to this one… and also realizing that i WOULD actually be able to beat my gamer friends at Photoshop Hero (versus playing backup/bass on coop Guitar Hero), and if not, i should be ashamed to own Photoshop. Ah, Penny-Arcade.
Steven Nicholson is a 2yr student at Plymouth university in the United Kingdom studying Graphic communications with typography. And apparently he is a genius with a hole punch? Check out this self portrait using 10 different sized single hole punches on a a1 piece of paper that he just sent over. Can you imagine the patience? It reminds me a lot of the Rasterbator… only if you laser cut the holes instead of printing them? More images below!
Oh Murakami, how you never cease to amaze me. The latest news on Murakami, Louis Vuitton, MOCA, and pop up stores…. apparently along with the new Murakami exhibit running at MOCA (10.29.07 - 02.11.08 at the Geffen Contemporary), with a LV pop up “boutique offering limited-edition handbags and small leather goods featuring Murakami designs. The estimated prices of the bags, ranging from $875 to $920, represent about a $300 markup over the $575 to $665 that consumers would pay for the same line without the Murakami designs at the Vuitton store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.”
Most interesting thing to note? As Murakami continues to blend high/low art - and commercialism of every scale… The store seems in and of itself to be a part of the art… “Unlike the traditional gift shop or museum store outside the exhibition area, or a shop set up for a traveling exhibition such as the 2005 King Tut show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Vuitton shop will be situated approximately in the middle of MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary space. It will be among about 20 rooms featuring paintings, sculpture and animation.” Read more about it at the LATimes.