As you all know by now i find inspiration and amusement in some of the randomest of things. Tonight it was the North Bowl’s NEON SIGN. I even made an 8 second video of it in action so you can fall for it too. And no. I didn’t even get to step foot into this barely a year old swanky loungey bowling joint. I was at the Conspiracy Showroom across the way meeting all the lovely designer ladies though. But back to the sign. How cool is it? (Watch video below before responding.)
I forgot to mention why i’m in philly for the weekend ~ i was invited by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (what a mouthful) for a weekend of Philadelphia Architecture, Fashion, & Design. And to be honest i haven’t spent much time at all here, so should be an interesting exploration of the city. Since i’m quite spent, and don’t have energy to share the itinerary at the moment, how about i give you all a peek at the goodies in the welcome bag, and some of the great packaging the designers used? My usual quick hotel bed photoshoot style pics below!
Respect Old School. It’s not just a cane. It’s a cane with a stamp at the base… so you can leave a trail… or stamp the world with intent… Talk about an interesting twist on subversive street art, or turning the tables on those disrespectful young whippersnappers with the graffiti and what nots. This project by the italian Glue Glue Design: “We are living in a â€œcontemporaryâ€ society that paradoxically lives more and more on revival. We think that, thanks to the connection with the concept of respect the old men can ransom his social condition from without purpose and obsolete to â€œcoolâ€ and â€œinâ€: how? Using a â€œyoungâ€ and â€œcontemporaryâ€ language, and shifting to the present the field of action of an old man, whose thoughts are mostly memories that come from the past and are not able to mark the contemporary culture anymore.” I can’t stop staring, and have the sudden urge to start sporting a cane… imagine all the various stamps you could swap on? Only thing missing in this design? It should be self inking, and there should be a button on the handle of the cane to put the cap on, or perhaps the stamp sucks up into the cane so it doesn’t make contact with the ground as you walk, and when you push the button it stamps it - i mean seriously, you expect the old guy to bend over and take the cap off? It’s asking to be lost. And its SO much harder to be discreet in your street art being seen doing that. Found this over at Young Designer. This was part of the OPOS.it project.
I came across Annie Vought’s Papercuts series on Stumble Upon and can hardly believe that her work is real. She painstakingly cuts the script text out of letters and notes. The result is an incredible tapestry of letters, lines, and shadows created by pinning the work up for display. Obsessive, tedious, and gorgeous.
GreeNYC ~ is a new NYC campaign to make NY the greenest city in the country. This campaign is absolutely adorable, the animation combined with the music… with sound effects that make me think of eureka’s castle and nick jr. are too cute for words… great use of simple flat vectors and noteworthy typography… and that pigeon! My favorite screenshots are below, view the large video here, it is a collaboration between Hunter Gatherer and Todd St. John/Ryan Waller.
I just got im’d this article from the China Digital Times about Yang Liu’s “Ost trifft West” ~ East versus West. It is an incredible infographic exhibition simply depicting some humorous differences between the cultures. Above (l-r) are queuing, a weekend street scene (personal space!), in a restaurant, and self. This exhibition was live in German Ministry of foreign affairs May - June 07, images of the actual exhibition are below from Yang Liu’s site. If you check out the pictures carefully, you can see some pieces that seem to depict coke vs tea, waking over a spot versus around it, seeing with your eye versus a camera… and from her site, it sounds like there will be a book coming!
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.