*notcot - 10.02.09 , 09:30 - 2 Notes

Cowshed

cowshedmore00.jpg On fun brands and packaging, after visiting the Mr. & Mrs. Smith HQ in Chiswick ~ grabbed a lovely brunch with my sister and couldn’t help popping into the ever adorable and enticing Cowshed. I won’t lie, the mix of black and white vector prints with just a splash of single color, combined with cheeky names like “horny cow” and “knackered cow”, lovely scents, and even custom lined hunter boots… of course i loved it. But beyond that, it was fun to read up on the background of the company which launched in 1998 originally for use in the Cowshed spa in Babington House, Somserset, is actually part of the Soho House Group, and is used in all of their venues (including NY!)… and i was delighted (amidst the fever boiling up within me) to happen across the one airport location you can find them last night as well… Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Lounges!

So take a peek ~ while the shop girl panicked slightly a the idea of letting me take pics in the store to share with you, you can see the few i picked up to try (and they were SO fun and awesome as tested out in NY) ~ and an overview of the packaging style on the next page!

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*notcot - 10.01.09 , 09:25 - 3 Notes

The History of the Evisu Seagull

evisu00.jpg While its fascinating (and exciting!) that Evisu is evolving once again ~ and this time with newly appointed CEO/Creative Director, Scott Morrison, at the helm. As a former Paper Denim & Cloth junkie ~ it’s hard not to be excited to see what Morrison is doing to reinvent Evisu while looking back to their heritage… For those who forgot, Morrison was also behind Paper Denim & Cloth as well as Earnest Sewn. While initially those Evisu Seagulls on the back pockets make me envision a denim lifestyle that never quite fit my own… when they sent over a few, i fell in love. They denim feels incredible as ever, just softly broken in enough, yet hugging you in all the right places… and the subtlety of the back pocket designs was just enough to grab your attention, but not enough to slap you in the face like so many can lately… (yes, i’m a little over the over embellished pockets, but also like pockets to have a bit of character!). Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Evisu when i started looking into their heritage, was the evolution of the Seagull… and how the line came to be. It’s fun to see Morrison looking back at the heritage of the japanese line even with the separation from Evisu Japan.

The full story can be read on the next page, as well as lots of pics of the signature pocket designs… but for the short version: Hidehiko Yamane, a love of fine denim, founded the company in 1991 in Osaka. Having a hard time finding the finest quality pre-WWII selvege denim, he found a 50’s american shuttle loom and started the “replica movement” ~ his originals mimicking the Levi’s Original Red Tab 501XX… and my favorite part? He personally hand painted his Seagull logos on each pair! What i love about what Morrison has done with this, is he’s taken that hand painted logo and distressed it to a perfectly worn in subtlety, so noticeable, yet so understated. Take a peek at them on the next page!

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*notcot - 09.30.09 , 08:52 - 0 Notes

Penhaligon’s Silver Artemesia Compact

artemesiamain.jpg Last year when i was in Paris, i fell in love with Penhaligon’s Artemesia ~ and while in London this year i had to make a pit stop to check out their stores… always exquisite with their packaging, and perfume being a bit of a pain to travel with, i fell for the Penhaligon’s Artemesia solid fragrance in the silver plated compact ~ perfect for my purse, and such a nice weight to it too… so on pretty packaging details, and a beautiful gift to keep in mind next time i’m stumped on gifting… take a look at the details on the next page. And it smells divine, and the solid fragrance has an ever so subtle shimmer to it as well…

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*notcot - 09.20.09 , 00:25 -

Bittersweets NY Giveaway

bittersweetsgiveaway.jpg UPDATE: Winner had been notified via email! Waiting to hear back now…

Ok, kids. So here’s the deal. I’m in Reims for the weekend with Veuve Clicquot for their harvest (SO excited)… but that also means they have me on a crazy schedule, and the wifi is less than optimal, and luckily Robin and Caroline over at Bittersweets are far too generous and life savers on the timing, so while i go possibly a little extra quiet this weekend/monday/etc… lets do a giveaway of one of my favorite necklaces from the last few years. I love iconic little symbols that remind me of phases/eras of my life ~ and the Silver Cocktail Sword from Bittersweets to me represents everything from the first year of NOTCOT to the launch of Liqurious to just a love of swords (in plastic form! turned silver!) and more… as you can see, some of my other favorites i wore on the flight over (i literally snapped this pic in the bathroom before hopping in the car to get to the airport!), i also have my Alex & Chloe Chill Pill (reminding me not to ever work myself quite as hard as that season again) and Bittersweets Rocketship (just like those i used to doodle in AP Physics as a 15 year old!). But i digress - To win a Bittersweets NY Silver Cocktail Sword Necklace - leave a comment with your favorite symbol/icon/etc and what it means to you ~ and i’ll pick a winner when i reach London on Tues! More pics of it on the next page…

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*notcot - 08.24.09 , 11:50 - 3 Notes

PACT Undies Unpacked

pactpak0.jpg Previously i showed you PACT Yves Behar designed undies for a cause… and the packaging was the biggest mystery, with the packaging/labels that biodegrade in 45 days, and the little pouches that each underwear comes in… well it arrived! So take a peek… honestly i dont know that it *looked* the price it cost the way it arrived… BUT they feel amazing, and look great on. The little pouches look a lot like a Baggu pouch (only made of matching print cloth).

Take a peek at the close ups of the packaging and product on the next page!

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*notcot - 08.22.09 , 12:41 - 8 Notes

Mixko Here Comes The Sun Necklace

ribrainbow.jpg What could be more perfect for a gorgeous saturday post? Mixko first gave us the rain cloudy English Summer Necklace… and freshly launched is the Here Comes The Sun Necklace (are you hearing the beatles in your head already? Or is that just me?)… “7 layers of ribbon rainbow and the last drop of rain on your back. Silver plated findings and chain, czech crystal bead, polyester ribbons, plastic dove object.” SO pretty, so simple, and i don’t think you can help but smile when you see it… their concepts are always so elegant as well… AND, they even have an etsy store for easier shopping for the americans… see more pics of it on the next page!

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*notcot - 08.20.09 , 13:35 - 2 Notes

Nervous System Cell Cycle

nucleus1.jpg While waiting for a friend for dinner last night i found myself hanging out in A+R ~ which is always dangerous and oh so fun. Well, i started having WAY too much fun playing with the Nervous System bracelets and rings… the there is something so visually and tactilely fascinating about their pieces… in particular i gave in and purchased the Wave Bracelet in white (after trying on everything they had in various sizes, and the rings too!)… honestly the rings weren’t nearly as fun as the bracelets, but now i AM intrigued by the rings in the silver

The whole Cell Cycle Collection is quite mesmerizing! Take a peek at close ups of my bracelet as well as a look at the full collection and the story behind it on the next page!

p.s.
i can’t even tell you how badly i want a rapid prototyping machine right about now…

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*notcot - 08.19.09 , 10:51 - 0 Notes

Kenzo + Ron Arad = UFO

kenzo1.jpg No, seriously, its the UFO - Unidentified Fragrance Object designed by Ron Arad for Kenzo. Kenzo always has such breathtakingly beautiful, unique, packaging for their fragrances, mini works of art…

From the press release: “Kenzo’s newest fragrance for her, Unidentified Fragrance Object, will be unveiled this fall at the Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of the retrospective exhibition for designer Ron Arad. Arad was commissioned by Kenzo to create a vehicle for fragrance that breaks with traditional industry codes and evokes sensuality when in contact with the skin. The result - a hand-polished bottle made of Zamac (metal alloy) with a completely internalized spray mechanism.” The bottle is being released in a limited edition of 1000 ~ each one hand polished and available starting Aug 2009 exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman and Kenzo online. See more pics of the bottle up close on the next page…

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*notcot - 08.17.09 , 18:22 - 1 Notes

PACT - undies for a cause

pact1.jpg I never thought i’d wake up this morning, and end up buying Yves Behar designed underwear… but i’m too curious. And the photography is just so adorably happy. And a portion goes to a good cause (or three!)… freshly launched today is PACT - the brain child of entrepreneurs, Jason Kibbey & Jeff Denby. Also, i doesn’t hurt that for the most part i like how clean and refreshing their site is! As for the options: three colors, three causes, and three cuts for men and women… whether you want solids or the adorable patterns… you can pick to support 826 International, ForestEthics, or Oceana. All great causes, and all patterns/colors/fits look great.

The part i’m most curious about right now? PACKAGING! “Each pair of underwear is packed in its own reusable fabric bag.” and “PACT’s unique bright green shipping package is made from a special material that is 100% compostable. It can go straight into your green bin for commercial composting. Even the shipping label and the adhesive used to affix the label are compostable.” ~ so perhaps more pics to come once mine arrive… but for now take a peek at how fun the imagery and designs are on the next page…

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*notcot - 08.12.09 , 19:40 - 7 Notes

Artecnica + TBWA Recycled Stretch Bag

stretchbag1.jpg I always look forward to goodies from Artecnica ~ so much good stuff ~ and good for the world too! As part of their Design w/ Conscience initiative ~ TBWA (yes the advertising agency massive) approached them to help recycle their billboards… their solution? these adorably inspired Stretch Bags! I have written about a LOT of recycled bags over the years ~ everything from truck tarps to windbreakers to fire hoses to gymnastics horses… but it’s been a while since one has been innovative enough to grab my attention like this one!

The Artecnica TBWA Recycled Billboard Stretch Bag is debuting this month and is part of the newest 2009 collection - “A single cut, without glue or a stitch, 100% billboard bag lies flat and weightless but transforms into a shoulder Stretch bag, that can carry up to 33lbs. Perfect for the beach, the gym or market.” See more pics on the next page!

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*notcot - 08.09.09 , 13:30 - 1 Notes

The Standard + Quiksilver Boardshorts

theshorts0.jpg There is really only so much you can get about an actual user experience, packaging, presentation of a product from press photos. You saw what i had to show you about the launch in the previous post… For the rest you just have to go play with them in their natural setting! So for part one of the posts from The Standard Downtown LA’s rooftop pool party with Quiksilver to launch their boardshort collaboration ~ let’s focus on the SHORTS! And the vending machine! And the people wearing them! And then on to the rest later… I was lucky enough to get a chance to sneak away from the party to play with samples in one of the Standard rooms ~ so actual close up pics of the adorable pouches and details on the next page too! Take a peek at it all on the next page!

P.S.
I wish they had them smaller than a 30! The feel amazing ~ dry super fast ~ and are so cute with the retro upside down labels, pouches, special buttons, and more… the bikini is adorable too (subtle stripes, oh so soft, cutest buttons ever on your bum)… and to purchase them, its ok if you’re not by the pool vending machine ~ they are also on the Standard online store!

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*notcot - 08.02.09 , 20:49 - 6 Notes

Dominic Jones Jewellery

dominic1.jpg Rose thorns… i never realized how much they can resemble fangs/sharks teeth… until staring at this gorgeous jewelry collection by Dominic Jones - Who is he? Well the NYT’s The Moment sums it up nicely - “Dominic Jones, the 24-year-old London jewelry designer and club kid about town, is a daily must-see with his bright shock of hair, which on any given hour is blue, purple or red. He’s also getting attention for his high fashion Goth jewelry line, which is backed by his friend Alice Dellal, the model and “It” girl.” Take a peek at my favorites on the next page…

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*notcot - 07.30.09 , 13:35 - 3 Notes

Standard Boardshorts by Quiksilver

quicksilver1.jpg I’ve never lusted for board shorts before, well not men’s anyhow… but i must say these Standard Boardshorts by Quiksilver are tempting! Not to mention they are sold in VENDING MACHINES (which are really all the rage lately) ~ and come in an “odor resistant waterproof travel bag” ~ and much like the standard, the labels are upside down (and adorably retro styled too)… but perhaps most unique of all? Inside each waistband is a list of addresses… a quick tips city guide precisely curated by Natas Kaupas. With a limited edition of 250 of each product, and so much attention to detail, this premier collaboration between The Standard and Quiksilver is stunning.

Now as for the style itself, these are “based on the original retro design from Echo Beach era - New wave/post punk style first pioneered by pro surfer Danny Kwock.” There is also a “Standard Issue” Bikini for us ladies, but i’m curious to see how the shorts fit girls too… You can find them at The Standard Shop, as well as the poolside vending machines at the hotels. Also exciting? “Official launch event will be a pool party on the rooftop of The Standard Downtown LA on Aug 8th and from Aug 8-16, the hotel will have “ECHO BEACH RETROSPECTIVE, 1978-1982: Surf Culture Art Exhibition” show. Includes art, photography, paintings, film, vintage beachwear, and surfboards curated by Will Pennartz of The Surf Gallery. Art show admission is free.” ~ See you there! As for now, see lots of pics on the next page of all the gorgeous details!

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*notcot - 07.19.09 , 18:14 - 1 Notes

SurfMonk Beach Blankets

surfmonk0.jpg SurfMonk ~ i wrote about these comfy cozy looking surf coverups and blankets over a year ago, but only just caught up and checked them out in person. As you can see, i couldn’t resist, and brought some home! These are the types of things you definitely need to check out in person, or at least have someone you trust check it out ~ but they feel AMAZING. My car is always ready for the beach, and this just made the cut, it is such an incredible (super secret special blend) bamboo/cotton terry used, that once you feel it, you will want the whole line. SurfMonk opened up a showroom/store in Malibu this May, so in yesterdays gorgeous socal beach weather i cruised up PCH to check it out, and lucked out ~ and designer/owner, Claudia Taylor, was in! It’s so nice to meet people who are incredibly passionate about their lives and business ~ and it’s clear that she cares about every aspect of SurfMonk ~ from the great tagline sewn into every hood “We are all islands, oceans connect us.” to the luscious custom materials locally made here in LA to the simplicity and comfort of the pieces. The classic pieces are large monk like robes large enough for surfers to both change underneath and curl up in. (Really, slanket lovers would just adore these)…

my favorites though ~ are the blankets! It’s so hard to find the perfect beach blanket, and this is my new fave. Also the strap she has designed for them are incredibly simple, versatile and functional ~ nothing a little tension can’t take care of? With cozy terry shoulder pads, cotton/hemp straps, and brass clips ~ loop it around just about anything, clip it together, and you’re good to go! Also the wrap skirts! And the kids robes are adorable! Take a peek at details of the newly opened store and details on the next page!

p.s.
i always hated that phrase “No man is an island” - much prefer “We are all islands, oceans connect us.”

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*notcot - 04.30.09 , 17:32 - 1 Notes

Catalina Estrada Surprise Tee

cati.jpg On surprise packages ~ fresh from Spain ~ just got an adorable surprise from one of my favorite super awesome artists, Catalina Estrada! She sent over a little notepad ~ and one of her new Grenade shirts! (she has a store filled with tees and prints and pillows!!!) ~ detail i never noticed in the pics before ~ her’s like the NOTCOT girl have that one droplet of blood coming down her forehead… and i’m loving the geometric shapes and grenades… Anyhow, quick post before i run off again ~ see more pics on the next page!!! …and THANK YOU, Cati! I don’t know how you guessed, but it’s a perfect fit too!

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