Funny how the things of the past are making such a great comeback this season. Just this week i was joking (ok i was pretty serious) that NOTCOT needed a good pop up book ~ inspired by some adorably “PULL ME” screaming tabs that Linhchi designed in one of our new mock ups… and then i open the 100th Anniversary Neiman Marcus Christmas Book 2007, and what do they have on the last page? Yup, limited edition Neiman Marcus Pop-Up Book! And it looks incredible ~ not to put down my brilliant bert and ernie pop up books of my childhood, but that girl’s pop up dress is made up of tons of photos! And in the pics below, that isn’t a real person looking at the page closely ~ its a pop up person! Anyhow, i need to get my hands on one of these to do a proper book review clearly. Oh, and in proper Neiman Marcus style ~ it looks like you get about 6 pop ups for a mere $125.
Magic Symbols ~ its like a secret code through silver and string - and a card. “Once it is unwrapped to its full length of almost 4 feet (46” to be precise, or 120 cm), the meaning disappears and your secret love affair would never be recognizable in public as it turns into a multi-layered necklace. Only when you wrap it around the card, does the true meaning shows up.” And that true meaning can be a heart, skull, or infinity symbol ~ seems like a brilliantly simple gesture, and also something easily replicable for the craftier kids in the group. Currently the soup du jour at Charles and Marie.
Re-Bag is an exhibition of Limited Edition Reusable Canvas Bags designed by 15 leading UK designers running from Oct 5-11 at the Sea Gallery in London. “Designers responded to a brief to create an image for a bag on the theme of sustainability and reusability. The resulting bags not only promote this idea but are also in themselves an ecologically friendly alternative to the use of non-green materials in everyday packaging.” Now, i’m sure by now you all know i have quite a soft spot for bags, in fact the whole team here does… and perhaps its less a soft spot and more of an obsession. BUT, that being said, i must tell you that i’m getting quite tired of all of these reusable bags that are specific to grocery shopping, etc… as if you really need yet another bag (other than the many in your closet which could probably hold groceries just as well)… as your dedicated grocery shopping bag? Anyhow, the “I’m not a plastic bag” atrocity has gotten far too much attention, and then every quick packing lightweight plastic grocery bag alternative… but now the need to collect and purchase even MORE bags? Doesn’t it seem a bit ironic that we’re still over consuming?
BUT that doesn’t keep me from wanting some of these… very fun to see how designers took on the brief and created some really fun unexpected designs. Love the two sided purse images on that bag above… and the one below with the images of “Return. Power. Shift. Control” keys is quite cute as well. All bags are screenprinted white onto dark grey canvas (440mm X 387mm) and are produced in a limited edition of 250 of each design and a mere 15 pounds each. via Serif.
Click images to see more! Ah, another round of black and white goodness at NotCouture. Truth is we don’t try to filter for the black and whites, in fact i think we may all just be drawn to them. And they do end up looking gorgeous together floating on the page.
Excerpt from the Press Release:
A narrative inspired by the magnificence of wind led us to a collaboration with James Dyson; the design engineer who harnessed the power of air and invented cyclone technology for vacuum cleaners. Dyson gave the world a vacuum cleaner that overturned the prevailing wisdom, taking 15 years to perfect. The truly innovative quality of the product and its design engineering excellence have particular resonance for ISSEY MIYAKE.
We are honored to have James Dyson manage the stage set for the Paris Collection show, where he will generate wind on the runway. As well as creating garments inspired by a variety of wind forms, the ISSEY MIYAKE team dismantled the vacuum cleaner developed by Dyson and analyzed its construction in the search for fresh perspectives on shaping new garments that expand the realm of possibilities for wind and clothing to co-exist.
[NOTCOT Note: I’m so honored that Anna chose to share the beautiful packaging of her wedding rings with us. Again, congratulations to Anna and Sean on their wedding last month! I can’t wait to see what else is going to be coming out of Sub-Studio this fall.]
As you might know, Sean and I got married in September. Sean bought my engagement ring from this amazing Japanese jeweler, Niwaka, and we loved the ring so much that we decided to get our wedding bands from them, too. Niwaka’s designs are (mostly) very simple and elegant, with clean lines and a twist on the traditional ring setting. Niwaka pays close attention to detail, and that extends to their packaging, as well. The rings sit in a two-piece, white ceramic box (it looks like a tooth in profile!), which comes packaged itself in a simple wooden box. A red ribbon ties the box together. So that the wooden box sits flat, two holes are cut into the bottom of two side faces to allow the ribbon to run concealed along the inside of the box. Niwaka has stores in Kyoto and New York. You can see more ring designs on their website.
While on the perfect ties for my guy hunt… while writing up that last bit on Prep & Pauper… i was discussing with a friend some of our favorite ties, and got reminded of Psycho Bunny… which of course had me hunting over at NotCouture to find it (#062!), and then i discovered NEW Psycho Bunny ties at Neiman Marcus! How NotCouture is that saftey pin one? I love their classic bunny skulls, but the safety pin tie is my new favorite tie of the moment. More pics below of the classic minis, and the striped.
Prep & Pauper ~ As part of the super crafty philly trip (it seemed like an etsy-fest). One of the local designers we dined with was Nicolas Newbold who is part manny (yes, male nanny), construction worker, ex-PR NYer, kid who ran around in a lacoste polo with the collar popped while sporting vans and a skateboard… etc etc etc. You get the point. He also has an obsession with ties, from patterns to silk weights to thicknesses… so as a company that started with a name and no purpose, Prep & Pauper naturally became a tie line. Interesting random tidbits to note before jumping into the overdose of pictures below? He claims to lack the ability to draw, but has hand drawn and learned illustrator to master all of these doodles seen on the ties ~ sews each and every bag by hand, and tapes them shut just for you. AND? I have a sneak peak for you of his upcoming Wailer print. Also, for all of you who are big on ties, let me know what you think of his patterns compared to those like Vineyard Vines, J.McLaughlin, Hermes, etc… because the comparisons keep coming up, and pulling up some of those they do seem a tad similar.
Click the images to see more! While rounding things up ~ here are some of Shade Elaine’s choice picks from NotCouture!
NOTCOT Note: Here’s another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!
Derrick Cruz of Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons and THECAST collaborated on a series of handmade accessories for their Spring/Summer 2008 collection. Picking up on Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons’ love for “Dark and Uncommon Goods” and THECAST’s edgy basics, the collaboration brings to mind a refined Wild West - accessories for the urban cowboy, perhaps. Shown above, the Cottonmouth is a solid metal snake bolo on a hand-screened gauze scarf.
Acca Kappa ~ an “Italian legend of luxury” ~ upon walking into the store at Century City i was told that this ancient brand was used on the royals. But what really drew me in was all the beautiful use of various woods (i’m a sucker for wood bristle combs… since my ancient Aveda paddle brushes as a kid, to the various Koh-i-noor ones i’ve recently used)… and their men’s line! Made me wish i was a guy so i had a good excuse to buy the “1869 Series Shave Bowl & Soap: Hand made bowl with East African Wenge Wood contains vegetable-based Almond shave foam” from their men’s 1869 line. I don’t think you fully understand how beautiful that bowl is! And the curvature of their nail brushes were amazing too (also the soap dish you can see below). They have hair brushes in both the darker woods as well as the lighter hand finished beechwood… and new to the store was the extremely eco friendly Bioceta line of 100% biodegradable line of hair brushes, nail brushes, body brushes, etc… they are made from a unique cellulose that is extracted from cotton. Anyhow, i was quite taken by the line, and i think the 1869 men’s line is definitely on my shopping list for the guys this year… as usual lots of pics from their site as well as some of the actual store (the store girl was nice enough to let me take a few!).
Dominique Cohen for Target. You’ve probably heard about it. It was everywhere, as every GO Target collection seems to be. You’ve seen the ribbon pendant and broach. Well, me too. What i didn’t expect was that when running over to Target for a quick errand, the collection would actually catch my eye and have me hovering at the Target jewelry case. In fact i have seldom even looked in that direction when i go (i tend to go to target to grab method goods and toys usually). Beyond the adorably edgy. fun, gothy display, a fresh shipment had just come in, and i saw a pile of the gorgeous satin pouches and ring/earring boxes taunting me. So when i came back to it three times, i finally gave in and played with a few of the pieces, and purchased this Dominique Cohen Lace-Covered Bead Necklace with Ribbon Tie. The attention to packaging details surprised me, i didn’t realize that they created a series of brown satin corded bags (with a nice beige satin interior) printed with Dominique Cohen for Target on them, and the necklaces even have a tiny little “dom” tag on the silk ribbon. So if you’re ready for an overdose of closeups, as well as my roundup of some of the best pieces, and pics from the LA launch party, as well as some of Dominique Cohen’s high end collection that inspired these pieces… click on.
I seem to have grown a certain morbid fascination with this Burberry Studded line… it started with the so called exclusive Knight Bag for Neiman Marcus’ 100th anniversary (ok maybe i’m delusional, but it doesn’t seem to be showing up there anymore) that was showing up on the main Burberry site as well… then it moved on to the umbrella i couldn’t ignore with that ad in every fashion mag this month. And then i saw the actual bag over at Stanford Shopping Center (ghetto pearl pic below)… and tonight i just couldn’t help myself and wandered across all the various Burberry country sites and found all the different products and images. But the real question is… does this not seem like studded version of “bling it on” taken to what should be high end goods? My gut reaction is that it is “as seen on tv” meets high fashion? Check out how odd that trench looks with the overstudding. And the shoes are painful. But the umbrella, why do i still want it so badly? It has that sleek black badass slightly punk image going on… yet its burberry. My inner preconceived branding biases are so conflicted on this one. Is this like when they tried to change from plaid to dots? and now they are trying the studs? Ok done ranting, i just don’t get it.
Click pics to see more! I try to wear more colorful things sometimes, but hey, it’s more or less Autumn now and it’s time to tone down the bright colors a bit. So here’s some cool stuff that’s been popping up on NotCouture in the most basic not-even-colors colors that we at NOTCOT happen to like very much: black and white.
New wallets and website from db clay! (Not to mention an exclusive 25% off discount b/c they love us! Code: notcot25 - i think you get 2 weeks, so hurry it up.) New wallets are made out of eco-friendly TOPE (their first batches were out of gaffer’s tape)… which is “a synthetic fabric similar (in texture) to a vinyl canvas. However, Tope does not contain certain hazardous chemicals typically found in most vinyl-based products. In particular, Tope contains NO PVC, Tope is made from non-toxic raw materials (it causes no dioxin, heavy metal or phthalate pollution), Tope decomposes when buried, Tope is chlorine chemicals free and Tope is fabricated through a pollutant free process. Additionally, we have engineered a tremendously technical printing process whereby we print high resolution and full photographic images using environmentally friendly inks. To top it off, Tope is also vegan and animal free.”
Ok well green innovation aside ~ they sent over two wallets and i’ve been playing with them a bit, and making guys test them out of course. It’s a nice leather alternative, the subtle texturing on the two i liked is a nice touch ~ i’m in love with the black on black particularly. Ready to go as the perfect gift in its tissue paper lined boxes ~ and in case you’re wondering, it doesn’t at all feel like tape of any sort, in fact i’m quite impressed with how nice the quality feels, the only thing we’re waiting to see is how it softens up to shape to your pockets, etc. Afterall, how a wallet wears over time is how it ends up gaining some character. My one complaint? If you frequent europe ~ don’t bother trying to carrying anything over a 20 euro bill… the poor 50 euro bills stick out about a mm and were driving me absolutely crazy. Anyhow, more images below from every which angle!