Blonde on Main Street, that that heavenly sliver of LA that exists on the border of Santa Monica and Venice Beach, is one of my favorite boutiques, and last time i was in there i discovered this amazing map. Retro, i know! But one theme you could always find in my UX and Design concepts and ideas was transcending our digital layers that are taking over, and bringing it back to the physical. Well Chris and Amber (an adorable husband and wife team) have been running Blonde since 2000, and just launched their online presence (part store, part community, part vlog). So this map in the back room is where they’ve been sticking a pin for every order that has come in (Chris said they haven’t found the right world map yet, so don’t think its US only). Other than their awesome map usage, the main reason i wanted to highlight their new online shop is that they aren’t trying to compete with LA Celeb plastered Kitson and Shop Intuition, but have actually managed to convey through their cute videos of the store and latest fashions ~ that chill laid back boutique vibe you get when shopping higher end boutiques. So for international readers especially, you can get your real LA fix if you can’t come shop it in person, but via phone and email they’ll make you feel like you were here with us.
Worn Free ~ “New Vintage style tee shirts as worn by: John Lennon and Frank Zappa and designs by John van Hamersveld”. Love the page design, for a one page website, its fun and playful in all the right ways. Also great shirts, see my favorites below. (especially love the Lennon “This is not here” shirt)
You’ve been hearing that wearable tech will be the next big thing for a while now, and some impressive design projects come out, but its certainly not something we see/use everyday yet. On the forefront of wearable electronics, Oakley’s Thump 2 and O Rokr have made some waves, and after hearing all the hype and grumbles, we have a pair of them in the studio… (lots of pictures of packaging, details, etc below!) - and they are really fun. With the holidays around the corner, these definitely fall into the category of perfect gifts for the active tech savvy one that has everything… The Thump 2 I’ve tried out holds up to 1gig of music, top secret files, etc. (connects via USB). The O Rokr is the Oakley/Motorola collaboration which “gives you absolute wireless freedom, digital stereo fidelity and patented optical clarity.” in other words it’s both your bluetooth headset and streams music from your ipod, while still having the high quality of Oakley’s optics. More below for my impressions of the two.
First design detail to jump out at me? The ear buds have T-rex arms! Not sure how else to describe them they are surprisingly flexible, and with 3 joints with the ear buds on the ends, they really will fit in your ear, hang just outside of it, rotate away when you want to hear something else…
Artefacture’s line of design oriented tees speak for themselves. Love them. “I will pay for good design” “Design will save the world” “Design Elevates Experience” … there is also a “Hard Disc Jockey”
Toby D (named after grandmother - great story of how this company came to be after the jump) is a line of limited edition tees with original silk screened artwork by emerging illustrators, graffiti artists, designers, and painters. This collection of Doodle Tees are by Ardith Ibanez. These birds, buildings, and people doodles have such a charming quality to them, and the cut of the shirts looks so flattering.
Who is Paul Smith? Other than the man with the stripes? Well when i heard The Paul Smith Story, i was first taken by the interesting bottle ~ book shaped in both box and glass form… and the website is actually quite interesting (although super flashy)… And the adverts show the character of the Paul Smith Story writer… who is apparently “has the look of someone who’s profession - infact, his passion is writing. He is studious. Slightly geeky, even. A classic portrait emerging from a haze of type.”
Ever wonder what it would feel like to have bark? Yes, like tree bark… on your arm. Well check out these bracelets which are actually cast from birch bark. These are by Twig and Heather who say “There’s nothing quite like the detail found in the bark of these trees. Cuff bracelets and rings can be light or heavy, big or small.” Also their twigs and acorns that have been cast in silver are adorable and woodsy yet the silver gives them that extra something. Also check out the great bunny leaping bunny below.
My purse hunt for something lush black and leathery came to a momentary pause when i found this new bag. Being my latest obsession ~ it felt like a sunday kind of post. Anna Corinna mini City Tote (the far right picture shows the larger version)… but the leather is so supple, and the size just perfect to throw in wallet and such and use the shoulder strap as the bag flaps over on itself like normal purse size - yet for the days i need to throw a bit more in there like my larger sketchbook and ipod and digicam and cables and more ~ fits perfectly and its comfortable to grab it as a tote bag.
Over at Barney’s Co-op in SOHO this weekend came across Jessica Kagan Cushman’s Scrimshaw bangles… and was torn… thinking she was still doing them on pre-ban ivory. They are beautiful pieces of fossilized mammoth ivory with engravings of quotes and phrases from movies, literature, and more. Fascinating part? “As the daughter of renowned furniture designer Vladimir Kagan and needlework queen Erica Wilson, design runs in her veins. Having learned scrimshaw from her father, who took up the craft in the 1960’s in Nantucket, Jessica has taken the artform to a new (and slightly un-orthodox) level - creating scrimshawed antique ivory bracelets that lie somewhere between a tattoo and a bumper sticker.”
Read the comments - Jessica left us a really nice note explaining the humane nature of these bracelets, further explaining how fossilized mammoth ivory is obtained as well letting us in on the secret that she will have resin bangles coming soon exclusively to her website!
Skyn Iceland’s Cool Detox Mask has so much going for it i had to take a few pictures to share the great packaging/process. The idea is interesting in that the cloth mask comes in “tablet” (read: compacted cloth discs) ~ and you break open a ampule of the mask liquid, and pour/squirt it on the tablet till it soaks up the whole thing. Then *poof* you have a cloth mask - ready to destress your skin for a nice 20 minute intensive facial. (and with all the stress of the last few days ~ i must admit, it works well.) More pictures of the fun packaging and process below.
Louis Vuitton’s Monogram Groom line… looks a lot like Tintin ~ a very vintage bellhop styled tintin, and equally adorably styled animations for their flash intro for the line. Noticed it walking past the Century City store window the other day (check out the pictures below). Also more images screenshotted from the flash and photo of the product line. I guess they really are in love with this illustration that looks painted over the old styled monograms?
Sleek, pretty, mesmerizing, fresh? Fell for Circle Jewelry Designs today ~ enough that i know i found them from another site, but while over working managed to lose track and simply had the Circle site open in a tab for hours… The middle one grabs me the most… quartz crystal on the sides, around your choice of blue topaz, peridot (shown), citrine (shown), iolite, amethyst , or garnet. The first ring has moonstone. The necklace (kind of reminds me of those candy buttons…. its the mini hemispheres, isn’t it?) black onyx and sterling silver pendant on 18 inch black onyx, frosted quartz, and sterling beaded necklace.
Borba Margo, it’s a British line. Had a bit of trouble finding much info, so feel free to enlighten me. Noticed their “Break Up” keyring over at Colette, and since there was no explanation of the name, my imagination ran wild and noticing i had the keys from some ex’s apts and my old apts on my keychain for some reason, felt like theirs was symbolic of a break-up where the heads of those keys strung together represent pasts not to revisit. From what little i know of the brand… Colette gives us this: Borba and Margo produce objects that in their own words “cherish human desires and fantasies revealing something essentially magical.” So while googling them… also came across their collection at Rendez-vous Paris, and the Large Safety Pin purse and necklace/purse were quite fun as well.
Brooks Salzwedel makes some gorgeous resin belt buckles (remember the smoggy cityscape?)… well just going through NOTCOT archives, i checked out the site again and noticed these two nature themed ones ~ loving the sunrise/set behind the bird, and the squid… the layering of the resin creates such mesmerizing depth in the buckle.