*NOTCOT in wearable - 10.02.09 -

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 in wearable - 10.01.09 -

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 in home+decor -

Matt Pugh Owls + wood creatures

mattpugh1.jpg On adorable discoveries in London Design Week, Matt Pugh’s wooden owls are adorably irresistible! Available in oak or walnut and a variety of colors, they certainly demonstrate the power of simplicity done right. Definitely worth adding to the potential gift list, although the hardest part really is how to pick the perfect color… or group of colors? (They are quite nice in little flocks!) See a few more gorgeous wood pieces from Matt Pugh on the next page as well!

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*NOTCOT in wearable - 09.30.09 -

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 in food+drink -

G&J Greenall’s Bloom Gin

bloomgin.jpg On stunning bottles, i couldn’t resist this G&J Greenall’s Bloom Gin ~ beautiful color, gorgeous silhouette, particularly from the side! Found it at Liberty in London when we were late night wandering, while waiting for a table in Soho for dinner… The other random note ~ who knew! The bathroom in the St. James Hotel and Club would be so incredible for taking backlit snapshots of the bottle?!?! And slightly disappointing note on packaging, that nice black extruded part on the neck? Just a sticker… As for the taste, its quite refreshingly delicious - the Bloom Gin website describes it as “… a new romantic twist to the world of gin. With its ornate jewel-cut bottle, Bloom’s fresh flavour offers a strikingly smooth, soft taste. This triple distilled gin uses demineralised fresh spring water and natural botanicals for its flavour. Created from juniper, chamomile, pomelo and honeysuckle it offers a light, refreshing experience rounded with subtle notes of honey and orange. Bloom — a new gin to be enjoyed by lovers of nature.” Definitely yummy ~ and will look stunning on any shelf. Take a look at the details on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in tech - 09.27.09 -

Nano Cages by Troy Abbott

nanocage.jpg Troy Abbott’s Nano Cage - “All digital beauty. No Mess or Mortality.” Came across this piece at Tent Digital at Tent London 2009, and it was hard to ignore, adorable little digital finches living in gps sized screens inside colorful bird cages… my favorite is of course the Yoko which lives in the classic bird cage in a matte black. In fact, all of these are even available for purchase!

While i can’t possibly imagine having one of these replacing the joy of having an adorable little bird accompanying you… it’s an intriguing concept mixing nature and technology, and it’s certainly fascinating to watch… so take a peek at more pics and a quick video i made while at the show on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design -

La Confusion Des Sens

senses0.jpg Firstly, who WOULDN’T want essentially a “mood wall” ~ a thermochromatic wall of sorts ~ sure you’ll have to clean it regularly, never know who’s been rubbing up against it or licking and kissing and breathing on it… painting with their heat… I know part of me has been dreaming up ideas and places and colors to do something like this since…

But back to the subject at hand! While swinging back through Paris with Veuve Clicquot after adventures with harvesting in Reims, we had a chance to take a look at the Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton in the penthouse above the Champs Elysees Louis Vuitton store. It totes stunning views of the city, with a nice wood planked walkway around the perimeter, and a beautiful gallery space. Freshly launched is “La Confusion Des Sens”. You arrive in the space after experiencing full sensory deprivation in their completely dark silent elevator ride up (a permanent part of their collection) ~ only to emerge to a large open space looking out over all of Paris… and surrounded by fascinating artworks focused on throwing your instinctual sensory reactions for a loop at every twist and turn… whether it’s tactile, auditory, visual, or a combination of senses, it’s an incredible show! Take a look at a few of my favorites on the next page…

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*NOTCOT in food+drink -

Icecreamists Sex Pistol Cocktail

icesexpistols1.jpg Far more exciting than design week, everywhere i went i heard “You HAVE to go get ice cream at Selfridges!”… which seemed bizarre until i found out about the Icecreamists, and now i must tell you, “You HAVE to go get ice cream at Selfridges!” Before i get into the space and concept itself though, their The Infamous Sex Pistol Ice Cream deserved a post all on its own… “Natural stimulants & Absinthe Ice Cream. A classic Fior di Latte or Milk Ice Cream blended with Ginkgo Biloba, Arginine and Guarana for blood flow and energy. Scented with a gentle infusion of citrus zest. Topped with a shot of La Fee Absinthe. Strictly only one per person. Served with a complimentary Icecreamist badge.” The London Paper deemed this the “Viagra Ice Cream”… but realizing that the absinthe was served out of an iv drip, i simply HAD to order it. Also, this ended up being breakfast with a friend, so a little pick me up didn’t help before a full day of shopping in the saturday high street crowds. To take a look at the process and the cocktail itself, check out the pics on the next page! More to come on The Icecreamists soon!

p.s.
and while i don’t normally love absinthe, this was rather delicious…

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*NOTCOT in home+decor - 09.25.09 -

John Green’s Embrace

johngreen1.jpg I love bent plywood, and i love simple multipurpose pieces that are incredibly versatile… and when i spotted John Green’s Embrace shelf/table at Tent London out of the corner of my eye, i was smitten. And i wanted a few! Basically they are a pair of tables that can be interlocked to form a lovely floating shelf with room for magazines/etc to rest on the side. The first use case that popped into mind with this was - bedside table! And laptop resting in the shelf, such that when it got too hot on my lap in bed, i could grab the tray and flip it over my legs to lazily laptop in bed! With my current offi one i never know where to put it when not in use! It’s too shallow for a side table, to big to slide under the bed…. this would be perfect! And its so beautiful! No wonder why its been winning awards!

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*NOTCOT in design -

Waste Yourself in London

streetshore.jpg Sometimes you find inspiration in the most random of places… like stuck on the side of a cross walk button machine with a cucumber on top of it. This graphic from Waste Yourself was too cool not to share… found out in the East end of London when checking out Tent Design and wandering about. See it bigger and a few other silly little discoveries as well on the next page…

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*NOTCOT in home+decor -

Mushroom Hooks by Masako Sugar

mushroomhook1.jpgOn exciting finds at London Design Week ~ my favorite discovery at Designersblock is definitely Masako Sugar and her Mushroom Hooks! I feel like i’ve been hunting for years for the perfect coat rack or hallway hooks ~ in fact i had a big post during my hunt back in 2007! Well i wish these had existed back then! Even though i’m not exactly sure where they will go when i get home, i couldn’t resist buying three of the red ones ~ made of silicon rubber, it is nice to your clothes, far softer aesthetically than many of the harsher powder coated steel options omnipresent these days, and they are all one of a kind mushrooms (slightly different in spots, etc) ~ not to mention they look absolutely adorable on the wall, and i love the packaging! Also brilliant is the simplicity of the metal mount, and you can simply slip the silicon shroom over… or perhaps someday she’ll expand the line to different hooks you can swap in? But for now. LOVE the mushroom hooks, take a peek at close ups on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design - 09.24.09 -

La Comete - Veuve Clicquot + Tom Dixon

comet1.jpg “Inspired by the comet logo and created by Design Research Studio under the creative direction of Tom Dixon, Veuve Clicquot presents The Comet. The Comet is a natural evolution of Tom’s original creation the Comet Lamp.” (Which we gave away to a luck reader earlier!) I’ve always loved geodesic structures, and to have this large igloo like cave of a space in that vibrant Veuve yellow ~ and filled with perfectly stacked bottles of champagne… it was just a delightful space! Also unmissable from afar as you wonder what the bizarre yellow structures are as you enter from the bridge…

I suppose i shouldn’t be too surprised to find myself coming from the history and source of Veuve Clicquot having just participated in harvest, only to be mesmerized and inspired once again by their design collaborations… on random thoughts, these comet structures would make for a very cool fort if i was still a kid… or maybe a sanctuary or work space? tree house? Unfortunately there weren’t really any kids at the VIP event, but i bet they would have made for some adorable pictures! See lots of pics of the structures and some other Veuve details on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in design - 09.23.09 -

The DOCK: Curated by Tom Dixon

dock00.jpg Freshly back from the party at The DOCK, described as “An emporium of creative talent instigated by Tom Dixon and sponsored by Derwent London.” ~ and before i even show you what’s inside, coming back to the hotel and browsing the pics, the way the space photographs as the sun set was just so fun! So take a look ~ the lighting was certainly one of my favorite things about tonight!

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*NOTCOT in food+drink -

Gatinois + Champagne Corks

gatinoismain.jpg Ok on aspects of this trip that i shamelessy geeked out on… did you know that’s how champagne corks start? Before they get mushroomed? And the machine that mushroomifies them and puts the cage on is really cool? (Cool enough i had to make a video to share with you of course!) Also, there was definitely a warm fuzzy feeling that overcame me as Veuve Clicquot brought us to visit a tiny (relatively speaking!) grand cru champagne maker ~ Gatinois, a family-run business located in Aÿ since 1696, at the foot of the Montagne de Reims. While they have been selling half their crop to neighbor, Bollinger, they are producing more and more of their own label. It was infectious how passionate Pierre Cheval-Gatinois was as he shared his company’s story and history and process with us (his son is starting to step in as the 12th generation!)… perhaps the biggest contrast was visiting his cellars compared to les creyeres of Veuve Clicquot… the shift in scale was amazing, and you must check out the exposed wires running the lighting (to fry yourself, just reach up and grab one in each hand)… Oh, and also, the amber blush tone of the champagne is gorgeous and it is extremely delicious… but unfortunately it they don’t have a distributor in LA! Anyhow, on the next page you can see lots of pics, and the video of how the corks transform to magically to the mushrooms we associate with champagne!

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*NOTCOT in travel -

Veuve Clicquot Harvest 2009

vcharvestmain.jpg Veuve Clicquot was generous enough to bring me to Reims again this year to join their intimate harvest festivities (read: honored they let me come do a day of manual labor with their friends/family). I kid you not. I spent half a day in the beautiful hot champagne region sun from the break of dawn fighting jetlag clipping grapes and working my way through the rows while chatting with friends old and new. So there you have it, my excuse for why posts slowed down and got so quiet. Also minimal wifi. But really, it turns out that the best way to slow me down is tire me out! Because i certainly had no problem running around, drinking late, and still posting before bed on the last trip…

So on the next page you can take a look at my experience from sunrise to learning how to pick grapes, to wine breaks (at 9am!), to crating the grapes away, to seeing them pressed… all the missing steps from last year… it’s fascinating really to see what happens between the fresh grapes and the bottling to spend time in les crayeres. And we were back at the Verzy country estate which has some of the finest grapes behind it ~ the grapes we picked will be in the 2019 Veuve Clicquot La Grand Dame if we’re lucky, so far they are saying it is a phenomenal harvest! And if nothing else, they’ve at lease guaranteed that i will have to purchase a bottle (or case!) just to see where my grapes went! So see the process first hand on the next page!

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