*NOTCOT in -

NotCouture Black and White Roundup

notcouture #2441 notcouture #2448 notcouture #2447 notcouture #2444 notcouture #2456 notcouture #2436 notcouture #2437 notcouture #2431 notcouture #2457 notcouture #2442

It’s no secret that we love black and white here at the NotEmpire (just look at our sites!). So this roundup points out the cool black and white (and grey) things that have popped up on NotCouture this past week, including crazy plastic shoes, charming snake jewelery, and vegan bags. If you have a penchant for all things colorless too, feel free to share!

*NOTCOT in food+drink - 08.01.08 -

Liqurious Happy Hour

liqurious #759 liqurious #754 liqurious #760 liqurious #755 liqurious #756 liqurious #769 liqurious #771 liqurious #758 liqurious #768 liqurious #757 liqurious #761 liqurious #786 liqurious #770 liqurious #766 liqurious #777 liqurious #765 liqurious #767 liqurious #764 liqurious #778 liqurious #773 liqurious #787 liqurious #783 liqurious #782 liqurious #779 liqurious #780It feels like the weekend has begun already ~ things have gotten so quiet (or it feels so in my world anyhow?)… and i feel like a drink… so here’s a friday afternoon Liqurious Happy Hour roundup to get your drink inspiration going… you know the drill, click the squares to find out more!

*NOTCOT in design -

Leatherman Argentum 25th Collection

leatherman1.jpg Leatherman is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the Argentum Collection ~ an incredible (and pricey) line of limited edition hand-crafted leathermans by world-renowned artist and silversmith Adrian Pallarols. There are 7 pieces in the collection, and The Charge Dorado is $40,000, the Charge Acanto $12,000… and they work their way down to a mere $240 for a little Squirt Lagrima de Luna. See more close ups on the next page, as well as pics of sketches, more info on the artist, and you’ve got to see the video at the Argentum Collection page.

p.s.
chats with a few friends and fellow leatherman loyals… and we all agree so far, we’re not completely sure what the appeal is, but i’m rather fascinated by the juxtaposition of the perfectly engineered with the artisan, 7th generation, craftsman combination… and i do kind of want the Acanto, if only it was a Wave?

TO PAGE 2 of "Leatherman Argentum 25th Collection"! ----->

*NOTCOT in wearable - 07.31.08 -

Daphna Simon Jewelry

daphna-simon.jpgDaphna Simon’s Jewelery has a gorgeous, naturally inspired, yet edgy look and feel ~ and i love her use of the wood and her perched leopard, grizzly, and wolf on her rings.

*NOTCOT in playful -

Rocket World IWG Zipper Pulls + Airborne

rocketworld.jpgCleaning through Comic-con pics ~ as far as purchases go ~ these little guys were truly irresistible! the Rocket World Insurgent Wilderness Gruppo (aka I.W.G) crew in shrunken zipper pulls and airborne paratroopers! So here are some quick pics of the booth, the toys (i couldn’t help myself and had to open them up at lunch, so yes, that’s a fork in the pic - and a few so so pics from the hotel), and the packaging… adorably tiny boxes for all of these!

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*NOTCOT in tech - 07.30.08 -

Sidekick Unboxing

sidekick.jpgFun packages to come home to ~ the new Sidekick that just launched today! Now with customizable skins that you can design yourself with black, white, or pink plastic as the base. So on the next page i have a full unboxing for you, and close ups of some of the fun details… and then some REALLY close up (like 200x) views of the new keyboard as well, which is my favorite feature. Overall, i’m loving the new design, its sleek, nice and matte in the center, and the font and non-chicklet like keyboard keys are so nice to use… also check out what the phone looks like with and without the new skins…

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*NOTCOT in tech -

Game Libratory at CRCA, UCSD

gamelib.jpgYes, Game Libratory = Library + Laboratory. And yes, games - meaning everything from those historical ancient emulated DOS PC games to low cost edu-tainment products to the latest PS3, XBOX 360, and Wii games… It’s really something that all our current libraries are missing, and there aren’t nearly enough (if any) great labs organizing the history of gaming as it flies by us - in such a way that people could someday check them out like microfiche and catch up on some games of the past that are no longer accessible other than to a few who snatch them up from ebay or at a garage sale! Also, imagine how much history there is in simply watching people play these various games, and seeing how the usability and interactions have evolved over time… and when you someday tell your kids, “back in my day, we used a JOYSTICK”… well you can drag them down to the Game Libratory to experience some historical gaming first hand.

So, when this brainchild of NOTCOT friends (from the pre-notcot the site even existing days), Daniel Rehn, Derek Lomas, and Jeremy Douglass, who hooked up with the Software Studies Initiative, Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA) at Calit2, UC San Diego, launched, it was literally just an idea that is quickly growing out of the tiny lounge space they received from CRCA. They have been accumulating some incredible collections from donors (and shopping on ebay) and contributing their own gaming resources… and students and researchers internationally have been eagerly joining in to explore previously unavailable research opportunities! So while the space is quickly filling up, and they’re hopefully expanding to a new home soon - i convinced Daniel to let me take a few shots of things that intrigued me, from their set up, to some of the many crazy gadgets i’d never seen before! So take a peek on the next page ~ and if you’re not sure what to do with all your games and systems, but don’t want to simply sell them off to anyone… the Game Libratory is a good home for them to take their place in gaming history!

p.s.
things to look forward to? How about across game comparisons of the ways characters die? Or comparisons of the evolution of button mashing across controllers? And don’t you think the future Game Libratory needs to have Toledano’s Video Game Faces mixed with gorgeous screenshots framed on their walls?

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*NOTCOT in food+drink -

Absolut Los Angeles

absolutla.jpgBrowsing The Dieline just reminded me about the Absolut Los Angeles launch which happened a few days ago when we were in San Diego… (and remember the massive sponsorship Absolut gave the walk of fame? and the uproar?) and i must admit it’s kind of exciting to have my home city have an Absolut of its own. The flavor is Acai, Acerola, Pomegranate, and Blueberry - supposedly a nod to our city’s trendy, environmentally forward, and health conscious ideals… More screenshots from Absolut and recipes on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in food+drink -

Martini & Rossi Warhol Ads

warholmartini1.jpgMartinis + Pop Art? How could i resist a press release that starts with “After collaborating to create an Ad Campaign for their vermouths in the late 1950’s, MARTINI & ROSSI brings Warhol’s iconic artwork and style back to life with a modern twist. From canvases to cocktails, MARTINI & ROSSI has embarked on a new advertising and cocktail campaign - The MARTINI Factory - aimed at redefining vermouth and the art of the aperitif. The vermouth aperitif drinking occasion, hugely popular in Europe, has yet to take hold in the U.S. market where cocktails dominate popular culture. This new campaign offers consumers an array of innovative vermouth cocktails featuring contemporary ingredients. MARTINI & ROSSI will also unveil a collection of six innovative Warhol-inspired vermouth cocktails at an invitation-only MARTINI & ROSSI Warhol Factory party - being held in NYC on August 6th - what would have been Warhol’s 80th birthday.”

Take a look at the original 50’s and 60’s advertisements by Warhol on the next page, as well as some of the new Martini Factory Drinks! With playful names like the Factory Martini, Velvet Edie, Pop Art ‘Tini, Bohemian Cocktail, and more… this is certainly one of my favorite retro/present campaigns of the moment, and the merging of art + drink is such a perfect match.

Here are the 6 Martini & Rossi Factory Drinks (recipes on the next page!)
thedrinks.jpg

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*NOTCOT in playful - 07.28.08 -

Dog Poo Bags

poobags.jpgShit Happens. Dog Poo Bags by Junge Schactel, the design duo, Nina Dautzenberg and Andrea Gadesmann. How cute is their studio puppy, Cuno? And don’t these bags just make you wish extremely talented packaging, branding, graphic, experience designers made everything in your world? See more pics below ~ and i’m also totally in love with the branding of Junge Schactel with their pull strip, packaging opening branding that is on their flash, portfolios, and even physically on their business cards!

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*NOTCOT in home+decor -

Ultimate Accessories: Esque

esque.jpgClick HereNOTCOT Note: This is the fifth in my series of Ultimate Accessories posts which have been sponsored by the new Infiniti G Sedan! As with any sponsored content ~ these posts are done - my way - my product choices, my content, and they help me keep doing what i love!

On ultimate accessories, one of the more interesting ways to bring some green into your home is definitely in the form of terrariums (especially over cut flowers!). And your terrariums can be filled with anything from cacti or venus fly traps to flowers or bonsai… one of my favorite designs which manage to be both minimal and somewhat traditional, yet so organic and fluid feeling is definitely the blown glass terrariums of Esque at A+R. As described on the site - “Esque Design in Portland: Justin Parker and Andi Kovel blow recycled glass into purposeful sculptures that are as elegant as they are otherworldly. Case in point: These crystal-clear balloon terrariums, which frame your favorite succulents, flowers or other life into a world of their own.”

*NOTCOT in tech - 07.27.08 -

Polite in Public 2.0?

party1.jpgSo i took a bit of an internet break the last few days (blame the Sands motel in Bird Rock ~ but the relaxation and beachiness was awesome)… so unlike most die-hard comic-con-ers, we just popped by for a few hours on thursday - then went to the zoo for a few hours, and then found ourselves at the G4 + StrangeCo party for the new “Wonder Women of America” book which featured a few hundred photographs of the cosplay women of comic-con 2007… and many were present! They also had Nerdcore performances, and the place was a madhouse! But what grabbed me that you’ll definitely want to see… the boys of Polite in Public, have come a long way since we last saw/talked to them. (Catch up here for their back story and to see the old set up.)

So what’s new with this young revolutionary photobooth company, Polite in Public? With their impressive hollywood and technical backgrounds - they have taken their glossy, gorgeous imagery filled with props and sets and real prints on the fly! - to a whole new level. Instead of laptops, screens, printers, and more set up on a desk, we were amazed by their new set up with one large sleek machine that took the pictures, processed them from original form to the glossified form, and had a nice interface for their photobooth attendants to quickly browse and print from. It seemed like a large simple UI, and i was dying to run up and poke it, if only they weren’t SO busy! Also, from only being a small 2-3 man operation, sounds like they are expanding quite a bit, since on the same night as the San Diego event, they were also doing events in SF, NY, and LA! I got a few pics of the crazy scene - and some video of their impressive automated photoshop like filtering on the fly to give you a feel for how incredible their process is - check it all out on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in wearable -

NotCouture Strip Down/Cover Up Roundup

notcouture #2419 notcouture #2424 notcouture #2421 notcouture #2425 notcouture #2406 notcouture #2387 notcouture #2393 notcouture #2409 notcouture #2412 notcouture #2426

This week’s NotCouture roundup was mainly inspired by mirrormirror’s post about Acne launching a collection of men’s underwear, then noticing that some Fall items like jackets and hoodies were trickling in, and that was an amusing contrast. I went on a search for some cool underwear for the guys but either the selection is pretty limited (if that’s the case, I feel sorry for guys!) or I just don’t know where to look for it..? But it wasn’t hard to find pretty pieces for the girls from favorite labels like VPL and The Lake and Stars. So whether you’re stripping down or covering up, feel free to share what you’re wearing (or wish you were wearing)!

*NOTCOT in wearable - 07.24.08 -

Modern Amusement/Women’s Autumn ‘08 Collection

modernAmusementWomen08_01.jpg

Modern Amusement is finally coming out with a Women’s collection for Autumn ‘08, and I didn’t even have to see the lookbook to know that I’d be really into the clothes. I’ve liked Modern Amusement’s guys’ collection for awhile now. It’s one of those labels that is the epitome of SoCal for me… the perfect blend of casualness and sophistication (like say, 60/40 casual/sophisticated). I love the dark colors with pops of color and white, the sheer fabric, and all those pleats and pintucks! The women’s collection will be available in stores beginning August 15th and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. More looks after the jump!

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*NOTCOT in playful -

San Diego Comic-con 2008

sdcc08.jpgSo, for those of you who follow my twitter or facebook ~ you already know i ran away to San Diego. It’s been far too long since i’ve been back in these parts, and i’d forgotten how much i missed it! So, spent yesterday popping by all my old houses/apartments/neighborhoods/etc, getting a burrito, and hiding out in little italy. Anyhow, we just popped by comic-con today for a few hours, and it’s absolute insanity, massive crowds, yet everyone is so nice, and they keep things flowing so well. Also - SO giddy to see the toys i’ve been lusting after… in person! And super nice to meet up with a bunch of the comics and toy guys in person as well, of course. So here’s a mad roundup to show you some of my favorites, click the pic to see the full gallery of my images running around the convention floor… and now i think i’m off to the zoo.

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