*NOTCOT in food+drink -

Flip and Tumble

fipandtumble.jpgOk so when i get on a reusable bag trend… and try to stop… it’s hard! Because now everyone who finds new reusable shopping bags is sending them over, and i just have to share one more with you. Kristopher Dukes just had these Flip and Tumble bags show up in her inbox, and seeing as they’re not exactly couture… she’s passed them on to add to my growing list of reusable options. From a design perspective i needed to post these because linhchi and i were just thinking the other day… wouldn’t it be easiest just to have an attached pouch? just cram the whole bag in it? Like a Popple! And then here we have Flip and Tumble doing just that… they describe it as a sock ball… i think of it as a Popple bag. And for those who are either so old they forgot what a Popple is, or those *gasp* who are too young to know about them… i dug up an original 80’s Popple advert on youtube that’s embedded below for your viewing pleasure.

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*NOTCOT in food+drink -

Method Give Greener

methodbag.jpgI know, i know, you must be near reusable bag overdose… but its EVERYWHERE. So since we’ve started, i’m just tracking them all when they seem interesting. Latest that got sent in (you can also see more and more reader finds in comments on the various posts as well as over at .org) ~ Method (yes the beautifully packaged, omop, etc guys) has gotten in on the action with their use of GiveGreener.com. You spend 20$ on Method Products, and you can write/email in to receive a free not so subtle tote… in fact they even say “Get Greener: BE SEEN BEING GREEN with method’s reusable market tote”. So is it really about saving the environment some waste, broadcasting that you’re doing it, or both? Their version has been designed by “eco-lifestyle expert Danny Seo” ~ with playful retro typography ~ and 16 ways to look good and feel better on the back. It even zips up into a light blue pouch.

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*NOTCOT in home+decor - 10.21.07 -

Polka Tattoos

annaimage001.jpgNOTCOT Note: Here’s another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!

UPDATE: The ladies at Polka got back to me about purchasing your own TattooFurniture. Each piece is a one-off and is produced on demand. Prices vary based on which piece of Polka’s furniture you want tattooed, but to give you an idea, the bench shown above costs 3000 Euro. If you have a special tattoo in mind, you can email them your design, so that they can discuss it with Gert. Contact Polka for more details.

I must confess that recently I’ve gotten into watching L.A. Ink. I most likely will never get a tattoo myself, but I certainly appreciate the artistry that goes in to designing and making a great tattoo. Design duo Marie Rahm and Monica Singer of Polka teamed up with tattoo artist Gert Kowarzik to make a series of tattooed leather furniture. For someone commitment-phobic like me (I’m speaking about tattoos here, not my newly-wedded husband), the tattooed furniture series hits the spot. I love the texture of the tattoo on the leather, and the dark smudges that are traces of the intense areas of work by Gert.

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*NOTCOT in design -

Into The Pixel

gamerart.jpg
Mmmmm crazy gamer art that inspired the actual games. Into The Pixel “is an exploration and celebration of the art of the video game, curated by interactive industry veterans and experts from the art establishment.” This year it showed at E3 in santa monica, then the Toronto Film Festival, and its currently showing at E for All in LA. I went through the last few years, and even out of those these three still amuse/inspire me the most. Then again… i do have a thing for the crazy artsy games (i.e. Rabbids! Dewey! Viva Piñata! Katamari! etc…). What’s really interesting about these piece are that they are often pre-video game (or during) development, and are made my the art directors and designers working on the games. For example this Rabbids one is by Florent Sacre, the Art Director for Rayman Raving Rabbids. Dewey one is by Shigechy. And the Viva Piñata piece is by Ryan Stevenson - “a veteran of Rare projects like It’s Mister Pants! and Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge, [he] made his name as the concept artist behind the vibrant and unmistakable Viva Piñata.”

On a sidenote: while researching i discovered the IGN Raving Rabbids blog from before the game came out, with some incredible behinds the scenes imagery and hilarious shots of the game makers and their rabbids… so some peeks at that below as well as full sized images of the crops above.

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*NOTCOT in food+drink - 10.20.07 -

Corporate Re-Bags

newrebagmain.jpgI guess you could say i have a preoccupation with the state of reusable grocery bags, and while i was out tonight i couldn’t help myself, and gave in and purchased a 99 cent Target zip up bag, as well as the new insulated Whole Foods bag for $2.99. Also thrown in for comparison is the standard Whole Foods 99 cent bag (the matching version at target was around $1.49 i think - and i’ve also seen variations of these same ones from various grocers). The other one from the same manufacturer that i have at home is the 6 wine bottle version (basically the standard with braces to hold your bottles apart). So, from a shoppers perspective it looks like Green Bag has got quite a hold on the corporate reusable shopping bag market. And they are great! Just not quite as pocketable as the Baggus and Envirosax we were discussing earlier. One of the nicest things about these other than the super reasonable price points ~ these are the reusable’s equivalent to a standard paperbag ~ a bit sturdier, and love that they have a plastic insert to keep the bottoms strong. These are great in the back of my car and for odd shaped items. As for the target one, i couldn’t resist the adorable bird on a target tree design they had. Isn’t it cute? And the tag reads: Reusable Shopping Bag “Reuse to Reduce”. Due to the zip up nature of the bag, no sturdy flat bottom for this one, and not quite tiny enough i’d want to keep it in my purse.

An observation on the difference of the corporate check out culture between Target and Whole Foods. When i was at Target and purchasing the bag, she just throws it into a PLASTIC bag and hands it all to me… doesn’t even think to put my stuff in the bag. When at Whole Foods, the insulated bag i was buying was in the cart… and she asks me whether i brought my own, or i’m buying that one ~ and proceeds to load my groceries into my reusable bags. [I’d link you to places to purchase these online, but i can’t find links!]

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*NOTCOT in wearable -

Vivenne Westwood Saftey Pins

vivpins.jpgI can’t remember if we were mildly obsessed with saftey pins before NotCouture, or if the safety pin naturally became our logo and then we kept noticing it everywhere. But regardless, saftey pins are truly popping up everywhere lately… i supposed it matches the whole psuedo-punk/glam trend with all the studded burberry, etc. But i was surprised to come across this new collection from Vivienne Westwood Hardcore Diamonds where she takes on safety pins and paperclips.

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*NOTCOT in wearable - 10.18.07 -

EXCLUSIVE: Diesel Fuel For Life

fuelmain.jpgI’m sure you’ve heard by now that Diesel has branched out into fragrances: Fuel For Life… its been hard to miss their campaign this season! Well we are super stoked to be giving you this weekend exclusive about the new Fuel For Life FACTORY! Where you can use their flashy online customizer to design your own zippered leather jacket for your bottle of Fuel For Life. With a range of colored leathers and logos for the front and back and even the zipper pull leathers to customize… you have quite a few choices to make. And only 20,000 of these bottles will be produced, so starting on Monday, you’ll have your chance to build and buy your own, but until then you can explore the current Fuel For Life site with interactive experiences to keep you busy and ads to watch until then. (Screenshots of all below!)

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*NOTCOT in design -

Joshua Targownik

reformschool1.jpgJoshua Targownik has left me speechless. This guy emails in saying “I am a professional photographer who shoots products for Reform School. I recently shot the exterior and interior for Los Angeles Magazine. Take a look and see if you’d like to use a better image for your post.” (referring to NOTCOT.org #6732)… and at first i’m thinking, wow, no one’s ever really written in to suggest a better picture before, and first thing in my mind is “uh oh, i wonder if the picture up is REALLY bad!” OR… “maybe this guys images are better,… or he just wants us to look at his portfolio?” YES i’m a bit jaded these days, people send some weird stuff to try and get written about ~ some are quite shameless. BUT. Joshua Targownik’s images are GORGEOUS. Reform School looks like this picture perfect dollhouse filled with goodness. And instead of trying to justify why i’m posting them, even though Reform School is already linked on .org… well look how pretty he made it? I couldn’t help myself? The images are so inspiring. So, i’m thinking… next time we need to shoot things in LA, we may have to call up Joshua and beg him to help us look pretty.

Also the Reform School’s redesign is really beautiful in that playful collagey way that we love so much ~ so thrown a screenshot of that below as well. And it figures that it was designed by ALSO ~ who also did Design*Sponge’s new site and all the Busy Beaver stuff i love.

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*NOTCOT in playful -

Reusable Bag Review

baggumain.jpgOk with all these reusable bags floating around… from designer ones to simple ones to crazy patterned ones… here’s a quick little review from what all of us at NOTCOT have learned so far… and what we love, and don’t love… when we use them, and when we don’t. Would love to hear what you do with them as well, and what kinds of things drive you nuts about them. Because with a simple project brief like “design a new superusable reusable grocery bag”… it seems strange that most of the solutions seem like nylon versions of things from the past. What advances could we add to them? What little details would you love to see in a reusable grocery bag? Are reusable grocery bags the new t-shirt? The next thing everyone needs a drawer full of ~ in every color and design for every mood and occasion?

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*NOTCOT in playful -

Baggu Bags

bagguing.jpgBaggu Bags. These clean simple bags sure are getting popular lately! They’ve been on most of the design/trend blogs, and we’ve even had them on NotCouture when we first launched - they are #478. Dan and i had the pleasure of having coffee with founder Emily Sugihara last week (she’s freshly relocated back to California, and is testing out the norcal lifestyle) ~ and we all got on so well it ended up being a few hour long “quick coffee”… she’s an adorable, fascinating, fellow 24 year old ~ grew up in Del Mar ~ put in time at Parsons getting a masters in Fashion ~ interned with Proenza Schouler, worked at jcrew, bebe, etc… and then finally realized it was time for a change. So putting her keen fashion design skills to work on something a bit more everyday ~ she and her mother have taken on the reusable grocery bag market ~ not only helping make our grocery shopping a bit more clean and brand-free, but also help cut down on all the plastic we’ve been using ~ also she and i are on the same page that having a home/wherever you are office, is far more fun than a traditional day job!

I know, i’ve been ranting lately that there are SO MANY options, and it feels like people have suddenly “discovered” the concept of reusable bags… but these are pretty slick and understated (finally!)… and for the gents ~ her folding design actually does fit in a guys tight jean back pocket. So no more excuses for the non-purse toting ones. I have a hands on review/comparison post coming up next, but just wanted to let you guys know how fun our meeting was first!

Also ~ any interest if we were to team up and do some limited edition understated NOTCOT designed Baggus?

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*NOTCOT in playful -

Muji Animal Toys

mujixmas.jpgWow. I’m glad i don’t have kids of my own this holiday season… because between these new Muji Woody nature inspired toys and the ikea ones i recently posted… they are so adorably well designs and well priced, my whole floor would be covered in these things! (Although, how fun would it be to run a preschool with only designer goods? It would be a fun way to set the standard extra high for all these kids from day one!). So here we have everything from wood DIY Dodos (my fav), blue whale, turtle, mammoth… a chalkboard globe! Woody hedgehogs… a zoo in a bag! (every executives desk clearly needs this)… and even an evolutionary puzzle to learn from. More images and more toys below.

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*NOTCOT in design - 10.17.07 -

WWF Paper Dispenser

wwfpaperdispenser.jpgSaw this over as NOTCOT.org #6720 as posted by Daniela Sammartino and the image has been stuck in my head all day. I love these World Wildlife Federation ad campaigns that utilize the existing surroundings so well… remember the one where the shadow cast throughout the day on the billboard showed the ocean levels rising? Here we have a paper dispenser with south america cut out, and green foil to tint your view… clearly conveying that with every piece of paper you take, you’re taking away from the greenness of south america. How multisensory and engaging beyond a simple sticker/poster. By Saatchi & Saatchi, Copenhagen, Denmark.

My only other question ~ doesn’t the paper itself look green? Why the need for the green foil? (As it says over at I Believe in Advertising)

*NOTCOT in wearable -

American Apparel Black Vinyl

amap.jpgLooks like American Apparel has started branching out on their bags… latest additions which nicely complement the nylon duffels (perfect lightweight gym/beach bags all summer, but not so great for screen printing… i tried a silver pirate bronto on my green one, its barely there anymore) ~ these bags now come in a sleek black vinyl. Perfect for fall/winter perhaps? Not sure how they feel in person ~ but intrigued by the images online… also doesn’t vinyl tend to have a certain less than appealing scent often? Well they have a laptop bag, duffle, makeup bag and (shown below).

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*NOTCOT in wearable -

Burberry Grey + Studs

burberrygrey1.jpgI’m not sure whether i’m currently smitten because i woke up 5 minutes ago, or because i’ve loved greys and studs for so long, that although i’ve tried to resist them now that they are omnipresent, i need to give up and admit i can’t fight it. Burberry. Has taken their season’s studdedness and applied it to a grey bikini and matching sundress. And i think i’m in love. More images below of course.

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*NOTCOT in design - 10.16.07 -

Goodmorning Widex

hearingaidw.jpgWow. This packaging is the most brilliant way to package a hearing aid i’ve ever imagined. Feel free to jump ahead and view the video below of the seemingly simple packaging in action… and then come back to finish reading. Basically for those who can’t hear… how do you help them experience a sound before even getting to the hearing aid within? You show them a soundwave. In action. They have used the plastic sleeve around the box to create the illusion of an animated soundwave as you push the interior box out. Not to mention the simple black and white nature of the design is just classy. My only problem with this design? I can see it being far too fun to just slide the box in and out to watch the soundwave move, and thus it would take too long to get to the actual hearing aid. I love this. Design is by Copenhagen based design studio Goodmorning, for Widex “high definition hearing”.

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