*NOTCOT in home+decor - 09.17.07 -

Hector Serrano

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Here’s the latest post from our fav contributor, Anna Corpron of Sub Studio. A HUGE congrats to her and Sean who just got married (hence the quietness from them the last few weeks) and ran off to honeymoon in Vancouver, Whistler, and Victoria. Lucky!

Hector Serrano is an innovative, Spanish product designer who puts a new spin on familiar objects, materials and forms. His work is playful - take the Fan Txt (image after the jump), a reinterpretation of the traditional Spanish fan - often used as a flirtation device - now updated with text messaging capabilities. Like the guy in the corner? Fan yourself and a pre-programmed message will flash for his benefit. The Superpatata (above) looks like a balloon (or water bottle) but functions as a light and also as a pillow/bed warmer.

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*NOTCOT in playful -

Easy Buttons

easybuttons1.jpgReady for possibly one of my most ridiculous posts ever? (And my excuse of the moment is, i’m having some personal issues, so i’m coping by doing silly things like this). So remember the Staples Easy Button? I posted it about it back in December 2005… and i’m assuming that thanks to unintentional SEO, all those crazy comments of people discussing how to hack it (to become a garage door opener, make circus noises, etc) came from random searches. Well i never knew there were Staples Boton Facils too! But what really kicked this whole thing off was i was wandering around Yahoo Campus after the Company Store had already closed, and upon peering in the window i saw these INSTA-YODEL buttons, and HAD to have one. So i went back this morning to get one of those, and naturally needed to go grab the Staples one too (i had no idea there were facil buttons until i showed up).

Anyhow, more pictures below, and i even made a silly little VIDEO (because these buttons, as cool as they are, are meaningless without hearing them all)… and a mini rant on the design of these button options.

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*NOTCOT in home+decor - 09.16.07 -

Dutch Tub

dutchtubmain.jpgShade Elaine and i popped by the Dwell on Design exhibition yesterday… and honestly it didn’t feel worth the 20$ it would have been each (had Zinc Details not been nice enough to send over a comp code). But this was the highlight of the whole thing. DUTCH TUB! We’ve loved this one since both .org 1190 and .org… and were absolutely giddy to get to see one in person… unfortunately it wasn’t filled, and no fire was warming it… But we did force our way through the crowds to get you some close up shots below.

For those of you unfamiliar with this incredible tub ~ it’s relatively portable… holds about 200 gallons of water that you can fill with a garden hose… and its wood burning! (you fill through the bottom of the coil, and burn wood within it to heat it). AND you can even use a wok on top of that coil ~ talk about getting the most out of your fire. For those interested in what else they didn’t really miss at the Dwell on Design Exhibition, check out the gallery of images we took… it really felt like an even smaller CA|Boom.

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*NOTCOT in home+decor - 09.15.07 -

Aromatherapy Interventions

intervention.jpgTherapy. Can i really get it from a candle? If so, please do the world of NOTCOT a favor and send the above ones over, and it might be a whole new world over here! Aromatherapy Interventions - As i’m sure you’ve already guessed… i like their colors, packaging, icons, and cheeky descriptions… also check out some of the ones coming up for Winter 2008 below… as well as the Codependent one (two wicks!)… and for all of us Web 2.0 kids, there is even a Version 2.0 - “You have the latest version of everything. This candle may be all the upgrade you need.” I seriously doubt that, but it amuses me none the less this Saturday morning.

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*NOTCOT in playful -

Breakable Gift Wrap

breakable.jpgNotCouture #942 points out these great Fang Cufflinks, that are less than traditional (close up below)… and as i went exploring the Stephen Einhorn site i discovered their brilliant twist on Gift Packaging. (And its also making me kick myself, wondering why i didn’t think of more creative ways to explore the idea of packaging when it came to gifts before!)…

They will gift wrap” your jewelry in a plaster heart, painted whatever color you desire (silver, gold, black, red, pink, etc)… and upon receipt the recipient has to break the heart to get their gift… doesn’t it really feel more like a prize at that point? Or like the grown up version of those toy in the plastic eggs from the machines? And i love how this makes you rethink about the concept of the giftwrap as you open it as well… forcing upon you the idea that (unlike wrapping paper or those plastic eggs) this is a no return kind of move… you’ll never have that heart again? Anyhow, i love the idea of how this changes the gift receiving experience!

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*NOTCOT in food+drink - 09.14.07 -

Drinks & Sweets

TasteSpotting #3992TasteSpotting #3991TasteSpotting #3989TasteSpotting #3972TasteSpotting #3971TasteSpotting #3939TasteSpotting #3935TasteSpotting #3866TasteSpotting #3930TasteSpotting #3794Click the images to see more! Inspired by that post on the bottom right ~ TasteSpotting #3794 described as “Liquor + Cake! An entire 5 course tasting menu of mini cupcakes and coordinating cocktails.” Here is a selection of delicious sweets and drinks to kick off your friday.

*NOTCOT in wearable - 09.13.07 -

NotCouture Roundup

NotCouture #893NotCouture #900NotCouture #937NotCouture #935NotCouture #888NotCouture #928NotCouture #887NotCouture #913NotCouture #912NotCouture #911

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.

*NOTCOT in food+drink -

Evian Palace Bottle

newevian.jpg“Inspired by the purity of Evian water, and the beauty of the french alps, the exquisite Evian Palace Bottle is available in restaurants and brings a heightened level of luxury to fine dining occasions.” More interesting than the fact that evian is fighting the anti-bottled water world (and all those fine dining establishments that will now offer you triple filtered tap water, etc) ~ are these interesting details… there is a pourer built into the cap! And a sleek coaster to catch the condensation! Also similar to the giant glass bottle that showed up last year, the Holiday 2007 bottle (last time with a hot pink top) is back in glistening gold.

*NOTCOT in wearable - 09.12.07 -

db clay wallet review

claywallets1.jpgNew 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!

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*NOTCOT in design -

Chanel Finale

newchanelmain.jpgI know it is a bit of a Chanel OD at this point, but there was just so much that they showed us that really kind of blew my mind… but this should be the last post ~ big news that this whole trip was about, the Keira Knightly Coco Mademoiselle film is finally online (go watch it now)… cool thing to look out for, that last scene, she runs into place vendome (yes the No. 5 bottle shaped plaza), and basically runs right past the hotel they put us up at! I wonder if that was intentional.

Things i’ve been dying to show you, but they asked me to wait till today… We got to go inside Coco Mademoiselle’s Apartment ~ which has been frozen in time, filled with tons of pieces filled with stories… from books, to chinese screens she split and used like wallpaper (with her favorite symbol the Camellia on them - which was traditionally for courtesans), and loads of superstitious pieces i was smitten with… my favorite being this crystal ball with the lions holding it up (she was a leo and collection lions)… and there is even a chandelier with 5’s, G’s and C’s worked into the framework of it… So pictures below, but the majority of them are for your browsing in the Gallery.

I also have a map and walkthrough to show you her secret path/shortcut to Rue Cambon through the Ritz which we took ~ and i envy her set up. She lived in the Ritz… and then at 31 Rue Cambon on the first floor was the Chanel Store, second floor is the Haute Couture dressing rooms, third floor is her apartment for entertaining, and forth floor is the workshop… with a rooftop that allegedly has some of the best views in paris (i tried, but they wouldn’t let me go past the third floor… apparently karl lagerfeld and his team were busy preparing for fall fashion week). OH and they are all linked with the most incredible faceted mirrored staircase, that she built so that she could stand in one spot and basically see what was happening on every floor.

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*NOTCOT in design -

Chanel Randomness

chanelstuffmain.jpgBeing the packaging/product junkie that i am ~ as cool as traditional Chanel products may be, i found great pleasure in the attention to detail they took to every aspect of our adventure. The name tags… super thick rubbery tags with our names embedded in them with the Chanel logo (see the side view pic below to fully understand)… i have had an obsession with black on black pencils since high school (they were somehow my good luck pencils for SATs and all scantron tests ~ wow did i just date myself?), and the Chanel black pencils with silver logo were so classic, with matching note pads with tiny logo and black backing… the gloss on matte folders for press kits… and the headshots were just to funny not to share, i’m quite sad we didn’t get them first so we could play full on starstruck fan kids and get them autographed. See it all below…

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*NOTCOT in me -

FM Conversational Marketing Summit

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Ok fine, i’m jetlagged in denial. But its 4am and i am wide awake suddenly. I apologize for the post lull because… well weds i flew to paris, saturday night i was back in la, monday i drove up to sf, and then tues 8am i was at the FM Conversational Marketing Summit until 7:30, at which point i ran home, and then as much as i told people and wanted to, i kind of crashed ~ couldn’t formulate sentences let alone make it to the after after party. BUT i saw Ask a Ninja LIVE! (totally worth being deliriously tired at 4pm but waiting it out till 6).

Just a quickie rant ~ it was a sea of iphones. Highlights? Well, Ask a Ninja… getting to meet a dozen or so of the really nice FM folks in person… being on a panel with Core77’s Stuart Constantine and Merlin Mann!!! Seeing our logo on the materials… Hearing about how the marketing/media guys perceive and approach the digital/social/video spaces. Really feeling that vast divide between networks that spawn out new sites because they feel like the traffic is there and how they hire people to do the heavy content work… versus networks like us which people don’t seem to believe i still naively launch sites simply b/c we’re kind of obsessive about those topics. Hearing about how boing boing (disem-vowel-ing) and ars manage their communities ~ all about the boing boing redesign. Xeni saying the conference should become a drinking game with a shot for everytime ‘conversation’ is said. Getting caught up on the video space… Having Brianna from Illustration Friday hand me an awesome moo card and polaroid print (sorry i was totally starting to crash around that time!)…

SO, i’m not sure if i’m going to make it over for today’s session, i’m so terribly behind in posting, and i must admit if there’s one thing i heard the most yesterday it was “WHAT? You are doing all of the content AND trying to do this business stuff?” So, yes, so far, that’s pretty much the deal… but i’ve JUST taken on some help in addition to FM! So anyone wanting to work with us as far as advertising/marketing ideas, drop Jared, the new NOTCOT Advertising Manager a line (jared-at-notcot.com) - he’s helping ease my load by dealing with all things ad related (for anyone who has contacted me about this in the past ~ well, response times will be infinitely faster now!) And i think i’m finally learning the advertising/marketing side of things does feel a little dirtier? And if it ever came between content or money, well i’m a content girl. (but you knew that). Ok 5:30am rant concluded, lots of pictures below!

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*NOTCOT in food+drink - 09.08.07 -

Narguile by Nedda El-Asmar

hookah1.jpgThere are hookahs/shishas and then there is the Narguile by Nedda El-Asmar for Parisian Airdiem. I can’t imagine a more enticing hookah for the design set… it screams luxe, and the minimalist shape is just beautiful… also the details like the black and white tubes, interchangeable mouth pieces, brown carrying case, and even special tweezers for the coals.

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*NOTCOT in design -

Chanel Proportions

chanelbottlemain.jpgOf the many stories, myths, and just all around Chanel lore that i can’t seem to get out of my head yet (expect a few more posts just so i can clear my head)… the one i woke up with that was driving me crazy was that Coco Chanel designed her first Chanel No.5 bottle to perfectly match the shape of Place Vendome (where the Ritz is, and where she basically lived… although her apartment for inspiration and taking guests was just behind it on Rue Cambon… but more on that in a few days). They also claim that it is unknown whether this matching shape was intentional… and its not like THEY had google maps back in 1921. So i HAD to check. The designer in me had to know for sure, while the rational part of me assumed the Chanel folks wouldn’t just make something like this up. And as you see, they weren’t kidding. Below, more images… and also some quick pics from the Assouline set of Chanel books they left on my bed… its really fun to see the old sketches of the bottles, and even how they have evolved over the years… but still fit the Place Vendome proportions.

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*NOTCOT in design - 09.07.07 -

Sealing Chanel

chanelsealmain.jpgI have had a Chanel day. Literally. But before i get into how in one day i was inundated with all things Chanel, and have a new found respect and fascination for the woman, the brand, the perfumerie (with stories from Chanel perfume creator Jacques Polge himself), the stunning timelessness of the jewelry, the sneak preview of the Keira Knightley film (as introduced by THE artistic director, Jacques Helleu), following Coco Chanel’s secret route from the Ritz to the original store, untouched apartment of inspiration, workshop, haute couture dressing rooms, and the incredible staircase… i wanted to show you the incredibly detailed process behind the sealing of the Chanel bottles… and the best part? I actually got to try it for myself ~ and it’s not easy, but if all else fails i suppose i can attempt to join their team of 100, who seal the bottles day after day by hand. (Also, how great is this mini seal tool? I think we need a NOTCOT one!) Loads of images below.

p.s. Before you think Chanel bought me off ~ think of this whole trip as more of the field trip of a lifetime. An interesting move on their part, they brought a group of international bloggers to Paris, and immersed us in the world of Chanel excitedly sharing with us the stories of their past, a peek into how things work behind the scenes, as well as a glance at what they are moving towards and what their brand philosophies are. Honestly, it kind of felt like design school again ~ you remember those studio visits with your design idols? Where they are as excited to be telling you about their work as you are to be there?

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