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Cadillac: Driven By Design, Los Angeles

arch0.jpg This post is in partnership with Cadillac. Last time they brought us to Atlanta for Road to Table: A Cadillac Culinary Experience. This time, they invited us to Driven by Design, in our hometown of Los Angeles. A fantastic day of architectural adventuring close to home!

Cadillac has teamed up with Architectural Digest for a series of architectural tours in various cities, including Miami and Los Angeles, and they were kind enough to invite us to experience a different view of LA in a train of brand new 2015 Cadillac Escalades cruising through the hills. First stop: The Hotel Bel-Air. Followed by the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, the iconic (and film and music video famous) Sheats Goldstein residence in Beverly Hills by John Lautner, and the North Faring residence in Holmby Hills. There was definitely something surreal about wandering the Sheats Goldstein residence at sunset, aka the Big Lebowski Jackie Treehorn House! It was a great experience to get to peek at all of these designs up close. See the details of them all on the next page.


This post is in partnership with Cadillac.

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Inspiration: Waterton Lakes National Park

watertonMAIN1.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, Shawn, Bucky, and I are loaded up in the NOTFZJ80 spending a week in Alberta roadtripping, camping, and exploring all that we can fit in… follow the series here to see what inspires us along the way!

We made it! We crossed the US/Canada border in the NOTFZJ80 with dog and all with no problems, and even finally got to make use of our passport cards. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited Shawn and I are to embark on the adventure we’ve dubbed the NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape. As you know, the NOTFZJ80 Project was all about building a rig that could take us to experience new things and get inspired in a whole new way. So when Travel Alberta asked us to come explore their province - and were cool with us not only roadtripping up from LA (allowing for some fun adventures along the way) but also bringing Bucky along as he turns 2 next week… we couldn’t say YES fast enough. After crossing the border, we headed to Waterton Lakes National Park, which is essentially the Canadian side of Glacier National Park. In fact, in 1932, the United States and Canada joined together to create the world’s first International Peace Park: Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park to commemorate the peace and goodwill our two nations share. In 1995, UNESCO even designated it a World Heritage Site. What more perfect place to cross over and start our adventure? See what we found on our first day into Alberta on the next page - from Bison to stunning lakes, to Pop Shoppe, to our campsite and more!

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NOTlabs: Virgin Atlantic EWR Infinity Cube

updateimage1.jpg Director of NOTlabs, Shawn Sims, is taking us behind-the-scenes of our latest piece, the mirrored, Instagram Infinity Cube that just got installed in Virgin Atlantic’s new EWR Clubhouse!

The Instagram Infinity Cube was designed and built for Virgin Atlantic’s new Newark Clubhouse at EWR to complement the #howIclubhouse campaign. When visitors arrive at the lounge, they can’t miss the mirrored cube as they approach the Liquid Lounge Bar and Passion Pit… with the exterior reflecting the dazzling space around, the opening inviting them to peek inside for an even more mesmerizing look at how people clubhouse around the globe, and then encouraging them to add their own!

All sides of the inner and outer cube are mirrored, and the far interior face of the cube has a screen that displays a rotating gallery of photographs. The interior mirrors especially, create a kaleidoscopic effect by reflecting the Instagram photos from the hashtag #howIclubhouse. Since the entire cube is made of mirrors, it generates an endless symmetry in 3D space of the Instagram photo. The outer cube reflects the lounge and people moving through it. The entire cube swivels 360 degrees allowing people to view it from multiple vantage points as they move through the space.

Take a look on the next page to see how this quick project came together at NOTlabs

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2 Dozen Volkswagen GTIs in Malibu

vw0.jpg Here’s the latest from our NOTlabs Director and car lover, Shawn Sims. This post is brought to you by Volkswagen. It’s not the miles, it’s how you live them. Read our stories or share your own at whyvw.com.

Early morning. Malibu canyon. Incredible S curves. Stunning views of the ocean and mountains. And over 2 dozen GTIs. I kid you not. So when Volkswagen reached out to NOTCOT to share our VW story, Jean pulled up my instagram pictures and insisted i share this Malibu adventure with you. First things first, let’s backtrack a few steps…

I love my 2012 GTI. It’s like a fast little go cart - handles great, has great balance, and from an engineering/design perspective, the build quality of the car is top notch. (And after endless test driving, Jean gave this one her approval as she fell for all the design details too.) As a car lover since before I even started driving at 15, you’d never believe that life lead me to do a few years in London and New York — carless! And it wouldn’t be until i moved to LA that i’d buy my first new car.

Moving to LA a car is a must-have. I was told make sure you get something you will enjoy, can be comfortable in, and be fun to drive because you will be in it more than you think. So when heading to LA after grad school in Pittsburgh, before even looking for an apartment, the perfect car had to be found… white 2 door with a manual transmission and sunroof. Not as easy as expected! But along the way, many dealers were called, arrangements were made, and paperwork was signed before I even landed in LA. My GTI agonizingly waited across the country in a lot for me until I got there. The day before new years eve, I hopped on an evening flight to LAX, and the next morning I had the keys to my new VW GTI! 

Adjusting to life in LA, Jean and I frequently took our cars out to Malibu to play in the canyons. Having the VW GTI as my newest gadget, naturally internet research took me all over, learning about possible tunes, tweaks, upgrades and more… even stumbling upon various GTI communities (Apparently a lot of the vocal owners online are architects, engineers, designers, etc. Who knew?) So when a GTI meetup through the Malibu Canyons popped up, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to meet some new LA folks and find out more about what others were doing to the cars in person, and regardless of how it was, it was guaranteed to be a fun drive!

I have gone to plenty of car meets and seen car clubs caravanning around LA, but I was not expecting to find more than 2 dozen GTIs in a parking lot at 8:30AM. First, the casual meet and greet over coffee as we huddled up to go over the proposed route. We were set to cruise Stunt Rd, Mulholland Hwy, Malibu Canyon Rd, Piuma Rd, PCH, and whatever fun roads we could find in between. The plan was one canyon run, usually 20-40 min and then find a spot to regroup and snap a few photos. There were 3 generations of GTIs there, some untouched and others heavily modified. While at one of the lookouts along the way an automotive journalist even pulled up reviewing the new Golf R. The huge group of GTIs made him do a double take, much like the new Golf R turned the heads of the GTI drivers. As quickly as people came together, the group drifted back to their respective parts of socal… but for those few hours of blissful canyon driving as a pack of GTIs, i certainly learned a ton about what my GTI could do (and become).

The pack of GTIs (and the view!) was quite the sight, as you can see in the pictures on the next page… If I was driving by the group, I know my curiosity would have the best of me and it would have been hard not to stop too!

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*notcot in food+drink - 0 Notes

Bompas & Parr: Mercedes Drive Thru

bompasdt0.jpg I’m delighted to share with you tonight’s latest adventure of an experience with two of our favorites… Mercedes-Benz and Bompas & Parr. What an unexpected duo to team up and take on London Fashion Week by popping up the Mercedes Drive Thru at the Old Selfridges Hotel to solve the problem where “Models, journalists, and buyers go hungry as they dash between presentations and appointments. The Mercedes Drive Thru is our solution, an art installation that serves emotionally compelling food on all fours within 180 seconds of arrival,” says their pamphlet/menu. They continue to say that “Guests emerge holding steaming meat luggage within minutes of entering. You experience a specially commissioned light installation by Jason Bruge Studio, a big and nasty soundscape by Dom James and our troupe of roller-girls, Marawa and the Doughnuteers.” Sound like craziness? Well it is ~ and Mercedes-Benz’s Avant Garde Diaries chose Bompas & Parr to curate this latest experience for us all!

Tonight we got a preview at their opening party which was quite the affair… while the drive thru turned into a walk thru, and instead of a menu, the roller girls were serving quite the assortment of surprising cocktails and munchies in the usual Bompas & Parr fashion (with them we’ve inhaled Campari gas, rowed in Truvia, mini golfed through cakes, and so much MORE) … things really got taken to the next level when the first car came thru… the Mercedes Benz A Class and it’s trunk was full of CHEESE! Then, there’s also the salami step and repeat… the mortadella stools… the glittery high heeled light up roller skates… and so much more. See the video and pictures of all the fun on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Miss Van: Wild At Heart

missvan0.jpg It’s been a few years since i’ve been to a Miss Van show ~ you can see pictures from some of her 2006-2007 shows in the NOTCOT archives… tonight, i popped by Miss Van’s solo show“Wild At Heart” at Copro Gallery. A playful series of work filled with masks and her signature ladies with a focus on the eyes… The press release says Choosing to focus on details while isolating different body parts, such as eyes and mouth, Miss Van adds, “The masks allow me to show more feelings, other sides of a same character, hiding the face, partly or totally and embracing the animal strength, personality and attitude. I am illustrating the chemistry between the feminine delicacy and the bestial instinct, natural and raw and we all have this duality inside.” This show is sponsored by fashion brand, Citizens of Humanity, which is branching into the arts. Show visitors received Citizens of Humanity t-shirt collaboration with Miss Van (only in girls sizes!) with a print of one of the eyes from the show on them, and she will also be featured in the premiere issue of a new collectible print publication by Citizens of Humanity launching this August.

Take a peek at the show and the t-shirt on the next page!

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Light Tunnel at Transmission LA: AV Club

tunnel2.jpg On the way in to Ben Jones’ installation with the crazy 8 bit video room at the Avant/Garde Diaries Transmission LA: A/V Club at MoCA… you go through a trippy and beautiful triangular digital tunnel… see the video on the next page! (I could have sat mesmerized in there for some time!)

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Sage Vaughn at TRANSMISSION LA: AV CLUB

butterfly00.jpg One of the artists that caught my eye at the Avant/Garde Diaries: Transmission LA: A/V CLUB was Sage Vaughn… take a look at some of the moth covered drip paintings on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

Car Internet/WLAN: AMG Performance Media

notcotcf0.jpg Wow. The Mercedes-AMG SLS and SLS Roadster have internet browsing built in… and turn into WLAN hotspots… and runs Android… and someday you can even have apps… since it’s on android does that mean we can write our own?

I’ve never seen NOTCOT flanked in carbon fiber… or navigated to on an in car dashboard after we just hopped across the french/italian border and ended up on the top of some hilly lush greenery… granted, they don’t allow you to browse the internet while driving (so i guess no posting while racing around in the Mercedes-AMG SLS Roadster!) ~ this is only one of a series of fascinating options in the “AMG Performance Media” section. But on the internet related side first ~ “AMG Performance Media provides fully-fledged, mobile high-speed internet access: when the car is stationary, the driver and passenger are able to surf the web and install apps.” YES. Your car is a smartphone. Running on Android. You can even scroll through the websites with the usual COMAND Controller (the big dial). This all even turns into a WLAN hotspot! (Which passengers CAN access with their phones, laptops, etc while you’re driving.) Amazing, right? I want my car to come to life with internet! Oh, and in addition, you can also enter Race Mode, have dials showing engine outputs and torque in real time, output your stats to USB, record lap times, and more… It’s 3am sleep time before playing with it all a bit more tomorrow before ending up in Munich, so see some screenshots as well as full details on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Scumco & Sons ABC Decks

scumco0.jpg It’s not often you see Letterpress mixed with Skateboard art… mixed with exotic hardwoods… mixed with ABCs… especially the ABC’s of offensive rap lyrics. Amazingly Scumco & Sons seems to have managed to merged all of that… and more. Crafted in their Pittsburgh studios, Scumco & Sons have launched this one of a kind 26 piece art series of decks. Nick Teodori grabbed my attention with them in person last weekend, and i must say they are even more stunning in person! His attention to detail is hard to miss. Layer upon layer of graphics, colors, woods, and meaning for you to decipher and interpret as you wish. Can you name all of the rap songs that inspired them? Can you name the beautiful exotic woods used? Can you imagine teaching kids the alphabets off of these? Which letter would you pick to adorn your wall? The Process: Standard 7 layer maple deck with an 8th layer of 0.06 mm furniture veneer, with prints made on a Vandercook Universal III then heat transferred. The lovely photos are courtesy of Demian Aspinwall, and making of coming soon… but first, check out all of the ABC’s on the next page as well as some close ups!

p.s. While some have been sold ~ a few letters are still available from the collection… so hard trying to decide which one/s my wall needs.

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StndAIR: NYC to Hamptons + beyond!

stndAIRmain.jpg StndAIR! Yes, André Balazs and the Standard Hotels now have their own sea plane! And will even give you a ride from the New York City to East Hampton on peek weekends (perfect for hopping over from the Standard New York to Sunset Beach)… or you can charter it for anywhere in a 300 mile radius. Adorably red, “Willa” certainly can’t be missed! This 8 passenger Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibian aircraft, staffed by two pilots, officially takes flight tomorrow, but we’ve got some fun sneak peeks at the sketches behind her and her first flight! And in full Standard style, “The cheeky flight experience will include André Balazs Rosé, Swedish Fish, StnAir Branded Water and a Standard flight greeter at departure and arrival.” (Mmmmmm Rosé and Swedish Fish.)

And of course they take the experience even further with their StndAIR Flight Board: “Travelers can ‘compete’ to charter flights at more affordable rates provided they recruit friends to fill the 8 seats on the plane, or take their chances with others seeking the same destination.  The first person to book receives the lowest price and there’s a sliding price scale that gradually increases as more participants sign up for that flight. The first to fill a flight gets the confirmed charter.” So… what are you waiting for? Let’s get a group of 8 together and go! Take a peek at StndAIR’s inaugural flight on the next page!

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*notcot in playful - 1 Notes

Gift Guide: Beautiful Books

bookguide.jpg Gift Guide time! In addition to the NOTCOT Holiday Coupons and the many Holiday Giveaways that will be unfolding daily… here’s my latest gift guide dedicated to beautiful BOOKS! As much as people claim print is dead ~ it’s so so not, and gorgeous glossy coffee table books, surprising analog interactive kids books, stunning magazines, design books, graphically awesome cookbooks and more are still launching constantly. On the next page, you’ll see a pick of some of my favorites for gifting this season!

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The Mission Workshop

mission0.jpg Oooh, more fun pictures just showed up in the inbox! Gabe Brosbe went by to visit my friends at the Mission Workshop in The Mission in San Francisco! (If they sound familiar ~ it may be because this is founded by the original founders of Chrome Bags!) And he’s been test driving one of their Rambler backpacks for a few weeks on his crazy daily 9 mile bike commute (even through the ridiculous rainy season we’re having in cali these days!)… check out his pics on the next page! I love the oil drums in the interiors! Also awesome? A peek at the adorable soles of their collab with DZR on bike clip in shoes…

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*notcot in wearable - 6 Notes

Witches: Lauren Alexander and Gabby Applegate

witches18.jpg "I am reaching out to you because we have an amazing event coming up for which your presence is requested, WITCHES presentation by designers Lauren Alexander and Gabby Applegate. The most secretive of launches . . . Lauren Alexander started her fashion career with her namesake collection "Lauren Alexander" touted by LA's own Kitten Magazine and GenArt, then created a lasting impression on fashion world with her well-established basics line, LnA."

How can you resist something as vague and tempting as that? Promising... "WITCHES" the new shadowy, supernatural, and chic collection from Lauren Alexander and Gabby Applegate. An incredible editorial presentation in vignette style to showcase the occult collection. Friday, the Thirteenth of March, Seven to Ten in the evening. Chateau Marmont, Bungalow 4"... fascinating part, not even the Dietch PR folks had seen the line before this evening... the designer's description? ""This line is a modern take on Goth, Grunge, and Victorian dressing. The entire line is comprised of black lace, velvet, silk, and spandex. The collection includes everything from floor length velvet cloaks to lace cocktail dresses with rope details. The goal has been to combine all of these style elements to create something that we feel has been missing in our closets. This collection truly embodies the idea of a "modern witch"."

Intriguingly vague? Well the scene at Bungalow 4 was surreal... magic carpet vignettes with models wandering about and posing in their "avant-goth" outfits (credit for the term definitely goes to Whitney Pierce)... the truly amazing part beyond the gorgeously wearable (and affordable, $200-400) pieces... the details! Take a look at the glam/goth styling for the whole setup and pictures of the event and clothing on the next page...

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*notcot in food+drink - 1 Notes

ICFF: Dine On Design

dineondesign1.jpgNOTCOT Note: Ironically, this is an event i was actually super excited about cross posting to NOTCOT/TasteSpotting when i was planning for it... and now that i finally get it up... that whole TasteSpotting thing happens (will tell you guys more when i can, but for now, know that it had nothing to do with images/copyright/or any of the other bizarre rumors flying on the web)... but still an incredible experience mixing food and design so perfectly - i suggest you jump ahead and see all the pics then scroll back up and read!

Two words. Bread. Lamp. How could we not venture into williamsburg after party hopping through ICFF/NY Design Week to see what this mysterious Dine On Design dinner that promised an edible lamp made of bread and other "designed" foods?

Ok the first version of this post got a bit too rambly... so i've moved the full story to the next page with the TONS of pics to take you through the 8 course prix fixe Dine on Design dinner at Monkeytown in Willamsburg with us! It is an experience not to be missed. And it really was quite the experience... i must admit it did feel like a bit of an art school project - and we had a blast at the dinner, particularly in its contrast to all the usual ICFF parties, openings, and open bars we had passed through earlier in the night! We found ourselves in a square room on low futons, strapped in with bibs to our table, watching crazy video installation on all four walls of clips from old foreign foodie films, 60s and 70s snack/cereal commercials, footage of Julia Child chopping chickens and fish apart... all while eating some very interesting dishes... on some very interestingly designed dishes... SO, you have to see the pics!

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*notcot in design - 6 Notes

RUGENIUS at Banksy's Cans Festival

banksycans.jpgNOTCOT Note: Yes, Justine (aka RUGenius) was really there. And i'm envious. Although i did get to go to the incredible painted elephant LA Banksy-fest... this one looked like quite the mob scene in a london tunnel! About 30,000 people showed up over the 3 day period, and over 600 artist took part in covering the walls! Apologies for taking so long to sort through her hundreds of photos... SO, without further ado take a look at her MANY awesome pictures on the next page as well as in the Gallery, and here is Justine's account of the festivities:

Over 28 thousand people turned up to Leake Street, effectively an underpass within sight of the London Eye and moments away from Waterloo. And yes, I was among them. We all know I can't resist a good stencil. So how could I possibly miss a stencil only event, just a train hop away? Not to mention, the Cans Festival was the kind of event that brought in the A-list of street artists like Bsas Stencil, Run Don't Walk, James Dodd (dlux), Tom Civil (civilian), Vexta, Prism, Daniel Melim, Altocontraste, Bandit, Roadsworth, 3D Del Naja, Artiste-Ouvrier. Blek, Sten, Sadhu, C215, Lucamaleonte, Lex, Orticancvoodles, Kaagman, Dolk, Pobel, M-City, Vhils, Btoy, Coolture, Schhh, Borbo, Sam3, Faile, Eine, John Grider, Logan Hicks, Pure Evil, Dot masters, Dan, Eelus and Banksy.

Starting with the art... The space within the tunnel was itself a hodgepodge of mock classical sculptures, trashed and stenciled cars, vans, even a playground. There were rugs, couches, and even a piano, all of course adorned with the patina only a tunnel could bestow. The combinations pushed the boundaries of the bizarre and the contrasting styles of the artists clashed as often as they complimented, yet somehow it all worked. It was as if everyone just suspended belief for a moment to soak it all in and it was particularly surreal as the sun was setting.

So, are you ready? See my highlights from the Cans Festival on the next page... and even MORE in the Gallery (there were so many, i couldn't fit them all here).

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*notcot in design - 6 Notes

Atmostheory Command Posters

scnposters.jpgI giggled when i first saw these "Command" posters on Swiss Miss... and then as i read them all a bit more, i couldn't help but think it would be awesome to have Somebody Save Me From These Fools above my seat in a conference room... as well as the Please Do Not Copy, Create Something New! Ahhhh, they are all so relevant for our day to day work. Also check out the Close Your Eyes and Open Your Mind on the next page. You can order the three set from My Little Underground for $12.

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*notcot in wearable - 5 Notes

Anneke van Bommel

mosserings.jpgAs i sit here in Toronto airport waiting to pop back over to LA ~ i'm sorting through MANY pictures, and how much i *could* post while i wait... first to really grab me ~ the playfully Canadian oriented jewelry of Anneke van Bommel that i encountered at The Souvenir Shop, she manages to simplify national pride down to simple cheeky iconic jewelry pieces... from these various wood/silver antler rings, to stubby beer pins, crossed axes, and more... (see lots of pics below!) The Souvenir Shop is one of the best collections of exclusive limited edition Canada oriented design pieces i ran into, which was unfortunately at the Gladstone Hotel within the Come Up To My Room Exhibition where artists took over rooms on the 2nd floor, and honestly, you didn't miss much, because there were some of the rudest, most obnoxious people manning the door and their store ~ so luckily you can shop the wares online!

Bio from the site: "Anneke van Bommel is an artist and educator living and working in Toronto. She shares a downtown studio with 5 other jewelery artists and teaches at the Ontario College of Art and Design and George Brown College.Her work focuses on contemporary jewelery design, and explores concepts of place, memory and the symbols and icons of Canadiana."

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*Sub-Studio in design - 3 Notes

Annie Vought

0924vought1.jpgNOTCOT Note: Here's another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!

I came across Annie Vought's Papercuts series on Stumble Upon and can hardly believe that her work is real. She painstakingly cuts the script text out of letters and notes. The result is an incredible tapestry of letters, lines, and shadows created by pinning the work up for display. Obsessive, tedious, and gorgeous.

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*notcot in design - 2 Notes

Heart Throb @MK

vanmizunoshow
Heart Throb opening was last night at the Merry Karnowsky Gallery. And it was packed... with scenesters, hipsters, art lovers, and some of the most breathtaking works i've seen in a while. (note: i might be biased, having loved the work of miss van for some time now... also junko mizuno.) It was incredible how highly priced all pieces were, but even more impressive was how quickly they were selling out. For all of my pictures during the show, view them in the gallery. .. also view the scans of the Miss Van limited edition postcards there.

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*notcot in design - 6 Notes

Miss Van Princesas

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Went by the Miss Van/Junko Mizuno opening last night... and was floored. But before i show you all the gallery pics, here are scans of the limited edition Princesas postcard set (500 copies)... the paintings were drop dead gorgeous... literally could have spent all night standing and staring at them. Incredible thing is really how far she's come from the street art in the 90's, to practically instantly sold out $30,000 paintings.

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*notcot in design - 4 Notes

Miss Van Hedgehog

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Fornarina and Miss Van team up often (there are even fashion pieces featuring her art now), and i remember loving her birds on the walls of the Milan store in 2004. This time i'm loving her hedgehogs (and i've recently been doing a lot of research on hedgehogs for a logo project, so it was somewhat exciting to see her take on the creatures) - So this is crop of a quick pic of the Stockholm Fornarina store you can see below, as well as super hedgehog close up!

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