Wow. This has definitely been a whirlwind of a week or so, and a very Macallan filled month! A week and a half ago, i thought tasting the 50 and 52 year old Macallan were the oldest my lips may ever touch, but little did i know that this week i’d be sipping the 57 yr old Macallan! Tuesday night was a NOTCOT first. I’ve never played host at a party before! But when Macallan and the W Los Angeles approached me to co-host a party with Julie Wolfson, saying they’d take care of the details, we just had to invite some friends to come indulge with us, how could i say no? Despite the rainy night (which cleared up mid way through the party so we finally got to sneak outside and enjoy the brisk night air, curl up by the fireplace, and smoke cigars while sipping Macallan into the night), we had a great turn out. And as you know, Macallan loves twitter (in fact, our other co-host, The Macallan West Coast Ambassador, Eden Algie ~ just joined twitter, please follow him and message him to convince him to let us throw another LA party!)… so once again live tweeting was up on the screen during the party, and people were tweeting up quite a storm with #macallan (you can see my favorites on the next page!)… one of the highlights of the night was definitely getting to taste the 57 year Macallan in a Lalique crystal decanter… take a peek at the festivities, as well as some of the great coverage and photography to emerge from the event so far!
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So many adventures today! So many firsts! And finally met so many incredible people i’ve talked to for years digitally… but even with all the Altitude Summit madness underway, i couldn’t resist hopping in a car to check out the Absolut Vodka filmmakers of the first ever Sundance Opening Shorts Program party at Easy Street’s The Sky Lodge in Park City presenting “I’m Here: A Love Story In An Absolut World”, a short film directed by Spike Jonze. And while it may be 2:30am… and i’m freshly curled up in a hotel room robe photoshopping into the night as usual… and needing to put the finishing touches on the 8am keynote panel presentation i’m doing with the lovely Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan of Apartment Therapy, and Heather Armstrong of Dooce… how could i pass up sharing the magical snowy wonderland i crossed the mountains to experience before my nap? From ice furniture (made by Newport Beach’s Ice Bulb) out in the patio, in the snow, with heat lamps and a fire going… to the first cosmo i’ve had made with SNOW… and peppar-y icey shots with salted cherry tomatoes to keep me warm… and some of the biggest Absolut bottles beautifully lit from below and glowing like lavalamps… and endless beautiful hors d’œuvres circulating… I know i’ve stated on twitter that i nearly avoided real “winter” all together this year, but i’m really glad Altitude Summit and Absolut brought me out to Utah this weekend and let me experience what i hear will be some of the most incredible powder of the season. So take a peek at the next page for how fun it was… and i guess i should go take a little nap before the talk!
p.s. The Icebar was one thing… but the Ice Furniture outdoors with fire in the snow… were dare i say, even more unforgettable?
Tonight, Macallan brought me out to Soho House in NY for quite the surreal experience: Flights of the Decades. Beyond the amazing ice balls (which i’ve been dying to see in action for some time now) ~ tonight i had the opportunity to talk so the inspirational visionary @MacallanKen (aka Ken Grier, Director - Malts) about everything from photography to life adventures to how baking cakes is a lot like scotch… but most importantly, about doing/enabling extraordinary things and people. Also finally got to meet @LivingTheDram (aka Graeme Russell - Macallan Ambassador) ~ with whom i’ve long tweeted about scotch from afar. And everyone at this lovely event was tweeting up a storm ~ all of which were showing on the screen (in fact, if you were using the #macallan hashtag during dinner, you too were up on screen!) To take it even further, we had the opportunity to taste not only the New Make Spirit straight from the source before reaching casks… Macallan cask strength 18 year sherry oak… Macallan 50 year… and even Macallan 52 year. It was. WOW. And seeing the Lalique decanters and the carbon fiber (looking?) box it’s packaged in… as well as one of the 1000 unique Rankin bottles up close… all in all it was a beautiful experience, with fun people, delicious food, great conversations… now go see the many random photos on the next page for a peek at the experience!
On breathtaking gallery openings ~ SHAG's "Autumn's Come Undone" show at the Corey Helford Gallery is incredible. I showed you a preview earlier, and now the full show preview is available here... the show consists of new paintings as well as huge 6-foot wide panoramic giclee panels on canvas ~ in singles, pairs, and triples ~ these larger than life panoramas have so many details going on at once you can literally stand and stare at them constantly discovering more and more! The way they are displayed in the gallery is beautiful in and of itself ~ take a look at the scene on the next page!
On late night art lusting ~ these 4"x 4.5" laser engraved wooden ovals with one of a kind drawings with colored pencil were Audrey Kawasaki's contribution to the give away gift bags at Baby Tattooville (which, yes, i'm very sad i wasn't at this year!)... see a few more of these mini's up close on the next page as well as a stunning medical curiosity themed complimentary limited edition giclee print...
Popped by the opening of the inaugural PRISM Gallery exhibition, MindTheGap, featuring the stunning works of Barry McGee and Phil Frost. There are so many angles a post on this opening could take, just doing a quick google of it, quickly you can see who's who that showed up, the architecture, the artists, the gallerist... so let's just focus on what was truly most inspiring about the event. The art. The details. The space. And to take in such overwhelming amounts of pattern heavy art that took a bit to process... and perched on sunset in West Hollywood, the three tiered roof with breath taking LA views were exactly what you needed... although the sparkling lights of the city felt as if you were staring into another patterned piece of art to lose yourself in. With all of the work shown, you could easily spend some time discovering details, turning away, turning back, and still see something new. So explore some of my favorite views of the show on the next page...
While i seldom do party pics, i'm fascinated by Absolut and the way they brand experiences so nicely... This was their big 30th Anniversary Party for the Art Collection... and the lighting in the giant black cube they constructed for the party next to the Lydmar Hotel was this ominous mysterious structure that popped up while we were staying there, and they wouldn't let us peek in until the event itself... so once in there with such cool lighting and visualizations and bands/djs playing... the pictures of the bar, the bottles and glasses, the scene, and the straws even! I just had to share! The colors came out so beautifully!
Also ~ i ran out tonight (day after the party) but was a bit too late to get black cube pics, however did get some very cool mid-deconstruction pics! If you see the pics on the next page, just imagine that covered in black...
As you've seen, i love the Lydmar Hotel ~ i'm so happy i had a chance to stay there before it got completely transformed into an Absolut Art Collection haven the day after, so i could appreciate the contrast to what the space was normally like. (Not too much changed, just some rearranging and art hanging... i suppose it was too easy for Absolut when the starting space was such a nice fit already!) While i'm sure you're familiar with many of these collaborations between Absolut and Sylvie Fleury, Dan Wolgers, David Shrigley, Douglas Gordon, and Hung Tung-Lu... what is really worth seeing is how the Absolut installations really work with the space, particularly in the suite! (The shadows are stunning! and the four poster bed? with the deceptively provocative duvet? I desperately want one now... you'll see what i mean...) So take a peek on the next page to take it all in... quick video to show you how the lenticular piece of Hung Tung-Lu felt in person as well...
You guys are AMAZING, today particularly @chakrapenny who shared the designers of the naughty bedspread within 15 minutes of my call for help! So if you're interested, check out K-Lou's Erotic "Toile de joui" Collection.
So much i want to share with you from the last week or so, and as usual having trouble catching up ~ sensory overload! Inspiration OD? So i'm just going through pictures and will share pieces with you as they get me all giddy again. Firstly, being invited out to Sweden for the Absolut Art Collection celebration is a dream come true on so many levels ~ Absolut Ads were one of my earliest obsessions of where advertising met art, the ads were on my walls, i had the books and museum/art collection cds (totally need to find that when i get home), postcards in my notebooks, i probably even discovered a few artists through them (imagine 10 year old me?)... and over the years i've definitely grown up following the art they've enabled in so many mediums as i've also progressed further into the tech/art/ux/online/new media worlds... It's incredible that this weekend was celebrating 30 years of Absolut's creative collaborations! And the talks with their global marketing heads about the history and philosophies of the brand as well as the panel discussion with artists who have worked with them in the past on "Commissioned Art - Career boost or selling out?" was inspiring and thought-provoking for sure... but before we even delve into all of that... you know i fixate on the visual... and i had to show you the brilliantly simple portable/modular panel set up they popped up inside the Lydmar Hotel Restaurant!
Basically it is a series of two layered panels ~ lots of hinges... striped, in the front, had openings to expose the pink layer behind and also served as a frame for the flat panel TV behind. The A shaped stools were close didn't perfectly match the Absolut A, but the designer did say that it could be said it was inspired by the Absolut A (with a wink). Also adorable was that the stools also apparently make great little tables while the Absolut team had lunch perched on the audience set up of a rainbow of Starck's Kartell Ghost chairs... Apologies for being too mesmerized and immersed in conversation to take pics while they were taking it down, but it was impressive how quickly they collapsed it all before dinner! Take a closer peek at the set up on the next page...
aren't the A's a little sesame street? I kept thinking, and today is sponsored by the letter A! (and A is for Absolut?)
The Dyson Air Multiplier Fan is inescapable since its launch two days ago ~ and to be honest, i'm a huge dyson fan (honestly, smart innovative tech/science for everyday products with gorgeous design and sleek packaging, what's not to love?)... so instead of showing you the usual press photos, how about a peek into the really fun launch! You know Dyson, they don't overlook any design details, so as expected, everything from the custom tees on the all black tee/pants dressed fan plug-in-ers to the adorable mini BLT branded mini toasts to the bottom lit displays with cable captures (think half cable turtles) for perfect length cords when displayed... also, when it comes to a product like this, while the object itself and the technology are fascinating, there is something truly awesome about being able to watch a crowd of people respond and react to it for the first time (or perhaps that is just my voyeuristic inner user experience junkie!)... So take a peek at everything from the stunning sunset river views to launch reactions to the munchies to the beautiful displays and Dyson Air Multiplier Fans on the next page!
So that sudden redeye from SF to NY (you know, the one that left my poor new carnivorous plants hanging out in my car in SFO somewhere) it is for the Dyson Air Multiplier Fan launch ~ and just between you and i, it took everything inside me not to get all fan girl while meeting James Dyson, and he was so incredibly nice (smart too of course!). But while i have lots of pics of the launch as well as the fans themselves... first things first ~ how adorable is the press kit? Stunning, sleek little brushed stainless usb key on a wire keychain attached to a book describing how not to waste those OLD fan blades that are now being rendered obsolete? (nearly?) ~ So, had to share with you "The demise of the buffetting blade: 20 Uses for the old buffetting blade" and adorably cheeky little book, my quick hotel shots may not fully do it justice, but you'll get the idea, and perhaps a quick giggle too. So flip through the details with me on the next page...
Just a quick peek at last nights festivities ~ i'm currently at the Broad Summit at the Boon Hotel up in the Russian River Valley ~ what is it? "So. You may be wondering what this party is all about. In short, The Broad Summit was an idea hatched over Margaritas at SxSW. Maggie has "organize a retreat" on her life list, Aubrey is a party planner, Laura Mayes is a conference organizer, and Helen Jane supplies wine and cheese for the entire Internet. We talked about how fun it would be to have our blogger friends in one place for the weekend. Tipsily laid plans don't often come to much, but we're an unusually efficient group." Basically its like a blogger/tech ladies summer camp (fall camp?) of sorts, but with wine, massages, bonfires, pajama parties, hot tubs, and fun sponsors! So, yes, i'm totally at a tech conference north of SF... and the bonfire was so pretty, had to share a few quick pics with you! (More random pics keep popping up over on my twitter) ~ so first take a peek at the awesome fire, and the surroundings on the next page!
Sometimes there are moments where it feels like the universe is against you and you're torn between too many awesome opportunities ~ those are definitely the moments where you just have to step back and find less obvious solutions? In this case, i double booked myself. Months ago i agreed to be a media sponsor for Beyond Eden (AMAZING collection of my favorite LA galleries coming together for a HUGE show in the gorgeous Barnsdall Park LA Municipal Art Gallery) which has the VIP opening tonight, and runs through the weekend... i also got committed to join the lovely ladies of the Broad Summit up in wine country (hence my currently being up in SF!).
None the less, i think somehow this has worked out perfectly thanks to the quick thinking of Andrew (of the fabulous Thinkspace Gallery and co-founder of the event) ~ because he let me go sneak in early before i drove up to SF, and get some exclusive sneak peek pics to tease you with! And it was SUCH a fun challenge! I promised not to show you and full pictures... so i got a chance to shoot some amazing close ups and details as well as a few overview shots to give you a feel for the massssssssive space! I dare you to figure out where all the details came from... and there are so many pieces i'm dying to share with you fully soon too! But Angelenos, you HAVE to go check this out ~ especially if you love art, gorgeous parks, and stunning views of LA (you can see downtown skylines, hollywood sign, and griffith park observatory to name a few from the grassy goodness right outside the gallery perched upon the hill!). So first things first ~ go peek at what you'll find at the show.
And no joke. AMAZING show lined up over at Beyond Eden this weekend! Go check it out!!!
Last night popped over to the Beverly Hills Anthropologie down the street to celebrate the launch of the new Sundance Channel Show Man Shops Globe ~ and some late night shopping, some Stella Artois and Ferrero Rocher too of course... While normally not so much a reality TV person, this one is pretty fun! I love Anthropologie, and global shopping, and in this show you get to explore the world with Keith Johnson, buyer-at-large for Anthropologie, as he scopes out everything from St. Ouen Flea Market in Paris, the Kapalicarsi Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and Piet Botha's Craft Shop in Cape Town... it's a shopaholics dream. Did you know they actually shop for all the one offs strewn across the stores... and absolutely anything you see in a store (furniture, displays, etc) are ALL for sale?!?!?! I had no idea... on that note, take a peek at a preview vid as well as some pics of the very cute (and huge!) beverly hills store ~ the succulent and bromeliad displays were my favorite of course...
"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!
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!
On unique experiences, i was invited to a lovely intimate dinner at the LeBasse Projects gallery in Culver City prior to the opening of their Edwin Ushiro "Softly Encompassing the Womb" and Ryuichi Ogino "Idealistically Hypocritical 3" shows this weekend ~ where they essentially set up a dining table in the midst of all the artwork, and invited a few of us to dine with the artists and gallery owners and discuss everything from the art, to the mythologies and stories behind the paintings, to twitter/facebook/luddites, to hypocrisy, to ghosts, and so much more. I also couldn't help but get constantly distracted at the stunning pieces on all sides to stare at... gorgeous body of work from Edwin Ushiro as always. And having a chance to really spend time with the pieces up close was great, the larger pieces are just breath taking, and so beautifully layered with such evocative palettes. Take a peek at the scene, and some of the pieces up close on the next page!
Just checked out the preview of Mike Shinoda's Glorious Excess (Dies) show at the Japanese American National Museum, the follow up to his Glorious Excess (Born) show last year. It's stunning ~ a definite must see ~ and what's nice is that besides the fact that the work is technically beautiful and a fun mix of skulls, urban art, "vanitas", mixed media wallpapering with gossip rags, a casket and silver skeleton, video and more... the way it all comes together as a thought provoking look at the life (and death) of celebrity through paparazzi and the consumption engine behind it all is fascinating ~ especially coming from Shinoda who is most known for Linkin Park and Fort Minor, and he is also an Art Center trained graphic artist and illustrator. Take a look at the images on the next page to get a feel for the flow from excessive living to implosion to death to ascension... and if you make it to the actual show, the video that ties the whole show together is definitely worth sitting in on! (Love that he actually filmed what it was like being on the "star home" bus tours - and captured the world of the paparazzi from the red carpet perspective) - Take a look at the pics on the next page! Some really stunning pieces!
So far you've seen the close ups of the Standard + Quiksilver Boardshorts and vending machine ~ the packaging/experience/etc... but as i was photoshopping my way through my pictures, there were SO many more filled with fun absurdities, design details, quintessential LA... everything from the vintage incredible hulk wallpapered gym bathroom with green tinted mirror... to the number to call for encouragement... to the kids that perk up and pose in the pool... to the bikini girl with her red chanel bag traipsing through the downtown LA parking lot... to the red bed pods... to the tubs of flip flops which couldn't make a matching pair unless you had two left feet... to the huge twister board... and the photobooth with vintage mannequins... and so much more i couldn't bare not to share with you! So take a peek at this stunning LA saturday up at the roof of The Standard Downtown LA launch party scene with Quiksilver!
on unphotographed things... it was hilarious that beyond water guns and beach balls there were even cupcakes and jello shots circulating... good times...
There is really only so much you can get about an actual user experience, packaging, presentation of a product from press photos. You saw what i had to show you about the launch in the previous post... For the rest you just have to go play with them in their natural setting! So for part one of the posts from The Standard Downtown LA's rooftop pool party with Quiksilver to launch their boardshort collaboration ~ let's focus on the SHORTS! And the vending machine! And the people wearing them! And then on to the rest later... I was lucky enough to get a chance to sneak away from the party to play with samples in one of the Standard rooms ~ so actual close up pics of the adorable pouches and details on the next page too! Take a peek at it all on the next page!
I wish they had them smaller than a 30! The feel amazing ~ dry super fast ~ and are so cute with the retro upside down labels, pouches, special buttons, and more... the bikini is adorable too (subtle stripes, oh so soft, cutest buttons ever on your bum)... and to purchase them, its ok if you're not by the pool vending machine ~ they are also on the Standard online store!
On stunning art shows coming up ~ just got a sneak peek at Carlos Ramos' upcoming show "India" at the Corey Helford Gallery - this LA artist had the solo show "Natural History Museum Part 1" last year ~ and this one looks to be just as promising! From the press release: "Corey Helford Gallery is proud to present "India", a solo exhibition of new works by Los Angeles artist Carlos Ramos. In 2008, Ramos transformed the gallery into an epicenter of flora and fauna with his stunning "Natural History Museum Part 1" exhibition, and for "India", he continues to dazzle audiences with a unique collection of works celebrating this enchanting South Asian republic. Ramos weaves his fascination with Indian music, culture and history into a magnificent display of narratives that span from the Ganges River and the statue of Bahubali to the Mahaparinirvana Temple. His characters come to life in more contextualized environments than before, and the addition of gold leaf adds opulence and splendor to his vibrant cel-vinyl works. Open to the public, the reception for "India" will take place on Saturday, August 15 from 7 to 10pm, and the show will be on view until September 3, 2009." Check out a peek at the works on the next page!
So you've seen the craziness that is Travis drumming over the audience as he's floating/rotating around... well for another peek at the Blink 182 Reunion Tour friends + family show ~ the visuals were stunning. Some really really incredible animations were going on behind them in a fascinating array of round screens and stripes of light that i couldn't possibly capture and enjoy all at once. So, you'll have to catch them on tour for the full experience, but i have a few sneak peeks to whet your appetite.
This was a really fun test of the 5D MKII ~ The roof of the LA Forum is beautiful! And it was such a trip to see it so empty, and be able to actually wander around and take pics throughout the show... HUGE thanks to, Mark for the invite. Anyhow, go see the pics on the next page ~
It's kind of surreal how everything comes around ~ loved Blink 182 as a kid ~ and it turns out Mark Hoppus is a fan of NOTCOT ~ and when he invited me to their friends and family show tonight before they kick off the big reunion tour, i couldn't say no! And it was awesome! 1) it was totally amazing to go to such an intimate show 2) i got to play with my big camera in a concert! 3) when they had travis AND his drum kit literally flying around over the stage at impossible angles while he played a hell of a drum solo... it was just stunning. So first things first, check out the pics of Travis' flying solo, and a snippet of a video of it too on the next page. Totally mind blowing...
On pieces that caught my eye at the Black Maria Gallery booth in CA|Boom ~ Renee Lawter's Energy Efficient Dinos are just too funny. Compact florescent with wings? Flying out of the mouths of dinos? Who have incandescents as spines? See the full pieces, framed and all on the next page...
I didn't know what to expect when i heard CA|Boom had moved from barker hanger (which i love!) to that abandoned feeling Robinsons May space in Beverly Hills... and from March to the same dates as the Dwell on Design Show... but i had to check it out none the less. It takes a few minutes to cover - but the thing worth seeing is the art! A few great local galleries are showing some fun work... like Thinkspace!!!
That piece above is one of a series by Brett Amory in his "Waiting" Series ~ and it's absolutely STUNNING. A must see in person. There's just an incredible way it pulls you in ~ beautiful color palette ~ and then as you get closer you notice the details and emotional distance between the 3 tightly seated communters who float like an island in the space... Love the hoodied guy too... There's something terribly fun about the shift to seeing more art works with the beautiful illustrations/characters woven into larger more complex and/or abstract pieces coming in... leave it to Thinkspace to lead the way. Take a look at a few of their other pieces showing at CA|Boom which also caught my eye on the next page!
LA kids - if you're not on the Sour Harvest list, you should be. It's far better than asking me what shows are happening each week!