On incredible and unexpected inspiration tonight ~ i ended up at the Calvin Klein + Los Angeles Nomadic Division event. As the invite stated - “CALVIN KLEIN COLLECTION AND LOS ANGELES NOMADIC DIVISION (LAND) TO PRESENT FIRST-EVER EVENT IN LOS ANGELES IN CELEBRATION OF L.A. ARTS MONTH AND ART LOS ANGELES CONTEMPORARY (ALAC) Brands’ Creative Directors Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchelli to Host Special Evening; Unique Collaborations with Jean Shin, Neville Wakefield, and Special Installation by Jennifer West” Firstly the space across from the Pacific Design Center is absolutely stunning. A beautiful culmination of art and fashion, these collaborations were breath taking ~ Jean Shin created “Pattern Folds” commissioned by Calvin Klein, and first unveiled in Seoul. She’s known for her ability to create installation which transform castoff materials. In this case she created a beautiful installation on the first floor of the event. Upstairs in a specially lit stark white room, Neville Wakefield presents Zuchelli’s Spring 2010 collection… it was quite a trip to wander through the room as the collection is suspended and the lighting constantly shifts from incredibly bright, to dark. See the images of these collaborations as well as the space itself on the next page, and videos and images of Jennifer West’s installation have a post of their own here.
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As emails came in today, i was taken by the Net-A-Porter mailer about their latest spread Rebel Rebel with Rick Owens’ spring collection. Beyond the gorgeous images, the quotes were what really grabbed me in their interview with him. Both quotes embody much of how i like to see the world ~ and once i found out he is a SoCal native currently living and working in Paris, his perspective makes perfect sense. Take a peek at a bit more on the next page.
So i’ve been getting a little double, triple booked lately ~ trips overlapping ~ but all so tempting i try to do them all. Until i can’t. So i’m trying to find some help! Thank goodness, NOTCOT’s new features editor + giveaway coordinator + writer + friend + inevitably more to be added to this list shortly, Marcia Simmons, was able (and willing) to pop over for two nights in Paris with a mere few days notice. While we’re still working on finding a nice pretty new way to show you posts my friends share with us on NOTCOT, for the moment, we’ll first get you the great content ~ and time + energy permitting, we’ll transition in to some new way to denote it. For now you will have to just bear with silly introduction notes from me! So on the next page, we have a bunch of pics and stories from Marcia of her whirlwind adventures in Paris for the first Maison Martin Margiela Perfume launch! And i’m already envious of the amazingly packaged press kit (with flowers!!! and feather pens!!! and books!) ~ and the stunning presentation of the new perfume. I’ll have to sniff the goods myself next time i see her in person!
p.s. i adore that they went all dot matrix ascii art print out on the press kit. TOO FUN.
On exciting CES launches to poke at in person next week ~ Liquid Image (who started with the scuba goggles with integrated digital still/HD vid cameras) ~ is announcing the Freestyle Series Swim Camera Goggle and the Summit Series Snow Camera Goggle. So now you can use their handsfree wide angle still/video cameras in the pool or in the snow… and actually with the goggles, you can use them anywhere as a wearable handsfree camera since you won’t have to breathe through your mouth if using them out of the water! See more images and details on the next page!
Ready to take off for the holidays? Well wejetset wants to hook you up.
What can you win? + 1 Hideo Bean 19 (Green) Luggage + 6 Wallpaper City Guides + 1 Arkitip x Incase Curated Laptop Sleeve for (15” Macbook Pro) Steven Harrington + 1 WeSC Bongo Blue Headphones + 1 pair of Sunglasses by Super See pics of it all in the feature as well as details on what to do for your chance to win!
On Los Angeles field trips, i took a little trip over to the Baxter of California HQ last week and met up with president, Jean-Pierre Mastey, a fellow mini haribo gummi bear and packaging design junkie ~ he’s also passionate about boxing, cars, men’s skincare… and japanese, Head Porter bags! I am so excited to share a peek into their world… so fun to get to see the products waiting to go out, some of the R&D in progress, and even some amazing retro barbershop accoutrements and playful art and design… it was also awesome to get a peek into his packaging design library! Take a look at JP’s desk up there, that juxtaposition of objects sums up his well rounded background quite nicely!
Beyond the peek into the world of Baxter of California on the next page ~ JP has also been generous enough to give one of you lucky readers the new Porter collaboration Baxter Dopp Bag filled with Baxter travel sized goods - Face Wash, Oil Free Moisturizer, Super Close Shave Formula, After Shave Balm, Daily Protein Shampoo, and a special edition Baxter anodized aluminum travel shave brush produced just for this kit in Black. I was jealous enough of this being a men’s product, i bought one for myself… it’s a fabulous dopp kit! With three removable velcro’d sections! With stunning details you’d expect from Porter, it is the ultimate flexible travel kit! See more images and details on the giveaway here!
On more exciting holiday features ~ a first time i’m trying out having our friends at some of NOTCOT’s favorite companies share some stories and behind the scenes look into their worlds ~ here’s a look at the Unearthen Watches at Forward Forward, the luxurious high end sister store of Revolve Clothing… I love hearing about how these watches were discovered, and what it was about them that pulled them in! See the full feature on the next page!
Oh how i <3 Rocket World. But most NOTCOT readers should know that by now. Patrick Ma is definitely one of the guys to look up to when it comes to putting your passions first and finding a way to grow an amazing company pulling in all of them as diverse as they may be… from a military background to a love of toys and eye for fashion… add a great design sense, some business savvy, and an impeccable attention for detail… surround with a bunch of great people. And poof Rocket World and TAD Gear! SO i’m thrilled to show off this special photoshoot they’ve done for us to showcase their new jewelry pieces! As modeled by my favorite plushie bear, Titus. (I couldn’t resist, so snuck in a few picks of my Titus at the end of the post to share with you too!) Oh, and they too love you guys enough to want to giveaway some of their gorgeous new pieces…
The giveaway: Sterling Silver Mean T-Skull bead and Pineapple Grenade necklace. Details on the next page!
Loving these holiday features, it’s been SO much fun to get a look into the worlds of some of NOTCOT’s favorite brands and designers this year. They’ve been awfully kind to pull together pictures and stories to share with us amidst the crazed holiday season, AND add giveaways too? All of these folks are pretty special to us! Today James over at Hard Graft gives us a visual peek into a Day in the Life of Hard Graft. I want their life! We couldn’t bear to tarnish the amazing pics they sent over with text ~ the pictures certainly speak for themselves, so take a look into their stunning Austrian studio on the next page!
Also ~ today is the debut of their brand new X Sleeve + Add-On Pouch! Isn’t it stunning? Guess what? You can also WIN IT! They have one to giveaway to us!
Happy Cyber Monday! I’m so excited to share this holiday feature with you! Our friends at Bittersweets NY have sent us an incredible look inside their studio, sharing not only a peek at their space, but also the making of their latest diamond rings inspired by nature - resembling twigs holding the diamond! From sketches to final product, it’s fascinating to see how it comes to be. AND, on top of that, they have been generous enough to offer one of their 14K Gold Diamond Twig Bands for a giveaway as well! See the story on the next page as well as details on the giveaway!
I am mesmerized and fascinated and suddenly feeling the need to pick a color and dye things. Don’t mock, but i’m SO giddy because i think i’m finally nearly caught up on email for the first time in… YEARS? 1300 to under 100!!! Took me something from 11am to 6am yesterday… but nearly there! and in it i just found this gem from a friend…
“I was in Paris last week and I spent 2 hours in the 180 grammes store in la Bastille and I thought it could be of interest for you. They are making painted clothes and shoes. They have a deal with Nike and are making super cool shoes. In the store, the clothes they have (for men and women) are amazing and custom made. I bought a pair of nike and pants but frankly, with more money I would have bought everything. Apparently, they are submerged with request from people… it was tough to have make my pair of shoes in 1 day!”
On Stockholm discoveries ~ between all the Absolut festivities, while chatting with the global PR lady for Absolut, couldn’t help noticing her lovely dresses all weekend ~ and it turns out they are made by the up and coming Swedish line, House of Dagmar! Who have an great story of being founded and run by three sisters with perfectly complementary skills - “Dagmar was founded by the Swedish sisters Kristina Tjäder, Karin Söderlind and Sofia Malm. Kristina Tjäder is designer, educated at ESMOD École Superieur de la Mode in Paris. Previously, she has worked for Christian Lacroix, H&M and other Swedish brands. Karin Söderlind supervised purchasing and product development for H&M during eight years and has been operating as a brand manager and PR-consultant for many years. Sofia Malm, a textile economist, is Dagmar’s head of sales with many years of experience in retailing.” On on crazy coincidences, they also happened to be the her neighbor, so in addition to checking out their collection when i wandered NK, Karin Söderlind joined us at the Absolut event and we had a lovely chat about the line and design philosophies while perusing the Absolut Art! And on how the name came to be ~ “The principal source of inspiration - and muse - is the sisters’ late grandmother by the name Dagmar. She was herself a tailor and inspired the sisters to develop their interest for fabrics and design at young age.”
I love their style ~ which they describe as “arty chic”, but that is a very swedish, clean, modern arty chic which i adore. Not to mention the photography for their collections is so fun too! Take a peek on the next page of some of my favorites from their new Spring/Summer 2010 collection.
p.s. Upon realizing the brand felt familiar when i got home ~ of course you can find it at Revolve Clothing and Fred Segal ~ and in addition to many swedish awards, it has also won a 2007 fashion show by Gen Art-NY during NY Fashion Week!
Tattoo Socks! Tel Aviv designer, Gaby, makes tattoo socks which first turned up as NotCouture #5165 in its octopus incarnation (which i love!), but when i looked at the rest of her designs, the Twitter referencing "Follow Me" with birdie needed more sharing... taking twitter back out from digital to real world to really play with the idea of following... sure, people do tshirts and necklaces, but come on... its more likely a guy will literally follow you to ask you for your twitter handle as you saunter past in a short tight black dress and these sheer knee high tattoo socks... although i do wonder, would it be better to custom print your twitter handle on the other leg? Let people physically follow you and then start digitally following you without even really meeting in person face to face? Much food for thought, so many possibilities, definitely a cute idea... see more pics on the next page!
NOTCOT Exclusive!!! From our awesome friends at Hard Graft ~ they have been kind enough to share it with us first! Check out their latest bag, the 3Fold! It can play portfolio case, laptop case, AND overnighter... ready for the juicy details? (I'm loving this new one! So tempted by it!)
"3FOLD multi-use leather laptop bag - Three bags in one - the 3FOLD is a slim LAPTOP BAG, a sizable A2 PORTFOLIO BAG and a spacious OVERNIGHTER. Just switch to the configuration you need, this bag is as flexible as your lifestyle demands. The function of this bag speaks volumes. Clever hooks (traditionally used for heavy duty hiking boots) make varying between the different styles possible. The 3FOLD is handmade from a bespoke vegetable tanned Italian leather which is dyed through and hand finished in grey with a hint of teal. This is juxtaposed with a chestnut brown leather shoulder strap which can be used in all three configurations. The leathers are coloured with natural dyes which enhance the look over time and use. Each limited edition 3FOLD is individually numbered and carefully assembled by a family of leather artisans in the rolling hills of Tuscany, Italy."
Take a peek at pics and specs on the next page!
Yes, i totally impulse bought myself a TAD Gear Titanium Rescue Ring last time i popped by the store. But it's really for safety reasons! I mean, how do you know when you might need to bust a piece of glass to escape from who knows what? And its just so light and beautifully, simply designed with the little removable stainless steel glass breaker tip! And you can even swap on an optional compass! And so nicely thought out, there is even a little keychain loop to hold that tip when you're just wearing it as your titanium ring... the real question is, who doesn't need one? See more pics of mine up close on the next page ~ it has cute packaging too!
Mixko! Love them so much! So delicately beautiful yet just enough edge to make you look twice and think a little harder.... So, i'm not sure why, but lately whenever i am about to leave home and hop a flight, i feel like i need to set a giveaway in motion (and pick a winner when i land) ~ interpret it as you will, maybe its the guilt of being away from the sites? But none the less, Nahoko was nice enough to send one Mixko Here Comes The Sun rainbow over for me, and one for you (you = future winner who follows @NOTCOT and sends me a tweet reply sharing what you think should be at the end of a rainbow... it doesn't have to be a pot of gold! What would make your day? i'll pick a winner when i get in to NY off the redeye on Weds the 21st of Oct.) ~ so we can match! I adore this necklace, there's something radiantly happy about it ~ who can't smile when they see a dove pulling a rainbow across your chest ~ especially when you walk away and they notice the final drop of rain hanging from the clasp? Check out the unboxing on the next page ~
And for those who want it spelled out more clearly - for a chance to win: follow @NOTCOT and sends me a tweet reply sharing what you think should be at the end of a rainbow... it doesn't have to be a pot of gold! What would make your day? i'll pick a winner randomly from the tweets when i get in to NY on Weds the 21st of Oct.
Mmmm, who doesn't love surprise packages in brown paper tied up with string? This latest mysterious piece of mail comes from the very awesome folks at W+K teasing me about their new ARG (Alternative Reality Game), Levis Go Forth, that just launched yesterday! (You twitter followers will recall i gave you a heads up when we were 20 min from the start!) SO what is it? Well, you'll have to take a peek into the package on the next page... but from what i can gather we have the opportunity to win G.O. Fourth's fortune of $100,000. Mixing part story, part scavenger hunt adventure, and part puzzle game ~ between online, word of mouth, real world events and more layered across the country and internet ~ we're currently in Phase Two of this adventure where the Online intersects with Reality... Phase Three is all about the Real World... and in Nov the final phase will narrow things down to 100 finalists to solve the final puzzle... SO, game on? See what was in the mysterious envelope on the next page!
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...
On products that i've put through the paces a bit more than usual before sharing with you, when i was up in SF the guys over at Rocket World gave me one of their new Ronin softshell jackets ~ it was hot that day. Super sunny out. But i was curious, it felt incredible, lightweight, thin, warm, and i was about to embark on one of my whirlwind trips (remember i just did LA-Paris-Reims-Paris-London-NY-LA?) ~ and those are all cities you never know quite what to expect in when it come to weather! Luckily it was primarily gorgeous out the whole trip ~ but on those days when it got iffy (which was at least one or two on each leg of the journey!) ~ the Ronin definitely came through. Like when they say to be ready for "all weather" for the Veuve Clicquot harvesting... oh yea, basically any time i didn't need to be in heels and looking a bit more polished? You'd find me in the Ronin, tank top, and jeans. This unisex jacket fit beautifully (my sister and i both love the XS ~ that's her modeling it in the pic in the Hazlitt's room so i could get images of the patches to share with you) ~ and while i always loved that you could put any velcro patches you wanted on ~ with this latest jacket i almost don't want to because the detail of the sewn in skull and paw print are so subtle and awesome. As with all Rocket World gear, the Ronin is of the highest quality, the subtlest branding, and really the details will blow your mind in person ~ every zipper, every pocket, every little headphone jack hole, every angle of the hood... is meticulously thought out. If you're looking for something sleek to get you from running around the city ready for anything to exploring the great outdoors with some understated styling... i'm definitely smitten with the Ronin and its versatility, definitely making it on my "must pack" list for unexpected adventures! ... take a peek at more pics on the next page!
OH! and i nearly forgot, while supplies last, they come with the SUPER adorable IWG Black Bear Mini Figure!
While its fascinating (and exciting!) that Evisu is evolving once again ~ and this time with newly appointed CEO/Creative Director, Scott Morrison, at the helm. As a former Paper Denim & Cloth junkie ~ it's hard not to be excited to see what Morrison is doing to reinvent Evisu while looking back to their heritage... For those who forgot, Morrison was also behind Paper Denim & Cloth as well as Earnest Sewn. While initially those Evisu Seagulls on the back pockets make me envision a denim lifestyle that never quite fit my own... when they sent over a few, i fell in love. They denim feels incredible as ever, just softly broken in enough, yet hugging you in all the right places... and the subtlety of the back pocket designs was just enough to grab your attention, but not enough to slap you in the face like so many can lately... (yes, i'm a little over the over embellished pockets, but also like pockets to have a bit of character!). Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Evisu when i started looking into their heritage, was the evolution of the Seagull... and how the line came to be. It's fun to see Morrison looking back at the heritage of the japanese line even with the separation from Evisu Japan.
The full story can be read on the next page, as well as lots of pics of the signature pocket designs... but for the short version: Hidehiko Yamane, a love of fine denim, founded the company in 1991 in Osaka. Having a hard time finding the finest quality pre-WWII selvege denim, he found a 50's american shuttle loom and started the "replica movement" ~ his originals mimicking the Levi's Original Red Tab 501XX... and my favorite part? He personally hand painted his Seagull logos on each pair! What i love about what Morrison has done with this, is he's taken that hand painted logo and distressed it to a perfectly worn in subtlety, so noticeable, yet so understated. Take a peek at them on the next page!
UPDATE: Winner had been notified via email! Waiting to hear back now...
Ok, kids. So here's the deal. I'm in Reims for the weekend with Veuve Clicquot for their harvest (SO excited)... but that also means they have me on a crazy schedule, and the wifi is less than optimal, and luckily Robin and Caroline over at Bittersweets are far too generous and life savers on the timing, so while i go possibly a little extra quiet this weekend/monday/etc... lets do a giveaway of one of my favorite necklaces from the last few years. I love iconic little symbols that remind me of phases/eras of my life ~ and the Silver Cocktail Sword from Bittersweets to me represents everything from the first year of NOTCOT to the launch of Liqurious to just a love of swords (in plastic form! turned silver!) and more... as you can see, some of my other favorites i wore on the flight over (i literally snapped this pic in the bathroom before hopping in the car to get to the airport!), i also have my Alex & Chloe Chill Pill (reminding me not to ever work myself quite as hard as that season again) and Bittersweets Rocketship (just like those i used to doodle in AP Physics as a 15 year old!). But i digress - To win a Bittersweets NY Silver Cocktail Sword Necklace - leave a comment with your favorite symbol/icon/etc and what it means to you ~ and i'll pick a winner when i reach London on Tues! More pics of it on the next page...
Mmmm Labor Day ~ nicest thing about a monday off seems to be inbox is slowing down and i can relax and work and catch up a bit! Lots in progress to show you from the whirlwind SF trip!!! So many pics... but for now, here's a roundup to get you going, click the pics to find out more!
I have a thing for polycarbonate suitcases... something about that sleek pod of light perfectly packedness that gets scuffed up so nicely... while i have my carry-on silver hideo wakamatsu and a check-in black zero halliburton polycarb... i'm still totally lusting over this Mandarina Duck DROP! (Despite the overly flashy website that i just sat and screenshotted far too much of to share with you and spare you the experience) It still remains to be seen what the interior breakdown and details are like (and packaging?) but the exterior is looking quite sleek... and some of the sayings on their pics are worth a giggle ("design victim"... wouldn't it be nicer to say "design indulgences" or something more positive?)... take a peek at some details and screenshots on the next page!
Previously i showed you PACT Yves Behar designed undies for a cause... and the packaging was the biggest mystery, with the packaging/labels that biodegrade in 45 days, and the little pouches that each underwear comes in... well it arrived! So take a peek... honestly i dont know that it *looked* the price it cost the way it arrived... BUT they feel amazing, and look great on. The little pouches look a lot like a Baggu pouch (only made of matching print cloth).
Take a peek at the close ups of the packaging and product on the next page!