I had no idea that elastic laces were a thing - particularly in the running/triathlon world… We had lunch across from a triathlon store today and couldn’t help wandering through after… the variety of elastic laces intrigued me and i gave in to some reflective Yankz! (the packaging is a bit better than the website.) They all seem to boast varieties of benefits from never having to tie laces to being able to have a bit more give adding comfort and “personalization”. Some have plastic springy stopper locks (imagine the plastic stoppers on rain jackets, etc)… and the Yankz! have double plastic bits that allow you to adjust from both sides and easily. These particular ones are also reflective, which never hurts. Take a peek at the details on the next page…
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Breath Logos! Why have we not seen more of these? For those that are confused - yes, you breathe on the lens and the logo appears! Remember the clawfooted purse i fell in love with from Parabellum? Well, I went by today to see their amazing workshop in Hollywood and experience the goods in person (the internet does not do it justice), and first thing i have to share with you is the mysterious Breath Logo in their sunglasses! Truly a detail you wouldn’t know to look for without being told… and i dare you to try to get your sunglasses back once your friends discover the hidden feature to play with. Much like leaving messages in the bathroom to appear when things get steamy… playing with these sunglasses will have you breathing on glass everywhere in hopes of a secret message. And of course, you can see through them perfectly when wearing them normally. It’s this type of secretive, thought out detail that you always get from Parabellum - everything they do is so intentional and precise… functional and beautiful. Throughout their pieces are hints at Masonic motifs, from symbolic imagery and numbers to latin phrases and acronyms hidden all around.
The sunglasses are a collaboration with Oliver Peoples. It is a version of the Linford Sunglasses frame in two limited edition colors: matte black with midnight express polarized glass lenses and custom matte black acetate details, and gold with java polarized lenses and custom sahara tortoise acetate detailing. Each is packaged in their signature soft bison leather, lined with lambskin and included with a custom cleaning cloth in a wooden box.
Take a peek at all the details and a video of Shawn breathing on the lenses on the next page!
Wow. BALL & CLAW FEET ON A PURSE! Ok, sorry, been a bit excited in a “how did i not know about this before?” way…
We’ve been hearing about the amazing world of Parabellum from Bernard at Acquire for some time now… and i must say their details and free range Bison leather feel incredible. And they are all hand crafted right here in Los Angeles! Well, catching up on things, they just took my breath away with their Handbags. Sure they are made of free range Bison, with hand turned edges, suede lining, removable handles and all the works… but what REALLY sets them apart are the Military Spec Ceramic Ball & Claw Feet in copper or black. Yes, like table legs, lamp posts, etc of days past… also, who hasn’t been terribly annoyed by the lack of protection most purses have to fight off and survive what real life throws at them… these hardcore feet sound like they can handle any floor you are forced to put it down on…
p.s. If possible, i’d totally put feet on my other bags as well…
Ready for the NOTCOT Holiday Giveaway #2? Today we have some goodies from the amazing, Nervous System, masters of generative design ~ finding inspiration in nature and helping it grow and evolve into stunning designs. Beyond their 3D printed organic designs that have turned into jewelry, cups, lamps and more… they have now branched into beautiful wooden laser cut puzzles! It’s especially fun to see the shapes they’ve worked into it, and the mind bending pieces that will challenge you to piece it all together.
TO WIN: Leave a comment here telling us about patterns that inspire you before 11/29 midnight PST for a chance to win. Winner will be contacted via email.
Take a peek at more details - and a holiday coupon - on the next page!
UPDATE: Congrats to Kimberly of New York!
Oakley does lots of customs - from sunglasses and googles, cases, watches, and even backpacks! One of the latest customizations are their classic frogskin sunglasses - I love how subtly you can customize them with a tiny etching on the lens (like where you normally see polarized or a brand name). Oakley offered me a pair to try out their customizer so here’s a peek at the NOTCOT Oakley Custom Frogskins - I went with a polished clear frame, black iridium polarized lens, and NOTCOT etched in the lens… so easy and pretty fast, take a peek at the details on the next page!
Perhaps perfect for halloween workouts - “The new Nike Women’s Exclusive Print tight is a performance based pant for the athlete unafraid to make a statement. On the outside, she might be the girl next door, but on the inside, her body has survived grueling workouts, often pushing through pain, broken bones, pulled muscles and harsh tears. With images of X-Ray bones digitally printed on the outside, the exclusive print tight gives a glimpse of her inner toughness.” says the press release. Even crazier is that it says, “The print on the front looks like a normal X-ray, but the one on the back reveals broken bones, screws and hip replacements, providing a glimpse of the athlete’s inner toughness in the face of grueling workouts and pain,” on the Nike Pro Printed Skeleton Tights product page. Sounds a bit more horrifying for those who see you going rather than coming at them…
Unbelievably soft. We just wandered in to Marine Layer in Hayes Valley in SF today and like the sign says “Get Grabby. Stop! And feel the fabric.” - we did. And it is SO SOFT. And coming from from a hot, sunny LA and landing in a super foggy/misty SF, the name couldn’t be more appropriate! And again - seriously - they are ridiculously soft! Also amazing about them - “every step of our production process occurs in California. This minimizes our environmental footprint and supports 3 American factories that have been in business for over 25 years.” and “Our custom fabric is a blend of two yarns, Pima Cotton and MicroModal, produced by Lenzig AG. Modal is a bio-based fabric that comes from recycled Beech Wood.” Everything is made locally - and you can read about the whole process. They also have such an adorable store (the vintage shufflepuck table in the center, chalk board logo, fun rope lamps) and really cute bags! As well as a vintage VW VAN! Take a peek inside Marine Layer (cell phone pics since i didn’t expect to be shooting it!) on the next page…
On surprise packages that arrived while i was out of town… this amazing box came from Mark Hoppus ~ the play on his last name has created/enhanced his affinity for octopi, naturally having one as his personal logo. There’s not much to say here ~ the goodies pretty much speak for themselves… letterpressed. octopus. in a top hat! thats the coaster… and also some basic octopus logo stickers and a baseball cap. Check out the details on the next page! (Thanks, Mark!)
Going through pictures from London Design Week, concrete was definitely a stand out trend. There were the hungarian Ivanka Flaster Concrete Tiles, street art, Gray Concrete Duckies… and here are 22 Design Studio concrete goods ~ from rings and earrings to pens and clocks and even watches! Take a peek on the next page!
This article is brought to you by Volvo. Volvo designs luxury cars around its Swedish heritage. Volvo designs around safety. And most of all, Volvo designs around you. Visit Volvocars.com/us to learn more and check out @VolvoCarsUS on Twitter. Thanks, Volvo, for supporting and sharing our passion for design!
At NOTCOT, we often approach fashion no differently from anything else we write about ~ it’s all about great design and/or art/technology angles… we love beautifully intentional minimalism with incredible materials and added functionality that takes it over the top… So for this post, i had fun digging into our archives and beyond to round up some fun fashion that has a little extra something going on that you probably don’t expect at first glance! From the sleek jacket that will turn into a pouch (and pop up wrinkle-free in moments) to the tarp/blanket/jacket to the men’s dress jacket with secret reflective bits for biking in, to a sports bra that can monitor your heart rate and more! See it all on the next page…
Firstly, let me just put it out there that i’m no runner. I’ve tried a few times, still trying to get in to it… and i’ve been loving the Nike Frees for a while now. When Skora’s designer, Richard Kuchinsky, reached out to me, i wasn’t sure i was the right person to try out their new shoes… then he told me they had amazing packaging, and i was hooked. What’s the story behind this new Portland based minimal running shoe line? “At SKORA, we look at things differently. We believe that running shoes should be built to encourage running performance that is as biomechanically correct as possible, with minimal interference. Our footwear lets people run naturally. Run Real is our philosophy and we stand by it.” Beyond the way these new running shoes help your running performance, there are a lot of beautiful patterns in the packaging and on the shoes, as well as nice clean branding! Check out the unboxing and a peek at all the details of the women’s Skora Base and Form running shoes on the next page.
Mulberry - wha??? I just flipped through all 900+ pages of adverts in the latest (largest EVER) issue of Vogue… (hard to believe its sept issue time already!) and the one thing i could not forget after closing it… the YETI/WILD THINGS of Mulberry. WHAT is going on in these ads? How creepy is the giant eye peeking at her? And what is that green thing behind them?
Naturally, all of this lead to some quick photos to share with you… and taking my questions to the internet! The Monsters were introduced in February - “Our Autumn Winter 2012 collection was inspired by Maurice Sendak’s book Where The Wild Things Are, as well as textural furry fabrics and mysterious prints. Our own monster was created exclusively for us, based on a commissioned illustration by Emma Houlston and was made into giant set pieces for our catwalk. He also popped up on drinks, cushions and the London Fashion Week tote.” Mulberry shares more about Emma’s inspiration on their blog… she even sent them amazing monster cupcakes! See it all on the next page, including the coachella poolside party monsters, catwalk monsters, and more!
Another Dwell On Design discovery ~ love the packaging of COATT’s Morse Code Jewelry. While a little cryptic to translate on the fly (it’s hard to tell where one letter ends and the next begins!) ~ the minimal dot and dash beads in gold fill, gold, or silver on silk cord make for lovely necklaces and bracelets which are a beautifully simple gift for any occasion. And the use of Wasara disposable paper plates/etc as displays are a brilliant idea! See it all on the next page!
As a natural history enthusiast who spends her spare time surrounded by skeletons, I was intrigued when I recognized cervid mandibles at the jewellery section of the Show RCA 2012. These incredible sunglasses are the work of Emma Montague of the Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork & Jewellery department. Emma was inspired by the relationship between the shape of the jaw bone and sunglasses when she put her Ray Bans down beside a mandible (as you do!). The result are a beautiful series of sunglasses made from black horn, the jaw bones of deer and acetate. They are the byproduct of trophies and in the collection, Emma marries luxury and decay and the raw with the refined. As for the mandibles? They come from the deer culled by The British Deer Society. More photos of the series on the next page!
Sucked in by a gorgeous point of sale display, then the packaging, then the scents… and before i knew it, i was cruising down highway 1 with cherry bourbon lip balm and ‘excess’ hand cream… Tokyo Milk Dark is hard to resist!
After a delicious meal with always stunning views at my favorite, Nepenthe, in Big Sur, shopping Phoenix below was a must. So when i came across the fun black and white displays with cute cotton pouches and glass tubes… i was sucked in. And then upon smelling the scents of the Tokyo Milk Dark Femme Fatale and Fate & Fortune collections, they had me. Favorites became a mix of graphics (yes, packaging can make all the difference at times) and scents… absolute favorite being the Cherry Bourbon No. 77 lip balm (just sweet enough without smelling too edible). Take a peek at it all on the next page!
The plastic briefcases are based on a 1965 design by Pio Manzù, the man behind the Fiat 127. The briefcases were initially designed as a promotional material for Fiat sales reps, but has been redesigned by Giacomo Manzoni. The plastic briefcases are made from a single mold with a 95% polystyrene and comes in the black, white and red. They are available through the Made in Bergamo e-store. See more pictures (and the packaging!) on the next page…
Remember that stunning illustrated octopus skateboard a while back? Well illustrator Sara Blake (aka ZSO) has just sent over one of her stunning new SCARVES! The Tantrum Scarf is a limited edition of 50 100% silk twill, hand rolled hemmed, 35” x 35” scarves that just became available. And while i hate admitting to feeling a bit like the pouty faced grump in the Tantrum artwork, being sick in bed is making the graphic feel all too perfect at the moment! As Sara explains on her site, “This project has been over a year in the making, from initial illustrations, to sampling silks, to the photoshoot, to creating custom packaging and the printed lookbook. The launch of the Tantrum Scarf is what I hope to be the first of many more projects and products.” Take a look at the gorgeous details on the next page!
“Officine Autodromo was founded to recapture a romantic era of motoring. It was a time of Gran Turismo when driving from city to city wasn’t just a matter of hopping onto an expressway. It meant slipping on your driving gloves for a high speed jaunt through the great roads of Europe with a powerful, sweet-sounding engine propelling you into new adventure, and maybe even a little danger. Autodromo watches and accessories draw aesthetic inspiration from the world of mid-century auto racing. Our products have a vintage feel, alloyed with a clean, uncluttered modernist design philosophy. Each new product is conceived as an artifact that might have existed in the past, but is equally at home in the world of today.”
Autodromo’s newest timepiece, the Vallelunga, is a minimal chronograph inspired by 60’s and 70’s Italian Prototype and Grand Prix tachometers. Named after the challenging road circuit outside of Rome designed by Piero Taruffi, the Vallelunga offers a dual-hand timer offset from center and date just above 6’oclock. This would be even more awesome for recording times if you were driving this beautiful Alfa or Lotus Eleven through France like their photos. The optional black or white dial comes with a brushed steel case and a perforated black leather band reminiscent of a vintage Italian steering wheel. Take a look at the beautiful details and packaging on the next page…
It’s another 4am and with so much inspiration from today to share, trying to just pick one to post before passing out… just back from the launch of Mercedes-Benz’s Avant/Garde Diaries: Transmission LA: A/V Club, curated by Mike D of the Beastie Boys at MOCA. A stunning body of work on show, great performance by Santigold, and a peek at the new Mercedes-Benz Concept Style Coupe… but before we get to any of that…
I never thought i’d be the girl wearing a heavy gold chain… especially a gold chain with a Mercedes Emblem! But tonight it happened… I remember as a little girl, being terribly confused when my dad’s Mercedes emblem was stolen. He tried to explain that people turned them into necklaces… It was the 80s. I was pretty young… and it wasn’t until years later that it all started to make sense. Mike D has apparently always had a thing for the car emblems, and even Inspired Fad Boosts VW Emblem Thefts when he was wearing a large VW emblem off a car on a gold chain… So it’s only natural that when curating this art festival (which they gave him carte blanche on!) he created a HUGE Mercedes emblem hanging on a large chain in the central pavillion of the exhibition… as well as a few huge emblems tucked around the space… and then around 25 special chain necklaces with authentic Mercedes-Benz emblems for the artists and key brand folks…
As a girl with a passion for logos and brands since a young age… it was absolutely fascinating to see how far this brand nostalgia goes, and the amusement everyone had seeing the HUGE chain necklace logo pieces as well as the select few roaming the party wearing the Mercedes Necklaces! Christoph Horn (Mercedes-Benz Director of Global Communications) generously gave me his necklace before heading off to china for the autoshow mid party! The details and story of the automotive chain necklace motif are far too fun ~ so take a peek at them (HUGE and life sized) on the next page… they are sure to bring a grin to your face.
p.s. Also take a peek at the brilliant cassette tape USB press kit!
On fun inspiration discovered at Adventure 16 ~ with a fun display with art and stickers and pins around a bunch of fun graphic tees, board shorts, hoodies and more… HIPPY TREE!!! And they are super local, right out of socal! Take a peek at more of the fun designs i love on the next page ~ i love their octopus! (And how cute are their sticker packs?)
p.s. Not sure if their webstore is having problems, but tried to place an order and it threw some errors… waiting to see if it gets sorted out!
Ok, for context, it’s 75 degrees and super sunny here in LA as we get ready for the superbowl to start… but i’m checking the weather for NY later this week ~ and it looks like it’s COLD. and also possibly WET! It definitely feels a bit silly to be daydreaming about rain coats in this weather, but these by Terra New York seem intriguing ~ they use heavy TPU/ Urethane to provide structure to the 100% waterproof outerwear pieces using heat sealed technic for the seams… I’d love to see what these feel/smell like in person, but so far the designs look clean and fashion forward, which is no surprise considering “The founders Yurika Nakazono and Marie Saeki began with one simple question: What can a fashion-conscious woman wear when it’s raining?” ~ the look makes me think of paper wrapped chicken and manila envelopes ~ the simplicity pulls me in. So far there are three designs of raincoats, each available in nude and smokey grey, and three pouches to keep you and your goods dry! Take a peek at the current designs and details on the next page, and soon there may even be hats, bags, and shoes!
Les Merveilleuses De Ladurée is coming according to Fashion Press ~ yes. That Ladurée. The famous french macaron maker is branching out in to cosmetics. These will only be available in Japan, and are in collaboration with Albion Cosmetics ~ the collection will include blushes, foundations, and lip colors inspired by their sweets. Take a peek at the upcoming collection on the next page!