We find weird trends pop up on NotCouture ~ or we notice certain types of pieces becoming more and more prevalent and then simply bubbling up in our consciousness.... first there were the Fingerless Gloves, and as the seasons progressed we just kept finding them everywhere! Lately the thing that keeps finding me are these folding sunglasses. I used to think that glasses that folded into strangely compacted slightly flattened cigar cases were reserved for reading glasses... but its been interesting to see that Rayban adapted their 1952 classic Wayfarers to be folding... Ralph Lauren has foldable wrap around sunglasses... and John Varvatos has the hybrid Transitional Readers - yes, folding reading glasses that automatically darken to become sunglasses. And they all have cute cases for these too... although they don't look all that guy pocket friendly, more purse friendly? Perhaps its for the wives to carry for them. Anyhow, unsure of whether this has been an ancient design trend and i'm just noticing, or if its make a strange comeback. I'm quietly tracking them on NotCouture, so feel free to add any nice ones you find as well.
Entries tagged with: fashion
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It's not exactly easy to find luggage that shows your character while still being not only subtle and gorgeously designed but also functional... particularly when it comes to slick leather travel gear. Just stumbled upon (ok, well got an invite to their Melrose grand opening party, and naturally got distracted browsing the site) Dussault's fall collection ~ and although you may be more familiar with their hoodies, jeans, and tees and their Gene Simmon's Moneybag collection... it was really their leather carry-ons and messenger bags that grabbed me. From afar, these bags look like rugged leather duffle rollers, which i'm sure will age nicely with everything it could possibly bump into, and upon closer inspection you will notice that they have skull and money bag patterns pressed into sections of them as well as the calligraphic Dussault D's for zipper pulls. The classic leather wallet with moneybags imprinted also just makes me smile ~ can't you imagine a banker on wall street pulling one of these out of his bespoke suit pocket? It's all about the subtle details that make you look twice. Close ups below...
Ok so when i get on a reusable bag trend... and try to stop... it's hard! Because now everyone who finds new reusable shopping bags is sending them over, and i just have to share one more with you. Kristopher Dukes just had these Flip and Tumble bags show up in her inbox, and seeing as they're not exactly couture... she's passed them on to add to my growing list of reusable options. From a design perspective i needed to post these because linhchi and i were just thinking the other day... wouldn't it be easiest just to have an attached pouch? just cram the whole bag in it? Like a Popple! And then here we have Flip and Tumble doing just that... they describe it as a sock ball... i think of it as a Popple bag. And for those who are either so old they forgot what a Popple is, or those *gasp* who are too young to know about them... i dug up an original 80's Popple advert on youtube that's embedded below for your viewing pleasure.
I know, i know, you must be near reusable bag overdose... but its EVERYWHERE. So since we've started, i'm just tracking them all when they seem interesting. Latest that got sent in (you can also see more and more reader finds in comments on the various posts as well as over at .org) ~ Method (yes the beautifully packaged, omop, etc guys) has gotten in on the action with their use of GiveGreener.com. You spend 20$ on Method Products, and you can write/email in to receive a free not so subtle tote... in fact they even say "Get Greener: BE SEEN BEING GREEN with method's reusable market tote". So is it really about saving the environment some waste, broadcasting that you're doing it, or both? Their version has been designed by "eco-lifestyle expert Danny Seo" ~ with playful retro typography ~ and 16 ways to look good and feel better on the back. It even zips up into a light blue pouch.
I guess you could say i have a preoccupation with the state of reusable grocery bags, and while i was out tonight i couldn't help myself, and gave in and purchased a 99 cent Target zip up bag, as well as the new insulated Whole Foods bag for $2.99. Also thrown in for comparison is the standard Whole Foods 99 cent bag (the matching version at target was around $1.49 i think - and i've also seen variations of these same ones from various grocers). The other one from the same manufacturer that i have at home is the 6 wine bottle version (basically the standard with braces to hold your bottles apart). So, from a shoppers perspective it looks like Green Bag has got quite a hold on the corporate reusable shopping bag market. And they are great! Just not quite as pocketable as the Baggus and Envirosax we were discussing earlier. One of the nicest things about these other than the super reasonable price points ~ these are the reusable's equivalent to a standard paperbag ~ a bit sturdier, and love that they have a plastic insert to keep the bottoms strong. These are great in the back of my car and for odd shaped items. As for the target one, i couldn't resist the adorable bird on a target tree design they had. Isn't it cute? And the tag reads: Reusable Shopping Bag "Reuse to Reduce". Due to the zip up nature of the bag, no sturdy flat bottom for this one, and not quite tiny enough i'd want to keep it in my purse.
An observation on the difference of the corporate check out culture between Target and Whole Foods. When i was at Target and purchasing the bag, she just throws it into a PLASTIC bag and hands it all to me... doesn't even think to put my stuff in the bag. When at Whole Foods, the insulated bag i was buying was in the cart... and she asks me whether i brought my own, or i'm buying that one ~ and proceeds to load my groceries into my reusable bags. [I'd link you to places to purchase these online, but i can't find links!]
I can't remember if we were mildly obsessed with saftey pins before NotCouture, or if the safety pin naturally became our logo and then we kept noticing it everywhere. But regardless, saftey pins are truly popping up everywhere lately... i supposed it matches the whole psuedo-punk/glam trend with all the studded burberry, etc. But i was surprised to come across this new collection from Vivienne Westwood Hardcore Diamonds where she takes on safety pins and paperclips.
I'm sure you've heard by now that Diesel has branched out into fragrances: Fuel For Life... its been hard to miss their campaign this season! Well we are super stoked to be giving you this weekend exclusive about the new Fuel For Life FACTORY! Where you can use their flashy online customizer to design your own zippered leather jacket for your bottle of Fuel For Life. With a range of colored leathers and logos for the front and back and even the zipper pull leathers to customize... you have quite a few choices to make. And only 20,000 of these bottles will be produced, so starting on Monday, you'll have your chance to build and buy your own, but until then you can explore the current Fuel For Life site with interactive experiences to keep you busy and ads to watch until then. (Screenshots of all below!)
Ok with all these reusable bags floating around... from designer ones to simple ones to crazy patterned ones... here's a quick little review from what all of us at NOTCOT have learned so far... and what we love, and don't love... when we use them, and when we don't. Would love to hear what you do with them as well, and what kinds of things drive you nuts about them. Because with a simple project brief like "design a new superusable reusable grocery bag"... it seems strange that most of the solutions seem like nylon versions of things from the past. What advances could we add to them? What little details would you love to see in a reusable grocery bag? Are reusable grocery bags the new t-shirt? The next thing everyone needs a drawer full of ~ in every color and design for every mood and occasion?
Baggu Bags. These clean simple bags sure are getting popular lately! They've been on most of the design/trend blogs, and we've even had them on NotCouture when we first launched - they are #478. Dan and i had the pleasure of having coffee with founder Emily Sugihara last week (she's freshly relocated back to California, and is testing out the norcal lifestyle) ~ and we all got on so well it ended up being a few hour long "quick coffee"... she's an adorable, fascinating, fellow 24 year old ~ grew up in Del Mar ~ put in time at Parsons getting a masters in Fashion ~ interned with Proenza Schouler, worked at jcrew, bebe, etc... and then finally realized it was time for a change. So putting her keen fashion design skills to work on something a bit more everyday ~ she and her mother have taken on the reusable grocery bag market ~ not only helping make our grocery shopping a bit more clean and brand-free, but also help cut down on all the plastic we've been using ~ also she and i are on the same page that having a home/wherever you are office, is far more fun than a traditional day job!
I know, i've been ranting lately that there are SO MANY options, and it feels like people have suddenly "discovered" the concept of reusable bags... but these are pretty slick and understated (finally!)... and for the gents ~ her folding design actually does fit in a guys tight jean back pocket. So no more excuses for the non-purse toting ones. I have a hands on review/comparison post coming up next, but just wanted to let you guys know how fun our meeting was first!
Also ~ any interest if we were to team up and do some limited edition understated NOTCOT designed Baggus?
Looks like American Apparel has started branching out on their bags... latest additions which nicely complement the nylon duffels (perfect lightweight gym/beach bags all summer, but not so great for screen printing... i tried a silver pirate bronto on my green one, its barely there anymore) ~ these bags now come in a sleek black vinyl. Perfect for fall/winter perhaps? Not sure how they feel in person ~ but intrigued by the images online... also doesn't vinyl tend to have a certain less than appealing scent often? Well they have a laptop bag, duffle, makeup bag and (shown below).
The extravagance of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Books are always an annual visual indulgence for me ~ majority of the pieces being laughably gaudy... and always a few that i covet (for my fantasy world)... it has become ritualistic page flipping, much like the annual IKEA catalogs. This year with their 100th Anniversary, it's only MORE over the top ~ and as always, their fantasy gifts don't disappoint ~ with everything from the $100,000 Touch Screen "Media Wall" to the Treetent hanging pod and a Swami "conversational robot"... But my favorite? The 100 ft long Dragon Topiary constructed from 15 indigenous plants... next year i'd need the moat to go with it... and then a castle? More pics below ~ and also of my *other* hopeful prediction of comebacks... the Steamer Trunk! I've been coveting an old style one to accommodate my trips where i throw my life in my car and take off for what can be anything from a few days to a few months... must have a way to stash it all nicely, like a pop up insta-closet. But check out the Steamer Trunk Bar below...
Funny how the things of the past are making such a great comeback this season. Just this week i was joking (ok i was pretty serious) that NOTCOT needed a good pop up book ~ inspired by some adorably "PULL ME" screaming tabs that Linhchi designed in one of our new mock ups... and then i open the 100th Anniversary Neiman Marcus Christmas Book 2007, and what do they have on the last page? Yup, limited edition Neiman Marcus Pop-Up Book! And it looks incredible ~ not to put down my brilliant bert and ernie pop up books of my childhood, but that girl's pop up dress is made up of tons of photos! And in the pics below, that isn't a real person looking at the page closely ~ its a pop up person! Anyhow, i need to get my hands on one of these to do a proper book review clearly. Oh, and in proper Neiman Marcus style ~ it looks like you get about 6 pop ups for a mere $125.
Re-Bag is an exhibition of Limited Edition Reusable Canvas Bags designed by 15 leading UK designers running from Oct 5-11 at the Sea Gallery in London. "Designers responded to a brief to create an image for a bag on the theme of sustainability and reusability. The resulting bags not only promote this idea but are also in themselves an ecologically friendly alternative to the use of non-green materials in everyday packaging." Now, i'm sure by now you all know i have quite a soft spot for bags, in fact the whole team here does... and perhaps its less a soft spot and more of an obsession. BUT, that being said, i must tell you that i'm getting quite tired of all of these reusable bags that are specific to grocery shopping, etc... as if you really need yet another bag (other than the many in your closet which could probably hold groceries just as well)... as your dedicated grocery shopping bag? Anyhow, the "I'm not a plastic bag" atrocity has gotten far too much attention, and then every quick packing lightweight plastic grocery bag alternative... but now the need to collect and purchase even MORE bags? Doesn't it seem a bit ironic that we're still over consuming?
BUT that doesn't keep me from wanting some of these... very fun to see how designers took on the brief and created some really fun unexpected designs. Love the two sided purse images on that bag above... and the one below with the images of "Return. Power. Shift. Control" keys is quite cute as well. All bags are screenprinted white onto dark grey canvas (440mm X 387mm) and are produced in a limited edition of 250 of each design and a mere 15 pounds each. via Serif.
Excerpt from the Press Release:
A narrative inspired by the magnificence of wind led us to a collaboration with James Dyson; the design engineer who harnessed the power of air and invented cyclone technology for vacuum cleaners. Dyson gave the world a vacuum cleaner that overturned the prevailing wisdom, taking 15 years to perfect. The truly innovative quality of the product and its design engineering excellence have particular resonance for ISSEY MIYAKE.
We are honored to have James Dyson manage the stage set for the Paris Collection show, where he will generate wind on the runway. As well as creating garments inspired by a variety of wind forms, the ISSEY MIYAKE team dismantled the vacuum cleaner developed by Dyson and analyzed its construction in the search for fresh perspectives on shaping new garments that expand the realm of possibilities for wind and clothing to co-exist.
[NOTCOT Note: I'm so honored that Anna chose to share the beautiful packaging of her wedding rings with us. Again, congratulations to Anna and Sean on their wedding last month! I can't wait to see what else is going to be coming out of Sub-Studio this fall.]
As you might know, Sean and I got married in September. Sean bought my engagement ring from this amazing Japanese jeweler, Niwaka, and we loved the ring so much that we decided to get our wedding bands from them, too. Niwaka’s designs are (mostly) very simple and elegant, with clean lines and a twist on the traditional ring setting. Niwaka pays close attention to detail, and that extends to their packaging, as well. The rings sit in a two-piece, white ceramic box (it looks like a tooth in profile!), which comes packaged itself in a simple wooden box. A red ribbon ties the box together. So that the wooden box sits flat, two holes are cut into the bottom of two side faces to allow the ribbon to run concealed along the inside of the box. Niwaka has stores in Kyoto and New York. You can see more ring designs on their website.
Is this a bad reason to order more buttons? And design some new TasteSpotting and NotCouture ones to go with the NOTCOT two?
I was just browsing the portfolio of Also ~ who are getting a lot of attention this week for having designed Design*Sponge's new site! And noticed they did all the Busy Beaver animations as well ~ not to mention this incredible packing tape! And i'm kicking myself for not having ordered enough to have it shipped in a box so they could tape it up... (i only got an envelope of 1000 - and not even the really cute envelope below!) Its absolutely brilliant how you give these crazy buttons haircuts when you open the package!
While on the perfect ties for my guy hunt... while writing up that last bit on Prep & Pauper... i was discussing with a friend some of our favorite ties, and got reminded of Psycho Bunny... which of course had me hunting over at NotCouture to find it (#062!), and then i discovered NEW Psycho Bunny ties at Neiman Marcus! How NotCouture is that saftey pin one? I love their classic bunny skulls, but the safety pin tie is my new favorite tie of the moment. More pics below of the classic minis, and the striped.
Prep & Pauper ~ As part of the super crafty philly trip (it seemed like an etsy-fest). One of the local designers we dined with was Nicolas Newbold who is part manny (yes, male nanny), construction worker, ex-PR NYer, kid who ran around in a lacoste polo with the collar popped while sporting vans and a skateboard... etc etc etc. You get the point. He also has an obsession with ties, from patterns to silk weights to thicknesses... so as a company that started with a name and no purpose, Prep & Pauper naturally became a tie line. Interesting random tidbits to note before jumping into the overdose of pictures below? He claims to lack the ability to draw, but has hand drawn and learned illustrator to master all of these doodles seen on the ties ~ sews each and every bag by hand, and tapes them shut just for you. AND? I have a sneak peak for you of his upcoming Wailer print. Also, for all of you who are big on ties, let me know what you think of his patterns compared to those like Vineyard Vines, J.McLaughlin, Hermes, etc... because the comparisons keep coming up, and pulling up some of those they do seem a tad similar.
NOTCOT Note: Here's another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!
Derrick Cruz of Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons and THECAST collaborated on a series of handmade accessories for their Spring/Summer 2008 collection. Picking up on Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons' love for "Dark and Uncommon Goods" and THECAST's edgy basics, the collaboration brings to mind a refined Wild West - accessories for the urban cowboy, perhaps. Shown above, the Cottonmouth is a solid metal snake bolo on a hand-screened gauze scarf.
I think this Moosejaw flag is just about full... So here's a pile of pins that i wanted to share with you that have ended up in my room since NOTCOT started, and not knowing what to do with them, they kept ending up on this flag... sharing some of the randomness in my everyday that inspires me... here is everything from yahoo devil pins, flickr pins, obama pins, design public, icff, copenhagen design days, lil' gamers, my absolute favorite pagne "i need more money or cheaper taste" button, NOTCOT buttons!, good magazine, nasa planes, lower haighter smoking pigeon, doe-sf, diesel style lab metroscope, moleskinerie, sid-lee, digital freedom, ihatetimesheets.com, heifer international, curry house, gigantic brand, cardboard robot, oddica, people like us, happy lucky me, hot wheels, diesel sweeties... and i'm sure there are even more if you look closely at the bigger image below. And of course you can still buy NOTCOT Buttons! (but i might need to reorder soon! and, well, if i do sell out, we'd have to design some new ones to add for tastespotting and notcouture of course! no pressure to help buy them up or anything.)
Wow, what happens when you give 15 fashion designers sidekicks to do what they want with? Some pretty crazy fashion/artsy looking phones. My favorites are below, and the stand out is definitely this Justin Giunta for Subversive one... gold bees, everywhere. Also interesting were the cool bags that some of the designers made to go with these... like betsey johnson, coach, tommy hilfiger, diane von furstenberg, and more... (even philip lim and j. lo did phones ~ crazy group they arranged) These are all being auctioned on eBay, and you have 4 days left! 100% Benefiting Fashion Targets Breast Cancer.