I've been off t-shirts lately, we've been inunddated with them to the point that our closets can no longer handle it and its getting pretty wasteful! BUT the trend of in your face, bold, large fonts on tees to state your cause of the moment has been coming back in a huge way, and there are some pretty nice options out there. (Or perhaps i've just been more conscious of them since the Social Atelier launch) - I just noticed these Katharine Hamnett ones in Domino and the "MAKE TROUBLE question everything" Chomsky tee is terribly tempting as a holiday gift to everyone i know. Other favorites are Clean Up or Die (with skull!), STOP and THINK, EDUCATION not MISSILES, WORLD PEACE NOW, CHOOSE LIFE, SAVE the Rainforest, SAVE the SEA! Anyhow, you get the point, i don't need to keep screaming them at you (do i?) ~ and sure its pretty easy to just grab a sharpie and go at a plain tshirt for a similar impact, so i'm really showing you the Katharine Hamnett line because i also love the way she's shot the shirts on playful models (although a bit borderline AA) and has a sleek website. See more of my faves below!
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Toy Me has some fun new pieces ~ from their newest collection the ones that grabbed me are the macho arm, robotino, and the sunglasses to hang your sunglasses from (at first they almost look like the tabs from soda cans)! The mini rayban wayfarers and even aviators are far too cute, definitely a fun add on gift if you're gifting sunglasses this holiday season. Close ups below... and if Toy Me seems familiar, maybe you're remember those sweet Hunting Trap bracelets and Tank Cufflinks!
Oooooh. Robin over at Bittersweets has outdone herself with this latest creation. (For a refresher, we've written about Bittersweets a few times over the years, and even featured her opening and also showcased her products in the gallery)... this Vampress is the diamond ring variation of our favorite pairs of Baby Vamp Rings (see my favorite picture from NOTed featuring them after the jump). There is a slight issue with the wearing the two thin bands and keeping the jaws perfectly aligned ~ a minor issue that is instantly solved by having them holding a diamond... so the holidays are around the corner! Buy one for your Vampress.
Ok, this is going to be a bit backwards, but i needed to share this product discovery from the A+R launch dinner before the dinner itself. I've long loved the deep resin works of Brooks Salzwedel from my discovery of his belt buckles back in sept of 06 to further exploration of his intriguing and mesmerizing larger resin "paintings" of sorts (and the smaller ones in found tins, etc) in august 07. Well as it turns out, Andy (the A of A+R) loved them as much as i did, and got in touch with Brooks who is also a Silverlaker, and the buckles did amazingly... and as the story goes Rose (the R of A+R) even helped Brooks get into the GenArt Fresh Faces this year, where his work was incredibly well received. So although A+R is stocked with so many things i love (it was like being in the NOTCOT store, if there were a NOTCOT store, it was incredible, but more on that later)... these teeny tiny new necklaces caught my eye. There was that moment of literal - OMG. Are those...?
And here you have it, the latest - in fact the FIRST - pieces of jewelry from Brooks Salzwedel, which Andy and Rose had *just* put out tonight... incredibly intricately cast metal woody pieces with the classic Salzwedel depth in resin. And in those teeny tiny logs, are even tinier little trees, which are truly the coolest things i may have ever seen (and i see a lot.) So if you feel so inclined, these may not make it into any store or website for a while, but you can contact A+R for more info... just please don't buy these specific little logs! I need to go back and beg them to let me buy them... once they figure out how much they are. Many more images below (please don't mind my super quick mid-party shots) - including one of the belts gorgeously displayed on logs in the storefront. And click to see more of Brooks Salzwedel's Buckles and Art.
*Drool* The last thing i expected this sunday night was to find myself desperately wanting to see one of these new North Face 485 Collection coats in person... but i'm pretty blown away by the images and concept so far. The Tagline for the collection is "Artistic design meets extraordinary performance." This mix of sophistication and multipurpose usage (look good AND survive that freak blizzard) has quite possibly completely raised the bar for coats in my closet.
From their site: "The North Face presents 485, a premier outerwear collection that breathes and urban, artistic spirit into trusted quality and technical construction. Let these sophisticated silhouettes accompany you from extreme outdoor environments to sidewalk settings." These are a mix of Primaloft, Goretex, and down ~ delivering warmth and comfort while waterproof and breathable... not to mention how sleek they look! More images below. Love the whole jet black with red details for the tag, etc inside... mmm. (oh wait, just noticed on the paragon sports site that they have other colors... their choice in the other colors is making me question things slightly...) via Uncrate
Leave it to Phillip Wood of CITIZEN:Citizen to give me exactly what i needed once i got into the madness that was the Paper 24 Hour Department Store... my prescription of Design Therapy. Although i must say i STRONGLY disagree with the Bx that says i should take it ONCE yearly, i'm more of a daily overdoser ~ and if you're here, i'm going to assume you are too. Why else would i have NOTCOT? and NOTCOT.org? (and TasteSpotting and notcouture too! There really isn't enough design therapy out there.)
So, are you curious what's in my bag of The Brand Pharmacy Design Therapy? See below for pics of the bottle of pills... the pharmacists at work... and more info of what this really is... and some pics of CITIZEN:Citizen's fab booth of ironically luxe goodies... and a never before seen piece!
Why, yes, this IS yet another option for your reusable grocery shopping bag collection. From one of our favorite designers, Alissia Melka Teichroew in collaboration with her husband, Jan Habraken (of WATdesign), and Charles and Marie come this line of canvas shoppers with bags printed on them... So far they have shown off pics of Blue Tote/Pink Clutch and Pink Tote/Blue Clutch, but they just gave us an exclusive sneak peek of the one that is coming in a few weeks... Caramel Tote/Silver Tote! Which certainly seems to be a fun one to shake up some of that supermarket check out monotony.
P.s. does Alissia sound familiar? That might be because you know her inside out martini glass and diamond rings we posted about earlier. And if you're needing some reminding or a quick catch up on the many reusable bag posts, see below.
Oakley's line of wearable tech has evolved once again... and its certainly improving! If you recall, i reviewed their O ROKR and Thump 2 almost exactly a year ago, and i was pleasantly surprised when a white boxed beta of the Split Thump showed up today. They've really cleaned up the design quite a bit, and it is now possible to be far more 007 like with these... removable t-rex arm ear buds (with an adorable little classic oakley pouch for them, even with a divider in the middle to keep them from destroying each other) and the external buttons have been incorporated into the logo (which has been enlarged and aesthetically looks far better on the glasses)... and they are sounding better as well. Bottom line? These glasses can actually look like normal sporty sunglasses when you aren't listening to music, giving you the flexibility the others lacked. Anyhow, take a look below for the unboxing, close ups, and a some photo comparisons between the Thump 2 and the and the Split Thump.
Oh, and if any of you are thinking ~ but wait some of the big tech blogs hated it... i just reread all those posts, and they have been following their predecessors who all hated the concept to start with - and its so sad that some of those sounded like whiny poor techy ipod lovers who probably aren't huge fans of outdoor sports. But anyhow, i might be in a ranty mood... these are definitely making my potential gift list... although it says "coming soon", i've heard that these will definitely be shipping in time for xmas.
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.
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.