Sheridan's Coffee Layered Liqueur has truly the most incredible bottle design i've yet to encounter. I loved the stuff (and the packaging had a large part to do with that) when i lived in milan, and was absolutely fascinated by the split glass bottle, half filled with white, the other with black, and joined by the cap that magically poured a layered drink every time. Unfortunately, i started NOTCOT after returning, and never found it in the states... i even posted about it back in march 2005 when the site first launched, and even tracked down the case study of the bottle design! (You can view it below)... at the Duty Free in Toronto they had some! So i grabbed a bottle to take some pictures (and video!) of it to share with you, check it out below. It's absolutely mesmerizing! Oh, and as for the taste, well its like a yummier bailey's for those of you who like the sugary sweetness.
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NOTCOT Note: I'm excited to introduce you to Jenny Lemieux and Leo Corrales, of HERO Design Lab! Old friends from my Milan grad school days, they were nice enough to show me Toronto, and we had so much fun all weekend, that they've even written some posts for you! Starting off check out this awesome behind the scenes look at Monster Factory (who has had much love across NOTCOT over the years)!
We dropped by the Monster Factory factory today, as I'm dying to get my hands on one of their super cute little kid-friendly guys, and of course, we wanted a sneak peak at how the monsters come into being.... We chatted with partners Bliss Man and Rhya Tamasauskas (Adam Dunn wasn't in) and some of their team. The coolest, gentlest people, I have to say, which only makes sense. We got a behind the scenes glimpse of how they turn their concepts into patterns, then various prototypes, before stitching together the 65 kinds of monsters. We love that they do the whole thing in Toronto, and hire local fashion grads to lend a hand. See the many pictures after the jump!
Decor-a-Boards from Pop Ink caught my eye because of this Little Red Samurai! So cute on the wood, so sweet, so innocent, so definitely has blood dripping from her sword. What are these? "Pop Ink's Decor-a-Boards are the real wood wall art you need. Printed directly onto unfinished birch veneer over MDF board, Décor-a-Boards are a natural fit for any green (or any other color) home. The 11.25"x14" ready-to-hang Pop Ink Decor-a-Boards are manufactured with recycled wood scraps and unused parts of lumbered trees." See more images after the jump!
As i sit here in Toronto airport waiting to pop back over to LA ~ i'm sorting through MANY pictures, and how much i *could* post while i wait... first to really grab me ~ the playfully Canadian oriented jewelry of Anneke van Bommel that i encountered at The Souvenir Shop, she manages to simplify national pride down to simple cheeky iconic jewelry pieces... from these various wood/silver antler rings, to stubby beer pins, crossed axes, and more... (see lots of pics below!) The Souvenir Shop is one of the best collections of exclusive limited edition Canada oriented design pieces i ran into, which was unfortunately at the Gladstone Hotel within the Come Up To My Room Exhibition where artists took over rooms on the 2nd floor, and honestly, you didn't miss much, because there were some of the rudest, most obnoxious people manning the door and their store ~ so luckily you can shop the wares online!
Bio from the site: "Anneke van Bommel is an artist and educator living and working in Toronto. She shares a downtown studio with 5 other jewelery artists and teaches at the Ontario College of Art and Design and George Brown College.Her work focuses on contemporary jewelery design, and explores concepts of place, memory and the symbols and icons of Canadiana."
In the Alessi 2008 Spring/Summer collection is the new Pop-Up Bottle Opener. This beautiful piece is designed by Giovanni Alessi Anghini, great-grandson of Giovanni Alessi, founder of the company. It should also be no surprise that Giovanni Jr. has put in his time at Stefano Giovannoni's Milan studio, and is now coming into his own. Apparently this mirror polished stainless steel bulb of a bottle opener has a magnet within that holds onto the cap once you push down to open a bottle. See an image of it on a bottle after the jump!
p.s. does this remind anyone else of J Schatz's egg bird feeders, lamps, etc?
A new entry in the bottled water market, Y Water, comes fresh out of Venice Beach ~ has a playful bottle designed by Yves Behar ~ and can be built into crazy structures... oh, and they are also targeted at kids, and are organic, low calorie drinks chock full of vitamins and minerals! "Y Water's attention-getting names—Muscle Water, Bone Water, Immune Water, and Brain Water—communicate the idea that the ingredients are the building blocks of healthier bodies." And there's the green angle too: bottles are 100% recyclable and 100% reusable as a creative developmental aid... And perhaps just as fun, are the crazy illustrations all over the Y Water site. See images of all after the jump!
Sorry, it's been quiet... i tried to take the day off. Still ended up handling a few emails and calls via the pearl, but at least it was while running around discovering things... like Shu Uemura's Art Of Hair. Shu Uemura is one of those lines i've loved for not only the gorgeous packaging design (have you looked at some of those lipstick and skincare products? The new clear lipstick cases were designed by architects!), but also for their skincare and makeup products. Admittedly i was skeptical about their branching out into haircare... until about an hour ago. I've been a Bumble & Bumble girl for the last decade or so - but the last few weeks i felt like something different - i tried other bumble products (also love their packaging/branding), various 'organic' brands, even some basic drugstore brands (which ended up being far too fruity and chemically for the most part), and was about to give up back to my usual, until i wandered into Shu Uemura today.
Apparently the "Art of Hair" line is not available for sale online, and can currently only be purchased in their retail boutiques (but you can also call and order from them)... the boxes with the gloss images of the bottles on a matte white are gorgeous, and the bottles themselves beautiful as well, so i was already ready to simply show the packaging of the new line here... but only if it was any good! Anyhow, i'm sure you know by now, i'm smitten, and silly enough, can't stop running my fingers through my hair. Smells amazingly fresh, feels ridiculously clean, AND comes in pretty bottles. See the unboxings after the jump, as well as a few other fun goodies i picked up... and a statement from the designers of the packaging, campaign, and branding of the line.
UPDATE: Check out this beautiful flash site for the 'Art of Hair'... check out the Ceremonies in particular, they sound like pure bliss... and more updates being added at the bottom of the post as i obsessively research more.
DayNa Decker makes some breathtaking Candles - i mean Chandels. What's the difference? According to their site, it's their patent pending wood wicks, which not only create mesmerizing wide flames, but also crackle like a wood fire. They are also handmade right here in LA! The come in a range of sizes, from the perfect size to line around your bathtub, to huge centerpieces, they will certainly set the mood. I'm personally most drawn to the layering of the black within the solid clear glass candle... see a plethora of images after the jump!
Two things happened when the gorgeous lingerie of The Lake & Stars showed up on NotCouture... i wandered to their site, and fell for, perhaps simultaneously, the photography of Tim Zaragoza and their trench coats. While at the moment i'm not sure which one i'm more in love with, or if perhaps the combination is irresistible, i'll let you know when i finally meet one of the coats in person, or find images of it alone. Brooklyn photographer, Zaragoza, has found the perfectly moody, mysterious, dramatic look for these ladies in the trenches with their felty looking shades... and The Lake & Stars have mastered the classic combo of beautiful lingerie, trench coats, and heels. See after the jump for more images i've dug up so far.
p.s. What better name for a trench than - Opportunity?
Ready for a slightly more adult version of Spin The Bottle this Valentine's Day? Well Jimmyjane has you covered. This Valentine's Day from 6pm-8pm at the Gerber Group Bars and W Hotels Worldwide for the Spin Me Launch Parties. SPIN ME: Game of Mischief - "Remember “Spin the Bottle”? Well, we thought we’d raise the stakes a bit. The game of our youth lacked a bit of variety, so we’ve added a few plot twists. Some of those twists are G-Rated; others are closer to R or even, well, let’s just call it NC-17. To play: SPIN, READ, OBEY and REPEAT." See closeups below ~ an example game is "Let's Mingle: Take your SPIN ME game over to another table and ask them to play."
It's incredible what can be done with raw silkworm chrysalises. While at FORDBRADY last week for Dwell's cocktail party, i was immediately drawn to the work of Angus Hutcheson. He creates some breathtaking lighting pieces by wiring up hundreds of silk worm cocoons for wall, floor, ceiling, and table lamps, which come in both white and black, and the natural variation in the cocoons creates such a mesmerizing effect, particularly when casting fabulously dramatic shadows. The only thing that i couldn't help feeling was... what if they missed one! What if one of the moths was waiting to emerge... and found myself peering into all of the tiny chrysalises. Images below of the lamps, as well as a roundup of from Angus' collection.
I've wanted a black viewmaster since the "Gifts for your Indie Ninja" list from my ThisNext days, but alas, i've been lazy and forgot to buy one... so when i saw that the latest issue of Arkitip, No. 0044 HIGHMATH ~ is a collaboration with one of my favorite Danish collectives, Wood Wood... and comes in a box with "1 Exhibition catalog, 3 image reels, 1 3D viewer"... i grabbed my credit card. How could i give up a chance at a black viewmaster (with white Arkitip, Wood Wood, and Nike branding) as well as fun art? Perhaps we need to get some branded NOTCOT Viewmasters, and every month/week/random whim we can send out a mysterious reel of inspiring imagery?
blu_ray ~ the latest collection from CARGO Cosmetics. And yes, that blu_ray. If the beauty industry has anything to say about it, it looks like blu_ray really is winning the war on HD DVD. The CARGO site says "blu-ray, CARGOs revolutionary new collection originally created for make-up artists filiming in high-definition, is designed to provide flawless results while maintaining a perfectly natural look. Because life happens in High-Definition..." So i guess anyone can be ready for their closeup in microscopic high-definition when viewed from a blu_ray dvd? I'm surprised that the 59$ (valued at $130) complete set doesn't come with a blu_ray disc to help give buyers an extra push towards a ps3/blu_ray player... also i'm surprised to not see examples of with/without the magical blu_ray makeup as would be seen in high-definition. See the full collection after the jump!
Lobster Chair! Designed by Lund & Paarmann for the Verikon Furniture. Fun how this chair feel part egg shaped coziness, protected by a woody exoskeleton with the plush leather within. "The shell is laminated, bend wood with a walnut veneer at the back. Inside the shell we have used Pantera foam, as it is very durable and probably the least damaging foam regarding our environment. The swivel base is chrome-plated steel. The fabrics and the leather we are using for Lobster are of the very best quality."
Mmm Magic Berries. (I prefer that name for it.) Today i received some Miracle Fruit in the mail, and after much research and curiosity, did a bit of grocery shopping for bitter/sour foods, and then came the ultimate test (these tiny berries turn anything sour/bitter SWEET)! Pictures galore after the jump... and for those who haven't heard of these magic berries, here's the short version of their magic powers and background (also see the full wikipedia entry on it):
"The Miracle Fruit Plant, sometimes known as Miracle Berry, or Magic Berry (Sideroxylon dulcificum/Synsepalum dulcificum) is a plant first documented by an explorer named Des Marchais during a 1725 excursion to its native West Africa. Marchais noticed that local tribes picked the berry from shrubs and chewed it before meals. It is an evergreen plant that produces small red berries, with flowers that are white and which are produced for many months of the year. The seeds are about the size of coffee beans. The berry is sweet, and contains an active glycoprotein molecule, with some trailing carbohydrate chains, called miraculin. When the fleshy part of the fruit is eaten, this molecule binds to the tongue's taste buds, causing bitter and sour foods (such as lemons and limes) consumed later to taste sweet. This effect lasts between thirty minutes and two hours. It is not a sweetener, as its effects depend on what is eaten afterwards, but has been used to sweeten bitter medicines." See after the jump for how it went:
UPDATE ~ rumor has it that these berries might also be perfect for valentine's day, and not just because they are red. Their ability to help turn things sweet can be very handy...
Ooooh fun packaging for the personalized Motorola ROKR E8's going to Oscar nominees. "Each nominee received their ROKR E8 in a personalized, custom-made box. Keeping up with the latest red carpet trends, the ROKR E8 arrived encased in a keepsake box wrapped in an iridescent faux iguana print with a contrasting, yet complimentary, textured inside. Female nominees received a fashionable fuchsia colored box (with a rose pink interior), while the male nominees received a handsome cobalt colored blue (with a dusty blue interior) box. Each box was personalized with the nominee’s name and category." Not so sure about the "faux iguana" thing... (but i'm biased i do miss my childhood iguana that grew from about 6" to 6') Check out more on the press release! And congrats to Ellen Page and Johnny Depp! via Laura Sweet
Prada. They've been grabbing my attention in every magazine lately with these illustration heavy images... (remember NotCouture #1478?) and while i'm still debating and mixed on the illustration on leather bag concept, i'm still loving the illustrations! So while checking out all of the Spring/Summer 08 collections and campaign, i couldn't help but share this incredible (HUGE like 17' x 200') wallpaper they have. Entitled Florid ~ Prada says it "represents the somewhat perverse intersection between Hieronymus Bosch and Aubrey Beardsley. The image depicts an intense landscape of man-eating flowers, dragons, hybrid creatures and eerie fairies." Above is one of my favorite sections of it... the full wallpaper, closeups, and images from the print campaign are after the jump!
UPDATE: Apologies for missing that this was the collaboration work of local LA artist James Jean, and that this wallpaper is hanging right in the Beverly Hills and Soho Epicenter stores sized at 17 x 200 feet! In my cold meds induced haze and excitement while being illustration/prada giddy, i'm terribly embarrassed for the slip up and really should know better than early morning posting! Forgive me? Also take a look at the second wallpaper on his site that isn't on Prada's.
Ben Lawson draws incredible fish that we first fell for over at .org #7943 and with Valentine's Day around the corner, i simply had to post his tentacled hearts. His illustration style is so scientific, yet the characters (yes even the tentacled hearts) are oozing with character, which is no surprise since he is a physicist/engineer turned artist/illustrator... and he is certainly our kind of guy - his career "includes sourcing squirrels for Rumanian TV and reporting on nuclear terrorism for the Japanese government." Can you imagine how incredible these would be animated? And for those who need a refresher, a few of my favorites of his Ichthyological Specimens are after the jump.
The Matter Box, apparently people have started receiving them, and i'm SO jealous! I mean seriously, this might be the coolest box of junk mail ever... i know its really just corporate schwag ~ but it's corporate schwag at its finest, most creative, most amusing. So what was in there? Well below we bring you a break down of not only the contents and images of unboxings, but also some guy unboxing it live in a video!
Oh, and for anyone that is lost, Matter first came up on .org #8403... and it is "a box full of interesting stuff" and "a new and unique idea in communications that brings companies and people together around real, physical stuff–things you can hold in your hands, keep in your drawer, or give to your friends. It's a new way for companies to introduce themselves by giving you something you might like" AND "is a collaboration between Artomatic and Royal Mail." Read more at Matter: Brands you can hold, but firstly catch up on the first bow after the jump!
Ok, i'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day. And certainly wasn't expecting any this year... or this early! But a Despair, Inc. generated email from Jef (you can see what he sent after the jump) ~ tipped me off to these hilarious Bittersweets. Just in time for Valentine's day, these candy hearts come in three tin variations: Dejected, Dysfunctional, and Dumped. "Dejected" sayings include: I MISS MY EX | PEAKED AT 17 | MAIL ORDER | TABLE FOR 1 | I CRY ON Q | U C MY BLOG? | LOSS LEADER | A FINE WHINE | MOMMY ISSUES | DIGNITY FREE | DORK MAGNET | PURE NAUSEA | WE HAD PLANS | MAIL ORDER | SETTLE 4LESS | I'M HOT INSIDE. "Dysfunctional" sayings include: ANNULMENT | I BEEN CREEPIN | HE CAN LISTEN | GAME ON TV | CALL A 900# | P.S. I LUV ME | DO MY DISHES | BOOTY INFL8N | PAROLE IS UP! | AWFUL INLAWS | SUB PRIME | I WANT HALF | RETURN 2 PIT | NO FIX 4 DUMB | RATHER DRINK | MUTUAL DISGUST. "Dumped" sayings include: I GOT SOBER | HE FIT U FAT | U LEFT SEATUP | USED U 4 FUN | JUST A FRIEND | BACK 2 KENNEL | DORKA PHOBIC | U HAVE A BLOG | RUSSIAN BRIDE | CELEB8 THX2U | DOG IS CUTER | TRADIN YOU IN | FORGET WE MET | KISS A FROG | SHE IS 22! | HE HAS A JOB. Wow. See more images after the jump!
p.s. Despair Inc is the company behind those Demotivators posters.
Alex + Chloe are popping up a pop up store tomorrow in Chinatown at the New High (M)art and i just noticed their new Black Diamonds collection... particularly the Anneau Solitaire - Diamant Inverse. I have had a bizarre fascination with inverted diamonds ever since Tobias Wong's Ultimate Reverse Setting Ring. Also shown here are the Sphere Noir Diamant Inverse and Sphere Diamant Inverse, which remind me of mini oxidized canon balls... canon balls coming at you with the point of a diamond. Inverted diamonds, an interesting twist on a classic symbol of luxury, and also the ultimate weapon with used with a point? See more images and info on the opening after the jump!
Sneak peeks from the latest from the Working Class Heroes which will be available Feb 4th... introducing the Unfold laptop bag. This new "premium cognac leather"/"washed slate cotton canvas" combo will be perfectly filled with a 17" macbook pro, but when using a smaller laptop (macbook air?), it takes a cue from the trendy Foley and Corinna style city totes you can easily have it folded in half to more of a messenger bag proportion. With "comfy handles and a reinforced shoulder strap, the bag is also padded with a protective layer to keep whatever you carry safe". Its interior is a soft cotton lining with small leather logo. See more images of the Unfold after the jump!
Seem familiar? Working Class Heroes has been previously seen on NOTCOT and the gift guide due to my obsession with their brilliantly designed grey wool felt and leather laptop sleeves i have two of.
RUGenius stumbled upon the website of Covent Garden's illustration agency, CIA and fell in love. A lover of clean lines and illustration and an agency of illustrators run by picture makers? It was a match made in heaven. She sent away for the free weekly calendar and was hardly disappointed. The office never looked so good! Check out some sneak peeks after the jump!
Secret: after CES, i kind of wanted to love the Zune. Well i got curious enough to want to play with one at least... they've been doing great things with the arts community (i really do love those crazy Zune Arts animations - and their artist collaborations for Zune designs are fun), they've been supporters of NOTCOT with advertising, and the packaging/design details/UI were intriguing... i really do like the font they use on their main interface, and the way it glows as you scroll around! But sadly, much like the ratings option they give you... i'm going to have to rate the experience so far with a 'broken-heart'... i'm not even sure what that means? Is it that i no longer love the song? Basically i'm completely behind on posts today b/c i had to delve into the painful world of windows - which for this Zune i actually tried to give a second chance. I blew through one dell xp laptop, and had to move on to a tiny sony vista machine before i was able to even get it to let me play a song. Anyhow, more on all of that below... but while i spent ages installing, etc, i fell in love with the design details and packaging... particularly the Zune Premium Headphones. See many pics of the packaging and headphone details ~ as well as the CES Zune section with all the artists pieces up after the jump!!!
Nothing like the use of aged polaroids in a beautifully styled site to grab my attention, and i couldn't resist posting these once i saw them over at Decor8. Introducing Harmonie Intérieure, a french line of sticker/decals and prints. What i like first and foremost is certainly the little touches in their site design (see an image after the jump), and while the wall sticker trend is getting a bit tired (although i am certainly having quite a bit of fun with with the vinyl cutter and inventing my own), they certainly have a lovely twist on this, adding enough of their own character through beautiful typography and illustration, cheeky french sayings, and dainty adorable stickers for cups, mugs, boxes, laptops, etc.