On amazing surprises, i never expected a quick rush out to the Bottega Veneta launch between a cocktail appointment and dinner would prove to be one of the most inspiring experiences this trip! Also… totally tempt my shopping gene… Bottega Veneta featured a pop-up store store filled with unique, pleasing and travel ready items, which are apparently not readily available outside of Japan, as well as a small collection of Bottega Veneta products designed exclusively for the occasion by their creative director Tomas Maier. Simple, beautiful, and irresistible… housed in their new Milan office near Lido… and sadly only open for a few days! The products were absolutely stunning! And i totally gave in and bought an amazing wine opener… so FIRST, take a peek at the pop up shop offerings on the next page… and more to come on the wine opener and actual home collection (which is also totally lustworthy)…
Entries tagged with: gifts
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On adorable irresistible impulse buys ~ i’m totally carrying this Ele Funnel back in my luggage. Thai Qualy Design, had the most adorable (and adorably packaged) Ele Funnel! The graphics are great, the plastic feels so nice in your hand… you can even hang it on the wall… see lots of pics unboxing it on the next page!
Perhaps one of our favorite finds while running around Ventura Lambrate ~ the amazing AXECHAIR! As part of the Made In Arnhem (Netherlands) exhibition Weltevree presented their beautiful AXECHAIR designed by Floris Schoonderbeek (whose Dutchtub, we loved and lusted after for some time now!) The AXECHAIR is a chair made of wood and cast aluminum, with a surprising use of existing axe handles by Swedish company Gränsfors, Gränsfors Bruks has manufactured axes and hatchets in Sweden since 1902. The unambiguous and powerful joints are directly derived from the way axes are made.
Floris Schoonderbeek on the Axechair: “Gränsfors is an inspirational company in terms of both its technology and its culture. The Axechair is actually a statement of identity - a statement about Gränsfors, the company and the village. And this has produced a practical chair, sturdy yet elegant.
On random ideas ~ i secretly wish they would do a version of this with the American Axes - Best Made Co! Can you just imagine how fun the incredible boxes would be? And the fun colored handles? Ahhh, a girl can dream! But firstly, check out the amazing pics (both from the booth, as well as making of pics!) on the next page of the AXECHAIR!
p.s. Just noticed the standalone page (with minimal information) on the Axechair: “The Axechair reflects this trip to Gränsfors with ice fishing, axe throwing and spending a Sunday afternoon on the ice. Back in Holland, Floris started to design the chair with the gathered materials from Gränsfors. Axechair, a romance between Dutch elegance and Swedish axe construction.”
One of the objects that caught our attention at the Ora-Ito showroom in zona Tortona was the cool looking Furtivo (very appropriate) knife, designed for french knife makers, Forge de Laguiole, with its all black metal minimalist styling and carbon fiber inlays makes it a very desirable pocket friendly accessory. See more pics of it on the next page!
Firstly, i’m not really a crystals kind of girl… but for some reason Swarovski is doing some pretty irresistible stuff this year! (How stunning is the Crystal Palace?!?!?!) Bisazza has always been a fascination of mine, the way they turn tiling into quite the art form is fascinating, and the designer collaborations are always stunning. However, the one thing about tiles i never loved is how FLAT they can feel visually ~ sure you can cover incredibly curved walls with their tiny tiles, but with the new Bisazza Crystal Collection with Swarovski, the crystal tiles add this incredible depth to the tiling! (Not to mention inevitable blinged out effects as well.) To see “flat” crystals essentially is bizarrely mesmerizing up close, since you see them come to a point beneath the surface, it’s as if you’re peering into the wall… The Crystal Collection is a series of decorative patterns “bejeweled with Swarovski crystals” ~ and the most noteworthy is the Skulls & Crown pattern… I’m imagining the interior of a pool with black reflective tiles and crystal/metallic skull markers for the depths…
See images of the cocktail party last night ~ the candle and chandelier lighting create interesting light effects in combination with the Bisazza tiles~ on the next page!
Popped by the De Padova opening tonight and can’t get Patricia Urqiola’s Lavenham Executive chairs out of my head. They describe it as “For dining and meeting tables, or behind a desk. Lavenham Executive reprises the quilted pattern on the back of the chassis of the Lavenham chair. A versatile, transformable seat: nude, with a small cushion, or covered with a matelassé housse, put on or removed with a single gesture. The base plays with the materials and finishes. The legs are in oak-stained ash wood, while the swivel version has a base in aluminium, polished or with white or black satin paint finish.” It’s like hypermodern chanel quilting as you approach it, with a satiny eggshell matte when you settle into it. Each of the different bases give them such a different character… i’m craving them for a fun dining/conference table look. See more images on the next page!
Ok, i kind of freaked out a little when i saw the new Freitag Reference collection Limited Editions over at 10 Corso Como, and instantly needed the laptop sleeve. This feels like a classier more refined Freitag than what we’ve become accustomed to over the years. I had a Freitag wallet that was worn pretty thin through high school, and let’s just say that was about a decade ago… The messenger bags were usually pretty heavy and not so lined… still truck tarps though! These SILVER limited editions pulled me right over… and they are lighter and lined with a nice light yet sturdy canvas. The Laptop sleeve also fits my requirement of no zippers… and has a magnetic clasp! Also the metal logo is darling… So it turns out that this is part of a limited edition series, 34 numbered silver pieces for 10 Corso Como, and gold pieces for Colette. How i never heard about them till now, is honestly, a little embarrassing. Apparently they dropped mid January… But better late than never? And i’m grinning and playing with the sleeve as i write this! Also incredibly tempted by the overnighter bag… and i’ve been scouring the net to find more pics to see what else is in the collection, and came across HopeHope’s post mentions that this is a sneak preview of the collection to appear in Fall 2010. In addition to the laptop sleeve and overnight bag, i saw a larger tote, two wallets, and two ipad sized handbags… from the HopeHope pics it looks like there are messenger bags, vertical totes with pockets, and more. See closeups of the laptop sleeve and a peek at the overnighter… the details are stunning.
On random adventures today, went to go find the Dom Pérignon Black Box by Marc Newson collaboration ~ special travel/gift packaging for the Dom Pérignon 2000 vintage. While i love the colors and playful way it photographed… i must say, as far as product collabs to save for years to come, this one feels a bit like plastic packaging, versus a solid reusable champagne cooler like some of his previous 3 collaborations? This polycarbonate black box is designed to play with the iconic shape of the bottle, and keep it perfectly chilled for any occasion, with a design that is said to “resists the wear and tear of transport and keeps Dom Pérignon perfectly chilled, even in the hottest destinations.” It does look awesome in pictures though, and i love the green on black! Also you have to check out the coolest robot of a street art piece i ran into on the way there too!
While in Stuttgart, i had a field day going to toy stores! Germans seem to have far more fun toys ~ particularly wooden ones and i adore their amazing puzzles and stunning miniatures! After falling for the bowl of Japanese Wooden Tops (which i can’t seem to give any away so far, they live on my table and are far too fun!) ~ i think a fascination with unique tops is growing! Quickly! So when i encountered 1000 Schoen in Stuttgart, it was hard to resist buying up the pile you see above! The incredible wooden ones are made by Mader Kreiselmanufaktur, and their site even shows them being made by hand! Absolutely fascinating! The other type i fell in love with are these metal and metal/wooden tops that initially look like gears! For the wooden ones with metal tips and a bent metal rod included, you basically insert the rod into two holes in the top, twist to wind it up, and when you let go, the tension gives you incredible spin! The flowery gear you hold between two fingers and blow to get it spinning super fast, and drop it and watch it go! The man at the store mentioned it’s great to use a straw to keep blowing on it to keep it spinning. Take a peek to see them all close up on the next page, as well as a video of some in action!
Picked up a NaoLab NaoLoop ~ 90% because of the packaging (after all its pretty much a fancy elastic loop), at Magazin ~ while i was hunting for designy/unique stores in Stuttgart that i’d never seen (my favorite finds? Ikarus, Manufactum, Grüne Erde, 1000 Schoen). The use of layered cardboard is certainly a bit excessive, but intriguing, and a fun idea on ways to packaging other notes for mailing… take a peek at the unboxing on the next page.
While checking out some of the new malls that popped up in Singapore since my last trip ~ came across the adorable new Atomi in Mandarin Gallery ~ specializing in “Japanese Designs x Comfortable Lifestyle”. Irresistible were the beautiful pearls by japanese parisian Miya Shinma (grew up in japan and studied perfumery in paris) ~ the Perle Parfumée was designed in Paris made in Japan. Basically these spheres (housed in a wood box sealed with wax paper) are scented… and you can leave them in little dishes or satchels around the house ~ and every 4-5 months, if needed, you can refresh them with essential oils. The whole box would make such a lovely gift! Take a peek at close up pics on the next page!
p.s. Also a fun idea ~ her scented fans!
Sandy Vohr has been making the most adorable luscious little leather bean bag creatures for the last 30 years. In fact i think i even received one of her beautiful little leather frogs as a paperweight as a kid! The site even says, “The animals are made from cowhide and deerskin, and filled with various combinations of fiberfil and beadlike materials.” When i spotted the Bunny Bookends at Barneys, i got nostalgic and ended up looking up Sandy’s site… where i discovered so many new adorable leather creatures ~ from moose to dragons, robots to octopi! See some of my favorites on the next page! Looks like she’ll even do customs!
Swinging us back towards man made design (vs the little nature sidetrack of posts!) ~ here’s a sneak peek at something i wish i had on this trip!!! While at Oakley HQ ~ i got a quick lesson on military gear ~ and really amazing to hear some of the design/user experience stories. I also had no idea quite how much military gear Oakley made (they’ve been in partnership with the US Armed Forces since the 80s)… also this is where many of their most innovative patents arise! (If you’re curious, apparently Shot Show is the place to go keep up on it all in person ~ and to browse online check out - US Standard Issue - Oakley’s Military & Gov’t Sales site.) Incredibly ergonomic, thoughtful design ~ and some smart fun details/research that luckily creep over into their retail lines as well!
My favorite discovery was the MultiCam pattern LSA (Land Sea Air) Boot ~ ridiculously lightweight, dries nearly instantly (drainage mesh in the soles), super grip soles, and even fits into fins… drop in from the air into the sea, swim up to shore, and you’re already dry and good to go. Well, your feet anyhow. Now adapt that to civilian design, and it becomes a stunning black/grey super water shoe with a design that is oh so oakley, and far more fun than other water shoes on the market! Bring the height up a bit, and i’d give up my dive booties for it! I’m wishing i had these right now for running around in the low tide over all the coral shrapnel! The LSA Boot wont be available for military until later 2010… and this civilian super water shoe is merely a prototype… but let’s keep our fingers crossed that it makes it in to production! See more shots of it all on the next page!
Net-A-Porter “just for you” emails are dangerous in the morning… my mom’s old Burberry crepe trench has been a lightweight travel friendly MUST PACK for nearly every trip, after all you never know what type of weather the world will throw at you these days… And then here comes the Burberry Crepe biker-style trench to my inbox, and it’s so tempting (and sold out in my size!) ~ a lovely combination of sleek classic simple trench dressed up with a few fun silver zips and motorcycle jacket details. Love the collar! And it has black and white lining… See more details on the next page…
On one of my latest shopping wanderings, i stumbled upon MOR Cosmetics out of australia, and am absolutely taken by their packaging (products seem fabulous too, but haven’t had a chance to play with them much). Awesome story of how a talented visual merchandiser and industrial/interior designer team up to create a stunningly beautiful line of soaps, scents, cosmetics, and more. The lip glosses are presented in fun pyramids, making for a beautiful stocking stuffer or gift add on… the lip balm tins are SO pretty in their ornate oval tins… and the gift tins even more so, and they are a great size to reuse around the house. Of them all, the Little Luxuries collection is definitely making my “perfect random gifts” list! See lots of pics of my favorites of their packaging on the next page…
Andrew Bell’s DYZPLASTIC Android toys are finally here, and i’m a little obsessed. They are ADORABLE. And oh so detailed in all the right ways… and that glow in the dark radioactive one… just stunning. And how some have arm tattoos… or cufflinks… or tramp stamps… or awesome logos… and swirls in the eyes… you really must see them all! Also as much as i can’t stand blind box toys conceptually, i do adore that 5 year old feeling of joy when you sit and tear through a case of little boxes and their foil wrapped innards. Take a peek at all their close ups on the next page! Including two of the secret chase characters!
p.s. as i play with these, i can’t help but wonder, why don’t more OS’ have awesome little mascots?
p.p.s. Soooo, it sounds like demand has FAR exceeded expectations ~ which is awesome! Unfortunately that means these little guys are hard to get your hands on. However, Andy wanted me to assure you that there will be more Series 1 available this summer ~ which really is just a blink away… so sit tight, and/or grab some when you see them!
MBeze is a natural + organic cosmetics company with a line of fragrances and deodorants… and Deodorettes! Ok, so the packaging pulled me in first. The graphics… the cheeky naming… and then the concept… i’ve never seen a Deodorette. And while in travel shopping mode, it’s a dangerous thing when every mini/sample/travel-size/etc looks far too tempting to toss in for those “you never know when you may need it” moments. It’s precisely all these that might add up into a heavy suitcase. None the less, these little deodorettes a the size of a shortened roll of quarters. Perfect for gym bags and purses. Take a peek at more pics ~ and the airplanes on the Aim To Be Pleased Collection are totally my favorite… see the close ups on the next page!
Aston Martin’s Rapide touts itself as “The World’s Most Elegant Four-Door Sports Car”… while it is certainly entering a growing market of 4 door luxury sports cars… and you can read quite a bit about it all over the web, what struck me most about it in person were the tiniest details. Some found on quite a few Aston Martins, others quite Rapide specific… if you’re ready, take a peek at the details that grabbed my attention… most notable are definitely the tiny sphere of a trunk opening button and the +/- cut matte metal and leather paddle shifters… and what an aggressive face it has when you look at it straight on! Also while from the exterior it doesn’t actually look all that much bigger than the others, yet once you’re inside its ridiculously spacious ~ and the rear seats fold flat! Anyhow, take a peek at all the best details on the next page from my tour at the Aston Martin Factory!
One of my favorite things about my mom, she’s always cut out comics, pulled magazine articles, cut up newspapers… and now emails me links all the time as well… perhaps she was one of the curators of my world and editors of NOTCOT before it even came to be… one of her recent saves for me, which i couldn’t help sharing, LA Times Magazine has this awesome feature of 50s ~ in this case, 50 Signature Handbags ~ Cachet and carry ~ beautifully illustrated by Jameson Simpson. While i love the way the 50 look on the page (so i had to take a scanner to the mag for you) ~ i love the functionality of the web version ~ it slides along as you hop between numbers… but i’m torn, i do love my visuals more on the ‘overwhelming, all at once, let me choose what i want to see’ side of things… BUT on the web you can see the fun illustrations of our fashion classics up close! Anyhow, browse them all on the next page!
On travel obsessions, someone just reminded me one of the few items that has made my MUST PACK list ~ i’ve been so busy using, i have yet to write about it. humangear’s GoToobs have been indispensable. Sure they are similar to Paul Koh’s Bubble Bottles ~ but they are much better. A more airport security 1 quart ziploc bag friendly shape for packing… the ring allows you to select Soap, Shamp., Cond., Lotion, Sun, … so no sniffing to figure out what’s in there, and no need for labels… wide mouth opening for cleaning/filling… the one thing i never thought i’d use, yet have many a time ~ SUCTION CUP! So far they come in green, blue, clear, pink, and a newly added orange! See more pics on the next page…
Ok. I’m super excited about this one. I got a little obsessed with Flexicords when i ran by and saw their booth as CES 09 was closing then they finally made it into production and sent a few over… and they have been in my bag no matter where i end up ever since. They are bendy! They come in nice short sizes, and super long ones… and they have fun cables for everything: all forms of USB, HDMI, S-Video, RCA, and more. Apparently Flexicords are a big a fan of NOTCOT as i am of them ~ and they’ve given us 5 bundles of their popular cables to give away to you!
Additionally, Craig and Linhchi have been working hard on a new contest platform for us to play with, so we thought this would be the perfect chance to test it out! SO, this becomes one part contest, one part testing out a new experiment we’ve recently been playing with! Ready to enter to win a Cable Makeover? Help us debug and poke around with this new section?
Here’s the deal ~ To win one of the 5 Flexicord Bundles [Each one containing: - 1 6ft HDMI, 1 10ft CAT5e, 1 6ft RCA, 1 6ft S-Video, 1 6ft USB 2.0 A male to mini-B male, 1 6ft USB 2.0 A male to B male, 1 6ft USB 2.0 male to female, 1 6ft USB 2.0 A male to A male, 2 12in USB 2.0 A male to A female, 2 12in USB 2.0 A male to mini-B male, and 2 12in USB 2.0 A male to micro-B male.] SUBMIT A PICTURE (up to 3!) OF YOUR CABLE MESSINESS! Have your friends come vote for your entry! See all the details HERE!!!
Also see more close ups of the fun packaging and goodies to be won on the next page!
Wow just stumbled upon this incredible poster… up close it’s all stars… step back and the skull emerges… oh, and it Glows In The Dark!!! Sweet Dreams by Daniel Bjugård ~ discovered it on the amazing swedish print site Wonderwall. See close ups on the next page!
Going through pictures from the London trip… i have so many i’ve been meaning to share from Aston Martin. Sadly, i wasn’t able to take pictures inside the actual factory other than some super glarey diagrams on the walls… and the lighting for most of the cars was a bit difficult, but lots of details and overviews to share! Unsure of where to start, this saddle jumped out at me when i was going through the pics… it’s like a picnic basket meets a horse saddle… for the hump in the backseat of your Aston Martin DBS… Apparently each saddle is individually handmade by Robin Coleman in Warwickshire. Each saddle takes two craftsmen 28 hours! It has room for everything including your bottle of wine! See more pics on the next page.
Tops! They are universally mesmerizing! Regardless of age, they will definitely amuse… so imagine how my eyes widened when i came upon a huge bowl of these small wooden japanese spinning tops at Tortoise in Venice Beach… i kept going through the whole bowl ~ one by one ~ and slowly ended up buying a dozen. They were all so different! So hard to resist! And many have these floating rings carved into them that float as they spin… and they make the most amazing sounds… when still, the curvatures in your hand are just so beautiful… and then get them spinning, and it’s hard not to just watch them for ages… see the videos and more pics on the next page!
On random design inspiration ~ Playmobil seems to have evolved quite a bit since i was a kid. We had the zoo, rock climbers, fancy dressed victorians with car, the teepee, and farm animals… but definitely no disheveled stubbly striped shirt, sport jacket, sunglass, and beanie wearing safe crackers… these guys even come with graspable money, a canister with hose to freeze the lock(?), silver suitcase, keys, flashlight, and even a weighty metal gold bar… best part of all, the safe is actually lockable! You can set the combination by picking two numbers… and it actually clicks as you rotate the dials.
So for random weekend experiments, had a bit too much fun taking pics of this set on the pool table…