Last night popped over to the Beverly Hills Anthropologie down the street to celebrate the launch of the new Sundance Channel Show Man Shops Globe ~ and some late night shopping, some Stella Artois and Ferrero Rocher too of course... While normally not so much a reality TV person, this one is pretty fun! I love Anthropologie, and global shopping, and in this show you get to explore the world with Keith Johnson, buyer-at-large for Anthropologie, as he scopes out everything from St. Ouen Flea Market in Paris, the Kapalicarsi Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and Piet Botha's Craft Shop in Cape Town... it's a shopaholics dream. Did you know they actually shop for all the one offs strewn across the stores... and absolutely anything you see in a store (furniture, displays, etc) are ALL for sale?!?!?! I had no idea... on that note, take a peek at a preview vid as well as some pics of the very cute (and huge!) beverly hills store ~ the succulent and bromeliad displays were my favorite of course...
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On products that i've put through the paces a bit more than usual before sharing with you, when i was up in SF the guys over at Rocket World gave me one of their new Ronin softshell jackets ~ it was hot that day. Super sunny out. But i was curious, it felt incredible, lightweight, thin, warm, and i was about to embark on one of my whirlwind trips (remember i just did LA-Paris-Reims-Paris-London-NY-LA?) ~ and those are all cities you never know quite what to expect in when it come to weather! Luckily it was primarily gorgeous out the whole trip ~ but on those days when it got iffy (which was at least one or two on each leg of the journey!) ~ the Ronin definitely came through. Like when they say to be ready for "all weather" for the Veuve Clicquot harvesting... oh yea, basically any time i didn't need to be in heels and looking a bit more polished? You'd find me in the Ronin, tank top, and jeans. This unisex jacket fit beautifully (my sister and i both love the XS ~ that's her modeling it in the pic in the Hazlitt's room so i could get images of the patches to share with you) ~ and while i always loved that you could put any velcro patches you wanted on ~ with this latest jacket i almost don't want to because the detail of the sewn in skull and paw print are so subtle and awesome. As with all Rocket World gear, the Ronin is of the highest quality, the subtlest branding, and really the details will blow your mind in person ~ every zipper, every pocket, every little headphone jack hole, every angle of the hood... is meticulously thought out. If you're looking for something sleek to get you from running around the city ready for anything to exploring the great outdoors with some understated styling... i'm definitely smitten with the Ronin and its versatility, definitely making it on my "must pack" list for unexpected adventures! ... take a peek at more pics on the next page!
OH! and i nearly forgot, while supplies last, they come with the SUPER adorable IWG Black Bear Mini Figure!
I love libraries, books, bookshelves, and since i was a little girl i've always wanted one of those massive libraries with a rolling ladder to climb and slide around on... maybe that's part of the inevitable draw i have to leaning bookshelves. Combine that with a sleek, slim, modular swedish design in stunning blacks and whites and you've got me. When i came across the Swedese Libri shelving unit at Tom Dixon's The Dock. Favorite aspects, they are slim, yet wide enough to stack my favorite bigger design books every which way interspersed with objects, and simple enough to fill a wall with half a dozen units and still have it look beautiful... or even attach them to each other for non-wall-leaning freestanding units. It's always bad news when you see, fall for, and already envision exactly how something would fit into your space. Take a peek at more pics of it in context, in real life at The Dock, and product shots ~ on the next page!
On fun brands and packaging, after visiting the Mr. & Mrs. Smith HQ in Chiswick ~ grabbed a lovely brunch with my sister and couldn't help popping into the ever adorable and enticing Cowshed. I won't lie, the mix of black and white vector prints with just a splash of single color, combined with cheeky names like "horny cow" and "knackered cow", lovely scents, and even custom lined hunter boots... of course i loved it. But beyond that, it was fun to read up on the background of the company which launched in 1998 originally for use in the Cowshed spa in Babington House, Somserset, is actually part of the Soho House Group, and is used in all of their venues (including NY!)... and i was delighted (amidst the fever boiling up within me) to happen across the one airport location you can find them last night as well... Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Lounges!
So take a peek ~ while the shop girl panicked slightly a the idea of letting me take pics in the store to share with you, you can see the few i picked up to try (and they were SO fun and awesome as tested out in NY) ~ and an overview of the packaging style on the next page!
While its fascinating (and exciting!) that Evisu is evolving once again ~ and this time with newly appointed CEO/Creative Director, Scott Morrison, at the helm. As a former Paper Denim & Cloth junkie ~ it's hard not to be excited to see what Morrison is doing to reinvent Evisu while looking back to their heritage... For those who forgot, Morrison was also behind Paper Denim & Cloth as well as Earnest Sewn. While initially those Evisu Seagulls on the back pockets make me envision a denim lifestyle that never quite fit my own... when they sent over a few, i fell in love. They denim feels incredible as ever, just softly broken in enough, yet hugging you in all the right places... and the subtlety of the back pocket designs was just enough to grab your attention, but not enough to slap you in the face like so many can lately... (yes, i'm a little over the over embellished pockets, but also like pockets to have a bit of character!). Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Evisu when i started looking into their heritage, was the evolution of the Seagull... and how the line came to be. It's fun to see Morrison looking back at the heritage of the japanese line even with the separation from Evisu Japan.
The full story can be read on the next page, as well as lots of pics of the signature pocket designs... but for the short version: Hidehiko Yamane, a love of fine denim, founded the company in 1991 in Osaka. Having a hard time finding the finest quality pre-WWII selvege denim, he found a 50's american shuttle loom and started the "replica movement" ~ his originals mimicking the Levi's Original Red Tab 501XX... and my favorite part? He personally hand painted his Seagull logos on each pair! What i love about what Morrison has done with this, is he's taken that hand painted logo and distressed it to a perfectly worn in subtlety, so noticeable, yet so understated. Take a peek at them on the next page!
On adorable discoveries in London Design Week, Matt Pugh's wooden owls are adorably irresistible! Available in oak or walnut and a variety of colors, they certainly demonstrate the power of simplicity done right. Definitely worth adding to the potential gift list, although the hardest part really is how to pick the perfect color... or group of colors? (They are quite nice in little flocks!) See a few more gorgeous wood pieces from Matt Pugh on the next page as well!
Last year when i was in Paris, i fell in love with Penhaligon's Artemesia ~ and while in London this year i had to make a pit stop to check out their stores... always exquisite with their packaging, and perfume being a bit of a pain to travel with, i fell for the Penhaligon's Artemesia solid fragrance in the silver plated compact ~ perfect for my purse, and such a nice weight to it too... so on pretty packaging details, and a beautiful gift to keep in mind next time i'm stumped on gifting... take a look at the details on the next page. And it smells divine, and the solid fragrance has an ever so subtle shimmer to it as well...
On stunning bottles, i couldn't resist this G&J Greenall's Bloom Gin ~ beautiful color, gorgeous silhouette, particularly from the side! Found it at Liberty in London when we were late night wandering, while waiting for a table in Soho for dinner... The other random note ~ who knew! The bathroom in the St. James Hotel and Club would be so incredible for taking backlit snapshots of the bottle?!?! And slightly disappointing note on packaging, that nice black extruded part on the neck? Just a sticker... As for the taste, its quite refreshingly delicious - the Bloom Gin website describes it as "... a new romantic twist to the world of gin. With its ornate jewel-cut bottle, Bloom's fresh flavour offers a strikingly smooth, soft taste. This triple distilled gin uses demineralised fresh spring water and natural botanicals for its flavour. Created from juniper, chamomile, pomelo and honeysuckle it offers a light, refreshing experience rounded with subtle notes of honey and orange. Bloom -- a new gin to be enjoyed by lovers of nature." Definitely yummy ~ and will look stunning on any shelf. Take a look at the details on the next page!
Troy Abbott's Nano Cage - "All digital beauty. No Mess or Mortality." Came across this piece at Tent Digital at Tent London 2009, and it was hard to ignore, adorable little digital finches living in gps sized screens inside colorful bird cages... my favorite is of course the Yoko which lives in the classic bird cage in a matte black. In fact, all of these are even available for purchase!
While i can't possibly imagine having one of these replacing the joy of having an adorable little bird accompanying you... it's an intriguing concept mixing nature and technology, and it's certainly fascinating to watch... so take a peek at more pics and a quick video i made while at the show on the next page!
I love bent plywood, and i love simple multipurpose pieces that are incredibly versatile... and when i spotted John Green's Embrace shelf/table at Tent London out of the corner of my eye, i was smitten. And i wanted a few! Basically they are a pair of tables that can be interlocked to form a lovely floating shelf with room for magazines/etc to rest on the side. The first use case that popped into mind with this was - bedside table! And laptop resting in the shelf, such that when it got too hot on my lap in bed, i could grab the tray and flip it over my legs to lazily laptop in bed! With my current offi one i never know where to put it when not in use! It's too shallow for a side table, to big to slide under the bed.... this would be perfect! And its so beautiful! No wonder why its been winning awards!
On exciting finds at London Design Week ~ my favorite discovery at Designersblock is definitely Masako Sugar and her Mushroom Hooks! I feel like i've been hunting for years for the perfect coat rack or hallway hooks ~ in fact i had a big post during my hunt back in 2007! Well i wish these had existed back then! Even though i'm not exactly sure where they will go when i get home, i couldn't resist buying three of the red ones ~ made of silicon rubber, it is nice to your clothes, far softer aesthetically than many of the harsher powder coated steel options omnipresent these days, and they are all one of a kind mushrooms (slightly different in spots, etc) ~ not to mention they look absolutely adorable on the wall, and i love the packaging! Also brilliant is the simplicity of the metal mount, and you can simply slip the silicon shroom over... or perhaps someday she'll expand the line to different hooks you can swap in? But for now. LOVE the mushroom hooks, take a peek at close ups on the next page!
First you saw the Beatles Rock Band controller versus the actual Rickenbacker 325, next you got to peek into the woodshop, then you saw how they were painted and electronic components added... and now for the final installment, here's a peek at some of the incredible design details from vintage pieces, limited editions, and concepts that never made it to market...
First you saw the Beatles Rock Band controller versus the actual Rickenbacker 325, next you got to peek into the woodshop, now take a look at how the guitars get finished ~ from the priming to the sanding to how each and every little electronic component finds it way to make the Rickenbacker 325 the icon it is...
As promised in the last post showing you the Beatles Rock Band controller versus the actual Rickenbacker 325~ here's a peek into how Rickenbacker guitars are actually made! I had so many pictures because their whole process is so fascinating that instead of cutting TOO many of them, i'm making this a three parter... so first, come take a peek into the woodshop on the next page! Stunning how these beautiful pieces of wood get transformed into the guitars we know and love...
Its striking how similar in SIZE the real Rickenbacker 325 and the Beatles Rock Band Controller are. In fact, they are so similar, i couldn't resist visiting the Rickenbacker factory in Santa Ana to check them out side by side in person! Funny coincidence ~ on 09/09/09 when Beatles Rock Band launched, the factory happened to start working on a run of the Rickenbacker 325! They claim it really wasn't planned! So luckily when i visited a few days later, i not only got to take a peek at the controller and its real life counterpart in person, but also had an opportunity to see exactly how the real guitars are made! (and it is truly an amazing process, so many more steps of skilled craftsmen than i ever imagined, but more to come on that soon!)
Take a peek at the next page to see lots of pics of the Rickenbacker 325 alongside the Beatles Rock Band Controller ~ as well as peeks into the factory and renderings of the controller!
We all have soft spots for certain things ~ and Tord Boontje is certainly one of mine. Even when he goes from designs for moroso and artecnica to target... and now HP!!! And i will own up to the fact that i'm not a huge fan of overly designed laptops/netbooks ~ especially when they are designed to look more clutch like and girly than sleek sexy electronics... but i. want. this HP Mini 110 by Studio Tord Boontje! As a design object more than a netbook! Even when its obsolete, i want it to just stare at in all its fascinatingly layered HP Imprint 3D technology layering in imagery into the case resembling the floating layers of vectorized images much like vinyl stickering between layers of acrylic. So subtle, so mesmerizing, AND filled with endangered creatures tucked into the flora? And to top that off? Gorgeous site and fun tord boontje "spot the animals" type flash game and free wallpapers as well. *Swoon* ~ so take a look at screenshots and images on the next page!
most annoying looping noises on their site though...
On fun packaging that has recently shown up ~ how awesome is this Made Of Japan (TAB Exclusive Boxed Edition) by Onitsuka Tiger ~ the packaging is stunning with a laser cut tiger motif on the cardboard sleeve that i'm just itching to spray paint as a stencil to see how it would look... From the TAB site: "Exclusive to TAB: the book comes in a box with a laser-cut Tiger sleeve. Limited to 250 boxes! Onitsuka Tiger is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year - an event of major significance in Japan. Made of Japan is the beautiful result of a journey into taste: 260 pages presenting the brands' original sports heritage, its vision and evolution, and its influence as a style icon amongst fashion leaders, artists, athletes and sports fans around the world." Take a peek on the next page of the awesome packaging (the sleeve and box are gorgeous ~ and the binding style as well!) + some of my favorite pics from within!
Huge thanks to Limited Hype for sending this my way!
A winner has been notified... i'm waiting to hear back from him!
I know you've always wanted to throw some rocks in your favorite scotch. Chilled perfectly these Teroforma Whisky Rocks are handmade in Vermont out of soapstone will cool your drink down just enough to take the edge off without "closing down" the flavors according to the lovely ladies of Delight.com. In fact, they are even generous enough to GIVE AWAY ONE SET of these WHISKEY STONES! All you have to do is leave a comment with your favorite Scotch/Whisky... be specific! And i'll pick a winner on Monday Sept 14th.
As for the stones themselves, they come beautifully packaged, and were a lovely reason to pick up a bottle of the highly recommended Balvenie 21yr Portwood (omg. so delicious.) ~ while i wasn't sure whether they chilled it enough at first, i've been enlightened that "They do not replace ice - it would ruin the whisky or any other fine spirits to be taken down to a temp much lower than 45F." And the only dillemma i've run into ~ if you only get 9... and about 4 go in a glass... and you have a drink with a friend... and you want refills... you need more rocks! Right? Anyhow, go take a peek at the pics on the next page!
Happy 9/9/9 ~ it's been quite a day! On awesome launches that are hard to miss, The Beatles Rock Band came out today, and it was impossible not to share an unboxing of the goods with you! For starters the imagery is stunning (gorgeous intro video on the next page!) ~ and the custom guitars are adorable mini-plasticized simplified versions of their normal forms... The front of the kick-drum is like those frisbees or carshades where you can twist it up into a smaller disc when not in use (you know the type, it pops open instantly?)... and the pedal is beautifully detailed with Beatles-ness. There is also a set of postcards included... so anyhow, take a peek at it all! I picked up the full kit for PS3 and the Rickenbacker...
Beauty in Technology post series sponsored by Samsung’s new LED TVs! Final post in this series exploring random beauty in technology, NOTCOT style. Let me just take a second here to say a huge THANK YOU, SAMSUNG. As you may have noticed, they are doing quite a bit of sponsoring here on NOTCOT, and they've been making some impressive leaps and bounds on the design side of their tech lately ~ so it's been an honor to work with them, and have them support what i'm doing here! (Especially when they let me help do it MY way, have it look fun, and basically just further enable me to write about what i love!). So, Samsung, if you're listening, thanks for that. You guys have been amazing. Now on to that lustworthy porsche i've been drooling over for about a week...
I kid you not, i've been a bit behind and traveling, but since i laid eyes on that press release, this beauty has been open in my tabs, and every time i start getting a post together i get distracted by how cute it is... So on to the facts: Debuting at the Frankfurt auto show this month - 2010 Porsche 911 Sport Classic. Limited to 250 pieces, the Porsche Exclusive team has been fine tuning this one for 3 years - "Porsche Exclusive is Porsche's Specialist Department for the most outstanding customised versions of Porsche cars going beyond even the highest standard of the Company's regular production models." So are you ready to see more drool inducing pics and the full press release? Check it out on the next page... video too!
I dont think that bear with crazed eyes and spork in hand could sum up how i'm feeling today better... unless maybe he was sipping some Balvenie 21yr Portwood as well... yes, let me level with you, it is most certainly that kind of a tuesday after a long weekend. BUT, on the flipside, it makes for an awesome excuse to share pics of this adorably crazed Rocket World T.A.D. Griz Lee Bear with you. T.A.D. Gear stands for Triple Aught Design ~ and is truly some of the best designed tactical you'll find... not to mention it's the brain child of Patrick Ma alongside with my favorite Rocket World creatures. While i have much more to show you from my latest stop up at their store/studios in SF, lets start with the spork wielding Griz. Check out the fun packaging and details on the next page...
Unboxing the Samsung Go! First impressions, i LOVE the way this netbook feels in my hands, i wish all of my laptops/etc had this kind of grippy/non-slip/ruggedized texture! They’d feel far less fragile, and so much more ready to face the world (or the inside of my purse?). Also, it totally screams “bar of soap” to me… something about the extruded oversized logo text that is a bit much… makes me think of dial or irish spring. Also exciting?
Did you know this little adorable netbook that is visually quite unlike any others… is designed by Naoto Fukasawa? Designboom highlighted this not nearly publicized enough fact! But for now ~ lets take a look at all those details ~ and the fun box too! Check it out on the next page…
This post is part of the new Netbook Resource Center sponsored by Samsung ~ i've reposted it here for you, because i'm far too excited about how fun the unbox is!
The Bloomframe is a reality! Not that it wasn't real before when i posted about it about 2.5 years ago, but now its in production!!! There is something so thrilling about watching these ideas grow and garner so much interest as concepts and make it into working production models! And don't take my word for it... there's even a VIDEO! See the video and more pics on the next page! If i had a second story, i'd definitely want one!
"The BloomframeÂ® balcony, designed by Hofman Dujardin Architects and developed and manufactured by Hurks geveltechniek, is the winner of the prestigious Wallpaper* Design Award 2009 in the category Most-life-enhancing-product." Additionally it's picked up - 1st prize Audi Design Award 2008, 1st prize Red Dot Design Award 2008 Germany, Nomination Index Design Award 2009 Denmark, Nomination Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany 2009, and Nomination MKB Innovation Top 100 2009. And there are various options/sizes/etc ~ take a peek at more pics (and the video!) on the next page!
I know, we're not supposed to propagate the beauty myth that thinner is better, but i just can't stop walking into the room, and pausing for a moment to look at how ridiculously thin this Samsung LED TV is! As i mentioned before, while working with Samsung on this sponsorship, i fell in love and bought one! And in all honesty, it's been amazing! Beyond the little pebble remote i showed you ~ my dad even remarked that it was "frighteningly clear", which i completely agree with - you almost feel like you can reach out and poke the people in the tv! (who are definitely larger than life on the 55").
But on the tech side of it ~ its just gorgeous ~ ridiculously thin (Wunderland War Monkey Assassin will help give you some scale... especially compared to my previously thin panasonic)... seriously its the kind of thing where it may actually be thinner than some canvases i have hanging... talk about that future where we'd have moving pictures as hanging artwork? AND widgets! the UI on these Yahoo! ConnectedTV widgets for things like twitter and youtube are just stunning... See the pics on the next page!
I have a thing for polycarbonate suitcases... something about that sleek pod of light perfectly packedness that gets scuffed up so nicely... while i have my carry-on silver hideo wakamatsu and a check-in black zero halliburton polycarb... i'm still totally lusting over this Mandarina Duck DROP! (Despite the overly flashy website that i just sat and screenshotted far too much of to share with you and spare you the experience) It still remains to be seen what the interior breakdown and details are like (and packaging?) but the exterior is looking quite sleek... and some of the sayings on their pics are worth a giggle ("design victim"... wouldn't it be nicer to say "design indulgences" or something more positive?)... take a peek at some details and screenshots on the next page!