Having spent the day with the newest Bentley’s all over LA on wednesday ~ and then being convinced to spontaneously pop up to Monterey Auto Week… the time warp to see Bentleys of the past amongst their contemporaries is quite a trip. While I wasn’t sure what we’d be able to attend on such short notice, but Bentley swooped in and have been helping guide us through the week. They were kind enough to invite us in to the world of The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, which we were told was an event not to be missed amongst the endless car events of the weekend. They weren’t kidding. It was an incredible introduction to the classic cars, while still getting to play with the supercars of today… all while lounging on golf courses… without playing any golf. Driving cars along golf cart paths and all over greens felt so wrong, yet is so normal here! One of our surprising favorites of the show turned out to be this green 1927 Bentley 6.5L coupe! So take a peek at the awesome car above in detail… as well as a silly unboxing of the jacket that saved me from the windy/mistiness that is the monterey peninsula… on the next page!
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Spotted at The Quail, this Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 is a beast of a car ~ and not just visually… one of the most fascinating things at the Quail was seeing the car stripped down to its carbon fiber chassis and all that is inside it. It’s their fastest production car Lamborghini has ever made ~ and drew quite the crowd of enthusiasts and buyers. On a sillier note, their uniforms were polo shirts with the Lamborghini signature bull looking much like the Big Polo Ponies ~ even with the orange matching the Aventador popping off their blue. Check it out on the next page…
It’s a beautiful thing when a brand wants to encourage passionate, playful exploration. When Bentley invited us to join a fleet of their cars, Brian Gush - Head of Drivetrain and Motorsports, Robin Page - Head of Interior, a skeleton film crew, designer Cory Grosser, and former lead designer of Nokia/founder of Vertu - Frank Nuovo at Mister C in Beverly Hills, to just “be creative and play,” how could i resist? So we loaded up a bunch of new (and old) toys ~ and spent the day all over beverly hills and bel air playfully exploring these cars in new and inspiring ways… and while there is much to come from that… first things first!
At around 11am we ended up borrowing the Bentley Supersports Convertible ~ jetting back out to one of my favorite bluffs near home, and had fun playfully shooting it underneath the unbelievably bright moon and stars while overlooking pacific coast highway far below and the vast expanse of ocean and ~ it’s definitely different at night! Shawn managed to take some stunning shots of the car ~ and while he patiently took those, you can also see some of the silliness i ran around shooting in between on the next page! The car simply glows in the moonlight…
Fresh in my inbox ~ my dad’s latest adventure seems to have landed him at Art Center for the new 2011 Pagani Huayra’s photoshoot on its way up to Pebble Beach ~ where all the stunning cars are migrating next week… from the sleek and agressive exterior styling i can’t stop staring at (and that COLOR!) ~ to the carbon fiber leaf like side mirrors ~ to the steampunk-retrofab interiors (the BUTTONS!) ~ and well, the Mercedes-AMG V-12 twin turbos and carbon fiber chasis and body… there is so much lustworthy loveliness to stare at, take a peek at his pics on the next page. Seriously, this seems like the hardest week to try to car shop with so many incredible launches and lustworthy cars passing through… enjoy the design details and sketches!
I love when a graphic can transport you to another world… or make you wish you were somewhere else… just got an email from our friends at the CIA (Central Illustration Agency) with these stunning posters by Jonas Bergstrand for Soho Beach House Miami… beyond the retrotastic look and feel of beach house living… the tiny modern details hidden in each piece are great ~ helicopter, parachuter, and headphones… Take a peek at the three posters and details up close on the next page!
So, you’ve seen my stunning full moon views tonight ~ and in the past, Jackson came to the Mondrian SoHo’s staycation and showed us the ipad/room service magic that was breakfast. Well needing a hotel for a night, i decided to try out the Morgan’s Global Card, one of the perks being a “complimentary night at all of our new hotel openings around the world “… and amazingly, even on an expensive and rather full night, calling the number on the back of the card, somehow a room was procured (even the night before)… and upon arrival, even upgraded into a penthouse level suite. I must say i’m impressed. The heinous stress of a last minute booking in the chaos of NY hotels being transformed into a seemless and painfree experience filled with surprises was perfect. But anyhow, back to the view! And the iPad! And the food! Having forgotten to have breakfast before my flight, and not really having food on JetBlue, i was famished by the time i got in around 8pm… and drawn out to the patio with the iPad, room service was ordered with a few quick taps between being mesmerized by the view… it arrived incredibly fast! (Or i just lost track of time out there, but i swear, it was faster than the time i picked - which was essentially ASAP.) So take a peek at MY version of experiencing the views, precariously balancing the iPad on the corner of the railing 25 stories up, breakfast/dinner in a fried egg burger/salad, and a look around the adorable room ~ all on the next page!
Tonight has been absolutely stunning. The full moon is GORGEOUS. And while i wasn’t able to see the eclipse from here ~ coming in to NY and across the bridge at sunset ~ arriving at the Mondrian SoHo, whisked up to the 25th floor (P1 in the elevator!) and into a room with views all around ~ and a patio i stepped out on to that just took my breath away. To watch the sunset, the moon rise, and the glow and sparkle spread across the city was the perfect moment that made the previous hours of internet free middle seat existence melt away. So stunning, and i can’t stop staring at it out the windows even now as i write this… take a peek on the next page!
I’ve always been terrible at sitting normally in chairs ~ i end up cross legged, legs hanging off the sides sideways, sitting backwards… and sure, i’ve probably flipped a few chairs in my time. Haven’t we all? Well… given that, when presented the opportunity to try the Knoll Generation ~ that claimed to support ANY way of sitting with its tagline “The first chair that lets you sit how you want.” Challenge, accepted! They are even collecting up pics of HOW people are sitting in them at MyGeneration! So in true NOTCOT fashion ~ here’s a big unboxing on the next page ~ and a peek at my favorite details… from the mesh, to the wheels, to the bendable back that screams office-slingshot…
I might have some C63 lusting happening since spending the week with that Louboutin Mars Red 2011 Mercedes-AMG C63… and when i was going to show you pics of that one, i ended up getting sucked in to the design of the new 2012 model on the way… particularly the Coupe. Something about panoramic sunroofs fascinates me… imagine all the fun and unexpected photo angles you could have through that! Design wise, liking the simplified grill design and body updates, as well as the interior dashboard design that’s evolving nicely. From a tech perspective, this latest model finally gets the driver assistance systems from the S/CLS lines too - adaptive high beam assist, attention assist, parktronic, lane and blind spot assists ~ and even incorporates 3D virtual city views and eco routes built in to the nav. As far as driving tech… first with a new telematics generation, and with the development package you can get it up to 481 HP @ 6,500 RPM… fun, right? Anyhow, while diving into all the details and pictures ~ Mercedes was nice enough to send over some design sketches so we can see where the car evolved from! Take a peek at all the details on the next page!
On random finds on my cell phone ~ Louis Vuitton had some memorable window designs down at South Coast Plaza. How can you not be drawn in by these dripping golden honey bursts ~ with golden bees and LV logo/icons all bursting out from it? Take a peek at more details on the next page ~ and if you have more pics or info, send it over!
One can’t deny that delicious room service is a fantastic luxury to wake up to in a hotel. Well, with our new Tasteologie features, i sent our editor, Jackson, to the newly opened Mondrian SoHo in New York for their press staycation… and we found they do breakfast deliciously! You can take a peek at the sketches and initial looks at the Mondrian Soho in our previous post. One feature takes a look into breakfast in the green garden like space of their Imperial No. Nine restaurant… the second feature takes you inside the room - and the in-room first gen iPad, on which you can do everything, including order breakfast! Delicious and gorgeous, check them out here.
I have always loved this idea of a mini wearable vase necklace ~ remember the Rockettoro Blossom Pendants from way back in 2006, with the glass vial, perfect for one flower? Well flipping through Lucky, i just saw this Tiffany & Co ad for the new Elsa Peretti Bottle Pendants that play on the same concept! “Once i was in Portofino and i met all those beautiful women that were wearing Pucci’s dresses and had a gardenia in their hand. That was the flash that made me think to realize something to keep the flower fresh and alive, therefore the little bottle came to the light…” says Elsa Peretti. So pretty and delicate, it really is a shame they don’t have more images of the pendants with flowers on their site! And i could never see wearing an orchid with praying mantis as i go about my day… but there are so many pretty options! And for those averse to cutting flowers, imaging putting some of that magical hydrogel stuff inside and nursing a seedling around your neck until ready for planting, etc? Take a peek at the other designs and more images on the next page!
p.s. I know, Tiffany & Co and Kiel Mead situation is terrible, but these bottle pendants are just interesting objects!
The color of the day has inadvertently become: RED! This morning Mercedes dropped off a Mars Red 2011 Mercedes-Benz C63 for me to play with ~ and i happened to need to take a little drive down to South Coast Plaza to go see some Louboutins… (which, as you can see, i clearly gave in to). And as i excitedly unboxed them in the car, i realized the signature Louboutin red sole matches Mercedes Mars Red far too well. And… i could not resist, but had to shoot the unboxing IN and ON the car! (I’m liking this unboxing on cars thing… remember the Bentley/Toy shoot?) So if you’re ready for some red… take a peek at the unboxing of the Louboutin Elisa 100 Metal Patent in Rouge and the Mars Red C63 on the next page!
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Il San Pietro di Positano looks breathtaking, and was a no brainer to follow up Giraffe Manor. Nestled into the luscious cliffs overlooking Positano’s bay is this beautiful 61 room luxury hotel. Looking through the pictures, the most alluring aspect is definitely being surrounded by the greenery and sea on all sides… perhaps a perfect escape! Take a peek at the surreal views on the next page!
On fun surprises while in London ~ Le Pégase d’Hermès Silk Twill Scarf designed by Christian Renonciat! With an architectural/blueprint look and inspirations from Da Vinci (backwards handwriting and all) ~ Hermès gives us a design to build a pegasus and some wings for yourself. Pretty enough to treat like art, i’m currently researching framing options, but until then wanted to share some of the pretty details with you! Unbox/closeups on the next page!
An “Orange Flame” 2012 Bentley Contintental GT was dropped off for the weekend ~ and it is one seriously bright car. It is especially gorgeous in the stunning sunshine this weekend! If you recall, the Continental GT even inspired the shape of the case of the 007 Carte Blanche Limited Edition. Having peeked into the Bentley Factory via Ultimate Factories, it’s been fun to leisurely poke at all the tiny details… with Imperial Blue Leather and orange contrast stitching, logos hidden just about everywhere you may not have even imagined, fun knobs and compartments, there’s much to explore, and so many beautiful details as you dive deeper. SO! I thought i’d share my favorites with you ~ take a peek at the little design details tucked all around this new 2012 Bentley Contintental GT on the next page!
p.s. The image above ~ i adore the way the windows create such a sleek opening when down…
A 10 hour nap, a quick stop in frankfurt, and suddenly here i am in gloomy Berlin. More specifically, currently curled up at Soho House Berlin ~ the german outpost of the international member’s clubs and boutique hotel. For fun history - “Originally opened in 1928 as a department store, the property was seized by the wartime government before being occupied by the post-war, Communist regime until 1956. It was then used to house the Communist Party archives and the Central Committee’s Historical Institution. After German reunification the building was legally returned to the descendents of its original owners, but has remained derelict until now.” The boutique hotel aspect has 40 rooms, and while you still can’t take pictures anywhere (restaurants, bars, rooftop pools, gym, spa, art in the lobby, etc), here’s a peek into my room… it’s all the lovely little vintage product details that are adorable… also adore all the Cowshed goodness… and there’s a “Time To Tease” minibar of toys under lock and key (which include a dumbell-esque lolly-for-two)… and even tampons/condoms in cute little linen bags in the bathroom… check out all the fun details on the next page!
Ok, first you got a kaleidoscopic tour of the bathroom at my room here in Le Royal Monceau, Paris. Well, are you ready to see room #620 that goes with it? From the faces in the sheets… to the mind boggling parisian map on the desk… to the silver on the outside, pink on the inside “good” vs “bad” mirrored minibar… to the guitar in the corner… tv hidden behind the one way mirror… and the Royal Monceau Pizza from room service with Iberico, mmmm… art on all the walls… there is so much care taken in each and every detail of the room… take a peek at the pics on the next page to soak it all in!
For my final night in Paris, popped into the newly redone Le Royal Monceau… and it is an understatement when they say this luxurious hotel designed by Starck is meant to embrace and inspire artists… my head couldn’t stop spinning from the moment i checked in with all of the tiny visual details and surprises tucked EVERYWHERE! (Yet somehow it still pulls of a beyond 5 star luxury lusciousness…) So as i curl up jetlagged from a non stop week into the ridiculously comfortable bed (details to come on that) ~ and while you could probably sit in me in a corner of the hotel with my camera and multiple inspired posts would appear… let’s start with the bathroom. A wonderland of mirrors… fun amenities… an inviting tub…. AND there are vintage swimmers in black and white hidden behind the mirror! As well as a silver lobster over the loo… Don’t believe me? Check it out on the next page!
A fun mix of materials and geometric, multifaceted textures… the ESPA Spa: Istanbul EDITION Hotel. Designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates, it is “inspired largely by Turkish traditions, with design elements that echo the Hammam customs and atmospheric elements of Istanbul” to create a contemporary, luxurious space filled with embossed bronze floors, chocolate brown marble, cast bronze sinks, walls of crystals, horsehair walls, mirrored glass tiles, and more. Almost an intentional aversion to straight lines, paths and corridors lead you through kinks everywhere, creating a mysterious effect as you explore the unknown relaxation space… Take a peek at some of the design sketches before, and a peek at the newly realized Espa on the next page!
The idea of a staycation is bull. It has recently been brought to my attention that i spend so much time in hotels in every city except my own (LA!) that i should get to know some of the ones in my backyard better. Ugh, questioning whether this is a ‘staycation’ (i recoil similarly to “jeggings”) led to discourse on what a “vacation” really is… and you can’t knock it till you try it, so when the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills offered me a suite, it seemed like the perfect excuse to give it a try.
So what IS a vacation? A change in perspectives. A break from your everyday. A chance to explore, relax, indulge, be pampered, be left alone, enjoy room service,… whatever it is you need! The Online Etymology Dictionary says: vacation - late 14c., “freedom or release” (from some activity or occupation), from O.Fr. vacation, from L. vacationem (nom. vacatio) “leisure, a being free from duty,” from vacare “be empty, free, or at leisure”. Staycation implies that location matters. But to me (and from the etymology), vacations are merely a state of mind! As i wrote over at OpenForum, vacations can be minutes or hours even, it’s all about perspective!
Anyhow, that is the last you’ll hear of staycations here. Upon arriving at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons, not at all far from home, i was on VACATION! Impeccable service from their kind and friendly staff, new toys to play with (Jambox!), the surprise of a stunning suite on the 15th floor facing east… giving me views over Beverly Hills to Sunset Strip, Hollywood sign, Downtown, and snow capped mountains glistening in the horizon, dining room resulted in a little impromptu dinner party with delectable room service from Culina downstairs (the burrata…mmmm), gorgeous weather meant poolside relaxing to catch up with old friends… Vacation! A definite much needed perspective shift both physically and mentally has left me even more inspired and energized this weekend! So take a peek at the gorgeous views and into suite 1518 on the next page!
There is a beauty to twitter’s ability to connect you instantaneously with people/brands that fascinate you… it’s almost magical. It’s how i “met” Jawbone, who then introduced me to Four Seasons Los Angeles… which led to chats about the Jamboxes being available to their suite guests… which has led to me curled up in a big suite bed tonight having one of my first little vacations in Beverly Hills. (Silly as it feels to be a few minutes from home!)
Now, before i get to the Jawbone Jambox service at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, you first need to see the poolside unbox! Slightly out of order, i had so much fun playing with the in-room Jambox, i decided i needed to own one to bring home, and since you can buy them from the front desk, i had one sent up to the room! And being Jawbone, of course the packaging is physically, ecologically, and graphically gorgeous ~ so naturally an unbox was called for! The Jambox made quite a splash this holiday season, and it claims to be “simply the smallest, best sounding wireless speaker and speakerphone on the planet.” And while that sounds bold, it does in fact sound impressively awesome, and it’s ability to be shared with hotel guests proves just how easy it is to pair! But more on that later, for now ~ unbox! Click on to the next page…
Since i’m missing the screening in NY tonight, surprise DVD just arrived from the lovely folks at Bentley, and i just lost about an hour totally engrossed in their factory process. Who doesn’t love Ultimate Factories on National Geographic Channel? There’s something beyond mesmerizing about the tiniest details of how these larger than life objects are made! Tomorrow’s episode focuses on how the Bentley Mulsanne is made, and takes you from the sketching, to the clay, to the wood shop, paint shop, leather shop, details of how the engine is assembled and tested, to the assembly line, customization shop, on the road and more. It really is quite incredible how much detail goes into each step, and how many facts and digits they manage to throw at you in a mere 50 minutes, and nice to see how much pride their craftsmen take in their work!
I couldn’t even figure out which parts to show you pics of… so decided to show you a sneak peek of my favorite part! The WOOD! From 3’ diameter root-balls of nearly hundred year old trees… shaved paper thin… to show some incredible marble like patterns, which are then cut and hand matched (magical stacks cut perfectly and mirrored to blend together)… before going through being fused to the panels… Anyhow! Check out the Bentley Mulsanne Ultimate Factories on National Geographic Channel tomorrow night, and take a sneak peek into it on the next page!
Sketches! I love when fun sketches come through the inbox ~ these are from the much anticipated Mondrian Soho that just opened in NY. Fun to see the direction the designers headed with it and where it evolved to. Morgans selected Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz, the visionary behind the re-imagined Mondrian Los Angeles, to create Mondrian Soho in collaboration with their in-house design team.
“Noriega-Ortiz’s design for the hotel draws inspiration from Jean Coucteau’s 1946 romantic French fantasy film “La Belle et la Bête.” A powdery French blue color palette unifies the hotel interior and a custom carpet adorned with a rose vine design provide entryway to the jewel-box guest rooms, whose interiors features large dramatic mirrors, 10-foot ceilings and floor-to ceiling windows. No decorative art is hung in the rooms as the views are intended to be adornment enough and set the tone and scene for the guest.”
Sounds like a dream ~ and now i keep help imagining Beauty and the Beast (yes, the old disney one) and some of this lovely designer furniture coming to life… can’t wait to see it in person, but for now, take a peek into their world on the next page!
I don’t throw dinner parties, but ‘Dressed’ created by Marcel Wanders for Alessi makes me want to. This white porcelain table set and stainless steel cutlery are just stunning. He always fine that delicate line between modern minimalist and ornate, a strangely over the top yet still simply refined feel. And the photography of the settings with painted porcelain dolls is rather cheeky and playful.