Today Mercedes-Benz unveiled its 1:1 scale model of the Biome concept car ~ their entry into this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge: 1000 pound car designed in their Carlsbad studio. Honestly, it’s one thing to dream up the future on paper/screens, another to make scale models… but to see the life size version today was spectacular! This sleek futuristic model plays with the notion that from the DNA of Mercedes, an organic skeletal structure can literally be grown into a beautiful minimalist bio-futuristic car, with a fierce almost plane like nose, wheels that are reminiscent of plane turbines, and a tron like glow… The interior skeletal structure even allows passengers to comfortably sit as if lounging together, a layout resembling seeds in a pod, with their heads coming together in the center of the car! The last few days has resulted in some incredible design inspiration, forward looking design trends, and so many intriguing details to get lost in… so let’s kick things off with tons of pics of the new life size models of the Biome on the next page! (as well as a peek at the model making and the adorable mini model they gifted us!)
Entries tagged with: luxury
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I just went literally around the world in 4 days! And for all who agreed it sounded both awesome and horrifying all at once… Mercedes-Benz managed to make it impressively painless, luxuriously comfortable even ~ i actually may have both seen more and slept far more than usual ~ as i was catapulted between time zones so quickly, my body had yet to completely notice before ending up right back here in LA! So forgive me for going quiet the last few days… i honestly can’t recall the last time i’ve actually had so little internet (and barely enough time to even panic about it!) I’ve just touched back down to LA, though currently in Laguna Beach for a bit before LA Auto Week kicks off. The gist of the trip is “Timeless Design” where we visit 4 of Mercedes’ six global design studios, one after the other! So on weds night i left LA, ended up in Stuttgart Thurs night (via Munich) to see the Sindelfingen studio on Friday, then quickly to a private jet to Milan, where we drive to see the Como studio - spend the night in Milan (next to the duomo!) - saturday morning we take the jet to Frankfurt to hop on the beautiful A380 to Tokyo - pop into the Tokyo hotel for and hour and a half to freshen up before heading to the Tokyo studio - and then hop on another jumbo jet right back to LA… and here i am in Laguna Beach SUNDAY AFTERNOON! …with an hour before the meeting with the futurist, a million pictures to sort out… and we’ve yet to visit the Carlsbad studio, or play with the cars, or see the auto show. So, here’s some quick NotVentures/Operation Window Seating literally around the world on the next page to inspire you… the globe has never felt quite so small or diverse as it does right now, my head is still spinning trying to keep track of all the places we’ve been and things we’ve seen in such a tiny amount of time… surreal to say the least! While this is certainly not everything, and a bunch of flights were in the dark… see some of the most inspiring views i found!
p.s. As for the actual design inspiration and incredible studio peeks… coming soon. Somewhere between catching up on all the pics and making sense of a bigger story as the trip comes to a close!
Perhaps the most amazing room service experience yet… OWC stands for One While Changing. You know, that drink that you have while getting all primped and ready… maybe if you’re lucky, the bartender will even help zip you up after shaking up that martini? Since i couldn’t make it this weekend, I sent Anna from Sub-Studio down to the opening of Soho Beach House Miami ~ much like the rest in the collection, this part hotel, part membership club, part restaurant is the latest in the stunning Soho House group worldwide. But before i tell you more about that, back to the OWC!
You call down to room service, and up pops a lovely bartender and rolling bar! (In the case of this launch weekend, she also got a bonus gentleman rolling up with some savories…) Even though Anna is quite pregnant, she knew what Liqurious needed, and still ordered them up ~ and they were kind enough to indulge her in “anything non-alcoholic and pretty”, resulting in a citrusy, minty delight ~ perhaps a virgin mojito of sorts? Along with caviar with creme fraiche and tuna tartare on toast! Divine, isn’t it? Even if not going out, it sounds like a lovely service ~ such a nice way to bring the experience of cocktail right into the room. Take a peek on the next page of the process, the lovely carts, and the bartender in action!
While in London last week, popped by the Highland Park 50 year old launch event at Harrods ~ and the bottle is stunning! There’s just something so unmistakeably beautiful about the way the sterling silver “squeezes” the glass, making it bulge ever so slightly. Apparently it is also holding the oldest ever island single malt ~ and hand-crafted ornate bottle is designed by Scottish Jewelry designer, Maeve Gillies, who was inspired by the elemental forces of Orkney ~ from the seas, island life, wild elements, and natural light. Perhaps the loveliest little secret hidden within this bottle ~ “In recognition of the famous St Magnus Cathedral and its medieval beauty, the front of each bottle features a single piece of circular Orkney sandstone into which is hand-carved the Highland Park amulette. Inside the bottle, behind this sandstone, lies a Sterling silver replica of the St Magnus rose window which is revealed over time as the whisky is enjoyed.” It really was such a tease at the event, when they would show you the bottle, and hint at the replica of the rose window you can’t quite see behind… And as lovely as the bottle, is the hand carved Scottish oak box as well ~ love the porthole you can peer through to see the bottle… Take a peek at closeups on the next page ~ the 275 bottles are a Harrods exclusive till the end of Oct.
It makes perfect sense to pair a fragrance specialist with a drinks brand, when scent is such a critical component of any drink experience! It’s been a Liqurious few weeks between being with Veuve Clicquot in the champagne region, and then with The Macallan in the scottish highlands the last few weeks, and one thing that’s been pressed into me is the importance of the Nose… sniffing the various notes, tasting and appreciating the various scents, and layers of scents… granted, i’ve played with the 50 Vial Aroma Set Maestro Dobel had sent over… but it isn’t until this experience with Roja Dove that i fully understood how all of these notes fit together.
The Macallan has teamed up with Roja Dove (changed from Rodger) ~ who is a frangrance specialist, who went from doing medical research at Cambridge, to nearly 20 years working in the House of Guerlain, to opening his own extremely curated haven of a parfumerie in Harrods, where customers can even have bespoke scents made from scratch (not just tweaked from existing ones)… What’s unique here, is that together, The Macallan and the non-whisky loving Roja Dove (he had some bad experiences with as a kid with whisky) have found a way to separate the experience of the scents found in The Macallan from the actual taste/alcohol. And this special kit Roja Dove has created contains 12 scents to allow brand ambassadors to share the experience of learning and understanding the layers of scents that come together to form both the Sherry Oak and Fine Oak Whisky. Take a peek at more pictures of the experience, the kit, and explanations of the various scents i experienced. It was rather…. nose opening, to say the least.
Remember the Frietag Reference Collection i obsessed about when they pre launched in silver with 10 Corso Como and gold with Colette? (I gave in to the 10 corso como laptop sleeve) Well the full collection has now launched ~ and it’s stunning! Freitag Reference collection - microsite they even explain - “Since 1993 FREITAG has been manufacturing bags inspired by messengers riding on wheels. Now we turn to those messengers writing on paper. Messenger comes from message; and today, the media are the horse that carries him.” Luckily, in addition to the paper these messengers are writing on, lots of the bags have great laptop sleeves built in too! BUT - beyond this series of 14 stunning bags (a combination of their classic truck tarp bags taken further with sleeker designs and linen lining), there is the daily paper and pop up shop! ” REFERENCE is also a newspaper. Printed at the REFERENCE editoral space on a lead press from 1840, inspired by cut-outs from other newspapers commented on by the Bros., guests and you. Currently, all THE DAILY REFERENCES are reunited and will be published as THE REFERENCE soon. The REFERENCE editorial space is a shop and reading room at Grüngasse 21 in Zurich, where coffee and the new product line are compiled for your enjoyment.” Check out more on the line, as well as close ups of the one i lust for the most… on the next page!
It’s the details that get me… like, given the option to have breakfast “Placed in your hatch” while at Hotel Tremoille in Paris ~ how can you NOT select it? And it’s AMAZING! So from the outside of the room, there are two doors, the main one you go in, and a half width one that’s just mysterious. From the inside, there’s a door next to the main door that opens to what feels like a closet with some shelves… Well, come morning, you hear a door open (which could be next door!) and then a light knock, and that’s it. It was like waiting for santa to come. Then you run over, open the HATCH, and suddenly, there it is ~ breakfast!
Ah, the simple things in life. So amusing, had to share! Also, it looks like your shoes and laundry may be deposited like that as well… check out pics to make sense of what i’m talking about on the next page!
Half awake, ready to crash, browsing the internet ~ and i felt like i was dreaming when i stumbled upon these oh so lovely images over at Materialiste ~ Fashion illustrator, Kareem Iliya, shows off the “Dandy Ball” a la Perrier Jouët, in a gorgeous pink and green silhouetted look ~ with stunning champagne botles in every image, and their signature flowers glowing radiantly across the woman’s dress and the man’s boutonnière. As Materialiste describes so eloquently - “The ball is brought to life thanks to the esteemed fashion illustrator Kareem Iliya, who depicts, with her usual ephemeral style, a meeting between a couple of high society champagne-lovers.” Also a very dreamworthy image to fall asleep to… the muse relaxing in her bath, sipping an elegant glass of Perrier Jouët… see them all on the next page!
p.s. They are all so stunning ~ i wish they were available as prints!
Gucci’s latest ad just dropped ~ and it’s stunning! Even frame by frame, its incredibly beautiful ~ and unmistakeably Frank Miller! With a Metropolis/Gotham style… mind blowing vintage jag/city scenes… heels to die for… it stars Evan Rachel Wood and Chris Evans and Gucci Guilty “the new fragrance for her” with soundtrack by Friendly Fires. It’s really stunning, i think i just watched it a half dozen times… see the new ad as well as my favorite frames on the next page!
p.s. you won’t be able to stop drooling over the 1953 Jaguar C-Type or those sky high stilettos…
Much talk on twitter this morning about clones… especially of the mentally networked type… so i could be in multiple places around the globe at once! One of the recent moments i wish i could be in NY and LA at the same time (or actually, i suppose teleporting would be ok too) ~ when the email came in with subject line: “CHANEL J12 Marine invites you to Montauk for Fireside Cocktails - Aug 21st”
As if i wasn’t bummed enough not to go see it in person, the pictures came in this morning ~ and it was just too picturesque not to share! Something fun about the way they were shot, it looks like the matte black and white Chanel logo’d surf boards were the stars of the party… in addition to their new brand ambassador, and the new J12 Marine watches of course! “Like CHANEL’s newest brand ambassador, Laird Hamilton, CHANEL has allowed themselves to be swept away by the beauty of the waves, and has incorporated these elements into the design of the J12 Marine, the newest addition to CHANEL’s fine timepiece collection.” I have a fascination with watching brands and experiences you don’t expect merging beautifully to create a whole new experience… Chanel + Surfing? Definitely quite the contrast to the socal surf scene and the art/design i usually imagine coupled with it… But lovely in its own way! Take a peek on the next page of the dinner Chanel’s J12 Marine and Laird Hamilton hosted in honor of “The Wave” by Susan Casey to benefit the Surfrider Foundation…
p.s. the email with pictures said “…dined on fresh seafood at wooden tables and then gathered around the fire pit for cocktails and smores.” How lovely does that sound right now?
Hybrid concepts for future sports cars are inescapable ~ remember the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG E-Cell? Well here is the stunning Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid concept car with plug in hybrid that launched in Geneva i’ve been obsessively looking at pics of lately. Look at those wheels in particular! And the aggressively sleek exterior? Stats: “An emission level of just 70 grams CO2 per kilometer on fuel consumption of three liters/100 kilometers (equal to 94 mpg imp) outstanding even for an ultra-compact city car. 0 to 100 km/h in just under 3.2 seconds, top speed of 320 km/h (198 mph). Body shell made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFP) with appropriate use of magnesium and aluminum to reduce weight to less than 1,490 kg or 3,285 lb and provide stiffness.” Although just a concept, they said it would be put into production if 1000 people were serious about it… and it looks like it might be happening! Take a peek at the gorgeous promo video and close up pics on the next page.
How exciting is this prototype as far as greener sports cars go? But calm down a bit, unfortunately, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell gullwing isn’t scheduled until sometime in 2013… 526 horsepower, 649-pound-feet of torque, 0 to 60 in 4 seconds… just a smidge slower than its gas powered counterpart. As for this paint color… wow. It is apparently called “AMG lumilectric magno” paint. For more technical details check out the piece by Automobile Mag, for more lustworthy images ~ including a look at the intriguingly simple dashboard and carbon fiber center console, see the next page!
It’s been a while since a watch has grabbed me… but once i laid eyes on high res pics of this limited edition OMEGA Seamaster Aqua Terra XXL Small Seconds Watch at Luxist, i haven’t been able to stop staring. There’s something about the design of the vintage Omega logo laser cut into the steel hands (in lieu of some of their more traditional arrows)… and that bright blue is stunning against the black and white… the numbers are in such a beautiful font… and the recessed small seconds subdial (made of applied sterling silver) is nothing short of entrancing. It has been produced in an edition limited to 88 pieces each in 18 Ct white gold with a black alligator strap and in 18 Ct rose gold with a brown alligator strap, but clearly the White Gold is my favorite. See close up images of the stunning details on the next page.
Just experienced the Royalton Hotel while in NY for the Federated Media Conversational Marketing Summit (my annual catch up with my FM folks and intellectually immerse myself in the marketing/ad world)… since it’s practically in times square, the Morgan’s Hotel Group helped me try out the Royalton Hotel… and from the website i was already obsessed with seeing their soaking tub in person. It is HUGE and pretty deep. You could probably fit about 5-6 of me in there… comfortably. And it’s like being in an inverted discoball… Also noteworthy, it is the perfect luxurious NY hideaway, if you need a super comfy, cozy place to hibernate in NY. It can stay surprisingly dark in the room (with lots of nearly blackout curtains, dimmers and candle like lighting) regardless of what time of day/night it is. After a few too many late nights out, it was an incredible place to just curl up and catch up on sleep and work in a timeless space. And the bed is divine (pillows and duvet you just melt into!) with fun beautifully lit bedside port hole like shelves cut into the headboard which extends wall to wall and floor to ceiling including the closet and drawers. And that impressive darkness i was telling you about? It also flows through the hallways and into the lobby (which is an enticing lounge/bar space that leads to the restaurant) ~ so it’s a bit of a shock to the system every time i had to head out ~ back into the real world (or the chaos so near times square!)
Take a peek at my experience of the Royalton Hotel’s Room 904 on the next page ~ lots of pics of favorite details!
Baxter of California has opened an impressively adorable little retro barbershop in Los Angeles - the Baxter Finley, Barber & Shop at 515 N. La Cienega Blvd. (Already soft opened, the official launch party is next week!) Seems like the natural extension of their men’s skincare/shaving line ~ and what better way to learn about the products than actually experience the lifestyle of the brand as Jason or Shane treat you to the shave or haircut of your life? The incredibly carefully collected/restored vintage chairs are such a beautiful work of art in and of themselves… but even though i couldn’t get a shave, i couldn’t resist sinking into one while my friend offered himself up (and a few days of unshaveness) as my shave model!
A few fun facts - “The shop was designed and built with old world charm and is adorned with chairs from the early 1900’s (restored ultra-rare Koken “White King” models), reclaimed Douglas Fir flooring, and custom made oak & marble bars. All Baxter Finley barbers will don custom made gingham check shirts by Steven Alan. At the service‐ helm, Jason Simao (of Freeman’s Sporting Club fame) is the lead barber and manager for the shop.”
I want to drag all my guy friends in to experience a shave here! And Ladies, don’t be shy, grab a man in need of a shave and head on over for an excuse to check it out! I had way too many pics i loved, so take a tour through the amazing details of the Baxter Finley, Barber & Shop on the next page.
Latest Dear NOTCOT post fresh in from Julie Wolfson who was just exploring Shanghai for the 2010 expo! Absolutely awesome pics of the larger than life Louis Vuitton Suitcase… and the incredible exhibition within! Thanks for sharing, Julie!
Louis Vuitton Paris 1867- Shanghai 2010 - In Shanghai just down Nanjing Road from where I was staying as a guest of the Portman Ritz-Carlton, I found a building sized Louis Vuitton suitcase at Plaza 66. Seeing a major LV display on the outside is a sure sign that there will be something amazing to see inside. (I found that out last year when I saw a Murakami designed facade in Tokyo.)
On the bottom floor of Plaza 66, a customized luggage workshop filled a section of the LV store on the 4th floor of Plaza 66, the Paris 1867- Shanghai 2010 exhibit at Shanghai Plaza 66 celebrates the company’s participation in world exhibitions. Almost a century and a half ago the Louis Vuitton company was introduced to the world stage at the Paris World Exhibition of 1867. To enter the show Paris Shanghai show I walked through a giant red three-dimensional red book. Inside more red books open to reveal white cutout resembling children’s pop up books. Each display tells the history of Louis Vuitton’s luggage. From the wardrobe trunk made in 1911 to the Amiens Fitted Suitcase with toiletry containers from 1931, each case is made with incredible detail. Peering close up to one of the latches or handles reveals how LV luggage design has defined the art of travel. I’d be happy to have just one LV suitcase. It really would make any trip feel more glamourous.
Plaza 66 is located at 1266 Nanjing Road in Jing’an just down the street from The Portman Ritz-Carlton. The show is open on the 4th floor of Plaza 66 until October 31, 2010. For now see loads more pics on the next page!
Wow. There is a definitely love of light bulb clusters at the Gramercy Park Hotel ~ particularly in this room that opens up to the Roof Club… but also in my bathroom! While it does feel a littler overwhelming, it is also completely mesmerizing, and makes for some fun pics! See more on the next page!
I must admit i was skeptical when one of the most common words that came up regarding the Gramercy Park Hotel Roof Club… was “Magical”. Sure some of the women who uttered the word seemed like the type that may use it in daily conversation, but some of the men who did, most certainly didn’t seem like the type.
Sure enough ~ as i stumble off my redeye, and at 7am find myself at the Gramercy Park Hotel, which was kind enough to invite me to visit their world while here for NY Design Week, my room wouldn’t be ready till 10. With the limited amount of energy, my options were minimal ~ but breakfast with wifi on the roof sounded like a good place to start. Take the elevator to the top, step out, and get lead to a ridiculously adorable and comfy couch to curl up on while breakfast comes up… and as i order and process where i am… i can’t help but notice the beautiful lights, the ivy hanging and intertwined above me, how much greenery and the variety of pots i’m surrounded by… and as my eyes focus, suddenly i realize what a stunning view i’m waking up to. No joke. It’s pretty magical. Everything seemed to sparkle in that early morning glow! It felt as if you were in a large intimate garden/deck at home… and i hear its even more stunning at night, so, i’ll have to find a night to see it glisten as you overlook all of manhattan… So take a peek on the next page of how pretty the Gramercy Park Hotel Roof Club looked bright and early!
Going through the many pics filling up my laptop, i keep coming across so much i want to share with you! So here’s a weekend dose of inspiration courtesy of vintage Mercedes-Benz graphics and products… it was mind blowing to be whisked by so many incredible original posters and advertisements for the early models… and then walls filled with Mercedes-Benz branded products… from powder compacts to mother of pearl handled pocket knives… and fascinating cases of all of the model emblems… really, i could have spent hours just going through the visual language of the branding and extension of Mercedes-Benz in there! Will definitely have to go back and do it slowly one of these days! But for now… take a little peek into a few of the cases and unexpected design inspirations that caught my eye on the next page!
While it seems almost sacrilegious ~ this is in fact, a post all about a sliced up Porsche. Or a few. Or a few in various stages, demonstrating the design process of a Porsche in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. “How very Damien Hirst!” ~ is the first reaction i got showing the pics to a friend… it’s also one of the most beautiful and concise ways i’ve seen car design summarized! Mixed with videos at each station about the process as well of course too! And fun that they managed to fit in 3 stages of clay refining in one slice even… absolutely mesmerizing to see even the seats and first aid kit all sliced straight through… and even more fascinating to look at the way it made people of all ages stare in wonder… see images of the installation on the next page!
Bottega Veneta Home Collection was one of my happy surprises this Salone ~ i showed you the fun pop up shop with an incredible curated selection of goods from Japan as well as exclusive and my new favorite Wine Opener i couldn’t resist there… well here is a look at the beautiful leather seating collaboration with META and Poltrona Frau (with classic Bottega Veneta woven pillows!), beautiful Murano glassware (with the bases etched with the iconic weave pattern), stunning Intreccio Svanito porcelain tea services in collaboration with German porcelain manufacturer KPM (with what almost look like charcoal rubbings of the iconic weave)… Creative director, Tomas Maier says “Many of the new furniture designs came out of customer requests, so they feel like natural next steps. Philosophically, the collection reflects Bottega Veneta’s commitment to meeting the needs of our customers with pieces that are versatile, understated, and beautifully crafted.” I had no idea that you can buy or order these in any of their stores… take a peek at the beautiful pieces on the next page! (I’m lusting after the couch and glassware…)
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)…
I forgot how lovely it is to just wander in Milan ~ spent a few hours today walking all over, and inevitably stumbled across a few things too inspiring and fun not to share. Like these Hermés window displays i ran into on Via Spiga! Inspired by fables and fairytales this series of beautifully intricate overdressed animals coming out of gilded frames ~ love the way the colored paper is juxtaposed with the black and white storybook illustrations! See more on the next page!
The Mercedes-Benz Museum ~ you’ve seen the elevators and tornado and while the cars and exhibitions are amazing, there are so many parts of the architecture that were surreal and beautiful! From the way they play with the constant combination of sun and artificial lighting, to the way the building is constantly leading you to swirl downwards from past to present, to the engraved concrete markings to denote what section you’re in, to the horse ~ the first… pre-automobile? It’s much like a car museum meets history museum meets sweeping art gallery filled with surprising textural juxtapositions at every turn… so take a peek at the next page for a full gallery of images ~ it’s less about the cars and more about the amazing images the space creates for you.
The Mercedes-Benz Museum houses an incredible amount of automotive history, unexpected surprises, and is in and of itself an absolutely mind blowing architectural space. That being said there are a million and one different posts i could write about it, and none would do it justice fully. So, let’s do this my way and start with my favorite detail… the ELEVATORS are amazing! When you enter the space, you can see straight up to the roof (and a peek at the sunlight coming in) as floors spiral all the way… you could even say the ceiling has a Mercedes-Benz star inspired shape… and then you notice what look three like vertical tracks going up… and these awesome metal pod (with abstract ghost like eyes/shape) moving up and down… it’s surreal. A bit overly concrete feeling (gave me a similar vibe to Oakley HQ’s entrance)… there was something very sterile/scifi feeling about the entrance space. I could have stood there and stared up at the mesmerizing symmetry of it all for ages. So see more close ups of it in action on the next page!
p.s. Also amazing are those giant panels… the ones that look like concrete? they arent. That’s how they move cars into the various floors.
p.p.s. Additionally, when it comes to ventilating the space and quickly dealing with a fire/etc… this building is the official world-record holder for the World’s Largest Artificial Tornado! It’s over 100ft, generated from the center of the roof… i’ve just updated the post with a few videos on the next page…