Lobster Chair! Designed by Lund & Paarmann for the Verikon Furniture. Fun how this chair feel part egg shaped coziness, protected by a woody exoskeleton with the plush leather within. "The shell is laminated, bend wood with a walnut veneer at the back. Inside the shell we have used Pantera foam, as it is very durable and probably the least damaging foam regarding our environment. The swivel base is chrome-plated steel. The fabrics and the leather we are using for Lobster are of the very best quality."
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Mmm Magic Berries. (I prefer that name for it.) Today i received some Miracle Fruit in the mail, and after much research and curiosity, did a bit of grocery shopping for bitter/sour foods, and then came the ultimate test (these tiny berries turn anything sour/bitter SWEET)! Pictures galore after the jump... and for those who haven't heard of these magic berries, here's the short version of their magic powers and background (also see the full wikipedia entry on it):
"The Miracle Fruit Plant, sometimes known as Miracle Berry, or Magic Berry (Sideroxylon dulcificum/Synsepalum dulcificum) is a plant first documented by an explorer named Des Marchais during a 1725 excursion to its native West Africa. Marchais noticed that local tribes picked the berry from shrubs and chewed it before meals. It is an evergreen plant that produces small red berries, with flowers that are white and which are produced for many months of the year. The seeds are about the size of coffee beans. The berry is sweet, and contains an active glycoprotein molecule, with some trailing carbohydrate chains, called miraculin. When the fleshy part of the fruit is eaten, this molecule binds to the tongue's taste buds, causing bitter and sour foods (such as lemons and limes) consumed later to taste sweet. This effect lasts between thirty minutes and two hours. It is not a sweetener, as its effects depend on what is eaten afterwards, but has been used to sweeten bitter medicines." See after the jump for how it went:
UPDATE ~ rumor has it that these berries might also be perfect for valentine's day, and not just because they are red. Their ability to help turn things sweet can be very handy...
Prada. They've been grabbing my attention in every magazine lately with these illustration heavy images... (remember NotCouture #1478?) and while i'm still debating and mixed on the illustration on leather bag concept, i'm still loving the illustrations! So while checking out all of the Spring/Summer 08 collections and campaign, i couldn't help but share this incredible (HUGE like 17' x 200') wallpaper they have. Entitled Florid ~ Prada says it "represents the somewhat perverse intersection between Hieronymus Bosch and Aubrey Beardsley. The image depicts an intense landscape of man-eating flowers, dragons, hybrid creatures and eerie fairies." Above is one of my favorite sections of it... the full wallpaper, closeups, and images from the print campaign are after the jump!
UPDATE: Apologies for missing that this was the collaboration work of local LA artist James Jean, and that this wallpaper is hanging right in the Beverly Hills and Soho Epicenter stores sized at 17 x 200 feet! In my cold meds induced haze and excitement while being illustration/prada giddy, i'm terribly embarrassed for the slip up and really should know better than early morning posting! Forgive me? Also take a look at the second wallpaper on his site that isn't on Prada's.
Ok, i'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day. And certainly wasn't expecting any this year... or this early! But a Despair, Inc. generated email from Jef (you can see what he sent after the jump) ~ tipped me off to these hilarious Bittersweets. Just in time for Valentine's day, these candy hearts come in three tin variations: Dejected, Dysfunctional, and Dumped. "Dejected" sayings include: I MISS MY EX | PEAKED AT 17 | MAIL ORDER | TABLE FOR 1 | I CRY ON Q | U C MY BLOG? | LOSS LEADER | A FINE WHINE | MOMMY ISSUES | DIGNITY FREE | DORK MAGNET | PURE NAUSEA | WE HAD PLANS | MAIL ORDER | SETTLE 4LESS | I'M HOT INSIDE. "Dysfunctional" sayings include: ANNULMENT | I BEEN CREEPIN | HE CAN LISTEN | GAME ON TV | CALL A 900# | P.S. I LUV ME | DO MY DISHES | BOOTY INFL8N | PAROLE IS UP! | AWFUL INLAWS | SUB PRIME | I WANT HALF | RETURN 2 PIT | NO FIX 4 DUMB | RATHER DRINK | MUTUAL DISGUST. "Dumped" sayings include: I GOT SOBER | HE FIT U FAT | U LEFT SEATUP | USED U 4 FUN | JUST A FRIEND | BACK 2 KENNEL | DORKA PHOBIC | U HAVE A BLOG | RUSSIAN BRIDE | CELEB8 THX2U | DOG IS CUTER | TRADIN YOU IN | FORGET WE MET | KISS A FROG | SHE IS 22! | HE HAS A JOB. Wow. See more images after the jump!
p.s. Despair Inc is the company behind those Demotivators posters.
Alex + Chloe are popping up a pop up store tomorrow in Chinatown at the New High (M)art and i just noticed their new Black Diamonds collection... particularly the Anneau Solitaire - Diamant Inverse. I have had a bizarre fascination with inverted diamonds ever since Tobias Wong's Ultimate Reverse Setting Ring. Also shown here are the Sphere Noir Diamant Inverse and Sphere Diamant Inverse, which remind me of mini oxidized canon balls... canon balls coming at you with the point of a diamond. Inverted diamonds, an interesting twist on a classic symbol of luxury, and also the ultimate weapon with used with a point? See more images and info on the opening after the jump!
Sneak peeks from the latest from the Working Class Heroes which will be available Feb 4th... introducing the Unfold laptop bag. This new "premium cognac leather"/"washed slate cotton canvas" combo will be perfectly filled with a 17" macbook pro, but when using a smaller laptop (macbook air?), it takes a cue from the trendy Foley and Corinna style city totes you can easily have it folded in half to more of a messenger bag proportion. With "comfy handles and a reinforced shoulder strap, the bag is also padded with a protective layer to keep whatever you carry safe". Its interior is a soft cotton lining with small leather logo. See more images of the Unfold after the jump!
Seem familiar? Working Class Heroes has been previously seen on NOTCOT and the gift guide due to my obsession with their brilliantly designed grey wool felt and leather laptop sleeves i have two of.
Secret: after CES, i kind of wanted to love the Zune. Well i got curious enough to want to play with one at least... they've been doing great things with the arts community (i really do love those crazy Zune Arts animations - and their artist collaborations for Zune designs are fun), they've been supporters of NOTCOT with advertising, and the packaging/design details/UI were intriguing... i really do like the font they use on their main interface, and the way it glows as you scroll around! But sadly, much like the ratings option they give you... i'm going to have to rate the experience so far with a 'broken-heart'... i'm not even sure what that means? Is it that i no longer love the song? Basically i'm completely behind on posts today b/c i had to delve into the painful world of windows - which for this Zune i actually tried to give a second chance. I blew through one dell xp laptop, and had to move on to a tiny sony vista machine before i was able to even get it to let me play a song. Anyhow, more on all of that below... but while i spent ages installing, etc, i fell in love with the design details and packaging... particularly the Zune Premium Headphones. See many pics of the packaging and headphone details ~ as well as the CES Zune section with all the artists pieces up after the jump!!!
Nothing like the use of aged polaroids in a beautifully styled site to grab my attention, and i couldn't resist posting these once i saw them over at Decor8. Introducing Harmonie Intérieure, a french line of sticker/decals and prints. What i like first and foremost is certainly the little touches in their site design (see an image after the jump), and while the wall sticker trend is getting a bit tired (although i am certainly having quite a bit of fun with with the vinyl cutter and inventing my own), they certainly have a lovely twist on this, adding enough of their own character through beautiful typography and illustration, cheeky french sayings, and dainty adorable stickers for cups, mugs, boxes, laptops, etc.
It's that time of year, politics are inescapable, and while we're not here to dish out opinions on that matter, i will say that Obama has certainly done the most to appeal to the creative community... we've shown you his LA button/sticker/t campaign, his logo variations for every group, and his social network... and now, Shepard Fairey has created some posters showing not only how much he backs Obama, but also just generally putting the call to action out there to VOTE! Posters will be available for order on weds Jan 30th at $50 each, and proceeds from this print go to produce prints for a large statewide poster campaign. The site also says, "Anyone interested in helping out please email firstname.lastname@example.org with OBAMA as the Subject Title for instructions." See more images of the posters after the jump!
The gameboy has always been quite the brick in retrospect, but will always be my first console (my parents didn't let me have video games, but i had won the gameboy, so they HAD to let me have it!). I would love to have a pathway to some crazy secret gameroom in the woods made out of these in my future backyard. Can you imagine making bricks of PS2s, XBOXs, Wiis, PS3s, PSPs, etc etc etc all creating different paths to different places? So many possibilities ~ and although i feel like i've been reading about these Gameboy bricks for a while, i somehow only recently discovered the full set of images in the Souvenier section of Gieskes, where you can also purchase bricks for about 30 euro each. I love seeing the process ~ check out more images after the jump!
Arne Jacobsen's world famous 1958 iconic Egg Chair makes me feel like i'm 5... spinning round and round in my grandmother's egg chair ~ this design icon will forever make me think of her. Can you believe that it's turning 50 this year? For its golden anniversary, Fritz Hansen is launching a limited edition Egg Chair with engraving and book, here is an excerpt from the press release, and after the jump are many pictures of the chair past and present!
The world famous Egg chair designed by Danish Architect Arne Jacobsen in 1958 and manufactured by Fritz Hansen will launch its 50th Anniversary in 2008 with 999 limited edition designs. The limited edition collection will for the first time include chocolate brown suede on the back and dark chocolate brown leather on the front. The sophisticated combination of leather and suede is perfectly complimented with a base in solid bronze; hand polished to create a unique finish. The bronze base will darken in appearance, becoming more beautiful over time. Each of the 999 Eggs will be individually engraved, under the seat cushion, with a unique number and a brief text about the history and origin of the Egg chair design. A special, limited edition 50th anniversary book will also accompany the chair.
On new collaborations, Nokia brought Parisian artist/designer Frédérique Daubal on to design the 7900 Crystal Prism. The result is a playful combination of her multifaceted collages, the return of the 80's geometric motifs, Nokia's latest in technology (this 3G phone boasts a 2mgp camera - with video, 1GB internal memory, push email, music player), a "dazzling sapphire crystal centerpiece", matching headset, and variable color options for the keypad. I'm excited to get hands on with this one to play with the 49 different colors you can change the keypad to and the laser etched multifaceted aluminum backing. And if Frédérique Daubal sounds familiar to you, you have probably seen her work everywhere from Colette to Paul Smith ~ and my personal favorite are her Super Family buttons (see image after the jump) which were on NOTCOT.org... and exploring her portfolio, i just discovered her awesome buttons for Bumble & Bumble too! So check these out after the jump as well as some closeups of this fun new phone!
I just spotted the Otto Espresso maker on the Appliancist, which luckily has some pics of the gorgeous twist on classic stove top espresso since the Otto website isn't quite ready, teasing me with an "Otto: the little guy's coming" message. "The OTTO espresso maker is designed to produce two espresso shots with steam milk. An automatic cut off prevents burning of the coffee grind, and after the perfect amount of coffee is dispensed, the boiler primes itself for steaming of the milk to produce two perfect homemade lattes."
Turn that gorgeous iPod Nano or Shuffle plastic box that you probably kept (if you're into nice packaging) ~ but had little to use it for ~ into a speaker! With Japanese Bird-Electron's nearly DIY speaker system that recycles your ipod packaging into your portable speaker system.. For americans check out Audiocubes that has it in stock for $40. The Japanese site, All About, has (what i think is) a review of the speaker over in their men's style section. Lots of pictures, including one of it installed in a water bottle after the jump! So if you don't have an ipod box, there are lots of other options to get creative with! via Acquire.
Jonathan Adler's latest is the Apothecary of Emotion ~ a collection of porcelain mugs and vessels ideal for those who have a need to compartmentalize their emotions not just mentally, but physically. There are matte translucent white porcelain jars for Hate, Anger, Joy, and Love... and two moody glazed porcelain mugs: Joy/Anger and Love/Hate. Spotted these over at Oh Joy!
With Valentine's Day around the corner ~ there are a lot of options out there to get romantic ~ from getaways to roses to chocolates, etc. Here's a "deluxe intimacy kit" from Kiki De Montparnasse over at Red Envelope, which normally wouldn't have grabbed me, but the handcuff print on the silk restraints were too fun (see close ups of the rest of the contents of this kit after the jump!). I'd love to see this pattern use as a men's tie, the interior of a laptop case, in other unexpected contexts of things that "tie us down"?
Exciting news in the vacuum department - Dyson's are getting smaller! One of the biggest problem with all powerful vaccums (not just dyson) is the sheer SIZE of the things, super dustbusters and the lightweight minis are cute but they just don't get the job done the same way. First in the new models is a smaller form of his classic ball - this DC24 smaller ball vacuum that compacts to a size of 43.3 x 11.0 x 13.7 (HxWxD) inches! Second up is the smaller version of his canister vacuum, the Dyson Baby. For a good sense of how small these really are, see the image of Sir James Dyson with the two after the jump!
Part of me lives for the neverending hunt for the *perfect* bag... well, perhaps a perfect bag for each and every situation. Anyhow, everyone has their quest, and that seems to be mine. That being said, this new grey Miu Miu bag in the Kirsten Dunst ads is my latest lust object. And while bag hunting and finding this one, i also got sucked into the whole ad campaign imagery for Miu Miu's spring 2008 with Kirsten Dunst ~ fun photography, loving the eerie red floors and ominously surreal look, and while i feel silly saying every time i see her i still think of Interview With A Vampire ~ she certainly has that pale look about her here! See the whole campaign after the jump.
Being a sucker for seemingly useful multipurpose designs... i'm strangely drawn to these leather wrap bracelets from A.P.C.'s spring 08 collection. This "doubled centimitre bracelet" is 100% leather with a small metal buckle and a centimitre scale embossed on the outside and 'A.P.C / WONDERWALL' on the inside. (NotCouture #1372)Now if only they'd do one in inches as well?
On more designer lust-worthy tech from La Cie ~ the latest is this La Cie Little Disk tiny glossy 30/40GB disk designed by Sam Hecht that has an integrated USB and protective cap. Coming in at a mere 3 oz. and 2.64 x 1.69 x .67 in... it's just a smidge larger than the size of your classic Zippo lighters which are about 2 x 1 x .5 in... only thing missing? If only they'd stick an SD card slot next to that USB space! Unfortunately there are no pictures of the "carrying case" that is included in the box, i'm curious to see what they think you should be toting this tiny disk around in. More close ups after the jump... (also, how creepy is their hand model?)
On simple toys often being the best ~ To Be Us' A Matter Of Toys (what a company/product line name) cars are adorable. AND handmade... (pictures of the making of after the jump!)
From the To Be Us site:
"Handmade in Italy - To be Us is craftsmanlike product, entirely handmade. A one size block of wood, a single cut that shapes the sports car, the romantic one, the pick-up, the saloon , the security van. To be Us products are made of cedar of Lebanon: a dense, spicy and long-lasting wood. Its peculiar scent has a natural anti-moths effect. Wheels are made of mahogany: a hard, dense and yet easy to work wood showing also a very fine and precious grain. No paints are used on To be Us toys. To be Us products are designed by Matteo Ragni, Giulio Iacchetti and Odoardo Fioravanti. and handmade by Master Giovanni."
On adorable twists to the usual measuring cups, i was looking for the black and white giraffe measuring cups on black.white.bliss and they don't seem to be on the Anthropologie site anymore... perhaps you can get lucky in a store (picture after the jump of the adorableness!)... but while looking i did find this nestable gaggle of geese measuring cups!
Handpresso... i've been intrigued by this french contraption since i first laid eyes on it over at Acquire a few days ago (i haven't a clue why i've taken so long writing/editing this post bit by bit). And their ads crack me up ~ particularly the one with the french couple in a movie theater trying to be all suggestive while pumping up the espresso, getting the cups ready, etc. It's a beautiful contraption that looks like a nicely design mini bike pump you feed a packet of espresso (the premade type - pics below) and some hot water into for a perfectly brewed cup of espresso? I'm skeptical, but curious... see pics and videos after the jump as well as some of the accessories you can buy to go with.
We all want it. We have to. Right? And i do have a soft spot for manilla envelopes... Does anyone else think of air jordans when they hear macbook air though? The naming on this stuff kills me. Also the user experience of their whole keynote/macworld expo is apparently quite possibly the worst user experience ever... But for now. It looks pretty cute, and the music video for the song in the ad is quite possibly the cutest thing i've been woken up with... see it below! I would love to have her box on the water... and as far as packaging goes, i'm going to be sad if i open the box for this and it's not in a manilla envelope... oh and apparently it's completely sealed, has no ram slots, no battery replacement, its just like a ginormous ipod... i mean small laptop. same diff - only 2 gigs ram... no ethernet port...
UPDATED 1.15.8 at 12:50: We have hands on pics of the MacBook Air ~ detail shots added after the jump!
Is it time for a cheesy ~ Squeezebox Duet "it's more than meets the eye"? Ok i couldn't help myself, but there seems to be a lot more potential to this duo than most have been writing about, and i have pics below if you don't believe me. I was a bit skeptical when i first heard Logitech acquired Slim Devices, but its nice to see that the combination is producing some gorgeous technologically lust-worthy results. While at first glance, this is just a new variation of the open source SqueezeNetwork family ~ with a main displayless receiver and a remote that looks like the harmony meets ipod (and the duet can be split up and integrated any which way with your existing slim devices)... upon closer inspection and some forum browsing, it turns out that that remote has far more than expected.
There is an SD slot by the battery... a headphone jack and ir transmitter at the top (in addition to the wifi connection it uses)... there is an adorable little speaker on the back... the demo units had the ability to browse flickr on the mini displays... in screensaver mode it is a clock (and i am 80% sure the guy told me it can be your alarm clock as well, but it was a crazy few days so i'm not positive)... and according to the forums this little remote even has a 3-axis accelerometer and an expansion port on the bottom. Being completely open source, you can only imagine some of the crazy applets and software that have been created in the beta program... and can you imagine what else this can be used for? (it already streams your internet music/sirius radio/etc!) See close ups and links to the forums, etc below!