The latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw.
We love seeing the use of antiquarian-inspired images that reference natural history engravings; and pairing these designs with packaging seems to be on the rise (e.g. recent release of Zubrowka’s beautiful illustrated packaging). So we were very excited to see the latest from Stranger & Stranger, the team behind the recently featured wine packaging as they created this stunning packaging for The Entertainer, a limited edition blended Scotch whisky from Compass Box.
Taking inspiration (and flavor combinations) from the turn of the 20th century, the beautiful packaging created in collaboration with London artist Peter Blake, takes a similarly beautiful and quirky antiquarian approach and includes so many details we love. It’s got London architecture, complex geometry, and all sorts of wild creatures from moths and butterflies to lionfish and octopi! The limited edition packaging and whisky are extremely limited, but currently still available at Selfridges (and online here). More photos of this gorgeous packaging on the next page!
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There has been an interesting trend recently of high end luxury cars taking more design/materials queues from yachting… particularly the wooden flooring going into trunk spaces! Remember the Rolls Royce Drophead Phantom Coupé where the paneling opens to showcase a fridge? And there is the 2012 Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition. While those two have teak flooring ~ Mercedes-Benz took it to another level with their CLS Shooting Brake with their American Cherry tree wood with inlaid smoked oak and aluminum rails. These “specially selected veneer sheets are glued and pressed by hand in five layers to attain a high level of dimensional stability. The blanks are milled to their exact format using a CNC machine and the surfaces are ground smooth and impregnated to bring out the wood’s natural beauty,” says the press release.
It was most certainly, the stand out design detail of the new Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake when we were playing with it in Florence ~ and it was fun to see how they used this feature to inspire the design of the press conference in the Castello di Casole’s converted little chapel… from the swooping curves of the seating to projection area… to the metal modular rails that the wood slatted stools and tables locked into… and even the table they displayed the various paint/leather color options of the cars! Take a peen on the next page to see all the fun wooden details of the car and press conference as well as a few other cute details (the tweeters are quite a surprise!) on the next page!
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This week’s roundup from NOTCOT.org includes levitating liquids, all-terrain wheelchairs and the real women behind iconic pinups. To find out more about each post, click on its individual image.
*NOTCOT in food+drink
- 09.17.12 -
One of my favorite italian indulgences is the Ferrero Pocket Coffee! Delicious chocolatiness filled with espresso! And apparently they are only produced/available November through April? They are surprisingly hard to find in LA, but sometimes they are at Monsiuer Marcel. Well running around Italy the last few weeks ~ and happening upon these Pocket Espresso To GO packs while stopping at a gas station outside of Florence with Josh Rubin, and when grabbing a drink we also grabbed these! (Thanks, Josh!)
They are like SUPER MINI juice boxes for adults. Only instead of juice they are filled with a chocolatey espresso. And it’s complete with a super mini straw and a Pierce Here/Forare Qui spot! Ms Adventures In Italy points out that these are the SUMMER variation of the Pocket Coffees ~ i suppose it makes sense that with the chocolate mixed in, you don’t have to worry about them melting in the heat? Too adorable and quite delicious - take a peek at Pocket Espresso To GO up close on the next page!
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*NOTCOT in nature
- 09.16.12 -
The latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw.
When you first see a Mara or Patagonian cavy (Dolichotis patagonum), it’s hard to know what to make of it. It looks like a chimerical creature, part rabbit, part deer with it’s hunched posture and long slender legs. But the mara is neither! They are actually rodents and most closely related to guinea pigs. Those long deer-like legs are adaptations for running and even have hoof-like claws on the hind feet! All advantageous for foraging in their native Argentine grasslands. These little creatures can reach speeds of 45 kilometres per hour.
Maras are one of the few mammals species that appear to be truly monogamous, pairing for life and with pairs generally avoiding and fending off others of the same species. Yet curiously, maras raise their young together in communal creches! Like guinea pigs, the babies (usually 2) are born well developed with their eyes open.
We encountered this lot at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, where maras are one of three species which have more or less free range throughout the park. It’s a great place to encounter them and it’s fascinating to watch them play and forage among and between all of the other animal enclosures. We spotted a new baby too, which was the size of a young rabbit (and extremely cute!). More photos on the next page and you can find out more about these charming little creatures from ARKive!
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Currently in Florence, Italy with Mercedes-Benz to try out the new CLS Shooting Brake. It’s quite fun (esp the AMG one) ~ and even prettier in person! Josh Rubin of CoolHunting and i were driving together for much of today, and as we went from airport to castle to florence and such, we were ultimately hunting for the ultimate tree/forest lined spot to shoot some car pictures… and as i was driving, Josh suddenly found the perfect spot and although we had to go a few twists and turns before being able to safely turn back to make it up the street he spotted, it was totally worth it!
Welcome to Località Lilliano near Poggibonsi, Siena, Italy. It is one of the most magical streets you’ll ever wander down. The trees are AMAZING. The way they branch… the lush green color… the way they line the whole street… the way the sunlight dances through the leaves and off the matte designo magno white paint job of the CLS Shooting Brake… SO. before i crash this 3am, i had to share these pictures of the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake and the trees on the next page!!!
There’s something very Rorschach looking about some of the tree images!
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*NOTCOT in design
- 09.15.12 -
*NOTCOT in home+decor
- 09.14.12 -
Just arriving in London pre-design week, the last thing i expected fresh off the plane was to end up on a boat in a London canal exploring IKEA color sorted floating displays with actors lounging and cooking in them… IKEA turning a section of Regent’s Canal in Islington into a floating night market to launch their colorful new collection. The floating night market was inspired by the vibrant night markets of Asia. Upon arrival, we found ourselves in a black and white pavilion making fantastic use of patterned textiles and put our names down for a boat ride to visit the floating showcases and enjoying cocktails while awaiting our ride.
Once our boat was ready, we were gondolier-ed along the canal in a black and white boat (all IKEA fabrics and pillows) to visit moored boats housing color-themed selections from the new IKEA ranges and even got a taste of a Swedish crayfish party on board! The IKEA floating market is open to the public tonight for one night only (Friday, September 14th)! We hear general admission has sold out, but you can find out more from the event facebook page. See our boat ride photos of the floating market on the next page!
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This week’s roundup of fashion’s finest from Notcouture includes geometric bangles, skinny mirror ties, air tattoos and more. To find out more about each stylish post, click on its individual image.
I’m delighted to share with you tonight’s latest adventure of an experience with two of our favorites… Mercedes-Benz and Bompas & Parr. What an unexpected duo to team up and take on London Fashion Week by popping up the Mercedes Drive Thru at the Old Selfridges Hotel to solve the problem where “Models, journalists, and buyers go hungry as they dash between presentations and appointments. The Mercedes Drive Thru is our solution, an art installation that serves emotionally compelling food on all fours within 180 seconds of arrival,” says their pamphlet/menu. They continue to say that “Guests emerge holding steaming meat luggage within minutes of entering. You experience a specially commissioned light installation by Jason Bruge Studio, a big and nasty soundscape by Dom James and our troupe of roller-girls, Marawa and the Doughnuteers.” Sound like craziness? Well it is ~ and Mercedes-Benz’s Avant Garde Diaries chose Bompas & Parr to curate this latest experience for us all!
Tonight we got a preview at their opening party which was quite the affair… while the drive thru turned into a walk thru, and instead of a menu, the roller girls were serving quite the assortment of surprising cocktails and munchies in the usual Bompas & Parr fashion (with them we’ve inhaled Campari gas, mini golfed through cakes, and so much MORE) … things really got taken to the next level when the first car came thru… the Mercedes Benz A Class and it’s trunk was full of CHEESE! Then, there’s also the salami step and repeat… the mortadella stools… the glittery high heeled light up roller skates… and so much more. See the video and pictures of all the fun on the next page!
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*NOTCOT in food+drink
- 09.12.12 -
Leave it to our friends at Stranger & Stranger to take wine to a whole new level of elegant playfulness ~ making us lust after the life the bottle teases at before we even figure out what type of wine it is. Remember last Christmas’s No. 13 they sent out? It seems that the idea for this line of Truett Hurst wines for Safeway packaged by Stranger & Stranger took its inspiration from No. 13! Kevin Shaw, the founder and Creative Director, says “ The added real estate that the over sleeve gives us has allowed us to engage with people in a way that a tiny back label never can. Everyone just wants to pick up and read these packs.” Apparently “Stranger identified 22 niches and buying occasions that might benefit from enhanced packaging and developed a patented bottle sleeve that contains everything from quotes to recipes.” I had no idea you could patent the bottle sleeve resembling the brown paper bag look of the prohibition era ~ but it will be intriguing to see how this wine packaging shift infiltrates other packaging designs as we wander the aisles at the market! See more bottles and lots of close ups on the next page!
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A Stormy Morning cocktail, the eggs benedict burger and chocolate covered Oreos are all part of this week’s roundup from Tasteologie and Liqurious. To find out more about each delectable post, click on its individual image.
*NOTCOT in home+decor
- 09.11.12 -
This post is part of a content series presented by smartwater… smartwater, good taste travels well. Click here to learn more. The opinions and content in this post are 100% NOTCOT, smartwater is supporting us to share what we love with you!
On travels, one of the hardest things is always to find souvenirs that are memorable but not too kitchsy. Something that will fit back in with your world at home or those you are gifting it to ~ but still stand out enough to bring back fond memories of a place. So i was thrilled when i just found this new line of Los Angeles Souvenirs, essentially for locals by locals, that are the prefect gift/reminder to visitors of how awesome the REAL Los Angeles can be! These glasses are by Sisters of Los Angeles, “a unique, Los Angeles-inspired gift and modern memorabilia collection that reflects all the best that the City of Los Angeles has to offer. ” Who does it come from? “SoLA is designed by celebrated Architect and Author of Bohemian Modern: Living in Silver Lake, Barbara Bestor ; successful product development specialist and manufacturer’s rep Karen Alweil; and fashion/lifestyle publicist and marketing expert Sara Stein.” Now i’m just wishing they had Pacific Palisades glasses to go with their Hollywood, Beaches series, Canyon series, and freeway (10, 405, 110, 101) series! You can currently find some online at Ron Robinson… see more pictures of the tastefully fun travel souvenirs by Sisters of Los Angeles on the next page!
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Double-handed tennis rackets, carrot sharpeners and tiny hedgehogs that fit in a teaspoon are all part of this week’s roundup from NOTCOT.org. To find out more about each post, click on its individual image.
*NOTCOT in design
- 09.10.12 -