The Devil's in the Details

We're currently picking up any and all tidbits that could inspire the branding and graphics package for the Mattei's Tavern project (current logo design above), and I think this package by KURO collective for the A Cowboy's Dream hotel is pretty awesome.

Click the jump for the rest of the post...


Cookies are the New Cupcakes

Well, actually, I don't know that that's true, but I think Sugarbuilt's cookies are almost too cool to eat! And if it does turn out to be true, then you read it here first!

Based in Brooklyn, which explains the clever local inspiration above and below, Sugarbuilt is owned by Amelia Coulter, who has a degree in sculpture.

Click the jump for the rest...


The Other Side of the Lens

In the new Louis Vuitton ad campaign, the cameras are turned on Annie Liebovitz, who photographed their "core values" campaign. Antoine Arnault, LV's communications director, said he intended it as a gesture of support to her in her widely known financial troubles. Interestingly, she insisted that her fee be used to hire someone to pose with her, to which he agreed. Mikhail Baryshnikov was her choice, and the resulting photo is above. The ads start Feb. 1.

Below, a photo of the famous dancer taken by Liebovitz.

via Women's Wear Daily

Also in fashion today... I so love this photo by Garance at Pitti...

Don't they look cool?? Dark hair (particularly if it's slightly rumpled and/or curly) + good scruff (+optional scarf, must be worn right) = instant allure for moi.

These two guys are looking pretty cool too...

Why do I love grey hair so much. Also a grey-haired ponytail is so mysterious looking, especially in this case where it looks like it's probably a bun, because it's like, what, are you a samurai in your old age?


The Good Kind of Papercut

I want to have a costume party where everyone has to wear masks like this.

Well not really, as they are clearly art and not costume, but wouldn't that look cool? I can actually imagine an entire masked ball in black where the only white are these masks. The photos would be amazing. Aren't they beautiful?

These, and the pieces below, are all made of only paper. Above, the masks are by artists/designers/stylists/cool girls Nikki Flurry and Amy Salk. They say on their website that they are about the "grace and nuance of this humble material." The pieces below are just by Nikki Flurry. (Aside: Nikki used to own Addiction boutique in Buckhead!)


When the Packaging IS the Ad

Or at least, the fake packaging. A piece of brilliant advertising by MINI... The day after Christmas in Amsterdam, they put these Mini-sized cardboard boxes around town with torn wrapping paper and bows as though people had literally gotten a Mini in a box for Christmas. How great would it be if Minis literally came in these little boxes. Loves it.

By ad agency Ubachswisbrun/JWT. via Creative Criminals


Sentimentia >> 1.19.10

I think it's probably common knowledge by now that I love (love) letters, general world-brightening acts of creativity*, and clever sentementia**, so I find this couple, of the blog Something's Hiding in Here, to be beyond cute. In fact, I can't believe they exist in the real world and not an Indie movie starring Zooey Deschanel.

Below, a few of the things they made for each other in their "i made this for you" project.

*see other "random acts of creativity" posts
**(not a word, but should be, refer to other Latin based nouns "eloquentia," "providentia," etc., actually not related to "dimentia," only sharing a suffix)

Shauna had been working on a big project, so Stephen made this sign along her route to work out of paper cups to cheer her on.

Stephen carved Shauna's initials into a tree in a park where they walk their dogs... love how old fashioned and simple it is. Swoon.

Shauna took out this ad in one of Stephen's favorite magazines, Uppercase.

And in my unending love of creative public defacement in the name of love/beauty, I of course really like this one. Stephen went out and spray painted hearts on a billboard that faces their loft. He said she was quite surprised when she woke up the next morning and saw it out their window.

found via the wonderful pixelsandarrows


Where to Have a Martini in London

The Connaught Hotel in London, part of the Maybourne Group, has revamped their bar with the help of interior designer David Collins. In fact, the Maybourne Group hired a slew of designers to refresh their three iconic London hotels with new suites, rooms, and restaurants. In addition to getting design buzz, the investment is apparently paying off, as they are still achieving occupancy over 80%.

I'm not actually crazy for the re-designs of the other spaces, but this bar is awesome. Interestingly, notice how little the furniture has to do with the overall success of the room. I mean it matters of course, but as is usually the case with restaurants and bars, it's the scale, finishes, and lighting that set the tone...

The mirror behind the bar, the gold back-plate on the sconces, the panelling, the black reflective finish in the pass-throughs between the rooms. The black reflective finish (plastic?) also adds a little modern edge, which is nice.

Even with the furniture, what matters most here is not the style of the furniture, but rather the color and texture-- here, black leather and more black leather, even on the table tops (cool, also like the nailheads on the table edge, incidentally). The density of black furniture also helps to ground the room, which is important given its super high ceilings. And speaking of scale, imagine how differently the room would feel if the ceilings were two-thirds the height...

Also interesting is the repeated use of rounded edges -- on the "windows" and doorway, echoed in the mirror through the doorway, even the chairs and tables are rounded and don't have corners. I think it helps soften what could be a rather austere or formal space.

via wandermelon travel website

And for a totally random aside, these guys would look sharp in there, wouldn't they?

Models backstage before the Zegna show at Milan A/W.

I think this photo is really cool visually - the way you immediately notice their hands because they are all dressed almost identically and evenly spaced across the frame. It actually looks more like a contemporary art photo to me than just a snapshot backstage-- it seems so tense and like it's begging for some kind of interpretation about why these guys are together and dressed alike (if you imagine they aren't at a fashion show).

from Wallpaper's photos of Milan A/W 2010.


"We Like the Same Things and I Like Your Style"

Girlcrush: Zooey Deschanel.

Below, the video for "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here," a song by her band with M. Ward called She & Him. Give it a listen, it's irresistible. In fact, pretty much the whole album is downright lovable, one of my favorites of 2008. (Lyric in the post title is from the song.)


To Have "a Look"

I think Alexander Wang is one of those people that has got his "look" figured out... doesn't his apartment totally parallel his clothing?? He knows what he likes! The apartment was designed by Ryan Korban, and I think he did a fantastic job interpreting Wang's taste. Usually one of the biggest challenges for designers is helping clients distill what they actually want and like... not this one!

Like his designs, which start with basics and classics and add a twist that gives them some sex appeal and edginess, the apartment is mostly filled with antiques (French chairs, above dresser, chesterfield sofa) and is done in a limited palette restricted to black, white, and a few neutrals, but the textures and materials and accessories (fur, chrome, black leather, black and white photo above) give it some glam and a rock 'n roll vibe.

via This is Glamorous

PS - Alexander Wang is going to be at Opening Ceremony in LA this Saturday for a trunk show!!! You can rsvp at Refinery29

Obliteration of Eternity

What you are looking at is a room of mirrors, lit with hundreds of candles hung on wires at different heights, with a shallow pool of water on the floor for an added layer of reflection (and disorientation, as the water ripples).

Installed at Gagosian Gallery in New York last summer, this work is by contemporary art doyenne Yayoi Kusama. Barely comprehensible in the above photos, the black and white gives a better sense of where the walls are, as you can see where they meet (and then meet again and then meet again and then meet again in all the reflections).

And guess what, you enter that after walking through this blank white room, and then the actual installation room is not very big at all!!

Watch this video for a better sense of the three dimensionality of the space and the effect of the glimmering light thrown off by the candles.

Infinity Room from mamojo on Vimeo.

How amazing is that?!! So simple, and yet so creative and other-worldly. Talk about transporting the viewer! (..or in this case the expiencer!)


Information is Beautiful

Below, the "in" colors for women from 2002-2010. (Click for larger image.)

David McCandless is an information designer. I like design, and for that matter, I really like information too (a friend regularly tells me I should put all my random factoids in a book. I think she means "instead of telling them to me all the time."), so it's no surprise I think the idea of an information designer is INCREDIBLE!! He basically takes information and makes it digestible through a visual form that is not just your typical pie chart.

Today, he created this graphic in response to the news that Google has stated that it will now refuse to censor google.cn in accordance with China's censorship rules. In red are phrases that are blocked, and in black, websites that are blocked. (Again, click for legible image.)

Some are expected, like "political dissent," others, like perezhilton.com, are a surprise!

Below, a comparison of "billions." This was in response to constantly hearing incomprehensible multi-billion dollar figures in the news. See billions spent by US govt on the Iraq war compared to billions it would take to feed and educate every child in the world for a year, for example.

Environmental impact of pets vs cars... surprising!!

I think he's brilliant. Being able to comprehend information and translate it into something visual and easily understood and also make it aesthetically pleasing is quite a skill.

Ps... I bet he's a fan of Frank Stella's 60s and 70s work, don't you? Below, Frank Stella's "Harran II," 1967.

And above, "Sunset Beach," 1967.
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