Monday, March 31, 2008

Thrift Store Clothes Remixed

This stunning dress is entirely made out of thrift-store suit-coats. It's by London's Junky Styling, and, as Corey Doctorow (who took this photo) of Boing Boing writes: "Junky has a knack for taking the most generic, bulk-available charity shop clothes and layering and mixing them to make the most extraordinary things. I have an overcoat from there that's so cool that people stop me on the street and ask me where I got it. We always stop in on a Sunday to see what's new there, and we're never disappointed: one week it's a ballgown made from Kiehl's Pharmacy aprons, the next it's a scarf made from the sleeves of an otherwise unlovely suit-coat." More on this by Corey here.

English Eccentrics

Continuing with our theme of wild English creativity is a must read: English Eccentrics, written in 1933 by the very eccentric poet Dame Edith Sitwell. From the publisher's blurb: "...(I)nside we find hermits, quacks, mariners, indefatigable travelers, and men of learning. We meet the amphibious Lord Rokeby, whose beard reached his knees and who seldom left his bath; the irascible Captain Thicknesses, who left his right hand, to be cut off after his death, to his son Lord Audley; and Curricle Coats, the Gifted Amateur, whose suit was sewn with diamonds and whose every performance ended in uproar. This is a glorious gallery of the extremes of human nature, portrayed with humor, sympathy, knowledge, and love." And, I might add, a lot of fun to read, too. That's Sitwell on the cover, incidentally.

Eccentric English Style

Jo of the wonderful Desire to Inspire blog has a fun post on vintage 1970s interiors, featuring photos from English designer Mary Gilliatt's 1977 book How to Decorate Without a Decorator, A Realistic Guide to Interior Design. Wild stuff!

Friday, March 28, 2008


Happy weekend! This lovely Polaroid photograph by prop stylist Jen Gotch is, I think, a convincing argument for Polaroid not to discontinue making its now iconic film. See more of Jen's beautiful work on her blog here and on Flickr here. Via Bluelines.


Another busy week for me, but here's a selection of interesting links I've come across lately for you to browse until I'm back. Enjoy!

This is graphic designer Fabien Barral's online collection of his favourite graphic artists, designers, photographers and artists. Loads of wonderful and inspiring work to be found.

A French clothing company with the most charming dresses you've ever seen. Via the always charming A Cup of Jo.

How to Shop in Paris and Milan
A Telegraph reporter goes clothing shopping with two personal shoppers, one based in Paris, the other in Milan, and discusses her experience. Some good tips!

The Igloo Bookcase Bed
When his friend decided to enclose his bed in an igloo of bookshelves, Akamé documented the process with photos and posted it on Flickr. Could be cosy or claustrophobic, depending on your view... Via Cindy (thanks!)

MoMA Has Designs
A review of the new exhibit, Design and the Elastic Mind, at MoMA.

Europe's First Humans
From the Guardian: "A fossilised jawbone and teeth found in a cave in northern Spain may have belonged to one of the first human ancestors to set foot in western Europe. The hominid has been identified as Homo antecessor, or pioneer man, a possible ancestor of both our own species and Neanderthals. The fossils date from between 1.1m and 1.2m years ago."

Take a moment to support Tibet's efforts to find a peaceful solution to its mounting tensions with China by signing the petition (already at over one million signatures) here.

American Craft Magazine
Etsy and similar sites have contributed to an explosion of hand made crafts, and it's made the traditional craft world sit up and take notice. Via design*sponge.

P.S. The dining room shown here is in Daniela and Garth Paton's home in South Africa. Via Elle Decoration SA.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Jewelry for Mermaids

I'm in the mood for a splash of coral jewelry today -- here's what I ended up with after a visit to Etsy. Clockwise, from top left: Red Frangia Coral Strand by catdancingranch; Willow Tree Earrings, made from antique italian coral, jade and vintage brass leaf earrings, by 1920; Out on a Limb Branch Coral Necklace by JuicyGemsByStacey; Vintage Mermaid Fish Coral Sea Ocean Pendant by oliviamoon; Coral and Sterling Miro Earrings by boldsimple; Apple Red Coral Oxidized Sterling Silver Hoops by LisasLovlies.

Cardies for Mermaids

I'm loving this pretty coral-coloured Willow Cardigan from Anthropologie -- wonderful detail at the neck and sleeves.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Archive: An 18th Century Loft

Frédéric Méchiche transformed his apartment in the Marais district of Paris into an effortless hybrid of Louis XIV and 1960s loft style. In the library, the heart of the apartment, the stairs were pieced together by Frédéric from eighteenth century materials.

In the salon, 18th century paneling sourced from various locations has been patiently pieced together like a puzzle and then unified with white paint. The furniture is a mix of French and Italian 18th century with modern classics by Mies van der Rohe and Bertoia. All this is set off by a collection of African masks and 20th century art by Jean Dubuffet, Sol Lewitt, Laszlo Szabo and Joseph Beuys.

Another view of the salon. The mirror is placed in the corner to open up the space. A Louis XVI chair happily stands beside a Harry Bertoia wire chair.

Left: On the marble mantel of the library's fireplace, a collection of late 1950s Danish glassware poses with a photograph by Joseph Beuys. Right: A view from the dining room to the library. The sofa is by Florence Knoll, and the table and chair on the right are by Eero Saarinen.

Frédéric Méchiche in his dining room, lined with 18th century paneling. Frédéric designed the four granite and metal tables placed around the room, which are put together for large dinner parties. The chairs are Louis XVI and Restoration. On the wall, an eighteenth century mirror hangs beside photos by Robert Mapplethorpe and Raymond Voinquel.

The kitchen, in striking contrast to the rest of the apartment, is painted entirely in black. On the marble countertop sits a collection of 1950s - 1970s silverware, set off by the black and white photographs above.

The bedroom features a bed designed by Frédéric, with an extra high headboard. The wood floor is original, and has been left as is. On the wall is a work on paper by Jean-Pierre Raynaud. The chair is by Eero Arnio.

Left: Chairs by Harry Bertoia and Charles Eames stand beside a compression artwork by César. Right: A serigraph by Andy Warhol is placed above a bathtub from the late 18th century.

Frédéric Méchiche's confident mix of 18th century classicism and 1960s modern is a wonderful example of making contrasts work, keeping the formal elegance of an earlier era comfortably within a more easygoing loft living sensibility. Scanned from Marie Claire Maison, late 1990s. (Photography by Gilles de Chabaneix)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Photobooth: A History

Just found my bookmark of this: an excerpt in The Telegraph from the new book American Photobooth by Näkki Goranin, published by W.W. Norton & Company. From the preliminary blurb: "Women have stripped off in them, Fred Astaire has danced in one, Andy Warhol turned them into a business. Näkki Goranin, who has spent 10 years collecting these pictures, tells the remarkable story of the photobooth and its camera-mad inventor." Read the article here. I wouldn't mind getting the book, actually -- it sounds like a great read.

120 Years of Electronic Music

Another interesting link: a history of the electronic musical instrument, from 1870 to 1990. Shown here is Lucie Bigelow Rosen playing the Theremin, back when it was a serious instrument (and not a sound effect for 1950s sci fi movies).

More Retro Technology

And while we're on the subject of machines from the past, here's the Dishmaster Imperial, which promises to make dishwashing faster and just that more space age cool. The design reminds me of how cars of that era looked -- I'm not sure if I should wash the dishes or just take the kitchen out for a drive. Via Retro Thing.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Bare branches are all around right now, but spring is not far off...Clockwise from top left: Garland Light by Tord Boontje, POAA; Branch candle holder by Plutoprodukter, Scandinavian Design Center; Manzanita Tree, RianRae; Shady Tree Brooch, Elk Accessories; Tiger Striped Branch Earrings by eyecandyjewelry, Etsy; Ready for Spring print by siiso, Etsy; Latva Coatrack in white by Mikko Laakkonen, FinnishDesignShop.

Branch Runner

I'm seriously coveting this elegant table runner by Lotta Jansdotter. Made of 100% linen, the Tång runner is available from Lotta's website here. So pretty ... maybe a little spring treat for my home is in order ...

Branches Still Life

A quietly beautiful still life by London-based photographer Polly Eltes. Have a look at her portfolio here.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Wishing you all a lovely long holiday weekend -- hope it's a good one. These beautiful still life images are by Hamburg-based photographer Janne Peters, who takes the most drop dead gorgeous photos you've ever seen. Have a look at the rest of her portfolio here. Via Black Eiffel.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


It's been another crazy busy week for me, so I'm afraid I haven't had a chance to do much on the blog lately. I'll be back soon with some new posts, but in the meantime here are some interesting links I've come across recently. Hope you're all well, enjoy, and see you soon!

The Worst Building in the History of the World
The Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea, the world's 22nd largest skyscraper. It's been vacant for two decades and is likely to stay that way ... forever.

Domino Magazine Flickr Group
Lots of pretty and inspiring photos by Domino editors and readers.

Gazette du Bon Ton
Japanese site that has reproductions of the gorgeous illustrations from the 19th century French fashion magazine Gazette du Bon Ton. Via Little Hokum Rag (which is itself always a fascinating read).

The House of Santa Claus
You know that doodle where you try to draw a house with an x in it, all in one line? It's a very old drawing game for children from Germany called the House of Santa Claus, and there are 44 ways to do it correctly. Via things magazine.

Where Have All the (Normal) Trousers Gone?
Suzy Menkes ponders the lack of wearable pants offered by designers this season.

P.S. The pretty photo above was discovered on emmas designblogg a while ago...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Miscellany: Postcard Backs

A quirky Flickr collection by Caspian of the postcard backs from the 1920s-50s, found in an old shoebox in the attic. Via Ace Jet 170.

Miscellany: Vintage Film Star Postcards

Another fun Flickr group: the European Film Star Postcards Pool. Great photos, and nice mini histories about some of the stars featured, too.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Archive: A Charming Retreat

In the living room of Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan's weekend retreat on Shelter Island, chocolate brown sofas are brightened with cushions and throws designed by Jonathan. A large oil by John Paul Philippe, posed casually against the wall, plays off the rug (also designed by Jonathan) and the green Albrizzi stool.

A quiet still life. The lamp and vases are by Jonathan, carefully placed with a sculpture by Harry Adler, Jonathan's father.

In the ground floor office, a Peruvian butterfly tapestry gives the room a playful focus. The table and chair are flea market finds, the rug and cushions are by Jonathan, and the day bed is by George Nelson.

Around the stove, a fun collection adds to the warmth. To the left, a Danish hanging ceramic sculpture from the 1960s floats above a yellow plastic-framed mirror and garden gnome. On the stove and the shelf at top right, vases by Jonathan.

The orange buffet is a flea market find. On top, a collection of vintage vases complements a painting by John Paul Philippe.

The guest room. The cushions and lamp were designed by Jonathan, the paintings are by John Paul Philippe.

Sheltered by a forest, the New York Hamptons weekend home of Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan is a peaceful retreat infused with a playful interpretation of 1950s style. Scanned from a 2000 edition of Marie Claire Maison. (Photos by Douglas Friedman)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Globe and Mail

If you happen to pick up the Globe and Mail newspaper today, you'll find an illustration by me on the front of the weekend edition of Report on Business, for an article on neural marketing. You can also see the illo and read the article (today only!) online here.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Hope you have an utterly lovely weekend. This pretty still life is by photographer Debi Treloar, who has a website filled with beautiful images. Via ... ? Sorry ... I've blanked on where I saw the link ...

A Nesting of Bowls

I'm taking a quick break from work, so I thought I'd treat myself to a little browse through Etsy, and look at bowls (I love bowls, and have a growing collection). Here are some of my favourites. Clockwise, from top left: Bird Bowl, $62, whitneysmith; Large White Holey Bowl, $100, by chloelepichon; Nesting Seed Bowls, $154, by whitneysmith; Bleached Coral Porcelain Dish, $88, by seaurchin.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Visual Buffet

So + Ba, a Swiss graphic design firm based in Tokyo, via PingMag

Interesting New York Times slide show of an architecture office established in the (literally) rusted shell of an old auto repair shop. Via Kottke.

The extraordinary Pleasant bar in Stockholm, designed by Electric Dreams. Via DesignSpotter.

Muji online. I'll take one of everything, please.

New and vintage wallpapers from Walnut Wallpaper. Shown here is Flower of Love in Espresso, by Flavor Paper

I'm in the middle of a tight deadline at the moment, so my posts for the next day or two will be short and sweet. Here's a sampling of links for you to browse through while I'm away. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Indian Street Signage

These are just a few examples of a wonderful Flickr photo set of Indian street graphics by Meena Kadri, a New Zealand-based graphic designer with a truly wonderful eye. Just sumptuous. Via Design Observer.

Andrea Heimer

Andrea Heimer sent along a friendly email yesterday about a new series she's working on called Encouraging Words, which makes positive thinking look great. Andrea offers both paintings and prints in her silkscreened series, plus you should definitely have a peek at her wonderful portrait work, too. There's also the promise of future work that will include glassware and tote bags, so more good stuff to look forward to, as well! Have a look at her website here.
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