Monday, July 31, 2006


Wendy Mullin of Built by Wendy whose collections have always been based around her love of the handmade and hand-sewn, has designed a line of home sewing patterns for the Simplicity Pattern Co. Anyone looking for more unique and stylish patterns can choose from a top, pants, shirt or jacket option- a refreshing change from the rather boring and naff pattern options generally available and a good way for a small design label to increase its appeal and spread its message

  • Built by You patterns
  • Sunday, July 30, 2006


    In the next few weeks, Mini USA will launch a series of ads in a wide range of magazines aimed just at Mini owners, and excluding everyone else.

    The ads will be encrypted, decipherable only by the cognoscenti. Mini is sending owners a "covert" kit - mocked up as a wizened-looking book - that will include special glasses, a decoder, and a "magic window decryptor." Using those, owners will be able to find Web addresses in the ads that lead them to free prizes and invitations to events. Mini are hoping that non-owners will feel slightly jealous that they're out of the loop, and rush to their nearest car dealership! An interesting idea, lets see how it affects their sales!

  • Businessweek article
  • Thursday, July 27, 2006


    A great bit of promotion by Lipton- they have taken over part of Soho Square this week and created a fully functioning wi-fi enabled office which anyone can use for free. Considering the record-breaking temperatures at the moment and the lack of air-conditioning in so many workplaces, the chance to work outdoors is proving very popular- as you can see-

    "Open from 10am to 6pm on each day the outdoor offices provide everything a London employee needs to ensure they meet their deadline while catching some sunshine including a receptionist and waiting area, three bookable meeting rooms, a workstation area with Wi-Fi hotdesks for fifteen people (provided by T-Mobile) and a free refreshment bar"

    If only all offices could be like this!

  • lipton outdoor office
  • Wednesday, July 26, 2006


    Now there's a way to utilise social networking sites and catch the kids while they're young and impressionable: the Miami Herald reports that over 12,000 MySpace users have signed on as friends of the U.S Marine Corps, and other miltary branches are planning to try their luck with web surfers as well. What's next, using World of Warcraft to train them?!

  • full article

    I saw this in the paper and was surprised by its effectiveness- it's very simple but makes a strong point that charity can be at any point in your life- even after.

    Tuesday, July 25, 2006


    I have been wondering what activity could possibly grab the nation next- from boot camp fitness and 'Muddy Buddy' races to parkour and bouldering, everyone seems to be going crazy for adrenaline- chasing, ultra-endurance fitness, so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself noticing an increase in attention towards something far less strenuous- fishing- especially for women!

    CNN reported on the Fishin’ Chix, 'an elite club of Pensacola women who took to the seas after Hurricane Ivan tore through their upscale neighborhood almost two years ago', whose founder has 'launched her own plan to expose more women to what she calls “Armani-style fishing" ', whilst over on this side of the pond Nutri-Grain is advertising it's oat bars with two twentysomething women out on a fishing trip.

    Clearly they think that their target customer who eats her breakfast on the go escapes to the countryside on the weekends, which although probably not very accurate has a definite element of truth- there is a growing environmental guilt from city living and a desire to get back to nature, so maybe fishing is the answer to fill the void in our consumer-driven lives??!

  • CNN article
  • Wednesday, July 19, 2006


    Renault UK are promoting their new Megane by launching a season of outdoor drive-in movies across the UK. According to Brand Republic, a deal has been struck with Carat who are"promoting the launch of the Renault Megane's 'Do it with Mediterranean Style' communication platform which will feature on-site food stalls and refreshments at each film screening". Tickets to the screenings are free from the newly developed microsite, hosted by Channel 4.

    Renault have picked up on a really good guerilla trend which has been filtering back into consumer consciousness, and are using it in a clever way- the British have a very romanticised view of drive-in movies, (mainly because our climate hasn't allowed for much outdoor entertainment in the past!) and as our summers get hotter and hotter everyone is looking for new external activities, plus creating an evening's entertainment around their brand dilutes the message whilst still clearly promoting Renault in a way that is inoffensive to the public- Looks to me like everyone's a winner!

  • more info

    Rochas a/w 06

    It's a sad sad day for fashion- according to WWD, Rochas fashion house is to close. Despite having recieved critical acclaim for its collections since the appointment of Olivier Theyskens as designer three years ago, and reporting a 30% growth last year, the ready-to-wear business is still making a loss. Although Theysken's collections were some of the most refreshingly original and wearable seen, the extortionate price points of Rochas has been its downfall. As we know most fashion houses are struggling financially with very few making a profit from their clothing lines, so maybe now it's time for them to re-assess their future and look at ways of decreasing their prices! Lets hope Theyskens relaunches his own line (which he put on hold to take the job at Rochas), as I think he is a designer with true creative insight.

  • WWD
  • Monday, July 17, 2006


    My friends and I took part this weekend on a photographic treasure hunt of London, arranged by Shoot Experience.
    The company started creating these days last year and the events have all sold out so far- it's a fun and exciting way to spend a day, and the prizes are awarded for creativity and humour so anyone can have a go- although my little camera paled in comparison to the professional -looking equipment most people seemed to have!

    I think the idea could extend to lots of other cities, it's certainly taking off here! It's a good way to discover things about your city you never knew, and could be great for non-natives too - anyone for treasure hunt tourism??

  • shoot experience
  • Friday, July 14, 2006


    Frank Gehry is designing a branch of the Guggenheim foundation to be the first major art museum to open in the city, which is apparently costing over $200 million and should be built by 2011.

    Abu Dhabi's crown prince Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the plan "represents the determination of the Abu Dhabi government to create a world-class cultural destination for its residents and visitors. "

    Yesterday evening Bedford Square gardens in central london was the scene of the "annual olympiad for the immaculate of trouser, the frail of form and the fearful of sport", arranged by those wonderful fellows from The Chap magazine and sponsored by Hendrick's gin. A crowd of over 500 gathered to watch events such as the Martini knockout relay, explained by the master of ceremonies as "a particularly hard task when one is used to having the martini made by the manservant", the cucumber sandwich discus, and the pipe-smoking relay, all accomplished with a theatrical elegance, although my personal favourite was the not quite so refined three-trousered limbo. A brass band and free gin and tonic kept the atmosphere merry!

    There were lots of impressive outfits on display, not only from those competing, and what struck me was just how many men had dressed the part. It just goes to show that the re-invention of the traditional etonian dandy currently dominating the menswear catwalks is a look that men still aspire to, and long may it continue- as a friend commented last night "don't the men look much more attractive when they dress up", it's about time they made an effort too!!

  • The Chap
  • Thursday, July 13, 2006


    I (like many) am of the belief that men who drive a Porsche are often middle-aged, unfit posers compensating for their lacking masculinity, so was shocked to hear of the impending collaboration between Porsche and Adidas, a brand who has been striving to be seen as active, trendy and cutting-edge.

    "In Spring/Summer 2007 Porsche Design and adidas introduce an innovative hi-tech sport and design orientated sport performance collection for men. The objective of the long-term cooperation is to jointly establish a hi-tech premium brand in the sports sector. The first Porsche Design Sport product line highlights four sport categories: Driving, Running, Golf and Tennis. "

    It just goes to show that no brand is immune from the lure of the wealthy- adidas want a piece of the rapidly increasing luxury market, and porsche golf gear is the way to go!

    "The Porsche Design Sport collection will hit retail exclusively in December 2006. By January 15, 2007 the range can be purchased in high-end stores in six selected markets: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, UK, US and Asia"

    (quotes from the adidas press room)

    Tuesday, July 11, 2006


    Poetry is clearly having a resurgence, with Thamesbeat music on the rise ( check out the arcade fire and larrikin love), and a website going live in October that offers over 1.000 poems to download onto iPods for 50p each. But now you can show your love of verse quite literally on your sleeve- lyric jeans is a new clothing line that prints the lyrics to your chosen song onto the denim. The company has joined forces with EMI Music Publishing to get permission to use some of the songs in their catalogue, and in the idea sounds like it could do well targeting the teen and tween audience, although the choice available (songs like “Rebel, Rebel,” “Daydream Believer,” “Stop in the Name of Love,” “What’s Goin’ On” and “Material Girl) seems to show that they have a more mature target audience in mind!

  • lyric jeans

  • 57 productions

    American museums and art galleries are starting to utilise mobile phones instead of the usual rentable audio guides. The Tacoma Art Museum in Washington is taking this a step further with its Ear for Art: Chihuly Glass CellPhone Walking Tour, which encompasses the many works of Dale Chihuly located throughout museums and public spaces in the city centre.

    "The Ear for Art tour may be accessed any time of day or night, from anywhere in the country by calling 888.411.4220. The tour features twelve audio stops located throughout the Museum District that provide cell-phone users the opportunity to hear a narrator – and even Chihuly himself – talk about the installations. The self-guided tour can begin or end at any of the five locations, and access to the tour is free; callers simply pay for their personal airtime charges. The tour also includes games that can be played as the tour progresses."

    A good use of mobile technology to encourage learning and exploration of art, especially when it's free!

  • art daily
  • Thursday, July 06, 2006


    I took these pictures of 'Extraordinary Art Forum' -the amazing video installation by Tomas Saraceno at the Barbican.

    "In his most ambitious project to date, Saraceno has created a dramatic installation featuring a video shot from a ring of 32 cameras floating on the world's largest salt lake, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia.

    Images of the sky reflected on the lake are captured by Saraceno's cameras and projected onto the 80-metre wall of The Curve, creating a visually stunning panorama in which the viewer is immersed in, and floats amongst, the clouds.

    The project continues Saraceno's exploration of airborne communities as a solution to the world's exploding population. Could this utopian vision of flying cities become a real and sustainable alternative to urban life."

    Tuesday, July 04, 2006

    Saw this "Mass Coffee" mobile stall outside a church on Upper Street. Coincidence or clever placement?!!

    Part 1 of the new designers exhibition at the business design centre showed some interesting new ideas. Graduates seemed to be utilising new university equipment with a wide variety of lazercut fabrications and soft watercolour-wash digital prints. Alongside the typical graduate over-embellished and victoriana-inspired designs, themes that stood out were travel- especially in the form of military equipment and topographical mapping, and the strong use of lines of text in designs, as well as a clear rise in the use of embroidery. The 1980s was also still a big inspiration point for many with pop graphics and naive cartoony motifs seen everywhere, and oriental influences were also obvious.

    Ones to watch out for in the future:
    -David Mitchell (Somerset College)- black felted tree print on a jigsaw of black slate slabs. Surface textures with a sinister air
    -Polly Burton (Chelsea College of Art and Design) - small-scale repeat prints on reels of fabric tape/ ribbon
    -Sam Jones - felted geometric prints on latex
    -Tomasz Dovocik (RCA) - violent and provocative jewllery using horse hair, twisted cord and gold spears
    -Kyeok Kim (RCA) - light-emitting jewellery that shines tatooed motif across the body

    There seemed to be an increased interest in organic fabrics and ecological issues, but Laura Nathan's mosaic of cubes of soap covered in a varying thickness of hair (seen below) was the most unique adaptation of natural resources seen!

  • New Designers

  • Monday, July 03, 2006


    There's a really interesting article from this weekend's Financial Times by Richard Tomkins which talks about ideas for the future of purchasing. It looks at how traditionally price altering prevented certain products being available to the masses, but now the problem is not the material possesions but dwindling natural resources and environmental issues, and offers a possible solution...

    "How, I wonder, would people respond if the cost of motoring were pushed up to the point where only the very wealthy could afford to drive their cars and everyone else had to use public transport? Or if the cost of air travel were raised to the point where only the super-rich could afford to fly?"

    "With just a little adjustment, it [rationing] could be updated to our more market-orientated times. We could each be given an annual quota of environmental credits, or e-credits, to spend as we wished on goods or services to which access was restricted on environmental grounds."

  • bring back rationing