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Image: Bendell Design
Have a look at the tasteful interiors of Crow Lane House designed by Bendell Design.


Image: VPL
Purveyors of bandage and bondage dressing VPL have teamed with Fleabags, makers of eco-friendly and ethically made carryalls to release a collection of vegan-leather shoppers, backpacks, totes, and clutches for spring 2013.

Image: Oliver Goldsmith
The Mini Icons line is the first collection of Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses for children aged 4 to 14. They feature exact replicas of some of Oliver Goldsmith's most iconic styles sized to fit smaller faces and are available in vibrant colourways.
Image: Timothy John

New Zealand-based designer Timothy John has created the Sidekick stool, the shape of which is reminiscent of a science beaker.  As the contents of the beaker were traditionally sealed with a cork stopper, the seat of the stool is formed from hand-turned cork while the base is made of powder-coated steel and gives it lightness and transparency.  While the stool occupies physical space, it is visually unobtrusive.

Images: The Generic Man
For the SHIRT collection for Commes des Garçons, shoe designers The Generic Man have traded in their conservative sensibilities for these vibrant, graphic sneakers. The collection includes three shoe styles with countless hue combos and patterns, but we like the Wellington, a canvas sneaker with cartoon-like, hand-drawn designs the best. The full collection will be available at Commes des Garçons shops worldwide.
Image: Studio248
We like the visual lightness and combination of materials in designer Jakkapun Charinratana's Cutting Edge Chair.  From Thailand-based Studio248, the chair will be exhibited at the 2013 IMM Cologne show in Germany.

Image: Cocobel
We're not sure what it is about art and chocolate that go so well together but when we wrote about this operation in Austria last year, little did we know at the time that something similar (albeit on a much smaller scale but no less special) was taking place closer to home.

Cocobel chocolates are the artisanal creations of Isabel Brash, an architect who has turned her passion for chocolate-making into a fully-fledged business.  The chocolates are manufactured in the kitchen of a beautifully restored gingerbread house which she designed and built in Port of Spain, Trinidad, part of which is used as an art gallery and performance space.

The cocoa beans she uses come exclusively from the Rancho Quemado Estate in the southern part of the island and are transformed into chocolate by hand.  The flavours have a distinctly West Indian flair and are inspired by the unique Trinidadian palate and include seasonal fruits (consisting mostly of local produce) without artificial flavours or preservatives.  Some of the unique combinations include Expresso Shot - Trinidadian coffee infused dark chocolate covered in delicate chocolate curls, Gingerbread Spice - dark chocolate over a buttery ganache of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and ginger and Guavas and Cream - dark chocolate wrapped around guava cheese and vanilla infused white chocolate.

Brash's initial interest in making chocolate was born out of curiosity but she claims the experience transformed her.  She hopes her chocolates will help people to tap into something wild and raw and that by consuming the chocolate, they too will experience something of a mystical transformation.

Image: Nendo
Coca-Cola's iconic contour bottle, part of the brand since its inception in 1916, has been re-conceptualised by Nendo as tableware.  

The collection is made from bottles that have deteriorated over the course of extensive recycling and can no longer be used for their original purpose.  The designers were  interested in retaining the green tint in the bottles (known as Georgia Green) and by the air bubbles and distortions that are a hallmark of recycled glass and so decided to create simple shapes that would highlight these features while retaining certain distinctive markers of the original bottle in the new products.  To do this, they created bowls and dishes that retain the characteristic lower shape of the contour bottle, including the dimpling on the base.  The ring-shaped indentations on the base of the bowls and plates also has a secondary meaning: it conveys a message about the way glass circulates from its manufacture, use and recycle for further use, as well as about the connections the glass makes between people in this process.

Images: Glück
It's no surprise that the Glücksstuhl or Lucky chair was designed by an architect.  It's functional, good looking and includes a hidden storage compartment.  The chair, which also doubles as a push toy and walker, is the work of Francesco from Nimio-lab and has been made exclusively for Glück shop.  It also comes with a blackboard surface for drawing and writing on and two holes through which things can be quickly hidden. 
Image: Enrique Diaz-Rato
This pinhole camera by Enrique Diaz-Rato is made of injection molded Polyethylene, rabbit fur and goat leather.  As an invention, the pinhole camera has been around for centuries and this camera is intended to recapture the true essence and value of a photograph which Diaz-Rato thought had lost its whimsy. With this modern pinhole camera users can experiment with photography using a form that has all but vanished.

Image: COVO
The No.3 Stool by COVO features an unconventional triangular, saddle shape and employs a complex geometry of bent wirework which is moulded to form a faceted seating surface.  The  No.3 Stool is available in two heights and several bold, solid colours.  
Image: Honor
Another gorgeous Pre-Fall collection, this time from Honor.  

Image: House Industries
These Alphabet Factory Blocks are from House Industries and have been designed by Andy Cruz.  Printed by hand with non-toxic, lead-free child-safe inks, the blocks feature high-contrast graphics on sustainable Michigan-grown, kiln-dried basswood.  The 31 interlocking blocks come in a special keepsake package.

Image: Bogo Brush
Bogobrush is a new type of toothbrush geared towards reducing the amount of environmentally hazardous plastic waste that comes from the manufacture and use of the standard toothbrush.  the designers pared the brush down to the basics: you won't find any batteries, useless grips or gimmicks here.  Instead, care was taken to design a brush which is simply comfortable to hold and beautiful to look at.  Made with a sustainable bamboo handle and biodegradable nylon bristles, the cylindrical form of the Bogobrush is designed not to force the hand into one position and to allow effortless brushing in any hand and any part of the mouth.  When worn, the bristles may be replaced without the need to toss the handle too.
Image: island*atelier
We love the nostalgia generated by the invitation for Masterworks' upcoming photography exhibit Drawing With Light.  Sent in an envelope reminiscent of those used when developing film, the invitation was printed on translucent vellum paper.  The show will have a public element and  included with the invitation was a card for the submission of a family snapshot which will be put on display alongside the other art.  The public photographs are intended to create an enduring record of family histories, trends and leisure activities in Bermuda.  

The exhibition opens tonight.

Image: Jack Spade
We're really feeling camouflage print at the moment, so the Swedish M90 Camo Bags from Jack Spade made us sit up and take notice.  We've always treated the print as a neutral and this line featuring a feature a Swedish Army splinter camouflage pattern has been punched up a bit with custom Jack Spade hardware and black or orange "dipped" reinforced bases.  Other features include natural canvas lining, Wax wear trim and removable straps.  The line features briefcase and coal bag shapes.

Image: Catherine Aitken
This is Scottish designer Catherine Aitken's recently debuted collection, Fade which explores gradient colour by playing with levels of light, hue and pattern.  The seating originally began life as a lighting collection, but Aitken eventually changed focus and ended up creating a set of stools and a bench (not shown).  The stools are powder-coated steel frames which are topped with a plywood plate and wrapped with a combination of cotton cords sourced from Japan.  
Image: Whistles
Whistles' simply styled, minimalist lookbook is strong on ladylike kitten heels, smart dresses and tropical prints.  Highlights above and below.

Image: Keds
Keds are launching a collection in collaboration with Kate Spade New York featuring their classic sneaker revisited and updated with pithy statements, bright geometric patterns and pops of colour and colour-blocking.  The collection launches next month, just in time for Spade’s 20th anniversary, and will be available in Kate Spade New York stores, Nordstrom and online. 

Image: Vers
Like a striped-down, bite-sized version of the 1.5R Sound System we wrote about here, the 1Q from Vers is a 3" hand-crafted wooden cube which houses an integrated Bluetooth sound system.  It provides a simple wireless audio link to any smartphone, laptop or tablet device.  The 1Q has a compact footprint, 30 foot range and approximately 10+ hours of battery life.  Plug two 1Qs together for instant stereo sound.  

The Vers 1Q was launched in 2012 on Kickstarter.  All of the wood used in its production is replanted at a ratio of 100:1 in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and the US forest service.  

Image: Target
Here we go!  Kicking off 2013's high-low collaborations is fashion darling Prabal Gurung who is partnering with Target on a collection that is inspired by love.  

Hot on the heels of an exclusive video featuring Gurung discussing his motivation for the line, come these lookbook images.  The collection features his trademark florals, flirty silhouettes and mesh paneling to good effect and includes collared blouses, pleated skirts, crisp blazers, ruffly dresses and shorts.  It is femininity with an edge and while the outfits have a high-fashion vibe, they are more wearable than his runway looks while remaining true to his aesthetic.  Prabal Gurung for Target includes women's ready-to-wear and accessories priced from $13 to $200 and will be available from February 10 at all Target stores and online.

Image: Selfridges

Remember that line of generic grocery and household products which could be found in its no-frills, plain packaging back in the 1980s called No Name?  Promoted as basic products in plain packaging at down-to-earth everyday low prices, it promised savings of between 10 and 40 percent over national brands by eschewing the idea of marketing in a way that hasn't been replicated much during the brand-conscious decades that followed.  Now however, Selfridges is introducing a range of de-branded products as part of its "No Noise" retail campaign with the intention of reducing unnecessary noise from the visual and other sensory stimulation they claim we are constantly bombarded with.

In addition to the Quiet Shop which includes minimalist fashion, accessories and beauty products from Jil Sander, Uniform Wares and others, the "No Noise" campaign includes a carefully curated edit of some of the world's most recognisable brands.  These brands, which include Beats by Dre, Levi's, Marmite and Crème de la Mer, have taken the symbolic step of removing their logos and superfluous information from their labels and packaging and as such have created (intentionally of otherwise) exclusive collector's items. 

Image Courtesy the Bermuda National Gallery
This review has been a long time coming.

Jamaican artist Ebony J Patterson held an exhibition entitled Out and Bad at the Bermuda National Gallery almost a year ago to the day.  It was such an outstanding show, we felt we could not afford to overlook it in spite of the lapse of time.  The delay in our review can largely be attributed to the same fate that befell this review of William Collieson's work, in that we were afraid the moratorium which the Gallery has in place with regard to the taking of photographs, coupled with the dearth of official photographs of the exhibition available for publication, meant we would fail to do the show justice.

Patterson, a professor at the University of Kentucky, has been exploring the interplay between popular music, dance and fashion within Jamaican culture for the better part of a decade and with it, issues of gender identity and duality.  The title of the exhibition has a double meaning: on the one hand it refers to a Jamaican expression of joy or satisfaction, while on the other it is a colloquial term for someone who has come out of the closet as a homosexual.  The concept of Out and Bad was developed over a period of three years with Patterson reusing clothing from earlier photo-based projects.  Split into three areas: a shop, a central group of mannequins and a series of four tapestries situated around the perimeter, the saturated colours, glitter, embellishments and patterns make Patterson's work visually stunning.

The floral tapestries hung behind mannequins whose features were obscured in such a manner as to cause them to fade into the background.  The tapestries were set up as shrines of sorts grounded with liquor, money, flowers, bars of soap and skin whitening creams - items which are fairly commonplace in the Caribbean but which were distorted and embellished enough to give the familiar a surreal flavour.  The tapestry installations also had a three-dimensional quality with the leaves and flowers of the tapestries spilling on to the floor in front of the onlooker, drawing them into the scene.  Another set of mannequins exhibited on a plinth slightly elevated above the main floor of the gallery were clustered in a central group peering down at the audience.  These mannequins were covered in fabric intended to be a subtle reference to the popular acts of tattooing and skin bleaching.

The main crux of Patterson's show was to question the strict interpretation of what is masculine and what is feminine within a particular culture.  The juxtaposition of the traditionally conservative wallpaper and tapestries with the vibrancy of the youth-culture which is the dancehall scene in Jamaica was startling and effective.

Image: Valsecchi 1918
This collection of furniture called Obi is made by the Milanese designer Davide Anzalone in collaboration with Tommaso Bistacchi for Valsecchi 1918.  The collection consists of a coffee table and a console with shelf or storage drawers with a simple, streamlined design but the colourful inner structure that forms the base of each piece is an effective contrast and creates interest.

Image: Imaxtree
Taking the coloured sole trend a step further, MAN's Fall 2013 Menswear collection featured these practical rubber-covered brogues.

Image: Plicate Nava
The Benjamin Hubert Plicate Nava Watch switches out the traditional flat watch face for a pleated and undulating aluminium surface.  The folds mark the passage of seconds and the interplay of shadows adds a striking look to the watch.  Even the polyurethane strap is pleated on the underside to prevent heat and sweat from becoming trapped against the skin.  The strap also features a bar-style pop closure for additional security.
Image: Kim Myung Hyun
All of the permutations and combinations of Korean designer Kim Myung Hyun's A intersection B collection of furniture makes it one of the most functional and versatile designs we have seen in a while.  Made specifically with single people and the optimisation of limited space in mind, rather than using the traditional method of folding or collapsing furniture as a space-saving mechanism, the A intersection B collection relies on joining of its pieces by the sharing of legs.  

A intersection B consists of a black floor lamp, a side table or a stool, a desk, and a "book box", and all of the pieces fit together to allow for the efficient utilisation of space depending on the environment.  Placing the base of the floor lamp into a transparent leg of the table for example is both visually effective and an effective utilisation of space.

Image: JOCO
A while ago, we attempted to find a portable travel mug locally without much success, so it was love at first sight when we came across these cups from JOCO, a company which was established and operates out of the coastal town of Torquay in Victoria, Australia.  The ethically-minded company is all about equal amounts of substance and style using environmentally safe materials combined with smart design in the hope that the public will switch from non-reusable alternatives. Made from borosilicate glass with a tonal thermal silicone sleeve, the cup features a splash-safe lid and comes in a standard Barista size.  Even the packaging of the cups follows the company's eco-mindset and has been designed to be reused.

Image: SUCK UK
The simple addition of two metal "wings" to a pencil sharpener makes so much sense in retrospect.  In the same way wing nuts can be turned and tightened by hand without the use of tools, the wings on this metal pencil sharpener designed by Sasha Blagov allow it to be turned easily. 

Images: Anthropologie

Over the holiday season I was amazed by some of Anthropologie's gift offerings.  Perhaps in a misguided attempt to compete with Neiman Marcus' infamous Christmas Book where you can buy anything from a jet to a box of (albeit gourmet) cookies, Anthropologie offered such weird and expensive items as a fox hat and stand for $980, a framed rabbit's head and foot for $1,500, a retro outdoor games set for $6,500, a limited edition stand up Paddle board for $6,500 and a table tennis board in the shape of Easter Island for $14,800.

I wonder how sales were.  Have a look at some of the items above and after the jump.

Images: Orla Kiely House
Orla Kiely House is the first home collection by the designer and it is heavily influenced by her Mid-Century aesthetic.  The range consists of furniture, lighting, rugs and throws, ceramics, towels and bed linens and cushions.  Materials include walnut, wools, cottons and earthenware in Kiely's distinctive colour palettes, patterns and prints.

Image: Poketo
How adorable are these character pens from Poketo an online and brick-and-mortar shop located in Los Angeles' Arts District?
Images: Kevin Champeny
How sweet it is.  This chandelier by Kevin Champeny for Jellio is made up of just over 3000 hand-cast acrylic Gummi Bears and is available in two sizes: 18 or 31 inches in diameter. 

Image: Kelly Wearstler
Kelly Wearstler has also put out a striking Pre-Fall 2013 collection.  The largely monochromatic line inspired by the Suprematism art movement of World War I Russia features bold geometric prints, metallic and leather jackets and (of all things) denim fanny packs.  But somehow it all works.

Image: Prabal Gurung
As the fashion industry continuously churns out clothes for each season as well as that season's pre-, post- and resort periods, lets have a look at two of our favourites thus far, starting with Prabal Gurung's Pre-Fall 2013 line of sleek and romantic separates which takes its inspiration from, of all things, Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet.

Images: Nendo

In a striking example of biomimicry, Japanese design studio Nendo have created the Splinter collection for Conde House, a manufacturer based in Japan’s famous Asahikawa wooden furniture region.  Each piece has the appearance of being splintered: the backrest of the chair divides to become armrests and legs, the apex of the coat stand peels away to provide coat hooks while the side table’s base splits in three to provide legs.  Larger pieces of wood have been kept at their original thickness for strength and thinner pieces of wood taper for the splintered effect.  In order to maintain pliancy, the wood was handled carefully and along the grain.