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I've seen these pendant lights before but never in colour.  Made by Bocci, a contemporary design and manufacturing house based in Vancouver, the colourless version is known as the Standard 28 Series and they are made with clear glass exterior spheres and opaque white interior glass cavities.  Through these, the Custom 28 Series, Bocci have introduced colour into the collection and in so doing, have broadened the design scope.  Because the lights can be produced in as many permutations and combinations of colour, composition, size and shape necessary to suit the design brief, the Custom 28 Series pendants are infinitely more versatile, but just as elegant as, the Standard 28 Series.

See more of the Custom 28 Series after the jump.

Is it too early to start thinking about this summer's wardrobe?  Maybe, but I already have and I am loving all things neon.

Details after the jump.
Image: island*atelier
I have wanted to write about the William Collieson Retrospective which was held at the Bermuda National Gallery from January to August of last year for several months.  Actually, when I look at the date, the draft post has been sitting around since March 2011!  The problem with writing this piece is that I wanted the review to do the show justice, but found it difficult to evoke the feeling of the pieces using two dimensional images. This was also compounded by the fact that, unlike the Masterworks Gallery which allowed me free reign take photos of the Charman entries, the Bermuda National Gallery prohibits photography so I wasn't able to take any pictures of the pieces and instead was told to rely on the images set out in the catalogue, which in the end I declined to do.  In any event I hope that my words will be able to convey the excitement and impact I felt on seeing the show.

The Clipp table leg turns any flat surface into a table. Designed by DLF, this incredibly versatile device can be attached to any piece or shape of wood, plastic or, glass to create tables of varying sizes and configurations.

I love the bright, sleek lines and electric colours on this new line of outdoor furniture from French designer Cédric Dequidt for Roche Bobois. The framework of the Ferré collection is constructed of lacquered stainless steel with upholstered elements and is made up of a sofa, armchair, dining and coffee tables.

I think fashion is having a black and white moment judging by the number of starlets who have been gracing the red carpet in the last few days wearing that colour combination.  Taking it a step further is the first KARL by Karl Lagerfeld collection which debuted yesterday exclusively on Net-a-Porter.  Largely full of monochromatic pieces, I'm not really loving the baggy, shapeless silhouette.  I've posted a few of the better ones here and after the jump.  You can see the full collection over at Net-a-Porter.

Images: Shopbop.com

I've been noticing lots of mullet hems around recently on dresses and even tops.  I don't mind the more subtle take on the trend.  These are (top two) T by Alexander Wang and (bottom two) Elizabeth and James. 

Another "why didn't I think of that moment" comes from this fantastic double-ended jar design by Sherwood Forlee.  Called the Easy PB&J Jar, the jar is designed to help you access the residue left at the bottom without resorting to cracking it open.  As the jar empties, you simply flip it over ad unscrew the other end. 

The Easy PB&J Jar is still a prototype. Have a look at the work done by the designer here.

We are all about the unconventional seating today.  These chairs are by Shao Fan, a painter, sculptor and designer, who takes conventional furniture forms, deconstructs and reshapes them into new objects really effectively.
The Pinch bench by Matthias Pliessnig is his latest bent-wood seating piece.  I love the curved lines and lattice-work.

There are many, many silicone, rubber and 'natural' shoes around, all of which purport to be better for the feet than conventional footwear but in my opinion end up looking a little odd. Here is another spin on that trend, this time from a Spanish company called 01M OneMoment. The inspiration for the shoe comes from Amazonian tribes who dipped their feet in latex rubber. 01M OneMoment is essentially a latex sock which is moulded to the foot protecting it while allowing for comfort and air circulation. The shoe is also environmentally friendly as it eventually wears down and degrades to nothing.

As they have an extremely thin sole, I'm not sure how much protection they actually offer but as they  retail at a fraction of the cost of other ergonomic footwear, they may be worth a try.

The first time I saw pictures of this building near Beijing, China, it literally took my breath away. It is actually a library which was designed to blend into the landscape through the choice of materials and placement of the building on site. The exterior is clad in wooden sticks, a feature which has local connotations as in many of the surrounding villages, sticks are gathered year round and piled up against the houses for use in stoves and fires. 

The architects have used this commonplace material in an extraordinary way. While it is not obvious from the photographs, the building is fully glazed to protect the contents and provide the optimal environment, however the use of the wooden sticks helps to camouflage the building and allows light to diffuse beautifully throughout the space creating a wonderful ambiance. 

See more pictures of the Liyuan Library after the jump.

Image: Scrappy's Bitters
Pssst! Excuse me but my ignorance is showing. Coming from the country which manufactures the most most famous bitters in the world, I never really thought about the fact that other bitters could or would be produced elsewhere, so I was surprised to stumble across Scrappy's Bitters recently. Rather than providing the traditional bitters flavour however, Scrappy's Bitters, which are the brainchild of bartender Miles Thomas, provide such varying flavours as celery and lime.  Each ingredient is hand-processed by Thomas and mixed with a blend of fruit and spices.
Image: Todd Oldham
Designer Todd Oldham and writer Kiera Coffee have created the ultimate tribute to seminal designer Alexander Girard. The 672-page book covers almost every aspect of Girard’s career, including textile and graphic design, typography, illustration, furniture design, interior design, product design, exhibit design, and architecture.  Examples of Girard’s repertoire including his bold, colorful, and iconic textile designs for Herman Miller, the Eameses, George Jensen and Eero Saarinen, his typographic designs for La Fonda del Sol restaurant and his celebrated retail store Textiles and Objects (1961) are all featured.

Girard’s work continues to inspire new generations of designers and have been integrated seamlessly into contemporary design through curated collaborations with companies like Kate Spade, Urban Outfitters, House Industries and Vitra appearing on textiles, wallcoverings, home accents and accessories. Oldham's own aesthetic is obviously influenced heavily by designers like Girard and so was perfectly suited to take on the project.

This book is published by Ammo Books.
I love looking at homes in movies, but sometimes they are so unrealistic I think "How can that person afford to live in such a beautifully appointed house?".  Among my favourites are Meryl Streep's character's house in It's Complicated, but my number one has to be Colin Firth's character's house in A Simple Man.  The house was designed in 1949 by John Lautner and in the film was supposedly set in the suburban section of Santa Monica whereas in reality, it is actually located in Glendale, California.

See more of the Lautner property after the jump.
For those of you who regularly read this blog, it's no secret that I love my mid-century aesthetic, therefore I've decided to be totally self-indulgent and to devote an entire day on the blog to mid-century design. 

First up is this wonderful collaboration between renowned type foundry House Industries and Heath Ceramics, both of which have previously been featured here. Together they have collaborated on a series of house numbers which celebrate architects Richard Neutra and Ray and Charles Eames. The numbers are unglazed and raised on a clay tile which is glazed in a matte finish.  The Neutra numbers have been produced in monochromatic colours only while the Eames numbers are more playful and come in bright yellows and oranges as well as black.  Both numbers are ideal for contemporary structures but are sure to be a beautiful addition to the exterior of any property.

I don't really write about beauty products here unless I'm featuring the packaging, however I came across these last week and I thought them so revolutionary they merited a post. 

Sally Hansen's Salon Effects are perfect for people like me who are inept at doing their nails themselves. Usually by the time I finish applying the first coat, I've smudged something and have to start over.  With these, the polish comes in a thin layer and each strip is applied to the nail like a sticker.  There is absolutely no drying time which means once they have been applied to your nails you don't have to worry  about smudging or ruining your manicure. 

Right now, a little disappointingly, they mainly come in extremely wild colours and patterns but so far I've used a couple of the more conservative options and absolutely love the results.  They are expensive, but work out to be a lot more economical and convenient than getting a manicure at the salon and the results are equivalent in my opinion.  I hope they will expand the range of colours soon, but in the meantime I will be hoarding the ones they have.

Image: bkr
With everyone being so health- and environmentally-conscious these days, I am always interested in the ways in which people are attempting to address the problems associated with portable water including reducing the use of plastic. 

One solution has been devised by Tal Soltz and Kate Cutler who have produced bkr, a glass bottle which is wrapped in a protective, removable silicone sleeve.  Because it is made of glass, the bottle is healthier than plastic and can be recycled.  The sleeve can also be recycled in some areas and helps protect the bottle from  breakage and aids grip.  You can learn more about the bkr bottle here.
The other day I was at a friend's house and she brought out a small laptop for me to use. After struggling to scroll the page and wondering why nothing worked, she calmly explained to me it was not a touch screen. It just shows either how thick I am or how quickly we can become used to a new form of technology. In any event, this may be the perfect watch for me.  By none other than Swatch and retailing at the fairly respectable price of $140, the Touch Watch offers all the usual features (time, date, chronograph) all at the swipe of a finger.

New Zealand based designer Karen Walker has joined with Anthropologie to sell her lower-priced Hi There From Karen Walker line of dresses exclusively through Anthropologie stores come March. 

With a real rockabilly sensibility, see more of the collection after the jump.
This multi-purpose, modular furniture from NONAH is such a good idea. It allows you to completely customise the furniture according to your particular needs. In addition to looking extremely smart and stylish, you can choose from several different configurations to ensure that your storage needs are met perfectly. The bookcase comes with five sets of cabinets in primary colours and metal connectors to attach them to each other, and can also be combined with other cabinets from the same company to create a stylish and unique storage system for your children.

See more examples of children's furniture from NONAH after the jump.
Image: brightspark design
Blue Ivy can keep her allegedly solid gold rocking horse, I much prefer this cute and cuddly rocking sheep by brightspark design.  At a fraction of the price, the sheep is available here.

Hangers as art?  Who would have thought it but looking at these hangers from Montreal-based Toma Objects, you might be forced to reconsider the conventional thought. The hangers are made of birch plywood and come in standard and accessory (perfect for hanging scarves and belts) sizes.
Image: Kikkerland Design Inc.
These adorable hedgehog dryer balls are from Kikkerland Design Inc.
Although they have around for hundreds of years, I like this new take on the matryoshka doll by Mike He. It tells the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf and of course her grandmother. I love the graphics and the witty take on the story.
Well, against my better judgement, I am in love with the Jason Wu's collection for Target.  With an unmistakably French feel and lots of nautical references, I may have to make sure my Target account is registered and activated by February 5 and hope Target has learned its lesson.

I have included my favourite outfits and accessories here and after the jump.
Suno have moved into the sneaker market with this brightly patterned collection.   The canvas shoes come in laced and slip-on versions and are covered with their trademark prints.  The sneakers are a limited edition (of course) and retail for about $65.  See the full line after the jump.

This sleek chair from JDS Architects keeps the inessentials to a minimum.  By removing all padding and extraneous material, all that is left is the chair’s frame in its simple skeletal form.  Made of wood veneer, the Bone chair is still a prototype.

Paul Smith has designed a series of graphic and colourful stamps for the Isle of Man to commemorate the summer Olympics which will be held in London in a few months.  The stamps went on sale on January 1.

See more of the stamps after the jump.
How adorable are these wooden slippers which are a fun spin on the traditional Japanese footwear?  These Ashiato (meaning "footprint") sandals come in five versions, each with their own color and creature footprint (there is also a tyrannosaurus not pictured above) and each leaves its own unique mark.

Today is shaping up to be prototype day as we feature yet another interesting design which has not yet entered into production.  This time the concept behind the Integralus watch designed by Art Lebedev Studio is that the strap becomes the watch.  The face of the watch is split in two - one half shows hours and the other minutes, and the display forms the clasp with each half coming together to create the whole.  

The body of the watch is made of milled aluminium and, to account for differences in wrists, three sizes of the elastic band are offered.  The only downside I can see is that because of the split, the watch needs two sets of batteries.  

See more views of the Integralus watch after the jump.
Image: Chen Yu-Hsin
Baby bottles are now typically angled like this so really it was only a matter of time before the same principle was applied to other uses.  The Easy Drink water bottle is designed by Chen Yu-Hsin and has an offset mouth.  In addition to making the bottles easier to use, the angled opening is designed to assist with refilling the bottles from sinks and water fountains. 
I like the geometric wedge heel on these Schuler & Sons  shoes.  New from Anthropologie's January 2012 catalogue.  More views after the jump.
Image: Target
These images, which are the first glimpse of Jason Wu's Target collaboration, have been circulating around the inter-webs over the last few days.  After the fiasco which was the Missoni collaboration (shoppers are reportedly only now being sent purchases), I don't expect to indulge, but I do like what I've seen so far.  The line is heavily influenced by French culture and fashion, in particular French New Wave films and the actress Jean Seberg.

Jason Wu for Target hits stores on February 5.

Bermuda is the featured destination in the Spring 2012 catalogues for David's Bridal.  The photos, which were shot mainly at the Coral Beach Club but also at various other locations around the island including St George's, use the island's traditional architecture and brightly coloured buildings to great effect.

See more photos after the jump.

Happy New Year!

Things have been a bit slow over the holidays, but we will get back on schedule this week with lots of new posts and news. The backlog is so great we may double (or triple) up on our usual number of stories until things settle down.

Here's to a great 2012!