Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When life gives you lemons...

This shirt sums up how I feel I should handle this current economic downturn. Nuff said. 
For $20, it's an easy sell. Seen over at design is mine .

California Dreaming

 Apartment Therapy leads a reader's request about this sign to vintage San Francisco art signage by Rex May. Such a classic. Perfect for hanging in the house for some California nostalgia.
49 Mile Scenic Drive poster , $80 at Etsy

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Plush Kills, Kids

Remember when you cried like a baby when Bambi's mother was killed? Relive that end-to-innocence moment with Cherrybox Studio's series, PlushKill Forest. Kitschy woodland animals are memorialized, not for your (child's) bedside but instead, mounted for artistic, cute, morbidly crafted display.  If American Psycho's Patrick Bateman had offspring, somehow, I think this would be a perfect fit. Pick your prey: unicorns, goats, rabbits, mouses, oh my.

Ork's Seattle Poster in the works

Apartment Therapy 's documenting Ork Poster's design of the next city poster: Seattle! First, New York, Chicago, San Francisco...now its my new home's turn to shine. Through AT, Ork is soliciting feedback on the neighborhood mapping of the Emerald City. Is your 'hood represented?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Feeling Girly...

Ojousama wa Oyomesama
Present mood: kawaii shoujo mode

How personal (or private) is your desktop wallpaper selection? Do you do default Windows/Mac wallpaper or do you artfully customize? For me, it's minimal, minimal, minimal, clean design, befitting for someone with my occupational background.  However, I blew those intentions out of the water! IF you're gonna do girly, do girly ALL THE WAY. My mood's been in coquettish, super kawaii mode. I love manga in all its cleanly drawn artistic style. Kiss, kiss! Cherry blossoms, kimono patterns, and beautiful girls and boys? I'm so there. I know, shameless.  Key for me: all desktop pictures must be personally inspiring (So no near nekkid pics of Angelina Jolie or A-Rod here -- urgh, coworkers = TMI). What's currently on display: Ojousama wa Oyomesama wallpaper. Here's a snapshot of previous desktop themes:

Kung Fu Generation wallpaper
shibuya girls

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kanebo Kate Makeup Campaign

Kanebo Kate advertisement
Another eye-catching advertisement seen in my latest batch of Japanese fashion magazines: Kanebo Kate featuring Mika Nakashima of Nana fame.  I adore the dark gothic atmosphere that surrounds the print and video campaigns ~ notice that the makeup itself isn't goth -- pretty, romantic, and minimal. 
Check out the video ad campaigns.

Vivienne Tam's HP laptop

Vivienne Tam is the latest collaborator in HP's effort to reinvent itself into a hipper, sexier brand. The result? A red peony patterned, "East Meets West" design for the fashion conscious according to the fashion designer. Displaying a 10 inch screen, this special-edition notebook is perfect for pick-up-and-go use. Macbook Air, is this your competitor? If I wasn't a devout Apple-user (I loathe Windows) I would take a closer look. No word yet on release date or technical specs. Read more at Laptop Mag

Vivienne Tam HP clutch laptop

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Japanese Makeup Campaign for Anna Sui Cosmetics

Sept Non-no cover

The September issue of Japanese fashion magazine, Non-No, highlighted Anna Sui's cosmetic line for its 10th anniversary. The included look-book was inside.  I've uploaded hi-res snapshots (sorry, no scanner!) so click on the images to get a closer look. From the cute hair styles, nail fashion, and pretty makeup, I love the looks featured. US fash mags -- take note.
Anna Sui 10th Anniversary Makeup Booket in Non-no
Anna Sui 10th Anniversary Makeup Booket in Non-no
Anna Sui 10th Anniversary Makeup Booket in Non-no
Anna Sui 10th Anniversary Makeup Booket in Non-no

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Trophy Cupcakes

Trophy Cupcake
A weekend "bon appetit."
Red Velvet Cake cupcakes, Trophy Cupcakes

Martha Stewart approves of this Seattle bakery.  Curious, I ventured to Wallingford to check the goods out. Beautifully displayed and designed, Trophy Cupcakes delivers an achingly sweet Red Velvet cupcake. Can you believe I got a tummy ache with it? You betcha I'm coming back for more. 

Getting Carded and Looking Pretty While Doing So

Red Letter Press cards
red letter press cards
Current Loving: Red Cap cards as illustrated by Carrie Gifford and Francesca Montanari

Who doesn't enjoy a greeting card in the mailbox? Evites and e-cards are trés passé, hardly inviting much thought and consideration compared to a handwritten, stamped note. I suppose that's why I keep my mailed greeting cards and delete those e-cards. My personal favorite is receiving cards that are artfully illustrated, perfect for framing if one's in need of decorative artwork (see my Yoshitomo Nara project).
So, to commemorate that, I wanted to share my latest greeting card find: Red Cap Cards.
If you love these Tim Burtonseque cards, seen above, you would love Carrie Gifford's illustrations. Sweet and eccentric, her cards would be a delight to deliver to whimsical friends.
red letter press cards
red letter press cards

Wanting something a little more delicate? Francesca Montanari delivers illustrations with a beautifully melancholic atmosphere that leave a lingering impression. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cheap Fashion Thrills on Flickr

I want this sweater in this pic!
Don't live nearby a local Kinokuniya bookstore? Can't afford to buy the latest Japanese/Korean/Chinese fashion magazines? Being in the States, I make do with cruising  websites like sushi-cat which totally feeds into my need for Asian street fashion coverage (now, that I live near a Kinokuniya, I can buy them but dang, they are expensive! $6-$14 each). But, for budget fashionistas, you can find inspiration pics in surprising places. Today, on FLICKR, I found  this user, twfashion21, who's posted a slew of fashion catalog pics from Taiwan (I think). Nom, nom, nom.
Enjoy the browsing!


Click, Click, Click! Stedelijke Feestzaal Coffee Bar

Stedelijke Feestzaal Coffee Bar (2)

Originally uploaded on Flickr by gron51

Whaaaa? This coffee shop/lounge/cafe looks like a decorative mashup of Marie Antoinette, the Jetsons, and James Bond. Discuss. I dig the clash between the rococo and the white neo-gothic chaises, I'd nab those in a heartbeat. 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rainy Days

Don't let inclement weather interfere with your style (and comfort). Ditch the soggy sneakers and puddle-splash in these trend-of-the-season plaid print rain boots. From clockwise:
1. Chooka Red Argyle boots
2. Chooka Original Houndstooth Boots
3. Rampage Raindrops Boots in Black/White Plaid
4. Rampage Raindrops Boots in Purple Plaid

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fashion Designer Pays Ode to Pac-Man

Photographs: Zak Hussein/PA

At the Giles runway show at London Fashion Week, models sported an 80s video-game motif -- can you guess which one? I wonder how much the couture Pac-Man helmets would cost? Too bad someone didn't think to stick a girly bow on top of them, then you could have had a Ms.Pac-man! Memo to self: Rad costume idea for Halloween. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Skullcandy Headphones

Skull Candy TI headphones, $79.95 at Skullcandy

Spotted in Seattle: Skullcandy headphones on my local bus route, sported by a skater. Sitting behind him, I peered behind him to check out the label on his headset gear -- Skullcandy. A favorite among snowboarders and skateboarders, Skullcandy sells some hot DJ style headphones. I dig the chunky, comfy headphones with their retro or neo-rave coloring. My favorite goes to either the TI headset (above) in rasta-gold or the bright blue-yellow SK-Pro below. 

SK Pro, $149.95 at Skullcandy

Vancouver Couture

Vancouver is a city that gets attention for its beautiful scenery, cosmopolitan eateries, and, of course, being the 2010 Winter Olympics host -- but who knew it had amazing shopping? Dear readers, I spent a long weekend with the BF for a holiday getaway that ended up as 80% shopping, 20% everything else (ouch! my wallet is still hurting). It didn't hurt that our hotel, the Hyatt Regency, was located two blocks away from Robson Street -- the premier shopping district for high and low shops all jumbled together (Tiffanys, LV, Hermes, Payless, Roots, Gap, etc). You know you're having a perfect shopping experience when you love everything in the store -- on sight -- and everything fits beautifully? That was so me in Vancouver. Canadian designers must get more love and I intend to delve into that. So who gets to be the beneficiary of this retail run down? You, my dear readers. Here's my favorite Canadian shops (and designers):

Aritiza @ 1110 Robson St. Vancouver

Aritzia, founded in Vancouver, was my favorite shop due to introducing me to unknown Canadian brands I wasn't aware of: Talula Babaton, its house brand (surprisingly top-shelf quality!) and Mackage, a Montreal outerwear brand. It doesn't hurt that it collaborates with artists and plays excellent music inside (Lykke Li, the Ting Tings were in rotation at the store). Lucky me that Aritzia's been branching into the US (*cough* Seattle *cough*). I was in the mood to shop for outwear (as I had none since moving from home). Between selecting Talula Babaton's winter peacoat over Mackage's winter coat, I ended up deciding on:

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. It cost me a pretty penny but I figure its worth the design + function investment -- I will at least look sharp in my cold weather gear. Beautiful tailoring from the coat's dramatic details in its oversized collar and buttons to its A-line waist flair. When I came home, I googled Mackage and WHAM! it was like falling in love all over again. Elisa Dahan and Eran Elfassy are the design duo behind Makage and I love their vision for Mackage's brand: darkly romantic, gothic militarism, and, above all, structured fit. I wanted to take everything from their website home with me but since I don't live in (oh I don't know, Mother Russia) I doubt I could wear them all. I highly recommend checking them out. 

Plenty at 1107 Robson St. Vancouver

Right across from Aritzia is Plenty. Here, it's all about Plenty's in-house brand, Propaganda here. I loved walking in, grabbing a bunch of items, and not recognizing any of the named labels. How unique is that? Trendy, urban, and minimalist sums up Plenty in Vancouver.  Plenty's Propaganda line had a pretty nice peacoat also (in grey charcoal) that I nearly bought (it was more affordable then Aritzia) but, for a first coat, I figure I'd prefer black over gray. 
 It's weird how Seattle and Vancouver have similar climate/weather yet Vancouver's retail shops carried waaaaayyy more winter coat selections over Seattle's. Vancouver's definitely a shopper's delight and I can't wait to go back again. 

Monday, September 8, 2008

Photo Inspiration: Shibuya Girls

J school girls

J school girls by Shinji Watanabe

I Heart Rummage + Seattle Steam Punk

This weekend, I checked out I Heart Rummage, a monthly independent craft marketplace that was held at Chop Suey nightclub in Seattle. Pretty swank in a nice dive-clubish type of way, eh?  Sift past the super-faddish craftwork and you'll find some interesting work.
I met Grace Acosta of Rivkasmom who specialized in steam punk jewelry. Since this visually-driven sub-culture is dedicated to marrying Victorian aesthetics (and all its glorious romanticism) with technology, it satisfies the gothic geek within me. Think HG Wells meets Edgar Allen Poe meets The Aviator. Grace works with reclaimed antique watch parts and jewelry bits and bobs to create her custom look. Pure eye candy to me. I lost myself trying on her different brooches, pins, rings, etc. Despite my no-purchase rule, I STILL bought myself a gift from Grace's booth. Look what I brought back with me (cue shameless modeling sequence):

How could I not? It was only $20 also. It's feminine tech-driven jewelry. I heart it. The fact that it was affordable and she was a friendly, informative vendor made it a sweet transaction.See more of Grace's work below.
She also has an Etsy page and a blog.

steam punk jewelry

I also dig her higher-priced rings on her website featured below 
(products photos from Rivkasmom)

For dearlydevoted shoppers, if you like what you see, check out Rivkasmom's website, Grace is having a Grand Opening sale with a storewide 20% discount when you use the code _____2008 

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Copenhagen Cycle Chic

Riding with the previous post, here's some beautiful street snapshots of girls bicycling (rather gorgeously) through the streets of Copenhagen. .These chic shots were posted by Flickr photographer,  [Zakkaliciousness], in his photo series, titled, Copenhagen Cycle Chic. . More fetching shots below:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Riding in Style: Dutch Bicycles

 A girl can dream right? How can you not see yourself cycling on the streets with this beauty of a bike? The back-rack allows you to stash your books-groceries-etc. and jaunt off to your next urban destination in style...Paris, Amsterdam, London, and Copenhagen, is that you I see in my future? A throwback to a glamorous era, the Oma is made by the Dutch Bike Co. of Seattle.

Like I said, a girl can dream right? Sigh. Europeans are spoiled when it comes to old-school, beautifully designed bicyles. This totally beats the Huffy I rode back in the day.