Ads

May 27 2009




Thanks to Apple the standard of marketing undertaken by computer and tech companies has dramatically increased. Apple showed the world that tech products can be 'sexy' and marketed creatively. The latest brand in this realm to take a creative approach to advertising is Microsoft. New Zealand agency Y&R zoomed in on the idea of home entertainment for this series of ads for the software giant. Promoting Microsoft Vista, which allows you to access your phone, music and photos etc from your PC, the ads are anchored around the idea of making your home a theme park of entertainment - a bouncy castle of fun. - Lisa Evans.

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Transportation

May 25 2009




Another iconic vehicle is about to be reborn and brought into the 21st century. This time it is the Mercedes-Benz 300SL that is getting the make-over treatment (that’s the car with the batman-esque doors to you and me, or Gull-wings as they are known in the car business).



This beautiful badboy, first introduced to the roads in 1954, is to be modified by Arturo Alonso and his company, Gullwing America. This time round it will be much more powerful, easier to handle and of course, it will feature all the mod-cons that one has come to expect from a vehicle of its caliber.



Alonso is perhaps the best man to complete this task, being no stranger to the exotic car sector. He raced for years in a Mercedes 300SE, and he is also the engineer behind the Bentley S3 E concept from last year.



With an aluminum body constructed with aircraft composite technology and chassis made of powder coated steel, the car will be powered by Mercedes’ M-133-55 engine, wired to raise the horsepower to 370. The new model will also feature striking red leather interior and an old-school instrument panel. The only hard thing left to do is to decide if you want the white one or the black one. - Brendan McKnight


Travel

May 25 2009




We first stayed at Macakizi – the sexiest pontoon beach club frequented by Istanbul’s super-chic A-list jet-setters – a couple of years ago when we were setting up TCH Turkey.


 
Now is the perfect time of the year to head back to Macakizi as it gets incredibly hot and busy there when the season really kicks off. Macakizi is the best place to stay in the Bodrum area.


 
Located in the village of Turkbuku, half-hour drive from Bodrum, Macakizi is named after proprietor Sahir Erozan’s mother Ayla. Her nickname is Macakizi, the Queen of Spades. Ayla is the originator of the pontoon beach club concept in which you never really touch a beach but instead lounge on terraces carved into the steep hillside.


 
Creating a perfect stage for the eye candy coming at you from all sides in the form of immaculately groomed, beautifully tanned and designer-gear-attired bodies, the hotel itself is elegantly down-played. It is concealed by the lush vegetation but the view of the Aegean is ever-present. The architecture is loosely Mediterranean, the rooms are classy, unadorned and sparse.


 
Celebrities and other VIPs parade from morning till night in Chanel swimsuits, Pucci sunglasses and William Richardson sarongs. Money and attitude and a penchant for gossip are prevalent, and the whole scene reminded us of a French Vogue shoot live with Steven Meisel shooting.


 
The highlight of the visit is always the food: absolutely amazing Turkish cuisine served buffet-style and al fresco. Having said that, now we really need another Macakizi fix! - Bill Tikos

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Transportation

May 22 2009



Whether your cargo is kids, laundry, groceries or beach gear, the coolest way to haul it is the Madsen Cargo bike. These handy urban transporters from Salt Lake City, Utah, can carry 271 kg (nearly 600 pounds) either in a bucket or on a rack. The bikes and the buckets come in three colors: dramatic black, yummy cream and sweet baby blue. Accessories for the bucket include seat belts and a seat for your progeny, pet or bride. The creative heads at Madsen are constantly tinkering with the bike and accessories, and according to their blog, a lid for the bucket is in the works. With their long tails, these bikes command attention. - Tuija Seipell

Music

May 20 2009




It's hard to imagine any band that's able to utilise the studio as effectively as Grizzly Bear. The Brooklyn-based quartet seamlessly weaves instruments into textures, rendering music that is almost irrelevant to discuss in traditional terms of rhythm and arrangement. But Grizzly Bear's art is not something to be thought about, it's something to be felt; it sweeps through you, feathering imagination and unlocking emotion. While this is prodigiously modern music, the cleverness of its coordination and restraint of delivery makes it seem of a porous and playful past, leaving the listener lying on a hardwood floor in the 60s, reading Kerouac and smoking Lucky Strikes. A spectacular triumph, Veckatimest is as absolutely enchanting as it is thoroughly impressive. - Matt Shea

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Food

May 14 2009




You know how good you feel when you have just tidied your workspace, and how much more organized and productive you seem to be. Do great surroundings affect other areas of life as well? For example, if school meals were served in well-designed and good-looking spaces - could this encourage healthy eating and improve the well-being of students?

That was the theory behind a pilot project of The School Food Trust, a government body in the UK chaired by Michelin-starred chef, writer and entrepreneur, Prue Leith. The Trust aims to improve the quality of school food and to promote the health of children and young people.



The Trust has been working with students to gain an understanding of the importance of the lunchtime environment. The goal is to create new school dining environments across the UK.

A pilot project - The Applemore College Canteen (or ACC as it has been rebranded) - was recently completed at Applemore Technology College in Southampton, where on a tight budget of £55K, the once-dull and lifeless dining hall was transformed into a buzzing eatery and hang-out space, extremely popular among the students.



Designed by renowned architects SHH, the 4,000-square-foot interior now has a relaxed cafeteria feel with areas zoned for eating and for casual hanging-out. The ACC’s innovative features include hanging graphic panels which help absorb noise, and an industrial feel and striped motif inspired by Manchester's popular Hacienda club.

“This pilot project proves that well-designed and suitably equipped kitchens and dining areas are solid investments for the future and contribute significantly to the whole school approach to healthy lifestyles and to the overall success of the school,”says Barbara Roberts, Delivery Manager at The Trust.



Clearly, you don’t have to be a trendy bar, a boutique hotel or the pop-up store of the moment, to create positive buzz. This project shows that with some well thought-out ideas and innovative planning, even the dullest of spaces can be transformed. And at reasonable cost. - Brendan McKnight
 

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Music

May 7 2009



Death. Abuse. Illness. Heavy-handed subject matter that, in hands less-skilled than those of US indie outfit The Antlers, could have ended up sounding like a concept album scripted by the guy who writes the sad bits in Grey's Anatomy.

Sentimental, introspective indie music has produced some of the best and worst music of this decade and The Antlers - like forerunners Arcade Fire, whose aptly named Funeral also took in ruminations on death and isolation - manage to create an album in Hospice that pours out more like poetic diary entries than a ham-fisted attempt at a linear, tear-jerking narrative. Musically, The Antlers build on the tension between intimate and sprawling dynamics. Beginning with a textured drone that moves into the album's most openly vigil-inviting track, Kettering, The Antlers maintain an affinity with ambience and abstract noises that makes proceedings both more sinister and disorienting. The vocals are suitably thin and at their loudest there's still an underlying fragility to it all.

This could have easily resulted in a big mess, but it's in treading so close to that line and ultimately pulling it off that Hospice becomes that much more exciting and vital. - Matt Hickey

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Architecture

April 30 2009




Reflection of Mineral is a 480-square-foot (about 45 square meters) residence located in downtown Tokyo’s Nakano ward. Designed by architect Yasuhiro Yamashita Reflection of Mineral has received wide architecture and design media attention and numerous international awards.



Depending on viewpoint, the house looks like a bulky camper van about to take off. Or it seems to be the result of a giant’s frustrated attempt to fashion a house from a square box. Realizing that the site is too small and the wrong shape for his house, the giant just stuffed the house into the site by force. The whimsy of this beautiful residence is a big part of its charm. At the same time, the house is also an elegant expression of modern Japanese minimalism, and an example of brilliant use of a sparse site, a requirement in the tight space of downtown Tokyo.



Also beautiful is the way in which the interior appointments — the lines of the bathtub, the curves of the waste bins, the wavy length of the utilitarian shelves — respond to the lines of the building. This makes the interior seem larger and much less boxy than one would assume from the outside.



Yasuhiro Ymashita who was born in Kagoshima in 1960. He established Atelier Tekuto in Tokyo in 1991.  - Tuija Seipell

 

Fashion

April 29 2009



The owl as a fashion trend originated from the craft world. It has since been interpreted on many a fashionable outfit, toy, tote bag and statement accessory since. But none quite like this fabulous singlet dress ($45) for mini fashionistas, complete with ombre background to really make the owl print stand out!  Not only is it likely to offer wisdom to your emerging hunter of cool, but it will help you find them in crowds!!   

Kidswear has undergone a huge transformation over the last few years, led by a new generation of designers who have applied their creativity to the children's category, usually after having kids themselves. Today kidswear is a carbon copy of adult fashion - incorporating key trends.



(Above) Flannel Overshirt - $75,  Mini cord skirt $55, Bunny half length sweater - $55 

You know a brand has succeeded when you look at a kids item and want to wear it yourself. Like this new collection, which features graphic print t-shirts, shorts and boardies, which wouldn't look out of place on the backs of urban hipsters.



(Above) Bunny longsleeve tee $45,  Tote Bag - $35, Green Cave Man tee - $45, Panel Spray Jacket - $95


Unfortunately you need to be aged six or under to squeeze into them so we've accepted that they are strictly for kids. If you have any little people in your life, you can purchase a limited number of these pieces through us - email [email protected]



(Above) Mini cord dress - $75, dip dye sweater - $65



(Above) - Cave man tee - $45, Mini cord dress - $75)



(Above) - Pack Man tee - $45 - Smiley tee $45 - B+W shorts - $55


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Stores

April 27 2009



After having re-designed the Toronto flagship of Canada’s only luxury department store, Holt Renfrew, in 2005, design duo Paul Filek and Diego Burdi of Burdifilek received another great commission by the same owners.
 
They were asked to revitalize another retail icon: Dublin’s menswear retail destination Brown Thomas.


 
Brown Thomas (and its BT2) and Holt Renfrew are both part of the Wittington Investment Group that also includes Selfridges in the UK.
 
In Dublin – as in the Holt Renfrew store of their home town of Toronto – Burdi and Filek took a bold approach to luxury retail by using both traditional luxury touches and completely new materials.
 
In the lower-concourse men’s department of Brown Thomas’s Grafton-Street flagship, Burdifilek created two environments: An old-world bespoke-inspired haven of luxury, and a bold, ocean-blue contemporary zone that says luxury in a more modern language.


 
A walnut wall sculpture, custom wool carpeting and chocolate-brown suede walls deck the more traditional bespoke section and its tailoring area. The art-gallery atmosphere of the blue fashion-forward zone sparkles and gleams in silver, blue and polished stainless steel.
 
Responding to the client’s desire to evoke a progressive sensibility to international luxury retailing, Burdifilek used exclusive custom furnishings, unexpected materials and bold statements.


 
Brown Thomas’s Grafton Street store has been a destination of demanding worldly consumers since 1849. It offers high-end designer fashion, accessory, cosmetics and home ware brands from around the world.
 
Diego Burdi is the design and creative lead of Burdifilek while Paul Filek is the dealmaker and managing partner. The two graduates of the Ryerson interior design program, together with their growing team of designers and specialists, occupy an 8,000-square-foot studio at Queen and Bathurst Streets in Toronto. - Tuija Seipell


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