Yoko Ono might not know it, but she is, apparently, the embodiment of Denimbirds philosophy. The newish women's clothing line–little sister to famed Swedish denim label Nudie Jeans–has a few words about the infamous artist/Beatles wife on its glossy, bird-themed web site: "For John Lennon, Yoko Ono was a real bird – independent, strong and with a free spirit." Clothing," it continues, "should be fun and creative, a way to feel free in body and soul." Perhaps with that enigmatic message in mind, designer Maria Erixon has included in Denimbirds' 2006 Spring/Summer collection eight different pairs of (don't worry, non-denim) underwear. The hip-hugging briefs come in a variety of different colors and prints, including–keeping with the 1960s theme–paisley and a few flower-power worthy florals. For those who like it simple, there are four solids to choose from, too. (They're available for €35 from Kitchener) . There are also ladies' tank tops in similar styles, so underclothes aficionados can mix and match. by Anna Oberthur
Be ready for those extra hot summer days with these ultra-fine Merino wool Stones Boxer Shorts by Howies. Don't let the wool fool you—they're super-light weight and have an itch-free subtle rib construction that regulates temperature, resists odor build-up, and wipes away the moisture as they're worn. Available in cream or navy for £35 from Howies.
Known for jewelry featuring grenades, machine guns, and a usable coke straw, New York designer Bijules is taking a slightly tamer direction with her latest accessory, a black diamond and gold bar ring. Slipped on one finger, the sharp tapered points stretch across the hand, updating the classic brass knuckles with a much more glam touch. $3500 from Bijules.
Using simple radio frequency signals, RadarGolf takes (most of) the frustration out of golfing. A handheld finder tracks a proprietary microchip embedded in a ball that otherwise is equal to regular golf balls in every way. Within a range of 30-100 feet, the LCD screen's visual feedback and an audio tone gets stronger as it's closer to the ball. Included protective pouches shield balls that aren't in use from being detected. Check out another product shot after the jump and pick it up for $250 from RadarGolf or Amazon.
Breakfast in bed becomes a lot more practical and fun this spring with the arrival of Lappers. These ergonomically designed melamine trays with unique indentations for plates and glasses come with interchangeable silicone mats that keep dishes secure and provide a myriad of contrasting color combinations. The trays have large handles, are dishwasher safe, and nest into each other for convenient storage. Lappers are made by Archer Innovations. Contact them via email (lappers [at] belsouth [dot] net) or telephone (+1 (706)-289-5736).
The new book titled Hoopla, full of dynamic images and insightful descriptions, is the first to fully deconstruct the freewheeling, visionary agency of Crispin Porter + Bogusky—the firm that brought a new meaning to thinking outside of the box by redesigning the box itself. USA Today hailed them as "the ad world's most talked-about agency" and Business 2.0 called them "the next big thing" as they launched the MINI car craze in America, took on Big Tobacco in the controversial "truth" campaign, sexed up Virgin Airlines, and put the sizzle back in Burger King. Now veteran journalist, Warren Berger who has tracked the CP+B phenomenon over the past decade, reveals the mystery behind the madness. Hoopla also includes practical advice on how to find and promote big ideas and generate excitement around them in today's increasingly cluttered world. Due out August 2006, pre-order it from Amazon ($45).
As the search for thoughtful Mother's Day gifts heats up this week, I am…accessories provide a fashionable solution. The Angry nameplate necklace allows women to reply to those who ask that they're angry that breast cancer is still a huge and growing problem among women around the world, while proceeds from the jewelry, available in sterling, gold plate, and 14kt gold, go to the National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund. Additional nameplates will soon be available, including the words brave, calm, and i am. Starting at $38 from I am..accessories.
Brought to you by UGP (Underground Products), these sneaker socks are a witty indictment of the sneaker trend, taking the sports sock to the next level. Developed by Ronnie Bonner who favors a “question everything” approach over mainstream notions of fashion, they're not just a sock, they're a conversation piece. Available in black and grey, pink and white, as well as red and green (pictured) colorways, each conversation piece comes wrapped in white tissue in a custom-designed box. Pick up a pair starting at $15 from Evil Monito.
For lovers, haters, and everyone in-between, French designer Rachel Plefger's clever tee takes the idea of an ambigram—a word that can be read from a variety of angles—one step further. Available so that it reads either "Love" or "Hate," the mirror image reads opposite. Starts at $22 from Made in Design. via Neatorama For tattoo ambigrams see the recent piece on Needled. Also on Cool Hunting: John Langdon
An offline component to the world's largest photo blogging community, Fotolog.book is 1,000 of the millions of digital images posted to Fotolog in its four year history. Edited by former New Yorker photography critic Andrew Long, the hard bound anthology ranges widely in tone, subject, and style—from artsy black and white compositions to spontaneous quotidian moments—but the photos all share a unique straight-ahead point of view and comments left by users function as off-the-cuff captions. Sections include more straightforward themes like "Domestica", esoteric concepts such as "Dialog", and photographer-specific chapters. The opening series titled, "New York, New York", includes an uncredited Laurie Anderson quote that may describe the book and the digital photography phenomenon (and perhaps the entire modern era) most eloquently: "This is the time, and this is the record of the time." $35 from Amazon
Now skate girls have a fashion option beyond saggy-pants tomboy with the debut of Olive Oil, Olive Skateboards' line of skateboards and skate gear combining sports function with femininity. Clothing for the line, as well as some board graphics, designed by Calgary-based clothing designer Lacy Barry, come in a subdued palate of crèmes, beiges, and warm grays splashed with hot pink. Hoodies, sweaters, dresses, and skirts are made for quick movement and the simple stitching celebrates the competitive, kinetic female physique. Contributed by Kristopher Irizarry
As the 20th anniversary of Warhol's death approaches, the king of pop art is being honored with a spectacular king sized visual biography. Taking inspiration from Warhol's over the top nature, Andy Warhol "Giant" Size depicts the major events, people, and works in the artist's life with a chronological examination of formerly private photographs, letters, film stills, notes, celebrity head shots and even ticket stubs. The book also includes a picture of Warhol's birth certificate and the magazine tear sheet showing the first article he illustrated for Glamour when he arrived in NYC in 1949. Weighing in at 15 pounds and packed with more than 2,000 images on 624 pages, Andy Warhol "Giant" Size is a perfect center piece for any sturdy coffee table—or could even function as the table itself. Available from Phaidon Press in April. Available for pre-order at Amazon for $79.00.
Based in Sydney, The Useful Chick Stuff Company makes products "for when the gods of fashion decide that today is not going to be your day." The Miss A kit is basically a pink Swiss Army Knife optimized for the girl on the go—it has a flashlight, keychain, needle and thread, safety pin, corkscrew, mirror, tweezers, perfume bottle, bottle opener, screwdriver, scissors, ruler, nail file, pill box and even a knife. $19.95 from The Useful Chick Stuff Company via ThreeThousand Ed. note: I know I'm a bit out of school writing about girl stuff, but I figured I'd give this one a go.
It's finally starting to feel like Spring is here—time to start thinking about sun, fun and of course T-shirts. One of our favs from last year, Star Electric Eighty Eight, just sent us pics of their latest collaboration. Called Pursuit of Happiness the designs were made by Harlem, New York based Jennifer Garcia and her ex-husband Anton Lopez. Drawing from both obvious and more obscure influences, the new line explores both "synthetic happiness and real bliss." Irony is often explicit, like in this one called I'm So Happy, which story book, candy land like scene made up of pills (click to zoom). Pursuit of Happiness will be available here in New York at Zakka and also online at SEEE.US. Jennifer talks about the process of making the line, which is pictured, after the jump. We wanted to create something really fun. Like 6 year old birthday party fun, or getting an award fun. Something really light hearted and cheesey. It was supossed to be about enjoyment no matter what. You got 2nd place in your gymnastics meet? Well, that aint too bad! But then the idea got a bit wider… As we worked, the shirts became about trying to achieve light heartnedness, but maybe not being able to fully. They became sort of sarcastic. Which is great, because that reflects our personalities pretty well. On "I'm So Happy I Could Die" it's this picture perfect scenario, but on closer inspection it's made up of all these different kinds of medications and pills. I was thinking about my mother when we made that one. She gets migraine headaches from stress and then takes pills for stress and more pills for migraines and they make her hands shake but she rather deal with shakey hands than deal with what's causing her stress. I guess a lot of people have that mentality… I do too sometimes. Anway, as far as doing what we set out to do, the subject of pursuing happiness is so large I think I could go on and on. Maybe there will be another collection. Or a book.Jennifer Garcia, Star Electric Eighty Eight
I heart stripes. A surprisingly large part of my wardrobe is striped. I especially love striped socks. Saturday night I was at a party and I was talking to this art boy, who had the best green and blue striped socks on. Admittedly, I am pretty bold, so I told him that I liked his socks. Imagine my pleasure and surprise when he told me that he had designed them himself. If I recall correctly (it was rather late…) he was frustrated at the lack of good socks in the world, so he started to make his own. His DJ name is J. Stroke, and the socks are called Stroke's Striped Socks. Sunday, I went on the internet and ordered three pairs. It was pretty hard to chose as all the socks are brightly colored and fun. I got a pair called "Tickle Me," in pinks, "Super Sunset," with oranges and reds, and "Manufacturer's Mishap" in more pinks. They came in the mail yesterday and I am already wearing the "mishaps." I think they could be my faves.
With an increase in "essential" kitchen gadgets fighting for limited storage space and the anything that can be silicone, will be silicone mantra of designers, consumers are benefitting from an overwhelming variety of new products. These handy measuring cups collapse down to a fraction of their height and can handle boiling liquids. Likewise, the colander and funnel, with their camera-inspired designs, are a huge improvement from their metal cousins at the outdoor store, and prove that sometimes you can (and should) reinvent the wheel. Set of four measuring cups, $19.95 from Solutions. Funnel and colander, designed by Boje Estermann and inhouse designers at Normann Copenhagen.