Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holiday Windows

Before I leave the Big Apple for some family, friends, fruitcake & eggnog, I wanted to post some pics of my favorite holiday windows of the season. As always, check out my Flickr Window Displays set to see more!

1. Barneys' (always) cheeky and over-the-top windows, with this year's "Have a Foodie Holiday" theme. I love the way they integrate product: pans painted with pop-art portraits, Paula Deen wrapped in a snuggie...

2. Emporio Armani's twisted vine windows. The hanging bags and accessories really pop against the lime green; very sleek and sophisticated.

3. Kleinfeld's glassy arctic windows. Though I would never step foot in this store, the mirrored "Polar Bear/Ice Queen" display is a lot of fun to view from the street!

4. Diesel's (always) daring and controversial "Naughty or Nice" windows. What can I say: I have a soft spot in my heart for trashy plastic Christmas decorations!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mood Board // Kaleidoscope

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love a good schtick! Especially when it's fun and playful. Which is why I am drawn to the idea of incorporating kaleidoscopic elements into design. Century 21 has been manipulating the fashion photography in their recent branding campaign for a cheeky yet polished effect (love those bus wraps!), while the repeated legs on the Pretty Polly packaging conveys an old-Hollywood showgirl feel. Remember that amazing Chemical Brothers video by Michel Gondry in the late 90s? Well he neurotically created the kaleidoscopic effect using multiple props and actors, but the result when rendering digitally or simply using mirrors can be just as kooky. Fischerspooner's "The Best Revenge" video is super trippy and spacey, while this video by the Japanese girl group The Suzan is totally cute and glittery (read more on Pattern Pulp!) And speaking of Japanese, one of my favorite Japanese design firms, Sunday Vision, created an elegant and regal kaleidoscopic illustration as their visual of the month. Finally, check out these interactive animations on the Genevieve Jones website, designed by again one of my fave's designedmemory.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Flickr Set // Packaging & Merchandising

I've decided to start a new Flickr set to compliment my Window Displays set: a Packaging and Merchandising set. I guess, after photographing from the sidewalk, it makes sense to start documenting the great design that goes on inside stores (though it does involve being a bit more stealthy!) I was spurred to action after, frustrated by not being able to get good photos of the Juicy Couture windows on Fifth Avenue due to the glaring sun, I stepped inside to find that Juicy Couture has the most exciting, whimsical, stunning visual merchandising and product packaging I've come across in quite some time! Some of the highlights include: heaps of necklaces adorning taxidermy deer heads, socks displayed on a retro ceramic dog statuette, "sale" signs created by painting over gold-framed oil paintings, and Juicy's baroque-punk perfume bottles arranged in vignettes around the store. Though I wouldn't be caught dead in a velour jumpsuit, I would seriously love to move into this store! I look forward to adding more content to this set soon, but you can check out all the Juicy Couture photos now!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mood Board // Animal Print

I've come to realize that I relish the look of eccentric old ladies, which of course means lots and lots of animal print! Personally, I see animal print almost as a neutral, like a black or denim, which not only means it can look great with other patterns (see my earlier "mixed patterns" mood board) but also mixed among species. I swear, I've mixed snake, leopard, and giraffe print among my apartment decor, and it looks amazing. Not convinced? Check out this mixed animal print Lanvin dress! But don't get me wrong: animal print doesn't always have to be over-the-top. I love the elegant minimalism of this Zebra wine packaging. And Kate Spade, who has an uncanny knack for mixing "quirky" with "chic", integrated candy colors and sequins to make these perfectly sumptuous leopard print bags.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mood Board // Gothic

In honor of Halloween, my latest mood board is inspired by the goth trend. I'm sure most would agree, Alexander McQueen, RIP, was the king of high-fashion goth (hello ribcage corset). And let's be honest, I adore the macabre in all it's manifestations. But I undoubtedly most love how this aesthetic has become prevalent in jewelry design. Pamela Love exemplifies this creepy-meets-dreamy aesthetic with pieces like the Talon Cuff and Dagger Rosary Necklace. And although perhaps not exactly practical, these Bijules Serpensive Nail Rings are eerily alluring (and as completely impractical person, I want one). In terms of interior decor, D.L. & Company defies gothic elegance with "curious" items like this Silver Thorn Apple and EXQUISITE Skull and Snake candle (note: I stress it's level of exquisite since it indeed looks vicious sitting on my coffee table). But of all the gothic items I've come across as of late, the most genuinely "goth" has to be this headstone for Factory Records co-founder Tony Wilson, designed by none other than the prolific, record-sleeve-designing Peter Saville.

Exquisite Corpse: Hallows Eve Mix

My friend Liz and I have started working together on creative projects under the moniker Salt & Ash. One of our non-client undertakings is an exquisite corpse project where we plan to create mix albums along with coinciding artwork. I took the reigns for the inaugural album, which was inspired by my favorite holiday: Halloween. Please feel free to DOWNLOAD HERE!

Liz: Your element for the next album is... a "drop". Get to work, girl!

And for the record: Our nom de guerre comes from our favorite cocktail, The Salt & Ash {Chichicapa Mezcal, Grapefruit-infused El Jimador Blanco Tequila, Lapsang Sweet Vermouth, Marashino, Agave, Angostura, Orange Bitters} from the Counting Room in Brooklyn. Tasty.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Flickr Set // Window Displays

Almost a year ago I started a Flickr Set for photos I take of creative, inspirational Window Displays I come across while wondering around the city. On a recent trip to document new fall displays, I noted a few trends:

1. Lots o' Gold, like this spacey Thome Browne window at Bergdorfs and these gold spools across the street at Fendi.

2. TeeVees, like these neon versions at inven.tory in SoHo and these stacked boxes looping video at Diesel.

3. Mixed Dimensional Typography, like this multi-colored message at Fossil and this more arbitrary display at Bergdorfs.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mood Board // Mixed Pattern

As those familiar with my design sensibilities can attest, my mantra has always been "More is More". I am a self proclaimed maximalist, and in fact even did a school project on the topic many years ago (for the record, completely absurd, but quite fun at the time)! I confess all this to introduce my next trend-inspired mood board: Mixed Patterns. More is More is More! I am sure this trend offends many "discerning" folk, but I argue that when done well, the results can be quite elegant and attractive. This fall, without a doubt, I plan to rip off this mixed-polka-dot-and-leopard-print look from Dolce & Gabbana. In other disciplines, Illustrator Nikki Farquharson integrates this technique brilliantly with fashion photography. And my favorite interior designer of all time, Dorothy Draper, proved mixing patterns when decorating can make an otherwise typical, drab, space feel rich and opulent!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Target Kaleidoscopic Fashion Spectacular

Last night I went over to the Standard Hotel to check out Target's Kaleidoscopic Fashion Spectacular, and my, what a show! Produced by Mother NY, along with Daft Punk's light designers, all 155 rooms on the south side of the hotel were transformed into a massive LED light show choreographed with 66 dancers and a chilling soundtrack by Squeak E. Clean. There was also a fashion show on the street level but I was too engaged with the window performance to notice! Check out my novice iphone video here!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mood Board//Metallic + Black

As far as I'm concerned, metallic and black is the most opulent, seductive color combination out there. I'm specifically drawn to black and gold, but really any lustrous hue will do. And much to my pleasure, I'm seeing a lot more of this trend in design—specifically in fashion, packaging, and decor. I (like many people, I'm sure) am bored with the recession and anticipate a return to extravagance and luxury—even if only on the surface!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mood Board // Playing Cards

This mood board highlighting the trend of playing cards is way overdue. I recall this trend emerging last year (check out this May 2009 post on Pattern Pulp). Since then, no doubt spurred by Alice in Wonderland fever, the trend has become extremely prevalent. There are countless ways to play off the idea of reflection and suits inherent in playing card graphics, which has resulted in a lot of fun, thoughtful posters and promotional pieces. It also adds a carnival-like element of playfulness when incorporated into editorial fashion spreads. In addition, Playing cards serves as a unique medium to display art, such as seen with Shelter’s House of Cards campaign, where 52 designers and artists, including Vivienne Westwood, Damien Hirst, and M/M Paris, each designed a card to be auctioned off for charity.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Austin Color Vignettes

I recently visited Austin for the first time and was amazed, among other things, by all of the incredible vintage stores on South Congress. I was particularly fond of Uncommon Objects, a store dedicated to "antiques, oddities, and curious goods". Not only did they have an impressive stock, but they organized this unique inventory into color vignettes. Which I suppose is the most practical system considering their disparate array of goods! I love the idea of seemingly arbitrary organization based on color; check out this Design Observer article on the subject of color arrangement specific to book organization.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mood Board // Anaglyphs

As previously revealed in my post on Op Art, I don't always need an insightful reason to like something. In some instances, just being unique and eye-catching works for me. Which is how I feel about the Anaglyph trend I've been witnessing of late. Feel free to read about the science of it all here. My earliest encounter with this technique used in design probably holds true for many graphic designers my age: Stefan Sagmeister's "Made You Look" monograph cover (published in 2001, and which upon reading we find was a technique he previously used for an album cover). But what was once just a cool gimmick seems to have manifested itself into a trendy technique employed in the design of everything from editorial and environmental graphics to fashion and furniture. I adore how Marios Schwab went anaglyph crazy with the prints in his Fall 2009 collection. If you are feeling inspired you can visit the website of talented interactive designer Paul Neave and doodle your own anaglyph-- it looks cool even if you don't have the filtering red and blue glasses!