Archive for the 'Design' Category

stocking stuffers: norwegian forests on a string

Here’s a Christmas ornament idea from Norwegian lighting designer Cathrine Kullberg who is known for her range of birch veneer lamps.

Taking off from the success of the Norwegian Forest lamps (which was also featured at the Wallpaper* Guest Editors Karl Lagerfeld/Philippe Starck issue, September 2009) which draw on a classic Scandinavian tradition of using thin birch strips for lighting, Kullberg releases a miniature lamp shade that is perfect as a delicate Christmas ornament for your tree.

Illuminated from the inside, the lamp gives a warm glow as an expertly laser cut motif of a squirrel and pine branches light up. A new design will be launched every winter, so I better start collecting. It’s also perfect as a Christmas gift and each comes flat-packed with easy assembly instructions. A leather string is included for the seam and handle. DIY fun!

NOK 299, available from the following online stores and shops.


eurovision 2010 theme art and slogan revealed

Long time readers of my blog would know that I’m a huge fan of the Eurovision Song Contest – that annual musical extravaganza wrapped in glitter, glamour and grandeur where nations and artists across Europe come together and compete to bring home the victory. Next year, it will be extra exciting as the the contest will be held in Oslo, Norway! In the lead up to the ESC 2010, the organizers revealed yesterday next year’s theme art and slogan – SHARE THE MOMENT, created by the award-winning Norwegian design firms Gosu, Handverk and Snøhetta.

About the concept:

More than a hundred million people are watching the same show at the same time, in millions of living rooms. They rejoice with the winner and weep with the losers, investing a wide specter of emotions in the show. Imagine Europe by night, seen from high above. All you can see is the light from all the cities, towns and villages. This is Europe, as a whole – with no visual borders between nations, cultures or groups of people. Now, imagine these flocks of lights not only representing different groups of people, but they show how big and magical a moment can be when we all participate and come together. We lift those lights, we make them elevate and fly, we gather them and make them come together in giant flocks of light spheres which merge, dance and play. It is a magnificent display of thousands, millions of individual elements coming together and participating and sharing the moment. The overall visual identity of ESC 2010 in Oslo are these light spheres, operating in different manners. They spread out to form our slogan, they come together in huge, colorful flocks, they race through the night, they float together in patterns.

The flocks of light spheres are developed also with other types of media and expressions in mind. They are easy to reproduce for usage outside the print and screen media, they can take different sizes and they can easily be put together as flocks in different shapes, or used individually.

Only a few more months to go! I’m so excited.

Concept text and images taken from Gosu Design.

acne opens flagship store in oslo

Tomorrow, Acne opens its second and flagship store in Oslo, a 200 square meter retail space at Bogstadveien which will house separate Acne Jeans, Men’s and Women’s departments. This new store development comes at a time of financial crisis when Acne can offer high fashion designs at competitive prices. With a style statement of simple, clean and timeless cuts (very Scandinavian), Acne is a good ally for investment wardrobe shopping.

Acne, along with its fashion house, carries a creative collective that includes an advertising agency, a film group, a web/digital production company and Acne Paper, its magazine published twice a year. And come spring 2010, Acne is also launching a furniture line. Talk about development.

stocking stuffers: smythson of bond street

He’s making a list and checking it twice,

Gotta find out who’s naughty, who’s nice.

I found these amazing leather-bound notebooks from Smythson of Bond Street, purveyor of luxury leather goods and personalized stationery, which are perfect as stocking stuffers this Christmas.

Need to jot down contact information of your favorite SA or that bespoke tailor for your next made-to-measure appointment? The Little Black Book (£41, 14x9cm.) bound in black grained lambskin with gold blocking on the cover is your dandy directory of sorts. Thinking of a gift for your girl friend whose endless shopping sprees feed the economy? The new, lightweight Recessionista Notebook (£39, 14x9cm.) bound in supple, cross-grained lambskin will tickle her pink.

Making your own shopping lists will soon be guilt-free with these encouraging Bliss List and Happiness is Shopping wafer notebooks (£29, 10.5x7cm.), both bound in grained lambskin leather. The fuchsia leather is complemented by silver edged leaves and silver blocking, while the emerald one with gold edged leaves and gold blocking. Both come with matching satin ribbon markers.

Take note of fashion inspirations, runway collections and plan your wardrobe shopping with the pocket-sized I’ve Got Nothing to Wear Notebook (£57, 14x9cm.) from the recently launched Malachite Collection, inspired by semi-precious stones and natural woodland. Did I mention the leather is croc-printed in a luxurious deep green shade? Drool. This seems to be sold out online so your best bet might be a visit to one of sixteen Smythson by Bond Street stores in the US, UK, Ireland and Hong Kong.

You can also personalize each notebook with stamped initials, names or symbols. The stamping is done by Smythson craftsmen on Bond Street premises, using 22 carat gold or sterling silver foils. Le sigh.

snapshots from strömstad

Knut and I went on a long spa and suite weekend at Strömstad, Sweden – a two-hour drive from Oslo. We were greeted with this view from our room, which was a sign of the relaxing days ahead.

The canal view with that solitary little red house at the end was so serene.

The living room featured these cool ring chairs we called donuts. The lower back support on these is amazing.

The hotel/resort is built next to a marina. I bet it’s thriving here in the summertime.

I like taking sunset photos. They are both calming and magical.

Wicked and whimsical.

I wanted to take home one of these cool lamps. If only they weren’t this huge.

Wearing my new Balenciaga shoes, Acne jeans, Cheap Monday shirt and my new DND Denim Development knitted cardigan I got as a gift from Knut.

Quality Spa & Resort features facilities spread over 2,000 sqm that guarantee hours of relaxation. I loved the saltwater pool with colored lights, the outdoor jacuzzi which we tried while it was snowing outside (pictured on the upper right corner), and the hot bath with a horizon view over the waters of Strömstad.

Now what could be more relaxing than that?

milan loot no. 2: something valextra

Navigating on a tip-off from Yed/MARKthatDESIGN and a Timeout Milan guidebook with Maureen and her friend Cristina on my second night in the city, we searched for the Valextra Outlet on Via Cerva.

Valextra Travel Document Passport Holder 1

I knew what I wanted to get even before we set out on this mission. Browsing Valextra’s sleek website and surveying what I still don’t have, I decided that I’m buying the Valextra Travel Document/Passport Holder. In the signature Pergamena White color no less.

Valextra Travel Document Passport Holder 2

And there it was. I also bought the same in a light blue color, that reminds of retro Vespa scooters, for Knut. I noticed that mine had these two discreet X marks next to the lower Valextra logo print, while Knut’s had two asterisks. Must be production codes for items that go into the outlet bin. But I couldn’t find fault in the product. Specially when you follow the lines that create these angled patterns on the cream-colored grained leather. Or when the heady scent of 100% leather wafts in the air.

Valextra Travel Document Passport Holder 3

The interior boasts of three compartments for bills, an open pocket for tickets, six card slots and a removable passport holder.

Valextra Travel Document Passport Holder 4

Now I can travel knowing well that my travel documents, frequent flyer, health and insurance cards are all in one place. Last thing I want is having to rummage through my bag for loose papers at the check-in counter on the way to my next destination.

Valextra Travel Document Passport Holder 5

The style factor is in-check, thanks to Valextra’s handmade craftsmanship and silent stamp of Italian luxury and creativity. Next time I’m in Milan, I’d definitely be on the lookout for my next Valextra piece!

of shots and studs

Absolut Vodka Rock Edition

As if we could never get enough of studs in our Louboutin shoes and Prada shirts, that potent Swedish swig that is Absolut Vodka serves a bottle design that deserves an accolade of its own. The Rock Edition comes wrapped in leather and studs, created in collaboration with Natalia Brilli.

This is sure to rock your party, kids. Drink moderately. ;-)

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