I swear that I’m interested in many things other than cars, although my blogging on here would suggest otherwise. However, after attending the ‘Art Drive!’ exhibition last weekend, I thought it deserved a mention in the blog! Put on as a part of the London 2012 Festival, ‘ArtDrive!’ takes over the wonderful Brutalist Shoreditch landmark – The Great Eastern Street NCP car park – and uses it to exhibit the BMW Art Car Collection. This is the first time that the collection has been on show in the UK and it showcases 16 of the 18 Art Cars produced over a 35 year period. The exhibition starts on the top floor of the car park and as you work your way down each floor you see the cars painted by such legendary artists as Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Roy Lichtenstein. It’s a really great way to see these 3D pieces of art up close and the show works so well within the space of the carpark. The show runs until Saturday 4th August and is open from 12pm-9pm daily.
I’ve never been a massive fan of Superhero films. Obviously, I’ve seen a few but I’ve never really gone out of my way to watch any, apart from Batman. There has always been something very cool about Bruce Wayne and his crime-fighting alter-ego. The 60’s TV series (and a couple of fairly camp films in the 90’s) not withstanding, the whole world surrounding Batman has always had a pretty dark edge to it which many of the other characters in the genre seemed to lack. Alongside that, the other thing that stood out was Batman’s ultimate crime-fighting accessory; The Batmobile. I’m probably not alone in thinking that given the opportunity as a billionaire vigilante, the first thing I’d equip myself with would be a vehicle capable of taking gunfire, smashing through walls and generally looking menacing. To coincide with the release of the final Nolan-directed film, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, Warner Brothers have produced a documentary chronicling the design of one the of the most recognisable vehicles in history. As a fanboy of the caped-crusader’s fleet of cars, I’m looking forward to seeing the full thing.
Calling all budding artists, graphic designers and illustrators!
A US cosmetic brand has merged luxury products with ultra convenience in the Laqa and Co range of nail polish and lip pencils. Girls (and blokes in some cases), if you tend to get polish all over your cuticles and fingers, no matter how much you practice, this range will be the one for you! Pens ooze colour at the click of a button allowing easy application, and you can use it almost anywhere…
Creatives, this is where you come in. Part of the Laqa ethos is to ask for designers donate their designs to be draped on the packaging of individual pens. Artists or designers that are chosen for a product are profiled on it’s page along with a link to their site. So, for those of you who would like their work gracing the shelves of Selfridges, Harvey Nics and other international high end retailers, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to apply.
Yesterday saw the release of the 5th instalment of the ‘Gymkhana’ series of sensational YouTube videos from Ken Block, co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of DC Shoes and pro-rally driver. Since releasing the first video 3 years ago, Block’s blend of high performance driving teamed with skate-video inspired production and elaborate set-ups has proved pretty popular with viewers across the globe. How popular you ask?! Since the newest video was posted 24 hours ago, it has been viewed nearly 4 million times!! In marketing terms, this must be great for all involved in the videos, not least DC Shoes who have reached new markets with their motorsports-inspired products. The only question now is; what will they come up with for ‘Gymkhana 6’?
The festival period is upon us once again! Those of you who have booked your tickets to whatever musical event of three day mayhem will probably be thinking about which bits of rubbish, found in your house, can be stuck together to make a costume. I know I am…..As no matter how crap the attempt, it’s always worth a try. If not to look like a lemon for not even attempting to join in, (for an example) Bestival winners and a couple of their mates get free tickets forever (see what I mean?).
So if you’re stuck for a few ideas, here’s a bunch of awesome, and not-so- awesome examples of festival costumes that you can use for inspiration. The Costume Boutique, Prangsta and House of Haynes are a few new companies offering bespoke, hired and adjusted garb to suit every taste including; traditional, period and the downright bizarre.
I try to commute to the office by bike everyday although I have to admit to being a bit of a fair weather cyclist. Especially with the British weather system’s ability to change at the drop of a hat, it’s very easy to be lured into riding your bike in the dry and then get caught out with heavy showers five minutes into your ride. However with my latest purchase, I’m hoping that I’ll be a bit more flexible if the weather isn’t great.
Produced by a design collective based in Gothenburg, Sweden, the Ass Saver is a fantastically simple new mud/spray guard which protects you from receiving a case of dreaded wet bottom. Made from leftover sheets of polypropylene from the printing industry, Ass Savers offer a lightweight, recyclable solution, which mounts by clicking onto the rails of your saddle in an instant. When not in use, you can fold it in half and hide it away underneath your saddle, meaning that in theory, you should never forget to take it out with you! Obviously it won’t offer the level of protection that a full coverage mudguard would but as an emergency alternative it’s ideal.
Typically, I soon as I bought one, the sun came out and I haven’t got to test it much yet but I know that it’ll be there when I need it. For more info, check out their website here.
Coming back from holiday in the Philippines recently, I returned with the disappointment of not coming back on large container ship. Why? Well, mainly because I’d still be at sea (and technically still on holiday) but really because the country is a hot bed of un-tapped stuff. Stuff that would look good on you and in your homes in an ethnic and non hippyish sort of way. Like, Narra wood furniture – solid, stylish and sleek with nods to traditional Spanish designs (Colonisers up until the mid 1800). Ethnic pots, glassware, weaved rugs, mother of pearl and gold jewellery, threaded and designed by the all- female Muslim artisans of Mindoro, are sold in the numerous Manila malls – some a mile in length.
Best of all, though, are the clothes. Traditional formal wear, normally saved for weddings and christenings, is made with ‘Pina’ fabric – thread spun of stripped palm leaves and coconut, and therefore fully sustainable. Batik techniques and ‘duster’ patterns normally worn by Filipino grandmas are awash with vibrant colours and floral patterns perfect to run side by side those found in SS12 and upcoming SS13 print trends.
With a contemporary band of Filipino designers bringing them to ready-to-wear status, fortunately said stuff is starting to make it’s way over to the UK. The London based, Bamboo District, is just one of those offering traditional wear and accessories tailored for the UK Summer market (www.thebamboodistrict.weebly.com). For those with a spare pound looking for the next Lombok, check out Kenneth Cobonpue for Filipino furniture building techniques merged with contemporary design (www.kennethcobonpue.com).
Last week I managed to get to the cinema to watch Wes Anderson’s new film, Moonrise Kingdom. Being a fan of Anderson’s other works including ‘The Royal Tennenbaums’, ‘Rushmore’ and ‘The Darjeeling Limited’, I was desperate to see the film as soon as I caught the trailer a few months before. The film didn’t disappoint and what I saw was one of the most visually stunning films I’ve seen in a long time.
The film, set on the fictional New England island of New Penzance in 1965, tells the story of two smart but unpopular 12 year olds who fall in love and run away to be pursued by parents, the local policeman and the boy’s Khaki Scout troop. The film has tonnes of style to it with sets, costume and soundtrack all blending seamlessly to create something that is amazing to look at but it also has substance and a great cast, including Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis and long time collaborator Bill Murray to back it up.
As I previously mentioned, the costume and styling on the film, as with most of Anderson’s previous films, was incredibly well done. As the film was set in 1965, the looks were really retro but also had a very current feel to them with the resurgence of heritage-inspired clothing that we have seen over the last few years. The narrator’s outfit of fisherman’s beanie, red wool coat, chinos and Duck shoes gave that authentic New England style that people are lapping up at the minute. I’ll be searching for a pair of duck boots at this weekend’s Shoreditch Vintage Fair.
If you’re a fan of Anderson’s other films, it’s a must see and if you weren’t sure about his previous efforts, this could be the film that changes your mind. This is one of my films of 2012.