Some thoughts I'm having for spring. I've bought one of the things on the list already to be honest. What's on your spring list?
Some thoughts I'm having for spring. I've bought one of the things on the list already to be honest. What's on your spring list?
Rockman & Rockman is a design duo based close to the spiritual heart of the old East London furniture trade around Shoreditch, epicentre of the British furniture industry from mid-19th to mid-20th Century. Most of their local urban landscape is largely shaped by Victorian and Edwardian buildings that were built specifically to house workshops, factories, showrooms, warehouses and timber yards. This rich heritage has been a fundamental inspiration for the re-introduction of making as well as the design of their work.
I actually gasped out loud when I came across thier 'Geometric Living' collection over at the wonderful wonderful darkroon.
The collection of geometric parquetry side tables creates symmetrical patterns that gently tessellate ( tessellate is one of my favourite words, although I don't know why!)
Side table - CUBE 1 features blue, black and white cast acrylic parquetry on a black wood fibre top and three tripod-esque black shellac and lacquer Oak tapered legs. Hand-finished with the ROCKMAN & ROCKMAN blue enamel badge.
ROCKMAN & ROCKMAN SIDE TABLE - CUBE 1 £550.00
Side table - CUBE 7 features blue, black and white cast acrylic parquetry on a black wood fibre top and black shellac and lacquer Oak tapered legs. Hand-finished with the ROCKMAN & ROCKMAN blue enamel badge.
Side table - HAWK 6 is sold as a pair of interlocking tables crafted from black and white cast acrylic parquetry on a black wood fibre top and black shellac and lacquer Oak tapered legs. The parquetry pattern is reversed on the opposite table. Hand-finished with the ROCKMAN & ROCKMAN blue enamel badge.
£1200.00 for pair
Side table - HAWK 6 features blue and white cast acrylic parquetry on a black wood fibre top and black shellac and lacquer Oak tapered legs. This side table can be purchased singularily or as a pair. Hand-finished with the ROCKMAN & ROCKMAN blue enamel badge.
£680 for single table
Side table - Cube 6 features a tricolour wood veneer parquetry of Rosewood, Oak and Smoked Oak, with three tripod-esque Oak tapered legs. Hand-finished with the ROCKMAN & ROCKMANblue enamel badge.
They also do an amazing range of cushions but I figured I had shown you enough temptation for one day!
I don't really feature many mainstream designers and I don't think I've ever featured couture. I can't really relate to couture very much, because I'll never have the money to buy it, nor will you ever see a high street version, decimated down for us plebs to enjoy. However, I do make an exception in this instance when the couture in question is ballet inspired and modelled by dancers from the Dutch National Ballet, at the creative hands of those cheeky Dutch chaps, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren.
Looking at the images, they come across more like a display of costumes than a couture presentation. But that's what V&R do I guess. Each show does indeed feel like a performance, and with the talented DNB dancers walking nonchalantly en pointe (which, believe me, is pretty damn hard!), dripping in these latex creations, performance and showmanship does seem be the more salient point.
The palette was also ballet inspired, with plenty of pale nudes, pointe shoes pinks and white, broken up with black trompe-l'œil adorning some pieces. I was at once reminded of Martin Margielas SS09 collection, with hair obscuring faces and bodies sheathed in tight fabric, where body and fabric become almost one.
It's turning into the week of BIG here on the blog.
From a giant pink bunny, to giant ladybirds.
Ladybirds ( or even Lady Bugs as some of you may prefer!) so big they are the size of a car...
This is the Lady Bug Building in Milwaukee, WI.
The ladybugs add a nice contrast to the austerity of the skyscraper landscape of the city’s downtown, and often beg the question, what are they doing there?
It turns out they are work of Public Art. The insects were added back in 1999 to spruce up the downtown area. It goes without saying I am a massive fan of public art. Anything that can brighten up our everyday experience is to be greatly encouraged.
What makes these especially sepecial is the size of them. The are over 10ft long, almost as big as a VW beetle (or lovebug) Imagine walking along and looking up to see these beauties making their way down the front of the building!
If that's too far to travel, how about some lady birds in your own front room.
Just pop over to Stpehen Edwards Graphics on etsy and bingo. Lady bugs a go go.
Ladybugs Vinyl Wall Art Decal - Set of 17 ladybugs - Ladybirds $18
He has a huge range of graphics for all kind of things.
This ipad one made me laugh and think of Queen Michelle although we would never tarnish our precious ipads with a sticker. Heaven forbid!
Ipad graphic $7
Me and scarves don't really get along. More specifically my hair and scarves don't get along.
For someone who loves print and colour as much as me, the scarf seems the obvious vessel to add just one more layer of print. Sadly however my thick, long, tangly hair has other ideas. "Enough is enough Michelle!" it decries, as it starts to force itself into a large tangled ball underneath, clearly as some kind of rebellion against, well, I don't actually know. I mean, I can't see what harm a silky smooth scarf could do to it, yet it resists time and time again, leaving me scarfless or my hair tangled. All the while, Queen Marie can merrily layer scarf upon scarf with nary a strand out of place.
Last week I was asked to look at a label called This Way To Heaven, who create beautiful silk handprinted scarves. I said "I'm sorry, my hair says no" and passed the gem onto Marie. But I couldn't but help be bothered by just how un-cooperative my hair was. How dare it tell me what I can and cannot wear!
Later that week, as if in an act of counter defiance, an email popped into my inbox about another scarf label, Jane Carr, and their new range of prints, entitled “Love”. The Love range, hand-made in Italy, presents a collage inspired by "naïve needlework embroidery overlaid on a hazy, dreamlike landscape". The prints comes on luxurious pure silk voile, as a square and stole shape.
So perhaps I could actually be tempted to endure the tangled hair mess for one these beauties - The Last Scarf of Defiance...
Oh we love a bit of Peter Capaldi here in The Kingdom.
So much so, that when we received an email from the lovely Megan over at Crombie yesterday, I sacked off today's plannned post just to share it.
Even if you never watch it, I'm sure by now most people on planet Earth now know that he is the new Doctor Who (I was delighted when the news was announced, I just couldn't watch Matt Smith he was too young and foppish a Doctor for me!)
The official costume of the 12th Doctor, to be played by Peter Capaldi, was revealed yesterday.
The Doctor’s new look sees him swapping bow ties for a sleek and sharp Crombie coat; a rebellious twist to the iconic Time Lord, as well as a nod to Peter’s and Crombie’s shared Scottish roots.
The Retro coat is a Crombie classic, present every season. Distinctive features of the Retro are its pillar box red lining, its fly-fronted cut with darting for shape, and its velvet collar. The cloth is a hard-wearing Melton, the most traditional of all British coat cloths due to its durability and longevity.
BBC bosses have now released the first picture of Capaldi's character, in full time lord get-up - Sporting a dark blue Crombie coat with red lining, dark blue trousers, a white shirt as well as black Dr Marten shoes, the look was created by Doctor Who costume designer Howard Burden.
Dr Who boss Steven Moffat said the new era meant for a new outfit. He said: "Monsters of the universe, the vacation is over - Capaldi is suited and booted and coming to get you."
J&J Crombie Ltd. was founded by John Crombie and his son James in Aberdeen,Scotland in 1805, making it one of Britain’s oldest brands. It is the quitessential luxury coat for men, never dating, it forever looks supremely and effortlessly smart.
Even though it has been worn by stylish young men, even including The Beatles in their heyday, I can never quite shake the rich businessman/ gangster connotation!
I'm very partial to the severity of a crombie coat...
Orla Kiely is one of those labels that seemed everywhere in the 90's, but I just never really got that into. I'm not sure if it's because every shop that stocked her stuff here all seemed to favour her vinyl totes and purses that looked and felt like 70's wipe down table clothes and everything, everything, seemed to feature that stem/leaf print.
Yeah, this one.
There seemed to be little more to Orla Kiely, if Glasgow shops were anything to go by. And let's bear in mind this was before t-internet.
Quite simply, I got leaf fatigue.
I may be forced to choke back my own words, however. Our Studio Mum, also known as Lisa (but mostly Studio Mum), told me that Orla Kiely and Clarks had joined forces to create a small range of shoes for SS14. I was curious. So off we tootled over to SM's computer to find the email and, sure enough, a range was right there. And it ain't half bad!
The shape are very retro and Orla's prints are there, but not in an overpowering way.
They aesthestic of Clarks is, let's be honest, not exactly inspiring, so perhaps unsurprisingly the collaboration is definitely more Orla Kiely than Clarks. As a brand, they seem to excel at this kind of collaboration as they really allow the designer to do their thing - their collection with Eley Kishimoto springing immediately to mind. In this instance Orla's bold colour blocking taking centre stage, subtle print, even the pesky leaf print which is, mercifully, just located on the sole, and there is even some very high chunky heeled platforms.
The Clarks aspect seems to be restricted to comfort factor, because these do look damn comfy.
SM pointed out that they could look very 'mumsy', with exception of the platforms, and I agree. The very rounded toe is a bit 'remedial' and could look the wrong side of twee on the wrong person, but all things have pontential and I think these could look great in a non-conventional setting, or at the very least on someone who will exaggerate the colour and print aspect further. Someone like me perhaps?
Prices start at £80 for the flats, going up to £120 for the platforms. The ones I'd most like try on are the Maggies. I think I could make them work in the mustard. These retail for £100.
These could look either utterly amazing or simply horrific and I'm entirely wrong. I'll just need to see if my local Clarks stocks the range and try for myself.
The proof is as they say, always in the pudding.
Yesterday we talked mini moles, today I'm going in the opposite direction altogether and talking something big.
Today I bring you a bunny so big you can see him from space!
Lying on the ground, with his mouth open in surprise, this 200 ft rabbit looks like he has been dropped from the heavens by a careless intergalactic toddler!
Hase / Rabbit / Coniglio -Artesina, Piemont, Italy 2005 - 2025
On Monday, September 19, 2005, tourists and local people in the North Italian village of Artesina, looked upward at a familiar mountainside and were amazed at what they saw there!
Stretched out along the slope at a height of 1600 meters was a gigantic pink bunny over 60 metres long and over 6 metres high!
“Hase” (ie 'Hare') was constructed by the Vienna art collective 'Gelitin' and is expected to remain on Colletto Fava Mountain until 2025 when cattle and weather will have devoured the giant bunny made from fabric and straw.
For those who look closely, this giant rabbit is not a children's toy after all. One side is split open and Hase's entrails are spilling out. Gelitin wants the audience to feel small as Gulliver did in his Travels when encountering the unknown and strange. Hikers are encouraged to climb onto Hase, settle down and relax for as long as they wish. Certainly Hase's entrails spilling down the hillside is a bit macabre and the sensation of an uncomfortable, mercurial dream lingers in the mist on the slopes of Colletto Fava.
The giant hare, took over five years to make. Knitted piece by pink piece by a legion of grannies employed by Gelitin...
They described their wonderful creation in 2005 saying -
"The things one finds wandering in a landscape: familiar things and utterly unknown, like a flower one has never seen before, or, as Columbus discovered, an inexplicable continent; and then, behind a hill, as if knitted by giant grandmothers, lies this vast rabbit, to make you feel as small as a daisy.
The toilet-paper-pink creature lies on its back: a rabbit-mountain like Gulliver in Lilliput. Happy you feel as you climb up along its ears, almost falling into its cavernous mouth, to the belly-summit and look out over the pink woolen landscape of the rabbitÌs body, a country dropped from the sky; ears and limbs sneaking into the distance; from its side flowing heart, liver and intestines.
Happily in love you step down the decaying corpse, through the wound, now small like a maggot, over woolen kidney and bowel.
Happy you leave like the larva that gets its wings from an innocent carcass at the roadside.
Such is the happiness which made this rabbit.
I love the rabbit the rabbit loves me.
After almost 5 years of knitting the rabbit found its final place in the italian alps (close to Cuneo). It waits there to be visited by you. You might even take your time or check back every now and then as the rabbit will wait for you 20 years from now on..."
You have until 2025 to get yourself over to Piedmont to see him before he wastes away and returns to the elements.
Failing that just get yourself onto google earth.
Trust me it's not hard to spot a bunny that big!
I'm rubbish at sale shopping. A/ I never realise they are even happening until it's too late B/ I'm such a common body and shoes size that by the time I do realise a sale is on, everything in my size is gone anyway and C/ I ponder so long as to whether or not to buy the sale thing in question that by the time I decide that yes I do indeed need it, it's been bought by someone far more deft at sale shopping than me. Mostly though, sales start when I have no money and end when I do.
This season I did manage to buy 3 things in the sale, which is a miracle for me. What I did manage to miss though are these breathtaking shoes by Kingdom Favourite Heavy Machine. Now that I crave flat shoes more than heels (who am I?!) these printed swan shoes are utterly heavenly, appealing naturally to my balletic sentiments and my love of print and colour.
Equally stunning is the 'moving crystal' loafer with sunset print, both pairs are on sale for $422. Sigh, I only wish I had $422 for sale shopping.
They also come in Heavy Machine's signature architectural heeled variety too, for those not quite ready to drop down from the giddy heights of 5 inches worth of heel, on sale for $534.
More importantly, how on earth did I miss these in the lookbook at the time? Shame on me.
It's Monday, let's talk about moles.
Moles in mittens!
I have never written a post about moles, never mind moles in mittens. Mint mittens to be accurate!
Sometimes in life, it's the littlest things that put the biggest smiles on our faces.
Take this little guy above. I actually laughed out loud when I came across him on etsy.
He is the creation of Jen Ray from South Carolina whose store Corduroy opened 2007
Even though it is a totally illogical thing to say, sometimes you come across a maker on etsy that you just somehow know you would get along with like a house on fire in real life.
I think it's all to do with the direction their imagination has taken them. How could I not be smitten with someone who has created the following creatures.
How about an Action Bunny With Shiny Gold Pants.
At about half an inch tall he's even smaller than Kylie Minogue in her gold pants!
Or what about this little guy -
Golden Bandit Bunny with Wooden Peg Leg
This awesome bandit bunny has a brilliant gold painted suit with cut-out mask to see and one leg made of sycamore wood. Clearly he is ready for adventures with you
Jen makes fabulous little ceramic creatues as well as fun mugs but in the great Kingdom tradition of saving the best for last, I give you a little tired ghost who is plum tuckered out from all his "ghostin"
Tired Ghost Print
Her etsy store has been closed for a few weeks but I am eagerly waiting for her to reopen so that hopefully I can get my paws on the spook above.