Porter Fall / Winter 2010

By Tom Ran

Published: February 8, 2010 under Fashion & Style

Porter's Fall/Winter 2010 collection

Photo: Staff

Porter, the Japanese bag company founded in 1962 by Yoshida & Co., based its business on the fundamental principal that passion is required in every stitch. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that you would be hard-pressed to find a Porter bag in the United States. As common and successful as the brand is in Japan, it was slow to arrive here. Though based in the U.K., Porter’s collaboration with Monocle gave the company more recognition in the west, and little by little, stores like Steven Alan and Opening Ceremony began to carry a selection of designs from its vast catalog.

We were able to preview Porter’s Fall/Winter 2010 collection this morning which includes over 11 lines with several older lines (Tanker and Smokey) from past seasons. The collection carries on the tradition of durability and functionalism without compromising style. Ever conscious of its construction, Porter uses various traditional and non-traditional techniques including stitching cotton conventionally used for silk to create intricate patterns, hand dyeing, and mixing fabrics complementing and contrasting its final product. We were especially drawn towards the Deep Blue line which uses traditional techniques in dyeing its fabric from Kyoto which are then stonewashed giving it a natural texture. It also ages really well. 2010 may prove to be the year that Porter sees a wider distribution as they plan to collaborate on exclusive items with brands from Barneys to Bloomingdales. More photos after the jump.

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Clare Crespo at Heath Ceramics LA

By Tom Ran

Published: February 5, 2010 under Art

Clare Crespo at Heath Ceramics in LA

Photo: Heath Ceramics

Heath Ceramics in LA will be celebrating Mardi Gras with Louisiana native Clare Crespo. The artist, chef, writer, and TV personality has been inspiring kids and adults to be creative in the kitchen for some time now. She’s also the mastermind behind Treat Street, a roving bake sale based in LA. For the jamboree at Heath Ceramics, Crespo will be serving gumbo, oysters, shrimp cocktail, soft-shell crab, and catfish po’boys. However, none of it will be edible, Crespo will be crocheting every food item which all will be lovingly displayed on Heath dinnerware. A reception will be held tomorrow evening from 6-8pm.

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BMW Art Cars - Jeff Koons

By Tom Ran

Published: February 4, 2010 under Art

Olafur Eliasson's BMW H2R (2007)

Photo: BMW

For the past 35 years, BMW has been inviting artists to reinterpret the designs of their cars, beginning in 1975 with Alexander Calder. Only 16 artists have been selected for this project, including Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, David Hockney, Jenny Holzer, and Olafur Eliasson. Many of the past artists have used the vehicles as a canvas, except for Eliasson. Eliasson’s reinterpretation of BMW’s H2R’s car is unrecognizable. He replaces its original frame with a new skin that resembles a metallic cocoon.

BMW announced a couple of days ago that Jeff Koons will be its 17th artist. No information has been released yet on which car Koons has selected or what the designs will look like. The car is expected to be revealed later on this year. (via mediabistro)

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Randomness 02.03.10

By Tom Ran

Published: February 3, 2010 under Randomness

Eames house tour contest from House Industries and the Eames Foundation

Photo: House Industries

It’s a rare opportunity for one to walk through the interior of the Eames house, only patrons of the Eames Foundation is offered a tour. In celebration of the release of House Industries’ Eames font collection, the type foundry and foundation have launched a contest for a chance at winning an exclusive Eames house sunset tour.

It’s good to see that people are still organizing benefits for Haiti. The San Francisco Community Art Show is a silent auction held on March 12th with all profits going towards Architecture for Humanity’s work in Haiti. Over 40 artists will be participating including Barry McGee.

Gordon Gekko returns, in the sequel to Wall Street with Oliver Stone directing. Money Never Sleeps opens April 22nd.

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Woody Allen at The Carlyle

By Tom Ran

Published: February 1, 2010 under Music

Woody Allen & The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band in Lisbon Portugal 2005

Photo: Tiago Petinga

No other director is capable of romanticizing New York City like Woody Allen. His love affair with the city on film began in 1977 with Annie Hall but it was in Manhattan where Allen paid homage. From the opening shot of the film, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue builds from the introductory note of the clarinet and swells to a crescendo while the Manhattan skyline stands at the forefront. Allen embraces all its grittiness in lovely black and white. His appreciation for the music goes beyond its enjoyment, Allen is an extremely talented clarinet player as well. Barbara Kopple’s 1997 documentary Wild Man Blues displays much of this as the camera follows Allen through a European tour. Good news for New Yorkers, its hometown auteur will be performing at The Carlyle every Monday night till May 31st with The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band.

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By Tom Ran

Published: January 29, 2010 under Architecture

A model of VitraHaus designed by Herzog & de Meuron

Photo: Herzog & de Meuron

Vitra’s campus is situated in the small town of Weil am Rhein in Germany bordering Switzerland and France. The campus is a mecca for all design geeks, drawing professionals and enthusiast alike. Nowhere in the world is there such a large concentration of celebrated architects all in one location. The grounds inhabit buildings and structures designed by Tadao Ando, Buckminster Fuller, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Jasper Morrison, Jean Prouve, SANNA, and Herzog & de Meuron. Five of the eleven architects have been awarded the Pritzker prize, architecture’s most prestigious award. As impressive as this collection of buildings are, it is even more stunning to realize that all of this began in 1981 after a fire devastated the campus. CEO, Rolf Feldbaum used this disaster as a turning point to rebuild. The latest in the succession of development is VitraHaus designed by Herzog & de Meuron. The building uses familiar elements such as the pitched roofs but mixes it in an unconventional way by randomly stacking the elongated structures on top of one another. The museum will house Vitra’s home collection and is expected to open in March according to a recent post on their website.

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Alya Kazakevich

By Raven Keller
Alya Kazakevich in her shop in the Lower East Side

Photo: Rose Callahan

On a damp and muggy summer morning on the Lower East Side, Alya Kazakevich slowly stitched up the edges of a leather coin purse and recalled her childhood in Eastern…

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By Tom Ran
Partners Robert Highsmith and Stefanie Brechbuehler

Photo: Samuel Bristow

Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith, are the partners behind Workstead. The two met at Rhode Island School of Design while studying architecture and opened their studio in 2009,…

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M.Nii John Moore

By Tom Ran
M.Nii Tailor, Waianae, Hawaii 1959

Photo: Tom McBride

The photo is one of the few relics that remain of M.Nii’s history. An image that recalls the golden age of American surf culture. Three friends in front…

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