Date Archives April 2010


Designer Kristen Lombardi reportedly made her first pair of moccasins based on the inspiration found in a boy scout book that she checked out from her local library. Her label Manimal is the very antithesis of the mass-produced, sweat shop-made goods that proliferate the market, and follows a strictly artisan philosophy that ensures that no more than three craftspeople are involved in the creation of each piece.

However, Manimal is not just about moccasins, Lombardi also designs pouches, belts, necklaces and earrings from the suede leftover from constructing her Native American-inspired booties and flats. Oh, and did I mention that some of the moccasins are animal-product free and therefore vegan friendly?

Putting aside Lombardi’s emphasis on making items with an eco-friendly conscience, her designs possess an aesthetic beauty manifest in her incorporation of clever details, such as pastel tones, fringing, beading and triangle patterns. These moccasins are not to be confused with the scuffed and filthy slippers worn by the crazy old lady that you see on the bus.

Manimal’s spring looks have been eloquently captured by Lena Corwin and are available for purchase in the Manimal online shop.

Tiny Tim Performs ‘The Other Side’

This is one of the creepiest/most intriguing videos I’ve seen in a long while now. It’s a live performance of Tiny Tim singing the song The Other Side to a bunch of little girls. The song is about the ice caps melting and all the strange things you find under the rising water. While he’s totally a huge weirdo I have to say that I think his performance of the song is kind of amazing. But just be warned, once you see this you can’t unsee it, and further more you may get this creepy song stuck in your head.

Found through Thisisnotscott


The Ugliest $100 Bill Yet

Ugh. When the hell is U.S. Treasury going to start hiring actual designers to start dictating the look of our money? In the video above you get an interactive tour of the shit-tastic new $100 bill which features a quite fluid, rubbery bill and a background filled with all kinds of horrific lens flares.

I don’t give a damn about a security ribbon or a bell in an inkwell that makes the money harder to counterfeit, nor do I think any other normal person does. I think what we need it something that looks good, seeing as how for the time being it’s a global currency. I think the design should also help those with vision problems be able to tell which bill is which easier. I think it’s even less about aesthetics and more about usability.

It’s kind of like when you have a website designed by a developer. Sure you need the developer to build it, but 99% of the time they have no idea about aesthetics or how to make it more user-friendly. Massive fail U.S. government.


‘Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo’

I think we’re all aware that Japanese culture is quite different from anywhere else in the world, but I think it’s these quirks that also make them so interesting. Take for example their obsession with insects. A new movie coming out called Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo is about the fascination some Japanese have with insects, and I guess beetles specifically. The documentary actually looks pretty rad if it’s anything like the trailer above.

From a Western point of view it seems kind of weird fascination but it’s a topic that I’m excited to see being explored. Kind of like spelling bees (no pun intended) there’s something so mundane but interesting about these hobbies. Also, is the song a reworking of the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army? It’s pretty rad. They also have one of the best film posters I’ve seen in a while…


Video for ‘Divisive’ by We Have Band

Depending on how you look at it, I have a rather charming/unfortunate habit of spontaneously dancing when I hear a song that appeals to my rhythmic sensibilities. Now, I don’t start crumping and thrashing around as though I am auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance, but there is more than a little bit of toe-tapping involved.

Anyway, when reading through the archives of blog Neon Enlightenment I discovered a fascinating interview with British electro-pop outfit, We Have Band. As I had not heard of them I did a quick search and happened upon the video for “Divisive.” With colourful pops of yellow, wriggling human bodies shaped into the words of the lyrics and an infectious beat, it is one of those songs that immediately made me want to break into jumps and expressive hand movements.

Thankfully, I was in the privacy of my home at the time.

‘Gently Gently’ by Christopher Smith

I feel like miniatures are making quite a comeback these days with ideas like tilt shift videos or Christoph Niemann’s New York in Legos. Big ideas are made of small things? Anyhow, this video for Christopher Smith’s Gently Gently is about a little adventurer travelling through a snow globe world where he’s chased by a mysterious creature.

The video was directed by SALAZAR, the director of photography was Todd Duym, art direction by Hitoshi Okamoto and the assistant set decorator was Robin Hunt. You might remember SALAZAR as the creative team behind that weirdo Babe Rainbow video I posted about a month ago. If you’d like to see some of their behind the scenes photos you should click here.

Also, I’m guessing this video was inspired by Martin & Muñoz, the duo who make those disturbing snow globes. I think this is sort of evolution of their work, but it should definitely be pointed out that M&M did it first.

Found through Booooooom!


Le Corbusier and Cathedral Collage

This video was featured on archdaily last week and I was a little disappointed that all of the comments on the post were about how “useless” the video was. Maybe these naysayers would have enjoyed a video about waterproof membrane details better… or hair restoration… but I think they’re kind of missing the point. Clearly, this is not an objective narrative about the history of high gothic architecture as it relates to high modernism. No, no, no. While this video does use several photographs of historically significant buildings, I don’t think you could construe this video as being instructive. But just because the video doesn’t tell you the same things that wikipeida can doesn’t mean that it is useless.

…But maybe you agree with them.

The video’s creator is Rob Carter, who you may know from his band, Matchbox20. Just kidding. Rob is artist who was born in England and now lives and works in Brooklyn.

‘Breukelen’ by Ofa

I have never been to Brooklyn, but in my mind it possesses an almost mythic status and encapsulates everything that is holistically artistic, effortlessly cool and divergent from the mainstream. In his short film/documentary “Breukelen”, “Afropean” filmmaker Ofa brings to life the Brooklyn of my imagination.

Taking the viewer on a journey through the borough that follows different visual and audio transitions, Ofa’s short film is a captivating exploration of the area that gestures towards contrasting moods and atmospheres. Portraying various sides of the Brooklyn community, the completed film is, at times, poetic, downtempo and tinged with nostalgia, as well as vibrant, dynamic and bursting with energy. Producing a work that is simultaneously private and social, Ofa’s camera is a quiet observer that does not intrude into the action, but allows the borough to speak for itself.

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Somefield


For a while now I’ve had kind of a crush on the work of Somefield, also known as Barnaby Ward, who I posted about a couple years back. I’ve been keeping an eye on him and seen his work explode all over the internet. I’m absolutely in love with his style, which is very anime inspired, but I feel like he puts his own unique twist on it. I don’t think anyone will argue that it’s all downright beautiful.

For his wallpaper he created an image that to me looks like something out of Alice in Wonderland. It’s a bizarre little vignette that he decided to enhance by giving it a watercolor look and feel. I’m also smitten with the colors of it, the blues, violets and magentas absolutely pop. But it’s also a rather simple desktop at the same time, so it shouldn’t get i the way of your icons either. This is hands down one of my favorites of 2010 so far. Thanks Barnaby!


‘Mapping Istanbul’ by Project Projects

I’m really digging this book created by the folks over at Project Projects called Mapping Istanbul which attempts to map and define the complex city. Working alongside Garanti Galerie and architects Superpool they’ve put together a collection of maps, charts and graphs that show the various aspects of the city and how it works. I love the visual language the’ve created for the book, and there’s a ton of great images for those into info-porn. And at 224 pages this is an absolute epic in terms of information, I can’t imagine that they’ve missed much.