Imagine you’re marooned in some lazy beach town and are desperate for an icy beverage. You wander around nondescript storefronts, faded cars parked on vacant streets, and a feeling of zombie despair suddenly overwhelms you. In the distance you hear what sounds like be-bop but with driving guitars and a refrain—”why you lookin’ at me?”—and instead of running from it you’re drawn closer. There, through the squeaky doors of a blacked out bar, three guys and a beanie-topped girl are churning out pop-fueled, surf psych rock that forces you to tap your toes and nod your head into a frenzy. This is what it’s like to be sonically invaded by Hooded Fang.
The International Contemporary Furniture Fair, aka ICFF, opens in New York City this weekend (May 18 – 21), and to celebrate, venerable modern furniture company Vitsoe is opening a reading room in their downtown Bond Street store. Launched to celebrate the Vitsoe 620 Chair Programme, a chair originally designed by Dieter Rams in 1962, the company is pairing with culture and photography booksellers (and Vitsoe neighbor) Dashwood Books, to offer the 620 Reading Room, a comfortable and well-heeled respite from your usual weekend stroll. Having visited the Vitsoe showroom myself—primarily to take in their covetable shelving sytems, which remain beautiful yet functional additions to any modern home—I can attest that this pop-up Reading Room will be worth checking out.
Not only does Dashwood carry an astonishing array of unusual and well-curated art tomes, Vitsoe will offer complimentary Intelligentsia pour-overs from Gasoline Alley Coffee. If you happen to be in New York this Friday, May 17 until next Monday, May 20, this will be a rare opportunity to curl up in a legendary piece of contemporary design while sipping free coffee and taking in the fantastic downtown, cobblestone street view. More information and opening hours can be found here.
We live in a time of abundant design stores and online interior retailers that churn out fast furniture in a similar way the fashion behemoths turn over fast fashion. While many of us are constantly on the look out for interesting, modern, well-crafted design pieces at a truly affordable cost, sometimes it’s hard not to resort to the typical catalog companies and Ikeas of the world. Personally, I’d prefer to buy directly from a carpenter, artisan, or maker—there’s something about this exchange that feels more personal—but I often don’t find products I truly love at a price I can pay. Thankfully, OneFortyThree is here to fill the void.
Some artists illustrate everyday life with a sense of reality, while others infuse the mundane with magic and whimsy. Karolin Schnoor, a German illustrator and designer working in London, is in the latter category. The first time I saw her work, I was drawn to the lone female figures quietly working, lounging, or daydreaming, usually in stylish ensembles, a sense of playful contemplation up their sleeves. They seemed familiar and expressive, like abstract portraits of your best friend wearing her favorite floral coat for a bike ride or running errands in a striped tee.
Remember when aliens were a thing? Not that they’ve gone anywhere, but they seem less popular than vampires, werewolves, and Spock as of late. But back in the 1990s, the alien motif was prevalent in both rave culture and in the pop cultural vernacular dotting everything from film and TV (RIP X-Files) to bumper stickers and t-shirts. Personally, I’ve been waiting for a UFO revival and am thrilled that the folks behind the new clothing line, Made on the Moon, are ushering them back into the style landscape.
Do you ever have one of those days when time is running short or sleepiness is having its way, and all you want to do is throw something on without thinking about it while also remaining tailored and stylish? I do, and Everlane is the answer. Created in-house by a small team of designers, Everlane makes basic wardrobe staples that are crafted out of beautiful fabrics that fit to perfection. That’s their whole ethos: “Instead of offering 20 options for a shirt, we try to make only the best in each category.” And that goes for menswear, womenswear, and accessories, too.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” These are wise words from Albert Einstein and ones that I find entirely true. When in need of clarity, serenity, or inspiration, one need only to step into nature. Holly Ward Bimba appears to be one such artist deeply inspired by the earthly ephemera surrounding her. As the artist behind Golly Bard, a blog and online shop, she showcases and sells watercolors depicting everything from tree bark and wild mushrooms to errant feathers and entomology specimens.
Beat Making Lab is an incredible new PBS show devoted to music and empowering young people. Created by producer/DJ Stephen Levitin (aka the Apple Juice Kid) in partnership with professor and hip hop artist Pierce Freelon, who both teach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Beat Making Lab crew brings portable studios “small enough to fit in a backpack” to youths around the world. Their goal is to make a social impact by giving young people the tools to change their lives through making songs and beats. The first episode takes Freelon and Levitin—in collaboration with Yole!Africa—to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
If you’ve breezed through the children’s book section at your local bookstore lately, you’ll undoubtedly notice an uptick in the amount of picture books. There are so many to choose from and covering every possible genre for the discerning child. I’m not ashamed to say I’m an adult-child who browses this section on a regular basis and am always on the lookout for eye-catching illustrations and a fun story. One book I’m particularly excited about is Monsters Under Bridges, which hits shelves this week.
I am not a surfer but have always loved the sport. I remember watching and discussing movies like North Shore, Surf Ninjas, The Endless Summer, and Point Break with my fellow desert landlocked friends who pretended skateboards on cement were surfboards on waves. And I remember how exciting it was seeing girl surfers represented in films like Gidget and later Blue Crush. But aside from the plethora of documentaries like Step into Liquid and Riding Giants, I never realized just how many surf films were being made by independent filmmakers, enthusiasts, and devotees of the sport. Nathan Oldfield is one such filmmaker, and his cinematic vision of surfing and the lifestyle surrounding it is remarkable.