December 10, 2020
What A Feeling!!
Hey Tik-Tok talent – turns out you just might be able to spin those hours spent learning how to “Tap In” into solid gold! Olympic gold, that is. Breakdancing has been officially added to Olympics 2024 roster – giving you the perfect retort to any significant others questioning your commitment to themed dance moves this year. Werk it, people!
It’s been a season of dreaming, sighing, zooming and doodling.. but now your over-the-top sketches of princess slippers might actually be some snappy shoes in the making!! This year, the fab footwear house, Jimmy Choo hosted a competition inviting fans to submit sketches of their ultimate fantasy shoe. The contest was the brainchild of creative director, Sandra Choi, who has always found sketching to be excellent escapism, as well as source of calm and mindfulness. “Choo Sketch” hopes to provide all these things, along with a broader, stronger community of both consumers and creators.
The Color of Hope
Pantone has long used their annual color selection as a thoughtful prescription for the world’s emotional needs. From the hopeful green of 2017, serving as a signal of new growth after the bruising 2016 election, to the escape offered by the tropical-sea blue turquoise of post-recession 2010, the colors are selected as salves; anodyne antidotes to what ails us. This year, Pantone has selected two colors, suggesting that it takes all of us together to make it through tough times. The choices of ‘ultimate gray’, and ‘illuminating’, a clean and clear yellow, offer up hope – but not of the giddy sort. Rather, it is a clean and shining hope anchored in the solidity of science and smarts. It is a color combination that presses us forward, out of the tunnel, into the light. Color us ready!
Pharrell and Dolly: a View to the Future
Two big celebrity launches seem to simply sum up the dichotomy that is 2020; the yellow and gray of the new Pantone colors reflected in products created to appeal to wildly diverse wants. Craving green and futuristic? Pharrell has launched his new Humancare Skin Line. Agender, holistic, organic and refillable, the product line is designed to be simple and stress-free for your soul’s sake. “Your face is the result of the spirit behind it; it’s important to take care of your skin and to also take time for yourself each day,” Pharrell said in a release. It is a simple and streamlined view to a future that will require agility and simplicity. Brighter and more bouncy? Dolly Parton has just announced her leap into the fragrance industry. In a major deal with Edge Beauty, the icon is looking to play big in the space with personal and home fragrances set to sell in Spring 2021. Nostalgic and forever brightly happy, Dolly’s launch seems like a big bowl of comfort for those weary of the adventure. Choose your adventure!
Home Sweet Home
‘Tis the season for year-end “best of” compilation lists – and with our new focus on hearth and home, this one from Sight Unseen scores big. The editors of this inspirational site have created a list of outstanding new American designers, providing you with eye candy (and possibly empty bank accounts) for days to come. Thoughtful and reflective of the times we live in, the in-depth interviews with these talents offer up some wise counsel for us all. As one designer shared “We have the tools to give our ideas life.” Yes we do – we all do!! Pull up a comfy chair and feast!
So often, genius is in the details. South African designer Ricky Stoch has solved a monumental problem with the simple act of checking a box. Inspired by a podcast, she created a scratch-card-style sticker for medicine bottles that “gamifies” taking medication in order to encourage patients to easily remember to down their daily dose. Stoch took cues from the contraceptive pill’s packaging design when creating the label, which features 28 days that run as a loop before ending back at the start. “99% Invisible, one of my favorite podcasts, ran an episode about how repackaging the Pill had such a positive effect on women’s adherence to oral contraceptives,” the designer explained. Her new simple on-pack sticker similarly renders the daily dosage confirmation into a one stroke wonder: on pack, on point (and on-pod?) Stoch’s invention reminds us that often times, the simplest ideas are the best.
I’ve Never Felt Better
The artisan of the year must be Lucy Sparrow. A triple threat of craft, nostalgia and laser-like understanding of human emotions, her felt-based work depicting the familiar joys of bodegas and supermarkets has always struck a common chord. Her latest display: The Bourbon Street Chemist, is no different, serving up medicines and balms that feel both comforting and covetable. Sparrows hopes that her latest wares will help destigmatize our need to seek out help. “There is something so intensely intimate in sharing your personal—and often embarrassing—ailments with a stranger. But because that stranger is wearing a white coat you feel safe and trust them with secrets you wouldn’t tell your best friend,” the artist says. We’ll take two and promise – we will call you in the morning.
The Medium is the Message
The year 2020 has indeed been a year of innovation and new definitions. Travel happens through Instagram, AirBnb stands for escape, and our needs are more than likely answered by way of a plain brown box. We are craving surprises in this season of sameness. The fashion industry, grounded by Covid, jumped into the game, and sent out delightful boxes full of whimsy and wit to their front row fans, providing color commentary for shows now delivered digitally. Next up might just be magazines. Julia Ragolia has recently launched a deeply experiential product she calls: “______ is fun”, a media concept that serves to complement the new shift to slow fashion and one that suggests the reader savor – and share – the delights it offers. The product itself is a limited edition sleek polycarbonate box, filled with an array of magazines in different shapes and sizes, fold-out posters, stickers and other items. The format isn’t the only unconventional element of the project. The magazine cannot be bought. The first 300 readers, selected by Ragolia and her collaborators, will receive it for free this month. They, in turn, will each select someone to add to the distribution list and receive the second issue as a gift, so the audience for each successive issue will grow. “It’s a little bit of a redefinition of luxury in the sense that it’s not based on access, or what’s in one’s pocket,” Ragolia said. “It’s based on sharing.” We sense a foreshadowing of thing to come across many high-end industries. (The first edition has no advertisements but was underwritten by Hermès.)
Kim Jones had planned to show his Dior pre-fall collection in Beijing this year. Covid had other ideas, so he switched to Plan B: outer space. His online show featured 80’s kid-club models walking against an intergalactic backdrop, punctuated with a looping soundtrack of Deee-lite. And the clothes were totally trippy as well: Jones tapped street artist Kenny Scharf, whose cartoon-like paintings are steeped in sci-fi, to lend his colorful touch to the line. “I wanted to do something quite fun and poppy, because everything’s so down at the moment.” Jones also wanted to spread a little understanding on top of this psychedelic slice of joy – tapping Chinese artisans to hand embroider all of the designs. His goal was to elevate the global perception of Chinese craft, so often dismissed (especially during these xenophobic times.) Think fashion is superficial? We think it’s plain out-of-sight!
A Stitch in Time
What do doom-scrolling and cross-stitch have in common? How about your phone?? In the ultimate pairing of high and low tech, Pela – the creators of the first compostable phone case, have now tapped the act of craft to sooth our tech-triggered brains. The company has created a unique ‘Stitch Case’ which features a rectangular grid for embroidering a mystical landscape, minimal scene, or other quirky renderings. App-ed out? Skip the emoji – or better yet, embroider one instead!