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LA (AND BEYOND): CRUMPLED TWENTY

By Nora Zelevansky / March 10th, 2009

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(A Monocle Comme des Garcons Candle Collaboration & The Monocle Shop)

The Best Link Today:

So, I was attracted to Blackburn + Sweetzer's story about this British shop Monocle (conceived based on their Monocle mag) soon-to-land in Brentwood for several reasons: first, I actually lived off Marylebone High Street–the original shop's location–for like a year in college.  (I did the usual junior year abroad thang, but loved it so much that I took another semester off and stayed to work at a documentary production company there called Uden Associates).  So, I admit it, nostalgia drove my initial interest: ah, the freeing days of being totally broke, out every night until 8am and hungover everyday until going out again.

Suddenly, sipping my peppermint tea and snacking on raspberry granola, I feel like a grandma.

Second, naturally I'm no stranger to the concept of a store evolving from another medium–from Giant Robot stores on Sawtelle and in Silverlake (closing sale through March 28th–FYI) to the former Vice store at Sunset Junction to airports' CNN, USA Today and Fox News (barf) stores–BUT Monocle doesn't seem like a design-only magazine, so it's an interesting crossover.

The peeps at Monocle (mag edited by Wallpaper founder and Financial Times columnist Tyler Brûlé) collaborate with designers or design houses to create unique items like linen-back notebooks with Germany's Brandbook, Hinoki candles with Comme des Garcons, scarves with Drakes London.  They're opening shops in Tokyo and NYC this year too.

Third, this high-end cool kid shop has decided to open up shop in . . . Brentwood?  Brentwood Country Mart seems like such an odd choice, as the neighborhood is quaint, but hardly filled with edgy shoppers (more like bleached blonde, Ugg-sporting moms noshing on Pink Berry and pushing babies in Bugaboos or toting around their legging and Ugg-clad toddlers).

But we shall see.  Time will tell.  A bird in the hand . . . what am I talking about???

xo – Grandma N.

Disclaimer: I'm so tired today, I'm not thinking straight (too much wild tea and granola last night), so bare with me.

NYC (BROOKLYN): THE BEST COOL KID YOGA MATS

By Nora Zelevansky / February 9th, 2009

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(Jill Malek's Limited Edition Yoga Mats: Aphrodite, Maidenhair, Sleeping Briar Rose)

You've all heard the one about the jewelry designer cum bag designer; publicist cum boutique owner; journalist cum blogger (ahem)?

Well, here's a new one for you: wallpaper innovator, Jill Malek, is now designing special limited edition yoga mats for Yogamatic.  I feel like I should have turned that into a knock, knock joke or something, but whatever. Two wallpaper designers and a rabbi walk into a bar . . . something about wall flowers? Eh, I give up.

Anyway, I'm psyched because, while I sadly own nothing to wallpaper (my laptop? my fridge? my cat Mina?), I can definitely use a pretty mat, as it can only make me more motivated to yogi out in downward facing dog.  That sort of invites a joke too, I think, but again I got nothin'.  Or at least nothing appropriate.

The fantastical patterns–with evocative names like Sleeping Briar Rose and Resurrection–are directly inspired by the wallpaper that Jill lovingly creates in her Brooklyn studio.  And, while Jill's mats are only available online via her own website or the Yogamatic site, her paper can be perused at shops like Brooklyn's design collective/gallery boutique Urban Alchemist and LA's Walnut. ( BTW–What is with the wallpaper/Walnut theme in the last two days?  Eh. Why fight it?)

You never know what you may find amidst the lint, you know?

xo – N.

LA: CRUMPLED TWENTY

By Nora Zelevansky / February 5th, 2009

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(Walnut on Beverly Blvd–can you see the pattern?  It's subtle, so you have to be really attuned–feel the wallpaper, know the wallpaper, desire the wallpaper . . . This is getting a little frightening, even for me).

The Best Link Today:

So wallpaper can be a tough nut to crack, meaning–well, sort of nothing–but it sounded good right? No, but seriously, blogger Rachel Leonard introduces readers to adorable little design/wallpaper shop on LA's Beverly Blvd, Walnut, and offers up a link to expert Julia Rothman's tips on how to make your own.

Personally, I love to draw, but I'm not always so good with the paper mache and macaroni art, you know?  But for all you craftsy bitties (yeah, I said bitties) like Rach out there in the BK lounge (I dunno), seems like a pretty cool thing, no?  Me?  Let's be honest: I'll go buy the stuff at Walnut.

xo – N.