Monthly Archives: January 2014

H&M ‘Go Gold’ Limited Edition- Window & In-store display

Today I headed to Oxford Street to do some product spotting for my future Valentine’s post and I walked past this H&M window…

h and m limited collection window

h and m limited collection window 2

It’s just foamboard cut into different sized triangles which interlock together, but I think it’s stunning!  The random gold vinyl triangles really help highlight the structure as well as linking in with the ‘Go Gold’ Limited Edition tagline.  I’m constantly impressed with the work the H&M visual team do with this store.  The shop is slap bang in the middle of Oxford Circus competing with the likes of Topshop and Nike who are known for having strong windows, but H&M always manage to keep it fresh but still within their brand identity.  The windows change frequently, they’re not overly complicated but they always get maximum impact.  Here are some more pics showing close ups, and how they carried this feature in-store highlighting the ‘Go Gold’ Limited Edition collection area.

h and m limited collection window collection

h and m limited collection instore feature 2

h and m limited collection instore feature

h and m limited collection instore closeup

h and m column with gold vinyl

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Home London, Zoo

I briefly mentioned in Monday’s post that animals were everywhere at Home London and Top Drawer– they’re an eternal trend.  People will always love animals and buy animal products.  Here is a small selection of the variety on show…

…From fluoro pussies to cockapoos…

Yoke ronnie and frank cat cushion

Yoke’s vibrant Ronnie and Frank Cushion

Beast in Show Cockapoo tea towel

Beast In Show’s Cockapoo Tea Towel- just one in the range of Lucie Sheridan‘s witty hybrid dog prints.

…From colour blocked peacocks to camel teapots…

sian ellin peacocks cushion

Sian Ellin’s peacock cushion was attracting alot of people’s attention at the show.

The DRH collection white camel teapot

The DRH Collection’s white camel teapot- also came in polished silver and gold plate. Kitsch to the max…which I don’t think is a bad thing!

…From extrovert cockatoos to chubby cheeked hamsters…

Forma The Zoo Hamster Money Box Red

The Hamster Money Box displayed on the Forma House stand.

…From skiing rabbits to cuddly bears…

Ham skiing bunny prints

Ham’s humorous skiing rabbit monochrome prints. Still love the trampolining bunny spotted last year.

Beast in Show Bear Tea Towel

Beast In Show’s Bear Hug! tea towel by Robbie Henderson.  Funny aaaarrrrggghhh!

…From Woodland to Safari animals…

Lisa Bliss Animal Busts Wallpaper in Mustard

Lisa Bliss’ stunning Animal Bust wallpaper in mustard (also comes in another colourway). Lisa will be updating her website in the next few days if you want more details.

outline works trophy elephant bike rack

The Trophy Elephant Bike Rack is the newest in the Outline Works collection. TWO bikes can be stored on the tusks! (Image from http://www.notcot.org/post/56418/)

…sometimes the two combined together!…

Even some extinct ones…

seletti sauria

This is just brilliant- Seletti’s Sauria porcelain cake stand.

The only thing missing was the unicorns!

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Home Ethics

Among all the lovely products on show at Home London and Top Drawer, two exhibitors in particular really impressed me, not only with their beautiful pieces but with their ethics…

FENTON

Fenton sources fine art from UK graduates and then pays for the rights to a particular piece.  They then take details from the piece and scale it up, scale it down, multiply it into various patterns which are then printed onto various fabrics, papers and canvas.  Fenton then takes their artist inspired printed design and locally manufactures cushions, lampshades, wallpapers and other home accessories.  The great thing is though that everytime a Fenton product is sold, the original artist is then given a royalty.  It’s such a nice idea that the artist will see a monetary return from their original piece taking on a new form, and makes their work and name more accessible.

The Highly Strung Collection developed from an original artwork called ‘Problem Child’ by Charles Robinson was my favourite fabric….closely followed by the Fragments fabric from the Evolution Collection!

Charles Robinson Problem Child Original Artwork Fenton

‘Problem Child’ original artwork by Charles Robinson

Fenton highly strung collection floral and rose

Fenton’s Highly Strung Fabric shown on cushions. The top row is the Floral print and the bottom row is the Rose. Love how elements from the original artwork have developed into a candy coloured ‘floral’ chintz.

Fenton evolution collection fragments

Close up image of the Fragments print from the Evolution Collection.

GREEN & BLUE

I got a real sense from Green & Blue that their work ethic is very much form follows function and I love that!  Just so happens that their forms are beautiful as well as functional!  Take their hanging or wall mounted birdballs for example…

green and blue birdball

Green & Blue’s wall mounted birdball shown in white and the hanging alternative in terracotta.

…so elegant in their simple spherical form.  The balls come in a matte white or terracotta finish.  When I asked if they come in other glazes or colours, they explained that the matte finish and natural colour palettes are more conducive to birds nesting.  I like how they have remained focused on the product purpose and haven’t gone down the route of other colours for this particular product just for potentially more sales and financial gain.  They do have a range of Bird Feeders however where they could use colourful glazes because the gloss finish is more practical for the product.

green and blue birdball seed feeder

The various gloss glazes of Green & Blue’s seed feeder.

They also showcased some various sized bricks which encourage bees to nest in them.  The grey dimpled bricks come in a variety of sizes and can be arranged into an attractive modular display for somewhere in your garden, or the bricks manufactured to match standard brick size can even be used for building work.  A nice way to help save the bees when building your extension!

Another Green & Blue product which is just so simple but stunning, a definite fave of mine is the Sandcastle Bowl.  Check this beauty out….

green and blue sandcastle bowl

Sandcastle Bowl available in white, blue and a gorgeous lemon yellow.

….oh yes, it’s going straight on my wishlist!

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Top Drawer and Home London- SS14 Trends

Yesterday Earls Court opened its doors once again for Top Drawer and Home London, two shows specialising in gifts, lifestyle and fashion accessories, and homewares and interiors.  I love this event…as well as seeing what new pieces the well established wholesalers have to offer, it’s a great opportunity to meet new independent designers and makers.  It’s great when you see a product from a new company and you just know the product will sell and they’re going to have a successful year- you feel excited for them!

The two shows cover such a large variety of product in so many different design styles, there really is something for everyone there.  I’ve pulled together some of the trends that stood out for me…

COOL COLOUR PALETTE

Cool blues, off whites, greys and purples seemed to be the predominant colour palette with occasional burnt orange, yellow and teal accent colours.

colours

METALLICS

Metallics were strong again this year.  They were used either minimally to highlight a detail for example the outline of an illustration or a fitting on a table, or they were used in a more unusual way but on a larger scale to be the main feature of that particular product.

Home and Top Drawer SS14 Metallics Trend1-  Another Country are exhibiting some beautiful crafted furniture which use simple brass fixtures and fittings that compliment the matte finish of the wood.  I also love their Another Desktop Series 2 accessory set shown on top of the bench which uses brass sheet to highlight the function of the stationary item.

2-  LSAs striking Polka Collection combines an all over metallic glaze with a strong colour palette.

3-  Independent surface pattern designer Claire Murray is exhibiting her new Birds and Butterflies wallpaper on the Heart Home Magazine stand.  The pattern has also been printed onto fabric for cushions and lampshades but I like how the slightly metallic grey background to the wallpaper really makes the pattern’s lemon yellows, oranges, pinks and teals pop out.

4-  Love the dimpled texture and contrasting gold and gun metal finishes of Lisbeth Dahls trays.

5-  Sabre Paris have done a range of metallic acrylic cutlery which would be great for entertaining.

6-  Get me one of these Broste Copenhagen rugs!  I love them so much!  The natural palette works really well with the skinny strips of copper woven through.

SIMPLICITY

Of course there are a fair amount of more detailed, and ornate, and shabby chic items on show, but for me, the really striking pieces were the more stripped back simple products, either simple in their form, their finish or texture.

Top Drawer and Home SS14 Tends Simplicity

1-  The simple radiating chevron pattern on Rorstrands Swedish Grace collection works really well with the pale glaze.

2-  Absolutely love Maia Ming Designs porcelain Salt & Pepper Rings with one ring having a matte finish, and the other being gloss.

3-  Selettis Desktructure range is good fun.  I like how the clean coloured band running along the bottom edge helps give the blocks presence.

4-  Another product by Seletti.  The Multilamp comes in various forms, but this tall floor standing lamp is my favourite.  The simple matte finish frame, clean angles, and neat 6 lamp grid work really well.

5-  I spent ages looking at Royal Doultons 1815 range.  The rep explained how they created the collection by going right back to their beginnings (in 1815) when Royal Doulton created more everyday utility pieces.  This shows in the clean forms and simple dipped glaze finish.  I really like the range of colours they’ve chosen and it will be interesting to see how they develop the range for the bicentennial anniversary next year.

6-  Chives wall bricks are about as simple as you can go and they just work so well as a striking indoor or outdoor wall feature.

FACES

Quite a random trend, but faces seemed to pop up every now and then.  Following on from the Simplicity trend above, they were often simple line only illustrations on simple white forms with the face being the only detail.

Top Drawer and Home SS14 Faces Trend

1-  The Nordic Element stand showcased pieces by Finnsdottir.  The Babushka vases really stood out.

2-  The Po: range of character mugs and egg cup holders with silicon hats on the Gilberts stand were good fun.

3-  The New English exhibited Paul Bishops Seemore family.  Meet Cyril, Kevin and Duane.

There was of course animal products everywhere but that is a whole other post!  Top Drawer and Home London are open until Tuesday 5pm.  You can register for free at www.topdrawer.co.uk or www.home-london.net.  If you do go down, make sure you wear comfy shoes- there is alot to see!

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Kitsch- so wrong it’s right

Belated Happy New Year everyone!

A New Year’s lurgy hit me about half an hour into 2014, so I’ve been in bed for the past couple of days trying to shake it off with this monstrous beauty for company…

urban outfitters virgin of guadalupe hot water bottle kitsch

I bloody love this hot water bottle!  To me, the gaudy embellishments and slight inappropriateness, just make it AMAZING!  I originally bought one for my friend from Urban Outfitters for Christmas, because I knew she would appreciate it’s horrific beauty but I loved it so much, I bought one for myself as well…and yes, my friend loves it just as much as me (thank goodness!).

It got me thinking about Kitsch which is definitely a Marmite genre.  I love it however and agree with (the trusted) Urban Dictionary’s definition of it, ‘As an art movement, lifestyle, or literature and film genre, kitsch is pleasingly distasteful.  It’s melodramatic, overdone, gaudy and tacky or sentimental and folksy.  It’s so bad that it’s cool.  Your cat might attack it, but it’s hot.’

Here are some other kitsch beauties I found …

abigail ahern poodle lamps

Abigail Ahern’s poodle lamps

zara home monkey picture frame

Zara Home has a surprising amount of kitsch. The more I look at this picture frame, the more I love it, which I know is wrong but I can’t help myself!

timorous beasties gnuaghty gnomes

These gnaughty gnomes available at Timorous Beasties

tatty devine kitsch lobster necklace

Tatty Devine’s Giant Lobster Necklace. Click on the picture to be taken through to their blog about the making of their limited edition pink Lobster necklace for the brilliant Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore exhibition at Somerset House.

anya hindmarch swan vestas imperial clutch

Anya Hindmarch’s Swan Vestas Imperial clutch

I think everybody should get themselves at least one kitsch item either for their home or a fashion accessory because they’ll always be a talking point, and as long as you love it, it doesn’t matter if others don’t.

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