Author Archives: designdevotee

CHRISTMAS 2014- WINDOW DISPLAYS

So we’ve had the Christmas adverts and now the high street is fully bedecked with Christmas window displays.

Gold and silver are always a given at Christmas time, but metallics including holographic metallics are really prolific this year, mirroring the current fashion trends.  There’s also an awful lot of Christmas trees made up of presents and boxes.  Mulberry have done a more sculptural version of this with only the shape of the present suggested with the gold ribbon, the product then displayed inside.  What I like about this scheme is their attention to detail such as the logo embossed fixing, the well thought out product display methods, and the tagline ‘Think inside the box’.

Mulberry Christmas 2014 Window Display

Clarks also used metallics with copper, silver and gold foils but combined these with thick unfinished wood stars lit with filament bulbs.  I think the more rustic finish really compliments the leather and rubber of the footwear.

Clarks Christmas 2014 Window Display

Topshop Boutique have also got quite a rustic simple scheme…not a cheesy Christmas window obviously but I love it.  I also like how they’ve dipped the mannequins’ fingers in gold to match the suspended wooden batons.

Topshop Boutique Christmas 2014 Window Display

Completely stepping away from metallics, there is Fred Perry’s frosted ice sculpture effect laurel.  This really catches your eye, partly because of the ice effect vinyl border, but also because it’s a standalone prop – it’s not lost amongst unnecessary surrounding props.

Fred Perry Christmas 2014 Window Display (Images supplied by Hatch! Design & Build)

The Karen Millen windows are also sculptural, with these gorgeous woven suspended ‘snowballs’ in subtle varying shades.  To me they look like delicate jellyfish floating in the window- beautiful.

Karen Millen Christmas 2014 Window Display

And ok, here are the John Lewis penguins.  This series of windows did bring a smile on my face…all the penguins have a personality which is a combination of how well they have been sculpted, and how the window has been styled.

John Lewis Christmas 2014 Window Display

So those were my favourite window displays for Christmas 2014 (still need to check out Harrods and Harvey Nics), but if you’re interested in seeing more, click on my Pinterest page where I’ve posted a few other eye-catching schemes including Selfridges, Anthropologie, Jack Wills (that scheme has been my design baby for the past few weeks freelancing for Hatch Design & Build), H&M flagship and a few more.  Enjoy x

 

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JIGSAW AW14 STYLE AND TRUTH- CLEVER CONTRADICTIONS

A few days ago I had to do a bit of last minute birthday present shopping, when I walked past the Argyll Street Jigsaw store and saw this window display…

Design Devotee Jigsaw Style and Truth Window Scheme

…I thought it was great- just a really simple but strong visual contradiction between the text statement, and the window display props and the clothes the mannequin was dressed in.

Then, on my way home, a whole underground passage of Oxford Circus tube station had been canvassed with the Jigsaw Autumn Winter campaign…

Design Devotee Jigsaw Style and Truth wear green
Design Devotee Jigsaw Style and Truth prints are back

Design Devotee Jigsaw Style and Truth polka dots are in

Design Devotee Jigsaw Style and Truth go floral

I think Jigsaw have marketed this campaign really well, with how strongly the in-store messaging works with their advertising, and the contradictions between the copy and the image are obvious enough for passers-by to quickly take in and understand.

Jigsaw have written a blog post about the campaign which goes into greater detail about how it’s better to go with your own personal style investing in key pieces, rather than follow the current fashion trend #styleandtruth

Great stuff!

*All campaign images are from the Jigsaw website.

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BOMPAS & PARR- Jelly Making Fun Times

I am a BIG Bompas & Parr fan.  I love their fun (most important!), accessible, eccentric and ‘skies the limit’ approach to the experiences they organise/collaborate on, so when their newsletter popped into my inbox saying they were opening their HQ doors for a Jelly Making Workshop, I got straight on that!  Jelly making fun aside, I was really curious to see their set up- to get more of an idea of what happens behind the scenes…

I loved having a snoop around their studios, and workshop where they experiment with a lot of their mould creation….

Bompas and Parr Design Devotee Mould selection

Some of the moulds in the studio.

Bompas and Parr Design Devotee Replica Iguana Dinosaur

Check out this replica iguana-esque dinosaur from The Dinosaur Court at Crystal Palace just casually hanging around on top of the cupboard.

….I also had a go on their vac form machine to create my own mould…

Bompas and Parr Design Devotee Vac Forming

Flashback to CDT classes!

…We learnt some of the tricks to their previous experiences….

Bompas and Parr Design Devotee

The luminous dye in the glass was used on their Chromatopsia installation.

…and in the kitchen we had a go at making all sorts of jelly concoctions with various techniques from Elderflower, Prosecco & Raspberry Jelly…

Bompas and Parr Design Devotee Elderflower and Prosecco Jelly

My favourite- so tasty!

…layering into a Clementine, marbling with campari and orange jelly…

Bompas and parr Design Devotee Jelly

…dabbling with some gold leaf, and then at the end, having full reign of the store cupboard ingredients to make whichever flavour we wanted.  Who knew a Dark & Stormy could be made into a jelly with a gold leaf top?  Pretty good though!

I don’t really want to go into too much detail about what surprises are in store for you if you sign up for the course.  All I will say is, apart from jelly and mould making, you should expect a lot of fun, and you may be treated to pickles with magic properties, alcoholic wind, and jelly matter explosions!  If you are interested in the workshop, snap up your place fast next time it’s advertised, as the next two sessions are already fully booked!

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Come here, Rude Boy, boy, can you style it up?

I love the small details in design.  From the stitching on a garment, the hidden fixings on an object, the branding placement, the shadow gaps between walls and floor, to the props used on a back bar display.  It’s all the small details that really help convey the object’s/wearer’s/place’s personality, and they’re  not something that you necessarily appreciate at first glance, which makes them all the better when you do notice them.

Back in the summer, a friend and I went to the ‘Return of the Rude Boy’ exhibition at Somerset House.  Now, I must admit, I didn’t know what a Rude Boy was (!!!) but absolutely loved the photographs and garments on display.  The stylistic lengths these boys (and girl!) go to is just amazing. It’s all about the sharpness of suit, the shine on the shoes, and yep, the small details unique to their outfit…..

DESIGN DEVOTEE RETURN OF THE RUDE BOY DEXTER DE LEADUS PIN

Love Dexter de Leadnus’ pin

DESIGN DEVOTEE RETURN OF THE RUDE BOY 1

Outlaw Now Here/Outlaw Nowhere? You decide.

DESIGN DEVOTEE RETURN OF THE RUDE BOY 2

Natty Bo

DESIGN DEVOTEE RETURN OF THE RUDE BOY 3

Bevan Agyemang & Macharia Brian Gathii

DESIGN DEVOTEE RETURN OF THE RUDE BOY GARY POWELL

Gary Powell- turned up trousers with acid yellow socks. Check out the shoes.

DESIGN DEVOTEE RETURN OF THE RUDE BOY KILLER SHOES

Love the text printed on the tassels, and the background colour change on the badges.

DESIGN DEVOTEE RETURN OF THE RUDE BOY SUNDAY BEST

Trouser brace strapping detail, and embossed leather tag on the Sunday Best box.

monochrome rude girl

Monochrome Rude Girl- contrasting black and white patterns, and pearl earrings.

Open leather suitcase totems were a clever and appropriate way to display more Rudie photographs….

RETURN OF THE RUDE BOY DISPLAY CASE

Exhibition detailing

Unfortunately the exhibition has finished now, but you can find out more information about it here or on the Somerset House website.  The exhibition was put together by Dean Chalkley (all photographs feat. in this post were taken by Dean) and Harris Elliot.

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Top Drawer & Home London- AW14 Trends

So it’s been a while (7 months…eeek!) since my last blog, and time has certainly flown by! From having manic Monday to Fridays freelancing on a variety of exciting design projects from; window schemes, festival and touring pop-ups, and large scale conferences, and then spending the majority of summer weekends in various fields listening to music, blogging did go on the back burner…but now I’m back! Thought I would get the ball rolling again with a trip down to Top Drawer and Home to check out the new homewares and gifts that are likely to be making their way to the High Street and online retailers soon.

I went there expecting to see much the same as what was available at the January show (see my blogs ‘Home London, Zoo’, ‘Home Ethics’ and ‘Top Drawer and Home London – SS14 Trends’ ), but was pleasantly surprised with how much new product was available. Two key trends stood out for me, and below shows some of my favourite picks from these trends….

BOLD BIRDS & BOTANICALS

Bold Birds and Botanicals Top Drawer Home 2014
Plants and animals are always popular, but at this Top Drawer and Home, I noticed a definite swing more towards birds (a lot of cockatoos around!) and tropical plants.
1. Melamine Plates- RICE
The vintage bird prints on the melamine plates have a kitsch element to them which is probably why I like them. Rice has also printed the birds onto latte cups, coasters and cushions.
2. Magpie Lampshade- GEORGIA WILKINSON DESIGN
Georgia’s magpie design, available in 4 background colours, is simple, eye catching, and one of her most popular designs. Georgia launched a seagull design and prawn design (which I also love!) at Top Drawer this weekend.
3. Cushions- TATTERSFIELD DESIGNS
Jane Tattersfield created these bright cushion covers by scanning in her original oil paintings, and then creating a repeat pattern from there. The strong colours and patterns are great if you’re looking for an accent cushion.
4. ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ Print- RIFLE PAPER COMPANY
I like the sunny yellow background and slightly retro feel to this print by Rifle Paper Company.
5. Leafy Monstera Notebook- KITH & KIN
The Leafy Monstera pattern reminds me of Victorian botanical drawings, but the clean white background and colour blocked background shadows give it a contemporary feel. As well as on notebooks, the pattern is also available on cushions, fabric baskets and wrapping paper.
6. Toco Toucan Cushion- KITH & KIN
Ok, so I couldn’t choose between Kith & Kin’s Leafy Monstera pattern and this brilliant Toco Toucan Cushion, so I’ve included them both. Again, it’s that more traditional depiction of the toucan that I love, especially with the surrounding vibrant flowers.

PATTERNED NEUTRALS

Patterned Neutrals Trend Top Drawer and Home 2014

Neutral coloured homewares with simple toned down patterns are a key trend in the show, especially in dusky pink hues. I really liked how within some collections, the designers have created patterns through texture, and played around with contrasting finishes so matte finish objects sit alongside satin or gloss finish objects.

1. Blanket- HOUSE OF RYM
I loved the majority of this Swedish Tunisian collection from the geometric blanket shown above, to their mix and match patterned wall tiles and porcelain tableware.
2. Fabrics- NANCY STRAUGHAN
Nancy’s printed organic cotton fabric designs, created by manipulating her photographs of textures, are beautiful. The fabrics can either be bought by the metre, or she has a range of various items such as cushions, kitchen towels, wash bags, notebooks, which can also be purchased from her website. The fabrics shown above from top to bottom are Goldie (a new edition to her collection), Cross (my favourite!), and Escher, but many more can be found on her website.
3. Aged Fat Mug- DASSIE ARTISAN
This was the first time I had seen any Dassie Artisan pieces and I was really impressed. They import, retail and wholesale eco-friendly homewares and gifts which have been handcrafted by artisans in Southern Africa. As everything is handmade, no two items are identical, which works really well for the designs within the collections. I love the irregular bobbled texture of this mug.
4. Enamel Tableware Set- DASSIE ARTISAN
Dassie Artisan again! Enamel coated tableware is really popular at the minute, but I like how the pale blue band of zig zags gives this set a little something extra without being too over the top and taking away from the imperfect enamel finish.

I couldn’t end this blog without sharing perhaps my most favourite product in the entire show….a glitter winged Pug Christmas Tree topper from Garudio Studiage. Just amazing!  Enjoy!

Garudio Studiage Pug Christmas Tree Topper

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LONDON FASHION WEEK ARRIVES…

…and we are ready for you!

London stores have gone all out for LFW with schemes of strong monochrome and/or floral mixed patterns with flashes of metallics and pops of acid yellow, coral and the occasional cobalt blue, humour, movement and layering…

LIBERTY

Liberty London Fashion Week Window 2014I took quite a few pics of this one- so much to take in!  Love Liberty’s collaborative window with Helen Bullock, which involves mixed media layered window with loose paint strokes on the glass, and the fabric swatch and paint drip backdrop.  The simple clean mirror props weighted by stone contrast nicely with the busy backdrop.  I like it because it’s got an energy to it…makes me think of either a frantically busy design studio or a city at night.

OASIS

Oasis London Fashion Week Window 2014Oasis’ windows do literally move with the floral patterned L, F and W initials going up and down like fairground carousel horses.  ‘The Oasis Go Round’ design idea was dreamt up by two students, Anna Horvach and Bai Yehe, from Central Saint Martin’s Narrative Environments course.  Oasis’ Christmas window scheme was my favourite festive window last year, so it’s nice to see the flagship store follow up with something equally as eye-catching for Fashion Week.

WAREHOUSE

Warehouse Philli Wood Fashion Council Window 2014Warehouse’s simple window scheme contrasts greatly with Oasis’ display across the road but it’s a great environment to showcase Philli Wood’s debut capsule collection in collaboration with the British Fashion Councils Colleges Council.  I like the unfinished board, the warm clean strip lights and trestle style supports…not showy just a few design elements so the clothes speak for themselves.

JIGSAW

Jigsaw London Fashion Week Window 2014The photos don’t really do this Jigsaw window justice.  It tells a story and it made me smile.

H&M

H and M London Fashion Week Window 2014H&M have stuck with their favoured monochrome colour palette but have added accents of electric blue with the mannequin styling, and metallic panes to the backdrop and within the triangular floor structures.  The contrast between the 2D rectangular backdrop panels and the angular prismatic lighting and 3D floor pyramids works really well.

MANGO

Mango London Fashion Week Window 2014Mango’s window also made me smile with the bespectacled wide eyed mannequins walking chiwawas and strutting their stuff.

I saw so many lovely Spring windows today which I’ll post soon…London is looking good!

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Online Valentine’s Gifts

It’s the last shopping weekend before Valentine’s Day but if you can’t face the crowds, here are a few online gift options…

FOR HER…

If your partner loves all thing patterned, then George the Chameleon is the perfect necklace for her.  George was born from a collaboration between Brighton based designers Designosaur YEAH and Hello Dodo and I just love him!  He goes with any outfit!

hello dodo designosaur yeah george the chameleon necklace

George The Chameleon Necklace

Although these Charlotte Olympia shoes are called Birthday Shoes, why not get them for Valentine’s Day…extra points for getting your partner’s shoe size and star sign right!  The shoes are embellished with a Swarovski crystal Zodiac symbol and come with a Charlotte Olympia horoscope book.  I love the embroidered zodiac symbol on the heel!  If flats aren’t your girls thing, heels and clutch bags are also available.

charlotte olympia birthday shoes

Charlotte Olympia Birthday Shoes- Scorpio, Pisces & Taurus

Why not get one of these stylish etched apothecary bottles from Rockett St George coupled with maybe a bottle of your partner’s favourite bubble bath or…

rockett st george apothecary bottles love potion aphrodisiac

Rockett St George’s Apothecary Bottles

…buy a bottle of Lush’s Prince Charming Shampoo.  Your partner can be swept off her feet every morning!  You can wrap both the bottles in Lush’s Do Knot Disturb wrap which doubles up as a scarf and has a conscience being made from 100% recycled bottles.  A Vivienne Westwood designed wrap is also available with all profits going to climate change campaigns and sustainable solutions in the UK.  Good old Lush!

lush prince charming shampoo and Do Knot Disturb wrap scarf

Lush’s Prince Charming Shampoo and Do Knot Disturb wrap scarf

I absolutely love this next gift and is perfect for any Instagram obsessive!  It’s called Projecteo and you basically pick 9 of your favourite Instagrams online which are then printed onto a single frame of 35mm slide frame.  These then get posted to you with a mini projector!  Now this is from a US company and it does take them 2 days to create the film then 14-21 days to ship outside of the States so the projector won’t arrive until after Valentine’s Day, but you can buy a gift certificate so your partner can choose her own favourite pics.  The Projecteo is only $35/approx £21.50 (excluding shipping and taxes) which I think is great!  It’s just a bit of fun but I love it…if only I instagrammed!

projecteo

Projecteo- click on the picture to see how it works!

FOR HIM…

The Spicery’s SpiceBox subscriptions are a great gift idea for guys who either fancy themselves as a bit of a culinary genius, or for those that are getting to grips with the kitchen.  You simply subscribe to either a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription and then chose between a ‘Friday Night Curry’ box or ‘World Kitchen’ box, then once a month a Spicebox will drop through your letter box containing; laminated recipe cards and a binder,  samples of freshly ground spices measured for the recipes enclosed, news, tips, offers and discounts, and a special gift every 3 months.  Guaranteed monthly date night….and he does the cooking!

The Spicery Spicebox

The Spicery’s Spicebox

Probably not the most romantic of presents but Joy’s Man Shed Box is quite funny, and perfect for guys who are constantly misplacing things…and who don’t have a garden to own an actual shed!  

Joy Man Shed Box

Joy’s Man Shed Box

One Must Dash’s print below entitled ‘Love Letters’ is a subtle reference to Valentine’s Day.  It would look great in a study or office.

one must dash love letters print

Love Letters print by One Must Dash

Not On The High Street is one of the best websites to go to for personalised gifts, and some of the independent designers and makers can turn personalised products around so quickly.  Guitarists would appreciate this initialed African Rosewood plectrum by Maria Allen Boutique.  If you order within the next couple of days, the plectrum will arrive for Valentine’s Day using standard UK delivery, but a next day delivery option is also available.

Not on the High Street maria Allen Boutique wooden engraved plectrum

Maria Allen Boutique’s Wooden Initial and Heart Plectrum available at Not On The High Street

If your chap’s Movember facial hair has outstayed its welcome, treat him to an old fashioned cut-throat shave.  For London based folk, Ted Baker has numerous Grooming Rooms  which you can purchase treatment gift certificates for- judging by the videos on the website, your man will be completely pampered!  A few other traditional barbers around the UK include Manchester’s Gentry Grooming, Ruffians (great name!) in Edinburgh and Jack’s of London have numerous barber shops dotted around.

ted baker grooming room gift certificate

Gift Certificate for Ted Baker’s Grooming Room

If any singletons have bothered reading this far, I spotted this today in Oliver Bonas…and yes, I did have a flick through!

oliver bonas how to woo book

‘How to Woo’ available at Oliver Bonas

Enjoy Valentine’s Day everyone and I hope this gift guide has been useful!

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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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