Archive for modern wedding gifts

Move Over Grandma, There’s New China in Town

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2009 by rachelohunter

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Do people still pick out china patterns? Silver patterns? Cookware patterns? OK, maybe the cookware pattern was just a trend my mom jumped on in the 70’s, but that’s an awful lot of stuffy department store housewares shopping for my taste. Of course I could go the new traditional route and register for bread makers and juicers, high-end toasters and any other piece of kitchen technology I’ve somehow managed to live my entire life without. Call me old fashioned, but I’d rather have the china- only I’d rather have my kind of china. Usable china, decorative porcelain, ceramics with a sense of humor.

fragiles-smallMore and more I’m realizing I’m not alone in wishing for a china renaissance- the proof is in the ironic porcelain pudding cup. There’s a new wave of artists and designers who look at once stuffy materials like porcelain, glass, and ceramic and see more than just grandma-ware.  They see uncharted territory ripe with opportunity to be the new form of Modernist expression.  Chocked full of ironic depictions of figures, kitsch and the Romantic, this china is more my speed. For an interesting read on the subject check out “Fragiles” a coffee table book on the new school of ceramic, glass, and porcelain (that’s where we located the pictures to the left and below).

fragiles-page1lighten-up-lace-blogThese rebellious young ceramicists aren’t just making trendy mantle pieces to entertain your guests, they’re creating modern heirlooms. By mixing heritage and innovation they create museum quality pieces that are both relevant and functional. Some of my personal favorites are the hodge-podgey porcelain Vika Mitrichenka pieces above. (Note the gorilla head atop the sugar bowl- it reminds me of tea parties spent with Stretch Armstrong and headless Barbies). In keeping with my love of all things boudoir I couldn’t possibly write a post about the new ceramics movement without mentioning this incredible porcelain vase by Lighten Up. They actually cast a cloth corset to make the mold for this piece.

stripFor a cheekier take on the erotic theme there’s anything by Undergrowth (like this tempting little sugar bath with leggy spoon or fun dessert tower) or if subtlty is more your thing check out these lip print teacups by Reiko.

toppersGetting married? Having a hard time finding cake toppers that aren’t entirely hideous? You’re not alone.  Luckily someone with some real talent and a little clay discovered this problem and came up with some charming little solutions in the form of ceramic bunny and poodle couples. Thank God for the good people at Melbo.

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For that Angelina Jolie/Billy Bob Thorton kind of love there’s German ceramicists Kuhn Keramik who make all kinds of declarative pieces like this “Forever” box perfect for storing viles of blood and hair clippings. Or, if you’re  not bizarre beyond belief you could use it to store old photos and postcards.  Or you could let this powerful fist of love from Jonathan Adler Designs declare your feelings for you.

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The guys over at Jonathan Adler, never ones to pass up an opporunity to make a very specific container (the Container Store’s got nothing on them) have created a series of “Vice” containers to keep all your bad habits neat and organized. I’m partial to the Quaaludes container myself- specificity is always funny. It’s that kind of taboo-meets-classic humor that distinguishes so many of today’s ceramics from those lining the walls of Bloomingdales and I think it’s about time. China can be fun too.

rachel oh!

Black Is The New Black

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2009 by ekiester
Yves Saint Laurent Fall 08 Ready to Wear

Yves Saint Laurent Fall 08 Ready to Wear

Technically, black is not a color. I like to think of it as a mood instead; a visual enhancer of a feeling. It says so much, this non-color color. I read once somewhere: “style is an easy way of saying complicated things.” I love this, because when I read it, I thought “black”. When I wear black, I am announcing to the world that I feel sexy, I feel strong, I feel creative, I feel mysterious, I just feel something–often times, very contrasting things. It expresses so much, this “nothing” of a color. It speaks its very own language; it is almost like it deserves its own dictionary– if you looked up “black”, there would be hundreds of thousands of explanations for its meaning. It is really that deep, really that wide. Really.

I surround myself with trinkets of black things, little items that drive some macabre/seductive/exciting and excitable sensibility into my space, my closet, my bathroom, my makeup case. I have this bizarre but cool black plastic apple that I bought in some random store in Tokyo. It doesn’t do anything but sit on the dresser, gathering dust, but I like it. It’s rather wicked, but at the same time, it’s naive.

pinkwink-updatedI wear little lingerie pieces in black. I like the way they make me feel like Catherine Deneuve in Belle du Jour—sexy in a covert way, a little “bad” underneath the good girl exterior. The set from Bestow Boutique is my favorite, especially since it’s trimmed in pink (good vs evil, maybe?).

Mor Fruits of Cornucopia Soap

Mor Fruits of Cornucopia Soap

I have a set of black soaps that my friend Elyn gave me, and I don’t want to use them because I just like looking at them. (Will black soap possibly wash away my sins? Or are they sinful in and of themselves?)

I just got the new black lipgloss from YSL. It’s sick, but in a good way. It’s sort of goth, but it’s ridiculously chic. It’s shiny and looks like patent leather. It’s heaven. (Or is it hell?)

Thorn Apple Diffuser

Thorn Apple Diffuser

My prized possession, however, is the DL & Co black crystal diffuser. It looks like it should hold some home brewed love poison–a potion of madness, of lust, of desire. It says “I feel” all over it. Its scent is called “Thorn Apple”—an oxymoron of epic proportions—a sweet fruit covered in sharp, macabre needles. Yes. Now that is emotional… that is bitter; that is sweet; that is the definition of “black”. —Elizabeth

black-inspiration-boardOther inspired black basics: Lock & Key Necklace by Dogeared, Swarovski Crystal & Lace Flower Hair or Lapel Clip by Tarina Tarantino, Black Licorice Shampoo by Philosophy, Black Lip Gloss by YSL, Shoe by Christian Loubotin and iconic black nail polish by Chanel.

Meet Tina Tsang of Undergrowth Design

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2009 by leighatbestow
Tina Tsang

Tina Tsang

Bestow had a chat with Tina Tsang, the witty designer behind the adventurous and perverse Blaue Blume tea set. This quirky but delicate collection caught our eye and has since become a Bestow favorite. We loved the phrases, “scrumptious” and “aphrodisiac” that adorn these pieces. Bestow founder and Creative Director,  Amy Demas fell in love with the idea of taking it a bit further. She then suggested using the phrase “Eat Me” on the dessert stand. Tina’s willingness to customize the collection for the Bestow customer has further endeared her in our hearts.

What inspired the Blaue Blume collection?
I was a lingerie designer at the time so I was working with lace, coupled by my background in animation; it all came together because of the different disciplines I had been involved in.

What is earthenware? How is it made?
Earthenware is a type of clay, we could not use porcelain since the legs would bend too much in the kiln and it would be very difficult to achieve the same results. Earthenware is a more flexible medium.

Do you hand-make each piece?
Yes we hand finish and paint each piece from our handmade manual slip cast moulds.

Suagr Bath with legs spoon

Sugar Bath with legs spoon

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Red Shoes Legs Teapot

At what point did you start customizing the sets?
After the success of the gold shoes, I decided to launch the red and black shoes. But it took time to get the right red.

What kind of gold is used for the writing?
9K gold plated.

What do you have planned for 2009?
Many more projects apart from those with legs, I’ve seen enough legs for a lifetime! I’m finishing off the Blaue Blume range with the ice cream cup and a large cake display and launching the pink range to have them all in very light faded pink as well.

Legs Dessert Stand

Legs Dessert Stand

What is the best gift you’ve received?
A book by Sylvia Plath.

What is one of your favorite gifts that you’ve given to someone?
Shoes from the old curiosity shop in London. They are so amazing and all handmade in his basement workshop, the oldest shop in London, and the actual shop Charles Dickens wrote about.

Tell us about your most spontaneous moment.
When I joined a pair of dolls legs to a teacup! I was just fooling around but they actually looked quite good so I went with the idea

My passion is…
Vintage fairs in Paris, eating cake and dreaming.

A graduate of Central Saint Martins College of Art, Tina is inspired by the obscure and uncanny.  She currently runs her own manufacturing agency trading with china in garments and does freelance fashion styling.

View the entire Blaue Blume collection at http://www.bestowboutique.com/Decor_c_182.html