design

All is calm



Niyya prayer mat and meditation blanket

How early is too early for the cliché ‘New Year, New You’ post?

In 2019 I surprised myself by getting with the meditation programme, but doing it totally at my own pace. And in truth, it’s meditation-lite; I use my Muse headband and app (yep, still using them) and fit it in 5-10 minute slots around whatever else I’m doing.

I supplement this with a relaxation download by Albert Smith that I love. This isn’t meditation, it’s more akin to having a fifteen minute nap, but it serves the purpose of clearing my head if I’ve had a hectic day, or prepping me for stress-inducing situations. For interviews, meetings, public speaking and the like, Albert’s my secret weapon. (Years ago, when I had the cassette version, this was also a life-saving pain management tool.)

In 2020, I want to try and meditate more and make it part of a regular routine. I know it shouldn’t be about ‘stuff’, but I’m flawed and can’t resist a prop or two. I love the look of these Niyya multi-functional prayer mats by Brooklyn designer Myhra Mizra (more…)



Veja performance trainers: form or function?



Veja performance trainers Condor

You should by now be no stranger to Veja. You know, the cult French eco-trainer brand seen on every tastemaker of note, recognised by its minimalist white V10 sneakers with the distinctive V logo. There was a good piece in the FT recently (sub req*) on how the brand rose to €60 million turnover.

But two things jumped out at me. (more…)



R.I.P Pierre Le-Tan



Pierre Le-Tan

“My father gave me the taste of drawing and being a collector. Today, I collect cracked pieces of porcelain…. It may be a bit ridiculous.”

I always loved the work of Pierre Le-Tan, the illustrator who passed away last week, but I didn’t really know much about him. He was a passionate collector (of everything), a Jean Cocteau aficionado (he lived in Cocteau’s former Paris apartment in Place du Palais-Bourbon) and an early success (more…)



The perfume that never was



Marni perfume bottle Sybarite

Exhibition idea! All those incredible ideas, expensive mistakes, too impossible-to-produce design innovations that never came to fruition.

Example: this Marni perfume bottle by design firm, Sybarite, who created Marni’s global retail identity during the Consuelo Castiglioni years. Sybarite founders Torquil McIntosh and Simon Mitchell’s fragrance bottle never made it to stores, as Castiglioni decided to keep it for her own private collection.

“It nearly launched until Consuelo decided she loved it so much she didn’t want the public to have it,” (more…)