Friday, May 28, 2010


We at PHI would love to wish you a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Whatever your plans are, go out and enjoy this weather. Bright skies. A breeze. It's the perfect kind of backdrop for checking out to relax.

But before you go, take a little time to enjoy our Friday Favorites - as always, things that inspire us, things that we love, things that even surprise us - and this week, there's definitely one in particular. As always though, please enjoy!

CHEWING GUM. While my eternal dislike of chewing gum has forever been solidified by the likes of Willy Wonka, this is something really cool. "Chewing in Venice" is an art series by Simon Decker, showing several shots of Venetian streets covered in chewing gum. It's a coy play on shape and space, and maybe, just maybe, the way you think about gum.

SHARA PORTER. I can't believe Shara Porter hasn't already been a Friday Favorite already. Three of my favorite pieces are from her. Porter has some remarkable things, from smaller bags to clutches (mine, all mine!) and large bags - and she's not limited to any size. Do take the time to check out her work. It's incredible.

SAID THE GRAMPHONE. A good music blog is hard to find. And while they're out there, it's a matter of knowing where to look, how to look, and word of mouth. Rather than talk about irony and metaphors, which is were you usually go when talking about music blogs and the internet, I'd like to point you in the dIrection of said the gramophone, which takes its mp3 posting to entirely different level with really cool commentary and kickass photos.

OH BABS. Somehow, my knowledge of Barbara Streisand has been minimized to a weekly Glee reference and an odd trivia point. We're not calling it a favorite - nothing against Barbara or anything, or anyone who loves her - but we've decided to call it this week's strangest piece of news. Yep. I said. Strange. Not surprising, but strange. Why? Well, Babs is writing a book on design. Seems innocent enough, right? But if speaking in my overall knowledge of her, which extends to her politics and her film career (I blame the week I got my wisdom teeth out), it's just ... it's strange. My Passion for Design is more like an homage to Martha Stewart and her sense of "me, me, me" in her design taste and approach - basically, it's all Babs, all the time. So yes. Strange? Of course. Surprised? Not at all.

WALKING INTO FILM. In a new short film by Toronto filmmaker, Elizabeth St. Philip, the relationship between the fashion industry and the lack of black models is explored. The Colour of Beauty follows model Renee Thompson, and includes interviews with insiders like Lisa Tant and Jeanne Berker, as the subject is examined, through the demands and the continuous change the industry is going through. Check it out.

DON'T LET ANYONE TELL YOU GARDENING isn't cool, or let the heat scare you away for that matter. The best part about the warmer weather, when it's not trying to melt your face off, is the floors, and the really cool and innovative ways people start to tackle their outdoor spaces. STRING GARDEN offers fascinating conceptual ideas for a space, whether it may be to transform an entire indoor area or just a simple way of reinventing a small patio area by celebrating space.

IT'S INFECTIOUS, BOOGIE WOOGIE. When most of us think design, we think spectacular homes and gardens, interiors, and those really great shoes that you see in Barneys and then haunt you for the rest of your week. Core77 has a really great design feature on reinventing something completely ordinary - in our minds, of course - like a hospital. It's not that we don't measure a hospital as a small and basic space, in fact, it's quite the opposite; but hospitals are subjected to the same kind of thought of say, an airport - too big, too much, and an experience that you never want to talk about again. But this about keeping clean, effective, and ultimately results in a really fascinating and complex series of measures. Read it here.

GUERILLA GARDENING. I don’t garden, but if I did, this might be the greatest thing ever. Although I suspect the reason why this is a favorite is because of the amusement from the tagline “throw & grow”, the idea of gardening mixing with chaos is kind of interesting. Is it organized chaos? Or is it really a gimmick? Can I do the same thing if I toss a bunch of seeds over my head and call it a day? Regardless, it’s a fun way of looking at things, if anything else.

ZARA PICKEN. Picken’s illustrations are wonderfully colorful and really come alive in an exceptionally quirky way. Her blog is brand new, but building and offers both insight and accessibility to her creative process. Definitely check her work out.

THE PERFECT BAG. No, no. It hasn’t been found yet. There’s an ever-growing list, however, of bags that can function as awesomely sexy and chic and carry the small nation that doubles as your daily, necessary things. This bag by Ashley-Watson is a new addition to the list, made from recycled leather. Love the dark, rich brown color and that it’s far from being too small.

ART & LETTERS. There's nothing like a letter, whether you call it a dead form or not, and these stamps honoring Abstract Expressionist painters from the 40s and 50s may add excitement to an otherwise anxious visit to the post office.


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