My Love for MUJI

Muji opens its’ first Canadian store tomorrow, November 29th, in Toronto. So what’s the big deal? Trust me, you will be there more often than you think. Here is my rundown of the best things from MUJI.

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PENS [gel ballpoint 0.5mm is perfection].

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NOTEBOOKS [I use a colour coded plantation paper notebook per project to keep me organized].

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OFFICE SUPPLIES [translucent note pads and acrylic tape dispensers].

 

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TRAVEL [every travel container you could ever imagine, including atomizers for your fragrances].

 

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WALL MOUNTED CD PLAYER  [minimalist perfection].

 

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INCENSE [favourites Sandalwood, Fresh Leaf, Japanese Cypress and Fragrant Olive] and CANDLES [go with the Herbal].

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PENGUIN BOWLING [because kids shouldn’t have all the fun].

CHIEF TRUNK

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I was out recently shopping for some early modern furniture and spotted a great piece of luggage. I was drawn to the graphic stripes on the piece. Turns out it was one of the original pieces from the OshKosh Trunk Company. At its peak in the 1930s, the company was known as one of the luggage companies in the world – with stores on 34th in NYC, Regent St in London and on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. Although some compare its storied past to that of Louis Vuitton, I think it is a bit of a stretch. But The OshKosh Trunk company was one of the preferred brands of the well-travelled upper classes of the turn of the century. All that is to say that the brand has been revitalized and reinvented as the Chief Trunk Company.

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DESIGNERS against AIDS

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As someone who has spent a great deal of his life working within the fashion industry and strangely, or not so strangely, enough taught a fully credited HIV/AIDS Interdisciplinary course at one of Canada’s leading universities, it should come as no surprise that I support organizations like Designers Against AIDS. For the fourth consecutive year, Eastpak has teamed up with a selection of 16 fashion designers to create one-of-a-kind backpacks for World AIDS Day.

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As part of the Eastpak Artist Studio initiative, each designer was given free rein to transform a backpack and turn it into wearable works of art. This year collection features 16 rucksacks by some of my personal favourites like Tim CoppensWalter Van Beirendonck , and Jean Paul Gaultier. Eastpak also reached out to some up-and-coming talents like Christopher Lee Sauvé. My personal favourite just might be the JPG jacket-come-backpack above.

The collection will hit the auction block, virtually, on World AIDS Day (December 1st), and all proceeds will go to Designer Against AIDS, an organization that sets up and promotes projects to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS and help stop the spread of the disease around the world.

MSGM TimCoppens AntoinePeters LalaBerlin HenrikVibskov GaspardYurkievich

Pick your favourite, start bidding at ArtistStudio.Eastpak.com and support a great cause. Hurry, auction ends Dec 21st.

 

Plaid Bleed

I will admit that I own very little plaid, it scares me a bit. Just a little too normcore for my tastes – well unless you are willing to rock plaid on plaid on plaid a la CDG or Westwood. But I do have a soft spot for the latest bleeding plaid pieces from Band of Outsiders.

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Blackwatch Plaid Shirt, $325

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Mackintosh Dunkeld Coat, $1995

 

WINE WEEKENDS: BERINGER

For someone who is an avid wine drinker ( I don’t use that word connoisseur), it is quite surprising that I have taken this long to create dedicate wine posts. But so be it, I was probably too busy enjoying delicious wines.

Wine Weekends (aka wino weekends for us insiders) will be dedicated to bringing you the best wines I have sampled during the previous week – high prices, low prices and everything in between. The focus will be on great taste and there will probably be a slant towards the reds and the bubbles (personal bias noted). Up first, Beringer‘s Cab Sauv (yes I shortened it, how gauche of me).

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The first thing to note of the Beringer Founders’ Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is its deep ruby colour – it’s almost black. Next you will notice that this Cabernet is robust with bright cassis, green tea, black olive and sweet vanilla aromas. Now take a sip, you will notice black fruit, cherry, cassis, and spice flavours. The best way to describe the flavour is medium bodied yet fleshy. The wine finishes with a slight oak flavour and vanilla after taste. I would drink this wine again. And again. It goes down smooth and it’s a steal at $18.

KOBO

No not the e-reader, Kobo the candle.

I discovered Kobo years ago at one of my favourite New York spots – Cafe Cluny. Upon entering their washroom, I was struck by the amazing smell of a candle. I immediately lifted it up to look for any clue of a brand, it was a Kobo. I must say, that as someone who is an officially sanctioned candle connoisseur, Kobo is one of those underrated brands on the ‘luxury’ candle market. Everyone raves about their love of Diptyque and don’t get me wrong, I love their candles. But at half the price, Kobo is a tempting offer of affordable luxury. Sacrilege? I know.

The latest venture from Kobo comes in the form of a collaboration with Swedish designer Lotta Jansdotter. Not only are the scents intoxicating, the clean white porcelain vessels can be washed out and reused as a modern minimalist tea mug. Below are my picks.  $40 each

Lotta+Alpine+Fern+LARGE Lotta+Mountain+Birch+LARGE Lotta+Starry+Night+LARGE Lotta+Summer+Linen+Large