since i asked you what you carry in your bag for the Of a Kind giveaway i thought i’d share the story of Mijlo, who are currently running a kickstarter to bring you A Better Backpack – a premium backpack that’s “built to last a lifetime”.
In recent years, fashion retailers have been moving designs from the runway to the rack faster than ever before – feeding a fashion cycle that appears to have no end in sight. At MIJLO, we believe that fashion doesn’t have to be fast, or disposable, or temporary. We believe it should begin and end with a classic collection of well-designed essentials. And we’re starting that collection with a backpack – A Better Backpack. Since we believe a product’s lifespan should be as timeless as its design – simplicity and sustainability were an integral part of our design process.
the video below describes the project better than i could in a few words, so watch it! one of the cool things i love about the backpack, besides the fact that it’s beautifully minimal in design and can be used by girls and guys, is that it has a built in padded compartment for your laptop. plus it’s waterproof. so for clumsy people like me that’s basically a lifesaver.
MIJLO asked 100 creatives what to take photos of their essentials, a collection of items they can’t live without. below are some of my favourites, but you can see all of the essentials here. these days the items i find in my bag, besides the usual emergency makeup kit, are things like handcream and baby wipes… i think i am turning into my mom.
ellen van der laan
* the giveaway is now closed *
perhaps you can tell that i kind of have a thing for the awesome Of a Kind, this is our fourth giveaway together! i’m always excited to see what amazing new edition they are going to release next (currently eyeballing these earrings). and even more exciting, they have just launched Of a Kind Collections, where you can shop pieces from the full collections of designers they’ve worked with – including Ace & Jig, Dusen Dusen, Eayrslee, and K/LLER COLLECTION.
today you can enter to win this beautiful blue leather Duane Park Messenger bag made especially for Of A Kind by New York based label IIIBeCa by Joy Gryson.
This is one of those bags that is almost too good for words. Made from sturdy blue-gray leather in a classic, flap-front shape, it has the sort of details—white edges, lime lining—that’ll make you wanna carry it always. But if you DO want to switch things up, you can snap out its lining and move the entire contents to another carryall.
you might say that Joy is a bit of a bag expert, as she used to design accessories for Coach, Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs before starting her own label. you can read all about what she keeps in her own bag here, and don’t miss her food guide to Tribeca – i wish i’d had this in my back pocket on our recent trip to NYC. to enter:
(1) sign up for the Of a Kind newsletter on the giveaway page
(2) leave a comment telling me one thing you always have in your bag, no matter what. (mine is this)
if you’ve already subscribed to their newsletter you’re still guaranteed an entry – just be sure to leave a comment! the giveaway is open to anyone anywhere in the world as Of a Kind offers international shipping. readers outside the US must please note that you may be subject to your country’s customs charges / import duties upon arrival. the giveaway ends on Monday 18 November, and the winner will be randomly selected in a lucky draw.
i’m doing this thing now where i’m picking random dates in my archives and looking up people i posted about years ago. Missy Prince is a Portland based photographer, originally from Mississippi, who i have followed on flickr since, well, i discovered flickr. i posted about her 3 years ago – and her work still amazes me. in between her more personal work and some beautiful landscape imagery she also captures a world that, in my head, i only know through american road trip movies, or shows like friday night lights. bits and pieces of middle america, vignettes that remind me of the work of Stephen Shore or William Eggleston.
I’m usually drawn to scenes that lean toward the peculiar or askew. My interest in them is like my interest in, say, Tom Waits’ album Small Change or some old blues lyrics. Hard times are doorways to the unknown. People go to weird places through them, and you wonder how they got there. It’s more interesting than joy or contentment.*
*taken from this interview. as you can probably tell Missy works in film, and she develops and prints everything herself. you can see more of her work on her website, tumblr, flickr and buy prints from her shop.
okay so everyone has a few go-to stories they like to tell after they’ve been on a trip somewhere, and probably my favourite one from NYC is meeting Erin Considine on the subway on our first day in New York. Anton and i were waiting in a station somewhere in Manhattan, i forget where, we had just been out and about all day after a long flight and we were bushed and kind of in a daze. so i notice this stylish girl in a big hat walk through the turnstile and the next moment she turns to us and says, “excuse me…” i couldn’t believe it when she introduced herself, as i am of course familiar with her work and we happen to follow each other on twitter. what are the odds that i would run into someone that i kinda-sorta-know on our first day in a city full of millions of people? so as you can well imagine, i just love telling this story.
anyway, Erin lives in Brooklyn and she makes beautiful jewellery with a focus on metalwork and natural fibers. she just sent me a preview of her SS 2014 collection which comes out in March next year. you can shop her previous collections at her website. i will not hesitate to say that i would gladly wear any of these beautiful pieces, especially the Caril Burst Cuff (seen in the last spread) and those wonderful braided rope + brass mesh chain necklaces.
By marrying two such diverse materials, Erin is able to continuously experiment with technique and form. Her natural-dye baths make use of ingredients like madder root, logwood, and onion skin. She tests new textile construction methods with every collection, incorporating weaving, crocheting, and the Japanese braiding style of Kumihimo into an ever-expanding roster of creation tools. Her metal forms are mined from the dregs of industrialism – whether it by repurposing dead-stock jewelry findings or sculpting models inspired by the antique metier. Her commitment to sustainability ensures that almost every step of the production process is completed by hand in New York, primarily by Erin herself.
photography: Shawn Brackbill. model: Mari Giudicelli. clothing: Where I was From.
in September photographer Alison Zavos curated a collection of photographs of fruit for a show called, well, Fruitland. she searched hundreds of photographers’ websites and chose the “freshest, strangest still life photos” to present at Photoville – a pop up exhibition space made up of freight containers at Brooklyn Bridge Park in NYC. you can see more photos here.
Maybe as a response or antidote to the labored and moody Dutch still life-inspired fruit photography that has been proliferating in galleries over the past decade, young photographers are now challenging themselves to take a regular piece of fruit and make it special – adding their own strange twist to something so commonplace that anyone can pick it up at the local grocery store. This fascination with photographing fruit in the studio has spread far and wide. Fruitland includes 31 photographs from 18 international photographers.
above: Daniel Stier
above: Athos Burez
above: Florent Tanet
above: Aron Filkey & Mate Moro
left: Daan Brand | right: Aron Filkey & Mate Moro
above: Catherine Losing
above: Maciek Pozoga
left: Federico Ciamei | right: Nico Krijno
above: Maryanne Casasanta
above: Wyne Veen
above: ECAL/Maxime Guyon
above: Gilda Davidian
since i have shared a bit about the wedding i thought it would be nice to show some pics from our honeymoon. whenever people asked where we were going post-wedding, and we replied NYC, they were either really excited for us or genuinely confused about our choice of destination. i guess people associate honeymoon with tropical beaches or romantic cities like Paris – but we have always, always wanted to visit NYC (ever since we first got together) and we are far more into new visiting places that allow us to explore, see museums, eat great food, shop and just experience something other than what we have at home. we have beaches at home… and fantastic ones at that.
our trip unfolded like something out of a storybook. everything we did was awesome. staying in Williamsburg and taking the subway into Manhattan every day like some kind of a real New Yorker (and being totally blasé about it – just gonna take the subway), doing a cheesy but required and ultimately enjoyable boat ride in Central Park, seeing the Book of Mormon on Broadway (highly recommended!), running into someone i know from the internet at a random subway station on our first day, experiencing Sleep No More (what a trip), eating more pizza than i could handle (i can handle more pizza than you might think), indulging in very expensive lobster rolls as a treat, seeing more art than my eyeballs could deal with, falling in love with the Natural History Museum, spotting some celebrities (ok don’t look now but Hilary Swank is eating a burger right behind you), going to the top of the Empire State building at night, eating a feast at Brooklyn Crab, spotting a Banksy, seeing ARCADE FIRE at a secret show in Brooklyn after discovering a cryptic poster in Red Hook – that actually happened! for reals! it was just absolutely unbelievable and amazing. by the end of it we were walking fit and our bank accounts were drained.
i want to thank everyone who commented on this post (and emailed) with recommendations of places to visit in NYC. we tried to do everything on the list but it was just impossible, even with 2 weeks there. if anyone is planning a visit soon be sure to check those out. you can also visit my pinterest board for more.
i took all of these photos on my iPhone. had the best intentions to take actual nice photos with my camera, but after taking perhaps 5 shots i decided i didn’t want to view our holiday through a lens. and, because i know it will be asked, they were edited with either VSCO or Afterlight, depending on whether i was on my phone or iPad – VSCO doesn’t work so great on my iPhone anymore after the iOS7 update (of course!) so i often just used Afterlight, which is simpler but also great.
if you want to know where any of these were taken, just ask in the comments!
my fingers are hovering over the keyboard and i’m just sitting here thinking, how do i begin to describe this day? our wedding was held on a fruit farm about 2 hours from Cape Town, and the weather was cool and overcast: just perfect for us. it was the best day of our lives, and it was indeed the Best Day Ever.
the week leading up to the wedding was a mixed bag of emotions: excitement, nerves, laughs, occasional stress… but most of all a lot of love. our friends and family literally made our wedding day, everyone pulled in to help – be it with the flowers (thanks Amy), the decor, the tables, the cakes, printing menus and name cards and signboards, standing on ladders tying things up so the wind didn’t blow anything away, bringing me hayfever pills at 7am on the morning of the wedding (thanks Jess), making enough coffee that everyone was buzzing (thanks Pete). it meant so much to us that our favourite people were involved, adding their own special touches, and that our wedding was such a team effort.
it was very important to us, from the get go, that everything would be kept very simple with few frills and that the focus of the day would be about celebrating with our loved ones. our photographers, Rebecca and Bruce from Love Made Visible, really captured that feeling in their beautiful photos. you can see some more here.
my only advice to anyone planning their wedding: don’t stress the small stuff, and savour every single moment. it goes by SO quickly. people tell you that, but you won’t realise until you’re truly IN it.
photos: Love Made Visible. my dress: Jessica Harwood of Take Care. Anton’s suit: Spaghetti Mafia. venue & food: Olive Rock. flowers & co-ordination: Amy Ellenbogen. flowers sourced from: Cape Fynbos. laser-cut table numbers & best day ever sign: Artymiss. make-up: Claire Ellenbogen. hair: Kate Brand. cakes: Jené Steyn & Jessica Shepherd. cupcakes: Lady Cupcake. coffee cart: Seattle Coffee Company. music: Dario Leite. hiring: Something Different. stationery: me. wedding officiant: Marius Brand.
when we were in NYC we found it pretty easy to eat out all the time because there was so much variety, and you could eat quite cheaply on the go if you needed to (which was amazing for lazy people like us). but it made me think about when we were going to go back home, and how we’d have to get back into the routine of cooking for ourselves, and doing it without wasting – plus on a budget. cooking for 2 can produce a lot of waste if you’re not clever about it, and you have to be good about using your leftovers or re-using ingredients. i always find myself in the supermarket after work just staring at the food aisles thinking, what on earth can i cook tonight?
so when i found 1-2 Simple cooking by friends Joy and Tiffany i subscribed right away. not only do their recipes truly look simple, healthy and delicious, but they have also categorised them into handy sections like “fast food”, gluten-free (for all of us trying to avoid the carbs…), vegetarian, vegan etc etc. keep your eye on these two.
1-2 Simple Cooking wants to revolutionize the way singles and couples cook and eat at home. We understand the challenges that come along with cooking for one or one other person – food waste, meal monotony, the dreaded clean up! It’s difficult as it is to learn how to cook, and even harder to maintain on a daily basis. That’s why we’re here – to teach you basic tips, simple recipes, and techniques to simplify your life and empower you to become the home chef you’ve always wanted to be. Cooking should never be fussy and food should always be fun and approachable.