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December 24, 2008

Virtual Shalom Harlow on the virtual catwalk for Viktor & Rolf — The end of the fashion show as we know it?

Long story short: Viktor & Rolf's Spring/Summer 2009 show (above) never really happened — it was entirely computer generated, premiering on the duo's website in October of this year, then making its way onto YouTube in recent weeks.

Amanda Fortini's December 14, 2008 New York Times magazine story about the new new thing in bleeding edge fashion follows.

    Catwalk Clones

    Viktor & Rolf, the Dutch design duo known for their quirky, theatrical aesthetic, tend to create clothing that, like the Surrealist art it is often compared to, can be high concept and more than a little bizarre. And so, when Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren decided to create a fashion show for the Internet, they began with a typically unusual notion: this would not be an ordinary production, in which footage from a live event is later posted online. This would be a runway show that could exist only in cyberspace.

    The spectacle, broadcast in October on the Viktor & Rolf Web site, was staged on a virtual catwalk in a virtual “grand salon” entered by way of a majestic marble staircase. The flashy clothes — geometric-print separates and crystal-encrusted dresses, black frocks set off by furniture-size accessories — are worn by a digital version of Shalom Harlow, the Canadian supermodel, cloned many times over. As she struts down the catwalk in precariously high heels, techno music thumping in accompaniment, she occasionally passes herself; at times, three Harlows occupy the runway. In the grand finale, 12 incarnations of Harlow appear for a curtain call, while an oversize Viktor and Rolf hover above like puppet-masters.

    Creating this nine-minute clip of virtual reality required quite a bit of actual work. During two 14-hour days, five cameras filmed at various angles to capture Harlow’s every nuance. The footage was then integrated into a digital backdrop — the real Harlow was transfigured into numerous pixelated versions that were then placed on a pixelated catwalk. And although she — they — walk(s) with a slightly automated gait, the effect is eerily authentic. “We reproduce everything: the reflections, the shadows,” says Eric Tong Cuong, president of La Chose, the Paris-based company that helped create the video.

    Of course, as several critics have fretted, the film raises the question of whether the traditional fashion show, with its limited audience, will be rendered obsolete. Rolf dispenses with this worry, noting that the pair is planning a brick-and-mortar show next season. “It will be difficult to replace a live feeling of seeing fabric,” he says. Then again, maybe it won’t. “We can go much further,” Tong Cuong says. “We can make a catwalk on Mars! Or on Venus! Or on top of two buildings, like Spider-Man. Whatever! We can build anything virtually.”

December 24, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

MUJI Travel Alarm Clock


Très chic.

From the website:

    MUJI Travel Alarm Clock

    This slim LCD clock folds out of an aluminum travel case.

    Features 12/24 hour time format, alarm, calendar, count-down timer, stopwatch.

    Uses one button-cell battery (included).

    3.75"L x 2.5"W x 0.5"D.


FunFact: "The name 'MUJI' is derived from the Japanese phrase 'Mujirushi Ryohin,' meaning 'No Brand Goods.'"

$28 (time included).

December 24, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bulgari Factory Outlet — Who knew?


Here is the penultimate paragraph of Nelson D. Schwartz's December 7, 2008 New York Times Business section front page story about how luxe brand Bulgari's coping with the global economic downturn: "A few yards from the workshop where the goldsmiths create custom pieces behind thick glass and tight security, Ms. Gambarelli was recently shopping for bargains at Bulgari’s little-known factory outlet in an industrial area on the edge of Rome."

It's not like it's a huge secret or anything: I mean, I put "Bulgari factory outlet Rome" into Google's search box and the first result of 8,140 had all the details including hours and directions, which follow.

    Bulgari Factory Outlet

    Location: Rome

    Region: Lazio

    Hours: 10.00-18.00.

    Products: Jewelry, ceramics, gifts

    A perfect place to find a special gift since this outlet carries all the end of series and unsold items from Bulgari shops around the world. It's possible to find handbags, house furnishings, scarves, sunglasses, glasses, modern silver, etc., all with the Bulgari logo. Also jewelry for which Bulgari has been famous for over 100 years.

    How to get here: From Rome take the Via Aurelia, S.S. 1 out of Rome, pass the G.R.A. in the direction of Civitacecchia (ring road), immediately on the right there is a wall and a hill with a Citroen sign. Turn into the semi-circular shopping plaza with Conbipel on the ground floor. Bulgari is on the first floor, no sign but ring the bell.


You know me: I'm so easy to shop for.

I have the simplest tastes — I am always satisfied with the best.

Apologies to Oscar Wilde.

December 24, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Earfun Clips: Trick-out your ear buds — on the cheap


Flexible rubber White Daisies,


Peace Signs or Hearts.


Each pair, $3.99.

December 24, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Do-it-yourself colonoscopy — Episode 2: Who needs a computer?


Last month I featured a nifty USB Digital Endoscope, speculating that if you were the adventurous sort you could even try doing a colonoscopy on yourself or a trusting friend with it.

Now comes a free-standing unit that doesn't require a computer, enabling you to make house calls anywhere or even use your car as a mobile clinic.

You know how for a long time you've suspected there's tons of money hidden behind some wall, but you've never been willing to destroy it to find out?

Well, guess what: your ship just came in.


Chuck Cage reviewed the device on November 21, 2008 on Wired magazine's website as follows.

Try This at Home: Camera on a Flex Cable Finds Lost Objects

Milwaukee may have designed it to help home inspectors spot hidden mold or shoddy repairs, but the M-Spector is just too much fun to leave to the pros. Did your 5-year-old really drop your diamond ring down the sink — or pawn it for Fruit Roll-Ups? Want to find out the easy way how many bananas your "hilarious" brother-in-law stuffed in your tailpipe? Grab the M-Spector, thumb the power button, and the 2.4-inch screen lights up with 320x240-pixel color video, transmitted from the tiny CMOS camera on the end of its flexible 3/4"-diameter neck. A camera-mounted LED illuminates dark and dismal places, letting you see anywhere you can cram the 3-foot-long cable. Sure, cops could use the M-Spector to peer around corners or ferret out shanks in prison cells, but it's equally effective at locating the perfectly good grape that rolled under your fridge. Just don't get too creative; you'll probably want to draw the line at home colonoscopies.

Requires 4 AA batteries (not included).


In this arena size does matter: the extra foot afforded by this upscaled iteration (last month's USB-powered version offered two feet of function) portends much more flexibility when it comes to applications.

Though the Wired review listed a price of $250, checking just now at Amazon I see it's been reduced to $99.

That's a lot of technology from a very reputable company for under a hundred bucks.



December 24, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Survival kit in a sardine can


Because man cannot live on sardines alone.

From the website:

Survival Kit in a Sardine Can

Sardines come packed in metal tins and even though they are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, they are still oily and kind of funky smelling.

No offense to any fans out there but we feel the metal tins could be put to much better use.

Here we have a genuine air-tight, waterproof, crushproof sardine can packed full of 25 survival items.

Go fish with the hook and line, find your way home with the compass, boil water in the can for your tea, use the first aid supplies to survive the wilderness.


Since being well prepared is half the challenge, you'll have a good head start with this kit.

Put one in your car, boat, motorcycle, fishing vest, backpack, bike, emergency kit, etc.

The kit includes one of each of the following items: non-aspirin pain reliever, adhesive bandage, alcohol prep pad, antibiotic ointment, book of matches, compass, chewing gum, sugar, salt, energy nugget, duct tape, fire starter cube, first aid instructions, fish hook & line, note paper, pencil, razor blade, safety pin, reflective signal surface, tea bag, waterproof bag, whistle, and wire clip.

Compact size is easy to carry.

Waterproof; floats in water.

Measures 4.25" x 3" x 0.9"



December 24, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Best cartoon of the month


By Sean O'Neill.

December 24, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Propeller Hitch Cover with LED Brake Light



From websites:

    Propeller Hitch Cover with LED Brake Light

    • Designed to provide protection for the hitch receiver

    • Fits 1.25" and 2" hitch receiver

    • Die-cast chrome

    • Easy to install




December 24, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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