The Brilliance!

HTTP://WWW.THEBRILLIANCE.COM

We’re really internet and we’re really back. A website about things Benjamin , Chuck , Virgil , and various friends & guests think are interesting. Little-to-no specific focus, a bit odd, speling errors, and incredibly culturally relevant.

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Wonderwall Masamichi Katayama Projects… Clean.

Wonder wall is the collection of Masamichi Katayama’s work. All of his various product design examples, architecture, art direction, exhibition design, and everything else that is cool in Japan. Katayama’s work is so incredibly clean and inspiring… I would love to hire him to design my next condo, for real. His design of EVERY single A Bathing Ape store is enough to make one famous on it’s own…but he has quite a client list including Marc Jacobs, V Store, Beams, Louis Vuitton, and more makes him even more amazing. Check the site. The stuff is fantastic.

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HELMUT LANG… Jeans, Branding & Stores…

Honestly, Helmut Lang is a bit too ‘out-there’ for me when it comes to the larger percentage of their ready-to-wear collections… And the fragrances? Haven’t tried them. But their jeans (for men) are some of the best fitting and best wearing jeans I have ever owned. Go get a pair, selvedge or not, they are just good jeans. But above and beyond all that… Helmut Lang is a perfect example of how a well branded fashion label looks and feels. From their abstract advertising with National Geographic magazine and on the top of taxis in NYC to their store interiors and their beautifully simple woven tags… They have it locked. And their website is perfectly minimal, and they were one of the first brave enough to do it like that, check yourself. THE BRILLIANCE says you need a pair of Helmut Lang jeans. Go buy some.

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Norma Jean

OK so, here we have this hardcore/metal band who I have personally seen well over 15 times - with a new album. Whether or not you will like it depends on if you are a fan of chaotic/mathy metal…But I am not here to review the music. I am here to praise the artwork. Asterik Studio based in Seattle, in my eyes, often is hit or miss with the album artwork they do not because sometimes it isn’t good, but because sometimes it just feels so repetitive. Not the case with this new Norma Jean album. By far the most elegantly violent, intriguing album artwork I have seen in a very long time. The blend of photography and almost perfectly seamless Photoshop skills really puts this in its own league. Huge respect to Asterik for putting this together so well.

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Juxtapoz B+W Issue

When I picked this issue up last week during one of my weekly bookstore stops, I saw the cover and was pretty taken by the Pushead artwork. The artist who most would know first because of his work for Metallica - on the cover of Juxtapoz. Awesome. So - I would absolutely say to go grab this issue…Tons of good black and white work inside…But the thing I love about Juxtapoz is how focused they are on what they do, on the content, features and how even the advertisements are a pleasure to look at. Open up the first page of the magazine and there’s full page paintings by Glenn Barr and Michael Parkes, next few pages some gallery ads for painters, the obligatory Gary Baseman ad…It all makes the magazine worth the $5 you were going to otherwise spend on the new issue of Computer Shopper you sissy.

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Calypso Tattoos in Belgium - The work of Daniel DiMattia

OK. There are good tattoo artists, and then there are EXCELLENT tattoo artists. Daniel DiMattia falls under the category of really excellently good, with the added aspect of being incredibly unique and original, and having some of the crispest and best linework and blackwork I’ve ever seen. My ink personally to date is all black, and this is just inspiring. Maybe a bit too tribal looking for some of it - but he’s the best at it. Incredible. Look at the gallery. Found through BMEzine ( www.bmezine.com ) Faaaaaaaaantastic.

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A New Car Company? Yes…Cross Lander 244x

Something new. Really. Cross Lander is a new player in the SUV market, and their product is really refreshing. I am a life-long Land Rover fan, but I have to say I miss the whole look and feel they used to have with the Defender 90/110 and even the kitted Series I Discovery… Cross Lander seems to pickup where they left off. It’s a pretty refreshing looking SRV (sport recreation vehicle) with a trimmed down interior (no Connolly leather!) and nice sharp edges on the outside. While a 5th Ave girl may not be interested in taking your new ‘wheels’ down the crocodile mile, it serves as a cool looking and quite affordable (under $20k) alternative to a Jeep Wrangler or one of the other sub-par design examples of an off-road vehicle out on the market right now. Worth a look

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Eternal Denim, Yes, Another Japanese Denim Co.

Another denim brand. For whatever reason I find this one to be considerably more inspired. I’m feeling the cut and wash of this particular one (check the link)… The Eternal 811 that, thanks to Google’s translator, is a 9 month wear with 7 washes style. And after doing some other research it looks they are using Japanese Selvage denim. Nice contrast with the fading. I know there are tons of people that thing jeans should ‘wear-in’ on there own… I have NEVER had a pair of jeans get that worn out while wearing them over time… Possibly because the only ‘intensive’ activity I engage in is taking the elevator in my building from the 2nd to the 1st floor and then walking about 20-30 feet to my car. Wow. Either way… I don’t know where to buy a pair of these. But I need a pair.

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Louis Vuitton Jeans Belt 45… Keep it subtle.

I’m not a huge fan of belt buckles. And don’t even get me started with those LED ones. Terrible. But this Louis Vuitton Jeans Belt 45 is quite a specimen. I first saw this belt at the store in SoHo and I was intrigued by how non-LV it was. It doesn’t scream LV as it is seen in today’s world. Some people forget that LV has been doing it strong since the 1800’s and they had some pretty classic design back then. This belt takes it back to the days of grand travel, big steamer trunks and all that is bourgeois. One recommendation… Don’t tuck your shirt into it or behind it to show off. I know you want everybody to see it, but just let it flash a little bit here and there… Price? $415.

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Nike Air Force 1 X Fat Joe = ...

Quick question… What are you going to wear these with? I can’t even come up with a potential outfit… And please, SOMEBODY tell SOMEBODY that ‘gators’ just are not fashionable anymore. I’ll be real honest, I never thought they were. I see ‘cats’ rocking gators with like 8 button suits… I’m sorry, you look like a villain from a Disney movie wearing gators and suits like that. And Nike gators don’t change that. For real. Looks like you should drive long Great Gatsby looking car with the exhaust pipes all on the side and you might wear a monocle too. Either way, these shoes are terrible. Just check NikeTalk.

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Dave Kinsey Signed Screenprint

On eBay as of this post with about 9 days and 6 hours left, this 18x24 inch screenprint poster by Dave Kinsey is starting around $78. Worth it? I’d say yes, although it will probably go up quite a bit, a Kinsey screenprint beind a nice glass frame with a thin light oak border would look real hot in any room…Unless you’re not into mobster looking, fat, balding pimp-type dudes staring at you all day. Kinsey is a master and you should go to www.kinseyvisual.com for more.