The Brilliance!


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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Hedi’s London Teenage Portfolio project!

We’ve chatted about Hedi’s photography here on the site a couple times before I think. Once at least. He’s back with this one…his amazing ability to find people that embody that ‘Hedi’ image, what was once the ‘Dior Homme’ image - I’d say it’s important not to confuse the two. The idea behind the project was to, in just 4 days, “create a definitive record of London youth right now.” Quite a task in just 4 days. Nicola Formichetti, the stylist for the shoot, and Hedi would hit the streets, cafes, late night shows, etc to find the faces they felt embodied the “genre now” look of London’s youth as A-ron might call it. I dig the end results. Without sounding like a fanboy - its a bit hard to wrap your head around someone like Hedi who seems to be so talented at some many things yet all of them are so congruent. All his projects fit together like puzzle pieces. Look for the photos in the next Dazed & Confused issue - and below for what I imagine is just a sneak peek at them. Or…maybe all of its just lighting. Ha.

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Some FFFFound goods!!!

I, like Ben, Virgil, and probably many of you, find massive amounts of inspiration and talented artists on Ffffound on a daily basis. Such a cool site. I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites from the last couple days on here because there are a handful that are especially great and worth mentioning.
•Tank Design - When I saw the packaging for Bumble & Bumble I was hooked. That project of theirs would be my favorite, but their portfolio is full it beautiful, sharp, and clean work. Check out the work for Redstar Enterainment they did - love the ‘Supersaturated’ stuff.
•I should mention that Bumble & Bumble packaging was posted on the Lovely Package blog which is worth checking out as well - great collection of stuff there.
•Definitely this. Ha.
•The work of Sam Green. So cool. Found via a link to - I’m loving these domain names with tons of letters. Kind of just sidestepping the whole domain name drought problem.
•Your Friends - Fresh Oslo based design studio. Originally found after seeing this.
•One of my all time favorite images discovered on Ffffound - this - led me to the creator - Lori Hersberger. Ridiculously cool.
•The occasional goofy stuff for a laugh, like this, this, and especially this.
•Ffffound is good for reminding yourself that Josh Keyes is a total badass - case in point.
•Same goes for Tiffany Bozic of course.
•And last but not least, the discovery of these ‘Your personal moon’ images. I’m not sure whose they are so if anyone knows, please email us.

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A couple days at The James hotel Chicago!

I haven’t done a hotel review in a while…I used to do a decent amount - guess I need to travel more. So yeah, just stayed at the The James hotel in Chicago last week for a couple nights for a business trip of sorts - and I liked it quite a bit. It’s one of the first ‘boutique’ hotels I’ve stayed at that didn’t have some weird kitschy ‘theme’ they were trying to push on you. Instead, they seem to focus on good service, decent art and compliments in the common areas, nice sized rooms with cool furniture that had a West Elm kind of feel to it, large bathrooms (even though ours had one of those super basic pre-fab tubs in it), half bottles of all your favorite spirits instead of a mini-bar - which presents much better, and Kiehls toiletries which was super nice…in fact, I’m quite proud that I’ve grown up enough now to stop myself from just snatching a bunch from the house-keeping cart in the hall, ha. I dig the location too…about 2 blocks off Michigan Ave west from The Gap store on Ontario, so pretty centrally located to the whole ‘Magnificent Mile’ thing. And a Trader Joe’s across the street…kind of can’t beat that. But yeah, I liked it…I liked how simple it was and how they didn’t have anything that felt like they were tricking you into thinking they’re some ‘amazing’ hotel…you know, like blue neon lights under the bed. Ha, I stayed at a hotel that had those. It’s just a nice, classic but modern, well executed hotel. Love the popcorn they had at the bar with the weird hot spicy stuff on it.

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Should Tesla Motors get bailout $? Circle one: yes, no, maybe.

This is a weird one. So CEO Elon Musk of Tesla Motors has requested $400M in low-interest Federal Loans - part of this infamous $25B bail out thing. My first reaction was to dismiss Tesla as now just another auto company…in fact, I was pretty upset since I’m fans of what they’re up to. But this bailout thing…...we don’t talk politics on THE BRILLIANCE, but the bailout is scary stuff to me man, thats all I’ll say. I guess I just get disenchanted with companies that don’t have the American ‘hustle’. Where did that go anyway? And why should tax payer money go to a startup that produces something pretty much no one in America can afford?? But, after thinking about and reading some more…I had a slight change of heart with Telsa. Or maybe more so with ‘The Fed’. Option 1: bailout existing car companies who can hardly even attempt to make something that might lessen out dependence on foreign oil/fuel - and haven’t made something future-focused since…the 60s. OR… Option 2: bailout a company that is creating truly new, innovative, products that will ultimately benefit America long term should they be able to produce something more affordable - which they are working. Thing is…I guess its a phrasing thing. Is it ‘bailing out’ or government funding for a private science project almost circa the Space Race back in the 60’s when private companies (Tang!) got gov’t contracts, etc, that ultimately created products/technologies that were exportable, provided jobs, etc? You know?? Thinking about it that way puts Tesla in a better light…maybe. I honestly don’t know what to think about it…my jury is still out. And to quite honest, I’m probably not as educated on this as I should be. Any thoughts? ***And after reading my own post…I’m just like, ‘survival of the fittest man’, Keep business private and let the cream rise to the top. I’ll make my next post more light hearted, maybe about my favorite flavor Doritos or something.

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808s & Heartbreak, Press Conference Time!!!

Ultra-real, not-really-politically-correct press conference of the thought process behind 808s and Heartbreak. Super funny. Just like that the album has been out for one week. It’s all I have been listening to for the last month or 2, really. For me it sonically fits my lifestyle and current taste level. Sounds good loud and quite, out at night or on the ipod. Going back to how I consider THE BRILLIANCE a timeline for important stuff, I wasn’t gonna let this slide without bookmarking this album. For the simple fact that its an album that hit a void on so many levels it deserves a spot on this blog. Part of the fun of a new Kanye album is the press conferences that come out surrounding it. I just got sent this video of a press conference in New Zeland thats got a ton of fresh classic Kanye lines in it. Just put it on while your at work or something, its entertaining.

“I wouldn’t be completely opposed to wearing Hammer slacks at some point.” - Kanye

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Patrik Ervell, good as gold!!

So ever in search of the perfect jacket I came across this fine piece of work by New York Designer, Partik Ervell. Sure its not for the faint of heart but my attitude is your only live once so act like you are somebody. I am a fan of Patrik’s overall design aesthetic. Easy to wear clothes with a touch of fashion. Like if Banana Republic wasn’t gear toward the middle of the road and more like the alley that Freeman’s is in. Opening Ceremony stocks his stuff. It’s where I schemed Look 22 from Fall/Winter 2008. Too bad for me my arms are too long and it dosen’t fit. I might keep it in the archives tho, its kinda too perfect.

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Shine: Virgil Abloh’s Colette collaboration shirt!

Shine deserved! Virgil is too modest to post it himself…understandable…but we have to give shine where shine is due, right? A while back Virgil hit me up saying that he was working with Sarah of Colette on a collaboration piece for fun - soon to hit the sales floor. Just in case you’re not plugged into Colette - its pretty much the coolest current-culture shop perhaps in the world, located in Paris, France. Having your work (which I believe Chuck has as well) in their shop is quite the honor. So yeah, when Virgil let me know it was going down I was pretty excited for him. End result - Virgil’s tee, titled “Medallions en bleu”, went for sale on the 21st of October and sold out in about a week. Pretty impressive. But not really surprising, the design is nothing short of iconic…and I’ll be honest, I don’t care much for t-shirts. I love that he had it done on an actual champion ‘gym tee’ style shirt. The neck tag is too cool as well - check the back of it! And that’s that…its already sold out, but congrats to Virgil and a bonjour to Sarah at Colette from THE BRILLIANCE!, we love what you do. More coming soon? ***Check the link below for more picture at Hypebeast.

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HellBound - New Gothic Art!!!

Laurence King Publishing is one of my favorite book publishers, right up there with Phaidon, Taschen, and Gestalten who all publish the best in art and design books. They’ve got some really incredible titles under their belt and this new book, ‘Hell Bound - New Gothic Art’, is no exception. I just had a chance to check it out this past weekend at Lamb here in town and I was really impressed. You don’t have to be a fan of dark art and heavy metal to enjoy most of this book, although that certainly wouldn’t hurt. From the book description on the LK site, ‘Hell Bound highlights a new generation of contemporary artists who are increasingly obsessed with the darker things in life. Illustrators, street artists, sculptors, photographers, filmmakers, installation artists and painters are all reflecting this renewed interest in gothic imagery.’ Now I personally wouldn’t typecast the artists in this book as ‘gothic artists’ and I wouldn’t pigeonhole the specific work in this book to that label either. Gothic, these days, makes me think of two things: architecture in Chicago and Hot Topic. This book doesn’t really have Chicago architecture in it and its certainly not filled up with work by artists who dress in mammoth fit black Jncos and Cradle of Filth t-shirts…and I personally wouldn’t have chosen this image for the cover as it kind of conveys a playful tone which the guts of this book certainly do not match. So don’t let any of that lead you away from checking this book out. It’s filled with smart, witty, slightly disturbing (some very) and dark art that is beautifully laid out and presented. Definitely check it out…and when you’re ready to get really goth, check this guy out.

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37Signals on the DRUDGEREPORT®‘s design!!

I’ve been a long-time fan of the Drudge Report. Even as an Obama supporter myself and with his obvious slant against him during the general election, I didn’t care. I knew I could consistently depend on Matt Drudge to have the biggest and best headline of the moment front and center. And if it wasn’t front and center, it would be later in the day, as most other news channels and sites would follow his lead.. Jason from 37Signals (who we apparently are very fond of as of late on here) has written a brilliantly accurate article on just why exactly, despite it’s aesthetic ugliness (which is also debatable), the Drudge Report is one of the best designed sites on the web. Ben just sent this over to me and I was so glad someone had taken the time to put a spotlight on this. I’ve always felt like the Drudge Report worked so well because of how simple it was. Jason’s first point is that it has staying power which, if you ask me, the entire article could focus on that alone. He says “It’s generic list of links, black and white monospaced font, and ALL CAPS headlines have survived every trend, every fad, every movement, every era, every design do or don’t. It doesn’t look old and it doesn’t look new — it looks Drudge. It hasn’t changed since at least 1997…” He is so right on with this…it is not old, it’s not new. It’s a true example of ‘it is what it is’. When we were working on the design for the Brilliance, Ben and I went back and forth a lot even talking about Drudge and its effect on how we might approach this site. How it could just last throughout time, which is difficult to think about in terms of the internet considering what’s cool now is not cool 10 minutes from now let alone years from now. Anyways, this is a really great writeup you should check out. Really helps to understand how something can be good design even if it’s not “good design” at first glance…hence this statement from Jason that “A few thousand bucks a year in overhead that generates a few million a year in revenue. That’s good design.”

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Paper Route Recordz, Fear and Loathing in Hunts Vegas!

I posted about the PRGz (Paper Route Gangstaz) a while back - about their super weird track ‘Woodgrain’. Loved that track. Yeah, that was quite a while back - in fact I think I remember them only having like 5,000 plays on their myspace when that track dropped. Other than that track and few remixes Diplo has done - its been pretty hard to come by music from them or their camp - until today… DJ Benzi and Diplo of Mad Decent have dropped a mixtape/album of all their stuff - new remixes, etc. Tons of stuff. And…it’s pay what you want, I paid for the upgrade to 320kbps - come on, $5, have to do it. I’m actually just listening to it now…the production is super fresh, totally different - I imagine thanks to Diplo and the gang. I’d call it ‘tweaker rap’, weird but a bit refreshing. A nice side-step from current hip-hop, which I hardly listening to anymore anyway. If it’s your cup of tea check it out, there are some throw-away tracks but I know I’ll be playing a few at the next house party I hit. Do I still hit house parties?!