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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Toy Watch!!

Remember the stronghold Swatch watch had on us when we were kids? Taking their spot in modern times are Toy Watches. My lady hooked me up with one and I am now I don’t have to look at my phone to see what time it is. These watches have been catching my eye in Annie O when we were out in New York to Needless Markup in Chicago. Their trademark look is their shiny see through acrylic casings and bands. They are like reinterpreted Rolex GMT-2 with a fun twist. So about those Swatch watches…they are not making a comeback just yet so keep them in that drawer next to your bed.

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H&M does it again!!

So I just came to the obvious realization…with the decline of innovative “streetwear” the pendulum is swinging back to where we all started. The big basic brands, Banana, Polo, Gap etc. The benefit now days tho is that the big brands quit being so uptight and are actually being creative, taking risks and getting better trend reports. With H&M fresh off the Lagerfeld collaboration they have just tagged up with Victor & Rolf to produce some stunning pieces. High fashion, lower budget. Very inclusive, not exclusive. Of course I gotta see these pieces in person but the art direction of the whole project has got my attention. Viktor & Rolf snapped with their latest collection and carried over the same intensity with this less expensive iteration of their brand. So smart for the Viktor & Rolf brand as well. Most cats aren’t even hip to them as designers. Hats off to H&M for raising the standard. Another business model I would like to see bitten by competitors.

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Monday Miscellaneous

Monday. What can I say? At least it was nice out…but still. Mondays…ehhhh. You know how it goes. I’ve just got a mish-mash of things to post about. First off, I’m very excited to say I have a new print up for sale at NP&CO. Go check that out. Shameless self-promo on THE BRILLIANCE. I also updated NoPattern with some new work for Kinkyform and Puma Mihara for The Royal Magazine. Also, I’m saying it before someone else can. NoPattern is the new Lisa Frank. Anyways, enough about me. How about this new John Legend album!? PDA is a great song, but really the whole album is fresh. I am maybe even enjoying it more than his first one. On the other end of the music spectrum, you should check out this new album from Mouth Of The Architect - The Ties That Blind. I don’t know how else to say it, they’re right up there with Isis, Neurosis, Pelican…that whole every-song-is-long metal camp. Prog-metal, whatever you want to call it. Great album though without too much unnecessary feedback/noise/ambience. Very heavy. If you’re in Chicago this weekend, you should come to the Cut & Paste Competition. I’ll be a judge along my man Jeffrey Kalmikoff from Skinnycorp, Jim Coudal of Coudal, and others. Should be a really good time - I heard the NYC one was a blast. What’s up Deanne! What else…oh yeah…Don’t Believe The Hype Beast is back and not as funny as they were the first time. Oh well. We’ll have some new interviews soon too, including one with Nat of Bloom Press. Check out his site and buy some prints. Football is on tonight…if you’re not from Chicago or Indianapolis right now, you don’t have anything to be excited about. It’s all about the Bears and the Colts right now, and I’m waiting for the Colts to lose one first. The midwest has all the good teams right now. Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, Indianapolis…

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AVEC, ummm!

It’s always a crazy week when you can’t distinguish the weekend from the weekdays. At least the next weekend comes faster. One of the highlights of this past week was sitting down at this restaurant Avec in Chicago. WOW, amazing stuff and superb atmosphere. Right on point down to the décor and music. I dunno, call me young but I love Hip Hop and I love it even more with a crispy duck leg with market pears, frisee, spring onions and hazelnut vinaigrette sitting in front of me. The music was on point, perfect back drop to ramdon conversation with a bunch of friends. Check out the pictures and take a look at the interior. Modern but the opposite of cold. I am noticing a trend in my favorite spots to eat, small dining rooms with exposed kitchens and good music. Avec is my Chicago Momofuku . Favorite restaurant in the city…check.

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This new UGK!

Are you kidding me?! Let’s keep this brilliance style going from island getaways to some new UGK. And I was just talking about how hip-hop is boring. So this new track, ‘The Game Belong To Me’ – is it that typical slangin’ & bangin’ southern stuff? Yes, absolutely. Ignorant ‘typical’ rap content? Sure, somewhat. Fresh beat and classic new metaphors? Yeah and I can’t lie, I love it. Check it out at the link below,, in their music section.

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Wow…been a bit since I posted huh? excuses. Few randoms before I make a real post. I just went to the sneak preview of Borat last night – hands down the worst movie I have ever seen. Thank goodness it was free, but would certainly like my 80 minutes back. Its freezing out lately – time to find more fresh bomber jackets. What happened to cool new cell phones, where are they?! With the exception of that new Clipse ‘shining’ snippet – why is hip-hop so boring lately? Oddly enough – I’m starting to ever-so-gradually check out Bape products again. Ever heard of this Mexican food spot called Moe’s? I love their ‘Full Montes’ tacos. Did I really just get hip to Sister Nancy? Kind of late…bam bam.

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Virgin Gorda!

No I haven’t been yet. But I think I have honestly settled on the fact that I WILL be visiting during the cold season. I’d certainly heard of this island in the BVI – but never really researched. Actually – it was just on the cover of my favorite magazine ‘Islands’. The crazy huge cave/rock formation thing with the typical turquoise water…so crazy. That area is called ‘The Baths’ and its just amazing…looks like the Seychelles, and I believe it is granite as well. Just huge (size of houses) boulders along the edge of the island where water meets sand and makes these amazing little caves and hidden coves. Classic pirate paradise setup – the whole island is tropical with lush forests and beautiful beaches unlike some other Caribbean islands that usually just have either or. Anyway – this island seems to be a bit pricey. Little Dix Ba is the famous spot to stay and it starts at about $775 a night but there are some other cheaper spots. Check the link below to a TripAdvisor page with all the lodging setups. Seriously…I need to visit this spot.

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RED, creatively cool charity work!!

So last week in Chicago there was a lot of press hoopla surrounding the Gap store because Bono & Oprah were ‘shopping’. More importantly there were launching this new RED campaign which I think is genius….for real. Its time to make charity work cool and not corny. We love to shop why not eliminate AIDs at the same time. What a step in the right direction. I love the interconnectedness of products spanning across corporations that are typically strict with their image. Check out the RED site for the products. Graphically that RED American Express card is fresh. The whole coloring everything red could get played out but I hope other people latch on to this concept and create global charity brands…hmm…maybe we should start a niche brand version of this concept. This is a trend we need to bite. Since we all love urban culture lets start branding shoes, hoodies, artwork, New Eras etc. in iconic school supply patterns like college ruled paper…ha…and donate the profits for inner city school for supplies. I am only half way kidding…email us if your interested in making this happen. I can see it now…Honeyee Bloggers X THE BRILLIANCE schools the world…

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Accidentally damaging $139M Picasso!? Priceless.

What do you say when you’re about to sell a $139 million dollar timeless Picasso painting and then go on to accidentally ram your elbow through it, leaving a silver dollar sized hole? You say, “Oh shit, look what I’ve done.” Ha… So, this dude Steve Wynn…he’s got himself this damaged Picasso now…and he plans to get it restored and keep it. Good idea man…but maybe you should have been a little more careful around your PIECE OF TIMELESS, $139 MILLION DOLLAR MASTERPIECE. Ha?! I’m sorry, but the second someone told me they wanted to finalize a $139M deal for a piece of art, I would have that thing put behind a thick glass case. Or frozen. Or something…whatever it takes to keep it in absolute pristine condition. There’s accidents, and then there’s accidents. And this falls under the ACCIDENTS category. Nice goin!

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Stussy X Nike Event on Supertouch!!!

You know this must be good…we rarely post about streetwear and street culture stuff anymore. We kind of realized that’s best left to the other blogs, and one in particular to make fun of it all…but I digress. This goes beyond streetwear or opinions on the whole scene. Jamie O’Shea’s Supertouch Blog has a nice writeup and photo review of this Stussy X Nike event at the Blu House in LA. The Blu House was the beachfront home of The Doors in ‘67, according to Supertouch. So they went into this event in a venue that was already filled with a rich creative history and did a truly amazing job. I’m a big fan of KAWS first and foremost, and I have to say, the huge mouths on the wall are spot on…I love them. Just so cool, what else can you say? The REAS piece is nice as well… So anyways - this was to celebrate Stussy’s “Worldwide Tour” campaign…and so it drew some incredible artists to the event. Check the picture with KAWS, Mark Parker, and Pushead. Like Supertouch says, talk about a dream collaboration. But seriously - I bet the level of creative energy in this room was unreal. Very inspiring just looking at the pictures… My favorite picture has to be the shot of Weezer’s Brian Bell…check the dude in the background with his mouth open. Ha…way to be ‘that guy’...Anyways, just check out the pictures from the event and while you’re at it, have a read through the rest of Jamie’s blog. Consistently good coverage of consistently inspiring people.