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.

949 small

The work of Jeremy Geddes!!!

I’ve said this before…Sometimes you come across an artist who is so talented and so visionary that it kind of makes you sick. You realize you could spend the rest of your life trying to do what they do and would likely barely scratch the surface. A friend recently pointed me towards an artist whose work I had not seen before, which surprised me because I’ve been a big fan of this style of work for a long, long time. That artist is Jeremy Geddes. One of the first pieces of work I checked out on his site was this painting and it really just blew me away. The detail, the haunting feeling in all of his work, the emotion in it…and on top of all that, it’s just cool. Plain and simple…you look at his stuff and just can’t help but think “Wow…this is really, really cool stuff right here…” I’d really love to watch him work on the fine details of some of these paintings. The things in them that only he really knows are there or were painstaking to add that onlookers of his work probably don’t particularly notice specifically, but are absolutely vital to the overall quality of the painting. The lighting he achieves in his work - this for example - has such a perfectly executed classical, romantic feeling to it it just really blows me away. Perfectly subtle in color, lighting, tone, and mood…but striking and disturbing in subject matter and theme. Whether its a zombie or an astronaut… I love it…can’t get enough. And he has affordable prints of his work on the site. Got to love that.

950 small

Ace Hotel announces NYC and Palm Springs locations!!!

And they’re at it again…first Seattle, then Portland…now NYC (!!) and Palm Springs. We’re huge fans of the Ace Hotel Group and all Alex Calderwood’s projects so we of course love seeing them open more locations. With these two new locations they’re really living up to the comment Alex made in his interview with us: “...we’re looking to open 2 hotels a year for the next 5 years…” What a serious goal. So yeah, these new spots - looks like they are continuing to progress their brand with each new spot. Kind of expected from these guys right? But what I love is their concern/focus on staying true to the original vision displayed so well in Seattle, quote from the press thing they just emailed us: “Our sensibility is democratic and inclusive.” Perfect…and in only 6 words. They’re both opening winter 08/09, so pretty quick here. Check out a few pictures here, sketches from their design firm of the rooms. Congrats to the whole Ace Hotel Group team, what’s up Alex!!, and thanks Ryan for sending these over. I’ll now have a no-brainer decision when in NYC and a great excuse to shoot down to Palm Springs for a winter weekend.

948 small

Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair!!!

Wow. What a brilliant line and brand…and what a full line! I literally just found this label off Selectism (one of my absolute favorite new blogs!!) and I’m half wondering how I’ve never heard of this ;Fifth Ave Shoe Repair’ and half just amazed at how I like pretty much every single piece in their fall 08 collection. I’m heavy into simple, classic, ‘own-for-a-lifetime’ fashion and this stuff is just so perfectly classic and understated with some really, really intense focus on the details. Perhaps thats their Swedish heritage at work. And what about their name?? I love it…little bit of mystery with it. Really love their site too. I can’t really think of anything else to say except ‘wow’. My new favorite: Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair. So…anyone know the best place to get this stuff state side??

947 small

Double whammy: Osaka Loop Line track & Picaresque film!

Double whammy, two posts for the price of one. We’ve got it for cheap here on the net. So, my friend Kevin sends me the link to this new film/documentary about long boarding that his friend is working on called ‘Picaresque’. I’ve always had this thing with surfing, in fact, I used to be almost obsessed with it - had a subscription to Surfer Magazine as a youngster even though I lived in South Chicago-land. Just loved the concept of an idyllic surf life on the beach. I actually got to live it out a little bit while in Maui a couple years ago - surfed for my first time ever, so fun, fell in love with it. So yeah, this documentary paints that picture so well it seems…has those warm summer tones of color to it, really well shot, classic looking surf flick in the making. And…and, the music that goes along with it is just…the absolute perfect fit. A track called Osaka Loop Line by Discovery. Officially my new favorite song this week, ha. If I had access to my muxtape it’d already be on there. Yeah, check out both the film as well as the song that goes along with it. A bit of a match made in heaven I think.

946 small

Surface 2 Air Paris, Apple Pro profile!

Odds are I’m quite late on this. In fact, while I’d heard of Surface 2 Air Paris before - I never really did any research about that until I grabbed a perfectly cut baseball/bomber jacket this past weekend form Hejfina in Chicago (love that shop by the way, love it.) So after 2 seconds of Googling I found that apple had done one of their ‘Pro’ profiles on the company. Whoa. Had no idea they were a seriously multi-disciplinary shop. Design, branding, photography, video direction/creation, proper fashion house, and more. With only a staff of 14. Pretty amazing…just the fashion collection and its wide distribution to shops that matter is impressive - but the fact they do all these other amazing projects is just…amazing. Clients like Justice, Louis Vuitton, Issey Miyake, Diesel, Sony, etc. They’re one of those shops it seems that just kind of has a bit of ‘magic’ to be able to pull off all those different directions, etc, and be super relevant in each one. Kind of like Coudal Partners. Anyway…I’m a fan of both my new piece of clothing from them as well as their entire company/studio/firm/whatever. And sorry for being late on this…

945 small

How to: Fit a Dior Homme Collection.

Not really, but heres a behind the scenes look at how the last fitting before its debuted to the world. I am a big fan of this season. Of course you can expect tons of black but when the colors come, they POP. The coolest thing about the final fitting to me is the fact that the collection really comes together in these last few days/hours/minutes before the show and that’s the cut off point and that’s the commodity that moves these major brands…last minute ideas and gut feelings. So when you try on those 17.5 cm Diors, you have that extra skinny Dior fit model to thank because it looked good down the runway. To top things off this behind the scenss collage is cool because they got the original Justice soundtrack they played for the show as background music. So dope. It syncs up perfect with the vibe of the clothes. Kris Van Assche is not playing around.

943 small

I’ve been drinking Kombucha tea…

I’ve also started playing ultimate frisbee 4 times a week, constantly talking about how much I love Rainbow brand sandals, wearing blown glass medallion necklaces, and the scent of patchouli is like…totally my essence right now. ***Wow, just kidding on all those - sorry, the drink has a very hippie-vibe following. Except the Kombucha tea, which I have indeed been drinking over the past couple months. My local downtown market has it and all the friendly guys that work there have suggested I try it…so I got into it. I don’t know if its actually helping me health-wise to the degree that people suggest it will…but it does seem to work wonders on a hangover. The process of making the drink, and the end resulting taste is interesting. It’s a sweetened tea that is fermented using bacteria culture…so I guess its actually classified as a ‘raw food’. Kind of weird, but not as weird as the strong vinegar taste it has, or the weird floaty things in it that look like jellyfish. Ha…I can’t imagine any one wanting to try it after my description here. Anyway, its one of those random, niche products, that we tend to cover here on THE BRILLIANCE. So yeah…anyone else out there drink it?

942 small

The ‘Mojave Experiment’...

I guess I’ll open this up with my first reaction after seeing this: “Damage control is not marketing…or branding.” Backing up a bit, you should probably watch the video at the link below before reading this post, it’ll make more sense. So…Microsoft is finally (finally) responding to all the bad press they’ve gotten for Vista. And this, the ‘Mojave Experiment’, is their first formal response. And it…doesn’t really work for me. As I said, I honestly feel like its damage control and NOT actual marketing or branding (creating a ‘gut feeling’ in the consumer as they say). Tricking your customer and, in some instances, kind of making them feel dumb isn’t the way to win them over. It’s like the entire project is based on telling the customer: ‘hey guy, you’re wrong’. (?!?) Again, making up for, or doing damage control on all the negative word-of-mouth that has been spread regarding their product. Its just weird. This is just their first round, so they’re may be some other compelling stuff…but I would highly suggest they actually either show Vista in action, you know, the product the people are actually going to buy…or reference what exactly they, the consumer, can use Vista for and how well it will it work performing whatever the task may be. I guess that would have been too similar to the Mac vs. PC ads that they’re responding to in the first place. Ehh, yeah, I’m a little surprised at this. I think its funny they paid for Google Ads as well, when you search Mojave it shows up as an advertiser…ha, guys, thats not exactly viral if you’re paying for it.

941 small

What you know ‘bout Sudoku!?

I’m not sure why, but a few years ago I bought a little Sudoku puzzle book at an airport, probably to try something new to kill time. I epically failed and gave up that first day. I did however keep the book and it’s collected dust ever since. That was until a few weeks ago when I was on a plane with my younger brother and we busted out the in-flight magazine, flipped to the back, and found the puzzle pages. Apparently, and I didn’t know this, he’s been doing Sudokus like mad for the last year. Needless to say, it was a little embarrassing when he finished the ‘warm-up’ puzzle in about 6 minutes and I’d only filled in about 4 numbers and was ready to roll up 2 copies of SkyMall to jam in my eyeballs. Having your 19 year old brother be taller and much better dressed than you is one thing. Having him insult your intelligence by using basic number logic to fill in empty squares on a Sudoku warmup puzzle is entirely another. So I get back from my vacation and what do I do? Of course, I dust off the old Sudoku puzzle book and while I’m at it try to dust off my brain, apparently. So after forcing myself to figure out the different methods and techniques over this past week, I’ve officially become obsessed and actually quite decent at them. Much in the same way I have an obsession with Scrabble and at times can’t help but look at words in every day life and rearrange them…I’m now thinking in terms of rows of numbers. It’s odd, but it kind of feels good to use a part of the brain that hasn’t seen the light of day, maybe ever. So here’s to you, Sudoku puzzle book. Next time I’m with my brother he’ll never know what hit him.

940 small

Ice Cream Sandwiches!!

There is a heatwave going on and I could go for a real one right now but I am posting these plastic keychains on the Ice Cream Site. I love trinkets and you can count on me to buy these sorts of random products all the time. These totally turn a boring set of keys into a conversation piece. Keychains are funny…who actually sets out to find a new keychain?? They are just one of those things you see in the checkout line or something. But they are like a persons shoes…they speaks volumes of a persons style. Random post I know…Viva La Brilliance!