Once again we find ourselves running a VALENTINE’S DAY gift guide, despite the fact that most people I know seem to despise V-Day with a passion, regardless of their relationship status! I know, I know... over-commercialised, Hallmark conspiracy, yadda yadda yadda. But as you all probably know by now, I do have a little softspot for silly old Valentine's Day, because I firmly believe that any chance of celebrating / gift gifting between loved one should always be encouraged! (And let's face it, most of us do need a little encouragement on this front occasionally!).
SO, as has become a tradition around here, we scoured all our favourite local shops and pulled in enough favours from some of our clever designer friends to bring you this epic Valentine's Day Gift Guide + Giveaway!
As always, we have a range of ace items for ladies as well as for the blokes. Though it’s a tightly edited round-up, lots of brilliant retailers and designers are represented – for the girls we've selected key pieces including a 'Juliet' bag in the prettiest shade of blush from the brilliant Benah for Karen Walker collab we were raving about last week, a French gold zipper purse with wrist wrap and pink Langoustine keyring from our dear friend Jen Booth, and there's a bit of sparkle in the mix, with those outstanding PAM glitter boots from Some Day Store, and Lovestar's brand new, 'practically sold out before it's even available' Sacré-Coeur sparkle heart vase!
The men's edit includes a few treasures from Collingwood's coolest caffeine providers of the moment - Everyday Coffee, the often imitated, never matched Herschel camouflage backpack from Mr Simple in Hawthorn, some stellar finds from The Windsor Annex including the very handsome MWC G10 watch in khaki, and one of my proudest scores this year - the wireless Logitech UE Boom Speaker which sounds even better than it looks, if you can believe it. (You have no idea how hard it is to score TECHNOLOGY / ELECTRICAL ITEMS for our giveaways, people... thankyou Logitech for coming to the TDF party!)
Sooo that’s it. You shall hear no more about Valentine’s Day from us until next year. We hope this little spread will inspire an impromptu gift from one of the excellent retailers listed below, or even just a fleeting romantic moment with your favourite person this Friday – fingers crossed!
Massive thanks to Cecilia Fox for the beautiful blooms and super shiny leaves supplied for this shoot!
Benah for Karen Walker – 'Juliet' bag ($215). Y'all heard about the amazing Brenda Briand last week. This Sydney based accessories designer has been kicking serious goals since launching her brand, Benah in 2009. Her latest collaboration with Karen Walker wowed the crowds when it debuted in New York late last year - we love the Juliet purse in blush.
Papillionaire – Pro Tech helmet ($65.00). A good-looking bike helmet is hard to find, but we love the Pro Tech Helmet from Papillionaire - a classic old-school stack hat in a contemporary matte finish.
Everyday Coffee – Everyday x Crumpler AeroCase ($70.00) and Everyday Coffee mug ($20.00). It seems everyone on the Northside is on board with Everyday Coffee, the coolest caffeine providers of the moment. These guys are awesome, they even stayed open on CHRISTMAS DAY last year, and passed on all the takings to charity. Their latest project is an aeropress coffee kit collaboration with Crumpler, which will ensure no camping trip is without a quality morning brew. God bless Everyday Coffee!
Ultimate Ears – UE Boom Speaker ($119.95). This brilliant and super stylish piece of technology is my proudest score in this year's gift guide! The sleek design and sound quality is seriously impressive, and it's wireless so you can take it anywhere and play music from your phone or ipod via bluetooth. This item is actually tried and tested in our house - my dear fella has one of these and LOVES it. He takes it to work and plays music wherever he is working. They're available from JB HiFi, Harvey Norman and other stockists in a range of colours.
The Windsor Annex – Play Forever Bruno Racing Car ($90.00), MWC G10 watch in khaki ($160.00), Triump and Disaster Travel Edition ($50.00). If you are in Melbourne this week and stuck for a gift for a MAN, look no further than The Windsor Annex. Top quality men's stuff, all under one roof. The Windsor Annex is actually a superbly clever initiative from Elwood Apparel Co - the kind of inspired marketing idea so often conceived by fashion brands but so rarely executed to this level of perfection. With a fit-out by Hecker Guthrie you can't really go wrong either. Thanks to TWA for giving us not one but THREE stellar products for our Men's edit this year - what a line up!
Nanoblock – Space Center Nanoblock ($22.95). Nanoblock is like mini-lego, for grown ups. Like most of the coolest things on the planet, this clever miniature building block system hails from Japan. Aside from this super cool rocket ship kit, we are also quite partial to their 'sites to see' series, which includes The Sydney Opera House!
Happy Valley – Recommissioned Polaroid camera ($180.00) and Impossible colour film for Polaroid ($33.00). Happy Valley is an excellent new art/design/bookshop in Smith st Collingwood, which we will very soon introduce you to in more detail! Aside from a spot-on selection of books and mags, owner Chris Crouch has also sourced an inspired edit of gifts including a range of fully functional recommissioned Polaroid cameras and film. We're pretty chuffed to have one to give away for Valentine's Day!
Incu – Saturdays Surf NYC Mineral Print Ruba Duffle ($150.00) and Baxter of California hand and body moisturiser ($38.00). It's a big call but I have always thought that Incu are kind of like Australia's answer to Opening Ceremony. Presenting a clever, considered approach to retail, Incu was first established in 2002 by Sydney-based brothers Brian and Vincent Wu. After over a decade in business this clever pair have won an army of loyal customers, and what started as a single shop in Sydney's CBD has grown to include seven stores nationally, incorporating both menswear and womenswear, plus an in-house fashion line. NYC surf brand Saturdays is one of their most popular labels - we're pretty excited to have their Mineral Print duffle in the mix for this gift guide!
Mr Simple – Herschel camouflage backpack from ($79.00). Often imitated but never matched, Herschel backpacks are the ultimate hipster accessory. We found this one at Mr Simple in Hawthorn, a brilliant store for blokes which we first discovered whilst getting to know the neighbourhood during TDF Open House in Hawthorn last year!
Daniel : Emma – Arch-shaped trivet ($65.00). We've long been fans of Adelaide based designers Emma Aiston and Daniel To, whose clever, quirky products have a habit of making waves on the international design scene, whilst flying very much under the radar here on home soil. We love their striking new arch-shaped trivet, which I must admit I would proudly display on a shelf rather than hide away in a kitchen drawer, if this piece were mine!
Corporate Culture – Hay computer brush ($83.60) and square / rectangle tray set (from $65.00). Danish design house Hay really can do no wrong. In Australia, their extensive range is available at Corporate Culture - which is well worth checking out for a great edit of designer furniture, lighting and accessories. Weirdly, it's not remotely 'corporate' in there, promise.
Fat – Rains poncho in green ($150.00). Whilst it may seem a tad premature to be buying a raincoat, Autumn is unfortunately just around the corner, and if there's one good thing about that it means an opportunity for a few carefully selected seasonal additions to one's wardrobe. This poncho by Danish label 'Rains' is available in a range of excellent matte colours, with discreet ventilation holes that make it perfect for people who ride bicycles.
Third Drawer Down – Tom Dixon 'Royalty' candle ($99.00) and AiAiAi Tracks Headset ($99.95). We LOVE Tom Dixon's beautiful candles, packaged to perfection in metallic containers with marble lids. Somehow they seem far more 'manly' than any other posh candle on the market. 'Royalty' is properly British scent, reminiscent of Earl Grey tea, and, if you believe the marketing spiel, 'a drive home in a ‘52 Bentley with tatty leather seats'. Just close your eyes and imagine.
Mecca Cosmetica – Comme des Garcons Amazing Green EDP ($132.00) and Diptyque Do Son EDT ($120.00). We really went back to the classics with these two fragrance selections from Mecca - Diptyque is a universal favourite for ladies, whilst any man wearing a Comme Des Garcons fragrance is hard to resist!
Dosh – Dosh iPhone wallet in Clooney6 (89.95). Dosh create a clever, versatile range of sleek wallet / iphone case hybrids, perfect for streamlining a bulging back pocket.
The Blackmail – Issue #2 ($15.00). The Blackmail is an independent publication produced in Melbourne, created by local designer / creative director Tristan Ceddia. It's intelligently curated and painfully cool... and supporting indie publishing is always a good thing!
Some Day Store – PAM glitter boots ($418.00). These OUTSTANDING glitter boots from Melbourne label PAM allow stylish grown-up ladies to channel their inner toddler, and wear glittery shoes in the daytime. Thankyou PAM for making such things socially acceptable.
Monk House Design – Surface to Air Caprice sunglasses ($220.00). Surface to Air is a multi-faceted creative collective in France which constitutes a contemporary fashion brand as well as a creative film studio!
Jen Booth – French gold zipper purse with wrist wrap and Langoustine keyring ($15.00) and French Escargot keyring ($15.00). There is not much more we can say about our dear pal and talented designer Jen Booth. We LOVE her fabulous bags and accessories, and we are quietly pretty pleased to have lured her from Sydney - she's a full, proper Melburnian now.
Obus – Baggu small leather pouch in gold ($38.00). These versatile leather pouches from Baggu come in a great range of colours, and are useful handbag staples for so many of life's little nik-naks.
Country Road – Tinto marble platter ($49.95). We are not quite sure how Country Road have managed to make such a stylish marble platter for the rock-bottom retail price of $49.95. This is solid marble, people! It comes in both circular and square varieties, and though it's probably meant for the kitchen, we think it would look ultra pretty in the bathroom too.
Melbourne Now – Meredith Turnbull DIY Necklace as part of Melbourne Now exhibition at NGV (free!). Have you been to Melbourne Now yet!? If not, it closes on March 23rd so get your skates on! One of the highlights of this extensive survey of Melbourne's proflific creative community is the Meredith Turnbull exhibit, which includes a DIY Necklace workshop area in which all visitors can sit down and make their own cool beaded necklace for ZERO DOLLARS. Outrageous. The perfect V-Day date, with cultural points, and a bonus necklace!
Anna Davern – 'Pink Diamond' Baguette Earrings ($165.00) and 'Yellow Diamond' Baguette earrings ($165.00). Melbourne jeweller Anna Davern is known for a playful, tongue in cheek aesthetic. Her glitzy 'Rocks' range certainly demands a double take! For this range Anna uses photographs of precious gems to create striking oversized fake versions of traditional jewellery. Available in Anna's online store, and from Alice Euphemia.
Jelly Beans – Jelly sandals ($35.00). I'm am very late to the party when it comes to Jelly Sandals, having discovered them only this summer. I don't know how I had previously overlooked them for so long...! They're ridiculously comfy, and are especially great in hot weather because they are very well ventilated which makes them 100% stink-free! (Cross my heart, I am wearing a pair right now and it has been VERY hot in Melbourne this weekend!). They're also available in an extensive range of colours and patterns - check out all the options here.
Jam Factory – Stretch Jug designed by Deb Jones and Christine Cholewa ($190.00). SO many excellent creatives come out of the Jam Factory in Adelaide - it is basically South Australia's craft Mecca. Aside from training a community of makers in various disciplines, Jam Factory also put out their own range of functional pieces for the home, designed in house and handcrafted by their talented associates. This range includes the sleek Stretch Jug with anodised aluminium swizzle stick, handmade in the Jam Factory's glass and metal design studios.
Dinosaur Designs – Bone Servers in snow swirl ($190.00). Dinosaur Designs are one of Australia's most respected and reverred Australian design brands - no Australian home should be without at least one of their beautiful pieces! DD's beautiful salad servers are an old favourite, effortlessly combining form and function.
Elke Kramer – Remnants rings ($120.00). Sydney based jewellery designer Elke Kramer is a bit of a superstar - from her modest studio in Surry Hills she designs the most brave and eclectic jewellery ranges each season, and stocks an impressive group of retailers both nationally and internationally, including Liberty in London, and Opening Ceremony in the US! Pssst - This week Elke is also running her own Valentine's Day instagram competition - for an additional chance to win any piece of Elke jewellery, do check out her website for details!
Lovestar – Sacré-Coeur sparkle heart vase ($185.00). Our favourite Brisbane-based Lawyer-turned-designer Helen Bayley is at it AGAIN. Having already created a heart-vase craze the likes of which no one could never have anticipated (I'm still recovering from the stampede of customers hoping to get their hands on one at Open House!), Helen ramps things up a notch with her brand new Sacré-Coeur sparkle heart vase! Oh LORD. I truly don't think this photo even does it justice. So sparkly you need sunglasses. As with all Helen's vases, these dazzlers are 100% made by hand in Brisbane.
To be in the running to win one of the amazing gifts pictured here, simply leave a comment along with your POSTCODE on today’s post before 10.00pm Melbourne time this Friday 14 February 2013.
Please be patient if WordPress struggles to keep up with the entries this morning, as you have a few more days that usual to enter! Winners will be selected at random and contacted by email next Wednesday.