The Brilliance!

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#INTERNET Ah, we're back! Like we said, we were just "chilling out" for like 3 years. Feels good to have the team back writing. Still us three: Chuck, Benjamin, and Virgil. Got new interviews coming up, and hopefully we'll be posting on a regular basis, who knows. We also interviewed each other, check: CHUCK, BENJAMIN, VIRGIL...

Shawn Frayne matters: his wind power invention!!

‘...and you can call the energy out of the wind…’ Love this guy, love his invention, love his pitch…and his whole ‘swagger’ dare I say. So real quick, Shawn Frayne is a young inventor who has a brilliant little product that generates power from the wind - but without the typical turbine - and instead with a belt that basically ‘flaps’ in the wind. Its a controlled flap, and the video will make all this easier to understand, that undulates two magnets between metal coils which of course creates a simple generator. It was initially designed for 3rd world countries but can certainly be useful in any number of environments. I’m impressed on so many different levels by this product… (1) It’s so amazingly simple its almost beautiful. Really. It’s so organic in how it works/moves too…just adds to the beauty. (2) It scales unbelievably well. You can stack them, make them bigger, smaller, etc. (3) It’s cheap to build…like super cheap. (4) It can be both repaired AND manufactured by the people who use it. You know, thats actually probably my favorite part. It’s built of such simple components, so few moving pieces, and of materials that can be substituted out for similar materials found locally. So yeah…just love this. And Shawn’s whole presentation in this video is fantastic. Full of quotables. I certainly hope the best for your project/product Shawn! ***I got this link off the 37signals blog, check it out if you don’t already.

Um, Marc Jacobs!!! Update! Better Link Status

He is on fire right now. I have always been into Marc Jacobs collections, more so as an observer, fan of the brand form the sidelines. After his 2 shows in the past 2 days I want to get off the sidelines and participate. The pieces that are freshly uploaded from fashion week are spectacular! Count me in for all of those necklace’s. The looks are a perfect street-level derivative of the beach-swept-style Burberry and Lanvin’s latest collections looked like for dudes. The Hi-Tops look interesting too. Super easy to wear stuff that has a little more edge to it than what you’d find at J-Crew or something. Props to Marc! **TheCobraSnake captured the vibe, I love how they packed the crowd in and I bet it was still impossible to get in, I love how this collection is styled too.**

Ned Kahn’s installations!

My friend Rick just put me on to this guys work - specifically the ‘Articulated Clouds’ piece. His work is a bit hard to describe real quick in a post - he’s definitely one of ‘those’ artists. I’m a fan of these artist’s by the way. My first impression was that his work is largely inspired by weather and specific weather occurrences - clouds, wind, tornados, fog, even fire, etc. He does super large scale projects - some of which look to be pretty temporary while others are permanent structural/architectural elements of a building. So yeah, again, hard to explain his work - better to just check it out. I’m quite a fan of the smoke rings and tornado pieces. The tornado in the middle of the huge circular staircase/walk-way is pretty unreal. Check it out below. ***Quick fun fact, I just had a fantastic #4 from Jimmy John’s, any Jimmy John’s fans out there? Am I the only one who puts the Jalepeno chips on the actual sandwich?? Gives it a little crunch, so good.

THE BRILLIANCE! got interviewed, learn about us!!!

Yeah - we haven’t done an interview in quite a while. So was fun to have William Yan of WilliamYan.com hit us up to be featured in his Taste Maker section. Always flattering to be interviewed. We each did an interview which made up a 3 part feature on THE BRILLIANCE! as a whole. Check out what each of us had to say here: Virgil’s, Chuck’s, and Benjamin’s (mine). Funny, its actually really interesting for each of us to read each others… While we’re all in touch quite a bit its interesting to ‘watch from the crowd’ a bit…ha, I guess that’s implying we have a crowd. Anyway, yeah, check out the interviews and learn a bit more about us, the guys that run this site and what else we’re up to… And check William Yan’s site as well he’s doing some cool things.

Jordan 5’s!!!

As I wait for FEDex to arrive, lets reflect. The Jordan 5 the is like no other sneaker, past or present. I know, I know, the 4’s and the 6’s and the blah blah blah are crazy but let take a second to praise the 5’s. The clear sole, the fighter jet influence, the REFLECTIVE tougue!!! for all those camera flashes!!! When I had my first pair I could feel the elevation of my game. That extra step in having these shoes on was priceless! It just felt better to play ball in these shoes. This white colorway just got retro’d and I was reminded how fresh this particular colorways was. I only had the black colorway groing up. The black sole, white upper is the key. Think about how amazing it was year after year….the new Jordans to look forward to. In an era of no internet the pure hysteria these shoes would cause…sheesh. Rightfully so. Nowadays the highend designers are in the Hi-top game charging upwards of $800?! for shoes that are pale in comparison to these Basketball! shoes. I guess back in the 7th grade asking for $125 was the same thing…Tools of the trade for the greatest basketball player of all time. Imagine if that Jil Sander model below had these shoes on…that outfit would look less crazy!

Jil Sander Marble Print!!!

It dropped. Chicago may not have alot of stores but we got one of the best, a full on Jil Sander boutique. The second I saw this print on men.style.com I was like….there goes another one. So after taking something like a 5 year break, I am back onto wearing button down shirts. This is an extreme re-entry point but I can’t get over how fresh this is. See the main reason I hopped off button downs was because everytime you’d go out and see dudes with vertical stipped button downs and collars spread super apart super far I was like I need to dress the complete opposite of that. I am all about the stuff that’s a touch crazy so this works. There’s ways to make it work, trust me….I won’t hold it against you if you don’t believe me tho. Least I don’t gotta worry about everyone else at the bar looking like me, ha.

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.

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.

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??

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.