Of a Kind

Get ready to nerd out: a book locket from Dirty Librarian Chains. Can we get a Party Girl sequel with Mary wearing this (and dancing, obviously)? —erica

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In Character: Harriet the Spy

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Before Veronica Mars, there was Harriet M. Welsch, mystery-solving girl wonder. Here’s how to celebrate her look (and her 50th anniversary!), with the help of a very young Michelle Trachtenberg and a 1996 movie. Oh, and PSA: If you’re looking for a deeper read re: Harriet, dive into this goodness. —erica

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A double-breasted jacket from Tibi—worn at least two sizes too big for her 11-year-old frame.

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A Monserat de Luca binocular necklace, so she can always be sleuthing. STAY AWAY, Spy-Catcher Club.

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Mismatched Sleepy Jones PJs that her nanny Golly (Rosie O’Donnell!) absolutely approves of.

Get all the “In Character” you can handle right here!

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Take 5: The Places You Really Can’t Miss in Notting Hill

Oh, hey! We’ve scored ourselves a spring semester correspondent: Our girl Mattie Kahn landed in London for a study-abroad program (or, in British, programme), and she’s going to grace this site with her neighborhood adventures and her exceptional taste. In a word: YAY!

 

Indulging in the occasional tourist attraction is inevitable, and, of course, some clichéd spots make for worthier destinations than others. But while memories of a lovelorn Hugh Grant may have brought me to Notting Hill when I arrived in London earlier this month, the neighborhood’s absurdly charming storefronts are the reason I can’t seem to stay away. —mattie kahn

Ottolenghi
The takeaway counter that sparked a foodie revolution. This small storefront is the brainchild of Israeli chef and vegetable enthusiast Yotam Ottolenghi. Pick up a rugelach. Or ten.
(63 Ledbury Rd.)

Lutyens & Rubinstein
Imagine every book you’ve ever loved shelved alongside those recent releases that your savviest friend can’t stop talking about. Be sure to head downstairs to the boutique bookshop’s lower level for coffee-table fare, travel guides, and cookbooks. 
(21 Kensington Park Rd.)

One of a Kind
Situated at the heart of Portobello Market, this vintage spot’s been graced by the likes of Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham, and its wares are accordingly fabulous.
(259 Portobello Rd.)

Books for Cooks
As an aspiring domestic goddess, I am fairly certain that Books for Cooks is heaven in brick-and-mortar form. Less ambitious friends are happy to make pilgrimages to the sunlit shop, though. The reason? The mouth-watering meal served from its test kitchen each day. Arrive by 11:45 A.M. to score a table.
(4 Blenheim Crescent)

Wolf & Badger
Dedicated to showcasing the best and brightest of Britain’s emerging fashion talent, Wolf & Badger gives at least 75% of every purchase straight to the item’s designer—pretty major.
(46 Ledbury Rd.)

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Take 5: The Places You Absolutely Need to Visit in the Eastern Marais

After Emily Altieri finished up her Of a Kind internship this summer, she headed to Paris for some study-abroad action. Yah, we weren’t jealous at all. So we’ve asked her to give us the scoop on her best finds around the city—and, listen, though she might be both darling and young, don’t dare accuse her of having college-girl taste. —erica

How amazing is the Marais? So good I had to write about it twice. If you’re looking to escape the crowds, weekday afternoons in the eastern section of the 3rd arrondissement are kind of magical, especially after a visit to the nearby Picasso Museum. Five stops to make! emily altieri

Et Vous
This boutique is refreshingly relaxed compared to many stores in Paris. And so are the clothes: I go here specifically for tees and hoodies—the ones from Leon & Harper are my favorite.
(17 Rue de Sevigné)

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I never had the desire to go to Morocco until I found this restaurant. The place is always packed, but that makes for a really fun atmosphere. Oh, yeah—the food is also amazing. 
(69 Rue des Gravilliers)

Claire Naa
I’m a sucker for stackable jewelry, and the stuff here is reasonably priced enough to pile it on. There is also a small selection of (very enticing) vintage furniture!
(45 Rue de Turenne)

Comptoir de L’Image
Book-lover nirvana. Though it’s the size of a small closet, I could spend hours here. Favorite purchases: a 1950 holiday issue of French Vogue—although a seventies edition with a Twiggy cover is a close second.
(44 Rue de Sévigné)

The Broken Arm
After a single bite of the café’s blueberry cheesecake, I was sold on this concept shop. There isn’t ton of merchandise, but every piece is really stand-out—including special-edition Nike sneakers.

Ahhhhhh, Paris! Get your fill here.

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Book It: Check Out the Of a Kind Lending Library

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Yes, yes, business books can be really cheesy. Ok, let’s be honest: They basically are as a rule. But there’s still plenty of intel to be had amidst that who-moved-my-cheesing and catch-phrasing, and, over the last few years, Claire and I have consumed a handful that have really spoken to us—enough so that we decided to put together a little shelf of ‘em at the office. Here are the ones we’d write rave Amazon reviews of if we did that sort of thing. —erica

The Power of a Positive No
Turns out, the ability to say no is seriously critical to your success. The entire goal here is to teach you how to say it in a way that makes clear you’re doing so not because you’re, like, a jerk but because saying yes would be rejecting things that you (slash your biz!) value and need.

Setting the Table
Every company should be about hospitality in some way, shape, or form, right? And Danny Meyer—of Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, and the juggernaut that is Shake Shack—is basically king of that world. Here, he breaks down why it’s so important how people feel when they interact with your business—and how to develop those really important emotional connections.

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke
This isn’t a business book—you’re right. But if your personal finances are a total zoo, that interferes with your ability to do your job (and, to sleep at night). Suze Orman, she of the very white teeth and Palm Beach tan, seriously knows what she’s talking about—she’s firm without being bossy, condescending, or unrealistic.

Zingerman’s Guide to Giving Great Service
We are damn serious about customer service around here. And, when we started Of a Kind, Zingerman’s—the Ann Arbor, Michigan, food emporium—more or less outlined things for us. Should also be noted that this is one of the quickest reads ever!

Making Ideas Happen
The author Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance, knows all about great ideas. But he also knows how easily those flashes of brilliance just fade away when people aren’t focused on the other half of the equation: execution. Two things that really stuck with us from this book: 1) Nag, and don’t feel badly about it. 2) Make sure everyone involved in a project knows who’s responsible for what so things don’t get stalled.

Small Giants: Companies That Chose to Be Great Instead of Big
Exploring the inner-workings of businesses like Clif Bar, Righteous Babe Records, and—hey!—Union Square Hospitality Group and Zingerman’s, both of which earned shout-outs above, this is a good reminder that super-speedy growth isn’t the be-all and end-all for everyone.

The Power of Habit
This is ostensibly guide to why companies and individuals do what they do and act how they act. It’s full of really fascinating anecdotes—the very first one in the book will make you feel like you absolutely could run the New York City Marathon a year from now.

Books, books, and more books!

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Weather Vain: Athens, Georgia - 68 and Partly Cloudy

This is one of those college towns that makes you want to stay in academia forever. And on a perfect day like this one? OOF. What to wear in Bulldog country. —erica

Clockwise from top left:

+ This IIIBeCa bag = classic with a twist. Just like the menu at The Branded Butcher.

+ A Laura Lombardi necklace laid-back enough for a game day, even.

+ A just-librarian-y Boy. by Band of Outsiders dress that will look right at home amidst the rare stuff at Jackson Street Books.

+ A Jasmin Shokrian jacket—so you can take in some live music on the Georgia Theater rooftop after the sun goes down.

+ A way-chill, leather-wrapped ACB bracelet ready for some chicken-and-waffle action at The World Famous.

+ Dieppa Restrepo lace-ups that the vintage-loving girls at Community would go nuts for. 

So much more “Weather Vain!” Really!

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Weather Vain: Seattle, Washington - 79 and Partly Cloudy

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It’s not a rainy day in Seattle today—best take advantage. Here’s what to wear for a really good time in The Emerald City. —erica

Clockwise from top left:

+ Elizabeth and James shades, with lenses as blue as the waterfall on Bainbridge Island.

+ An A.L.C. dress jazzy enough for a big night out at Artusi.

+ A Marie Turnor lunch sack leather bag, with room for a paperback score from The Elliott Bay Book Company.

+ Ella Moss flats—so you can investigate Pike Place Market for hours and hours.

+ A Winifred Grace cuff that’s going to make you want to spend the night on the waterfront looking at the stars.

Head this way for way more “Weather Vain.”

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Three Design Books That Winifred Grace Can’t Stop Flipping Through

Hear that? It’s your coffee table calling.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, Winifred Grace’s design-book collection is worth a mill. “I see something different every time I look at them,” says the Chicago jewelry genius. Take a look at the trifecta she reaches for over and over again. —alisha prakash

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House & Garden’s Complete Guide to Interior Decoration
“I have always said that if I weren’t a jewelry designer, I would be an interior designer. I share this passion with my mother, who I stole this book from several years ago. I love that the rooms are not overly designed. They are incredibly personal and really showcase who lives in these homes—there’s an eclectic mix of artwork and patterns and different influences from around the world. The book was published in 1970, but I think all of these rooms are so timeless. I guess all really good design is, right?”

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Joseph Cornell / Marcel Duchamp…In Resonance
“This book chronicles the relationship between artists Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Cornell and celebrates their fascination with the connection between art and the found object. This book makes me want to crawl in to the pages and explore all the wonderful handwritten notes, torn newspaper scraps, old photographs, and paper packaging. The beautiful part about it is that it gives these potential pieces of trash lives of their own. It glorifies them, giving them a story and importance. It’s like going through your grandparents’ drawers filled with memories and nostalgia and realizing they had lives before you.”

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Printed Matter / Drukwerk
“I bought this Karel Martens book while I was a graphic-design student, and it made my heart sing upon first glance. Rich with color, there is a cadence to these juicy works and how they are displayed—the chaotic business of images layered on top of one another, jammed into one small space, or the quiet respite of a clean page with a just a few examples of work. It was an awakening for me to see information displayed in such an emotive, robust way.”

Winifred’s newest edition is just as inspired as these printed beauties!

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Shelf Life: The 21 Super-Inspiring Books That You Don’t Own But Should

Need some new source material? Well, then let some way-talented, hyper-creative designers guide you toward the best ways to fill your bookshelves. And your coffee table, too. —erica

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From 
Art Forms from the Ocean. Those colors!

Art Forms from the Ocean: The Radiolarian Prints of Ernst Haeckel by Olaf Breidbach
Recommended by: Sophie Monet Okulick of Sophie Monet
“His abstract and delicate watercolors of plant meets animal like structures are jaw dropping…to the point you you’ll have to stop yourself from ripping out the pages to frame them.

The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal
Recommended by: Rawaan Alkhatib
“The recipes are only there for the extremely ambitious, but the photography, artwork, and thinking are hugely inspirational for other work, both written and visual.”

Islamic Geometric Patterns by Eric Broug
Recommended by: Nettie Kent
“My boyfriend just got back from a work trip to Qatar, and he brought me some amazing textiles and this book, filled with amazing geometric patterns from all over the world—and also grown-up paint-by-numbers instructions for making your own!”

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From Baskets and Basket Makers. How happy does that woman look with her creation?!

Baskets and Basket Makers in Southern Appalachia by John Rice Irwin
Recommended by: Phoebe Sung and Peter Buer of Cold Picnic
“We thought at first it was a manual, but it turned out to be way better—a lovely portrait of the area, its residents, and traditions. Some of the baskets are pretty amazing, too—there are even wooden, basket-woven baseball caps!”  

Unexpected: 30 Years of Patagonia Catalog Photography by Jane Sievert and Jennifer Ridgeway
Recommended by: Ellen van der Laan of Baggu
These photos embody a brand that lives its message.

Crackers by Ed Ruscha
Recommended by: Matt Singer
“The book is a photo-illustrated narrative, originally published in 1969, based on Mason Williams’s text ‘How to Derive the Maximum Enjoyment from Crackers.’ The text begins, ‘Speaking man to man, the most important element in deriving the maximum enjoyment from crackers is the choice of a companion to help you enjoy them. She must be someone whom you admire. A beautiful woman, elegant and accustomed to sophistication, a woman whose company is a challenge to enlist, a woman that’s hard to get.’”

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From Good Morning Music. 
Also: This photo-book-as-wall-art idea is pretty genius!

Good Morning Music by Debbie Carlos
Recommended by: Sarah Fox of Cursive Design
She has such a beautiful way of capturing everyday moments.”

Cradle to Cradle by Michael Braungart and William McDonough
Recommended by: Annie Williams
It makes me want to re-think the entire structure of my business to make it more sustainable in practical ways. You can even boil the book down after you read it so it becomes a blank journal for you to use.”

Wayne Thiebaud: A Paintings Retrospective by Steven A. Nash and Adam Gopnik
Recommended by: Kathryn Fortunato of Lizzie Fortunato
I sleep below a Wayne Thiebaud painting of cakes and love his work.

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From Cabinet of Natural Curiosities. Can we get this printed on postcards?

Cabinet of Natural Curiosities by Albertus Seba
Recommended by: Rachel Albright of Academy Jewelry
An old friend had this years ago—an illustrator and tattoo artist who used it for reference. I picked out an octopus drawing in it that I’ll one day get tattooed!”  

Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili by Louise Fili
Recommended by: Natalie Davis of Canoe
Louise Fili’s work is rich with history and such attention to detail. She’s built her life around her passions—food, type, Italy, design—and it’s a great reminder to follow your bliss.”

Romantic America by E.O. Hoppe
Recommended by: Susan Domelsmith of Dirty Librarian Chains
“The antique photos from the twenties have a luster to them that creates quite a compelling romantic mystery.”

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From Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far—the cover art of eight of the 15 booklets.

Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far by Stephan Sagmeister
Recommended by: Elena Howell of TOMTOM
It’s different than your average coffee table book. It’s composed of a series of very personal and creatively designed booklets with inspirational musings. It’s almost like self-help book for us design obsessives with short attention spans.”

Art Deco Textiles by Charlotte Samuels
Recommended by: Rachel Rose
I found it in a used bookstore and can’t stop looking at all the inspirational textiles it documents from as far back as 1910.”

Charlotte Perriand: A Life of Creation by Charlotte Perriand
Recommended by: Lizz Wasserman of Popomomo
“She’s so fascinating— she was an industrial designer primarily and is the main mind behind LeCourbusier’s metal chairs. She negotiated a primarily male world in (at least according to her) a very calm and confident way. She writes as eloquently about her design theories as she does on her thoughts on life and growing old.”

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From Whitewash. Black and white and completely amazing.

Whitewash by Nicholas Alan Cope
Recommended by: Erin Wahed of Bande des Quatres
“I recently discovered Nicholas’s work and am heavily inspired by his method of taking three-dimensionality and dissecting it into two-dimensional forms.”  

Thomas Ruff: Surfaces, Depths by Catherine Hug
Recommended by: Albert Chu of Otaat
“Aside from the substance of the content, the book as an object is incredible and subversive: the hardcover is library-style and serious while the inside pages are printed on newsprint with rough edges.”

Phyllis Galembo: Maske by Phyllis Galembo
Recommended by: Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada
The colors and masks are amazing, and it’s shot so beautifully!”

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From Future Beauty, playing with proportions.

Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion by Akiko Fukai
Recommended by: Tara St James of Study
I love it because while it’s an overview of fashion from past collections, it could very well be from present-day or even future collections. The pieces represented are so timeless.”

Gabriel Orozco by Gabriel Orozco
Recommended by: Yuka Izutsu of Atelier Delphine
This is one of the artists I respect the most. His ideas for his artworks are everyday objects, like the sticks that he finds during his walk, or vintage cars, or soccer balls.”

The Life of a Bowerbird: Creating Beautiful Interiors with the Things You Collect by Sibella Court
Recommended by: Nicole Sutton of Workhorse Jewelry
I actually found her on Instagram. It was right around the time that this book launched, and I fell in love with her aesthetic and immediately ordered online. She’s all about collected curiosities and ways to creatively display these beloved treasures— and doing it in a seamless way that is stylish, cozy, and chic, not hippie-dippie or museum-esque.” 

Need to carry a stack of inspiring books? Might we recommend our Domino Tote by Collina Strada?

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Four Classic Books the La Matera Guys Think You Should Read NOW

There’s some Fitzgerald—but not the one you’re thinking.

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La Matera’s founders—Brook and Alex Stroud—were both still in college when they embarked on the South American adventure that sparked their label’s founding. Which means that the belts they make are woven with both traditional Argentine fabrics and intellectual charm (duh). Here, Brook Stroud shares the books that really speak to them. —mattie kahn

The Sun Also Rises
“Out of all the Hemingway books I’ve read, this continues to be my favorite. Hemingway’s crisp and powerful descriptions of the people, places, and revelry that his narrator Jake Barnes experiences makes you feel as if you’re right there with him. From bull fighting in Pamplona, to fly-fishing in the Spanish countryside, to dancing and getting ‘a bit too tight in Parisian cafés, this novel is anything but slow.”

The Killer Angels
“You don’t have to be a Civil War buff to enjoy this novel, but if you are, that’s even cooler. What I like most about this book is how well author Michael Shaara brings to life and humanizes the various leaders of the Union and Confederate armies during the battle of Gettysburg.”

Tender is the Night
“This novel is not as potent and lean as Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, but it presents a powerfully complex and desolate relationship between psychiatrist Dick Diver and his wife-slash-patient Nicole. Fitzgerald’s poetic descriptions and the details of his writing make you want to stop and reread many paragraphs.”

Into Thin Air
“When long-time mountaineering journalist Jon Krakauer’s joined an expedition to Everest in 1996, he had no idea what horrible disaster would take place on the final push for the summit. This is a thoughtful and riveting story about the physical and mental perils of high-altitude climbing, the power of nature, and human will.”

See the belt the La Matera guys made for us—an updated classic.

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