PECLA: The Ultimate Porsche Experience

After much anticipation, the brand new Porsche Experience Center is finally open in Carson, Los Angeles. The state-of-the-art facility can be clearly seen from the 405 freeway and is the west coast headquarters for Porsche North America.

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As excited as we where to drive, today we actually went for a different purpose: Dining. Located in the facility is fine dining Restaurant 917, which is located on the top floor of the facility. The perk of this is you get a clear view of the entire outdoor portion of the facility, with clear views of the track and cars parked below.

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The menu of Restaurant 917 is short but diverse, but the food and drink variety is balanced for those that want to either have something light before a track session or heavy for those leaving the track having worked up an appetite. We highly recommend trying the dessert menu as well, as the artisan desserts look as amazing as they taste.

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On the main floor of the facility is a garage with historic Porsche race cars and and a few current models as well, like the 911 R. There is a gift shop and outdoor patio at track level too. All in all the facility is a fantastic place and a must-visit for any gear-head. And fans of Porsche will feel like kids in a candy store as this place is a dream come true for fans of the German performance car marque.

Cheers,

-JB

i-Drive: The BMW i8 Driven

 

With BMW sharing their vision for the future with their Next 100 Event, they brought out a collection of 4 special concept vehicles to give us a glimpse into what they have planned. To celebrate this fact, BMW brought out a host of electric vehicles for test driving, and naturally we took the chance to give the i8 a whirl.

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From a looks standpoint, the i8 is stunning. It’s sleek lines and smooth surfaces make it look like a car that came out for the year 2040. We were very happy that the car not only looked mostly like the original concept, but in fact looks better. Being the flagship of BMW, the i8 has a lot to live up to since we are avid BMW fans, and there is the expectation of “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” Our biggest concern is that this new eco-dream machine will lack the soul and fun factor of the BMW brand in favor of subdued conformity.

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Getting into the i8 can take some adjustment for those not used to getting into car that low and with a door sill that wide. Fortunately, we have plenty of experience so it was almost second nature. The butterfly style doors are a nice touch to the futuristic looks of the car, and pulling them down does make you feel like you’re closing the cockpit to a flying car out of a movie. The interior of the i8 is very straight forward, there is a cool display on the media screen and in the dashboard panel. The hardest thing to figure out is why there are back seats in the i8. If you where a midget amputee you still would not have space in the back, it probably would be a better use of space to make that additional cargo space. Also with the i8 being electric, making sure the car is on before trying to drive can make a seasoned driver feel foolish, so as with all electric vehicles, always make sure you press the brake and hit the start button for good measure.

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One thing that a lot of electric cars, and modern cars in general suffer from, is that they make use of gimmicks. The i8 is no exception. It is full of gimmicks. When placing the car in sport mode, the dash panel goes from blue to red, the steering firms up a bit, the 3-cylinder engine suddenly gets a noticeable synthetic sound boost, and the in the media center there’s a bunch of displays for various information you shuffle through.

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And yet, somehow, the i8 is able to brilliantly pull of being filled with gimmicks. They all actually add up to create a very dynamic experience, and a large part of that is due to the fact that the i8 gets the most important thing right: The way it drives. The i8 drives and feels like a proper car…it’s responsive, you can feel the road and it corners in a confidence inspiring way. It may be a futuristic hyper-eco machine, but it’s still a a BMW at it’s core and that’s the real magic. It feels like an “ultimate driving machine” and it’s a refreshing thing to see, as the trend with more modern cars is to make them more tame and synthetic. The i8 is in a lot of senses synthetic, but the synthetics are augments to the car’s natural ability, not the core of it.

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All in all we were very surprised by the i8. In the years to come we think this will be remembered as one of the top classic BMW models of all time. Much like the first iPhone or the Messerschmitt Me 262, the i8 is a design that takes it’s current platform into it’s next evolution. And that’s a gimmick that is one hell of a trick to pull off.

Cheers,

-JB

The Business of Design

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On Monday, City Club LA hosted a very unique event in conjunction with FIDM. The event was a mix of mixer, shopping experience, discussion, and fashion show, which create d truly one of a kind night.

The night began a mix of vendors taking over the main ball room 51 floors up at LA City Club to make a high end street market of sorts. From clothes, to hand bags to specialty rum, there was a diverse mix of vendors and offerings.

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The next part of the night featured a panel of speakers discussing the topic of business in the fashion industry as well as design inspirations. The panelist where Kathryn Ireland (Kathryn M. Ireland Textiles), Barbara Bundy (VP of Education FIDM) , Elizabeth Fiske (National Sales Manager / Merchendiser, I 5 inc.),  and Deborah Arthur (Brand Expert, St. John Knits).

The conclude the evening, there was a special fashion show that was put on. St. John presented their Fall 2016 Collection, our good friends at Charles Goyer Bespoke Suits presented a sampling of Charles Goyer’s hand-crafted suits, and Skin Tone Men’s Clothing displayed a collection of vacation inspired casual wear.

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All in all it was a great night hosted by one of the best venues in Los Angeles. Education, fashion, and business all came together for an evening that everyone in attendance will remember for some time to come.

To checkout the official pictures from the event, stop by Facebook page of the event photographer Richard Hernandez.

Cheers,

-JB

The Next 100

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“Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now.” -Mattie Stepanek
This weekend BMW held a very special 4-day event, presenting each of their fascinating Next 100 Concepts at the Santa Monica Airport. Since BMW was offering test drives, we took the opportunity to test drive the BMW i8, and we’ll have a full review for it shortly.
For now, let’s get up close and personal with the BMW Vision Next 100 Concepts:
The BMW Vision Next 100
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“Our goal was to create a very personal vehicle. There will always be that highly emotional Connection between a BMW and its driver.”

-Karim Habib
Head of BMW Automobile Design

The flagship concept vehicle, the BMW Vision Next 100 Concept features active body geometry, the ability to drive itself and seating configurations based on the driving mode.
The Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100
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“With the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 we were very mindful not to dwell on the past. We wanted to be as innovative as possible and at the same time transcend the design history of the brand.”

-Giles Taylor
Design Director Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

This sleek blade-cube shaped concept features some very luxurious high-concept fashion styling and silhouette that is elegant, bold, and signature Rolls-Royce.
The BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100
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“The BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 is the essence of motorcycling and a symbol of the ultimate riding experience of the future.”

-Adrian van Hooydonk
Senior Vice President BMW Group Design

This sleek self-balancing motorcycle is design to ensure future riders won’t need any safety gear with it’s integrated head-ups visor, dynamic control systems and the ability to remain upright via internal gyroscopes.

The Mini Vision Next 100
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“MINI stands for clever urban mobility that engages all the senses. In the future, that might no longer mean owning your own car.”

-Adrian van Hooydonk
Senior Vice President BMW Group Design

This compact and minimalist design features bench seating, ambient mood lighting, and steam-punk inspired styling.
Enjoy our gallery of pictures and look for our full BMW i8 review shortly!
Cheers,
-JB

LA Fashion Week Fall 2016

“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” —Miuccia Prada

Another great week for the LA Fashion scene comes to an end as the Fashion Week for Spring & Summer 2017 wraps up. It was another amazing week for this season the venue was the Hollywood Athletic Club located in the heart of Hollywood.

Here’s a list of the designers the presented at this season’s show. Be sure to checkout their websites for other inspired works by them.

Marcelo Quadros

Having been in the industry since the 90’s, Marcelo Quadros has continued to evolve and push his design language which is a testament to his dedication to his passion.

Cecilia Echenique

Hailing from Chile, Cecilia Echenque has traveled the world and incorporated various elements of her experiences into her design work.

Cindy Wei Zhang

Originally from China, this designer features traditional Chinese designs and styles with a twist of western influence.

Purana

Utilizing traditional Indonesian textiles, Purana features designs that reflect a strong a prominent Indonesian heritage.

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Blond & Bieber

A duo of designers heavily focused on the process of fashion, Blond & Bieber make use of unique textiles and color palettes to showcase their signature style.

Aurelia Santoso

Focused on simple, inspired designs, this label also has a blog that can be followed to give even further insight into the methods behind the design work.

Recreation

Coming from San Francisco originally, Recreation is a label that is focused on fashion in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.

Datari Austin

This Los Angeles based designer is know for very contemporary designs, which echo his passion for cutting-edge fashion.

Rinda Salmun

Another cutting-edge designer, Rinda Salmun’s designs also show a sense of playfulness and Asian-inspired color palettes.

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Rickyy Wong

Hailing from Hong Kong, Rickyy Wong utilizes different fabrication textures as homages to their different regions of the world.

JAJAKA by Ivan Gunawan

Heavily inspired by tribal Indonesian culture, this collection features a blended mix of traditional and tribal themes, garments, and colors for a one-of-a-kind fashion experience.

IRISHLATINA

Featuring a very vibrant and playful blend of cultures and styles, this label features unique and impressive fashion mash-ups unlike anything else out there.

Vicken Derderian

Another fashion duo, Vicken Derderian makes use of dynamic and sleek lines to make their designs stand out in a bold, yet refined way.

Ashton Michael

Another Los Angeles based designer, Ashton Michael is known for many unique and bold designs worn by many celebrities and musical artists.

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Daniela Bozza

Based in Chile, Daniela Bozza’s designs are simple and fashion forward focused.

Oscar Lawalata

Another designer hailing from Indonesia, Oscar Lawalata brings much of his native’s culture’s influence into his elegant design work.

Bezgraniz Couture

Focused solely on providing unique and chic fashion to those with non-traditional body types, Bezgraniz Couture specializes in designs to celebrate disabled people.

Enjoy our gallery of photos from the shows below:

We are looking forward to being back in Spring for the next LA Fashion Week!

Cheers,

-JB

Fast Fashion

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We came across this great article by BBC News:

Designers aim for even faster fashion