10 Special Things That I Loved About Formland Fair in Denmark 2018

Hello everyone. I was recently at in Herning, Denmark for the first time and so I wanted to tell you all about it because it was just great! I was invited as a special guest to give the opening speech along with two lectures, one on trends for 2018 and the other on the unexpected health benefits of good design. I had a great time and I will definitely return again someday, for sure. At Formland, you can expect to see the latest trends and tendencies within Scandinavian design today and in the near future. The fair has been around for 34 years with a total of over 67 fairs so far. I can see why people attend this fair, it was certainly special.

Formland 2018

There was so much about it that I really liked, but I'll break it down in 10 bite-size points:

1. GREAT OVERALL SIZE

It was large enough to feel fun to explore, but small enough to not feel exhausted, overwhelmed or like you had to spend hours digging to get to the pearls - it was quite easy to find beautiful things, fast.

2. INSPIRING TREND PRESENTATION

It had, by far, one of the best trend presentations that I've ever seen at a fair. This was a big shock, I wasn't expecting it, but it's the truth. It was so well organized, huge, beautiful and also educational and valuable. I could have spent half a day in the trend zones created by the talented duo . I would return to this fair JUST for the trend zones by these two ladies - they were really THAT good.

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3. CURATED HALL = LOVE

I loved the curated hall by Danish interiors celebrity, Mads Arlien-Søborg. This was the hall I stayed in the most during day two. There wasn't one booth in the entire hall that I disliked, everything was gorgeous and so well presented. I really like the idea of having a tastemaker curate an entire hall at a fair. Why aren't more fairs doing this? I want to curate a hall at a fair - would be exciting!

 Lamps from  Oi Soi Oi

Lamps from

4. FOOD HALL LOVE

I really liked the food hall. It was great to have a good hall to begin with, because you could walk around and sample things and meet people and the vibe was really open and friendly. I also liked knowing that when I ran out of energy, I could go to the food hall and find chocolate or something to munch on.

5. FAIR FOOD WAS GREAT

Speaking of food from point 4, the food at the actual fair was delicious. Each hall had it's own cafe and some, a few different things like a cafe and a food truck, or a food truck and a non-alcoholic bar... In any case, it was so well done and everything was fresh and delicious. I had a very healthy avocado salad loaded with other delicious things and it gave me the perfect energy boost. Most of the time, fairs have terrible food or very unhealthy things - Formland thought of everything! They even had a MICHELIN STAR Asian food truck - HELLO. Have you ever seen THAT on offer at a fair?

9 Special Things That I Loved About Formland Fair in Denmark 2018

6. FRIENDLY EXHIBITORS

This was such a highlight for me personally. I loved how friendly the exhibitors were, and how they invited people who were using Instagram or bloggers to take as many photos as desired and they even told people to rearrange products and style things as they wish for photos, it was quite amazing really - there wasn't a single booth with a "NO PHOTOGRAPHY" sign, everyone was open and invited and encouraged photography, conversation, styling, anything!

7. NEW TALENTS SECTION

I really liked the new talents section, it was so lovely to meet the many exhibitors there who were eager to show us what they are producing. Their passion was very contagious and I liked strolling around there meeting everyone. I got the sense that all of the exhibitors were really trying to help each other too. Many times, a stand would suggest another exhibitor there I should check out, or would walk me over to their friend who was selling this or that product. There was a great community spirit at this fair but especially in the New Talents Section and in the Curated Hall by Mads Arlien-Søborg.

  Boas Grafik

8. TASTEMAKERS/INFLUENCERS GALLERY

This was the coolest presentation I've seen yet at a fair - an entire hallway dedicated to tastemakers and influencers whom the fair invited to take part in showcasing favorites from the fair. They had everyone from the Editor-in-Chief of , Charlotte Ravnholt, to others considered tastemakers in Denmark and also me, as an online influencer and trend expert. This was such a great use of an otherwise boring hallway between halls! Instead, it was filled with things we'd handpicked - was great!

9 Special Things That I Loved About Formland Fair in Denmark 2018
9 Special Things That I Loved About Formland Fair in Denmark 2018

9. POP UP FLOWER SHOP

This was another unexpected treat - a local florist, Bloom, on site! And after they make an arrangement for you, they kept it all day with your name on it so you could return at the end of the fair and have something inspiring to bring home with you. This was great.

10. MEET GREAT PEOPLE

What I didn't expect was that a smaller, more focused fair like Formland gives you an incredible chance to MEET great people. I really connected with people - exhibitors, magazine editors, sales agents, trend experts, all of them. I also got to connect with those whom I know already and care about, like my new friend Stefan from in Stockholm. Here were are below clowning around a bit after we were both interviewed on camera by the fair.

Stefan Nillson and Holly Becker
Stefan and Holly

Will I go back to this fair? ABSOLUTELY. I loved their new format, how they've taken the fair to new heights, and I felt the fair was inspiring and felt fresh.

Thank you Formland for having me as your opening speaker (a mini clip of me speaking with an audience of 300) and for being so kind in welcoming me to give two trend lectures, too. I loved being there and will always remember it as a great time and one of the friendliest fairs I've ever been too.

(Photographs: iPhone 6)

 

Exclusive Interview With Tom Dixon Regarding His IKEA DELAKTIG Collaboration

We’ve all heard about IKEA hacks right? Well they’ve now come up with the first official hackable product, designed by Tom Dixon for IKEA and which is open for your interpretation and imagination. 

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Last week my adopted city of Stockholm was jam-packed with events around town for Design Week, in conjunction with the Stockholm Furniture & Lighting Fair. One of the events I attended was a press talk on sustainable design and circular economy with IKEA and Tom Dixon, to coincide with the release of their collaboration, . At the end of the talk I had the opportunity to interview Tom, which I’m so excited to share with you here on cattledogs! But first, some background about their partnership. 

I attended an evening in conversation with Tom in Auckland, New Zealand a few years ago and one thing that struck me about this iconic British designer is that he is anything but conventional. So when I heard that he spent time in car factories when researching for a new functional and sustainable furniture line for his collaboration with IKEA, I wasn’t surprised. From there, he looked at smartphones, where people are constantly downloading and changing the applications and interface to suit their changing needs. He then got to work on the project with seventy-five design students around the world as part of their Masters degree, a great way to look at design through another generation’s eyes and needs. 

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To Tom, sustainability is very much about the longevity of a product that will stick around for longer, as people use it differently and as their lives evolve.  He came up with a base that is a comfortable and affordable bed and that has add-on components, to make it into a sofa. What I find exciting here, is that is that not all parts for DELAKTIG, which translates to, “involved”, are available at IKEA. I’ll explain how it works.

You’ll find the base, which comes in three different sizes, along with backrests, tables, sides and light units at IKEA. All of it is very functional and adaptable as is, however as a world first, approved hacks can be purchased elsewhere. has covers and add-ons available exclusively through him and who are known for their custom sewn IKEA sofa covers. You can, of course, get creative and hack the product yourself, hence the aluminum frame, that, along with its durability, is a metal that’s easy to design in grooves and parts, making it easy to hack in. 

It’s an interesting idea, as a designer you’re always trying to create the perfect iconic product to sell and market. Here we were doing the opposite, it was: How can we make the perfect base for people to do what they want? It’s both thrilling and terrifying.
— Tom Dixon

The day before the interview, I walked along Hamngatan, a main shopping strip here in Stockholm. The four main windows of the department store, Nordiska Kompaniet, were dedicated to Tom Dixon, design icon. Seeing his creations there all together reminded me of just how huge this man is in the design world and I admit, it stirred up a few healthy nerves in me. Tom soon put me at ease though. He is sharp, super passionate and he is self-taught, which I suspect might be his weapon in pushing the boundaries of design. 

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Mel: I love the idea of good design being available to everybody. Is that one of the reasons that you teamed up with IKEA?

Tom: I worked for ten years as creative director of Habitat, which was owned by IKEA at the time, so I had a much deeper insight into what they do and how they do it, than most other designers.  In that context, when I started my company and after ten to twelve years working as an independent and building my own brand, I did miss the affordability, mass production and the might of working with experts in that field. So those two factors and also the fact that realistically I don’t think that we’ll ever do beds because of the logistically they are complex with comfort levels and various mattress sizes in different territories. It’s not the sort of thing that we’d be able to do properly because IKEA dominate in this area. In that context, it was the right person to go to. I also like that more luxury fashion labels are working with high street and doing something that is mutually beneficially stretching themselves. I loved the Commes des Garcons and H&M collaboration.

M: Did you learn anything through IKEA’s production chain? 

T: The learnings were more about the mentality towards change and working with a company that has resources to pull on and can make big decisions that have got global impact. They spoke about that earlier in regards to the amount of glue they use (referring to how IKEA is now developing a more environmentally friendly glue which will reduce 2% of their emissions). You learn a hell of a lot from the work methods and the way they are organised. There is also a kind of second generation in IKEA coming through now and they are intent on changing the way in which they work. There are bigger openings. The hacking idea three or four years would have been impossible because they were keeping their secrets. We were talking about this project once it (hacking) started. Why would we do that for, when there is nothing to buy, so why would we talk about it? But in the modern world, that’s what you do. You also have access to vast amount of data of what goes on in people’s lives and how they live, which you never get in a small company.

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M: What do you think about sustainability in general and how are designers like yourself trying to solve the problem? 

T: I think it’s essential to have an aptitude to it and take it very seriously. Every designer has a duty to do that but then again, so does every consumer and every government. It has become such a pressing thing and obviously for most of us, it’s very hard to unravel the complexity of what one should do about it. I think just being active is definitely what you have to do and be conscious. Then also, without a doubt, my thing always comes back to making something that will stick around long enough to justify the production in the first place. Then there’s aluminium, obviously there are all sorts of issues in terms of mining but if you make it, it can be recycled, it’s valuable enough that if you left the sofa on the street, someone will recycle it because there is a few pounds in it. You can also recycle it forever, you have to add a small percentage of virtual material, something like ten or fifteen percent, but it is infinitely recyclable, unlike plastic.

M: What designers have your attention in London at the moment?

T: There are more conceptual artists at the moment that are amazing like, and . Watch out for who is a stylist turned furniture and fashion designer. I can’t think about any stores off the top of my head though. 

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M: On the topic of retail, what do you think about the future of it, and how can shops keep people coming in, as apposed to shopping online?

T: It sounds cliché but you have to entertain people, you have to go into the world of entertainment and activity and exclusivity for some things. You have to work harder than ever before because locations are expensive. That’s not why we’ve gone into having a restaurant in place but you want to keep the place alive then people will want to visit. People will still want to go places, whether they buy in store or later online is almost immaterial but you need to engage and you’ve got to work a lot harder than before. 

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Okay lovely cattledogs readers, I have a question for you now. How do you shop for things for your home these days? Do you pay attention to whether the product has had a sustainability component in the design process? What do you think about a product like DELAKTIG adapting to your changing needs and would something like that work in your life?

(Article: , Photos, IKEA and BEMZ)

10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For February

Can you feel it – Spring is almost here again. And you know what is here again too? Me, Allan Torp. In all honesty I can’t really complain much, as the weather has been relatively mild in Copenhagen, just a lot of rain, and I’ll spend more or less all of February in Los Angeles where I am currently and the weather is sunny and warm! Here are 10 things for February that I love, that you may like too.

Allan Torp

1 // FURNITURE:

It is not often a new Danish brand launches with more than 100 new pieces of furniture, but in Stockholm (where I just attended the furniture fair), did. With clear reference to Danish mid-century design, Warm Nordic shared original pieces brought back to life, but also many new pieces.

Many times, it’s been discussed if the mid-century era can keep momentum and how brands keep finding pieces that are not yet in production. I, of course, would love to see new designers make it big too, but as long as there are so many undiscovered beauties from the past, I welcome them.

10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For February

 2 // ART:

Another relatively new Danish brand is , a partnership between Christina Wulff and Josefine Winding. Drawing inspiration from nature, they manufacture and design the most stunning, vivid, exclusive, dynamic and inspiring wall sculptures. Their sculptures comes in different sizes and materials, not making it super easy to decide which one would suit ones wall best.

10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For February
10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For February

 3 // DECORATE:

When I am in LA, I live in Topanga, as I see this as my second home it is nice to have something in Copenhagen that can remind me of the canyon every day. I brought home a few pieces of ceramics on my latest trip. I love the great handmade feeling of the imperfect edges and the glaze is just perfect for my Nordic Scandi home. I use the bowl in my kitchen as a catch-all bowl and it looks great among my other small bowls.

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 4 // SLEEP:

Staycations are the best, being a tourist in your own city. Just in the new year I had the pleasure of experiencing one night at the majestic in Copenhagen. One of the tallest buildings in Copenhagen and certainly with the best view of the city center and Tivoli. The hotel just went through a renovation adding many great new modern furniture to the many Arne Jacobsen icons. Jacobsen is the mastermind behind the hotel and designed everything for the grand opening in 1960.

Luckily there is one exception to the renovation, and that’s room 606 – the room is still standing exactly like Mr. Jacobsen intended it. If you ask nicely in the reception, you might be lucky to get a quick look inside.

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5 // LISTEN:

I’ve been anticipating Justin Timberlake’s new album and so I have been playing Say Something on repeat for a while now. Maybe even better is the video for the song, where Timberlake worked with , a Paris-based collection of filmmakers – it’s a remarkable truly live, single-shot experience. and learn back for the next 6,5 minutes its pure poetry.

6 // GROOM:

This past month I’ve been testing relatively cheaper brands for this grooming section – Vichy, Bulldog and Rituals.

I am no expert believe me, quite often I am way too cheap to spend a lot on grooming and I am not even sure if you can see the difference. Daily moisturizing is pretty much all I use and remember, I throw on the occasional face mask, but in the shower and for my beard I use brands which looks and smell nice – and most importantly are affordable.

None of these brands are Aesop or Le Labo when it comes to packaging, but all blend in quite well without being too noisy if you know what I mean. Bulldog Skincare is created for men and are all parabens and synthetic substance free, which I enjoy, and I really appreciate the smell of menthol in the shower gel.

Apparently Japanese Samurai warriors have known for centuries that a strict grooming routine gives you more power and confidence. And after using the Ritual Samurai face cream for the past month I kind of have to agree. Especially the anti-age and energizing face balm has a very freshening and vitalizing effect.

Last but not least, I’ve been using the Vichy Homme shaving range, not that I shave that often, but when I do, I like product that actually work, and this one does. I tend to get really red skin when shaving, and the anti-irritation foam and soothing after shave balm have really helped.

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7 // READ:

Fritz Hansen’s is everything a coffee table book should be: fantastic photos, incisive text, and beautiful design that makes you want to leaf through the book again and again for inspiration if not only to dream about your very own iconic pieces like Poul Kjærholm’s PK22 or Arne Jacobsen’s Swan in your own living room.

10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For February

8 // EAT:

Every year in one week of February (11-18th) its Copenhagen Dining Week, which basically means that you can eat at 200 of all the great restaurants at a super low rate for a fixed menu. This year, same week, foodies can end their night out with great drinks as will take place for the first time too. I’ve already tested the two cocktails that will be served throughout all the best cocktail bars in Copenhagen, and I’ll tell you, if you are in town, you are in for a treat.

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9 // SHOP:

Every capital has its own amazing concept store and in Oslo its called and is owned and managed by Norwegian power stylist couple Jannike Kråkvik and Alessandro D´Orazio. Kollekted By and is four beautiful rooms with large windows and they sell all their favorite furniture, lighting and interior objects from around the world from brands like Fogia, Menu, New Works, Another Country, Hasami, Please Wait to be Seated, Flos, Restart Milano, Artek and many more. It’s also the place to visit if you are looking for unique Norwegian design objects which is all represented by Kollekted By.

10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For February
10 Interiors + Lifestyle Things I Love For February

10 // ONE LAST THING:

In January we said goodbye to one grand name of interior design, Ingvar Kamprad, who has died at age 91. And although he might not be a household name, the company that made him a billionaire most certainly is. Ikea, the Swedish flat-pack furniture group with 412 stores in 49 countries, bears the name that Kamprad registered in 1943, at the age of only 17. Ikea is for everyone and will continue to break barriers as they work with some of modern times biggest designers like Ilse Crawford and Tom Dixon. In fact, some statistics have claimed that more than 10% of the population of Europe have been conceived in an Ikea bed.

Ingvar Kamprad

See you again in March with some more favorites! But first, , it's something very special that I found during the Stockholm Furniture Fair...

- .

[Editor's Note: All grooming products and the Fritz Hansen book are gifted as part of reviewing for this column in partnership between Allan Torp and the brands. This review is provided by Allan Torp for cattledogs, any collaborations are his own. All words and opinions are his own.]

10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

Hi cattledogs readers, I’m and I am delighted to be part of cattledogs team as a foreign correspondent. For the trade shows Holly cannot attend, I’ll be bringing you news from these shows and locations across Europe. Holly and I both have young boys, which makes it impossible to be on the road attending every fair out there, so she wanted to hire on someone like me who can visit fairs she can't, because cattledogs is more and more becoming a source for readers to find the latest trends in Europe - and so together with Holly, we want to continue bringing those to you.

I sometimes refer to myself as a trade show veteran, and I’m not referring to my age! I’ve been reporting and trend hunting for more than 10 years at trade shows across Europe, with Paris being the first I ever visited outside of the UK.  I do, in fact love interiors fairs. There is a thrill I get from spotting something new, unique or particularly well crafted. I’m a fan of color, form and function and get very excited if I come across all three in a product. I love meeting the faces behind the brands and hearing them share their passion for the products they create and produce. Trade shows are also remarkable places to network and geek out with fellow like-minded design lovers.

Just last week I was at Maison & Objet in Paris for their January edition of the trade show. If you’ve never heard of it, or been, it’s BIG. With over 3,000 exhibitors showcasing the latest international home wares, furniture, accessories, and lighting in 8 halls. It’s easy to clock up double-digit miles walking through the aisles.  Having a plan and knowing where to look to find the kind of products you’re after is essential at trade shows this large, but I always like to go a little off-piste to find new things.

The design influences I think we are going to be seeing more of in 2018 are; Rich earthy and berry colors, more velvet, curved shapes, cane work and rattan and monochrome being the new minimalism.  So with that in mind, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite finds from this edition of the show. Some of them you may well have spotted already on social media and others will be filling the pages of magazines by this summer.  

1. CC-Tapis

is an Italian company, which produces contemporary hand-knotted and hand-woven rugs which are created in Nepal by expert Tibetan artisans.  Known for it’s contemporary design and fashion-forward color they’ve collaborated with design luminaries such as Patricia Urquiola as well as many up and coming designers. They always deliver a knockout stand that’s like a warm hug of color.  The newest releases for 2018 are predominately soft toned representing the new neutrals, which are extremely calming and utterly feminine. I’m a big fan of the “face” as it reminds me of the Miller Goodman Faces blocks.

10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

2. Casalto

is referred to as the Interior Jeweler by its mastermind, Architect Eric Willemart. That alone was enough to stop me in my tracks and ask a few questions. It’s more like a mix and match configuration game, than a traditional home furniture and accessory line. Made up of 27 individual pieces shaped like cones, cylinders and disks they can be combined in a number of ways to make unique pieces for your home – tables, lights and vases for example. What was so impressive was that each element is handcrafted and it’s so striking in black and white with metallic accents. Completely new to me and a really fun concept.

10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

3. Rina Menardi

Italian ceramicist is always a must visit stand, as her vast collection of elegantly shaped and colored ceramics are all inspired by nature. The color palette is always so beautiful, the baked stoneware incredibly tactile and the shapes are incredibly versatile. I’d love to own one but with a small child, I might have to wait a few years. 

10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

4. WOUD

I have a soft spot for Danish brand , mostly because it’s so easy to live with. Holly has written about them here from her visit to IMM last year, and she had used their chairs in the cattledogs booth that she designed for the fair. Each time I see them at a trade show they are never shy with color and seem to be masters at color blocking. They excel at wall hanging storage/shelves but it’s their cute little wooden animals that without a doubt melt my heart.

10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

5. Eno Studio

always creates at least one item that catches my magpie eye, when I’m stomping through the halls of Maison & Objet. This spring edition was no exception. Not only are they clever with color; they also have a fine tuned radar for alluring finishes – think warm metals and lush jewel toned velvet.  I loved the abundance of deep red hues and dusky pinks and the Vega pouf in the brass finish was definitely on my lust list.

6. Ay Illuminate

It was impossible to miss the organic, ethnic-inspired trend of cane, wicker, rattan, straw, and raffia that has developed from the Boho and 70’s trend across the halls of Maison & Objet. Dutch based were one of my favorites; inspired by nature and different cultures, they use natural waste materials to produce their collections. Their Buri range of pendants and baskets are made of palm leaves utilizing local handicraft expertise in Asia.

10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

7. Ham

Jo Ham is the creator of , which was born in 2011. A design led homewares and paper goods range following the incredibly cute life of a contented rabbit on his daily adventures.  The range of prints, mugs, cards, wall stickers and pins have featured in Paris’ Collette store and in Vitra’s advertising campaign for Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s Corniches wall shelves. I’ll also happily admit to having a Ham bunny myself.

10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

8 Petite Friture

There are understandable a lot of French companies that exhibit at Maison & Objet, one that is particularly playful and gathering a bit of a following is . I really liked their new black and white wallpaper by illustrator Lisa Laubreaux, which to me evoked the artist Keith Haring.

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10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

9. Sklo

designs and manufactures hand blown Czech glass. With a gorgeous range of lighting and accessories, they unveiled new colors of their WRAP collection. These hand-blown tubes are turned into effortless knots by Sklo craftsman and look amazing on top of a stack of books or styled in a table vignette. The new opaque colors of celadon green and apricot and the new clear version turquoise were my favorites.

10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris
10 Fantastic Interiors Finds From Maison & Objet Paris

10. Vitra

Not strictly at Maison & Objet as they were showing in the center of Paris, but had an accessories showcase at their new store which was impeccable styled. The peach wall with Alexander Girard Metal wall reliefs was an absolute delight and it’s a color I think we’ll be seeing more of in 2018. From the new collection I was particularly taken with the new Trays and High Tray by Jasper Morrison simply because a shot of color is always a good thing in my book.

 Vitra Accessories Collection Spring Summer 2018 Showroom Paris Installation Maison Objet January 2018
 Vitra Accessories Collection Spring Summer 2018 Showroom Paris Installation Maison Objet January 2018

What do you think? Any favorites? I came back with lots of inspiration and a “little” list of things that I covet. See you soon again with fair coverage and other finds, nice to be here! - Mary.

(Text/Photos: Mary Middleton for cattledogs)