California Dreaming

As far as ‘Busman’s holidays’ go, my recent sojourn to LA served up a pretty balanced combination of work and pleasure.

For those who know me and in true ‘Nadia style’ I made sure that I maximised every minute of my 10 days, as well as every opportunity I had to enjoy the blue skies.

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Having spent the first part in Downtown LA showing our Nadia Minkoff London collection at the California Market Centre I spent the latter part visiting vineyards, driving along the coast, exploring desolate beaches, collecting moonstones ( for real) and finally back to LA for some much needed retail therapy.

My chosen ‘companion’ on this journey? The Richmond midi tote in yellow and I am happy to say it didn’t disappoint.

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Going to let the photos do the talking as they are SO good. A big thank you to Director of Photography Dennis Madden for these beautiful captures.

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My travel lowdown:

I flew out from London Gatwick  to LAX  with Norwegian Air on the brand new Dreamliner, can’t recommend enough! Return trip with luggage and x 2 meals from as little as £500

Stayed at the  Millenium Biltmore Hotel, in downtown LA. This hotel has seen more glamorous days the lobby is grand but alas the rooms are in need updating, still the location is great. Rooms start at  £150 per night.

Don’t leave downtown LA without trying Pitchoun Bakery, the raspberry croissants are as tasty as they are beautiful! You will be spoilt for choice

For some of the best handmade noodles you will ever try and an impressive selection of beers to boot visit Peking Tavern

Mexican with a twist at B.S.Taqueria, so bloody good, take me back today!

The Landsby boutique Hotel in Solvang, Scaandi interiors to die for, wanted to move in. Double rooms start at US$350 per night

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Fireside Inn on Moonstone Beach, if you are after spectacular ocean views, moonstone collecting and sea lion viewing, this is the perfect location… complete with your very own in room  fire place , Doubles start at US$ 200 per night

Rock n Fish restaurant, Manhattan Beach LA, for some regional food and super fresh fish dishes, beautifully served in this gorgeous seaside corner of LA

The Griffith Observatory, immerse yourself in La La Land, watch the stars, the Hollywood Hills, the view of LA, have a dance if you want!

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Welcome to my Geo State

‘clean lines, soft hues and functional details are key to our latest offering of bags and jewellery. Sleek and sophisticated with added zest for good measure’

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The Richmond midi in yellow

That time of year again, new season, new collection, new journey. So how did I get here?

As ever, so much thought and time goes into every detail of a new range but at the core it’s always the inspiration that dictates.

So here we go, the ‘final cut’ of my inspiration, my heartbeat which led me from the start and culminated in my very own Geo State.

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DISTILLATE-IV,-2008-Antony-Gormley

 

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The-Laguna-Garzon-bridge,-Uruguay

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Geometric print box

 

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Antony-Gormley,-Quantum-Void-III

 

And so my journey has a happy ending, a Geo state was created, from Geo basics to Geo statements. Made to punctuate and elevate each outfit, each mood and each occasion, finely crafted with a  decidedly modern edge .Come join my state!

 

Luxembourg with my Hoxton Bag

Low cost air travel has meant that weekends away with your ‘besties’ are doable, now and then.

Yes, the cheaper the flight the more ungodly the time of departure often involving long queues at the departure gate, very limited leg room and of course there is the dilemma of taking hold luggage at an extra cost or making do with the one, albeit small, piece of hand luggage.

Now, the hand luggage option does mean either a small suitcase or a handbag but not both.

No handbag?? Girly weekends without a handbag are just not the same. Yes, you can pack your handbag in your small suitcase but this leaves little space for shoes and other important necessities.  Make way for The Hoxton bag, a neat little 3 in 1 bag which can be used as a small hand held bag, worn on the shoulder or cross body as well as the perfect clutch.  Best of all it is so flat and so compact so as not to take up any space in your luggage.

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Our merchandiser Sawako jetted off to Luxembourg for a weekend with her best friends, The Hoxton bag to hand ready to test drive the bag whilst enjoying the city.

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Small and strategically placed in the heart of Western Europe, Luxembourg is one of the three richest countries in the world renowned for its natural beauty, historical monuments and high standard of living.

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Well, it stood up to its reputation: beautiful, interesting and relatively expensive.

So here goes:

  • Flew out of Heathrow with BA, flights during January average at £90
  • Stayed at the Hotel Central Molitor approx. £95 per night
  • Visited… too many to list but top 3 in no particular order would be:

Mudam Museum of Modern Art, a wander in the Grund area with its picturesque river and village feel, The Chocolate House for hot chocolate and giant cakes.

  • Drinks are expensive! just saying…. the virgin cocktail at one of the trendy bars cost 14 Euros and that was the cheap one!

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The beating heart of creativity

Unrestrained design is the beating heart of creativity, the rest is about ensuring that all the connections running in an out of it function properly.

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It’s a hard act running a successful commercial design enterprise with all the disciplines it requires: commercial edge, on trend, well executed, timely, fashionable, desirable, accessible, aesthetically pleasing, easy to merchandise, functional, well priced

Whilst at the other end of the spectrum, right at the core of the business and the seed that got it going in the first place lies a creative with a desire and innate need to let go of commercial constraints and purely enjoy creating.

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Over the years (and to my surprise) I discovered that transforming my creative ‘cottage industry’ into a commercial enterprise in itself is a very creative process requiring vision, understanding, awareness, a whole new set of skills, patience and a lot of stamina.

Still, the desire to keep those creative juices flowing, to make something outstanding, bespoke, ‘one off’, not to be repeated, in no way commercial but purely a statement piece is always there.

I know now and can say for a fact that the best way for my company to be at the forefront of commercial design is to regularly create individual pieces with no restraints. I have made it an absolute prerogative of the business to ensure that every few weeks we immerse ourselves in the joy of creating be it for photoshoots, for stylists, for Red Carpet events, for individuals or just for us to enjoy, recharge and to have at our atelier.

 

 

‘Tis the season for travel

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For many the festive period is a time for travel: going home to the family, reuniting with relatives or taking time off to get away.

I used to love travelling but no more, I find airport security necessary but long and tedious, in a bid to economise my flights seem to take off and land at challenging hours be it first thing in the morning or late at night. The seats are smaller, the baggage allowance is shrinking, food is for purchasing and well, there is nothing much glamourous about my travel agenda.

That is until I designed our The Brewer travel bag and now I genuinely think that travelling, even low cost travel is quite a glamorous affair, in fact, I look forward to the opportunity of putting my Brewer bag to the test and seeing just how much I am able to squeeze out of it ( and into it) in one trip. Deceptively light for its size means I have the perfect opportunity to fill it to the brim! the soft leather and fantastic finish just screams style, the internal (and detachable) zipped pouch has comfy pockets for all my belongings, I am able to stuff my jumper down one side, my scarf, book and paper down the other and it even comes with its own nifty (and again detachable) leather wristlet clutch.

Going to let my Brewer bag do the talking, shot on location: London, Paris, Geneva, up the Alps, down by the lake, in the heart of the city… an investment piece definitely worth considering

Out & about with The Brixton Backpack

8Just so you don’t think we brag about our bags without good cause we do genuinely ‘test drive’ them to see if they perform up to scratch. They do need to look the part but we also take great pride in ensuring they are as functional they are good looking.  Someone gets the lucky ‘chore’ of testing  any new bag we release over a period of a week and reporting back to us.

We try and ‘test’ them in the environment where we think they will be used: travel bags go travelling, evening bags get taken out to town, tote bags go to work and as for backpacks…

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Well, backpacks are the newest babies in our range, The Brixton is the first backpack we released, designed to be small, lightweight and extremely feminine, a midi bag but worn on the back ! With plenty of pockets, draw string fastening and adjustable straps the idea was it would work from day to night, from fast paced walks to bicycle rides to car, from work to leisure.

We’re happy to share photos of the bag in action, Test-driven in the big outdoors surrounding Lake Geneva on the outskirts of Lausanne, Switzerland. It took long walks, bike rides and tram rides. From University to the sleek town centre, from lectures to concerts, weekdays, weekends, rain and shine.

 

And the verdict?

We’ve been told it is great! comfortable, useful, lightweight, secure and most importantly very much admired.

The Brixton backpack is now available in black and grey from select boutiques nationwide, from our webshop and  from Wolf & Badger. If you plan on visiting our stand at The Ideal Home Show in London Olympia, 23-27 November 2016, you could even try one out yourself, we’re quite sure you won’t want to let it go!

Get the look

 

How thrilled were we to see Diipa Khosla, the biggest Indian Fashion Blogger globally and big time Fashion Influencer fully adorned in Nadia Minkoff jewellery and looking absolutely stunning!

So the deal is… Wolf & Badger short listed 15 brands to be part of their ‘Crystals from Swarovski’ event and Nadia Minkoff London is one of the lucky 15.

If you want to get Diipa’s look, here are the all-important links

The Necklace: Rectangular triple stone necklace in Ombre, Swarovski crystal with  18ct gold plated chain and setting, Nadia Minkoff London £50 from Wolf & Badger

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The earrings: Rectangular drop stone earrings in gold, Swarovski crystal and 18ct gold plating. Nadia Minkoff London £43 from Wolf & Badger

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The Rings: Crystal patina H ring in Gold  and Crystal patina H ring in gunmetal , £20 each from Wolf & Badger

Clothing by Leka NYC 

Photography by Melanie Galea @thestreetmuse