Blue summer- creating mood and harmony with a limited palette

Outdoor Photography : Brian Minkoff

Since the first UK lockdown in March 2020 I have been developing our jewellery, handbag and small leather ranges based on limited colour palettes. I choose a palette that I feel fits the current season and the current mood.

Prior to lockdown my colour schemes would have been ‘fashion led’, I would have covered a broad spectrum with a mixture of both cool and warm colours with varying hues and intensities.

I now choose to explore a limited palette, I have discovered that exploring a limited palette creates harmony, clarity, evokes strong feelings and gets the absolute best from a colour.

Those  who know me know Blue is probably my favourite colour, choosing to limit my palette not only to Blue but also to a ‘cool colour’ might seem an odd choice given that it is officially summer now ( I say officially as it doesn’t quite feel like summer in the UK as yet).

However, my association with Blue is one of warmth: blue skies, blue seas, blue horizons.  Full of depth, never disappointing, dynamic and optimistic.

My design sensitivities have gone from ‘fashion led’ to ‘mood led’ over this past year, my colour palette tells both my story at this moment as well as my outlook.

Simply, this means that my first story for Summer 2021 is dynamic and my outlook is optimistic. Blue Summer, not Summer Blues.

The Limited Edition Blue Summer collection is now available from Nadia Minkoff London and leading stockists online and worldwide

After the Frost

Those of you who follow this blog will know I have documented my views of London in Lockdown since March 2020.  London has been my source of inspiration since setting up my label way back when, but of course I never expected to see London during a pandemic: eerily quiet, empty, shut down, dystopian.

For us Londoners, local walks have been an opportunity to see London bare, an architectural backdrop without the crowds.

And just when I presumed this London landscape which was now becoming my familiar ‘new normal’ February 2021 arrived with heavy snow swiftly followed by a frost so deep I can’t recall ever seeing London like this.

Regents Park was frozen, with seagulls perched on the icy lake and ducks wondering along the frozen canal.

The reflection of the sun on the ice made for some beautiful metallic hues, so much so that it inspired my ‘After the Frost’ collection.

But…there was also warmth and happiness it came with music and Salsa right in the middle of the park, who would have thought? A nod to colour and life after the frost

Shard Edition Earrings

Out catching colours

I’m sure that for many other small business owners like myself , life since the first Covid lockdown in March has been a daily challenge with the unknown. I realise I’ve been so ‘consumed’ with my effort to keep going and to find a strategy to see the business through Lockdown and beyond,that I’ve taken no ‘time out’ to do some of the most fundamental things that have been my core inspiration. Little did I know when I took off the last 2 weekends in October that my luck was in, lockdown is back as of November. I was fortunate to re-charge my batteries on time.

For my first inspirational weekend off , I ventured out of London to the Chiltern Hills for some autumnal inspiration. ‘Catching’ colours as I call it.

I always choose my new season colour palette from nature, match the images to my desired Pantones and start forming my range

Here I am, lost in my thoughts

with my Silver Abstraction Pouch, I mean why not do muddy walks with a shiny silver bag?

MAKING SUMINAGASHI & SPIN ART HOW I KEEP MY SON AND MYSELF OCCUPIED DURING LOCKDOWN/PART 2/ BY KARLA HUANG

Karla is Head jewellery designer at Nadia Minkoff London, currently in lockdown with her 6 year old son Joel. A Nadia Minkoff London team lockdown diary will follow next week.

Another fun project my son Joel and I did was Easy DIY ‘Paper Marbling’, also know as Suminagashi paper marbling in Japanese.

First, we prepared a working tray using the lid from a storage box. We filled the tray with water and some sort of thickening agent to make into a solution.  Dropping different colour inks into the solution and gently moving or stirring the ink with a thin stick (we used tooth picks) we then immersed a good quality water colour paper into the inky solution to absorb and transfer the pattern onto the paper.

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The end results of how the inks and patterns will show up are unpredictable. Here are some of the Patterns we created using Paper Marbling technique.

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Spin Art –

Another great way to experiment would be to mix Prime Colours using something that can rotate or spin wheel.

We were given a Spin Art set two Christmases ago and I would say this Spin Art set is my child’s favorite art technique to do so far.

All I have to do is cut up different types of paper to fit into the spinning machine. Refill the paint bottles and he would be happy to play along all by himself for hours.

Here are some of the works we created!

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Hope you can also try out some new art techniques at home and have as much fun as we did!!

SUMMER-SALE-2020-MULTI

The Nadia Minkoff London sale is now on with 50% discount on all handbags. we ship worldwide and offer free UK shopping and returns.

 

The BaH Collection launches for Winter 2019

“The dictates of work are as compelling for a woman as for a man”

(Barbara Hepworth)

Sculptor, Barbara Hepworth, has been an inspiration throughout my life. An all-time favourite of my mother, I was introduced to her work at a young age and grew up with it. Initially fascinated by her smooth tactile textures and by her abstract yet natural forms, I later discovered her remarkable strengths as a woman and artist.

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A trip to St Ives in 2019 to visit both Tate St Ives and The Hepworth’s Trewyn studio & garden was so captivating, it became the backbone of my Nadia Minkoff London ‘BaH Collection’.

“Ideas come with a rush in a place like that & I feel that forms will become concrete at great speed.”

(Barbara Hepworth, The Sculptor in the Studio/Sophie Bowness)

St Ives was battered by gale force winds on the day of my visit, so strong as to make it impossible to walk along the waterfront, it was eerily quiet and deserted bar the noise of the wind battering the rooftops and whistling down the narrow cobbled alleyways of St Ives.  I had the fortune of experiencing Trewyn studios and garden entirely on my own, apart from a large tabby cat, happily asleep next to the door.

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The BaH Collection is a deeply personal homage to Barabara Hepworth’s work, studio and her many attributes which I have found so inspiring:

Ambition, determination, clarity of shape and form, balance and the ability to translate female physical experiences into her art.

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“The BaH collections aesthetics and colours are drawn from this journey, minimal and clean I hope they encapsulate my interpretation of Barbara Hepworth whose enduring legacy continues to be as remarkable both as a female trailblazer and as an artist.”

 

The St Ives Tote bag exploring curved edges and smooth metallic leathers

The st Ives tote silver

The Full Circle belt bag, designed to be both feminine and functional

Full circle belt-shoulder bag silver black

The Barbara Half Moon bag, sculptural and stand-alone

The Barbara half moon bag , bronze

The ‘kelp green’ leather Rena bag, a nod to the garden and sea in an oily, textural leather

The Rena bag , Kelp

 

 

The Abstraction pouch, minimalist, clean and timeless

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The Undergrowth Collection/Spring Summer 2019

undergrowth

noun

BRITISH

  1. a dense growth of shrubs and other plants, especially under trees in woodland.

“they cleared a path through the undergrowth”

Eliot Hodgkin, Undergrowth 1941 and Two plants by Lucien Freud 1977 (Tate collection) are the inspiration behind the new Nadia Minkoff London summer 2019 collection.

“I was immediately drawn to both these painting because of their meticulous detail and soft, subtle, earthy colour pallet. Having researched them the story of how and why they came to be, really resonated with me”

new-forest

Eliot Hodgkin painted ‘Undergrowth’ in London during his days off while serving as an air-raid warden

‘What I want to paint are the things that have been seen so often that people no longer notice them.’

‘Two Plants’ by Lucien Freud took 3 years to complete. He describes it as ‘lots of little portraits of leaves’, adding ‘I wanted it to have a really biological feeling of things growing and fading and leaves coming up and others dying’.

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Blush,Beige, Yellow, Green and Tan are the key colours for the Undergrowth collection with pops of blue and orange.

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There is movement in the soft fringing of The Angel bags

borough beige and blush

Architectural structure in the form of the Borough bags

Richmond group shot

 

And layers to explore in the Richmond midi horizon.

The Nadia Minkoff flower logo has been reinterpreted as a 3D Origami flower adding softness and optimism   “my interpretation of things growing  and fading”

borough ball

“what I would describe as ‘undergrowth’ is definitely shaping the world we live in, for better or for worse both politically and culturally. Fashion as we know always draws from art and is often a political statement. For all the unrest and uncertainty, I was determined to make My Nadia Minkoff London summer 2019 collection a positive one, all about the beauty in noticing things that we no longer notice”

colour-palette

Artisan made from the finest leathers, in small batches and with Zero waste, much time and thought is invested into each and every bag  “at Nadia Minkoff London we think about the things you see and the things you don’t, anything to make sure that your journey with our bag is a better one”

The Angel fringe beige 2

Photography: Oliver Papp

Model: Eloise Hymas

Styling and Make-up: Jonas Oliver

In your stride or how to get your bag to multi task for you

Come February and we all want a wardrobe update, could be a clothing update,  a shoe update or a bag update, even if we don’t really really need it… we kind of do.

Interestingly at Nadia Minkoff London we think there is a methodology of getting your bag to multi task for you, seriously we do!

So just the one bag update to see you through transitional (i.e. in between winter and summer) as in right now, followed by a great summer innings and back again for Fall transition (i.e from the end of the summer hols till before the festive season).

The key is actually in the contrast colours you wear your bag with.  For demonstration purposes we’ve chosen two key colours:

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Black , in the form of our Islington fringe Bucket bag

The-Angel-Orange-on-white

and Orange, in the form or our Angel bag

Our thinking behind this is that black is black , always safe, always smart and just well…..always.

Orange is often referred to these day as ‘The new Black’ , a few years back it used to be anything but safe but these days it is a wardrobe staple and a safe investment.

So this is how to get your black or orange bag to multi task for you

For Winter to summer transition: wear your Black bag with orange or your Orange bag with Black

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The-Angel-Orange-on-black

 For Summer– wear your orange bag or your black bag with white, keep it very pure and very clean

Angewl-fringe-black-on-white

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For Fall transition– wear your orange bag or your black bag with beige and frame with a little more black- black shoes or boots, black scarf or black coat.

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The-Islington-fringe,-black with beige

Colour blocking is always fresh, so take each season in your stride, it’s that simple!

Make it a London Christmas / Part 2

I have found concluding 2018 difficult, it’s been a tough year in general ,most certainly for the High Street and for anyone who works in fashion. I wish I could say I am ending it on a high and feeling optimistic for 2019, hard as I try I am not. But I most certainly don’t want to end it on a low and I am certainly hopeful that 2019 will surprise me for the better.

I will let London, my source of inspiration,do the talking for me. Captured by photographer Dennis Madden over the festive period and right up to date 31/12/18, New Years Eve.

From Trafalgar square, to China Town

Trafalgar square

china town

The all new Coal Drops Yard in Kings Cross, and the iconic Royal Albert Hall

Coal drops yard

Royal Albert Hall

From towering Christmas trees in Euston, to ho ho ho in Soho, and some much needed Angels in Regent Street

Euston

hohoho

Regent st

Spectacular skies over Waterlow Park in Highgate

Highgate woods

And last, but most certainly not least, my very own Waterloo sunset

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Wishing you all health, happiness and good fortune in 2019

x Nadia

TRAVEL: FILM, FISH AND FRITES, St Malo & Dinard

 

Images and details: Brian Minkoff Photography 

Travel Bag: The Camden tote in Mustard

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Travelled with: There and back overnight on Brittany Ferries   from Portsmouth to St Malo .  There’s an excellent buffet ,so a pretty good start

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Commuted: There’s a small ferry boat that goes from St Malo to Dinard and back every hour

Stayed at: Castelbrac  St Malo, 5 star luxury in a unique setting

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Ate at: Brasserie du Sillon, right on the St Malo beach, where my starter (slightly not kosher) Plateau de fruits de mer  (oysters, langoustines, king prawns, whelks and winkles) and the Mrs’s  mackerel fillets marinated in Muscadet were fantastic as were the whole grilled  snapper (my favourite fish) and C’s Chateaubriand in a creamy mustard sauce with thin, thin chips. Followed by a pistachio pavlova with strawberry sorbet and crème brulée with Madagascan vanilla

 Le Sept Mers in St Malo overlooking the beach where we indulged in foie gras, crab with grilled avocado and fennel, pork belly with sage, smoked cauliflower and mash, cod baked with sea greens, a chocolate ganache with absinthe and a fruit soup with ginger and yogurt sorbet.

 

castel-2

Stayed at: Le Nouveau Monde, St Malo and highly recommend,

Ate at:  our favourite restaurant, La Gonelle, overlooking the bay where they bring the fish fresh from the tank. We indulged in fresh sardines and then shared a whole turbot baked in beef juices with rosemary potatoes and a bottle of local cider.

St-malo

 

 

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Visited:  The Dinard Film Festival,  This  film fest offers access to paying punters and is very friendly.

dinard-film-fest

Bag verdict: The Mrs loved the bag-very soft leather and a lovely colour and lots of room. The attached purse was neat too.

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A bientot!

castel-1

The HH Collection

 

HH-framed

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Howard Hodgkin ‘Absent Friends’ retrospective at The National Portrait gallery held in March 2017, is the backbone and inspiration to the latest Nadia Minkoff London collection

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“Howard Hodgkin’s powerful use of colour as well as his painted frames ,removing standard borders and boundaries, encouraged me to step out of my colour palette ‘comfort zone’ and produce a vibrant range of multi coloured, multi textured handbags.”

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photoshoot

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Often described as a ‘slow artist’ in his early years, his paintings despite their apparent fluidity and spontaneity, took years if not months to complete.

“the whole idea of slow appeals to me greatly, at a time when society wants everything immediate, at the press of a button and increasingly faster I take comfort in the whole ‘slow’ movement. Our UK made Fitzrovia bags are exactly that: one at a time, slow, refined, tactile. I love them, not just visually or from a wearable point of view but because I know how much care has been invested in making each and every one”

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The Nadia Minkoff London ‘HH collection’ is now available to buy online and through leading stockists in the UK and worldwide