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

50% off at the Nadia Minkoff London Black Friday event

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Enjoy 50% off all Nadia Minkoff London handbags and jewellery ( whilst stocks last) from midnight ( GMT) 29/11/2019 ending midnight Sunday 01/12/2019

An opportunity to buy and gift a unique and beautifully crafted accessory from an independent brand

 

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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Giving back….A bag for Rena

London, 2019

A bag for Rena

In March 2016 I lost my mother Rena to cancer. I should say ‘we lost’ as I am the youngest of 5 plus Rena had grandchildren, family and many friends. We all lost.

When diagnosed, Rena decided not to fight; she wanted no treatment, only to be allowed to go peacefully. Seems cancer had a very different agenda. It fought Rena till the very end, fiercely and systematically stripping her of anything she enjoyed and loved. A librarian and voracious reader, not being able to read was the last straw. She carefully placed a much-loved handbag next to her, in it her hairbrush, lipstick, wallet, the last letters and cards she’d received and the book she had begun and longed to finish reading.

Shortly after her passing I designed The Rena bag in her memory, based on her special handbag.

Although Nadia Minkoff London had been making regular donations to the Royal Trinity Hospice since 2002, I don’t think I fully grasped the extent of the incredibly difficult, yet absolutely vital service Hospices and Palliative carers provide until I experienced this first-hand.

It took me 3 years to bring myself to talk to the Royal Trinity Hospice about The Rena Bag; I guess sometimes we simply need to give ourselves time to recover. But on the day of the third anniversary of her passing, I contacted them to let them know how much I would like to support them by giving back profits from the sale of The Rena bag to help them.

For every Rena bag sold we can fund a clothing kit for a Trinity Community Nurse, or 5 days’ worth of equipment for the Art therapy workshops held by the Hospice, or nearly 2 days’ maintenance of its award- winning gardens that offer much needed tranquillity to patients and their loved ones.

So please join me on this journey.

Trinity Hospice may be London based but what it really comes down to is helping people, no matter where they are, throughout the hardest of times.

 

Nadia xx

 

 

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”

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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

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Architectural structure in the form of the Borough bags

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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”

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“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”

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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”

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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

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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

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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!

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.

 

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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.

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

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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!

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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.”

HH2

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HH3

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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

PAMPER….FACIAL AT COWSHED

Venue: Cowshed Spa, Primrose Hill

Occasion:  special Birthday treat from a special friend

On the Menu: facial, relaxation, coffee, retail therapy

Bag: The Pimlico clutch in black and beige

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Cowshed facials start @£48.00 for a 30 min speedy and £80.00 for the full hour. Treatments rooms are So relaxing, therapists brilliant, products smell and feel so good.

Eat: There’s a great little menu, well prices with tasty snacks. Coffee £3 ,a naughty snack £2 and  then there is always a  Horny Cow Smoothie, if you’re in the mood. It’s most definitely worth taking the time out to enjoy their kitchen and people watch, they are oh so trendy in leafy Primrose Hill!

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Product: Your beautician will recommend what you need based on your skin. Cowshed toiletries smell and feel fantastic, highly recommend owning their Cleanser( I recommend Lavender Gentle Cleanser), Toner ( I recommend Chamomile Refreshing Toner) and Body lotion ( I recommend Grumpy Cow uplifting body lotion)  as part of your beauty essentials

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The Rena bag… with a touch of French

Location: Chelsea Harbour

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Model: Emilie R

Bag: The Rena bag in Taupe

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Coat: Sandro, Paris

Lipstick: ‘Bad blood’ by Urban Decay

Photograhy: Brian Minkoff

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All but given up on our British summer? well we certainly have at NM HQ. So, here’s a quick masterclass in how, if you are French and experiencing a London summer, you transforms our cool Rena bag into something very chic and pretty hot in just 3 easy steps:

1)Remove the detachable strap- you now have a soft, oversized clutch bag with contrast detailing around the Zips

2) Add red coat

3) Apply red lipstick

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When the British sun comes out, catch a snap of it!

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