The Japanese house at The Barbican

Call me a Japanophile and you wouldn’t be wrong. Fascinated by Japanese culture and style from a very young age (my dad visited frequently bringing back treasures and stories) I made sure I visited as soon as I completed my studies.  I have been many times since, never disappointed and forever fascinated.

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My design work has always been by influenced by architecture, so this was one exhibition I was not going to miss.  I found The Japanese House exhibition at the Barbican to be a beautifully executed exhibition for anyone interested in Japanese culture, design, living and architecture.

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An insight into the changes in Japanese domestic architecture following World War 2, a period which is known for producing arguably the most influential and ground-breaking examples of modern and contemporary design.   Following the war and the widespread devastation of Tokyo and other Japanese cities there was an urgent need for new housing, creating much architectural experimentation and debate whilst producing innovative solutions to changing lifestyles.

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Take time to stroll through the 10 rooms in the full-size recreation of the Moriyama House.  Compact and orderly, with a tiny bathroom and a kitchen tucked under the stairs each little detail has been placed to create a harmonious balance, the outside merging with the inside and in my view the best minimalist design to be found in a compact space.

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the exhibition also features a Japanese teahouse, gardens and an outdoor cinema- much to see, explore and aspire to.

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The Japanese house at The Barbican runs until June 25th 2017, don’t miss it

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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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!

 

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.

 

 

From inspiration to presentation

After months of preparation the first showing of our Spring/Summer 2017 collection kicked off during Scoop & the City, held at The Old Billingsgate Market mid-July.

Having drawn our inspiration from London, from nature and from living a life of handbags & jewellery, with a clear vision and complete conviction we finalised our range, instructed and waited for the samples to arrive.

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It was a painful wait, because the bulk of the samples just didn’t turn up and as the deadline drew closer… a week closer, 5 days closer, 3 days closer we were beginning to doubt our chances.

With 2 days to go, the samples arrived, last minute is far from ideal but it’s a whole lot better than a ‘no show’.

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I often wonder, once the stand is all set and the show opens its doors to buyers and press if anyone really knows the true trials from inspiration to presentation.

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It was a great show, the new collection was much admired, new orders, new contacts, old contacts renewed. Circle closed, now we go from presentation to new inspiration.

Move on Summer 2016, you’re so over…

Hate to harp about the British weather but this summer (can I call it summer? ), well ok, this summer 2016 has so far been cold, wet , grey and in general miserable.

I don’t mix my personal political views with my fashion and as such be it Remain or Leave, whatever you voted for it seems like the heavens have opened up in the UK and London in particular finds itself right in the eye of the storm.

Thankfully at NM HQ we’ve managed to ‘ease’ ourselves out of Summer 2016, secured Winter 2017 some months back and here we are, getting ready to ‘sign-off’ summer 2017. With less than a month to go before we show our new Summer 2017 collections to buyers and press at Scoop International, we are entering ‘final countdown’ stage.

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The four key trends we identified for Summer 2017 were based around the 4 key elements:

AIR– all calm and mindful inspired by a new global love of Yoga, Pilates and looking after our core

EARTH– A patchwork of what we are currently as a society, a vibrant mix of cultures- a mash-up of tribal with modern and upcycling with abstract

WATER– is all about clean and luxurious, it’s about reflections and  crisp vibrant colours

Last but not least, FIRE– which for summer 2017 evokes all that is glamorous, think Flamenco: the sound, the movement, the colour. All engaging and all consuming.

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My colleagues at work will be the first to tell you that for all my love of colour and my passion for brilliant, vibrant hues I am in fact the one who reigns it all and my ‘process of elimination’ during our final selection means we end up losing that Flamenco Va Va Voom and we end up with a pretty safe canvas of cream, tan ,grey, black, the occasional navy but not much more than that.  When times are tough- safe sells and as the captain of this ship I try and avoid uncharted waters.

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Well, all I can say is that for Summer 2017, given just how gloomy 2016 feels we will be creating our very own sunshine in the brightest of yellow, the most opalescent of whites and the earthiest of greens.

Not long to wait now before we can actually show you our new creations but for now, enjoy your summer wherever you are, sun or rain.

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From inspiration to realisation

Way back in October 2014 I posted a blog called ‘The stillness within’ all about my day at the Swarovski trend and presentation launch.  I did decide there and then what my Autumn/Winter 2015 range was going to focus on and having reviewed my notes, the images I took as a reminder, my new bag collection (which I’d already made a head start on )I felt my first inspiration was still the one I was drawn to.

Like a child who gets offered a large box of sweets and is then told they’re only allowed to pick 3, the final decision making process is a tough one and also, it’s vital to feel you’ve chosen your favourites.

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Might sound odd but even the simplest pair of earrings requires much thought and preparation- settings need to be made, plating colours need to be chosen, chains need to  selected, co-ordinated styles need to be thought of and there is always the issue of affordability, will this sell or is it too costly?

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In October’s blog I outlined my vision for this collection to be as follows:

The keywords being:  retreat, escape, unplug, simplify, tranquillity.

The colour pallete- right up my street- neutrals, opalescent whites, hints of blue and shards of grey. Frosty but sparkly.

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When I looked at it all laid out today, I felt satisfied- inspiration realised.

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