January 2011

Piece I Love – Jan 31st

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Handpicked by Eliza

With Valentine’s around the corner, I’m crushing on this stunning Gold Dust Clutch from Dareen Hakim. It’s the perfect chic contrast to this season’s vibrant palette and made with fine Italian leather and rich metal.

The best part? The plaque is engraved with “Happiness” (sa’ada) in poetic arabesque calligraphy and lined with fuchsia fabric. Who doesn’t like to add positive vibes and some hidden passion to their evening wardrobe? It also fits my criteria of being big enough to hold all of the essentials for an evening out and small enough to manoeuvre on the dance floor.

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Wow Piece of the Week – Jan 27th

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Miss the old days of elegance? Forget about melancholy or those “dusty layers” associated with vintage jewelry!

We love this Bow Tie. The smooth and shiny ceramic surface brings the perfect contemporary touch of glamour… in retro style!

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Style savvy San Franciscan Alicia Valponi picks bold statement pieces for spring

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I write about my San Franciscan lifestyle, restaurants and city hotspots, as well as my love for fashion and all things cheetah print in my blog Cheetah is the New Black. I love a quirky print, pop of color, and bold statement piece. With that said, I’m anxiously awaiting spring, not only for warmer weather but because I can’t wait to channel the 70’s vibe we saw on the runways. I foresee myself living in wide leg pants and mid-length skirts as well as experimenting with bright orange lipstick and bold accessories.

I would love to incorporate the following pieces into my spring wardrobe to achieve that unexpected statement that I’m going for.

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Designer Interview: Jan Willem Waitz from Waitz Design

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We leapt at the opportunity to interview the colourful Dutch character behind Waitz Design, Jan Willem Waitz. His beautiful, bold designs and crisp finish fuse inspirations born from his childhood in Africa, Dutch origins, world travels, work for Karl Lagerfeld and the people in his life. In his interview he talks about how his life has shaped his unique collections and creative approach. (more…)

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Video Product Review: Circe by Nina Egli

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Swiss designer Nina Egli’s Circe brand is named after the enchantress/sorceress from Greek mythology – the daughter of the sun god Helios and the moon goddess Perse. Her inspiration for Circe is also rooted in the natural world, ocean, plants and animals.

Our fashion writer Lauren reviews the Aphrodite Snake bangle, the Loner earrings and the Sailor’s Moon Anchor necklaces.

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Grand Designs

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This Spring, we’re thinking sculptural. From Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein’s clean, minimalist collection inspired by modern architecture, to the seriously sculptural shoes and dresses at Alexander McQueen, it seems designers are going back to the drawing board, or looking to today’s most ground-breaking buildings for inspiration.

But this is no one-season wonder – fashion and architecture have long been linked up. With a shared focus on space, volume and shape, a love for high concepts and high drama, it’s no wonder both disciplines influence each other.

Just look at any designer who creates a dramatic silhouette; Vivienne Westwood with her billowing skirts, futuristic Japanese designers like Comme de Garcons and Issey Miyake, or the conceptual pieces created by Hussein Chalayan. More works of art than ready-to-wear, these garments became the subject of an exhibition staged in London a few years ago – ‘Skin and Bones’ – which examined the relationship and shared influences between fashion designers and architects.

Not that architects ever avoid the fashion world. Take Zaha Hadid – the Pulitzer Prize winning architect who has collaborated with Chanel on an exhibition, and designed collections for Lacoste and the Jelly shoe brand Melissa. Then there’s Peter Marino, fashion’s favourite architect – famous for designing stores for luxury labels like Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior.

Even Coco Chanel commented that ‘Fashion is architecture – it is a matter of proportions’. Architectural influences haven’t been lost on independent designers, either – just look at some of the futuristic and forward thinking designs we’ve found on Boticca:

Facet Ring, Orno Jewellery

Designed by an ex-architect, it’s no wonder Orno Jewellery is so sculptural. Her latest pieces are inspired by Moorish architecture, interpreted in fresh and modern ways – our favourite is this Facet Ring.

Jo 32, Jerome Olivet

Looking for unique leather accessories moulded into futuristic forms? Then look no further than Jerome Olivet, who has created a collection of out-of-this-world accessories in ‘fluid shapes’ for ‘nactive life’. ‘Jo 32’ is a tiny bag made for your ipod or mobile phone.

Bracelet Castel del Monte, Leda Otto

Leda Otto has a unique way of gathering inspiration for a collection – she studies architectural blueprints of cultural, historical or religious iconic buildings in Italy. This Bracelet was inspired by the Castel del Monte in the southern region of Puglia.

Broadcast Earpiece, Design and Conquer

Channelling retro but futuristic chic, Design + Conquer’s latest collection was inspired by the graphic design and architecture of Expo ‘67, and the retro-electronic music of Linkwood Family and Tame Impala. This show-stopping orange plastic piece looks stylish pinned into an updo.

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Italian sisters of brand Sorelle Firenze share their European panache

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Italian sisters Barbara and Monica of Sorelle Firenze share their innate sense of style with a collection of pieces that connect and reflect a glamorous yet earthy look that can be worn both day and night.

They focus on attention to detail and believe accessories are like a piece of the puzzle that says who you are and completes the bigger picture…you can have beautiful clothes, but accessories bring out your personality and make your own unique statement.

Sorelle Firenze, which means “Sisters of Florence,” reflects European panache in every aspect of their lives. Natives of Florence, Italy, the sisters have used their world travels for inspiration for fashion and styling clients such as Bette Midler, Paz de la Huerta (Boardwalk Empire) and Phoebe Cates, among others. They have earned their reputation styling discerning Park Avenue women, socialites and celebrities.

The Abbatemaggio sisters operate from the premise that women should exude femininity in all aspects of their life: “We empower women to be stylish whether they’re going to the grocery store, the gym or a black-tie gala. It’s about finding the proper silhouette to flatter the figure, incorporating trends and mixing and matching textures and the right accessories.”

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Designer Interview: Dominique Mosley

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We had the chance to interview Dominique Mosley, the creative force and print designer behind her extraordinary scarf label of the same name, to learn more about the inspiration behind this Manchester, UK native’s scarves. Dominique’s signature prints in vibrant colors have captured the attention of the style-savvy, including Vogue.com, and we had the opportunity to hear more about her design process and upcoming plans. (more…)

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Be Bold!

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It may still be January, with the last dregs of the sales still be in the shops, but at Boticca we’re bored with our winter wardrobes and aching to try out a fresh new look for Spring. And after a winter of pared-back minimalism, this Spring/Summer is the season to make a statement.

Way back in September, designers sent some daring looks down the catwalks – from acid brights and colour blocking at Jil Sander and Calvin Klein, to the crazy print and patterns at Prada and Stella McCartney (thick stripes and tropical fruit prints anyone?). The 70s are also set to be a huge trend this season – with wide legged flares, chunky platforms and strong shades of mustard on the menu. We love a unique look, but these trends aren’t for the faint-hearted!

Now that designers have decided to embrace bold over boring, it seems like experimentation is in the air. Two of the most exciting art exhibitions this year – a huge Joan Miro retrospective at the Tate Modern, London and Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of New York – are all about the bold and the beautiful.

Feeling a bit like a fashion wallflower? Well you can still inject some fresh life into your look without looking like a catwalk copy. Spring is the perfect time to experiment with a new look – and the easiest way to do it is with some ‘out there’ accessories. Here are some of our favourite bold pieces on Boticca.

Jungeeeun, Drippings Big Yellow Quartz

Hailing from South Korea, Jungeeeun’s main inspiration is ‘fun’ – which translates into some really quirky jewelry! We love her latest collection for its surreal pieces inspired by melting candle wax – like this unusual pendant!

World of Christina, World’s Collide Super Y Glove

Why plump for boring mittens when you could slip on these rainbow-hued gloves? Created by an ex-botanical artist, this eye-popping patchwork of patterns really caught our eye – and totally channel Miucca Prada’s eclectic print mash up. We love that they are handmade in leather, so are super soft to the touch.

Arata Fuchi, Black Ball Ring with Fine Gold Studs

If you usually go for simple, understated jewelry, or pretty girl pieces, toughen up with this chic ring in oxidized silver and fine gold. The oversized ball makes this ring really stand out, but the flecks of gold make it elegant.

Rosso Diesis, 007-scaramantichorn

An out-there name, and an out-there design – we adore this pendant! Italian’s are known for their outlandish take on glamour – and we think this necklace adds just that to an outfit. Made using traditional techniques from Naples, the stripy design and unusual shape of the necklace would look fresh with a strapless dress.

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Gold Coast goddess blends effortless beach chic with Down Under glamour

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I’m a university student based in Queensland, on Australia’s sunny Gold Coast. I truly believe in Alexander Wang’s statement that “anyone can get dressed up and glamorous, but it is how people dress on their days off that is the most intriguing”.

I began my blog Craving Couture in the hope that I could communicate to women that high fashion can be both accessible and affordable, and that by putting thought into what you wear each day, you can completely reinvent the way you look and how you feel about yourself. I believe that having confidence in your appearance is a luxury every woman deserves. Fashion is a form of artistic self-expression; just like any art form, there are rules that govern what looks good, but what transforms a good outfit into a great one is your own personal touch. I love that my clothes and accessories tell a unique story about myself to those that see me. Fashion was made to be shared.

I’m inspired by the laid-back beach culture of where I live. I stick to relaxed pieces in simple, classic cuts that flatter the female form, but then mix it up with unexpected, unique elements and accessories (which is why I love Boticca)!

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