Thursday, 27 June 2013

Nica’s Festival Style Guide

Across Body Bag | Nica's Festival Style Guide

As a big festival fan, I’ve recently found myself caught up in the buzz surrounding Glastonbury - the UK’s biggest music festival. One aspect of festivals which I find particularly interesting is the various sights and styles which culminate at events of this scale. 

Glastonbury welcomes over 100,000 festival goers into its wonderland and is as much a style spotter’s paradise as it is a music extravaganza. Alexa Chung and Florence Welch are regular attendees and never fail to sport vibrant and interesting outfits.
All this hubbub over the festival season got me thinking about what I’ll be bringing with me to the festival arena and how best to style my outfits. After all, with wind, rain and cold usually making an appearance, packing for British festivals is no easy task. Read on for my very own festival style guide:

1. Cross body Bag
Nica Play Aretha Acrossbody Bag
When I’m watching my favourite band, I like to get as close to the front as possible. We all know it can get a little crowded at festivals and that’s why I always pack a trusty cross body bag , like the Nica Play Aretha Acrossbody. This floral slim line bag is functional and stylish and gives me all the room I need to store my camera or much needed water bottle.

2. Throw Away Camera

I love my SLR camera, but when I go to festivals I like to bring something a little more compact that I can whip out whenever there’s a photo opp. Polaroid and disposable cameras are my best friends at festivals, there’s just something about the spontaneity and fun of developing them that you can’t beat! 

3. Floral Head Crown

The midsummer’s night dream ethereal look is hard to pull off in its entirety, but a floral head crown is one of my most loved accessories. If I’m feeling lazy I’ll pull on a plain outfit and add the floral crown as a finishing touch – I always get so many compliments and it looks as though you have made an effort without trying too hard.

Lots of people buy head crowns but I prefer to make my own, there’s so many great tutorials online, I followed this one.

4. Wellies

This is probably the most obvious festival essential in the book, and always reminds me of the year I forgot my wellies. The weather forecast was dry so I thought I’d take a chance on wearing sandals instead of wellington boots – oh my goodness! My feet sank into the mud like quick sand and I had to scarper to the nearest vendor to purchase some sensible shoes!

I hope my festival style guide has given you some inspiration of your own. What are your festival style essentials?

Holly x
The Nica Team

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Nica's Travels

I am ever hopeful for the sun to make a more regular appearance in the London skies, but being realistic as well, I was really looking forward to my trip to fashion mecca Hong Kong and then on to my homeland – South Korea! J (and my mum’s cooking!!)

I love the inspiration you get in Hong Kong – the fashion sense is seemingly set to fast forward! And I am always encouraged to push the boundaries of what is possible to do. The fast pace of life, the incredible skyscrapers and the pure energy of Hong Kong is amazing.

Hong Kong has long been known as a shopper’s paradise where you can come across trendy boutiques, dazzling shopping malls and vibrant street markets. It provides so many fascinating places to shop, such as Tsim Sha Tsui, Causeway Bay, and the famous Ladies Market in the vibrant Mongkok area. And in direct contrast are the queues to get into both high street shops (like Top Shop which opens here in June) and the luxury fashion stores!

“... a fine way to capture a piece of the magic of a unique city.
The drama, the charm and the beauty of Hong Kong is all here-just as is its breathless energy.”
― Nury Vittachi, Hong Kong: The City of Dreams

Part of my trip was also to China where we put all of that inspiration to paper creating some of the bags that we all love J

This is just the beginning of my journey for the next collection – I cannot wait to tell you about another inspirational trip for my design.
Until then, I will pack some sunshine in my bag to bring back with me J

Love Nica Kim xxx

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Behind the Nica Bag: Art Nouveau (Part Two)

Fashion is a potency in art, making it hard to judge between the temporary and the lasting

- Edmund Clarence Stedman

Art Nouveau’s fascination has embraced not only art itself, but also applied art and fashion. 

Art Nouveau Jewellery Design sketches by Maurice Dufrene (Published 1937)

Recently, I have come across lovely Art Nouveau Jewllery Design sketches by Maurice Dufrene, a French decorative artist in late 19th century. This book beautifully organised his work reflecting a spirit of Art Nouveau: a return to nature, using organic forms, rhythmic curves and elaborate flourishes.

Pin, ca. 1890 Tiffany & Company

Pendant, ca. 1901 RenĂ©-Jules Lalique (French, 1860–1945)

Also, Art Nouveau inspired many fashion designers to use curves, spirals and organic patterns found in nature, which are still re-interpreted and re-produced by various fashion designers and artists. Its influence now becomes another unique style for contemporary designers and artists to reference and appropriate.

House of Worth 1898-1900

Valentino SS13 Couture

c. 1908 Irish Crochet Gown

Roberto Cavalli  SS 2013 RTW
Elie Saab SS 2013 Couture

Kerrie Luft, Footwear designer, who created her shoe design displaying her particular inspiration by Art Nouveau, states, “I’m often inspired by nature and the way things naturally evolve and grow which in turn has allowed me to realise the way in which nature has influenced everything from architecture to sculpture to furniture to fashion.”

Kerrie Luft’s footwears 2010

Have you found the Art Nouveau movement on the Nica bag?

Love Nica Kim xxx

Art Nouveau inspired street art

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Behind the Nica Bag: Art Nouveau (Part One)

When you see or think about Nica bags, what pops up in your mind? Vibrant colours? Whimsical prints? Quirky shapes? I would like to tell you about one of my inspirations: Art Nouveau.

Art Nouveau, which started to flourish from the early 1890s, is actually hard to sum up and define just as a simple word. There is more to it than the refusal of the machine-made, which was an opposed reaction to the Industrial Revolution which started from 1760. It is about the revival of craftsmanship and ‘art for art’s sake’. 'New Art' took many forms, which was adopted by architects, furniture makers, jewellers and graphic artists.

Art Nouveau interior, unknown (c. 1900)

Paul Paul Hanker Architecture, Brussels

Beardsley, Aubrey (1872-1898) - 1894 The Peacock’s Skirt for Oscar Wilde’s Play Salome

Aubery Beardsley is an English draughtsman and writer. The components of his art are as remarkable as its style; he created a modern style that was totally individualistic and, as he himself put it, ‘fresh and original'.

Gustav Klimt was the founder and president of the Secession from 1897 to 1905, during which the Art Nouveau movement flourished across other European countries. In parallel with Impressionism, Art Nouveau was an international rebellion against the traditional academic art style of the time.

Hand drawn Nica print. Copyright 2013 Nica Kim

“Art not only imitates nature, but also completes its deficiencies” - Aristotle

William Morris was an influential textile designer, who had a lasting effect on English decorative arts, particularly wallpaper design. Throughout the English Arts and Crafts Movement which was closely aligned with the Art Nouveau movement from 1860 to 1910, his illustrations were based on the observation of his garden and countryside walks influenced his mastery of complex patterns.

Inspiration is everywhere! In the words of Antoni Gaudi “But man does not create...he discovers!”

I encourage you to “always take time to smell the roses”… take time out of your busy schedule to enjoy and discover beauty of life….and let your imagination be sparked – you never know where it will take you!

Love Nica Kim xxx