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


  1. It is amazing sometimes where you can find an inspiration :-)

  2. That's a great article! So nice to see what inspires you Nica. I noticed one of the prints was yours - have you printed it on one of your bags? It's fab!

  3. what a good blog! Some really inspiring stuff :-) thanks Nica! Will be sharing this with my college friends... :-)

  4. I adore gustav klimts work! Lovley blog - thanks rachel for letting me know about it. I haven't been on this website before and am rather keen to explore! :-)