Wednesday, 26 February 2014

S/S 14 Trend Report: Our Pick of the Trends

Flowers are blooming, the days are getting brighter and dare we say it, the weather is warming up too. At last, spring is in the air and we’re super excited to welcome the change of seasons with some shiny new purchases.

But before we begin our spring shopping haul, let’s take a look at the main S/S 14 fashion trends for inspiration. Get new-season ready with Nica!

Need-Right-Now Handbags
A new season handbag is pretty much essential when it comes to your spring shopping list. Women and handbags are a match made in heaven and spring is all about sorbet shaded backpacks, patterned pretties and pastel totes.

One of our most-wanted handbags this spring is the Nica Fiona tote in purple. This fondant fancied tote has all the inner workings of a true staple bag; covetable colour, classic embellishment, spacious interior and multiple compartments. Step out in style this spring with this pastel shaded beauty from yours truly. 

Chunky 90’s Style Platforms
The nineties featured heavily in last year’s style diaries with a key focus on dungarees, hair scrunchies and slinky slip dresses. This year, the era is set to feature in a more subtle form. Introducing the 90’s tractor sole platform!

High profile Scandinavian designers are leading the trend while high-street favourites are following suit by bringing out affordable platform dupes left, right and centre. From caged heel sandals to lace up booties, chunk it up this season with heavy footwear in a plethora of styles. 

* From Top to Bottom: White Sandals, Ankle Boots, Cut-out Boots

Embellished Knitwear
While spring allows us to trade in that snugly parka for a waxed jacket, it’s not yet time to hang up the faithful jumper. Trusty knitwear will see us though cool spring breezes and blustery winds and thanks to the latest jewel trend, you can now wear those knits with a touch of glamour.

Stitched crystals, beaded necklines and embellished collars were all out in force at this year’s LFW. Jewels are the one-stop solution to all your day-to-night wear needs and the trend is wearable without compromising on comfort. Layer your jewelled knitwear over a tea dress or pair with drainpipe jeans and boots for an instant style fix.

That just about rounds up our spring/summer trend report. We’d love to see how you’re styling your new season Nica handbags, so, please share your spring look with us on Twitter or Instagram.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Discover Nica's Favourite Places: Brunch in New York

I've recently been away to New York for a couple of days to derive a little design inspiration for the next season… I'm already planning for S/S 15, would you believe? I love New York, and I've been several times before, and so, I've naturally developed a few favourite places that I have visit each time!

One of my favourite places in New York that I really wanted to share with you is Café Gitane, which can be found in its Nolita district, - an area that’s renowned for its tasty restaurants. This one is particularly good for grabbing a spot of fusion brunch, and it’s also great if you’re an early bird just like me, as it opens really early too.

New York is indeed saturated with Café and restaurants leaving you spoilt for choice, but believe it or not, it is actually quite difficult to find a really nice one that does a good tasty breakfast alongside good service when it’s really early in the morning.
My favourite is the baked eggs and sausage with basil. You’ll have to try it out for yourself if you ever get the chance! Do you have a favourite place to grab a coffee or dine here or abroad? Please share your tips with me @Nica_Handbags on Twitter! x 

Friday, 21 February 2014

How To Style Our Sara Satchel with the Stylonylon Blog

Is it all about the black bag for you? Or do you prefer a handbag that helps you to inject a subtle pop of colour or texture into your outfit?

This week, the fabulous Stylonylon blog explains why she’s on the black bag team, and shows us how to style our beautiful Sara satchel casually with a chunky knit, a pair of skinnies, printed scarf, and a pair of cool boots.

Read the full review on her blog, or shop the Sara collection here if you’re feeling inspired!

And don’t forget, we love to see how you’re styling your own Nica Handbags, so, please share your style photos with us on Twitter or Instagram

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Discover Some of the UK’s Best Alternative Fashion Events

If like us you've spent the last couple of days watching some of your favourite bloggers posting pics from the front row of  high profile shows like Vivienne Westwood and Christopher Kane's shows, you'll be feeling at a bit of a loss now that London Fashion Week has ended. 

So, to keep the fashion spirit alive, we've gone on a bit of a mission of our own to discover the very best alternative fashion events across the UK. Get your diary out and put your glad rags on, it’s time to join the glitterati! 

Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair

Judy is one busy lady. Since 2005 she’s been touring Great Britain bringing her unique vintage fair to a plethora of UK cities. Bath, Oxford, Cardiff…You name it, Judy’s been there. And 2014 is no exception with Reading, Cambridge and Birmingham on the cards for this spring.

How many times have you fallen in love with a vintage faux fur coat only to be disappointed by the triple figure price tag? Well not any more thrift hunters, Judy describes her stock as ‘knock-out vintage which never breaks the bank’. We approve!

Shop to your heart’s content at vintage furniture, clothing and kilo sales across the UK. Entry to all events is just £2 and most of the attendees look as if they have just stepped out of a time machine. Dressing up is essential.
Mrs Bear’s Swap Shop

What happens when you outgrow that expensive shift dress or change your mind about a pair of fuchsia kitten heels? Auction websites take up a lot of time and even if you do manage to get sky high bids on all your items, the website usually takes a 10% cut of the winnings. This is where Mrs Bear’s Swap Shop comes into things.

Imagine being able to take 7 unwanted items to a gigantic clothing event in exchange for 7 shiny new items at the laughably cheap price of £7. Well, now you can! Mrs Bear’s Swap Shop is about recycling old gems for new ones and the best news of all is that all the items are either from luxury high street stores or designer brands. You won’t find any cheap tat here, just stacks of vintage treasure waiting to be snapped up. 

The next event is on Saturday 1st March at The Water Poet Pub in Spitalfields.

Paintworks Vintage Kilo Sale

On Sunday 23rd March 7 tonnes of vintage clothing from the 1970’s onwards will be transported to a large converted loft in central Bristol. The reason? Paintworks Vintage Kilo Sale. Vintage kilo sales have been popping up right, left and centre in the UK with popularity owing to the affordable nature of the event. For a mere £15 per kilo (4-5 items) buyers can take home a whole new outfit for the price of dinner and a film out. Arrive early to grab the best items! 

Are you a shopaholic? Follow our social channels to stay up to date with the very latest Nica news and gossip. 

Monday, 17 February 2014

Discover Nica's Favourite Places: An Afternoon in Hampstead

As Britain continues to be battered by storms, it’s hard to get out and enjoy a nice stroll, but in between all of the rainy weather, I managed to squeeze in a quick wander around pretty Hampstead.

Down one of its quiet lanes, I stumbled upon an absolute gem that I had to share with you, - the Livingstone Studio. It’s a textile design studio with an adjoining gallery that exhibits beautiful textiles and offers a personal tailoring service.

Its exhibition is continuously changing and features pieces from international designers or groups with a specialised or antique interest. It boasts a really beautiful collection of garments, accessories, antique textiles, and interiors. I left feeling really inspired! 

To make the most of the intermediary blue skies after visiting the studio, I wandered along to Hampstead Heath. It’s one of my favourite green spaces in London, where you can just enjoy its pretty scenery and relax... And of course, derive some design inspiration. 

From the top of Parliament Hill, you get a wonderful view of London, and it’s benches are a mixture of locals and tourists who both equally enjoy looking down at the busy city.

The skies didn't stay blue for too long, and the rain did eventually return, so, I decided to seek cover and enjoy a spot of delicious high tea in Hampstead village! The perfect end to a lovely weekend afternoon!

Why not share one of your favourite places to visit in London and tell me why by tweeting me @Nica_Handbags

- x -  

Thursday, 13 February 2014

How To Style Your Sara Satchel with the Friday is Forever Blog

This week, we asked the Friday is Forever blog to show us how to style our Sara satchel, who explained how every girl needs a trusty black handbag in her wardrobe, as it tones everything down to a sophisticated level!

Teaming it alongside a simple grey dress, and then, adding a pop of colour with a pastel green coat, she demonstrates just how flawlessly it sits alongside a mix of different colours.

You can read her full review here, or even shop our beautiful Sara satchel collection here if you fancy! 

We'd love to see how you're styling your own Nica Handbags too, so, please share your stylish photos with us @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or @nicahandbags on Instagram. 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Unusual Valentine’s Date Ideas

As Valentine’s Day edges closer, we’re on the lookout for some unusual date ideas. As much as we love a spot of fine dining, sometimes you just can’t beat doing something a little bit different. From ping pong bars to city treasure hunts, ditch the pizza and cinema combo this year with our list of alternative date ideas for Valentine’s!

Best for Old Romantics: Georgian Valentine’s Ball

For those seeking a little luxury this Valentine’s Day, you’d be hard pressed to find a more decadent event than the Georgian Valentine’s Ball. Boasting a grand setting in the Great British Library, a generous Georgian-themed banquet, baroque music performances and historical style dance routines, this will be a truly authentic date night.

Don your dancing shoes, sip cocktails and indulge in a three-course feast at this year’s most romantic soirée.

Best for Anti-Romantic: Ping Pong at Bounce

A far cry from the typical candle-lit dinner, Bounce specialises in delicious eats, great music, and of course, ping pong! This trendy Holborn bar is the work of retro bowling alley All Star Lanes who opened Bounce with the aim to provide fun seekers with a little extra to the usual food and drink concept.

Now for Valentine’s Day, Bounce are organising an ‘anti-valentine’ event featuring fun games and tournaments marketed at public-affection-shy couples. One of the best things about Bounce is that food is available to order direct to your Ping-Pong table, so you can keep up the momentum without any need for lovey dovey table-talk. No sweet nothings required!

Best for Something Different: Bright Lights Treasure Hunt

Ok, so we may be a little bitold for treasure hunts but we couldn't resist this moonlight gem from the team over at Hidden City. Groups of 2-4 can hunt concealed streets, uncover quirky shops and drink at hidden bars on the Bright Lights Treasure Hunt. Taking place at night time, this is a tempting way to explore the city of London and the perfect date option for those looking to do something out of the ordinary.

Clues are sent to contestants via text message and there is also the option to compete against other teams for the fastest time. With 2 bar stops en route and a final destination of central London, this is a fantastic option for double dates or groups of friends.

Do you have a favourite date night hotspot? Tweet us your most-loved places @Nica_Handbags.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Discover Nica's Design Inspirations: The Vintage Botanic Print

'Ideas can come from anywhere, you can take inspirations from anything.' 
 Paul Smith 

Last week, I spent an afternoon at London’s Design Museum exploring the Hello My Name Is Paul Smith exhibition. Paul Smith is one of many designers who produces work that I love, so, I wanted to go along and get a real insight into his world and what inspires him. 

Just like I often explain, the exhibition demonstrates that ideas can come from anywhere and inspiration can be derived from anything, with Paul often referring to film, artists, photography, and making general observations. One of the best parts was getting the chance to walk down a long corridor decorated with a sample of Paul's own personal collection of inspiring art and photography (above). And as the sign suggests, it really did feel like I was taking a trip inside his head! 

Similarly to Paul, I often refer to beautiful pieces of art or photography for design inspirations, and most recently, I've been looking towards finely illustrated watercolour nature motifs, which led to the creation of our latest print the Vintage Botanic. They make me feel very nostalgic, and bring back happy memories of growing up in Korea!

Do you have a favourite source of design inspiration? Simply tell me below, or tweet @Nica_Handbags

Nica x 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Culture Vulture: Discover London’s Secret Nightlife

From off-the-wall, underground parties to the mysterious rebel bingo club, this week NICA are going boldly into the unknown to unearth the best of London’s alternative events. Mum’s the word!

Rebel Bingo Club

The word bingo usually has us conjuring up images of decrepit halls filled with pensioners hoping to win a full house. But you won’t find that at the Rebel Bingo Club- a phenomenon which began in the basement of a church hall! The background music is loud, the location is unknown until the day of the event and the bingo is so unconventional that you’ll have to see it to believe it. Rebel Bingo has taken off in a big way, expanding from London into an international and UK wide revolution. Catch it whilst you can!

The Prohibition Party

Wandering around the contemporary streets of Oxford Circus, it’s hard to believe that just minutes away in a Georgian mansion there’s a riotous 1920’s party taking off. Ladies arrive wearing beaded headbands, post box red lipstick and flapper dresses and men sport bow ties, army uniforms waistcoats, hats and moustaches.

This isn’t your typical fancy dress night, the decadent venue stretches 6 floors and is decked out with vaulted ceilings, shimmering marble tables and regal red curtains. Guests can choose from playing cards in the drawing room, a visit to the local picture house or simply by dancing the night away in the red room. Whether you choose to sip gin from teacups or try your luck on the roulette wheel, this is definitely a night to remember.

Secret Cinema

Leave your phone at the door – that’s the first rule of Secret Cinema. This fully immersive experience has been dubbed as ‘the new way to experience films’ and it rings true. Guests sign up for mystery films at mystery locations, and essentially are expected to be a part of performance theatre. Last year, guests were invited along to Hackney Downs to watch the classic film Dirty Dancing upon the big screen. The entire surrounding area was transformed into the Kellerman’s holiday camp where the film is set, and guests were given the chance to indulge an range of activities from Yoga to archery!

Are you an alternative events queen? Tell us about your favourite underground events in London or beyond by tweeting us @Nica_Handbags

Monday, 3 February 2014

How To Style our Bright Alicia Satchel with the LeanneLimWalker Blog

If like us, this S/S 14 you’re torn between pastels and brights, then, why not make like leannelimwalker’s blog and wear both trends at once!

Teaming her pastel coat with our statement tangerine Alicia satchel, our beautiful bag adds just the right amount of colour pop into her outfit. Head over to leannelimwalker for her full review, or snap up your very own tangerine Alicia satchel here.

We’d love to see how you’re styling your own Nica handbags too, so, please share your photos @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or@nicahandbags on Instagram.