Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Best Halloween Parties in London

Carve up the pumpkins, dig out the dressing up box and load up the scary film stash, its Halloween time. Falling on a Friday for the first time in years, London’s venues have been quick to organise the fright night parties. With an exhaustive number of events taking place in every corner of the city, we’ve filtered through to find the very best. Where will you end up?

East London’s canal side CRATE Brewery is the brainchild of local Hackney artists. Clubbing together to create a hip, upcycled venue, the interior came together in 6 weeks and is a mishmash of old railway sleepers, ladders and moored boats. Specialising in hand-rolled artisan pizza, cask ale and international beer, CRATE is a hub for fun-loving creatives.

And there’s good news for scare seekers because the brewery will be providing more Halloween chills than just ice-cold beer this Friday. Their appropriately named ‘Grind-House’ party encourages dressing up in the form of ‘ghouls and good times’, with 3 impressive DJs. Tickets are £5.

For those who require more adventure than their own front room but don’t want to party ‘til sunrise dressed as Frankenstein, hot tub Halloween is the perfect middle ground.  Round up 6 of your besties and head to the pop-up Shoreditch location for some scary screenings. If you’re reading this and questioning the writer’s sanity, fear not: hot tubs are heated at 40c so you’ll stay warm and toasty despite the cold night air.

With waiters standing by ready to fetch popcorn and refreshments at a moments notice, there’ll be little reason to move from your bubbly paradise. At the time of writing there are still tickets left to watch The Lost Boys, The Craft and 28 Days Later so grab yours quick for some laid-back frights.

Waterloo doesn't sound like a likely location for a Halloween rave, but the vaults in the underground have been refashioned into a seriously spooky setting. The vaults are actually a place of legend because during the 19th century they were used as a solution to London’s overcrowded graveyards. The ex-morgue turned Halloween Raveyard is therefore much more authentic than your standard themed club night.

Dance with zombies in the disco dance hall and experience chills and thrills in Dr Maynard’s Hideous Dissection Lab. Taking place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, scare seekers can cherry pick the best night to celebrate.

We’ve only just scratched the surface of the Halloween parties in London. Have you spotted any that have caught your eye? Let us know by tweeting us @Nica_Handbags or commenting below.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

#NicaCarve: Win a Nica Handbag with our Halloween Competition

With Halloween just around the corner, we've bought our pumpkins and we’re getting into the spooky spirit by launching a competition just for you!

If you’ve been carving your own pumpkins for the occasion, then we’d love for you to share a photo of your creations using #NicaCarve upon any of our social channels for the chance to win a Nica handbag of your choice from 

Remember, you can find us @nicahandbags on Instagram and @nica_handbags on Twitter! Our competition closes at midnight (GMT) 31st October. T&Cs apply! Good luck! 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Unmissable London Fashion Exhibitions

When you require a little pick-me-up, fashion exhibitions are a great source of inspiration. Offering something different to the average weekend activity, there is much pleasure to be gained from aesthetic culture. After the success of the Design Museum’s 2012 Christian Louboutin exhibition, London’s cultural institutions have laid on the fashion listings thick and fast and we can’t wait to experience them all.

Whether you want to delve into the works of legendary style photographer Horst or ogle over 200 pairs of footwear, catch London’s best style exhibitions while you can. 

Fashion Rules

When it comes to illustrious style, celebrities and models rule the roost. So, it’s refreshing to see a rare exhibition focused on fashion throughout the monarchy. Take a look at 21 gowns coveted by queens and princesses and learn about the context behind them.

This regal exhibition is being held in the equally grand Kensington Palace and runs up to July. See 60’s apparel and 80’s glamour in all its splendour with outfits from Princess Diana and her majesty providing the best visual highlights.

Horst: Photographer of Style

Celebrating the 60 year career of Vogue photographer Horst P. Horst, the Victoria and Albert museum are currently showcasing his most iconic works. From glossy haute couture to illustrious stage and screen snaps, Horst photographed everyone from Marlene Dietrich to Yves Saint Laurent and was widely considered ‘the king of fashion photography’ amongst critics.

In addition to poring over iconic fashion shoots, fans will also be treated to rare and unpublished prints from Horst’s personal travels. With tickets priced at a very reasonable £4.60, we can think of worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain

Ok, so this one isn't scheduled until June 2015 but we’re still making space in the diary all the same. Shoe addicts should consider the V&A’s next exhibition an essential visit. As we all know, even the most beautiful shoes can cause great discomfort, and that’s what Shoes: Pleasure and Pain is all about. Almost 200 outrageous pairs will be displayed for your viewing pleasure.

Pore over gold-leafed Egyptian sandals, be shocked by the highest stiletto heels ever made and learn about the rich history and reasoning behind eminent designs. A word of warning though, this exhibition will give you a serious urge to splurge!

We’re always on the lookout for hot new cultural events to attend. If you’ve visited an exhibition worth shouting about, let us know. Tweet us @Nica_Handbags or leave us a comment below.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Guess Where Nica Kim is for your Chance to Win a Bag!

Fancy winning yourself a brand new Nica bag? Then, you'll be beyond excited to learn that we've teamed up with Student Beans and are offering you the chance to win a new bag of your choice from

Plus, it's really simple to enter too! Alls you have to do is complete the following steps:
1) Follow us on Instagram @nicahandbags

2) Repost the image found below of Nica Kim on her travels.

3) Tag @nicahandbags and #NicaHandbags in the caption.
4) Finally, answer in the caption: Which city do you think Nica Kim is in?

So, if you think you know where Nica Kim has been travelling this time, there's no stopping you! Head to Instagram and enter  right away!

Competition ends midnight (GMT) 26th October 2014 and we'll be randomly choosing one lucky winner who's completed all of the steps. T&Cs apply see 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Blogger Style Challenge

We love seeing some of our favourite bloggers show us how to style our #NicaHandbags for a little outfit inspiration. So, you may have noticed that we’ve recently challenged a few of our faves to five days of Nica style on Instagram!

We challenged bloggers @honey_pop to style up our Laurengrab and @dearestdeer_ to style our Lauren crossbody. They've created lots of beautiful outfits, so we wanted to share a few of our faves with you! 


We’re no stranger to a vintage feeling design here at Nica, so, we loved Dunya’s retro feeling outfit. Teaming our classic Lauren crossbody with a cool denim dungaree dress, polo neck and knee high boots which is a perfect combo just before the weather gets too cold. 

The Lauren crossbody is a really versatile bag as when teamed with a sleek pair of trousers and fitted top, it makes for a completely different feel.  


The great thing about the Lauren grab is that it can also be worn as a crossbody thanks to its detachable strap, and blogger Amanda demonstrated this perfectly. It looked great paired with a pink plaid mini skirt and casual jumper. 

Whilst carrying as a grab, she chose a pair of cool cheque trousers, a mint green jumper and some very cool white platform shoes.

Which of their outfits was your favourite and would influence your #NicaHandbags outfits? Why not drop us a comment to tell us below? 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Get the Look: Emma Stone

From rubbing shoulders with Ryan Gosling in cult film Drive to her lead role as high school heartthrob in Easy A, Emma Stone is a woman on fire. At just 26, the star has coveted every hair colour under the sun and her style credentials are off the chart. This week, we’re all about Emma Stone style.

That Amazing Yellow Dress

Of all her looks, Hollywood glamour is Emma’s strongest. The star rocked up to the première of the new Superman flick in the most gorgeous sun yellow maxi complemented by pin mermaid curls, fuschia lipstick and a sleek gold clasp necklace. Emma Stone’s yellow dress made just about every newspaper headline proving that sometimes it pays to be different.

Emma Stone Street Style

Off duty, Emma channels laid back chic in simple skinnies and ballet pumps. An olive green cartazi hat, tan handbag and textured biker jacket give the otherwise understated look a game changing edge.
Winter style is all about the layers; emulate her look with a shearling jacket, floppy hat and statement handbag such as the Nica Anica tote. Designed to make life easy, the uncomplicated style, lovely colour and roomy interior make it a strong new season handbag contender.

Emma Stone Make-Up and Hair

Rarely spotted without her signature magenta lipstick, it makes sense that Emma is the face of Revlon. From sultry smoky eyes for red carpet pictures to red blusher enhancing the apples of her cheeks when out and about, the American actress is definitely in favour of the dolled up look.

As for her hair, it’s been every which way you could imagine. Peroxide blonde, chestnut brown and our personal favourite: ravishing red. She’s always got something in the way of a fringe going on, whether it’s the whole shebang or an immaculately curled side fringe. Rather than compelling us to copy a certain style, it encourages us to be a little braver with our own barnets. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

What do you think of Emma Stone’s style? We’d love to know. Leave us a comment below or tweet us @Nica_Handbags.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Discover Nica's Design Inspiration: Shopping in Seoul

Fashion Week may have only just ended but guess what? I’m already thinking about A/W 15! That may seem like a long way away at the moment but that’s how far ahead we have to work to ensure you have the latest styles on time.

So, to inspire my A/W 15 collection, I recently headed to Seoul and hit the fashion Mecca which is the Dongdaemun district. Have you ever seen their iconic DDP art building in the middle of the shops? - It's the biggest 3 dimensional atypical structure of its kind in the world and  really brings the district to life. 

As you know, Seoul is a big trend-setter in the fashion world, and Dongdaemun boasts all different kinds of fabrics, clothes, and accessories that you could ever imagine – with a wholesale focus but things are also available at retail prices. 

So, I hit the numerous stores to see which trends are bubbling up, which involves everything from looking at the overall style of the finished products to the fabrics that they are made of. 

I find looking at different fusions of fabrics really inspiring, just like the outfit below, as it triggers lots of possibilities for my own future designs. 

By now, you know that creating unique Nica prints is something that I love to do, and so, I love to see what others are creating too. I took plenty of photos of printed fabric that I loved, and I've filed them in my development book for when I get back to London. 

What do you think of my new outfit that I picked up in Seoul? I also spend quite a lot of time buying inspiration samples to bring back too, and I couldn't help trying some on! 

It was a really good trip and I’m feeling very inspired. What trends are you most looking forward to seeing for A/W 15? Drop me a comment below or tweet me @Nica_Handbags on Twitter. 

Love Nica
- x - 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Our Favourite Food Trends 2014

Last year frosted cupcakes, gourmet burgers and popcorn emerged as the food superstars. The burgers were fully loaded, the popcorn was flavoured and the cupcakes were calorific. Now that we’re approaching the end of 2014, it’s healthy food that's making an impression, and we want to share a few of our favourites with you.


Kale used to be the dubious, unidentified veg that your Gran would try to sneak onto your plate during Sunday lunch. Oh, how things change!These days everyone who is anyone has a bag of the leafy greens stored in their fridge, and for good reason too. Per calorie, Kale contains more iron than beef, it’s packed with omega fatty acids which combat depression and blood fat, and let's not forget, when it's served with garlic and mushrooms it’s pretty darn tasty!

Easy Kale Recipes:

Cooking with kale is a breeze; we find the vegetable complements a meal of sweet potato mash and salmon with red peppercorns perfectly. Oven bake with a splash of oil for a healthy alternative to crisps or toss in a salad and eat raw to achieve maximum health benefits.

Sourdough Pizza Dough

The rise of the gluten free diet has led to more digestible carbs such as sourdough leading the bread army but recipes for sourdough bread aren't easy. This slowly fermented bread takes skills and perseverance to master because despite the 35 minute cooking time, sourdough needs around 5 days to develop compared with commercial loaves. The artisan bread contains lactic acids which slow down the rate that glucose is digested into the bloodstream meaning you’re less likely to get food intolerance.

As with all foods though, the proof is in the pudding. Luckily sourdough is an absolute treat, from divine, heart shaped pizza at the highly acclaimed Franco Manca to toast-your-own breakfast eatery Breads Etcetera, - sourdough is taking the London food circuit by storm. Are you a convert?

Coconut Water
Whether sipped directly from coconuts through a straw or purchased in carton form, the jury’s out, and coconut water is here to stay. An acquired taste, it can take a few tries to really get on board with coconut water, but once you do, you’ll struggle to find a more refreshing beverage.

Coconut water is great to drink with a hangover as it replaces essential electrolytes and repairs the stomach. In addition, the drink aids digestion, boosts hydration, moisturises the skin and contributes to weight loss. For the best results, chop the top off a coconut and drink direct. Alternatively, you’ll find the coconut water in most supermarkets. 

Many new varieties are blended with watermelon and pineapple juice for a tropical zing but we personally recommend trying the coconut Mojito on for size! Mix a glass of coconut water with mint leaves, the juice of a lime, a shot of rum and lots of ice. Go from parched to refreshed in a few delicious sips.

Are you hooked on any of the food we’ve mentioned? Perhaps there’s a food craze you’re into that we've forgot to mention. Do let us know. Leave a comment below or tweet us @Nica_Handbags.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Win a New Handbag with the Lily Kitten Blog

If you fancy adding to your #NicaHandbags collection with one of our beautiful AW14 Lauren grabs, then, you’ll love to hear that we've teamed up with the lovely Lily Kitten blog to offer you the chance to win one!

The Lauren grab is our modern take upon the classic Doctor's bag style, and is available to buy in a choice of classic black and tan, or our on trend blue haze and raspberry hues. Plus, you get the choice of wearing it as crossbody too, thanks to its great detachable strap.

We’ve also loved watching how Lily’s been styling up her own Lauren grab too. Lily opted for the black version, and worked it into an all-black ensemble, brought to life by a gorgeous flower kimono.

What do you think of her outfit? – Has it provided you with some inspiration for the weekend? You can enter our competition with Lily over on her blog or shop your very own Lauren grab here! 

If you’d love to be featured upon our social channels, then, why not show us how you’re styling up your current Nica bags, we’d love to see! Simply tag your images with #NicaHandbags @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or @nicahandbags on Instagram. 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Discover our A/W Reading List!

With book nominations becoming a recent trend to be tagged in on Facebook, it makes sense for the team here at Nica to put together our favourite reads. Take a look and find out which books we’re struggling to put down this season!

The Secret History of The Handbag By Meredith Etherington-Smith

Where would we be without our bags? They stylishly store our most prized possessions: iPhone, purse, keys, make-up… So,  isn't it about time that we clued ourselves up on these essential accessories? Pick up a copy of The Secret History of The Handbag and go back in time with Meredith Etherington and learn all about our much-loved fashion accessory.

The Secret History of The Handbag is a truly educational read. If you love learning about fashion history, this one is for you. With pictures galore, you’re in for a real treat with this new book that delves into the past of one of fashion's most coveted items.

History of The Rain By Niall Williams

This beautiful book sees Williams transform words into a poetic story and you’ll be introduced to characters that seem so real, they’ll live on forever. The setting is Faha, Ireland where rain is the only constant. Ruth Swain is the centre of the story, a girl who loves to read and vows to read her father's collection of 3,958 books in order to understand him. Ruth is sickly with a "blood disease" and spends her days in an attic room with skylights over which rain falls. Want to know where the story goes from here? You’ll just have to find out for yourself. 

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle By Haruki Murakami

Whilst this isn't new on the shelves, it’s a golden oldie that we adore. Published a decade ago by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle tells the story of Toru Okada. The 30-year-old loses his cat, job, and wife in a shockingly short period of time.  For those familiar with Murakami, things quickly go from bad to weird in his novels and it’s no different for Toru.

This heroically imaginative novel tells the story of a hallucinatory vortex which revolves around several loosely connected searches carried out in suburban Tokyo by Toru. 

Are you going to give these books a whirl this autumn? As the nights draw in, we can think of nothing better than snuggling up and getting lost in a riveting read. Let us know what you think of them by tweeting us @Nica_Handbags or leave us a comment below.