Wednesday, 31 August 2011

A story of Bottega Veneta

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Once upon a time, in 1966, 45 years ago, a new atelier opened in Vicenza, in the Veneto region of Italy. Its owners, Michele Taddei and Renzo Zengiaro, founded the brand to produce premier leather goods to satisfy demanding taste of Italian ladies and gentlemen whose genetic love for beauty and craftsmanship was running in their veins together with a need for understated luxury that required no logos to be truly appreciated.

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The unmistakable sign of Bottega was not only in the quality, but in the way their products were made. The Intrecciato weave was born when the company’s artisans had to cut buttery soft superfine glove leather into strips to get it through sewing machines originally designed to stich fabric. The new technique made the leather more durable for accessories and distinctive crosshatched pattern became a signature mark of Bottega Veneta.

As the time went by the reputation of “Venetian Atelier” and its super-soft, sensuous, handcrafted handbags continued to grow. The brand was becoming one of the most refined and respected fashion houses in Italy. In the 1970s, the new motto “When your own initials are enough” increased the popularity and sales even more.

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Bottega Veneta was now loved around the world and found its fans among Studio 54 crowd including Andy Warhol who later made a short movie about the brand.

Things, however, started to change when Renzo Zengiaro decided to leave Bottega Veneta followed by Taddei a few years later. Some say, the departure was caused by commercial pressures to change company’s aesthetics and turn it into yet another logo-driven brand. And so the abandoned house found its new owners in Vittorio and Laura Moltedo who chose to forget about the essence of Bottega and venture into the new trendy industry where products made of nylon were enough to keep new customers happy. Sadly, it didn’t take long for Bottega Veneta to dissolve into brash and loud mass of logo-overloaded brands, its fortunes declined and the company was close to bankruptcy by the end of the 20th century.

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It would have been a sad story with a very tearful ending, but one day (and what a fine day it was) a Fairy Godmother appeared from nowhere bearing good news and hopes. Actually, she didn’t look like a fairy at all, but more like Tom Ford, a creative director of Gucci Group who bought the company for $156 million in 2001. The era of quiet luxury was returning.

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The newly appointed Tomas Maier joined the company in June that same year. He was a perfect choice for Bottega Veneta. Trained at the institutional Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris, the designer has already established himself by working with Sonia Rykiel, Revillon, Hermès other well-regarded fashion houses as well as creating his own brand. In nine years Maier increased Bottega Veneta’s sales by eight hundred per cent and created a beautiful future for the brand starting from a ready-to-wear lines for women and men that were launched in 2002, jewellery collection -  in 2004, furniture and home accessories – in 2006 and perfume – in 2011.

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And so the story continued… making an unforgettable history of timeless style and impeccable taste that never go out of fashion because Bottega Veneta is so much more than that.

Photo sources: Bottega Veneta Campaign Fall 2004, Bottega Veneta Campaign Spring 2003 (2&3), Bottega Veneta Campaign Fall 2002 (4&6), Interview December 2009

Stylish quote

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"Fashion is a reflection of out time and many times and indicator of human sensibility."

Tomas Maier

Photo source: Bottega Veneta Campaign Spring/Summer 2010

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Bottega Veneta: fragrant début

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This year Bottega Veneta launched their first perfume. The fragrance that represents “invisible, private luxury” was inspired by the Veneto region of Italy with “rolling green hills and an old house with its old wood floors, library walls and leather-bound books, with the windows open wide, the breeze coming in and cut grass, hay, moss, garden flowers, growing through the room and everything mixing up”.

A precious elixir containing the notes of bergamot, jasmine, oak moss, patchouli and Brazilian pink pepper was created by Michel Almairac and then poured into limited edition Murano glass bottles decorated with a small metal brunito cap and a leather ribbon clipped with a butterfly stamp.

The decadent campaign featuring gorgeous Nine d’Urso, daughter of Inès de la Fressange included a photo advert and a short movie directed by Tomas Maier and created by Bruce Weber whose work “conveys a mix of spontaneity, sensuality, confidence, and timelessness” according to Maier.

He also explained his choice of the model for the campaign saying that “there is something classically elegant about her, yet she is totally modern. She conveys a sense of heritage worn lightly but with respect.”

Sources: wwd.com, vogue.com, elleuk.com

Monday, 29 August 2011

Bottega Veneta: my favourite campaigns

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I have a very special relationship with Bottega Veneta. It began in 2004 with a campaign featuring some incredibly beautiful bags and shoes. In just one word it gracefully whispered “luxury”. In a classy way, sotto vocce, as if caressing your ear with a velvety warm air.

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The clothes themselves, however, weren’t really me (although I wouldn’t say no to some of them now!) and so I just continued dreaming of the woven bags and lady-like heels.

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Things, however, changed in 2006, when Bianca Balti appeared on a runaway in a gorgeous chocolate brown leather jacket. A few dresses, skirts and shorts later I was deeply in love with Bottega.

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In all honesty, the 2006-2009 collections are still my absolute favourite, which is definitely reflected in my choice of Bottega Veneta campaigns (plus the fact that I adore gorgeous Inguna Butane). I wish I could have the dresses from spring 2007, I want them so badly it almost hurts sometimes.

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I am very lucky for having been given a chance to own a little bit of Bottega Veneta Spring 2008/2009 and I can’t be grateful enough for it and will share the look with you on Sunday, because, as you might have guessed by now, it’s time for yet another Fashioned by Love fashion week.

Photo source: Bottega Veneta Fall 2004, Bottega Veneta Fall 2006, Bottega Veneta Spring 2007 (2), Bottega Veneta Spring 2008

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Love your cardi? You can win a holiday

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Who doesn’t love wool? Just thinking about sweaters, cardigans and scarves makes me feel wonderfully cosy and warm inside. No wonder I was excited to hear about the launch of Woolmark’s Fashion by Feelings campaign aimed to educate people about wool as a natural and luxurious fibre that can be easily added to any wardrobe and style in myriads of ways. The best thing about the campaign? You can join the fun by styling a look featuring your favourite wool garment, post it on Woolmark website and, if your outfit gets chosen, win an amazing trip to Australia for two people, including flights, 6 nights in a 5* hotel in Sydney, a day visit to Merino farm, 2 pairs of EMU Australia boots and a $3600 Westfield premium shopping experience. Tempted? Then dress up, take a picture and head over to the look book page and become a part of a great brand.

To find out more, visit Fashioned by Feelings website and get all the news about the campaign via Facebook and Twitter.

Photo source: Marie Claire Italia September 2011

Natalia Vodianova in Vogue US 2011

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I know this week I’ve already dedicated two posts to Natalia Vodianova, but I saw this one from US Vogue and had to add it to my blog, too. I really like it and my only reservation is the amount of airbrushing that Vogue US seems to be going overboard with, yet again. Apart from that tiny detail, enjoy.

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Photo source: Vogue US September 2011

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Weekend sign off

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Good morning, darlings! Any plans for weekend? I hope you’ve got lots of treats in store for you.

Can we talk admin today, you think? I hope you don’t mind. I really really wanted to share some news and updates with you and today’s post seemed like a perfect opportunity.

So lets get down to all the news in order of importance.

First of all, I wanted to thank everyone who’s been following my blog. There are over 200 of you now and it makes me smile every time I see your comments and emails. I can’t express in words how much your support means to me and so I decided to host a little super adorable giveaway, which will take place in just over a week. Stay tuned!

Second thing I am incredibly happy about is an interview with somebody very special. The story will be published on a first week of September. I’ve also added a new page where you will be able to find all the interviews – you can either click here or on a pretty picture on the side bar.

Also it’s the time for another Fashioned by Love fashion week. It starts on Monday and will be dedicated to one of the companies and designer that I love to the point of obsession. I can honestly say that this label is one of my favourite, if not the most favourite, ones. Curious? Don’t forget to check the blog on Monday. Until then, my lips are sealed. And if you are new to the blog, feel free to browse my other fashion weeks here.

The last but not the least is a favour I wanted to ask of you. You might have already noticed that I’ve entered Fashioned by Love in Cosmo Blog Awards competition. I love my little baby blog and I would be very grateful if you could take a couple of minutes of your time and nominate it in “New Fashion Blog” category. You can do so by clicking on the Cosmo Awards logo in the right top corner or following this link. It would mean a huge deal to me.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Always yours,

signature

Photo source: Red magazine November 2008

Link à la mode: 25th August

Knock, knock, Who's there? It's me September! The month you learn to love and hate... But love more.

That's right everyone September is right around the corner waiting to knock on your door. As fashion bloggers this gets to be a rather insane month. You run around like crazy from place to place and your schedule may seem never ending. I don't know about you, but I tend to ask myself... How can I top last September? It's a month for makeovers! Now before you go grab your friends and have a scene straight out of Clueless, let me clarify what I mean by makeover. I don't expect you to be only concerned about what you're wearing but EVERYTHING! I believe September is a great month for change. Refresh your wardrobe, change your writing style up a bit, find different angles to cover shows, go back and look at last September and figure out how to spice things up this year, perhaps it's time to refresh your gadgets?, change your make-up palette, read new content, simply explore! Change is usually a good thing.

The IFB Weekly Roundup: LINKS À LA MODE: AUG 25TH

SPONSOR:

Fashion's Night Out at Shopbop: Hakaan, Raoul, Dsquared2, Clutches, Parker, Sonia Rykiel, Aiko, Rag & Bone, Ash, Siwy, Bags, MM6, & Rachel Zoe Clothing.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Natalia Vodianova in Love

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Second editorial featuring Natalia this week, but I just had to post it. This time it’s The Craft of Seduction, a story from Love magazine photographed by Alasdair McLellan and styled by Katie Grand. Here Natalia Vodianova is wearing unique pieces borrowed from Gucci’s archives to celebrate the company’s 90s Anniversary. I love Love for the unique experience and gorgeous imagery.

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Photo source: Love #6 2011

Thursday, 25 August 2011

To have and to hold

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I have a pet bag, the little Ledbury baby as I call it. It’s small, soft and beautiful. It’s cuddly. I will probably sound totally insane, but I find it somewhat soothing to touch and hug “her”. It’s like a comfort blanket. It’s velvety suede interior also holds beautiful memories about our trips to Paris, Bruges and all over England. I love this baby and was very excited to spot a new style of carrying a handbag that suddenly made me see my little treasure in a completely new light. The bag can now be truly cuddled and carried around in my arms – a style that looks so wonderfully effortless and chic! And it doesn’t just apply to lady-like handbags – you can use your favourite tote bag by folding it in half or use a larger handbag as long as its shape makes it comfortable enough for you to hold it. I wouldn’t probably clutch mine à la Prada, otherwise I’d most likely lose some of my precious possessions, so I’m taking inspirations from the likes of Miu Miu, Celine, Dries and Victoria Beckham.

What do you think about this trend? How do/will you carry you favourite bag?

brioni-fall2011CELINE-FALL-RTW-2011-PODIUM-024_runwayCNC-COSTUME-NATIONAL-FALL-2011-RTW-PODIUM-006_runwayDries-van-noten-FALL-2011-RTW-podium-016_runwayElie-tahari-FALL-2011-RTW-podium-036_runwayLAURA-BIAGIOTTI-FALL-2011-RTW-PODIUM-024_runwayLouis-vuitton-FALL-2011-RTW-podium-021_runwayMIU-MIU-FALL-RTW-2011-PODIUM-011_runwayNANETTE-LEPORE-FALL-RTW-2011-PODIUM-011_runwayNY_VictoriaB_F2011_6SPORTMAX-FALL-2011-RTW-PODIUM-028_runwaySTEPHEN-BURROWS-FALL-RTW-2011-PODIUM-011_runwayVALENTINO-FALL-RTW-2011-PODIUM-029_runwayPHILLIP-LIM-FALL-RTW-2011-PODIUM-016_runway

Photo source: elle.com, style.com

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Stylish quote

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“It's not the money that makes you well-dressed,

it's understanding.”

Christian Dior

Photo source: Elle US August 2003

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