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Posted on April 17, 2016

Casual French Girl Style

Bags/ Featured/ Icons/ Romantique/ Skirts
French girl style stripes and straw bag London street style

French girl style at Sloane Square, London

Whenever I feel uninspired, bored or just not too fussed about fashion, I’ll un-dust one of my many stripey breton shirts. The quintessential Parisian style staple always delivers, looking pulled together and relaxed at the same time. Who doesn’t have at least 3 stripey shirts in their wardrobe?  The nautical stripes were made famous in 1917 by no other than Madam Coco Chanel herself, establishing the shirt mariniere as a style icon. Countless celebs followed suit, from Audrey Hepburn to French cool Girl Clemence Poesy.

My favourite look is to go all out on the sailor theme by teaming my stripey J Crew shirt (love the relaxed fit and the boat neck) with a navy straight skirt and white buttons. To finish off the French look, I add a small straw bag for the Jane Birkin flair, St Tropez circa 1967.

What’s your favourite way of styling this timeless Piece? Would love to hear from you!

I’m wearing (mostly French, bien sur):

  • Sailor shirt by J Crew
  • Navy skirt with white Buttons by Claudie Pierlot
  • Sicilian embellished straw coffa bag by Sicily Bag – limited “Limoncello|” Edition
  • Banana earrings by N2 by Les Nereides
Breton shirt and Sicily Bag Straw bag street style London

Ou est la plage?

Street style London shirt mariniere and sicily bag straw bag

Audrey Hepburn looking chic in the nautical look.

Audrey Hepburn looking chic in the nautical look.

Love how Clemence Poesy mixes up styles: A relaxed sailor tee paired with a boucle tweed skirt. Parfait!

Love how Clemence Poesy mixes up styles: A relaxed sailor tee paired with a boucle tweed skirt on the red carpet. Parfait!

Posted on February 28, 2016

How to wear a Straw Bag in Winter

Bags/ Featured/ Romantique/ Wardrobe

Sicily Bag Claudia Street Style

Most people associate straw and wicker with summer. But who needs rigid rules these days? So many looks have transcended their former boundaries – e.g. sequins are now part of regular office attire. Sneakers are worn with delicate jacquard dresses. So why not wear a straw bag in winter? They’re cute, chic and express a unique counterpoint that says “to hell with the cold – I feel warm regardless!”. The colourful poms poms, ranging in hue from soft pastels to deep turquoises and reds, are your best friend to combat the winter blues. Imagine the colourful, pom pom embellished Sicilian cofa straw bag with a pea coat and ankle boats! Or a more understated straw bag in subtler tones. I love Sicily Bag’s model “Claudia”  with its signature honey comb pattern worn with pleated knits and a woollen hat. The possibilities are endless.

Sicily-Bag-Street-Style-Notting-Hill

Crispy cold, sunny winter day? Free the pom poms and let them shine!

I’m wearing above: Pink bathrobe coat by Max & Co. Moccasins by AGL Attilio Giusti Leombruni. Straw Bag “Gig” in size medio by Sicily Bag.

Sicily Bag straw bag winter street style london

All straw coffa bags are by Sicily Bag, my own web boutique I opened last year.

Every straw bag, handcrafted by Luigi and his family, carries history in its weaves. The age old Sicilian craft of embellishing straw bags is sadly fading. Luigi and his family are part of the last generation of artisans keeping this tradition alive.

Sicily-Bag-Street-Style-Berlin-Winter

I’m wearing: Sicily Bag “Gigi” in size grande. Caban sailor jacket by Max & Co, navy skirty by Claudie Pierlot. Sunglasses my Miu Miu.

Sicily-Bag-Winter-Street-style-london

I’m wearing a Sicily Bag in size piccolo. Gingham trousers by Max and Co. Lace collar shirt by Hallhuber. Beret by Seeberger.

Posted on January 24, 2016

Sicilian Lemon Yellow – Get in the mood for summer

Australia/ Bags/ Dresses/ Featured/ Romantique
Jump!

Jump!

I know know, I’m very lucky to escape to Australia every winter to get a healthy dose of vitamin D, sand between my toes, watermelon and shrimp on the barbie food feasts! All the while Europe is wrapped up snug to survive winter. The good news is that summer is coming in Europe and hopefully my Australian summer outfits I’m going to share in the next few weeks will make you excited for the summer to come!

My favourite summer colour is yellow! It’s the kind of colour that suits every skin tone: From dark mustard yellow to light citrus yellow. You can go all out dressed head to toe in a yellow dress like me, or just set an accent by wearing a yellow blouse or yellow shorts.

Bondi Beach Straw Coffa Bag

For a stunning beach day at iconic Bondi Beach, I’m wearing a dress by Calvin Klein, accented by a brown belt, leopard print toe sandals and my beloved straw coffa bag by Sicily Bag. For those of you who don’t know the story behind Sicily Bag: In summer 2015, I travelled to Sicily and instantly fell in love with the brightly embellished straw bags. I have since opened an online boutique, spreading the pom pom love whilst supporting an age old craft. Every bag is handmade by local artisan Luigi in Palermo and  each bag is one of a kind.

Sicilian Straw Bag Sicily Bag

Sicilian Straw Bag Sicily Bag

Bondi Beach YEllow Street Style

I’m wearing:

Yellow Dress by Calvin Klein

Toe Sandals in leopard print by Unisa

Straw Coffa Bag by Sicily Bag

Straw Panama hat by Billabong

Posted on November 3, 2015

Straw Bag in Golden Autumn

Bags/ Featured/ Rebel
Rebel Sicily Bag Autumn

I’m wearing: “Gig” Sicily Bag, Denim shirt by 0039 Italy, skinny jeans by Zara, leopard flats by BCBG, nude sunglasses by Celine.

Romantique and I are in love with Sicily Bag, the beautiful coffa straw bags Romantique discovered this year on her summer holiday in Sicily. In 6 weeks, she managed to set up a web boutique to share these artisanal wonders with the world!

As we’re moving into chillier but golden-sunny autumn weather, I wondered whether I’d still get away with carrying the richly embellished summer accessory. The answer is yes! As long as the weather is sunny and dry, the Sicilian basket looks stunning set against the oranges, yellows and deep reds of autumn.

Personally, I like to keep my outfit simple, with classic shapes and muted colours, and then have one accessory to pop, like Sicily Bag. In the pic above, I’m wearing a denim shirt, denim skinnies and leopard flats.

I'm wearing: "Gigi" Sicily Bag, Breton striped shirt by J Crew. Flats by BCBG.

I’m wearing: “Gigi” Sicily Bag, Breton striped shirt by J Crew. Flats by BCBG.

I love simple Breton stripes for their versatility:  Wear them with short sleeves in summer, or with long sleeves and in cosy materials like wool and cashmere in winter. Combine with Sicily Bag to make you feel like summer hasn’t left the building just yet. Love it!

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Rebel Sicily Bag Coffa Zara Denim

Posted on September 27, 2015

It’s a Pom Pom life for Dolce & Gabbana’s Summer Collection 2016

Accessoires/ Bags/ Featured/ Romantique
Wicker basket and dress with pom poms and mirrors. Photograph: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

Wicker basket and dress with pom poms and mirrors. Photograph: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

Wow. Dolce and Gabbana’s summer 2016 collection was an explosion of colours and highly embellished clothes and accessories. I was one of the loyal Dolce fans following the live stream of the Milan fashion show entitled “Italia is love”. And the title did not disappoint.

A highly wearable, feminine collection oozing zest for (Italian) life, based on stereotypes of Italy in the 50s. The designer duo presented well tried ingredients from previous collections such as prints of lemons, oranges, umbrella stripes, Sicilian carts and florals woven onto highly embellished brocade and lace. Dresses painted with picture-perfect post card prints of Taormina, Palermo, Capri, Rome and Venice paired with touristy camera shaped handbags.

Photo by swide.com

Photo by swide.com

Stefano Gabbana said that the initial inspiration for the collection came from a book he read on Second World War fashion when tailors turned to traditional handcraft techniques to embroider materials because they were scarce.

Embroidery featured heavily in the show: Rich, decorative Sicilian folklore elements such as pom-poms, mirrors and medallions, usually the domain of the Sicilian straw coffa bag, found their way onto wicker baskets, shoes, earrings, dresses and headscarfs.

Pom Pom Dress Dolce Gabbana SS2016 summer collection

From head to toe richly embellished. Photo by swide.com

Photo by swide.com

Siclian cart dress and pom pom bucket handbag. Photo by swide.com

Critics of Dolce and Gabbana will say they are rehashing the same old Italian / Siclian traditional styles which are getting tired. I disagree: Dolce and Gabbana listen to their customers who love Italian themed fashion and demand wearable, flattering clothes rather than OTT circus fashion.

coffa bag featured image

Indulge in the Sicilian Dolce and Gabbana mood with Sicily Bag: Featuring pom poms, mirrors, medallions, and bells embroidered onto the cloth showing the geometric pattern of the Siclian cart. Each Sicily Bag is one of a kind. Artisan Luigi takes 2 days to make each bag.

Dolce Gabbana SS2016 pom pom bucket bag

 

Posted on August 27, 2015

Simple Chic: Jumpsuit in the city

Bags/ Featured/ Romantique/ Wardrobe

There’s something about the casual wearability of the jumpsuit. Far from a romper, it’s a quick style fix that can be worn for many occasions, dressed up or down, appropriate for the beach as well as the board room.

I’m wearing a black (always slimming!) Jersey jumpsuit. The flowing material flatters the figure whilst being super comfortable. The pinnacle of relaxed, Italian chic!

Dress it down with flats for Sunday brunch, or with a sharp blazer and heels for work.

The simplicity of the jumpsuit screamed for one of my decadently adorned Sicily coffa bags. Making it the perfect canvas to showcase statement shoes & bags.

MAx and Co jumpsuit and sicily coffa bag strawbag

Street style London, Camden. I’m wearing:

  • Black jumpsuit by Max & Co
  • Sicily straw coffa bag
  • Pointy ballet flats nno name by TK Maxx
  • Sunglasses by Prada

Sicily Bag straw bag coffa

Street style Camden London jumpsuit and coffa bag

MAx and Co jumpsuit and sicily coffa bag strawbag

Posted on July 29, 2015

My Sicilian Straw Coffa Bag 

Bags/ Featured/ Italy/ Romantique
Mingling with the carabinieri in Palermo and my Sicilian straw bag

Mingling with the carabinieri in Palermo and my Sicilian straw bag

So what’s the most beautiful souvenir I brought home from Sicily? Without a doubt, its the richly decorated straw “coffa” bag. This quintessentially Sicilian straw basket is handmade by local artisans, replete with rich, decorative elements of Sicilian folklore such as pom poms, mirrors, bells, and metallic lions heads similar to those that adorn many Sicilian doorways.

I first spotted the “coffa” baskets back in 2012, before I’d even set foot in their homeland. Sicilian designer duo Dolce & Gabbana paid homage to their origins with a summer collection dedicated to all things Sicilian: The opulently adorned straw bags caught my eye but the prohibitive price tag prevented me from indulging.

Sicily bag dolce gabbana

 

Fast forward to Sicily summer 2015: Mr Romantique and I were strolling around Palermo on our last day of the holiday. In the midday heat, we were enjoying the markets, chatting with local traders and struck up a rapport with a gentleman who told us of a local coffa bag craftsman – Luigi. He took us to meet him, and I was swept off my feet by these wonderful creations, lovingly manufactured and decorated by this 82 year old artisan. The intricate skill of making these bags has been passed down through his family for generations. In a world of mass produced, disposable consumer goods, the skill has become much rarer but fortunately Luigi keeps it alive.

Coffa straw bag Sicilian

The bag’s embellishments reflect typical Sicilian folklore: Bright coloured pom poms, predominately in red & yellow, the colours of the Sicilian flag, depictions of lemons, oranges and the Sicilian cart with the characteristic trapezoidal shapes and geometrical patterns typical of the Palermo area.

Coffa straw bag Sicilian

I’ve fallen head over heels in love with these special bags. So much so, that I want to spread them all over the world whilst supporting the local family who are keeping this artform alive.

In September 2015, we launched our web boutique. Go to sicilybag.com to order one of these stunning bags. Each bag is unique. No two designs are ever the same. Not only are they impossbly chic, but by purchasing one of these gems you ensure the survival of this age-old, fading craft.

 

Coffa straw bag Sicilian

I’m wearing a blue striped cotton summer dress by Max & Co, white broderie anglaise sneakers by Superga, sunglasses by Prada and my Sicilian coffa bag.

Sicilian cart

Sicilian cart

Sicily Bag Straw Coffa basket

One of the stunning designs of our straw coffa bags you can purchase. They perfectly represent the creativity and sense of joy of the Sicilian people.

Sicily Bag Straw Coffa basket

A richly embellished Sicily bag in gold.

Sicily Bag Straw Coffa basket

 

The bags come in three sizes: Grande (large), Medio (medium) and piccolo (small). This is a medium bag, richly adorned with pom poms, metal buttons and the typical graphic designs of the Sicilian carts of the Palermo area. The predominant colours of red and yellow represent the Sicilian flag.

 

ORDER NOW on

Sicilybag.com

Posted on May 6, 2015

My Little Chanel (-like) bags

Bags/ Featured/ Romantique

Zara tweed chanel handbag boucle

Who has £5000 to spare for a Chanel Bouclé Tweed bag? Or £3000 for the iconic, quilted Boy leather bag? Not everyone and certainly not me! High street giant Zara to the rescue….

Zara’s tweed messenger bag from the current SS 2015 collection is a dead ringer for the classic Chanel tweed bag, made out of Coco Chanel’s signature fabric Bouclb. Coming in at £39.99, this is a real bargain. The multi coloured tweed material and the heavy silver chain strap have a high-quality, solid  feel.

Zara tweed chanel handbag boucle

I’m all for sustainable fashion, i.e. having less things in my wardrobe but of higher quality.  But some things, like a Chanel bag, are just unattainable. A ghastly, Chinese-made replica is out of the question for me, but a quality high street version is a great alternative to the real deal.

My second Chanel-esque arm candy is a steal from TK Maxx. A quilted, dusty pink cross body bag by Italian designer LCredi. There are loads of imitations of the quilted “Boy” bag out there, but only few look so well crafted that they could be mistaken for the original.

London Street style chanel quilted bag sloane square

What’s your take on high-street copies of iconic designer bags? A perfectly wearable substitute? Or do you prefer to save up your hard earned and splurge on the designer label?

London street style zara tweed messenger bag boucle I’m wearing:

  • Black empire line coat by Max & Co
  • Tweed messenger bag by Zara
  • dusty pink quilted bag by Lcredi
  • pink oxford lace-ups by AGL Attilio Giusti Leombruni
  • Tortoise sunglasses by Prada
Posted on April 5, 2015

Spring in a Cherry Red Coat

Bags/ Coats/ Featured/ Rebel

Street Style Red Coat + Chanel bag

Happy Easter all Bunnies!

Spring has not arrived in Hamburg yet, the still chilly weather calls for a cherry coat. Are red coats just for the christmas season? No,  a vivid red coat is the perfect late season into spring style zipper-upper.  I love how sophisticated red coats look at any time!

Street Style Rede coat

Let’s deep dive into each element of my style. I love classic and simple things looking casual and finished!

Red Coat by Calvin Klein, Denim by Esprit, Trainers by adidas Originals, Black Sweater, Sunglasses by Fendi, Chanel 2.55 look a like by L.Credi.

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Spring forward  in a cherry red coat and have Fun!

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Posted on December 14, 2014

Marie-Antoinette’s Favourite Colour

Bags/ Dresses/ Wardrobe

London Streetstyle peter pan collared dress burgundy puce

Marie-Antoinette, France’s last queen and symbol for the excess of the monarchy, had a favourite colour: She loved to wear reddish brown tafetta dresses with purple shimmer, known as “puce”. This Christmas, French mustard brand Maille pays hommage to the gorgeously decadent colour with a special edition of one of their top end mustards. A true food lover’s delight, this mustard contains black truffle and Chablis wine. Dot this over steak, enjoy with cheese, spread on a brioche, or mix in with a creamy risotto…yum!!

maille les délices de la reine My dad is a passionate hobby chef, which makes Maille’s high-end mustard a perfect Christmas gift for him. Men are notoriously difficult to buy for, so this makes a nice change to the perennial scarf, jumper or perfume. The heavy stone ware pot can be refilled in Maille boutiques around the world. I got this personalised in the London boutique with my dad’s initials – a lovely, personal touch.

Due to my colouring, puce and auburn-y colours are difficult for me to pull off. The dress I am wearing is brightened with a crisp white Peter Pan collar, an accessory I’ve loved for years, even before it was popularised by Alexa Chung.

London Streetstyle peter pan collared dress burgundy puce

Happy holidays!

London Streetstyle peter pan collared dress burgundy puce

I am wearing:

  • Dress in puce by Max & Co
  • Bronze shoes by Max & Co
  • Black doctor handbag by Prada
  • Sunglassses by Prada

 

Marie-Antoinette in her puce dress

Marie-Antoinette in her puce coloured dress

London street style Prada doctor's bag

Disclaimer: I have links to the Maille brand in my current job

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