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Per usual, I’m positively smitten with the latest collection from Veronica Beard.  Spring/Summer 2014 from Veronica Beard was inspired by NYC in the 1980s and “the opulence and energy of the city that never sleeps.”   A mix of uptown class and gritty grafitti creates the perfect balance of modernity and elegance. Vivid colors (bold yellow) and graphic prints (an eye-catching red leopard) are mixed with an array of textures and fabrics like denim leather, mesh, and spacer panels.  The raincoat is fantastic! With clean jumpsuit silhouettes and perfect floral prints, this collection has left me dreaming of spring in a very fresh way.

Learn more about Veronica Beard here.

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Mini Gypsy Crossbody in Electric Blue Crocodile

 

I am so grateful to have stumbled upon the Austin based company, Zink Collection.  This collection includes some of the most STUNNINGLY simple and well-crafted bags I’ve seen in a long time.  They are refreshingly understated and made with some of the most gorgeous leathers and exotics imaginable.  It was wonderful to catch up with Zink collection founder and creative director, Ben Freedland.

 

N/S: How did your company come to be?  Did you always know you wanted to launch a handbag and accessories line?

 

Ben: I knew I wanted to start a company that would be fashion related. I didn’t know it would be an accessory company. I just knew I wanted to make quality products that focused on craftsmanship with a modern classic aesthetic. I am trying to make ZINK into more of a lifestyle brand versus a fashion brand. Meaning we just design and produce quality crafted items to accompany you on your everyday life.

 

 

N/S: When did you launch? How has your company grown?

 

Ben: 2009. We grew from a temporary pop-up to a company focused on wholesale to a company focused on our own retail shops and website.  We are aiming to be a niche brand with limited distribution.  This way we can control our market as well as making sure we can continue to produce the quality product we stand behind.  We always look for the right partners though.  Someone who believes in the same message and standards we have and value.

 

 

N/S: What would you consider the classic or core bags of your line?

 

Ben: Our core styles are our Steamship and Boxcar bags in Italian canvas with leather trim or solid leather. The Steamship can be a more of serious bag while the Boxcar is slightly more casual.  The classics are all saddle leather and black Italian canvas with saddle leather.  We try to keep these always in stock.

 

Jaunt Handbag

Lancaster Clutch – Turquoise Stingray

Stingray Bi-Fold in Cognac

 

N/S: How does your collection change each season?

 

Ben: Our client likes to build a personal collection of our bags. She adds to the collection each season based on what she already has or because we are offering a limited edition must-have piece.  With this being said we are more about bringing back our core silhouettes each season in new and novel ways. Like different leather types, different social fabrics, or playing with mixed materials.  I travel quite often so this inspires our seasonal changes.  Inspiration can come from a walk around a spice market or a leisurely walk with my grandfather in Lancaster County, PA.  I find inspiration in the littlest of things.

 

 

N/S: Will you always have new styles as well as styles that are standard to the collection?

 

Ben: Each season we take our core sillouettes and use new fabrics, leathers, Ikats, Hand wovens, Indigos, Doi Tungs, etc.  We are also trying each season to add a new silhouette.  I am working on a hobo, an assortment of open totes and a men’s collection.  I don’t pressure myself to launch new styles because I want to make sure when we do that the shape is perfect and provides a solution to something else that my client needs for their personal lifestyle… and will be a style that is added to our core shapes.

 

 

N/S: What’s the must-have bag for fall?

 

Ben: Our must haves for fall are our Camouflage Stingray collection, patchwork stingray clutch, and burnt orange handbag collection for those who live in Texas.  We aim to have novelty and newness in our exotic collection each season and the camouflage and patchwork is the first of this.  It is being followed up for Holiday in some other really fun and  innovative ways… but for now those are a kept secret.

Lancaster Clutch- Patchwork Stingray

 

N/S: In three words, how would you describe your line?

 

Ben: Modern, Classic, Craftsmanship

 

 

N/S: Who carries a Zink accessory?

 

Ben: She values quality craftsmanship, but fashion is not necessarily her first priority. Family, friends, life comes before fashion. This goes back to what I say about ZINK being a lifestyle brand.

 

 

N/S: Who are your style icons and/or where do you draw your own inspiration and creativity?

 

Ben: Carla Bruni is my main style icon.  I find her life fascinating.  She is a supermodel, first lady, singer and a mother… and stunning to look at.  I also find educated, hardworking and powerful women fascinating so I draw inspiration from them.  These ladies are Hilary Clinton, Ina Garten, Charlize Theron, Martha Stewart… Strong driven women.

 

 

N/S: Why was Austin chosen as the home of your shop? How would you describe Austin style?

 

Ben: Austin, to me, is the New America. A place that likes to support local businesses and where people can be themselves. It’s not only the capitol of Texas, but home to one of the largest universities in the world. Consequently, it is young, old, new, historic and always changing.

 

 

N/S: Where is Zink currently available?

 

Ben: On www.zinkcollection.com and in our shop in Austin at Jefferson Square.

 

 

N/S: How do you hope to see your company grow?

 

Ben: We plan to open more of our own stores in the just the right places. We are about slow fashion so we are taking our time to grow our distribution and to developed our product.  But, we do see ZINK in markets like Boston, Nantucket, New Canaan, Greenwich, Dallas, Houston, the Hamptons and San Francisco to name a few.

 

 

 

N/S: What has your lifelong relationship been with design?

 

Ben: My lifelong relationship has been with quality materials and craftsmanship, not fashion. I like things that people take time to make.   Things that become heirlooms and that you have fond memories of using on your everyday journey of life.  I love to look at something and have it draw a memory from the past.  A moment in time.

 

 

N/S: Where do you reside?  Where are your favorite places to travel?

 

Ben: In downtown Austin.  I love to travel, period, but I love Asia. There is such a mystique there. I also love going home to Boston where I was raised. Boston is the roots of ZINK. I often say ZINK is New England designed, but with Texas pride.

 

 

N/S: What can we expect to come from Zink?  Any news or scoop for fall?

 

Ben: We are launching a handmade in the USA collection as well as turning up the wow factor on our exotics skins collection. The patchwork and camouflage are the first of the new designs we are introducing using gorgeous exotic skins as a jumping off point for something very different, yet deeply beautiful.  Every season we work on the craftsmanship to consistently refine our process and make the most fantastic products we can achieve. We will also be introducing a Vintage fabric collection.

_____

We can’t wait!  For now, follow Zink on Facebook here and shop their website here.

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Kira Plastinina

It was exciting to attend the store opening party for Lublu Kira Plastinina at the Plaza at Preston Center in Dallas last week. It was a gorgeous store opening party and I loved finally seeing the fall/winter 2013 collection in person!  I was excited to ask Kira a few questions about her new store, business, and her latest collection.  Here’s what she had to share with Nonsense and Sensibility!

N/S: What was the inspiration behind your fall collection?

Kira: The Fall/Winter 2013 Collection is a mix of contradictory styles, prints and fabrics, which has created undoubtedly sophisticated and desirable looks. The new collection is enhanced by what I like to refer to as “fashion controversy.” I have created opposites that do not contradict, but rather complement each other. Luxury is balanced by minimalism, and classic prints are modernized by digital technologies.

 

N/S:   When did you first know you wanted to be a designer?

Kira: I grew up with a real love for fashion and clothing starting with my paper dolls as a young girl. My love for fashion on grew as the years went on.

 

N/S: One of the most memorable points of your career thus far?

Kira: When I received the “Successful Debut at Milan Fashion Week” personally by Mario Boselli, President of the National Fashion Chamber of Italy and with the medal “of the most talented and young designer” from the Mayor of Rome at AltaRoma.

Jessica Nowitzki modeling the Lublu Kira Plastinina fall/winter 2013 collection shot by Tommy Ton

N/S:     Where do you find your own inspiration?

Kira: I find my inspiration in everyday experiences from nature to music to art. I feel very connected to today’s young women and feel inspired by the same things that move her.

 

N/S: What are your favorite blogs/websites?

Kira: Gorilla vs. Bear for upcoming music, Refinery29 and Fashionista, I also love our new friend in Dallas, Tomboy KC, and of course you.

 

N/S:     What will you be wearing this fall?

Kira: I love finding a unique statement piece whether it be a handbag or shoe that you can pair with everything from jeans and a tee to a night out.

Kira in her new Dallas store

 

N/S:    What are your favorite spots in Dallas?

Kira: Nobu, Mr. Mesero, T Room,  Number One, Hotel ZaZa Bungalows for stay cations, The Joule Pool, and looking forward to the opening of Myth and Refuge and ESPA at The Joule in the late Fall.

 

N/S: What made you choose Dallas for your flagship store?

Kira: Dallas has become my adopted hometown, and a thriving city for fashion, art and lifestyle. The people are so welcoming, lovely and have amazing personal style.

 

N/S: What has been one of the most challenging aspects of your career?

Kira: The day-to-day challenges for owning your own business change regularly, but as long as you love what you do, you look at those challenges as opportunities for growth.

 

 

LUBLU Kira Plastinina in the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar US.

N/S: What’s one of the most rewarding aspects of your career?

Kira: I think that time is now… watching LUBLU Kira Plastinina launch in the US market is so thrilling.

 

N/S:  How would you describe your line or design aesthetic in 3 words?

Kira: Savvy, Feminine and Daring

 

N/S: What’s a future event you are most looking forward to and why?

Kira: I am very much looking forward to showcasing my couture gown collection inspired by the upcoming Olympic games.

 
Find Lublu on the web here and Facebook here.

 

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I had so much fun attending Australian designer Megan Park’s cocktail reception at By George last week! It was a pleasure to meet the designer in person, see her beautiful holiday 2013 collection, and to preview pieces from resort 2014.  The embroidery and adornment on many of Megan’s pieces is simply stunning. I was just as smitten with her clutches and jewelry as I was with her clothing!  I plan to make many more trips to By George trunk shows- it was a perfectly stylish evening in Austin!

See more from Megan Park here.

with designer Megan Park

Megan Park Necklace

Megan Park clutch at By George

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By George is one of my favorite boutiques in Austin! I was so thrilled to recently receive the invitation to a cocktail reception at the boutique to celebrate Australian designer Megan Park’s return to the US market. Park will be at the By George flagship boutique on N. Lamar in Austin this Thursday to preview her new resort collection.  Sip and shop with Park at a cocktail reception from 5-8pm. I love the mix of patterns and deep rich adornment with pops of color that her Winter 2013 collection displays.  For Resort 2014, Park’s line embodies an effortless cool with cool, comfortable shapes, and a mix of classic tropical prints with a timelessly retro feel. I love that you can dress the pieces up or choose to pair them down with accessories.  This Thursday, guests can preview Resort 2014, shop Holiday 2013, and home goods like pillows and throws.

Today, I’m excited to share a brief Q&A with Megan Park and Nonsense and Sensibility!

 

 

N/S: How did your line come to be?

Megan Park: I had worked for 6 years as an embroidery designer for an Indian based company  creating textiles that were sold to the European International design houses before starting my company. During my time working as a consultant I fell in love with India and the textiles that could be created there.   I decided to start my own small line of accessories, a  collection of scarves and bags which grew each season to now 17 years on encompassing Womenswear, Jewellery, a homewares collection and even a collection for girls aged 2-8.   We have also just launched a new label called MEGAN PARK HOLIDAY – which is easy wear/ easy care resort dressing.

 

N/S: What inspired resort?

MP: I imagined a woman holidaying in the Hamptons, Bali or the South of France.  I imagined what she would love to slip on, to wear with ease and a sense of fun and also pieces that would be easy to maintain and look after on holiday. They are pieces that can be worn casually with a flip flop but then go into casual relaxed poolside evenings as well.

 

 

 

 

N/S: What was the inspiration behind your fall/winter collection?

Megan Park: I wanted to bring color and print into focus for Fall to create a collection that was relaxed, easy, whimsical  and yet with a cool contemporary edge.  True to the MEGAN PARK spirit, it employs artisanal techniques such hand embroidery for which the brand has become synonymous alongside the prints which are created and engineered to suit each individual piece from the collection.  I sought to create a collection for theMEGAN PARK woman who stands apart from fashion with her own sense of style.

 

N/S: What will you be wearing this fall?

MP: Print, print, print mixed back with our grape colored merino wool jersey in dresses and tops.  I also love the jewellery we have created this season which combines wood, crystal and fluro cords, it adds another textural layer that is fun and eclectic.

 

I can’t wait to see these pieces in person (and the jewelry too)!  Learn more about Megan Park here! Park’s Austin visit is one of just THREE in the US!

What: Megan Park Sip and Shop

When: Thursday, August 15 from 5-8pm Cocktail Reception

Where: By George flagship  524 N Lamar Blvd #103 Austin, TX

 

 

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I’m looking forward to seeing spots this fall (especially with the help of Neiman Marcus).  What’s on my fall 2013 radar?  Well, I’ve definitely added these gorgeous black and white spotted shoes from Manolo Blahnik ($895) and this INCREDIBLE Proenza Schouler LG Lunch Clutch in Confetti ($1350).   These pieces would add the perfect bit of spice to any classic attire – even Spottie Dottie will be jealous.

Pieces available for fall 2013 from Neiman Marcus.

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Recently, I had a great time visiting the Aftershock London boutique here in Dallas. The boutique is the flagship store here in the US!  The store is located in Preston Center.  After surveying the latest collections and their inventory, the best part of the boutique is that there is truly something for every occasion.  From formal events, to simple casual attire, the boutique offers a variety of pieces geared towards an array of wardrobe needs – including bridesmaid dresses.

I think my favorite part is the labels fearlessness when it comes to working with color (bold prints, stripes, patterns, and embellishments) and the accessories line.  The clutches are a great price point and I have received so many compliments on my own black and white woven Lana clutch Aftershock sent me earlier this summer.

Aftershock has recently launched an e-commerce platform as well.  So, whether or not you are in Dallas, shop new arrivals at Aftershock online HERE and at the boutique!

 


* clutch sent to me at no cost, opinions are all my own

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jewelry designer Cresta Bledsoe


I fell in love with the jewelry designs of Cresta Bledsoe after coming across her pieces in Garden and Gun magazine.  I have also shared a lifelong love of the ocean and the interesting and was intrigued by mere THOUGHT of pairing a fossilized shark’s tooth with diamonds and precious metals.

I hope you enjoy learning more about the designer: how she launched her company and her plans for the future as much as I did. I know I am COUNTING DOWN to the launch of her online store.

 

Cresta Bledsoe’s Q&A with Nonsense & Sensibility:

 

N/S: Did you always know you wanted to be a jewelry designer?

 

Cresta Bledsoe: No, not at all. My education is as an interior and product designer, which is largely what my career has been. I was originally going to do a few custom jewelry designs and I became completely enthralled and still have not been able to stop since…

 

 

N/S: How did your owning and designing your own jewelry line come to be?

 

Cresta: Jewelry design organically became a path out of the desire to create refined, modern heirlooms out of fossilized shark teeth. This was inspired by my time in Ponte Vedra Beach and inheriting my husband’s grandmother’s lifetime collection of fossils from the beaches there. I loved the idea of taking one of the oldest relics you will ever touch (that is really a prized keepsake or trophy for people that live in areas where they wash ashore) and creating something timeless and elevating the material by pairing it with precious gemstones and 18K recycled gold.

 

 

 

N/S: Are you based out of Florida?  Why do you call home, home?

 

Cresta: My husband and I split our time between Ponte Vedra Beach, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. We both are in creative fields and work with groups in lots of places, which allows us to be on the move and be wherever we need to be at that time. This really leads in to the second part of your question… Growing up I lived all over the country as well as abroad and I continue to feel that home is not so much a place but just wherever I come back to laughter, late-night pillow talk, and silliness with my husband and dog.

 

 

N/S: What inspired your shark tooth jewelry?

 

Cresta: I think creating anything usually comes out of filling a personal desire for something you want that you can’t seem to find, and that you feel you have a different perspective on. But truly it was inspired by my husband’s grandmother. She was such a glamorous and poised woman. I remember seeing a photograph of her in a Pucci maxi dress with her prized fossil wrapped with gold wire to create a pendant on a chain – it was such a dichotomy. I couldn’t escape the thought that there should be refined and elegant jewelry with these fossil keepsakes that matches the timeless sophistication of the woman – something that celebrates these relics for their shapes, rich color combination with satin finish yellow gold, and meaning to the wearer.

 

N/S: What has been one of the biggest highlights of your career thus far?

 

Cresta: In jewelry, it is working with private clients as it is such a rewarding experience. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my clients find pieces that become part of their everyday wardrobe, that feels more a part of them with each passing day. That being said, I had the privilege of working with a client that not only bought his wife, daughter, and daughter-in-law each a piece at Christmas, but that very same year he decided to make it an extra special Mother’s Day for all of the women in his life. He came back for 2-3 additional pieces EACH as Mother’s Day gifts for his wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, and his mother! Not only is it the ultimate compliment because they are friends, but nothing could be better than creating things that you know are treasured.

 

 

N/S: Where is your jewelry currently available?

 

Cresta: Our online boutique is almost complete! It is also available at Broken English in L.A. and at Jamie in Nashville.

 

 

N/S: What new designs can you share for fall 2013?

 

Cresta: As a fine jewelry line, I have not timed collection launches with seasonal fashion launches. But I have just completed a series of evening-oriented earrings that are fossilized shark tooth with white diamond pave and various natural gemstone drops. They take a bolder color approach and are very versatile in what fashion looks they can be paired with. They can be worn very traditionally, with the added element of uniqueness because of the organic fossil shape, or very modern, as a color block complement to a solid. I am also starting to work on a new collection without fossils that will continue to be very graphic, clean, architectural, and continue to create pieces with multiple uses.

 

N/S:  How do you hope to see your company grow?

 

Cresta: I will continue with collections that feature the handmade one-of-a-kind pieces that the first collection is exclusively made of, but begin to add production-oriented pieces into the mix. I will always design pieces with a specific wearer in mind above all else – someone who values expressing their individuality; they seek pieces that fit their streamlined lifestyle of day to night and with the flexibility to wear them in different ways; they want their jewelry to make them feel feminine or masculine by delicacy, weightiness, and attention given to falling in the right places; they have a simple, clean-lined modern aesthetic; they think of their jewelry as an investment in quality that is timeless and will be with them for many years and passed down as a modern heirloom. Beyond that… it will be a surprise to us all!

 

 

N/S: Do you have any staple pieces that one will always find in your line?

 

Cresta: Yes! The 18K stack cuffs with various diamonds or gemstones. The stones go the full distance around the cuff so there is no front or back side to the delicate cuff. This makes them interesting on their own, or with others, and they can be neutral or very colorful and personalized.

 

 

 

 

N/S: What are 3 things you absolutely couldn’t live without?

 

Cresta: My husband, the ocean, a triple shot americano in the morn (and sometimes afternoon)

 

 

N/S: How do you destress and unwind?

 

Cresta: Meditation and travel are my most effective ways to do both. When I can’t do either of those, I look at imagery – online is of course the best and easiest resource, but I still love to flip through my library and piles of books and mags. It has a cathartic effect on clearing and opening up my mind for my design process or just daydreaming.

 

 

 

N/S: How would you describe your personal style?

 

Cresta: It is all about balance and variety – high-low mixing, trend oriented pieces mixed with staples or vintage pieces. It is always modern and classically feminine with a focal point piece.

 

Learn more about Cresta Bledsoe on her website here and find her on Facebook here.

 

style, whimsy

Hotel ZaZa and D Magazine are hosting a Bridal Event July 14th – this weekend!  Also, at the end of July, Hotel ZaZa is launching new bungalows!  They are the perfect destination for bachelorette parties or wedding parties!

 

 

And, what to do after the ring? Thankfully, we have Todd Fiscus from Todd Events to share what every bride needs to know after the ring/ proposal!

Todd’s Top 10 tips for kick-starting your wedding planning:

 

1.      Hire a Planner to keep you on track.

 

2.      Create your Guest List.  Easier said than done.  This project takes the whole family, so give yourself some time to make it perfect.

 

3.      Start Crunching Numbers.  Don’t forget to do your market research and categorize your budget to create allocations for each item.

 

4.      Location, Location, Location.  Decide on a destination or area of town you’d like to stick to.

 

5.      Pick a Month, Not a date.  Give yourself and venues some wiggle room so that you end up at the best location at the best time for you.

 

6.      Day or Night, Night or Day? Decide on a time of day that best suites the event you are trying to achieve.  Are you an early bird or night owl?

 

7.      Pick your Players.  Start with vendors who can only participate in one event a day, like a band!

 

8.      Determine your style – Pin it, baby!

 

9.      Pace yourself.  Not everything has to be decided the first month you’re engaged!

 

10.    Have fun.  You only do this once!

 

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Georgia Short Jacket. Palmer Necklace in Seaglass. Color Block Ruffle Dress in Fuchsia. Baby Starfish Earrings in Gold. Bow Front Cocktail Dress in Mirror Ball. Turk Dottie Earrings.

 

The gorgeous designs from Devon Baer are definitely at the top of my current wish list!  From chic ruffle collars to bow dresses, I can’t even seem to narrow down favorites! I’m thrilled to share this Q&A with the designer for Nonsense & Sensibility.


N/S: How did Devon Baer come to be?  Did you always know you wanted your own clothing line?

Devon Baer: After working in the corporate fashion world as a designer, I realized I had gained enough experience to embark on my ultimate journey which was to start my own fashion line.  Although I was incredibly nervous, and to a certain extent still am, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience.  DB launched  in the late summer of ’09.

 

N/S: What or who inspires Devon Baer?  Where is the line currently available?

Devon Baer: Good question that has an infinite amount of answers as I think we generate our inspiration from so many different places and people. The Collection is currently available online at DevonBaer.com as well as Tuckernuck. Each season we continue to sell to new stores in the US.

 

N/S: What has been the greatest achievement or most amazing part of the journey of Devon Baer thus far?

Devon Baer: I would have to say the greatest achievement has been simply building something from nothing.  The company continues to grow and with each growing pain comes confidence.

 

N/S: What inspired your spring/summer collection for 2013?

Devon Baer: Color and more color.  We felt strongly about shades of green and citrus as well as vintage inspired floral prints.  In the height of the summer heat who doesn’t want something cotton, lightweight, and colorful?


N/S: What’s a key piece of Devon Baer that you’d consider a must-have?

Devon Baer: Our traditional tunic dress  or our Ruffle Tunic is a closet staple.  It works in town,in the country, during the day or night.

 

N/S: Who wears Devon Baer?  How would you describe the line to someone who wasn’t familiar with it?

Devon Baer: One of the many things we pride ourselves on at DB is the broad age group of our customers.  Despite the wide age range our customer is current yet timeless and casually chic.

 

N/S: How do you hope to see your company grow?

Devon Baer: One of the more interesting lessons we have learned  over the years is that once you think you realize where you are headed the nature of fashion and owning and operating a small business leads you somewhere completely different.  Although we do not have an end destination in mind we are confident that our passion and love for the creative design process will ultimately land us where we are supposed to be.