Brand Feature // Mon Purse

If you like high quality leather goods (big and small) and the option to customize, Mon Purse offers all that and more.

The Brand

Have you ever experienced the situation where you found a bag that you love but there was just one detail that doesn’t fit your style? We’ve all been there and thankfully there are brands out there that come to our rescue.

Mon Purse is one such brand.

Founded by Lana Hopkins, the Australian brand hand selects high quality leather and raw materials to produce leather goods that will last a lifetime. The best thing about Mon Purse is that customers are given the power to design their leather goods and by working with generational craftsmen, Mon Purse ensures that its customers get the products that they’ve envisioned and will truly love.

In terms of design, customers can emboss their initials or icons and symbols on the product of their choice. Mon Purse even provide the option to choose the color of the hardware (comes with a selection of gold, silver, rose gold and gunmetal) as well as the type of leather. Whether you’re drawn to grainy leather, vegetable tanned leather, or crocodile embossed leather, there’s something for everyone!

Besides bags and pouches, Mon Purse also sell small leather goods such as card holders, Iphone accessories and metal letter charms.

From The Founder

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Source: The Cusp

Lana was shopping for the perfect handbag at Westfield Bondi Junction but like most women, she couldn’t find the one that she wanted. And as she was building her nephew’s perfect teddy bear at Build-A-Bear workshop, she thought why not create something that allows women to do the same? With that, Mon Purse was born in 2014.

It’s definitely not easy to run a business but after two years of hard work, Mon Purse is now valued at over $30 million, with departments available in Selfridges (London), Bloomingdale (US), and Myers (Australia).

Do you see yourself as more a designer or as working in technology?

The combination of fashion and technology is a natural partnership – the two work together in harmony. Technology has enabled consumers to personalise and customise current trends to suit their own style. Fashion is something people love and are passionate about – technology is simply the unseen mechanism of making dreams possible.

Biggest pinch me moment…

  • We launched in beta (online) in October 2014 and have only been truly trading for less than one and a half years, during this time we managed to open our Paddington flagship store, signed an exclusive deal with MYER (we currently have 5 concessions Australia wide, with more to come in 2017).
  • Partnered with two of the most prestigious department stores in the world, Selfridges and Bloomingdales.
  • From 17 million design combinations on our bag builder to 6 billion and growing.

Instagram

Biggest piece of advice…

When it gets too hard, just keep going because that is when breakthroughs tend to happen. Impossible is nothing.

If you could change one thing about the fashion industry, what would it be and why?

Quality should trump everything. Our philosophy is to invest in nothing but the finest luxury European leathers and craftsmanship. Consumers understand quality – we must think solely about the consumers’ needs, and provide them with what they want, how they want and when they want it. It is very important to remain relevant and authentic. Consumers are intelligent and authenticity creates magic.

Tell us something about you that not many people know.

I was born in Russia, moved to Australia when I was quite young and grew up in a small place called Armidale, in countryside New South Wales – a gorgeous part of the world. I can also speak fluent Russian.

Source: Drapersonline.com and anorganisedlife.com

Find out more here:

http://au.monpurse.com/

https://www.instagram.com/mon_purse/

https://www.facebook.com/monpurse

 

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What’s [Unusually] Hot? #072017

Lately, Australians are loving the Harry Potter costumes while the U.S. and U.K. citizens have fountain pens and tumble dryers on their minds. What else is in the top 10 list for these 3 countries?

Hello lovely people! August is here and Spring is fast approaching. I have a feeling that my running shoes will hit the roads more often in the following weeks!

The last time I wrote up a trend report was three months ago and I thought it’s about time to discover what consumers are loving lately.

Australia

1. Harry Potter Costumes

Coincidentally, my friends are I are planning to do a Harry Potter marathon soon. Should we be wearing the costumes while we’re at it? Maybe. 

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Source: The Sun

2. Discontinued iPods 

My brother found one on the street years ago and I still have mine kept away in a box somewhere in my hometown. I wonder how much I’ll get back if I sell them now…

3. Rick & Morty Merchandise

Not a fan (I can’t stand Morty’s voice) but my boyfriend loves this series. 

4. Air plants

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Source: Pinterest

5. Google Home

An air freshener-looking assistant anyone? Hey Google, play me Atomic Blonde’s soundtrack. Oh and put that on repeat until I tell you otherwise. 

6. Seiko 5

An oldie from 1963 is making a comeback. I actually quite like the design.

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7. Magnetic Eyelashes

For those of you who struggle with glue, magnets could be your friend. 

8. Vinyl Records

If you use vinyl records to decorate your bedroom wall, it’s time to take them down.

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Source: Analog Jazz

9. Bose headphones

10. Wedding dresses

What type of dress do you like? Long sleeve, sheer and unconventional designs are my go-to.

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Source: Praise Wedding

United States

1. Fountain Pen

2. Polaris Slingshot

I have no idea these exist but they sure look cool.

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Source: Ultimate Motorcycling

3. MacBook

4. OMEGA Speedmaster

“The Omega Speedmaster wasn’t the first watch in space, but the first worn on the moon, on the wrist of Buzz Aldrin on July 21st 1969. Neil Armstrong had left his Speedmaster in the Lunar Module as a back-up for the onboard timekeeping system.” Ablogtowatch.com

5. JBL

6. Pinball machine

7. Brandy Melville

This brand is an interesting one. It doesn’t have an ABOUT US section and most of its Instagram posts only have #brandyusa in the caption. Despite that, Brandy Melville has a strong following of 3.9m and I bet they are stylish young women who enjoys everyday life and live in basics.

rose bodysuit
Rose Bodysuit $28
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Robbie Dress $38

8. Pencil case

When I was in primary school, all I wanted was to change up my pencil case and school bag every once in a while. Of course my mum would tell me I don’t need them. Can anyone relate?

9. Vintage Pyrex

I’m pretty sure my future kitchen would look something like this…

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10. Star Wars Black Series

United Kingdom

1. Tumble Dryer

Top on the list! How unusual.

2. Board games

3. Philips One Blade

4. Fleetwood Mac

I checked this band out on Spotify and realized I’ve heard Everywhere over the radio when I was younger.

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5. Miitopia

“Miitopia starts off with a familiar story: A heroic Mii is called upon by the citizens of the vast kingdom to save the land. With a party of three other Miis, the character journeys from town to town, battling enemies, unlocking treasure chests and taking down bosses throughout their quest.”

6. Star Wars bobble head

7. Passchendaele

For those of you who aren’t clued-up, here’s a summary of the Third Battle of Ypres (July 31 – November 6, 1917). 

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Soldiers during the First World War’s battle of Passchendaele. Credit: PA

When the British commander Sir Douglas Haig received a warning about a German blockade, he decided to lead his men into the Belgian coast to destroy the German submarine bases there. Days into the attack, Ypres suffered the heaviest rain for 30 years causing tanks to immobilize, rifles to clog up and turn shelters into swamps. As if things couldn’t get worst, the constant shelling during the war smashed the drainage systems, leading to the deaths of countless men and animals as they drown in the quagmire. 

8. Golf clubs iron set

9. Adidas NMD_XR1

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10. Huel

Huel is a nutritionally complete powdered food ​that contains all the proteins, carbs, and fats you need, plus at least 100% of the European Union’s “Daily Recommended Amounts” of all 26 essential vitamins and minerals​. Huel is 100% vegan (better for the environment and animals), super convenient, high in protein (148g per 2000 calories) and fibre (35g), contains just 4.6 grams of sugar per 2000 calories (no added sugar), requires minimal packaging and has a shelf-life of 12 months (so zero food waste).

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Source: Foodbev Media

If you want to try this, I recommend that you do some research and listen to what others have to say before you commit. 

 

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Jewelry Edit // Opals

Lusting over Australia’s national gemstone – the opal.

I first heard of opals when I visited Melbourne back in 2010. I’ve always been a fan of gemstones and crystals but I don’t own jewelry of that kind until recently.

A few weeks ago, I came across a sale at Rochi’s Opals (168 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000) and I couldn’t help but step inside to see if there’s anything that catches my eye. Although I don’t look for specific types of jewelry, I tend to gravitate towards rings. I think it’s the perfect jewelry to wear no matter the season as bangles and necklaces are usually covered up by turtleneck knits, scarves and jackets.

Most of the rings available at Rochi’s are simple and dainty (see above), which is perfect for the minimalist but they also look common. I like unique jewelry (and clothing and decorations) that speaks to my personal style and what’s not to love when most people don’t own what you have? I’m currently in a phase where all chunky and non symmetrical pieces appeal to me and I hope to eventually build a collection of jewelry that I adore and would wear for years to come.

Do you know much about opals? If not, I got you covered. Opal is a gemstone found mainly in Australia and it’s one of only six types of precious gemstones – alongside diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds and pearls – found on planet earth.

Myth: Opals are bad luck.

Fact: The ‘bad luck’ myth is the result of centuries of misinformation, superstition, wives’ tales, and jealous diamond traders spreading rumours. Opal has also been considered a good luck talisman and lucky charm throughout the ages, and has been prized by many civilisations. Find out more about the ‘bad luck’ opal myth.

The two main variety of opal are precious opal and common opal. The former presents a pseudo chromatic optical effect and is considerably rare while the latter is dull and valueless. About 95% of all opal mined is common (they’re usually white, grey, black) and of the 5% that has some color, only 0.25% has value while the rest is of mediocre grade.

Myth: Opals are extremely fragile and will break very easily.

Fact: It’s true that opals are more fragile than most gemstones, however they’re not as fragile as some people imagine. Opals are about the same hardness as glass, so imagine you’re wearing a piece of glass and you’ll get the idea. Boulder opals and opals with a low cabochon are sturdier and less easy to damage.

The value of opal depends on a range of factors such as body tone, brilliance and pattern. Body tone refers to the underlying color of the opal which can differ from black through to dark and light. Those with black or dark body tone are deemed more valuable than white or light body tone because the former tends to display colors more vibrantly. Precious opals are also more likely to display a spectrum of color when light passes through the tiny silica spheres in the micro-structure of the opal.

If you’re thinking of getting opal jewelry, educate yourself on how to care for them. First, identify the type of opal you have. Is it a doublet, triplet or a solid opal?

  • Doublet: Has two layers, a thin slice of opal and a black backing.
  • Triplet: Similar to doublet but has a third transparent layer on top (quartz or glass) to protect the opal.
  • Solid: It’s in its natural state and has been cut and polished.

Opal is only as hard as glass, so if there’s a chance it’ll be scratched or broken, remove the jewelry beforehand. To keep your opals looking pristine, take note of the following:

  • Doublets and triplets: Avoid prolonged exposure to water as layers in the opal will be lifted, resulting in a ‘foggy’ or grey appearance. Clean doublets and triplets with a damp soft cloth and mild detergent. Never soak or immerse them!
  • Solid: Unlike doublets and triples, solid opals are fine in water. However, since most precious opals have 5 – 6% water, they may crack if subjected to very dry conditions or rapid temperature changes. Avoid very high temperatures or low humidity extremes (Do you work for the bank? Watch out for zero humidity bank vaults).

In the end, I didn’t purchase any rings from Rochi’s Opals but I did get two gold necklaces with little blue-green opals on them. Now I just got to wait for the right time to wear them.

 

My Top Picks

Source: http://www.opalsdownunder.com.au

 

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My Top Picks From Paris Haute Couture 2017 // Day 4

The second last day of Paris Haute Couture left fashion lovers around the globe craving for all things velvet, colorful and sparkly. Now, I know this is “outdated” but who cares? There’s always a time and place to share amazing designs.

Happy Wednesday all! I hope you’re having a productive or relaxing day.

Quick question…do any of you work on your bed? I seriously don’t know how anyone could work long hours on their bed. 15 minutes in my neck started to hurt and by 30 minutes, my back felt so uncomfortable that I have to sit up. Despite all the discomfort, I wanted to be under my thick and warm sheet so I stayed in an unhealthy posture for half a day. It was so bad that I actually felt nauseous while I was making lunch.

Lesson learned. No more work days on the bed.

Back to the topic of fashion. Paris Haute Couture week wrapped up with impeccable designs from Fendi, Jean Paul Gaultier and more. Although I love most of the designs presented on Day 4, I was particularly drawn to three designers.

Elie Saab

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Zuhair Murad

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Valentino

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*All photos were sourced from Vogue*

Did any of you catch a glimpse of the Resort 2018 runway shows yet? What do you think? Who’s your favorite designers so far?

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My Top Picks From Paris Haute Couture 2017 // Day 3

From life-size Eiffel Tower (Chanel) to a collection based on a woman’s scent (Alexis Mabille), front row guests and the layman were left dazzled by a stimulating couture experience.

Boring’ is not a word that would cross an audience’s minds at a Chanel runway show as long as Karl Lagerfeld is around to oversee the whole process.

As you scroll through, you’ll encounter recurring trends but each designer will bring different elements to the show – cocoon coats, geometric prints, stripes and pleats – to help them articulate imaginative ideas in physical form.

Chanel

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Julien Fournie

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Alexis Mabille

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Ulyana Sergeeko

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What do you think of Mabille’s representation of a woman’s scent?

 

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My Top Picks From Paris Haute Couture 2017 // Day 2

Metallics, jeweled embellishments and futuristic designs were a highlight on the second day of Paris Haute Couture week.

What. A. Day.

Work was challenging today and it has left me feeling drained. Despite that and running on an (almost) empty tank, I decided to stop by Topshop before I run my errands. Since Topshop is closing down soon, most things are 50 – 70% off. If you don’t earn much, you want to take advantage of sales like this!

I tried on a pair of culottes (It looks alright on me but I don’t love it), a white silk dress (The inner lining and the slit are ridiculously short), a red button up skirt (Too puffy on the hips. Since I have big hips, it’s not the right cut for me) and an IVY PARK workout pants (It’s see through) but nothing fits me. I did, however, get myself a wood ring from their Freedom range. This particularly piece was originally priced at $18 but I paid $2 for it. Score!

If you haven’t seen my favorite designs from Day 1, check it out here. Though you may notice some recurring trends on Day 2 (i.e. ruffles, sheer, pops of red, the monochrome palette etc.), there was noticeably more sparkle, intricate embellishments as well as innovative material use.

Iris Van Herpen

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Key trends from Iris Van Herpen: futuristic, organza and fringes.

Georges Hobeika

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Key trends from Georges Hobeika: strapped heels, statement earrings, metallic, shades of blue, blue, white and red, jeweled embellishment, capes and high slits.

Christian Dior

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Key trends from Christian Dior: shades of grey, tailored pieces, skinny belt, tweed and full length skirt.

Ralph & Russo

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Key trends from Ralph & Russo: metallic, feathers, lace, shades of silver, blue, white and black, ruffles, tiered, deep v neckline and high slits.

Giambattista Valli

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Key trends from Giambattista Valli: romantics, bell sleeves, florals, sheer and empire neckline.

*All photos were sourced from Vogue*

Since most of these pieces are wearable in real-life, which ones would you choose? As for me, I’d rock Christian Dior’s first look during the day and save Georges Hobeika’s gorgeous blue number (the last look) for a fancy event. But let’s be honest, don’t we want to wear them all?

 

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My Top Picks From Paris Haute Couture 2017 // Day 1

Discover what the future of fashion holds, as predicted by Proenza Shouler, Rodarte, Galia Lahav and Maison Rabih Kayrouz.

Hello beautiful people! Did any of you get the chance to attend Paris Haute Couture week? If so, you must have an unforgettable experience!

Although I said I’m interested in fashion, I find that I don’t know much at all. I don’t chase international fashion shows or watch the recorded videos online. I rarely purchase fashion magazines (I usually just browse online but I don’t do that often either) and I can only name a handful of designers.

For someone who claims to love fashion, that’s pretty embarrassing. Hence, I decided to make learning about fashion one of my priorities. I’m going to start by simply following local and international fashion events and then eventually educate myself on the history of fashion through reading.

Paris Haute Couture week ended last Thursday and I spent the following days getting to know the designers who presented on Day 1. I tend to gravitate towards unique, clean and modern styles and I selected pieces that I think would work in real life. Here are four designers whose creations tick all the boxes for me.

Proenza Schouler

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Key trends from Proenza Schouler: Ruffles, monochrome palette, high slits, nude/blush, lace, structured coats, slip on sandals, pops of red, statement earrings and bracelets.

Rodarte

*The gorgeous lemon sheer dress in the feature photo is also from Rodarte*

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Key trends from Rodarte: Sheer fabric, ruffles, lace, bow belts, monochrome, ballerina heels, floral crowns, pops of red and blush, bell sleeves and asymmetric cuts.

Galia Lahav

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Key trends from Galia Lahav: Japanese obi belt, sheer, leather, off the shoulder, shades of red, blue, black, white and silver.

Maison Rabih Kayrouz

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Key trends from Maison Rabih Kayrouz: metallic, denim, structured cuts and balloon sleeves

*Photos sourced from TAGWALK, Vogue UK and WWD*

Who’s your favorite on Day 1?

 

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