One of our favorite clutches this summer is our Sutra clutch. As you know all our clutches are handmade and this season we are so happy to be working with weavers in Malaysia. The Sutra clutch is woven by women who live in rural Terengganu which is a coastal area located in East Malaysia. It is a place where many Malay traditions such as kite flying, top-spinning, batik and songket are still practiced.
The art of weaving is a practice that is slowly dying in Teregganu as demand wanes and weavers turn to working on oil palm plantations and in factories. We were very lucky to find some weavers in Teregganu who still practice the traditional art of weaving pandan leaves. As you can see from the photos it is a time consuming task which requires preparing the pandan leaves, stripping and drying them, dying by hand and then finally weaving.
We hope you’ll agree though that the result is something very special that combines traditional techniques with bold colors and modern design.
I’m embarrassed to admit it but when I travel I tend to stuff my toiletries and accessories into whatever I have lying around. This means face wash and sunscreen in ziplock bags, make-up in freebie toiletry bags and hair accessories in plastic bags I get from the grocery store. Thank goodness then for Hudson + Bleecker who brings the glam back to travel with their line of chic and practical travel accessories. Started in 2011 by designer Eram Siddiqui, the line began with a shoe bag and now encompasses cosmetic cases, garment bags, dopp kits and jewelry cases.
I recently sat down with Eram to find out more about Hudson + Bleecker, her favorite travel destinations and what inspires her.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by my travels; not only exploring new destinations but more importantly meeting new people and experiencing and learning about different cultures. I always return from my travels inspired by the people that make up this vast and beautiful world.
What fuels your soul?
Family and travel.
Starting my morning with a breakfast of prepared fruits and vegetables from the local garden, drinking fresh squeezed orange juice and sipping tea on a sun-drenched patio overlooking the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Then spending the day with my husband, getting a massage and reading a good book. Ending the day with a divine meal and laying on the balcony stargazing. I feel blessed to have lived this day at the exceptionally breathtaking Kasbah Bab Ourika in Morocco. Truly one of the most memorable trips of my life.
Favorite travel destination?
How would you define your personal style?
I would define my personal style as classic and timeless. I tend to gravitate toward clean looks that are versatile, can travel well and transition seamlessly from day to evening. I am currently obsessed with all things Madewell and J.Crew. Because I maintain a classic wardrobe, I like to have fun accessorizing. I am all about wearing a statement piece of jewelry, or carrying a bold colored bag and splurging on a good pair of shoes. I love to play with accessories to bring my look together.
What are your three style must-haves?
1. Shoes. Always! This summer I am obsessed with my Brian Atwood jeweled canvas espadrilles
2. A unique statement piece of jewelry. It can be a watch, a necklace, earrings or stacked bracelets, but always one statement piece. I am really digging Jenny Bird’s Kuta Weave Cuff. Its a beautifully unique statement piece and I love that it has a magnetic closure.
3. A fab bag. This summer I am in love with the Hudson+Bleecker Atlas Jetsetter Tote in Cobalt Blue. It is my all-purpose everything bag working overtime as my work tote, beach bag and travel tote. I love the clean lines of the perforation and that the color goes with everything.
Who are your favorite designers and why?
1. Tom Dixon | I appreciate good design and am especially drawn to home design and decor. I am attracted to masculine pieces that are beautiful at the same time. All of Tom Dixon’s designs are statement pieces that are innovative and breathtaking. I love all of Tom Dixon’s designs but one of my most favorite pieces is his acid etched pendant light inspired by the logic of pure mathematics.
2. Alexandre Birman | Alexandre Birman’s awe-inspirting collection of handcrafted shoes are designed and meticulously made by hand. I appreciate the uniqueness of each shoe and every Alexandre Birman collection is sublime.
3. Kayu | I have admired Jamie’s artisanal approach to designing beautiful, timeless pieces using natural materials for quite some time. Every Kayu bag is truly a work of art and Jamie’s design inspiration behind each collection is what intrigues me most. Jamie has taken a beautiful artisanal craft and has created stunning designs that are equal parts fun and elegant. I personally love my Jen Straw clutch in Toast.
4. Sabyasachi Mukherjee | My family origins are from India and I am drawn and inspired by ethnic design, especially that of modern Indian design. Some of my most favorite designers are incredibly talented Indian designers. Sabyasachi’s designs are truly one of a kind. His attention to intricate details, the use of luxe fabrics and his creative vision are spellbinding.
What can we expect to see from HB in the coming months?
We are working with luxe calf hair, and skins (all faux of course), and having fun with glitter! and metallics. We are taking these fun elements and creating a counterbalance using elegant refined design and high quality materials. Overall, it is an incredibly sophisticated collection. This season, you can also expect to see our latest product offering in travel accessories with the introduction of our packing cube. I have been wanting and waiting to introduce this product since we first launched in 2011 and I am so excited that it is finally here. It is a mini suitcase of sorts that helps you keep your luggage organized and compartmentalized. There is also a place to store your intimates so you will never have to worry about them peeking out of those pesky mesh zippered pockets again. Expect to see all of these new designs very soon.