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Of recent I have been really paying more attention to my surroundings, more specifically the design of my surroundings. I have been consumed by color and line. I have been riding in cars and staring out of windows taking notice of skylines, the shapes of the structures, the way the sun reflects from one building off of another during certain times of the day. Providing ethereal lighting just for that one moment in time. Not to be seen until the conditions are exactly the same next year. And then I saw him.

He was taking a photograph of a storefront window. A very stylish cafe on Melrose called … the name escapes me. Probably taking trendy photos for some blog or collecting images from his amero-trip to take home. Anyhoo, he was wielding his lens very gently and dressed casually in a vintage topper, khakis, tee-shirt, and boat sneakers.  He was wearing spectacles and appeared to be of Nippon origin. But it was his vest that caught my attention. He was wearing a black vest over his tee-shirt and this vest was the ultimate statement piece. It was not only black in color on the front, but leopard printed all over the backside.

I thought aloud to my driver, whom is a very stylish interior decorator and collector of all curious items of vintage nature, “What a cool vest!” She replied a simple ‘Yeah.” Animal print is always so interesting.

cavewoman chic

Primitive man and woman used the skins for warmth and protection. Maybe when we wear animal print we are searching to discover our primitive past? I am sure it was a symbol of wealth and the powers of survival to have been wearing animal print five million years ago. Yes, five.

Throughout history, kings and other high people have used animal print rugs and such as a sign of status just as mounted animals are kept as trophies. Animal prints have this mystique about them harking back to primitive times.  Animal print screams success, power, aristocracy. An ancient telltale of wealth and power. Generally very expensive and very rare in the past, not to be confused with animal fur which is real, animal prints are just that, prints that look like animal skins. Harmless indeed.

leopard circa 1930

The 1940’s saw the emergence of animal print during the early stages of the women’s movement. Liberator pioneers like BettiePage were the inspiration for animal print to be sexy and fashionable. Cheetah print I believe was her thing.

style matters

The 1950’s fashion designer Christian Dior’s muse Mitzah Bricard was fascinated by leopard print. Dior followed his heart and infused his accessories, lines, and campaigns with leopard. The forward movement redefined animal print to a level of chic sophistication and elegance. No womans ensemble was complete without a touch of leopard.

The 1960’s saw a whole new revolution spawned by the Hippie Movement as a new place for exotic animal pelt patterns, which were emulated on printed patterns for popular women’s apparel in different new rebellious colors. The concept to be wild and free like an “Easy Rider”.

i heart blondie

The dangerous side of animal print appeared in the 1970’s. The Punk Rock movement brought about leopard print accents and torn cheetah print stockings. Rebellious music paired with the wild equals chic, sexy and dangerous. The 70’s also brought about nightgowns infused with animal prints, teddies, undies, etc. Leopard print jumpsuits, bell bottoms, even zebra print platform shoes. The emergence of street art and hip hop music were propelled by Blondie at this great moment in fashion and music history.

We won’t discuss the 80’s. I think we all want the era to fade away. Here is a reminder.

you can call me susan if it makes you happy.

crock of love

Jumping to 00’s, funny isn’t it, now is the time to take all of that trial and error and make good of it all. Animal prints will always be sexy, chic, fun, dangerous, elegant, adventurous, alluring, and downright brilliant. As I mentioned before I am intrigued by animal print. It compels me to show my primal side when venturing out on the town. It never goes out of style, and this coming fall it will be the hottest trend!

a leopard can never change it's spots

Grrrr baby

A few ideas for wearing animal print: belts, mias, pumps, socks, stockings, leggings, undergarments, bags, clutches, tops, dresses, skirts, jumpsuits, overcoats, hats, eyeglasses, scarves, oh my!

If animal print isn’t enough then get some animal print with jewels and stones adorning! Now that’s exciting.

Jackie Collins once said “My weakness is wearing too much leopard print.”

i heart knits

Spring Trends

You probably already know that Spring is here. Say “goodbye” to your rain boots, no more to slushy sidewalks, “happy to see you go” brisk mornings and all the other wonderful things that follow Old Man Winter. That also means putting up those bulky winter coats until next year. Don’t forget the cedar hangers and mothballs, we don’t like surprises.

When Spring comes around the sky is noticeably a richer shade of azure blue, the grasses have just a bit more sheen to it’s green, and even the birds are bit more playful and frisky with their chirping.

What could it all mean?

Time to dress like it’s Spring as well.

The color of the year 2011 is Honeysuckle.   A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life.  Honeysuckle emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor.

pantone

And that leads us to a palette of all of my favorite pastels like…

fuchsiarhubarb, pucker, pineapple and pistachio to name a few. These bold hues will lift you and carry you. They will infuse you with confidence and courageousness. Be bold in these everyday colors that are NOT everyday.

Mock neck color block rhinestone zipper tank 111174

fuchsia tank by belldini

Cowl neck kabuki pullover 111047

rhubarb kabuki pullover by belldini

Seamless scoop-neck tank with ruching below empire 101247

pucker tank with ruching by belldini

Short sleeve cardigan with rhinestone zipper and rib detail at chest 111024

pineapple rhinestone zip cardigan by belldini

Ribbed open front cardigan with vertical ribs at hem, with jersey tank 85363

open front cardigan by belldini

When you adorn yourself with colors like this they bring out the glow from your natural hue. You will feel alive and vibrant with energy. We could all use a little bit of that!

Our collection for Spring is plethora of rich hues and warm, vibrant pastels to brighten your spirits and liven the day.  That’s the reason why some of us have over 50 Belldini pieces in our closets and growing.

Life’s is full of challenges, there I said it again, do I need to say anymore. After all we deserve to feel empowered.  Indulge in the collection and experience the fit and feel of something crafted specifically for us.  http://www.belldini.com

Spring is in the air and it’s time to open those windows and air out the old living space. Spring cleaning, if you will, of the energy in your space. Open all of the windows and let the cool air kiss goodbye to winter and at the same time say hello to springtime. Let it  enter your home, apartment, or basically abode. Let the air sweep through each room, it  will undoubtedly cleanse all of the energy harbored during the winter months out. Begone old energy. A brisk chill will settle on each piece of furniture, drapery, wall and crevice renewing the living space for the next few months until we choose to do it again. It’s great feng shui.

While you’re at it open up all of the doors in the space. Open those closet doors and let’s air out the old closet space. Seek out the old and renew.

What do you do with items in your closet that you haven’t worn in over three years, five years, ten years? I have a system, if I haven’t worn it in three years it has to go. With the exception of certain items like bridal gowns, prom dresses, and the like. Clean out the old to make room for the new. Cleaning out your closet to make room for new sweaters, cardigans, twin sets, tunics, tops and just fun pieces like animal prints or rhinestone zipper cardigans is and will always be one of the best therapies money can buy. I personally don’t couch surf and download my issues. I shop. I keep it on a regular cycle and it keeps me in tune. I love the way a new cardigan set can change everything, the way a new pair of shoes can revive my entire wardrobe, the feeling I get when I am wearing something new and it’s working for me.

belldini, sweater, women's clothing, ruffle top

In fact as soon as I knock off of work today that will be my first stop. I am headed over to this charming little Downtown Los Angeles                      neighborhood where there are a number of really nifty privately owned shops and I am going to shop. Something lightweight, fun, and                  makes me feel attractive and confident. Who knows what will catch my fancy this evening, an open front cardigan that is free-flowing like              myself, something mock necked and long-sleeved to say I’m reserved and elegant, or an animal  printed sleeveless number to let them                  know I am on the prowl this evening.

Back on topic, clean out the old fuddy buggies in your space by opening all of the windows and running the cool air through the space to            clear out the old and refresh. Make some space in your closet for some new items (you deserve to treat yourself to something new).

And when you walk down the street in your new Belldini know deep down inside that you have done a personal cleansing of yourself. You          are pure and clean. You are ready life’s next season.

belldini ruched tankbelldini rhinestone zipper sleeveless cardigan    belldini rhinestone zipper cardigan lime

Welcome!

dress for victory belldini

dress for victory belldini

“Dress for Victory”!

Welcome to the world of  Belldini.

The home of fantastic rhinestone zipper cardigans, ferocious animal prints, vibrant colored jersey tanks, and light, flowing open front cardigans!

Time and time again I get phone calls from our customers who absolutely love their Belldini’s. They tell me how many they have in their closets, how many they have of  the same style in different colors and how they want to add a new color to their sets. The wonderful ladies I have the honor of speaking with always sound excited and whimsical over the phone to add a new Belldini set to their growing collection. I often hear about how they found their first Belldini and now they are hooked. They love the way it  feels and fits.  I have even seen women wearing three at a time, layered. Now that’s love. When I see a woman wearing Belldini, whenever any of us here at  Belldini sees a person wearing one of our designs we get excited and we have to tell everyone in the office and share. Even my Mother will email or call me to tell me when she sees a woman in Belldini. That’s the feeling and adoration that surrounds this brand.

Moving forward, as our first posting we want to thank you, all of our customers. We dedicate this blog to all of our customers.

Every stitch of our day is dedicated to you. Without you we wouldn’t be here.

Thank you.