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Beauty is in the Bag

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Welcome to our blog, dear friends! We are so happy you are joining us on the very first day of our newest adventure... A MEL blog! You will be the first to see our new MEL bags, have an early peek at our new collections, learn about our upcoming promotions, hear our stories, and spend a little time with us as we introduce you to the many special friends who make the MEL world bright, unique, and filled with beauty.

In this post, you can read about:

1- In Full Bloom, the new MEL bag that we are introducing today.

2- El Jardí Secret and the special perfumes created in this stunning Barcelona store.

3- Coast and Koi and the fabulous shoes created by this brand in South Africa.

4- The Vintage Contessa, a blog that will make you smile and is sure to bring a little joy to your day.

Designing a MEL bag is entering into a world of beauty and we are excited to be sharing our world with you today. This is a world where color takes center stage. A world ruled by daring shapes and bold patterns. A world that changes with every season and evolves as our imaginations fly to create new art. A world filled with small bags that become big fashion statements.

Our Big Fashion Statement!

Each month on our blog we will highlight a MEL bag from our latest collection.

We wish to start with a bag that encapsulates who we are and defines our vision as designers. This is a bag that is bold, a bag that is unique, filled with vibrant colors, and is daring and adventurous. So today we are very pleased to introduce In Full Bloom!

In Full Bloom brings together a surprising color combination for those of you, stylish MEL girls, who are looking for something different and unexpected: the hot pink becomes even more vibrant next to the bright orange and the bold fabric comes to life in a stunning way.

As we design all our bags, we are inspired by Robert Frost's words: Freedom lies in being bold. In Full Bloom embodies this statement. It defies conventions and it is designed for women who are looking for something different, who are confident, daring, and will wear what they like, women who value the art behind a unique design.

In Full Bloom will become the exclamation point of your outfit. This little accessory will pull your whole look together and make it unique, because this unusual bag can transform your outfit and make it stunning and bold in an instant. A bag such as this one can be the "unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure", in Coco Chanel's words.

What's in my MEL today?

Each month we will highlight the faces and stories behind the products we are proud to carry in our bag.

This blog could not be just about our bags because a MEL bag is never empty! Beauty is also inside our bags, and the products we carry often bring us happiness and inspiration. Our bags are filled to the brim with items that are beautiful, or sweet, or fragrant, or unique.

So...what's in my MEL today? Lean in closer and you will smell the most divine scent coming to us from a truly marvellous little store, El Jardí Secret (The Secret Garden) in Barcelona.

El Jardí Secret is housed in a stunning space filled with natural perfumes that tell a thousand stories and reveal the soul of their creator, Master Perfumer and founder, Esperança Cases. We had the pleasure to talk to Esperança in preparation for this post. She shared the behind the scenes of what goes into creating these special fragrances. The scents she creates are always based on natural elements that have been responsibly collected from around the world by people who respect and protect the environment where they grow. All the creative perfumes she has brought to life are the expression of her inner self so they are all meaningful and valuable, but there is one scent above all the others that Esperança absolutely loves: the smell of her workshop, permeated with the lingering scents on the walls.

Esperança believes that "the art of creating a natural perfume is not influenced by trends". "My perfumes", she says, "are scent sculptures that are shaped only by the story I want to tell. It is a way to express myself and share a very private feeling. The story I tell, though, ends the minute someone smells that perfume. Then, at that moment, each person reacts to a scent in a very personal way because no one can tell you how to feel when you smell a fragrance. It is an intimate and private moment, and a new story begins then". Building a perfume can take up to a year, and at El Jardí Secret the quantities created are small. The process brings together nature and Esperança's imagination, and with the scents as her words, Esperança aims to tell you stories that you can only smell. "Close your eyes", she says, "and smell without thinking, and without knowing what to expect. Only smell, and look around with your nose".

The magic of a natural perfume, the poetry created with each new aroma, becomes an artistic expression at El Jardí Secret. "We create perfume as an Art form". Last year, Esperança founded Bcn Art lab, a school where you can take classes to learn the art of creating natural perfume and develop your own personal scent. We at MEL barcelona long to close our eyes and let the smell of Tramuntana (The North Wind) or Dona de Llum (Lady of Light) take us to a magical world created in the heart of Barcelona.

El Jardí Secret

Instagram: @eljardisecretartperfum


MEL and Our Friends Around the World!

Each month we will introduce you to the best design pieces of the fabulous world we live in.

MEL Barcelona brings together two cities, Denver and Barcelona, two cultures, two unique lifestyles, and two very different ways to understand fashion and design. Exploring the world and discovering exquisite designers who create unique pieces has always been important to us, but right now with the travel restrictions in place, we all find ourselves a little more isolated from each other. For this reason, we are pleased to use this blog to help you explore the world from the safety of your home, introducing you to some of MEL's international friends, designers from around the world that create wearable art and will color your look with the flavor of their different cultures.

Please allow us to introduce you to the world of Coast and Koi and the fabulous shoes that will become your MEL's best friends.

Coast and Koi is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and is the home of the most exquisite handmade shoes you will ever wear. Caryn Wilensky, designer and owner at Coast and Koi, creates bespoke shoes using hand-painted silk prints, satins, jewels, embroidery knots, tassels and sequins, to bring to life art that you can wear. Her sophisticated babouches seem out of a magical dream world and wearing them can change your whole look easily.

"Our shoes are unique because they are the result of ideas that float into my mind when inspiration comes to me", Caryn tells us. "The ideas are usually in full technicolor and they are mental snapshots of things that have never been seen before. Sometimes I visualize the whole shoe, other times I see a fabric or a design, a visual seed". The shoes are created following Caryn's vision. "I believe in the power of our ancestors and muses. I have no doubt that they guide me towards color combinations, or new textures", she says. Caryn is passionate about African design and she sees her creations as her way to break stereotypes of what Africa really is, blending African and Oriental influences, and bringing an element of fantasy to the art of designing a shoe.

Her babouches, pointy pumps, espadrilles, or square toe ballerinas are like nothing else in the market today, and they are an invitation to enter a world full of color, sparkle, and glamour. "When you wear our shoes, you step into a different world, a new reality that is bolder and more beautiful. We design a dream that you can wear", Caryn tells us. Unique, eclectic, bold, and stylish...a Coast and Koi shoe will become best friends with your MEL bag and they will create your look, with the clothes becoming the accessory.

Coast and Koi

Instagram: @coast_and_koi


A Blog in the Bag

Each month we will bring to you a special blog that we are sure you will enjoy. We love discovering new blogs so we hope our suggested little gems will bring a smile to your face.

A small thing of beauty, like a stunning bag, a glorious perfume, or a pair of dreamy shoes, can give us a little pleasure, just like a blog can take us to remote places and unique lives and, like a thing of beauty, make our world a little brighter. For this reason, our blog will highlight a favorite blog each month, in the hopes it brings you a little joy, it makes you smile, or it helps you learn something interesting.

Today we are pleased to introduce The Vintage Contessa to all of you.

Her blog is delightful, filled with beautiful pictures and inspiration. We spoke to Elizabeth, La Contessa, and her spirit shone through every word. "For 12 years I had an antique-vintage store. Social media was starting to evolve then and I decided I needed a website in order to advertise my wares and allow my friends in other countries to be able to cruise THE HEN HOUSE virtually!", she tells us. The website never took off, and she ended up closing her store, but since she had built the website already, the idea of a blog was appealing. "I thought to myself, I can start a blog! But what about? MYSELF and MY LIFE! I have always been told I do things differently and live in a FANTASY world!" She thought that her love of antiques and everything old, and her passion for animals might be of interest to others so she held her breath and started writing. "That was August 13, 2009 when I posted my first post...and I am still HERE!"

Elizabeth's goal is to transmit a sense of joy to her readers. "I share my LIFE and MOST of my DOINGS...I love to CONNECT PEOPLE, that makes me VERY HAPPY! At my age, 60, I LOVE SUPPORTING other WOMEN. I think it's important we share what works for us, whether it is hair loss or facial creams!"

La Contessa's life is unique and her readers get to experience a world filled with stunning roses in an enchanting garden, fabulous kaftans and jewelry, beautiful antiques, a gorgeous home, and all things old with a hint of a grandeur past life. "How many people have a loveseat and two chairs for reading in the kitchen? Four chandeliers and a coffee table too!". But this is not all..."How many people have a PIG that lives in the HOUSE?" Elizabeth says that she writes the way she speaks, so "the capitals are NOT me YELLING AT YOU, it is my enthusiasm, my excitement!".

Her sense of humor and her love of life is present in each of her posts, and you can't help but smile as you follow her through the daisies into her magical world. "When I read a BLOG I want to be taken away... into their WORLD", she tells us. And this is exactly what she does with The Vintage Contessa: she opens her door and invites us all in.

The Vintage Contessa

Instagram: @antiquegoddess


Subscribe to our blog and get our Style Guide, offered only to subscribers! Because we take care of our MEL girls and would love to help you create a gorgeous look for every occasion! Stay tuned for our monthly guide on how to style your look around your MEL bag! We create whole outfits for you, and we offer inspiration with clothes from fun brands, playful shoes, and unique accessories. This month...we style you for Cocktail Hour! You will love what we picked out for you!

With love,

Elena and Isabel


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