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Friday, 30 August 2013

Bling with Bite!

Ever since coming across Bonnie Bling's designs a couple of years back, I fell head over heels for their tongue-in-cheek acrylic designs, made on the Isle of Bute. With cheeky, well-known Scottish phrases like 'Peely Wally', 'Blether' and 'I Heart Bucky' in their designs, they have become a firm favourite with local and visiting fashionistas alike. As well as their staple word necklaces (which are usually available all the time), Bonnie Bling also introduce new collections and collaborations with other artists & designers, such as Obscure Couture and DIY Nails.

After getting a hint of the new Autumn/ Winter 2013 collection from Bonnie Bling, I knew that I had to see more. And let me tell you, the Blingers have a belter of  collection coming our way for the colder months. Something darker and more mystical than the cheery sunflowers and friendship bracelets seen in their Spring/Summer collection and with more than a nod towards the original vampire series. After all, years before Bella and Edward were making the front page all us 90s teens were hooked on the will-they-won't-they drama of Buffy and Angel!

I got the lowdown on the new collection from Bonnie Bling designer extraordinaire Mhairi Mackenzie (along with some exclusive sneak peek photos), so pick up your crucifix, sling that garlic around your neck and follow me through to the graveyard...

 What is the name of your new AW13 collection? Bonnie is a Vampire Slayer

What sorts of things can we expect to see in it? The pieces are a lot darker for this collection. Strong and mystical but never far from the cheeky humour we are known for. We have mysterious triangles, skulls and crosses, flashes of neon and Swarovski crystals and they all pull together into a really powerful collection.

What is the inspiration behind it? I used to watch Joss Whedon’s ‘Buffy’ when it started on TV in the 90’s. I came across some old VHS tapes and it reminded me what a great character Buffy was, the show created some inspiring role models for strong, independent women. Looking back at the fashions and styling was pretty fun, a lot of that has come back around and is really popular at the moment. I liked the idea that our ‘Bonnie’ could also be a slayer, someone who deals with everyday life 9-5 but takes on big, bad evil in her spare time. I put a lot of thought into making pieces that would tie in with that. Turning dark times into fun times, being strong when everything around you is looking impossible, fighting to make your mark in the world and doing it your own way, never letting things get so big that they swallow you up.

How many pieces are in the collection? Is it bigger/ smaller/ about the same as your past collections? There are ten main pieces, each named after a character from the tv show and most with matching accessories to create full sets of jewellery. It’s a really comprehensive collection that all ties together really well.

What is your favourite piece in the new collection (and why)?
I absolutely love the ‘Giles’ mystical pendant and the ring and earrings that match it. I’ve already been wearing it out and about and it always gets commented on. It’s gold mirror with these cool triangular patterns engraved into it, it sits really low and is just really different to the work I’ve done before.

What sets these pieces apart from anything else we might see out there (on the high street for example)? Our designs are unique because they are all created, tested, lasercut, assembled and packaged by us and that makes me really proud of what we’re doing. I think our customers really appreciate that Bonnie Bling is made in the UK and our designs are always moving forwards in new directions, keeping things fresh and exciting. I love doing the Scottish pieces we are known for but when it comes to our seasonal collections I can really get stuck into the design work. I tend to set myself little design briefs and then begin sketching out ideas, and from there we test how that might work on our laser and as a finished piece. I love that we now have our own team set up over on Bute and that enables us to make all our items right here in Scotland.

And what everyone is dying to know, where can we buy the collection? Full collection is available from 1st September on and at selected retailers.

Finally, what else can we expect from Bonnie Bling this year? This Winter we have a relaunch of our brilliant Bonnie Bunnets with lots of new additions to the Wonky Wooly hats that were so popular last year. And not satisfied with one jewellery collection this season we’ve decided to spoil everyone with another coming out closer to Christmas, it’s going to be a beauty!

 Are you guys as excited as I am for this? I mean, come on! The gorgeous, glittering winged hearts of the Angel pieces, the huge statement necklaces, the Xander arm candy (stack up a pile of those bad boys and you're good to go!) and that dramatic, black and gold Buffy headpiece. And any collection with a few pieces dedicated to a Seth Green character (hello, high school pin-up) gets my vote. As if the drop-dead gorgeous photos and the awesome thought process behind the collection weren't enough to get our attention, check this out for a collection manifesto, sharper than a stake to the heart:
AW13 takes on a fierce new persona in the form of our heroine Bonnie the Vampire Slayer. Taking on the very darkest of evil in her spare time, Bonnie roams the high street full of strut, attitude and style, leaving a trail of haters in her wake. Turning dark times into light times, being strong when everything around you looks impossible, fighting for your own place in the world and doing it your own way. Play like you have everything to live for and never let the cracks get so big that they swallow you whole. Autumn/Winter celebrates the powerful, feminine night time warrior who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself, who shares her strength and love with others and who always looks out for her nearest and dearest. She is strong willed and possesses the special ability to pull herself together when times get super tough. No duvet days for Bonnie, there are bad guys to be beat!

Bonnie is a Vampire Slayer is the perfect collection for all kick-ass babes looking for something unique and well-made to take you through the dark nights. The collection is available from this Sunday, September 1st so be sure to check it out! A huge thanks and hi-five to Mhairi at Bonnie Bling for sharing this exciting new collection and putting up with all the cheesy vampire references!

Will you be getting in touch with your inner slayer this Autumn/ Winter? What is your favourite piece from the collection? Did you have a crush on Seth Green too (anyone?)?

Thanks for reading!

(All photos in this post are used courtesy of Bonnie Bling)

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