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Architecture influencing fashion

By Kitty Go | China Daily | Updated: 2014-06-05 14:48

Architecture influencing fashion

Designer Fiona Kotur Marin admires the work of superstar architect Zaha Hadid. Photo provided to China Daily

Architecture influencing fashion

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Architecture influencing fashion

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This spring, Kotur has introduced a game- and look-changing minaudiere christened the Oscar.

"I always maintained that, the smaller the bag, the better the evening, but the Oscar is our rule-breaker," explains Marin. "This season, we played with scale and the notion of a day bag and evening bag."

The Oscar is more than twice the size of the Pearce, which already can hold two devices (a Blackberry and iPhone) plus lipstick and credit cards. Kotur calls the Oscar "a new concept of a day bag (which) is unexpected and surprisingly versatile ... (It) can hold everything your Chanel 2.55 can."

It combines the stylishness of a clutch when the chain is tucked in and the functionality of a handbag when worn with a strap. It is large enough to hold an iPad mini, sunglasses, phone and keys.

This season, Totengco - always a stickler for practicality and beauty - also introduced a larger minaudiere called the Azure to "accommodate the trend toward larger cellphones". The Azure and Maryanne can both hold an iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S3, lipstick, cash and credit cards - "everything a woman needs on a night out to maintain her independence", he says. The new clutch draws inspiration from a Frank Gehry building in Porto and based on media buzz. Totengco is hoping it becomes another iconic product.

"It is somewhat less faceted than the Maryanne, for the woman who wants a simpler, cleaner line," he explains.

Kotur and Rafe New York continually update these best-sellers with changes in color and material combinations.

Kotur uses natural, synthetic and metallic inlays, Swarovski crystals and perspex.

Totengco looks to industrial materials like resin and stainless steel. He also takes something local and natural like shells or stones from his homeland, the Philippines.

"Taking something local and making it global (is) an absolutely modern way to convey my brand's aesthetic," he says.

And unlike modern landmarks, which take years to build, simply carrying an architectural clutch immediately projects strength and style. As Totengco puts it: "You can be wearing something totally romantic and feminine, or modern and sleek, and with a Rafe minaudiere, you're good to go."

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