On the eighth day of Christmas Yuppee gave to me Eight Liv Warfield Clutch Bags, (Seven Swansea Boutiques, Six Golden Goose Essentials, Five Bond Rings! Four Calling Birds, Three French Men, Two Turtle-necks and a Partridge in a Pear Tree).
If you’re a bag lady LiV Warfield’s designer handbag line will have you putting aside your Christmas spendies in the hope of snagging one of her designs.
No rookie to the music scene, singer-songwriter LiV Warfield has taken on rock, funk and soul and toured with rock royalty: Prince. But very much a new dame these days, LiV has turned her hand to the fashion business. Yes- Warfield unveiled her LiV Collection by BD503 line of designer handbags on 12 December.
BD503 is led by artisan Bianca Pettinari, an international accessories designer based just outside of Portland, Oregon. The duo recently unveiled the LiV Warfield collection, which showcases eight clutches alongside twelve shoulder and sling bags.
I managed to snatch LiV Warfield away from Prince long enough for the fierce duo to find out all the goss. so that you can bag a treat on this eighth day of Christmas.
Bianca, how did you and LiV meet?
“That was such an exciting week! I had been in Italy for three days working on handbag collections for Italian brands and returned to Portland on opening night of FASHIONxt where my BD503 line was being featured. I rushed straight from the airport and when I walked in LiV Warfield was performing. I was totally, totally blown away by LiV’s powerful voice and the crowds beside the runway were on their feet within seconds. I think everyone really couldn’t believe a vocalist of LiV’s calibre was right in front of them.” Bianca remembers. “I had heard of LiV being part of Prince’s New Power Generation but hearing her perform her original material and seeing her incredible beauty and style really made it clear she’s an incredible talent in her own right.” Bianca continued, “I met LiV after her performance. She was holding one or our bags with soft, quilted black leather and handles made of blue stingray. She looked incredible wearing the bag and smiled when she told me she “ wasn’t leaving without it!”
Liv, what about Bianca’s designs caught your eye?
“Bianca’s designs were amazing. They had character to them and they were very well made. I was really taken back by the quality of the handbags. Being that they are re purposed leather, I was simply blown away. These bags are sustainable and that’s what I really love most about it. People think sustainable and they get nervous… Well no need!! These handbags are extremely well made and gorgeous and found from the best re purposed leather from Italy and the USA…They each have a different look to them.”
How did the idea for a collaboration happen so quickly once you met each other?
“It was one of those rare times when you meet somebody and you just know there’s a real connection there on so many levels – individuality, strength, expressing our own style” Bianca reflects, “the collection really just came naturally out of LiV and I getting to know each other.”
What does the LiV Warfield by BD503 handbag collection include?
“The collection includes shoulder bags and clutches with signature details and exotics inspired by LiV’s passion for life, music and fashion. We developed signature LiV Warfield quilting that’s really beautiful and makes the bags even more unique. We hand-craft each bag one at a time in Portland, Oregon, so that every single one has its own distinctive character and style. It’s also important to us to be giving women a more environmentally sustainable choice by making everything in the United States and sourcing repurposed leather here and in Italy” Bianca said.
Bianca, what has been the most important thing you’ve kept in mind when creating this collection?
“When we first met, LiV and I talked a lot about how tired so many women are of standard-issue style.” Bianca said, “So, creating really unique pieces with a range of styles, colors, textures where each individual bag has its own flair. They reflect moods from bold, striking styles with python and stingray to more subtle colors and textures” LiV added, “We wanted to offer something unique, well-made and savvy, but with a little edge. A handbag that’s beautiful, different and one-of-kind… just like they are. That’s what the LiV Warfield by BD503 collection is all about!”
Liv, tell us what this collection means to you?
“The collection is a combination of meanings.. First I wanted women to be able to feel connected to the bag. Sometimes when you go into the department stores you always see your basic designer handbags but there’s no sass or flare to the handbag….Just the fact that there will be several other women around the world with the same bag that you have wasn’t really appealing to me. The collection Bianca and I created was about fun, coluorful, non-boring handbags…The LiV Warfield by BD503 collection is about living bold, living out loud and living free. As well as incorporating music into the mood of the handbags. Since I’m a singer songwriter I couldn’t help but be inspired by that side of me. I thought about what kind of bag Bonnie Rait, Chaka Khan, Tina Turner or Rhianna would carry out of this LiV Warfield collection.
How has it been working together?
“Its been amazing working together! It’s like most partnerships are a lot of push and pull and ideas of individuals butting heads… but no! Bianca and I have so much fun working together.. She is simply the purse architect and I love it… I tell her about the feel and the colours and she just goes to town sketching. I mean, this collaboration is honestly magical.. It was meant to be! We’ve already started talking about the next spring line of handbags.”
LiV, where did the inspiration come from for this collection?
This collection was inspired by fashion, muscle cars and music. I’ve always loved fashion and second hand stores. I’ve also been extremely inspired by music. Like I would think, ” Do you think Kate Bush, Grace Jones or Rhianna love this sling handbag?”… Or something as simple as listening to Lovers Rock by Sade. There is a white fringe hobo bag that is exquisite.. it made me think of something Janis Joplin would wear. That was my mostly my inspiration. I just thought about upgrading the style by adding a little bit of millennium into the mix. Especially with the exotic fabrics and details. Each bag is hand made and crafted with so much love!
Bianca, how has this work differed from your other collaborations and work?
“I lived in Italy for 20 years designing collections for brands like John Galliano, Donna Karan, Theory and Coach. Living in the area around Florence gave me the opportunity to learn some of the best artisans in the world. With the LiV Warfield by BD503 collection, we’re making the bags LiV and I have always wanted to carry!”
What are your plans for 2013? Will there be more collaborations from the two of you?
“We are planning to keep creating. We’re already talking about a spring/summer collection and looking forward to adding more colors and textures. I can’t wait… It can only get better from here.” LiV said.
Bianca added, “In addition to working on new silhouettes and some really exciting combinations of materials and textures, Liv and I are committed giving back and supporting organizations that help women and girls. We’re already working together on a very special handbag that will auctioned off at the Power of the Purse gala benefiting Girls Inc.”
A little Christmassy questions for each of you; how will you both be spending Christmas this year?
“I will be spending Christmas with my family. I’m the happiest when I have quality time with my family. I don’t need gifts just tons and tons of laughter and love.” LiV said.