Welcome to Being Bellissima!!!

Just a little blog where Bellissima can post her latest thoughts, stories, news, images and lot's more!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Vintage Chain, a Series

There are some sheets of acetate here at Bellissima Headquarters that I have always wanted to use, but because our supply is so limited, I have never been able to find a use for them.  These are vintage colors that are so rich and interesting but cannot be reproduced.   This has always bothered me.  I finally came up with the idea to number each piece, and make them limited editions. These rich materials not only look beautiful and chic as a short and chunky chain neck, they are also timeless.
We figured out how many necklaces we could produce in each color, and numbered them accordingly.  The last link on each chain is engraved and painted with our name on one side, and their number in the series on the other side.  Below are our six vintage colors, if you would like to sell these chains in your store, or own one,  let us know!  Bellissima@moschitto.com

This color is named "Gold Fleck", after the flecks of gold scattered throughout a rich cognac colored base

I named this "Ikat".  I had actually never seen this color before, since there is so little of it, but it is very different and I will definitely have to own one!

We named this "Feather" and I think it's a perfect summer neutral to be worn with a white top

This is "Marsh", this is a striking and somewhat edgy neutral that can be worn and complimented on all year!

"Pink Navajo"-this color is so fun and eye catching, it was definitely the best seller at the shows, and again, I will definitely have to own one!

This is "Praline", it has beautiful swirls of butterscotch and horn, it's a natural beauty and would look great with jeans

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

About Augie

This was a guest blog post I wrote last winter for a beautiful store, and great customers of ours, The Garden Gates down in Louisiana.  Augie was really happy with how it came out, and I think it's worth reposting. 

As a young girl, I loved to visit my Grandfather’s factory on my days off from school. There I got to separate pieces of plastic in all shapes and sizes and colors. (note: this was in the 80s, and we were the makers of those huge layered barrettes that were the height of fashion) I would put each shape, size and color in a different box, and to me, this was magical. Later on, in high school and college, the factory served as a summer job. Upon graduating college with a degree in photography and no money and no idea what to do next , I became my Mother’s assistant. With my innate need to be creative I soon began designing for their newly launched jewelry line, Bellissima. I will never forget the feeling of the first time the line was a success at a show. Something I created was desired by the public! Creating something tangible for others to appreciate is a great feeling, and I know that this creativity and passion is something that I get from Augie, my grandfather.
Augie is the son of Italian parents who immigrated to Brooklyn in the 1920s. When he turned 18, my young and skinny Grandfather shipped off to sweltering Arkasas, where he trained for the army and eventually got on a boat and sailed to Africa. This was a young man like so many in WW2 who had never left his backyard, and now found himself in Africa. They entered Europe through Italy, not exactly the desired first glimpse of the motherland. His troop was captured by the Germans at the famous battlefield Anzio, south of Rome. Because my Grandfather spoke Italian, he proved to be useful as a translator. He says this was the moment he knew he wouldn’t be killed. Once they left Italy, his Italian was no longer an asset, and my grandfather and the other soldiers were placed in work farms throughout southern Germany. He remained a POW for nearly two years until the war was over. He likes to say he owes his life to his good looks, as the farmer’s daughters were in love with him.
I often think about what these two years must have been like for a 19 year old in a strange land, with captors who spoke a strange language. To never know what the day would bring, if he would eat, or if he would ever see his family again. I have such a deep respect for what he endured, and I also find myself thinking, we wouldn’t be here, this business he created from nothing wouldn’t be here.
Back in the Post-war US, Augie began to work as an apprentice at well-known design houses in New York. He trained as a stone setter in the optical industry, and with that same material, he started his own company. Augie became one of the leading producers of hair accessories in the United States, and enjoyed much success. All of his success was achieved through hard work and a passion for what he was doing. Perhaps something he learned on those German work farms. He lived and breathed what he did, and it paid off.
In the 80s, when I was a child, Augie bought a beautiful apartment on a little island off the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. With it’s private white sandy beaches, and crystal clear water, this became my family’s destination when they could get the time off. We all consider it paradise. Weeeellllll, not all of us. Augie is not a fan. If you ask him how he is when he is down there, he responds: “I’m BORED to death.” How’s the weather? In his grouchiest of voices: “Beautiful” and then he just wants to know what’s going on at the factory. I guess you could say it’s true love. He is now 86, and still, after one of the most grueling New York winters I have ever witnessed, he wants to be in Jamaica, Queens at the factory instead of in sunny Florida. I told my family the other day, you know, he speaks more fondly of his time as a POW than his time as a snowbird in Florida. What does this mean? I’m not really sure, but he’s a pretty tough guy who makes really pretty bracelets.

The following of some examples of his "really pretty bracelets" :

The bracelets are all carved by hand by Augie, and then stone set and painted by hand.  The bangles are from vintage acetate tubes.  Contact us if you're interested in buying/selling his unique creations:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Springtime, Tortoise Style

At first I was really shocked that this necklace did so well, and then I thought about it, and it made perfect sense.  It's chunky, it's color-block, it's tortoise!

Graduating Links neck shown in turquoise combination
This necklace was so eye catching at the show, buyers kept throwing it on their orders to just make a statement, or to tie their collection together.  Aside from the mustard, the chain is made up of three best selling spring/summer neutrals: our tokyo tortoise, light horn and turquoise.  Linking up blocks of these neutrals and adding the burst of mustard make this piece a "safe statement".  It is classic and trendy, which is always what Bellissima tries to be about. 

The chain prompted me to create a story for these colors, and it's done really well for spring.  It's tortoise heavy with fun pops of color.  It's all very wearable and pretty, yet it definitely makes a statement.

Tokyo bangles with turquoise, light horn and mustard "cabochons"

Our best-selling cabochon cuff in fun new combinations

Our multi-colored, multi-linked chain necklace

Our solid colored graduating links chain

This chain neck is long and skinny, and really fun to layer

For those who like to make a small statement, this is a mini version of our cabochon cuff

A close-up of our long skinny chain, lot's of fun!