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  • Belma-Gaudio-2

    I started seriously collecting Hermès bags about eight years ago – it’s a true luxury brand and I find the hunt for rare antique bags so exciting. The first one I bought was a vintage clutch with a dog-collar clasp in Hermès gold. I keep the orange boxes they’re sold in stacked in my study, so they form part of the décor.


    I like the chic, effortless look of clothes with flats. However, sometimes a dress does call for some heels. This pair, from Cult Gaia, go with everything and the bamboo makes them the ultimate summer heels. The bag is from a Brazilian designer called Wai Wai and is one of my favourite accessory brands at Koibird.


    I check Hermès stores wherever I travel to see if they have any special colours. The Miami store usually has the biggest assortment of brightly coloured bags. Multi-coloured and suede are very rare. I’ve bought some at auctions and some at Hermès. I love hunting for antique designs that are not always as expensive. 


    This Adriana Degreas banana-detail linen dress is very me and very Koibird. I launched the store out of the desire to provide a one-stop shop for all our fashion travel needs. We curate the store around a chosen travel destination and try to focus on the lesser-known, often sustainable or locally produced brands that are fun and fabulous. It’s all about providing a unique point of view with pieces that are unexpected and push the envelope for that extra holiday excitement!


    I love sweets, as anyone who’s been to my house can vouch for. There is candy everywhere. Candy jewellery is really having a moment – look at Roxanne Assoulin, Aurélie Biedermann and Carolina Bucci’s Forte beads. Plus Dana Levy has some fun pieces, especially the collaboration she’s done with Laura. I stack up to 10 at a time on the same wrist. I try to colour-code them a little to what I’m wearing, but more is definitely more here!


    I like to pack in a very concise and thoughtful way for holidays. I hate to overpack, so each year I try harder to get it down to an artform. I only bring sandals, and try to pick two or three pairs that will go with everything. I also tend to count how many evening and daytime outfits I will need. Usually it’s nine bikinis, seven evening outfits and five daytime cover-ups for a week-long beach vacation. Then I’ll pack a few hats, three bags and a lot of costume jewellery.


    I love the oversized 70s feel to this belt as well as the wicker, which is a material du jour! I am a careful maximalist – I love unique pieces that stand out, and that’s how I buy for the store. But they have to be thoughtfully paired to achieve a balance in your look. That’s not to say only one big accessory can be worn at a time, but one has to be careful not to look cartoonish. 


    These are some of my favourite holiday bags. The small shell basket is from Rebecca de Ravenel and is so chic for a Mediterranean cruise or a daytime walk on the streets of Mykonos or Capri – and it fits a lot of stuff! But if I had to take just one bag it would be the Wai Wai bamboo bag, as it works for day and night and is the smallest to pack.


    I tend to organise my wardrobe by style and then colour. I don’t organise by weight, as I generally swap winter and summer clothes out, and store the not-in-season stuff. Long evening dresses are all together, as are casual dresses, then separates grouped by trousers, skirts and shorts.


    Recently I’ve become attracted to vintage again, given my constant search for something unique. I think the fashion market is so saturated with the same brands that it’s become hard to find pieces that are truly one of a kind. Many designers are inspired by vintage prints and styles, so in some cases you get a superior version of that look in the original piece. This dress is a pink polka dot, ruffled Christian Lacroix, but still looks contemporary.


    Art, architecture and sculpture are a big part of our lives. Some of my favourite accessories are almost likes pieces of art themselves – I’m attracted to intricate designs and natural fabrics. These bags sit perfectly among my Olivier Van Herpt resin vases.


    I organise shoes by style: sneakers, boots, flats and ‘dress’ shoes are all grouped individually. I love shoes and hoard them. I have a few different shoe cupboards, as they can’t all fit in one! In the city I’m always in sneakers, while on holiday it’s always sandals. Ultimately I need shoes to be comfortable and will not deal with any discomfort.


    I discovered Helen Rödel’s crochet dresses many years ago in a shop in Florence. It was the first brand that was on my list when I contemplated opening the store. Her crochet designs have the perfect amount of stiffness, for a great silhouette, and softness in the fabric so they feel and look good. The dresses take many hours to hand-make. The back is just lines of thread on a bare back.


    I always say I’m not into jewellery, yet I have quite a few costume pieces! I make statements with clothes more than jewellery, but in the last few years I think jewellery has become so much more artistic, interesting and special. I organise it in these Muji lucite boxes in a shelving unit in my bedroom, and it’s all done by type: earrings, bracelets and necklaces.


    At Koibird we have a few brands that make hats which perfectly fold down to be packed into a suitcase, most notably the Lola Hats. If I have a stiff hat that I must take, I’ll take it in a shopping bag as carry-on. I wear hats mostly for SPF reasons, but I do love finishing off a beach look with a fabulous one!


    Emilia Wickstead designed my wedding dress and I own a lot of her pieces – they are girly, grown-up, elegant, sassy, chic and vintage all in one. In the summer in the city I’m partial to dresses and separates, but when packing to go away it’s mostly dresses or rompers as they’re easier to pack: I love this little top and shorts ensemble, which is a ready-made outfit. 


    I pack shoes according to the trip I’m taking: I think different destinations, even if they are all beach destinations, require different looks. In Capri I wear more white, blue and lemon. In Ibiza I wear more boho, flowy, colourful pieces and in Sardinia I go a little sexier and tighter. In the South of France, my look is always chic and elegant.


    When it comes to wearing jewellery on holiday, I keep it simple. I don’t tend to wear small delicate jewellery on the beach as I would have to layer it, which requires too much work. So I tend to pack a few bolder pieces of costume jewellery to wear at night. A coral necklace or statement earrings would be my go-to pieces. 

    Inside the wardrobe of

    Belma Gaudio

    Step inside the colour-saturated world of jetsetter Belma Gaudio, fashion entrepreneur and founder of hot new London concept store, Koibird, a perfectly curated edit of travel-focused pieces. 

    At Wardrobe ICONS, we get genuinely excited about packing for a holiday. So when we learned that one of our style crushes was opening Koibird, a concept store dedicated to destination dressing, our hearts skipped a beat. Set to re-open in October focused on a top-secret destination, we’ll be lining up with our most stylish friends to check out the new edit. Belma’s globe-trotting lifestyle, combined with an innate ability to make serious style a lot of fun, means she’s the perfect curator for the jet set. The former hedge-fund credit trader turned fashion entrepreneur understands what it means to invest in fashion. Her impressive Hermès bag collection is a testament to her love of fashion; she treats beautifully designed pieces like others would works of art. Meanwhile, her home (and wardrobe) is the stuff of dreams – a kaleidoscope of vibrant colours, statement pieces and sweets…


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