How do you start dressing up when going out in public? When your clothes don’t fit, accessories are the next best wardrobe statement. I am in Venice and it is so wonderful to walk around. What I am noticing that people are dressing up wearing a statement necklace or a handbag.

There is a new renaissance here in Venice during this pandemic. In speaking to the locals who sell everything made in Venice such as the famous Murano glass. They don’t want to see the mass tourists return. They want a more strict quality control when it comes to fake Murano glass sold here in Venice.

Fake Murano glass from China is sold in venice.

Murano glass 2021 Venice

This is made on the island of Murano and quality controlled by made in Italy Venice staff. You can spot fake Murano as the real piece of art.

When I am seeking niche items made in Italy. I am finding it can be very challenging.

“Hunting for niche items are part of my process! You can’t put a budget on inspiration.”

contemporary murano necklaces Gracie Opulanza

These are a limited edition contemporary Murano necklace. Very unusual to see here in Venice. They are a statement piece and everyone keeps looking at my necklaces when I walk around. You can dress up even a basic white shirt or plain T-shirt with this. You can buy them through me if you are seeking a niche Murano accessory.

crotchet dress Gracie Opulanza venice

Yves Sant Laurent Vintage Handbag

I bought this 25 years ago. Yves Sant Laurent is a brand that always presents itself when I am not looking for it. This simple vintage bag worn with basic jeans or a maxi dress changes my overall look.


Last year I had this made during the lockdown. little did I know crotchety is everywhere for this summer. ZARA is full is cheap, sandpaper version of crochet. What is does do like me regarding niche pieces. I can get ideas from fast fashion and invest in designers who need money and they recreate the design with high-quality cotton not made in China.

Nothing sustainable about Zara or Trinny Woodhall who promotes endless amounts of fast fashion clothing.


Clogs are stylish, comfortable and these made to order Caretti clogs can be walked here in Venice all day long.

Caretti Clogs - Handcrafted Italian Leather Shoes1897 (2) Red Parrot, Pelle Ingrassata Deep Forest

Limited Edition Collection

This handbag is 160metres of leather ribbon and 16 hours of handwaving to produce this bag. For the dying the woven shell is soaked in pigment and dried., then the second layer of colour is applied and is finally buffed by hand. It takes five days to complete and a total of 14 handcrafted steps in the process. This cow leather is humanely raised in the pastoral mountainous regions of Northern Italy. The tanning process is closely monitored in Tuscany as the designers, creators consciously seek out a healthy environment in the most sustainable way. This luxurious hide and the process take up to ten weeks.

This is why I bought the bag because of the process and knowing that it is not part of the fast fashion movement.

Olive leather bag made in Italy Gracie Opulanza (2)

Bottom – Down Dressing Trends

Now we’re allowed out, bottom-down dressing is in. The bag turns heads on the streets of Venice every time I wear it. It is an added accessory to my overall look.

Olive green weaving bag made in Italy

This bag is about highlighting my bottom half. Instead of my top halves dominating with prints or statement earrings. Stepping away from linen pyjamas is drawing renewed attention to what’s going on below the waist.

Understated luxury makes the shift from jersey pants to pull-on-and-go palazzos simple and straightforward, even for the most reluctant exhibitionist.

What I am saying is get dressed up starting with your handbag.

Accessories Don’t Judge

Accessories fit all sizes, they don’t judge your weight, they make me feel so special. You can put on weight or lose weight accessories always fit. I am turning fifty and want to invest in niche items that don’t belong in the world of fast fashion. Belts hide all the bulging lockdown fat we have all gained. Or the menopause belly that we just have to live with.

Gracie Opulanza Pucci print playsuit venice 2021 vintage (3)

This is my very own lioness belt and it looks fabulous with any clothing. Try to rent accessories first to give you plenty of ideas of what you want to invest in.

So when I am sitting in the most famous cafe house called Florian. My accessories are bespoke items I choose to love.

Venice - Florian Coffee House 2021 Gracie Opulanza italy (2)

Earings are another investment pieces that can be worn anytime you have issues with your weight! The importance of jewellery such as NKB – London does fabulous earrings.

Airport Fashion

As we begin to travel and head to the airport. Accessories can be worn without the extra hand luggage costs. Airport fashion is a strong statement to showcase your street style image. Even if it’s wearing vintage shoes. carrying some roses.

Salvatore Ferragamo silver flats shoes 2021

Brooch Styles

These are returning to the heart of my wardrobe. They are timeless masterpieces. This Iradj Moini vintage brooch looks fabulous on anything and with every casual item, you can fit into it.

IRADJ MOINI new Vintage Brooch Gracie Opulanza (2)

This is my vintage Yves Sant Laurent 1980 brooch.

YvesSantLaurent Brooch Venice 1980 Gracie Opulanza Vintage

Accessories take away the weight of life, the pressure of losing weight and they always fit no matter your size let alone your age!