Hat - Angels Sale, Dress – +J Uniqlo, Tights – Courtesy of Gal Stern ‘Lizard’ of Wild Collection, Crop top – Vintage, Shoes – H&M, Bag – Vintage studded, Watch – Casio, Necklace as bracelet – F21, Nailpolish – Model’s Own ‘Red Alert’

Exactly one month ago today was when I put the order for Canon EOS 550D at Calumet, with hopes of picking it up in a few days. I was starting to wonder, as days and weeks crept by, whether they were trying to assemble the camera with sticky rice, or instead of loading it onto an airplane they’d commissioned a Tokyo taxi driver to courier the cameras to London. Little did I know that the lovely volcano with a keyboard-slam of a name would interrupt delivery flights, and the factories lacked parts to birth my baby. Then the call came last Friday, and today Kit and I went to pick up the camera, oh bliss. This photoshoot marks the first hundred shuttercounts of the hopeful millions to come. Thank you 400D for being my closest sketchbook & pencil since 2007.

Thank you Kit for slaving in the heat, waiting on you to join the new-camera club!

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On a tight schedule

Five hours, Florence, one fidgety husband – what does one do when the universe deals you cards like these that aren’t compatible in any sense other than in an awkward alliteration (alligator)? Last month I had a brief stint in Florence for a work trip, to which I thought I’d bring ze old ball and chain, and discovered later the itinerary was so jam-packed over the two days we only really had five hours to ourselves. Now, for those who have never been/planning to travel to Florence, I personally advise allocating at least four hours for gelato, period. Then there’s the Duomo, David (by Michaelangelo – and not the ninja turtle), Boboli gardens, a slew of essential museums and galleries, shopping… none of which you should skip, and many of which that sadly require queuing (cue fidgety husband).

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So we decided, over a particularly parmesan-y breakfast, to simply do none of it (except gelato, bumped down to one hour, boo) and took to the streets without a plan, turning corners ad lib and frequently ending up in dead-end court yards, where EVERY SINGLE TIME, an Italian family reunion was under way*. Turns out it’s a great way to see the city, and not bad cards afterall, considering Florence is really the Joker card. Also, you do end up grazing a lot of the important bits as the historical centre of the city is only about 45 minutes-wide on foot. (But do try to graze David properly if you have time, he sure is a looker)

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Watch – Chaumet

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I’ve mentioned this before, but with all travels I try to take something new with me as a ‘beacon’ of memory – typically a perfume – but instead I decided to take my unworn Chaumet Liens watch that I had saved for a special occasion. Surely enough, what with all the time constraints on this trip and diligently having to glance at my wrist where the clock-hands danced from 12 to 5pm, the watch is now my connection to this short, but gelato-sweet, Florentine adventure. And to add to the romance, this very model (Liens) – while classic and timeless in its looks – is constructed with a state-of-the-art Swiss mechanical self-winding movement that makes soft, rhythmical tickky-tickky-tickky sound when you bring it up to your ears, or in my case, whenever I brought my camera up to my face to take a snap…

Well, isn’t this sentimental. I’m going to go have a sarcasm sandwich now.

*Come to think of it, it was the afternoon of the Italy vs. Urugauy game… so probably not anything similar to a GodFather scene as I’d thought.

Watch – Chaumet. Hat – Hoss Intropia. Dress – ASOS (similar in yellow). Slides - Office. Bag – Saint Laurent ‘Lulu’. Earrings – Baublebar. Blazer – Zara (similar).

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Watch – Chaumet

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Vivienne Tam & ASOS

Catwalk photo in collage taken from here, thanks!

Attention awesome blogger friends and esteemed readers, I am rather sad to announce that I have been given the honour of being the fifth judge of the Battle of The Bloggers at ASOS because I too want a Vivienne Tam HP netbook, ticket to a stylish city every four weeks (with designated photographer) and own blogging channel at ASOS. I am sad, therefore I will be cranky. I see now why Simon is so mean…

Take the most of this wonderful opportunity, I know so many of you have talent and drive to win this!

All the best!

Fact: My sewing machine is from the Czech Republic so I had to teach myself from scratch using the Czech manual book. Who knows if I’m doing anything right…

What you’ll need:
Two identical cardigans in different colours, seam ripper, sewing machine, fabric marking chalk or pencil, dressmaking pins, thread, ruler.

Fold the first cardigan backwards into half.

Measure an inch away from the fold for seam allowance and mark along the entire length of cardigan.

Do the same with other cardigan.

Cut along marked line

Using a seam ripper, remove tags that might get in the way of sewing. Pin the two cardigans good sides (outer sides) facing, along the entire length of the cardigan.

Sew a zigzag stitch, and leave seam allowance fabric uncut in case of fray. If you have an overlock machine or a serger, you’re one lucky bugger.
Victim cardigans – Uniqlo, Striped dress as top – Topshop, Pants – Gmarket, Necklace – NastyGal, Nail Polish – Castle Dew ‘Tint Mint matte’ (Korean)

Best thing about sale season is that DIY victims are also discounted – how else could one justify cutting up two perfectly fine cardigans from Uniqlo that originally cost £19.99 each? Also had no idea if the fabric would up and unravel into a yarnball when cut so it was a bit of a gamble, but if that be the case I guess I could’ve just shipped off the yarnballs to BP for them to shove ‘em down their broken oilpipes. Bunch of geniuses, those oil mongers.

This piece from Karla Spetic’s AW10 collection was the primary inspiration, although everything seems to come in two-colour nowadays – leggings, tights, shoes… Anyway, it’s a quick & easy DIY – you could even hand-stitch instead of using a machine but then again it might be Christmas by the time you look up.

Pink jacket – SteveJ & YoniP; Above & Left: Jasper Garvida AW10 (Propeller Shirt)

Top: Beautiful digital print ‘Tiger Dress’ by Belle Sauvage
Left: Silk dress by John Rocha

Top: Dress by SteveJ & YoniP, Left: Leather Headpiece/Brooch by Havva

Vintage Asian Clutch

Binglaba Neck Cuff

Vintage Silk shrug in brides section

My preconception of My Sugarland, formed solely by clicking around their website, was crumbled to pigeonbites when I visited their boutique last Friday. I judge books by their covers, I admit, well maybe because my profession is to design the covers, so naturally I wasn’t too impressed with the usability of their site. I guess I went a bit S Cowell on My Sugarland and judged it too hastily, because that boutique was actually a helluva singer. I mean, treasure trove. I’ve never seen vintage and contemporary designers mixed so tastefully – from 60′s wedding dresses to digital prints by Belle Sauvage, the place screamed of the acute palate of stylist Zoe Lem, founder of the boutique. To think I dismissed such a place as another one of those overpriced vintage shops, pfft, I see now why my boyfriend dubs me retard so regularly. Retard will get her wedding dress from here, dear boyfriend.

Thank you Holly from My Sugarland for helping me with the photos!