Blue coat – Anywho x Brics, Cream coat – Mum’s, Boots – Sam Edelman, Clutch – C/O Kurt Geiger, Watch – Casio, Bracelets – C/O Boticca, Dress- ASOS Salon

Oh how I love Christmas! Mariah (and lately Justin Bieber, the horror) constantly wanting only me from speakers of the randomest of places (butcher’s down the road, WHY); the smart-ass, seemingly-omniscient gift guides of the interwebs; twelve days of Christmas and one very bankrupt and exhausted true love; the visible struggle for the shops to make a watered down version of the season’s products (i.e very well-dressed snowmen decorations and elaborate snowflakes) that hopefully appeal to those that don’t necessarily, by religion or whatnot, celebrate the day but would still like to participate in the buzz…. But most of all, the ‘christ’-lessness of ‘Christ’mas, and a whole month of cringing at the fact that it’s less and less that and more and more ‘x’ of Xmas, probably x = the unknown? To be very frank, I always find myself distressed by the noise around Christmas – this of course will serve as the primary reason to the fact that my children will be the scoundrels who will break the Santa secret to all his classmates on the eve, making the night truly sleepless but for entirely different reasons. And I will die of chronic cynicism, on Christmas day, surely.

Babbling aside, this year I was most drawn to Malachi chapter 4, the final book and chapter of the Old Testament which dates 300 years before the birth of Christ, but in all its might leaves a big arrow towards the coming of Jesus. (Yes Christmas is defacto a pagan tradition and Jesus was really born closer to March but if we’re plastering babies & mangers over our cards and we’ve allocated ONE time during the year to remember His birth then might as well do it properly)

Biżuteria (Jewellery) Yes calendar launch party, Warsaw; Shoes – United Nude

A presstrip to my home town, why finally! It was the idea of rocking up at the party in my own wheels (also acts as portable changing room) (also not really mine) and accommodation at a 10-star hotel with my mother as maitre d’ that made me think it’d surely be a unicorn-magical trip. Well. Breakfast in bed is quite literally breakfast in bed when the porter (slash maitre d’ slash CEO of Park family) shoves a banana under your pillow and requests I make a snap decision whether the towels go in the bathtub or back on the rails because it’s laundry day. Of course, there’s nothing snappy about said decision because I’ve been milking her Wi-fi till 4 in the morning and I might as well be holding a full-on conversation with a gargling orc under the covers. The Polish star jewellery company Yes, held a 2012 calendar launch party and kindly extended an invitation,  to which I said UH YES? clearly. The evening was generally me squeezing through a throng of beautiful strangers to get to the cake and then squeezing back to get some apple juice (rocking up in own wheels meant I was also my own designated driver) and then back again to get another slice. Until I found Alice & Magda at which point we found a staircase with rails covered with fur and decided that was where the party was. If it weren’t for my killer United Nude heels – by killer I mean one stumble and one foot jabs a London Olympics 2012 logo-lookalike wooden edge into my calf – I believe I would’ve stroked those rails bare while making friends with the entire guestlist for the rest of the night.

Thank you Yes for the invitation, and thank you mother for the spotty banana.

DIY Knitted Snood

What you’ll need: 10mm straight needles, 2 Skeins Rowan 100% Merino ‘Big wool‘ (100g, 87 yds per skein) or any similar alternative, Knitter’s needle or tapestry needle.

Cast On 24 stitches

Ribbing Stitch: Knit, yarn over, purl, knit, yarn over, purl… continue. Turn over and repeat.

Cast off and stitch ends together

Coat – Anywho x BRICS, Shirt – Zara, Skirt – Vintage, Shoes – Topshop, Bag – Market in Vilnius, Snood – DIY

Ugh, I had a video for this – scratch that, I had several, illustrating in colourful detail how I stop at traffic lights and successfully knit a snood while balancing on the China Woman and sipping lukewarm latte that sits in the helmet with the yarn balls. It was Cirque du Soleil of DIY tutorial videos, fireworks and hoolahoops, you’ll just have to believe me. I’m going to have another go at the videos, but in the meantime just search for 1-by-1 Ribbing Stitch (or separately Cast On, Knit, Purl, Yarn Over, Cast Off to learn from scratch) on Youtube and that should get you going. When you’re on a roll it should take about 4-5 hours tops. Quick tip, if you’re getting the Rowan wool, the length is actually perfect if you stop at about 1.5 skeins or go on to knit 3 yarnballs. And yearh, I know what you’re thinking, that thing looks like a neck brace… but if that cycle-knit story isn’t a recipe for neck injury disaster, I don’t know what is.

Thank you darrrhling for the shots.

Special thanks to Alix for helping with the photos, Hôtel de la Trémoille, Paris for the location, and Guerlain and Ykone for the opportunity.

It’s only really been a recent development on my part, from considering water + shampoo to be the ultimate l’eau de toilette (no pun intended!) to weaving through the perfume counters at the ground floor, not just to get to the elevator that will take me to 1) the toilet or 2) the food court. I do remember specifically though, that it was triggered by my brother, who dragged me around Selfridges looking for a ‘character smell’ that wouldn’t repel girls, and we ended up riding the bus home, drunk on the adjective ‘musky’ and feeling like mosquito melting in repellent. Since then on I’ve been on an informal quest to find my own smell, first preference being Candy Floss, but I hear the Jelly Belly factory stopped producing perfume… about time to grow up, I guess. Guerlain had contacted with a proposal for a mini collaboration, wherein I was to interpret the Shalimar into a photoshoot, and what with my olfactory age being about…six, I went for innocent, delicate, sensual as the key vocab for the shoot and here are the results. Actually there’s a lot more where this came from – lots of bedsheets, legs that just won’t stay covered… and a lot of ‘I’m wearing a white dress looking sad but also want to pounce on you’ faces. Scent-wise, there is a note of sweetness, but then it’s weighed down by a stronger velvety tang, and I must be honest and say that the Shalimar will sit on a higher shelf until I grow up a little to be able to reach without a kiddy step stool.

Hermès ‘Paris, mon Ami’ campaign at Harrods Knightsbridge

How do I go about writing about scarves without including a sappy account on how mother had a sliding drawer full of them and whenever I’d run my fingers over them I’d smell of Guerlain Shalimar on my palm for the rest of the week? Well, I guess I can’t anyway since my mother did not have a sliding drawer full of perfumed scarves – our furniture was ancient IKEA and the scarves shared a wiggling drawer full of my dad’s ties and some neglected stockings. So, I’m glad to say visiting the Hermès popup shop in Harrods Knightsbridge (celebrating 20 years relationship) today incited no nostalgia flashbacks whatsoever, and refreshingly I was able to form my own impression and fondness for the silk scarves. They were demonstrating tips on 1,000 ways to wear a scarf and my own ‘installment’ had 12 scarves in them, weaved together into what Penny called a ‘Hermès waffle’. And of course, you probably know already how much I loved the DIY style-your-scarf cards… off to try some with my teatowels!

The pop-up shop is open till the 2nd of January, so make sure you drop by and learn a few tricks.
Thank you Penny for the shots of moi!