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Photos with help from Jamie McGregor Smith. Editing by Park & Cube.

I am a master at packing. Packing a chicken burrito into a semi-full stomach and then squeezing in coffee and a slice of apple cake after, that is. I don’t know about packing bags though, I’ve done it for six years during my BA travelling four, five times a year to go home and I’m still shoving everything under the bed, so to speak. I’ve been known to un-do pleats forever and transport wet laundry across Europe. Hey, it was clean and minicabs wait for no man. Rolling is my only trick, which means my suitcase is a hot mess with a few cinnamon bun-like things rolling around doing nothing at all. So it was about time I sought help from none other than Louis Vuitton, trunk-maker and packer since 1854, and just in time before flying out for the opening of the new Munich store*, and the release of the new LV 4-wheel Zéphyr trolley case. There really is a subtle art to packing, therapeutic almost, like sorting your life out. Do try these 5 tips out when you’re packing for your summer holiday, and be assured that you’re definitely not packing any luggage-related stress!
Oh, I guess I won’t need to look for an intern that will sit on the suitcase while I zip, afterall.

Thank you Louis Vuitton for the lessons! Visit LouisVuitton.co.uk to learn even more about the art of packing.

*Which unfortunately I could not make due to health issues…

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Shirt – Iris & Ink (the Outnet). Skirt – YesStyle. Shoes – Vintage Ferragamo. Bag – Kurt Geiger. Belt – Vintage LV. Thank you Kit for helping with the outfit shots!

The first few days of Spring, when you can make any sarcastic, over-exaggerated remark and funnily to some extent it will be correct, and for once you get to be a legitimate smartass. (Woo!) This is literally the most sun we’ve had the whole damn year, it’s so beautiful, I am like literally dying – normally this would be classic case of ‘I don’t think she knows what literally means but just nod and smile’but in April, it’s all technically true! The sun is stronger by day and hanging around much longer; the trees are in full blossom and it’s finally starting to prove the apocalypse wrong. And in my own defense, the last bit is always true, no? Anyhoo. Following up on the previously expressed thoughts regarding my love/hate relationship with London, the sun really is a catalyst. It’s like coming home and finding brownies – it calls for a good snogging-on-the-couch session, which is what the above set of photos is, lucky you.

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DIY floral laces: Fasten your shoes, Spring is a-coming!

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What you’ll need
Lace-up shoes of any sort – sandals, trainers, ankle boots; patterned bias binding (mine’s from Liberty) OR a long scrap floral fabric (re-purpose an old scarf/PJs or buy new from Liberty) OR classic ribbons, hair pin, scissors

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Pull out and the original laces from shoes

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Use the laces to measure out the right length from the new fabric.

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Cut 1.5inches (or 4cm) wide, and then cut again lengthwise in half – voilà, you have a pair of laces.

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Using a hairpin (thinner the better!), slip through a small section of the end and use that to guide the laces through the eyelets.

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Weave in the laces zig-zag as you would normally do – with some shoes you’ll find that lacing while wearing them on your feet will make the task easier.

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Et voila! And more ideas…

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Black heels – Zara. Red heels – Kurt Geiger Magdalena. Fabric & bias binding – Liberty. Photographer: ASSHOLE TRIPOD.

This is an age-old trick in the book but since 1) we’re all in a rut of some sort and 2) it’s clear that Spring is using Apple iOS6 Maps to find Europe and will probably take a cab from Africa around June I thought it might be fun to distract ourselves otherwise. If you’re like me, you’ll remember the joy of yanking out dirty laces from your trainers for a pair of spankin’ clean ones to realize you didn’t actually know how to lace them back in.  Once I got my head around it (at an embarrassing age, I think it was), no strip-looking thing in the house was to survive without having gone through some dirty eyelets on my Adidas originals: broken earphones, retired necklaces, some twines that may or may not have held the mackerel in the kitchen, ethernet cable (back when I knew not the value of being connected to the wall)… let’s just say I’m glad I met my husband in highschool because otherwise I’d now be captain of Weirdo-train until 35.

A few tips:

  • For sandals narrower strips (with edges fraying) tend to look better, while for trainers, wider laces give a more ‘plump’ look. If you have another fabric, weave in two, or three different patterend/textured (think lace trimmings and bobble fringes!) laces into the same shoe for even more full-on effect – Try out the lattice or checkerboard weave if you dare!
  • Cut longer than the original lace so you’ll have extra length to wrap around the ankles a la Alaïa.

Have fun!

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Dress – Zara. Shoes – Kurt Geiger. Belt – Vintage LV. Coat – Zara kenzo-2 Thank you Kittykat for helping with the photos!

It happened a few weeks back when I was Whatsapping with my mother (who by the way is getting scarily confident with her phone, she types so fast I’m scared she may actually be 14 years old) (sometimes she talks to me ONLY in emoticons), I was whining about eczema and that I caved into using cortisone cream, which is when she dropped the doozy. Now, I’d been waiting for this day since returning from the honeymoon back in 2011, for the the third burning question in the tigermum series – ‘So what about that grandchild?‘ – to drop. I beat her to the punch by answering the first two (‘You are going to uni, right?‘ and then ‘Why haven’t you found a job already‘) with swift efficiency, so in all honesty I thought she’d badger me to ‘pop one out’, perhaps in a similar fashion to how I got the heck out of Warsaw after highschool graduation (ASAP) went to uni. But who’d have thought she’d wait until now, specifically when I tell her I was going to use something that is essentially harmful for my body in the long-run, and consequently my future child? She cautioned that I am what I eat, and junior too, will be what I eat (cute little Snickers ice cream chicken burrito, for now), and assured me she’d wait with the real nagging until the eczema is dealt with. So when Kenzo asked me to interpret the long-standing fragrance Flower by Kenzo in collaboration with the charity Every Mother Counts, it reminded me of my own mother, who has held a mop in one hand throughout my life – a terrifying symbol of discipline but also what I now realize to be, a saber to wield off harm from her daughter. I love you mummy I stole your blue burberry coat I totally love you!