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Random cupcakes photo because I am princess cake, haven’t you heard.

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Sweater – ASOS. Frilly Skirt – Zara (similar here). Heels – Valentino (lower heel version). Bag – c/o Couronne. Headphones – Frends (and here).

It’s that time of year again when you’re supposedly very, very busy due to ‘fashion week preparation, and when suddenly everyone is very simpatico about any shortcomings. Didn’t reply to your urgent email for a week? It’s OK, you must be super busy. Instagramming useless stuff like the crack on your wall? It’s OK, aren’t you a busy girl? Randomly bursting into tears after finishing your last ice cream? There, there, it’ll be over soon. Although, I do feel as though lately I’m fuelled by this false sense of hurry, running around sniffing like there’s a fire (or hidden garlic & herbs bagel) somewhere and eventually not getting anything done 100%…  i.e getting frustrated that the kebab shop man isn’t cooking that damn chicken fast enough so I can go home and half-answer an e-mail while half-glueing gel-soles into all my heels. BECAUSE OMG FASHION WEEK. And I’ve started to scream this like how you’d yell ‘SPRING BREAK!!’ while flashing random strangers. Hey new guy followers. Anyway. I’m really not busy, not more than I am during the rest of the year. Yeah, I’ve got a few shows I’m dying to cover (Mary Katrantzou, are you listening, pwease?), but I just need to charge my batteries and top-up my Oyster card for that. Tell you what, I AM busy re-watching Arrested Development and drinking Tabasco by way of very bloody Virgin Mary’s from bed. LIKE OMG I’M BUSY TALK TO MY SECRETARY OK.

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Grüezi aus Zürich! (Gear up for the mother of all long posts!)

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Make My Switzerland app, available on Android and iPhone

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Can you believe how clear the water is?!

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Viadukt, ze ‘hip’ corner, North-West Zurich

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Frau Gerolds Garten and the Freitag tower

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Züri Fäscht

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Top – Amber Sakai. Shorts – Thierry Colson. Bag – JinYoo103684. Shoes – H by Hudson. Bar necklace – Kirsten Goss Urban Edge.

The first time I was in Zürich I was back in uni, on a layover home from London to Warsaw during the winter holidays – I arrived in the night, watched the first snow fall, and left at dawn. Hey, I was 21 and practically wearing a diaper, what did I know about efficiency? It’s the age when you turn a 2.5h flight into a 10h one (commonly known now as the Ryanair logic) and still call it an adventure. I locked my luggage at the airport and took a train into the city with just a DSLR, which turned out was missing the memory card. A good friend took me around town at midnight and the city was completely empty and quiet. It was so beautiful. Nothing was recorded, and in the morning I packed up the unused camera and took the first plane out.

Now, I have no idea who found out about that trip, because my second visit was precisely the opposite and fulfilling everything that was missing from the first. As a guest of the Swiss Tourism board, I was invited to the city of Zürich to test out the Make My Switzerland app ahead of its launch. It was July, we boarded a Swiss flight on a midsummer morning, blasting with air conditioning and oozing with general Swiss efficiency. It was the height of the Züri Fäscht, a festival that happens every three years, reportedly attracting 2 million visitors from around Europe (Zürich itself only has a population of 1.83 million, mind). My camera was appropriately equipped, as I’m sure you can see, with even a spare card and battery in my back pocket. Clifford Lilley, one of the ambassadors for the app and one firework of a character, took me around ze ‘hip’ areas of town (Viadukt/Frau Gerolds Garten) on rented bicycles, which also turns out to be the best way to travel within the city. Later I attempted to see the Old Town in daylight with my favourite style crusader, Jen and Fred, and ended up spending most of the afternoon repeatedly getting separated and looking for each other in the crowd. Eventually we gave up and resorted to one of their favourite past-times as locals: a dip in the canal, which is pretty much like swimming in a bottle of Evian (straight out of the fridge, brr!). If you’re anything like me and enjoy seeing cities with a bit of peace and quiet, visit Zürich any time of the year, except the three days during Zuri Fäscht. (Also ideal if you do plan on using the app) But if you’re looking to be a part of the greatest summer celebration, with the biggest fireworks and the most civilized (?) festival etiquette I’ve experienced in my life, then book your tickets now for 2016.

A big thank you to the Swiss Tourism Board for the hospitality!

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Sweater – COS. Leather trousers – Topshop. Bag – Couronne. Watch – GUESS. Glasses – YesStyle. Star necklace – MyFlashTrash. Heels – Christian Louboutin. Thank you Niek for helping with the photos!

So, apparently a work-out bench is a very different thing than of a normal bench. For example, it is not possible to pass out on a work-out bench clutching a beer can and half-eaten kebab. I have tried this. A few weeks ago, just as our holiday in Sardinia was coming to a close, hubby and I happened to weigh ourselves on the hotel spa scale and both did a double take. We threw away the pizza crusts we smuggled into the pool, raced back to the room; he ordered a work-out bench off Amazon, I Googled female sumo-wrestler blogs, then ordered a yoga mat and some macaron-coloured dumbbells, finding none. We had a steak for dinner, telling each other it would be our last, and then the next day we had our ‘last ever’ steak again. That was weeks ago, and only this past weekend we managed to sit down and plan a exercise pattern, and put together the work-out bench that was already gathering dust. I spent three hours exercising my Polish swearwords volcabulary on 2kg (4.4lbs) weights, and hubby picked up from his pre-wedding fitness and pumped 25kgs (55lbs)… all the while grunting and advertising to our neighbours that we’re having a merry time as married couple. I don’t need no bikini body, but I’d really like my boyfriend jeans NOT to fit like skinny jeans. Losing 2kg I got as a Christmas gift + 3kg I brought home as souvenir from Italy would be a definite plus.

Bah, THE PAIN though! It feels like I’m turning into Pinocchio, and apparently I walk like Forrest Gump. Louboutins ain’t the shoes to wear for post-workout, that I know now.

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Kenzo AW13

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Honey! aka Jessica Alba.

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Kenzo AW13 collection in Paris

Put a cork in it and store in a cool, dry place, out of the sun, is how I like to treat some of my fashion week posts. It wasn’t the fact that I was a lazy butt and missed that one-week window in March to post this – no no. (yes :( ). Well, whether it was grey-beard’s wise foresight, or a happy accident, I’m surprisingly glad to be sharing this Kenzo collection now. Isn’t now its proper season that is Autumn/Winter ’13, anyway? Like all fashion things that I pretend to understand but don’t, eventually I’ve come to appreciate it in its entirety. Five months later to be exact. Alas, shall we clarify a few things – I’m a spectator, not a fashion journalist – I was educated in judging things at face value and I’ve personally taught myself how to obsess over pink macarons. I don’t know how the creative duo Humberto Leon and Carol Lim came to join powers, and what exactly it was that inspired this collection (eyes I THINK) without reading up on Style.com. All I know is ISN’T THIS COOL? (See, fashion journos, nobody here is trying to take your job) (that’ really is the only adjective I know.) I mean look how the Asian mythical patterns and kimono shapes mingle with the Art Nouveau interior of La haunted Samaritaine… a funky East-meets-West temple in the heart of Paris! Plus, I really enjoyed how they shot the campaign, which really just adds to the whole picture. We likey, as simple as that.


Topshop
Banana-print denim biker

American Apparel
Sunflower-print shorts

DIY Denim painting: gathering inspiration…

All photos with tripod

I was asked by eBay to customize my own pair of jeans in support of a charity campaign involving the pop group B*Witched, who will be auctioning their favourite denim show pieces in aid of the UK charity Jeans for Genes Day. This obviously led me to Googling for ideas, and eventually took me straight back in year 1999. What is it about the internet and painting on denim material that MUST involve a brooding cat/wolf/unicorn or really awkward grafitti? Google Images suggests a mountain of things that either look like the wardrobe for Sister Act II detonated, or Robin Sparkles* is actually a Canadian fashion blogger (oh, is that why we all need to go to the mall) littering the intranets with ‘coul grafitti coat‘ how-to’s. The fact of the matter is, other than the popular two that are bleaching and ripping, there’s seems only so many other modern ways to customize denim without crossing over to the 90’s again. So heck, I decided to give painting a go, if all fails I figured I’ll wear it with roller-blades + scrunchie and do the Locomotion… aaand get braces again, why not.

* The alias of Robin Sherbatsky, a fictional character on the series How I Met Your Mother

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What you’ll need
Victim jeans (mine are secondhand from eBay), a range of fabric paint (For this particular project you’ll need black, blue, green, red, white and yellow), medium & small brushes, a piece of thin cotton fabric (i.e t-shirt), iron, masking tape (optional).

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Sketch the outline of the pattern lightly using the pencil

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Start with the lightest shade. For this particular pattern, I mixed mainly green and white, and added a dabbed yellow to warm up the green, then a bit of red to to desaturate it overall. For the darker leaves, try not to use too much black – instead, add a hint of blue and to deepen the green.

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Tip: Use masking tape to block out the areas you don’t want to paint (i.e the insides of the pocket)
Slide your hands in the shorts for more control while painting.

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Use a skinnier brush to add details.
Leave to dry for an hour or so.

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To fix – iron the denim from the front through a thin cloth at cotton heat setting for 3 minutes. Et voila! The paint should be waterproof and even machine-washable. (Try not to touch the paint-job with the iron!)

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Wearing: Jersey tee – ASOS. Denim shorts – DIY on Levi’s (via eBay). Nail polish – American Apparel.

A couple of tips:

  • I usually source most of my DIY equipment and victims on eBay, but it’s especially good for denim. You can score a pair of previously-worn white denim Levi’s shorts like these for under £5, or choose from a range of new products from certified sellers. Same with materials and equipment – sometimes I purchase a job-lot of random broken jewellery to play with, or buy very specific colours of rhinestones.
  • Fabric paint is surprisingly opaque, almost identical to the texture of acrylic paint. If you find that the paint is too thick while painting, just dip your brush in water to thin the paint out for those tricky corners.
  • It IS actually possible to paint on denim with acrylic paint – but I’d personally recommend doing that only to garments you wouldn’t necessarily wash as often: like jackets, vests or denim rucksacks.
  • Masking tape is perfect for geometric patterns – simply cut strips and lay them out in zig-zag pattern for a easy-peasy paint-job.
  • Last but not least, if all this painting scares you, there’s so many other simpler things you can do with fabric paint and denim – polkadots, stripes, shapes… you can even draw bananas all over your jeans, which would also be very effective in hiding your boner. Yes I have bananas on my pocket and I may or may not be happy to see you.

Please do help Jeans for Genes Day by selling your own denim on eBay (or bidding for one) and donating between 10-100% of your final sale value to the charity.