Bag – Marni. Perfume – Jersey by Chanel. Key clip - Whistles x Moxham. Coin pouch – gift from mum.

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Coat – Charlie May. Cashmere sweater – Uniqlo. Trousers – Zara. Heels - Gianvito Rossi. Bag – Marni. Earrings – Dior. Watch – Larsson & Jennings.  Necklaces – Monica Vinader.

Numbered are the days I will be able to rely on the blinding morning sunlight as a slap on the face and get out of bed like a normal human being. Cue what I call the spinning beachball of death syndrome, wherein I try to convince myself, way past the 14th snooze, that life does exist outside the micro-climate that is under my duvet. The clocks went back over the weekend and we had one of the most beautiful Sundays I’d seen in a while. I hit the flower market, prepared it’d be my last this year, and bought a bunch of dahlia’s for a tenner. By the afternoon I had managed to cross town to the V&A, wilting flowers in tow, which only confirmed the power of weather-influenced stamina, one that we were about to be deprived of, shortly.

Alas, the season of overpriced eggs benedict breakfasts ‘at that hipster place’ for the sake of a sunny morning is coming to an end. That, and a run around the block at random times in the day (because the weather is nice), which ultimately does nothing, really, for your diet. Try running on a morning that looks like stupid-o’clock in mid-November, then you can put ‘jogger’ back on your Facebook profile. My personal challenge is getting up at 7am this quarter, and limiting longing looks towards the bed down to one hour. What’s yours?

Photos with Mr. Tripod

Bag, shoes, Wallet by Louis Vuitton (available at Harrods); Hat – Hoss Intropia (similar).

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Throw in some essentials and just go

There’s something inexplicably frustrating about city life that promises infinite freedom yet binds us with such firm tempo that one foot out the line can seem deadly. I should know, my off-tempo singing in the shower have caused many a neighbour to abandon the building. It takes a certain kind of bravery to wake up one morning and deciding, instead of going down to fetch coffee and the newspaper, to pack a decent-sized bag and leaving everything familiar, to escape.

Now, I personally cannot pride in being one of those ultra-brave-hearts, my own little departure ripened over some weeks of first, flirting with the idea, then some scattered hours here and there to mold a general plan in place. All it would need is a breath of life. Mostly, I was dying to shoot a travel piece, and wanted to work with a brand that I love and equally treasured Travel as part of their DNA. Coincidentally, Louis Vuitton had just launched a shoe-only boutique in Harrods Shoe Heaven, and it was the perfect starting point.

The Art of Escape is all about finding an enabler, whether it be an object or person. Mine was a good friend, Brian Leavy of Born Explorers, who knew the wheel and the road; and Louis Vuitton, a small selection of handsomely-crafted shoes that I believed appropriate to escape in.

It’s my hope that this story will encourage you to find your own enabler, and experience your own little escape.

Supported, but not sponsored, by Louis Vuitton;
Photography – Shini Park & Brian Leavy; Art Direction & layout: Park & Cube.

07:10AM
Luggage and boots – Louis Vuitton; White jeans – 7 for All Mankind (Similar)

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Luggage and coat – Louis Vuitton

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The Jaguar F-TYPE is my idea of a treat. We hired it from Avis Prestige for a price not dissimilar to a great night out, and within the first ten minutes decided that this journey was to be something completely fantastic.
08:35AM
Hit the road, Jack

There is no better feeling than gliding down an open road with the muffled sounds of the outside lapping against the windshield. It’s a bit like being back in the womb actually. Only if it had an umbilical hose for breakfast…

Sunglasses – Louis Vuitton
Coat, Sweater, Luggage, shoes – Louis Vuitton (available at Harrods); Jeans – DL1961

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Fuel up, coffee please

While I don’t trust myself with a full cup of coffee even when stationary, you must agree that breakfast always tastes better reading/watching something. In this case, the scenery between London and Oxford, it’s got a good plot…

11:40AM
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1:15PM
lunch at roth bar & grill
at hauser & wirth

Call in advance and book, if possible, but a table tends to free up quite quickly if you don’t mind having a wander around the grounds. Brian claims that the ½ Woolley Park farm chicken with lemon mayonnaise is life-altering. My beef sirloin is satisfying on a similar level.

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Brogues – Louis Vuitton (Available at Harrods)
Coat. bag – Louis Vuitton; Top – Zara

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Welcome Admittance to Oxford

City of academia, and dream to many aspirational tweens and Asian mothers alike. Also known for filming ground for Hogwarts, school of witchcraft and wizardry.

3:05PM

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3:30PM
Explore

Walking aimlessly can actually be a decent tour strategy in this city. Make sure to see Christchurch, Bodlian Library, Radcliffe Camera, and tea on the roof of the Ashmolean museum.

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Brogues – Louis Vuitton; Jeans – James Jeans

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The Trek back home

Sure, it’s a disappointing notion, but make it something that’s as important as the journey out. Take an exit from the motorway and explore the country roads a little, park by a bit of land and turn off the engine for a while.

7:30PM

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FIN

I’m not immune to the idea that this escape will not last for very long in my mind once I re-join the ranks in the city, but for now, I savour these few days – or weeks, hopefully – of calmer seas.

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All Louis Vuitton shoes are available at Harrods Shoe Heaven

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Inside the Studio with Harrods & Antonio Berardi

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When it comes to fashion designer studios, the general mood is that of a fickle thing – usually determined by a studio manager at the end of one international call or another or the designer him/herself – bolstering studio-wide optimism with a silent, grave smile; and sometimes an intern, if a box of assorted beads happens on the ground. I don’t even have to explain what fashion week does this equation.

I arrived at the Harrod’s shoot for Inside the Studio with Antonio Berardi only days before their show in London, bracing myself as I was dropped into what should have been a red alert flurry of model fitting and castings, pinnings, deliveries and last minute everythings. But the mood was eerily calm. Perhaps it was that I arrived with the rackety elevator when the crew were still interviewing (cue a chorus of ‘SHhhh’) and the floor was on audio-lockdown, but I am certain there wasn’t a single panicked face or tip-toe racing to the steam iron in the background; not to mention a ‘SOS’ signal made of beads and scrap fabric.

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Rails and rails of jewel-coloured pieces formed narrow corridors in the centre-stage, ethereal silks in deft tailoring and glittery beads, jostled alongside precision embroidery. The collection hung complete, with a spare change or two. This was in true Antonio Berardi style, the confidence of design and the well-oiled machine that is his decade-long collaboration with Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou, muse of Berardi and Creative Director of the brand. A small army of veteran tailors holding their ranks in the far side of the studio completing the picture.

“Feminine, but tough…”
- Antonio Berardi on the Berardi woman

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It’s all about the woman on a pedestal, sensual but strong, with a wink of quirky urban lifestyle – you’ll see in the video. That afternoon I found new hope for kooky creatives with weakness in discipline – a structured, efficient, inspired workplace does exist afterall! We can now turn the engines over in our careers. And turns out, not all deadlines are met in the busride to school..

A big thanks to Harrod’s for allowing me to be a part of the Inside the Studio campaign. Make sure to click through to see my own edit of AW14 at Harrod’s and more peeks Inside the Studio of Antonio Berardi.
All photography & edit by Park & Cube

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Welcome to Mayfair, Bally!

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Jacket & Bag – Bally. Sweater – Uniqlo. Trousers – Zara. Shoes – Acne Jensen boots

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Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery

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Hedonism Wines

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Annabel’s chocolate cake, at Mount Street Deli

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Mount Street Deli

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Jacket & Bag – Bally. Extrafine Merino knitwear – Uniqlo. Trousers – Zara (similar). Shoes – Acne Jensen boots

Oh Mayfair. Home to old-school London opulence and playground to hedge fund boys; and reportedly – the scene to Prince Philip’s stag night, way back when. Dusty terracotta-orange bricks punctuate the neighbourhood, Victorian filigree curling around the frames. And the occasional Lamborghini, parked like boys’ bicycles on the curbs. Soon to add to the flags of the not-so-commonwealth along New Bond Street is Swiss brand Bally who, those of who will remember, my sister from another mister (in my dreams) – tucked in a corner at number 45, designed by none other than David Chipperfield Architects (of Hotel Cafe Royal, Valentino NY flagship…) In the lead-up to the store launch I worked with Bally on leading a new video series named #BallyMayfairWelcome, essentially doing what new neighbours do and knock on doors of their Mayfair neighbours, pie in hand. Of course, in some cases we ate the pies… Annabel’s chocolate cake at Mount Street Deli will change your life (TEAM CHOCOLATE) – you heard it here first. The videos are being released in the Bally blog, but do keep an eye out on their Twitter and Instagram as from the sneak peeks I’ve been seeing so far it looks a right stunner. Think leather shoe boxes lining the walls, mid-century furniture and stone stairwells…

I’m coming to realize that I never managed to share this news here, but I’ve been consulting for and managing the Bally social media accounts since July. (The amount of times I very nearly tweeted chocolate cravings and in-bus rages from that account… heart palpitations.) Do come by and say hi soon!

Many thanks to Laetitia (another sister from another mister) for helping with the photos of me. In Collaboration with Bally.

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Coat – Dagmar. Asymmetrical skirt – Dagmar (stocked at Harrod’s). Shoes – Gianvito Rossi (similar lower price). Bag – Louis Vuitton Vivienne. Cross-ring – Elizabeth & James (via Revolve). Rings – Monica Vinader. Leopard keyring – Charlotte Olympia. Pear & cage Bracelet – Razan Alazzouni. Round bracelet – Monica Vinader

I know the title hints on an impending rant about how I am yet again here to renew my vows to this blog and give yet another go on becoming a better blogger/designer/human being… but fear not, I have fully accepted the fact that I am a kebab-munching, inconsistent internet person with an aversion to showering. Everything else will need to happen around this smelly SpongeBob CubePants. The weather in London has just turned a corner into coldsville and I’m simply enjoying the fact that I can drape a big coat over any old thing and call it an outfit. A bit like shoving dirty laundry under the bed, I suppose, monsters and all. Funny thing with this grey Dagmar number (stocked at houseofdagmar.com) is that it comes with the black knitted gilet so – if I might let you in on a secret – I’m technically wearing nothing but a breeze under this coat. Talk about a new leaf, this one’s turned a whole tree into tart territory…

Also, before you ask why it is I’ve attached a toothbrush onto my glasses, the eye contraption you see in the photos are actually the notorious Google Glass, fitted onto a DVF frame (DVF | Made For Glass). Witness as my life & body molds around this gadget and finally I’ll be able to upload my first video on Youtube with a unique skillset of being able to move my eyeballs completely independent of eachother. Attraction.

 

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