Blouse & Bag – Chloe. Skirt – Karen Millen. Bracelet – Miansai. Watch – Larsson & Jennings

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A video diary: the first day of London Fashion Week

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Rewind, play.
A Shopstyle x Harrods video, produced by The Apartment

As you can see, I make a brilliant habit of dropping my cool like a hot potato whenever a camera is shoved in my face. I mean, slow-dancing with food and suggesting a celebrity threesome is, really, any old day in the life of this insane chipmunk, but no one’s ever successfully recorded it so… yes, let’s report this cool lost. (Although, I suppose one can argue that I never had any cool to begin with.)

Weeks before the ‘fashion’ baton was handed over to London, I sat down with team Apartment, Shopstyle, and Harrods, in the plans of animating a typical London Fashion Week day for me. Many a scenario we had mapped out: breakfasts, fittings, shows, re-sees, melt-downs on account of London traffic and even a spot of work (!). But me being me, famously sporting a rather potent gravitational field of tomfoolery, on the actual day of the shoot we ended up rewriting the agenda (on the back of a Pret bag, with old eyeliner found at the bottom of my bag), and indulged all kinds of tangents… like running into the nearest McDonalds to use the loo and coming out with a box of McNuggets. In Balmain. (Shhh don’t tell Harrods) In the end though, I do think it turned out to be a more natural rendition of what a LFW day looks like every season after season: the mad conflict of schedules vs. spontaneity, with snacks and gossip at the Apartment in between it all.

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Jacket – Balmain.

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Jacket – Chloe . Bag – Marni. Stole – ASOS. Trousers – Zara. Shoes – Gianvito Rossi.

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Photos by Kris Atomic, Simon Schmidt and Shini Park. In Collaboration with Shopstyle.

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styling & art direction SHINI PARK photography SHINI PARK & BRIAN LEAVY production BENJAMIN DEAMER project manager BRIAN LEAVY. in collaboration with BALLY

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Python bucket bag – Bally ‘Paula’

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“I love you a million cheese pizzas” is what I imagine my Valentine’s Day note would read, if I ever managed to live through this ‘holiday’ without wringing my eyeballs out. That message of course, represents everlasting, spell-binding, Disney-grade love. Because duh, pizza. Sprinkle in some love you a thousand glazed-donuts, tacos, cheese-fries…etc into the equation, and it means tonight we’re probably going to get it on. Alas, for the sake of professionalism we went for another line on this Valentine’s love-story we shot for Bally, but coincidentally one I hear every morning: Good morning, my love. (I however, cannot confirm whether my husband says this to his breakfast bowl or to me.)

Handwritten notes, before emails
patent iconic ‘B’ wallet BALLY

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Mens stripe wallet & USB Keychain – Bally

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Cherry-red accents and nude lips
clutch-bag BALLY

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Joking aside, this year my husband and I mark our tenth year together, and as much as we love to hate on the commercial holidays, when I look back it had really been a decade of very happy unValentine’s days, with nine Valentine’s days in the midst. The timing is perfect, even if the very notion of the ‘holiday’ induces a mini barf, and if there ever was a brand out there that I would work with to ‘celebrate’ the actual day, it’d be Bally. Nonpretentious, gluten-free, grown up sort of love. A modern relationship that is all about good design and functionality. And a few pink bags strewn around just for the fun of it all because you know, glazed-donuts. So here’s my Bally love story, produced and photog-assisted by the two favourite boys that make my life easier (Brian and Ben), and composed by yours truly.

Cotton shirt and suede skirt – Bally RTW

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Bikini-top – Victoria’s Secret. Straw bag – H&M Home. Paleo – Tallulah & Hope. Necklace – Monica Vinader

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La RÉsidence des Cascades
Soma Bay, Egypt | www.somabay.com/

“Well this is perfect”, I said – the minute we stepped into Soma Bay’s La Résidence des Cascades lobby – in a voice best sounding like my father. Then I gave my apple-scented e-cigarette a long drag and tottered around patting my beer belly. You see, my father’s a classic Korean middle-aged man who keeps an emergency golf club in his trunk – not for roadside mischief or helping the neighbour’s boy retrieve his basketball from under the car – but for practicing his downswings in the car park before the next meeting. One of the larger hotels on the Soma Bay strip, the Cascades, in its terracotta-orange walls and latticed-corridor goodness overlooks a vast 18-hole par-72 championship golf course. It’s dad heaven. Don’t ask me what those numbers mean because for the past fifteen years I’ve waved off golf lessons for club sandwiches.

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Top – Mango. Leather shorts – H&M. Bag – L.K.Bennett Rosamund. Watch - Larsson & Jennings. Rings – Monica Vinader.

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It’s a classic fly-and-flop destination, especially when drab-coloured midwinter skies of London is your origin and a fiery red sunset is the destination. For those who, like me, think ‘18-hole’ is something to do with a nice big donut, will probably choose to appreciate the abundant Egyptian sun, Red-by-name-but-very-blue Sea, and a rather vigorous (?) dip in the Thalasso-tonic Hydrotherapy pool. Also if you’re travelling with buddies like Carrie and Abi you may end up spending the whole afternoon horsing off in the pool with the entire hotel’s balconies as audience…

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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Thalasso-tonic Hydrotherapy pool containing 830 m3 of sea water

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Great for: family fun, golfing, and overflowing breakfast buffet.

Park & Cube was a guest of Soma Bay, all views and opinions are my own.

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Hat - Hoss Intropia. Top – American Apparel. Floral shirt – Zara shirt worn as skirt.

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The power of two is strong, see Daft Punk. And twins. Need I say more? Actually, maybe I should explain. There’s something intriguing about putting two wardrobe-classics together and finding a refreshing way of wearing them, but then again, why not – salt and pepper were always BFFs. (Although I imagine wearing boyfriend jeans under skinnies would be the equivalent of soy sauce and vanilla sugar…) This was all inspired by Clarins’ best-selling Double Serum, which is my new obsession and one neat product that carries two-formulas-in-one, literally in a sense there are two separate cylinders inside the tube, delivering a combination of the two essentials for skin: water-based and oil based formulas. It’s a godsend for someone with dry skin, and chronic laziness, who usually needs both functions yet can barely wash her face. Apply this same technique to style and I think it does a good job in covering up the fact that I’ve run around the flat yelling I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR every morning since the turn of the year.
Here’s three simple ideas…

Photography: Mr Tripod

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the power of two | ONE
Double denim
This one’s a given, but for colder weathers I find that instead of denim shirts, pairing a denim jacket with jeans works equally well (if you’re adventurous, or a child of the 90’s, I suggest also wearing that denim shirt UNDER the jacket and see the world implode around you), just throw on a heavy coat on top.
Tip: Button all the way up to your neck for a more pulled-together, office look.

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the power of two | TWO
Double shirting
This is a bit of a cheat I’ve been using for a couple of years now and the hubby hates me for it, but it’s best for slightly warmer weather or days working from home – unbutton the top three buttons of an oversized/mens shirt and slip it on like a skirt, then finish off by tying the arms around your waist. I usually tuck the sleeves in for a clean shape.
Tip: Don’t forget to iron the skirt-shirt to avoid looking like a hobo.
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the power of two | three
Double knits
Made popular again in recent trends, this is actually an old trick in the book, just ask your mother. Works with any colour/knit texture combination, but minimal/classic designs generally tend to go better together. Layer over one shoulder or tie around the waist; try flecked grey wool with a chunky cream knit. (Sounds like ice-cream flavours and this makes me happy.)

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What’s your own go-to wardrobe classics and beauty essentials that work great in two’s when it comes to your style? (Don’t tell me it’s Tacos and Nachos because then I think I’ll be in love with you)

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Area rug – Ugg Australia. Top – Zara. Jeans – Topshop

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You know me: the perpetual homebody, king of pillow fort, dungeon dweller… I’d choose spending ten days socializing with my (half-wilting) cacti over one potential great night out in civilization, and I find eating a mysterious something scraped out of the far end of a freezer drawer equally rewarding as finding a hot-spot in town. I love being home – that’s the simple truth. It was what shaped a career into webdesign, and later, blogging – because it was all homework and as long as I had three-legged friends and some Skype credit, it was party 24/7.

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Loungewear bottoms – Ugg Australia

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Loungewear bottoms & sheepskin slippers – Ugg Australia

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I had fallen in love with this London flat on the first viewing with the estate agent, and despite the concrete floors/absolutely no storage space to speak of, I decided I wanted it before he even had a chance to bring up the occasional mouse problem. I then told him heck, cacti AND mice*, I’m going to be some kind of a socialite here and took the flat. For the ensuing four years it was a mission in homemaking, warming up the cold, grey floors with woolly, sheepskin bits – mostly from the Home department of UGG Australia (there goes my best-kept interiors secret) – and adding life to the walls by way of books and DVD, sorted by colour (which BTW makes no logical sense). Looking back it was really this gentle accumulation of things that made a clothing factory-conversion loft, a home.

Plaid melange pillow cover, sheepskin rug and knit pillow (opposite) – Ugg Australia

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It was with this realization that I decided to partner up with UGG Australia in sharing the warmest corners of my loft, and also some physical evidence as to how naps can genuinely be accidental (and totally avoidable – just play ‘floor is lava’ with the sheepskin-covered areas). For example, that grey rug happens to be my little Bermuda triangle, because apparently once you hit the sheepskin sack, you never go back (close cousin to once you snack, you never go back).

In collaboration with Ugg Australia. Photography: Mr Tripod & help from Koo
*ONE tiny mouse in the whole of four years, which basically rounds down to no mouse.