Blazer – Zara (similar). Culottes – ASOS. Shoes – Gianvito Rossi. Belt – Vintage LV

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Necklace – Amulette de Cartier

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Necklace – Cartier. Top & Trousers – Louis Vuitton Icon. Scarf – Zara. Bag – L.K.Bennett. Shoes – ASOS.

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Necklace – Cartier.

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Above: Hat – Chanel. Sweater - Zadig & Voltaire. Necklace – Cartier. Watch – Larsson & Jennings. Heels – Malone Souliers

There’s an urban myth that flight attendants look for neatly-dressed passengers in Economy to upgrade into Business class in order to balance the weight of the plane when the flight is under-booked. That, of course, is not the reason I wear heels when I travel. I am the passenger that has breadcrumbs all over her chin and sweater before take-off because I genuinely believe that I will starve and die before they bring out the food trolley. I’m also the passenger that is virtually invisible because she’s reaching under the seat for a fallen Skittle.

ANYWAY. I may have briefly touched up on this before, but the more I travel, the more I realise how much I’m addicted to the first 24 hours of a journey: the flurry of packing, pre-flight jitters, and the view out the plane/train window, then finally landing on foreign soil and cataloguing new scents and sounds into memory. From a certain point I started to dress up for it, like I would to any anticipated event, like a good show – figured I’d be sitting for hours in the plane anyway. While I don’t think I’ve yet fully mastered the art, so far these tricks have worked for me: Frothy cashmere, a great pair of heels you can easily slip out from, and single, fuss-free jewellery like the Amulette de Cartier that won’t bring down the entire airport.

In Collaboration with Cartier; photography by KrisAtomic; Location: Booking Office at the Renaissance Hotel.

Jewellery – Monica Vinader

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Primrose Hill, London

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Jewellery – Monica Vinader

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Jewellery – Monica Vinader

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Blouse – Iris & Ink. Skirt – ASOS. Heels – Gianvito Rossi (Similar here). Bag – Saint Laurent ‘Lulu’. All jewellery – Monica Vinader

You’re about to be let in on a secret that Londoners won’t openly share unless prompted and poked with a heated walking stick. I’m sharing this because I’m an inherent traitor (stems from life-long state of being an expat) and also could do with some brownie points with my readers after a month-ish long hiatus. Best burgers in London? Lucky Chip. Best toilets in Mayfair? The Connaught Hotel. < You might want to pretend you’re pregnant.

Recently I took a couple of my favourite engravable* pieces from Monica Vinader to spend a summer afternoon in North London as part of the new Jewel Coordinates campaign, which was a chance to verify: Best summer hangout? Primrose Hill.

I know, the name doesn’t ring a bell – it’s not known like Shoreditch, Notting Hill, or even Brixton – but I can guarantee you know all the residents. They say, one can’t swing a dead cat in Primrose Hill without hitting Jude Law, or Kate Moss. So picture this, midsummer afternoon, twinkling bracelets stacked up one hand, dainty stacking rings on the other, and a binocular around my neck. (I kid…) Not to say that Londoners flock up North to the little pocket of immaculate macaron-coloured townhouses to gawk at celebrities – the actual Hill itself is in fact London’s best panoramic view across the city, with the occasional squaaawk from the tropical birds that reside in ZSL (the zoo) across the road lending a feeling that you’ve successfully escaped the city. Sprinkle in a sighting of Eliza Doolittle at the florist and Gwen Stefani pushing a pram out the pub, and you got yourself a summer blockbuster. You don’t even need to be faux-pregnant to enjoy this bit of town.

*While I have my hubby’s nickname engraved on my own Esencia Friendship Bracelet, I confess that I was this close to engraving the Domino’s Pizza telephone number…

In collaboration with Monica Vinader; Photography by Park & Cube; Shots of me by Michelle Bobb Parris.

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On a tight schedule

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Five hours, Florence, one fidgety husband – what does one do when the universe deals you cards like these that aren’t compatible in any sense other than in an awkward alliteration (alligator)?

Last month I had a brief stint in Florence for a work trip, to which I took ze old ball and chain (hubby), and discovered later the itinerary was so jam-packed over the two days we only really had five hours to explore the city. Now, for those who have never been/planning to travel to Florence, I personally advise allocating at least four hours for gelato, PERIOD. Because ICECREAM. Then there’s the Duomo, David (by Michaelangelo – and not the ninja turtle), Boboli gardens, a slew of essential museums and galleries, shopping… none of which you should skip, and many of which that sadly require queuing (cue fidgety husband).

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So we decided, over a particularly parmesan-y breakfast, to simply do none of it (except gelato, bumped down to one hour, boo) and took to the streets without a plan, turning corners ad lib and frequently ending up in dead-end court yards, where EVERY SINGLE TIME, an Italian family reunion was under way*. Turns out it’s a great way to see the city, and not bad cards afterall, considering Florence is really the Joker card. Also, you do end up grazing a lot of the important bits as the historical centre of the city is only about 45 minutes-wide on foot. (But do try to graze David properly if you have time, he sure is a looker)

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Watch – Chaumet

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I’ve mentioned this before, but with all travels I try to take something new with me as a ‘beacon’ of memory – typically a perfume – but instead I decided to take my unworn Chaumet Liens watch that I had saved for a special occasion. Surely enough, what with all the time constraints on this trip and diligently having to glance at my wrist where the clock-hands danced from 12 to 5pm, the watch is now my connection to this short, but gelato-sweet, Florentine adventure. And to add to the romance, this very model (Liens) – while classic and timeless in its looks – is constructed with a state-of-the-art Swiss mechanical self-winding movement that makes soft, rhythmical tickky-tickky-tickky sound when you bring it up to your ears, or in my case, whenever I brought my camera up to my face to take a snap…

Well, isn’t this sentimental. I’m going to go have a sarcasm sandwich now.

*Come to think of it, it was the afternoon of the World Cup Italy vs. Urugauy game… so probably not anything similar to a hearty (?) Italian GodFather scene as I’d thought.

Watch – Chaumet. Hat – Hoss Intropia. Dress – ASOS (similar in yellow). Slides - Office. Bag – Saint Laurent ‘Lulu’. Earrings – Baublebar. Blazer – Zara (similar).

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Watch – Chaumet

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Watch – Chaumet

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Wellington Boots – Hunter

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Look 1: Look 1: Crochet dress – ASOS. Wellington Boots – Hunter. Hat – Hoss Intropia (Similar). Sunnies – Karen Walker. Bag - Simone Camille
Look 2: Look 2: Tank top – DAY by Malene Birger (simliar) . Shorts – DIY Mango denim. Wellington Boots – Hunter

Burgers for breakfast, nests for heads, drop-in concerts and wild dancing under the stars… yep, the festival season is upon us. Also, lest we forget, the painful reminder of the elementary science behind soil + water, with your brand new canvas plimsoles as collateral to this re-education. Except of course in England one wet sneeze can turn the whole field into cake batter, and however much you try to convince yourself mud-caked shoes are the next paint-crackled converse, it just doesn’t fly. (Stop trying to make mud happen, it’s not going to happen). You’ve never wished for anything rubbery and water-resistant in your whole life, or at least since the invention of squishies at age three. I don’t know what floats your (rubber) boat (ducky), but for me it’s Hunter boots, no question – and here’s two ways I’d style my Shoreditch pair with. And speaking of extremities, now I need to find a clever festival-friendly solution for my hair without looking like I dumped flour (aka dry shampoo) in my hair… All part of the cake-batter setting I guess.

BTW – Hunter are hosting a wee giveaway of the Shoreditch model over on Instagram, simply upload an image of your festival style inspiration and tag @Hunterboots #BeAHeadliner for a chance to win. Dates: 12th – 19th June (5pm GMT). Winners will be contacted on the week of 23rd! (T&C available on request from Hunter)

Photos with the help from ze lovely Miss May.

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London Fashion Week AW14

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Eudon Choi AW14

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Marios Schwab AW14

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Whistles AW14

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Burberry AW14

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Harry Styles in the house, yo

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Outfit 1 (Camel coat): Coat – Club Monaco, Muff – Topshop. Bag – Mansur Gavriel (available for pre-order!). Jeans – James Jeans. Shoes – Church’s. Lipstick – Estee Lauder.
Outfit 2 (Houndstooth coat):  Coat – Selected Femme (via ASOS). Trousers – Zara (similar here). Shoes – ASOS. Muff – Topshop. Bag – Kurt Geiger Britton bowler

Well that just whizzed by, didn’t it. Considering how every season in the past I hobbled home like a war hero, full of stories to tell the grandchildren, dangling off crutches constructed of empty Vitamin Water bottles, this season LFW just felt MUCH less eventful. In fact, it felt like I’d gone to war, hid in the bushes and waited till it was over. I suppose technically this was true, as Hyundai had been so generous to sponsor a car and I spent 70% of the time in there with the awesome driver called Arthur, who’d instantly appear with the Santa Fe from around the corner when I shone a thumbs-up emoji signal into the dark clouds. Thumbs up for ‘I’m done here, let’s get stuck in traffic and talk about motorbikes‘. Coincidentally, I got more work done in that car than a week’s worth of working from home as well, which only confirms that I only work efficiently with impending deadlines (e.g GPS announcing we’re approaching destination). I also started a new relationship with a new phone at the beginning of the week – the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (via Carphone Warehouse) – and spent the five days in honeymoon bliss, poring over improved functionalities (I’m upgrading from the Note 2) and panicked when it took two minutes, not six, to put up an Instagram photo. What does one do with extra four minutes in life?

It was a good season, and for the first time ever I felt like I saw the few shows I really wanted to see (except Mary Katrantzou, that ticket will be my Oscar). Do look out for more updates in the next few weeks. Plus, I didn’t shorten my lifespan by about twenty years by having to haul three camera lenses and a laptop the whole week. I may have grandchildren, after all!

Many thanks to Hyundai UK and Carphone Warehouse again for the extra twenty years, plus four minutes. Also, a cheeky shout-out  to Lulu Guinness and Vita Coco for the survival kits that made the car known as the ‘party car’ by my peers.