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The Gilbert Scott, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

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Elderflower blended with raspberry, tarragon and lemon

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To start, brown and Forrest smoked salmon on a platter

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Chicken schnitzel

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Lake District sirloin steak with brandy mushroom sauce

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Chocolate mousse, marshmallow, walnut ice cream

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Wearing: Blouse – Zara. Wide-leg trousers – ASOS (similar ASOS). Heels – Lucy Choi. Bag – Couronne. Glasses – YesStyle.

If I may interrupt the fashion week service – not that there has been much of a ‘service’ going on (this blog is becoming a bit like MTV… no Music, just other random stuff) – I’d like to show you where I had a wee lunch the other week.

I must admit, there are still some ‘public’ places that I’m frightened to enter in London, after nearly seven years of snooping around town. Not in a lone-light-basement type of frightened, but a sort of intimidation you feel in a completely ‘non-you’ surrounding – a Cartier boutique, for instance, or anywhere I ask for a pedicure, really. The St. Pancras Renaissance hotel was one of those few, until I had lunch at the Gilbert Scott with Kit the other week, and realized I will have no use for the couture gown I stuffed in my purse. It does look like a palace, doesn’t it? And get this, you don’t need to step out of a Porsche (so I had to return that the next day…) I’ve obviously played this through in my head a few too many times – soundtrack from a Bond movie, Bond girl that needs a diet…etc. In actual fact, the hotel is one of the Gothic beauties designed by architect Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1866 who also designed the Albert Memorial and the Victoria & Albert museum. I sure don’t have problems entering the V&A, heck, I’m regularly kicked out for hopping around taking photos. Despite the size and grandeur, the interior is welcoming, what with all the elaborate lines of Victorian decor and the gold leafing, all casting a warm glow in the corridors. The Gilbert Scott restaurant does a surprisingly down-to-earth, hearty fine-dining, championed by Marcus Wareing, and although the price bracket still puts it into a special occasion, the whole package is there. Ask for a custom mocktail that would wake your appetite, and you must end with the chocolate mousse, toasted marshmallows and walnut ice cream dessert. Forget the diet, just do a couple of zig-ah-zig-ah‘s* before you leave.

*Spice Girls’ Wannabe music video was filmed in the hotel in the year 1996.

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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.


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. 

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Making of Jaguar #YourTurnBritain video

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Wearing: Top – Red striped top –Chinti & Parker.White culottes -ASOSWhite heels – Zara. Bag – Couronne.

Last week I popped by Victoria Grant‘s studio in Notting hill for a cloudy lemonade. The lovely Alice Temperley happened to be there, so was a lipstick-red Jaguar F-TYPE, and about fifteen film crew guys and gals. You know, just hanging around. We talked about hats and modern British design, while Alice and I wore the red & white outfits we matched over the phone the night before. As you do.

Who am I kidding. One of the few things that this wee blog allows me to do, that I’m very grateful for, is allowing me to to be a part of exciting campaigns like this. Especially alongside the likes of Alice Temperley, who translates English countryside love-stories into a collection, and Victoria Grant, the rock & roll milliner that have crowned many a head with pistols and purple nipples. With the arrival of the new F-TYPE, Jaguar are celebrating modern Britain in the areas of design, music, sport and film, and speaking as one ever slightly obsessed with this city that is London, I’m glad to be sharing it with you. I’m also very proud to have a British design education, although I guess it’s my fault I’m not really applying that education anywhere except when squirting ketchup very very artistically.

Be a part of the celebration

Capture an image, GIF or video that you think defines the best of modern Britain and share it on Tumblr, Twitter or Instagram. Use #YourTurnBritain for your chance to win one of four unforgettable weekend experiences with the Jaguar F-TYPE. (More information here)

In collaboration with Jaguar (If it wasn’t obvious enough…); Competition terms and conditions.

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Aubaine, Dover Street

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A blue macaron to celebrate the, hashtag, RoyalBabyBoy!

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Wearing: Tee – T by Alexander Wang. Tartan trousersZara. Slingback heels – Lucy Choi. Bag – JinYoo103684. Watch – Sekonda. Gold bangles – ASOS. Thank you Kit for helping with the outfit shots!

This is where I take all my meetings to, and possibly also the reason I make meetings for. Client meetings, PR meetings, blind dates, sword duels, eBay item handovers… husband looks up from the sofa and asks ‘what are we having for dinner?‘, I’m glad you asked dear, shall we convene at Aubaine to discuss whether the chicken needs to be defrosted or will it be the Indian takeaway again?-meeting. Back when I was on student budget I used to visit Selfridge’s to fondle Louboutins and contemplate not eating for a month but then I’d catch a whiff of the croissants from Aubaine and I’d go pffft and splurge on a creamy latté instead. It would be a decision that allowed for a merry month of eating pot noodles and being a happy student. I believe it was actually around the time I could afford my first Louboutins a year or two back when they opened another branch on Dover Street, I braved the lunch menu and fell straight in love. If you treat yourself to breakfast, you must try the duck eggs omelette with Ugie smoked salmon and horseradish crème fraîche; for lunch, the Lobster spaghetti. I’ve never been for dinner but I imagine it won’t be long till the hubby and I have a meeting there about who will do the laundry and I can sneakily convince him to stay and eat.

This is not a sponsored post, I just like sharing nice places with you.