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A cynic’s winter tale
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When it comes to the holidays I have a painfully pragmatic, almost sarcastic approach to things – this my agent Abi, AKA Captain Christmas, can attest to. Hubby and I don’t decorate the flat, usually until D-3, when we cave and decide to use the overgrown Aloe Vera plant as an evergreen substitute, on which we string up stale Ferro Rochers dug out from the pantry. (Half of which disappear mysteriously during the night, I may start believing in Santa after all.) (Why they are stale is also a good question.)

This year however, December started with a series of accidental celebration: a spare hour between meetings that was burned shuffling around the Somerset House skating rink, a sprinkle of marshmallows in my morning coffee which has now triggered a daily ritual (in my defence, they were calling my name), and decking the flat with winter flowers because nothing else was available at the flower market. By the end of week 1 I was shopping for wreaths, and as we draw near the end of week 2 I am now contemplating changing my voicemail recording to the tune of Little Drummer Boy and request that anyone wishing to leave a message needs to follow up with the second verse. (Maybe that’ll stop people from using the darned voicemail, once and for all. It’s actually a good tactic.)

All jewellery – Cartier ‘Juste un Clou

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I jest. But there undoubtedly is a new-fangled (or at least re-fangled) buzz in the air, a sort of anticipation but perhaps also the joy of keeping oneself busy while the temperature drops and the days get darker by day. I decided to collaborate with Cartier again, to celebrate my accidental celebration, and also continue the story of their 2014 holiday campaign. I’ve always wanted to shoot the Juste un Clou range, and a bit of sparkle never hurt no cynic, last time I checked. And now, should a few leopard cubs knock down a few Cartier boxes from the clouds, it wouldn’t be met with a contemptuous meh, but at least a slightly better-decorated Aloe Vera tree and twelve, not nine, empty marshmallow bags in the trashcan.

Cape, blouse – Zara. Jeans – DL1961. Bag – Marni. All jewellery – Cartier

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Turtleneck – Zara (similar). Skirt – Mango (similar). Earmuffs – Karl Donohughe via Harvey Nichols. Jewellery – Cartier

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As usual, the topic returns to things that fall from the sky. Although, surely no fist is to be shaken to the clouds should it rain Cartier? Lemme think about it. No. No fist.

Stay tuned for Part Two, the morning of. In the meantime, I want to hear what colour your panties holiday decorations consist of.

In collaboation with Cartier. Art Direction – Park & Cube. Photography – KrisAtomic.

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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.

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Necklace – Amulette de Cartier

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Dress – Dagmar. Necklace - Amulette de Cartier. Hat – Chanel. Heels – Gianvito Rossi.

Other than waking up one morning and finding this picture in my phone and thinking DID I JUST SUCCESSFULLY INSTAGRAM WHILST SLEEPING, I’ve been revisiting the same dream lately – nothing specific – Ryan Gosling/Jennifer Lawrence’s face here and there, but roughly always a dream of a journey to an exotic, faraway world (burgerland included). As with everything I blame the weather in London, which to be clear, has been downright abominable (not to be confused with the word adorable), but I fear the Disney movie-marathon from a few weekends back, one spanning multiple cultures and backdrops, deserve most of the blame…* It got me digging out photos from the various journeys from the past six months and re-living them, and desperately day-dreaming for more.

As established before, the Amulette de Cartier is a trinket that collects dreams & wishes (ehem pokeball ehem), and being bitten by the travel bug and all I decided to unlock just one wish: shooting at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, which was as exotic and faraway-fairytale as I could get in London without hiring a mariachi band from Brixton. Although, tell me that staircase wasn’t decorated by a million tinkerbells and blessed by Fairy Godmother? Perfect location for my second story with Cartier, you’ll agree – shot with Kris, my own fairy godsister when it comes to photography. And as always, don’t forget to check out Cartier’s new Tumblr for the full scope of the Amulette universe.

In Collaboration with Cartier; photography by KrisAtomic; Location: Renaissance Hotel.

*Just like it’s been making me burst out in Let it Go (cue the husband: ‘oh hell, here we go again’).

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Amulette de Cartier necklace, 18k yellow gold, mother-of-pearl, diamonds.

Ask me any day what my dreams and wishes are and I’ll point towards the second drawer in the kitchen cupboard – it’s full of pizza flyers and Indian takeaway menus of every size and colour, there may even be an actaul dried-up slice of pizza in there somewhere. Sure smells like it. Point is, it doesn’t take much to get me dreaming, and comfort food delivered to your door is definitely right up there in the list of things I wish for, along with a couple other things like: solving world hunger (#irony), banning Crocs, and maybe even finding flight MH370. I also wish the internet would stop revealing spoilers for Game of Thrones.

Speaking of dreams (rêves), I wanted to share a couple photos I shot for Cartier for the launch of Amulette, a collection of charms inspired by the idea of talismans that captures one’s wishes and dreams. See, this necklace is held together by the clasp like a padlock (similar type of magic as seen on front-fastening bras); the diamond is set onto the mother-of-pearl, framed by 18k yellow gold, all of which composes a perfect little charm that resembles some kind of a magical mechanism that catches and stores dreams (pokéball?). Although, in my case, what with all the pizzas and kebabs, it’s closer to a horcrux than anything… Despite the slight fairytale aspect, I decided to shoot it in a luxe, yet ordinary setting in hopes of highlighting the concept of everyday goals and aspirations that make one’s dream come true. For example, a steaming box of pizza is waiting for me downstairs – see? today’s wish unlocked. Better hop to it!

Do check out Cartier’s new Tumblr for the full scope of the Amulette universe…

In collaboration with Cartier; shot at the Connaught hotel