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

Tablet – Lenovo Yoga. Envelope pouch – Smythson. Heels – Bally. Headphones – Bower Wilkins.

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London Fashion Week SS15: A visual diary

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Hunter SS15

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Charlie May SS15 eyewear

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Mary Katrantzou final walk

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Max Factor Skin Illuminator Foundation & Colour Corrector Stick

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Topshop Unique SS15

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Topshop Unique SS15

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Food on instagram because proper photos on DSLR? Ain’t nobody got time fo that.

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Wearing: Top – COS. Trousers – Zara. Bag – Marni. Shoes – Tibi. Watch – Larsson & Jennings. Rings – Monica Vinader. Cross-Ring – Elizabeth & James (via REVOLVE)

What do they say – Give a woman a house, she’ll make a home? Well, give a woman a Hyundai i20 over Fashion Week, and she’ll make a Death Star on four wheels and one 22-year old driver very, very uncomfortable. This, like many things in life – including adding soy sauce to everything – I blame my mother. Growing up, mornings were a battle of which sibling can out-stupid the other one, starting with putting shoes on before trousers, smearing toothpaste all over our faces and pretending to shave… you get the gist. This led to my poor mother having to shovel us into the car every morning along with 2 x cereal bowls, school outfits, homework, toothbrushes… (at one point I believe there was a pillow fort in the car), and she’d drive with one hand while the other ‘conditioned the air’. Fast forward to SS15 LFW, I inhale a plastic container of scrambled eggs in the car while deciding on an outfit, and with each day a new pile of clothing spilling out the passenger door. At the end of Day One I attend a makeup session at the Apartment with Max Factor discovering the new Skin Luminizer Foundation, and from that point on I use the tinted passenger window to accomplish the ‘dewy look’ in the ensuing mornings, just how Caroline Barnes instructed. My 22-year old driver awkwardly avoids using the rear-view mirror (apparently a touch worse than drink-driving) during my changing room sessions, but we somehow manage to make a split-second eye-contact just when my head is halfway through a sweater. Thankfully this Death Star is all about efficiency (close that hatch…) as we slice through morning traffic, and I arrive at the first show of the day with a Aquafresh breath and lotion behind my ears.

Stay tuned for some of my favourite collections so far!

Huge thanks to Hyundai UK for, gee wow, a car with my logo on it (!), and allowing ‘5 more minutes, mum…’ to happen. Please forgive me for any coco puffs found between the seats. 

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Plus, the winners for the 5th Anniversary giveaway!

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White coat – Charlie May AW13. Leather trousers – Topshop (similar Topshop). Shoes – Kurt Geiger. Sweater – H&M.

I’m a simple person, not minimalist simple, just tea in a mug, juice in a glass type of simple, in fact, I may be one of society’s flock of sheep that buy things with louder packaging. I’ll even add a beeehhh while I’m at it. Is it just me, or minimalist simple seems a somewhat superior form of lifestyle – I mean, how do you deal with so much white with all the food flying around in life? I have orange bedsheets for when I feel like taking my Spaghetti Bolognese dinner to bed, for example – which is every day except curry day. Curry day is green sheets day. I pinched this coat (Charlie May AW13) off Charlie’s studio the other morning when I’d arrived completely underdressed for a coffee date, and given my history with food/drinks and how famously it orbits the massive body that is, well, me, naturally I was hesitant to take it out. Alas, it was freezing and eventually I convinced myself that since I’m craving a flat white anyway it could as well be fine. I don’t know about the chocolate brownie though.

Thank you so much to those who entered the 5th Anniversary giveaway. Here are the five winners by random selection, congratulations!* Additionally, I’ve decided to pick 8 extra winners because I figured that’s the least I can do for the beyond amazing response I’ve had in the past week. I’m sorry if you weren’t one of the 13 to be picked, but if my love is worth anything you can download some here.

*Winners will be notified by email, please make sure you add shini@parkandcube.com to your contacts so that none of them end up next to ‘you win £3 million’ emails by Nigerian princesses, I can’t compete with that.

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Power of simple, minimal: Charlie May AW13

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Studio shots courtesy of Charlie May, shot by Nicole Maria Winkler

If we all had super powers, mine would surely be chasing my own cape until I puke out breakfast all over the carpet. My dear friend Charlie May, blogger for Girl a la Mode and designer for her own names-sake brand Charlie May, her super power would be her minimal, modern, streamlined design aesthetics. Even when she’s not wearing a cape (white, and made of Napa leather, I’d imagine), her gusto for sleek minimal rubs off on her everyday style too. I’ve had the pleasure to design her new e-commerce site, launched just over a week ago, and since I’ve also been painfully holding back on sharing her AW13 collection until the pieces are released for purchase, you’ll agree this is perfect timing. And as a little bonus, I’ve asked Charlie to demonstrate how to make a simple wrap skirt (a la Charlie May SS13), should you wish to own a bit of her in your own wardrobe. Only if that didn’t sound as creepy as it came out…

Photo by Park & Cube at Charlie May AW13 show in February

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Photo by Park & Cube at Charlie May AW13 show in February

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All you’ll need:
A bit of fabric – leather, pleather, or even tough cotton. (half a metre [20in] is enough!) We used a creamy velvet fabric that she used in one of the pieces in her AW13 collection. Scissors, sewing machine (or needle & thread to hand-sew), pins, an iron & ironing board.

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Cut two long strips, 50cm long (20in) x 5cm (2in) wide. Fold into fourths and iron down.

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Pin along the length.

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Sew along the length, pulling pins out as you go. Snip the 50cm-long straps in half, making four 25cm-long straps. (This can be as long as you like) Tuck the ends in and sew to finish.

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Measure your waist, this will be the width of the skirt. Measure a desired length, and let that be the height. Add 5-8cm (2-3inches) to the height, and cut a rectangle with these dimensions from the fabric of choice.

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Cut the bottom of the skirt in a slant, with about 5-8cm (2-3inches) difference in length. The above diagram describes how the straps are tied – attach two straps at top corners to start.

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Wear the skirt to find out where the opening meets the skirt. Pin to mark where the straps should go, then sew them on. All four straps should be attached to the skirt.

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Tie the straps in a double-knot to secure the skirt.

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  • This wrap-skirt can be done with practically any type of fabric, but for a true Charlie May style, try silk, cotton mesh, or leather.
  • If you don’t have enough fabric to make straps, or if you don’t feel up for sewing, then try using ribbons! (Grosgrain, silk…etc)
  • For advanced sewers, try adding buckles or double D-rings to the straps instead of the tying method. The inner flap can also be secured with a button.
  • For a slightly thicker wrap-skirt, or if using fabric that might fray at the edges – cut two mirrored templates, sew the edges (like a pillow!), pull inside out, and iron. The edges will be neater and the skirt thicker.

Charlie is giving away an Ostrich leather tee from her AW13 collection, some lovely Bumble & Bumble products and two tickets to her SS14 show during London Fashion week, so make sure to enter!