Dress – Exhibit. Top – JHZane. Bag – Valentino via Farfetch. Boots – H&M x Margiela

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creative direction SHINI PARK photography assitance SIMON SCHMIDT created for FARFETCH
bag VALENTINO

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There is a crisp, fresh quality to the air, and the fume of Pumpkin Spiced Latte is lingering within the tube network. Heck, London, I was only gone for about a week. To make matters worse, I’ve had to ditch my only pair of socks in a trashcan in SoHo because it was still balls-degrees in New York and they wouldn’t fit in my vintage Chanel bum-bag. Hence, sock-less in 5°c Heathrow. Trick or tootsies, anyone?

It’s the season of holidays and clumsily thumbing through the Hallmark category boxes at the pound-shop. Happy ___ [insert from below: Halloween, All Saints day, Remembrance Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, Bank Holiday because-why-the-frick-not Day, New Year’s Eve…etc] The days in between don’t even matter. Alas, what does November 16th mean to you? It’s like when all the funny bits are in a movie trailer, so you don’t bother watching the actual movie.

coat WAVEN leggings ZARA heels CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN bag VALENTINO

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poloneck UNIQLO earrings MANGO jeans ZARA sleeves JHZANE bag VALENTINO

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Well, if you know me enough by now you’ll know, that this is the day I declare a holiday from holidays – a very happy un-holiday, if you will – a celebration of the smaller days. Buy that gingerbread house now, knock on someone’s door tomorrow and ask for treats, and buy that Valentino bag I’ve been waiting forever from, on Farfetch , gift-wrap it and write a ‘Hey sexy. From Me’ card with some Easter bunnies on the cover. #SmallDaysMatter

Polo-neck – Uniqlo. Jeans – Zara. Sleeves – JH Zane. Bag – Valentino.

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Conversations
with
Christie’s
in collaboration with JW MARRIOTT GROSVENOR HOUSE
creative direction SHINI PARK photography assistance SIMON SCHMIDT

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‘Mother used to collect bags’, I remember, as the ceiling momentarily flashes a shade of red as a bus rattles by, catching the first light on a Tuesday morning. ‘Whatever happened to those, I wonder…’. The suite looks somewhat bigger in the morning, warmer. I’d been hoarding the covers again last night, his pillow lays at the far edge of the Queen bed, defeated, out of reach. He doesn’t mind, just like he doesn’t mind that I’m not a morning person. He sets off to explore Hyde Park on a jog as I scramble out of the sheets. When you peel the blinds and crane your neck just right, you can see the dog walkers on Park Lane.

It’s five past four in the afternoon, and the lobby is blissfully empty, save for a smiley porter in uniform by the revolving doors. There’s a pinch of musky oud on a swash of sweet leathery tang in the air, and a titter escapes from at an early-bird cocktail reunion at the Park Room. The ladies are all wearing the latest encrusted Dior flats. “A pot of Earl Grey please, no milk” I request, as I slide into the deep green couch near the quilted leather walls. I decide against the sachet of sweetener as I overhear bits of sugary gossip between strangers from behind the art deco shelving.

The caramelized marshmallows give way to a cinnamon-y mash of sweet potato. I make a funny noise and he laughs, gobbling a bite of New York Strip off his fork. We wash it down with an Argentine Red, recommended by the host. “We were born in the wrong century,” I surmise, and proceed to painting a picture of The Grosvenor House House in post-war 50’s: teeming with politicians, haughty women of power, and affable families, using a bit of the cheesecake dessert to describe the Dior two-piece I’d have worn to dinner at the JW Steakhouse.

Top: Shoes – Christian Louboutin. Luggage - Vintage via eBay.
Left: Glasses – Miu Miu via David Clulow. Earrings – Joumanna Jewellery. Bag – Louis Vuitton.

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Dress – HariTHanD. Hat – Vintage.

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Blazer & trousers – Filippa K. Shirt – Iris & Ink.

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Glasses - Miu Miu via David Clulow. Jacket – HariTHanD. Skirt – Dagmar. Earrings – Joumanna.

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Don’t miss the seafood tasting menu at Corrigan’s Mayfair
JW Marriott Grosvenor House

Art and history is second nature to JW Marriott Grosvenor House , opened in 1929 for the very purpose of tailoring to a grand scale. The hotel boasts some 500 bedrooms and a rich portfolio of clients (including the Queen, who is known to have learnt to skate in the ice rink – now the Great Room). Conversation with Christie’s is a series of inspiring and informative features, along with global events across the JW Marriott properties showcasing some of rarest treasures, in collaboration with Christie’s, world-renowned art collectors and auction-house based out of Rockerfeller Plaza, New York. September 5th, we met the teams at the inaugural event in London, and shot this story around the art of appraisal of an iconic vintage Hermes bag, in a cheeky daydream re-enactment of The Grosvenor House in the glorious 50’s.

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Grosvenor House
JW Marriott Hotel
86-90 Park Ln, London W1K 7TN
+44 20 7499 6363
www.marriott.co.uk/
Tux jacket & Trousers – Filippa K. Blouse – Iris & Ink. Bag – Vintage Louis Vuitton

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Stop terrorizing the playground, make your own indoor swing

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Step 1
An upcycle mission

You may have seen these colours on the high-street, lining the windows in technicolour lattice of one much-adored brand of the people… Uniqlo! (Although I’d have taken McDonalds for an answer too – McCheese-strings can totally be a thing.) Celebrating their 100% Extra-fine Merino Wool collection, Uniqlo had their windows bedecked in an installation that involved meters and meters of elastic strings – seven boxes of which ended up in my cave of a flat early last week for a rather exciting upcycling collaboration.

Now, don’t let the breezy number ‘seven’ fool you, because the boxes held over four hundred rolls in 65 different shades, which is naturally 64 more than my hamster brain can compute. Mind-boggled, I called Gyu (a CSM knitwear graduate, who, for long-time followers should be familiar from previous posts) for advice. ‘Oh jeez we can build an Oompa Loompa village with all this‘ was her greeting when she stepped into my apartment blanketed with a layer of awkward-shaped rolls of rainbow strings… We flirted with ideas like tents, trampolines and canopies, and tested the strings with various tension swatches (double-crochet, knitting, weaving, braiding…). Finally deciding on building a hammock, she left me after a few lessons on macramé techniques (promptly forgotten the moment she was out the door…)

Turns out one needs a company of veteran knitters to accomplish anything as big as your body. Well, I should’ve known, I have troubles applying body lotion.

So that’s the story of the swing.

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Gyu testing single-crochet in a swatch

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Step 2
What you’ll need

Extra-strength yarn (I used three colours – 1 skein of the main colour and a bit of the other two) · knitting needles (appropriate for the choice of yarn, I used 6mm) · crochet hook or yarn needle · 7 meters sturdy rope (before purchasing, make sure to determine length by measuring height to ceiling) · 2 x stripwood (cut to 25cm long. Make sure they’re wide enough to fit the rope with enough room around) · 2 x D-rings · Optional and depending on method: Sandpaper · drill · 2 x ceiling hooks.

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Now, I really do recommend testing elastic tension for the swing seat by knitting up a square swatch before starting the project, and putting your entire weight on it. You might find that your yarn, or even knitting tension calls for some mini problem-solving/improvisation. Alternatively, this project can be done with cotton fabric, which can easily be sewn around the stripwood.

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Start by knitting the swing seat – cast on 30 stitches and knit in moss stitch (Mine shows garter stitch) until work measures the width of ONE thigh – the seat will expand when sat on. Cast off. (If adventurous, try the herringbone stitch and knit until work measures about 30cm)

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1. Drill two holes big enough for the ropes at each end of the stripwood, leaving at least 1.5cm space around the hole. 2. Bind the knitted work to the stripwood using the Crocet hook or knitting needle. 3. Insert one end of the rope through the hole, and make a knot. 4. Loop the rope into the D-ring and hang onto ceiling, then repeat step 3 once the length is determined. Repeat on the other side.

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Step 4
Swing & tips

The best way to determine how high the swing should hang is to measure it about an arm’s length higher than your normal dining-room chair. That way, the swing seat will extend to a natural hanging-length. Adjust the rope knots for length if too long. Depending on the type of rope, you will need to secure the edge with duct-tape or seal with a flame. For mine, I wrapped a bit of yarn in a different colour over the duct tape for visual effect. Consider adding tassels or wooden beads to your swing if that’s how you roll.

I personally live in a flat with a mezzanine so I hooked the D-rings to the upstairs bars and let it hang it that way, but do purchase a strong ceiling hook if you wish to hang on the ceiling. Alternatively, skip the D-rings and simply loop the rope around the hook or bar.

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In collaboration with Uniqlo; Photography – Park & Cube aka tripod

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Blazer – Vintage Tommy Hilfiger. T-shirt – SuperTrash. Bracelet – SuperTrash. Jeans – James Jeans. Heels – Christian Louboutin Pigalle. Bag – Tommy Hilfiger BHI Bag. Watch – Sekonda. Ponyskin-effect belt – Next.

I know I constantly joke about my boobs and oddly seem to have embraced the fact that I can jog without the fear of getting punched by ‘fast moving parts’, and that my second and third blouse buttons have never had to work very hard except on the rare chicken-fillet days. And let’s just say I wear a bra to keep warm. Shamefully at times I don’t realise, that this something I often joke about, is a heart-ache and grief to some others. My own tiger mother has been fighting cancer (thyroid) in the past few years, and while I don’t wish to reveal too much personal detail, there was a definite impact – not only for the diagnosed, but one that rippled through and shook the core of everyone she mattered to, and whom mattered most to her. So I’m happy to collaborate with Tommy Hilfiger, who have joined forces with Breast Health International and released a beautiful, practical bag to make some beautiful, practical changes to those diagnosed with Breast Cancer. A little jump makes a big difference, and get this, your jump can be in the form of a new, limited-edition bag. Usually I’d ask do you reeeally need a new bag, but this time I think you need a new bag for work because that one in the corner there is looking very tattered right now. Yes, that one. Tell me there’s a better excuse to support a great cause. A whopping £100 of every sale (of £299.90 retail price) will go directly to Breast Health International’s “Fund For Living”, and I know for some of my readers this might be quite a high price for a bag, but can I suggest your ‘little jump’ to be a cheeky little re-tweet or a share? OR do what I like to do and wail in a supermarket aisle until your mother surrenders and buys you that Ferrero Rocher-studded bear toy – something like this. Works every time.

The Tommy Hilfiger BHI bag is available at Tommy.com from October 1 (today!).

Collaborative post with Tommy Hilfiger x BHI. Many thanks to Jin Oh for helping with these shots.

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Sweater – COS. Leather trousers – Topshop. Bag – Couronne. Watch – GUESS. Glasses – YesStyle. Star necklace – MyFlashTrash. Heels – Christian Louboutin. Thank you Niek for helping with the photos!

So, apparently a work-out bench is a very different thing than of a normal bench. For example, it is not possible to pass out on a work-out bench clutching a beer can and half-eaten kebab. I have tried this. A few weeks ago, just as our holiday in Sardinia was coming to a close, hubby and I happened to weigh ourselves on the hotel spa scale and both did a double take. We threw away the pizza crusts we smuggled into the pool, raced back to the room; he ordered a work-out bench off Amazon, I Googled female sumo-wrestler blogs, then ordered a yoga mat and some macaron-coloured dumbbells, finding none. We had a steak for dinner, telling each other it would be our last, and then the next day we had our ‘last ever’ steak again. That was weeks ago, and only this past weekend we managed to sit down and plan a exercise pattern, and put together the work-out bench that was already gathering dust. I spent three hours exercising my Polish swearwords volcabulary on 2kg (4.4lbs) weights, and hubby picked up from his pre-wedding fitness and pumped 25kgs (55lbs)… all the while grunting and advertising to our neighbours that we’re having a merry time as married couple. I don’t need no bikini body, but I’d really like my boyfriend jeans NOT to fit like skinny jeans. Losing 2kg I got as a Christmas gift + 3kg I brought home as souvenir from Italy would be a definite plus.

Bah, THE PAIN though! It feels like I’m turning into Pinocchio, and apparently I walk like Forrest Gump. Louboutins ain’t the shoes to wear for post-workout, that I know now.