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Trousers - Zara. Bag – Gucci. Watch – Larsson & Jennings. Trainers – Isabel Marant.

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CoNrad maldives
Pt 1.
Rangali Island, maldives | www.hilton.com

I did receive a fair bit of warning before heading to the Maldives: that the islands will take my heart and drown it deep, deep down the Indian Ocean; that I will experience a kind of feeling not so dissimilar to love, or absolute bewilderment. Like the first time I tried Chipotle? I asked, and they all said EVEN BETTER. So I packed high hopes, along with six bikinis, because another someone said most of my time will be spent chasing Pixar characters under water. I assumed they meant Nemo but packed more racy numbers just in case they actually meant Mr Incredible.

Conrad Maldives is 30-minute seaplane flight from capital Malé down into the bluest bit of the globe – by atlas standards a practically invisible clutter of tiny islands located south of Sri Lanka, with a probability of accidental discovery from zero to drunk-and-randomly-clicking-around-Google-Earth-satellite-view. As the seaplane expertly skimmed down onto the glassy sea, I couldn’t help but feel like a bond girl, seeking refuge on a glamorous island with the aid of an international spy – nevermind the ill-digested plane food and a muffin top.

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I had never seen such unadulterated scenery, such literal exhibition of colours, and immediately took up on bumping up adjectives to superlatives: bluest sea/whitest sand/bestest trip EVER…and so on. Indeed just like my first time at Chipotle. And just as I ran out of words starting with ‘A’ to describe the view over a coconutty welcome drink, a smiley Maldivian in white beckoned towards our water villas. Modern and minimalist in style, constructed of de-saturated sea wood, and pulled together by the occasional splash of blue furnishing, mine was one of 71 water villas on the island. Although, the whereabouts of the other 61 was a mystery I never managed to solve.

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I felt right at home, if home was a house above crystal clear water and a glass globe horizon for a view. This feeling of privacy was something I’d never known I cherished in hotels/resorts, I suppose more so that I was to spend the next few days alone, wrestling with a tripod and remote for photos.

As the sea lapped at the beams of the villa and the outdoor Jacuzzi gurgled every so often to compete, I was already unbuttoning my heart to give to the sea at the Conrad Maldives. And I’d soon learn that no amount of snorkelling or diving I’d be able to retrieve it.

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Stick around for part 2, and once again a happy 10th birthday to Ithaa, Conrad Maldives’ undersea restaurant – more on this later.

Park & Cube was a guest of Conrad Maldives, all views and opinions are my own.

Swimsuit – Victoria’s Secret

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Hunter Regent Street 83 – 85 Regent Street, W1B 4EW

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Rubberized trench-coat by Hunter. Sweater – COS (similar). Trousers – Zara (similar).

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Wearing: Rubberized trench-coat by Hunter. Sweater – COS (similar). Trousers – Zara (similar). Sneakers – Isabel Marant ‘Bart’

One of the few things that London teaches a newcomer is the staggering power of WEATHER as a conversation topic – no matter how awkward your new uni friends are, or how deep an armpit you’ve already found yourself lodged in on the Tube, mention the magical words of ‘It’s horribly grim out there’ and watch friendship blossom. Even with armpit dude. London is notorious for being the butt of all international weather jokes (snow – don’t get me started on that one), famous for raining on parades, and for a long time I assumed the slanted strokes of the Union Jack flag symbolized the typical angle the rain pours in this city. You know, like how the Uruguayan flag carries a smiley-face sun (it makes ALL the sense). And no umbrella is built for sideways rain – not even the ugly, functional ones – so you get wet in all the wrong places… then make friends with strangers. The truth is, the weather on this island is exactly where the cheeky, self-deprecating British humour stems from, the very reason why the new Hunter flagship on Regent Street resembles a barn, and why a flash mob alighted a number 88 bus and ritualized the opening wearing neon-trimmed ski-hats and rubberised trench coats, serving backflips to Singin’ in the Rain remixes. I mean, the store elevator is lined with grass! Rainwear is given a Hunter ‘do, championed by the steely-eyed new Creative Director Allaisdhair Willis, designed to be worn not just to take cover from the elements, but to anticipate with a tune whistled. If you’re into shaking fists to the sky here in London, you might as well make it a dance move and enjoy it.

This reminds me, I just counted the number of umbrellas in my doorway and they add up to a grand total of nine. But do I stick my head out the window before leaving? I do not, because I am a badass Londoner and can fight the rain with my bare fists.

In collaboration with Hunter; outfit photos with the help of my lovely Sarah.

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

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London Fashion Week SS15: A visual diary

Hyundai i20

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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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Three ways I wear Nike LunarElite Sky Hi

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Look 1: Lace dress – Zara. Sweatshirt – Nike. Shoes – Nike LunarElite Sky Hi. Clutch – Chanel. Sunglasses – Mango.
Look 2: Coat – Nanushka. Sweater – COS. Skirt – ASOS. Shoes – Nike LunarElite Sky Hi
Look 3: Cardigan & skirt – Peter Pilotto for Target (via Net-a-porter). Shoes – Nike LunarElite Sky Hi. Bag – JinYoo103684. Bag – Kurt Geiger. Turtleneck – Uniqlo. Puffer Vest – Gap.

I don’t know what it is about my late twenties but boy am I working up a collection of trainers, each bought with the same reasoning technique that accounts for the thirty bags of jumbo peanuts in our pantry: THIS MUST BE HANDY DURING THE APOCALYPSE. It’s odd because 1) I am a hamburger when it comes to exercise (i.e I do not put the ‘train’ in ‘trainer’), and 2) I held a crusade against flats all throughout my teenage years and stuffed tissues, not only in my bra, but in my trainers as well for the wedge effect. So I came across these Nike LunarElite Sky Hi‘s, I reasoned that yes I needed another pair of trainers because APOCALYPSE, but also revelled at the fact that it was my teenage crusade manifested (Waterbra? check), in perforated neoprene and all the essential lightweight, cushioning technology of a classic Nike running model. Plus, neon yellow because I’m biologically hazardous like that.

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Que pasa, Barcelona!

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Arc de Triomf

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White skirt – Mango. Frill bra-let – Topshop. Check shirt – Motel Rocks (similar). Heels – Mango. Pyramid leather cuff – Mango. Rose-gold watch – Guess. Clutch – Kurt Geiger Dino.

This is my seventh year in London and I have a feeling I just may have crossed over to the dark side sometime in the past year or so. The dark side where everything is blown out of proportion, that is, most especially the weather: where basically, anything other than overcast, dull skies is considered a gift from the apocalypse. So now I’ve come to accept that a bit of wind and rain is a HURRICANE, a bit of snow a SNOWSTORM, and hot-dang it’s sunny out, there must be SCORPIONS lurking outside the door. Any reason to cancel work and stay in bed with tea… it’s quite clever actually. I noticed this though, only as I was packing for Barcelona, because it seems I had exaggerated SPAIN in my brain and packed a summer vacation wardrobe. I really should have stuck my arm out the window, i.e Googled, and learnt that autumn in Barcelona is actually a slightly warmer version of autumn in London – definitely not bikini top and straw hat weather. Good thing there were clothes a-plenty at the Mango DIY workshops, because apparently a denim shirt and boyfriend jeans a great pair of long-johns make. Enough about me, Barcelona: what a beauty! While not my first time in Spain, it was my first time in the city and hence the region of Catalonia, and once again despite my exaggerated image of hammocks-and-palm-trees Spain, it was quite the contrary. The Barcelona I found, was a true West-Europa metropolitan city, bustling with professionals shuffling by busily with their heads low, or with tourists that walk with their heads generally fixed on a second floor level, Carrie (travel buddy) and self included in the latter. You won’t believe how many photos of beautiful balconies and building detailing I came home with. The city is rich in architectural history: Gaudi to the famous Gothic quarters (Barri Gòtic), although in our under-researched pride we’d seen very little of either. In fact, we’d spent the afternoon tossing Cheetos’ into eachother’s mouths under the Arc de Triomf, convinced this was the place to be, blissfully ignorant of the hip El Born area around the corner we meant explore. Oh, mañana.

By the by, my Polish friends wag their fingers at my tweets about how I may die of trench-foot because it’s 10 degrees (50°F) out. Yes, I have failed them.