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Hello, I’m here to fix your boiler…

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I am a strong believer that when it comes to cities, especially of those ‘home’ variety for individuals who – like me – have confusing heritage, it’s all about spicing things up in the bedroom, so to speak. And for this I wholeheartedly recommend roleplaying: sexy nurse, keen repairman, bored prison guard… whatever floats your boat (enthusiastic Pokémon trainer for me), but the trick is to live, experience and interact with your city from a slightly different perspective, different lifestyle. Rent an inexpensive car for a few days instead of taking public transport, wear a suit every day for no reason, shop like a local, walk like a tourist, book an Airbnb flat in a high-rise and wake up to sunrise on the 20th floor… Enjoy wider horizons but also encounter new limitations. Yes I’m aware this sounds like a page out of a self-help book, but I promise, IT’S SEXY WHEN YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT. I’d like to think that this is how London and I keep a healthy relationship, even if I have to ask for a hall pass every now and again.

Seoul, for me, is one of those ‘home’ cities – despite never having lived there and a place I still consider an exciting, unmapped territory, I can’t help that on the rare occasion I do visit I slink into an oddly familiar routine that one would typically expect from a local. Now, this isn’t to say that I know my way around the back streets of Gangnam or the best way to haggle over a kilo of spinach with the lady in the market (why does one need kilo of spinach anyway), but it is the inevitable nature of: I seem to blend in with my own people? Last April, brought over by work, I was determined to spice it up – and instead of going straight to one of my relatives, booked two nights at the Conrad hotel on Yeuido island – the city’s business and banking district and also home to the most spectacular cherry blossom festival.

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Bag – Celine. Shoes – Aquazzura ‘Christy’

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Watch – Larsson & Jennings ‘Saxon’. Necklace – Effra London

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The hotel, while stunning in design and efficient in service, is undeniably oriented towards business purposes, which is exactly what I’d wanted. I woke up early and mingled with the suited men at breakfast, read the cartoon page off the International New York Times with my glasses perched low on my nose, and abused the concierge app to book wake-up calls but snoozed through the morning. In the afternoon, I took walks through the cherry blossom festival and bought street food, which I smuggled back into my room. And on the last day, I took a friend and snuck into a local public school’s sports field and we spent the afternoon on the bleachers imagining life as a Korean high-schooler. It was love rekindled, and so far away from the Seoul that I got too easily accustomed to. Next time, I’m booking a helicopter ride and borrowing a dog. Now tell me that’s not some power couple’s therapy.

A big thank you to Conrad Seoul for the kind hospitality.

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Sweater – Isabel Marant. Trunk bag – Marni. Denim culottes – Charlie May. Heels – Gianvito Rossi

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When the going gets hot

Belted popover shirtdress – Gap. Shoes – Isabel Marant. Blazer – & Other Stories.

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Printed top – Gap. Culottes – Charlie May Bracelet – MyFlashTrash

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Linen roll-sleeve popover – Gap. Jeans – FrameDenim.

I must be one of those folk for whom the season of summer is a general questionmark for their closets wherein rumpled sweaters form burrowed eyebrows along the top shelf and winter coats and beachwear generally hang side-by-side in this arrangement:  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯? because the other day it was cold as balls – excuse ze language – and today I am wearing a singlet that may also be translucent. At this point I am just happy that we decided to place the office desks a few feet away from the windows facing the street, because this half-naked Asian lady violently fanning Vogue inserts is now shaking to the beat of Ciara’s Goodies. Hey wait, it actually might be a good time to move towards the window, given that I’m not really getting any work done. They throw money when you strip, right?

Here’s a few summer get-ups, mostly consisting basics from Gap. Let me know if I’m doing it right, from a scale of the-cold-never-bothered-me-anyway to she-had-dumps-like-a-truck-truck. Was never too great at maths, if you couldn’t tell.

Photography assistance: Simon Schmidt

White Shirt – ASOS. Jeans – G-Star RAW (tight)

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Jeans – G-Star RAW (wide)

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Tighter jeans, wider quarters.

If you happen follow me on my satellite rant-channels such as Twitter or Instagram you’ve been subject to the live stream moaning of all things related to the joy of moving homes. For this I apologise. If you don’t however, you 1) are making smart choices in life (or at least very refined taste in internet personalities) but also 2) missing out on a whole slew of embarrassing food choices that explain for mysterious stomach bulges that excite and disappoint my mother every other day around dinnertime. (“Kebab or baby?”)

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For the past month I’ve been in nothing but jeans (these two G-Star RAW pairs, my current fav), occupying myself in packing, unpacking, and learning the art of leading a professional life in the most trashcan-like setting in the new house. But we have a marble fireplace so, we got that going for us, which is nice. So far we’ve managed to dig a path to and from the boxes containing beef jerky packets, and have sung a bit of Step in Time while vacuuming around the fireplace.

When it comes to moving uniform though, jeans all the way. Tight or wide, I just like knowing I can wipe my hands on my leg since I have no clue where we packed our towels. While I go look for some (it has now come to a point where a shower is definitely needed), you tell me whether you’re #TeamTight or Wide when it comes to jeans.

In collaboration with G-Star RAW #TightorWide. Editing P&C. Photo assistance by Simon Schmidt.

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Silk scarf – MiH. Leather vest, trench, jeans - GStar RAW. Heels – Gianvito Rossi. Bag – Gucci. Watch – Karl Lagerfeld. Earcuff – CompletedWorks

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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

Jewellery – Monica Vinader

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Primrose Hill, London

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Jewellery – Monica Vinader

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Jewellery – Monica Vinader

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Blouse – Iris & Ink. Skirt – ASOS. Heels – Gianvito Rossi (Similar here). Bag – Saint Laurent ‘Lulu’. All jewellery – Monica Vinader

You’re about to be let in on a secret that Londoners won’t openly share unless prompted and poked with a heated walking stick. I’m sharing this because I’m an inherent traitor (stems from life-long state of being an expat) and also could do with some brownie points with my readers after a month-ish long hiatus. Best burgers in London? Lucky Chip. Best toilets in Mayfair? The Connaught Hotel. < You might want to pretend you’re pregnant.

Recently I took a couple of my favourite engravable* pieces from Monica Vinader to spend a summer afternoon in North London as part of the new Jewel Coordinates campaign, which was a chance to verify: Best summer hangout? Primrose Hill.

I know, the name doesn’t ring a bell – it’s not known like Shoreditch, Notting Hill, or even Brixton – but I can guarantee you know all the residents. They say, one can’t swing a dead cat in Primrose Hill without hitting Jude Law, or Kate Moss. So picture this, midsummer afternoon, twinkling bracelets stacked up one hand, dainty stacking rings on the other, and a binocular around my neck. (I kid…) Not to say that Londoners flock up North to the little pocket of immaculate macaron-coloured townhouses to gawk at celebrities – the actual Hill itself is in fact London’s best panoramic view across the city, with the occasional squaaawk from the tropical birds that reside in ZSL (the zoo) across the road lending a feeling that you’ve successfully escaped the city. Sprinkle in a sighting of Eliza Doolittle at the florist and Gwen Stefani pushing a pram out the pub, and you got yourself a summer blockbuster. You don’t even need to be faux-pregnant to enjoy this bit of town.

*While I have my hubby’s nickname engraved on my own Esencia Friendship Bracelet, I confess that I was this close to engraving the Domino’s Pizza telephone number…

In collaboration with Monica Vinader; Photography by Park & Cube; Shots of me by Michelle Bobb Parris.