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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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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Coat – H&M. Skirt – Next (Similar). Boots – Zara. Bag – Kurt Geiger (Similar). Turtleneck – American Apparel.

Clocking up nearly eight years in this city and having seen the fantastic variety of elements the sky had for offer (and spewed down regardless of preference) across any given season, the only way I’ve found – so far – to tell apart the damn seasons, was the flower market on Columbia Road. Granted, it’s still a pretty shoddy technique, because I’ve seen snow on sunflower petals, rainwater dousing a perfectly fine barbeque… and so on, but it seems to estimate better than anything else. Anything else, namely, being the date we’ve nominated ‘the official first day of Spring’, which I find basically as credible as me declaring: ‘From now on, I will blog diligently’. It’s Christmas-degrees on the ‘first day of Spring’; 2-week blog hiatus because of jetlag… = same unreliable shebang. At the flower market however, the tell-tale signs are in the flowers: the species, colours and sizes. While I won’t dare to boast I know my flowers, the familiar superstars coincide with the season’s traits: Daffodils, daisies and tulips quickly ensued by the sweetness Springtime; Sunflowers and Dahlias with balmy weathers of Summer… and so on. After a couple of weeks of indecisive selection of evergreens and rust-coloured hydrangeas, last week the market was suddenly flooded with yellow Billy balls and multicoloured tulips, so I picked up a bunch in the name of finally teasing the sun out from behind the clouds… now let’s wait and see if the theory sticks, shall we?

And speaking of Spring…

Looking forward to going back on this potion that always takes me back to NY. Which reminds me, the Marc Jacobs Daisy pop-up store over NYFW was apparently a wild success. As I’d imagined, the #MJDaisyChain hashtag currency overpowered the $$, an innovative social media twist that really made this campaign all the more special. Like I said before, I’d have happily tweeted my tails off for a top-up of Daisy or a piece of Langley Fox Hemingway’s Daisy-themed artwork… or a Marc Jacobs Wellington bag (DAMN). Click on the arrows to navigate the slideshow! In collaboration with Marc Jacobs Daisy (conclusion).

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Coat – H&M. Jeans – DIY slashed Supertrash. Loafers – Hudson. Bag – Couronne. Sweater – Topshop Cardigan worn backwards. Bar bracelet – Zara. Watch – Larsson & Jennings. Tiger bracelet – Kenzo. Rings – Monica Vinader.

I have but moments before the car arrives to take me and one embarrassingly large piece of luggage to Heathrow – Seoul, here I come, start heating up the food. I’m putting this up right before I run out because, if I know my mother correctly, she will compose a short but powerful message on Whatsapp reading something along the lines of those broken jeans in your blog better not be coming with you to Seoul and this time I can be all aw but I’m already in the car. No. Don’t worry ma, I’m fully anticipating to go up a dress size or even two on this trip, I’ve basically packed fifty variations of sweatpants. (엄마 청바지 꼬메지 말아쥬쎄요ㅠ) Plus, after road-testing the jeans in London and finding out getting a sore throat thanks to cold wind through the knee-holes is the very definition of irony, I’ve decided to leave it out of the packing.

On a side note, I know I’ve put this up on Facebook already but I’d really love to get some recommendations of places in Seoul – I’ve never lived there properly and the only places I know are basically the Big Ben equivalents so please do help this hipster out if you can.

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Knit – H&M (vaguely similar). Pants – None (HAH) Yarn – Wool & the Gang (Pink lemonade). Photos with remote & Mr. tripod.

Still knitting like a mad dame, despite recently having to bump it down to Weekend-only practice on account of absolutely no work getting done during the week. And the fluff, pink fluff everywhere. Given the tendency of my husband eating things off the floor, it’s nearly every day I hear ‘ooh, cotton candy! OH BLEURGH, WHAT THE SH*T’ in the morning. Nothing compared to me accidentally scrunching up a handful of yarn and shoving it in my mouth every single day because I too need constant validation that it is not magical cotton candy. Also, those following on Instagram may have sensed, I’m nursing a growing obsession for anything pink these days, like I woke up one day in 2014 and decided to pursue with childhood. What did you get up to this weekend?

One other thing to take away from this post: No pants. Heck yeah.