Bag – Coccinelle

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With every passing season it seems more and more apparent that I approach Fashion Week dressing exactly like how I prepared for my GCSE’s: Revise the crap out of the first exam on schedule (history), and then sob through the rest, cramming two years’ worth of curriculum every night before exams while simultaneously replacing water with Red Bull in my circulatory system. Fast forward about ten years later – same drill, different liquids. If ya know what I mean.

Here’s sort of a play-by-play:

All photo assistance by Simon Schmidt.

London fashion week
Day One
Confident. Prepared. Even bothered to wrestle with the printer to have the day’s itinerary at hand. Memorized the show schedule to the tune of Family Guy opening song. Three look changes neatly folded in the trunk with one to spare, we’re shooting a video throughout the day and the Hyundai Santa Fe is my changing room on wheels again. Windows not tinted dark enough but it’s Day One and I’m pumped.

Coat – Charlie May. Faux-fur stole – ASOS. Skirt – Joseph. Boots – Stuart Weitzman. Top – Zara.

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London fashion week
Day Two
Early start, breakfast in the car. Make-up completion level: 8/10. Pret plastic spoon in one hand, eyeliner in another, someone’s eating granola with an eyeliner again today… Balancing on 4-inch heels and feeling like I’m up to some good. Promises self to go home and blog everything I’ve seen today.

Cropped-trench – Reiss. Jeans – Levi’s CT. Heels – Gianvito Rossi. Dress – Razan Alazzuoni. Bag – Louis Vuitton.

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London fashion week
Day Three
Hummed tune to Family Guy over breakfast and only managed to sing ‘sex on TV’ bit correctly. No idea what’s happening today, fingers crossed assistant knows. Wearing trainers in case there’s some running involved. Ran to the loo in McDonald’s between Topshop and Paul Smith.

Sweater – Isabel Marant. Jeans – Topshop. Bag – Marni. Scarf – Acne ‘Canada’

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London fashion week
Day Four
Stuck a hand inside the khaki side of the wardrobe and pulled out outfit at the peak of desperation. Figured you can never go wrong with khaki, except maybe looking like a farmer a little. Coccinelle bag surprisingly roomy and fits camera et al. Scooore.

Quilted Jacket – Barbour. Denim jacket – Levi’s. Belt – Vintage Louis Vuitton. Culottes – Topshop. Bag – Coccinelle. Fedora – Hoss Intropia
Coccinelle
Top Handle, snakeskin effect

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London fashion week
Day Five
Peeled out layers from the laundry basket, ended up looking (and smelling) like a college student. Not sure what fashion even is anymore. Tommy, can you smell me? Turns out wearing everyday clothes = higher productivity level. No actual work done, but somehow managed to deplete phone battery by noon. Added this skill into CV with remaining 1%.

Bag – Aspinal. Jeans – Levi’s CT CT. Top & Blazer – POLO Ralph Lauren.

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Kempinski
Soma Bay, Egypt | www.somabay.com/

Roadside Soma Bay is the postcard Egypt I have in my head as we near the end of the 45-minute transfer from the airport: sand, more sand and a camel-like creature in the distance that perhaps also is actually just a clump of sand. Abi, Carrie and I spill out onto the doorstep of La Résidence des Cascades, atop our bikinis-and-GoPro-laden luggage and realise, that we’ve possibly spent a little too long in that van (which was air-conditioned, if I’m not wrong) and ended up imagining one collective oasis.

Two nights later we have the exact same occurrence, except this time at the doorstep of Hotel Kempinski, two minutes down the Soma Bay strip on the shuttle and thirty minutes since a glorious buffet breakfast. Surely that isn’t enough time to cook up a heat-stroke? Here, the oasis is quite literal, complete with: a myriad of swimming pools, lagoons, bridges over lazy (swimmable) rivers and a herd of gazelles by the watering hole (may or may not be a water-acrobatics class…). It was clear, the five hotels of the Soma Bay  were gatekeepers of the amazing technicolour dream-coast, only accessible through a hotel lobby of sorts. The Kempinski ‘gate’ boasts a rather theatrical mix of Moorish fortress interiors with a tinge of influence from the East, with the unquestionable white Egyptian sun streaming through the dark wood lattice.

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Dress and straw bag – H&M. Fedora – Hoss Intropia.

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Sunglasses – Westward Leaning. Roll-on fragrance – Bjork & Berries. Phonecase – Casetify. Rings – Monica Vinader.

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The rooms are sufficient, decorated with familiar time-honoured ‘luxury’, with mint-blue soft-furnishing that cools the overall orange tones of the wood and tiles. Abi and I unlatch the door that divides the two rooms and I use her terrace door as a shortcut to the beach for the next two days. The real luxury of Soma Bay, I feel, is the bespoke nature of setting the day’s pace at your will. A slow morning by Kempinski’s white beach followed by adrenalin-fuelled kite-surfing afternoon at The Kite House, and star-gazing at the Cascades golf course – all a five-minute shuttle-rides away. In fact, water sports at Soma Bay is reason I’d return in the future, the waves reportedly best quality in the region. For now, I am content riding a strawberry margherita wave on the sky bar singing surfbort, surfbort while watching the experts flaunt at sea.

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Great for: Couples. Fly & Flop with room for impromptu change in lifestyle (i.e couch potato to potential surfboard spud). Snorkelling in the Red Sea is interesting too, but watch out for sea urchins.

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

Scarf worn as dress – Nazanin Rose Matin.

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Bikini-top – Victoria’s Secret. Straw bag – H&M Home. Paleo – Tallulah & Hope. Necklace – Monica Vinader

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La RÉsidence des Cascades
Soma Bay, Egypt | www.somabay.com/

“Well this is perfect”, I said – the minute we stepped into Soma Bay’s La Résidence des Cascades lobby – in a voice best sounding like my father. Then I gave my apple-scented e-cigarette a long drag and tottered around patting my beer belly. You see, my father’s a classic Korean middle-aged man who keeps an emergency golf club in his trunk – not for roadside mischief or helping the neighbour’s boy retrieve his basketball from under the car – but for practicing his downswings in the car park before the next meeting. One of the larger hotels on the Soma Bay strip, the Cascades, in its terracotta-orange walls and latticed-corridor goodness overlooks a vast 18-hole par-72 championship golf course. It’s dad heaven. Don’t ask me what those numbers mean because for the past fifteen years I’ve waved off golf lessons for club sandwiches.

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Top – Mango. Leather shorts – H&M. Bag – L.K.Bennett Rosamund. Watch - Larsson & Jennings. Rings – Monica Vinader.

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It’s a classic fly-and-flop destination, especially when drab-coloured midwinter skies of London is your origin and a fiery red sunset is the destination. For those who, like me, think ‘18-hole’ is something to do with a nice big donut, will probably choose to appreciate the abundant Egyptian sun, Red-by-name-but-very-blue Sea, and a rather vigorous (?) dip in the Thalasso-tonic Hydrotherapy pool. Also if you’re travelling with buddies like Carrie and Abi you may end up spending the whole afternoon horsing off in the pool with the entire hotel’s balconies as audience…

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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Thalasso-tonic Hydrotherapy pool containing 830 m3 of sea water

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Great for: family fun, golfing, and overflowing breakfast buffet.

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

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Hat - Hoss Intropia. Top – American Apparel. Floral shirt – Zara shirt worn as skirt.

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photography
Samuel Hearn
styling & art direction
Park & Cube
production BENJAMIN DEAMER project coordination BRIAN LEAVY landscape photography WILLIAM DOUGLAS. in collaboration with BARBOUR INTERNATIONAL
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Let’s ignore for a minute that my idea of a perfect getaway is a gamecation. FPS preferably, with fingers coated in tortilla chips straight out of mega-size packets. And guacamole, LOTS of spicy guacamole. Ignore also, the fact that I live in a cabin in the grand INTERNETS, and know the land like the palm of my hands. I tweet by day, herd trolls by night. I own a motorcycle named Netflix and we tour the lands like a renegade, Breaking very, very Bad.

Shield your eyes and mind to all that and imagine, a fantasy excursion. The outrageous idea of going outdoors and smelling the grass, feeling the wind comb through your hair, and hearing the suckling sound your shoes make in the mud. Hop on a gleaming Triumph Bellevue and roar down a dirt path that leads nowhere in particular…

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dress BA&SH hat ZARA (similar) waxed jacket BARBOUR INTERNATIONAL

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above: trousers PULL & BEAR watch DANIEL WELLINGTON scarf ZARA right: shirt ASOS skirt BARBOUR INTERNATIONAL cape GLAMOROUS necklace EFFRA
This is the kind of adventure I wanted to create for Barbour International: collections inspired by free spirit, curiosity for what’s out there, charged with attitude. There’s a bit of glamour in the grit too, when looked closely. I’m very excited to have collaborated with photographer Samuel Hearn on this story, with huge help on the production front from Benjamin Deamer and inspiration from my editorial partner Brian Leavy, the forever adventurist.
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leather jacket BARBOUR INTERNATIONAL crop top ASOS scarf ASOS trousers WHISTLES below: leather jacket BARBOUR INTERNATIONAL dress THREAD & NEEDLE boots ZADIG & VOLTAIRE

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Dress – Hush

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Shirt dress – Hush ‘ Iris’. Boots – Stuart Weitzman. Bag – Mansur Gavriel. Scarf – Acne ‘Canada‘. Felt fedora – Hoss Intropia (similar at ASOS).

Welcome to the season of 23-hour daylight savings. I swear, whoever is saving all these daylights must be able to afford to buy a country right now, if not already surrounded by hot girls in bikinis, throwing 15 million°C light bulbs around like it was hundred dollar billz. JEEZ. The sun stayed out for exactly an hour the day this was shot, by the time I’d done up the buttons of my Hush shirt dress it had slunk back into whatever solar cave it had come from. Yet another reason to fling a fist to the sky.

I told you weather is always a good topic. This is why you and I are friends.

Photos with Mr. Tripod