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.

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Chairs from Fashion for Home

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Wearing: Cashmere sweater – Iris & Ink (exclusive to The OUTNET.COM). Check trousers – J Crew (via The OUTNET). Shoes – Tory Burch (via The Outnet). Necklace – Mikimoto. Rose-gold watch – Guess. Wrap-around bracelet – H&M. Boyfriend Jeans – ASOS. Booties – Alexander Wang (via The Outnet). Shirt – Uniqlo.

Welcome to my casa! my office! my casa! Oh, I don’t even know anymore. I’ve been freelancing ever since I was about 17, I have a feeling the Home/Office boundary never existed in the first place. I built websites in bed and they still ran fine, bed-bug free. In fact if I remember correctly, a part of this blog was built tangled in sheets – tell me, does it smell of Doritos/down feather when you access this site? It’s only quite recently that I felt the need to allocate a certain corner for ‘work’ purposes… I suspect it’s something to do with the rise of pinterest, or maybe the fact that I am always home working making sandwiches, not necessarily of the good-wife sort either. I’ve been renting this flat since my third year of uni, and throughout the years it has gone through many identity shifts. The trouble mainly being the fact that, while divided into two floors, the flat is technically a studio, so the foyer is our dining room, shoe-storage, and our living area. Upstairs, the desk is in the bedroom, which is also technically the closet as well. And regardless of how many corners I fill with IKEA Linnmons to ‘work on’, I’ve always managed to end up in bed. Or by the fridge, eating out raw dinner ingredients.

What I’m currently finding particularly useful, is to get up in the morning and slapping on a bit of BB-cream, and getting dressed as if going out, heels and all. Figures I’ll be sitting the whole day anyway. That way, when I pop out for snacks the local Turkish don’t remember me as that bum that has a serious TWIX addiction. These days I’ve been drawn to wearing more cashmere, perfectly delicate enough to avoid aggravating eczema, my current favourite being the Iris & Ink cashmere sweater (exclusive to THE OUTNET.COM). I’ve worn it to countless fantasy board meetings, and lunch dates with Mr fridge & Mrs oven.

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One piece, three looks – Iris & Ink duchesse-satin top

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Look 1: Satin Top – Iris & Ink. Black jeans – James Jeans. Boots – Kurt Geiger (black). Bag – Marc Jacobs (via THE OUTNET.COM). Sunglasses – Carrera by Jimmy Choo.
Look 2:   Satin Top – Iris & Ink. Skirt - Calvin Klein (via THE OUTNET.COM. Shoes – Valentino. Bracelets – ASOS. Bird bangle – Saught. Clutch – Kurt Geiger.
Look 3:   Satin Top – Iris & Ink. Coat – Mango. Shoes – Mango. Skirt – Next. Bag – JinYoo103684. Rings – ASOS.

I think it’s high time I revive this series because honestly it’s quite fun putting together fantasy outfits, like I have somewhere to wear these to. Oh the joy of working from home. Take Look #2 for example – first date? any date? Dates with the hubby usually involves him telling me to go and change into trainers so we can walk his daddy-long-legs pace, and being asked if I ate a hamster because my lips are very very red. Or Look #3 – yeah pffsh, my business meetings usually happen over Skype, me in pyjamas munching on M&M’s, lying that my webcam isn’t functioning. I mean. I just don’t think they’ll trust working with a girl with no eyebrows. I’m kidding. I have eyebrows, please believe me. The colour of the Iris & Ink duchesse-satin top, exclusive to THE OUTNET.COM – hero piece of this month’s three-ways-to-wear – does put me in a rather romantic mood though. Plus, it’s the best kind of silk – those of the super-thick buttery sort that keeps its cocoon-y shape regardless of what’s happening underneath. I guess I can go eat a hamster afterall.

Park & Cube x THE OUTNET.COM

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Shirt – Iris & Ink (the Outnet). Skirt – YesStyle. Shoes – Vintage Ferragamo. Bag – Kurt Geiger. Belt – Vintage LV. Thank you Kit for helping with the outfit shots!

The first few days of Spring, when you can make any sarcastic, over-exaggerated remark and funnily to some extent it will be correct, and for once you get to be a legitimate smartass. (Woo!) This is literally the most sun we’ve had the whole damn year, it’s so beautiful, I am like literally dying – normally this would be classic case of ‘I don’t think she knows what literally means but just nod and smile’but in April, it’s all technically true! The sun is stronger by day and hanging around much longer; the trees are in full blossom and it’s finally starting to prove the apocalypse wrong. And in my own defense, the last bit is always true, no? Anyhoo. Following up on the previously expressed thoughts regarding my love/hate relationship with London, the sun really is a catalyst. It’s like coming home and finding brownies – it calls for a good snogging-on-the-couch session, which is what the above set of photos is, lucky you.

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And chipmunk alert

 (Would you just look at that holding frame, DERP written all over) Wearing: Top – Marc Jacobs. Trousers – Iris & Ink at The Outnet. Shoes – Christian Louboutin

One other thing I generally suck at: speaking. Case in point, see above. And you’d think since it’s one thing you do everyday you get better at it, like walking – in fact, one sucks at walking too. IT’S JUST DIFFICULT OKAY. Scarily, my skills in public speech (or lack thereof) has always been a deal-breaker/maker of almost every junction in life, starting with my English IB orals in high school that single-handedly reduced mighty dreams of Modern History at Oxbridge to colouring at artschool (fun fact: CSM’s IB requirement is 26, which is basically the lowest ‘pass’ point in IB) (of course, one requires a killer portfolio and generally must appear mad-for-art to qualify). If I remember correctly there was a bit of Eminem’s Stan (ft. Dido) lyrics snuck into a Macbeth passage interpretation. Examiner clearly had no sense of humour, or swag, yo. Fast forward to late 2012, I take the exact same bag of skills to the Outnet shoot, fully expecting my character to be killed off in the pilot. What you’re seeing here is hours of painstaking editing, separating of the sane and insane moments, and sewing them seamlessly all together, all courtesy of the video wizards; and let’s not forget Ciara the lovely makeup artist, who eventually had to muster up a pot of peach-coloured acrylic paint to cover up a very scarlet face. So I do realize this is like admitting hey I’m kinda hot after someone’s photoshopped my head onto Jessica Alba’s body, but I quite like how it turned out! Plus, the shop edit they put together for me has rather awesome pieces that makes me look like I belong in Tommy Ton/Nam’s streetstyle snaps. It’s all good fantasizing fun.