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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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Pattern from Kim Hargreaves Scarlet pattern book, called ‘Craft‘.

C2B, C2F, KTBL, P2…

…which is not an encoded call to Starfleet, but nonetheless a new language for me this season as I enter a new domain that is sweaters and cable knitting. Before I delve into the complexity of this sort of pattern, let me just say: if I can knit, a mattress can knit. A fingerless mattress. A blind, fingerless mattress. So don’t be discouraged when I say my eyeballs were bleeding and it took literally 32 hours to do a mere 6 inches. Cable knitting follows a grid pattern, and I’m not sure if you’ve tried doing geometry homework while watching a BAZILLION movies, but it sure slows you down (duh). Especially if some of them are Italian (La vita e bella) or French (Amelie) and you get your subtitles and knitting pattern confused and end up knitting “Bongiorno principessa“, then undo the entire row afterwards. It’s all good fun though, and not at all hard if you have Youtube and some time handy, which is exactly what this Christmas was, spending it quietly in London just with the hubby.

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Ballerina flats – Josefinas

Ryan G

These navy classic ballerinas are from a Portugese brand called Josefinas, but considering how much I fondle them and dream of spring-time dates by the riverside I’ve decided to name it ‘Ryan G’ so that when the times comes I can say ‘I’m taking Ryan out for a ride’ and confuse the crap out of hubby. For now Ryan G’s in winter hibernation in a snug silk dust bag that smells like Eucalyptus.

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White candle – Diptyque ‘Cypres’. Dark candle – Dior 30 Montaigne. Cuff – Chanel ‘boy’ lego brick cuff. Rings – Monica Vinader stacking rings

I’ll count, you hide.

A couple firm favourites from 2013 that I’ll be taking into 2014: a Mikimoto circle pearl necklace that used to be my mother’s, Monica Vinader stacking rings (Baja and Diamond pave), and Chanel ‘boy’ lego brick cuff from the Cruise 13 collection. The cuff is actually on loan from the Chanel press office to ‘play’ with (their words, not mine), although the most ‘playing’ I’ve done so far with it was wrapping it with bubble-wrap and placing it in a 6-digit-code safe. Which is what I used to do with my prettier looking Barbies anyway so I guess that does count as playing.  

 

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Necklace – FHH Accessories via Lulu Guiness. (Similar here)

Come on baby light my fire

When this arrived in the mail my pyromaniac husband put it around his neck and ran around the flat giggling. I’m afraid I’m not even kidding. I swear one day he will burst into flames from sheer girliness.

 

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Striped top – c/o Gudrun Sjoden. PJ Bottoms – Gift from mummy (from Oysho, I believe)

A new surface

Ever since spilling beer all over my slightly more ‘agile’ laptop (aka not a tank) I’ve had to get out of bed, walk a meter, sit in a chair, and start my day on the internet like a normal human being. However, thanks to the recent acquisition of Microsoft Surface 2, a tablet with a handy keypad/cover that snaps onto the side, I’ve been able to return to my blissful lifestyle of a single-cell organism, that is: wake up, troll online, sleep. Some kidding aside, so far it really has boosted my level of productivity, although if you’ve e-mailed me in the past couple of months and didn’t receive a response, MY DOG ATE MY PURPLE KEYBOARD OKAY.

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Wool & the Gang ‘Ashleigh’ sweater knit kit, with custom elongated sleeves.

Chunky monkey

World, meet my first ever hand-knitted sweater! All thanks to Wool & the Gang, who generously supplied with the pattern, wool and constant cheering throughout. Their HQ happens to be located about 2 minutes walk from where I live, so sometimes I hear a ‘GO SHINI!’ which usually just turns out to be one of the teachers in the school behind my building yelling ‘NO SHITTING!’. Which, don’t get me wrong, is pretty good encouragement too because one mustn’t poop in the living room. This particular pattern didn’t take long to do (6-8 hours in total?) as the yarn is super chunky, so I’d say it’s perfect for first time sweater knitters!

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Perfume – Kenzo Flower in the Air

In the air

A whiff of the Flower in the Air takes me back to that one day in June when I took a train to Paris, rode a ferris wheel by the river, and again, then hopped back on a train and came home. A fleeting moment, that’s what it smells like, which is surprisingly lyrical compared to the usual scent pairing with my sarcastic temperament. On the skin, it’s a clean, modern scent, quite sharp at first, but settles into a comfortable floral blend of rose, gardenia… almost berry-like. I can’t wait for it to snow a little actually, I have a feeling this might be a great pairing, albeit slightly ironic.

 

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Time machine

Watch & straps – Daniel Wellington

Somehow the folks over at Daniel Wellington know about the unfortunate vintage watch I cracked with a plier three years ago, I think. Then again, it was a plier that usually does the pipes under the sink, I don’t know what I was expecting. My hand slipped and crack, a spiderweb on the watch face. A roll of duct tape was the only adhesive tapey thingy I had in the flat, and for a week I’d only know when it was 2:15. This DW set, however, comes with a tool that sings finesse: a firm nudge and it dislodges the bar from the hinges, which you then slide out the leather, and back on the hinges again. The grosgrain ribbon (that comes with a rose-gold buckle) slides through the bars, then secured. I can probably duct tape my eyes shut and do it again. Curse you plier! 

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Gilet – All Saints

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Fluffy gilet – All Saints (on sale!). (DIY Slashed) jeans – Supertrash. Bootes – Kurt Geiger. Bag – Couronne. Silk & mohair sweater – Hoss Intropia. Watch – Lasson & Jennings. Rings – Monica Vinader. Silk bracelet – Hermes Petit h. Gold bracelet – Kenzo. Thank you Kit for helping with the outfit pics!

So… I may have skipped out on the annual rumble with desperate last-minute shoppers by finding gifts earlier in the month, but turns out none of that mattered because I was that person with the bulging Santa sack at the post office on the very last working day before Christmas begging for stamps. I don’t even get points for joining a 50-strong queue that snaked around the building because none of the gifts will arrive on time anyway. I was also the person fighting a lady with three kids over the last orange in Tesco’s thinking if I don’t buy this now we will get starve and DIE over Christmas, or get scurvy, then die. Oh, and the girl that got carried away buying winter essentials as if preparing for a snow disaster, and by essentials I mean fluffy gilets from All Saints (on sale, no less) that probably aren’t very practical for any disaster, really, unless I’m doing a style-off with the snow. In any case, I do hope for a bit of weather drama over the next few days, just so I can blame it for the gifts not arriving on time and hope no one will check the date on the stamp, or this blogpost. Oh I’ve screwed up this year, haven’t I.

Since I’m probably getting whips/handcuffs again for being naughty this year, let me know if you’re as bad as me with Christmas and maybe we can start a business together by selling them all. What do you think?

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Kenzo AW13

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Honey! aka Jessica Alba.

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Kenzo AW13 collection in Paris

Put a cork in it and store in a cool, dry place, out of the sun, is how I like to treat some of my fashion week posts. It wasn’t the fact that I was a lazy butt and missed that one-week window in March to post this – no no. (yes :( ). Well, whether it was grey-beard’s wise foresight, or a happy accident, I’m surprisingly glad to be sharing this Kenzo collection now. Isn’t now its proper season that is Autumn/Winter ’13, anyway? Like all fashion things that I pretend to understand but don’t, eventually I’ve come to appreciate it in its entirety. Five months later to be exact. Alas, shall we clarify a few things – I’m a spectator, not a fashion journalist – I was educated in judging things at face value and I’ve personally taught myself how to obsess over pink macarons. I don’t know how the creative duo Humberto Leon and Carol Lim came to join powers, and what exactly it was that inspired this collection (eyes I THINK) without reading up on Style.com. All I know is ISN’T THIS COOL? (See, fashion journos, nobody here is trying to take your job) (that’ really is the only adjective I know.) I mean look how the Asian mythical patterns and kimono shapes mingle with the Art Nouveau interior of La haunted Samaritaine… a funky East-meets-West temple in the heart of Paris! Plus, I really enjoyed how they shot the campaign, which really just adds to the whole picture. We likey, as simple as that.

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Floral print-cami – Topshop. Sunglasses – Celine. Flower garland – Topshop

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Hat + Dress - Topshop

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Top – Topshop, Skirt – Kenzo. Clutch – Kurt Geiger

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Look 1 (Crop-top): Linen crop-tee, Coulottes – Topshop. Rope belt – DIY. Bracelet – Saught.
Look 2 (Floral patchwork Dress):   Dress, straw boater hat – Topshop. Bag – Bottega Veneta. Heels – Zara.
Look 3 (Maxi-skirt):  Printed strappy-cami – Topshop. Basket-weave skirt, Tiger bracelet – c/o Kenzo. Clutch - Kurt Geiger. Loafers – Hudson. Leather bracelet – COS

The classic British Summer is here – hot, muggy, air-just-shy-of-armpit-consistency, one cloud away from November degrees. I’m not complaining though, at least not on Thursdays and Fridays. See, I’m trying out a new career path where I now professionally complain part-time and the rest of the week I focus on freelance weather forecasting, because apparently in this country you don’t need a particular degree to read the weather. Here’s the secret: a rusty slot machine at the BBC does the job for you – the reels groan a bit and a series of icons forecast the weather. Today I played with a few pieces from the new Topshop Reclaim to Wear collection, in which disregarded prints from the previous seasons got upcycled into airy, summery pieces. The slots pooped out a perfect weather for this: Fog – Cloud- Sun, 28 degrees, humidity 2,000%; there also may or may not have been a Tsunami looming but unsure as the icon for it is a Bucket of Water. They’ve been using the machine since the 70’s after every single barometer/thermometer in the country quit and left for Spain. I’ll leave for Spain sooner or later, I predict.

Thank you Charlie for helping with the shots!