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photography SHINI PARK hosted by CONRAD MALDIVES supported by CHANEL

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Swimsuit – ONIA. Sunglasses – Chanel.

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Power of nook and cranny

This is something I noticed only on my second jaunt to the Indian Ocean, but the Maldives isn’t your usual fly-and-flop destination. It’s an archipelago of paradise islands that is as close to blank canvas as you can get on a holiday. There is no silver screen reference starring a Hepburn sister, or stripy/nautical uniform a la French Riviera, and certainly no techno beats reverberating out of the clubhouse, courtesy of DJ Ibiza. There are no rules, or things ‘you must/mustn’t do’ (i.e Do not order a Mai Tai in Saint Tropez). In fact, you may have troubles packing for your first time. All that’s provided is nature in its incorrupt, innocent entirety, and wholehearted Maldivian hospitality. Add to that: Sun (unabridged), celestial skies, immaculate coral beaches and at times, warm rain. The Conrad Maldives understands this well, which is one of the many reasons for my return. The two private islands – joined by a footbridge overlooking the occasional manta ray – is full of nooks and crannies. This lends an illusion of being alone on an island, with a fully-equipped gym, water sports centre and a sunrise yoga session, or an excellent in-villa dining menu and a comprehensive DVD library, if you wish. It’s a DIY holiday – any agenda fits.

The dress code? Come as you are. White does swell, but any colour you find in the Maldivian sunset is a safe bet. No heels, unless it’s a ‘housewarming’ item, like your favourite candle from home.

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Don’t miss the fish (read: shark) feeding at Mandhoo
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Rangali Island, Rangali 20077, Maldives
+960 668-0629
hilton.com
Scarf – Nazanin Rose Matin. Sandals – Chanel. Swimsuit – ERES. Sunglasses – Chanel. Bracelet – X JEWELLERY

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sunglasses CHANEL bracelet X JEWELLERY towel CHANEL swimsuit ERES

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Boyfriend shirt – ASOS. Pouch – Loeffler Randall

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Knit coat, Chiffon bolero – Topshop Unique, Fringe bag, Pants, Jersey cardigan – Zara, Shoes – Loeffler Randall (Gift), Mint top – Shipley & Halmos for Uniqlo, Bikini Top – H&M, Nail Polish – Barry M
Photos by Susan Falkenas

Here’s what you need to do the next time you hardly hit the feathers slaving away at a bleak future: after final submission don’t go straight crashing into bed, go drink a harmless cocktail and WATCH AVATAR 3D AGAIN. I promise you won’t need the 3D glasses; you won’t even need much imagination. That, or spend £6.50 for a very deep yet somehow unsatisfying post-deadline sleep in a huge dark room full of strangers.

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Neoprene Coat - Gemma Degara via Etsy, Swearshirt – Uniqlo, Pants – Zara, Boots – Loeffler Randall from TwentyThirtyForty.net, Bag – Topshop

It’s a fact, no other food makes me drop everything and travel into the depths of suburbia, or make me change trains multiple times and take a bus; no other than Korean BBQ. If I may, I shall now sing a song in ode to it, do firmly mute your speakers if you value your health. I’ll be belting out some long notes to warm up my larynx first, then sing in serenade mode non-stop for a few hours. Then when I get exhausted and hungry, I shall go eat some Korean BBQ, how’s that for a plan?

Well yes, I believe you get my point.

Unfortunately the best place you can get Korean BBQ in London without having to bbq your own Korean self to pay for the receipt is to go down to New Malden, a one-hour journey from central London down south into Surrey. Wikipedia says New Malden is the most densely populated area of Koreans outside South Korea, which left me thinking what about Koreatown in LA? Surely it’s a more prominent Korean neighbourhood? Probably it was referring to Europe. Anyway that’s a whole other subject that may overshadow the splendour of BBQueen, so reserve that for another day perhaps.

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Top to bottom, left to right: ZARA over-the-knee suede boots, Vintage Military boots, Vintage Studded, Emma Cook for Topshop Zebra, Velvet Angels Wedges, ASOS suede shoe-boots, ZARA Suede wedges, Ashish for Topshop ankle wedges, Loeffler Randall knit mix boots, Office Military boots, Scorah Patullo ankleboots, Office oxfords, Chloé wedges, Doc Martens Pascal boots

Stocking up on niggles of colour for winter. I figured that it’s enough to be born with an extra organ for cynicism (under the thyroid glands to be precise), it shouldn’t be further applauded by wearing dark colours during the cold seasons – the sun’s short as it is, like the other day it was gone-o by the time I came down for lunch, very confusing… my body clock is now completely scrambled with a side of bacon and toast.

Well I must say that colour is incredibly vitalizing and mood-uplifting, not to sound like a nutrition capsule bottle, but right now the two yellow shoes are entrancing me in a way that keeps me up (and happy) at 5am. Now I understand why, come winter, we find increased fat deposits on our bodies – it was all to make space for some much needed energizers. Check your thighs, it should have a small hatch somewhere to fit two AA’s. Well either that or yellow shoes, I think.

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Faux-lamb fur Cardigan, Jeans – Gmarket, Jersey Cardigan – Zara, Boots – Loeffler Randall from TwentyThirtyForty.net, Leather Harness – All Saints, Crop Vintage Top – Samantha’s Blogshop, Necklace - H&M

The sky is so hormonal lately I feel like throwing it a big fat painkiller so it stops being so pissy and sunny within the course of a few hours. The other day I misjudged its temper and went out wearing nothing but a blouse and that fake lamb fur thing and caught myself a tickly cough cold, the thing that only creeps out in the most inconvenient of times like in church or in a packed train. I’m sure that if it weren’t for bird flu, swine flu, caterpillar flu, refrigerator flu I would’ve received a gentle pat on the back from a middle class gentleman while being offered baby backup water from mothers. Well hot dang no, there I was in the train, suppressing the cough so much my shoulders were heaving as if I was laughing, then to finally burst into a choke/puke cough so loud and startling that the dozing man in the corner jerked awake and ran out thinking it was his stop…