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Double,
triple life
Versatility, apparently, is a superpower

Every six months my parents ask me via Whatsapp, “so… what exactly is it that you do now?” And every six months, I struggle to explain what exactly it is that I do now. If they asked this morning, I would add ‘5-minute spaghetti chef’ to the list, alongside photographer, web designer and blogger, and my mother would show me the true spelling of ‘tsk tsk’. (It’s true, I am this close to a Michelin star tyre) There is no doubt that I do lead a bit of a double life, if not triple – just like any ambitious (read: charged with the crazies) individual today. Plus, it comes with the territory when working in the visual industry.

For this reason I don’t have a uniform, there is no one cape that I can wear to all three jobs, unless stained Pyjamas count (thank the heavens for Skype conference calls). Truth is, I rely heavily on versatile, multi-purpose pieces that can minimize the stress of having to face an important client in the morning and then go on a physically demanding photoshoot in the afternoon. On this collaboration with Fay, I thought I’d show you exactly how I live this double, triple life quite comfortably with just one coat called Virginia.*

Don’t forget to check the Double Life feature over at Fay.com with the full scope of the campaign and rest of the Double Life babez.

In collaboration with Fay. Photography – Krisatomic;

Coat – Fay ‘Virginia’.

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I start the morning with a meeting with a client over coffee and breakfast pastries to discuss her branding and a new website. I’ve done up the clasps of the Fay coat up to my neck and belted it at the waist for a more formal look, although by the third pain au chocolat I regret this decision. I do love that it gives an overall military (think cavalry…) vibe, but with a slight feminine twist with the stilettos and red lips.

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I work from a home studio/office so it’s always a big deal when I’m out in town, so I always try to make the most of it by scheduling in at least one visit to an exhibition or gallery. Today I’m gatecrashing at the Dorothy Mead exhibit at Waterhouse & Dodd.
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Back to the office where I swap my 5-inch-heel horse and into more comfortable gear. We’re shooting in the studio today so I’ve slipped on a skirt and a pair of yoga shorts underneath. (No one is seeing my uterus today…) The Fay coat is perfect to throw on for the coffee run, finished off with an oversized scarf.

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Coat – Fay ‘Virginia’. Top – ASOS. Skirt – Carven (via Harvey Nichols). Bag – Saint Laurent. Boots – Stuart Weitzman. Scarf – ZARA

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Is it just me, or late lunch always tastes better? Oh wait, that’s the hunger speaking. Despite the three pain au chocolats and a plate of eggs from this morning of course. Aubaine’s Poulet Paillard is my go-to hunger buster.
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Coat – Fay ‘Virginia’. Top – ASOS. Bag – Hipsters for Sisters. Skirt – Alexandra Grecco. Sneakers – Isabel Marant.
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Given how dark it gets these days, my happy hour is winding down somewhere bright and cheery, so I ask a friend out to meet at the Wallace Collection – one of my favourite places in London – before heading to dinner. It’s been a long day so I pull out something fun and comfortable to wear under the Fay coat, like this puffy tulle skirt and white sneakers. AND A FANNYPACK. I swear it sounded better in my mind…

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* I don’t really change three times a day (unless I spill curry twice a day, which has happened in the past, mind.), this is simply to illustrate the multiple scenarios of styling a coat.
** Apologies if my third-grader handwriting offended anyone’s eyeballs this morning. I blame the rise of the machines…

Bag, shoes, Wallet by Louis Vuitton (available at Harrods); Hat – Hoss Intropia (similar).

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Throw in some essentials and just go

There’s something inexplicably frustrating about city life that promises infinite freedom yet binds us with such firm tempo that one foot out the line can seem deadly. I should know, my off-tempo singing in the shower have caused many a neighbour to abandon the building. It takes a certain kind of bravery to wake up one morning and deciding, instead of going down to fetch coffee and the newspaper, to pack a decent-sized bag and leaving everything familiar, to escape.

Now, I personally cannot pride in being one of those ultra-brave-hearts, my own little departure ripened over some weeks of first, flirting with the idea, then some scattered hours here and there to mold a general plan in place. All it would need is a breath of life. Mostly, I was dying to shoot a travel piece, and wanted to work with a brand that I love and equally treasured Travel as part of their DNA. Coincidentally, Louis Vuitton had just launched a shoe-only boutique in Harrods Shoe Heaven, and it was the perfect starting point.

The Art of Escape is all about finding an enabler, whether it be an object or person. Mine was a good friend, Brian Leavy of Born Explorers, who knew the wheel and the road; and Louis Vuitton, a small selection of handsomely-crafted shoes that I believed appropriate to escape in.

It’s my hope that this story will encourage you to find your own enabler, and experience your own little escape.

Supported, but not sponsored, by Louis Vuitton;
Photography – Shini Park & Brian Leavy; Art Direction & layout: Park & Cube.

07:10AM
Luggage and boots – Louis Vuitton; White jeans – 7 for All Mankind (Similar)

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Luggage and coat – Louis Vuitton

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The Jaguar F-TYPE is my idea of a treat. We hired it from Avis Prestige for a price not dissimilar to a great night out, and within the first ten minutes decided that this journey was to be something completely fantastic.
08:35AM
Hit the road, Jack

There is no better feeling than gliding down an open road with the muffled sounds of the outside lapping against the windshield. It’s a bit like being back in the womb actually. Only if it had an umbilical hose for breakfast…

Sunglasses – Louis Vuitton
Coat, Sweater, Luggage, shoes – Louis Vuitton (available at Harrods); Jeans – DL1961

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Fuel up, coffee please

While I don’t trust myself with a full cup of coffee even when stationary, you must agree that breakfast always tastes better reading/watching something. In this case, the scenery between London and Oxford, it’s got a good plot…

11:40AM
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1:15PM
lunch at roth bar & grill
at hauser & wirth

Call in advance and book, if possible, but a table tends to free up quite quickly if you don’t mind having a wander around the grounds. Brian claims that the ½ Woolley Park farm chicken with lemon mayonnaise is life-altering. My beef sirloin is satisfying on a similar level.

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Brogues – Louis Vuitton (Available at Harrods)
Coat. bag – Louis Vuitton; Top – Zara

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Welcome Admittance to Oxford

City of academia, and dream to many aspirational tweens and Asian mothers alike. Also known for filming ground for Hogwarts, school of witchcraft and wizardry.

3:05PM

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3:30PM
Explore

Walking aimlessly can actually be a decent tour strategy in this city. Make sure to see Christchurch, Bodlian Library, Radcliffe Camera, and tea on the roof of the Ashmolean museum.

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Brogues – Louis Vuitton; Jeans – James Jeans

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The Trek back home

Sure, it’s a disappointing notion, but make it something that’s as important as the journey out. Take an exit from the motorway and explore the country roads a little, park by a bit of land and turn off the engine for a while.

7:30PM

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FIN

I’m not immune to the idea that this escape will not last for very long in my mind once I re-join the ranks in the city, but for now, I savour these few days – or weeks, hopefully – of calmer seas.

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All Louis Vuitton shoes are available at Harrods Shoe Heaven

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Coat – Dagmar. Asymmetrical skirt – Dagmar (stocked at Harrod’s). Shoes – Gianvito Rossi (similar lower price). Bag – Louis Vuitton Vivienne. Cross-ring – Elizabeth & James (via Revolve). Rings – Monica Vinader. Leopard keyring – Charlotte Olympia. Pear & cage Bracelet – Razan Alazzouni. Round bracelet – Monica Vinader

I know the title hints on an impending rant about how I am yet again here to renew my vows to this blog and give yet another go on becoming a better blogger/designer/human being… but fear not, I have fully accepted the fact that I am a kebab-munching, inconsistent internet person with an aversion to showering. Everything else will need to happen around this smelly SpongeBob CubePants. The weather in London has just turned a corner into coldsville and I’m simply enjoying the fact that I can drape a big coat over any old thing and call it an outfit. A bit like shoving dirty laundry under the bed, I suppose, monsters and all. Funny thing with this grey Dagmar number (stocked at houseofdagmar.com) is that it comes with the black knitted gilet so – if I might let you in on a secret – I’m technically wearing nothing but a breeze under this coat. Talk about a new leaf, this one’s turned a whole tree into tart territory…

Also, before you ask why it is I’ve attached a toothbrush onto my glasses, the eye contraption you see in the photos are actually the notorious Google Glass, fitted onto a DVF frame (DVF | Made For Glass). Witness as my life & body molds around this gadget and finally I’ll be able to upload my first video on Youtube with a unique skillset of being able to move my eyeballs completely independent of eachother. Attraction.

 

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Blazer – Zara (similar). Culottes – ASOS. Shoes – Gianvito Rossi. Belt – Vintage LV

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Necklace – Amulette de Cartier

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Necklace – Cartier. Top & Trousers – Louis Vuitton Icon. Scarf – Zara. Bag – L.K.Bennett. Shoes – ASOS.

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Necklace – Cartier.

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Above: Hat – Chanel. Sweater - Zadig & Voltaire. Necklace – Cartier. Watch – Larsson & Jennings. Heels – Malone Souliers

There’s an urban myth that flight attendants look for neatly-dressed passengers in Economy to upgrade into Business class in order to balance the weight of the plane when the flight is under-booked. That, of course, is not the reason I wear heels when I travel. I am the passenger that has breadcrumbs all over her chin and sweater before take-off because I genuinely believe that I will starve and die before they bring out the food trolley. I’m also the passenger that is virtually invisible because she’s reaching under the seat for a fallen Skittle.

ANYWAY. I may have briefly touched up on this before, but the more I travel, the more I realise how much I’m addicted to the first 24 hours of a journey: the flurry of packing, pre-flight jitters, and the view out the plane/train window, then finally landing on foreign soil and cataloguing new scents and sounds into memory. From a certain point I started to dress up for it, like I would to any anticipated event, like a good show – figured I’d be sitting for hours in the plane anyway. While I don’t think I’ve yet fully mastered the art, so far these tricks have worked for me: Frothy cashmere, a great pair of heels you can easily slip out from, and single, fuss-free jewellery like the Amulette de Cartier that won’t bring down the entire airport.

In Collaboration with Cartier; photography by KrisAtomic; Location: Booking Office at the Renaissance Hotel.

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Hotel Amour

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‘Astralis’ exhibit at Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton

Børre Sæthre – Untitled (Arches of Solaris)

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Jean-luc Favero – Stag-Transformed

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Chloe Piene – Untitled (CB)

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Dome-Vanity by Charley Case

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Four Angels by Siobhan Hapaska

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Damien Deroubaix – Astralis; Life; Death; South of Heaven; Time; Messaiah

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Myriam Mechita

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Art Oriente Objet – Not Yet

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Rina Banerjee – A Mad Woman

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instagram

Instagram @parkncube

Cape – LV. Jeans – MiH Jeans. Heels – Kurt Geiger. Bag – LV Sophia Coppola. Luggage – LV. Watch – Daniel Wellington. Rings – Monica Vinader.

Paris and I got along famously as we reunited under the blessing of Louis Vuitton for a 24-hour-long fling in the middle of February, which was in fact a mere 2 days before the beginning of London Fashion Week and naturally a perfect escape before the hurdle. We arrived late morning to celebrate LV’s latest artist collaboration that once again brings the street onto silk – this time with Andre B and his beloved Mr A character (who I’m sure Parisians will have seen spray-sketched in many crevices around the city), tagged in zingy pink on a massive, soft shawl (more pics of this later).We set up camp in Hotel Amour – owned also by Andre (alongside the Le Baron clubs for those still unfamiliar), counted the number of explicit photos that were hanging in each of our rooms (three in mine, enough to get this old lady excited) and waited for dinner with the man himself.

Speaking of escape, I had a couple hours to burn before dinner and decided it was good a time as any to visit the Espace Culturel atop the LV flagship store on Champs Élysées. I don’t always have good ideas, so this one gets a special mention, because it’s definitely a must-go when in Paris. The current exhibit, ‘Astralis’ (available until May 11), brings together twelve artists that explore concepts behind celestial, elusive, and otherworldly themes prompting visitors to temporarily escape from their minds/bodies. Even numpties like me will understand and appreciate the curation, which – I won’t lie – is occasionally chilling/creepy. But then again I find the lack of nutella in the pantry chilling/creepy, so.

Many thanks to LV for the short but sweet journey.