Top – . Skirt – Loewe. Heels – Manolo Blahnik. Bag – Celine.

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in conversation with Bentley

‘Verified’. It’s an open secret that anyone with even a dab of digital presence will have looked up on Google, nay, will have asked various forums and perhaps even inappropriately prodded a vague contact at Instagram (sister of a friend of a friend) how one attains a ‘verified’ status on the platform. The famous blue badge that denotes legitimacy of an account, and all at the same time trivialises the collective effort of the ‘unbadged’ rest. For my journalist friends, it’s Twitter; for my golden-locked and Gucci-clad acquaintances, Instagram, or even Youtube.

I too, can confess to having spent three quarters of a weekend hour (i,e thing of gold) trying to suss the system out… digging around for perhaps a painful W8-BEN type form hidden in the nooks of the settings page, or some fiery hoops to jump through. I figured, nearly ten years in this game, I could flirt with the idea of ‘going legit’. Only, I found out too soon (and suspiciously easily), that there was no system as such. This baffled me. One girl reportedly reported a FB employee who had sold their anointing power to a slew of influencers, and as a thank you for they awarded her said badge. The rest of the advice was ‘amass a huge following’.

Okay.

Developed by the Mulliner Special Commissioning Unit, with only 50 cars produced, the Bentley Mulsanne Hallmark Series is a stamp of authenticity, and veracity.

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This got me thinking, given the various ambiguous methods of displaying self/career-worth available, and the seemingly unfulfilling tokens in place, what is it that truly verifies one’s authenticity and credibility? What was my hallmark?

Thankfully, the brands I choose to work with are great teachers in demonstrating exactly this — namely Bentley, and the Mulsanne Hallmark Series: a limited edition by Mulliner released at the Geneva Motorshow, which celebrates the marriage of unparalleled technology and craftsmanship. Only 50 units available in Gold and Silver, symbolic of its inspiration – precious metals which are authenticated by a hallmark, or stamps, validating their worth. No absurd grading system, simply the excellence in product. And the notion that, your true hallmark is purely your own passion and effort, even if there is no blue badge to say so.

Discover the full prestige of the series at Bentley Mulsanne Hallmark Series

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…the notion that, your true hallmark is purely your own passion and effort, even if there is no blue badge to say so.

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Top & trousers – Jacqumus. Belt – Loewe.

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Created for
Sainsbury’s Tu

From single-handedly sustaining the pot-noodle industry to eating said noodles daily with chopsticks made of Windsor & Newton watercolour brushes (numbers 00 and 0 are best for grip and precision) on account of leaning tower of pizza boxes and various unwashed crockery, I have lived the ‘uni life’. Thoroughly, might I add. This very site – now my livelihood – was in fact a love child between Chronic Procrastination (who may be the love of my life) and myself, thick into second year of my BA course. Which, just like the tuft of window moss I passionately nursed right around the same time, or learning how to knit, were anything BUT conducive to my higher education. The common denominator for all this being: deadlines.

…for we all remember the penny-pinching days of living exclusively on instant noodles and PB (J too if lucky) sandwiches.

Top – Sainsbury’s Tu GFW collection. Trousers – Rodebjer

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The lucky graduate
i.e the one who secretly worked her ass off to the demise of her procrastinating peers
Ladder lace detail top – Sainsbury’s Tu

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By the time my graduation show rolled by, all I had to show for the four years was a crude, ill-executed prototype of – to my defence – a grand concept that was meant to get me a D&AD award, if not an Oscar, with a side of Would sir like to see my hand-knitted SpongeBob, or a DIY moss garden, OR MAYBE MY FASHION BLOG? Of course, no amount of grovelling and showing off of various love-children would win me a job. So, hats off to Genevieve Devine of Northumbria University who was awarded the 25th Anniversary Sainsbury’s Tu Scholarship Award and a rare opportunity to start the relationship with the public through an accessible collection backed by a strong patron.

Here’s first glimpse of the Tu x Graduate Fashion Week collection (already in stores), comprised of historical workwear* silhouettes in natural fibres and punctuated by sweet embroidery details that hint at a carefree summer days and simpler times when I could coast by, dodging deadlines and knitting the crap out of things.

*Oh the irony…