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Sunnies – Celine via SmartBuyGlasses. Watch – Larsson & Jennings. Envelope clutch – Sezane. Wallet – Prada. Serum – Innisfree. Necklace – Louis Vuitton. Scarf – MiH.

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Top – Paule Ka. Culotes – Charlie May. Bag – Marni. Sunnies – Celine via SmartBuyGlasses.

Current location: Seoul, South Korea. Time-zone: Galaxy far far away, corner of Asgard and one stop before Uranus. My body does not comprehend the blue tint of dusk creeping through the blinds at the wee hours of the morning and sends out a confusing bodily signals including but not limited to: pang of hunger, a need-to-pee, PMS, utter exhaustion and insomnia (at the same time), and demands that I do something about it. In return, I do what I usually do when faced with jetlag: eat something questionable out of my Airbnb host’s fridge, entangle within a duvet and find a TV shopping channel sufficiently entertaining enough to sap the last of energy. The effect is sublime – I arrived on Thursday and woke up on Monday morning ,feeling brand spankin’ new.

Problem is, I still don’t know what time it is. Imma go pee.

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Hello, I’m here to fix your boiler…

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I am a strong believer that when it comes to cities, especially of those ‘home’ variety for individuals who – like me – have confusing heritage, it’s all about spicing things up in the bedroom, so to speak. And for this I wholeheartedly recommend roleplaying: sexy nurse, keen repairman, bored prison guard… whatever floats your boat (enthusiastic Pokémon trainer for me), but the trick is to live, experience and interact with your city from a slightly different perspective, different lifestyle. Rent an inexpensive car for a few days instead of taking public transport, wear a suit every day for no reason, shop like a local, walk like a tourist, book an Airbnb flat in a high-rise and wake up to sunrise on the 20th floor… Enjoy wider horizons but also encounter new limitations. Yes I’m aware this sounds like a page out of a self-help book, but I promise, IT’S SEXY WHEN YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT. I’d like to think that this is how London and I keep a healthy relationship, even if I have to ask for a hall pass every now and again.

Seoul, for me, is one of those ‘home’ cities – despite never having lived there and a place I still consider an exciting, unmapped territory, I can’t help that on the rare occasion I do visit I slink into an oddly familiar routine that one would typically expect from a local. Now, this isn’t to say that I know my way around the back streets of Gangnam or the best way to haggle over a kilo of spinach with the lady in the market (why does one need kilo of spinach anyway), but it is the inevitable nature of: I seem to blend in with my own people? Last April, brought over by work, I was determined to spice it up – and instead of going straight to one of my relatives, booked two nights at the Conrad hotel on Yeuido island – the city’s business and banking district and also home to the most spectacular cherry blossom festival.

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Bag – Celine. Shoes – Aquazzura ‘Christy’

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Watch – Larsson & Jennings ‘Saxon’. Necklace – Effra London

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The hotel, while stunning in design and efficient in service, is undeniably oriented towards business purposes, which is exactly what I’d wanted. I woke up early and mingled with the suited men at breakfast, read the cartoon page off the International New York Times with my glasses perched low on my nose, and abused the concierge app to book wake-up calls but snoozed through the morning. In the afternoon, I took walks through the cherry blossom festival and bought street food, which I smuggled back into my room. And on the last day, I took a friend and snuck into a local public school’s sports field and we spent the afternoon on the bleachers imagining life as a Korean high-schooler. It was love rekindled, and so far away from the Seoul that I got too easily accustomed to. Next time, I’m booking a helicopter ride and borrowing a dog. Now tell me that’s not some power couple’s therapy.

A big thank you to Conrad Seoul for the kind hospitality.

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Sweater – Isabel Marant. Trunk bag – Marni. Denim culottes – Charlie May. Heels – Gianvito Rossi

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A cynic’s winter tale
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When it comes to the holidays I have a painfully pragmatic, almost sarcastic approach to things – this my agent Abi, AKA Captain Christmas, can attest to. Hubby and I don’t decorate the flat, usually until D-3, when we cave and decide to use the overgrown Aloe Vera plant as an evergreen substitute, on which we string up stale Ferro Rochers dug out from the pantry. (Half of which disappear mysteriously during the night, I may start believing in Santa after all.) (Why they are stale is also a good question.)

This year however, December started with a series of accidental celebration: a spare hour between meetings that was burned shuffling around the Somerset House skating rink, a sprinkle of marshmallows in my morning coffee which has now triggered a daily ritual (in my defence, they were calling my name), and decking the flat with winter flowers because nothing else was available at the flower market. By the end of week 1 I was shopping for wreaths, and as we draw near the end of week 2 I am now contemplating changing my voicemail recording to the tune of Little Drummer Boy and request that anyone wishing to leave a message needs to follow up with the second verse. (Maybe that’ll stop people from using the darned voicemail, once and for all. It’s actually a good tactic.)

All jewellery – Cartier ‘Juste un Clou

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I jest. But there undoubtedly is a new-fangled (or at least re-fangled) buzz in the air, a sort of anticipation but perhaps also the joy of keeping oneself busy while the temperature drops and the days get darker by day. I decided to collaborate with Cartier again, to celebrate my accidental celebration, and also continue the story of their 2014 holiday campaign. I’ve always wanted to shoot the Juste un Clou range, and a bit of sparkle never hurt no cynic, last time I checked. And now, should a few leopard cubs knock down a few Cartier boxes from the clouds, it wouldn’t be met with a contemptuous meh, but at least a slightly better-decorated Aloe Vera tree and twelve, not nine, empty marshmallow bags in the trashcan.

Cape, blouse – Zara. Jeans – DL1961. Bag – Marni. All jewellery – Cartier

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Turtleneck – Zara (similar). Skirt – Mango (similar). Earmuffs – Karl Donohughe via Harvey Nichols. Jewellery – Cartier

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As usual, the topic returns to things that fall from the sky. Although, surely no fist is to be shaken to the clouds should it rain Cartier? Lemme think about it. No. No fist.

Stay tuned for Part Two, the morning of. In the meantime, I want to hear what colour your panties holiday decorations consist of.

In collaboation with Cartier. Art Direction – Park & Cube. Photography – KrisAtomic.

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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 – Marni. Perfume – Jersey by Chanel. Key clip - Whistles x Moxham. Coin pouch – gift from mum.

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Coat – Charlie May. Cashmere sweater – Uniqlo. Trousers – Zara. Heels - Gianvito Rossi. Bag – Marni. Earrings – Dior. Watch – Larsson & Jennings.  Necklaces – Monica Vinader.

Numbered are the days I will be able to rely on the blinding morning sunlight as a slap on the face and get out of bed like a normal human being. Cue what I call the spinning beachball of death syndrome, wherein I try to convince myself, way past the 14th snooze, that life does exist outside the micro-climate that is under my duvet. The clocks went back over the weekend and we had one of the most beautiful Sundays I’d seen in a while. I hit the flower market, prepared it’d be my last this year, and bought a bunch of dahlia’s for a tenner. By the afternoon I had managed to cross town to the V&A, wilting flowers in tow, which only confirmed the power of weather-influenced stamina, one that we were about to be deprived of, shortly.

Alas, the season of overpriced eggs benedict breakfasts ‘at that hipster place’ for the sake of a sunny morning is coming to an end. That, and a run around the block at random times in the day (because the weather is nice), which ultimately does nothing, really, for your diet. Try running on a morning that looks like stupid-o’clock in mid-November, then you can put ‘jogger’ back on your Facebook profile. My personal challenge is getting up at 7am this quarter, and limiting longing looks towards the bed down to one hour. What’s yours?

Photos with Mr. Tripod