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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

Tablet – Lenovo Yoga. Envelope pouch – Smythson. Heels – Bally. Headphones – Bower Wilkins.

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London Fashion Week SS15: A visual diary

Hyundai i20

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Hunter SS15

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Charlie May SS15 eyewear

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Mary Katrantzou final walk

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Max Factor Skin Illuminator Foundation & Colour Corrector Stick

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Topshop Unique SS15

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Topshop Unique SS15

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Food on instagram because proper photos on DSLR? Ain’t nobody got time fo that.

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Wearing: Top – COS. Trousers – Zara. Bag – Marni. Shoes – Tibi. Watch – Larsson & Jennings. Rings – Monica Vinader. Cross-Ring – Elizabeth & James (via REVOLVE)

What do they say – Give a woman a house, she’ll make a home? Well, give a woman a Hyundai i20 over Fashion Week, and she’ll make a Death Star on four wheels and one 22-year old driver very, very uncomfortable. This, like many things in life – including adding soy sauce to everything – I blame my mother. Growing up, mornings were a battle of which sibling can out-stupid the other one, starting with putting shoes on before trousers, smearing toothpaste all over our faces and pretending to shave… you get the gist. This led to my poor mother having to shovel us into the car every morning along with 2 x cereal bowls, school outfits, homework, toothbrushes… (at one point I believe there was a pillow fort in the car), and she’d drive with one hand while the other ‘conditioned the air’. Fast forward to SS15 LFW, I inhale a plastic container of scrambled eggs in the car while deciding on an outfit, and with each day a new pile of clothing spilling out the passenger door. At the end of Day One I attend a makeup session at the Apartment with Max Factor discovering the new Skin Luminizer Foundation, and from that point on I use the tinted passenger window to accomplish the ‘dewy look’ in the ensuing mornings, just how Caroline Barnes instructed. My 22-year old driver awkwardly avoids using the rear-view mirror (apparently a touch worse than drink-driving) during my changing room sessions, but we somehow manage to make a split-second eye-contact just when my head is halfway through a sweater. Thankfully this Death Star is all about efficiency (close that hatch…) as we slice through morning traffic, and I arrive at the first show of the day with a Aquafresh breath and lotion behind my ears.

Stay tuned for some of my favourite collections so far!

Huge thanks to Hyundai UK for, gee wow, a car with my logo on it (!), and allowing ‘5 more minutes, mum…’ to happen. Please forgive me for any coco puffs found between the seats. 

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Jumpsuit – Topshop. Heels – Zara. Rose-gold star necklace – MyFlashTrash. Sunglasses & Bag – c/o Couronne. Watch – Sekonda. Gold bangles – ASOS. Friendship Bracelet – DIY (similar here). Belt - Marni (via the Outnet); Ring – Michelle Oh; Thank you Charlie for helping with the photos.

Let this be my humble attempt at inquiring what ze heck is up with this weather by going into the boiler room with a wrench. Apparently, according to practice, the most appropriate attire to such assignment is either a boiler suit or a beer company t-shirt + paint-stained khakis combo, and since I’m off beer for, like, THE REST OF MY LIFE after spilling it all over my laptop the other day, I’m going with the jumpsuit option. It’s surprisingly comfortable! But I won’t speak for the poor man who missed his chance to overtake me in a narrow street and could not help but to witness the series of wedgie un-doing.  As for the weather, I’m really not too sure what’s wrong – my theory is that the thermostat plastic melted onto a permanent state of 32°C (90°F). The manuals were clear though, on claiming I am just one ungrateful bastard for complaining about this beautiful summer weather. I do apologize. Alas, I did do some good banging around with the wrench (The stud-embossed Couronne bag does a fantastic tool-bag make) and now there’s a thunderstorm outside, which means I may have either fixed it or broken it further. We shall see.