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Coat – H&M. Skirt – Next (Similar). Boots – Zara. Bag – Kurt Geiger (Similar). Turtleneck – American Apparel.

Clocking up nearly eight years in this city and having seen the fantastic variety of elements the sky had for offer (and spewed down regardless of preference) across any given season, the only way I’ve found – so far – to tell apart the damn seasons, was the flower market on Columbia Road. Granted, it’s still a pretty shoddy technique, because I’ve seen snow on sunflower petals, rainwater dousing a perfectly fine barbeque… and so on, but it seems to estimate better than anything else. Anything else, namely, being the date we’ve nominated ‘the official first day of Spring’, which I find basically as credible as me declaring: ‘From now on, I will blog diligently’. It’s Christmas-degrees on the ‘first day of Spring’; 2-week blog hiatus because of jetlag… = same unreliable shebang. At the flower market however, the tell-tale signs are in the flowers: the species, colours and sizes. While I won’t dare to boast I know my flowers, the familiar superstars coincide with the season’s traits: Daffodils, daisies and tulips quickly ensued by the sweetness Springtime; Sunflowers and Dahlias with balmy weathers of Summer… and so on. After a couple of weeks of indecisive selection of evergreens and rust-coloured hydrangeas, last week the market was suddenly flooded with yellow Billy balls and multicoloured tulips, so I picked up a bunch in the name of finally teasing the sun out from behind the clouds… now let’s wait and see if the theory sticks, shall we?

And speaking of Spring…

Looking forward to going back on this potion that always takes me back to NY. Which reminds me, the Marc Jacobs Daisy pop-up store over NYFW was apparently a wild success. As I’d imagined, the #MJDaisyChain hashtag currency overpowered the $$, an innovative social media twist that really made this campaign all the more special. Like I said before, I’d have happily tweeted my tails off for a top-up of Daisy or a piece of Langley Fox Hemingway’s Daisy-themed artwork… or a Marc Jacobs Wellington bag (DAMN). Click on the arrows to navigate the slideshow! In collaboration with Marc Jacobs Daisy (conclusion).

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One piece, three looks – Iris & Ink duchesse-satin top

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Look 1: Satin Top – Iris & Ink. Black jeans – James Jeans. Boots – Kurt Geiger (black). Bag – Marc Jacobs (via THE OUTNET.COM). Sunglasses – Carrera by Jimmy Choo.
Look 2:   Satin Top - Iris & Ink. Skirt - Calvin Klein (via THE OUTNET.COM. Shoes – Valentino. Bracelets – ASOS. Bird bangle – Saught. Clutch – Kurt Geiger.
Look 3:   Satin Top - Iris & Ink. Coat – Mango. Shoes – Mango. Skirt – Next. Bag – JinYoo103684. Rings – ASOS.

I think it’s high time I revive this series because honestly it’s quite fun putting together fantasy outfits, like I have somewhere to wear these to. Oh the joy of working from home. Take Look #2 for example – first date? any date? Dates with the hubby usually involves him telling me to go and change into trainers so we can walk his daddy-long-legs pace, and being asked if I ate a hamster because my lips are very very red. Or Look #3 – yeah pffsh, my business meetings usually happen over Skype, me in pyjamas munching on M&M’s, lying that my webcam isn’t functioning. I mean. I just don’t think they’ll trust working with a girl with no eyebrows. I’m kidding. I have eyebrows, please believe me. The colour of the Iris & Ink duchesse-satin top, exclusive to THE OUTNET.COM - hero piece of this month’s three-ways-to-wear – does put me in a rather romantic mood though. Plus, it’s the best kind of silk – those of the super-thick buttery sort that keeps its cocoon-y shape regardless of what’s happening underneath. I guess I can go eat a hamster afterall.

Park & Cube x THE OUTNET.COM

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Sunglasses - Carrera by Jimmy Choo

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Sunglasses - Carrera by Jimmy Choo

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Cashmere boyfriend knit – Next. Boyfriend jeans – ASOS. Brogues – Zara. Bag – L.K Bennett. Cashmere scarf - Johnstons of Elgin (opposite British Museum). Watch – Sekonda (via ASOS). Bangles - ASOS (similar). Coral Ring  - Michelle Oh. Nail Polish - YSL. Sunglasses - Carrera by Jimmy Choo.

Paris is my lover – everyone knows that - we make sweet love every now and then, and it’s beautiful. Sometimes it makes me cry like a little boy. But if I’m honest, I don’t think I’d be up for a long-term relationship. As you know, I did one week this time and sure, it was electrifying at the start – to be able to decorate my own Parisian flat with baguettes and… baguettes (!), but the magic wore off quickly. Near the end of it, it was just early nights with microwave meals, t-shirts + jeans, and bickering in the metro. In fact, I recall something similar happened last season too, which was when my eczema was at its worst, after days of working in the bitter cold I’d completely fallen out of charm with being in the city. I suppose it’s the gritty truth of having to work, and the stress attached to it, not to mention the language barrier – asking how to get to the ‘piscine’ sure never got me very far (further than the closest swimming pool, that is). Oh, but what would be a story of lovers without proper ending? On this trip, I moved out of my little flat in Oberkampf, into a great little hotel on the left bank, and spent the last two days with team Next and some of my favourite blogger girls* doing absolutely postcard Paris holiday things: like learning to make macarons, or going on a chocolate tour sampling goodies from Pierre Hermé and éclairs from Angelina. We visited the Eiffel on a hazy morning, and even having seen it nearly every day for the past week, it felt like meeting someone for the first time.

Aaaand I was smitten again. Paris my luvrr, hope to see you soon, short and sweet, next time.

*Carrie of Wishwishwish, Emily of Fashion Foie Gras, Reem of Five Five Fabulous, Kit of Style Slicker, Ella of Coco’s Tea PartyMany thanks to Next for such a great time!

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Sweater – Chanel AW13. Dress – Next. Booties – Next. Bag – Couronne. Rose-gold star necklace – MyFlashTrash. Watch – Sekonda. Sunglasses – c/o Carrera by Jimmy Choo. Thank you Carrie for helping with the outfit shots.

Guess who feels all grown up buying baguettes at the local boulangerie and eating them straight out the paper bag in her own Parisian flat? Me. Sometimes I alternate a chomp with a lick off a spoonful of French Nutella on one hand and feel like I’ve cooked a meal. Renting an apartment in Paris for one week sounded harmless at first – it’s a fraction of the costs of a hotel room, has a kitchen, and get this: my own room service rules. The Kit Kat in the fridge would be plentiful and would not cost €3,000 + my first-born on check-out. But three days in, I feel like I was getting just too comfortable; the internet was unbelievably fast for some reason and Carrefour supermarket would only sell dessert pots by sets of 6, so I was dutifully employing myself to chain-eat chocolate pudding while streaming Korea’s Next Top Model

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episodes, back-to-back. I’d make it to a PFW show at 10am in the morning, then come home and do this until it was time to go to the next 10am show. THIS particular set of photos were shot on the last day at the flat before a dinner with a few of my gal friends. Like coming out from a cave, I emerged in this feminine, first-date outfit. An attempt to join society again, I suppose. Even wore my new Carrera by Jimmy Choo sunglasses to protect my out-TV’d eyes, although I’d like to say it was a style choice because, well, aren’t they pretty cool, yo? Good thing I was packing and going home because otherwise I’d really have eaten €3,000 worth in pudding and perhaps even had my first born in there. How Parisienne-chic.

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Afternoon tea at the Connaught Hotel

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Bag – Couronne. Shoes – Zara.

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Tropical-print cardigan – COS. Frill crepe bralet – Topshop. Pencil skirt – Next. Heels – Zara. Bag – Couronne. Bar necklace – Kirsten Goss Urban Edge.

“You look like an ambassador’s wife!”, Kit yelled as she found me sitting in a park bench waiting to go for tea at the Connaught. If I had spotted her first I’d have opened with “It’s my birthday, just today PLEASE lie about my how my new hair looks and tomorrow you can tell me I look like I need to pick up my two kids from football practice at 3pm”. Alas, I was immersed in trying to lure a squirrel with a crumb-looking stone and my new hair had curtained over my corner-eye – the first betrayal of many, I anticipate. So then we all went to tea, Honest Kit, an ambassador’s wife and her sidekick, the beautiful turquoise Couronne bag that looks like it could hold any political secrets. I guess today I had legitimate looks for the ‘Do you know who my husband is‘ or ‘I declare war on your café‘ card, if ever the need arose.The deal with the hair is, I’d gotten it permed and cut just over a month ago, but the style was so un-maintainable what with absolutely no blowdry skills whatsoever, I went back in for a shorter length where Mrs Jackie had thrown in a blow dry as well. So, realistically, this style will NEVER appear again on the blog unless I magically give birth to an intern who will just help blow dry at 7:55am before I leave the house at 8. I came home and told the hubby the story about my new title, and he just said “you just look like a ‘wife’ to me”. Well, thanks, you both.

By the way, and it feels wrong of me to push this to the side, but the Afternoon tea was heavenly. What a treat! The Connaught Hotel is no doubt one of my few favourite luxury 5-star hotels in London, and while I’ve been around during cocktail hours (and learning how to make a wicked Old-Fashioned with Editer), I hadn’t tried the afternoon tea at the Espalette. Well, no wonder as around 3-4pm everyday I’m hitting back alleys in search for the fifth and final caffeine fix of the day or a bag of Haribo to inhale. The scones are warm and soft – let that be your reason to go. Butter that scone, if you know what I mean.