Bikini-top – Victoria’s Secret. Straw bag – H&M Home. Paleo – Tallulah & Hope. Necklace – Monica Vinader

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La RÉsidence des Cascades
Soma Bay, Egypt | www.somabay.com/

“Well this is perfect”, I said – the minute we stepped into Soma Bay’s La Résidence des Cascades lobby – in a voice best sounding like my father. Then I gave my apple-scented e-cigarette a long drag and tottered around patting my beer belly. You see, my father’s a classic Korean middle-aged man who keeps an emergency golf club in his trunk – not for roadside mischief or helping the neighbour’s boy retrieve his basketball from under the car – but for practicing his downswings in the car park before the next meeting. One of the larger hotels on the Soma Bay strip, the Cascades, in its terracotta-orange walls and latticed-corridor goodness overlooks a vast 18-hole par-72 championship golf course. It’s dad heaven. Don’t ask me what those numbers mean because for the past fifteen years I’ve waved off golf lessons for club sandwiches.

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Top – Mango. Leather shorts – H&M. Bag – L.K.Bennett Rosamund. Watch - Larsson & Jennings. Rings – Monica Vinader.

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It’s a classic fly-and-flop destination, especially when drab-coloured midwinter skies of London is your origin and a fiery red sunset is the destination. For those who, like me, think ‘18-hole’ is something to do with a nice big donut, will probably choose to appreciate the abundant Egyptian sun, Red-by-name-but-very-blue Sea, and a rather vigorous (?) dip in the Thalasso-tonic Hydrotherapy pool. Also if you’re travelling with buddies like Carrie and Abi you may end up spending the whole afternoon horsing off in the pool with the entire hotel’s balconies as audience…

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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Thalasso-tonic Hydrotherapy pool containing 830 m3 of sea water

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Great for: family fun, golfing, and overflowing breakfast buffet.

Park & Cube was a guest of Soma Bay, all views and opinions are my own.

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Hat - Hoss Intropia. Top – American Apparel. Floral shirt – Zara shirt worn as skirt.

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The dark knight blossoms

When it comes to flower print anything I can’t help but see sad little faces on the petals and leaves dreading the slow, yet inevitable death courtesy of the blackest thumb of all land and time: mine. This is probably the reason why the new Kris Knight update of the Gucci Flora got me hooked in the first place, because if you look closely, underneath the sugar-sweet pastel canvas of the Resort 2015 collection, there is a shadow, and a bed of botanicals that blossom in the dark. Curious little herbs with tough roots and long vines that cast roofs over eight-legged creatures… there’s almost a rock’n’roll attitude in it all. The irony is sweet.

It’s begging for exploration, which is exactly what I wanted to do in this collaboration with Gucci’s hero holiday gifts.

In collaboation with Gucci. Photography: Shini Park & Brian Leavy.
Art Direction & Graphic Design: Shini Park

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“My colour palette is inspired by the fact that I grew up in a bakery. I began tinting icing long before tinting paint…”
- Kris Knight

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Jumpsuit – Next

Dress – Alexander mcQueen. Heels – Celine. Both via Harvey Nichols

And by the way, florals? For Christmas? Amusing, if not actually ground-breaking.

Shop the gift guide

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Top – J W Anderson via Harvey Nichols | similar at Gucci. Suede skirt – Vintage (similar). Boots – Zara.

Flora Knight: the story

I love this video by Gucci, in conversation with Kris Knight on the story behind the Flora Knight blossoms. There’s something wildly satisfactory about seeing cake-icing pastel colours being used for painting. It takes a stronger man to resist temptation to shovel in a finger-full of paint while filling in a yellow dandelion.

Watch here

White trousers
Gucci

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In collaboation with Gucci. Photography: Shini Park & Brian Leavy. Art Direction & Graphic Design: Shini Park

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Silk scarf masterclass
Take inspiration from the rich italian heritage of silk-scarf designs and learn to create your own

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The House

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Designed by Andrea Morgante, the design of the Black & White bar is inspired by the Woolmark logo

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‘A dress from 1,000 angles’ installation by Carlotta Actis Barone: a dress reflected off the classic Fiat Cinquecento windows

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The Concrete Bar: to celebrate the architectural growth in Italy’s cities in the early 60’s

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Interactive visual installation by Leonardo Worx

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Dine with a stranger at the Ribbon bar & Restaurant

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Wearing: Leather jacket – Pinko. Joggers – Next. Shoes – & Other Stories (similar). Bag – Saint Laurent ‘Lulu’.

This is what London gives you when you shake a fist at the sky and scream WHY CAN’T YOU BE MORE LIKE ITALY: it fills a house in Holborn with Italy things. While we all know that’s not what I meant but it’s a pretty creative interpretation, let’s give it that – it could’ve been worse, like raining cats, dogs and sheets of lasagne pasta worse. Living in one city for long you learn to put out feelers for great pop-ups and events, and apparently when you feed Gelato masterclass and beer cocktail into the search bar you get the House of Peroni, for the entire month of May. Personally I found the house via a link promoting their Silk Scarf masterclass, which was one of the things I’d had on my To-Learn list since missing the boat completely at uni where the screen-printing lessons were bountiful, and free. It was either that or the Gelato masterclass, but alas – I’m off dairy for skin betterment reasons, and beer too – which apparently co-exist in these Gelato recipes they instruct (so there is Italian sunshine in this pocket of London afterall…).

The masterclasses and events are definite gems, but for frill-free fun, the rest of the house is free entry and full of little corners that celebrate Italian culture and design. I’m personally pining for a seat at the top floor ribbon restaurant where you dine in close proximity with strangers – characteristic to the dining experiences I’ve had in any given city in Italy. Also, mixologist Frederick Riezzo is really is a dab hand, ask for any Peroni Nastro Azurro concoction at the Ribbon bar – I had a few cheeky sips and the sun really did come out (for lack of a better expression), just don’t tell my party-pooper skin.

House of Peroni runs from May 2-31, 64 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3JX. Find out more and book events at thehouseofperoni.com. In collaboration with Peroni

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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