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Top – ASOS. Jeans – Topshop x Marques’Almeida. Bag – Saint Laurent. Belt – Vintage LV. Necklaces – Monica Vinader.

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Watch – Larsson & Jennings. Key clip – Whistles x Moxham. Rings – Monica Vinader. Case – Casetify. Bag – Saint Laurent ‘Lulu’

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Top – ASOS. Jeans – Topshop x Marques’Almeida. Heels – Tamara Mellon. Bag – Saint Laurent. Belt – Vintage LV. Necklaces – Monica Vinader.

The thing about working from home is that spending the whole day with a crow’s nest for a head, wearing a denim diaper/mum jeans and perpetually smelling of last night’s takeaway is all fine and dandy until the moment there’s a need to step out the house. Suddenly there’s a conflict of confidence when faced with the challenge of having to join civilization: the I know exactly what I’m doing, with, can I use Febreeze as deordrant?, and you’re stumbling out the door with an outfit that is an awkward morph of hobo and put-together. I suppose this may be how the normcore trend came to being – a bunch of freelancers dragging ‘home-shoes’ Birks around the streets of Dalston (or more likely, the narrow corridors of the intranets, seeing as how nobody seems to be able to pinpoint the exact origin) in pursuit of a fresh new pack of post-its or Coconut water and whatnot. Of course, the survival of the fittest theory still seems to apply with said scenario because last time I checked, my 90’s car-thief/soccer mom get-up has yet to be a global trend. Until Merriam-Webster gets in touch about using one of these pics to illustrate the word ‘Awkward’ in a new edition of the English dictionary, in which case Tinseltown, here I come.

Jewellery – Monica Vinader

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Primrose Hill, London

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Jewellery – Monica Vinader

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Jewellery – Monica Vinader

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Blouse – Iris & Ink. Skirt – ASOS. Heels – Gianvito Rossi (Similar here). Bag – Saint Laurent ‘Lulu’. All jewellery – Monica Vinader

You’re about to be let in on a secret that Londoners won’t openly share unless prompted and poked with a heated walking stick. I’m sharing this because I’m an inherent traitor (stems from life-long state of being an expat) and also could do with some brownie points with my readers after a month-ish long hiatus. Best burgers in London? Lucky Chip. Best toilets in Mayfair? The Connaught Hotel. < You might want to pretend you’re pregnant.

Recently I took a couple of my favourite engravable* pieces from Monica Vinader to spend a summer afternoon in North London as part of the new Jewel Coordinates campaign, which was a chance to verify: Best summer hangout? Primrose Hill.

I know, the name doesn’t ring a bell – it’s not known like Shoreditch, Notting Hill, or even Brixton – but I can guarantee you know all the residents. They say, one can’t swing a dead cat in Primrose Hill without hitting Jude Law, or Kate Moss. So picture this, midsummer afternoon, twinkling bracelets stacked up one hand, dainty stacking rings on the other, and a binocular around my neck. (I kid…) Not to say that Londoners flock up North to the little pocket of immaculate macaron-coloured townhouses to gawk at celebrities – the actual Hill itself is in fact London’s best panoramic view across the city, with the occasional squaaawk from the tropical birds that reside in ZSL (the zoo) across the road lending a feeling that you’ve successfully escaped the city. Sprinkle in a sighting of Eliza Doolittle at the florist and Gwen Stefani pushing a pram out the pub, and you got yourself a summer blockbuster. You don’t even need to be faux-pregnant to enjoy this bit of town.

*While I have my hubby’s nickname engraved on my own Esencia Friendship Bracelet, I confess that I was this close to engraving the Domino’s Pizza telephone number…

In collaboration with Monica Vinader; Photography by Park & Cube; Shots of me by Michelle Bobb Parris.

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On a tight schedule

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Five hours, Florence, one fidgety husband – what does one do when the universe deals you cards like these that aren’t compatible in any sense other than in an awkward alliteration (alligator)?

Last month I had a brief stint in Florence for a work trip, to which I took ze old ball and chain (hubby), and discovered later the itinerary was so jam-packed over the two days we only really had five hours to explore the city. Now, for those who have never been/planning to travel to Florence, I personally advise allocating at least four hours for gelato, PERIOD. Because ICECREAM. Then there’s the Duomo, David (by Michaelangelo – and not the ninja turtle), Boboli gardens, a slew of essential museums and galleries, shopping… none of which you should skip, and many of which that sadly require queuing (cue fidgety husband).

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So we decided, over a particularly parmesan-y breakfast, to simply do none of it (except gelato, bumped down to one hour, boo) and took to the streets without a plan, turning corners ad lib and frequently ending up in dead-end court yards, where EVERY SINGLE TIME, an Italian family reunion was under way*. Turns out it’s a great way to see the city, and not bad cards afterall, considering Florence is really the Joker card. Also, you do end up grazing a lot of the important bits as the historical centre of the city is only about 45 minutes-wide on foot. (But do try to graze David properly if you have time, he sure is a looker)

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Watch – Chaumet

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I’ve mentioned this before, but with all travels I try to take something new with me as a ‘beacon’ of memory – typically a perfume – but instead I decided to take my unworn Chaumet Liens watch that I had saved for a special occasion. Surely enough, what with all the time constraints on this trip and diligently having to glance at my wrist where the clock-hands danced from 12 to 5pm, the watch is now my connection to this short, but gelato-sweet, Florentine adventure. And to add to the romance, this very model (Liens) – while classic and timeless in its looks – is constructed with a state-of-the-art Swiss mechanical self-winding movement that makes soft, rhythmical tickky-tickky-tickky sound when you bring it up to your ears, or in my case, whenever I brought my camera up to my face to take a snap…

Well, isn’t this sentimental. I’m going to go have a sarcasm sandwich now.

*Come to think of it, it was the afternoon of the World Cup Italy vs. Urugauy game… so probably not anything similar to a hearty (?) Italian GodFather scene as I’d thought.

Watch – Chaumet. Hat – Hoss Intropia. Dress – ASOS (similar in yellow). Slides - Office. Bag – Saint Laurent ‘Lulu’. Earrings – Baublebar. Blazer – Zara (similar).

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Watch – Chaumet

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Watch – Chaumet

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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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Jacket – Nanushka. Leather top – c/o Zadig & Voltaire. Jeans – DIY slashed Supertrash. Boots – c/o Zadig & Voltaire (or here). Bag – Saint Laurent ‘Lulu’. Matchstick necklace – FHH Accessories (similar)

It’ll have to be two measly photos for today, because somebody took a BAZILLION photos over the past few weeks and the hard drive resembles the same somebody’s equally overstuffed wardrobe with doors that hardly close anymore. Speaking of which, I usually use my eyebrow tweezers to pry out whatever’s closest to the door crack and accept that as my outfit – sometimes I manage to pull out knee-high socks and trackpants and this happens. Here are two semi-decent photos I managed to pull out from my hard drive without causing a digital avalanche, and luckily my overstuffed Paris wardrobe dealt me a good hand so I don’t nearly look like a pants monster in this outfit I wore in the last day in Paris.

Planning to tackle the bank of photos with a pickaxe starting tomorrow morning, but if you don’t hear from me in a couple of days please call Domino’s pizza and cancel my order.