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Work Special
Tuscan Tales
created for Salvatore Ferragamo
a Cube Collective production

…when it comes to Florence, it can tease amazement out of the most jaded traveller.

Ming is a firecracker. The Tuscan sun sets her off in a way that everyone on set wants either to be her or pinch her cheeks until marshmallows are dispensed. Cutest thing on mile-long legs. Case in point: the night we arrive, she disappears from the taxi queue and our crew of ten (plus respective luggage and then some) goes on missing-Victoria’s-Secret-model alert. Turns out she was buying cookies for everyone. See what I mean.

Nicole is a resolute goddess of her own right, like the unwavering Italian sun. Everything and nothing reminds me of our brunch of 2012 at the Breakfast Club in Hoxton, still a time when I was pretty much wearing picnic blankets and guzzling lattes like there was no tomorrow/scales. Nicole is the same Nicole: smiley, generous and patient; except now she reigns the intranets. And boy does she love a Boomerang.

Shoot gear and one extra shot of espresso to kick-start a long hurdle.

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knit, earrings and eyewear SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

Now, when it comes to Florence, it can tease amazement out of the most jaded traveller. Be it the height of summer, when the air is a flaming cocktail of musty leather and diesel (somewhat illustrative of Dante’s first level of Inferno), or an off-peak weekend in January when the winter sun blasts the flagstone streets in a manner not dissimilar to a Borbottoni painting – it’s magic. And Ferragamo makes up a good chunk of the Florentine magic – their history steeped into every stone in Piazza di Santa Trinita, and in properties peppered around the district and up the winding passes of Tuscany.

As clients, they are humorous, jovial even – like the cherry-red Alfa Romeo Spider convertible; like the colour-block eyewear we were shooting. Can we try something crazy for this shot? ‘Certo!’, they’d yell. Feedback would be lush and animated, very La vita e Bella. We had but five hours to direct and shoot a digital campaign in two remote locations and somehow, everything came together, like magic.

Spot the stories at @Ferragamo from October 15

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Two horses appeared out of nowhere. Because Tuscany.

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Can we try something crazy for this shot? ‘Certo!’, they’d yell.

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photography & creative direction SHINI PARK production CUBE COLLECTIVE shoot assistance SIMON SCHMIDT video PARIS ZARCILLA video assistance RUTH WHITTLE

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Coat – Zara (similar here). Bag – 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli. Skirt – ASOS. Shoes – Vintage Salvatore Ferragamo. Glasses – YesStyle. Sweater – YesStyle. Shirt – Zara.

Apart from falling asleep everywhere and routinely waking up in zone 5 thanks to some heavy-duty anti-histamines I’ve been taking lately, not much else is up. I tell ya, those hotdang things apparently knock out a grown man within 15 minutes and yet I find myself fondling my phone at 4am with crusty eyes, scrolling the Instagram feed like all life mattered and eventually falling back asleep after the fiftieth cherry blossom pic. But during the day it’d kick in when I’m a least bit idle and then my eyelids get as heavy than the damn Pashli bag and I’m desperately asking twitter whether there’s anywhere to nap in the West end. (Quo Vadis on Dean Street, thank you Sophie.) I know I eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey every other day and I guess in essence that makes me chunkier than a ‘grown man’ but COME ON I CAN’T BE FALLING ASLEEP WHILE QUEUING FOR THE ATM.

We Are Handsome swimsuit (Robinson Pfeffer PR); ASOS white brogues

Kit of Style Slicker, my foxy travel companion

Photo stolen from Lake’s site buhehheh

Lake’s – My Lake Hotel & Spa in Wörthersee, Austria; Wearing sweater from Gmarket, Dress by Obakki (Robinson Pfeffer), Shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo, Belt stolen from Kit (from Mexx).

Not long after I’d arrived in London at the beginning of May I had to spill the Poland luggage onto my eerily foreign bedroom floor (almost alien after three months of absence) and compress the contents into an Austria.zip carry-on to set off for Wörthersee, Austria the next day. Fun fact: My life in Europe had actually started in Vienna, Austria before we moved to Poland. Fun fact #2: Vigorous clapping upon touchdown still exists on Ryanair flights. A waft of nostalgia hit the minute I stepped out of the plane, and all throughout the drive to the hotel I was delighting at the details outside the window that I’d been so familiar as a child: the wood chips on flowerbeds, the shape of the fences and roofs… 20 minutes later we (Kit & Natacha of Mango PR) arrived at Lake’s Hotel (My Lake Hotel & Spa) and my, what a spectacle. Snowcapped Alps enveloped the glassy lake, the trees on the bank dyed the water emerald… the view was simply revitalizing! Lake’s Fashion Days had just started a day earlier and the following few days were to be a mixture of fashion shows and lakeside entertainment – including a dip in the icy lake for those daredevils, which automatically excluded me, the lion of Oz. Stay tuned for part 2!

Thank you Natacha of Mango PR for taking care of us & Kit for the outfit photos x

House punch, Pea soup, beef chop with mushrooms and beetroot side; Meringue dessert

Red – Mum’s Simple, Pants – Zara, Shoes – Salvatore Ferragamo (via ebay), Bracelets – Courtesy of Kelly Mellu, Bag – Lithuanian Market

Let’s skip the beating-around-the-bush thing I normally do in this blurb and get straight to the point, I love this place and would gladly get on a plane for a lunch here. The Gesseler brothers’ U Kucharzy (At the Cooks’) restaurant in Warsaw is perhaps my favourite in town, although yes, I don’t qualify to say things like ‘best in town‘ because the loser that I am don’t actually know all the things in town… But get this, at lunchtime during weekdays a traditional Polish three-course meal is £5, everyday a different menu. There’s an open kitchen, the atmosphere is wartime cafe-esque, and the waiter serves you at your own table from the food trolly. The house punch tastes like fruit from the tree growing in the back yard, and the staff are wonderful with a cherry on top. There’s an equally amazing London branch just around the corner from South Kensington, my little Poland corner when I miss Warsaw.

Gessler ‘U Kucharzy’ Warsaw Ossolińskich 7, Warsaw

Gessler at Daquise London 20 Thurloe Street, South Kensington, London SW7 2LT

Wool Coat – Mum’s, Dress – Vintage, Shoes – Salvatore Ferragamo (via ebay), Leather top – Vintage Topshop, Bag – Candybag courtesy of Furla; Thank you Flora for the photos!

When I was young I wished I could sprinkle gummy-bears in my cereal, in my mind it would taste like… well, gummy-bears with milk – I’d say ‘the rainbow’ but I was also born with the sarcasm bone lodged snug in my brain. That bone only warrants me to smirk, but with me that’s the equivalent of bursting out in a Disney song in the street. At the sight of Furla’s Candy bags from SS11 I smirked, and the inner child in me did the whole discography of Disney. I think I will actually pour milk in the bag and drink out of it. Isn’t that a perfect ‘bread soup bowl’ logic or what.

So welcome to the garden party! Well, not strictly garden, but I promise there will be a party. I’ve got SIX Candybags (colour of your choice) to give out, isn’t Furla amazing, and here’s all you need to do: Follow me….

 

…. to a dark alley and see what I need from your wallet.
No.

That’s all. And please, don’t be super clever and leave multiple comments under different names, the web wasn’t born yesterday, there’s a simple way of knowing :)

Two bags will be given away to London & UK participants. Winners will be announced at the London Furla collection launch event in mid-April, to which everyone is invited (the party! 20% off, ‘spiked’ lemonade and DJs).

Four bags for the rest of the world!

Deadline for participating is 10th April 2011, 23:59 GMT

Here’s the voluntary somersault bit. Obviously Furla has so generously given six bags to be handed out, so it would be nice, out of respect but not requirement, to show support by liking their Facebook page.

I’m shamelessly attaching my own Facebook page and Twitter too, for the hours and hours I will dedicate in managing this giveaway just for the love for my readers.