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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.

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Floral print-cami – Topshop. Sunglasses – Celine. Flower garland – Topshop

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Hat + Dress - Topshop

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Top – Topshop, Skirt – Kenzo. Clutch – Kurt Geiger

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Look 1 (Crop-top): Linen crop-tee, Coulottes – Topshop. Rope belt – DIY. Bracelet – Saught.
Look 2 (Floral patchwork Dress):   Dress, straw boater hat – Topshop. Bag – Bottega Veneta. Heels – Zara.
Look 3 (Maxi-skirt):  Printed strappy-cami – Topshop. Basket-weave skirt, Tiger bracelet – c/o Kenzo. Clutch - Kurt Geiger. Loafers – Hudson. Leather bracelet – COS

The classic British Summer is here – hot, muggy, air-just-shy-of-armpit-consistency, one cloud away from November degrees. I’m not complaining though, at least not on Thursdays and Fridays. See, I’m trying out a new career path where I now professionally complain part-time and the rest of the week I focus on freelance weather forecasting, because apparently in this country you don’t need a particular degree to read the weather. Here’s the secret: a rusty slot machine at the BBC does the job for you – the reels groan a bit and a series of icons forecast the weather. Today I played with a few pieces from the new Topshop Reclaim to Wear collection, in which disregarded prints from the previous seasons got upcycled into airy, summery pieces. The slots pooped out a perfect weather for this: Fog – Cloud- Sun, 28 degrees, humidity 2,000%; there also may or may not have been a Tsunami looming but unsure as the icon for it is a Bucket of Water. They’ve been using the machine since the 70’s after every single barometer/thermometer in the country quit and left for Spain. I’ll leave for Spain sooner or later, I predict.

Thank you Charlie for helping with the shots! 

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Lancôme x Alber Elbaz

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Fashionary x Swash journal

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Colour palette – Pink

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HypnôseHypnôse StarHypnôse Doll Eyes

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Lancome x Alber Elbaz mono palette

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Turtleneck crop-top – American Apparel. Flared skirt – Zara (similar). Shoes – DIY satin ribbon on Whistles with help from Kit. Lip bag – DVF (similar in gold). Encrusted chain bracelet – Topshop. Tiger bracelet – Kenzo (similar in Silver). Mock-pearl earring – Topshop

We all know it doesn’t take very much to excite the hamster inside my head, but pretty packaging is definitely one of those things. That and pizza. Sometimes one thing comes in another (i.e funky Domino’s pizzabox design) and that’s when it gets wild up there. There’s a chest under my stairs full to the brim with old food packaging, jewellery boxes and gift wraps – yess, I’m one of those annoying people that take forever opening presents because hello, the paper needs to be archived and stored. Is this also considered hoarding? My significant other routinely brings home fifteen cans of tuna ‘because honey, they were on sale‘ and yes if zombies take over then we’d survive for about three days on tuna and peanuts, but I’m not sure what my stash of beautiful packaging would benefit us other than to paper-cut myself to death refusing to eat another tuna can. Sometimes I go full Sheldon Cooper on the packaging – especially for beauty products – and keep the products too in mint-condition, which was my intent for these beauties from the Lancôme x Alber Elbaz collaboration before this damn blog thing said no.

No, I had so much fun shooting this – all loosely inspired by the Lancôme Hypnôse video, where Alber Elbaz puts on a show dressing four iconic Lancôme mascaras. I fell right in love with the illustrations of the ultra-chic frow with heels + bows, and while I did manage to mimic the bows with an impromptu DIY, the ‘chic’ was promptly crushed after being kicked out of the V&A for jumping in the Music Room. I kid, but I am wearing a wig, so there, #ChicToAbsolutelyNoLev.

Photos with help from the lovely Johanna Lees, Editing Park & Cube; Collaborative post with Lancôme.

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‘Come at me, bro’

Sunglasses – Celine Audrey via Sunglasses Shop

Comfortably getting into more punching-fights over the last ham baguette sandwich at Pret because now I have these Celine sunglasses to cover up possible black eye. Round, oversized beauties, that provide instant Audrey-like lady-factor, especially to those who’ve chosen meat sandwich over manners. (Celine Audrey via Sunglasses Shop)

 

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Tile of my loins

Clockwise: Bag – Zac Posen Americana. Watch – Casio. Friendship bracelets – DIY & Lucy Folk. Necklace – Noemi Klein. Sunglasses – Celine Audrey. Bracelet – MyFlashTrash. Nail Polish – Chanel. Skirt – Claudie Pierlot. Lace shirt – MotelRocks. Heels – Alexander Wang. Mini perfume – Marc Jacobs Daisy

Picked up this beautiful, embroidered skirt at the Claudie Pierlot pre-sale over the weekend, the pattern is what I hope my kitchen tiles would look like when we buy a house. I’d happily be a full-time sandwich-maker and better wife if that’s ever case. Speaking of Claudie Pierlot – is it weird that I’ve only recently discovered that they actually have stores in the UK? Here I thought it was to be one of those French treasures (Ladurée being one) limited only to those living in France… The store on South Molton st is packed with goodies, and a little bird tells me the UK sales start on the 12th!

 

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Arden, the illegitimate

Heels – Kurt Geiger

I’m always suspicious of my toys coming to life the minute I leave the room, but it looks like my chairs do it too. My two neon chairs had a child and they called her Arden – those two must have some fiercerelationship because that kid is feisty.

 

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Optical Prime

Preferred eye-makeup for those days when I transform from WTF to OK and remember to draw some eyebrows: Skinny liquid eyeliner (feels like graffiti on your eyelids with a felt-tip pen) and Brow Gel by Eyeko, and Golden Aura eye palette by Topshop.

 

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Hey Missy, you so fine..

Mini Missy – Neri Karra

…you so fine you blow my mind, hey Missy! I met the ever delightful Neri for coffee and cakes at the Rose Bakery at the top of Dover Street Market the other week, and after we’d dusted down carrot cake from our chins she slid a small box over that held this little baby inside. I made this noise similar to a car brake and now I can’t go back to that cafe.

 

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If I were a boy

Skull necklace – Maria Nilsdotter. Bar necklace – Kirsten Goss Urban Edge. Watch – Casio Sheen. Leather laptop case – Scotch & Soda.

If I were a boy, I’d put Jennifer Lawrence as my phone wallpaper and not get weird stares from strangers. My affinity for silver accessories/jewellery is growing with each time I steal something out of my husband’s wardrobe. You got to agree, an oversized shirt and nothing on your wrist but a solid silver watch sounds pretty liberating when you’re on your period and everything is simply arduous.

 

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Souk style

Flats – Reiss

Gazing at Kit’s Morocco visual diary and realizing this is as close to a non-IKEA carpet I will ever walk on this year.

 

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Iconia A1

Pouch – Kurt Geiger. Tablet – Acer Iconia A1

At just over 8 inches long, this little tablet by Acer seems to find its way into any otherwise inadequately sized handbag I own these days. I’m building quite a large collection of magazines – dust-free, naturally – via Play Magazines, and have downloaded my entire summer reading list into this 1cm-thick thing. Jamie Oliver teaches me how to cook meals under 20 minutes while I burn some water, and my bank app constantly reminds me how much money I don’t have. The device processor is quad-core, which apparently means it’s responsive and runs smoothly, but I love it most for its compact size and the fact that it is a digital Mary Poppins’ bag, in essence.

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The 2013 London Tweed Run

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Photo by Yu Fujiwara of Tokyobike

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Time for tea!

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Tweed blazer - Vintage Gerry Weber, Skirt – ASOS. Floral shirt – Zara. Shoes – Topshop. Bag – Warehouse. Bike – Tokyobike. Thank you Kit for the shots of moi!

One does not simply partake in the Tweed Run among 499 others and not come home with 49,999 photos of tweeded butts, as Boromir might say.

We spilled out into the streets, ushered by the marshals – in no particular order but close enough to each other to hold hands. Mobile boomboxes in bike baskets sang the 50’s, conversations budded up here and there while turning corners. Girls rode in heels, hands-free for some boys, and we bloggers cycled with our elbows while trying to capture every moment… At times it felt like learning to cycle all over again – half scooting, half balancing with momentum – except here when you topple over sideways you take about twenty people down with you. Every single head turned on the streets, traffic stopped, and windows opened in cheer – how exhilarating! So this is what it feels like to be a politician, or blonde. We rode through Marylebone, Oxford Circus, Saville Row, Piccadilly, Whitehall, Westminster… all the postcards of London, then ended up in Lincoln’s Inn Fields just behind Holborn for afternoon tea; then up to King’s Cross to finish the day at a pub, at which point England did what England does best and rained on a parade. Only literally, though.

Many thanks to Tokyobike once again for this wonderful experience! Check out part 1 for more tweed, less buttz.