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 my dad’s voice. Then I gave my apple-scented e-cigarette a long drag and tottered around patting my beer belly. You see, my dad’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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Area rug – Ugg Australia. Top – Zara. Jeans – Topshop

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You know me: the perpetual homebody, king of pillow fort, dungeon dweller… I’d choose spending ten days socializing with my (half-wilting) cacti over one potential great night out in civilization, and I find eating a mysterious something scraped out of the far end of a freezer drawer equally rewarding as finding a hot-spot in town. I love being home – that’s the simple truth. It was what shaped a career into webdesign, and later, blogging – because it was all homework and as long as I had three-legged friends and some Skype credit, it was party 24/7.

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Loungewear bottoms – Ugg Australia

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Loungewear bottoms & sheepskin slippers – Ugg Australia

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I had fallen in love with this London flat on the first viewing with the estate agent, and despite the concrete floors/absolutely no storage space to speak of, I decided I wanted it before he even had a chance to bring up the occasional mouse problem. I then told him heck, cacti AND mice*, I’m going to be some kind of a socialite here and took the flat. For the ensuing four years it was a mission in homemaking, warming up the cold, grey floors with woolly, sheepskin bits – mostly from the Home department of UGG Australia (there goes my best-kept interiors secret) – and adding life to the walls by way of books and DVD, sorted by colour (which BTW makes no logical sense). Looking back it was really this gentle accumulation of things that made a clothing factory-conversion loft, a home.

Plaid melange pillow cover, sheepskin rug and knit pillow (opposite) – Ugg Australia

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It was with this realization that I decided to partner up with UGG Australia in sharing the warmest corners of my loft, and also some physical evidence as to how naps can genuinely be accidental (and totally avoidable – just play ‘floor is lava’ with the sheepskin-covered areas). For example, that grey rug happens to be my little Bermuda triangle, because apparently once you hit the sheepskin sack, you never go back (close cousin to once you snack, you never go back).

In collaboration with Ugg Australia. Photography: Mr Tripod & help from Koo
*ONE tiny mouse in the whole of four years, which basically rounds down to no mouse.

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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A cynic’s winter tale
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When it comes to the holidays I have a painfully pragmatic, almost sarcastic approach to things – this my agent Abi, AKA Captain Christmas, can attest to. Hubby and I don’t decorate the flat, usually until D-3, when we cave and decide to use the overgrown Aloe Vera plant as an evergreen substitute, on which we string up stale Ferro Rochers dug out from the pantry. (Half of which disappear mysteriously during the night, I may start believing in Santa after all.) (Why they are stale is also a good question.)

This year however, December started with a series of accidental celebration: a spare hour between meetings that was burned shuffling around the Somerset House skating rink, a sprinkle of marshmallows in my morning coffee which has now triggered a daily ritual (in my defence, they were calling my name), and decking the flat with winter flowers because nothing else was available at the flower market. By the end of week 1 I was shopping for wreaths, and as we draw near the end of week 2 I am now contemplating changing my voicemail recording to the tune of Little Drummer Boy and request that anyone wishing to leave a message needs to follow up with the second verse. (Maybe that’ll stop people from using the darned voicemail, once and for all. It’s actually a good tactic.)

All jewellery – Cartier ‘Juste un Clou

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I jest. But there undoubtedly is a new-fangled (or at least re-fangled) buzz in the air, a sort of anticipation but perhaps also the joy of keeping oneself busy while the temperature drops and the days get darker by day. I decided to collaborate with Cartier again, to celebrate my accidental celebration, and also continue the story of their 2014 holiday campaign. I’ve always wanted to shoot the Juste un Clou range, and a bit of sparkle never hurt no cynic, last time I checked. And now, should a few leopard cubs knock down a few Cartier boxes from the clouds, it wouldn’t be met with a contemptuous meh, but at least a slightly better-decorated Aloe Vera tree and twelve, not nine, empty marshmallow bags in the trashcan.

Cape, blouse – Zara. Jeans – DL1961. Bag – Marni. All jewellery – Cartier

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Turtleneck – Zara (similar). Skirt – Mango (similar). Earmuffs – Karl Donohughe via Harvey Nichols. Jewellery – Cartier

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As usual, the topic returns to things that fall from the sky. Although, surely no fist is to be shaken to the clouds should it rain Cartier? Lemme think about it. No. No fist.

Stay tuned for Part Two, the morning of. In the meantime, I want to hear what colour your panties holiday decorations consist of.

In collaboation with Cartier. Art Direction – Park & Cube. Photography – KrisAtomic.

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Double,
triple life
Versatility, apparently, is a superpower

Every six months my parents ask me via Whatsapp, “so… what exactly is it that you do now?” And every six months, I struggle to explain what exactly it is that I do now. If they asked this morning, I would add ‘5-minute spaghetti chef’ to the list, alongside photographer, web designer and blogger, and my mother would show me the true spelling of ‘tsk tsk’. (It’s true, I am this close to a Michelin star tyre) There is no doubt that I do lead a bit of a double life, if not triple – just like any ambitious (read: charged with the crazies) individual today. Plus, it comes with the territory when working in the visual industry.

For this reason I don’t have a uniform, there is no one cape that I can wear to all three jobs, unless stained Pyjamas count (thank the heavens for Skype conference calls). Truth is, I rely heavily on versatile, multi-purpose pieces that can minimize the stress of having to face an important client in the morning and then go on a physically demanding photoshoot in the afternoon. On this collaboration with Fay, I thought I’d show you exactly how I live this double, triple life quite comfortably with just one coat called Virginia.*

Don’t forget to check the Double Life feature over at Fay.com with the full scope of the campaign and rest of the Double Life babez.

In collaboration with Fay. Photography – Krisatomic;

Coat – Fay ‘Virginia’.

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I start the morning with a meeting with a client over coffee and breakfast pastries to discuss her branding and a new website. I’ve done up the clasps of the Fay coat up to my neck and belted it at the waist for a more formal look, although by the third pain au chocolat I regret this decision. I do love that it gives an overall military (think cavalry…) vibe, but with a slight feminine twist with the stilettos and red lips.

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I work from a home studio/office so it’s always a big deal when I’m out in town, so I always try to make the most of it by scheduling in at least one visit to an exhibition or gallery. Today I’m gatecrashing at the Dorothy Mead exhibit at Waterhouse & Dodd.
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Back to the office where I swap my 5-inch-heel horse and into more comfortable gear. We’re shooting in the studio today so I’ve slipped on a skirt and a pair of yoga shorts underneath. (No one is seeing my uterus today…) The Fay coat is perfect to throw on for the coffee run, finished off with an oversized scarf.

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Coat – Fay ‘Virginia’. Top – ASOS. Skirt – Carven (via Harvey Nichols). Bag – Saint Laurent. Boots – Stuart Weitzman. Scarf – ZARA

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Is it just me, or late lunch always tastes better? Oh wait, that’s the hunger speaking. Despite the three pain au chocolats and a plate of eggs from this morning of course. Aubaine’s Poulet Paillard is my go-to hunger buster.
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Coat – Fay ‘Virginia’. Top – ASOS. Bag – Hipsters for Sisters. Skirt – Alexandra Grecco. Sneakers – Isabel Marant.
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Given how dark it gets these days, my happy hour is winding down somewhere bright and cheery, so I ask a friend out to meet at the Wallace Collection – one of my favourite places in London – before heading to dinner. It’s been a long day so I pull out something fun and comfortable to wear under the Fay coat, like this puffy tulle skirt and white sneakers. AND A FANNYPACK. I swear it sounded better in my mind…

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* I don’t really change three times a day (unless I spill curry twice a day, which has happened in the past, mind.), this is simply to illustrate the multiple scenarios of styling a coat.
** Apologies if my third-grader handwriting offended anyone’s eyeballs this morning. I blame the rise of the machines…