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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…

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Hunter Regent Street 83 – 85 Regent Street, W1B 4EW

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Rubberized trench-coat by Hunter. Sweater – COS (similar). Trousers – Zara (similar).

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Wearing: Rubberized trench-coat by Hunter. Sweater – COS (similar). Trousers – Zara (similar). Sneakers – Isabel Marant ‘Bart’

One of the few things that London teaches a newcomer is the staggering power of WEATHER as a conversation topic – no matter how awkward your new uni friends are, or how deep an armpit you’ve already found yourself lodged in on the Tube, mention the magical words of ‘It’s horribly grim out there’ and watch friendship blossom. Even with armpit dude. London is notorious for being the butt of all international weather jokes (snow – don’t get me started on that one), famous for raining on parades, and for a long time I assumed the slanted strokes of the Union Jack flag symbolized the typical angle the rain pours in this city. You know, like how the Uruguayan flag carries a smiley-face sun (it makes ALL the sense). And no umbrella is built for sideways rain – not even the ugly, functional ones – so you get wet in all the wrong places… then make friends with strangers. The truth is, the weather on this island is exactly where the cheeky, self-deprecating British humour stems from, the very reason why the new Hunter flagship on Regent Street resembles a barn, and why a flash mob alighted a number 88 bus and ritualized the opening wearing neon-trimmed ski-hats and rubberised trench coats, serving backflips to Singin’ in the Rain remixes. I mean, the store elevator is lined with grass! Rainwear is given a Hunter ‘do, championed by the steely-eyed new Creative Director Allaisdhair Willis, designed to be worn not just to take cover from the elements, but to anticipate with a tune whistled. If you’re into shaking fists to the sky here in London, you might as well make it a dance move and enjoy it.

This reminds me, I just counted the number of umbrellas in my doorway and they add up to a grand total of nine. But do I stick my head out the window before leaving? I do not, because I am a badass Londoner and can fight the rain with my bare fists.

In collaboration with Hunter; outfit photos with the help of my lovely Sarah.

Bag – Marni. Perfume – Jersey by Chanel. Key clip - Whistles x Moxham. Coin pouch – gift from mum.

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Coat – Charlie May. Cashmere sweater – Uniqlo. Trousers – Zara. Heels - Gianvito Rossi. Bag – Marni. Earrings – Dior. Watch – Larsson & Jennings.  Necklaces – Monica Vinader.

Numbered are the days I will be able to rely on the blinding morning sunlight as a slap on the face and get out of bed like a normal human being. Cue what I call the spinning beachball of death syndrome, wherein I try to convince myself, way past the 14th snooze, that life does exist outside the micro-climate that is under my duvet. The clocks went back over the weekend and we had one of the most beautiful Sundays I’d seen in a while. I hit the flower market, prepared it’d be my last this year, and bought a bunch of dahlia’s for a tenner. By the afternoon I had managed to cross town to the V&A, wilting flowers in tow, which only confirmed the power of weather-influenced stamina, one that we were about to be deprived of, shortly.

Alas, the season of overpriced eggs benedict breakfasts ‘at that hipster place’ for the sake of a sunny morning is coming to an end. That, and a run around the block at random times in the day (because the weather is nice), which ultimately does nothing, really, for your diet. Try running on a morning that looks like stupid-o’clock in mid-November, then you can put ‘jogger’ back on your Facebook profile. My personal challenge is getting up at 7am this quarter, and limiting longing looks towards the bed down to one hour. What’s yours?

Photos with Mr. Tripod

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Welcome to Mayfair, Bally!

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Jacket & Bag – Bally. Sweater – Uniqlo. Trousers – Zara. Shoes – Acne Jensen boots

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Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery

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Hedonism Wines

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Annabel’s chocolate cake, at Mount Street Deli

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Mount Street Deli

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Jacket & Bag – Bally. Extrafine Merino knitwear – Uniqlo. Trousers – Zara (similar). Shoes – Acne Jensen boots

Oh Mayfair. Home to old-school London opulence and playground to hedge fund boys; and reportedly – the scene to Prince Philip’s stag night, way back when. Dusty terracotta-orange bricks punctuate the neighbourhood, Victorian filigree curling around the frames. And the occasional Lamborghini, parked like boys’ bicycles on the curbs. Soon to add to the flags of the not-so-commonwealth along New Bond Street is Swiss brand Bally who, those of who will remember, my sister from another mister (in my dreams) – tucked in a corner at number 45, designed by none other than David Chipperfield Architects (of Hotel Cafe Royal, Valentino NY flagship…) In the lead-up to the store launch I worked with Bally on leading a new video series named #BallyMayfairWelcome, essentially doing what new neighbours do and knock on doors of their Mayfair neighbours, pie in hand. Of course, in some cases we ate the pies… Annabel’s chocolate cake at Mount Street Deli will change your life (TEAM CHOCOLATE) – you heard it here first. The videos are being released in the Bally blog, but do keep an eye out on their Twitter and Instagram as from the sneak peeks I’ve been seeing so far it looks a right stunner. Think leather shoe boxes lining the walls, mid-century furniture and stone stairwells…

I’m coming to realize that I never managed to share this news here, but I’ve been consulting for and managing the Bally social media accounts since July. (The amount of times I very nearly tweeted chocolate cravings and in-bus rages from that account… heart palpitations.) Do come by and say hi soon!

Many thanks to Laetitia (another sister from another mister) for helping with the photos of me. In Collaboration with Bally.