Leather knot bracelet – COS. Watch – Sekonda. Wallet – Stella McCartney Falabella wristlet (c/o Harrod’s)

Studded boots – Chloé Susan (c/o Net-A-Porter). Shoes – ASOS

Coat – Mango. Jeans – James Jeans. Cashmere sweater- Uniqlo. Shoes – ASOS. Bag – Kurt Geiger Rhubarb rock. Snood – DIY Knitted. Silver necklace – Gift from mummy (Korea)

Sometimes I forget that my ‘normal’ friends have no idea I’ve been blogging for the past four years, and by blogging I mean scrambling around in a hamster-wheel charging for the vague unknown, and generally being occupied full-ish time doing so. I didn’t plan on letting this define my life, and if I still have a say, I’d like it not to, but I’m slowly starting to realise that I’ve subscribed to a very particular brand of lifestyle brought on by this business of web logging. It all became clear, really, when Carrie and I went to Paris for a night (yes, girl-on-girl details if you come back after midnight, you know it) for a small project with YSL Beauté, and all throughout I had this odd sense of comfort. The type of comfort that comes with the fact that I can hand her my camera and then pose as if the camera isn’t there, or the fact that we’ve mentally agreed on meeting at my room in twenty minutes, fully dressed and ready for some outfit shots. She will know exactly why we’re going out on a five-mile walk in 4-inch heels with a pair of foldable flats in our bags, and why I insist on hovering over our rapidly-cooling crêpes that we waited half a frozen hour to get our hands on for the sake of a photo (which, as you can see, didn’t even make the cut). Is this all getting a bit weird? Are we perhaps editing ‘the moment’ and never enjoying it as is? With that said, I had a swell time with Carrie and the YSL Beauté team, and Paris is even more stunning in the autumn.

Truely majestic hospitality: Plaza Athénée, Paris

Bag by Marc Jacobs

Necklace, DanniJo

Dior Institut au Plaza Athéné

The Courtyard

Dinner at the chef’s table at the Alain Ducasse restaurant

Head chef, Christophe Saintagne

Neoprene Jacket, H&M Trend. Knitted pleat-dress, Maska. Stone-Stud heels, Zara.

Breakfast!

Thank you to TCS and Hermes for the lovely trip.

As I’m typing this my husband and I are sitting side by side at our white £39 IKEA desk, with our favourite lamp lit dimly behind us – favourite because it has an energy-saving lightbulb that is kind to the monthly bill, and the fact that it takes about 3 gazillion years for it to get to maximum brightness so at least in the meantime it sets a moody light while we randomly slot a few bites of our swirly-pasta dinner between our online game/Sex & the City marathon (him/me). I’m also editing these photos, and realizing what a world apart it is – so much that it seems that the photos don’t entirely seem mine. These shots are from a night at the Plaza Athénée during the Hermes trip in Paris – might be familiar to some as the hotel that Carrie and her Russian ‘luvv-er‘ Aleksandr Petrovski stay at in the last two episode of the SATC series. The five-star Plaza Athénée defines hospitality, where the attention is so subtle yet omnipresent it almost feels natural to be catered to such level of service, it’s like they think ahead what might be comfortable before you even have to ask. (Although, they didn’t appear at the door at 3am with a pizza and marshmallows, but I suppose one can’t expect too much) Also, I found a total of five closets in the room, and while I had only brought a dress, another pair of shoes and pjs I separated them into the closets  just so I had a reason to use them all.  Dinner at the three-star Michelin restaurant by Alain Ducasse leaves you speechless, simply for the fact that you’re busy devouring seven courses that roll in seamlessly, and if you’re with good company consider yourself sitting for the rest of the night… in fact we departed the table well past midnight! The Dior institut is like an underground extension of the couture house from across the road on Avenue Montaigne, except, couture in Beauty. See what I mean by world apart? These rare hotel treats spoil me rotten (last one at Hotel de Crillon Paris courtesy of Dior), but thankfully I’m usually back home in my Dalston warehouse-conversion flat before I even have a chance to say ‘boy, I can get used to this’. And at least I’m left with beautiful places to share with you all.

AW12 Paco Rabanne at Totem PR Paris

The Paco Rabanne Office

When it comes to fashion history I can just about recognise the decades thanks to Disney princesses (gets a little fuzzy when it comes to Mary Poppins though) (Does she even count as a princess? I always thought she’s more of a witch…) so I’d like to apologize first if you’ve spent a week in a dusty library memorizing the influence of Alberto Giacometti in the work of Schiaparelli for your fashion exam. I say this because I had no idea who Paco Rabanne was, even when I was buzzing up to the showroom in Paris I was in the dark as I hadn’t had a chance to look anything up. Mind, this is highly irregular, for someone who even looks up her postman in Google. This is also irregular, for someone who owns MANY bags of jumprings and pliers.

Paco Rabanne, simply put, is the father of unwearable, fantastic, otherworldly garment concepts. Think dresses pieced together with metal chips, paper, plastics, rubber. Think early 60’s, the novelty of the decade is tie-dye and shorter skirt lengths – the architect turned designer produces dresses out of metal sequins so that the light catches the texture brilliantly on black & white TV. If your dress breaks, the tools you have in your bag can also fix your drainpipe. After years of hiatus in the design front, the brand is designing again with Manish Arora leading the creative. I’m loving how he’s managed to take all that history and character and translate it into such a sleek wearable collection. Chainmail and fuzzy knits, so Joan of Arc.

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A big thank you to the Paco Rabanne team for the warm welcome, and Ykone for the organization.

Hermes Atelier Sacs

Rue de Sevres

Thank you TCS for the organization and the lovely people at Hermès for the warm welcome & tour. 

In school I had a friend who could draw a straight line without the help of a ruler – we called her a witch back then – mind, this was few years before the revelation of Harry Potter wherein witches carry ruler-like things called wands that might’ve made the name unsuitable. She also knew how to fold origami swans with a blade-sharp edge and tear pages out of her notebook without ripping out that bit at the end. We were always in awe – especially me (derpina) with a wad of ‘swan’ that looked like it was chewed on – because none of it was brain surgery and everyone technically knew how to fold a sailing boat by the 5th grade. Being in the Hermès Atelier Sacs reminded me of her, and I do realise this connection is somewhat far-fetched but as we entered the ateliers I was fully expecting to be told off for photographing certain things that might be classified as ‘brand secrets’. But get this, we were free to roam around –  they even explained the details in the techniques and process of creating a Birkin (average 48hours production time!) although I must confess, in most part I was sneaking around in the far corner where the Constance bags were being made and heard only about half the tour (so professional).

That got me thinking, and this is where my witch friend comes in – by now everyone in the leather industry knows how to technically make a bag, but Hermès clearly proves that it takes the talented, adept hands of artisans and a brand ethos that embraces quality to make a great bag. Granted, a bag that costs a lot of months in a London flat and throw in a few kebabs while we’re calculating, but now I’m convinced it really is worth it. The ‘secret’ of Hermès, is not in a mystery beeswax or a particular stitching machine, but the magic of attention and care by skilled hands, not to mention the history of the brand’s relationship with leather. It’s undeniably a perfect strategy on Hermès‘ part to highlight – not hide – this craftmanship aspect and invite certain people to experience what might be considered as secret lair to other brands that like to keep everything under lock and key. Who knows, perhaps in the future I’ll be able to fill a few thousand piggy-banks and grow a patience-bone for the waiting list, then finally get a bag that might be handed down generations until a great-great-great-great-granddaughter accidentally leaves it in a space shuttle on her way to Mars.

Celebrating their 175th year and the brand’s unique relationship with leather, Hermes will be opening a public exhibition on the 8th May (~27th May) at 6 Burlington Gardens where some of the artisans will be present making bags. I’m so in, are you?

Jacket – H&M, Dress – ASOS, Shoes – Zara, Bag – c/o0 Chanel

I promise I will one day sit down and tell you what exactly I do for a living, I’ll even tell you how much I fail at taxes, but for now I’m just going to put it out there that I don’t professionally loiter in different cities for the sake of this blog. The life that fills the gaps between are just so uneventful… yeah, you don’t want to know. Right now I’m off to do a whole lot of Disneylanding courtesy of Vienna International, so I leave you with a few snaps from last night when we were taken into Paris and treated with a dinner at Lido cabaret (i.e a whole lot of jiggling boobies) (more than amusing after a few glasses of bubbly) and then a night-drive around the city. I must say this a gababillian times, but every.single.time I fall in love with Paris afresh.