Along Came Polly.

Lover tux jacket (love this one by Stella McCartney), Zara linen t-shirt (I’m buying this one next), & Other Stories cropped satin trousers, Charlotte Olympia ‘Polly’ pumps.

I won’t lie. An hour in these shoes and my feet become paralysed (not even kidding) for the next five days. They are hellishly high but, in true Charlotte Olympia style, the higher the heel, the better you feel – and the closer to heaven you are. Or so the saying goes, anyway.

Cinque Terre Photo Diary.

Arriving into Manarola from Lake Garda was, in the metaphorical and literal sense, quite the sea change. Cinque Terre is breathtaking as it is shabby with all of its perfect imperfections that captivated us from the moment we caught a glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea from the edge of Cinque Terre’s vertigo-inducing cliffs. 

We wasted no time in seizing the rugged landscape and all of its charms, catching the boat here and there and exploring all the unique offerings each town seduced its visitors with. We bought pizza with spare change and filled our bellies with sciacchetrà; then worked it off by scaling some of the prettiest and steepest paths that loomed dauntingly before us.

Each morning, we watched the world languidly go by from the balcony of our apartment accompanied by a breakfast basket that was brought up to our room at quarter to eight – and always on the dot. It’s the Cinque Terre way. And the Way of Love, after all.

Like a Chameleon.

Just checking in briefly to apologise for my lapse in travel diaries this week (my offline life kinda got in the way over the past few days – the diaries will return by the weekend though!) but – more importantly – to admit that I wasn’t that busy to miss My Chameleon’s 30% off everything sale.

Like every other Francophile worth her weight in A.P.C. candles, I’ve been after Porselli ballet flats for the longest time, fuelled by my trip to Paris last month where I could not find a Porselli flat in my size (I swear there are more size 39 girls in this world than any other).

With the 30% off, the ballet flats ended up being cheaper than Paris and Milan. So, after racing over to MC this morning I ended up adding to my cart a couple of pairs in gunmetal and bone (my first picks – bronze, black, white and nude were sadly sold out in my size. Why do bad things happen to good people?).

Oh, and I also bought this Apiece Apart skirt for work, after discovering recently how impossible it is to find a flattering and tasteful pencil skirt (preferably with an asymmetrical button-front) with a slit that falls just below the knee. Wasn’t too much to ask, right?

If it’s the Porselli flats you’re after though, I suggest you run, not walk. In shoes that are most likely nowhere near as comfortable (not that you need any further excuse or justification).

Oh, and the promo code you’ll need to apply is MCBLACK30.

You’re welcome.

London Photo Diary.

I’ll put it out there: I found it difficult to love London. Like, even.

Maybe it was the fact that I had just come from Paris; the claustrophobia synonymous with the Tube; the well-documented melancholy and dreariness; the dreadful coffee; or perhaps that sour taste in my mouth from the overly inflated prices that sucked the fun and charisma out of our short time there.

That said, the thrill of being in a place I’ve never been before, discovering winding paths I’ve never tread, and seeing things I’ve only ever caught a glimpse of in a magazine enabled us to enjoy all that London had to offer us.

We were even treated to a blue sky afternoon on our last day in the city which timed perfectly with our sightseeing plans on the River Thames and cruising past my favourite landmark in London – Tower Bridge.

From our base in Paddington, we also explored pastel-hued Notting Hill and the Portobello Road Markets (a pitstop at Hummingbird Bakery is a must). Lazily meandering our way along the boutique-lined Westbourne Grove after tucking into breakfast at Granger & Co. proved to be my favourite way to escape the madness of Oxford Circus.

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Hair Topshelf.

Inspired by my new haircut, I thought I’d pull together a hair topshelf of all the products I’ve been reaching for lately.

My skin and hair took a battering whilst I was on holiday, presumably from moving from city to city every few days and acclimatising to different apartments and climates more often than usual.

I came home to find my hair perpetually straw-like, ends frazzled and in dire need of a few inches lopped off. With the latter ceremoniously and therapeutically carried out yesterday, I’ll be relying on the following products to whip my hair back into shiny shape:

1. Aesop Rose Hair & Scalp Moisturising Masque. I apply this deep-conditioning treatment once or twice a week to supplement the Classic Conditioner which I also use during the week. I’ve been using this for only 2-3 weeks so no significant improvement in the texture of my hair just yet but, admittedly, I love this masque more for its soothing rose petal and lavender scent!

2. Moroccan Oil. I run a couple of drops through the lengths and ends of my hair as soon as I get out of the shower. It leaves my hair (which I leave to naturally dry almost always) feeling really hydrated.

3. Klorane Dry Shampoo. The one hair essential I really can’t live without! I don’t have time to wash my hair every day so this comes in handy after the gym or on those in-between days. I buy a full-sized can for the bathroom shelf and a travel-sized one to take on the plane.

4. Bumble & Bumble Spray de Mode. To be honest, I rarely use hairspray as I don’t have the patience or the time to be your typical not-a-hair-out-of-place girl, but when I do need one for whatever reason, I reach for this one by B&B which I picked up at Sephora in the States.

5. Bumble & Bumble Brilliantine. For special occasions, usually. I love using it to add texture and shine to S-waves and large, barrel curls.

6. Schwarzkopf Osis+ Dust it mattifying powder. My favourite product in my hair kit! I use this during the day to add volume to my crown as well as texturise the front of my hair. It’s a tiny bottle with a large price tag but I’m still on my first bottle and I’ve been using it for roughly a year now.

Feels like summer.

Eska Alikai tissue-weight jersey top and lambskin slides, Lover blazer and printed silk shorts, Sportsgirl panama hat.

Hope you don’t mind me taking a break from the slight monotony of my travel diaries for the next two days!

With summer just eight sleeps away, I’ve been taking my new season clothes out for a spin and relishing the warm weather after being in Europe where it was snowing one minute and pouring with rain the next.

I am so smitten with my new Eska Alikai pieces – I’ve been wearing this top and leather slides non-stop this week, both of which have fit as seamlessly into my wardrobe as these Lover cheetah print silk shorts, which I finally bit the bullet on last weekend.

The only thing left to do now is a summer haircut, which I excitedly have planned tomorrow morning. I’m intending to go super short – above-the collarbones-and-chin-grazing short – so this is probably the last time you’ll see my hair touching my shoulders for quite some time! Can’t wait.

Venice Photo Diary.

Stealing glimpses of Venezia on the water taxi was kind of like looking at an Instagram of the City of Bridges with an Earlybird filter.

I didn’t see it coming at all, but this permanently terracotta-coloured city stole my heart in more magical ways than one; earning its title as the highlight of my Europe itinerary (big call, I know) and the most romantic place I have ever visited (yes, Paris comes second).

Our 24 hour whistle-stop visit meant we left no stone unturned, devouring as much Grom gelato as possible and filling in the gaps with vino, pizza, pasta, and fresh fruit from the street vendors.

We also stayed as far from San Marco Piazza as possible, rubbing shoulders with Venetians as they enjoy their evening digestif and taking in a quietude that is few and far between in this city that sees an average of 50,000 tourists a day.

Venice was all love and I left knowing I’ll never be the same again.

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Lake Garda Photo Diary.

I fell completely and perilously in love with Lake Garda even before we got off the bus that was bound for Malcesine.

After enduring the hour-long bus ride from Peschiera del Garda Stazione, we were rewarded over the next few days with breakfast views like these, a tiramisu that very nearly brought me to tears, the magnificence of Mt Baldo that was accompanied with sweeping views of the Italian Alps and the feeling that I really was standing on top of the world.

Copenhagen Photo Diary.

The first thing that hits you in the face – sometimes almost literally – is that there are more bicycles in this city than there are cars. Or so it seems, anyway.

It was that intimidating that we explored Copenhagen on foot instead to get a sense of the city. To be honest, I didn’t know how to ‘take’ Copenhagen at first. It was dirty, dreary, decrepit in certain places and a little shabby in others. My affinity for Scandinavia was suddenly thwarted by the proliferation of graffiti (no stone – or wall – is left unturned) and the absence of the same Scandinavian sensibility that I fell immediately in love with in Stockholm. 

We worked hard over the next few days to discover the ‘true’ Copenhagen; the Copenhagen that constantly appears on my tumblr dashboard with its all-white-everything and impossibly chic girls on pushbikes. I discovered that the true beauty of Copenhagen lies not in its Acne outlet in Nørrebro or our mind-blowing lunch at Noma (more on this later), but rather in its extensive network of rabbit warrens that gently persuades you that this city really is the happiest place on Earth.

Iceland.

I won’t even try to pretend that our trip to Iceland could be sufficiently summed up in as many as 20 images. In fact, it’s difficult to know where to start and where to end, due to the simple fact that Iceland blew me away on so many indescribable levels.

We began our holiday by thawing ourselves out in the Blue Lagoon (it’s conveniently on the way from Keflavík International Airport to Reykjavík) and from there, our four days in Iceland simply involved a series of roadtrips that took us out to the Golden Circle (Gullfoss Waterfall, the Geysir hot spring area and Thingvellir National Park).

It was bone-chillingly cold (0-6C each day) and it snowed – really snowed. Waking up to this and seeing the first snow for the season is the one thing that will stay with me forever. Other highlights included catching a glimpse of graceful Icelandic horses, a heart-stopping moment viewing explosive Geysirs erupting with boiling water up into the sky, and enjoying the best tasting tap water in the world.

I plan to write a separate post on my recommendations as to where to go, what to eat and what to do so for now I’ll leave you with some of my postcards from Reykjavík and southern Iceland. The crazy thing is, these pictures don’t even do this country and all of its magnificence justice. At all.

Jacaranda.

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My Sundays are typically quiet and solitary, and sometimes punctuated by a spot of shopping, an afternoon coffee with my best friend, or a little me-time at my favourite cafe with my usual soy chai as the sun sets out the window.

Today I went along to Wet Nose Day with my bestie and subsequently fell in love with a ginger cat, followed by lunch at Typika, and am now whittling away the afternoon on my own with an aforementioned soy chai overlooking my beautiful neighbourhood.

An easy-breezy afternoon calls for an easy-peasy outfit. Today I’m wearing silk cheetah print shorts by Lover, Tod’s spearmint leather loafers and my Celine bag which I promise was only on the ground for two seconds!

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Think Pink.

Trust me to find the candy pink coat of my dreams two weeks before summer.

In truth, I had been eyeing this saccharine Karen Walker number since it arrived at the beginning of winter; only waiting until it was discounted by 75% off this month (Myer, if anyone’s wondering) before snapping it up. I’ve never been one to wear something so brash and colourful but with the likes of Studio Nicholson tempting me with this particular outfit, I thought now was a good time as any.

Boss.

Country Road embroidered spotted tank and gold textured skirt, Tod’s spearmint leather loafers and Celine Trapeze bag.

When your favourite coffee haunt in all of Perth opens up a second cafe 100 metres from your house, you know you’re in trouble and/or in a deep, perpetual, caffeinated bliss. Contrary to popular belief, there’s a severe lack of good coffee in Mount Lawley (with the exception of perhaps Cantina) so the new addition of Bossman to the neighbourhood means I’m going to be paying these guys a visit alarmingly and unashamedly often.

Spy Style: How to dress like a Parisian.

Mondays are never fun but to help put a spring in your Francophile-esque step, head over to Vogue this morning for my latest SpyStyle post on how to dress like a Parisian.

A week of people watching in Paris last month paid its dues and I came back with a fervent desire to ride a bicycle around the block with a baguette in my basket – whilst looking the part in black cigarette trousers and Repetto ballerinas, of course.

Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I loved ‘researching’ for it!

Chambray.

The weekend heatwave meant this jacket didn’t stay on for very long, but I couldn’t wait until the mercury dropped to wear the chambray linen short suit that’s taken me a year and a half to find.

You make me blush.

Florist runs, third birthday parties and a coffee catch-up with my best friend are on the agenda this weekend – and one that I’m sorely wishing will go as slowly as possible.

These blush pink carnations are currently sprawled all over my entryway at the moment. The simplicity and scent of carnations won me over this week.

Rockstud.

Silk asymmetrical vintage dress, Hobes gold leopard leather boat shoes, Valentino clutch, Ray Ban Aviator sunglasses.

After meandering on foot through Europe – often for eight hours at a time – it was such a relief to come home and slip straight into these lovingly handmade shoes. And as soon as I did, I knew it was love. They are the kind of shoes that need no breaking in; and the kind that only get better with age. 

They also fit seamlessly into my transeasonal wardrobe, though I’m already predicting that I’ll be wearing them all summer long.

Silk & Leather.

This week has been all about taking up Pilates lessons and getting back into boxing training, detoxing (trying to resist a chilled bottle of this in my fridge is proving rather difficult though), writing out my summer wardrobe wishlist, and making a start on my travel photo diaries. Look out for my first one this weekend – Paris!

As for now, here’s a snippet of an upcoming weekend outfit post. For those who know me and have been reading my blog for quite a while, you’d know that I’m never not in a hotpotch of silk, leather, and sparkly details.

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Like Yesterday.

 

Lover Valentine lace crop top, Lover silk slouch shorts, Sambag ‘Mim’ navy leather sandals, Celine navy Trio and Sportsgirl panama hat.

There’s a first time for everything and, on this particular day, it was heading out in a crop top (never say never – but I always make an exception for Lover) and returning, for the first time, to the precise spot where I married the love of my life two and a half years ago.

That day felt like a lifetime ago but as soon as I walked up those steps, an amazing calm and giddiness came rushing back as if it only happened yesterday.

As a wedding took place around the corner on the Main Lawn, we spent the rest of the afternoon there musing what was one of the best days of our lives, and talking with such excitement about how we’ll spend the rest of our lives.

Cup Day.

Lover valentine lace, a gold leaf necklace piled on top of my head, and taking my Charlotte Olympias out on their maiden voyage, to this event for Melbourne Cup day today. A whole lot of fun in the sun.

Packing List: Post-Holiday

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As a follow-up to my packing post on Vogue’s SpyStyle, I thought I’d share a more detailed summary as to how the list unfolded, post-holiday.

Criss-crossing Europe meant I was packing for all sorts of different climates, destinations and activities. My main concern was packing sensibly for 0 degree temps in Iceland but appropriately for 25C days in Italy, whilst still being able to lug my suitcase up five flights of steep stairs to my airbnb apartment.

I mentioned this in my SpyStyle post – but I can’t tell you enough about how it truly helped me form the backbone of my packing list. I used French Vogue’s list of 10 wardrobe essentials as a starting point and it gave me a clear and concise direction for my own packing list. I didn’t follow it precisely (there are a couple of things on there I didn’t pack) but I loved that all the items on that list were things that could pair easily with any new holiday purchases I was to make during my trip. Easy! Or so I thought.

Anyway, I’ll start with a itemised list of what I packed for my four-week stint in Europe:

Shirts & T-shirts (6)

Country Road White button-down shirt

Zara two-tone chambray shirt

Saba striped top

Bassike striped top

Zara burgundy mariniere top

Sportsgirl crew-neck cotton t-shirts in white and grey.

Knits (4)

Country Road intarsia spot sweaters (two of them in different colourways), Phillip Lim leopard sleeve sweatshirt, Uniqlo taupe cashmere cardigan.

Bottoms (7)

J Brand black leather jeans

J Brand 811 blue skinny jeans

Scanlan & Theodore blue/grey acid jeans

Nobody Beau ripped boyfriend jeans

Scanlan & Theodore black relaxed trousers

ASOS cream chiffon pleated midi skirt

ASOS white cropped culottes

Dresses (1)

Lover ‘Wiccan’ black lace short dress 

Outerwear (3)

Dress Up navy trench coat, Zara navy military short coat, blush-coloured feathered marabou jacket.

Shoes (4)

Seed navy striped canvas espadrilles, Isabel Marant Dicker ankle boots, Nike Roshe Run sneakers, Valentino Rockstud kitten heels.

Bags (3)

Longchamp large totes in black and grey/taupe, Celine navy Trio bag.

Accessories

2 scarves (lightweight printed scarf by Seed; cashmere/wool spot scarf by Country Road), 2 beanies (cream and charcoal grey), Ray Ban aviator sunglasses.

Other

Swimwear and thermals – 2 x long sleeved tops, fleece-lined leggings, Uniqlo heattech tank with built-in bra.

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IN SUMMARY

I’m so glad I packed…

1. Nike sneakers. Pretty self-explanatory but it’s possibly the wisest decision I’ve ever made.

2. Striped shirts. I went a little overboard with the amount I packed but I ended up wearing every single one, equally. It helped that they all served a different purpose – yes, really! That said, I’ve been less enthused about wearing stripes after coming home…

3. Cashmere/wool sweaters. I wore these the most second to my striped tops, particularly in Scandinavia when it was crazy cold. They were loose enough to wear a couple of thermals underneath and I loved the monochromatic spots which ensured they went with everything and anything.

4. A neutral colour palette. Mine was navy/black/white/grey/camel/blush. It doesn’t have to be necessarily boring – I opted for monochromatic prints or unexpected details.

5. A little black dress. I love bringing my Lover lace dresses mostly because the lace never, ever, wrinkles. 

6. These fleece-lined footless tights from Woolworths. I love these so much! They were great to wear on the plane (they’re 200 denier) or underneath jeans and trousers as thermals. Best $8 I’ve spent and literally saved my ass in snowy Iceland! You can find them in the socks aisle and I think Razzamatazz also do a similar pair.

I wish I didn’t pack…

1. My Valentino Rockstud heels, definitely. Did not wear them once. I dressed considerably more casual on this trip and once I arrived in Europe, there was no way those cobblestones were going near my shoes.

2. So many jeans! I think I suffered from a case of just-in-case packing here and decided to bring a pair for every single (imaginary) occasion. If I could do it all over again, I’d limit myself to a maximum of three pairs – one in white, classic blue, and black.

I wish I had packed…

1. Another coat – probably this one. All navy everything was getting a little tedious by the end of the trip!

2. Black ballet flats or loafers. I left these off my packing list as I felt they were too ‘safe’ (and opted to bring my striped espadrilles instead). I had packed so many striped tops, though, that pairing them with striped shoes looked ridiculous. I ended up scouting around for a pair of classic black flats early on in my trip as they really are so indispensable. Next time I won’t be leaving home without them!

3. Black cigarette trousers. Again, a wardrobe staple that looks a lot more pulled-together than the loose-fitting, relaxed pair of pants by Scanlan I packed. Again, I headed straight to Zara as soon as I landed in London and bought myself a pair from their Trafaluc line.

4. More summer clothes! Italy was so much more warmer than the rest of Europe during October. I didn’t have time to go shopping for summer clothes during my 10 days in Italy so I ended up wearing my Lover lace dress with my Nike sneakers on my last day in Rome. They were the only two items I had in my suitcase which ticked the cool and comfortable boxes.

5. Wellington boots. I would have had no hope in hell fitting these into my suitcase but it rained and snowed a lot during my trip and these would have been ideal. All my other shoes weren’t waterproof – I hate feeling clammy.

Some lessons for next time.

1. For cold weather – jackets and coats must extend past the hip. Nothing cropped as it’s just not warm enough and really does no favours to your layering efforts.

2. Cold-weather clothes can be really bulky and heavy in a suitcase. To refresh your look each day you’re on holiday whilst still keeping warm, just pack a couple of coats or jackets in different prints and styles (and then wear the same thermals or knits underneath) rather than packing a multitude of different tops, sweaters and cardigans which would collectively take up even more space.

3. If you’ve got a few fancy dinners or activities planned, pack a dress that could easily be dressed up or dressed down (black or white is an obvious choice!). Ideally, this dress should also be made from wrinkle-free fabric.

4. Everything has to go with everything. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.

5. In terms of make-up/skincare/toiletries, try to bring only travel-sized compact portions and keep everything less than 100ml. Even if you originally plan to pack your toiletries in check-in luggage, there might be an occasion where you won’t and can’t – and it’s always best to be prepared.

The verdict?

My suitcase – by the end of the trip – weighed in at around 20kg (when I left, it hovered around 13-14kg). I found I actually had room to spare when I packed to go home – and yes, I did pace the room back and forth for an hour wondering if I had forgotten to pack anything. Thankfully, the only thing I left behind were fond memories of my holiday and an instax picture of Bardolino in the back of my friend’s car…

If anything, I under-packed (for warmer weather) but as this constituted only a third of my holiday, it wasn’t a major issue.

And even though I bought next to nil clothes by the end of the four weeks, I found that I wasn’t running out of things to wear nor becoming bored with what I had to ‘work’ with.

Overall, although it was accompanied with a lot of pre-planning and packing angst, I was pretty satisfied with my packing list. And if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that it’s not often this happens!

Boat Shoes.

Silk asymmetric hemmed slip dress, Valentino Rockstud leather wristlet, Michael Kors rose gold watch, Hobes gold leopard print leather lace-ups.

Simple silks and leopard print boat shoes that feel like you’re walking on clouds. Oh, and a little Rockstud thrown in for good measure. A perfect summery Sunday.

Full outfit post up shortly!

Saturdays.

Lover Valentine lace top and silk shorts, Sambag navy ‘Mim’ leather sandals, Sportsgirl hat and Ray Ban Aviators.

My husband’s one of those people who vehemently believes that any temperature over 28C is far too hot, whilst I’m the type who throws a coat and scarf on as soon as the mercury dips to anywhere below 20C. So you can probably imagine which one of us is looking exceptionally forward to basking underneath the Australian sun over the next three months…

It’s almost like a reflex for me – when the skies turn a flawless blue and you can smell summer in the air, the hemlines go up, the leather sandals head out to play, and I find myself in a better mood – instantly.

Which goes a long way to explain how I spent my Saturday today; breakfast at a favourite local cafe with my other half, a stint at the farmers’ markets for some fruit & veg provisions for the week, and then seeing out the sun-drenched afternoon at the exact spot we were married two and a half years ago. And it was even more beautiful than I had remembered it.

Eska Alikai.

Coming back to a whisper of summer has gotten me in the mood to think about a complete new-season wardrobe overhaul.

I used to wear a lot of dresses (Fleur Wood, anyone?) and I’m starting to miss how easy and effortless it really all was. I’ve started scouting around for printed calf-length/maxi dresses and jumpsuits (Zimmermann was an obvious first starting point) with a hope to finding that one piece that will see me through the next few months.

I also recently discovered local label Eska Alikai, whose minimalist aesthetic and strong focus on cotton t-shirts and leather pieces have me looking forward to a summer boasting clean lines and simple but exceptionally made pieces that are so easy to wear. I’m wearing the black tissue-weight classic singlet to work today with my Lover black Rosebud lace skirt and I love how it takes the fancifulness out of the skirt whilst still covering those shoulders – my office can be quite conservative!

These lambskin leather slides by Eska are also at the top of my summer wishlist. I can’t bring myself to cave into the Birkenstock trend just yet, so these will more than suffice in the meantime. The question – as always – is which colour?

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