Hello, 2014.

I will leave my 20s almost exactly as I had entered it:

Hopelessly in love with someone I’m sure I’ll spend the rest of my life with, but not the faintest idea as to what my life is for and what I am to do with it.

I still wander aimlessly through the pithy, clouded corridors of Life; pretending that everything is okay. I’m still paralysed by dark back alleys, tears on my pillow, forks in the road and holes in my heart.

And suddenly I wonder, what that 20 year old soft-voiced girl would think of me now?

Because I need to know that there is more to life than being good at something – or everything; and that being liked doesn’t come from being clever or witty. I need to know that meaningfulness comes from doing things for others with the certainty that they’ll give me nothing in return. I need to be reminded that being a better person comes not from a degree that’s hanging on my parents’ wall, but an aching love I have for others.

My wish for myself is this:

To make beautiful things, even if nobody cares. To end up not where I had intended to go, but to where I need to be. To be happy, whatever that means – but most of all – to be content with what I have, what I am, and what I’ve done.

I will appreciate that a setting sun will bring me a brand new day, before one day it’ll be too late. I will change the locks and throw away the key. And run deliriously in the opposite direction, even if the compass always points me back to here.

Happy New Year.

Rome Photo Diary.

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I thought I’d revisit my travel diaries before the year’s up. Here are just a few snapshots I had on my camera from our whistle-stop visit to Rome.

It’s a real shame I didn’t take more photos, but with only 48 hours to spend (with a large portion of it lining up at The Vatican), I ended up putting the camera away for the most part and took in the magnificence of this ancient city. My highlights? The Roman Forum, the best (anc cheapest!) coffee I have ever tasted in Europe, and discovering Grom, of course.

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Bread In Common.

Country Road top, ASOS culottes, Sportsgirl panama hat, Porselli ballet flats, Celine bag.

I’ve had such a great weekend, even if half of it was spent lolling around sick and morose in bed. But, I was adamant on not confining myself indoors on the only day off I have with my husband (he works Sundays) so on Saturday we jumped into the car and took off down Fremantle way.

A late breakfast was on the agenda at Bread In Common. I couldn’t stomach coffee – a surefire sign that something had to be terribly wrong with me – so I enjoyed two breakfasts instead (as you may have already seen on my Instagram). In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the right day to be baring my midriff, but it was way too toasty to be wearing t-shirts.

After dropping into Galati & Sons for our fruit & veg provisions, and a rather nauseating drive back to Perth, it was then back to bed as soon as we got home.

I couldn’t wait to wriggle back into sweatpants, though these ASOS culottes really are the next best substitute. So swishy!

My favourite travel finds.

Of all the things I enjoy about travelling overseas, the most exciting would be coming home with a suitcase brimming with special and sentimental finds that I can fondly remember my holiday by, even long after I’ve returned. 

From the London high street and Parisian pharmacies to vintage treasures in Reykjavik, here are some of my favourite finds from my recent Europe holiday.

1. & Other Stories cropped culottes

Whether it was the rich, lustrous satin or the salmon pink hue; or the fact that I’m madly besotted with hems that barely graze the ankle yet cascade just past the calf (otherwise known as having a ‘midi moment’); these cropped tailored culottes, sure enough, had me at hello.

2. Isabel Marant sweater

The Isabel Marant boutique in Paris is so beautifully merchandised that it’s impossible to walk out without at least one souvenir from the store, located in the heart of the Marais. I chose a grey sweater which features a beautifully exaggerated rolled collar and made from the softest wool.

3. Embryolisse 

A quick pit stop at a French pharmacie is essential when visiting Paris. I’ve been using Embryolisse for years, and love to take it travelling with me as it does doubles as a cleanser and a moisturiser. You can’t find it in Australia, though, so I always stock up when I’m in Paris.

4. Celine wedges

I found these Celine wedges sitting pretty on a shelf at the beautiful Birger Christensen boutique in Copenhagen. So perfect for summer and such a lucky find – I scored them at around 80% off! Birger Christensen, a boutique that pioneered high-end luxury in Copenhagen, is also exquisitely merchandised with coveted labels such as Valentino, Miu Miu, Givenchy, as well as Tod’s loafers and hard-to-find Celine handbags.

5. Vintage fedora 

Aside from paying homage to pristine waterfalls, driving through a winter wonderland of snow and witnessing awe-inspiring geysirs in Iceland right before my very eyes, I also managed to stumble across one of my most favourite holiday purchases from Reykjavik, no less.

6. Acne Canada scarf

The newest Acne boutique in Paris opened recently in St Germain des Pres, on the wondrous and iconic banks of the Seine. I highly recommend visiting the store if you ever get the chance. The boutique is wonderfully stocked with both womens’ and menswear and the staff are so lovely also. Clemence Poesy inspired this purchase of mine – the Canada scarf in light camel – and it has been my favourite thing to keep me cosy on flights.

7. Beautiful lingerie 

I love that & Other Stories really has everything you’d ever need for a wardrobe update. I decided to replenish my underwear drawer with a couple of silk and lace bras from their beautiful lingerie section. If you’re ever in London, check out the Oxford St store – and be prepared to pick up your jaw up off the ground as soon as you step inside!

8. Art deco Vogue framed mirror print

Some friends and I were moseying our way around little antique shops in the quiet and picturesque town of Malcesine, Lake Garda, when we came across some framed prints of Vogue covers from 1919. I fell in love with this one that was illustrated by Georges Lepape – the snow reminds me of when I woke up one morning in Iceland and looked out the window to see the entire street covered in snow. I love how this print is a constant reminder of that one magical morning in Reykjavik.

Skorting the issue.

Country Road silk top and linen skort, Chanel ballet flats, Prada saffiano tote.

Opting for the bright whites for work today.

Happy holidays to those of you who are currently enjoying some time off and, to those who drew the short straw this year, thank God it’s Friday, I guess?

Post-Christmas.

With mum and dad celebrating Christmas and New Year in Sydney, Christmas was pleasantly low-key for me this year; consisting of breakfast with my in-laws, dinner with my family and stealing a long cat nap in between. With leftovers for days, a few things I picked up from the post-Christmas sale today and the weekend only another couple of days away, heading back into the office tomorrow is becoming a little more palatable.

As for my sale loot today: these Witchery ‘Jasmine’ printed double-strap heels and a few things from Country Road including a striped knit with cropped sleeves, an embroidered spot top, a white linen flippy skort (perfect for this warm weather we’ve been having!), and a kimono sleeved striped tee to replace the one that went a shade of pink in the wash.

In my shoes.

Angry. Hurt. Lost. Derailed. Empty. Guilty. Unmotivated. Frustrated. Confused. Sad. Heavyhearted. Exhausted. Alone. Depressed. Done.

That is me and those are my dark clouds. And that is why I am sitting in a ridiculously comfortable leather chair, face to face with someone who has magically made such clouds disappear for the past 12 years. My shrink is innately collected and fastidiously expression-less. Her voice seems unburdened for someone who talks people out of self-destruction day in, day out.

So what does it feel like to have those cloud linger unrelentingly and never disappear?

It hurts and no one has a clue. It’s not me. I’m happy and accomplished. I don’t do depressed. Then why do I have everything but I feel like I have nothing?

Thus therapy enters its foray into my clutter.

“This is you. Let it in. Don’t push it away. Live it, breathe it, let it play its part in your life so that you can learn to weather this storm.”

But it is an eternal struggle. To accept and acknowledge these dark clouds and to let it have its limelight so that it won’t have to beg for it so voraciously next time.

My legs are crossed and barely touch the carpet beneath me. The armchair is twice my size but imparts profound solitude with its cool, rich cowhide. I rest my eyes on the bookshelf stacked with ancient texts and more photo frames of people I don’t recognise but whom share something in common with me: they find home in this room.

I avert my gaze to meet those of my shrink, and for the next 60 minutes, we embark on a voyage of correction and guidance; of enlightenment on individuation. I subsisted on Jung and Freud alone for breakfast.

“So, Michelle, how will you weather this storm?” 

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Windswept.

Everlane silk shirt in nude, Nobody ‘Beau’ jeans (on sale!), Porselli ballet flats in Bone, Michael Kors rose gold watch, Celine Trapeze.

Just a quick snap of Saturday’s outfit, frizzy hair and all. After lunch at Jamie’s Italian to celebrate my sister in-law’s birthday (hers falls on Christmas Day), my husband and I headed to his best friend’s apartment to celebrate his birthday over the most incredible Sri Lankan meal. We were so spoilt!

I also took the opportunity to enjoy going much more casual than last week, relying on the simplicity of silk shirt loosely tucked into my favourite boyfriend jeans. I’m toying with the idea of picking up the blue wash in the same cut. I mean, when you’re onto a good thing…

Pop Art meets Party Feet.

With five more sleeps until Christmas, I’m so happy (but so utterly sleep-deprived!) to share with you what I’ve been excitedly working on over the past couple of weeks.

As part of my work for Vogue Australia’s SpyStyle, I’ve teamed up with Novo Shoes as they celebrate the launch of their spring/summer campaign and a new website (which is now shipping globally!).

My Warhol-inspired post focuses on my favourite picks from Novo’s latest shoes and accessories collection and comes just in the nick of time for the many festivities that have filled up this weekend’s calendar.

You can read the full post as to how you can wear Pop Colour this season over here.

With one more collaborative project to complete by this weekend, I’m looking forward to catching up with friends and family for birthdays and Christmas before returning to work the day after Boxing Day.

Never any rest for the wicked, it seems.

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Paris Photo Diary.

Not only did I save the most photogenic ‘til last, but also the longest, it seems. A mere five days in Paris resulted in close to a thousand images – not even including the ones that I captured through the lens of my Instax. I’ve narrowed it down as best I could and, although, I haven’t included everything I wanted to, these 30 snapshots of the City of Light paint a clear enough picture of me falling in love with Paris madly, wildly, unsparingly.

From its sepia-toned sunlight that washes over the buildings at dusk; and the winding cobblestoned alleys that take you to a part of St Germain that no one’s been before; to the twinkling pyramids at the Louvre and the view (oh, the view!) from the top of the Arc de Triomphe that makes you realise that no matter how many times you go, no two trips to Paris are the same.

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Surviving Summer.

With the mercury predicted to hit 41C in Perth today, I haven’t mustered the courage to step outside the house just yet. Summer’s officially here, so what could be more timely than my new post for Vogue Australia – my guide to surviving summer with my favourite hair & beauty products.

Read the full post here.

Here comes the sun, alright.

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Luella.

I’ve taken on a few different but really exciting projects over the past couple of weeks; with this Warhol-inspired shoot being one of them.

There’s a little whimsy, a little Luella and a whole lotta love.

Juggling all of these assignments with my full-time job has necessitated military precision to also try and get some sleep somewhere in between. It has been crazy busy but I can’t wait to share these projects and collaborations with you as they each unfold.

I’ve also been this week sifting through and editing my Paris travel photos so expect to see one of my last photo diaries up this weekend! With 50 images to narrow down into a 20-image post, it’s fair to say I’ve saved the best ‘til last.

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Long-time Love.

Lover ‘Courtney’ dress from Maximillia, Christian Louboutin Pigalle pumps, Molten Store ‘The Life Aquatic’ ear cuff (love the Emerald one).

Would you believe it has been almost 8 years since I first hung a Lover dress in my wardrobe?

It’s the only label I’ve worn through which I can attach a memory or a life event to the numerous items I own; overseas trips, weddings, new lovers, old flames, graduations, birthdays, break-ups, and make-ups.

Like a true Lover, I’ve come to rely upon the way it makes me feel when I’m swaddled in all of its French and Guipure lace magnificence – elegant, smart, sophisticated, and just a little bit fancy.

Lunchbreak.

It has been one of those days and weeks for me.

I don’t know. 

The irrational thought of leaving swiftly, quietly, unceremoniously; was weighing heavily on my mind this morning. Away from my constant fear of failure and lack of accomplishment. Away from the pressure, the pressure, the pressure.

On my lunch break today, I did the next best thing; I decided to go and find some solace in browsing homewares for my imaginary forever-home with my imaginary bottomless budget. These blue Victorian floral repurposed chairs on the left caught my eye, as I imagined an afternoon of tea-sipping with my feet up and watching the sunlight dissolve through the window pane out of the corner of my eye.

And then I’d wake up. And everything will be okay again.

Glacier.

Dreaming of glaciers in Iceland (my favourite Cereal issue to date) and slipping my new Porselli ballet flats onto my feet for the rest of the summer…

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Featured: Miss Moncur.

I was recently featured on the adorable Miss Moncur talking all things fashion, style, life, and why I count my camera as my most prized possession.

The full conversation with Miss Moncur can be found here, along with my Miss Moncur summer wishlist!