Love at first scent.

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When I was little, I spent most of my summers at my grandparents’ place, moseying around their backyard. I was six, whiling away the afternoon collecting a bounty of grapes, tiptoeing to smell my grandmother’s blooming rose garden, and climbing their apple trees until the sun went down. There was a decrepit wooden swing that would sway precariously from one of the branches and I remember often climbing into it, and staying there for the rest of the day collecting all of my six year old thoughts.

That was 25 years ago, and while the trees are gone and my grandparents now both rest in peace, the nostalgic scent of green apples and memory of that afternoon still lingers to tell a thousand stories.

My recent work for Miu Miu’s new fragrance takes me back to my childhood in all of its rebellion, mischievousness and insouciance.

The weather was absolutely terrible for half of this shoot so much of the photos are of me standing in the rain (while much of my time post-shoot was photoshopping raindrops off the perfume bottle). It was a few days after my grandfather passed away and it all hit home a little too much because I ended up having a hormonal meltdown and an ugly cry in the middle of the most amazing tulip field. It goes without saying though, that my best work always comes out of adversity.

See the story on Vogue here.

Styling by me | photography by Jamie Lau.

Vogue Spy Style: A Forever Ring For Every Bride.

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I can’t ever remember a time in my life when the lowest of lows ran like a hurricane through my highest of highs in a matter of days. It’s been hard to catch my breath over the past week. As deadlines and work keep piling up, so does the grief and the feelings of loss and all the tears that run like a river and have hit the pillow at midnight. Sometimes I can’t quite figure out what’s worse – the agony of seeing one of the most important people in your life suffer beyond comprehension… or the pain of losing them forever.

I’ve since thrown myself into work; sometimes it’s the only way to keep going, ironically enough.

Just before my grandad passed, an opportunity with Hardy Brothers and Vogue presented itself for Jamie and I to flex our creative muscles (and for me, especially, to revisit a dress I wore on my wedding day) to put together an engagement ring editorial at the Alex Hotel.

Our wedding was probably one of the last happiest memories I have of my grandad. A few days before, we were told he only had 24 hours to live, but like always, he fought back like mad to see me walk down the aisle that weekend.

That was almost five years ago, and though he was sadly never the same person after that, the privilege and the memory of having him there on my wedding day will stay with me forever.

So this is an ode to all the forevers in our lives… whether it’s an eternal memory of a loved one, a sentimental token of love to symbolise an unbroken union for eternity, or simply someone we have to make memories and magic with for the rest of our lives…we all have something to cherish.

See my Hardy Brothers story here.

Styling + creative by me | photography by Jamie Lau.

A Light Bulb Moment.

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In between tying the waist of my jeans together with elastic bands and trying to stop myself from throwing up (or falling asleep) behind the camera for all of July/August, I was lucky enough to be commissioned by Clinique and Vogue to style and photograph a set of images for the launch of their new Smart Custom Repair Eye Treatment and Clinique Smart Custom-Repair skincare range.

Having the amazing opportunity to work with some of the most game-changing products aside, it was a small relief to be behind the camera rather than in front of it (if you didn’t already know, I am almost 14 weeks pregnant – and going through that awkward ‘just fat’ stage…) creating content for a brand I’ve long respected and personally used for so many years now (I still wear my faithful Chubby Sticks daily!).

To see the rest of the images and to read more about Clinique’s new range, follow the links below.

If you don’t use a daily eye treatment, here’s why you should

How to tell when it’s time to start using an eye cream

Cut your morning routine in half: meet beauty’s multi-taskers

Styling and photography by me.

A metaphor to write about.

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Wearing I Love Mr Mittens cropped cable sweater, Scanlan & Theodore trousers (these ASOS ones are identical), Acne Studios Jensen boots, Givenchy Antigona, Daniel Wellington Classic watch.

It’s almost two in the morning and although I’ve made it a rule to shut the laptop at least a couple of hours before bed for my own health and sanity, some deadlines never get the memo (okay, so that’s a poor excuse for my own disorganisation…) but alas, here’s a super quick post to say thank you for your well wishes under my previous post (will get around to replying to them all soon!). This is also a sneak peek of my next blog post for Vogue, featuring all the favourite things I was talking about here.

In other news, it’s the week of sample sales in Perth (I couldn’t help but snap up this blazer from Ellery yesterday!) but more excitingly (and terrifyingly) I’m holding my first ever pop-up sale this Sunday for my online store A Cup of Chic alongside my favourite store Hello Parry who are holding their own amazing sale. More details here! If you’re in Perth and homewares + fashion are your thing, drop by! We’d love to meet you all.

Thank you again for all your emails, messages, and words of support. I appreciate (and read!) every single one of them.

Vogue Spy Style: A Santorini Summer.

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If any of you have had the unfortunate experience of standing at the baggage carousel after taking four flights over 14 hours with everyone’s luggage coming out except for yours, you would probably have an idea of how our first half hour of touching down in Santorini kinda went.

With our suitcases lost somewhere in Madrid, it was probably the most unfairytale start to the final leg of our two-month trip – and arguably the world’s most fabled and romantic destination in the world. But as our driver quipped when he came to pick us up at half past nine in complete darkness, “once you get to Imerovigli, you’ll forget everything; all your troubles in the world will disappear.”

And in a way, it did. But in another way, we knew we were doomed for the rest of our days. Because when we awoke the next morning, the view before us – the white-washed everything and an eternity of a velvet blue – was something that’ll linger in our minds forever.

And this is why.

In collaboration with Vogue Australia & Olympus Australia #seetheworldwitholympus

Vogue Spy Style: Winter Dressing.

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My newest post for Vogue takes me through a journey of subtle colour for this winter (with Iceland serving as the perfect backdrop!). Like many of you, I’ve got a wardrobe full of monochrome – read the post on how to colour your grey this season whilst still staying true to your minimalist aesthetic.

Here I’m wearing Uniqlo heat tech turtleneck (seriously saved me from hypothermia in Scandinavia!), H&M cropped culottes (picked these up on sale in Norway), Porselli ballet flats (sadly on their last legs…) and my trusty Daniel Wellington watch.

Photography by Jamie Lau

How to pack light and travel in style.

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For the past ten days I’ve been working on planes, car trips, hotel rooms in five different towns and cities, every single day and night all the while sick with a virus that I caught off my husband and trying not to divorce my parents at the same time (whom I’m currently travelling with during my Vietnam leg). The wheel on my newly minted Rimowa also snapped off yesterday so my last night in Vietnam couldn’t have come soon enough.

For a few hours last night though, I was finally able to switch off work for the first time during this holiday, having caught up on nearly all of my deadlines and projects. I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to have the laptop shut and not have it glare at me from across the room.

Sometimes when I have a few hours spare, though, I go a bit crazy because the notion of ‘spare time’ really is non-existent in my life these days. It’s like I have no idea what to do with myself (I don’t even know what it’s like to sit on a couch and relax anymore) so I swing between polar opposites. Case in point: after a leisurely dinner last night at L’usine, I painted my nails a dodgy Rouge Noir-dupe and took a pair of questionable hairdressing scissors that my husband packed to chop two inches off my hair in my equally questionable hotel room in Ho Chi Minh City. The bathroom is a hot mess but my hair seemed to survive the trauma of being hacked into.

So what has this got to do with how to pack light and travel in style? Not much, probably, but with a flight to catch at 8am and my husband tossing and turning next to me as I (not so silently) type away, all I can manage is one schizophrenic post today.

Which brings me to my latest post for Vogue. I’m doing a series of packing posts in light of my travels – and you can read the first of them here.

A few of you have asked what exactly I’ve packed for a two month holiday so I’m planning to try and write a follow-up on the plane today (told you I don’t know what rest means anymore…) which I hope to share on this blog over the coming days. I’ll also be posting my Vietnam travel journal for @olympus_au this weekend but for now, you can follow my real-time updates on Instagram to see where I’m off to next. Hint: it’s my favourite city in the entire world. Not even exaggerating.

My Best Japanese Beauty Buys.

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A new month means a new adventure.

In case you missed it, I took some of you to Japan last week by way of this carefully curated guide to the best Japanese budget beauty buys (at least in my humble opinion) for Vogue Australia. The post has actually been nine months in the making – but it means every single product in my guide has been tried and tested for almost a year by me. And I have to say, I had much difficulty narrowing down my favourite products!

I’m heading back to Japan later this month (look out for my packing list shortly) so I hope my list of beauty recommendations helps those of you also visiting this breathtaking and hypnotic country!

Read the full post on how to shop for Japanese cosmetics over at Vogue.com.au.

Vogue Spy Style: The New Wave

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ICYMI, my latest SpyStyle post for Vogue Australia gives you the how-to on my hair with some secret tips from my hair stylist Marie Cain from Head Studio.

If there’s only one make or break tip I can impart, it’s ensuring you use the appropriate-sized curling iron for your hair length. I tried to replicate these waves with my 32mm Babyliss Pro the other day (it was the only curler I had on hand) and it was. utter. disaster. I’m off to find that 19mm curler this week in an effort to avoid that dreaded aunty look, but in the meantime let me know if you have any tips you’d like to share on hair!

See the full blog post on Vogue.com.au.

My #VOSN Wishlist.

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Given 80 per cent of my wardrobe comprises items I’ve purchased with a glass of wine in one hand and a credit card in the other, I was recently asked to put together my top 5 buys from #VOSN – an event otherwise known as one of the biggest online fashion happenings of the year – Vogue Online Shopping Night which kicks off today from noon until midnight tonight.

You can read my post over on Vogue.com.au.

P.S. I’ve included things I’ve already purchased and/or tried on to give you more of an in-dept ‘cheat sheet’ to sizing and fit to take the hassle out of buying something sight unseen. Happy shopping!

Vogue Spy Style: La Mer.

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Don’t get me wrong: I’m into technologically-advanced Japanese mascara and anti-blemish masks as much as the next Glossier-obsessed girl; but I suppose I’ve always shied away from beauty-oriented posts simply because 1. Having the camera so close to my face makes me break out in a rash, and 2. Most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing or talking about, anyway.

With warm weather around the corner though, I’m hoping to go make-up free over summer (ok, maybe I’ll start with just foundation-free) – which has been almost impossible after suffering from unsightly eczema all my life. But, after being lucky enough to be given the collaborative opportunity recently by Vogue Australia and La Mer to road test their legendary essentials skincare range, I jumped at the chance to improve my morning and evening skincare regime in the lead-up to summer.

I’ve documented my La Mer experience on Vogue.com.au which went live today – read the post here.

And yes, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, it is a little on the expensive side (I only have my husband – a qualified chemist  who mixes his own potions and lotions for his patients – to remind me). So far though, I have had such a positive experience with the range. And by that, I mean, today I went foundation-free for the first time in a long time!

I hope to follow up this Spy Style post with one on this blog in three months’ time to give you a more comprehensive overview of what it has (or hasn’t) done for my skin. In the meantime, check out my latest Spy Style post and let me know what you think, particularly those of you already using La Mer or are thinking about upping your skincare regime.

A Cartier Fairytale in Paris.

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Nothing worth it ever came easy, and none more so than my recent collaboration with Cartier and Vogue.

Whilst in Paris last month, I had the opportunity to look to some of the most fabled (and my favourite) parts of the city to serve as the backdrop for the centenary celebration of Cartier’s iconic panther jewel with its new ‘Panthère de Cartier’ collection – the biggest in the French maison’s history.

But there is always a stormy undercurrent to fairytales. Haughty princesses are kissed by frogs; tales are riddled with runaway slaves and lions with thorns in their paw, and sleeping beauties and a cursed eternal slumber; fables tell of lost slippers and wicked step-mothers; there is a story of a mermaid who gave up everything for love but lost her beautiful voice; and Aesop’s tales that teach us that although it’s tempting to envy another person’s life, their life is rarely as great as it seems from a distance.

Though I can’t quite begin to describe how much of an honour it was to work with such an iconic brand so steeped in a fabled and bejewelled history, it was our most challenging assignment yet for various reasons. We ended up with only fifteen minutes to shoot the entire editorial (when usually we set aside an hour or two) and I’m sure most photographers can emphathise when I say I feared these photos would be confiscated from us at one point!

But like all fairytales, mine had a happily ever after, so it goes without saying that I’m so pleased (and relieved!) to be able to share my latest Spy Style editorial with you. It’s not every day I’m in working in Paris, alongside Cartier (and my husband!), and wearing a bracelet with a price tag equivalent to a small apartment.

See the full post on Vogue.com.au here.

Photography by Jamie and Michelle; post-processing by Michelle.

In love and war.

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Right before this photo was taken, my husband and I sat on the edge of the jetty for almost an hour waiting for the sun to start making its way towards the horizon. It’s a photographer’s curse – there’s either too much light, or not enough of it.

In any case, now that we’ve all officially heralded the start of spring (in the southern hemisphere, at least) here’s a closer look at one of my favourite looks from my latest Spy Style post for Vogue Australia. Alex Perry has me at lace on lace this summer. Here’s the full post in case you missed it.

Speaking of, my husband and I are saying goodbye to Helsinki and hello to Paris tomorrow, specifically to work on a beautiful project with Vogue and Cartier. With my husband behind the lens and me taking care of everything else as is always the case (hair/makeup/wardrobe/creative direction/excessive pedantries) I can already sense the tension (let’s just say Jamie and I love/but probably mostly hate working with each other) but am quietly hopeful everything will be just fine. Can’t wait to share this pinch-me moment with you all!

Vogue Spy Style: Spring Summer ’15.

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Even though Jamie and I went to hell and back to get the perfect photos on the perfect day with the most perfect weather (we shot a couple of the photos at 6am on the day we were due to fly out to Europe because it had rained all week), my latest Spy Style for Vogue Australia is without a doubt my favourite post to date.

I was lucky enough to team up with Myer this season to style and shoot my favourite trends for spring summer 2015. My can’t-live-without-pieces? The divine jewel-toned jacket by Ellery and Aurelio Costarella’s ostrich feather cami. A dramatic tulle maxi skirt is also hard to beat!

See the entire post over at Vogue.com.au.

Spy Style: Tokyo Travels

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See the best of Tokyo in 24 hours with my essential travel guide to Tokyo.

Where to go, what to do, what to eat, and where to stay – it’s all right here in my latest Spy Style post for Vogue Australia.

P.S. I’ve put together this guide under the assumption that you’re not crazy enough to be spending just a day in this supercharged city where only your stamina will dictate when you’ve had enough – and I hope that my guide will give you a great starting point to plan your own trip. For my husband, a month in Japan wouldn’t even have sufficed. As for me, I’m still dreaming about onigiri all day, everyday…

Spy Style: Cotton Candy

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It was written in the sartorial stars as soon as Carven and Rochas (and most recently, Burberry Prorsum) sent a flurry of cotton candy coats down the runway. If my (and most likely, your) Instagram feed is anything to go by this season, pastel coats are certainly having their fun in the (winter) sun.

My latest post for Vogue.com.au this month is an ode to the pastel coat – and how to wear one without looking like you’ve just emerged from a fairy floss machine.

And keep an eye out for my next Spy Style post, particularly if you’re travel-minded!

Vogue Spy Style: To have and to hold.

My first Spy Style post for 2014 kicks off with 6 tips on how to shop for an investment bag.

Thought this would be a timely topic given the influx of sale emails that have flooded my inbox (and no doubt all of yours!) since Boxing Day. I hope my Spy Style post will take the anxiety and stress out of spending a months’ pay on something you hope to have and to hold for many years or decades to come. They say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but a forever handbag comes preeeeetty close, don’t you think?

Read the full post on Vogue.com.au.

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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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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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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!

Florals for spring.

A closer look at my favourite Country Road dress that was featured on Vogue’s Spy Style yesterday.

I’m going to admit that the only reason this dress works on my vertically challenged self is because I took up the hem by about 1.5 inches – a little trick I do to most of my dresses that are designed for 6 foot model types! I find that a lot of things in your wardrobe can be solved by simply trimming the hem by a notch or with a bit of clever tailoring.

If you haven’t already, head over to vogue.com.au to see the rest of my post!

P.S. thank you so much to each and every one of you for your tweets, tumblr replies, instagram messages and texts of support in light of my Cosmopolitan nomination yesterday and, of course, my Spy Style debut! It really is so appreciated, thank you.

Vogue Spy Style.

I’m very pleased and privileged to announce that I have joined Vogue Spy Style as their newest blogger!

I’ll be blogging for Vogue Australia on all things travel, lifestyle and fashion, with the first post on my style notes for spring up now. 

I’d love to have each and every one of you come on board with me in what is such an exciting time for myself and A Minute Away From Snowing.

The one thing I’m looking most forward to is sharing my upcoming European holiday on the Spy Style network at the end of this month – don’t miss it!

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