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.

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.

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!

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.