Marc by Marc Jacobs & Latest shoe obsession

Thursday, 23 October 2014
marc by marcjacobs
Photo credit: Emma & Steph

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After a flurry of emails and tweets, Emma, Steph, Jesse and I had a mini reunion at Matches Fashion's Marc by Marc Jacobs launch by Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley. It's certainly not the first time the two talented designers have worked together before. Their decade long collaboration started when the latter set up her eponymous line. This is their first collection for Marc, the diffusion line of Marc Jacobs that's completely devoid of its previous more feminine and whimsical theme. The new Marc by Marc Jacobs is retro and anime inspired with a more urbane vibe.

I may be accused of being a shoe fetishist but can you blame me if you're standing in a room with both men and women dressed to the nines? Strapped to Katie Hillier's feet were these pointy and bold mid heels (anything 2.5 inches high and below gets a BIG tick from me). Another fashionably garbed attendee was wearing the same heels. Sadly, there weren't any to try on but I'm now both intrigued and obsessed about these wicked Marc by Marc Jacobs "Runway" heels.

By 8pm, I hauled both Emma and Steph out the front door as I was hungry enough to contemplate gnawing on the handbags displayed so tastily on the shelves. Thankfully, we were within walking distance to the closest Italian restaurant where we whiled the night away eating and chatting.






Black on Black

Wednesday, 22 October 2014
black tee black pants

black tee black pants 2.1

black tee black pants 3


Outfit: T by Alexander Wang t-shirt, Zara jeans, Étoile Isabel Marant sweatshirt (similar here), Hermes Cape Cod watch, Monica Vinader bracelet, Chanel nail varnish, Topshop boots, Chanel WOC, Hermes Collier de Chien, Rick Owens Naska leather jacket (similar and on sale here) and Nicholas Kirkwood heels (similar & on sale here).


Whenever I turn up to a fashion event, I'm usually one of the rare individuals that's dressed in black from head (this includes my hair and glasses too). I've finally made peace with my monochrome loving self and will always admire those who embrace bold colors from afar. The black on black outfits are what I feel most comfortable and confident in. I realize that an all black outfit is yawn inducing so these days, I tend to go for statement pieces. Jackets that hang and drape differently or have a dramatic flair. Shoes or accessories that pop and break the monotony of the matrix look.

When I look back at my earlier (and rare) photos, I was clad in more feminine and polished clothes but as I age (ooooh the dreaded word), I prefer outfits with a more rocker and androgynous vibe. Who knows what I'd like a decade from now? What about you? Have you notice a change in your personal style?




Quick & Easy Korean savory pancakes

Monday, 20 October 2014
Korean pancake 1
Korean pancake 2
Korean pancake 3
Korean pancake 4


When I was living and working in central Auckland, going to a Korean restaurant was a weekly pilgrimage. Having a Korean sister in law is a huge advantage too because we would stuff our faces silly with tteok (rice cakes) and whatever array of side dishes she'd made while our kids knock themselves out with their crazy antics. The downside of being based in Hampshire means that authentic Asian restaurants are slim pickings indeed. It seems rather silly to trek all the way to London for a meal.

A few months ago, I found this rather awesome Ottogi pancake mix which is essentially a lazy cook's secret weapon. It means that I can prepare an easy,  nutritious and pretty darn authentic Korean dish prepared in less than 15 minutes. Toss in plenty of vegetables, shrimp and squid in and you've got yourself a proper meal. There are so many ways you can make it but this is my take. Be careful not to add too much water or else you'll get a soggy and tasteless pancake. For those of you in the U.K, the Ottogi pancake mix can be purchased at most Asian supermarkets. If you can't get to one, it's also available online on Amazon and Wai Yee Hong.


Ingredients
2 cups of Ottogi pancake mix
2/3 cups of water
200g prawns
2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 carrot, cut into strips
2-4 tablespoons of oil for frying (replenish for each pancake)

1. Pour the pancake powder and water into a mixing bowl. Mix well until batter is relatively smooth and not lumpy.
2. Add the prawns, spring onions and carrots (or whatever vegetables you're using but make sure they're in small bits so that they can cook quickly).
3. Heat the non stick frying pan and add oil.
4. Once the pan is sufficiently hot, use a ladle to scoop up the mixture and gently pour it on the surface of the pan.
5. Use the back of the ladle to spread out the mixture so it'll cook quicker.
6. Once one side of the pancake has turned brown, gently flip (I use two spatulas, one on either side of the pancake to stop the oil from splattering) the pancake and cook the other side. Make sure you adjust the heat accordingly. Reduce the heat if the pan gets too hot or when the pancake browns too quickly.
7.  Once both sides of the pancake are cooked, remove it from the pan and drain it on a piece of kitchen paper towel.
8. Serve with kimchi if you have any.





10 Cheap Thrills

Saturday, 18 October 2014
Weekend High St

1. Mango pocket shirt   £29.99  (use code 5MNG for 30% discount)
3. Mango double breasted coat £119  (use code 5MNG for 30% discount)
5. M & S lace bandeau shorts  £6 (3 for 2)
8. Zara ripped jeans  £29.99



1. Mango pocket shirt   £29.99 (use code 5MNG for 30% discount)
I've been hankering for a slightly oversized white or blue shirt. I'm still fearful of wearing anything white, only because it's a miracle if I come home unscathed even if the garment was on my body for an hour. 

I'm told that pointy shoes have a leg lengthening effect. When you're this short, you're willing to give anything a go, bar actual leg lengthening operation. I have a closetful of pretty tame looking ballet flats.  Plain Janes don't tickle my fancy these days because my feet think it's time they're in the spotlight.

3. Mango double breasted coat  £119  (use code 5MNG for 30% discount)
While I'm rubbish at following trends, this season's must-have is essentially the good ol' classic outerwear - sleek, tailored coats which will smarten up any casual outfit in an instant.

No doubt there are hundreds of better quality cashmere scarves out there but if your budget is under £60, this one from Other Stories is good value for money.

I'm not one who enjoys flashing my undies to the world but bargains like these favorites of mine from M&S need to be shared. Their lace bandeau undies are ridiculously comfortable, well made, sexy (RAAAWWWRRRR!!) and best of all, very affordable. 

Simplicity with a quirky take on the all time favorite garment - the sweatshirt. 

I've got an overstuffed Amazonian sized wallet which scared a lot of individuals when I pull it out. It doesn't fit into my smaller bags so I've been hunting for a card holder that I can stuff some bills into. They're surprisingly pricey which was why I was taken aback by the more reasonable price tag from Comme des Garçons

8. Zara ripped jeans   £29.99
Remember my infamous ripped boyfriend jeans? The ones which I wore so often that I planned to change my blog name to Ionlywearboyfriendjeans.com? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. I live near North Pole.....well, close to it.......so wearing properly ripped......like showing-skin-ripped- jeans is like asking to be turned into an ice cube. I rather fancy these ones from Zara that are superficially ripped..... There's ripped and then there's you know....riiiiiiippppped
#Marlene'sgonebonkers.


When you're wearing head to toe black or grey, the hat's got to stand out. This one's only £29 but looks expensive despite its affordable price tag.


I've worn my red New Balance sneakers to the ground but they're still my favorites. I hate jogging per se but these New Balance 420 sneakers make feel like I'm running on air. They're fabulously trendy and comfortable. What's not to like? 




Isabel Marant Dicker Alternative Review

Wednesday, 15 October 2014
topshop_boots-3 topshop_boots-1 topshop_boots-2 topshop_boots-4




I've always been a firm believer in splashing out for shoes and bags more than clothes. Expensive designer products equates to quality, right? Well.....that was until I happened  to stumble upon these Isabel Marant Dicker lookalikes for £65. Yup. That's nearly £300 knocked off its very hefty price tag. As always, I was late to the game. There were none in my size online. After placing half a dozen of calls to various Topshop stores, I conceded defeat.

Unbeknownst to me, Sue, my Perseverance Panda buddy (if you're a mom with primary school kids, you'll be familiar with this term) was undeterred. She called her closest Topshop store. And called. And called. And called until she managed to track down a human and reserved a pair in my size. She then drove over to the store and carefully inspect the boots until she was satisfied with the quality (it's a BIG deal if Sue gives her stamp of approval) before shipping them to me.

Just so you know......the boots were made in Spain. Bloody fantastic quality for £65. Sure, the lining isn't as refined as the Isabel Marant Dickers but overall, they're incredibly well made. A word of advice - size up because they run small and are slightly narrower (which I prefer). They're beyond comfortable and I can run in them (the usual story....running for the tube/bus/train).



Will you make a difference?

Monday, 13 October 2014
Marlene-kick3
Andrea-1
Keri copy
Daniella
Hollie
Heather copy
Sisterhood-Anne_2
(from top to bottom) Marlene, Andrea, Keri, Daniella, Hollie, Heather and Anne.


More than a year ago, an idea started to form in my head about using both fashion and social media as a vehicle and the blog as the platform to feature a series that'll stay permanently online. The stories will be aimed to empower women and offer a source of comfort to those tackling various traumatic issues. If I said that this was an easy project to produce, I'd be lying. There were many moments when I doubted myself. Persuading fellow bloggers to bare their soul online? How will I offer a sanctuary for survivors to share their inspirational stories safely? Will I be able to bear the cost of financing the project myself? Many gave their time freely. I will be forever grateful to both Lucian and Adrianan Paraian of Adrienne Photography.

In a commercially driven world where success is measured by revenue and statistics, would a project highlighting weighty social issues and offering hope but going against the grain of the mainstream current be accepted in the blogging playing field? When social media is used for mainly self promotion and sharing, can it not be used to empower women (and men) in a different way? The majority of us go through life trying to project an ideal image even when we're battling with pretty serious issues for fear of being branded a failure. Furthermore, the pursuit of perfection and youth is largely driven by only showcasing beautiful images that'll sell. Would the Sisterhood of the Travelling Jacket fail before it would even reach out to the targeted audience?

Most of us are deeply private individuals and our blogs are merely an outlet where we cater to our frivolous side. I was a nervous wreck for months trying to write my story and the week it was published, I wanted to take cover under my duvet and never leave the safety of my flat. I can attest this holds true for all the other women who are involved in the Sisterhood series. 

Sexual attacks are such a taboo that family members and our closest friends take great lengths to avoid the topic at all costs. Not just mine but in so many others who have emailed or privately contacted me after my story was published. Little wonder because 44% of all sexual attacks happen to children under the age of 16. Pretty scary statistics when you consider 1 in 5 women is a victim of a sexual crime. Whether it's depression, post natal depression, abuse, miscarriage or the threat of being homeless, the anxiety the sufferer experiences cannot be ignored.

Perhaps one of the stories may stop a loved one from contemplating suicide (thank you to the person who emailed me) or be a comfort just to know that she's not alone, you have made a difference and change the course of her life for the better. A few days ago, I received another email in my inbox. One that made my eyes welled up with tears and touched me deeply. Grace wrote this on her blog. Another truly inspiring individual, Lucy, the founder of Heal for Life U.K recently reminded me of the story of the starfish. It may be difficult for a single individual to change the course of history but collectively, as a group, we can all make a difference. One person at a time.


p.s. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Jacket series will remain permanently online here. Or you can share the stories using the social media icons below.

Interesting reads for the weekend

Sunday, 12 October 2014
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The truth behind Facebook.

The sweetest love story I've ever read.

Learning to say yes the Malaysian way.

Off duty dressing with Miranda Kerr.

A special exhibition for trench coat lovers titled "From Field to Fashion", carefully curated from start to finish by a dear friend of mine is now on at The Discovery Centre in Winchester. More about it here.

20 actual responses to stupid tourist questions about Australia.






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