“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated” – Confucius
Today, flowers in hand, I visited my good pal and confidant at chez Luxe. Nestled in the quiet Sussex countryside, it’s a place to relax and play Lord of the Manor (I should have worn Harris Tweed – damn). After the hydrangeas were gratefully received and copious cups of tea were downed, we pottered the ground and enjoyed the last of the sun.
I kept the outfit plain (well, for me) with a butter-soft Balmain leather biker, Decarnin era Balmain t-shirt, Fendi jeans and Nike trainers. Ten points if you notice all the accessory details.
PS. The last photo make me actually LOL. I like to think of it as my ‘really bitch?’ face.
I was tagged by the wonderful @woahstyledotcom on Instagram to share 20 things about me. I love ideas like this, as it allows me to engage with both the people I follow and my followers. Also ‘me’ is one of my favourite topics. So without further ado, here’s my list:
- The W stands for William.
- I love animals, but bears are my all time favourite.
- Having said this, I am scared of monkeys.
- I have terrible taste in music.
- I always laugh at myself (including my own jokes).
- I’m emoji obsessed.
- I feel uncomfortable in front of a mirror.
- It took me 4 attempts to pass my driving test.
- My favourite fashion brand is Fendi (followed closely by Balmain).
- My first ever bag was Fendi!
- Money burns a hole in my pocket.
- I have a passion for fashion.
- But I studied art and English at college.
- I am like a magpie when it comes to shiny things.
- My favourite food is sushi.
- I am perpetually single.
- I’m extremely clumsy.
- I adore personalisation and bespoke pieces (fashion, jewellery, anything).
- I don’t drink or take any mind altering substances.
- I love social media, especially Instagram and my blog.
The other day whilst in London, I sashayed over to Dover Street Market to smell the much talked about GIRL fragrance – a collaboration between Pharrell Williams and Commes des Garçons. I knew even before testing it I would be a fan, as any scent by CdG is amazingly complex and beautiful; but I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I do, it’s wonderful. Or should that be Wonderwoodful?
Firstly you get the floral notes, so I can understand why some men may be put off, but the cardinal rule when trying any scent is to allow it to develop. After the violet and neroli, the woodiness starts to come through; and this was when I really started to appreciate what a work of art this fragrance really is. For me, the vetiver and sandalwood (with a whiff of patchouli) really stood out and being Eau de Parfum, it means it lasts. The woody base notes are the perfect counteraction to the floral top ones. Always a winner in my book. So basically, fragrance jargon aside, it starts off flowery, but gets woody. It’s a sexy, intelligent scent.
It doesn’t stop at the actual smell either. The KAWS designed bottle is super; really tactile and for 100ml, it’s designed well enough to carry in your bag and not be cumbersome. Another box ticked.
Lastly, I love how it’s unisex. It may sound a strangely simple thing, but who likes being categorised? Wear what you want to wear, smell how you want to smell; just being you is a beautiful thing – as is this fragrance.
It’s pretty obvious by now that I adore Fendi, I always have and I probably always will. Ever since getting my first Fendi bag when I was at school, I’ve been hooked. The fact that it’s still family run is a wonderful thing and Karl’s creative genius can only help. I’m also a huge fan of Silvia’s menswear line, it has gone from strength to strength, each season seems to surpass the last.
When the Bag Bug collection came out, those hooks sunk even deeper. I know I’ve yapped about them in a previous post, so I shan’t start that again. I loved that the ‘Monster’ theme has continued over the seasons, it just keeps getting more and more cute – in a kind of aggressive way. I like to have fun with fashion and these Monsters are the ideal way to express my style.
After stupidly not getting the first line of men’s Monster accessories, despite seeing them in-store (don’t you hate buyer’s remorse?), I certainly didn’t let this pouch pass me by. Crafted out of textured ‘Crayons’ leather, it’s bright and durable. Perfect for stashing the cash and cards. The Swarovski tooth is a nice detail too. Admittedly I certainly didn’t need another wallet/pouch/card holder, but I certainly wanted it. So it’s now part of my own Fendi family, which seems to be growing at an alarming rate…
Yesterday the fabulous Simon (of www.theverysimong.com) and I met in London to talk about blogging, fashion, food; and everything in-between. So what better place than Ladurée Burlington Arcade? It’s charmingly quaint, not to mention a stone’s throw away from all the shops I love; and their famous macarons are like nectar. Of course I Instagrammed a picture (along with quite possibly every other ‘fashion blogger’ on the face of the planet has – cliché much?), but it was impossible to resist, they really do taste as good as they look.
Chanel. It’s always been a brand I have loved, growing up lusting after my mother’s pieces – but I’ve always struggled to wear it with conviction. It’s a hard label for us guys to pull off. I’m talking about accessories, not a bouclé two-piece and pearls.
After years of convincing myself I could rock a Jumbo (when I really couldn’t), I finally bit the bullet and bought a Chanel bag. The ‘O-Case’ is designed to hold a laptop, as told by my SA herself, but I think it’s so much better as a clutch. I chose the classic black caviar with gold hardware, as the lambskin creases too easily – this is much more durable. Finally a Chanel bag a man can wear easily (unless of course you are like my Instagram friend @iatemarykate who can pull off ANYTHING).
You may also notice one of my favourite ever vintage pieces, the eagle necklace. So OTT, so fun. I bought it myself in 2001 and it was love at first flight. I play it down with an old white t-shirt and jeans, or dress it up with a crisp white shirt; keeping it just under the collar. It’s one piece I shall cherish forever.
“The best colour in the whole world is the one that looks good on you” – Coco Chanel
Another day, another eight hour time difference (or sixteen from this time last week). Cue forthcoming insomnia. Tiredness aside, I spent the day
shopping ambling the streets of Hong Kong. Admittedly, I do prefer Shanghai, but if you read my last post, you’ll know my fondness of anywhere in China.
It wasn’t unbearably hot for this time of year and the humidity didn’t play too much havoc with my hair; so after swapping my trousers for shorts, I was ready to go. Whilst I did feel a little outside of my Mandarin comfort zone, I was happy just exploring the bustling streets, drooling at the many designer boutiques and salivating over the street food. It’s a city like no other and if you ever get the chance to go – do.
Outfit wise, I wore a Christopher Kane Galaxy print t-shirt (an oldie but a goodie), the modal blend means it’s both comfy and light. The shorts are from the Vivienne Westwood ‘Drunken’ collection – easy and breezy (gents you’ll get what I mean)… Christian Louboutin white studded toe-cap trainers – my luxe interpretation of the Stan Smith; socks from COS and my trusty Fendi By The Way bag, with accompanying Funich.
It’s no secret that I love China – it’s one of the countries that will always hold a special place in my heart. Yes the shopping is fantastic and yes the food is delicious (even if you have to be a little adventurous sometimes); but for me it’s the people that shine the brightest.
My parents told me whilst visiting a foreign country, it’s only good manners to learn the language basics. So when I first visited China I took to it with gusto. I have a thing for languages. Admittedly it was mainly just to be polite at first, OK it may have cut down the haggling and it may have got me better service, but it wasn’t all self-seeking behaviour. When I saw the gratitude shown for a foreigner attempting to learn the native tongue, despite English being widely spoken, it spurred me on even further.
Over the last eight years I have learnt as much Mandarin as can and it has given me the opportunity to make both life long friends and embrace a different culture. Thanks to the warmth and hospitality shown to me by my Chinese chums, I came to learn about the Mid-Autumn festival, and the delicious Moon Cake.
Falling on the fifteenth day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar, the festival is traditionally a time when families come together, pray and share offerings with each other. Nowadays Moon Cakes are given, as their spherical shape signifies union – and my gosh are they delicious. Rich, sweet and satisfying.
Whilst I may be in Hong Kong this September the eighth, I’m buying boxes to share with both my friends in Shanghai and my family at home. As the famous local poem says: “May we live long and share the beauty of the moon together, even if we are hundreds of miles apart”.