Autumn Knits: Part Two

Photographed in Palais Royal, Paris

Originally the thought of matching knits made me conjure up images of the infamous twinset - a style made famous in the 50s and 60s by the likes of Jackie O and Grace Kelly. Although chic at the time, I distinctly remember mums donning them in the 80s and turning the once stylish combo into what can only be described as somewhat past its sell by date. 

But the matching knit concept has been revived, remade and upgraded for the modern woman, into the knitted skirt set or 'co-ord'. Equal parts cosy (and warm), as it is stylish, this set is ideal for cold winter days when you’re fed up of wearing jeans or trousers, or just want to look stylish when you’d rather be wearing pyjamas or fuzzy jogging bottoms, i.e no fuss - just-throw-it-on-and-go outfit. So comfortable, I could probably easily go to bed in it. So when I spotted this Comfy Direction Sweater and Skirt set in Grey on Chicwish - a site with a plethora of chic and happily affordable items, I knew immediately what I was going to wear for the second part in my collaboration with Chicwish. And you know how I love grey! I'm usually a size 34-36, so selected size small, but it is a perfect fit and the skirt even flattens by hips (try as I might to wear a pleated skirt, I just cannot get them to look good in one), which are on the wider size for my frame. 

I do love a bit of art imitating life, so we (Roxy & I) photographed the shoot in Palais Royal amongst Daniel Burian's sculptures -  note how the ribbed knit combo complements the black and white candy cane columns. 

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I'm wearing the Chicwish Comfy Direction Sweater and Skirt Set in Grey // COS navy coat, similar here & here // APC Demi-Lune Leather Shoulder bag // LK Bennet Leather Snake-Print boots, similar here & here

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Creative Direction: Marissa Cox // Photographed by Roxanne Matiz, with photos edited by Marissa Cox.

Autumn Knits: Part One

Photographed at Du Pain et Des Idées in Paris

I'm wearing: Chicwish Sweater // COS Wool Coat, similar here, here and here // LK Bennet Boots, similar here, here and here // ME+EM Leather Saddle Bag // Madewell Jeans // Dior Lipstick // Sisley Foundation

There's nothing more satisfying than updating your wardrobe when the season changes. Ok I think of a few things - Thai prawn red curry, popcorn, a rom com with popcorn, the perfect light, a hug, a glass of good red wine, roast, spicy margarita... But seriously as a woman, the wardrobe is serious business - you want to look good; you don't want to look like you just dragged yourself out of bed and got dressed in the dark. And who wants to spend an hour every morning trying to figure out what to wear?! Ok I still do that sometimes, but either way it's better to be prepared. As soon as the temperatures begin to drop, or when I pack my swimsuit away, I start thinking about what I need to update my wardrobe with. I'm one of those people that goes through her wardrobe at least four times a year to clear out the old, over worn and not so loved items to make way for fresh, joy-inducing items (yes I'm citing Marie Kondo's tidying bible). I give it a good spring, summer, autumn and winter clean, and I even go so far as to make an inventory of what I have and a list of what I need - try it, it'll certainly helps solve those "i have nothing to wear" moments. Not that I've banished them, I'm just much better at getting dressed in the morning since doing this. US brand, Chicwish, besides doing a brilliant choice of stylish year-round items, offers a great selection of knits that will up your winter dressing anté. 

This is the first of a three part series showcasing a few of my favourite knits from the Chicwish collection. First up is the Lace-up Rhythm Sweater in white. If you've been following me for a while, you might know that I have a habit of going minimal to the max - in other words I often wear a uniform. So I thought it was time to push my sartorial sweater boundaries and pick one with some detailing, like this slightly risqué, sexier tied-up, yet still cosy and warm sweater, as what's the use of clothes (besides covering our modesty and keeping us warm), if we can't have some fun, whilst also feeling more confident. I paired the sweater with jeans, leather snake-printed boots and a navy coat and saddle bag, whilst indulging in a l'escargot rhum raisin at one of my favourite boulangeries in the neighbourhood, Du Pain et Des Idées - this place combined with its colours and smell of baked goods wafting out the door, couldn't be a more perfect place to hang out in autumn!

Created in collaboration with Chicwish.

Chicwish Sweater // COS Wool Coat, similar herehere and here // LK Bennet Boots, similar herehere and here // ME+EM Leather Saddle Bag // Madewell Jeans // Dior Lipstick // Sisley Foundation

Close-up of the   sweater's   lace detailing

Close-up of the sweater's lace detailing

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Creative Direction: Marissa Cox // Photographed by Roxanne Matiz, with photos edited by Marissa Cox.

White Heat

Ah heat -  the sun briefly reared its head a couple of weeks ago, only to disappear behind a blanket of grey cloud more recently. These photos were shot on a fortuitously sunny day at the Palais de Tokyo (one of my favourite Paris galleries) before we had our little short-lived heatwave a couple of weekends ago (remember me wearing my off the shoulder Ganni top?). Luckily, in between passing clouds, brilliant white sun shone down onto the sand coloured stone building – making it look deceptively hot and like I'm basking in its rays. It was nippy at best (and freezing in the shadow).

{An aside note: now you may or may not know that I'm British (well half - other is American, but I spent my whole life in the UK before moving to Paris, besides an ERASMUS year in Valencia, Spain during university), and we are notoriously known for talking about the weather. I do it on a daily basis, it's part of my culture - having grown up on an island that is regularly battered by the elements, so forgive me if I often prattle on about it!}

As soon as spring hits, I fish out my parka – it’s lightweight so good for the (ever so slightly) warmer weather, and has a hood – protection for any of those frequent spring showers. I’m currently looking out of the window at a friend's in London, while I write this and am watching the grey sky fill with rain clouds – so a hood is a necessitiy, if not one of those clear hooded gagools that they dish out at the Niagara Falls for example? I joke (kind of).

This particular one is from A.P.C and I’ve had it going on 5 years.  A parka is a wardrobe essential and you can’t go wrong Khaki – it goes with everything and it’s refreshing adding a little green to your closet as the season changes. Other great options: here, here, here and here

I also start wearing white when spring comes around. This year I'm being a bit more daring and wearing it top to toe, rather tricky when you live in a city, it's better on the beach - but I will persevere!  It crops up on the catwalks every year as it's just so easy to wear (as long as you don't go near red wine, spaghetti bolognese, animals, general everyday life) and will keep you cool when the heat finally hits. [Scroll down for outfit links!]

I'm wearing:

ME+EM white jeans (they run a little big so take a size down // & Other Stories Silver Shoes // Ray Bans // COS bow front shirt shirt - similar Topshop one here, Ellery one here and Tibi here // Tom Ford  // Noir Jewellery earrings from the Outnet, similar here

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Shop the post below: 

Photos of me by Roxanne Matiz, edited by me. 

Spring Blues

Iris & Ink bag, similar here,  Iris & Ink Gilet ,  Stan Smith trainers ,  Ray Ban Sunglasses ,  COS jeans , White tee, similar  here  and  MAC lipstick .

Iris & Ink bag, similar here, Iris & Ink GiletStan Smith trainers, Ray Ban Sunglasses, COS jeans, White tee, similar here and MAC lipstick.

As I write this, the rain is pummelling against the window (Tina Turner style – ironically she’s live from Rio here, which is where I’d much rather be right now…), and yes I can’t stand the rain. It's cold and it’s miserable out there, nothing I wear seems to protect me from the big huge drops falling left, right and centre, and I’ve literally felt like I’ve been cold for six months, travelling with a hot water bottle (unless it’s to somewhere tropical) wherever I go. Suffice to say, it might be time to emigrate to LA…

So my intention with shooting a spring(ier) style post (i.e. sans big warm dressing gown coat from COS, which I’ve been living in during those said cold six months), was to help kickstart warmer weather (even if it’s just in my mind). I photographed it on a much sunnier, yet not much warmer day (fittingly), outside a blue door that I spotted on a recent bike ride through le Marais - thinking it'd make a nice backdrop to my almost all blue attire. Despite being the colour of cold, I’m a big advocate for blue, or rather navy. It’s not as somber as black, but just as easy to wear - throw on and mix up with neutral shades and pretty much any colour and pattern. And it can be worn right through to summer – it’s an all season, all weather colour. Just top with a beige trench and slap on a lighter lip colour and you’re dressed for spring(ish), just don’t forget your umbrella!

Photos of me by Haleigh Walsworth, edited by me. 

London Time

I've had a crazy couple of weeks, hence no time to blog. I do have a few upcoming blog projects in the works though so you'll be seeing more here soon. In the meantime I thought I'd share a few photos I took in London when I was last there and muse on a few things I've experienced and learnt over the last few weeks. It's probably been the most exhausting, yet the most exciting and fruitful weeks of my career. I've pushed myself, both creatively and business-wise. And I've learnt a lot about myself, my boundaries and capabilities. As a woman (and if you're woman reading this, you will probably agree) I often find it hard to promote myself and can struggle with self-doubt. It comes down to not always having confidence and belief in myself and what I'm capable of. Luckily I've managed to bury that doubt over the last few weeks in favour of just going for it! I definitely think moving country and hence out of my comfort zone has helped me there too.

I've also learnt to be stronger in the last few weeks, but that is what it takes if you want to build a successful freelance career in anything creative. You have to grow some

cojones.

So not worrying about where the next job is coming from, but being confident that it will. I've been reading books by strong, independent business women, to help get me through. If you ever have any doubts about the path you're forging I urge you to read

Girlboss by Sophia Amoroso

- not only is it inspiring, but it's a bit like having a good friend or mentor cheer you on from the sidelines. Read anything by Richard Branson. Ok, he's not a woman, but he's incredibly inspiring with his 'screw it, just do it' work ethic, especially coming from a man that didn't go to university or come from an overly-privileged family. (Perhaps elements that made him strive harder). He just thought why not? And maintained the confidence to get on with pursuing his dreams. I'm currently reading

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

, which has been on my list for a while. She addresses many of the insecurities that I've felt and how to deal with them. 

Freelance life is tough, it's not for everyone, but I cannot imagine going back to a full time job (which I have had experience of in the past). So when I'm doubting myself I've started turning to other strong women who I admire to get me through the tough times. A great publication for anyone who isn't a big reader, but wants short inspiring stories about strong women following, or who have followed their dreams, is

Porter

magazine. I'd be pushed to say it's the best woman's magazine on the market at the moment - it's intelligent, well-written, inspiring and stylish! I'm also a big believer of surrounding yourself with friends who will champion you, call you out when you haven't done something you said you will and be there for you when the going gets rough. 

When I was thinking about writing today, I didn't think this post would turn into such a personal post, but I thought I'd share my two cents! I'd love to know your thoughts - what you struggle with, what you've learnt if you do freelance or are following a more creative, less trodden path and what you turn to when you need to maintain that inner strength to keep going and challenging yourself push your limits, to do better and live better!

Finally a few favourite things:

- I've been enjoying my friend Ylenia's

street style photos

from the fashion weeks

- I've have quite a few Jewish friends, so

this

popped up on my Facebook feed and moved me to tears

- This

COS coat

- I can't decide if I'll look stylish or like a giant marshmallow? But I'm preparing for a trip to Iceland and this just might keep me warm!

- Nicole Franzen's

gorgeous photos

of new Miami restaurant, Marion Miami

- I'm totally lusting after this

look

- I made it to

Cafe Oberkampf

on Saturday to get a slice of Frank's, aka

@cakeboyparis

 almond and fig honey cake! Yum.

J.Crew heels - every woman needs a great pair of heels, even if like me you're not really a heel-wearer... I've worn these to the last two weddings I've been to and danced the night away at both. 

London Happenings

Every time I go back to London, my experience of the city seems to get better and better, probably because now having lived away for two years, I enjoy the city with fresh eyes and can appreciate, as well as take full advantage of the city. Here are a few of the things I got up to during my week: 

+ I purchased a few spring wardrobe updates from

COS

, including these tees. It's by far my favourite brand for well-designed basics and wardrobe essentials. 

+ I breakfasted at new Spitalfields restaurant

Blixen

 which is guaranteed to become a summer hotspot, with its outside terrace. Try the smoked trout, pouched eggs and avocado and I went with

Clerkenwell Boy

- following him on Instagram for London culinary goings on is a must. 

+ I went to Hackney based shoe brand

Miista's

pop-up

shop

launch in Shoreditch with the talented designer

Brooke Roberts

and walked away with these beautiful powder blue sandals, which I'm sure will be making many an appearance over the summer. 

+ I enjoyed breakfast at the delicious

Honey and Co

with my friend

Ruth

from

Vintage Books

- go for the fig toast! 

+ Tried and tested tasty cocktails at new Shoreditch bar

Joyeux Bordel

, which opened just last week on Curtain Road - part of the Experimental Cocktail Group crew.

+ Ate pizzas from my favourite London pizza restaurant

Franca Manca

Winter Wardrobe

I am not built for cold weather. My hands are the first to freeze, then my feet, then nose and before I know it I need to be thawed out. I know that 'chilled to the bone' feeling oh so well - when they invent wearable hot water bottles, I will be the first to buy one. So this year, I vowed I'd be prepared for the first sign of frost. I bought my winter coat when it was still warm, having spied this

dressing gown

navy number in COS. It's over-sized, snuggly and keeps me warm. Better yet, it slots into my wardrobe.

Since moving to Paris and in my quest to live better, I've been trying to streamline said wardrobe and throw out the clothes that I don't wear, with the aim of building a uniform (note irony when you scroll and see the grey jumper/navy skirt schoolgirl combo) of items that are stylish, timeless and made to last. It's an ongoing task, this shopping better and only trying to spend money where it counts, (it helps to keep a list) and I am constantly on the search for classics that will last longer than a season. My taste is pretty minimal and varies between shades of black, navy, grey and white, with the odd shot of colour, usually in the form of lipstick. This winter, I have been literally living in a variation of the following looks, switching it up with a pair of jeans, white tee and navy cardigan  (I have a thing for navy right now). And thinking I perhaps needed a little more colour in my life, I bought the trainers to match my lipstick, yep not the other way around.

How much thought goes into your wardrobe? 

Photos by

Hana Pedajnianska

, edited by me.