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Saudi Born, European Educated, Hong Kong situated fashion loving Editor and Fashion Director in the luxury publishing sector

Monday, October 15, 2012

Shoe Love = Shove


Shoe + Love = Shove

An intense bond and sense of attachment to your better half on either side. A devotion to the duo who keep you upright in the best of times and give the occasional little lift when necessary.

After the ongoing Isabel Marant platform sneaker debate I've bitten the bullet bought two pairs and have been staring at my feet ever since (serious health hazard in packed nightclubs).

I've also been singing Shoe Love to the tune of Guy Love from Scrubs constantly.

 I've hummed it, sang it (shockingly), danced to it and even tried doing Gangnam style to it and have come to realize that shoe love is kinda magic, deserves its own word and should be called shove from now on.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Havaiana Wanderlust

Working in publishing is fun, challenging and creative. It is probably one of the few professions where I can utilize my law degree (writing) finance masters (business meetings) and my inherited obsession with DIY crafts (comes in handy for the old studded collars now and again).

So when my editor-in-chief informed me that our next issue of one of our magazines was to feature a sculpture made out of Havaianas flip flops I didn't bat an eyelid...until she told me that I was going to make it. 

And when 12 kilos of flip flops arrived courtesy of Electric Sekki my first reaction was to call my mum, the woman is a craft master: teddy bears, quilts, hats, sculptures, stained glass windows, ceramics, pottery....the list goes on. You name it and she's done it. But somehow I didn't think flip flop's were her forte so asked our Chief instead who showed me two very large weird and wonderful wooden sculptures and a box of nails. The rest as they say is history.

Here is a sneak peek!

All photos courtesy of the wonderful photographer Lucy McNally

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Savvy Suiting

Savvy Suiting

I love a man in a suit…..scratch that…..I love a man in a GOOD suit, a GREAT suit, we’re talking Tom Ford Black with a crisp white shirt underneath (nice little article about it here), a pair of Bulgari cufflinks and some Valentino shoes.  Throw on a Hermes tie and you’re good to go.  If I were a man – and I’m very happy I’m not – I would go full on every day, because the alternative is so much drearier. 

Esquire is the top google hit for style advice for workwear for men.  Unfortunately whoever takes care of their fashion section is rubbish, they advise men to saunter into the office wearing a hot pink and white stripe shirt, with a red and navy silk paisley tie.  Get real Esquire.  People who wear suits usually have to be in the office for 7 AM and the last thing they want to think about is trying to mix and match stripes and florals. (The picture is too ugly to put on my pretty post but you can see a tiny portion of the fashion train wreck below).

To Avoid this....

My tip.  Keep it simple!

If you are a conformist, an investment banker, a lawyer, a medic, a public servant or a business man in the traditional sense, then there is very little room for manouvre around the confines of the stereotypical suit.  Barristers may be the exception to the rule (as are headhunters).  I’ve met two men throughout my life who find it necessary to wear three piece suits every day.  Personally I wonder what they wear at weddings and black tie events, but it’s probably a top hat with a cane no doubt.  Anyways both of these men were quite ahem rotund….and looked slightly foolish.  They both were pompous, had small man syndrome and had read the food pyramid upside down.  My point is leave the three piece suit at home unless you are Prince Charles or Harry.

Different professionals in various industries and even countries are prone to a few different fashion crimes.  Here they are done out in an excel sheet….(Professionals LOVE excel….it makes me kind of dizzy)

Fashion Crime
Middle Eastern
Trying to look like John Travolta in Grease but in a suit: Too tight, too greasy, too shiny.  Wet look hair gel is so over
Dressing like its Independence day, every day of the week.  We are over the red, white and blue combo….please get over it too
Horrible shoes.  Go to Italy, find the oldest man in Milan and get him to tell you how important Italian leather shoes are…pronto!
Brown suits, it is not camel, it is brown, and it is not the 70's anymore
Seiceáil léinte, tá tú ag obair i mbanc, ní ar fheirm, nó i gclós lumber. Seiceáil léine le comhionannas vótaí atá ar whammy dúbailte ... Ugh
Vos pantalons sont trop serrés et vous ne pouvez plus respirer, donc vous êtes coupable de virer au bleu.  Pas cool….pas cool du tout.

So what should a man wear to work?  After living and travelling in a variety of different countries and previously working in the banking sector I have come up with a formula.  It’s easier for the bankers to understand it this way.

A = One ridiculously well tailored suit, if in Asia get it tailored, if not go into Hugo Boss, and if you’re really serious about the process go into Tom Ford.  My choice is black – other people may say otherwise, but a black suit will always get my attention and looks very sharp...if it's good enough for Mr. Bond...

B = Crisp white shirt, personally I don’t see the point in getting shirts tailored, and you do not need to spend a fortune on this aspect of the outfit.  Save the money that you don’t spend here for the Hermes Tie you’re about to buy.  Marks and Spencers or Thomas Pink shirts will suffice.  Buy five, one for every day of the week.  Ask any woman and she’ll tell you that you cannot go wrong with a white shirt on a man.  Try out different materials, different white patterns and have fun...but only in the white department of the store.

C = The most important part.  ACCESSORIES.  I cannot stress it enough.  Inès de la Fressange (Chanel muse and fashion superstar) has always emphasized the fact that looking stylish is all about the accessories upon a simple canvas.  So invest in that Hermes Tie, try out a cravat!  Invest in classic yet unusual accessories and cufflinks.  Buy that tie pin, moneyclip, Bally man bag and let your accessories do the talking for you.  

Winning Formula: A + B + C = Savvy Suiting

Photos coming soon. For now check out the following websites

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Red Sofa Story

I have a big red problem in the form of a sofa, and I love it....but it's on the verge of turning my living room into Graham Norton's interview studio.

My love of gold (growing up in Saudi Arabia has this effect on women) and my Philippe Starck gold gun lamp  are not doing anything to help the situation. 

 Therefore, in order to make the living room less Playboy Mansion and more Little House on the Prarie I've decided to add some classic touches.  Gold Antique Framed pictures of the beautiful Carmen Dell'orrefice will be added to inject some elegance.  

She will be framed by a handmade gold leaf vintage picture frame inspired by a DIY Gold Leaf Chalkboard I stumbled across on my pinterest travels.  I also found this House and Home DIY Gold Leafing Video which is useful.

While googling painted vintage furniture I discovered Painted Pretty Furniture Blog and paid a visit to my old faithful Shabby Chic.  Both of these websites are great for some home inspiration just don't forget to add a bit of an edge to your interior design and inject your own personality into it.  We all love Laura Ashley but there's enough time for that when we're 80 going around with purple rinses in our tightly permed hair!

I'm also going to look for some Vintage Chinese Trunks and distress them using this tutorial.

DIY is in my blood and my mum turns anything she touches into a work of art from quilts and candles to jewelry and teddy bears.  For my 10th Birthday she organized a brilliant party where my friends and I all made venetian masquerade ball masks.  So much fun!  

Will do some before and after pictures and post them up once everything is finished.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Filthy Magical Baubles

It's Typhoon 8 in Hong Kong, my friend told me that the last time this happened he saw a cow fly by his window.  Naturally, I got very upset about this and spent the morning running around Hong Kong tying down all the cows.  

Now that all of the cow's are secure I can tell you about filthy magical baubles.  

I discovered two amazing jewellery websites thanks to Stripes and Sequins Blog.  Bauble Bar is a savage (awesome, fantastic, sweet, cool, rad, substitute as you see fit) website.  Matt neon set in classic metal settings make for some pretty neck candy.
Unfortunately this isn't in stock anymore but I'm sure a little e-mail could move the manufacturing machine along.

I also love anything monogrammed and personalized, when I was 18 my dad wrote my name in arabic and got a jeweller to make it into a gold ring in his handwriting.  I haven't taken it off since.  Unfortunately Dervla is pronounced Jerbila in the Middle East and the jeweller's exact words to me were, (thick Arabic Accent for full effect), 
"Jerbila ees verry verry ugleee een Arrrabic....choose a deefarant name."

So my dad suggested my middle name Catherine.  

"Much Betta een arabie", was the jewellers response...

If they call Pepsi into Bebsi, and Birthday into Birzday, then I guess Dervla can be Catherine in the Middle East.

These monogrammed friendship bracelets allow you to personalize three names, so they are perfect gifts for your girlfriends or your mom.

Bauble Bar 3 Name Friendship Bracelet

There are so many other great finds so go onto the website and check it out.

Next on the list is Filthy Magic.  I wanted everything from this website so I was happy when I saw the super friendly prices.  It's a great place to shop if you want to try out a few new jewellery trends without breaking the bank.  Here are some of my favorites.

Buy Nail Ring here Only $14 US!
Buy Shirt Collar Necklace

Buy Horn Ring here Only $17 US

There is so many more great pieces so check both of these sites out

Friday, June 29, 2012

Vintage Pop Up Shop June 29th and 30th

After 4 hours of Visual merchandising and trying not to buy the Gucci Boots that are begging me to take them home (more on that below) the Vintage Pop Up Shop at Noho House is ready to go.  Personally I think Simon Doonan would be proud!

We're only open today and tomorrow and everything is for sale, down to the beautiful white Laura Ashley-esque furniture and the vintage framed posters.  

So grab your mother and friends and enjoy a glass of wine while you purchase designer clothes and support Redress NGO with every item bought.

Today (June 28th) and Tomorrow (June 30th)

NoHo House
3 Shin Hing Street
Hong Kong

11AM - 8PM

Here are some of the great pieces that are looking for new homes
Gucci Boots

Lace Up Italian Boots
Pucci Jacket

Giuseppe Zanotti Heels

Christian Dior Biker Boots

Going nutty for nuts

Day 3 as a vegan has commenced....

Day 3 of overdosing on peanuts and dried mango has also commenced....

Day 3 of walking into a shop and not being able to buy ANYTHING to eat has also commenced....

But....I feel great and after some research on google I have found out about the many lovely things I can eat instead of mangos and peanuts....

I will miss Ranch Dressing but will replace it with hummus :)