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Never a dull moment

Life in London is like a love story – you fall headlessly in love with the big smoke and noisy buses, the red telephone booths and the turbulent tubes. London flirts with you through its extraordinary architecture and cultural diversity and then once it knows you’re smitten – it shortly reveals its true colours behind all the glamour. Even though I saw the somewhat unglamorous side from roughly day 2 – I can’t help but still be revelling in the beauty of living in a foreign city.

It has been 6 months since I’ve moved here to London and seeing that I had rather a large epiphany this week about just how much this city has affected me – I thought I would articulate such musings, naturally, through my blog. Unfortunately due to my dire lack of spare time, I have been greatly inconsistent in my posting – and I sincerely apologise!

I would encourage everyone to live away from home at least one stage of their life. There is an empowering freedom and self-confidence that is awakened within you when you live away from the security of certain ‘Home Luxuries’ – and I think it’s a great way for you to grow up and further open your mind.

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Harrods. No better symbol of  heightened brand consumerism !

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We’ve all heard of that saying “Travelling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” and as ever cliche as that quote is, it is inherently true. It’s life changing to explore the boundaries of your comfort zone and expand your perceived knowledge of the world. Some of the most fascinating people I have ever met are the ones who are appreciative of their experiences, their environment and the people in their life.

Even though creative inspiration is apparent everywhere – there’s a certain creative vitality that travelling imparts within you. When you change your surroundings, your experiences bring new life to the ordinary and make you see things in a different light. When we see the beauty apparent throughout the world, we often come to realise that perhaps we took for granted the beauty that we experienced in the everyday that we were unaware of – and this imparts in us newfound creative inspiration.

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Cambridge. Truly beautiful!

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Travelling changes the way you think and through this, creates new perceptions, beliefs and ideas. Whether you’re simply walking through the street and draw inspiration from the colours in someone’s outfit or have merely meet an intriguing local who is from a radically different walk of life to you – your viewpoint matures and your creativity is rebirthed.

Travelling makes you present – it forces you to soak in your environment and see possibilities where others see the mundane.

For the first time in my life I have had to acclimatize to working a 9 to 5 . The hardest part is sitting down for the entire day – to be honest I would much rather be walking about or being outdoors than being in doors for such an extended time and it’s been very challenging keeping focused and charged every single day when you’re constantly just sitting clicking away.

One thing that has really helped to heighten my focus and enabled me to stay motivated and consistent is being active in the little bit of spare time that I have. I am not at the stage yet where I can afford to have a gym contract and I have therefore had to make do with gymming in my bedroom. I have now had to rely on my own mind and willpower to keep my fitness up and consistent. My bedroom is therefore my new gym… How very glamorous, I know!

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In all seriousness though – I am a fully converted Ivy Park fan! I am super impressed with the fit, form and performance of their new collection and I advise everyone to give this brand a try. I would almost say this is the best sports bra I have ever worn.

Even though I have been living on the yellow packet M&M’s and boiled eggs on toast – I still wouldn’t change this for anything. No two days are ever the same and every day brings a new adventure – whether it’s meeting Princess Beatrice or driving past Richard Branson – life in London is a constant adventure.  I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months hold.

HH x

 

 

 

A snapshot of the V&A Museum. Spectacular!

WHY YOU NEED TO LIVE IN LONDON AT LEAST ONCE IN YOUR LIFE

No one can quite prepare you for living in London. No matter how talented, rich or educated you are – this incredible city will forever change you. I’ve only been here since the beginning of the year and I can already feel the effects of London – and I mean that in the best possible way.

Before commencing your flight to Heathrow, however, there are many flaws to this concrete jungle that you should know about.

Rush hour is an absolutely terrifying dog-eat-dog world akin to that of a scene from the Hunger Games and it always reminds me of the sprawling spectrum of humanity through the cumulation of all our individual journeys.  Furthermore, having a “fun night out” in Clapham can somehow feel as though you are in a meat market and it is absolute carnage. God forbid you should NEVER stand on the left hand side of an escalator and lastly but most importantly – sell absolutely everything you own before  you move to London because it will suck you dry! One beer sets you back easily about R144 and you must accept the fact that you will never pay less that 7 pounds for a burger.

On the plus side, London is worth every single penny you have and there is truly nothing quite like it. It’s quite hard for me for some reason to elucidate the style that this city encompasses – it’s more of a “come and see for yourself” type scenario.

I was fortunate to have access to a private bar in the city last week and  I wish I could have taken pictures – people in London certainly dress well. Very well! Men are so comfortable to wear Tweed coats and striking scarfs – and confidently walk the streets in the most stylish loafers that I’ve ever seen.  Signet rings are somewhat of a hierarchical fetish here and tend to adorn a large number of British men’s pinkies.

I have also noticed that the streets are full of people wearing the newest Nike Huaraches. When I first saw them in Dubai I remarked in disgust that they look like alien shoes – but like most trends, I have grown to quite like them.

The white Huaraches are on my lust list for sure baby!

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The streets are busy hum-drums of formal frantic businessmen, the pubs are little havens of overworked and fantastically interesting Brits and the shops are never-ending possibilities to file for bankruptcy.

There’s an electric energy that pulses through the heartbeat of this incredible city that simply makes it impossible for it NOT to change you! I’ve never felt more alive! I am truly grateful to be in the fashion capital of the world and in a hub where some of the world’s most important decisions are made.

Here are a few (photographic) reasons to come to London:

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Strand Street – an example of London’s correlation to a Harry Potter film set.

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Regents street – it’s quite overwhelming at first, to be honest! But it’s rather beautiful at night.

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Westminister! Founded in 980, this is by far the most beautiful gothic church I have ever seen.

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My secret weapon to the ins-and-outs of London! If you’re coming to London you need a Brit to show you the ropes. This is my fantastic British friend, Ed.

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A better view of Westminister.

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It’s always adventure time with this baby on my wrist! I absolutely love my DW.

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Pikaboo! Big Ben wants to say hello, too!

If you’d like to see more – follow me on Instagram :)

HH

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Things you ought to know

London is a notorious concoction of culture and class – I absolutely love it! Everything about it just takes my breath away – and the fashion is something to truly behold.

I could walk down the tube station absolutely stark naked and no one would think twice, they’d probably just nod at me and then proceed on to their next destination. So while I’ve been walking along cobbled streets and little red telephone booths – armed with my South African accent and a Laminated map torn out of my “Tour guide to London” – I’ve been aggressively ticking off things on my London to-do list. Through my pub-hopping escapades, exhaustative exploring and countless trips on the tube, I can’t help but establish a distinguished style that correlates throughout most Brits. My love of lists has therefore encouraged yet another one:

Things you ought to know before you come to London.

(Disclaimer: the following list is highly opinionated and stereotypical. If you don’t agree – that’s totally up to you !)

 

  1. Never judge a confident London Lass.

The ones who are willing to flaunt their legs in an H&M miniskirt when the temperature is close to snow-fall and the wind is howling directly into their face. Support them. Back them. They have more confidence than you could probably ever hope for in your wildest dreams! Let them be.

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My friend Paula and I trying to get a good shot of the London Eye – clearly we both failed haha

 

  1. Coats.

To be honest I absolutely couldn’t give a blue moon what I look like when I’m in 1’C weather– just as long as I’m warm. I started out wearing 2 layers of thermals (double top AND double bottom), a down-feather jacket, a woolen scarf and my dad’s 30 year old army jacket – and guess what? I was still shivering cold and grumpy as hell. I’m a wuss in the cold, don’t judge, but nothing can quite prepare you for the horrorful wind-breeze that sweeps through London. It’s a cold that hits you to your bones – and then eventually hits you right in the center of your soul. Therefore – do yourself a favour and get a good coat, one lined with animal fur and hot water bottles and even thermal underwear.

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Buckingham Palace Baby! To be honest I found this to be rather disappointing in real life!

 

  1. British men dress well; appreciate it.

Sitting on the tube is like fashion week in itself and I can’t help but be super impressed with the level of eloquence with which British men dress. Most of them have got the rugged-tailored-gentleman look down to a tee– it’s remarkable. As I sat in the tube last week I couldn’t help but acknowledge that British men just do it well – from the quality shoes they wear to the impeccable coats that complete their outfits, it’s a job well done indeed. Tailored clothing is for British men what cigarettes and coffee are for British women.

 

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Portobello Road, Notting Hill

  1. Guys can wear scarfs, too!

I remember when my mum bought my brother a scarf a few years ago – oh dear lord did she get shut down! My brother flat out refused to wear it. Here, it’s more a necessity than anything and it looks so incredible and work-chic.

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Westminister Station

  1. No more flip flops, thanks!

British men have a serious thing for shoes – that much is clear. The uber British lad is always adorned with his leather loafers and perhaps this is a slight improvement to the guys back in SA who wear flip flops even though they clearly shouldn’t let any ray of sunlight see their gruesome toe-nails. I’ll never forget my favourite English teacher in Grade 12 telling us all how she actually left a guy on a date because his feet were just so disgusting, haha I will ALWAYS remember her telling us the story!

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St Paul’s Cathedral

  1. British women don’t care.

There’s a carefree confidence that British women behold that distinguishes them apart from the rest of the world. Since being in London I’ve acknowledged that there is indeed a sense of judgmentalism that is ever-apparent in South African fashion. British women are stoked to wear whatever the heck they want – and I really like that. They unashamedly exhibit their personalities through their clothing, it’s absolutely refreshing to be in a city that just doesn’t hold back.

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Even the Lampposts in London are feasts for the eyes

In all honesty – I have been horrified at some of the atrocities I’ve seen people wear. But I quite like that, too.  London has taught me to shake off my judgmental attitude and learn to appreciate the eccentrics of fashion that London displays to its inhabitants day in, day out. Come here with an open mind (and a large wallet, might I add!) and London will be sure to show you a good time.

I love love love this plaaaaace

Have a lovely week : )

 

HH
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GHOSTWRITER

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 Airports are fascinating conundrums of activity. As a compulsive people-watcher, it’s interesting to observe the buzzing concoctions of human thoughts and emotions and they always have a habit of making me sentimental for some reason!

I’m sitting here in Dubai Airport with my backpack firmly on my shoulders and my heart somewhat on my sleeve.

There’s something incorrigibly emotional about closing one chapter and beginning another! Leaving Cape Town has left me feeling like an unrelenting, tantrum-throwing two year old. However as I’ve sat here with a Quentin Tarantino lookalike sitting crrrreepily next to me, I’ve acknowledged that it’s unquestionably time to have a new city as the backdrop to the best days of my life. I guess I left Cape Town on the most perfect note and I’m now ready to move on and discover a radical way of living; a London way of living.

I don’t know exactly what this year will bring – but all I know is that I will say yes to anything that will force me to step out of my comfort zone. Because, ultimately, comfort zones are for suckers. Comfort zones are the root of all discomfort. There is value in routine, but rewards are hidden in the triumph over obstacles and obstacles are never hidden between the ordinary concessions of too much comfort. So, the underlying message of this – is that perhaps it’s time for the discomfort of the unknown, and ultimately the rewards of the triumph over such discomfort.

I laude you if that made ANY sense to you haha…:)

Anyway, keep up with my blog – this is going to be an exciting year and I have lots planned! I’ve always wanted to live in London – to appreciate the London way of not only living, but dressing too. I’ve admired the eloquence with which British men & women carry themselves and I can’t wait to learn a thing or two. I feel blessed to have this opportunity and I can’t wait to discover a few revelations about the international stages of fashion.

Now it’s time to meet the Queen, swap my bikinis for Beanie’s and kiss my Irish Passport on its toosh.

London, show me what you got baybeeeee!

P.S the title of this post has nothing to do with anything discussed above, I was just listening to that song when writing this and I thought it’d be appropriate because I couldn’t think of a title, haha!

Have a sweeeeet day:):)
HH X

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Barely there, but perfectly so.

“Real Elegance is everywhere

especially in the things that don’t show”

Christian Dior

Any girl will understand when I say that there’s a certain empowerment that beautiful underwear gives you. It gives you that small push of confidence that’s somewhat demure yet strikingly effective.

On a side note – any girl who is elegant, educated and has some respect for her body should never heavily-depend on showing what her mamma gave her in order to complete her outfit.

Of course, guys will never understand this sentiment, haha!

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Anyway I love this trend of nude chiffon bralets with white lace and think it looks UNbelievable. Will be hunting this down in the coming months.

HH

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MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

“There’s always fashion. It’s a basic human instinct. And it’s very much about humanity and freedom, and it’s not very superficial at all.”

Vanessa Friedman

Cape Town is the epicentre of some of the most stylish and eccentric people on earth. The city’s pulse is beating with an unfathomable amount of colour that I can’t help but consistently stand back and be mesmerized by it. It is Cape Town who has empowered me to appreciate the beauty of fashion– and it is Cape Town who has revealed to me that fashion isn’t as superficial as I’d first thought.

Fashion is dumbed down as an industry of smoke and mirrors – and even though I agree that indeed its depth is certainly not that profound, I acknowledge that it’s much more than merely a concoction of trend forecasts and colour sheet predictions. The industry’s impact on society in general is long lasting and shockingly distinctive. To be honest I used to be embarrassed to be so interested in fashion because I knew that the automatic assumption would be that I was therefore shallow, narcissistic and inauthentic. After getting over myself, I’ve since recognized that fashion is a form of humanity that is instinctual in all of us and more significantly is very much part our freedom of thought and self-expression.

While I admit that my love of clothes makes for an expensive retail therapy habit – I acknowledge that fashion is a form of creativity and expression that goes far beyond what meets the eye. I don’t always intend to heavily analyze people’s dress sense too seriously (I’ll be honest I do find myself looking people up and down in a much too obvious manner sometimes but I’m working on that okay!) but I can’t help but perceive the correlation between one’s personality and their style.

Fashion is a powerful entity that marks society. It’s even traceable through history – from the Egyptians, the Indians, the Incas and the African’s and their tribal-wear. Adorning the body is therefore an insurmountable human need – proving to be nothing superficial at all unless of course you’re excessively materialistic.

What’s more is that fashion as an art form in itself has the intense power to evoke social transformation and experiment with ideas surrounding sexuality and body image. The thing that really bothers me though, is that people are very supercilious towards fashion. The industry consists of many hard-working, talented and highly intelligent people who take what they do very seriously. There is a huge amount of responsibility that goes into sending clothes down the runway season after season. The ordinary person sees nice clothes, but the industry professional sees a myriad of talents and languages sewn together to express an underlying message.

When I look at labels such as Dolce and Gabbana, Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors I appreciate the power of fashion because these labels have empowered not only a select few women, but generations of them.  The ordinary (well-endowed, might I add!) consumer of fashion powerhouses often satisfies themselves in the untold empowerment and confidence that these expertly made clothes give them. Whether it is rich unemployed housewives seeking comfort in the therapy of shopping or independent women who work hard for their capital – it’s undeniable that there is a certain power that all people seek through clothing.

Fashion has also transformed into a hybrid of technology and art – with houses such as Hermes merging with companies such as Apple for their new iWatch. That’s groundbreaking because it’s a testimony to the power of fashion: fashion is no longer merely what we wear anymore. It’s what we see, what we do and most importantly: how we do it. The fashion industry in the UK alone is worth over 28 Billion pounds – making it bigger than even the automotive industry!

Ultimately, fashion is an elevated form of art that speaks of society far more than perhaps we give it credit for, and this is why it’s not as superficial as you’d perhaps first thought.

I can’t wait to learn more about the fashion industry this year. I am living in London (moving there this week!) and I plan on doing lots of writing yeaaaah! Bring on 2016 baybeeee!!!

Happy New Year fashion bunnies:)

Lemmeno your thoughts

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Nailed It.

They say that your interpretation of life changes when you start to write and I’ve come to accept that perhaps it’s true. Even though I don’t really consider myself to be much of an established “writer”, I acknowledge that I have one thing in common with most wordsmiths; an incomprehensible obsession with observation.

Once you start writing, you become acutely alert of everything about a person, a piece of writing, a song, a title – you can never merely react; but you develop a sense of interpretation that painfully notices everything. All this suddenly dawned on me today while I was sitting in Exclusive Books, reading Alexa Chung’s masterfully written work.

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I’ve always had a knack for honest people with strong opinions and that is why I’m absolutely appreciative of Chung’s book, “It“. Her book is so remarkably origional and stands out from the crowd of other self-obsessed autobiographers who can’t see beyond their own success.  The collage format of the book is entirely unique and absolutely random – paying tribute to her personality and establishing her writing voice in an uncommon manner.

In a world driven by superficiality and self-fabrication; it’s refreshing to find Chung to be so unapologetically real and honest about the fashion industry.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who’s interested in Fashion.

Hope all you fashion bunnies are having a goooood weekend:):)

HH xx