NEW YORK NEW YORK

Last week’s trip to New York was pretty much a whirlwind of taxis, cold brew coffees, sweaty subway rides, lingering consultations with google maps and swapping shoes every hour. But I’m not complaining – New York is definitely one of my favourite cities in the world. Although, that’s true for so many people it’s become a cliche to even say it! What made this trip so much more special than previous ones is that my brother now lives there while he studies, and there was nothing better than hanging out in the East Village and seeing the city through the eyes of a local.

While I sort through the mountains of photos I took to go into a few posts (I now travel with not one but three cameras and my computer is about to self combust with all the files being uploaded) I thought I would share with you a few pictures taken while touring the city in the new Club Monaco collection, showing them my favourite spots and soaking up every minute of New York sunshine. To start with, the team showed me around their flagship store in the Flat Iron district, and although it’s not my usual MO to hang around in the one place for hours I honestly couldn’t help it, the store feels more like the lounge room you wish you had than a retail space, complete with Toby’s Estate coffee, a bookstore and florist, oh and full sized flowering trees, if you like that sorta thing. The perfect place to hang out if you find your New York broom closet apartment doesn’t quite tick all the boxes! Let’s just say the day started with a carrot cake donut (!) and only get better from there…

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Wearing: pieces from the new Club Monaco AW14 Collection

I was very sad to miss the opening of the new London Club Monaco store in Sloane Square (but apparently actual work needs to get done and I can’t just flit around from city to city…), it looked like such a gorgeous event. I’ll definitely be checking it out on my next visit, if it’s anything like the Flat Iron store I’m in for a treat! There better be carrot cake donuts… You can have a look at some photos of the store here.

In collaboration with Club Monaco.

DIY HOME INSPO: INDOOR PLANTS IN NEW YORK

Forget about the gangs of New York, it’s the plants that are really taking over. Although back in Hong Kong now (and suffering the meanest, and yet most productive, jet lag – hello 5.30am wake ups!) I can’t help but dream about the plants absolutely everywhere in the big apple, they’ve clearly become a decor mainstay in homes, visual merchandising and cafes.  I was glad to see the whole city is echoing my thoughts about the need for greenery. Although, to be fair a lot of these photos were taken in Brooklyn, which is clearly the epicentre of the indoor plants revolution (second to pinterest of course).

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All photos taken by me in New York including at The Gorbals, Urban Outfitters, Space 98, Gant, Club Monaco and Sprout Home.

BEFORE & AFTER: THE VINTAGE KIMONO

My recent trip to Kyoto yielded many great and gorgeous finds – the perfect mochi balls, washi paper by the kilo and naturally a few (dozen) kimonos. However, as some of you may have experienced in the past, sometimes items of clothing you pick up on your holidays seem perfect at the time but once home aren’t translatable into your everyday wardrobe. That lace butterfly top that looked the shiz on you in Bali suddenly seems out of place when you get home to Adelaide (or Connecticut, or Luton). That’s not to say I didn’t love my kimonos when I got home, but they started to seem more like artwork than something I would actually wear. In the spirit of wearability once I got home I altered this kimono that I bought for $10 at the Kyoto Flea Market (more on that soon!) slightly so that it could integrate into my wardrobe and be worn with other things that I own. And yes, some of you might feel it’s sacrilege (my mum thought so) to cut up a vintage kimono like this, however I can’t help but feel that it would much prefer to be out and about at New York Fashion Week (stomping the streets of Soho!) with me than languishing at the bottom of my cupboard. Thoughts?

Vintage kimono outfit www.apairandasparediy.com

Wearing: Kimono from Kyoto, One teaspoon denim shorts (like these, these and these), Club Monaco Silk cami (like this and this), Dylan Kain Bag, Oroton mid heel pumps, Daniel Wellington watch.

Making the changes to this vintage kimono was super easy and took under ten minutes. I did two things, I changed them hemline so it went from floor dragging to thigh skimming – which made it perfect for integrating with more modern pieces like denim shorts and pumps. I also altered the arms of the kimono, taking out the excess fabric which is part of a normal kimono design as this tended to bulk and bunch up when I was wearing it. The update made for a much more streamlined silhouette making it wayyy more wearable. I’m also super excited because there’s a huge piece of fabric left over from this that will make the perfect….. something. Stay tuned!

Altered kimono www.apairandasparediy.comVintage kimono outfit www.apairandasparediy.comAltered kimono www.apairandasparediy.com

Love the kimono look? Make your own here!