Wednesday, September 5, 2018

White Jeans and Tweed

While unpacking my air shipment (a few boxes which have arrived sooner than the slow boat container) I feel the excitement of Fall, when a whole new fashion year begins. The kids are back at school, and finally mums everywhere have a chance to get dressed and make their hair and make-up look halfway decent. 

I'm intimidated by all the extremely well dressed people on the King's Road, feeling slightly unsure whether I can still call myself fashionexpat surrounded by all these people just living their lives not making a fuss about their style, despite naturally having so much of it.

I've got to leave the house early tomorrow and have laid out this Isabel Marant Étoile tweed blazer (HERE) with some white jeans, a grey T, and Dior loafers (HERE). 

Last year's Proenza Schouler Hex bag (find it HERE in this season's colour) has also arrived and replaces the smaller bags I would usually carry in Hong Kong.

I have decided I don't want to use plastic bags anymore, ever, so the cute mini bags of the last few seasons will have to go. A big sturdy tote is my best friend nowadays.

Have you seen the film A Plastic Ocean? You can find it on Netflix and if I may preach for a moment, it's a great one to show to your children. We need to educate young generations about the hazards of plastic waste, and this film is the perfect messenger.

And after you've watched it, you can treat yourself to a big stylish carryall so that you'll never need to accept a plastic bag from a store ever again.

Hope you are all well, and enjoying the beginning of Fall as much as I am.

Lots of love,

xxxxxxx Dianne

Monday, August 27, 2018

Postcard From Skirrid Fawr

I was worried that I would miss Hong Kong's sweeping views after moving to London, and indeed I already do.  But a bank holiday break in Wales is recharging my starved eyes.  Climbing Skirrid Fawr yesterday, the views were spectacular.

My husband (in back) forgot to bring comfortable walking trousers but it so happens there is a mountain gear shop in the town of Abergavenny.  I only just managed to prevent him from buying the kind of pants that turn into shorts at a mere pull of its horizontal zips.

I described his previous pair of mountain trousers HERE in 2012, in one of my personal favorite posts on this blog, written during a short break in New York state.

We arrived at our cottage on the castle grounds during a full moon.  For city types like us the darkness and silence are unnerving, but the cottage inside is as quaint and peaceful as the first ten minutes of a Miss Marple mystery.  You know, just before the mayhem ensues.

Wales is perfect for a weekend break; we even encountered a band of wild ponies on our first hike.  It's currently foggy and raining but the Angel Hotel bar has a large selection of champagnes and Fulham has just beaten Burnley.  I feel a celebration coming on.

After a day of torrential rain we move north of Abergavenny towards the tiny town of Garth where we pick up our son who is visiting the Wilson family, proprietors of the beautiful Garth House in mid Wales.

The sun is fighting to break through the clouds above the stunning Grade II Listed Garth House
(find it HERE).
After a lovely visit with the family and their dogs, it's time to go home to London.

Thank you for reading!

Lots of love,

xxx Dianne

Friday, August 24, 2018

Chanel Jacket At Zara - An Impulse Buy For Dinner

Zara jacket (HERE)
J.Crew jeans (similar HERE
Dior shoes (HERE)
Zara T-shirt (HERE)

I felt such instant guilt buying this jacket for a dinner outfit that my subsequent purchase was a yellow notebook which I used to write down all my personal expenses since our arrival in London.

The thing is, other than for accessories and shoes, I am mostly a high street shopper, and I've become part of a cycle of waste that I am not proud of:  buying cheap and cheerful trends and discarding them after a season (read more about the true cost of fashion HERE).  Moving to London felt like a fresh start, and hopefully the impetus to change my shopping ways.

I promised myself to buy nothing at all until our shipment from Hong Kong arrived.  I would unpack my fashion possessions in the new house, and taking into consideration my future life in London I would slowly, slowly consider shopping again.

I loved my dinner outfit, but must try to get back on the plan.  The yellow notebook will make a difference, I think.  Seeing all my purchases right there in blue and white, demanding not to be forgotten, will hopefully over time make my personal difference to a fast growing problem.

Early evening in Farringdon looking back at Smithfield Market.  Strangely quiet moment in a bustling, charmingly messy area.

If you too want to keep away from the shops, you've got three days left to get to the Bacon and Freud exhibition at the Tate Modern.

Happy Bank Holiday Weekend, everyone!

Lots of love,
Dianne xxxxxx

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Waking Up In Farringdon I Finally Unpack My Larger Suitcase Where I Find These Dior Mary Janes

Finding myself in a clean apartment I finally unpack some of my clothes.  I grab a light and fluffy LoveShackFancy jumper from my friend Jane's lovely store, Jordan Baker, find it HERE.
Dior Mary Janes, HERE
Isabel Marant Étoile jeans, HERE

London has the best short cuts.

I add my chunky Mango rings and feel like a million bucks.  August is not a great month for shopping, unless you are looking for sale dregs, because most new season clothes have not yet arrived.  At this time I love finding a fun accessory to brighten up the clothes I've been wearing for months.
Mango ring set, HERE

Passing some dream houses on our Sunday walk.  Yellow was my favorite color as a child.

Wine on the terrace rounds off a perfect day in London.

What's the difference between an expat and an immigrant, I have been wondering lately.  I suppose an expat knows she's abroad for a finite amount of time only whereas an immigrant is trying to make her new country home.

I think I'd be happy to spend a very long time here in London, but expat life makes one restless, and committing to a lifetime in one place becomes unfathomable after experiencing life away from home (although for those born in New York City, Paris, or London I can see going home would not be a hardship posting).

Hong Kong already seems a lifetime ago, but I miss my friends like crazy.  Thinking of you all.

Thanks for reading.

Lots of love,

Dianne xxxxx

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Good Hair Days Are Everything And The Service At Dior Is Out Of This World

I am popping up everywhere!

There is an Alaïa retrospective at the Design Museum on High Street Kensington.

I've really missed these things called museums.  Hong Kong is not big on them.

As I described in my last post I had instantly become depressed a few days ago after my confrontation with a rude cosmetics salesman, but today was the total opposite of that.

What makes a day into a great day?  It feels you can never quite control it, although it does seem to help if you meet kindness during your day.  This is maybe where Oprah would say you control it by being generous of spirit in the first place, and then kindness will come right back to you.

I do think there is a point to that.  When you randomly smile at people or hold a door just a bit longer for someone behind you, you will receive positive energy right back.

The people at Dior in Bond Street are masters at it.  They have customer service down pat.  Enquiring about a bag for a beautiful Hong Kong friend, there was lots of friendly information but no pressure.  I was shown the entire stunningly beautiful store by an eloquent young Frenchman named Bocar and felt like a princess when I finally left the store having purchased nothing.

It also helped that I had a good hair day.  I haven't had a chance to take care of it properly, but this morning I had some time.  And my dress is an impulse buy from Zara, after I'd become well and truly sick of the limited wardrobe I am currently living with.

Zara dress, find it HERE

The dress is nothing special, but somehow it makes me feel like a million bucks.  Why does that happen sometimes?  Tomorrow I could buy another loose fitting cotton summer dress that will never make me feel the same way.  Is there anyone out there whose every purchase is a perfect price-per-wear miracle?

Let me know if that is the case for you.  I want to know your secrets.  Although good hair definitely helps.

Thank you, dear readers, for coming with me to England.

Lots of love xxxxxx 

Friday, August 10, 2018

An Unfortunate Brush With Meteorite Eye Cream Leads Me To Deciem's Hylamide

I've been walking the rainy streets of London for the last few days, trying to get some exercise while rediscovering this beautiful city.  Mixing stripes, checks and bouclé (or more truthfully: these clothes happened to be clean), I was feeling not half bad about myself...

Zara yellow jacket 
(HERE, not following my own advice about wearing color with more color, 
but I hope I can be excused as I am still living out of a suitcase...)

... until I had a very unfortunate experience in the Westfield shopping mall in Shepherd's Bush yesterday.  I got lured in by a salesman at a Celestolite pop-up (skincare with meteorites, no kidding) because I felt bad for him, but within seconds he'd told me the wrinkles under my eyes make me look ten years older and only his product would be able to fix it.

He was not only unpleasant, he was also ignorant because after demanding to know what skincare I use he seemed flummoxed when I mentioned La Roche-Posay hyaluronic acid, The Ordinary resveratrol and ferulic acid, and The Ordinary glycolic acid, alongside Vintner's Daughter botanical and essential oil serum.  He had no clue about skincare.  He was just a pushy salesman.  

And yet I still felt really upset afterwards.  I've just moved from Hong Kong to London, have not been sleeping well, and am stressed about my daughter leaving for boarding school soon; the last thing I have been thinking about is whether my under eye skin looks okay.

I worried about his insults enough to take a long walk to Deciem in Covent Garden, where I tearfully explained to the lovely and knowledgeable sales assistant that I needed to fix my eyes.  She recommended two products from Deciem's Hylamide line, which unlike many of Deciem's products are a combination of multiple ingredients rather than just one.

I used them last night and woke up relaxed in the knowledge that I am making under eye progress.  I absolutely love Deciem's light weight serums and haven't used any creams since I have discovered them.  Although I had planned to visit the Covent Garden shop anyway, it still bothers me that I let that man person get to me.  Stupid man person.

Find Deciem HERE, and for more information check out Gothamista on youtube, who does a great review HERE and HERE.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

I Live In London Now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amazing glorious London (early evening in Notting Hill)
That is, until April of next year, when things may become bleak
But I am living in the now, and London is possibly the most fabulous city in the world

We arrived here on 29 July
I am living out of a suitcase in the most awful temporary housing
Fashion's not exactly on my anxious mind
But tonight I put on my Dior sandals (HERE) for dinner at our old local, the Ladbroke Arms (HERE), although my rather shapeless cotton COS dress probably put the pretty shoes to shame

Yesterday I had another pub meal, and the loveliest woman made a point to compliment me on my outfit
I gave her my card, and I hope she will read this, because she just lifted my spirit like nothing else has been able to after our very stressful move from Hong Kong to London
Thank you, very kind person, much appreciated indeed xx
More to come soon!  Fall is approaching, and with it the need for layers!
I cannot wait to do fashion in a cold climate
Thank you all for sticking with me
Back very soon xx