188 | PAINT IT BLUE

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"My hair is actually softer after we dyed it blue. No joke." She’s the girl with rainbows in her hair. From ruby red and dirty blonde to jet black and flamingo pink, Jillian’s crowning glory has waltzed through the spectrum. Unapologetic and determined, she knew she wanted to go blue next, and we were going to do it at home. After a round of bleaching, her hair faded to a dusty and pastel version of it’s former self. Our weapon of choice, Manic Panic Amplified hair colour in Rockabilly Blue, Ultra Violet and Atomic Turquoise. Section by tiny section we massaged the dyes into her hair. Despite instructions to rinse after 30 minutes, being the rebels that we are, we washed it off three and a half hours later. Good things come to those who wait, and this was definitely worth it. Like the untamed sea a siren would emerge from, Jillian’s hair swirled and flowed in waves of ocean hue. Mission accomplished.

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Jeweled jacket Prada

187 | SHADES OF COOL

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A plain linen shirt and light khaki shorts, accessorized minimally, are clean, crisp and cool. It’s mid-July and the day burns ferociously hot and the air is almost drinkable. If you should decide to walk at a pace too brisk, you’ll discover your body feels like melting wax. We seek refuge within confines of coolness, be it beside a stand fan in the bedroom, in an air-conditioned bus, submerged in a pool, or simply beneath a tree in its shade. I take shelter sartorially, steering towards a cooler colour palette. Tempted as I am to plainly call this a blue shirt, Miranda Priestly has taught me otherwise. It’s not just blue, it’s not lapis, it’s not turquoise, it’s not cerulean, it’s Prussian blue, like van Gogh’s whirly Starry Night sky. While boat shoes would have been perfect for a look like this, my foot is still in an unsightly cast. Fingers crossed, these could be my last three days with it on. Can’t wait to wear proper shoes again.

Shirt Blue Harbour
Shorts H&M
Belt COS
Micro Rivale bracelet Hermès
Nightingale bag Givenchy
Sunglasses Prada

186 | ONE MAN COFFEE

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Faiyaz / Mark / Sarah

16 July 2014, One Man Coffee, Singapore.

185 | SEAVIEW

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Shirt COS
Ripped jeans Zara
Evil eye bracelets Thrifted
Weave bracelet Bottega Veneta

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June 2014, Seaview, Karachi, Pakistan.

The white noise of the wind and surf engulf me as water breaks in a slow and steady pulse, surging and receding like air through our lungs. I look to my sides and for as far as my eyes take me are undulating waves, slithering upon silver sands. I look ahead searching for the horizon, but sea spray has thickened the air, converging the sea and sky. I look at my feet and I’m standing in the clouds while the sun is shying away. Patrolling the shorelines are adorned camels, sauntering regally, and horses of every colour, trotting to the rhythm of the tide. ATVs and buggies add to the bustle, laced with neon lights, leaving ephemeral tracks as they race past each other. I finally realise that I am not alone and scores of people are present, soaking in the chaotic tranquility of our surroundings, escaping the confines of routine. Despite the fever of activity and endless rows of housing staring from behind, the sheer beauty of the open Arabian sea overwhelms me. It is the vastness before me that evokes my sense of scale and I remain standing, an insignificant speck, in the ebb and flow that are as old as time.

184 | DATE ALMOND CAKE

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I really shouldn’t complain about being bored in bed thanks to dear friends who have been visiting me daily (which I’m immensely grateful for), but I can’t help feeling caged. I’ve been itching to actually do something other than watch Gossip Girl and eat ice cream, so I decided it was time to bake. It’s Ramadan and the kitchen is overstocked with dates, so the universe was practically yelling at me to bake something with them… and here we have it, a date & almond bundt cake with with a caramel glaze. As much as I would love to take full credit for baking this myself, I couldn’t have done it without a great deal of help. Coffee and orange blossom water were added to the mix, giving the cake a subtle twist of flavours. Nothing pairs with this cake more perfectly than a hot cup of masala chai. Hope I haven’t made your mouths water too much! Time to go back to bed and lay there after so much of excitement.

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183 | SUMMERTIME SIMPLICITY

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T-shirt H&M
Skinny jeans Topshop
Slippers Havaianas
Picto watch Rosendahl
Bracelet Michael Kors

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Floral embellished shirt H&M
Skinny jeans Zara
Sneakers Converse

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Jumper H&M
Shorts Topman
Picto watch Rosendahl
Evil eye bracelets Thrifted
Weave bracelet Bottega Veneta

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T-shirt COS
Ripped jeans Zara
Bracelet Michael Kors

Some of the things I wore this summer, the season the whole world seems to look forward to. The time for beach vacations, partying all night and fun under the sun. As you probably know by now, I’m not a big fan of warm weather, so you’ll understand my grumpy looks in these photos. While I much rather have spent June chilling in the Australian winter, the first three weeks of the month were spent mostly in Karachi, with a few days in Dubai and Colombo, with close family and friends.

I’m all about aesthetics over utility when it comes to clothes, but when the mercury hits 45 degrees celsius, all I’m thinking about is how to stay cool. Keep it simple. Lighter fabrics and looser fits allow your body to breathe better, which is essential unless you want to drown in your sweat.

On another note, I’ve somehow managed to slip and fall and tumble down the stairs at home, resulting in an ankle fracture. This is pretty much the worst thing for me considering how I have a constant need to be doing something or going somewhere. Hopefully I can spend time writing and reading more. A handful of commitments need to be cancelled and I’m going to have to find more ways to pass time while getting bed rest.

182 | THE FASHION WORLD OF JEAN PAUL GAULTIER

April 2014, the Barbican, London, UK.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, a retrospective of one of the most iconic and daring designers in fashion. To say I was excited as I walked into the exhibition would be an understatement. It was as though a child with an overly sweet tooth found himself in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Gaultier’s work is a tribute to sexual empowerment and the vast diversity of beauty. From delicate Gaulter pinks, pale virgins and lingerie as outerwear to dark femme fatales, androgynous vamps and the European punk scene, one can see that Jean Paul Gaultier’s perception of femininity is far from streamlined.

With over 160 pieces from the last three decades on display, my senses were overwhelmed. It can be easy for clothes sitting on display to be monotonous, but these were not mere clothes. Neither were they merely stoically on display. With mechanical runways, an assortment of archival videos, legendary fashion photography and personal memorabilia, the exhibit was akin to a carnival.

The show is divided into eight sections - The Odyssey of Jean Paul Gaultier, Punk Cancan, Muses, The Boudoir, Metropolis, Eurotrash, Skin Deep and Urban Jungle. Every section featured mannequins with faces that were alive, sneakily looking around and blinking, some even daring to speak and sing to visitors, all thanks to video projections. To see couture up close and in detail was a visual delight. I found myself standing awestruck many a times, unable to fathom the hours of effort and skill put into a garment. My favourite pieces were those that drew inspiration from nature and from various world cultures. 

I was especially exhilarated at the Muses section when I saw one of my favourite artists being honoured as one of Gaultier’s muses, Kylie Minogue. I’ve seen the clothes he’s designed for her many times, in photos and videos and on tour, but to see them in person is a whole other experience. Others included in this section were Madonna (duh), Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. Another piece that I was thrilled to see was the brown baby-bump pad he had designed for a then pregnant Jourdan Dunn at the Spring/Summer 2010 runway show.

"The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk" is at the Barbican from April 9 to August 25 2014. Do check this grand exhibition out if you’re in London.

181 | THE BAY LEAF

Faiyaz / Madhuka / Marissa / Roshi

22 June 2014, The Bay Leaf, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Housed in a Colonial mansion from days of yore, The Bay Leaf restaurant boasts one of the best Italian cuisine I’ve ever had. Humidity thick in the air, fresh acquaintances and conversations swaying between seriousness and frivolity, I undoubtedly enjoyed my night out in Colombo. On our menu: pizza cajun crisp, tagliatelle al tonno, ravioli di ricotta di spinachi & baked alaska.

180 | GUCCI F/W 2014 PREVIEW

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I was recently invited to be a contributor to The Fashionide, a Singapore based blog dedicated to high fashion and luxury living. These are some of the photos I took for the Gucci F/W 2014 preview I got to attend. Check out more photos and the write up on The Fashionide.