Tuesday, 17 December 2013

leopard essential

Equipment leopard shirt, J Brand jeans, Stuart Weitzman heels & Comme des garcon clutch

I have yet to meet a leopard print which I don't like. Traditionally the print of choice for grannies and Miss Fran Fine, leopard print has definitely made the jump to mainstream fashion. It's the sartorial equivalent of leaving the abyss commonly known as the friend-zone. Show me an outfit that is lacking an omph! and I'll show you 50 ways that a spot of leopard (bad pun intended) can make it infinitely better. 

But, leopard print should always be used wisely. Just like how you wouldn't marinate yourself in your Chanel No. 5, you shouldn't wallpaper yourself in leopard print - unless you're a Kardashian. Then that's pretty much a prerequisite. So if I'm wearing as much leopard as I am already, it was necessary to keep the rest of my outfit unbelievably simple, which only a small pop of colour being my clutch.

After all, I live in Sydney and not Flushing, Queens

x karen

Friday, 13 December 2013

Jasmine 17

"Maybe the past is like an anchor holding us back. Maybe you have to let go of who you were to become who you will be" - Carrie Bradshaw

Memory is often like wisps of smoke on a cold summer night; you can almost still feel the warmth of what used to be but the harder you grasp, the more it fades. Recollection will never compare to that moment nor will it ever be accurate. But I don't believe memory is ever meant to be stagnant and like a curious child, it will never remain where you left it. But isn't that the beauty of it? If you spent all your life reliving the past, how will you ever collect new memories?

I am equal parts indifferent, sentimental and forgetful; so for me, memory plays a rather contrary role in my life. I'm most likely the girl who will return the gift because "it wasn't every me" but keep the wrapping paper and card, until I lose everything in the end anyway. 

I believe that everyone has a different trigger that will incite renditions of the past; somethings its a song, somethings its a piece of jewellery or something its a certain scent in the air. Olfactory markers have always played a prominent part in my life. Dolce & Gabanna's The One Rose will always remind me of that summer I spent with my friends in Shanghai, China on a short exchange trip. Oscar de la Renta's Volupte will always make my heart skip a few beats when I recollect that one time when I was young and sprayed most of my mum's bottle. Certain scents will always find a way to latch with certain associations; the smell of sea salt in the air and Banana Boat sunscreen will mark the height of summer, the fragrance of La Prairie skincare will always be quintessentially my mother and the perfumed air from Palm Beach candle's Vintage Gardenia will always remind me of a mini road trip my boyfriend and I took to Hunter Valley. 

Which is why it seems so right, that the commemoration of my admission onto the NSW Solicitor's Roll would be Le Labo's Jasmine 17. I wanted something that won't be carelessly forgotten over time and what's better than letting it have its own scent? A perfume bottle with its own customisable label that can be kept long after the perfume is gone. 

Perhaps in year's time I won't remember the date of the ceremony. In 5 years time, I won't remember my peers that I was admitted with. And in 50 years time, I will barely remember the ceremony at all. But I hope that this scent will always remind me of the simultaneous feelings to elation and relief to know that the first chapter is finally over. 

Maybe it's just my sentimental side, but isn't that all that's needed?

x karen

Tuesday, 10 December 2013


Candela 'maia' dress, Superga sneakers, Nomadic 'back to black' backpack

Call me unadventurous, but when the Australian sun is shining as brightly as it was this past weekend, the last thing on my mind is anything fussy. What better way to embrace the sleepwear trend then to wear a white something that resembles more shapeless nightgown than summer dress. But you know my style philosophy, an outfit just isn't complete until you add leather. What better than this fantastic Nomadic leather backpack? I can already imagine myself carrying it when I head to Europe in January - one less handbag to carry just means one more shopping bag I can carry #thinkingahead

x karen

Friday, 6 December 2013

Poms Poms

Nothing makes me happier than fresh flowers around the home; especially now that peonies are in season- I will definitely be splurging on them this summer. I've been super busy at work recently that I haven't had any time to any outfit photos. So, here's a collection of some of my favourite things:

1. Peonies & Chrysanthemum Pom Poms - these make me smile everything I walk past them in my house. The best thing that my Petit Noe has carried so far.

2. My Eeyore snow globe that I received as a birthday present two years ago - a combination of my two favourite things: Eeyore & snow globes. Looking at it makes me wish for a white Christmas.

3. New Glassons white ripped jeans that are going to be perfect for summer - the price point is really attractive because ripped jeans will always get more ripped and once you pass the point of them being just glorified shorts with denim mullet at the back, you need to throw them out. It's a lot less painful when you haven't paid three digits for them. 

4. Restocked my candle supply - if you haven't tried Circa Home then you need to get on it. I'm especially loving 'Lilac & Orchid' and 'Oceanique' for summer. They are all natural soy wax candles (hand-made in Australia) and I like that they produce a gentle scent that doesn't overpower. I love burning candles and I'm so glad I discovered Circa Home when I was shopping at Tuchuzy more than a year ago. I think it's a perfect candle for days where Diptyque is just not justified. 

5. Found my old MAC 'Sweetie' lipstick in a clutch that I haven't used in ages. Finding old lipsticks can only be topped by finding money stashed in old bags.

6. Starting to receive the library of books I've ordered recently from Book Depository in preparation of Christmas vacation time. Will definitely put up some recommendations when I get a chance!

x karen

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

mix and match

mix and match
Rag & Bone fedora, Nars lipstick, Givenchy 'obsedia' bag, Witchery tee, Lover dress, Oliver Peoples sunglasses, Stella McCartney bra, Valentino rockstud flats

Over the years, I've begin to realise that the best things to have in your wardrobe arsenal are items that can be styled for a wide range of occasions; whether it's dinner at somewhere upscale or brunch at your local eatery. Once you have those building blocks, then all you need are the right accessories to make it happen.

For example - my birthday this year involved me splurging a black Lover dress that I've just been itching for an excuse to purchase. However, for the past half a year, it's been sitting in my wardrobe - loved but untouched. In retrospect, I probably should have pulled it out during winter to layer until my favourite knitted sweaters and boots. Which made me think, if it wasn't for the 3/4 quarter sleeves, how could I wear it during the warmer months? (And no, this is not the beginning of the long road of justification to purchase another Lover dress)

This summer, I will definitely be bringing out some of my less casual pieces and dressing them down for everyday wear. A slouchy white t-shirt can do wonders in toning down an outfit, and really, that's what Australian summer is all about: laid-back chic. So to keep it chic, you will need a clutch or small handbag for all essentials (esp. sunscreen & lipstick) and blinged-out flats - even though I have these in the kitten heel, I can't stop obsessing about these beige/pink flats which would be perfect for casual days where wearing heels are the last thing on my mind. 

And because it's summer in Australia, a hat & sunglasses should be your constant companion. Slip slop slap!

To be honest, at this point I can't tell if this is a genuine post about utilising the full potential of my existing wardrobe or rather how much I need those Valentino rockstud flats in my wardrobe. So if Santa happens to be listening, can't blame a girl for trying right?

x karen

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

colour pops

Kahlo shirt (seen here), ASOS shorts, Celine clutch, Willow boots (seen here, here & here), Mimco bracelet

Black and white is always a safe outfit choice. It's the fail-safe combination that I rely on when I just want a simple, chic outfit. But, seeing that it is actually summer (and Australian summer always means an influx of colours into my wardrobe), I decided to add some pops of colour into my otherwise monochrome outfit. 

Monday, 18 November 2013

all stars

Alexander Wang tee (seen here), One Teaspoon denim shorts (seen here, here & here), Current/Elliot 'infantry' jacket (here & here), Chloe 'susanna' boots (seen here, here & here), Alexander Wang 'rocco' bag (seen here, here here)

This is definitely an outfit made out of my wardrobe all stars, you can just see from all the tags above how much all these individual items have been worn. My love of stripes seems to at an all time high, especially when dressed down with my go-to pair of denim shorts (nobody does it better than One Teaspoon) and my favourite deconstructed trench jacket. 

Hands down, these Chloe boots have been my best purchase all year - they go with absolutely everything and even after almost a year, I still love them like crazy. Is it crazy that I still want them in black & silver? 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

fluffy leopard

Asos leather skirt (seen here & here), Bassike tee (seen here & here), LV Speedy 30, Isabel Marant boots (seen here & here)

Leather skirts are such an easy choice when you're barely awake in the morning. I love wearing leather with absolutely anything- especially with a fluffy leopard. Leather really toughens up a look, especially with this leopard cardigan which could potentially go very wrong. I mean, that is a lot of leopard. So, I played it safe and wore the leopard cardigan with a lot of muted greys and my go-to taupe Isabel Marant boots. 


 x karen

Monday, 11 November 2013


Ellery dress, Valentino heels (seen here), Celine clutch (seen here & here)

This is probably one of the hardest blog posts I've ever had to write. There is such expectation that comes with the thought of Graduation. It's the culmination of five and a half long years of studying. It's the last indication that you're really growing up and about to become an "adult". I want to be inspirational and talk of how much I've learnt and grown in the past few years; or lament that it's an end of a era and, essentially, my childhood. I expected emotional farewells to the campus, lecturers and students. What I did not expect was the dull ache of knowing that I should be feeling more emotions than I actually was. 

The Graduation Ceremony itself occurs almost a full semester after my last class/exam/assessment and in the meantime, I've completed the College of Law course, eased from part-time to full-time work at a law firm and, as of today, handed in my application for Admission as a Solicitor. University, with its lectures, missed classes and long lunchtimes seems simultaneously only yesterday and so so far away. It was rather surreal, and belated, to go back to campus to officially graduate when so much has occurred in between. I'm still waiting for that feeling to wash over me that my undergraduate career is well and truly over. 

However, I can honestly say in my almost six years at university; I have met some amazing people, made friendships that I know will last forever and beyond (i.e. BFFs!), I've truly played with the the limits of sleep deprivation and caffeine addiction, I've learnt to play Poker and consequently learnt too much from "boy talk", I've spent summer holidays almost exclusively at the Beach and I've perfected the art of online shopping whilst simultaneously listening during Lectures. 

And what I learnt from the Graduation Ceremony itself?

1. Hearing all the people who are graduating with honours etc. does almost make me wish I worked harder. Almost.
2. Even if your dress looks like a normal and socially acceptable length, with the addition of the long ceremonial gown- it will look like you are only wearing a top.
3. It will require considerable manpower to carry flowers, coat, belongings etc around campus to get all the photos taken. Friends should be bribed so that they don't only take photos of themselves. 
4. Coffee is your friend. Embrace it for the long ceremony itself. 
5. When someone goes up to receive their doctorate; you will torn between determination to add a "Dr." in front of your name and jealousy over her Manolos. Your inner fashion blogger will always win over the inner Academic. 


 x karen