Cashmere Wrap & Macadamia Nuts

On Fashion, Travel and Lifestyle.

Month: June, 2015

Lover. The Label.

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I love lace. There is something very special about it, an etherial, sensual quality that translates into feminine, alluring charm. Every season I am on a look out for the next perfect lace dress, which is not an easy task, because classic, elegant and quality lace pieces are hard to find. If I see one, I never let it disappear into a thin air, holding onto it from fitting room to check out desk.

Some weeks ago I discovered LOVER, an Australian label offering magnificent lace. I instantly fell in love, for their designs are perfection and must come from a real love of lace. The couple behind the brand, Nic Briand and Susien Chong, partners in business and in life, started their adventure with fashion from a humble stall at the Bondi Markets, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of LOVER in 2010 as a well established brand. If I ever visit Australia, I will certainly look for LOVER designs, but until the day comes, the website and a lookbook make for a great inspiration. 

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(Photos: loverthelabel.com)

LifeStyle Mix. June.

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Days go by so fast and I can hardly believe it is already July! When did that happen? Most of the time weather was a disappointment, for up till now the spirit of summer is still missing or it is just too cold to feel it. I do hope that July will do much better and bring the long awaited heat wave. 

The highlight of June was my long awaited travel to Amsterdam, a city that never ceases to amuse. As for the coming month, there is one destination that I look forward to, as I have been longing to visit this neighbor capital for way too long. More details when the time comes to pack my weekend bag and head for the departure lounge.

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For more captions, visit Instagram profile @cashmerewrap_and_macadamianuts

Amsterdam Travel Diary. Part 2.

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This post is also all about Amsterdam, but as seen from a different perspective, with architecture, black and white facades and big windows in focus. What I like the most is the pure simplicity, free of excess or ostentation, almost sombre, yet still so beautiful. 

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Amsterdam Travel Diary. Part 1.

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Amsterdam is one of those European capitals with a very distinct, unique character, mainly due to its architecture, the network of canals crisscrossing the city and the ever present bicycle culture. Even though it wasn’t my first stay in Amsterdam, I still felt like snapping pictures on every street corner, so beautiful it is out there. Here I share a handful of images from my recent travel to the picturesque Amsterdam, hoping that I managed to capture an atmosphere of this town.

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From the Bookshelf. “Lessons from Madame Chic. 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris.” by Jennifer L. Scott.

Lessons from Madame Chic

Since “Paris is always a good idea” and being Parisian is a fantasy that many women secretly harbor, there are more and more publications that try to translate the Parisian phenomenon to those who were not so fortunate to be born by Seine river. I admit to entertain a thought of introducing some French chic into my daily life and the book that inspired me greatly was “Lessons from Madame Chic. 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris.” by Jennifer L. Scott.

Jennifer, an American student, moves to Paris for an exchange year and in the process learns a lot and starts to see her life from a different perspective, with all this happening under the influence of an inspirational role model, mysterious Madame Chic. Perhaps the plot sounds trivial, but I assure you that it makes a great reading and provokes some reflections on the quality of daily life and the importance of celebrating your everydayness. Each chapter refers to a lesson that Jennifer learned from her host, understanding how much the life she knows differs from the life she observes, feeling that there is much to improve. There is a lot about fashion, decor, food, culture, personal development, staying fit and…even more.

After the lecture I felt very inspired and made some observations on how could I improve the quality of my life to make it more focused on the simplicity, on the ability to celebrate every day – in other words, on how to make it more chic in the sense of the Parisian joie de vivre. I recommended the book to my good friend who absolutely loved it, so with the same eagerness I can recommend it to you.

PS. If you feel tempted to buy the second book,  “At Home with Madame Chic. Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life.”, my suggestion is don’t. I was very disappointed with trivial advices and ideas impossible for people with full time work (not everyone is a freelancer and a home stayed mum). As much as I enjoyed the first book, the sequel didn’t live up to expectations and in my mind has little to do with a concept of Parisian chic.

Cheap and Chic?

Cheap & Chic

Some say there is only one way to call cheap and it is… cheap. Can cheap be chic without being only cheap or is this an urban myth we were made to believe by likes of H&M, Zara and Gap? 

This time I decided to find out myself and for my summer wardrobe selected some very affordable pieces from H&M and TK Maxx (multibrand store offering discounted pieces from high street). I bought several tops, a pair of shorts and a pair of chinos, all in neutral colors and classic cut, typical hardworking essentials for an everyday summer wardrobe. Most pieces that I chose are composed of 95/97% cotton and 3/5% elastane, with one in 100% linen and one consisting of more complex bland of 67% acrylic, 21% modal and 12% wool. This season I intend to use them often and report on their behavior at the end of September.

I admit to having several reservations towards budget buys. Based on my previous experiences cheap pieces proved to be short lived and not worth the money, even if a price tag was very tempting and in a shop they seemed to be of a decent quality. With cheap garments I had been through thorn seams, ripped seams (on a very first day!), lost buttons (up to the point of resewing them all by hand to make them look more neat – yet this is also true for more expensive brands), deformations after the first wash (and I usually opt for wool program, protective net and delicate washing liquid) and, probably the greatest surprise, discovering that pure wool undergarments smelled of chemicals after their first wash. Needless to say, most cheap purchases were not successful and ended up in a trash, so I am really curious what will happen this season, good or bad, I will share all in September.

LifeStyle Mix. May.

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May is my favorite month, but this year so much happened, most of it unexpected and unwelcome, that it leaves me in a state of confusion bordering with a mild shock. I cross my fingers for June and hope it brings more answers and some happy events, like my upcoming travel to Amsterdam, which is a much needed chance to recharge and relax.

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For more captions, visit Instagram profile @cashmerewrap_and_macadamianuts