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Monday, 30 December 2013

New Year's Resolutions 2014!

It's that time of the year when customarily we take stock of what's gone on over the last 12 months and prepare ourselves to face the next 12 with renewed promises and motivation, in the hope of making it a better year.  As I've already shared with you in my 2-part round up of 2013, the year that's soon coming to an end has been very good to me - with a lot of emotional highs and a couple of lows which have only gone to make me stronger and see the shimmery silver lining around the ominous clouds.  But it doesn't mean it - or rather I - can't be improved. My 2014 resolutions are all about improvement in one way or another:


On this penultimate day of 2013, I firstly want to thank the Guy upstairs for having given me the strength and determination I needed and for keeping me alive and well to share my days with my loved one; him, who has encouraged me to pursue my every dream and whimsical thought and supported me through the good days and the bad days, whether by physically holding me as I cried my heart out, or through our daily video chats when the miles kept us apart; my family who have unquestionably accepted the choices I made over the last year and supported me in every way they could; my friends, both old and new, who have kept me company, laughed with me and given me the reality checks I needed from time to time; and last but not least my followers who have read my posts, given feedback, and participated in my giveaways.  I owe this year to all of you. 

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Sunday, 22 December 2013

Spot on: Séf Farruġia

A couple of months back, I had the pleasure of meeting one of my most favourite local designers, Séf Farruġia.  To be quite honest, I was actually star struck.  I have been coveting her designs for the past couple of years and I couldn't let the year end without catching up with her ... and actually getting myself one of her pieces.
Séf is a 25 year old designer / illustrator from the old and beautiful Maltese town of Ħaż-Żebbuġ. Having studied Arts, Design and Fashion, both in Malta and in London she has also worked in various luxury designer studios in London. Séf moved back to Malta around 2 years ago, where she has also launched her brand and is currently, also lecturing textiles at MCAST Arts & Design. 

I asked Séf a few questions.  I wanted to find out more about this talented girl whose aesthetic I admire so much.  

How did your love for fashion start? 

I have always followed the Art & Design path and so even though Fashion wasn’t necessarily what I would have been working in … it was a big possibility. I have always showed great interest in anything picturesque and the infinite artistic disciplines. Fashion was always there and present and even though at first I was going into Illustration, I ended up choosing Fashion, still incorporating my illustrations in every possible way.
Frida pocket square artwork
Guillermo pocket square artwork

When I see your designs, I notice that Maltese tiles seem to be a source of inspiration in your patterns.  What else inspires you? 

Actually, I must confess, as much as I love the Maltese tiles, they weren’t a primary source of inspiration. Everyone mistakes my prints for the tiles, however, those prints were inspired by north African interiors/ tiles exported by the English Victorian / Edwardian, and that particular era. I guess, subconsciously, various aspects of my Maltese background reflect in what I do…Even if I tried to avoid it. Anything inspires me, really. I find inspiration in the most curious places. It could be music, poetry, literature, people, cultures and civilizations, contrasting personalities… anything!
Cecilia scarf (photo credit: Henri)
Delores scarf (photo credit: Henri)

We’ve seen your collections on both Maltese and foreign runways – what’s next for Séf Farruġia

I am always looking out for new opportunities and so I don’t close any doors, which may lead me to something worthy. I am hoping to launch a new ready-to wear collection, soft furnishings and who knows what else comes to my mind!
Azure tie & pocket square  (photo credit: Henri)
at the 2013 Malta Fashion Week & Fashion Awards (photo credit: Dennis Calleja)

Clothes, scarves, bow ties, home accessories … is there something that Séf Farruġia cannot do? 

I think in life you have got to explore all the prospects that come by and also seek knowledge, because that’s the greatest richness you could ever have. And so I look out to always learn and try out various products, techniques etc… What I am trying to say is, there are many things that I would love to do. Eventually. For now I am mostly focusing on silk accessories.
Lavander eye-mask
If you're still looking for that last minute Christmas gift, or just want to treat yourself to a little luxury, selected Séf Farruġia products are found at Henri Luxury Gift Boutique at Mdina, (next to Palazzo Falson) or you can purchase them online via Facebook or via email

And as I make my way to the airport, proudly wearing my Delores scarf, ready to be paraded around the Polish streets, positive that I'll be told just how bardzo piękny  and świetny it is, I encourage you to keep an eye on Séf Farruġia's work - I promise you, she'll be the next big name.  

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Friday, 20 December 2013

Astrid + Miyu December Secret Box!

You may recall the last time I wrote about Astrid + Miyu was back in September - that was when I received my first Secret Box from this gorgeously girly jewellery brand.  If you don't, then I suggest you refresh your memory here.

This week I received the December Secret Box and it was just like receiving a present for myself ... since the Secret Box comes every three months, you tend to forget a bit about it and then get all giggly and surprised when you find it waiting for you on your bed!

In case you don't know what I'm going on about - or haven't read / remembered my September post about it - let me tell you a bit about what a Secret Box is:

how does it work?

all the details can be found here but if you're not in the mood to click the link let me summarise it here:
  • you subscribe by clicking here and compiling a short survey sent via email so that the contents of your box are picked to your likings
  • every 3 months, you pay £39 + FREE UK & EU delivery
  • every 3 months, you receive Astrid & Miyu jewellery and treats worth double the value!

what did I get?

I A-DORE these! I remember including these in my little list of favourite items and I finally own them! I've had the box for a couple of days now and they haven't left my ears! They are small and subtle, yet edgy with their skull shape.  They're also girly and dainty since they're rose gold and encrusted with little diamante.  Let me say this again, I A-DORE these!

This couldn't have arrived at a more perfect timing.  Since I'm finally discovering the merits of cobalt / royal blue (see here), this statement necklace is perfect for easing me into this new colour palette which has so far eluded me.  What's even better, is that this is practically free since the cost of the Secret Box itself is £39 and the skull earrings already cost that much!

In addition to these gorgeous pieces, I also found a sample size cardamom flavoured chocolate from Ubuntu Chocolate who aim to help preserve the lifestyles of indigenous communities that work with cocoa ... all while producing some rather delish chocolate products.  Another treat was a 2-in-1 eyeliner + eyeshadow by Jelly Pong Pong in a luscious brown colour which is just fantastic for the kind of smokey yet natural looking eye make-up I like. I seriously suggest you take a look at Jelly Pong Pong's website as they have some gorgeous make-up, none of which is tested on animals ... oh, and they do ship to Malta! 

Right, so I had ended my September post on the Astrid + Miyu Secret Box by expressing my excitement and anticipation for this month's Box ... and it's safe to say that it did not disappoint! I'll end this post pretty much like the last one ... waiting impatiently for the March Box to land on my doorstep! Tick tock, tick tock!

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And we'll never be royals ...

It all started with this two-tone Zara wrap-around knitted jacket. 

It was very much a love-at-first sight affair, with my loving anything loose fitting and oversize, it looking so cozy and enveloping, and of course being from my favourite brand of all ... 

But then, disaster struck. 

While the jacket can of course be worn on its own as a jacket, a few days ago, I wanted to wear a coat on top of it since it was rather chilly outdoors and I was wearing a relatively lightweight garment underneath. With its batwing sleeves and very thick knit, it was practically impossible to wear anything on top of it. 

And then it dawned on me: I had seen this perfect biker-style cape coat over at ASOS quite a few weeks ago. I immediately loved the shape and style and placed it in the 'save for later' cache. I kept thinking about this cape coat but never committed to buying. The reason was very simple: the colour! I am somewhat scared of royal blue as I fear that it may wash me out as a cold colour since my complexion wears warm colours better. 

But I decided to take the plunge nonetheless. Wearing a warm colour or monochrome scarf to separate the blue from being directly next to my complexion should do the trick ... at least I'm keeping my fingers crossed! To save on luggage space to fit all my mister's Christmas presents, this cape coat will be meeting me in Krakow next week ... and as usual, I am virtually packing through Polyvore instead of actually packing the rest of my luggage! Better get myself started! 

And we'll never be royals ...

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Sunday, 15 December 2013

2013 has been a good year / pt.2

Here's the second installation of my two-part run through this most awesome of years.  If you missed the first part, you can still find it here.  On to the second half of 2013 now ...


The highlight was certainly my boo's birthday and our day out with the Crazy Guides guys round Nova Huta. We also got to visit MOCAK's Economics in Art exhibition where I saw my first Banksy, and almost had a heart attack in the process lol!


To celebrate our anniversary we took a train ride to Zakopane, which, despite the heavily tourist oriented atmosphere, remains a most beautiful place and definitely a must-see for anyone visiting Poland.  This month also gave me another 'first': my first music festival - the Coke Live Music Festival in fact where I got to see Biffy Clyro, Franz Ferdinand, and Florence and the Machine among others. A few days earlier, I had even seen French metal band Gojira live during a separate event.  Never a dull moment! Unfortunately, this month saw me return (certainly not of my own free will) to Malta, but ...


Confessions of a Former Size 6 is one year old! This month was pretty intense, what with settling back on the island, invitations for events flowing in (was I so missed!?!), and, of course, the greatest of surprises - my boyfriend showing up totally unannounced for a week! It was definitely the best and most welcome surprise ever for me!


This month, I graced your Style on Sunday pages together with fellow bloggers, designers, stylists as the Maltese 'Fashion Pack', something that has truly humbled me, as I still don't see myself as big as others I was standing next to.  The month ended with my much longed for trip back to Krakow where, as an early birthday present I got to see another favourite band: Editors. It's all happening in Krakow, isn't it?!


Oh lord, I aged another year.  Am I any wiser? I doubt it.  Still. This month was possibly one of the busiest and craziest ... but definitely enjoyable with loads of quality time spent with great friends, and fantastic shopping events!


The last month of this supercalifragilisticexpialidocious year (of course, I had to use a Mary Poppins reference ... it's the time of the year you re-watch it for like the millionth time!).  There's still some of it left ... and still more to happen, including my Christmas / New Year trip to Krakow next week.  But this month hasn't been short of highlights already - certainly the biggest one being moderating a workshop during an EU Commission conference which also saw the likes of Commissioner Johannes Hahn as one of the speakers (in my line of work, that's a HUGE thing ok?!). Oh, and from a more tasty perspective, I actually managed to accomplish my dream of making a rainbow cake. I am mighty pleased about that!

Well, well, well ... that was a little whirlwind round-up of what for me was one, seriously good year.  I do hope that you are closing off the year as well as I am ... and of course, that you keep following this petite place on the web I call my own! xoxo

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Monday, 9 December 2013

How to wear: Radiant Orchid

Generally speaking, purple is one of my more favorite colours. However, the minute it starts fading into what is widely considered as lilac, my admiration of it starts fading as well. Suffice to say that I have only ever once owned anything in lilac. And that was circa 1992. And it's highly unlikely I'll ever own anything in that shade again. 

So when I saw Pantone's colour of the year for 2014, I was a bit taken aback. Pantone is, for those not in the know, the go-to source for colour inspiration and forecasts, be it for fashion, graphic design, home trends, you name it. Every year, round this time, a colour is touted as the 'it' colour for the following year. 2013 saw emerald and me in jubilation; 2014 sees radiant orchid, and me in complete bafflement. 

I want to like this colour - I love the flower itself and in that colour - but I can't somehow get beyond my lilac phobia. In all fairness, lilac is on the 'cold' side of the spectrum, whereas orchid is 'warmer' since it has more pink in it. This may help me overcome my fear, as I generally wear warm colours better. 

In this baffled state I find myself in, I've come up with this mood board for inspiration. After all, there is no need to wear radiant orchid (or any other colour, for that matter) from head to toe (really, please, don't ever do that, unless it's different shades of the same colour!). Radiant orchid can be the dominant colour in a pattern, a shade in an iridescent accessory, a nail polish or even the tint of your sunglasses' shades. It is a colour that can well be complemented with other muted-yet-bold colours like an acqua or lemon, or paired classically, yet sexily with animal print. I may have actually just given myself a couple of outfit ideas there ... 

Maybe radiant orchid will find a space in my wardrobe after all ... 

How to wear: Radiant Orchid

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Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Santa baby ...

You know how the song goes ... listing all the glitzy, glamorous and gloriously expensive things one could want.  Well, that would be the day! I believe I have been an "awful good girl", as the song would have it ... but do I really want all that?

Maybe I'm being overly righteous here, but I have come to a time in my life where anything I really wish is neither material nor can it be bought with money. To quote Destiny's Child's Independent Woman (early 00's pop reference of the day), whatever I've wanted - whether it was needed or whimsically purchased - well, "I bought it".  And I actually enjoy that.  To drop another pop culture reference, despite my not being a Sex and the City fan, "I like my money where I can see it ... hanging in my closet!"

But! There is a Secret Santa out there who should be buying me something, relatives and friends who are scratching their heads as to what to buy finicky me for Christmas and in order to make it a touch easier, here's a little Christmas wish-list of material things ... oh and it's all available on ASOS so with all you have to do is 'add to cart' and check out and wait for the Christmas magic to happen:
to add to my fashion library ... 
It' by Alexa Chung Book
because the hair needs some accessories too ... 
Limited Edition Big Bow Hair Clip
to indulge my newly found love for animal print ... 
DKNY Active Animal Print Small Across Body Bag
because I'm too lazy to go to the gym ... 
Bliss Fatgirlslim Lean Machine
because a new year deserves a new mug ... 
Folklore Medium Enamel Mug
to indulge my fetish for preppy looks ... 
Fred Perry Diamond Cardigan

because sometimes pictures can speak more than words ... 
This Is Happening Instagram Book
because every girl needs a bag she can't put anything in (except for her lipstick) part 1 ...
Lulu Guinness Fifi Doll Face Clutch Bag
€404.12 NOW €302.75
because every girl deserves a make-up bag to inspire her make-up looks ... 
Lulu Guinness Doll Face Nylon Large T-Seam Wash Bag
to indulge my non-corporate approach to work ... 
Ohh Deer A5 Treehouses Notebook

because every girl needs a bag she can't put anything in (except for her lipstick) part 2 ...
Textile Federation Inspired Textures Box Clutch Bag

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