TWENTY-THREE

 Yesterday I turned 23. It's the one time a year when I reflect on how much my life has changed over the course of 12 months. Every year I think to myself, wow it can't get crazier than that... But guess what? It does. With every increment of my age, I learn new lessons from life. Important lessons that will stay with me for a long time. I'm older, but not wiser - in fact, my foolishness grows with each passing day. Being an adult doesn't necessarily mean that you have your life sorted out. Growing up should be a liberating experience. It means to be able to accept the things you cannot change, and live with positivity and gratitude. It means to learn whose opinion matters and whose doesn't. It means to break free from conformities and compromises. It means to be bold enough to live on your own terms and never apologise for it. Thank you to every single one of you who has taken a moment of your precious time for this underserving fool. Your presence, physical and digital, were the best presents I could ask for. Your hugs, phone calls, comments, Instagram posts, text messages, tweets, video calls, Facebook posts and snapchats have filled my soul with so much joy and I am ever so grateful from the bottom of my heart.  Photo assistance - Melody Tan Wearing: Forever 21 - Tropical print tee, linen shirt // Acne Studios -...

STRANGENESS AND CHARM

Sorry to break this to you, kids - contrary to popular belief, no matter how blessed you may be in the genetics department, modeling isn't just about good looks. Ok, maybe it is a little bit, and you may land a commercial or editorial job here and there, but is that all you want? If you plan to be in the game for the long run, if you really want to be remembered as a person and not just as a living mannequin, what you need is personality. Repeat after me, kids. It permeates through the lens and shines off the pages of a glossy magazine. Or a computer screen. Or most probably from a smartphone if you're living in 2016. Personality is exactly what Layla here has - and not in a loud, boisterous, "look-at-me" sense. She's soft-spoken and she's quirky, but she isn't afraid to strike up a conversation and put her best foot forward. She's got that 90's laidback, IDGAF attitude, but without coming off as pretentious. In fact, she was eager to learn. Layla possesses a strangeness and charm that's both infectious and intoxicating. And guess what? This particularly humid morning was the first time Layla was on the set of a shoot. For someone to make such an impression on their maiden journey into the world of modelling, the future looks hella bright for her. PHOTOGRAPHY, STYLING // Faiyaz KoliaMODEL // Layla @ Basic ModelsMAKE-UP // Aradhana...

MILANO

            Despite the naysayers who insisted that my first time in Italy should be somewhere "nicer" (like Venice or Rome),  I decided that a visit to Milan completely warranted my time - so I spontaneously booked my flights and the rest was history. In the land where culture meets commerce, you'll find hidden treasure on every street, between iconic landmarks and esteemed establishments. It was four days of wandering on foot (with the occasional Metro ride here and there), experiencing Milanese flavours, and falling in love with a culture full of romance. Here are some snaps from my time there and a list of places you really ought to visit. 1. Duomo di Milano 2. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II 3. Potafiori - more on that here 4. Museo Poldi Pezzoli 5. Palazzo Morando Attendolo Bolognini 6. Pasticceria Marchesi 7. 10 Corso Como 8. Pinacoteca di Brera 9. Navigli district 10. Gelateria le Colonne 11. Parco Sempione 12. Museo delle Culture 13. Fondazione Prada 14. Piazza Gae Aulenti 15. Al Coniglio Bianco  Photo assistance - Aditi Dhanu   Look 1: & Other Stories - Shirt // Zara - Jeans // Givenchy - Patent Oxfords // Prada - Sunglasses // Topshop - Denim jacket, with 'fixated' embroidery by Hand & Lock Look 2: & Other Stories - Shirt // Acne Studios - Trousers // Givenchy - Patent Oxfords, scarf // Moschino - Bucket bag Look 3: M&S Collection - Double cuff shirt // Zara - Flared trousers // Topshop - Denim jacket, with 'fixated' embroidery by Hand & Lock Look 4: & Other Stories - Shirt // Vintage - Linen chinos // Bottega Veneta - Leather weave bracelet // Prada - Sunglasses...
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