It's an absolute thrill when you find a piece of vintage clothing that fits oh so perfectly in your closet. There's something a little romantic about it, no? It's almost as if this item, manufactured decades ago, was predestined to eventually end up in your hands. Yes, I'm aware of how filmi I sound... Clearly I watch too many Bollywood movies.
Back to my point - I want to share a mini guide of my favourite vintage finds and where in London I picked them up from.
This particular trench coat that I'm wearing in this set of photos was found a few months ago at one of Mile End Vintage's pound sales. As the name suggests, nothing is over a pound (£). Yes, that's right - £1. It's a damn steal for a garment in such perfect condition. I've seen commercial vintage retailers sell clothes in far worse condition for upwards of £20. Stay clear of those places, folks. Although you do have to manoeuvre quite a bit through a sea of clothes during the special sales, it's totally worth it when you find pieces like these.
Also located in Mile End is 2nd Time Around, where I found this vintage Burberry leather jacket, probably made in the late 1800s as it carries the "Burberrys" logo. More than clothes, they have a very interesting collection of furniture that many of you could appreciate. This magnificent fur coat from the 1930s was purchased from D. & A. Abrahams - an exquisite antique store with an inexpensive curation of items. How I managed to stop myself from buying everything off their racks, shelves and walls is a mystery to me. And finally, every tourist's favourite - Brick Lane Market. There I managed to find this casual pair of sunglasses and this gorgeous cat-eyed pair. Are you in love yet?
Photo assistance - Trishna
Wearing: Zara - Sweater // Cos - Trousers // Michael Kors - Sneakers // Vintage - Trench coat
“Let there be no scales to weigh your un-known treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.”
- Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
Last spring, I drove down south with Melody to visit this breathtaking place - the Seven Sisters cliffs. Best two and a half hour drive ever. If you're ever traveling to London, you should definitely think about seeing the chalk cliffs.
Being surrounded by nature as far as the eye can see, with little trace of human presence, is without a doubt one of the most incredible sensations I've ever felt. We were really lucky that it was a quiet day and we got the entire beach to ourselves. It's exciting and makes your heart flutter, but at the same time instills tranquility in your soul. It's a reminder that harmony exists in this universe. It's a reminder that I am a small, ephemeral fixture on this land. And even smaller are my problems.
Looking out into the sea, I realise that it has no beginning, no end. Boundless. Despite the chaos of crashes and sprays of salt, it is inherently serene. Each flowing body of water is somehow connected to one another, and they connect the rest of the world. Like the unfathomable depth of the oceans, the potential each and every one of us hold inside ourselves knows no bounds.
Whatever we seek without, can be unearthed within.
Shot at Seven Sisters Country Park, Sussex.
A couple of weeks ago, me and some friends spent a day in the seaside town of Brighton. For some strange reason beyond me, I had always expected it to be a moody, gloomy and grey place. Foggy and drizzly images of Brighton are all I recall seeing in popular media. As soon as my friends and I stepped out of the train station that morning, all my expectations were shattered. Not that I was complaining. Sunshine is always welcome - especially at this time of year, when the days are getting shorter and shorter. The rest of our time was spent exploring hipster streets, eating some of the most amazing seafood ever, people-watching on the pier, trying to start a campfire by the beach after sunset, flinging pebbles into the air and hunting for coins on the ground, just to have some cheap thrills at the arcade. It really was one of those perfect, carefree days. If you don't count the train ride from hell on the way back, that is. Nonetheless, Brighton, I will definitely be seeing you again. Thank you for being so beautiful.
After a brief stint of overnight snow last weekend, the temperature in London took a dip and danced around the freezing point for the remainder of the week. It was only when I headed down to Victoria Park for a much needed dose of Sri Lankan chai (following several hours of mind-numbing lectures) that I realised how cold it really was. The West Boating Lake had partially frozen over.
My mug warmed my trembling hands, but watching life on the lake warmed my soul. Ducks, geese, seagulls and other waterfowl continued with their usual fanfare at a negligibly greater elevation than most days. They were clumsy little creatures, tripping and stumbling all over the place as they attempted to tread over slippery surfaces. I observed them silently as I demolished my brownie. The mallards seemed to struggle the most with every step they took, while the coots appeared condescending in their rooted positions. Only the wise swans knew it was better to stay out of the lake altogether.
As the sun grew in intensity, the smooth surfaces began to lose their solidity and move like satin again, creating ample opportunity for the cormorants to dive freely. I wasn't particularly sad at that point in time, but I felt like a weight on my shoulders too melted into the lake. It's important to learn how to go through life mindfully. Recently a friend told me that, "happiness is when you live in the present and let go of all your troubles, of negativity, and just enjoy the moment".
In today's hectic world, most people, myself included, spend too much time contemplating and worrying about future events and where life will lead us. During the time that's left, we reminisce what we think were better days or wish to change some regrettable action of the past. How many of us can say that we take time out to just be?
Overlooking the sparkling lake at one of my favourite cafes, I felt happy that frozen afternoon.
Shots of myself by Vanessa Low.
Wearing: Zara - Shirt, trousers, scarf // Topshop - Coat // Bally - Oriano sneakers // Givenchy - Nightingale bag
Pavilion Cafe is located in Victoria Park, Corner of Old Ford Road/Grove Road, London, E9 7DE, UK.
Contact: +44 (0)20 8980 0030
Meandering pathways slither in abundance through the gardens that surround Chiswick House, a marvel of 18th century architecture. With over 65 acres of sheer splendour to explore, it's not hard to believe that the entirety of your visit there will fly right by, without a second of boredom. I don't think I even managed to cover half the grounds (that means a second visit is very much needed). After a relatively lengthy tube and bus ride through the very packed heart of the city, stepping through the gates of Chiswick felt like entering an oasis, in every metaphorical sense. It was a completely different atmosphere to that of Central London - quiet, calm, classical.
I was listening to Adele on repeat that day, while treading over gravel driveways and admiring the sculptures (as you would have seen on snapchat), but the song that was playing in my head was Sarabande. It was a creepy coincidence because later I found out that Handel himself had put up at the house as a guest of the architect, Lord Burlington.
Who knows, maybe I'm psychic?
The highlight of the day, however, definitely had to be me freaking out over gigantic canines. If you're afraid of dogs (like myself), I guarantee you will be providing free entertainment to your friends. It's great to see families out and about, going for walks with their pets, enjoying the freedom of nature and the warm-hued sights... but every single time a dog came running towards my general direction, terror flashed across my face and I had a mini panic attack. This overreaction looked especially comedic to everyone around me, considering these dogs actually couldn't give two hoots about my presence and totally ignored me. Hell, can they even be classified as dogs when they're the size of a pony? I think not. Note to self: visit in the afternoon when dog numbers are low.
While on the topic of when to visit, a sensible person would probably plan their outting to Chiswick Gardens at it's prime during spring. But alas, I just have to go against the grain, don't I? I blame it on the foliage. The traffic-light gradient of green to amber to vermillion in the trees, the crunch of leaf-litter beneath your feet, the game of musical chairs with your layers of clothes, dictated by the sun and clouds - there's something oh so romantic about it all.
Autumn is a mysterious time, full of pleasant surprises. Well, mostly (looking at you, dark clouds). I hold my breath in anticipation each morning before peeking out the window - the same kind of anxiousness a kid would feel, before munching his way to the toy-core of a Kinder Surprise egg (and by kid, we all know I mean myself). When I draw back my curtains, I never know what's waiting on the other side.
Could it be a crisp, sunny sky and a driveway carpeted with amber leaves? Or could it be a damp and drizzly scene, painted in wish-washy shades of grey, like a Turner painting? Or, if it's anything like the last couple of days, it could even be a Halloween-appropriate situation with eerie blankets of fog casually rolling through the neighbourhood. Regardless of what mask the weather may decide to wear, the beauty of autumn still prevails.
Time and time again I've claimed that winter is my favourite season - I love the cold! But this autumn, I've been doing some semi-serious re-evaluation. Growing up in a concrete island on the equator, I loved any place where the mercury fell below the 25 centigrade mark. The colder, the better. In addition, school holidays were fixed at such times that I only ever got to experience summer or winter if traveling abroad - so it's obvious out of the two seasons which I'd favour more.
Since moving to England, I've been able to experience more of the two transitional seasons - spring and autumn - the blooming and the withering between the heat and the cold. Although let's be real, the entire year just feels cold, am I right? I'm not sure if I dare say it yet that this is my favourite of the four seasons, but these October days and November nights sure know how to charm the pants right off of me. We'll have to wait and see if winter can deliver some snow this year before drawing any conclusions.