Switzerland is one of the wealthiest nations in the world but beneath that expensive exterior is a scene of truly cool alternative people who are developing amazing retail concepts dedicated to upclycling and everything vintage.

I stumbled across Bogen 33 in Hardbrucke as it’s near where I was staying.  The store is urban and cool and has the coolest stuff. If I could have carried it all back, I would have.

I have so many more amazing images from the thrift stores in Europe to share with you soon. This is but Part 1!

For more on the store, check out: www.bogen33.ch

 

Ages ago I visited Topshop for a preview of their collection and really liked their studded shorts, only problem was, the shorts were too short for Dubai. You can check them out here.

So I decided to create my own. This is what I started with:

These plain, cheap Zara shorts were in a dark wash and I haven’t worn them in ages. You’ll also need some studs from Satwa to embellish.

Here’s what I ended up with:

How to: Take a shallow bucket and fill with bleach and water until half filled. From there peg the shorts to the rim of the bucket so they are dipped into the bleach and leave for 40 minutes, then turn over to do the other side of the shorts.

When the bleaching is done, hose them down with water in the bath and then dump them in the washing machine to clear all the bleach out.

Once the shorts are dry, simply cut small incisions where you want to screw in the studs. Add the studs and then you’re done.

These are cool for going to the beach in Dubai and are almost long enough to wear to the mall.

Thanks to the amazing Alex Callueng for the photography.

It’s happening more and more lately, my work in entertainment is mixing with my love of DIY! I was asked to be the face of Royal China in DIFC for their 1st Birthday last week.

Then on the evening I was in a huge bind. I looked everywhere to find a garment in the “old shanghai” theme but I was so busy. I found a blue dress on sale at Debenhams in my size for AED 100 and then starting wracking my brain on how to make something oriental in blue. As the host of the evening, I couldn’t very well greet guests without being dressed in theme.

Then it hit me! The old Chinese crockery I used to smash of my Mum’s. I remember glueing it back with super glue after I did a cartwheel in the house and smashed a vase. So I decided to create a hat to match the dress which used Chinese crockery.

Here’s what I started with: china plates from Daiso at Lamcy Plaza, some baubles in blue (also from Daiso) and an old pillbox hat from the Dubai World Cup I’ve had sitting around since 2009:

I put the plates into 2 plastic bags so that they were double lined for safety and then hit the bag with a hammer until I got this:

I combined the pieces from the 2 different plates and glued them on with a glue gun then added a vintage blue brooch to the front. This is the finished hat:

Don’t you think it looks a little like Chanel’s 2012  blue period hats? This was a total accident.

So here is the Old Shanghai theme:

Here are the images at the birthday bash and how it all came together. I teamed my DIY hat with that AED 100 dress from Warehouse at Debenhams and a cheap fan from Daiso in silver to match the belt. My ring is from Aldo accessories:

It was such a wonderful evening and the hat was quite the centre of attention, in fact I think it upstaged me!

I want to thank Royal China for choosing me as their face, if you havent been there you need to get on over to DIFC Gate Village 4 and order some Peking Duck. I also must extend sincerest thanks to Kelly at www.thehouseofphotography.com for the fabulous event photos, Toh PR for being so great to work with and also to my best friends for attending and supporting me at the event.

For pictures from my latest Ok! magazine shoot for Royal China you can click here.

Happy Birthday Royal China Dubai!

I was invited to a private suite at The One and Only on the Palm Jumeira to meet the fragrance masterminds behind Paco Rabanne’s best selling fragrance 1 Million. I’ve owned Lady Million for ages, so I already loved the brand.

The suite was amazing with giant gold fountains with the new Absolutely Gold versions of 1 million pouring out. They were even so generous to give me a bottle of the male and female version of the fragrance to take home.

By now you’re wondering what this has to do with being “cheap’n'chic”? Well, Paco Rabanne was known for his manipulation of metal, his amazing fragrances and also his sense of humour. This is best seen in the iconic Le 69 bag which I was introduced to during the media preview. The handle of which is crafted from an old toilet chain. This was amazing to me! A luxury brand built on a man who upcycled!

Here’s the gorgeous Miss Missoni wearing Le 69:

Here are some snaps from the media preview:

This whole upcycling thing got me remembering a picture I saw of the Lancel Daligramme bag which used a bicycle chain for he handle:

Here are some more pics from the media preview. The 1 Million: Absolutely Gold scent will be out in stores in MENA in October:

 

 

 

 

Doesn’t it just make you want embellish something in gold?

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