the skinny of it all…

From upper right, clockwise: Loren Stewart Triangle Necklance, Dear Rae Silver Rings, Loren Stewart 4 Diamond Skinni Rings, Odette Spear Ring, Minoux Big Bee Home Necklace, and Stone & Honey Porta Ring

I’m not talking about body images, nor jeans.  It’s all about the elusive finger or neck candy.  I’m really not one to accessorize.  Yes, I have a few pieces here and there (literally – they are all spread out through Deutschland, Canada and Cambodia), but nothing that really floats my boat here and now; especially while I’m surrounded the glam-ed up opulence that’s so characteristic of Khmer styles.

But lately I’ve been inspired by the skinny, or the minimalist take on jewelry one can say.  Namely these thin bands I spotted on Fashiontoast/Rumi Neely earlier this year.  If there is an accoutrement for this anti-accessorizer…then it’s definitely the minimalist’s take on metal and jewelcraft.

And so, I discovered super fab Cali-based jeweler, Loren Stewart (check out her ode to thin bands below!)…and inevitably the big wheels started turning.  I cannot wait to go visit the most amazing jeweler (for those of us on a budget), Channa, in Russian Market.  I know she’ll help me design something fab…and of course, minimalist.

Details soon.

LOREN STEWART – SQUARE from Sammy Loren on Vimeo.


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It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Hokusai’s wood-block print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa and anything related to its shape.  It’s my desktop wallpaper.  I have a short sleeved tuxedo jacket that my fabulous tailor, Monika, made for me a couple of years ago using a print based on the woodcut.  I’m still contemplating and trying to perfect a tattoo based on the woodcut for my upper back.  And now – with the end of my (ridiculously challenging) consultancy and getting back into this blogging business after some time away – it’s time to take on the big wave again.  This time, it’s all about a boyfriend blazer and shorts combo!

This pattern had me at hello.  Psar Tuol Tom Pong is such a treasure trove! I instantly knew it was going to be a jacket, and later on, matching shorts!  I cannot wait to see how it all turns out!

Jacket / Shorts

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i heart global tastemakers

One of the things I love so much about the web these days, is how it gets you close to the trendsetters and the tastemakers, whether it’s the Selby, Oh Joy! or in the literal sense – Turntable Kitchen.

This time, sophisticated and down-home Americana outfitter J. Crew worked with taste-observers, Scott Schumann (The Sartorialist) and Garance Doré to profile some trendsetters around the world in their new Hello, World series.  From Hong Kong to Berlin, Madrid to Sydney, they’re touching down in a metropolis near you, and I thought I’d share some of my faves from the series! Enjoy!

I love Takahiro Kinoshita’s outfit. I can just see a certain London-based, WHO-lobbying, health policy advocacy and all-around super stylish friend of mine in it! (Maybe sans trench though)

Madrid…would love to shop you.

And of course…an ode to Hong Kong. I have amazingly stylish relatives over there. I feel under-dressed each time I’ve visited.

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à la mode pp…mosquito nets & tetrapaks!

With a girl’s only trip down to the Cambodian coastline looming ahead, I found myself in need of a toiletry bag.  Seriously – why hadn’t I thought of this before?  Well I have, but after years of using ones inherited from a collection called “stuff my mom got for free and decided to give to me,” I decided it was time I found one to call my own. Made with re-purposed fishing net! And it came in a recycled Tetrapak shopping bag!

Toiletry bags in every colour of the rainbow!

And where to get such a fabulous travel accessory in Phnom Penh?…Smateria of course!

Smateria is practically a Phnom Penh institution among stylish social enterprises.  Formed in 2006 by 2 stylish Italiano ladies, Elisa and Jennifer, Smateria sought to turn all that litter you see around on the streets of the Penh – into something you’d want to lay down bucks for.  Everything is made from recycled goods, from mozzie and fish nets to tetrapaks, garbage bags, old motorbike seats, and second hand textiles.  Not only that, Smateria employs vulnerable and formerly exploited Cambodian women, using both home-based production and ethical shops around town in accordance to International Labour Laws. I love a social enterprises that tackles multiple issues!

But getting to the styles…check out Smateria’s online catalog.  They have got such a great sturdy collection of purses, wallets, travel accessories, super adorable kids’ gear, and bags to protect everything from your iPhone to your Macbook in every single colour of the rainbow! They even do custom designs and I’m thinking of having them do a mozzie net version of this bag!

Are these not the cutest?

My fave is their sun-filled store on street 57 x street 278, near Wat Langka!

So definitely do check out one of Smateria’s 4 locations (in PP and Siem Reap) if you’re ever in the Kingdom! Or if not, one of their stockists in Europe.  I can guarantee you, people will be asking where you got that bag.

All photos in this post, unless otherwise noted, by infinitiff.  Please do not reproduce or use without permission).

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got sunnies?

(Original photo by Tom Ford via GirlScene)

With the clouds parted (both literally and figuratively) I found myself on the market for sunglasses, and thankfully, Phnom Penh offers pretty nifty knock-offs at remarkable prices.  $4-5 a pair, depending on your negotiating powers!  You can even find dudes conveniently hawking sunnies in all of the tourist districts here. With this in mind, I know I’ll probably live life as a cheapie when it comes to shades; especially having once left a $300 pair of sunnies at a resto in Toronto.

But prices aside – it’s all about the style right? The perfect pair of frames to suit your face and your personality.  Knowing me, I like an edgy, tomboy-ish, but ever-so slightly glam pair of sunnies.  Which is why I wound up with my typical pair of Rayban Red Wayfarers, classic Persols and these darling Tom Ford Whitneys (all certified copies of course).  So with a new outlook and sunnies on my mind, I thought I’d come up with some inspired collections of some of my fave looks, all harkening to vintage periods that I simply love.  Enjoy! xoxo, t

Go Glam! Original Photo of Audrey Hepburn by Angus McBean.

Hip, beat generation coolness. Original photo by unknown via B for Bonnie


Ice cold and badass circa the 1970s – for girls and guys! Original photo of Robert Redford by Ron Gallela

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could use another vacay…glamping!

Original photo by Shelter Co.

So I shouldn’t complain.  We spent a nice long weekend on the southern coast of Cambodia last weekend (a post on that soon!).  But on this Friday, after a hectic week of satisfying stakeholders and various emotions revolving around this often munitions-filled field of “health system strengthening,” I’m feeling a little in need of a respite.  Which is why we’ve got the weekend, right?

Original photo by Shelter Co.

And with the humidity and the heat swirling around Phnom Penh at the mo’, I also realised I miss those cooler temperatures and the fun and natural wonders of the life au naturel.  I would so love to spend the weekend hiking in a national park like the ones back home, a nice dense forest, with all of my best buddies who are currently located in the 4 corners of the world.  And perhaps even glamping too?  Yunno glamping right? That’s camping with a little flash! (Check out more glamping style here!) And probably a lot more money than regular camping.

Photo by Roots Canada.

Just imagine it – wouldn’t it be nice to go on a long hike to find a comfortable abode like the ones set up by the very cool Shelter Co.?  This Cali-based lodging service provides the flash of canvas tents and catering that turn camping into glamping.  I would just love to end a long hike in the woods to a trifecta of glammed-up tents (or even a yurt!), roaring fire and delicious food all ready for me and my besties under the stars and the dark dense forest.   I’d probably be decked out in a heck of a lot of Roots or an outfit like this…

Collection by Unknown, via A Well Traveled Woman.

Photo by unknown via CabinPorn.  Yurt in San Juan Mountains between Ouray and Silverton, CO.

Oh how nice it is to dream.  Even better under the stars…


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a snood for the subtropics…

Snood…what a funny name, eh?  (I think snoodle is even better)  These tubular scarves are often knit and are the best thing to keep warm during those frosty winters back home and in London.  They’re actually amazing – you can wear it like a hood, wrap it around you as many times as you can as a big scarf.  But what about a snood for more tropical climes?

I’ve been wanting to get creative in the scarf arena and decided to take the traditional knit snood and flip it upside down for Cambodia.  I found some great textiles at Psar Tuol Tom Puong (Russian Market), and had Srey Oun over at Shocking Pink Tailors sew it up for me.  I added a bit of black cotton to lengthen it so I could wrap it around me twice.

Et voila!

All you need is about 1m x 1.5-1.7m of fabric depending on the breadth and length you want.  I used 90cm x 160cm of fabric for a scarf that was long and wide enough to serve as a wrap around shawl, and wrap twice around my neck.  Sew it into a closed tube shape, and there you a have it!  A snood for the summer! Perfect for sopping up sweat, as a shawl to match tiny tank top, as a hood or veil if you need to cover up at religious sites (or against the rain), and wrapping around your neck during those cool seaside summer nights (don’t catch a cold!).  You could fancy it up by using a nice silk or satin instead.  Or keep it casual with a nice jersey or woven cotton. The possibilities are endless.  Enjoy!

All photos in this post, unless otherwise noted, by infinitiff.  Please do not reproduce or use without permission).