This Valentine's Day I decided to do something a little bit different. I decided to step away from the pre-conceived notion that one is surprised with roses, chocolates, stuffed animals and/or romantic dinners by their significant other. Nope. Not me. Not this year. I decided that I was going to flip Valentine's Day on its head. On the 14th of February 2017, I finally realised that it was time to treat. yo. self. I went straight to the top of my wishlist and instead of spending hours umming and ahhing over the pieces sitting in my Michael Hill online shopping cart, I committed (pun intended).

It's a well known fact that I am a fiend for a gold necklace. On any given day, I can be found sporting upwards of six at once. So it really comes as no surprise that I decided I wanted to adorn myself in just one more. Why the heck not? World, meet the latest addition to the neck party, St Christopher. Suspended by the finest gold chain, he drapes himself proudly among the usual tangle that sits across my d├ęcolletage.

On the topic of obsessions, I also found myself drawn to a 10ct Gold Signet Ring that I've probably lusted over since the age of nine. Yes, it's taken me nearly 16 years but I finally decided that I needed it to be mine. Zero regrets. Just all of the gold.


These weeks gone by haven't been all that easy, slowed down by speed bumps in the three primary aspects of life - love, health and work. Encouraging myself to begin this collaboration with Samantha Wills seemed so far out of reach. It wasn't until Saturday morning when I woke up to the warm Autumn sun flooding through the window that I finally realised just how much I needed this. A day to celebrate summer. A time of year filled with sun kissed skin and a warmth that wraps itself around you. When long car trips down searing hot roads dotted in melted tar are a weekend norm. Ragged salt licked hair and bare faces are encouraged whilst clothing is not. Days dissolve into nights and temperatures barely waver. Summer Solstice - my favourite time of year.

Thank you to both Samantha Wills for getting me involved and to my girl Sophia De Vries for getting behind the camera for me.

No.1 - Alice McCall Dress, Samantha Wills 'Drew' Sunglasses
No.2 - Zimmerman Wrap Shirt, Zara Paisley Flares, Samantha Wills 'Grace' Marble Tort Sunglasses
No 3. - She Made Me Bikini Top, Sportsgirl Denim Skirt, Samantha Wills 'Luxe' Tort Sunglasses


“One belongs to New York instantly. One belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” - Thomas Wolfe. Sitting in the back of a taxi at 11pm, having landed in New York less than an hour earlier and the only thing running through my jet lagged mind was, "I could live here". I could barely even make out the silhouettes of the buildings in the darkness but the sea of lights drew me in. Although it's a city of concrete, overly stressed humans and not much else, it holds so much beauty and an energy that I just cannot explain. Being based in Tribecca at the Smyth - A Thompson Hotelhad me skipping out in the mornings to get my everything bagels smothered (read: seriously smothered) in cream cheese from Ground Support and sorting out my caffeine cravings with a cappuccino from Laughing Man Cafe. At nights, Ramen. Plenty of Ramen. Almost always from Momofuku. Days were spent shopping in Soho, wandering the picturesque streets of the West Village and trawling through the eight miles of books at The Strand. Maybe it's the food I pine after, maybe it's the golden light that filters in through the buildings, maybe it's the rainbow of Autumn leaves that litter Central Park or maybe it's just the city itself. The only thing I can say with utter certainty is that I will be back. Soon.

Images by Nicole Cooper
© By Nicole Cooper

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