“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”
– Richard Puz, The Carolinian
Two weeks ago, I went for a walk in Kensington Gardens, one of the most beautiful Royal Parks in London. It is the closest public park to my current residence and one of my all time favourites. Many years ago when I was still an architecture student, I used to walk across this park every morning from my flat-share to the architectural practice that I was doing the compulsory one-year work experience placement in Gloucester Road area. That was one of the luxuries of living in London. One could have a choice of a beautiful and sometimes charming morning walk, enjoying the many amusing dogs and their owners, while walking to work instead of having to take the jam-packed public transports or driving during rush hour, which would be the case, if I were to live in other cities. Public parks and communal gardens in city centres have to be one of the best urban planning features of London as a city.
Kensington Gardens, in particular, comes alive in Autumn when every leaf is on fire. My favourite spot is definitely The Italian Gardens, a 150-year-old ornamental water garden, created by Prince Albert as a gift to his beloved Queen Victoria. I read a long time ago, that Prince Albert was an avid gardener, and was in charge of creating the Italian Gardens at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, one of the holiday houses for the Royal Couple. In 1860 another Italian Garden was built in Kensington Gardens with a design by James Pennethorne that imitated many features from the Osborne House Italian Gardens.
In Autumn, the Italian Gardens feature the most beautiful landscape of Kensington Gardens, with such vivid colours and beautifully arranged composition that the framed view from its balcony overlooking the Serpentine Lake looks more like a scene from a romantic painting rather than reality. Every time I come here, I feel like walking into a romantic landscape painting instead of a real life park.
Today, I wore one of the new additions to my Autumn/ Winter wardrobe from Lemaire for Uniqlo Collaboration, which personally, I think is the most exciting and best luxury brand x high street collaboration this year. Yes, I think that HM x Balmain is amazing too, but when taken into account daily wearability, price point and quality, Lemaire for Uniqlo is a clear winner for me. Its minimalist design and colour palettes are classic staple pieces for anyone’s wardrobe. They are so easy to wear, Uniqlo clothes are high performance and anyone can look good in them. Price wise, the items start from £29.90, which is much more reasonable than HM x Balmain, so this season, I ended up stocking up quite a few pieces in preparation for the coming cold winter. I combined it with this very cool chunky knitted scarf with fair isle pattern pockets, which are great for keeping my hands warm.
With this all white outfit combination and cosy functional yet playful scarf, I think I blend right in with the romantic scenery of the Italian Gardens… After all, this garden was born from a Prince’s love for his Queen – a very sweet and romantic origin – so maybe that is the reason why the resulting scenery is still so romantic and heart warming even after 150 years…
Photographer: Yulia Jevzikova
OUTFIT OF THE DAY
Top: Lemaire for Uniqlo
Skirt: Lemaire for Uniqlo
Scarf: Paul and Joe Sister
Ankle Boots: Topshop