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The birth of a brand…..

January 27, 2017

I often get asked how Monks On Vacation got its name as it seems to grab attention before our garments have managed to get a look in! it was actually on a family holiday to Mykonos and we were out in Mykonos Town enjoying the fabulous simplicity of the Greek cuisine.We followed this with a few cocktails in a local bar watching the summer crowd wander past dressed in their beautiful Mykonos white uniform.They looked relaxed, glamorous and could equally have been at home on the beach as at one of the many upmarket restaurants or bars on this fabulous island.I don’t think I have ever seen such a synergy between the vacation wardrobe and where its being worn.The beauty and simplicity of design, abundance of white in every texture with a touch of a muted colour in a neutral grey or beige beautifully blended in amongst the natural environment surrounding us. myk3 myk 4 It was here that we looked at the drinks menu and a cocktail jumped out at us because of its name ‘Monks On Vacation’. My husband, always one to see a marketing tool commented on what a great name for a business. Looking out at the catwalk taking place infront of us it all made perfect sense. At that moment Monks On Vaction as a fashion brand was born. The ethos of the brand was also defined then too. Small collections comprising of a limited number of designs with small runs.The beauty would be in how these pieces would work together, to form not just a single outfit but multiple ones. A collection that could be packed in a carry on for a city break away, or to a longer more leisurely vacation on the beach. Garments which would work equally dressed up or down, glamorous or relaxed. Pieces that would take you though a 24/7 busy lifestyle, from the gym to a qwick shopping trip to a glass of wine with friends. Our collections would be versatile yet stylish with every occasion covered. martinique stripe low rushy pants low popper jacket alt low Our first collections comprised of staple wardrobe garments on which future collections will build on. Our signature designs focused on detail such as our Maxi Sweat with its oversized arm length and cuff width. maxi dress loungewear We are continually looking to develop our concept and have exciting details to release over the coming weeks. MOV has come a long way in the last 18 months and especially since that cocktail in Mykonos. We would love you all to stay tuned in and join the next stage of our fabulous journey with us.

MOV on the perfect mid week break in the Otter Valley

July 29, 2016

pig house

 

With both my husband and I working from home with our own businesses we are lucky enough not to be dictated to on when we take a break away. There’s something a little bit decadent to taking a boosting break mid week and settling down for 24 hours at a new destination, albeit still armed with phones and laptops, but at least a change is as good as a break!

 

I’ve been a huge lover of The Pig brand of hotels which have sporadically opened up in some of the most beautiful places to visit in the UK. They transform already beautiful buildings into something even more heavenly with clever use of space and utilisation of existing materials. This creates a fabulous relaxed and laid back environment to spend time in as well as evoking a gorgeous ‘shabby glamour’ to their surroundings.

 

Everything happens the moment we step foot through the entrance of the newly opened (in July) Pig at Combe in the Otter valley, Devon. Lined up in military fashion are rows of Hunter boots in all sizes and an army of pink umbrellas stacked and ready to challenge the unpredictability of the great British weather! Outside activities are definitely encouraged to make use of the vast acreage in which this beautiful Elizabethan country house nestles.

 

pig umbrellas

The former grand hallway has been transformed into a beautiful bar area with an array of coloured glass adorning the vast window frames, oversized comfy seating encouraged us to far outstay our welcome when we made our way for afternoon tea.

 

pig bar

pig bar seat

 

But first we ventured outside to where the former Garden Folly has been transformed into a beautiful garden space in which to enjoy fabulous food over encouraged communal seating. Outside are plenty of spaces to view the amazing countryside views and enjoy a menu derived of freshly grown vegetables and locally reared produce. Our stay for the night was in the fabulous attic room which also had stunning views from both the four poster bed and the freestanding bath. A separate seating area and bathroom created a comfortable inviting space in which we would spend the following 24 hours.

pig montage

 

pig mood

 

So what to pack for the midweek break. Choosing from the many available combinations of the MOV collections I opted for two dresses and a Popper Jacket. The Ella is so comfy that I didn’t mind wearing it with some Adidas trainers while drawing the short straw and driving for 3 hours. The beautiful soft rib doesn’t lose shape or crease despite 3 hours in the car and I feel great to turn up looking dressed for a lazy lunch. When it got cooler I simply popped on the Popper Jacket in raw white, again easy to wear and pack. For the evening we ate in the restaurant and again enjoyed some fabulous food after a couple of creative cocktails in the bar. The Maisie dress with heels did the trick, again due to the fabulous fabric was non creased on unpacking and even found a little open door to the rooftop to enjoy the view by night and give the Maisie dress a further photo op !!

 

ella-dress-close-up3

pig dress So completely revitalised, and not once having to make use of the bad weather offerings of boots and brollies, we enjoyed a fabulous sunny 24 hours in Devon. I cannot recommend the Pig enough …just waiting for the next one to open now !!

Monks On Vacation…In Hong Kong

November 5, 2015

So today I’m flying back to Hong Kong for the weekend, a place I lived and loved for ten years. I’ve many friends still there and can’t wait to catch up with them all as well as other friends joining us from the UK and NY…it’s going to be a manic few days!

Restaurants and bars I knew like the back of my hand have probably long since gone in the two years since I’ve left, such is the turnover in THE place to be seen. However some things won’t change such as the Peak where I spent hours dog walking my two labs with friends with the obligatory coffee at Starbucks at the top!

For those of us wanting to push ourselves slightly further we had the long winding hill up from Old Peak Rd, which was where we lived for the entire time there. Then there’s the amazing Happy Foot, just about the best experience ever! An hour (or longer) of relaxation where your feet are pampered and massaged while you sit and read, sleep or enjoy a glass of wine with friends (I know which I’ll be doing!).

So on to packing for a short jam packed weekend away. First in the suitcase is the White Rib skirt, perfect with heels and a black top for our evening out on Saturday.

rib skirt

 Also packed is the fabulously versatile Madeleine skirt which I’ll match with the long sleeved Brittany and pumps for daytime. For the Peak walks? Well, the two slouch tops in orange and white will be perfect worn over the white Martinique Vest Top.

shoot standing 2

monksonvacation

It’s a long 12 hour flight into Asia and that’s where MOV cannot be beaten on style with a massive comfort function! I’ll team the Rushy black pants with the white slouch (I’m packing three of those as they come in for anything!) and to keep me warm at 35 thousand feet I’ll add the Walberswick Sweat in a brand new charcoal colour.  So I guess I’m all set for a great weekend away with the best of friends in the most exciting vibrant place in the world..7 hours till take off !

luxury jumper