Palacio da Queluz


On my second last day in Portugal, Leonor took me to visit the palaces of Sintra, namely Palacio da Queluz (pictured in this post) and Palacio de Pena (you’ll see it in my upcoming Lisbon photo diary). Palacio da Queluz is pretty much the Versailles of Lisbon, with its breathtaking gardens and hallways dripped in gold.

We snapped this quick look in the main courtyard, and I was too happy with the chilly weather that allowed me to wear my Balmain X H&M faux fur! Speaking of which, I think now’s the perfect time to comment on that topic, even though it’s been a month since the release.

Firstly, I saw on social media what a crazy stir the drop of the collection caused amongst the public for so many reasons. Sadly people behaved like hooligans everywhere, and thankfully, I didn’t have to as I strategically managed to get the two main pieces I wanted in a flash (perks of having height and long arms!), while other people snatched things out of one another’s hands and pretty much screamed like banshees. The collection sold out in 10 minutes here in CPT! For the days that followed, the #hmbalmaination memes, tweets and criticism was everywhere, which I found SO strange, even though some of it was funny or made a good point.

My thing is though, why was everyone catching SO many feelings? From saying it’s just glorified clothing by H&M to mocking the people who stood in line to shop the collection first, I thought the many many rants I saw were more psycho than the people who yanked the embellished Balmain garb from one another’s hands on the day. For me personally, I will shamelessly admit I was number 30 in the queue from 7am. And here’s why; I’ve loved Balmain since before Olivier Rousteing took over as CD and before the Kardashians made Balmain a “thing”, and I value what I feel are collector’s items in my closet, be they from H&M, designer or vintage. I purchased an “incomplete” leather jacket with holes in the armpit from the Maison Margiela for H&M collection in Frankfurt in 2012, without even standing in a line. Why? Because I found the craftmanship astounding and I wanted to wear his art. I still treasure it, and love what it represents. 

You see for some of us, it’s  not because we want to get our Kim K on and pretend its straight from the Balmain atelier, but rather a bit of fashion history we want to be a part of. If you must, then compare us to Cos Play enthusiasts, or those people that sleep outside the stadium to see their favourite performer, or the fans who just have to be the first to watch the new Star Wars movie. FYI, this is how people respond to all of H&M’s designer collaborations, and maybe it was more shocking in SA because it was the first one released here. Be that as it may, different people are into different things, and that’s how things are always going to be. If it’s not hurting you or anyone else, what’s with all the feels? I have no conclusive answer to that one honestly, it’s just a contemplation. Anyway, my coat is warm and makes me feel delicious ;)

But, moving on to my other favourite thing in my outfit. MY BAG. MY BELOVED BAG THAT I’M SO PROUD OF. So after my last Lisbon post you guys saw this sling bag, which is the first sample of the leather bags I’ll be producing with my husband. I’m so excited, pictures honestly don’t do it justice because the quality is INSANE. The amount of space inside it surprised me like the kids in Mary Poppins; I could fit my SLR camera, two lenses, my wallet, phone, sunglass case and lipstick inside it.

Otherwise, this post has gone on for quite long now so I’ll nip it in the bud right here! Hope everyone’s week has been fantastic so far!


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Prada shades from Sunglass Hut, Zara turtleneck, Balmain X H&M faux fur coat, Mango jeans, River Island boots, sling bag (coming soon).

Photographs by Leonor Alves, shot at Palacio da Queluz in Lisbon


By sharing her personal style, fashion and beauty advice, written reflections and more, Fashion Breed is a place for women to learn, relate and connect.

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