5 Best Vegan Spots in Lyon

Lyon has really become this past year, a much more vegan-friendly city. There are tons of new restaurants, coffee shops and organic groceries, popping up everywhere around town. Here are some of my favourite spots in the city that are worth the visit if you are plant-based!

1) My Petite Factory – Located on Rue Neuve, right in downtown Lyon, My Petite Factory is heaven for those who follow a plant-based diet. They have the most delicious buddha bowls, sandwiches, soups and homemade desserts all made from scratch and fresh daily. They not only serve vegan options but also gluten-free options, making them a hotspot for not only locals but also tourists.

2) Harvest Cuisine – This pizza joint is new to the city and prides itself in serving farm-to-table style pizzas and pasta. They work with local farmers to get the freshest in-season ingredients. They have a handful of vegetarian options and also the most delicious vegan pizza made with cashew cheese. Harvest Cuisine is definitely revolutionizing conventional pizza making in the area.

3) Moi Pur Jus – One of the newest juice bars and cafes to open up in Lyon this past year. Also located on the presqu’île in downtown, this beautiful café offers a wide variety of cold-pressed juices, chia puddings, snacks and treats that are both vegan and gluten-free. Moi Pur Jus is 100% organic and in addition to offering food and drinks, also offer different health and wellness services.

4) Slake Coffee House – A great spot for breakfast, lunch and also to spend the day working on your laptop. Slake Coffee House is located in the most beautiful antique building that offers a real vintage and warm vibe. They’ve got lots of salads, snacks and warm drinks to choose from. It’s not 100% plant-based but a great place to spend time people watching and catching up on work while in the city!

5) Les Cafetiers – If you don’t mind waiting in line, you’ll want to pay Les Cafetiers a visit. Their minimalist setting and Australian influenced coffee shop (you can even order a Flat White there!) is without a doubt the trendiest coffee shop in the city. They serve up delicious brunch (hello avocado toast!), sweets and drinks and though not everything on the menu is vegan, they’ve got some delicious options to choose from.

5 Workouts Worth Checking Out in Lyon

Planning a trip to Lyon, France? Here are a few recommendations for workouts and activities that will keep you moving while you’re in the area.

1) M.ROC – Bouldering has become a super trendy sport in North America and apparently in France as well. M.ROC is a super neat concept bouldering space that offers not only a ton of different walls to practice your climbing skills but also offers a place to relax and be social after climbing with their cool cafe. This “Bloc and Bistro” as they call it has three locations in Lyon. It costs around 15 Euros/day including shoes.

2) Bikram Hot Yoga – Yoga is slowly making ground in Lyon. The latest and greatest studio to open up is a Bikram Hot Yoga studio right downtown on the presqu’île. The studio recently underwent some renovations to be able to accommodate it’s growing number of customers. Owned by a husband and wife duo, they’re rapidly becoming the go-to spot in the city.

3) Parc de la tête d’or – Looking for places to run while you’re in Lyon? Le parc de la tête d’or is an absolute must! The park can easily remind someone of Central Park, minus the madness. It’s located right next to Rhône, so you can easily run through the park and then run along the waterfront, getting the most beautiful views of the city. In the park, you’ll also get to see the botanical garden and the city’s zoo.

4) CrossFit Enyento – Located in the 9th arrondissement, this CrossFit box is home to some of the city’s best athletes. CrossFit Enyento offer a wide-variety of classes that specialize in weightlifting, cross-training and more. They offer free trial classes for newcomers and have great trainers that will make everyone feel welcome and provide you with great training tips.

5) Go to the Alps – Because Lyon is located just 90 minutes away from the French Alps, going on a day trip to the mountain is a must.  There are plenty of resorts and mountains to choose from, whether you’re looking to hike, snowboard, run or even eat local mountain food. Worth checking out: Les 2 Alpes, Alpe du Huez and Courchevel, just to name a few.

5 Things to Do in Lyon

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1) Visit the zoo in Parc de la tête d’or – The Parc de la tête d’or is the biggest and most beautiful park located in Lyon. The park reminds me a lot of Central Park. This 19th-century park is filled with beautiful statues, tall trees, flowers, fountains and also the coolest zoo that is open all-year-round. It’s a great place to go for an afternoon stroll or even for a run. At the zoo, you can pet ponys, see girafes, bears, monkeys and a handful of other beautiful animals that live outdoors in beautifully crafted habitats. The zoo is vast and is surrounded by lush gardens. A beautiful place for kids and for kids at heart 😉

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2) Have an ice cream at the Grand café des Négociants – Around since 1864, the Grand café des Négociants has been a hot spot in Lyon for artists, politicians and traveling salesmen who come to discuss and enjoy either a drink or a homemade ice cream. The café is decorated with the most beautiful mirrors, moulded ceilings, drapes and paintings. You will find it located right in the heart of the business and arts district on the Lyon peninsula.

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3) Spend time in La Croix-Rousse – If you’re looking for a trendy spot to spend the afternoon or even to stay (they’ve got the most beautiful Canu loft apartments available for rent on airbnb that you can get for $50 a night!), you have to visit La Croix-Rousse. The area is filled with lot’s of yummy cafés, patisseries, restaurants, bars and shops. The architecture is also incredibly beautiful in the area. Paddy’s Corner, L’atelier du Boulanger, La brasserie des écoles and the weekly market are some local favorites.

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4) Go for a walk or a run on Quai Rambaud in the Confluences – Les Confluences is a brand new area of Lyon that has been around for two years or so. They recently inaugurated a the Confluences Museum in December and there is also a huge shopping area that was recently developed on the waterfront with hotels and also restaurants. The Quai Rambaud, is located just a few minutes of walk from there. It’s where you’ll also find the trendy new bar and exposition spot La Sucrière. On the quai, you’ll also find a bunch of barges. It’s also a popular place for running amongst locals.

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5) Take a ride on the big wheel at Place Bellecour. If you’re looking for one of the best views of the city, take a ride on the big wheel located on the Place Bellecour. It allows you to see not only the peninsula but also get a view of both rivers that surround Lyon. It’s only 8 Euros per adult for the ride.

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France, je t’aime! pt 2

When traveling to France, the two things most people have in mind are: shopping and eating! Here were some of my favorite places to shop and stuff my face in Paris, Lyon, Les 2 Alpes and Bretagne from my recent trip to France!

Cool shops

Obviously France is like the shopping mecca of the world, so these are some of my recent favs:

Springsioux, Paris – the raddest up and coming rock n’ roll Parisian brand. They’ve got badass jewelry, tees and accessories and also carry some incredibly unique pieces from young designers from across Europe. They have a dreamy shop in Le Marais and hold events at least once a week, which usually either includes champagne or Caesars! WHERE: 4e arrondissement.

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The Kooples, Paris – you may have heard of this shop before. @Offner first introduced me to the brand last year. They have such beautiful pieces. I love the entire concept behind the store… Now if only I had more money!! WHERE: There are shops located pretty much in every arrondissements in Paris and shops also in Lyon.

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Les Galeries Lafayette, Paris – a classic if you’re in Paris. Basically, it’s like an enormous Holt Renfrew that carries the most high end brands and that is always beautifully decorated all year round! WHERE: 9e arrondissement

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American Retro, Paris – a super rad shop that carries edgy fashion pieces that are usually very colorful. They’re trendy with a twist. WHERE: There are a few different shops in Paris.

Auchan, Lyon – you won’t really find any clothes there but it’s my favorite spot to buy groceries!! They have such a HUGE selection of fresh products, cheese, vegetarian options, cookies, etc. Each time I go to the store, I want to buy everything! Think of a Costco with lot’s more fresh products and selection and a lot cheaper!! @Offner even found a friend there!! WHERE: everywhere in France!

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Where to eat

Let’s be honest, France has probably the most amazing food EVERYWHERE, so here are just some of places I liked on this past trip:

Tata Burger, Paris – they’ve got the biggest burger made to look like a penis! Yup! The food and atmosphere is pretty wild and super fun! WHERE: 4e arrondissement

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LA Favorite, Paris – very trendy and beautiful looking bistro in the 4e arrondissement. They had the best vin chaud! Yummy salads and desserts! WHERE: 4e arrondissement

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Casa San Pablo, Paris – a Spanish tapas restaurant that’s incredibly cheap and super yummy! Loved the traditional decor. WHERE: located in the 4e arrondissement, right by the Place Sainte-Catherine.

L’épicerie, Lyon – My favorite spot for lunch or for the “goûter”, they’ve got the best tartines and homemade desserts. Yum, I can almost still taste it in my mouth! WHERE: Bellecour, on the presqu’île.

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Pique-Nique en ville, Lyon – A super small and quaint restaurant that serves a great “formule midi”, otherwise known as an appetizer, main and dessert at a fixed price, which is very common throughout France. Absolutely loved their pasta and wine selection. WHERE: Presqu’île

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Abel, Lyon – one of the oldest bistros in the city that was founded in 1928. The place is also called a “bouchon Lyonnais”, which is a place where they serve traditional Lyonnais food, including the Quenelle, etc. WHERE: Presqu’île

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Le Cellier, Les 2 Alpes – For the best “montagnard” food, ie. the food of the mountains, the specialty in that area. They serve an amazing tartiflette, raclette, gratin de crozets, fondue, grilled meats, etc! I love their traditional ski chalet type decorations!

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Crêperie, Bretagne – While you’re in the region, you’ll want to order a freshly made sweet crêpe or even a savoury crêpe otherwise known as a “galette de sarrasin” usually filled with veggies, cheese and or meat, accompanied by a “bolée de cidre“. You’ll also want to order a “Flan Breton” or “Far Breton” to get an authentic dessert. They are so delicious and buttery! WHERE: There are crêperies located in every small town in Bretagne and are all equally tasty.

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Paul – a chain of patisseries that serve all sorts of yummy goodness! They’re now even located at rest areas on the highway and in train stations, they’re like the tim hortons of France but without all the chemicals and crap in their food. They serve salads, sandwiches, quiche, desserts, yummy drinks, etc. WHERE: Anywhere in France

Any patisserie or boulangerie in the area you will be staying will serve you amazing fresh bread, pastries and cakes. The perfect and cheapest place to have breakfast in the morning!

Also, I highly recommend getting cheese from the weekly market or some of the amazing local shops that always feature cheese made from the region. You can get great quality cheese for very cheap and encourage local producers.

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If you like macarons (for some reason, I just can’t get into them!), you’ll want to stop by Pierre Hermé, the best macarons in Paris! WHERE: Several locations across the city.

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*NOTE*: If you’re a vegetarian like me, I hope you like cheese, bread, pastries and salad because as I’m sure you know, a lot of the French cuisine revolves around meat. So you’ll need to find substitutes to meat for your meals. Even when you ask for a vegetarian salad or sandwich, from experience, they have the reflex of offering you fish or seafood. That said, you can survive! I’ve never eaten so much and so well in my life as I have in France!

Well there you have it! Hope this travel post was insightful! Let me know if you have any food or shopping recommendations for my next trip to France!

Writing this blog makes me miss France even more!! Can’t wait to return!

France, je t’aime! pt 1

This blog post was long overdue! I can’t believe that Offner and I have been back from Friday for almost two months now. It seems like just yesterday I was getting ready for this three week long adventure.

My trip was a little different this year. Since we had more time, we decided to explore more places than we had last December. On the itinerary: Paris, Bretagne, Lyon, Les 2 Alpes & St-Etienne. Here’s a little resume of our amazing adventure as well as tips for any of you going to France soon!

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Getting there

Because we were able to book our flights almost four months in advance we were able to find a super cheap deal with Orbitz for multi-destination trip with Air France. I really enjoy using Orbitz as a search engine when booking flights as they always have good selection for Europe, you can easily compare prices with other airlines and they’re booking is hassle-free, no hidden fee bullshit! We flew from Toronto -> Paris direct and on the way home we did Lyon -> Paris -> Montreal (It’s impossible to get a direct flight from Lyon to Toronto/Montreal). I was really excited to fly with Air France again since I hadn’t flown with them since I was a kid. I know the airline has made great strides in improving the quality of their service in the last couple of years, especially since that unfortunate crash in 2009. I was able to organize everything before my flight easily on their website. I was able to chose our seats, my vegetarian meal as well as get our boarding passes all sorted out before even arriving at the airport. The in-flight service was top notch! I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of my vegetarian meal as well as Offner’s fish selection. I appreciated the fact they gave us quality wine and champagne as well a balanced meal. Air France also had a great selection of movies and entertainment options available that made the 7hr overnight flight a lot more bearable. Leg room was decent, the only negative comment I’d have was that the seats were really hard, they could have been a little more cushiony.

Traveling while in France

We opted for different modes of transportation to get to the different areas we were traveling to. We took the TGV from Paris to get to Rennes, where we spent two days with my family. I highly recommend using this mode of transportation for quick, painless travels across the country. I had booked the tickets online in November and they were 29 Euros per person for the one-way. They also have complimentary wifi on the train and at the train station while you wait. Instead of taking us 4hrs to get to Rennes by car, it choped the travel time in half.

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One thing you need to remember is that if you’re renting a car, most places will be closed on Sundays, so since we were arriving on a Sunday in Rennes, we had to find a car at the airport. It was a 20 Euro cab ride from the train station to the airport in Rennes and the car rental place only opened at 1:30pm (more like 1:45pm France time :p) and was open for 4hrs. That said, we had tried to get a car through a website where individuals rent their personal vehicles (a cheaper option and worth looking into!) but unfortunately that fell through.

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We then flew from Rennes to Lyon. It was a 1hr flight. Though Rennes doesn’t have a very big airport, they have a few flights every day going to different areas in France and even to other countries in Europe. We took Air France’s regional jet HOP!, not only was the flight cheaper than the TGV but it also reduced our traveling time from 8hrs to 1hr. It was really a no-brainer for us.

While we were in Lyon and Paris, we also used the subway system a lot. It is super efficient and cheap. Also, you can use Uber taxi in Paris if you’re looking to get somewhere rather quickly but be prepared to dish out quite a lot of cash for cabs in Paris!

Where to stay

Offner and I are really lucky because we get to stay with family and friends while we’re in France. That said, we didn’t want to spend the entire three weeks crashing on people’s couches so we opted for our favorite type lodging: Airbnb. We spent one night in a Campanile, which is a big chain of environmentally friendly hotels that you can find across France. They’re a cheap alternative if you’re on a budget and hotels are more your thing. Though we could have stayed in a handful of different hotels, we opted to stay at cute little lofts/apartments in the neighbourhoods that we really liked. In Paris, we opted for Le Marais and in Lyon, La Croix Rousse. Both are safe and beautiful areas with lot’s to do and amazing food to eat!

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Some must-see spots from my trip

Paris

Le pont des amoureux

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Le Marais

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La Place des Vosges

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Le Louvre

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L’Île St-Louis

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Notre-Dame de Paris, the Eiffel Tower (duh!), les Champs Élysées, Place, Sainte-Catherine, etc.

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Lyon

Vieux Lyon

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Place Bellecour

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L’Opéra de Lyon

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Place des Terreaux, presqu’île de Lyon, Croix Rousse, Confluences, etc.

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La Bretagne – I may have a little bias towards this region of France because it’s where my mom’s family is from but it’s a beautiful small region that has much to offer. If you’re going to make the trek up there, I recommend you visit the following places: Dinard, Dinan and St-Malo. All three historic towns with beautiful scenery. While you’re there, you gotta eat “galette de sarrasin” the best salty crêpes on the planet as well as a bowl of traditional cider and my favorite dessert: le flan Breton! Also, if you like butter, you’re in for a treat! They put butter on EVERYTHING! Make sure you bring an umbrella with you, as it tends to drizzle (they call it “crachat breton”) quite a bit there.

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Les 2 Alpes – everything about this ski village and station is amazing! Unlike most Intrawest or big ski stations, Les 2 Alpes has kept the old school small village feel. It’s not too loud and too touristy. Though there are people that ski there from all over Europe, the people it attracts are a little older or families. That said, there are really cool bars in the small town, local wine and cheese producers, markets, a small cinema, amazing restaurants and all the ski equipment your heart desires! The daily lift ticket is 42 Euros and includes insurance in case you get hurt or something happens, which is incredibly cheap for such a huge resort as compared to lift tickets here.  Recommendation: Stay an extra day to go hiking in the mountains beside the village, it’s breathtaking. Also, you can ski at Les 2 Alpes almost all-year-round. In the summer, you can ski on top of the glacier and then go golfing or swimming in the nearby lake. Sounds dreamy!

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Stay tuned for Pt 2 of my France travel blog featuring some of my favorite places to eat and shop in France. Coming soon!!

 

 

The Shaman #DailyOutfit

While I was in Paris last month, I spent a lot of time with the guys at Springsioux. It was so nice to finally visit their rad concept store and also attend some of their events, which had the best bloody mary and champagne by the way!

Happy to now be representing the brand even more with my new Shaman pendant and Shaman ring.

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Springsioux Shaman pendant (get it here)

Springsioux Shaman ring (get it here)

Zara Zip Back Dress (get it here)

Sophie Deschamps Grey string bracelet with flower charm (similar one here)

H&M black knit tights 

Forever 21 Bleached demin vest

Karl Lagerfeld ’7′ Beveled Bezel Bracelet Watch (get it here)

Steve Madden brown suede boots

 

1st Post of 2014! #DailyOutfit

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you’ve all had amazing holidays!! After a month-long break I’m excited to be back home and back to blogging. I took a much needed break but am now filled with more energy than ever. Excited to see what 2014 has in store!

What did you guys get up to during the break? I had the opportunity to travel to France, Montreal and the US. I can’t wait to share my travel adventures with you all. I’ll be posting a special France and Stowe blog in the next couple of days. Looking forward to sharing some of my favorite memories from the trip!

For my first outfit of the year, I’m doing purple and black. I love the delicate bracelet from Lyon designer Sophie Deschamps I received as a gift while I was in France. Everyone in France are wearing them right now. Not only can they be worn all the time but they’re also easily stackable. Whenever I look at it, I’m reminded of the wonderful time I had!

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 Photos by @Offner

Zara Biker Jacket with zips (similar one here)

Victoria Secret black pocket tee

Biko Jewellery Kyma Neckkace (get it here)

Forever 21 accordeon pleated purple skirt (similar one here)

Zara laced ankle boots with block heel (get them here)

Sophie Deschamps Grey string bracelet with flower charm (similar one here)

 

 

Holiday Adventure

Today is the day I leave for my month long adventure with @offner! So grateful to be traveling with him again! Excited to be visiting three different countries during this upcoming trip. We’ll be spending the first two and a half weeks in France, followed by a few days back in Canada then off to the US for some snowboarding!

I will be taking a little blogging break during my trip but will post as many updates as a can while on the road. I will also have a full recap with some of my favorite hot spots when I get back, so stay tuned!

Wishing you all a wonderful start to your holidays!!

xo

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T – 7 #DailyOutfit

Yup, only 1 week left before my trip to France. Thrilled! That said, I will miss my city while I’m away. Yesterday, I had the chance to going to an event located at the Steamwhistle Roundhouse, which is right beside the CN Tower. I’ve always been fascinated by this enormous structure. When I first moved to Toronto, it would always help me orient myself in the city and find my way home, something I really appreciated. I also love that they light it up in so many colors all-year-round. The thing you learn from traveling a lot is to really appreciate the time you’re at home and your city. I never had that feeling while I was living in Montreal, I used to get panic attacks when my airplane would be circling over the city to land but in Toronto, I always have a sense of comfort whenever I get back. So I will miss you Toronto!

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For today’s outfit, it’s black and burgundy with some silver accessories. I don’t have nearly as many silver jewels as I have gold jewels but once in a while, I like wearing only silver for the day.

So excited for the Song Of Style for eLUXE event tomorrow evening! Will I be seeing you there?

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 Photos by @Offner

Anine Bing boots with silver studs (get them here)

TOPSHOP Moto Wine Supersoft Skinny Leigh Jeans (get them here)

Uranium White Stripes tee

Verameat Mermaid Sword Yes silver necklace (get it here)

Springsioux Horns Ring (get it here)

Springsioux Lady Muerte ring (get it here)

The 2 Bandits large Naja bangle (get it here)

Karl Lagerfeld ’7′ Beveled Bezel Bracelet Watch (get it here)

 

Feeling Bohemian #DailyOutfit

What a nice and relaxing weekend I spent! So nice to be at home and not do much! My highlight of the weekend: visiting the new Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto. I’ll have a special post on the aquarium later this week!

I also saw the new Hunger Games flick, which was very likeable. I’ve always enjoyed the fashion and makeup in this series. They always outdo themselves! I also did a fun little purchase on the weekend: I bought a new suitcase! I know, super nerdy but I’ve been dying to get a more solid and better quality piece of luggage for all the travels that I do. I’m excited to bring it on its first trek to France! Yay!!

Feeling slightly bohemian today… I chose to dress in black with accents of beige. Taking back out some of my favorite boots from last season from Steve Madden. I’m also wearing my Topshop fedora, which really seems to be an eye catcher in the street. My boyfriend and I had fun this evening with his new 50mm lens while sipping on some yummy David’s Tea!!

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Photos by @Offner

Forever 21 black shiffon shirt dress

Biko black chainmaille bracelet (get it here)

Biko Jewellery Telsum Bracelet (get it here)

Vanessa Mooney Little Ways Gold Bracelet (get it here)

Biko Jewellery Mira Necklace – Triangle Ring (get it here)

Topshop clean edge fedora hat (similar one here)

Steve Madden brown suede boots