Rootless Identity

I just arrived in Moscow. I left when I was 14. Living somewhere for fourteen years, even your first fourteen years is more than enough to give you memories, to create stories, to make bonds with people.
It's been 13 years since I lived here, I come back once, sometimes twice a year, yet I have a freeze frame of memories from the 90's that have been imprinted in my mind. First kiss, music lessons, the corridors of my old school, first cigarette, slow dancing to Barbara Streisand and fast dancing to Scatman, day time discos, Kurt Cobain, Lion King, Lego and MTV, Spice Girls and my first Snickers bar, driving to the countryside with my parents, the cat peeing all over the car (it smelt so bad we had to sell the car), hospitals (I spent a year in hospital when I had meningitis at 7), my countryside, my flat, playing playstation with my friends, first love, first broken heart.

The Moscow I remember is long gone: it is not as raw and much less naive, it is sophisticated and flashy, it has become more westernized, my old school was demolished and in it's place is a new building, my cat died and I quit smoking, red bull and snickers have lost their allure. Yet, I still love the streets and the imposing grand buildings, the snow in winter especially early in the morning when its untouched and the wide roads and the soulful, shy but crazy and emotional people.

As I walked up to the check-in this morning in the Hong Kong airport, it was really strange to see so many Russians, when you live in a foreign country you get used to looking different, standing out, you are always a minority, sometimes  you may feel lonely or get the need to belong, but usually I like being different. It allows me to learn, to push myself out of the comfort zone, to leave behind the believes of one place where I have lived and take on new believes and customs. I grow (or at least I really hope I do) through movement and change.

It's nice, but strange to hear most people speaking your mother tongue, weird to recognize your features in theirs, to think what would happen if 13 years ago you would have stayed? If I would have never moved from Moscow.

My old city is now foreign and Hong Kong for now is home, I  feel like an alien when I come where I was born and it's ok.  Not having roots is liberating and unsettling at the same time, it allows you to be flexible but sometimes poses identity questions, but I am grateful to be where I am right now.

Outfit: I took these photos last month, but for some reason never posted them. I only bought two things in December a Carin Wester jumper and this military style Bec&Bridge coat. B&B are a niche brand from Australia. I have been partial to military coats as long as I can remember. Masculine and structured,  they have an identity of their own, they give you a sense of protection, but also create an image of fragility.

During my ongoing wardrobe cleanse I have thrown away 2 old winter coat one was a 3 year old cropped coat from Zara that didn't quite stand the set of times, the other was a cape like black jacket (a copy of a Philip Lim I found Shanghai) that was badly cut and shouldn't have really been bought in the first place. A good coat is the pillar of any winter wardrobe and I have worn this one almost everyday for the last two  month. Best part is the quality as Bec&Bridge manufacture in Australia.

Priscilla from Electric Sekki is so experimental with prints paring as many as three different prints in one look from stripes to leopard, while I am daring in the summer in winter I stick the grey, green and navy palette, that gloomy day I decided to experiment and paired a never worn ASOS shirt form my wardrobe (the things you find in a master cleanse) with a Massimo Dutti scarf, it doubles up as a sarong in the summer!

Even though the colors look cool in photos I spent the whole day feeling awkward like I was trying on someone else's skin. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is always a journey.

Bag Vintage from YesterdaySkin. Coat by Bec&Bridge (on sale now at Christing C), shirt ASOS (one of my last buys from them , I stopped buying their clothes as I was upset with the lapses in quality  and how different things to looked to the online photos), scarf Massimo Dutti, old trousers by Massimo Dutti.

P.S. I am going to be running around like a headless chicken these next few days my grandma is turning 75 and there tons of things to do and so many people to see so will try to update you as much as I can.

Kung Hei Fat Choy


  1. Looking hot hun! Loving the whole outfit :)

  2. Enjoy the time with your grandma! Great outfit!

    Kisses from Hong Kong,

  3. cny in russia. talk about international! love it :)
    childhood memories are the ones I look back on with fondness but maybe it's a fog of sorts. Everything back then seems/feels less serious, light and fun. Even though during that time everything felt so serious and core-shaking, hahaha. Anyway I digress.
    Have fun with the fam and looking forward to hear about the rest of your travels!
    great title to this post by the way.
    and very stylish outfit. fancy! very cool bag and love the pop of print with the scarf. It's funny how things that look awesome in pics feels slightly awkward in real life, especially brighter colors. But whatevs, rock the brights. It looks great! cheers to stepping out of comfort zones!

  4. I love how you described your two homes! It's always bittersweet, isn't it? My parents and I sometimes talk about what if we never moved to California... But that's how life is! It becomes even more amazing when you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a totally different place :)

    <3 from San Francisco

  5. You should wear red more often...it's definitely your colour. Hot!!!

  6. So interesting to hear your thoughts on moving to another country. I love the way you write about your memories.

    ~ Clare x

    PS: Yay! Love B&B :-)

  7. Wow, congrats to your grandmum on her seventy-fifth, that's wonderful! It's quite interesting the things that change since childhood and sometimes I wonder what my memories from where I grew up will mean when I'm in my mid-twenties–although I do love hearing about your life in the 90s. But then, the what ifs aren't really important; like you said, being grateful for the present is most important. Thank you for sharing these outfit photographs even if you felt a bit awkward; that's quite cool that the scarf becomes a sarong as well! Happy Chinese New Year, Tania, and I hope you've been enjoying your time in Moscow xx

  8. amazing post. just wondered if you guys could offer me some advice.....am moving to Hong Kong from London with my husband and cant decide on what area to live in. We are currently in Primrose Hill in london so love being close to the city but with a feel of the outside/parks/green??? x x x

    1. Hi DD, cannot find your email drop me a line, I would be happy to help. tania.reinert@gmail.com

  9. Love this! You look fantastic. Beautiful photos! www.casualglamorous.com

  10. Super chic and sophisticated look! Love it and the colors look great on you. And I totally agree with you, a good coat IS the pillar of a winter wardrobe. =)

    xoxo (till next time)