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8 Fashion Journal readers share their real life love stories

Photography by Trudi Treble
FJ readers wearing Pandora

True love.

As we near February 14, we can’t help but feel Valentine’s Day has earned itself a bit of a bad rap. It’s understandable but, in our humble opinion, the day should be about celebrating love, whatever form that takes. Especially after the year we’ve had, shouldn’t we jump at the excuse to celebrate human connection?

It seems we’re not all that alone in our views. Late last year, Pandora conducted a global survey exploring how the pandemic has impacted relationships and human connection around the world. The study found that 70 per cent of us believe that relationships are more important since the pandemic. Most of us also feel inspired to make more of an effort with loved ones.


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As it turns out, more of us than ever are showing each other little acts of love and friendship. Pandora found these include complimenting loved ones (39%), buying more gifts (31%), helping around the house (45%), tagging loved ones in posts on social media (37%) and regularly checking in on them by organising phone and video calls (47%).

In a further heartwarming touch, a massive 79 per cent of Australians surveyed believe a person’s values make them more attractive over any other quality, including looks, body type and intelligence. This isn’t limited to romantic relationships either, as most of the respondents agreed that relationships are more focused on shared values than in previous years. It appears in 2021, shared values are what we’re all looking for.

In case your heart isn’t quite feeling soppy after reading the above, we’ve worked in an insurance policy, asking eight FJ readers for their love stories. Once you’re feeling adequately smushy, you can give your own little act of love here.

Maggie and Katie, sisters

Maggie has been a Fashion Journal contributor since finishing an editorial internship with us last year. We’ve come to know her well, and have been lucky enough to watch her eyes light up as she discusses those closest to her, including her family, friends and partner. When we asked her to write about love ahead of Valentine’s Day, she chose to write about her sisters. 

There’s nothing like the bond between sisters. Nothing more infuriating, nothing more rewarding. From childhood nights spent making up games, to navigating adulthood awkwardly together. We’ve competed against one another in YouTube karaoke battles and thrown a fair few tantrums about who is wearing whose clothes. Our closeness may ebb and flow, but our bond is built on unconditional love and shared history. No one can recount your favourite childhood snacks, the mortifying stories kept from your parents or your unconscious mannerisms quicker than a sibling. Siblings keep you in check – they’re there to pull you down when you’re on your high horse, but also to lift you up when it’s needed. My favourite part about having sisters is the judgement-free honesty that comes with the territory. The safe feeling that you know they’ll always have your back, no matter what.

MAGGIE WEARS / PANDORA MOMENTS HEART T-BAR BRACELET $99 WITH  VINTAGE CASSETTE DANGLE CHARM $49, SPARKLING FREEHAND HEART CHARM $39 AND METALLIC RED HEART CHARM $49, PANDORA CLASSIC CABLE CHAIN NECKLACE $39 WITH FRIENDS FOREVER DANGLE HEART CHARM $49, PANDORA CLEAR TILTED HEART SOLITAIRE RING $49 AND RED TILTED HEART SOLITAIRE RING $49 (STACKED)
KATIE WEARS / PANDORA SPARKLING SLIDER TENNIS BRACELET $99, PANDORA SPARKLING MARQUISE DOUBLE WISHBONE RING $89, PANDORA CLEAR TILTED HEART SOLITAIRE RING $49 AND PANDORA ROUND SPARKLE STUD EARRINGS $89

 

Alex and Chloe, newly engaged

Chloe and Alex are bucking tradition, starting with their wedding. After cancelling their original Big Day due to lockdown restrictions, Chloe surprised Alex with her own marriage proposal and the pair set about scheduling their revised wedding plans. Alex is taking Chloe’s surname too. Anyone who knows the couple will tell you they’re madly in love. 

Despite years of mingling in similar friendship groups and attending many of same gallery openings, music events, festivals and house parties, we somehow didn’t even remotely know each other until – out in the remote wilderness of Victoria – we randomly sat down on a hill next to each other at a friend’s New Year’s party in 2017. We fell for each other hard and fast, and there has been no turning back. We’re both pursuing separate dreams in creative fields, and find it important to unequivocally support and to be proud of each other, no matter how ambitious or arduous the dream may be. We both feel so comfortable doing everything, and also doing absolutely nothing, with each other. We conjure and help with each other’s grand plans, blabber on about our interests, our mutual adoration for the arts, nice spaces and nice things. We navigate all the tricky parts of growing up (or, pretending to grow up), but it helps us both grow together.

Chloe surprised Alex by proposing last year, and Alex will proudly be taking Chloe’s surname. We have always felt comfortable to follow what feels right within ourselves, and not to simply follow tradition. It is us, after all. We also feel it shows a really important message, both to the world and to our future children, that they can love and be whoever they want to be. COVID-19 saw our wedding plans cancelled, but we are pushing ahead by having a very intimate civil ceremony at Bar Liberty, our favourite wine bar, in May. One of Alex’s oldest friends, Julia, is going to step in as a groomsman too.

ALEX WEARS / PANDORA SPARKLING WISHBONE HEART STUD EARRINGS $79 AND PANDORA OPEN HEART STUD EARRINGS $59
CHLOE WEARS / PANDORA ROLO CHAIN NECKLACE $69 AND MOMENTS SMALL PAVÉ O PENDANT $79, PANDORA ELEVATED HEART NECKLACE $99, PANDORA ROUND SPARKLE STUD EARRINGS $89 AND ROSE TIARA WISHBONE STUD EARRINGS $79, PANDORA SPARKLING CROWN RING $89 AND PANDORA CLEAR TILTED HEART SOLITAIRE RING $49

 

Sabina and Ben, best friends 

Sabina is a (very talented) writer, editor and curator, who we’ve featured on FJ before. While she is in a romantic relationship, we asked her to spotlight a close friendship for this feature. She was quick to say yes, acknowledging the importance and value of strong and enduring friendships, just as much as romances. Here, she writes the love story of her and good friend, Ben. 

Ben and I went to high school together, then reconnected in our twenties over a love of bougie dinners and exorbitant weekend getaways. We were often finding ourselves in situations that weren’t always quite right, but still so much fun. On one such occasion, we were on a media trip for Sydney Contemporary. We rented a gorgeous townhouse in Paddington with high expectations, but the house turned out to be owned by a 50-something, recently-divorced man who really loved to chat. We were worried that our relaxing trip might be taken over by the presence of this lovely, but talkative, man. Until one morning the conversation turned to his local recommendations, leading us to a bar called Lucio’s later that evening. Lucio’s is known for its art collection and notable regular customer, John Olsen. When we arrived, we were welcomed just like regulars ourselves, and the owner gave us a grand tour of his collection before treating us to a couple of Aperol Spritz on the house. And the rest is history!

BEN WEARS / PANDORA CLEAR TILTED HEART SOLITAIRE RINGS $49 (STACKED)
SABINA WEARS / PANDORA RED TILTED HEART SOLITAIRE RINGS $49 (STACKED)

 

Frances and Georgia, lovers

Frances and Georgia are partners in business and in life. Together, they are co-owners of furniture selling platform and design business Playground, which debuted its very first piece earlier this year. Watching them together, it’s hard not to feel the love between them. While juggling a fledgling business can be tricky, it’s clear this couple makes it work. 

We met through friends a while before we really even noticed one another, but once we did, at a party one evening, it was sort of just electric. You know that feeling of being in a crowded room with someone, and just needing to be near them and hoping they stay close? We would catch each other staring or trying to catch the other’s eye. One of us would always finding reasons to be touching the other and making cheeky jokes at the other’s expense, hoping they’d know we were flirting. Neither of us was really ready at the time, so it was a slow burn. But once the summer came around, we were in love and still making jokes at the other’s expense. We’ve built a life and a love that we’re really proud of and work on each day.

GEORGIA WEARS / PANDORA ELEVATED HEART NECKLACE $99, PANDORA SPARKLING WISHBONE BANGLE $149, POLISHED WISHBONE BANGLE $99 AND SPARKLING WISHBONE HEART BANGLE $149 (STACKED)
FRANCES WEARS / PANDORA ROLO CHAIN NECKLACE $69 AND MOMENTS SMALL PAVÉ O PENDANT $79

Are you looking to show someone your own little act of love? Pandora has released a beautiful capsule range of jewellery for Valentine’s Day, which you can browse here

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