June 18, 2013 § 2 Comments
Hello there. :-) It’s been a while! How are you?
In the past few weeks I’ve been traveling through the southern Europe on a work-related assignment during which my wardrobe consisted out of mostly black pieces, with a few white garments in between. Since I planned on travelling to a couple of different locations over the course of several weeks, I tried to minimize on the actual quantity of items.
Now, for me this is somewhat a challenge because I usually tend to overpack and also considering the fact that right now the weather is extremely unpredictable, so you have to think of every possibility and still try and look presentable. This experiment in downsizing however proved to be a success, because I ended up wearing most of these items and felt comfortable throughout.
On most days I had meetings and that’s where I usually wore jeans or trousers with dressy tops and oxfords (or when the meeting was entirely informal, I’d switch oxfords for sneakers). For breakfast and coffee runs in the morning I’d just put on a tshirt and shorts and sunglasses. The evening wardrobe depended on wether I was going out for dinner somewhere formal or just a small local place.
To sum it up, my monochromatic travel wardrobe included:
TOPS – casual
black top with white stripes
white top with black stripes
black crew-neck jumper
dark grey sweatshirt
TOPS – dressy
structured short sleeved top*
draped long sleeved top with contrasting fabric*
dark grey semi-sheer button shirt
crisp white cotton shirt with short sleeves
skinny cotton trousers*
dark grey cropped jeans
white t-shirt dress
black patent leather oxfords*
COS cotton coat*
small suede cross-body bag*
This list obviously doesn’t include intimates, sleepwear, etc
The white t-shirt dress above is the white Raquel Allegra from the last post. Upon closer examination, the white didn’t feel nearly as precious as I imagined it to be, while the cut draped beautifully. I even wore it to dinner one night! It has just the right touch of luxe in an otherwise classic summer dress.
As far as skincare is concerned, these days I’m pretty much set with a bottle of La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra moisturiser (which I use daily under my make-up and at night after cleaning my face) and their wonderful sunscreen. At home I very through moisturizers, but I decided on this one for traveling because it’s the most versatile. That’s two bottles. Then there were travel-sized bottles of Kiehl’s Ultra cleanser and toner and a small bottle for my Argan Oil, which is all I’m using on my hair these days (plus it also makes for a perfect body moisturiser). Because I’m pretty attached to my shampoo and hair conditioner, I bought a couple of travel sized bottles for them as well and it turns out I use far less product than I initially thought I use per wash. As far as make-up goes, some BB cream and a couple of Chubby Sticks go a long way in a warm climate, and at night I’d just add some mascara and concealer.
This travel experience has once again made me reconsider the amount of stuff that I own versus the amount that I actually use, and although I thought I was doing fairly well for the last couple of years, upon returning home I decided to remove a couple of things that were getting the least amount of wear and (more importantly) actual joy out of wearing them. It felt good to downsize even more and I got to make my mom and some friends happy. :-)
March 31, 2013 § Leave a comment
There are a few things I find more grating (relatively speaking, that is) that the term “pop of colour”. It seems like it’s always used in the context where it’s needed to water down something otherwise radical and unapologetic in it’s simplicity, in order to make it more accessible (or visually “entertaining” even) to a wider audience.
Yet here I was, trying to figure out if my otherwise simple look really needed the dreaded “pop” when I added a dramatic lip colour to an otherwise fairly simple look (see previous post). Perhaps it was an attempt to combat the dreaded february blues, but I experimented with a dramatic red for an entire particularly cold week in february until I finally decided it was just not gonna work between us. A fresh berry stain is one thing, but full on lipstick just felt like trying way too hard.
So the affair ended rather quickly and now I’m back to my bb cream and lipbalms, and not much else. And to be honest, after all the experimenting, I might have settled into a simple and effective routine.
Then last week Into the Gloss did an article on the so-called “new face”, in which they described how to achieve the clean matte look for face without much effort (just one quick brush swoop of loose powder will usually do the trick) and pairing it with well groomed eyebrows and nude-but-better lipbalm for a modern contrast of textures. Think Céline woman. As much as I like the idea of trying out certain products there are in fact very few of them that become a part of my daily ritual. I do, however love matte skin, since my skin is mixed, leaning on the oily side and… well grass is always greener on the other side, I guess? The idea of a minimal make-up also feels infinitely more current than anything else. Plus, there is just something uncompromising in the refusal to do the obvious and what is traditionally expected of make-up, which is to exegerate features and make them more feminine, and decide on something far more contemporary and inconspicuous.
For now, most of my products are stored away and the only thing on my make-up counter are a couple of nude-coloured pots and some chubby sticks. Honestly, I am curious to see how long this will last, but for now it feels perfect. =)
(images: kassia, via dylan forsberg; magdalena, via vogue it)
November 14, 2012 § 2 Comments
I love this colour. I cannot decide if it’s mulberry or burgundy or something else entirely, but there is something very unusual about it that I like.
A year ago I read in the interview with Pat McGrath in which she explained how she created the look for Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I really liked Mara’s transformation for this role, even if I wasn’t exactly excited for the film itself. McGrath explained how they wanted to create a smoky eye for Lisbeth, but instead of going the obvious route and piling on black eyeliner, she opted for something more translucent and interesting by creating a shade that contained a bit of red pigment and was transparent so that it allowed natural skin tone trough.
A couple of days after reading that interview, I was in Sephora (I just discovered something called BB cream and wanted one but couldn’t decide on a brand and still haven’t to this day) when I stumbled upon this eyeshadow compact containing an unusual mulberry colour. I decided, almost contra-intuitivly, to just add it to my shopping basket. It’s been a while since I really experimented with new make-up, but every now and then something comes along that just feels exciting. At home I tried it on and after mixing and matching with other colours, I fell in love with the way it made my eyes brighter and intenser, without looking like I was suffering from pinkeye. The trick is to keep it light and blend really well.
I wore this one or two times in the evening, but soon went back to my usual neutrals, since they are more fool-proof and easier to apply (and sometimes I’m really lazy when it comes to things like make-up, even though I like the idea of using it).
Then last summer Emily from IntoTheGloss published these images of Meghan Collison wearing her “obsession of the (coming) season: Clé de Peau (which I wish was available here)’s limited-edition Satin Eye Color - “a wash of a hard-to-place, hazy color (…) It’s not in the crease…it’s not “smoky” in the typical way…it’s like a smoke of sexy vampire color. It’s so…fresh.“. I immediately wanted this (how can I not?). Then remembered owning something similar.
Since then it has grown into a full-blown love-affair. I really love the way this colour looks with simple and luxurious dark grey wool garments and it somehow feels much more wearable than wearing deep lipcolours. As much as I like perfect deep berries on lips, they do need perfect application-skills and multiple check-ups and fixes, thus being less practical and eventually less effortless. (For these reasons, when it comes to lips, I’m much more of a lip stain person.)
I brought this compact with me on my trip last month, but as you can see in the picture, it arrived back home in tiny pieces. Might be a time for a replacement.
November 7, 2012 § Leave a comment
There are certain parallels to be drawn between the current so-called minimalist movement (which can be interpreted as a reaction to the opulence and ornamental nature of fashion on the majority of blogs on the internet) and the sans-coulottes of French Revolution. Both contain a form of criticism, weather intentional or not, towards their extravagant contemporaries, questioning the responsibility and appropriateness of blatant consumerism they are promoting.
(The excerpt above is from the new issue of Dapper Dan magazine, written by Ilias Marmaras.)
August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
Every once in a while I happen to come across an editorial that is inspiring beyond the sartorial offerings displayed. Current issue of the Fantastic Man magazine (the equally stylish masculine counterpart to The Gentlewoman, that other favourite bi-annual publication) features an editorial simply titled “Black”. The introductory text reads as following: “A complete summer wardrobe of total elegance for the modern nihilist on vacation abroad.” It was all it took for me to fall in love.
The concept is certainly radical and uncompromising in it’s witty sophistication with a hint of 60s existentialism with the post-modern starkness. These scanned images don’t do the photographs justice, as they should be viewed in their full glory full-size on paper. Needless to say I was instantly inspired to plan a perfect unisex capsule wardrobe.
Helmut Lang single button blazer for chilly evenings, alone or over a black t-shirt for a solitary dinner with a book.
Étoile Isabel Marant roll-cuff tee, perfect for lunch date at the museum.
The Row Roger modal and silk-blend tank, for daily trips to the beach and the local market.
La Garçonne Moderne Didion tank, the formal version of a tank, perfect for evening date.
La Garçonne Moderne Artist Cupro shirt, stark and serious or with casually rolled cuffs over shorts.
HELMUT oversize tee, a classic.
Hope Time shorts, great with flowing oversized tops.
Woman by Common Projects suede espadrille, smart and casual.
Ray-Ban Clubmasters, contemporary detail.
D RK SH D W by Rick Owens denim bag, for trips to the local market.
GG 750 Chino pant, laid-back casual.
Proenza Schouler high-waisted jean, a more formal version.
COS black bikini top and bottom
SC x Louis Vuitton leather bag
Byredo Baudelaire eau de toilette, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect scent.
Love Quotes linnen scarf, for chilly evenings outside, strolling on the beach.
COS leather sandals
Hope Judge dress
La Garçonne Moderne Didion dress
R13 Long Sleeved Rosie dress
DiorShow black mascara
Kiehl’s lip balm SPF15
Aesop Sage&Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream SPF15
Kiehl’s Imperial Body Balm
July 22, 2012 § 2 Comments
When it comes to shopping, I prefer working with lists. A couple of years ago I noticed girls on my favourite blogs doing this and thought I’d give it a try. Needless to say it has become something of a necessity since. Throughout the year I keep a wishlist with items from my favourite stores such as COS and A.P.C.
When the recent sales season came, however, instead of purchasing those items on my list that were now available for much less, I decided against it and ended up with just one purchase – a black spring coat, which I can say I have worn almost every day since (though I honestly do wish I didn’t have the need for a coat in july). Somehow the sales made me realise I didn’t really need another black top or linnen t-shirt. The amount of need simply didn’t justify the purchase. Plus the frenzy of the sales reminds me of everything that I dislike about shopping.
Subsequently, it felt liberating to let go of these self imposed needs which tend to sneak up on you when you’re not expecting and it made me realize how much more satisfying it is to let the desire for an item build up before deciding on the purchase. Which doesn’t mean indulging in impulse buys from now and then can’t be fun, but you do risk ending up with a full closet of things you don’t wear down the line, and who needs regrets anyway? Even if they are just the sartorial kind.
(image: Lina Scheynius Polaroids)
June 9, 2012 § 2 Comments
“Simple, clear, sexy, and recognizable.” That sums it up perfectly. I’d also “French”. Very French. But I suppose that comes with the territory of her current position.
The thing is, the simplicity of Emmanuelle Alt’s style is not only simple, it also has that particular brand of je ne sais quoi, that seems to come naturally to the Parisiennes in particular. Same goes for her distinctive brand of “sexy” – she always employs a masculine aspect in her wardrobe, composed of classic pieces in muted colours such as button-downs and large coats, subverting the expectations, while balancing the look with focus on her impossibly long legs and (perhaps even agressively) sexy shoes. It oozes confidence and natural poise without ever being obvious or gratuitous. The balance is perfected with a natural face with just a smudge of kohl around the eyes (just imagine how off the entire look would be with a serious make-up face). Even though there is plenty of variation in details and room for experiment, her look indeed remains recognizable and iconic.
On a side note, I’ve been coveting a perfect leopard print coat for ages now and this picture is just another reminder. It’s also one of those items that fits perfectly in Emmanuelle’s world of casual hair and jeans to neutralise the vamp of it.
(images via self service magazine, carolinesmode, streetfsn blogspot, thisgirlisaten tumblr and stockholm street style)
June 1, 2012 § 4 Comments
“Wearing pajamas in public is taking a symbol of private life into the public sphere. Not actual private life, mind you, but the symbol of it. (…) The pajama-pants look as a trend isn’t just about comfort, or even just about bringing our private lives outside. It’s about a careful calibration of public intimacy. It’s about what layers you’re going to show, and when, and to whom. Actually, it’s about Facebook. The generation that’s donning loungewear in public in large numbers is also the generation that has grown up with different expectations of privacy and public living. (…) It only makes sense that a generation versed in managing privacy would gravitate toward clothing that advertises different layers of public and private personae. (…) Part of what makes us us is what we keep to ourselves. Likewise, part of what creates intimacy is sharing private parts of ourselves with others. So when the expectations of what’s public and what’s private shift dramatically, so do our ideas of intimacy and how we can best create it. “
Excepts from the article “The Privacy Settings of Pajamas” from The Beheld, found via Final Fashion.
The current surge of pajamas as day or evening wear is fascinating to me. As with any new fascinations which might end up resulting in future wardrobe additions, it’s a toss up between giving in to a fascination and the practical realization that I don’t really need a new item in my wardrobe.
Luxury pyjamas posses many of the qualities I personally find appealing: comfortable, well-made and (usually) flattering. There is also that elusive androgyny as they reference men’s pyjamas (and the men’s suit, originally), and leisurely decadence. Plus they go from practical to frivolous just by switching the context. Furthermore, if you end up regretting the purchase down the road, you can always end up using them to oh, I don’t know …sleep in?
As of now, though, this trend might just be something I’ll admire from a distance, but I will stock up on all those beautiful sets currently available. (And who knows, I might just end up tossing a matching cardigan over my shoulders, grabbing a clutch bag and velvet slippers for a dinner with friends downtown.)
(top image from Vogue UK via littlelovered tumblr; bottom image clockwise from top left: Equipment pyjama set via Net-A-Porter, Stella McCartney s/s 2012, Sofia Coppola in Louis Vuitton s/s resort 2012 via Rdujour, Marion Cotillard via littlelovered tumblr, Jane Fonda via unknown tumblr)
May 13, 2012 § 4 Comments
(images via trompe-loeil tumblr and source unknown)
The simplest of cuts are always the most difficult to achieve. It’s as if everything is laid bare and every half an inch matters because it might set off the delicate balance of proportions. There is just something modern about not feeling the need to chase trends and instead showing an understanding for quality of cuts and fabrics. It shows a great deal of confidence, too, as you’re not hiding under unnecessary ornaments.
You also have to know yourself and your body well, to dress accordingly. I myself, for example, favour narrow silhouette (with jeans or trousers) on the lower part of my body and tend to opt for more volume on top, because it balances out my natural body shape. Marinière tops work in this aspect as well. A-line skirts are another favourite, although I did find a perfect Jil Sander pencil skirt once that sadly got lost during travels.
I find myself being drawn a great deal to those that are simplifying their looks and letting their personalities speak for themselves. Adding more visual noise to the already overwhelming amount that exists, feels simply redundant, perhaps even irresponsible, although I do understand the temptation very well. Shopping for these perfect items is always a challenge though, especially on a budget, since these looks call for a methodical approach and quality, something rarely found on high-street. Nonetheless, it’s something I believe is worth investing in, as a wardrobe consisting of understated, high-quality pieces can take you anywhere.