Sunday, February 28, 2010

I am sailing turns into All by myself

Today's outfit

First one friend had to cancel, and then the other. What are the odds of that? So my long awaited girlfriend trip to Copenhagen ends up being just one girl: me. That was a bit of a bummer! Not that I'm a stranger to travelling on my own. Except for Africa, I've done every other continent in the world solo. So cancelling a short trip across the ocean to enjoy the Danish capital and some great shopping to sit at home and sulk instead is not an option. And also, I've got a cool cousin who lives in Cophenhagen that I'm meeting for lunch tomorrow. Hoping to bring back at least some interesting travel images! Hasta la vista!

Ne-Yo concert - In the VIP box

Earlier this week, one of my friends from my hometown called and told me she had been given tickets to Saturday's Ne-Yo concert in Oslo Spektrum by her employer, who has a VIP box there. She was taking her young daughter and a couple of her friends to Oslo and did I wanna meet them here and come to the concert too? Sure I did! It would take a terrible band not to want to take advantage of a free ticket and excellent seats.

The out of town girls ready for the action

The magical passport to a great night

The venue starts filling up while the warming acts are on

Happy campers

Ne-Yo and his dancers on stage

The crowd was treated to a 4 hour show including the warming acts. Not bad at all!

I owe my friend a big thanks for a great night! And Ne-Yo, too, as it was a fab show.

I was wearing: Jacket from Moschino Cheap and Chic, black skinny jeans from Indiska and black top with raw edges from Laura Clement for LaRedoute.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Blumarine - an ongoing love story

(Blumarine S/S 2010 - photos from

(Bluemarine F 2010 - photos from

I remember the exact time and place I fell in love with Blumarine.

I've always been with brightly colored florals and animal prints like a moth to a flame - I have this inexplicable drawing towards anything eyecatching. So when on a trip to Los Angeles in the spring of 2004, I spotted this cute little jersey skirt in Nordstrom, I immediately knew I had to have it:

(While in this picture it's all crumpled from winter storage, come spring and it will be taken to the dry cleaner and put back in perfect order. It clings to the body in all the right places, and slightly flares at the knees.)

As it was the first day of my LA trip, when trying on the skirt in the store I made the jetlagged mistake of not converting dollars to Norwegian kroner. 440 I thought, that's a good price. And so I happily whipped out my credit card and left the store all smiles. It was only when arriving back at the hotel it dawned on me that USD 440 was NOK 3000 at the time. Now that is a wee bit of a difference from NOK 440! I guess I should have known it wouldn't come cheap, after all the Nordstrom store was located in Beverly Hills!

However, by dividing the cost by the number of years I've had it, it hasn't been such an expensive deal after all. Even after 6 years in my wardrobe, I still love it. In fact, I loved everything about it so much that when I came across the same skirt in a different color, I just had to have that one, too!

The second skirt I found on Ebay in October 2007 while I was confined to a week's isolation at the Cancer Centre, after my immune system said thank you and goodbye because of a too strong dose of chemotherapy. Luckily, they had provided a screen next to the bed with Internet access, and I wasted no time putting it to good use.

This second skirt was new with tag, apparently from the well stocked wardrobe of a LA socialite who bought such a huge amounts of clothes every season she regularly had to sell some of it unused through resellers. Knowing the real value of the skirt, I had put in a max bid of around USD 200, but the other bidders gave up somewhere around 80. By the time the doctors decided to release me, it was already waiting in my mail box.

The latest additon to my collection of skirts is another Blumarine Ebay purchase:

The shape is the same, but the jersey is way thicker and it's got velvet detailing, so it's more of a fall and winter skirt. I've seen this in some upmarket online store, and the retail price was USD 525. I paid USD 30 for it. Seeing Blumarine showing a lot of animal prints for Fall 2010, come next winter and I'll be using it with something that has a touch of zebra or python. Most likely not as much as in some of the images from the collection though. I don't wanna look like I just escaped from the zoo, either.

Friday night beers

Venue: Oslo Microbryggeri (Oslo Micro Brewery - a combined pub and brewery).

Meeting: Sarah, Thor William, Steven

Drinking: Beer

The place: Packed

The others: Having fun with my camera while I wasn't looking.

Arriving home: Exhausted

Wearing: Vintage suede coat with fake fur trim, white tee & black, sleeveless cardi by H&M, black jeggings from Esprit, black leather ankle boots by Fornarina, turquiose leopard scarf from Oasis, chunky silver bangle from Bik Bok, black leather bag from Topshop.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cool quiz: Can you nail the print?

Killing some time not being able to sleep, I came across a cool fashion quiz over at Fabsugar - guessing the designer by the signature print. I got 7/7 (and no, I did not cheat)!

Can you nail the print? Take the quiz here!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dream vs reality

This very feminine top in a mix of silk, wool and cashmere from Christian Dior Boutique cost me USD 75 + shipping from Ebay. I've no idea of the original cost in the store, but judging from the quality of the fabric and the details and knowing Dior usually don't come cheap, I believe I got a very good deal.

The buttons are made from olive colored sea shell and each one is engraved with Dior (although one must almost use a magnifying glass to be able to see it). The velour band goes all around it, even on the sleeves:

To go with it, I've been looking at different military style cargo pants that haven't got too much of a "you're in the army now" look. I think I've found the perfect pair from Burberry's spring collection:

(Photo by Burberry).

I'll take a look in the Burberry store downtown to see if they have this model (cotton military cargo trousers) in their very limited selection. If not, I'll try and find them in New York, or at least something similar.

But while dreaming of spring and summer, the reality is the weather's gonna require more thick coats, hats and scarves to be worn for many more weeks to come. And thus, what I actually wore today was quite different from what my wishful thinking envisioned:

At the university, still tired from getting up early, wearing: Brown/beige/pink checked cap (old, don't remember by whom it is), pink scarf from local store Via Victoria, brown cashmere coat by H&M (old, from the 90's, used to be an ankle long coat that I had taken up), skinny jeans from a limited edition at H&M Divided, brown sheepskin boots by Bianco and animal print patchwork bag from Tianni at

I really look like I could use some sun! (Yes, weather gods, that last comment was for YOU!)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy birthday to the best dressed man!

My oldest nephew wore his grandfather's tuxedo (genuine vintage - from 1950!) to his class' Christmas ball, and was voted the best dressed man of the night. In the picture, he was almost 14. Today, he's 17 and has long since grown out of the tux. Auntie was very impressed with how stylish he looked. Keep up the good work, and...

Happy birthday, Mathias! :D

(Photo by

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sonia Rykiel for H&M

How convenient, I thought! I mean, there's a H&M store on every second street corner in downtown Oslo, and what better place to seek shelter from a wild downpour of snow?

Inside I got to take a look at the Sonia Rykiel collection close up. Even if it has been selling since Saturday, they still had all of the items but for one sweater left in the shop. I had spied the clothes beforehand on the net, and decided the bright pink and yellow stripes or crazy use of huge rhinestones all over dresses, sweaters and tights weren't really my style. I didn't fancy any of the black garments either, as I'm sort of fed up with dark colors and yearning for spring's lighter hues. Thus, I had no plans of buying anything.

However, I fell for the black beret with small rhinestones. It's quite light and finely knitted, and I think it will work well in the transition period between winter and spring, when it's too cold in the mornings and evenings to go without something covering my ears, but too warm to use chunky, woollen beanies. Seeing they had only a couple of this beret left, I figured I better grab it before it's gone.

Très cute, non?

I must say I was a bit surprised to see so many garments left. I've read that some customers have complained that most of the collection only came in sizes XS-M, and that only a couple of the sweaters could be had in L. A spokesperson for H&M defended this by saying the collection didn't run true to size, and that M could be considered L and so on. However, when looking at the garments, I didn't think an XS, which I normally use, looked any bigger than normal. It must be said I didn't bother to try anything on though.

But I can't help but wonder - did H&M screw up by timing this collecion for late February? Would it have had more appeal if released at the same time as the lingerie line late last year?  And can it be that H&M fans are saving their hard earned dough for the Garden collection, which will launch on March 25th? I know I do.

Monday, February 22, 2010

To keep or not to keep?

The morning the Jimmy Choo for H&M collection was launched, I had already been up for several hours, nervously queueing in the online store to get hold of the shoes I wanted. Oh...the sweet taste of success when all the heels I lusted after were safely confirmed as mine and on their way to me!

What a disappointment then, that some of the pairs really didn't fit all that great. The zebra stilettos were sold immediately after I received them, which left me with three pairs.  After having used them at a couple of Christmas parties, the next to go were the black patent ones similar to the pair pictured above. The black stiletto gladiators shown below I'm keeping, as they fit perfectly.

(Photo by H&M)

But back to this pair of red shoes. They really are gorgeous! I love the raspberry color and the design. Unfortunately, the insole is a bit narrow, and I have a hard time keeping my little toes inside the strap when walking. So what to do? Sell them and get another red pair that's easier to strut around in, or keep them and only wear them when I'll be sitting down most of the time? Hm...

Decisions, decisions....

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Diary of a Snow Shoveler

December 8

6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9

We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the Whole World? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.

December 12

The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man, I'm glad he's our neighbor.

December 14

Snow lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life!

The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way.

December 15

20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.

December 16

Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like heck. The wife laughed for one hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17

Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. God I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20

Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Darn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.

December 22

Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white crap fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to poop. By the time I got undressed, pooped and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy. I think the jerk is lying.

December 23

Only 2" of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she nuts!!! Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she's lying.
December 24

6". Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the man who drives that snowplow I'll drag him through the snow by his nose and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I've just been!

Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for the snowplow.

December 25

Merry -bleeping- Christmas! 20 more inches of the slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's a fricking idiot. If I have to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm going to stuff her into the microwave.

December 26

Still snowed in. Why the heck did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.

December 27

Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze, plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him, he only charged me $1400 to replace all my pipes.

December 28

Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. THE WITCH is driving me crazy!!!

December 29

10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30

Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plow driver he is now suing me for a million dollars not only the beating I gave him but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel up where the sun don't shine. The wife went home to her mother. 9" predicted.

December 31

I set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.

January 8

Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?

(Joke found on the net. Photos from my sister's house in Arendal, Southern coast of Norway).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Impressions from a show at Oslo Fashion Week

Max Factor (one of the sponsors) offered free make overs.

Today was the day of my visit to the Oslo Fashion Week. I was quite excited, as I've never seen anything by the relatively new brand Flinga Clothing before. I read up on them beforehand and found out the A/W 2010 collection was inspired by comic book heroes and anti-heroes. It's called "The frailities of flesh".

As we were seated way back from the runway, my pictures are nothing to write home about. I tried moving to a space where I didn't disturb anyone, but it was still a long way from the action. I guess I shall have to get that old, powerful external flash which I used with my old camera fixed, so the pictures won't come out so grainy when the room is dark. However, to save as much detail as possible in order to give an impression of the clothes, I didn't downsize the images so that when clicked on, they'll appear fairly big.

 Quite the "handful" of jewellery...

The Batman inspiration and bold colors and golden stripes of Superhero costumes were clearly visible...

...even on the wedding gown!

I think the show was cool to watch, and the very young designers (in their early twenties) certainly deserve kudos for making it this far already. Regarding  my personal taste, I think I probably would have to see the collection up close to get a better look before making any final judgement. But at first impression, there was no garment in there that will be appearing in my dreams like a ghost, haunting me forever, until it's safely tucked inside my closet.