I've had this grey (gray for my American readers) coat for ever...Certainly long enough, and I've been trying to replace it for... longer than I can remember. But, as you can see, I haven't had much luck.
Thursday, 27 November 2014
Monday, 24 November 2014
It's that time of the year again:one day it snows, the next day the snow (well, sleet, actually) is all gone but it's freezing cold (as in, around 0°C / 32°F)... then it gets (a bit) warmer again, even the sun comes out to play for a few precious hours.
This is when we Nordics turn all Nordic Noir, retreat to our homes and huddle up in front of the SAD light, browsing travel agency websites for a last minute escape somewhere sunny...
Thursday, 20 November 2014
Coats and jackets take up quite a bit of space in the suitcase, so I always try to find the one perfect cover-up that would work with anything and in every situation. So, on a recent 3-day trip to London, I set myself a little challenge: to create 3 different looks based on my old, black Karen Millen leather jacket (you may remember it from a few weeks ago, when I wore it with a leopard print dress).
|jacket: Karen Millen (old) / top: Banana republic / shoes: Clarks / bag: Micheal Kors|
LOOK 1: a Casual Dinner / Night OutA sophisticated wrap top and a statement necklace, straight-cut brown trousers and shoes, and a small bag. A pink pashmina adds a pop of colour.
|bag: Armani Exchange (old) / pashmina: Balmuir / T-shirt: Custo Barcelona|
LOOK 2: Travel outfitThis is my travel outfit: a long sleeved T-shirt and the same trousers as above (this time in grey) and shoes (in black), a medium-sized bag.
|top: Banana Republic / sunglasses: Chanel (old)|
LOOK 3: Weekend Casual
Breton stripes and modern jewellery equals urban chic
|pendant: "Space Apple" by Björn Weckström for Lapponia / ring: Femme d'Esprit|
So, which one is your favourite look?
Linking up with Throw Back Thursday, Passion 4 Fashion, Visible Monday
Linking up with Throw Back Thursday, Passion 4 Fashion, Visible Monday
PS: Dilettante Artist has her own blog now, The Dilettante Artist's Gallery, where I will be posting (very infrequently) random pictures: illustration, photomanipulation, that sort of thing. And there is a pretty new widget on the sidebar to take you there...
Sunday, 16 November 2014
|cardigan: Brora / sunglasses: Miu Miu|
Comfort wear is like comfort food...No, I don't mean clothes to hide the effects of too much comfort food (let's not go there...), but clothes that make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, sheltered from the big, bad world in a cosy little cocoon (again, no need to take 'cocoon' too literally here...)
|magnifying glass pendant: Portobello Road Market / bangle: Kenneth Jay Lane|
And cashmere is the ultimate comfort wear:warm, cosy and subtly luxurious. It is also gentle on your skin: even people allergic to wool can usually wear soft cashmere. In my opinion, good cashmere is a good investment: it lasts forever (provided you take good care of it), keeps you warm and makes you feel fantastic.
But I don't condone ridiculously expensive and impractical designer cashmere: if the label says dry clean, forget it. Cashmere is everyday luxury, low-maintenance dressing at its best: wash and wear, again and again.
And good quality cashmere keeps its shape year after year, wash after wash. Therefore, I would also advise against cheap cashmere. However, some pilling may always occur, that's what the cashmere comb is for. It also makes sense to use special cashmere shampoo to hand wash your cashmere pieces. Cashmere is expensive (think about cost-per-wear: buy only classic styles that you will want to wear for the next ten years) but it is a good investment if you take care of it...
|Don't you just love it when the shoes match the cardi? shoes: Clarks|
Do you wear cashmere?
TiinaPS: Dilettante Artist has her own blog now, The Dilettante Artist's Gallery, where I will be posting (very infrequently) random pictures: illustration, photomanipulation, that sort of thing. And there is a pretty new widget on the sidebar to take you there...
Linking up with Stylish Tuesday, Style Sessions
Thursday, 13 November 2014
So, you're in London. And you want to go shopping. Where should you go?
When you're thinking about shopping in London, chances are you're thinking about Oxford Street, Regent Street, maybe Knightsbridge.
Yeah, sure, if a nervous breakdown is on your shopping list...
These areas are awash with shops, and people... way too crowded for my liking. Shouldn't shopping be a bit more stress-free? And who has time (or energy) to trawl the streets for hours, anyway?
OK, I'm going to tell you a little secret: I often go shopping in London on Monday afternoon, when I have a few hours between leaving Homebase 2 and catching the plane back to Finland. Like most people who are time-poor, I need to be efficient; kill two birds at the same time, so to speak. So, as I have to make my way across London anyway, to either Paddington (for Heathrow Express) or Victoria (for Gatwick Express) to get to the airport, I often have a little pit stop for lunch and some shopping on the way. Of course, this only works if I have either no luggage or just cabin luggage; with a suitcase it's straight to the airport, no fun at all.
Anyway, there are two excellent (high street) shopping areas that pass both my stress-free shopping experience test and quick-and-targeted-shopping spree test: High Street Kensington and Sloane Square. Both are conveniently situated along the Circle Line, i.e the yellow underground line (subway line for my American readers) on the Tube map, and just a few stops away from either Paddington or Victoria stations. But let's take a closer look:
HIGH STREET KENSINGTON
You can find all your high street favourites within this compact area: Gap, H&M, Hobbs, Jigsaw, L.K.Bennett, Reiss, Topshop, American Apparel, Zara, Massimo Dutti, Clarks, Ecco, Geox...
But two shops in particular deserve a mention:
First, the best ever Marks and Spencer is adjacent to the tube station. Why the best ever? It is much less crowded than the Marble Arch store, and has an excellent selection, including the Autograph and Limited lines (and they ususally have my size, too...).
The other shop worth mentioning is T.K.Maxx a bit further away along the street. I have to confess: while I am always in awe of bloggers who find amazing bargains here, this shop doesn't really do it for me... In fact, I hate it almost as much as I hate H&M and for the same reasons: it's messy and disorganised, I can't see how you can find anything there. Well, I guess it takes some effort... OK, I admit: I'm not just a lazy tourist, I'm also a lazy shopper. I take one quick look around a shop to see if anything catches my eye, and if nothing does, I'm out of there. But, I thought, in spite of my personal reservations (or laziness), T.K Maxx is worth mentioning here, given how popular it (or its American counterpart, T.J.Maxx ) is.
And if you get hungry, how about a bite at Whole Foods? Or coffee and cake at the German bakery Kamps at Kensington High Street tube station?
But let's move on. The other excellent shopping area is
Again, you can find the usual (high street) suspects: Zara, Cos, L.K.Bennett, Banana Republic, Jigsaw... but also Whistles, Michael Kors, Club Monaco, Hugo Boss, Mary Quant (in the Duke of York Square shopping centre) etc. And on the other side of the square: J Crew, Kate Spade, Tiffany's, Links of London, and the cashmere heaven Brora.
And don't forget Peter Jones department store. It is essentially the same as John Lewis on Oxford Street, just a little bit smaller and much less crowded. However, this department store is a must for anyone interested in crafts and sewing: there is quite a selection of fabrics and home decoration.
Have fun shopping
Sunday, 9 November 2014
Another day, another wrap dress...
|magnifying glass pendant: Lilja & Lykke / bag: Michael Kors / boots: Jones Bootmaker|
And boots...I never wear boots as a fashion statement or an alternative to shoes. Given the choice, I would always choose simple pumps or flats even with a dress. However, that is not an option in cold winter weather. Enter boots: you can be warm and look stylish.
Finding good boots is not easy, though. Or maybe I just have unusually thick calves. On the other hand, I conducted a little survey among my friends, and either we all have unusually thick calves or most boots are made for stick insects. I'm inclined to think the latter is true.
What do you think?
PS: I kind of started another blog... I decided that Dilettante Artist needs her own space, http://dilettanteartist.blogspot.fi/, (just click the new, colourful image on the sidebar) where I will be posting (very infrequent) random pictures: illustration, photomanipulation, that sort of thing. Come and pay me a visit and let me know what you think!
Thursday, 6 November 2014
What do you get when you mix Pop Art, comics, Film Noir and old photographs...Yes, it's the weekend Gaphic Novel Segment time again... lets all indulge my alter ego, Dilettante Artist, a bit, OK?
It would be way too complicated to explain all the steps needed for this illustration, as it has been through so many versions and techniques. It is an illustration, as in the outline is a drawing, even though made using Photoshop Elements 10 (so, no filters used for the outline). Then there is the colour, and the shading... the whole thing must have taken about a hundred hours (as I said, there were several versions...)
OK, the interesting bits: the quote is from Detour, a film noir classic from 1945. And the model? My mother, of course. Or rather, and old photograph (early 1960s) of her:
Have a nice weekend, and don't forget to indulge your creative side,
Sunday, 2 November 2014
This is the time of year when all my autumn / spring clothes start gradually migrating from Homebase 1 (Finland) to Homebase 2 (U.K.). This is my version of storing seasonally inappropriate clothes and making way for winter clothes. It may sound a bit complicated, but it actually makes sense. When the temperatures drop in Finland close to freezing, the U.K. can still enjoy a bit warmer weather, and I don't want to carry different types of coats and shoes back and forth at weekends. Also, in spring, I will need lighter coats in the U.K at least a month before I need them in Finland. So, I just pack the lighter coats and shoes into a suitcase and take the whole lot over to Homebase 2 at one go, and then I can travel with cabin luggage only at weekends...
|coat: Erich Fend (old) / bag: Michael Kors / shoes: Clarks|
|belt: Georges Rech / sunglasses: Miu Miu / scarf: Alexander McQueen|
Anyway, I thought this would also be a good time to try out new ways of styling some old pieces, like this trench. I'm not a fan of neutral colours; I think they can be a bit harsh on my face. So, I thought this coat needed some colour pop accessories. What do you think?