Friday, May 28, 2010

More Norwegian fashion

When I was in Bergen, I met this girl named Siri. She worked in a menswear store, and was helping my boyfriend who needed shoes for the wedding we were attending. We got to talking, and I told her about the blog and how I had been searching for Norwegian labels. I gave her the blog address, and a day later she sent me an email with a list of Norwegian designers! So awesome.

My favorite label that Siri suggested had to be Fam Irvoll. Anyone that counts "Alice in Wonderland, cartoons, toys, food, cakes, and candy" among their inspirations gets my attention.

The clothes are so out there and fun! Very Rainbow Brite meets pin-up girl. It's no wonder Lady Gaga has been see wearing one of her cake headbands.

Be sure to watch the videos of Fam Irvoll's runway shows. Don't you just want to be there?! I bet models love getting booked for this label.

Now, for some more everyday fashion from my Norwegian fashion connection . . . well, "everyday" for people other than Lady Gaga . . .

This is an outfit by FIN, based in Oslo, from their AW09 collection. This is exactly the kind of thing I like wearing in the colder months— I even have bright blue tights in that color!

And I just adore the pieced fabric on this top. That chevron pattern is so flattering.

This is a piece from FIN's recent SS10 collection. Perfect for the park on a hot day.

Another label I liked was Vatle I feel like all of these garments have a real party attitude about them.

This dress is perfect for a night out.

Shiny underwear . . . Perfect for a night in.

I also really liked Leila Hafzi, but can't you have larger photos on your site, please? All I want to do is see those gorgeous prints up close!

Thanks again to Siri for taking the time to send me such an awesome list of Norwegian designers!

(Fam Irvoll lookbook photos © billa baldwin via Flickr, Fam Irvoll runway photos © StigHoward via Flickr, FIN an Vatle photos from designer's websites)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Made in Norway?

Shopping in other countries is hard when you live in New York City. Many times, I've come back from a trip with an item I thought was something I could only get overseas, and soon thereafter I find it in a store on 5th avenue.

So, when I went to Norway, I was determined to find clothing that was unique to the land of the midnight sun.

Armed with suggestions from a posh guidebook, I set off for the shopping district of Oslo. Although Secret Society had a well-edited selection of clothing from Alexander Wang to Martin Margiela, when I inquired about Norwegian designers, the girl working there only had a few scarves in stock. Disappointed, I continued on to Bogstadveien Street.

While Norway's Scandinavian neighbor, Sweden, was widely represented in the little boutiques with brands like Acne and Tiger, true Norwegian brands were illusive. I began to think that maybe in a country with a population of less than 5 million (NYC has 8 million), there just weren't that many fashion designers around . . .

Coming up empty-handed in Olso, I left a few days later for the seaport town of Bergen, just in time for their national holiday on May 17th. On the morning of the 17th, my boyfriend and I walked out the door of our hotel, and came face to face with thousands of people dressed in the most beautiful costumes. My boyfriend turned to me and pointed out that I might have something to blog about after all.

The traditional Norwegian costume is called a bunad. They are covered with elaborate embroidery and ribbon and worn with beautiful silver brooches and other shiny jewelry. The various versions of the costume indicate what region the wearer is from.

This is some of the jewelry that I saw in a shop window.

This is one of the purses up-close. The women wear them on their belts. Look at the beautiful details!

Seeing thousands of Norwegians, men, women, and children, all in traditional dress, was thrilling. And the pride and excitement over getting dressed in these fantastic garments was apparent. It was something you could never see in New York City . . . or anywhere but Norway, for that matter.

Lots more on Norwegian fashion to come . . . I got so many great tips from the people I spoke with in Bergen . . .

(Norway photos © Littlehouse of Style, Norway shopping bag art created with images from Fotolia)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I have to admit, I really like the process of packing for a trip. It's always a real puzzle. This sweater or that sweater? What shoes go with everything and are also comfortable? Could I wear this jacket over that shirt if I get cold? And of course, the big question: Will it all fit in my suitcase?

Over the years, I've become an increasingly efficient packer. I will forgo an extra pair of shoes to avoid checking my luggage. I rejoice in dresses that fold up to nothing without getting wrinkled. And I actually have a see-through cosmetics bag already packed with travel-sized items, so I don't have to move the toothpaste from the medicine cabinet.

Luckily, 90% of my wardrobe is black, so this also helps with packing— Black shirt, jeans, black shoes, outfit. However, my friends had a good chuckle a few years ago when I showed up for our trip to beautiful, tropical Costa Rica in head to toe black . . . with a black purse . . . pulling a black roll-y suitcase . . . I think the exact words were "Carrie Bradshaw goes to Costa Rica!" They were all wearing backpacks, wind-breakers, and shorts, in actual *gasp* colors . . . Despite the Gothic beachwear incident (hey, I live in New York!) I feel like I am pretty good at solving the riddle of the suitcase. Anyone that doesn't have to sit on their bag to close it has to be doing something right . . .

ps. I'm going to be away from my computer until the 24th, but I promise lots of new posts when I get back!

(Suitcase photo © Littlehouse of Style)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

When most people think of parenthood, they think of the big things; like giving birth, paying for a college education, changing diapers, driving lessons, and so on.

My mom has shown me that being a parent involves a myriad of little things, too— an encouraging note slipped into my school lunch, the smell of fresh banana bread waking me in the morning, or a bouquet of wild flowers in my room when I came home for college break. Now, I'm grown up, and my mom doesn't need to write me a check for a school trip or drop me off at the mall, but I'll never grow out of my excitement for a box of my favorite chocolates or an email about a great movie.

A few weeks ago, my mom mailed me a page from a magazine with a brief note. It probably only took her a few minutes to tear out the page, address the envelope, and walk across the street to the mailbox. And yet, when I opened my mail I felt inspired, supported, and loved.

Thank you, Mom! For EVERYTHING.

ps. I'm definitely going to try out the necklace idea!

(Mother's day photos © Littlehouse of Style)

Saturday, May 8, 2010


So, I actually DID shoot most of my work outfits the other week, per my friend Rebecca's request. (I bet you all thought I flaked out!) And actually, I'm kind of glad I was too busy to go through all the shots right away, because now I can assess what I wore with a little more clarity.

Looking through the photos, I was suddenly struck by how simple all the outfits were.

Here's what I wore on Wednesday— all black with a bright skirt. The one little clever thing I did was pick out stockings that have a chevron pattern, which mimics the pleating on the skirt.

This is Thursday's outfit— a simple black dress, but worn with a cute polka dot blouse underneath to add some fun. The stockings also have polka dots on them which are really subtle.

I wore these shoes, which also have little dots on them.

And here's Friday's outfit. This one is as simple as it gets— a white shirt and blue jeans. Notice how I cleverly disguised this by adding apple red heels and a tweed jacket.

I love this jacket, because from far away it looks brown, but when you really look at the fabric you can see tons of colors. I take this to mean I can wear it with any color that is in the tweed— even if it's just a tiny speck, like the red.

Taking photos of my outfits for a whole week was a really fun exercise, although I don't know how some bloggers shoot what they wear every day. All week I was afraid I'd oversleep, and rush out wearing mismatched socks— and then be forced to post photos of them on my blog!

(W-F photos © Littlehouse of Style)