La tenue du jour

What is a style blog without personal style photos? To make up for the absence of outfits on my blog, here are some detailed pictures of today’s attire. I’m wearing a blazer that used to belong to my grandmother. My mom gave it to me in 2008, and it’s been a wardrobe staple ever since. I adore it tremendously, mainly because it belonged to a special person whom I truly miss. Moreover, this blazer epitomizes where a jacket should end on me. Unfortunately the right length isn’t always easy as pie to unearth, especially when you live in a country of tall people.

Tomorrow I’m going to the Lykke Li concert. I saw her at the Øya festival in 2008 and she was excellent live. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Vintage jacket, A.P.C. shirt, Cheap Monday jeans, Marc by Marc Jacobs bag, The Kooples boots

And the beat goes on


I’ve been utterly engrossed in R&B music as of late, particularly Archie Bell And The Drells. To be frank, I have literally listened to all of their songs every single day since a friend reintroduced me to the music, a few weeks ago, at a dinner party where I played Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto, and lots of swing jazz and Motown hits to heighten the ambience. I knew I’d heard Archie Bell And The Drells’ Tighten Up before but couldn’t recall my aural experience. Anyway, Tighten Up was definitely the icing on the cake for that evening, musically speaking. Oh, why didn’t I discover their music sooner?

Archie Bell And The Drells has created plenty of brilliant singles that one ought to give some listen to. I can’t get enough of their funky, exuberant soul beats, not to mention the splendid instrumentation and Archie’s passionate and powerful lead vocals.

Alas, the contemporary, commercialized so-called R&B music of today is nothing like Archie Bell And The Drells and the likes of The Isley Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Jerry Butler and Ray Charles. Fortunately, our infinite access to music makes it possible to maintain the connection with the past, which is great as R&B has indeed gone downhill after its heyday. Too bad it seems like the majority of contemporary R&B listeners are far from familiar with the original R&B music.

Anyhow, I’ve compiled a list consisting of some of my favorite R&B songs on spotify. Check it out here. You might like it!

The much coveted boots

I fell head-over-heels in love with these boots by The Kooples – a French hipster brand – in 2008 and nearly got them out of my system until I started adding them to my collages last fall (examples here and here). I’ve always considered these shoes as the epitome of la street spontanéité and they are somewhat reminiscent of the infamous Isabel Marant ‘dicker’ boots. They’re almost the same, but not quite.

My penchant for these shoes was completely revived during my last trip to Paris, largely because I saw how fantastic they were in real life when Jeanne wore her own pair of The Kooples boots to her party. Imagine my materialistic delight when I ultimately won the auction after having stalked these tidbits for months on ebay. Initially I wanted the black version, as I already own a pair of taupe boots. However, because these boots are tremendously hard to track down, let alone the complicated process of convincing French ebay sellers to ship worldwide or to a friend’s address in France (thank you Stephanie!), I decided to put my hands on this find.

Anyhow, I received the highly coveted boots today. Much to my disappointment, these particular boots are too large for my feet despite I bought them in my size. I suppose they are about one size too big. Wearing these boots with insoles and socks help a bit, but they are still too loose around my ankles, as evidenced by the photo above. Yet I’m going to wear them for a day or two to see whether they are good for my feet or not. On a different note, these boots truly elongate my legs. Boots like these are hard to find, so I hope I can keep this buy.

So far, I’ve bought 7 pieces. That’s a lot but I’m in the process of rebuilding my wardrobe. My Isabel Marant boots are a tad weary nowadays, so I hope these ones will work out, as I really need to rotate my shoes if I want to extend their life. Haha!

Food talk: Bún thịt nướng

Bún thịt nướng – Vietnamese grilled lemongrass pork with rice vermicelli noodles

(Bún = rice vermicelli noodles, thịt = meat, nướng = grilled)

I want to clarify one thing you wouldn’t glean from reading my blog: I don’t cook, hence my blog will never turn into a food and recipe blog, but I love sharing mouth-watering photos of food. Nevertheless, I admire my mom’s amazing culinary skills and the magic touch she adds to the Vietnamese cuisine. It is said that all Vietnamese women are, regardless, really good at cooking, so I hope my mom’s cooking skills will rub off on me sooner or later.

Whenever you ask a Vietnamese lady where to get the best and most authentic Vietnamese food, she will most likely answer her kitchen – which is, incidentally, true. Anyhow, my mom never uses recipes so I can’t share any culinary secrets with you, unfortunately. If you want to recreate the dishes I showcase on my blog, you can always google them. The photo above includes yesterday’s terrific dinner and this post provides more details on this healthy dish, which makes the perfect summery salad. (+ A glass of Les Abeilles Côtes du Rhône will enhance the flavor). The barbecued meat, pickled vegetables and fresh herbs can also act as an exquisite filling for Vietnamese sandwiches, famously known as ‘bánh mì’. Speaking of which, I’m utterly obsessed with bánh mì.

PS: The key ingredient is lemongrass! The meat in the photo may look like char siu pork.

The luxury of time

There is something very calming and serene about the quietness of these images, which evokes an incredible, but far-fetched feeling of utter day-to-day luxury. Today is my last day of vacation. I’ve been rolling in luxury for an entire week, and I suppose it will be good to get back to my productive mode.

Now, I’m going to help my mom preparing one of my favorite rice vermicelli meals, which is bún thịt nướng – a very healthy, light and delicious dish consisting of shredded, barbecued pork and cold rice vermicelli mixed with fresh herbs, pickled carrots and lots of vegetables. It’s often served with roasted peanuts sprinkled on top and of course spicy nước chấm (dipping sauce) to pour over the noodles. The sauce’s effect in enhancing the dish’s flavor cannot be overstated. Bún thịt nướng is undeniably the perfect Vietnamese summer meal. Having time to prepare and enjoy a lovely meal with my family is beyond luxurious!

Closet organization

I’m trying to sort out my wardrobe and figured that compiling a list of all the things I have in my wardrobe (apart from my lounge wear) might be helpful. Although I haven’t covered all the essentials yet, it’s evident that my wardrobe is bordering on perfect. Yes, almost p-e-r-f-e-c-t! In order to build the perfect wardrobe, I have to pare down my closet to only things that I truly love.

Purple means I’m considering to re-sell the item, blue means the item needs to be replaced, red means it’s no longer my style/too big/too small and will either be donated or passed on to my sister, green means the item is no longer my style but I’ll keep it regardless because I don’t know what to do with it.

Isabel Marant gray bator coat
Isabel Marant navy elali jacket
Isabel Marant maroon boucle jacket
Vintage gray blazer

Shirts and blouses
A.P.C. light blue liberty print shirt
Isabel Marant Étoile black blouse
Vintage white short-sleeved blouse
Vintage maroon/purple-ish silk shirt
Vintage light blue patterned shirt

Long sleeve tops
American Apparel gray raglan pullover
American Apparel navy raglan pullover
A.P.C. breton shirt
Isabel Marant Étoile white linen top

Secondhand breton top

COS navy pocket t-shirt
COS white sheer t-shirt

A.P.C. striped cashmere knit
Acne black chunky knit
COS black crew neck lambswool sweater
Isabel Marant Étoile black open-back knit
Vanessa Bruno Athé navy wool sweater

Cheap Monday black jeans
Levi’s dark blue jeans

Trousers and shorts
Isabel Marant black linen trousers
Zara black tapered trousers
Zara black shorts

American Apparel gray tri-blend cardigan

Urban Outfitters black vintage leather skirt


Bianco footwear black pumps
Doc Martens black combat boots
Ettore Adriano black leather loafers
Isabel Marant taupe suede ankle boots
Zara black suede ankle boots

Balenciaga black city bag
Marc by Marc Jacobs black hobo

= 35 pieces

Inspirational things

(photos: private)

I sincerely love getting back into the bloggy swing of things. However, I’m planning on turning my blog into a fashion/style + semi-food-and-rant blog, despite the fact that my tumblr has taken a new (and positive) direction as of late.

I’d love to devote more space to little things that simply bring joy to life, be it good food, architecture, music or mere beautiful things. These little but often forgotten things are a significant part in terms of cultivating one’s personal style. Although my blog isn’t a complete picture of who I am but rather a small extension of myself, I like being able to take a look back at the things that (used to) inspire and partially define me. I particularly like to look through my July-October 2010 blog posts for inspiration.

Am I the only one who – inexplicably enough – derives sartorial inspiration from things that are completely non-fashion related such as food (not referring to things that are connected to fashion somehow like movies, art, etc)? Perhaps it’s the joyousness that sets me in the mood for sartorial exploration? I don’t know, but it’s totally unaccountable to me. Anyhow, let’s celebrate taste!

Spring wardrobe planning pt. 2


Yesterday I organized my closet and found a pair of black shorts which I purchased last summer from Zara. Said shorts were supposed to be the ideal pair. Also, they were intended to escort me through all the music festivals this summer. You can see the shorts here and here.

Evidently, the fit was super; the length was perfect but alas, the disposable fashion-quality is utterly off-putting. Now my only pair of shorts have completely lost their shape, and the fabric is stiff and really uncomfortable. They are officially useless as there is not much wear left in these shorts. Nonetheless, I didn’t expect top-notch quality at all, but I certainly did not anticipate that they would merely last one summer and a dozen wears. Hey, I am not rich enough to buy cheap things! Therefore I ought to find a high-quality, durable replacement for this approaching summer, as I refuse to kill myself by covering my legs in a pair of suicidal jeans on boiling hot days. Searching for a perfect substitute is such a bore… In addition, I haven’t been eager about spending a lot of money on something I only wear a couple of times during summer. Still I’m not exactly eager about buying a new replacement every year either. I better spend wisely this time!

PS: I’m not planning to buy any of the shorts pictured here as they’re probably out of my budget, but I’ll be searching for a similar style.

1. Alexander Wang tuxedo shorts, 2. Cacharel silk shorts, 3. Acne sensational shorts, 4. Rag and Bone tennis shorts 

My wish lists in retrospect pt. 1

(via phosphenefashion)

Today I rediscovered a moleskine notebook filled with my old shopping and wish lists from 2009. My taste has undeniably changed since then, so to speak. Be that as it may, I find it rather fun and enlightening to see how mon goût has progressively moved in the direction of my current taste. I am positive that my taste will remain somewhat the same for years to come, inasmuch as I can perceive that I’ve finally figured out my style and taste.

However, I want to share the aforementioned lists on my blog. The first one was dated March 2009. To put it bluntly, my approach to style was still fairly schizophrenic at that time. Yet some of the items on my lists are a tad embarrassing as they are far from in accord with my taste nowadays. Trust me, every list gets better with time.

Otherwise it’s nice to look back at my lists so as to sort out things in terms of wardrobe building and grasp why I need a lot of time to reflect before I settle for an item. The funny thing is that I can’t even recall wanting to acquire any of the items listed below.

- Beanie
I’m glad I never got my hands on a beanie as I subsequently found out that it’s not my style at all. I don’t know but I assume I was slightly influenced by the Alexander Wang mania at that point.
- Bowler hat
Purchased in London and worn a couple of times. I looked silly and forced. I’ve learned my lesson!
- Chanel-esque tights from Lindex
- Asymmetric cardigan à la Rick Owens
I abstain from anything asymmetric these days.
- White, slouchy tank tops à la Alexander Wang
Not exactly my top priority. I don’t even have white tank tops on my basics list.

I have nothing else to add but a good laugh!

Konverterer (kanskje)

Det er litt rart det her med blogging… uansett hva slags blogg man velger å skrive, så vil et ansiktløst publikum bombardere den med all slags dritt. Jeg vet ikke om det er fordi folk er uvitende, genuint uhyggelige eller lider av det syndromet som er ganske så utbredt i Dagbladets kommentarfelt, men det er ikke så veldig festlig for meg å lese all den hatske dritten som folk ikke klarer å holde for seg selv. Nå har jeg akkurat slettet ett tonn med fæle kommentarer – og jeg har ikke en gang postet et bilde av meg selv.. lurer på hva folk ville ha funnet på å kommentere, da. En av grunnene til at jeg startet å blogge igjen er fordi jeg fant en overfladisk glede i å, ja, hehe, å blogge. Men de siste to ukene har jeg gruet meg til å blogge fordi jeg vet ikke om jeg takler mer dritt – men på en annen side vil jeg jo blogge. Litt av et paradoks det der.. Å stenge kommentarfeltet er ikke aktuelt, jeg mottar også ekle meldinger gjennom andre sosiale kanaler.. derfor lurer jeg litt på om jeg skal blogge på morsmålet mitt i stedet for engelsk, fordi mine norske besøkere har vært overraskende snille (til tross for at jantelov-mentaliteten rår i landet), minus et par teite, sarkastiske kommentarer (men sarkasme liker vi!). Er jeg naiv nå?

En liten digresjon: Jeg har kjøpt meg et par sko som jeg har hatt i tankene siden 2008, og de utgjør mitt syvende kjøp i år. Jeg synes det er forferdelig mye med tanke på at vi kun er i april. Jeg får håpe på noen shoppefrie måneder snart. Takk og lov for at det er ferie. I morgen venter en ny utrenskningsaksjon – skal ta hånd om søppelet av magasiner og de resterende plaggene i garderoben min som ikke funker. Kanskje jeg må vinke buh-bye til et par IM-plagg.

Og lol, hjernen min tenker visst på engelsk nå. Måtte slå opp så mange ord på engelsk fordi jeg ikke husket det norske ordet. Jaja, jeg får vel bare gruble over språk-spørsmålet i påsken. Kanskje jeg skal blogge på vietnamesisk (jeg har jo allerede blogget på engelsk, fransk og norsk før), lol!? Let me know hvis dere norske lesere har noen formeninger om mitt lille språk-dilemma. (Jeg aner forøvrig ikke hvorfor jeg har valgt å bruke et koselig te-bilde til dette innlegget… kanskje jeg bare liker å romantisere alt i livet. Jeg burde bli en ekspresjonist..).

Translation: ooh.. Norwegian only!