Not just another glossy magazine

It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the road or on the divan, because nothing is as cozy as a bit of leisure to sit back and dive into some reading material in the midst of the dreary winter days. In my case, I’ll be savoring the teeny weeny bit of free time in the air reading. Yup, I’m leaving for Berlin this weekend and would love some insider tips by the way. But first, check out the fifth issue of the independent Scandinavian fashion/art magazine SMUG for some reading pleasure. SMUG #5 is finally hitting the magazine stands next week and is hands down one of the best, if not the best, Scandinavian publications out there, at least in my estimation.

The magazine is jam-packed with enthralling articles and editorials, featuring, but not limited to, Patrick Wolf, Yuja Wang, Andrea Mary Marshall, Larry Heard, works by Michael Donovan, and Hedi Slimane. I think my favorite interview is the one with Peter Gatien, which is both a heartbreaking and interesting read about the mogul behind four major clubs in NYC a few decades ago. And as a longtime fan of Hedi Slimane, it’s no wonder that I’m literally exhilarated by the fact that he’s one of the magazine’s contributors. He never ceases to amaze me and it’s a true honor to feature his works in SMUG.

For those of you fashion savvy ladies, you’ll most likely get a thrill out of the conversations with the fascinating and talented Bruno Pieters, Siki Im, Jacquemus, and Katie Gallagher. The Bruno Pieters interview might inspire readers to consume more mindfully, not to mention raise awareness about the subtle political aspects of fashion. And one of the French up-and-coming youngsters featured in this issue, Simon Porte Jacquemus, who has a serious penchant for uniforms and who also wears his favorite clothes over and over again, talks about how he accidentally became a minimalist, his partiality for creating a sense of boredom, and distaste for details.

Anyway, the fifth issue of SMUG is the last one in Norwegian as the magazine will be internationally distributed as of summer 2012. 276 pages of timeless content and impeccable design, paper, as well as beautiful typography. What’s more to add? Well, it’s a magazine people will hold on to for many years to come. And if you happen to be in Oslo on Saturday, don’t forget to hop by the magazine launch party for SMUG #5.

PS: The only place you can get hold of this magazine in the US for now, albeit it’s in Norwegian, is at The Armory Show in New York City!

Postmortem dissection of last year’s wardrobe curation

(via trendoform)

The annual dissection of last year’s acquisitions is no longer on the back burner. After much delay, it’s definitely high time to scrutinize the nitty-gritty of how my wardrobe curation went in 2011, so that I can surpass myself this year. Last year I posted my shopping resolutions for 2011:

1) Admire certain garments from afar and face the truth that they will never work for me

It took me about six months to realize that some of my purchases turned out to be items that I should just have admired from afar. For instance, short fitted jackets à la the Isabel Marant jackets that I ended up reselling. They’re decidedly pretty and chic but truly downright wrong on me. Maybe they are too feminine for me or somewhat revealing, as I’m more partial towards wearing coats or jackets that cover my back. Or generally more lose-fitting jackets and tops. I feel more comfortable this way. Be that as it may, they didn’t work out both wardrobe-wise and lifestyle-wise, period. No reason to hold on to clothes I won’t wear regardless of how beautiful, expensive, or sought-after they are.

2) Not fall into the list trap

I didn’t really make seasonal lists except for the one summer list, which explains why I made so many regrettable purchases last year. I stopped adhering to lists. Quite liberating indeed, but that also made me fail to keep track of my spending habits.

3) Give in sometimes to unpredictable finds

This one works like a charm if I don’t dwell upon an item that I’m rather ambivalent about – which usually indicates that it’s just another unsuccessful buy.

4) Go with my instinct more and quell the over thinking

I do trust my instinct but that totally depends on my mood and situation. What I’m trying to say is that I should stay away from shops when I’m a bit down in the dumps, as I haven’t been fully aware that I’m not just an emotional eater but verging on emotional shopper as well. Anyhow, last year’s successful buys were a result of long-term planning and unpredictable finds bought on a whim.

5) Focus more on the basics

Well, I wouldn’t call my clothes just “basics”, because to me basics are underwear and socks. My wardrobe consists of very simple pieces, which, to some people, are basics but to me they are merely clothes and staples and not just a basic thing to wear underneath a non-basic piece of clothing.

6) Not exceed the limit of 15-20 items a year

I undoubtedly blew this challenge. And I suppose it’s partly because I didn’t keep a list of potential purchases each season. It’s a bit funny though, as I managed to buy less than 10 items in 2010. However, I made more money in 2011 as opposed to 2010, and I befriended my nemesis called “MasterCard”. Hence I could afford buying more, which is a pretty bad evolution. For all I know my income will increase every year as I get older. What if I’m rolling in money in five years? Is that a reasonable excuse to purchase five times as much as I did last year? Nope, it ain’t a valid reason. I’ll be more prudent, I promise!

7) Stop settling for second best

I’m almost nailing this one, but I’m still making mistakes now and then.

And what did I end up buying/adding to my wardrobe in 2011? Let’s start with the successful buys:- A.P.C. navy and white breton shirt.
- A.P.C. light blue liberty shirt
- A.P.C. cashmere/merino wool breton sweater
- A.P.C. navy cashmere/wool ribbed sweater
- A.P.C. blue/gray shirt
- Ann Demeulemeester black sandals
- Barbour navy trenchcoat (gift)
- Cheap Monday light blue jeans
- Dries Van Noten black suede heels
- Hope black winter boots
- Isabel Marant Étoile navy peacoat
- The Kooples taupe suede boots
- Mardou & Dean dark blue jeans (gift)
- Sessun liberty shirt
- Zara black dress

No need for explanation. These items have been worn to death day in, day out apart from the black dress from Zara. I don’t wear it often but I save it for special occasions. Actually, I have only worn it three times since I bought it. I’ve also realized that I don’t have to invest in an expensive dress, as I couldn’t rationalize the so-called investment by using the cost per wear calculation. I rarely wear dresses, maybe when I’m getting older I will wear dresses on a daily basis, but alas I’m not shopping for my potential future self right now.

I also got my hands on a few accessories but I don’t count them as part of my wardrobe planning, as these were more or less necessities.

And here are my out-and-out unsuccessful purchases, which I either returned or resold.

- A.P.C. chambray shirt
- Current/Elliott boyfriend jeans
- Isabel Marant Elali jacket
- Isabel Marant Étoile white linen longsleeve
- Isabel Marant black linen trousers
- Isabel Marant Étoile blue shirt

Fortunately, I know why the abovementioned items didn’t work out: Wrong size or fit, not really my style, weight-gain, purchased online.

However, seeing this list of items, I’m at a loss of words. Just from reading all the labels I name-dropped above, I wonder how on earth could I afford all these things in the first place? Well, I did end up reselling the items that didn’t work out, including a few other items that have been languishing in my wardrobe for a while. I also bought several items discounted, through readers, or on eBay.

Nevertheless, last year’s spending habits went a little out of control, so this year I will be more careful as to money management. And perhaps I should start making lists of potential or future buys. I won’t shop online unless I have already tried on the item on beforehand. My style and wardrobe is ever-evolving. It’s an extension of me. So when I’m looking for inspiration, I will look inwards.

But what about the limit? At this point, let’s get back to this one later on as I haven’t completely figured out what to do in 2012 wardrobe-wise. That said I’m all in for quality, not quantity. Quality as in buying things that I will wear to death and hold dear for many years to come. Albeit I added 15 (!) new items to my wardrobe last year, I don’t regret any of them. Yes, that’s hell of a lot but let’s not focus on the amount because I’m content, and that’s what matters!

Speaking of wardrobe editing, how did 2011 go for you?