Top 5 of 2012

I know, I’m really late to the party but I haven’t gotten around to making this post that has been on my mind for some time. So here comes a belated and incomplete list of some of the top 5 things that 2012 had to offer. I could probably go on and on because 2012 was such a terrific year but so far this took me 4 hours to put together and I have to study now…. what a life. Anyway, I’ll update it now and then so that I won’t ever forget the things I loved in 2012!

Top 5 wardrobe investments

top5inv
1. A.P.C. ‘Petit Standard’ raw denim jeans (this is how they looked like after 6 months of wear and tear)
2. Church’s ‘Burwood’ glossy leather brogues
3. A.P.C. gray lambswool sweater (similar here)
4. A.P.C. leather and cork sandals
5. Acne ‘Canada’ scarf

Top 5 most listened to albums 

top5albums
1. John Talabot – ƒin
2. Kendrick Lamar – Good kid, M.A.A.D. city
3. Kindness – World you need a change of mind
4. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
5. Beach House – Bloom

Top 5 unpredictable yet successful purchases 

top5unpredictablebuys
1. A.P.C. denim jumpsuit
2. A.P.C. liberty jumpsuit
3. Nike x A.P.C. navy air max shoes
4. Vanessa Bruno Athé jumpsuit
5. A.P.C. shirt found on eBay

Top 5 concerts I attended

top5concerts
1. Nicolas Jaar @ Sonar in Barcelona
2. Beach House in Oslo
3. Azari & III @ Sonar in Barcelona
4. Kendrick Lamar @ Hove at Tromøya
5. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs @ Hove at Tromøya

Top 5 best tracks chosen randomly
1. Luke Abbott – Modern Driveway
2. John Talabot – When the past was present
3. Todd Terje – Inspector Norse
4. Jessie Ware – 110%
5. Dino Lenny vs Hardrive – A DJ deep inside (Shadow Child vocal)
(6. Kendrick Lamar – Now or Never feat. Mary J. Blige)

Top 5 burgers

top5burgers1. Honest Burgers in London (hand burger)
2. The Bird in Berlin (hand burger)
3. Fil a la Une in Toulouse (foie gras burger)
4. Halifax in Copenhagen
5. Cafe Gavlen in Copenhagen

Top 5 blogs discovered in 2012
1. Empty Emptor
2. Joanna Karenina
3. The Second Renaissance
4. The Log (essai)
5. I Love Fika

Stick to what works

via selectism.com

What is it about A.P.C. that other brands don’t possess? Why do I have such a soft spot for anything that Jean Touitou designs? After I stopped relying on Isabel Marant, who used to be my go-to designer until her design became too loud for my taste and the prices skyrocketed disproportionally to the quality, I instead started putting my money into more clothes from A.P.C. In terms of designers, this has resulted in a very homogenous selection of clothes in my wardrobe. However, whether you like it or not, it’s a fact that most of our choices, especially the insignificant and habitual ones, are based on brands. And yes, we stick to certain brands if they work otherwise we would have to face a myriad of different brands for each and every product that we need and want – and too many options are driving people crazy, not to mention time-consuming . Fortunately, I didn’t had to go through a hassle of hunting in the jungle of designers to find the ones that cater to my personal taste and style.

Whenever I need something feminine, beautiful, effortless yet luxurious, I shop at Vanessa Bruno. Church’s is my go-to brand for well-made quality leather shoes. I depend on REN and Aesop when it comes to skincare and hair products. I only use Moleskine planners because they always work. And I always go to A.P.C. whenever I need or want something new, whether it’s a pair of sandals or just a warm cashmere sweater for winter. Anything else would be too labor-intensive.

So why do I always choose and rely on A.P.C.? Obviously, it’s by all means because the clothes are incomparably simple, understated, and timeless. Even though it’s just a plain sweater that comes at a hefty price for a poor student like me, I could never find anything remotely similar at Zara, COS, or Isabel Marant for that matter – trust me, I’ve tried looking so many times to little avail. There is something about the classic cut that is hard to unearth, but unlike many other designer labels out there, A.P.C. continuously offers their customer classic pieces slightly and subtly altered every season. The quality isn’t bad either, especially if you take good care of the clothes. Besides, the garments from A.P.C. fit me just right, the sleeves hit at the right place, and so on. A.P.C. covers everything that I look for when I shop – design, cut, fit, and quality, all of which are mandatory.

However, a few weeks ago, I finally grasped why I keep going back to A.P.C. and why I’m obsessed with this designer brand. Jane and I visited the little A.P.C. shop in Toulouse. I was trying on a bunch of clothes, among them several dresses and skirts, and since there was no mirror in the dressing room I had to use the big mirror in the shop where everybody could see me. I hate doing that but I’m glad I had to, because otherwise I wouldn’t have figured out why I love A.P.C. so much. The seller told my friend, who told me that I have the A.P.C. body. Then I realized that he’s actually right. It makes a lot more sense to me now as to why everything I try on from this brand looks like clothes made to measure – which has never been the case before when it comes to other designers that I wear. A.P.C. clothes are designed for my body!

In October, I wrote this little post about the uncomfortableness of wearing dresses. But as mentioned earlier, I tried on several dresses and skirts at A.P.C. – which I wish I had done sooner. They all looked perfect on me and completely changed my body image as I finally found dresses that were made for my figure. Thanks to A.P.C. I no longer feel self-conscious and uncomfortable in a frock.

On a different note, I don’t know anything about A.P.C. and the company’s compliance with ethical standards and labor laws. I know that some of the products are made in third world countries and others are made in France and Italy – but the destination for manufacturing doesn’t indicate anything as to the labor conditions. As much as I try to be a conscious shopper, there is a box that still remains unchecked. But then again, the brand meets all of my other requirements. Nonetheless, to be honest, I think I’m just as cynical as the industry is. Would I boycott A.P.C. if it turns out that they do not comply with fundamental ethical principles? How about all the other things we buy and eat? Who has the responsibility – the consumers or the companies? But would boycotting actually improve the working conditions at factories or would the demand for products drop and eventually lead to unemployment?

Anyway, back to where I started. A.P.C. turns out to be the only clothing brand that works for me all the time and I’m happy with it. I believe everything is perfectly designed for my style, taste, and body. It’s no doubt that the brand commendably possesses a strong, consistent style identity that’s never outdated in the slightest. Just take a look at A.P.C.’s looks from 1987 and 2013 – you can’t really tell the difference, am I right? It’s the same silhouettes, the same style… And for someone like me who loathes shopping, knowing that A.P.C. covers everything that I need and little extra truly facilitates the entire shopping process. I don’t have to go through excessively many options and I always find something that satisfies in every sense.

How about you guys? Do you have any go-to brands?

Hello 2013

How I wish every morning could be more like this. We had a big brunch at Jane’s parents’ apartment in Toulouse before hitting the road to Spain. It was the day before the last day of 2012, the only day I should have been as fit as a fiddle. Instead, unpredictably, I rang in the New Year with food poisoning in Barcelona – a city close to my heart. It was truly painful, yet a relief at the same time. Painful both in the sense of having no control whatsoever over my body and also because I missed out on the party of the year with my friends and Maceo Plex in my favorite city. A relief because albeit the previous New Year’s eve was a major disaster, 2012 turned out to be second to none in every imaginable way. Hence I believe 2013 is going to be just as supreme. Bad start, bad year doesn’t apply to me (knock on wood). Nevertheless, going back to the daily grind makes me appreciate those few and far between daybreaks a lot more – with great food, great people, tranquility, harmony, and other clichés that are completely neglected in day-to-day life. I spent almost the entire holidays in the South of Europe that only feels untrue in retrospect. A 10-day dream, you know. Everything is an oxymoron in the transition from work to play and from play to work. My body and mind have yet to readapt to an even more hectic schedule and 7 exams to ace before I get my life back. Fortunately, I have a few amazing events before me; New York in 30 days, finally applying to university for the first time in my life which is scary in a way, a short trip to Copenhagen with the rat pack… and in-between all the studying I will somehow find a bit of spare time – even if it’s just my daily thirty minutes break between classes – to organize my West Coast trip in July. To be honest, what keeps me going is the privilege to travel. With the perfect balance, nothing is too overpowering.

Happy New Year everyone! Thank you so much for your continued readership! Here’s to an awesome 2013.

PS: The perfect dress… more about it later.