All you need is love… and a good photographer!

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Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 9.25.56 PMScreen Shot 2014-05-19 at 9.26.04 PMScreen Shot 2014-05-19 at 9.24.01 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 9.23.50 PMScreen Shot 2014-05-19 at 9.25.27 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 9.25.34 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 9.26.14 PMAs summer (and by that I mean Icelandic summer with 20degrees at best) is approaching, I must say that I am quite happy that for a couple of months, taking pictures outside the house will be possible.  I was mentioning before how this is quite a challenge (most of the times) and the pictures you see here are no exception. In March we met with one amazing photographer from Canada, Janice, who came to Iceland to take pictures of Icelandic couples in their “natural habitat”. And as we had planned a city getaway and a good outfit in my case, we found ourselves in a very Icelandic situation where the roads were blocked by snow, the wind was unbearable and the snowflakes hit my (photo shoot ready) face from all possible parts. Taking advantage of Janice´s patience we quickly suggested one of my favorite spots in Reykjavik where we went for a hot chocolate and ended up taking these pictures that I LOVE! 

Everything is so easy when you work with a photographer who gets you and can perfectly capture the vibe around you, especially when you are a silly couple that can barely stand still and isn´t used to public displays of affection (yes, you never see people in Iceland kissing on the street or in public, unlike in Romania where our passionate latin blood make its presence felt everywhere). So it ended up being a great day and I am very happy with the pictures. And to let you in on a secret, although I am not a huge fan of having my pics all around the house (it´s enough to have them all around the www), I do plan to print one of these and frame it! 

And if you are in Reykjavik and are having a wedding or an engagement or simply would like to have a fun couples photo shoot, then you are in luck because Janice is planing another trip to Iceland (Sept 8-12) for new photos and (hopefully) better weather. More pics by Janice Yi Photography and also details HERE

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Moschino´s Poison Ivy

“Entering the Maison Moschino is like falling down the rabbit hole: after a while, you come to expect the unexpected.”

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To get a better vibe of what the Maison Moschino hotel is like, just watch this video!  The song first perfectly with the outfit that I have put together and I am so happy I got to stay in a place where wearing a veil makes perfect sense!

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Cheers!

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Welcome to Maison Moschino Part 1

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As we were looking on Google Maps for a hotel close to this particular outlet shop (guilty!) and close to the centre of Milan, we very randomly passed by Maison Moschino Hotel with the mouse.  It was clear right then and there that I would not let it go until we booked this hotel and nothing less, for our stay. And so we did! I mean what can better than a fashionable hotel? And I don´t mean a fancy, good looking one but an actual fashion forward place designed by Maison Moschino. My intention was to go to Milan in the first place to have a good shopping time and enjoy Italy´s fashionable vibe and may I say, this hotel filled all my needs!

The decorum was filled with dresses from the hallways to the restaurant- which is the cutest! Having breakfast there managed to get me in a fashionable mood which is my favorite type of moods. Actually my mood was good enough to get me past the fact that, that one outlet shop ( Corso Como Outlet) –  that I so much wanted to visit was not open on any of the days of our stay in Milan.

However I did manage to shop in other places, visit the Duomo (Gothic architecture is my favorite) and also visit the Museum of Science and Technology. After all I am a woman in tech!

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What would a fashion place be without magazines? Moschino had some pretty cool ones: IMG_2031

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And if you think the hotel looks good in these pictures, wait until you see our room. It was AMAZING and I felt just like Alice in Wonderland! Pictures coming soon in the next blog post!

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A trip to Grasse-the capital of perfumes

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Have you read Patrick Suskind´s book “The Perfume”? Or maybe you have seen the movie: Perfume – the story of a murderer? If you haven´t, I highly recommend it, it is a somewhat creepy story portraying a serial killer whose sense of smell is highly developed. And since that probably didn´t convince you, here is what Amazon says: “The novel explores the sense of smell and its relationship with the emotional meaning that scents may carry. Above all it is a story of identity, communication and the morality of the human spirit.”

In the book/movie the main character, Grenouille, decides to go to Grasse, the international capital of perfumes and the place where one must go to learn and master the art of creating unique scents. In my trip to the French Riviera I also had the opportunity to go to Grasse and although I was never a huge perfume user (although I collected pretty perfume bottles since I was a kid), seeing how everything is made and being at a true french parfumerie turned me into the happy owner of a perfume obsession. That place is amazing and definitely my favorite in France. It has at least 3 very big parfumeries, all can be visited and you can get a free tour while being shown what they do to create amazing smells. I got to go to Fragonard, la parfumerie named after the famous painter Jean Honoré Fragonard who was born in Grasse.  The smell inside is so strong that after you leave, your clothes will probably smell for quite a while like a mix of roses, lilies, jasmine and other flowers that grow locally.

We had the most charming tour guide, this petite French lady in her navy-blue uniform-suit who talked so passionately about flowers, scents and perfumes and showed us the different techniques used to extract the smell out of flowers and other natural materials while also making the difference between parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette and so on, a lot clearer. The tour ended with us smelling a lot of Fragonard´s perfumes and with me buying some “souvenirs”, of course. I bought some tiny pure perfumes, one called “La belle cherie” – a fruity and floral mix for day and another one called “Belle de nuit” which is associated with an arabian night and is a bit stronger.

And to point out the benefit of having a pure perfume instead of eau de toilette or so, I will tell you about the last time I used it. I have put a very small amount behind my ears (one of the warm points of the body) and I felt the smell for some time until my nose probably got used to it. Later that day I went to the gym and after working out a bit and warming up I started feeling the delicate, floral base notes of the perfume all around me, it was so interesting and such a nice surprise. The smell lasted even after I ended my exercise and after taking a shower. This never happens with my normal perfume which is probably an “eau de toilette”. However I am using “La petite robe noire” so I won´t give up on that either.

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“Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.”

― Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

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Vacance sur le Cote D´Azur, Part 2

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Vacance sur le Cote d´Azur, Part1

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After a tough winter in Iceland spending the Easter vacation in France in quite a delight. And that after having passed Switzerland with its Alpes and chateaux and before going for some fashionable time in Milano. Pictures from all trips will be coming soon.

Nice is incredibly charmful and although I was secretly hoping to get some tanning & beach weather, we have 20 degrees at most which on the other hand makes it perfect for walks and tourist-moments, for visiting cities around, making the most of our Cote d´Azur trip and of course shopping. We visited Nice´s flower market and farmer´s markets plus a flea market coming soon on Monday. All in all I am so happy with having an authentic southern french time! Here are some bits and pieces from the first day:
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Off-Duty Sneaker Style

Wearing fancy clothes and dresses with properly matched accessories, preppy outfits that go with high-heel stilettos and a perfect hairstyle are all part of an ideal and what I am definitely striving for. However, my daily off-duty style is more laid back, comfortable and goes perfectly with my tough mornings, dictated by me being an early-mornings hater.

Luckily, Iceland turned sports clothes into a trend that steps out of the usual gym set and onto the streets. I remember waiting in line for Subway once (don´t judge) and I had 9 girls in line in front of me, out of which 7 (including myself) were wearing different brands of sports shoes. And right it´s not just Iceland loving the comfort, all around the world girls are matching preppy outfits with their faithful Nikes, looking better than anyone would have anticipated.  Here are 7 tricks to wearing your sneakers outside the gym:   WhoWhatWear and more on Harper´s Bazaar.

Here is my take on the comfy, every-day, go-to outfit:

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Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 7.55.18 PMAnd if you top everything with bronzed cheek bones and a glowy complexion then you have got yourself a great “off-duty model” look. But since Iceland and bronzed skin don´t really go together, I use this e.l.f Blush & this Mineral Glow Highlighter.

 

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Icelandic Design Bits

This past week was Reykjavik´s Design March festival. A festival that focuses, obviously on design. Yes, Calvin Klein was here in Reykjavik giving a talk about “Dealing with reality” that I did not attend together with Reykjavik´s Fashion Festival and I am not happy with it, however I did manage to attend some off venue events like a letterpress workshop, a Rendez-Vous interior design cocktail party and a fashion event during which 2nd year fashion design students from Iceland´s University of Art presented their final class assignments. Now, Icelandic Design is generally out of the ordinary and not everyone´s cup of tea, however there were many outfits that I liked and would wear given the right eccentric opportunity. Painfully I did not manage to write down the name of the designers as the models strolled down the runway with no breaks between collections and each had 5 outfits at most. Everything moved super fast but I did manage to take some (slightly blurry) pictures: Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 8.14.37 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 8.16.22 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 8.17.10 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 8.13.31 PM

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Orri Finn Design has also been exhibited as part of Design March. Their collection has a scarabs focus and bugs are definitely one of my latest jewellery obsessions, as mentioned in the latest posts. Here is what I am talking about:

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And some more Icelandic Design Jewellery that I took pictures of but again, did not write down the designer. For someone who is suspected of being too brand-focused, I would say I am doing quite well.

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And last but not least, ME!  This is what and I wore for the event:

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From Iceland with Love

 

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If you plan to be a part of a couple photo shoot in Iceland (or any type of shoots really), then you should know the following:

1. Do not trust the weather, go with the safe assumption that it´s going to be a bad one!

2. If you are thinking about wearing a cute outfit, know that it will in no way remain cute after the Icelandic weather is done with you.

3. If you think you will be able to take the pics in a dress or anything appealing, make sure to take blankets, sweaters, hats, mittens and everything else you can find, you´ll soon decide that you don´t even care how you look in the pics, your main objective is not to freeze.

3. Go with a hairstyle that would look good while wet or snowed, wind is a huge possibility so watch out for that too.

4. Cats always look good in couple pictures, if you find one put it to good use!

5. Remember that sometimes imperfections gives the best natural pictures, so try not to worry about anything in the meantime and just have fun!
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Thank you, to the lovely lady who took the pictures, Daniela Roshca. You can see more of her wonderful work at Studio with Love!

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Shopping vintage & antiques in Reykjavik, Part 1

Don’t miss my Shopping vintage & antiques in Reykjavik Part 2 post for even more vintage places in Reykjavik.

I have been living in Iceland for almost 2 years now and as any respectable girl who is into fashion, I have had more than enough time to analyse all the shopping options available in Reykjavik. But one of the things that you will probably hear immediately when asking anyone about shopping in Reykjavik, is that it is quite pricey, there is no competition between stores because options are not endless, there are no H&M stores, no River Island or J.Crew. Shopping online is also quite a bother given the fact that the taxes added to the initial price, once your package is in the country, are sometimes insane and they will most probably make you reconsider your options. You won´t find most of the high-class brands here in Reykjavik but you do have the option of choosing Icelandic Design. Icelandic Designers have a very scandinavian style as you would have suspected, which means a lot of structures, a lot of unique pieces and intriguing fabrics. I would love to have my closet full of their creations but each piece is an investment, so I, together with many other Icelanders turn our heads towards vintage and antique shops, the best way to keep a unique style and get as further away from “uniforms”. Second hand shops have quite a huge influence on Reykjavik´s fashion giving it more personality and turning a stroll downtown into a constant “where did you get that” moment. That being said, here are two of my favorite places to shop vintage & antiques in Reykjavik:

1. Fríða Frænka – Antiques Shop

This place is awesome and as I got there on Saturday I was very pleased to see I came at the perfect moment for discounts – my favorite! Fríða Frænka is one of the only antique shops in Reykjavik that have everything, from old watches to old buttons to cutlery, vintage fabrics, furniture, jewellery, amazing lamps, baby strollers, everything. Going there is like getting lost in your grandma´s huge attic, that is if you grandma was an avid collector of everything, a fashionable lady in her day with exceptional taste. I love how very precious pieces lay together with plastic doll shoes, how the paintings and mirrors set in no apparent order still give the impression of a particular harmony, how the shop keeper is wearing great antique clothes mixed with modern accents and most importantly I like that this place is perfect for when you get nostalgic and want to feel like home.

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I, of course, had to take advantage of the discount and since furniture/home accessories required a bit too much decision-making, I decided upon some antique brooches. One is a butterfly/bug brooch. I have been in search of some good bugs since Lanvin´s 2011 Spring collection and now I have one which is also quite big, can´t wait to accessorize my jackets with it! I also picked up a more delicate butterfly which is elegantly resting on the grey spring jacket that you can (almost) see in the picture, another cameo-like brooch with a black stone that is not in a very good condition reason for which I like it even more. And two pairs of cufflinks, made in Czechoslovakia:

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Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 4.32.37 PMAll in all, I highly recommend Frida and I cannot wait to get there again. I will try to keep you posted with the new stuff that they bring in.

After we finished with antique shopping, the next obvious step for any Saturday or Sunday was the Flea Market.

2. Kolaportið – Reykjavik´s Flea Market  Kolaportið is a great option for when you are in the mood to add some pieces to your wardrobe but don´t want to clean your bank account. It is very common for Icelandic girls to sell here the clothes that they are not interested in, don´t fit them anymore or just see this as an opportunity of getting back a small amount of what they invested in these pieces and putting it to good use in newer ones. I think it´s a great, sustainable idea and it definitely benefits all parts.

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Kolaportið is definitely the best place to buy an affordable, handmade Lopapeysa (Icelandic traditional sweater) and one should not leave the country without at least one of these:

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Lately I have been going to Kolaportið whenever I was in the mood for weird clothes, interesting shapes and designs, for pieces that would become part of a particular costume, Halloween or Óskudagur (Icelandic Halloween). I try to look for things that are out of the ordinary, things that I am not sure will fit me or I will get to wear a lot but that are affordable enough. This time I only got a grey sweater that is more like a tent/poncho but that will fit perfectly on top of black pants, with a shiny necklace. I will hopefully show it to you in a next post.

Until then, I hope you got a better understanding of Fríða Frænka (in Icelandic the word “frænka” reffers to a female relative, it can be a aunt, cousin, niece, all are frænka) and also Kolaportið, Reykjavik´s Flea Market. In the second part of this article, which will come soon, I will tell you a bit more about Vintage shops in Reykjavik, which to visit and why and what you can get there.

Don’t miss my Shopping vintage & antiques in Reykjavik Part 2 post for even more vintage shopping places in Reykjavik.

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