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Spring spells birds, bees…and all things bridal! It’s the season couples spend big on bubbly, bouquets and bridesmaids. Small wonder that there’s little cash left for THE DRESS. YLC checked out a vintage wedding fair to get the lowdown on how not to spend an arm and a leg…

While being a cheapskate on your wedding day is not recommended, tight budgets are forcing couples to get creative. From hand made invites, upcycled decor and roping in the family to do the catering – there’s an endless way to make your nuptials affordable.

But what about the dress you ask?! New ones cost a few thousands of crowns. If you’re lucky. If you’re not, best start selling a kidney or two to finance the thing. The whole shebang is enough to turn a girl into bridezilla in a flash of lace and beading.

dresses2So is there a solution? In the name of science, I swallowed my fear of excessive tulle and went to Beyond Retro’s Vintage Wedding Dress Fair to find out. For over a year, vintage experts scoured the length and breadth of North America to dig out the choicest bridal gowns across the Atlantic. Meticulously hand picked for their historical AND trend factor, 300 of these babies went on display at their Zinkensdamm store last week.

Theres definitely nothing Corpse Bride about the collection. The 300 gowns ranged from exquisite lacy offerings straight out of the silent film era to fun, flirty affairs that end above the knee. The cheapest cost no more than 400 crowns.

Turns out, you can look a million dollars without having to spend a million!

“April is the traditional month for trying on wedding dresses,” Anna Svensson, PR Manager, told YLC.

Despite sambo status being the norm, marriages are making a comeback in Sweden. According to Svensson, wedding dresses are even bigger here than in England where Beyond Retro’s flagship store opened. The idea is to attract the growing number of couples getting hitched.

Kicking off the 3-day-fair with a suitably girly evening of champagne and chocolate, over 200 brides-to-be crammed the store with their entourage of mums, girlfriends and even a supportive male or two.

“It was so inspiring to see strong, independent women looking at the dresses with their fiancées, who cares if the dress is not expensive,” said Kiara who works at the store.

Think one of a kind pieces, channeling old Hollywood glamour, flapper suave and gothic chic. There’s romance and style a plenty. Luckily, not a shred of crushed velvet in sight (told you they were experts). If you’re game, you can even buy their oldest piece from the 30’s and wear a bit of history down the aisle.

With vintage, there’s always an element of luck. Is it too long? Was it owned by dead royalty? Why were people so THIN back then (the answer is usually ‘war’)? But when you DO find your dress, you can be assured that it’s a one off.

dresses3While the fair is over for this year, you can still buy other bridal must haves. Lace brollies, gloves, flower garlands, embellished headdresses, vintage lingerie (still not sure about second hand underwear factor), feathers, faux fur, sequins and shoes. Its not all about the ladies either. Guys can suit up with their impressive bow tie selection, waistcoats and head gear. Whether you go vintage, retro or throwback you’ll impress the socks off the congregation. All that extra cash you save means more money for the wedding liquor fund! Who says we don’t look out for our readers?

Beyond Retro, Zinkensdamm
Brännkyrkagatan 82
www.beyondretro.com
 
 
 
 
For other vintage gems, check out our guide to Stockholm’s second hand shops! There’s also a Vintage Fair going on in the city this weekend!

 

 

Want to recreate overpriced pad thai (because, let’s face it, who can afford to eat out in Stockholm)? Want to impress your mates with a sushi party but don’t know where to find ingredients? YLC to the rescue!

Every self-respecting city has legions of Asian grocers. Stockholm is catching the trend like a hipster in heat, but the stores can be a minefield of pungent, slimy and scary textures for the uninitiated. Fear not, YLC’s guide will help you tick gochujang, shrimp paste and lemongrass off your shopping list like a pro.
 

First, mental preparation.

You need to be prepared before diving into the jungle of Asian supermarkets. You’ve got to have the right mindset. When you enter a store, remember:

1.  Be adventurous

2. Poke, prod, sniff and squeeze (politely of course). You’ve got five senses, use ‘em!

3. Ask advice from shoppers and staff about ‘thousand year old eggs’ or ‘vacuum packed jellyfish’

4.  Use Asian Market Shopper or Asian Ingredients 101 apps (yes, they exist) to decode mysterious ingredients

5. Giggle at hilariously translated English labels

6.  Buy something awesome sounding each time

 

 Mapping the Landscape

Most stores follow a basic format. The guide below helps you find stuff and prevent you from hyperventilation when confronted with jars of fermented anchovies that give surströmming a run for its money.

Dried Goods

You’ll find enough ramen brands to last you through a zombie uprising á la The Walking Dead. Also test your strength with 20 kg sacks of rice (under 200 SEK). Huge selections of pulverized, whole and semi-crushed flavoring agents – think ring-of-fire inducing chilies or the components for a seriously divine curry – all for a pittance.

Boost your health with fox nuts and wolf berries or buy tea in all its Asiatic varieties – just because you can.

Photo: Ting Yiu

Photo: Ting Yiu

Condiments
The backbone of Asian cuisine, what would we do without our bottles of witches brew? Stock up on curry pastes (Mae Ploy or Aroy-D), ‘Cock’ brand sriracha (I’m not joking), at least 10 varieties of soy sauce, anything by Lee Kum Kee for authentic Cantonese and fish sauce – the simultaneously icky smelling yet delicious concoction of fermented anchovy runoff (‘Baby’ or ‘Squid’ brand). Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

Refrigerator
Dozens of soy incarnations from tofu (organic, silken, firm and fried) to tempeh, bean sprouts and soy milk.

Forget the additive laden, expensive concoctions from Swedish supermarkets, this stuff is cheap and fresh.

The only ingredients being water, beans and sugar (“osötad” means unsweetened). Ogle the Asian vegetables, fresh herbs, kimchi, green papayas, mushrooms, cured meats, spiky durian (doubles as both bludgeoning weapon or formidable sweet fruit) and dream up your next culinary creation.

Freezer
Want exotic species of fish or fowl to liven up your meal? Asia’s wet markets now come in frozen form. Prawns, octopus, mussels, fresh and saltwater fish, ducks and geese are available for prices that won’t make you sob hysterically. Also find wonton skins, dim sum and hot pot ingredients to help you survive Swedish winter. Or “spring”, for that matter.

Miscellaneous
Cleavers, chopsticks, steamers, pots, pestles, mortars and pretty porcelain all sold for peanuts. Pick up a proper wok and ditch your crappy IKEA one. There’s also incense, makeup, cleaning products and everything you never knew you needed.

Snacks
If you haven’t tried Asian junk food, you have not lived!Change that with wasabi peas, mochi, Pocky sticks, prawn chips, lychee juice and neon coloured drinks .

If the “inspired” flavors don’t entice you, the psychedelic packaging with doe-eyed anime characters will.

Buy Lotte, Nong Shim and Oishi brands.

Photo: Ting Yiu

Photo: Ting Yiu

The Jungle

Hua Xia, Herkulesgatan
Thai-China Supermarket, Fleminggatan 49
Sun Ai, Tegnérgatan 15
Japanska Torget Tegnérgatan 6
Korean Food, Luntmakargatan 76
…Plus don’t miss YLC’s Favourite Five

 

Now you are ready to tackle Stockholm’s slew of Asian supermarkets! But there are a lot of ‘em – why not start off with one of YLC’s TOP FIVE?

 

Featured Image: Denna Jones/Flickr (file)

Ready to go shopping for your next Asian-inspired meal? It’s a jungle out there! The markets are almost innumerable. But YLC is here to help with our own Top Five favorite Asian supermarkets. Chow down!

Oriental Supermarket

Where: Sergelgatan 16-18/Sveavägen 17

What: This new kid on the block beats all competitors. Hidden in the Hotorget T-bana station (Sergelgatan exit), the unassuming glass doors hides a huge, well stocked and clean supermarket. Prices are higher, but their variety and quality makes it worth the trip. Mostly Chinese goods and expanding Korean, Japanese and south-east Asian sections.

Bonus: In-house roastery (Peking duck, roast pork, cha siu, dim sum, appetizers). Signs in English, Thai and Chinese. Labels indicate country of origin. Food documentaries on their flat screens to inspire your next meal.

 

 Asian Market

Where: Olof Palmes Gata 12

What: Two glorious floors stocking 70% Thai goods, the friendly owners speak at least 5 languages. Their shelves are never empty and the constant stream of people is a good sign.

Bonus: Fresh coconut juice. Ridiculous selection of eggplants (round, thin, berry sized, white, purple or green varieties). Ready-to-eat meals and desserts in the fridge. Hand-made rice dumplings on the counter.

 

Mai Mai 

Where: Holländargatan 9

What: Pinoy products galore! Run by a Swedish-Filipino couple, it’s a marvelous must for a taste of the Philippines.

Bonus: Jumbo bags of chicharrones that’s both cholesterol inducing AND addictive. Day-glow pandanus drink with basil seeds, more delicious and less toxic than it sounds.

Kina Li Trading

Hong Kong Trading

Where: Olofsgatan 5

What: Atmosphere, 20 year history, and low prices. The staunch boss-lady is straight out of a 90’s Hong Kong triad movie. Don’t be offended if she talks business on the phone while serving you.

Tip: Don’t commit a major faux pax by using the stacks of paper with orange and gold squares for home decor.  The Chinese burn them as money for the dead.

 

Kina Li Trading

Where:  Ringvägen 129 K

What: While the food offerings are not as comprehensive as the first four, this vast emporium gets honorable mention for its dollar-store kitsch and sheer volume of the weird and wonderful. You have to see it to believe it.

Bonus: Paper lanterns, dress up gear, cloth shoes, mahjong sets and the best selection of ceramics.

Ceramics at Kina Li Trading. Photo: Ting Yu

Ceramics at Kina Li Trading. Photo: Ting Yiu

 

Featured Image: Chloe Lim/Flickr

Got a red hot party invite but a luke warm wardrobe? YLC takes inspiration from the Oscars and shows how to reimagine those red carpet looks for the real world.

Sincere speeches, celebrity selfies and a sea of red carpet elegance that ticked all the right boxes; this year’s Oscars offering delighted fashion pundits, but there’s no escaping that the sea of frothy, largely nude hued perfection was all just a tad, well, bridal, if we’re honest.

While this isn’t a complaint – it’s every girl’s right to play the princess card at the Oscars after all– it’s not an easy look to reproduce at many real life social occasions, unless you happen to be walking down the aisle of a cathedral of course.

While the more minimally inclined A-listers were models of elegance and grown-up restraint, there was still a whiff of the sophisticated bridesmaid about the whole shebang  – a look that can so easily slide into frumpy on the turn of a Louboutin.

For those of us with couture cravings on a more modest budget, the key to red carpet style is not to be too literal in the interpretation of A-listers’ looks. Cherry-picking key elements from European high street stores: a silhouette, hue, detail or embellishment, and reworking them to suit your own style – and the occasion – will make for a far fresher look all round.

Here’s a roundup of some of the winning outfits on the night – and how to channel the looks for less:

 

For sophisticated glamazons

It’s hard not to lump Sandra Bullock and Amy Adams together here because they both pulled off strikingly similar looks: elegant navy column dresses with a gently flared train, minimal accessories and fabulous, glossy hair. It was an exacting lesson in sophisticated, sartorial restraint, and if the Sex in the City girls were walking the red carpet, this would totally be Charlotte’s look. While it could be argued that perhaps they were just a tad too formal for this event – a little more ‘black tie ball at the Embassy’ than Oscars – there’s no denying that navy is now the new black where evening wear is concerned  - at any age – and it’s why it’s sure to be replicated long after the pastels have been put away.

Sandra Bullock  Amy Adams

Above: Navy Off Shoulder Dress €49.95 at H&M; Bracelet with small crystal stones €19.95 at Veritas; Feather-shaped earrings in gold with ear cuffs at H&M; limited edition gold ‘Belgravia’ heeled sandal with cigarette heel €390 by Kurt Geiger at Top Shop

For day to evening versatility

Jennifer Lawrence has that sassy air about her that girls love and guys find irresistible. As everyone’s favourite personality packed A-lister right now, it was therefore surprising to see her in such a restrained gown – albeit in her favourite show-stopper red, by Christian Dior Haute Couture. The peplum is a trend that’s been around for a while now and, if we’re honest, is starting to feel a little tired, but Jen still nailed it thanks to the design’s simplicity and vermillion hue. Update this look with a more fluid take on the peplum to carry you through effortlessly from day to evening. In any colour so long as it’s red, of course.

Jennifer lawrence

Above: Closet Red Cowl Neck Faux Pocket Dress €59 at New Look ; Acid Brights Statement Earring €24.95 at Banana Republic; ‘Lydia’ black heeled sandals £160 by B Brian Atwood at Kurt Geiger; Silver Mesh Clutch €19.99 at New Look. Photo credit: AP

For old school Hollywood glamour

Angelina Jolie exudes old time Hollywood glamour and rarely gets it wrong on the red carpet, and her style over the years has become incredibly sophisticated and yet always manages to stay just the right side of sexy. Her choice of barely there smoky chiffon gown encrusted with beads, by Elie Saab Couture stayed true to her formula, but made for a pretty daring choice given she underwent a double mastectomy and subsequent reconstructive surgery only a year ago. She looked stunning, of course, and, with embellishment huge at the moment, it’s a style steal that translates fabulously to all budgets and looks. Just don’t overdo the accessories.

Angelina Jolie

Above: Ivory Cap Sleeved long Dress £290 by Adrianna Papell at John Lewis; Silver plated diamanté drop earrings €20 at River Island; Mirror Metallic Caged Sandal in silver €227.76 at J Crew. Photo credit: AP

For sex appeal with support

Hervé Léger was on to a good thing when he invented the bandage dress back in the 80’s. Skin tight and leaving little to the imagination, the thick, stretchy webbing-like construction of this style works much like corsetry or all-over Spanx, cleverly pulling you in where it counts -and crucially holding it there – and has been the go-to look for supermodels, footballers’ wives and Kardashians ever since.

What has since morphed into the term ‘bodycon’ (as in body contoured) is a highly influential look that has found its way into almost every brand’s collections in some form or other over the years, and for good reason; it’s actually surprisingly flattering. The jury is still out on Lady Gaga’s demure chiffon scarf, but there’s no denying her Versace gown had all the ingredients for a look that translates rather well to real world girls who aren’t afraid to flaunt their assets. The essential elements to take away from this look are the pale hue and subtly embellished contrast pattern that draws the eye to all the right places for a slimming Jessica Rabbit-like effect that’s perfect for partying.

Lady Gaga

Above: Nude Pink Strapless ‘Cameo’ Bandage Dress €334.90 at Forever Unique; Black semi-precious stone drop earrings €13 at River Island; Britton Nude Italian leather pouch with gold metal trim £150 at Kurt Geiger; ’Malva Biscuit’ sandals with snakeskin detail strap €195 at Reiss. Photo credit: AP

For fresh faced ingénues

Lupita Nyong’O looked every inch the Grecian goddess in her choice of gown by Prada. The gorgeous combination of powder blue pleats against glowing brown skin was summery perfection, and brought a much-needed freshness to the proceedings and one of the few concessions to colour, which, for real-world gals, is huge this spring. It’s a look that could go either way very easily – floor length pastels tend to be more Queen Elizabeth’s bag – but minimal gold jewellery and just a flash of orange lipstick ensured it felt modern and bang up to date.

The key to this look’s success is one of contrast; dark skin and hair works beautifully with pale colours, and it’s a case of picking a hue that compliments your own colouring. While the floor length looks great on the red carpet, Grecian style pleating translates well to maxi and midi lengths for less formal affairs and is surprisingly forgiving over lumpy bits too.

Lupita

Above: Turquoise Chiffon Maxi Drape Dress €89.99 at Mango; ‘Mafiriri’ leaf headband ethically handmade in Kenya €37.92 by Made Jewellery at ASOS; ‘Kathondi’ Four Pack Bangles ethically handmade in Kenya €28.09 by Made Jewellery at  ASOS; Zachi Metallic Sandals €75 by Nine West at Kurt Geiger. Photo credit: AP

For sultry Veronica Lake inspired Va Va Voom

Let’s be clear: This is not an outfit for mere mortals. Sure, some can pull off a plunging neckline, or a backless number, but working both, along with a figure-hugging mermaid tail and padded shoulders, requires oodles of confidence and nothing short of physical perfection. For those blessed with the necessary attributes, then there’s the question of occasion – it’s a dress that ranks so highly in the glam stakes that many brides would be hard pushed to avoid the Krystle Carrington gibes. And yet, somehow, on the red carpet, it just works. In fact it worked so well, that Kate Hudson, arguably, managed to steal the show.

For old school Hollywood glamour at it’s best, this look is hard to beat, but it’s best to exercise a little restraint if you plan to replicate the look at Stockholm’s choicest watering holes: a plunge front and backless look can all get a teensy bit fleshy – and why a maxi length works best. To channel this look successfully in the real world, it makes sense to pare things down somewhat drastically by cutting down on the myriad design elements – the draped bolero with padded shoulders and cowl back is a good place to start – and accessorising with only minimal jewellery, some killer heels and a natural looking tan. Veronica Lake hair highly recommended of course.

Kate Hudson

Above: ‘Revelation’ maxi dress with plunge front and strappy, low back €126.41 by Solace London at ASOS; Diamanté tassel drop earrings €15,95, M&S Collection at Marks & Spencer; Handmade Fringed back necklace €42.75 by Hedgehog Project at Etsy; Mirror metallic sandal in silver €189.48 at J Crew. Photo credit: AP

For fairy tale princesses

Well, didn’t she look divine? This look had it all and Cate Blanchett seemed to float to an almost otherworldly level of gorgeousness; an ethereal, dreamy vision in nude embellished tulle by Armani Prive, with exquisite hair and make-up, and featuring some serious – yet oh so tasteful tasteful – diamond action. She was every inch the proper movie star, and while many might get lost in all this frothiness, Cate’s cool air of intelligence and keen gaze elevated the whole ensemble to another level.

Replicating it isn’t as terrifying as it may first appear either – nude is a flattering colour that works on many skin tones –by shortening the length and toning down the embellishment, this pretty look is ideal for girls who prefer a more feminine and demure approach to dressing up.

Cate blanchett

Above: Miyaa Nude Feather Appliqué Motif Dress €565 at Ted Baker; Pearl Effect Chandelier Drop Earrings with Swarovski Elements €43.95 by M&S Collection at Marks & Spencer; ‘Hit It Off’ sandals €49.16 at ASOS. Photo credit: AP

For modern starlets with – or without – a baby on board

For many of us, a bun in the oven represents something of a paradigm shift in the style stakes that is hard to reconcile with the woman we once saw in the mirror. Others – like Olivia Wilde – seem to embrace the change without missing a beat. Her elegant high-necked black gown, courtesy of Valentino, contained a clever back vent with white insert that kept the focus off her front in a chic look that was part minimalist mod, part Audrey Hepburn; and one that makes for an interesting choice for those not expecting too.

Olivia Wilde-001

Above: Slit front contrast maxi dress €84.28 by ASOS Collection at ASOS; white sandals €89.95 by Zign at Zalando; Handmade Plump White Agate Drop Earrings €36.30 by SimplySleek at Etsy; Monochrome Multirow Magnetic Bracelet €13 at Next Direct; Jewelled Boxed Clutch €35.10 by New Look at ASOS. Photo credit: AP

 

We hope we have inspired you pick out your own Oscar-winning outfit! (Please check individual stores for shipping costs, terms and conditions).

Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group via photopin cc

Sam Lancaster

Sam trained as a fashion journalist and with experience working in magazines and media, she put her career on hold to ‘trail’ the spouse and raise her two boys. After almost a decade living in Asia she now resides in Luxembourg where she has been blogging and freelance writing.

Swedish clothes chain Lindex revealed Wednesday that Oscar-nominee Kate Hudson will be the new face of their S/S collection 2014.

The actress is the daughter of actress Goldie Hawn and musician Bill Hudson, and  has starred in great Hollywood blockbusters such as  How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003) Raising Helen (2004), The Skeleton Key (2005), You, Me and Dupree (2006), Fool’s Gold (2008) and Bride Wars (2009), said that she was attracted to the clothes chain after seeing – and liking – some of their previous campaigns.

“I love companies that are female-centric and are about supporting the everyday woman. That seems  to be Lindex’s focus; they are for everyday women that are fashion forward, making fashionable clothes for the everyday woman,” Hudson said in conjunction with the launch.

Hudson will front the Lindex campaign for three separate collections. The first is a “fresh interpretation of the bohemian trend” with rich, spicy colors and statement pieces in paisley, crafted knitwear and embroideries. The style of the next collection is more urban with relaxed pants, jersey pieces, layers and a subtle sportswear touch.

kate-hudson2

The last collection is “fun and flirty with a strong Japanese inspiration”. Statement pieces are loose kimono jackets with floral prints, fluid blouses, straight, cropped pants and an asymmetric hemline on dresses and skirts.

“I have a feeling that they wanted to bring a sense of energy to the Spring campaign and I definitely bring a lot of energy,” said Hudson.

kate-hudson3

Hudson is not the first Hollywood actress to be the face of Lindex. Last Spring collection was presented by Penelope Cruz and the chain has previously worked with Gwyneth Platrow and Reese Witherspoon. The Spring and Summer 2014 collection is being launched in all Lindex stores, as well as at lindex.com on March 19th.

See what Kate Hudson has to say about working with Lindex

Images: Lindex/Giampaolo Sgura

February 25th marks the beginning of 2014′s Book Sale – that’s right, not book sale, but the Book Sale, a Swedish tradition with which you may not be familiar. Get ready to pull out your wallet and your reading glasses!

The annual Swedish book sale has been around for nearly a century, and despite technological advances is stronger than ever. What started as a single bookstore’s stock-clearing sale in the 1920s has become a regulated and recognized Black Friday of sorts, when prices plummet and bookworms across the country fight for favorite paperbacks.

This year the Book Sale starts on Tuesday, February 25, at 07:00. Online sellers and physical bookshops alike will participate in the sale, and even supermarkets and department stores like Ica Maxi or Åhlens will feature special prices on their book selections.

Some books will be on sale for a couple of days, whereas others will be available at a discount only on Tuesday – or even only for a few hours.  Brand new books may cost as little as 29 SEK!

Feeling in the mood for a good read but can’t be bothered to move? Why not start your search for a bookalicious bargain through the Swedish online shops on YLC’s book shop pages?

But if you want to make like the Stockholmers and not take the easy way out? Get out there and feel the thrill, smell the pages – hit up your local Akademibokhandeln or shop around the corner!

800px-Bokrea-Fluff01

 

Featured Images: Kate Hiscock and Wiki

For six months last year, I blogged as a fictional character. The idea – inspired by Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds – was to create a fictional world that initially appeared authentic, so that people could step right in, interact with the characters, and almost become part of the story themselves. I’ve always been fascinated with that concept: who wouldn’t want to enter a novel they’re reading, ask questions or give a character a few home truths?

When I moved to Stockholm and the story of a lonely expat who gets drawn into a murder mystery began to form in my brain, I knew I’d found my War of the Worlds.

It felt organic: of course Regan would blog daily about her impressions and experiences struggling to settle into her new life. Within weeks, she had built a fantastic, loyal following, who advised and supported her through culture clashes and the language barrier, a rough patch with Anders and her struggles dealing with his apparently cold and reserved friends.
Regan’s early accounts of being an ex pat in Stockholm are extremely autobiographical: one of my friends only clicked that it was fiction when she realized how much of what happened to Regan had happened to me. I love living in Stockholm, and love Swedish people – but my first year or so was definitely a struggle against loneliness, homesickness and frustration.

I remember at times feeling that I couldn’t read people any more – often I would meet someone and diagnose that they had no interest in being friends with me, then later discover that they were just being Swedishly reserved upon first meeting.

For me it was just a case of getting to know and understand a new culture, but, but it was a ripe emotional state to toss a little murder into! When one of Anders’ close friends is murdered and he is arrested, Regan sets out to clear his name – but unable to trust her perception of the people involved, unable to understand what she hears, it’s easier said than done!

Now that the final blog has been posted, the whole project has been put together into an ebook.

Therefore, Friday 21 February, is Life is Swede day! The idea is to gather up all the fantastic support the blog has had over the last few months – and welcome some new friends into the fold – and see if we can get this little project that could onto the Amazon best seller list for a day! (and also for the rest of all time. But you know, one step at a time)

To pull this off, we need to spread the word as much as possible to everybody in the whole world (ideally) to buy Life is Swede on Friday 21 February. Join Regan’s Army and blog, share, re-post, tweet, like, submit, pin with abandon! There’s even a Facebook group you can join and add your friends to if you really want to go wild!

Art nouveau meets gangster grunge? Swedish fashion studio Acne pulls it off in their new collaborative collection with Liberty London. It’s funky fashion fusion that works.

 

Modern Swedish fashion brand Acne is known for their simple, classy pieces (as well as the iconic pink shopping bags which have become a status symbol about town). Liberty London, on the other hand, is established and old. The best of London and the best of Sweden take a dose of Japanese inspiration and create something totally unique – the Acne x Liberty capsule collection, previewing from February 14th.

The collection includes leather jackets, scarves, bags, skirts, denim overalls, and more. Baseball caps have never looked so classy.  Jonny Johansson, creative director at Acne, hand-picked three iconic Liberty prints to use int he collection. Eva is an 1880s Japanese-influenced pattern, Jonny is classic paisley, and Alma’s Bird is an oriental art nouveau hybrid. We love them all.

overalls

“When we started exploring Liberty’s extensive heritage for this project, it almost felt like an overwhelming voyage,” Johansson said of the collection. “We realized we had to come up with a strong contrast in order to make sense of it, so the team and I picked one favorite print each and integrated them with some of our classic leather pieces.”

Does this mean the Stockholm fashion sea of black will be transformed into a plethora of paisley this spring? Doubtful – but we wouldn’t mind. And we might go grab some of those shoes when the collection goes on sale in March.

 

acne

 

 

Ah yes, trying to find the perfect gift for your beloved. It’s never easy, is it?  Well, YLC has you covered with five great ideas sure to please the man in your life on Valentine’s Day.

Men are not always easy to buy gifts for and there really is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to finding the perfect one. We’ve put together a list that may contain the perfect gift idea – or at least provide you with some great inspiration!

 

Edible Kama Sutra Body Paint

We all like to get a bit naughty now and again and this is a gift that will not only keep on giving – it’s also a bit of a gift for you.  Paint each other up and have fun making a mess!

 

I Love You Coffee Cup

 

We’re in Sweden, the country with the highest coffee consumption per capita in the world, so why not get him a coffee cup that tells him how much you love him in a multitude of ways? He’ll think of you every time he takes a sip.

Leather Beer Holster

Some men like their beer and some men like their beer so much they want to carry it with them everywhere.  Not the most romantic gift on earth but the great thing about this one is that his hands will be free … for you.

 

Pack of 3 Golf Balls – Personalised with your Name and a Design

Men and their balls – they really do like them a lot, don’t they?  And they really hate when they lose them.  If you’ve got a die-hard golfer on your hands this may be the perfect gift. He’ll never lose his balls again – and for that he’ll thank you.

 

Drive a Supercar

lambo

Driving a supercar is the dream of many a man – and woman.  Here’s a chance to give your man time behind the wheel of a fast and furious car – such as a Ferrari or a Lamborghini – without actually buying one. And if you’re in to fast cars as well? Call shotgun and enjoy the ride!

 

Do you have some great ideas on Gifts for Him? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Judi Lembke

Judi Lembke is an international editor and writer who, when not shackled to her computer, enjoys reading, cooking and sometimes watching embarrassingly bad reality TV.   Judi also works with communications and thinks coming up with clever ideas is about as much fun as one can have without taking off one’s clothes.

Buying a gift for the woman in your life can be a challenge but YLC has picked out five ideas for you to find that perfect special something for that perfect special someone. 

The list of things to buy your lady love is endless and well-worn: jewellery, chocolates, flowers … been there, done that, right? We thought it more fun to find five gift ideas that may just make your special lady agree to be your Valentine.  

 

Romantic Mini Break 

Gimo-herrgard-love

If you are feeling flush, why not invite someone you hold dear for a weekend of relaxation, gourmet experiences, and romance at Gimo Herrgård, not far from Stockholm?  The Romantic Lifestyle package includes: superior room accommodation, a bottle of Champagne, fruits and chocolate in your room upon arrival, afternoon tea, welcome drink, four course dinner, breakfast to your room and access to the Sjöstugan SPA.

Where: Bruksgatan 14, Gimo

Contact:  0173 88 900

Damage (per person): For the Romantic Lifestyle Weekend 2,295 SEK

For other ideas to whisk your Valentine away, check out YLC’s guide to great weekend getaways!

 

 

Luxurious Afternoon Tea for two 

grand-hotel

Time spent at Stockholm’s Grand Hotel is always time well spent and giving your special lady afternoon tea at the Grand is sure to put a smile on her face.  Grand’s own special blend tea is to die for and the wide variety of cakes and biscuits will tickle her palate delightfully. Throw in a fabulous glass of bubbly and by the time dinner rolls around she’s going to be one very happy woman. Reservations are recommended.

Where: Södra Blasieholmshamnen 8

Contact: 08 679 35 85

Email: cadierbaren@grandhotel.se

Damage: 415- 535 SEK

For more Afternoon Tea delights and more budget options, check out the YLC guide to Stockholm High Teas.

 

Visit to a Japanese Spa

yasuragi-varma-kallor

One of the finest spas Stockholm has on offer, Yasuragi Hasseludden is perfect for a day – or a weekend – of pampered relaxation. With a Japanese theme, Yasuragi offers top of the line spa treatments, an excellent selection of restaurants and a variety of activities, a visit to Yasuragi will make your lady purr with delight – and joining her will make it even more fun.

Where: Hamndalsvägen 6, 132 82 Saltsjö Boo

Contact:  08-747 61 00; Private booking:  08-747 64 00

Email: privat@yasuragi.se

 

Damage: A variety of packages available, both day visits and overnight stays, including a special Valentine’s Day offer from 1,850 SEK.

 

Giant Heart Balloon

What says ‘I love you’ better than a massive floating red heart?  This one comes in well under budget and imagine her face when you walk into a restaurant carrying this one?  Better yet, imagine having it delivered to her desk, where her work will be buried and her face will be beaming. At 3 feet this one is as big as your love.

Damage: 90 SEK

 

Crème Brûlée Torch

Is your other half a keen cook? Does she love whipping up special treats in the kitchen? If so, this might be the perfect gift for her. Crème Brullée is a decadent dessert and you simply cannot get that gorgeous crunchy topping (which, when cracked, reveals the creamy smoothness of the custard) without a good torch. Trust me, I’ve tried!  The torch comes with four heart-shaped ceramic forms, so it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Damage: From 285 SEK

 

What great ideas do you have for Valentine’s Day gifts? Tell us in the comments below!

 

Judi Lembke

Judi Lembke is an experienced editor and writer who, when not shackled to her computer, enjoys reading, cooking and sometimes watching embarrassingly bad reality TV.   Judi also works with communications and thinks coming up with clever ideas is about as much fun as one can have without taking off one’s clothes.