(wearing a pink frilly blouse from H&M, overalls from BERSHKA and some randomly collected rings)


I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. I am the most untypical Swede in terms of fashion. A friend of mine once told me, “In terms of what you wear, you dress more like a Danish girl than a Swedish one.”

And I do not beg to differ; I’ve never been a minimalist in my sense of style. I’m a macromalist, I believe. Is that a thing? If not, I just made it one. Don’t get me wrong, I do interpret minimalist elements in my style and I do love wearing shades of black…but I always want to find an edge and something unexpected to everything. Minimalism, in my opinion, tends to feel a bit predictable and caged in, at least for me. I have friends who are geniuses in minimalist dressing (like, my best friend Eric ) and what they do is they manage to find the element of surprise in the most minimalistic looks; something I vividly admire, but that I’ve never successfully done, which is why I leave it up to them.

Instead, I embrace macromalism. Colors, shapes, patterns, glitter and sparks ; all the things my eye is usually drawn to on the streets of New York and around in the world, as well. I love going to the gallery openings in Chelsea, for that reason. You always see the most macromalistic people there. In a sea of black there are always one or a few (usually women) who wear patterns and colors in the most inventive manner imagined.


(cont. after jump)


..............

"Sometimes, what we wear can be the biggest, most poignant way to say 'fuck you' to patriarchy and all the forces trying to tell us to subdue, defer and diminish ourselves into the sea of male minimalism"


But, the point is: whether you’re a macromalist or a minimalist, sometimes it’s valuable to step outside of your style and try to analyze why you are what you are. Are you doing it for yourself? Or to fit in with the rest? And, even if you’re a minimalist, and especially as a girl, it might be a good idea to at least try on some macromalistic gear. Because sometimes, what we wear can be the biggest, most poignant way to say ‘fuck you’ to patriarchy and all the forces trying to tell us to subdue, defer and diminish ourselves into the sea of male minimalism.

- A

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When I have visitors here in New York, and they ask me: "So,where do you usually shop?", I always look at them with a bewildered face.

"SHOP!? Me? Are you asking me where I shop?!"

"Yes", they say. "Like your go-to stores for clothes, shoes, beauty etc.!"

And this is when I usually laugh. We have ruined LOL (I mean let's face it, we never actually LOL when we say that we do, if you know what I mean...it's not like I actually laugh out loud when I stand on a crowded subway and comment on my friends' Instagram photos, and neither do you), but, in this case I actually do LOL.

It's their stunning, beautiful fantasy of what living in New York is like (fed constantly by people's Instagram feeds, including my own, and pop culture - I love Sex and the City more than most and I find it to be a brilliant, accurate depiction of female friendship. But Carrie's life as the freelance writer of ONE weekly column is, literally, too good to be true). And I realize that I shatter their fantasy in that moment:

"Oh, I don't...really...shop...that...much."

They still try. And I love them for it.

"What do you mean? Of course you do! You're surrounded by the best stores in the world!"

Yes. Yes I am, and I simply cannot afford them. I shop my apartment every month, and that's a splurge most people elsewhere would, and do, cringe at when they hear how much I spend on its rent every month.


BUT, cutting to the chase: here is my curated guide to THE PLACES I ACTUALLY DO SHOP IN (when I get some extra unexpected cash, or just simply swipe my card without thinking about the consequences):


My GO-TO STORE FOR THAT LOW-KEY-expensive (yet-casual) jumpsuit:


REFORMATION

This is one of the stores that's a bit too high-budget for my usually low-budget when it comes to buying new clothing. But the one I always feel like Carrie Bradshaw ignoring her financial struggles by purchasing another pair of Manolo Blahnic stilettos. This is my version of that, although I usually go for a floral jumpsuit.

Adress: 23 Howard St, New York (SoHo)



MY GO-TO STORE TO SOAK INTO THE ENTIRE LIFESTYLE OF THE WOMAN I ASPIRE TO BE (and, to some extent, hopefully already am) 


CLARE V.

Well, this one speaks for itself doesn't it? Or maybe it doesn't, but I've spoken for it. Clare V. is basically the all-encompassing store to go into if you just want to feel COOL (not like the Gone Girl-version of adjusted cool, but like the real, independent-of-any-man's-approval-cool). If you want to know more about why this store is so awesome, read this CV: REPORT I wrote a few weeks back. Or, you know, just go see it for yourself!

Adress: 239 Elizabeth St. , New York (NoLita)

(they also have a new location in Park Slope, Brooklyn)



mY go-to store for the scented candle that blows (LITERALLY) ANY BUDGET OUT OF THE WINDOW


BYREDO

Honestly though, they have the best candles. They also charge way too much for them. They're also Swedish (apparently we're expensive douche-bags, should be the conclusion?) - they're like the Acne Studios of scented candles. Their brand game is so strong they make you throw out all your logic of "what is this really worth" right out of that minimalistic, high-end window.

Adress: 62 Wooster St, New York (SoHo)


My go-to-store for less expensive candles (& to feel like a luxurious dreamy bohemian) 

ANTHROPOLOGIE

Ever since I moved to New York (four years ago), this has been a dreamy-bohemian escape for me whenever I need to look at pretty interior things and dream of my alternative-life where I actually would afford their entire bedroom-settings and table-settings (and would gladly buy it all for the West Village loft I would share with my equally dreamy, and unrealistic, husband). This is also the place where I actually do buy less-expensive scented candles.

Adress: several locations, but my favorite is the one in Chelsea Market (75 9th ave (on W.15th St.)


My GO-TO STORE FOR THAT LAST-MINUTE DRESS (WE ALL have those days) 

ZARA

Didn't I tell you this was a "hopelessly honest" guide? I do love Zara (like the best of us). Who can knock off looking high-end and cool as casually cool and well-designed as they can, to a better price tag? The answer is: no one. I am also a self-proclaimed (with testaments from fellow friends) expert in finding the things in Zara which are not obviously from Zara, the things go "Is that the Acne Studios jacket?" to, and I always have to reply "No, it's the Zara jacket!" .

Adress: several locations, but I do prefer the downtown Fifth Ave. one (on 5th ave and E.17th St.)


my go-to-store for everything ELSE:

CVS

This is the ultimate store, in my opinion. You think I'm joking? I'm not! There is no store i frequent as much as this one. Why? They have everything. From snacks, to drinks, to food to last minute shit-my-friend's-birthday-is-today-greeting-cards and chocolates (oh they have A LOT of chocolate), to wine (although, admittedly, I'm already too much of a wine snob at 23 to actually have tried their wine, shame on me) TO actual pharmacy products (which is something I rarely buy from there, which is odd as it is a pharmacy).

Adress: basically every corner of New York, to not find one would be the real challenge in this case.


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Jacket: Rodebjer. T-Shirt: Clare V. Bag: Clare V. Pants: FWSS Sunglasses: WOS Boots: Tiger of Sweden


Let’s talk about dressing for work. Or school. Or hanging-out-in-cafés-pretending-that-you’re-working-or-studying (but really you’re just scrolling through Instagram for the billionth time that hour, getting anxious because you should really post something but nothing feels good enough and all you see is the other people your age who have more followers than you do and you freak out because they post A LOT and they always have things to say and they always seem productive. But then again how do you know that they’re not also just pretending to be productive, because to the world you’re ALSO appearing to be super productive all the time…it’s a maze and you’re stuck and now you’re not even scrolling through Instagram, you’re stuck in your own whirlwind of thoughts and “FEELING LIKE A FRAUD”-conspiracies).

BUT, when you are doing all that; when you are “working” (“freelance” is the fanciest word to use if you’re sitting in a café pretending to work or study, just a tip - “Oh so what do you do?”, “I freelance!” . No one ever asks anything if you say that, and if they do they A) don’t know the rules to this game B) if you respond, “oh I’m a writer” or, “I’m a stylist”, they’ll shut up and think you’re cool.), attire is important. And it is one of the things which will ALWAYS make me late every morning.

(more after jump)


People I know say that they pick out what to wear the night before, and I always wonder how they do it. I am also envious that they do, they are clearly better people than I am. I fake-work in cafés so obviously I wouldn't ever be so well-planned-out as to pick out what I wear the night before.

I also sort of like the thrill of picking what to wear the same morning, I never know what mood I will be in or which character I want to be today, the night before, so picking out what to wear then becomes pointless. We’re all different.



"I channeled a 1970s-type working woman for this one: Diane Keaton in Annie Hall (in my wildest style dreams, obviously, but that's where I was heading" 



But a couple of days back, I decided to pick a decently classic look for my breakfast-turned-late-lunch-outing with on of my best friends, Avanti. I channeled a 1970s-type working woman for this one: think Diane Keaton in Annie Hall (in my wildest style dreams, obviously, but that’s where I was heading). Classic but then I had to add some own quirks to it: like the mustard velvet Clare V. sack , and the equally yellow WOS sunglasses. The t-shirt I’m wearing (also from Clare V .) says: “Masculin, Féminin” , and that sort of sums this “work-look” up in one, tempting juxtaposition.


- A

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WEARING:

Optimistic Dress from Topshop

Platform shoes - also from Topshop

'Grand Henri' bag - from Clare V.

Yellow tinted sunglasses - from WOS


Everyone who knows me will also know that I am a severe pessimist. The glass is usually half empty for me - or, as my equally pessimist dad labels himself: "the pessimist of thoughts, the optimist of actions". And I think I'm like that, too. When things really get down to it, I am not the one who sits quietly and waits for the storm to pass me by. In those moments, I get severely pessimistic at first, but then I pull my sleeves up and try to fix the situation - whatever it may be.

But, if action is not called for, I am generally pretty (read: very) pessimistic and gloomy. This should not be confused with me being a boring and/or sad person - because (as you OBVIOUSLY can tell) I am such a delight! ;-)

That's why it becomes VERY interesting (well okay, semi-interesting) when a pessimist like myself makes a very optimistic style choice. Which is what happened a little while back, on a semi-warm (but in the long run, as I was walking around on the Lower East Side and to NoLita, pretty f*cking cold) pre-spring day.



I took notes and here's what I found: 



1. The optimistic dress did not make the pessimist wearing it (aka me) more optimistic: it rather made me a bit grumpy, as it made me cold and I hate being cold.

2. The optimistic dress did make me realize it will make for a beautiful summer-night-dancing-into-the-night-and-spilling-wine-on-it addition to my closet. One can never have too many of such dresses.

3. As much as I understand Topshop's desire to be optimistic and put this on display in mid-February - I also simultaneously wonder how many general-pessimists such as myself fell for this during a sudden, temporary, attack of optimism.

4. I also wonder how many of them actually wore it in February.

5. The yellow-tinted sunglasses (from WOS) I wore with the Optimistic Dress, provides a yellow-tinted Instagram-worhty filter to your entire existence...which made my world suddenly even more unrealistically optimistic for a bit.

6. ...and then I went home, took it off, and pulled my knitted layers of wool back on. As nice as playing The Optimist was for a moment: The Pessimist is here to stay.

- A



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THE CV REPORt: 
A woman and her bags


In January of 2014 I bought my first Clare V. bag: well, at that time it was a Clare Vivier bag. It was in dark blue leather with a long shoulder strap. Not only did it become my first bag in New York, it also somehow marked my transition from a "girl", a Swedish teenage girl who dreamed of moving to New York, to a young woman who actually LIVED in New York.

It sounds silly, but that bag and what it represented became such an important symbol for me at the time, and still remains one today. It wasn't just a bag - it was an aesthetic, a personality, and a lifestyle. That's what always drew me to Clare V. - when you enter one of her stores, it's like coming into the home of that really amazing, effortlessly cool, chic older friend you SO aspire to one day become ,at least half as, cool as. Approachable, down-to-earth but just slightly better than the rest, yet so nice you can't even be jealous or mad.





Now, a few years later, I own a whole collection of Clare V. bags - I work as a brand ambassador for Clare (my wildest 19-year old dreams are fangirling) and her team of mega-awesome-cool-ladies and bags. On Thursday, I hosted an event for Clare, in the same store , on Elizabeth Street, where I bought my very first bag. And it felt like a full-circle moment. It also made me realize that bags, and bags such as the ones Clare make, with a mix of iconic design, material and craft, are an important and significant part of being and becoming a woman. They always have been.



​"A bag gets to see so much. It gets to travel, walk, be smashed along with you on crowded 5 pm-subway trains, be frantically wiped off with napkins after an 11 pm drunken wine glass incident." ​



Handbags have functioned as an armory for older ladies' as well as for young women for centuries. They are iconic, personal and, increasingly so, powerful investments. I always joke that my Clare bags are some of my most loyal friends, but they kinda are. A bag gets to see so much. It gets to travel, walk, be smashed along with you on crowded 5 pm-subway trains, be frantically wiped with napkins after an 11 pm drunken wine glass incident. A bag carries your life and they sort of start to represent you, and the life you live with them.



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Location: Midtown Manhattan rooftop.

What I'm wearing:

Dungarees from Topshop.

White top with Astrid Lindgren print (female Swedish writer and female icon, the mastermind behind our favorite resilient, resisting girl, Pippi Longstocking!) print from T-Shirt Store

Shoes, also from Topshop.


Inspiration behind this style: female persistence, resistance and rebellion. Yesterday, today and tomorrow. And the stubborn, obstinate, GIRLY power of Pippi Longstocking.


International Women's Day - March 8 1994 


23 years ago today, on International Women’s Day , March 8 1994, I came into this world. So, when I say “I was born a feminist”, I actually mean it in the literal sense. Because, let’s face it, even if you weren’t a self-proclaimed feminist such as myself, you sort of by default would HAVE to become one if you were born on this day. Or, if you’re a misogynist (god forbid), each birthday would would serve as a cruel reminder that you, in fact, are one. Like, imagine being a misogynist born today: wouldn't it just be the cruelest, most fair, irony?! So, if there ARE in fact those out there, I am willing to bet whatever God exists - is a SHE. I’ve anyway always believed that.


So, why do i wear white for my birthday? 
  1. Because it’s one of the main feminist colors of all time
  2. The suffragettes wore white: it was their official dress-color of resistance. And ever since, rebellious women of all parts of the women’s movement have picked this color as a symbol of rebellion and persistence. Hillary Clinton wore white when she accepted her Presidential Nomination, she also wore white on Election Day (as did many other women in support of HER and the chance to vote for the First Female President - side note: fuck life, world, why is she not President?!).

    And, most recently, Democratic women in Congress wore white to the first Congress get-together under this new (read: white, male, misogynistic) administration; in honor of the Suffragettes and Women’s History Month - and, also as sort of an intended and un-intended protest to the men in charge of this country right now.

    (more after jump)


    2. Because it sort of fucks with the whole origins of its meaning:

White traditionally symbolizes “purity, innocence” - it’s been synonymous with the Virgin Mary and a woman's supposed, forced-upon, “innocence and virginity”. The fact that it’s become one of the most significant colors of women’s resistance, persistence and rebellion against misogyny and patriarchy, is absolutely glorious.


… so even though white might be the most inappropriate color to wear on one’s BIRTHDAY (hey, birthday cakes, confetti, champagne: it’s doomed to be spilled upon) I will wear white from top to toe on this day. My birthday. Every woman’s day.

- A

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"If you can girl talk, you can run the world" 


Location: The Butcher's Daughter (West Village)

Drinking: Sauvignon Blanc

Eating: Assorted Cheese Plate

Style: "army girl biker-chic"

Let's talk about: the power of girl talk



Like most so-called female/girly things - “girl talk” has always been endlessly stereotyped, mocked and ridiculed ; in everything from movies and tv shows to , let’s call it, “locker room talk” - girl talk is usually synonymous with a lot “oh my godddds” , shoe sales, and “starbucks white mocha lattes”, overanalyzing text messages and “did you see what Gigi Hadid just posted?!”


And yes - we do talk about all those things, at least some of us do. Some of us may be more into a sale on Diptyque candles (me!) or analyzing why the hell the guys we date have never learned to take responsibility for their actions (or non-actions). We also talk about when the next protest will be and how powerful it was that all the Democratic women in Congress wore white the other week (fashion and politics = power!).



"And there in lies the power of GIRL TALK.  It is shameless, unembarrassed, loud and unapologetic.  With all my best girlfriends, there is no shame or pretense." 



And there in lies the power of Girl Talk. It is shameless, unembarrassed, loud and unapologetic. With all my best girlfriends, there is no shame or pretense: no matter if we are taking 100 pictures of the food before eating it, a Boomerang video for the third time (“No my hair flip in the first one was perfect but the angle in the second one was better, can you combine those?!”), or if we are clocking in the perfect time to send a text message to someone we like (“6 sharp is like …too on point, seems like you've waited for it. 6.12 is better, more spontaneous.”). There is always laughter and sometimes even the slight “oh god why are we such a cliché”-moments, but never shame or diminishment of any problem - big or small. We treat each other and every dilemma with to our full attention and respect, and that is the power of girl talk.






THIS WEEK'S GIRL TALK LINE (scroll down)



My entire life right now is Tinder and protesting, that’s literally all I do: I go to protests and then I go on Tinder. Because as much as I hate men, I also desperately want one.

- anonymous BFF


Girl talk has made me the the writer, the student, the world observer and the master analyzer I am. It is by far a bigger contribution to all my English essay A:s than any grammar or linguistic class I’ve ever been in. Because it's taught me to treat each issue or person with the same attention and serious-ness, and that things aren’t always what they seem at first glance (also, things are NEVER what they first seem after 1-hour of girl talk and a few glasses of wine).

More importantly, girl talk has taught me the importance of empathy - and how, when you apply empathy in anything from a text message to a political movement, you can achieve and understand things and people in a way you never could have done otherwise.

That is the power of girl talk. And that’s why I have the radical thought that women and girls are better politicians, legislators, law makers than men. Because, if you can girl talk - you can run the world.

- A


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"She approaches the art of dressing as, yes, an art: and feels strongly that fashion should be considered as much of an art form as painting or sculpture."

I came into fashion late. And maybe a bit unexpectedly. Unlike a lot of people I know who have been avid followers of fashion since way before they could walk in ANY type of fancy shoes, I was never into it growing up. Or well, at least not my notion of what fashion was. I was always into dressing up; in my mom's ultra-oversized clothing, in a parade of odd princess masquerade dresses mixed with boy's sneakers and jeans (much more comfortable than anything you could find in the girl department of clothing stores) and a mix-match of prints and shapes and forms. I've always had a vivid imagination and I always felt I had too many personas contained in my own body and mind: fashion became a way for me to express that.

Through dressing myself I realized I could actually BECOME myself and all of those layers of personalties that I hold inside of me; and depending on my mood, the occasion, or my whereabouts, I can put on something which will entirely form or change someone's perception of who I am. That's power to me, that's art to me.



​​"Style to me is art and power combined. And fashion has shaped women's lives in powerful ways throughout history." ​​



And dare I say, fashion might even reach deeper and higher than other art forms can. Because we do this every day. We get dressed every morning and somehow you MAKE that decision of who you want to be and who you want others to perceive you as that day, depending on what you put on. To ignore or deny that is to ignore our entire infrastructure of perception, of character.

Style to me is art and power combined. And fashion has shaped women's lives in powerful ways throughout history. It's been a very influencing contributing factor to the women's movement. From Coco Chanel's pants to Hillary Clinton's pantsuits, fashion has always been on the forefront of rebellion and the journey to the radical notion that, yes, women are human beings and women's history IS human history.


- A


Read more about my thoughts on feminism in my FEMINIST MANIFESTO

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"She writes about fashion and feminism and how she thinks those two are absolutely interwoven" 

I have always been a feminist. In all honesty, I don't think I had another choice but to become one. You see, I was born on March 8 in 1994. The year isn't significant, but the date is - International Women's Day. I wasn't even supposed to be born on this day, in fact I arrived three weeks late, something that delighted my fierce feminist mother immensely.

I don't know if it was my mom's (not so) low-key feminist upbringing of me, or the fact that I just happened to be born on this day, but for as long as I can remember women and a woman's place in the world have been what I've always cared for and fought for most passionately in whatever way possible at the time: like telling my elementary school teacher about the 8-year-old boys in my class who were shouting "show your boobs!" to me and my girlfriends on the playground, which simultaneously became my first encounter with sexism and the "boys will be boys"-excuse men and women use to dismiss it (my female teacher told me, "oh those boys are the nicest boys in school, they would never do such a thing!").

Or never shrugging off or giggling when the boys in my 9th grade class told me that "women really do belong in the kitchen". They did this to tease me because they KNEW I would get pissed, and they were right. They kept on doing it, and I kept on being pissed - to which they said, "Amanda relax, why do you take everything so seriously?". Because I am serious and these things matter too much, they always have, and they always will.



"That's why I will march until my legs hurt and until men's feet bleed by walking on slivers from a glass ceiling they never thought would shatter - but someday it will." 



That's why I was fighting, along with so many, to get the first female president elected in the United States. That's why November 9th 2016 was one of the worst days in my life. That's why am more serious, loud and proud than I ever have been to call myself feminist and to fight for women and girls and our place in the world, in the senate, our place at the table. That's why I will march until my legs hurt and until men's feet bleed by walking on slivers from a glass ceiling they never thought would shatter - but someday it will.



"Fashion has the power to shape and empower us women to get up and out and feel powerful, capable and significant in a world which so often tries to do everything to pull us down and diminish us."



And that's why I work in fashion. Thats why all those "Amanda you're so smart, why are you spending your life in fashion?" will just confirm my decision to do so. Fashion is an industry made mainly for women, by women, with women and that's why it's constantly being dismissed as "superficial and shallow". That's what happens to all so-called "female interests". But fashion has the power to shape and empower us women to get up and out and feel powerful, capable and significant in a world which so often tries to do everything to pull us down and diminish us. That's why fashion and feminism have turned out to be the perfect combo for me. And when the two work together, I believe they can be one of the most powerful walks of life one could choose.


- A


Read more about my thoughts on style and fashion in my STYLE MANIFESTO. 

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