Acne Postcard

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 >> It's hard NOT to have a positive relationship with Acne.  They annoyingly don't get many things wrong.  Lovely collections with lovely pieces that get worn until they start to shrivel up.  Lovely stores.  Lovely magazine.  Lovely shows.  Lovely events.  Lovely people.  You get the idea.  

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Therefore, it didn't take much to say YAY to participating in the joint Acne and Browns Postcard project that presents little city recommendations from bloggers accompanied by pretty pics of us wearing the new Acne pre-fall collection.  I naturally did London, along with Hanneli for New York, Elin Kling for Stockholm and Romy Frydman for Sydney.  I fuffed up the pretty picture bit namely because I cheated and didn't take my pictures in London.  Pressed for time, I had to bundle the clothes to Stockholm and do it there.  Oh well… it err… makes sense… you know, Acne's based in Stockholm and all…

I always find giving recommendations about London relevant only for about one week at a time when in another week, I'll probably give a different set of answers.  I still feel the same way about my restaurant recommendation of Spuntino though.  Fives words.  Beef and Bone Marrow Sliders.

There was a little shindig at Browns last week to usher in the new collection.  That's where I sneaked away a copy of Acne Paper to coo over on the weekend.  My mug was once again in the window.  I'm thinking Browns must be sick of seeing my name in their Shop24 window after the last Club Monaco onslaught. 

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Here's one for the cheesy couples shot album… 

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Here are a few more shots of me pilfering some Acne pre-fall, taken in L*O*N*D*O*N *nudge nudge wink wink*

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(Acne Freda stripe jacket, Acne twisted wool jumper, Acne silk dotted shorts, Acne Romantic strip skirt)

Townhouse Returns

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Jacques Townhouse, which I enjoyed last year more than I thought I would, returns as the summer's answer to staycationing with a wee amount of alcohol pimping at the side and this time it's heading up to Liverpool as well.  Right now, the London townhouse at the beautiful Chandos House is in full swing with people Facebooking like crazy for tickets, reservations and the thumbs up to this interesting concept from a cider company.

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Those clev-uh marketing types have also got their blogger-pleasing patter down to a fine art of course and gave us all a preview that would have had me in a photo frenzy were it not for the fact that I had two minutes to whiz through the house.  Even then I was accompanied by a dapper gent of a staff who offered his arm as an assist and helpfully pointed out at every given opportunity that I could feel free to take pictures.  I find it quite frightening how attuned the whole set-up is to the whims and fancies of fashion bloggers.  We apparently all love a quirky prop or two, a rail of vintage/high street clothing (this time supplied by Rokit and River Island) to play around with, hats, shoes and wigs as high-octane clothing props and a profesional photographer on hand who will quickly upload the pictures (speed is of the essence people!).  All the better to get a few images that give readers an impression of what fun and games we're getting up to as bloggers.  

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I think about Topshop pioneering this idea of inviting bloggers for a dress-up session back in 2009 and now countless brands and retail stores have run away with it.  It hasn't escaped the people Jacques and of course the beauty of the townhouse is that it can be enjoyed by an audience wider than bloggers (well, if you're 18 or over…) and is more of a public engaging event.  Still, as I whazzed my way through the consistently beautifully decorated house (lots of those Tim Walker-isms lingering on from last year…) that came fully loaded with a hair and make-up salon, a manicurist, a back massager, a group of chirpy stylists on hand to give us all feel-good vibes as well as role-playing staff who were eager to call me Madame and play the charming hotelier, I couldn't escape some of the personal fashion bloggerisms that have become the tricks of the marketer's trade.  No bad thing of course.  Just a pondering over how far things have come that an actor/waiter at townhouse sponsored by a drinks company would be so considerate as to think about DSLR-snapping opportunities at every instance.

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I had to succumb at SOME point even if I did only have two minutes to whizz around the place…

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Sobering Up

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>> Bear with me as I go through this confuzzling period of talking mostly about A/W 11-12 collection but also bringing S/S 12 into the fold as some of the international fashion weeks (Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam etc) are unfolding.  Sober Studio is a fairly new label based in Amsterdam that has just presented its S/S 12 collection, its third overall.  It makes no bones about its name which draws attention to its Dutch origins and a Calvanistic spirit.  I can see alarm bells ringing off.  No, this isn't attire for church-going, all wrapped up in sobriety.  

Cleanliness is next to godliness and in the case of this collection, the collection is about as clean as they come.  Lines blocking off colours in shirts and jackets and a general treatment of separates that means there are no frills or excess to be found.  Where Sober slightly contradicted with its namesake was to look to a 1950s ice cream parlour for inspiration for the colour palette.  I welcome that with open arms of course as an outfit resembling a neopolitan ice cream sandwich will always be requisite in any summer no matter what hot trends are floating around.  Especially when you have a background of beach huts to accompany you.  Sober may have unravelled their philosophy somewhat with these ice cream shades but the effect is still a calm of oasis and fulfils its brand mission to be functional as well as representing quality and style.  

They throw out buzz words in their brand statement such as "modern luxury" and "timeless" and "refinement" – the go to adjectives for making us nod our heads in approval.  I think having a "clear concept, good quality and an attractive price" is a more attractive proposition and there's no denying there is a direct comparison to be made to another brand COS, which also fits that description.  WIth no e-store yet and only a few stockists in the Netherlands, I haven't quite pin pointed where Sober sits at price-wise.  There's a lot to be said about trying to get as much bang for your buck out of mid-range priced pieces so I'm ready to be Sober-ed up anytime.  

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**EDIT** The prices range between EUR120 and EUR430 – alright a little bit above COS-ish.  More in line with Acne pricing.  The proof is in the touching though for quality so hopefully I'll be able to check it out in person soon.