Traveling

Style from Across the Pond

River Island:

Opened in 1948 by English entrepreneur Bernard Lewis and his brothers, River Island is a high street London fashion brand. Originally called Lewis Separates, the family was able to open over 70 stores in the UK by 1965. The name was then changed to Chelsea Girl and offered bold fashion and eccentric colors, making it said to be the first fashion boutique chain in England. In the 1970s, two brothers left the family business, allowing for Bernard and David Lewis to expand the company: Bernard running retail and David covering businesses like hotels. Menswear was launched in 1982 for the company titled Concept Man. In 1988, both Chelsea Girl and Concept Man came together to form River Island. The first store outside of the UK opened in 1993 in Ireland. From there, shops for River Island opened in other countries in the Middle East as well as Singapore, Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia and Poland. The River Island website also ships to over 100 countries globally. The headquarters is in West London. From 2005-2010, the brand sponsored Graduate Fashion Week. They now sponsor London Fashion Week’s FASH/ON FILM Festival. Music star Rihanna also styles her own line called Rihanna for River Island. River Island is still family owned and Bernard to this day travels to many River Island shops, even at the age of eighty-four.

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Credit: River Island

Ozwald Boateng:

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Being of Ghanian descent, this English fashion designer is now known for his clothing collections worldwide. His clothing inspirations came from his interest in his father’s suits and at age fourteen, Boateng found his first job as a suit lining sewer. He studied fashion and design at Southgate College after being introduced to cutting and designing. Covent Garden purchased his first collection. In 1991 he opened his first studio in Portobello Road. His first catwalk presentation happened during Paris Fashion Week in 1994. The following year allowed him to open his first boutique in Savile Row. He was honored at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2005. He co-worked with David Adjaye in 2008 to launch the headquarters store at No. 30 Savile Row. He produced a women’s fragrance in 2003. He now produces two collections a year. He was Givenchy’s Creative Director of Menswear at French Fashion until 2007. Boateng also worked with Coutts and Virgin Atlantic. He has designed for films and television shows including Sex and the City, Ugly Betty, Miami Vice, Oceans 13, The Matrix, and Rush Hour 3. His own documentary was released in 2012 called A Man’s Story. He works with the UK non-profit organization “Made in Africa Foundation.” Celebrities such as Seal and Mick Jagger have wore Boateng’s designs.

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Credit: Ozwald Boateng’s website is coming soon here

Ghost:

Founded in 1984 by Tanya Sarne and Katherine Hamnett, this womenswear London fashion label is well-known for vintage designs. Hamnett is famous for her political activism in fashion. She was awarded the first British Fashion Award in 1984 and was voted Britain’s favorite designer in 1996 by Cosmopolitan magazine. In 2011 she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Acclaimed designers have worked with the Ghost brand such as Nicholas Knightly, who also designed for Louis Vuitton and Suzanne Deeken, who designed for Marc Jacobs. Ghost is known for the use of rayon fabrics. The clothes are easy to maintain, easy to wear, attractive, and vintage. In 2006, the brand became recognized internationally. The brand is to be reinvented and relaunched, announced in 2012, by Lainey Sheridan-Young.

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Credit: Ghost

ASOS:

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ASOS is one of the UK’s biggest online-only fashion shops. They sell over 850 brands including their own clothing and accessories. ASOS sales totaled over seven million dollars in August 2013. Sales include menswear, womenswear, accessories, footwear, and jewelry. They sell to over 237 countries including UK, Australia, the United States, Italy, China, Germany, Spain, and France. ASOS receives over 21 million visitors and over seven million active customers. The headquarters is in Camden Town. Their main center has over three thousand workers. The founders are Nick Robertson and Quentin Grittiths and was established in 2000. ASOS stands for “As Seen on Screen.” In 2011 it became an iPhone and iPad app. The first international office opened in Sydney, Australia in 2012. ASOS links runway model videos along with a fashion blog. The site allows viewers to build and share outfits and also Fashion Finder and Fashion Up apps. They also launched a children’s collection in 2009 called Little ASOS. They publish a monthly magazine in 2007.

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Credit: ASOS

Threads International: Norway

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Norway is one of my favorite places (check out Traveling) and a country I cannot wait to visit. Aurora Mohn, a native born Norwegian and social media/blogging sensation, is what brought my attention to this exceptional country. Norway is the second least densely populated country in Europe. It has a comprehensive social security system along with universal healthcare and free public education. The World Bank and IMF list Norway as fourth-highest country for per capita income. It is the world’s largest producer of natural gas and oil outside of the Middle East. From 2001-2006 and again from 2009-2012, Norway had the Highest Human Development Index ranking in the world. Over the last five years, it has been number one on the Legatum Prosperity Index. For 2013. OECD ranked Norway as fourth for equalized Better Life Index. On the Democracy Index for 2010-2012, it was classified as the most democratic. Norway runs on a parliamentary system of government and is a unitary constitutional monarchy. Norway was the first country in Europe to draft women and men. It is the second wealthiest country in the world. It has one of the highest average hourly wages globally. Norway supports women’s rights, LGBT rights, and minority rights. Norway holds the annual Oslo Freedom Forum conference to promote human rights. Films like Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and The Golden Compass have scenes in Norway. It has a strong folk music tradition along with a large jazz scene, a big culture export of black metal music, and the country enjoy many music festivals throughout the year. Leif Ove Andsnes is a world famous pianists from Norway. Knut Hamsun and Henrik Ibsen are well-known literary figures from Norway. The Urnes Salve Church is a popular tourist visit, also known as a World Heritage Site. The Nidaros Cathedral is another favored place. Edvard Munch, known for his painting The Scream, is from Norway. Cross-country skiing, biathlon, and soccer are the most popular Norwegian sports. There are traditional type of Norwegian clothing called Bunad and Setesdalsbunad.

Moods of Norway:

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Started in 2003 by Stefan Dahlquist, Peder Børresen, and Simen Staalnacke, this Norwegian clothing brand is slowly rising. It was featured in July of 2009 in Cliché Magazine. Their creative and edgy styles sport the slogan “Happy Clothes for Happy People.”  Moods of Norway is the official designer for the 2014 Norwegian Olympic Sports team’s uniforms. Along with stores in Norway, this company has stores in Japan, Iceland, and the United States. The brand produces menswear, womenswear, and accessories.

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Credit: Moods of Norway

Fam Irvoll:

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This creative and energetic Norwegian fashion designer is known for her crazy and eccentric style of clothing for women and children. After studying in Oslo and London, her designs have grown into successful and sought after. Celebrities like Lily Allen, Jessie J, Marina and The Diamonds, Beyonce, Tyra Banks, and Lady Gaga have had Fam Irvoll design clothes for them. She has worked as an assistant for Vivienne Westwood and her first solo show was featured during the 2012 February London Fashion Week.

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Credit: Fam Irvoll

Green Square:

The environment projection is number one for Norwegian clothing company Green Square. Before ordering, commitment from a customer is required. The headquarter is in Norway and it was established in 2007. Natural, organic, and environmental friendly is how the company runs. The brand produces menswear and womenswear.

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Credit: Green Square

Gunhild Nygaard:

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Born in Norway, Gunhild Nygaard was able to become a fashion designer and create her own line. She attended the fashion school in Paris, France called Esmod. She worked for both Givenchy and Christian Dior. Her first solo collection was presented in 2007. The Major of Paris presented her with award Créateur de l’Année in 2009. The clothing are produced in France. They are sold in countries like Canada, Japan, Turkey and Norway.

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Credit: Gunhild

Personal: Top 5 Future Visits

5. Barcelona, Spain:

Barcelona is one of the world’s major global cities. in 2009, the city was ranked as Europe’s fourth best city for business and also the third most successful city. In 1999, the city won the RIBA Royal Gold Medal for architecture. Many of the buildings in Barcelona are World Heritage Sites. Many parks, beaches, and museums have been featured from the city. It is the tenth most visited city in the world. In 2012, according to the Global Language Monitor, Barcelona was named the third most important fashion capital. Sports and transportation are important for the city. Celebrity named like Jose Lopez come from here. With the style and fashion constantly growing and changing. Barcelona is a place to pay attention to.

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4. Amsterdam, Netherlands:

This Dutch city is considered the commercial city as well as the cultural capital of the Netherlands. It is also one of the top financial centers in Europe. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange is the oldest stock exchange in the world. Remarkable features like the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum are home in this grand city. It is one of the best cities in Europe to locate an international business. Also one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, Amsterdam’s red-light district and coffee shops are famous around the globe. Modeling agencies and fashion brands rise from this city. Performing arts, music, and festivals are celebrated here. Amsterdam has been featured in many pop culture trends, like on the television show America’s Next Top Model (cycle 11) and in John Green’s hit book, The Fault in Our Stars. Amsterdam is a beautiful city meant to be visited.

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3. Paris, France:

Said to be the “City of Love” as well as one of the fashion capitals of the world, Paris looks to be an amazing city. From the iconic Eiffel Tower to the Paris metropolitan area, Paris is the fifth largest city in the European Union. It is the third most popular tourist destination, according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. A number of wonderful designers featured on this blog, such as Coco Chanel, Pierre Balmain, and Hubert de Givenchy, have a connection to this great city. Clearly, style runs deep within the streets of Paris; from everyday urban wear to high-end fashion boutiques and top designers. Paris Fashion Week is also incredibly popular, along with the International Fashion Academy Paris. The city has been called  the “international capital of style.” Paris has also been referred to as the “City of Art.” Major artists like Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh are associated with the city. Theatre, museums, the Tour de France, music, and literature are among the awe-inspiring attractions to experience in Paris, France. From business and culture to fashion and the arts, this spectacular city earns a rightful spot on my list of places to see.
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2. London, England:

Magnificent, fantastic, and dazzling, the city of London is one of my favorite places. This UK world cultural capital is the world’s most visited city and has the largest city airport system. The city excels in fashion, art, entertainment, healthcare, and tourism. Over 300 languages are spoken within London. From 1831 to 1925, it held the largest population count. The oldest underground railway network in the world is in London: the London Underground. Countless of breath-taking places are home in London, including Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Tower Bridge. The amazing Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, has been a focus on this site. The label of Cockney has been acquired by London. Places held in the entertainment district, including the Royal Opera House, are traveled to vigorously. London is home to notable people, such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, and Jimmy Choo. A number of literary people and elements, like Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, John Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale, Sherlock Holmes stories, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, and William Shakespeare. Many film settings have been in London, such as Sweeney Todd, Peter Pan, and Mary Poppins. A wide amount of actors call London their home, including Charlie Chaplin, Helen Mirren, and Keira Knightley. BBC Television is a well-known London television production. The remarkable place of London, England, is most definitely on my list of where to visit.

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1. Oslo, Norway:

My personal favorite future place to visit is the stunning city of Oslo, Norway. History of the city can be traced back over one thousand years. It is the most populous city of the country. Being the governmental and economic center of Norway, Oslo makes banking, industry, shipping and trade principal factors of the city. Oslo is also a paramount city of the Council of Europe. ECA International ranked it as the second most expensive city in 2011, then Oslo tied as the fourth most expensive in 2013, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. fDi Magazine also ranked Oslo as number one for quality of life among European cities in 2012. It is the fasting growing major city in Europe. It is known for cultural attractions, several world-famous writers, festivals, buildings, parks, sea-sites, and museums. The Munch Museum contains Edvard Munch’s The Scream. Every year, Oslo gives out a Nobel Peace Prize. It is also home to the Viking Ship Museum. The National Theatre is the largest in Norway. Olso is supposed to be one of the safest cities in Europe. It has the most extensive public transport system in Norway. A tradition of Oslo is sending Christmas trees every year to cities like Washington D.C., New York, and London.  Attractions to see include the Royal Palace, the University of Oslo, the Oslo Cathedral, the National Gallery, and Stortinget, also known as Parliament. Different shopping centers consist of Akersgata, House of Oslo, and Oslo City. Beer is not sold on Sundays and it is illegal to drink in public areas. Oslo restaurants, pubs and bars are smoke-free. Tap water is said to be the cleanest in the world. Oslo is more of a liberal city. This brilliant and extraordinary city is number one on my list of future visits.

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The Extra Mile- Xilitla, Mexico:

Although it is not on my top five list, I definitely would not pass up the opportunity to go to this beautiful place. It in a town in a city called San Luis Potosi. The landscape of the area has helped to keep it from industrialization. Most of the people living in the town are from rural villages. Most of the people speak Spanish along with Huastec. Much missionary activity takes place here and the main crops are coffee and citrus. The area is made up of many caves, rocks, cliffs, caverns, and natural springs. It is one of the most humid areas in Mexico. Las Pozas, also known as “The Pools,” is a garden in a rainforest near Xilitla. It contains natural waterfalls and pools. Creator of the area, English artist Edward James, wanted it to be like the “Garden of Eden.” This absolutely stunning place was brought to my attention from Nicole Scherzinger’s music video for “Try With Me.”

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