Brief drama at the airport where Kim lost her boarding ticket (retrievable, unlike other trips where she lost her wallet and my camera) and then we were boarding for Oslo.
Being a trusting type we checked the weather forecast and packed for the cold which meant layers of fur and three pairs of boots. Weather turned out to be brisk at best, crisp sunny skies and no wind. Perfecto. Half our clothes we can probably leave in Oslo.
Meeting we came here for was dispatched quickly then off to explore the shops and see what's happening in Oslo. A LOT of men's and outdoor stores it would seem. They need a Donna Ida here!
Discovered the cutest little cars all parked nose to curb lined up along the street. I've got it in my head recently that we need electric cars for Donna Ida and think these could be the economical, green and decidedly unsexy answer.
Quick straw poll of locals revealed that Alex Sushi is THE place to go for dinner, provided you don't mind paying over the odds (plus a bit more 'cause they saw you coming) and sitting cheek by jowl with strangers. Despite one piece of nori roll containing a hair we didn't order (made a VERY discreet complaint) it was up there with the best sushi I've ever had. Do go - don't let the hair (it was highlighted but too short to be mine; this was discussed at length) put you off.
Back to hotel and several sweaty hours later called reception to announce that hell was surely cooler than our room and could we perhaps move there? Apologetic man arrived with small fan which he positioned at the open window blowing the cold air IN. Seriously.
Like any other self respecting fashionistas we spent the second day in Oslo trawling the shops. Acne is clearly huge in Oslo – we counted three shops, and those are just the ones we happened to be passing, and a few concessions. I was looking for a profile customer that I only found once – a collection of three girls inside a hairdressers discussing shampoo. All were wearing leather or denim five pocket jeans tucked into boots with the obligatory fur gilet and it bag. These women are all over London but were hiding from me in Oslo. I know they’re there because many of them travel to London and shop with us in Draycott Avenue.
Fashion is definitely more relaxed and trends are more difficult to spot. The Norweigans are not slaves to fashion which was a relief in some ways; relaxed and nonchalant they are stylish and elegant without feeling the push. The slightly confusing OnePiece seems to be a separate case though – it’s not ski-wear, you wouldn’t go out in it, it’s too hot to wear at home and baby-chic is surely not an emerging trend. I can’t see this one travelling.
Favourite discovery is the super-cool Hoyer in the Eger Centre on Akersgaten. A rabbit warren of luxury brands you’ll snake your way through denim and contemporary brands, through footwear and a super-cool café where you can take a load off for half an hour and refresh without having to leave all the gorgeousness.
Oslo is definitely a happening place – there is an undercurrent. I think it must just require a return visit.
Read more from Donna's Diary.