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Scandi style: AW ’13
February 5, 2013
The British have always been intrigued by international cultures- from food and lifestyle, to fashion and style. Paris has always captivated us with its many mysteries and inexplicable grace; the Far East has always represented an entirely alien cultural and spiritual mindset; and New York is arguably the most exciting city on Earth. But in terms of style, Scandinavia has just got it – that ‘je ne sais quoi’. From the inhabitants with enviably great genetics, to the general chicness that is hard to pin down, this culture remains an inspiration to us in many ways.
In the fashion industry the Scandi style is bigger than ever. To gain an insight, ahead of their autumn / winter ’13 shows at Stockholm Fashion Week, we caught up with two brands currently making waves in the UK.
One such brand is Dagmar, founded by three Swedish sisters who’s ultimate inspiration was their grandmother, who was herself was a tailor named Dagmar. The brand’s AW’13 collection was an ode to stylish yet minimal separates in a rich autumnal colour palette, with a particular emphasis on texture – fur, wool, tweed and leather came together in true Scandi style. This minimalism evident in Swedish design comes from a social phenomenon known as the ‘jantelagen’, according to founding sister and Marketing Director Karin Soderlind:
‘That is a Scandinavian “unwritten law”, basically meaning that you should not think too highly of yourself – and rather to keep your head down than chin up.’
This unified way of thinking is reflected in the similarity of many Scandi brands’ design aesthetic, Soderlind claims. In terms of the popularity of this style, she puts it down to Swedes’ high standards:
‘The design has to be on a certain level and of a certain quality, without giving in on the coolness and edge.’
Another Scandinavian brand having great success in Britain is Stylein, founded and designed by Elin Nystrom, who discovered her lust for design upon her move to New York in 2001. For the coming season Stylein updated their signature clean lines by introducing an androgynous twist in the form of boyfriend tailoring which, when fused with feminine cut and fabrics such as suede and lace, made for a chic and simple collection. Nystrom suggests this simplicity is inherently native, and ‘Scandi aesthetics are well known for being wearable, simple and a lot of focus on quality’. With regards to the differences between British and Scandinavian style and design, Nystrom claims that:
‘I have a feeling that the British style in one sense is more fun! We have a colourful print in our SS13 and my UK agent was very pleased to sell this for her market.’
Be sure to keep an eye on Scandinavian fashion design, as countries such as Stockholm and Copenhagen are fast becoming the next big fashion capitals – we can’t wait to see what happens in the future.
words by Jordan Porteous