Most of us are familiar with the fashion capitals, their creative diversity, personal style and fashion weeks make their celebrity rather self explanatory. But what happens when one searches a previously unexplored fashion territory? During my own fashion excavation of Australia, I found a treasure trove of designers from Zimmerman to Tsubi which had been unknown to me. More recently, after months of intrigue I set about my first digital exploration of Scandinavia and my findings were profound.
I had been relatively oblivious to the fashion power Sweden had to offer. In my ignorance, I was aware of only two very typical Swedish stereotypes; the people are exceptionally beautiful and that Sweden's economic and social government models are envied my many countries the world over. This was until I discovered songstress, Lykke Li, a favourite among the alternative music set; Alexander Skarsgard, the actor who plays Eric Northman, the Viking Vampire on HBO's True Blood and the impossibly chic fashion blogger, Elin Kling. Although it may help, it is not their stereotypical Swedish beauty that has tongues wagging on the international fashion circuit but more importantly their style. Given that music, film, blogging and international fashion form a melange of media platforms; it was only a matter of time before fashion's most prominent players came calling.
Lykee Li will perform at this year's New York Fashion Week on September 15th for DKNY's 2012 Resort Collection. Skarsgard has already graced the cover of GQ, German GQ Style and Details Magazine to name but a few, as well as modeling alongside Lara Stone in an editorial for U.S Vogue in July.
|www.alexskarsgard.net via Vogue Conde Nast|
The first fashion blogger ever to have their own collection for H&M, Elin Kling has a career many would love to emulate and most aspiring fashion journalists envy. A front row favorite the beautiful, 28 year old has had recent features in Elle Norway, Cosmopolitan Russia, Eurowoman and Net-A-Porter's online magazine. The embodiment of her success lies in her own fashion magazine, Style By for which she is the fashion director. With too many strings to her bow to name, it is safe to say that Elin Kling is poised to conquer the international fashion industry.
These style mavericks are not the only fashion talent to emerge from our Northern neighbour in recent years, already familiar with fashion houses Acne, Cheap Monday and Sofie Ann Back, I continued my online quest to uncover more of the country's skilled designers. My journey was anything but fruitless and I was enthralled by the haven of brands I found that call Sweden their home.
House of Dagmar
This young Swedish fashion house was launched in 2005 and has since been accredited numerous awards from Rookie of the Year by the Swedish Fashion Council in 2005 to Best Designer 2008 by ELLE Sweden. Founded by three sisters, the label is named after their muse and grandmother, Dagmar, a tailor herself and constant source of inspiration for the trio. Dagmar is easily distinguished by its impeccably clean tailoring and use of the finest materials. It can be found online at www.asos.com. Indigo and Cloth, South William Street, Dublin also stock a selection of Dagmar pieces.
Founded in 2009 by young designers, Natalia Altewai and Randa Saome, Altewai Saome is a favourite of Swedish fashionistas like Kling. Offering the eclectic mix of Scandinavian simplicity and international high fashion, the brand is renowned for its monochrome colour palette, clean lines and mix of rich fabrics. Having studied and worked for fashion houses in Italy for a number of years, the duo's aim for their own label was to create a chic yet affordable womanswear brand with inspirations for the streets of Paris and Milan.
Known to those who are familiar as the 'indie super label', Whyred takes good tailoring, music and art as it's point of departure. Founded in 1999 by friends Roland Hjort, Lena Patriksson Keller and Jones Clason the label offers consumers a modern experience and constantly tries to exceed expectations with regard to quality and design. 'Clean dressing under difficult circumstance' is the principal philosophy of the Whyred team and as such, the urban environment and urban style is a constant source of inspiration.
Built on the concept of stye rather than fashion trends, Hope's pieces are low key, raw and authentic. The clothing's masculine influence allows for easy movement yet the use of details like asymmetric pocket flaps, hidden closure, contrast fabric patches and stitching of varying thickness allows the clothing to remain fashion forward. Inspiration is drawn from traditional men's workwear and vintage uniforms. Hope prides itself on well fitted garments and a clean yet innovative silhouette.
Hunky Dory was founded in 1996 by Ulrika and Christopher Bjercke. Central to the brand is it's knitwear line which offers consumers an alternative aesthetic to that already available on the high street. The knitwear line has since evolved to encompass a full collection.
The only design house to win the much coveted ELLE Sweden, Designer of the Year Award three times, Rodebjer can be recognized by it's distinct silhouettes in fabrics with an easy weight, feel and drape. Founder and designer, Carin Rodebjer describes what she deems important to her label,
“I respect history and I am sensitive to the future, translating it into both long-lasting style and fashion forward items. I believe in a style that is effortlessly elegant without loosing comfort, allowing women the luxury to get on with life without restriction.”
Competition Time: I am holding a competition on the 30th of September for all followers of My Fashion Odyssey. To enter simply click the follow button on the top right hand side of the page, if your already a follower you are already entered, its as simple as that. Details on prizes to follow shortly!