For those of you who read GwB quite often, the fact that I am obsessed with Scandinavian culture is no longer a surprise. I feel like I can never get enough of its architecture, design, literature, gastronomy and arts. Their people’s calm, slow-paced and very familiar mood contrasts with their aim of remaining avant-garde, contemporary and cool. And this, of course, affects the way they see, conceive, produce and enjoy fashion.
I got introduced to Scandinavian Fashion while I was still working in PR & Communications in Gran Canaria. Back then I used to enjoy myself pitching Scandinavian Fashion editors and then meeting them afterwards in person during a shooting. Watching how meticulously they used to select the garments for the models showed me not only how much they cared about minimalism, androgyny and simplicity; but also about “consuming local” and “going green”.
The core of Scandinavian Fashion heavily relies on their deep respect for nature, sustainability and ethical production methods without sacrificing quality, design and style. Consumers of this kind of fashion are conscious shoppers, love organic and ecological materials and want to be aware of the origin of what they are buying. A short walk around Stockholm will show all the above, plus Scandinavians’ sense of practicality in fashion. You can almost feel that clothes are made for living and that they will protect you from the climate no matter what.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about Fashion Scandinavia, a huge exhibition that took place during London Fashion Week. Thames & Hudson published the Brand Bible about all the different brands that participated in Fashion Scandinavia (and I strongly recommend you to read it!).
Dorothea Gundtoft, curator of this event, presented her new book Fashion Scandinavia there. The book, published by Thames & Hudson, features interviews with 56 fashion designers from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland in its 256 full-coloured pages.
I was lucky enough as to receive a copy of the book a week after and since then it has become my loyal companion. Besides featuring some of my favourite fashion designers ever (Altewai.Saome, Acne, By Malene Birger, Veronica B. Vallenes, Carin Wester, House of Dagmar, to name a few), it has introduced me to some others that I didn’t know before. After reading Fashion Scandinavia I have the feeling that all these talented designers (well-established or up-and-coming) create fashion based on the same ethic and aesthetic principles.
The book’s interview-structure makes it easier to enjoy since the most relevant information about each designer is all condensed in a few pages. You almost end up believing that is you who has interviewed the designer and he or she is now a good friend of yours. The visuals are simply astounding (and I can’t really say anything negative about the layout because I use very similar fonts in Girl with a Banjo. Go, Futura!).
Fashion Scandinavia is certainly a book to keep forever, placing it over your coffee table for everyone to see, because it is very beautiful. But on top of that, it is a book that makes you think about your choices as a fashion consumer. I personally decide to stick to Dorothea Gundtoft’s suggestion at the end of the book’s introduction: “new designers might be more expensive, but you are buying something unique […] You will feel as if he or she is designing for you exclusively… and that is luxury”.
Credits: Picture by Fashion Designer Anne Sofie Madsen (Photographer Hans Zeuthen). Special thanks to Thames & Hudson Press Office team and Dorothea Gundtoft.