As the Scandinavian aesthetic continues to be emulated and exalted across Europe, Fashion Week Stockholm is becoming an ever-more important fixture on the fashion calendar. Certain trends recur each season: colour palettes are generally muted, with black, grey and white dominating, layering generally features, and minimalism reigns. The spring/summer 2015 collections presented in Stockholm incorporated all of these characteristics but also offered a rich array of fresh ideas, from clashing textures and feminine, emphasised waists to grunge-inspired references.
1. The grunge revival
The 1990s resurgence stormed onto the catwalks of designers at every end of the style spectrum, from Cheap Monday to Ida Klamborn. Checked lumberjack shirts were worn loosely or tied low-slung around waists, denim came distressed and acid washed, and apron-style skirts were layered over slim-fit trousers. The combination of skirts worn over trousers was a recurring theme throughout Fashion Week Stockholm, ranging from pleated A-line styles teamed with skinny leather trousers at House of Dagmar to loose tunics layered over wide-legged trousers at Carin Wester.
Skirts worn with trousers weren’t the only unusual pairing showcased. Texture was used in place of embellishment to add interest to otherwise sleek silhouettes and designers were not afraid to clash: Ann-Sofie Back’s diffusion line BACK featured oversized shaggy coats with dense fringing thrown over soft, close-cut dresses and paired with asymmetric wrap skirts in matte leather with sleek cotton tank tops; meanwhile Carin Wester’s distressed knitted sweaters were teamed with floaty chiffon mid-length skirts.
3. Colour pop
This was a fashion week with a rebellious streak and many designers took the opportunity to mix up typically subtle Scandinavian palettes with a splash of colour. The cool white and taupe tones that dominated Filippa K’s collection were combined with puffs of powder pink while shades of grey were spiced up with zesty citrus accents. Whyred’s spring/summer 2015 range also incorporated block colours: taking inspiration from German collage-artist Kurt Schwitters, accents of colour appeared across the outfits, from metallic fabrics used on collars and cuffs to flashes of pillar-box red and navy on jacket panels.
4. All about the waist
Despite this modern approach to colour, many of the looks presented on the catwalks of Fashion Week Stockholm had a surprisingly traditional and feminine feel. A defined waist featured in almost every collection, from the classic styles of Carin Wester to the more alternative offerings by up-and-coming duo AltewaiSaome. Wester’s belted trenches and buckled jumpsuits provided a sleek take on the trend while AltewaiSaome’s range featured low-slung side ties on silk dresses and wrap-around tops, and coats in beige and grey gained their colour from red and rich mahogany belts.
5. New talent
Designer Ida Klamborn closed the week with a show that reflected almost all of the event’s main trends. Her monochrome palette was infused with khaki green, neon pink and orange; soft, translucent fabrics were paired with heavy sequins, and waists were emphasised with cropped tops and crossover detailing. ‘In my work, I always aim to find a balance between colour, shape and material,’ Klamborn explained. ‘For spring/summer 2015, I continued to work with elongated and floating silhouettes in materials such as neoprene, silk and denim.’
6. Precise print
Klamborn was also one of the very few designers at Fashion Week Stockholm to incorporate print into her collection, seen in full skirts that hit just above the knee, on textured ruffles on light sweatshirts and on the base of voluminous tunics worn over trousers. ‘I have created a very specific print based on a spray-painted lily in orange and pink,’ says Klamborn. ‘The idea behind the print came up as I noticed how people in Stockholm used flowers to cover xenophobic signs painted on official buildings in the city. The painted flowers symbolise a way to take action and show opposition by creating something beautiful.’
7. Scandi signatures
Along with the streak of rebellion, almost every collection presented at Fashion Week Stockholm displayed traits that the fashion community has come to regard as Scandinavian signatures. Fillipa K presented pieces that were cut close to the body, using drapes and pleats to add texture, while Carin Wester looked to the Far East with her contemporary, minimalist collection which was filled with simple lines and light structuring.
By retaining elements of a proven winning formula, Swedish designers gave themselves the perfect blank canvas for a spot of experimentation at Fashion Week Stockholm, resulting in one of the most engaging events on the European fashion calendar. Classic Swedish style remains at the heart of every collection but designers are becoming more willing to mix these traditional elements with more daring touches. And with results like these, it’s well worth the risk.