It may be in its infancy, but Stockholm Fashion Week is already making its mark on the international fashion circuit. Considering that one of Stockholm’s strengths is its fashion industry, it’s remarkable how young this fashion week is. Although only in existence for a few seasons, the week is commanding respect from the international press and from buyers, and some of the labels showing here certainly make an impact, reminding the world that Scandinavian style is still on the ascent.
While the previous fashion week had been opened by Noomi Rapace, who played Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series of films, for spring/summer 2013 the task was handed to the country’s Princess Victoria before shows commenced in Kungsträdgården and Berns hotel in Berzelii Park.
It’s a man’s world
Androgyny is a prevailing theme this season. At fashion week, designers sought to soften the hard lines we’ve come to associate with Scandinavian design with a welcome fluidity. House of Dagmar showed silk trouser suits in simple block colours and multi-stripe prints alongside easy, relaxed knitwear. With a sun-drenched palette of rosy corals, sky blues and sherbet yellows House of Dagmar’s appeal is clear.
Other names attempting to smooth over the masculine/feminine divide include Whyred and Carin Wester, even if Wester did throw in a few sharper edges. A square blazer in a single and double-breasted style was a standout piece, while cocoon coats and tulip dresses injected glamour where needed. Wester’s focus is very clearly modern and urban. At Whyred, Roland Hjort blurred the lines between traditional masculine and feminine silhouettes via a cohesive collection of slim trouser suits, chunky knitwear and optical prints.
A neutral colour palette of army greens and dove greys underpinned much of Stockholm Fashion Week, reflecting the gritty mood that penetrates the Scandinavian TV dramas which have become so popular in many countries. Thankfully this was frequently lifted with pops of saturated colour: cobalt blue and vivid orange were witnessed at Whyred and also at Altewaisaome, a Swedish duo firmly ensconced in the avant-garde. Altewaisaome’s collection reverberated around wide sculpted shoulders and boxy oversized coats and blazers, all juxtaposed with narrow shorts or asymmetric skirts for a riot of dimension and sculpture.
But it wasn’t all edgy. A refined, feminine note was evident in some collections shown at fashion week. Mayla presented whimsical, floaty shift dresses and summery silk separates in creamy nudes and shades of mint and pastel blue. At Mes Dames, a 1940s silhouette was interspersed with modern, minimalist shapes: gauze cigarette pants, shiny silk skirts and yellow short suits deftly blended past with present. Even Filippa K, an original architect of the sports luxe trend, had a romantic dalliance with floaty silhouettes and soft draping.
On an entirely different note, Fadi el Khoury flew the bespoke flag for Stockholm with a collection entitled L’Air du Temps, inspired by the interior of the Palace of Versailles in France. Against a palette of soft whites and shimmering nudes el Khoury’s delicate silhouette endured; this was a world where ruffled silk peplums encircled waists and tiered iridescent lace gowns shone with glory. With made-to-measure, there is no room for error, and el Khoury, who has worked at Lanvin and Dior, is accomplished. Which all goes to show that while Stockholm might be championing urban cool, its designers can create elegant clothing as adeptly as they can street styles.