Stockholm Fashion Week, the biannual showcase held in the center of the Swedish capital, shines a light on both local giants and fresh emerging talents. The Spring 2017 season brought plenty of expected sleek minimalism—just look to House of Dagmar and Greta Gram’s characteristically quiet collections—but perhaps more intriguingly, it wasn’t hard to find the outsized or the avant-garde among the week’s offerings. Thanks to this batch of designers, Stockholm may be home to the next great absurdist designs. Here, the standout collections to note.
The Swedish School of Textiles
The opening show of the week was the graduation show for The Swedish School of Textiles. Think young Swedish design means discreet and simple in tone? Think again. There were hints of Jacquemus-style surrealism—see: Ella Josefin Larsson’s cut-out heavy Exquisite Corpse collection, color-crazed, Evelin Kago’s Stephen Sprouse-inspired multi-layered concoctions, and, in a move that made the whole room grin, Julia Ragnarsson’s cheeky offering, Who Are U Wearing?, which featured prints of Angelina Jolie’s slit-to-here 2012 Oscar gown and Jennifer Lopez’s iconic Versace frock printed on minimal silk dresses.
Launched in 2010 by four friends based in Gothenburg, L’Homme Rouge showed for the first time this season. Of their stripped-down, earthily cool aesthetic, brand CEO John-Ruben Holtback said, “We really try to go deep into the concept of each collection. For Fall 2016, the subject was blindness so we did interviews with blind people, it was really interesting to visualize and discuss the abstract perception of the blind. For Spring/Summer (The Garden Group), we went back to look at the green wave and gardening in Sweden in the '70s.” He described the mentality as raw, poetic and playful.
The recipient of this year’s Guldknappen prize (Sweden’s version of a CFDA Award), Nellie Kamras’ STAND is a hyper-minimal, two year-old, all leather line. It has a calmly cool vibe, and the designer says this season is grounded in a strong feminine energy. “Romantic details such as frills, long skirts and asymmetric cuts are contrasted with sporty injections visible in garments such as bomber jackets and parkas,” explained Kamras. “Together these two contrasting elements create the contemporary and edgy look and attitude that is the very fundament of STAND.”
Young Swedish designer Ida Klamborn’s Spring/Summer collection was inspired by porn—or rather, the ways in which women are made subjects in the genre and the methods by which we can reclaim power and perspective. “The collection is quite soft, raw and subtle with terry cloth fabric, pink, red and blue colors, a print of a masturbating woman on a T-shirt and interesting pattern constructions, such as a large star placed right on the crotch/vagina/punani on a pair of jeans,” said Klamborn. “The striking women walking the show have blue glitter around their eyes, smudged out like they slept with make-up on, the hair is wet and almost looks sweaty.” The models in the show were street cast, and the soundtrack's opening lyrics were, "I was good on my own, that’s the way it was.”
Twenty-something designers Mathilda Nilsson and Hanna Rudebeck looked to '90s hip-hop and R&B for inspiration for their first runway show. With mood boards highlighting images of Aaliyah, the collection included loose slung houndstooth-printed skirts and pajama pants, double breasted suit jackets worn sans pants, and outsized shoulders of this past season’s Vetements. The core of Nhorm’s design identity? “Effortlessness,” say Nilsson and Rudebeck.
At Whyred Man, one of the more well-known Stockholm labels, attendants handed out earplugs and cocktails as guests walked in the door. The show was held at a club in Storehof, a complex in the center of the city, and the local all-girls indie band Moon City Boys performed as the models walked. The clothes contained elements of mod style, rock chic, and punk irreverence. “In the end, my inspiration for this season is much like a savage journey to the heart of the American dream in the 1960’s from different artistic points of view,” explained designer Jonas Bladmo.
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