Can Stockholm Fashion Week compare to its Nordic siblings?
Sustainability frontrunners, deadstock installations, VR shows, and humanitarianism. Last week’s edition of fashion week was smaller than before, but also showed a selection of what the futural fashion elements look like.
By OLIVER DAHLE, JOHAN MAGNUSSON & MEGHA PRAKASH
John Jamal Gille, project director of Stockholm Fashion Week, shared that the theme of this edition was humanitarianism. The week also provided a platform for conscious fashion and innovation, such as Placebo’s VR showcase and Sellpy and Styles’ show with only pre-loved garments. ”I think it’s a natural progression of where fashion needs to go. It’s not the most conscious industry, but showing pre-owned garments or VR and digital fashion can help push fashion towards a more conscious place of being,” he told us after one of the shows.
Elin Stampe for Brixtol Textiles
The Stockholm-based contemporary fashion label Brixtol is a pioneer when it comes to using conscious and recycled fabrics. For instance, buttons made of old Finnish surgical instruments. For Stockholm Fashion Week, the Stockholm-based brand teamed up with artist and spatial designer Elin Stampe on an installation or sculpture, called Winding Figure, which was presented at Liljevalchs art hall.
— You can also call it a figure, she told us afterwards. It has this inner body and elongated arms that are expanding out into the room. It’s made of reused fabrics from Brixtol’s production, two different wool fabrics, reused PVC, and a waxed cotton in a brown and a yellow colour. I then sculpted them around these very thin metal sheets to come up with this kind of form. I’m fascinated that they’re reusing so many of their fabrics and, as a former textile artist, the fact that they wanted to highlight the deadstock fabrics made a positive impact on me. I thought it was a really nice idea to use the old fabrics again in this way.
After last week, the plan is to show Winding Figure at Brixtol Textiles’ retailers.
Last year, creative director and CEO Roei Derhi introduced his digital fashion house, Placebo, to the world. During Stockholm Fashion Week, the brand showcased its collection, called Mother of Pearl, by offering guests a Virtual Reality experience in order to view the digitally existing pieces. ”We create digital pieces for everyone, no matter size, age, or gender,” he told us. The brand creates clothing for both the gaming world and anyone who wishes to wear clothing digitally, for example on social media. The Mother of Pearl collection was a metaverse experience, to say the least, and was shown through a VR headset that brought the viewer into an underwater world. In a collaboration with VR Studio Parade Animation, the collection and digital show told the tale of a world-renowned designer, Albert, who meets Placebo creatures underwater. They thereafter collaborate on creating a collection inspired by the colours and creatures found in the sea.
Diemonde x Marche Noir
Contemporary fashion label Diemonde is a conscious forerunner, running its own factory in Sweden for production. During fashion week, founder Angelo Da Silveira and his team presented a special clogs capsule together with Paris-based Marche Noir, crafted from 100% leftover leather sourced from upholstery factories in Sweden. The wooden outsoles are traditionally carved with textured rubber layer, rounded toes, a low heel, and slip-into style. All products will be limited to the availability of leftover leather and made on-demand by a small clog manufacturing company with a farm shop in Småland in the southwest part of Sweden. The collaboration will be launched in Paris during Fashion Week in October.
Swedish School of Textiles
Stockholm Fashion Week also highlighted the new talents with another strong edition of graduates from the leading design school. Hedvig Ljungström explored how discarded baby garments can be upcycled into a womenswear collection using design references from the Elizabethan era. Ebba Hedlund stated that by removing expectations of clothing commitments, clothes can be released and played with freely. So, she examined the relationship between two areas that stand far apart from each other both in terms of time, aesthetic, and functional expectations: winter activewear and upper-class renaissance gowns. Louise Linderoth’s work aims to push the boundaries and reach for the constructional and expressional possibilities in designing for a seated body in active wheelchair use. Additionally to the constructional approach, the designer explained that raising awareness and knowledge about the issues of ableism is a topic of importance in the matter.
For this season, J.Lindeberg returned to its home grounds to present its upcoming FW22 collection. With the new design director, Neil Lewty at the helm, the brand is with this show taking the first step in its new direction. However, all the attributes that make up J. Lindeberg’s foundations — tailoring, leisure, golf, and sportswear — are all part of the collection. Sharp tailoring is combined with sporty elements, technical materials are put together with more luxurious wool. To celebrate the launch, J.Lindeberg threw a party at which one-half of the French DJ-duo, The Blaze, played. The collection is available immediately.
Styles x Sellpy
During Stockholm Fashion Week the fashion-social media application, Styles, and the second-hand platform staged a fashion show in tandem. Styles is an application in which users can share and get inspired by daily outfits. With an interface similar to TikTok, an integrated marketplace platform and gen-Z-infused aesthetics the app has quickly gained a big following. One of the brands that are being sold at Styles is Sellpy. ”Gen-Z in general loves second-hand. When we integrated Sellpy we got such a positive reaction from our community,” says Verona Farrell, Community Manager of Styles.
Styles builds a lot on its community and how the users are contributing to the app. However, many of them aren’t working in the industry. ”The vast majority of our users are super fashionable but don’t get invited to fashion shows. We thought that what if we include the users in this and invite them to fashion week,” says Farrell, who also runs the Instagram account @Secondhandhuns. The show during SFW was based on styles that could be found on the platform. Together with the stylist, Etchell Dorkenoo, the Styles team sourced second-hand garments from Sellpy which then were put together into full looks.
Encouragement for Action
In 2018, Stockholm Fashion District instituted the Engagement for Action award. The award celebrates and encourages sustainable development within the Swedish fashion industry and is handed out in four different categories; Closing the Loop, Fashion Innovation, Fashion Retail Talks and Sustainable Identity. The winners that were awarded this year were, in chronological order; Siptex, Wargön Innovation, Houdini Sportswear and Lars Wallin. ”They have been chosen because they show the way forward in different ways, based on solid knowledge and experience about what is both good for the environment and demanded by consumers,” explains Philip Warkander, Assistant Professor at the Swedish school of textiles and chairman of Encouragement for Action’s ethics council.