We check out the seriously stylish smörgåsbord that is Stockholm Fashion Week
So Stockholm has just seen the return of its biannual fashion week – an event where the Swedes consistently translate a seriously stylish smörgåsbord of cool into a clothing and lifestyle mix – one with the emphasis on practicality, simplicity and an organically appealing aesthetic – much like the Scandi’s themselves.
Alongside the city’s more established designers including Ann-Sofie Back with her experimental BACK label and its multitude of referential aspects, there are the ever- progressive visionaries such as eclectic duo AltewaiSaome and the new generation making a name for themselves with the help of Lady Gaga – rising talent Isabell Yalda Hellysaz created the singer’s futuristic ARTPOP face visor.
We caught up with seven of the designers who presented their SS15 collections to find out more about their inspirations for the season.
ISABELL YALDA HELLYSAZ
Tell us about your key theme for this season’s collection?
‘Lunar Exodus’ – The inspiration of SS15 is staying true to the original ethos of the brand. The strong influences of the ’60s, Space Age and the army uniform are still shaping the collection. The designs are sharp and the mood is modern and futuristic, colour blocking and mixing materials have shaped the collection.
You designed the ‘Antidote Visor’ which Lady Gaga wore for ARTPOP – that must have been a great profile boost for an emerging designer?
Of course! Once a worldwide icon wears your design for a big announcement like that it means a lot. As an emerging designer it does give you a push and opens doors that would take longer to get through.
You’ve said many times that you’re inspired by things that annoy you – so what bothered you so much it inspired this SS15 collection?
This is how it works, BACK, the line I’m designing now is inspired by my previous collections that has been inspired by themes that I find disturbing or social phenomena I don’t understand. Therefore BACK SS15 is inspired by a number of previous seasons, for instance SS06, where I totally ran out of inspiration and pretended I was another designer, someone who was inspired by forms in nature, like seashells and shit like that. I know it’s complicated…
Design-wise, uncomfortable is your comfort zone – do you think it has become easier to translate that vision into something commercial?
I think this is quite normal in fashion these days, look at Miuccia Prada or Christopher Kane and many more – I will not pretend this is ‘unique’.
Tell me about the collection and how it evolved with the singer Elliphant as your muse for SS15?
I was at a dinner with, among other people, singer Elliphant – and she and I got talking about how much we both care for the environment. Elliphant’s stage name is a mix of Ellinor and Elephant, because she cares about the grey animals that are threatened to extermination. We got so inspired that we ended up agreeing on her writing us a song, which we would dedicate the next collection to.
Your silhouettes always embrace the female form, how do you experiment and keep that fresh each season?
I am interested in working with silhouettes and shapes in general and I love to work directly with a fabric and to drape a shape that is both flattering to the female body and that gives an interesting silhouette. Each season I have some ideas that I didn’t have space for or didn’t do enough of in the last collection, that I want to build on and develop for the next one.
What were your key influences for the SS15 collection?
The collection is quite light in its appearance, but with some strong accent colours which create contrasts in the silhouette. The print for this season started out from an idea about the action of tagging, or covering something with something new.
Your experimental vision with shapes, colours and fabrics often produces intriguing results – if you could choose one woman who really reflects your core brand aesthetic and attitude, who would it be?
It would definitely be Tilda Swinton. I’ve always admired her. She is so beautiful and shows such an interesting diversity in the characters in her films. There is a genuine air of confidence around her.
What is the theme behind your SS15 collection?
A big inspiration for the SS15 Women’s collection has been the diversity of styles and people that you find in places like New York for example, a place that is much less standardise compared to Stockholm. The outcome of that is a less tonal look than it has been in previous collections and we are instead combining different materials, colours and patterns to get a more diverse expression. The silhouette is soft and generous shapes in luxurious materials, often with a belted waist. It can also be more fitted with a focus on detailing, like different layers in one item creating interesting shapes and silhouettes.
Your core philosophy of understated and modern chic is a favourite with women globally – what are the essential pieces for our wardrobes this season?
The soft spring coat with generous volume in a light colour is an important piece. Also the slightly flared, on-the-knee skirt that looks great paired with a slim top.
Who or what inspired the SS15 collection?
The collection is inspired by strong and powerful women and it’s a tribute to all their hard work, throughout history, taking us to where we are today.
You’ve also collaborated with Scandi eyewear brand Sun Buddies for this collection – can you tell us more about that partnership?
We’ve designed a pair of exclusive sunglasses for women to enhance and add another layer to the experience of the SS15 collection. Sun Buddies is a new Eyewear brand and the inspiration behind it is drawn from their friends and colleagues in the fashion industry as well as from the art world and pop culture.
What inspired you for SS15?
The collection (4 Moons) is inspired by NASA images of space. Colour and shape plays a big role as well as the random and repeated patterns that can be found in cosmic phenomena. It’s a dark, mystic and elegant collection.
There are always unexpected elements in your designs, what can we look forward to this season?
Yes I like to add a playfulness to each collection. In this one there are a few earrings, necklaces and bracelets that play on words from the space theme. There are also some unidentifiable creatures…!
Words: Kate Lawson