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COVER Photo: Isabel Watson King Models: Silje/Heartbreak Cred: Polo sweater from Sandwich, vest from H&M, pants from Mauro Grifoni. Publisher Oslo Fashion Week AS p.b. 1064 Sentrum 0104 Oslo www.oslofashionweek.com Editor in Chief Tone Skårdal Tobiasson Guest Editor Kaja Gilje Sekse Assistant Editor Annikken Vear Art Director Annikken Vear Print Zoom Grafisk AS No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted in any form or by anymeans without the Publisher’s written permission.
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Photo: Simen Øvergaard/Ingrid Gilje Sekse
I – for one – believe we have a lot to learn from those Brits. For some reason they’ve got it down pat. Let me explain: I have a picture in my head of the most iconic British brands. Paul Smith, Burberry Prorsum, Mulberry and Vivienne Westwood, but certainly also Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney. So what unites these fashion brands? Well, the first four combine tradition and electisism (not a word, I just made it up); the two latter have fine-tuned design to the tune (sic) of being a part of the fashion-world as big-time players. And let us not forget Hussein Chalayan: The man who played with the Burberry-iconic plaid and took it to the next fashion-level. So what can Norwegian designers learn from the UK? That is the theme of this issue – the last time we did a theme issue – we did New York. The US is a very different market from the UK, even though the language seems fairly similar. (I am not going to quibble about those Brits’ tendency to misuse double consonants…) I actually think the Brits and the Norwegians have a lot of unexplored territory in common. We have the same sense of quirky humor. We are basically farmers, pretending to be urban and cool. And we love wool. And we actually have an eco-attitude in common. One thing is that we will be collaborating with HRH the Prince of Wales campaign for wool this fall, alongside most of the iconic British labels mentioned above – trying to ensure that a perfectly good local raw material gets used rather than scrapped (which sadly is what the case in large parts of Europe and also with a lot of wool in Norway). But we have a rather exclusive interview in this issue with former film-producer Livia Firth. You may know her better as the wife of actor Colin Firth, but she is carving her own eco-design niche. Since the theme was London, and the British world of fashion, it dawned on us that someone who had taken on a green carpet challenge (good catch phrase!), had worn Norwegian design and knows what blows could be a super object of scrutiny. The fact that Livia is actually not a Brit, but sees the whole scene from the outside, is actually an added benefit. But that is not my point right now. My point is that the iconic British companies – with their take on tradition – or rather with their take on reinventing tradition – have found the holy grail (back to our sense of humor!). What the Brits were able to, which we have not managed, is to do a “take” on our DNA and capitalize on it. We’ve been stuck in the woods, not seeing the treetops, the possibilities, because we’re so focused on the ground. Back in the “good old days” I received a fax from Sir Paul Smith. He thanked me for publishing a story in the magazine I worked for back then. He was and is a gentleman in the best meaning of the word. But his, and the other British iconic brands have had one approach that has made them winners: Quality and eclectic tradition. I have always said Norway should exploit those same elements. And if one looks up and beyond those tree-tops, the timing has never been better.
London is a full on, non-stop kind of city. It has a work hard/play hard culture, where you don’t leave until the work is done – especially if you work in the fashion industry. And when your work is done, you go for a beer rather than go home. With London under the microscope for this issue of OFW magazine, there were plenty of talented Norwegians that were willing to share stories of their time in the city with us. Although the ones we spoke to have all gone down different strands of fashion – be it the luxury market, print design, textile recycling, accessories, or knitwear – they had several common denominators that seem to personify the way in which Londoners live their lives. Firstly, they all (including yours truly) started off as interns, working for established designers such as Alexander McQueen, Matthew Williamson, Osman, and Meadham Kirchhoff. As Kristel Erga, one of the design students I spoke to, so poignantly said; you may study your craft for years, but in London you have to start at the bottom. And all those nights working unpaid in the cold corner of a fashion studio has just made them all the more motivated to make it. And judging by the people we’ve met, London is the place to be if you don’t mind shedding some blood, sweat and tears to get to the top. Another thing they have in common, whether they are successful designers with years of experience, such as Kristian Aadnevik and Marion Muhonen Nilsen of Modalu, or eager students still carving out a career for themselves, is that they all feel that London welcomes everyone. It’s the creative hub of Europe where everyone is free to experiment. Sometimes it’s even a case of the crazier, the better. They also don’t seem to want to leave, at least not in the near future. Could it be that it’s a slightly addictive city? As someone who has just re-located from London to Norway, I can definitely say that there’s an empty space in me that no amount of brown cheese or fresh mountain air will be able to fill. Meeting these designers living out their dreams in London made me feel like they should be known to more people. Because what’s more inspiring than reading about your fellow countrymen succeeding in such a cutthroat industry? For me, it’s the perfect way to end a six year addiction to the city I’m hooked on, by telling these stories and to hopefully induce some inspiration in people at the same time.
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BREAKING INTO AN INDUSTRY AS FICKLE AS THE LUXURY MARKET IS NO MEAN FEAT FOR ANY DESIGNER. BUT KRISTIAN AADNEVIK ROSE TO THE CHALLENGE AND HAS BECOME ONE OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN NORWEGIAN FASHION, ALL FROM HIS DARK LONDON STUDIO. By: Kaja Gilje Sekse
Photo: Amelia Karlsen
As we arrive at his West London studio, in what seems to be one of the more creative areas of Chelsea, we’re welcomed in to a true rock’n’roll fashion studio. The walls are adorned with images of his latest collection, which is aptly titled ”Black Metal”. Black leather sofas and the rock music that is banging out from the speakers add to the feeling that seems to permeate Kristian and his brand: rock’n’roll glamour. There are books everywhere, and their titles reveal where Kristian find his inspiration: “Wilderness”, “Punk”, and “Best Wild Places” are stacked amongs Jeff Koons and coffee table books about Africa. It’s early in the morning, but Kristian is in a good mood, making coffee and discussing music with the photography team. Kristian Aadnevik has made a career for himself in a way that many fashion designers could only dream of, training under top name designers and being chosen as Donatella Versace’s protégé (a label that hasn’t escaped Kristian to this day, though he doesn’t seem to mind). But let’s go back to when it all started. Kristian learned how to use the sewing machine at the tender age of six. Not knowing that you could actually pursue a life as a fashion designer, he started studying for a degree in psychology. But that career path didn’t last very long, as he soon changed his mind when he realised that he could make a career out of his biggest interest; clothing.
After studying for one year to be a tailor in his hometown Bergen, Kristian moved on to London, the city where he thought he’d get the best education and opportunities for a career in fashion. ”I was very ambitious, and I wanted to attend the best university,” he says of his move to the fashion capital. And indeed, after completing an MA Fashion Womenswear at the Royal College of Art, he found himself with lots of opportunities, choosing to grab the one that let him work for Alexander McQueen. Learning from such an established designer was according to Kristian an exciting time for him, and not least an important part of his development as a designer. The same can be said for his time working with Donatella Versace, having had the unique opportunity to design a collection with Donatella as a mentor in 2007. Racking up the experience from world class designers, including work for labels such a Roberto Cavalli, Charles Jourdan and Harrods International, meant that Kristian was well equipped when he decided to start his namesake label in 2004. The decision to go solo would turn out to be a welcome change for him. ”There’s a big difference between working for others and working for yourself. I learned a lot from working at other fashion houses, but you go through many processes and work in a big team, which can often lead to ideas getting watered down along the
way,” he explains. ”It can be challenging having to work with an owner, a sales team, and another designer. In that situation it’s not enough just to believe in yourself, you also need to please your employer.” Does he prefer working on his own then? He pauses and thinks for a while before answering, choosing his words carefully. ”Being in control and being able to fully develop your own ideas and concepts is a big change. It’s more inspiring to do my own thing, and it comes very naturally to me,” he says, diplomatically. In running his label, Kristian puts a lot of effort in holding on to the creative part of the process without becoming too absorbed in the commercial side. However, he can’t deny the importance of having to create a product that ultimately will sell in the shops. ”I try to find a good balance between creativity and running the business. It’s important to me not to get too caught up in sales figures and keep working on original ideas,” he says. ”But, of course, I do want people to be able to wear my clothes, so creativity in itself is not enough. Creating something that people will wear is a challenge, but that is the ultimate goal. A few ideas are definitely a purely artistic expression though.” Kristian is one of the few Norwegian designers with a label that competes in the luxury market on an international level. According to
According to Kristian, the woman who wears his clothes can be defined by their personality, rather than age.
himself, the women who wear his clothes know how to appreciate this luxury. She dresses for herself rather than for others, he says. A modern, artistic woman. ”The women who like my clothes will find them, if you know what I mean.” Indeed, the woman who wears his label sounds like she might be the typical reader of magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Elle - the magazines that feature his designs on a regular basis. So it might come as a surprise to some that one of the most famous women in the UK who has worn Kristian Aadnevik, is none other than singer and former X-factor judge Cheryl Cole. Kristian has worked with her several times in the last few years, and gets many requests after she’s worn his dresses on the popular TV show. Some might think it’s an odd collaboration, but those who know the British market will know that few others have the same impact on British girls’ shopping habits as
Cheryl (certain pieces she wore on the X-factor would sell out the next few days). He’s also dressed the likes of Rihanna, Britney Spears, and it-girl Daisy Lowe, and gladly admits that in this celebrity driven society, the outcome is worth it. ”Obviously it’s considered cooler to be in Vogue than to dress Cheryl Cole, but having her wear our clothes has a much bigger effect on the market than being in Vogue,” says Kristian. ”She has a great market value and that helps build our brand.” Not wanting to name any specific names, Kristian admits that he likes dressing up-and-coming people that have a ”current” look. ”We’re always looking for talents,” he says. ”Fashion is all about creating something new, so dressing new artists and actresses is always fun.” “Black Metal”, his AW 11-12 collection, was the latest collection that Kristian showed on the catwalk during London Fashion Week earlier this year. It is inspired by, well, black metal, a music
genre where Norway is in the forefront. Keywords from the collection are leather, hardware, belts, straps, and colour blocking, contrasting his usual effervescent input of feathers, silver, and gold. In other words, a generous mix of rock’n’roll and traditional glamour. “It excited me to be able to work with something that’s related to Norway. I think it [black metal] works really well with what I stand for and the style that I’ve become known for,” he explains. “I wanted to give black metal a beautiful expression, and I liked being able to put a positive spin on a sub-culture that is often seen as something negative.” Kristian has previously been called the Prince of Darkness by an online magazine, and that name is starting to make more sense as we speak. The mention of it makes Kristian laugh. “There is definitely a deeper side to my clothes that tells a story,” he says. “So yeah, it [the name] makes sense to me. It’s rock’n’roll, but feminine at the same time.”
Kristian’s style of extravagant and dark glamour cannot be said to be particularly British, although he’s lived in London for 11 years. Neither is it seen as typically Norwegian. However, this is a statement he doesn’t necessarily agree with himself. “I don’t think we have a typical style in Norway. Maybe this is something we’ll develop in time and get a trademark “Norwegian design”, like the Swedish have with their minimalism. Do you agree?” he asks. Noticeably, when Kristian speaks of the Norwegian fashion industry, he switches between saying “we” and “them”. This could be down to the fact that he’s lived in London for so long that he feels more connected to the British fashion industry. However, he now has stronger ties with the Norwegian industry because of his collaboration with the Norwegian brand Riccovero that launched during Oslo Fashion Week in February this year. A collaboration he seems very pleased with - understandably, as it sold out before June. “As a
designer, I believe there are no limits to what you can do. It’s a very exciting project, and it feels very timely to design for more commercial brands and reach a wider audience,” says Kristian. He explains further: “I’m aware of the fact that what I design under my own label is limited in both availability and price. And I think as a creative individual it’s important to be able to work on several projects at the same time as they define us in different ways. To be able to work on different levels can only be a positive thing.” The Kristian Aadnevik for Riccovero collections are distinctively cleaner with a softer cut than his own brand, but still has the femininity and trademark embellishments that he has become known for. How did he find the Norwegian customer to be different from his usual high flying clientele? “You always have to consider your market, and these clothes were made for a wider audience,” he explains.
“I have to think more commercially when I design for Riccovero, because those dresses have to suit the way that the customer would wear the dress which might be for one special occasion rather than people who go to events, such as premieres, every other day. With my own label I can focus more on the creative rather than making it suit all different types of people.” Similarly to his collaboration with Riccovero, Kristian is also in the process of broadening the reach of his own label, creating more “sellable” items such as t-shirt dresses. He is excited about what the future holds. “We’re opening a webshop,” he says. “In time I’d like to start a menswear line. I’m also sure we’ll do more projects with international brands. I have lots of plans,” he says, sounding slightly mysterious. Having lived in London for more than a decade, Kristian doesn’t see himself moving anytime soon. Maybe to Paris or New York if business
On the rooftop of the Chelsea studio building that Kristian shares with British designer Issa.
“It’s great to get positive feedback from people in Norway, it makes it all the more fun to go home”, says Kristian.. requires it (“I’m open for anything”), but for now he seems more than happy to stay put. But just because he’s happy overseas doesn’t mean he’s not appreciative of the support he receives from his country-men, and he is happy to show his support to the industry. ”It’s great to get positive feedback and having people appreciate your work. That makes it all the more fun to come home and do special projects,” he says. ”I’m always happy to hear when Norwegian brands do well, whether it’s high fashion or more commercial. And if I cancontribute anything to the Norwegian fashion industry that’s great.”
Meeting with Kristian makes you realise that the reason for his nickname the Prince of Darkness is definitely down to the clothing he makes and not his personality. On contrary, he’s friendly, open, and down to earth. Therefore, one quickly starts to suspect that his personality might be as split as his collections are: one half is romantic and sweet - a softer side - while the other half is mysterious and strong - a darker side. Luckily for us, all we got to see at the time of our meeting was the softer side.
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THE FORMER MOVIE PRODUCER, LIVIA GUIGGIOLI FIRTH, MADE A CAREER-CHANGE BY ACCIDENT. AND NOW SHE IS CHANGING THE WORLD OF FASHION VERY MUCH ON PURPOSE. By: Tone Skårdal Tobiasson Photos: William Whipple
We can just as well get it out of the way: Yes, Livia is married to the Colin Firth who recently received an Oscar for his role in The King’s Speech, and has a world-wide following due to a rather big role in the Bridget Jones movies and for his role as a certain Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. But Livia is forging her very own and rather important position now away from the film-business, as a role-model and instigator of change in the fashion world. Her blog on British vogue.com which was the Green Carpet Challenge – is very much part of her accidental and now all-consuming passion. Getting an overview if what this entails is a rather breath-taking operation. But since the Londonbased Roman has worn both Nina Skarra and Leila Hafzi to the BAFTA-awards – writing glowingly about the Norwegian designers on her blog and looking quite breath-taking to boot – bear with us. – It started a while back when I was travelling on the movie-festival circuit with a documentary film I had just produced called In Prison My Whole Life, and my brother Nicola who is 12 years younger than me launched the idea of an eco-retail outlet, Livia explains via Skype. Modern technology makes it seem that we are sitting across from each other – even though we are miles apart. Livia is just getting over a bout with bronchitis, and is – for obvious reasons – not too happy with the rainy London weather outside. – The original idea was a store that could sell anything from solar panels to furniture, and show that eco-friendly and ethical products can be sexy, funky and glamorous, that they don’t have to be dull, made from hemp, etc. To start with I approached the whole thing with my producer mind-set, little did I know how involved I was going to get. I actually ended up leaving my career as a producer. A happy accident for the environment, no less, and the retail-concept quickly delved into other areas that became a large part of Eco Age (which is both a physical store in Chiswick and an internet-store): Consultancy first for smaller businesses, for interior decorating and finally for bigger corporations like Adidas. In the interior sector they became the biggest library of eco-materials
– stocking most imaginable products from paint to wall-paper, from insulation to carpets and rugs. – The shop transformed into covering everything from toys to kitchen appliances, and then fashion and accessories. But as we have been working more and more with designers, we are moving forward with only fashion and accessories, Livia explains. I ask if this is part of 12 degrees, reading on their web-page that 12 Degrees is their Conscious Fashion baby. – Yes and no. We started the 12 degrees of Fashion Consciousness three years ago. We being fashion designer and founder of Esthetica Orsola de Castro, journalist Lucy Siegle from the Observer magazine, ethical fashion expert Jocelyn Whipple and myself. These are the three women I work with all the time, and Lucy has just published the book To Die for – is Fashion Wearing out the World? It is an amazing book. Jocelyn is the expert on all the brands, sourcing and materials, Livia continues. On the Eco Age site, the “fab four” go on to explain their mission:
“Quite simply, we all feel passionately about clever design that keeps both environmental and social justice in mind while proving that fashion can have a destiny other than landfill (which is our enemy). But, in common with many fashion lovers we are all disenchanted with fast, cheap fashion and consider its impact to be not just off-putting but downright unacceptable. So we are stamping our consciously clad feet and sorting something out for ourselves (and hopefully you).” – We were concerned with the lack of offerings; one could find a lot on the internet – but not in a shop – where one could try on the clothes and feel the fabrics, she goes on. – The first step in clothes is that they have to be beautiful. Even with my concerns on eco- and ethics-issues, clothes have to speak to me first with their beauty, and
then I want the story behind. And once you hear the story of how something is made, then you really become switched on. It is like Ali Hewson – Bono’s wife – says: “We wear the stories of the women who make our clothes”. Which is one of the reasons the 12 degrees project for a long time has been about tackling different issues and inviting designers in to the shop to give talks to the customers on topics like cotton, jeans and party dresses – focusing on the ethics and environmental ramifications of the choices made by the designers – and consumers. I tell Livia about the talk Vanessa Friedman from the Financial Times held during the NICE Fashion Summit in Copenhagen, where she said that fashion lacks a vocabulary for communicating with customers what constitutes “good” choices. She nods vigorously on screen. – There are a lot of misconceptions around what ethical fashion or eco-fashion is, actually they are terrible words. What does it mean? I was just in Venice for the art biennale and I was talking to a woman from Milan. She asked me what I was working with, and I explained saying I work with eco-fashion. Do you know what she said? “I never use synthetics!” Can you believe? In England and in Norway women’s awareness is high, but in Italy and Spain they don’t understand the concept. It is really hard to move the masses away from the mainstream, which is both un-ethical and non-eco. But changing people’s behavior, you can’t do that simply by saying: Buy eco-fashion. It doesn’t work that way. I mention that at the last conference I attended in Copenhagen (where Orsola gave a very inspiring talk), there was a debate around the expression “sustainable fashion”. – “Sustainable fashion” is actually slightly better. We have discussions all the time, Orsola, Lucy, Jocelyn and I, and the big problem is cheap. We buy so much crap, and we fill our closets with
crap. Why do we have to buy a $ 4 bikini? How much do you think the person who made that bikini got paid? Just think about it. When I go on about this, people say: “You can talk, you’re middle class and can afford things that cost more.” Well, those cheap clothes did not exist when I was a student, and I had two bikinis not 20, she says and then adds: –We need to reconnect with our wardrobes. Fate will have it that the same morning I have pulled out an ad-supplement from the morning paper from Ikea. Thanks to Skype I can actually show it to Livia. Even though I have to translate the ad-copy that accompanies neat wardrobe-solutions full of clothing, endless boxes rooming accessories and shoe-stacking racks: “This wardrobe should be sold on a prescription”, “The anti-chaos theory” and finally the zinger: “Discover that you have nothing to wear… faster”. Livia sighs audibly. – My wardrobe is still full of things that I bought when I was 20. Of course I am lucky that my shape hasn’t changed, but these are things I bought with my heart. They are things made with love that are good quality; and then they become part of your staple wardrobe. I cannot help but tell her the story of my recent talk with design-students at Chelsea School of Art and Design in London, where a young woman from the Hiroshima-area in Japan told the story of how when she grew up, no one threw anything away, because it was believed that all objects have a soul. – This is what it is all about. It is sort of funny, when you think about it, how we have just accepted how things have become. We’ve been completely brain-washed. Livia tells the story of how she recently cut off the school trousers for her sons (she and Colin have two) and hemmed them, since in the UK school uniforms have long trousers for winter and short for summer, and rather than buying a new pair that they would grow out of long before they were worn out, she did something very few people even know how to do in this day and age. – Another mom at the school was more or less shocked. But this used to be normal. It was what one did. And it was not because she is a bad mom and I am a good mom; it’s that we have just lost this way of thinking. It is so much easier to replace things. Who any more, can darn a sock? No one it seems, since a recent report from the Manchester-region un-earthed that more and more people say they don’t bother to wash socks and
underwear any more, they buy sick-packs at Primark for a pound a piece, and throw the items away after a day’s use; the quality being so bad, anyway, that they probably would disintegrate in the washingmachine. – It is funny that you mention this, but To Die For tells the tale of a woman stopped leaving a big value fashion retailer as the rain is pouring down. One of the handles on one of the many bags she is burdened with, breaks. AND SHE DOES NOT BOTHER TO PICK UP THE CONTENT. She just leaves the bag there – to drown in the rain. Okay, I admit I got carried away with the italics. But the story speaks loud and clear. We end up discussing the whole concept of so-called value-fashion chains – and the fact that this winter
they were several of them were selling sweaters “inspired by” high-end designer-label sweaters with Norwegian knit-patterns, which were mostly acrylic and looked like they would pill if you just looked at them too long. But it also turned out that the much more expensive designer-label knits were actually 40% acrylic, and only 40% wool. So no wonder the consumer is confused. The sales-person selling the luxury-brand sweaters at a rather up-scale store in Oslo thought they were 100% wool, and was very shocked when I pushed him to check the fiber-content label. – The people selling the products need to know a lot more about what they are actually selling, Livia says. – They also need knowledge on quality, durability and how to treat clothing so that it lasts longer. Offer repair-options, if necessary. Companies and labels, who take responsibility for the quality and durability of what they sell, should really be encouraged. Needless to say, Livia is not a fan of McFashion. It seems that Livia and her crowd of four (along with her brother, also) have really been at the forefront of what one would like to call a movement. They have even done school programs. But now they are moving on. From being a sourcing-site for sustainable interior-supplies, from doing stints at the local schools, it is now all about turning the corner of the industry that needs it the most: Fashion and those related areas of jewelry, bags, shoes, etc. But when I ask what is concretely in the pipe-line, there is of course the usual hesitancy of revealing it all. – We are expanding the Green Carpet
Challenge (where Livia chose Leila Hafzi and Nina Skarra for the successive BAFTA awards, see separate quotes) to include real celebrities, she explains. What does she mean “real” – like she is not? Livia skillfully ignores my question, and continues: – Lucy and I have a new project on-line, hopefully consultancy, working with big designers. They are becoming more open to the whole concept, and we want to show them how to do things the right way, but pushing them in a gentle way. I ask her if she will be designing more jewelry and bags, she has designed the “Livia bag” for Whistler and the beautiful Livia Heart necklace that you can see her wearing in the portrait featured here. – I actually also have a lot more design-projects in the pipe-line. I have discovered I really like it. My brother is my boss, but he takes care of the serious part and I get to do all the fun stuff. One last question is obvious: Does she feel more celebrities should use their voice and opportunity to tout this cause? – Totally. There will always be people criticizing, and I want to tell them: Shut up and do something useful. I have a sticker in my bathroom that says it all: “Stop bitching, start a revolution!”
earing Leila Hafzi: “Last night was pretty exciting. Doubtless everyone always says this but I was genuinely shocked when Colin’s name was called out as Best Actor. It was a lovely surprise to win such an accolade at home. I was extremely glad I was dressed for the occasion - in Leila Hafzi. The yellow just gave me a little boost that I wasn’t going to get from my very flat shoes. I fell last week, cracked a bone in my leg and strained the ligaments, which rules heels out of the remainder of the Green Carpet Challenge. Everybody was hugely nice about the dress.” (From the Green Carpet Challenge)
earing Nina Skarra: “Yes, I’m having a Rita Hayworth moment! Here we are just about to leave for the BAFTAs earlier this evening. Every time I think I can’t find a better dress for the Green Carpet Challenge, I find a better dress! You will, of course, be the ultimate judge, but I absolutely love this Nina Skarra dress. We previewed Nina and her aesthetics and ethics earlier in the week. The dress is incredibly simple and yet full of detail – the tiny buttons on one side of the body and on the long sleeves and those bows at the side.” (From the Green Carpet Challenge)
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Black Sheep Photo: Isabel Watson King Styling and make-up: Linda Wickmann / PUDDER / ZANZUEL Hair styling : Ann-Christin / Adam & Eva Styling and make-up assistant : Marthe Kroondijk Models : Rebecca, Kimera, Kristine, Rikke, Silje, Ole and Jonathan. All from Heartbreak
Kristine: Knit sweater from Hunkydory Stockholm, blazer from Whyred
Rikke: Blouse from Rilâ€™s, knit jacket from Peak Performance, blazer from Wesc
Jonathan: T-shirt fra Balmain / Voga, Blazer coat from Mauro Grifoni / Voga
Kimera: Dress from Filippa K, knit sweater from Gudrun og Gudrun
Jonathan: Singlet from Ann Demulemester / Voga, jeans from MQ, jacket from Veronica B Vallenes, boots from Tony Mora
Ole: T-shirt from Damir Doma / Voga, long vest from The Local Firm, jeans from Blue Blood / Voga, shoes from Wesc
Rebekka: BTopp from Alexander Wang / Voga, jacket from Cubus, blouse from Indiska, pants from Benedikte Utzon, boots from Jeffrey Campbell 40
Ole: Sweater from Ann Demulemester / Voga, shirt from Damir Dorma / Voga, jacket from Whyred, jeans from Wesc, shoes from Wesc OFW
Rebekka: Jumpsuit from Wiksen, scarf from Gestuz
Ole: T-shirt from Helmut Lang / Voga, jeans from Wesc, scarf from Gina Tricot
Rebekka: BlJumpsuit from Day Birger Et Mikkelsen, oversized jacket from Sand, boots from Vivienne Westwood Kimera: Dress from Alexander Wang / Voga, top from Lindex, shirt fra Bik Bok, jacket from Benedikte Utson, hat from Filippa K, boots from Jeffrey Campbell
Jonathan: T-shirt from Balmain / Voga, coat from Mauro Grifoni / Voga, shorts from Damir Doma / Voga, boots from Tony Mora OFW 45
Kristine: Dress from Nina Jarebrink, knit sweater from Tina Steffenak Hermansen, boots from Won Hundred
Rikke: Leather dress from Gestuz, faux fur vest from H&M, tights from Bik Bok , boots from Chanel
Kimera: Sweater from SamsĂ¸e SamsĂ¸e, pants from Benedikte Utzon, boots from Won Hundred
Kristine: Leather top from Vatle, cape from Kit Karnaby, pants from Day Birger Et Mikkelsen
Silje: Knit dress from Filippa K, knit jacket from Cubus, long vest from Helje Hamre, scarf from Gina Tricot
Silje: Knit dress Blondebody fra from Gestuz Filippa K, knit jacket from Cubus, long vest from Helje Hamre, scarf from Gina Tricot Strikkegenser fra Hunkydory Stockholm Blazer fra Whyred 52
Rikke: Blouse from Rare, dress from Helmut Lang / Voga, knit jacket from Nina Jarebring, hat from Gina Tricot
Marion enjoys working in the relatively small industry that is the bag business, and meeting up with people from other brands at trade shows and events across Europe.
AFTER DESIGNING FOR HAND BAG BRAND MODALU FOR SEVEN YEARS, MARION MUHONEN NILSEN FOUND HERSELF BUSIER THAN EVER THIS SPRING. THAT WAS THE TIME WHEN IT-GIRL OF THE MOMENT, PIPPA MIDDLETON, STEPPED OUT WITH A MODALU BAG UNDER HER ARM.
By: Kaja Gilje Sekse
Photo: Amelia Karlsen
Suffice to say, demand for the stylish leather bags have skyrocketed since Pippa was seen clutching one. We caught up with Marion in her West London showroom to find out more about her, what goes into making a Modalu bag and how “Pippa-gate” has affected her brand. “I came here nearly 13 years ago, back in the day when everyone was talking about Central Saint Martins and how London was the place to be,” Marion says when asked why she moved to London from Ski outside Oslo. She came here to study for three years at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, a BA Fashion specialising in womenswear textiles. It was while working on
her own collection at university that the fascination with accessories started. “I didn’t really care for pattern cutting,” she says. “Instead, I created my collection with oversized jewellery that covered large parts of the body and attached it to fabric. That’s how my interest in accessories really took off.” While studying, Marion started working for Matthew Williamson as an intern, leading to a full-time paid position after she graduated. After a year in that position she moved on to TLG Brands, a company that owns three bag brands, working on designs for Fiorelli, their leading hand bag brand in the UK. Having designed to Fiorelli for a few years, Marion found herself time and time
again creating more expensive products than was usual for the label. “I found it more appealing to work with leather and more expensive materials,” she says. Soon, they decided Marion would launch her own label, Modalu, which was an unexpected, but pleasant career progression for Marion. “I always wanted my own brand, but I didn’t think it would happen so early in my career,” she says. “It wasn’t at all what I’d planned when I started working at TLG Brands. But it was a natural progression.” Marion and her team worked on Modalu in background whilst still designing for Fiorelli, and in 2004, the brand launched in the UK.
It’s a design led brand with simplistic, yet chic and classic design throughout every collection. The designer has developed her own approach to her work and similarly to Coco Chanel’s mantra, she starts with many details and strips down her bags to create the right look, rather than starting with nothing and piling on the embellishments. “Before I start working on a new collection I have a clear idea of what colours, details, and materials I want to use,” says Marion. “Starting with more details and taking it off as I go is much easier than to start with a dull product and try to adorn it. I start with much more details, and remove them one by one, as needed, before finishing off the final product. The aim of Modalu is not only to be a beautiful brand, but also to fill a practical need in everyday life. Marion emphasises again and again during our chat that it’s very much a brand that fills a purpose, whether that purpose is work, shopping, going out, or for everyday use. This is not just for customers though, it’s also so they are able to offer a variation of styles to buyers. “I always make sure the collections have a good balance between styles and that each bag fits a certain item,” she says. “Some styles need to fit A4 paper such as a magazine or a notebook. Some need to fit laptops for work. Then we have the cross body style that doesn’t need to fit that much, because it’s not for work related purposes.” After copping a feel of the bags in Marion’s showroom, we can vouch for the quality of the bags. What comes as a big of a surprise is that the price point is no higher than the price of a nice meal at a high end Norwegian restaurant. “Going in at a low price point was a very conscious decision and it was the idea behind the brand itself,” she says. “There were hardly any similar brands out there with an accessible price for regular people. If you’re a student for example, can you afford a Mulberry bag for 10,000 kroner? Chances are pretty slim. So that was our challenge: creating an affordable product with a luxury handwriting.” Keeping the price point down also means that Marion puts a lot of effort in controlling the production process. In fact, when we first spoke to her, she was in the Far East, working on production of her new line. “I’m involved in the whole process,” she says. “When visiting factories, we try to rip bags apart and destroy them as part of the quality control. If they don’t break, we have further QC’s before going into production.” Now rewind back to 30th of April, the day after the royal wedding. The Duchess of Cambridge’s sister and maid of honour, Pippa Middleton, was centre of attention. Upon realising what had happened, Marion was pleasantly surprised (to say the least) when she saw Pippa with a grey Bristol bag all over the press. In the next few weeks, business picked up drastically for Marion and her small team of 4. “The situation changed overnight,” she says, clearly delighted with the level of attention that has been coming their way. “The brand has always been very UK based, with stockists all over this country and also in Japan. But even here it’s a small brand, and
then overnight we got lots of requests from the US and all over Europe. We even had press from India coming over. It was weird, but really fun.” The success of the Bristol bag prompted the name change to Pippa. Now, what has been regarded as the standard piece in their collection has become their most popular style. The company has also started to build a relationship with Pippa Middleton. “What many people don’t know is that Pippa actually bought the bag herself,” Marion reveals. “But we’ve since sent her more bags, customised with her name on them.” The it-girl is clearly fond of the bags, as soon after our meeting with Marion she appeared in the press again with a brown Pippa bag. She even emailed Marion personally to thank her for the bags and expressing
interest in coming to meet with them to see the rest of the collection. “It’s great because she’s exactly our target market and the kind of customer profile we want to attract,” Marion says. “She’s our dream customer and it’s a perfect situation.” With an established stockist list in the UK and Japan, Marion is open to consider stockists from Norway. However, considering the massive interest the brand has received from the US, they are more focused on opportunities to expand into the American market. “We get most of our website hits from the US,” Marion explains. “And because we’re still a small company and not a major operation, we want to respond to that demand first-and-foremost.”
CHRISTINE KINDEN HAFSTEN IS NOT A HOUSEHOLD NAME WHEN IT COMES TO FASHION. CONSIDERING HER WORK HISTORY, ONE CAN WONDER WHY THIS ACCOMPLISHED PRINT DESIGNER IS NOT BETTER KNOWN IN HER HOME COUNTRY, SO AN INTRODUCTION IS WELL OVERDUE. By: Kaja Gilje Sekse
Photo: Amelia Karlsen
Being invited into Christine’s flat in London’s upmarket Maida Vale, it’s easy to see why Christine enjoys having a home office. Light, spacious, and book shelves filled to the rim make the flat a much more pleasant working environment than most offices can provide. “One of the most important lessons I learned from working with Alexander McQueen was to always invest in books,” she explains of her stacks of books that are placed on every available surface. Having a conversation with Christine is a plethora of name dropping. But not in a bragging kind of way, more in a way that makes you genuinely impressed (and slightly jealous). Having worked for designers such as Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, and Christopher Bailey at Burberry, no wonder this soft-spoken thirty-something has stayed in London for 11 years. Laying the foundation of her career at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University with a BA in Fashion & Print Design, Christine went on to do an internship in London. She found herself interning for one of the course directors at Central Saint Martins, who prompted her to go on and study for an MFA in Fashion Print at the prestigious university. While at Central Saint Martins specialising in print and surface design, Christine soon realised that her approach to her work was a little different than that of her class mates. “Most of my class mates had a specific look they were working on and trying to perfect. And for people who want to set up their own brand it makes sense to work on one look, and then vary that look from season to season. But my approach was lot more commercial than that.” She explains: “I preferred to work with different themes rather than just one look. I’d explore one specific theme at a time, and experiment with techniques of painting, drawing, and printing. So when I graduated I had a very diverse portfolio.” Christine’s varied portfolio of work would prove to be an advantage for her, as soon after graduation she landed a much coveted position at Louis Vuitton. There she was, a young girl in her twenties from Ski in Norway, working under the helm of her idol, fashion superstar Marc Jacobs.
“I’d always looked up to him as a designer, and when I went to university I used to keep hold of magazine covers that featured his prints. So getting that job was a dream come true for me,” she says. Working at Louis Vuitton taught Christine many lessons that would prove to mould her career, and she found Jacob’s approach to design very appealing. “I like his take on culture and the fact that he uses irony and humour in his work. His collections are based on the anthropological and they are based on a certain culture or personality, and that appeals so much to me,” she says. This approach meant Christine spent most of her time travelling, painting and drawing, or in libraries reading and doing research on different cultures and people that were completely unknown to her. “If we were developing, say, floral prints, it could be because we were inspired by a woman who was a florist in the 19th Century and she liked this particular type of flowers. This approach worked really well for me when I was developing prints and ideas because I had so much information to go by,” she says enthusiastically. So what was it like working for your idol at such an early stage of your career? “It was a lot of fun working for Marc; he is a big star after all. Looking back, I can say that I definitely reached one of the goal posts of my career by working there,” she explains. “Because I’d always dreamt of working for Marc, reaching that goal so early in
my career was very satisfying. It felt good not having to spend 20 years on reaching one goal, and I did feel quite free after that. Almost like I could choose any path I wanted.” After working in this purely creative position at Louis Vuitton (which she says was “quite luxurious in fact”), Christine went on to work at the prominent arch-British design house Burberry under Christopher Bailey. Five years of intense travelling at Louis Vuitton had taken its toll, and being a married woman meant she wanted to spend more time in London and less on the road on research
Having lived in London for over 11 years, Christine loves the city to the point where she can’t see herself leaving it behind.
Working at Alexander McQueen, Christine was taught the importance of investing in books.
trips. “I really loved that job,” she says of her former position at Louis Vuitton. “Part of me can’t really believe I left it, but it was an important step I had to take. I really wanted to try something different, be challenged, and learn new things.” Although the position at Burberry was similar in name, the role entailed a whole new set of responsibilities for the designer. In addition to working on a new type of products – soft accessories such as hats, scarves, gloves, and umbrellas – she was also heavily involved in the business side of her department. “As a print designer you don’t always have control of the product you’re working on after you have delivered your prints. I had missed working on products that I was responsible for from concept to finished product, and accessories is a very exciting area to work in,” she says. Having to attend daily sales meetings, she Christine found herself developing more of a business mind. She learned about marketing, visual merchandising, sales figures – all the things creative individuals might usually don’t find stimulating. “I’m glad I have this knowledge now,” she says. “We work in fashion, and although painting and drawing is good fun, at the end of the day it all boils down to the sales figures. Taking part in sales meetings gives you more knowledge when you try to guide collections in the right direction – the direction that sells,” she says, clearly believing every word she says. Did she not miss the creative side of it, though? “You just need to find a good balance,” she says. ”For me, it was a vital decision to go to Burberry and learn the business side of things, and not just keep on painting and drawing as if that was the only part of the process.”
Two years at Burberry and the time had come for Christine to move in. After taking a short period off work in 2009, she got a job offer from another pillar of shopping in the UK, high street chain Topshop. They needed a colourist to work on their make-up line that was about to launch, and Christine, with her experience from high end fashion, seemed like the perfect choice. Then in September last year, the position of print consultant at Esprit came up, and she jumped at the chance to work for the German brand, coordinating prints
for their three womenswear divisions. The company also brings out a lot of nostalgia for Christine. “I remember Esprit and their advertisements from when I was around 10-12 years old,” she says. “So it’s great to be able to work for that brand so many years later, and being part of the team that develops and shapes the direction it goes in”. Christine speaks of every one of her previous jobs with much enthusiasm, but she seems particularly excited when talking about her working at Esprit. Maybe it’s the freelance lifestyle and the flexibility of the role, or it could be the fact that she gets to combine working for a (typically German) structured organisation while still being able to get the most out of the city she has called home for over a decade now. “I just love the vibe of the city. The British people really appreciate fashion and it seems to be higher on the agenda here compared to many other countries. It’s an industry that loves eccentrics. Nothing is right or wrong here. Everyone’s welcome here, and I love that variety,” she says.
“On the practical side, it’s so easy living in London compared to, say, the US, as it’s close to everywhere: New York, Paris, Milan. I need to be able to easily travel from country to country - not just to Esprit’s headquarters in Germany, but on research trips and to trade shows,” she explains. “I also have one of the world’s largest cultural hubs on my doorstep. If I need inspiration for a new lace design, I can just hop on the tube and in half an hour check out an exhibition, a ballet performance, or go into a museum’s archive and find inspiration. You can’t really get that anywhere else, at least not on the same scale as in London,” she says. Easy access to cultural institutions is vital for Christine, as that is her first point of call when she’s looking for inspiration. Building upon the approach she learned from Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton, she starts out by finding a point of reference – be it an old film she has seen, an actress, a specific year, or a film director. But being inspired can also be too much for her at times. “You can make prints out of anything, so it’s important for me to be strict and put my foot down as well,” she explains. “If you get inspired by too many things at the same time it will just be chaotic and messy,” she says. So does this Norwegian exile ever get inspired by her home country? “It’s very clichéd, but I’ve found inspiration from iconic Norwegian patterns such as “lusekofter” and rose paintings,” she laughs.”I can definitely find inspiration in places such as Husfliden. It all depends on what is on trend at the moment, so I use it when it’s appropriate for what I’m working on at the time. There’s definitely a lot to be inspired by in Norway!” she exclaims, showing that there’s still a lot of Norwegian patriotism left in her. That’s good to know, in case she’s ever needed to come back home and work her print magic on her home grounds.
RAY-BAN CHANEL OAKLEY PERSOL RALPH LAUREN POLO RALPH LAUREN PAUL SMITH PRADA RALPH CARRERA GIORGIO ARMANI DIOR EMPORIO ARMANI GUCCI BOSS HUGO BOSS BOSS ORANGE MARC JACOBS MARC BY MARC JACOBS OFW 61 MAX MARA MAX & CO YVES SAINT LAURENT BRUUNS BAZAAR CHEAP MONDAY VENDELA ELIZABTH ARDEN PRODESIGN
d l o G s ’ t I
Milla for L’Oréal Paris
Volume Million Lashes mascara
Super Liner Duo
Color Riche Intense leppestift
Color Riche Nude leppestift
Color Infaillible Goldmine Ø yenskygge
Glam bronze Trio solpudder
Gull – en tidlØs klassiker I høst preger farger motebildet, både innenfor klær og makeup. Den sterkeste trenden innenfor sminke blir metallic – der gull spesielt utpeker seg som en sikker snarvei til eleganse og glamour. Forgyll sensommerens solbrune hud med glitrende makeup i kombinasjon med høstens øvrige fargepalett. Storm Pedersen, makeup-artist for L’Oréal Paris, viser den gylne veien til en blendende og trendy look.
Storm Pedersen, L’Oréal Paris makeupartist
Color Infaillible Goldmine – den gyldne veien til en glamorøs look Color Infaillible ”New Gold Collection” er nøkkelen til en glamorøs makeup. Gull er en veldig flatterende farge som gir glød til ansiktet, og kler derfor de aller fleste. Den er enkel å påføre og kan brukes på mange måter: Personlig liker jeg å dekke hele øyelokket, og også påføre litt under øyet som en eyeliner. Kombinerer du gull med
brune nyanser, oppnår du fine dybde- og skyggeeffekter. Brun eyeliner, gir en roligere look. Gull gir deg en perfekt party-look enten du vil være glamorøs og sofistikert, eller ha en røffere stil. Gull som grunnfarge er det perfekte utgangspunkt for spektakulære ”smokey eyes” som aldri går av moten. Prøv også noen strøk over kinnbena – det fremhever ansiktet med en spennende, gyllen effekt. Er du i det vågale humøret, kan du også prøve gull på leppene! Tar du bare litt midt på, gir du inntrykk av større lepper. Gullfargede leppestifter er ganske nøytrale, så her kan du fort finne mange favoritter. Naturlige lepper – eller dramatiske røde – passer begge fint til en gyllen ansikts-makeup.
HOW TO SUCCEED IN THE LONDON FASHION WORLD WITH A NORWEGIAN APPROACH Text: Anna Fredrikke Bjerke
Photo: Hanne C N Christiansen
HOW DOES ONE SUCCEED IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY THAT IS KNOWN FOR ITS FIERCE COMPETITION? WE ALL KNOW IT’S HARD TO GET IN AND THAT GOOD JOBS ARE HARD TO GET. LONDON BEING ONE OF THE MAIN FASHION CAPITALS, MANY HOPEFULS WITH BIG DREAMS GRAVITATE HERE. WE SOUGHT ADVICE FROM FIVE EXPERTS, EACH WITH SUCCESS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT. Everyone says it takes determination and with this in mind we sought advice from not one but five successful players in the field: Curator and Editor-at-Large at Wallpaper Henrietta Thompson, commercial director for Rue de Mail Candice Lake (also a contributing photographer for Vogue and Glamour), designer talent scout Freya Olsen who successfully runs her own agency, tailor Lise Herud who has her own company, and last but not least the rather known and busy man about town; designer Kristian Aadnevik. Talking to the five fashion professionals brought to the forefront one key success-factor: A love for what they do. But in addition they came up with a list of advice that was fairly uniform. 1.
Start at the bottom, and accept that it is highly unlikely you’ll get paid when you are first starting out.
Be determined, it’s difficult to get a break.
Don’t spread yourself too thin.
Get an internship, but don’t get stuck in a rut.
Don’t be shy, but at the same time stay humble. Nobody likes interns who get too full of themselves.
Nobody prepares you for reality. Keep believing in yourself.
Adapt in an ever-changing industry.
HIT THE BOOKS Both Norwegian-born Kristian Aadnevik and Aussie Candice Lake emphasize education. ”Having a university degree is very important as
it shows stability,” says law graduate Lake who worked as a model for several years before establishing herself as a photographer. “You have to have a good education,” says Aadnevik who holds a Master’s degree from the Royal College of Art. He finds that university gives added value in getting introductions, networking and establishing collaboration. Further, Lake points out the advantage of taking fashion related courses at elite colleges and/or internships with fashion labels or magazines, as long as you gain relevant experience. SOCIAL SKILLS NEED TO BE HONED As a fashion metropolis, London is very much at the center of what sets the trends, some may argue not as much as Paris – but fashion labels such as Burberry Prorsum, Alexander McQueen, Paul Smith and Stella McCartney – alongside high street chains like TopShop certainly make a major impact. If you want a piece of the action, it is certainly easier to be in London than trying to break in from Norway. “Much talent comes out of Norway”, says half Norwegian/half British Freya Olsen, who believes Norwegians have a lot of potential. “Norwegians can be reserved, but the key is don’t be shy.” Olsen believes that if you can brave an international audience, you have a big social advantage as a Norwegian in London. Lise Herud, who graduated in Fashion Design from Ravensbourne College, simply states that Norway with its social safety net makes it easier and less stressful. Having set up her own full-time business, Herud should know. “It takes a long time to get to the point where you have enough experience to start up your own business in this field,” she adds, singling out customerniches like bridal and international clients. “About 1/3 of new businesses fold within two years,” says Herud. To be organized, focused, determined and
set specific goals is a must. Aadnevik adds: “Having a good business plan is essential. Knowing your field is important. Especially as a designer, it’s imperative to know who your customers are, and how you’ll reach out to them.” Herud cannot emphasize enough the importance of international experience. “Use your holidays while studying on work experience and internships,” is her advice. Henrietta Thompson agrees: “Internships are a good way to go about getting a foot inside your chosen field. If you are gearing towards media, send out your CV to editors accompanied with a cover letter.” She also emphasizes the importance of following up your email. Thompson explains: “Editors at magazines receive numerous emails every day from young hopefuls. You have to remember that editors are rather busy, and that they don’t necessarily have the time to reply to all applicants. However, if you’re strongly motivated and determined that this is what you want; follow up with another email or a phone-call. They may even have considered you, but forgotten all about it due to heavy workload.” But landing an internship does not automatically ensure a salary, quite the contrary. As Herud points out, interns are more often than not expected to work for free, and this makes it disheartening for those with large student loans. Candice Lake leaves no doubt: “It is highly unlikely that someone without experience will get paid, that is the way the system works.” However, she underlines the following: “An internship can be very useful if you take advantage of every opportunity. Eavesdrop on conversation, pick up names, learn
the tools of the trade, and work hard. Too many interns don’t realize they’ve actually got to do the dirty work. It’s the same with everything in fashion; you have to work your way up. Don’t stay in one place for too long, move around. In stead of a pay-check, the experience is supposed to be rewarding, so if you feel you are being taken advantage of or that you’re not learning anything, politely part ways.” As Freya Olsen puts it, “It doesn’t matter where you come from; the fashion industry is difficult to break into.” CREATIVITY CUTS TO THE CHASE So education and stamina are key factors to success. But surely it is also an industry for creative people, fashion in itself being by definition a creative industry. And with so many people fighting for attention, it is up to you to go the extra mile: “Everything is online,” says Kristian Aadnevik. “There is always a market for a unique product. A lot of changes are happening now and you can reach a wider audience through new media. It is important to be both more creative than the next guy and multi-task in our modern age, doing different things, not just one.” “Traditional communication is not necessarily useful anymore. The Internet is a major arena for communication, but you have to stand out. It needs to be played cleverly. You can also have a more modern approach like a pop-up concept,” says Henrietta Thompson. This means you don’t have to sign a long-term lease, and there are many ways to play this card to grab attention. Olsen continues: “It is proven that more brands are based in London
than in any other city on the planet, and there are designers coming in from all over, all Parsons- or Saint Martins-trained and really pushing forward into British fashion culture, it’s a totally cosmopolitan forum.” Thompson sums up: “London is where it all happens, there is always something going on and new it-designer or it-person to check out. There is so much diversity. It is so international and vibrant. But most of all, London fashion has a sense of humour.” Something Norwegians can appreciate. THE ROAD AHEAD So, summing up: You need a university degree, money so you can work for free, an agent when you are ready to establish your business and plenty of friends to build a network. “Take chances.” “Don’t be shy.” But most importantly, stay true to yourself and keep focused. Olsen sums up: “The key is not just being creative, but ultimately, whether you are writing, designing or taking pictures, have a business plan and have a goal or it won’t work.”
BESØK OSS PÅ WWW.FRIELESHOP.NO
* Stor test av espressomaskiner utført av Norsk Kaffeinformasjon des. 2010
INSIDER TIPS ON HOW TO LAUNCH AN EXISTING BRAND IN LONDON. Text: Kaja Gilje Sekse
Photo: Hanne C N Christiansen
For designers who have already established their brands in Norway and want to venture in to the British market, there are several ways to go about it. Harriet Elsey, account manager at Blow PR in London, represents Norwegian labels Fam Irvoll, Little Cupcakes by Fam Irvoll and Bjørg Jewellery. The aforementioned designers are names that have made lots of noise both on the British and the international fashion radar recently. But there’s undoubtedly great potential for more Norwegian brands to break through. Here, Harriet reveals her best tips on how to make that potentially careerchanging move. PR IN PLACE A good place to start is to find a PR agency with knowledge of the UK market. “Each territory works differently, and what works in Norway may not work as well in the UK,” Harriet says. “It’s important for a PR company to introduce the designer and the collection to the right editors and opinion formers, and place carefully on the correct celebrities to maximise exposure.” Press days with an agency at the start of a season are a great way for designers to gauge press reaction and decide whether the UK market is right for them, and also to get feedback on what works/doesn’t work for journalists and stylists. SET UP SHOP “Although having a stockist in the UK is important, starting off with an online shop that the UK market can buy from is essential,” Harriet says. She also recommends designers bide their time and plan carefully. “They shouldn’t just be thinking a season ahead, but three or four, continuously researching the market and keeping up to date with what is relevant,” she says. SHOW OFF London has a large catwalk schedule during fashion week that’s compiled of both on- and offschedule shows, such as Vauxhall Fashion Scout, On|Off, and Fashion Mavericks. However, Harriet recommends not jumping into a fashion show
immediately, because trying to get noticed and recognised in these circumstances can prove to be difficult. “Many young designers, no matter where they are from, jump into shows in their first season. That can end up being financially crippling,” she says. The PR specialist advises waiting a few seasons before showing to allow the label to organically develop a following within the press and key social media players. “From experience, a great shoot or celebrity placement can garner far more sales and press interest than a catwalk show,” she says. “A show at London Fashion Week will prove far more successful when the brand has a certain following, rather than jumping in as a brand new label.” MIX IT UP If a Norwegian designer is attempting to build a business in the UK, they do need to have a mix of press and sales pieces. “Something crazy, oversized and mad would be great for shoots, but probably wouldn’t get mass sales,” she says. “Fam is a good example of this, as for every crazy showpiece she designs, there’s a wearable alternative that will appeal to the market.” According to Harriet, the UK press is very accepting and supportive of designers from overseas, because they’re always looking for the next big thing in fashion. “Norwegian designers are seen as quirky and all the products are of high quality,” she says. “As long as they remain of the same quality and keep coming up with innovative designs, I think Norwegian designers will continue to do well.” FIND AN AGENT For people in the industry who don’t have their own brands, but are itching to take the plunge and move to London, finding an agent might be just the ticket. There are several recruitment agencies and headhunters in London that specialise in fashion, whether you’re a freelancer or want to work for a major fashion label. Print designer Christine Kinden Hafsten has gotten almost all her jobs through her agent,
which includes positions at Burberry and Esprit. She recommends signing up with an agency because not only do they find the positions that are right for you, but they also negotiate salary and benefits on your behalf. “They’ll call you up when a position comes along that suits your style,” says Christine. “They design your career, and will only put you up for jobs that suit you. Otherwise they’ll wait for the right one to come along.” Once you have signed up with one, building a good relationship with your agent is crucial. It can ensure you are being put forward for the best positions, even those that are never advertised externally. “Having an a good relationship with your agent will keep job offers rolling in. It has helped me a lot,” says Christine. “Because someone has chosen you specifically for a position, it gives you a really important quality stamp.” A list of agents specialising in the fashion industry can be found at www.agencycentral.co.uk
USEFUL LINKS: www.ftape.com/azlisting/agencies_pr www.onoff.tv www.vauxhallfashionscout.co.uk www.fashionmavericks.com
â€œI want to prove that you can give new life to fabric that most people consider as wasteâ€?, says Kristel.
THEY WORK HARD, THEY WORK LATE, AND THEY AIM TO SUCCEED. MEET THREE MASTER’S STUDENTS WHO HAVE DEDICATED THEMSELVES TO THE LONDON LIFESTYLE.
KRISTEL ERGA: MA in Textile Design at Chelsea College of Art and Design. By: Kaja Gilje Sekse
Photo: Amelia Karlsen
One girl’s trash is another girl’s treasure. It was when Kristel Erga created her final collection for her bachelor’s degree that she first asked herself the question: “What can you do with a bin bag full of textile scraps?”. This question set off a thought process in her mind, which less than six months later would see her at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, working on her master’s project, recycling fabric waste into new fabrics and products. The year-long MA in Textile Design has Kristel and her fellow 25 class mates working on projects ranging from print design and textile manipulation to furniture textiles and interior decoration. In Kristel’s case, the main focus has been to come up with a technique with which she can transform pre-consumer textile waste into a new material, which she can then use to make different products. At first, she dabbled with the thought of making a patchwork quilt, but quickly decided to make something less old fashioned and more contemporary such as lamp shades and wallpaper. Her project is entitled Closing the Loop: From Waste to Raw Material, and it entails recycling of fabric wastes using traditional papermaking techniques. “My starting point was waste that’s created in the production process – so-called pre-consumer waste - and I wanted to make something with it, but I wasn’t sure what exactly that was,” she says. So with this in mind, she presented her proposal to the Chelsea College of Art and Design, part of the University of the Arts London. The college is renowned for their textile studies, and they put a lot of emphasis on the environment and sustainability in their teachings. Kristel’s professor in Milan had recommended the course, and her own research found it to be exactly what she wanted. “All of our lectures have focused on sustainable design, and we’ve received a lot of disturbing information in these lectures that makes you want to create something based on these ideas,” she says. “What can we do to improve the situation? How can we eliminate the use of new textiles by using textiles that already exist?”.
Having obtained her first degree, a BA in Fashion Design at Nuova Accademia Di Belle Arti in Milan, Kristel took the plunge and moved to London last year. ”I came to London to get work experience,” she says of her move from the one fashion capital to the other. “I knew I wanted to apply for an MA, so I moved here six months before school started to give myself some time to get to know the city and apply for universities.” The early move would turn out to be a good decision, as she soon bagged a work placement working for Osman Yousefzada at his namesake label, Osman. When the studio manager left the company, Kristel stepped up and took over the running of the studio, a position she stayed in for three months. “The experience I got at Osman’s
was really valuable as I learned how the business side of a fashion design company works. I need that experience if I ever want to start my own label,” she says. Another reason London seemed so tempting was the city’s cutting edge fashion scene, which Kristel says differs a lot from the one she experienced in Milan. “In Italy, fashion is very red carpet-focused, with dresses and lots of tailoring. I wanted to experience another kind of fashion environment,” she explains. “Fashion in London is a lot edgier, and it allows you to be more experimental. Many of the print designers I admire are based here, such as Jonathan Saunders, and the fashion here is a lot more textile-focused.” One of Kristel’s biggest supporters is Norwegian-Iranian fashion designer Leila Hafzi, both being from the same town - namely Stavanger. She interned for Leila in 2007 and has stayed in touch with ever since. “One of the early inspirations for this project came from working with Leila and seeing
all the beautiful fabrics she uses,” says Kristel. Now, Leila has provided her with her company’s pre-consumer textile waste, which has played a crucial part in her project. “No matter how hard you try not to create any waste when you design, there will always be fabric bits and pieces you have to cut off,” she explains. “The good thing about Leila is that she holds on to the waste. She gave me 3-4 massive bin bags of fabric cuttings, because she didn’t want to throw away all that beautiful fabric – there is enough textile waste already.” Kristel’s master’s degree is an intense course, and Kristel has worked on the project since the course began in September. After a particularly intense summer, she will present her project to her lectures and potential future employers at an exhibition at Chelsea College of Art and Design in September. The exhibit will eventually move on to Norway. So what does the future hold for her when she graduates? Whatever it is, Kristel is certain that she’s on the right path. “I’m so glad I’m taking this master’s. I’ve always cared about the environment, but even more since I started this degree,” she exclaims. “There are so many exciting ways to approach sustainable design. I’d like to start my own business, but I wouldn’t mind working for a company either, as long as it evolves around sustainability.”
ANNE KARINE THORBJØRNSEN: MA Fashion at Central Saint Martins Anne Karine Thorbjørnsen finds her inspiration in art and architecture rather than in trends. She is currently halfway through her master’s in womenswear fashion at one of the – or possibly even the – most influential fashion institutes in the world; Central Saint Martins (CSM). She was singled out by her tutors in a group of no less than one thousand applicants, but the Holmlia girl is surprisingly modest about it. Anne Karine Thorbjørnsen has worked incredibly hard to get to where she is now. And she knows that she’ll have to keep doing the same thing for the foreseeable future. “I’ve never worked this hard in my entire life,” she says of her studies at CSM. “But this is what I want to do, and if you want to make that happen you can’t just sit down and cry every time you face a challenge. I know it’s going to be difficult, but I’m stubborn and determined.” Anne Karine has an extensive educational background within the creative field, including stints at Collège Internationale de Cannes, the Teko Center in Danmark, University for the Creative Arts in Kent, and finally, four years at CSM. She has also worked for design duo Meadham Kirchhoff, and dreams of working with Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto. Although she knows that this is what she wants to do, Anne Karine admits that the fashion industry in London is by no means what most people think. “The whole industry is very glorified - it’s not all parties and champagne. It’s blood, sweat and tears. After fashion week, you simply don’t have the energy to go to a party; you just want to go to bed.” On deciding between London and Paris, Anne Karine chose London because of CSM. Not only because it’s regarded the best university for a fashion related education, but because it has a 90 per cent employment rate. “At Saint Martins it’s all about being creative, and they’re always pushing you to think innovatively and be aware of the market and the industry, it’s not just about the artistic side of fashion,” she explains. “I also feel like you can do what you want in London, whereas Paris is much more about tradition and convention.” To Anne Karine, fashion is not about trends − she finds the relationship between people and clothes more interesting than fashion itself: “A lot of people ask me for advice on what’s fashionable at the moment, but I actually don’t know what to tell them. It’s important to be aware of what’s going on in the industry, but I don’t look at magazines to spot a trend. Besides, a trend is just something that’s been done before.” Describing her collection, Anne Karine emphasises how important it is to be confident and follow your gut. “In spite of different feedback ultimately it’s your collection, and it is you above all that should be happy with it. You have to actually want to work with it for a year, or maybe longer. You’re supposed to love it and get a bit
obsessed with it, no matter what your tutors say.” Before moving back to Norway, Anne Karine is planning on staying in London for a few more years. “I believe you can accomplish so much more here, mainly because you have to work so much harder to merely get by, compared to Norway. I’ll move back to Norway when I’m old and exhausted,” she laughs. In five years time she hopes to have gained some experience from working for two or three different designers, and perhaps consider setting up her own business. Regardless of where she’s living at that point, she wants her brand to be an international one. “I wouldn’t mind doing something in Norway, but I think it’s very important to aim for the international market,” she says.
Rather than being inspired by other designers, Anne Karine looks for inspiration in architecture (her father is an architect), as well as in psychology, photography, and art, in particular Russian artist Alexander Rodchenko and British sculpturer Rachel Whiteread. She prefers the industrial and gritty to the pretty and ornamental. Describing the process of creating garments, she says: “If you’re inspired by something another designer has made, it’s very difficult to top that, as the perfect version of it already exists. I would much rather be inspired by something entirely different. Ideally, I would like to do a project with my sister who’s studying architecture, and perhaps create something that doesn’t exist by combining different disciplines and skills. There’s no limit to what you can do if you’re creative.”
Anne Karine chose London over Paris and hasn’t regretted her decision.
FROM DENMARK TO HOLLAND, CANNES TO LOS ANGELES - THESE DESIGN STUDENTS HAVE COVERED A LOT OF GROUND BETWEEN THEM. HERE THEY TELL US WHY LONDON IS THEIR NEW HOME. Text: Tonje Vassbotn
Photo: Amelia Karlsen
Benedicte is the only Norwegian student on her menswear course, and one out of two girls.
BENEDICTE HOLMBOE: MA Menswear at Royal College of Art Aspiring designer Benedicte wants her work to surprise people. When she graduates, Benedicte Holmboe will have a unique degree that very few designers can match. Luckily, she’s enrolled at Royal College of Art (RCA), the only institution in the world that offers an MA in menswear knitwear. A one of a kind education, unusual materials, and a winning personality will surely make Benedicte stand out in a highly competitive market. “I’ve been told that my clothes are very different. Right now I’m really into plastic. I did a jumper for a project that looks just like a normal jumper, but when you look closer you go ’wow, what’s this?’ I think that’s exciting, I want it to be a bit of a surprise.” Benedicte was one year away from finishing a master’s degree at Designskolen Kolding in Denmark when she was offered a place at RCA. “When I was in my second year at Kolding, I heard people talking about RCA and I knew how prestigious it was. It’s very surreal to be sitting here now and actually be a student here. I’m very aware of how lucky I am.” Feeling ambitious, Benedicte decided to leave her home in Bærum at 19 and study abroad as no university in Norway could offer a degree in the area she was interested in. “I think subconsciously you just know what you’re supposed to do. I’m a firm believer in following your intuition and doing what comes naturally – you need to trust your gut and do what you’re good at.” With a BA in Womenswear from Design-
skolen Kolding, and one year at Design Academy Eindhoven in Holland, she ended up at RCA. Being accepted to the prestigious university was a huge honour, and Benedicte is thoroughly enjoying living the chaotic London life. “I think there’s a big difference between working with and studying fashion in London,” she explains. “But what I’ve done so far has been a lot of fun. London is one of the largest fashion cities in the world, and just by being here you’re so connected to the industry. If you go to a party or a show, you meet a friend of a friend, and you end up meeting someone who works in the industry by chance. By attending RCA, you’ll have loads of connections when you graduate.” Despite her young age, Benedicte has managed to build up an impressive CV. She
worked for Moonspoon Saloon with creator Sara Sachs in Denmark, and moved to Los Angeles with them when they went to set up a studio there. In July, she entered a competition held by Italian trade fair Pitti Filati. In addition to that, she’s already sold one of her designs to Henrik Vibskov: “During fashion week in Paris I was wearing a cape that I’d made myself, and I noticed that people were taking pictures of me. The manager of the Vibskov shop in Oslo, Kathrine Røssland, came up to me and asked who had designed my cape. I said it was my own design, and she asked if I would be interested in making a few more, which I agreed to do. That was fun!” she says enthusiastically. The themes for Benedicte’s collections
range from Princess Diana to plucked chickens (!). When asked what inspires her, she says it’s mainly just looking at people. “I often make up stories in my head of what they’re doing and who they are. I love people-watching. I also like sources of inspiration that aren’t obvious, but rather a bit strange that make people go: ‘Oh my God, how can she do that?’.” She continues: “I like that twist where you take something that’s ‘wrong’, and turn it around and make it work. Like today I’m wearing a shirt that’s much too big for me as a dress. But it works, and I think that’s fun.” Starting a business is a definite dream of hers. “When I told a friend of mine that I would like to work for someone else before setting up my own business, he said: ‘What? Of course you’re going to start your own business!’” she says. “Considering my style, I think it would be better if I did something on my own because it’s so different.” Unlike some aspiring designers, she has no immediate need to become famous though. “I want people to associate my name with my work. I don’t need them to remember my face,” she says. “If people notice me, I want it to be because they’re interested in what I do and because they think what I do is unique. And I want people to see how much fun I’m having.”
HOW NICE IS NICE?
NORDIC INITIATIVE CLEAN & ETHICAL IS A JOINT NORDIC COMMITMENT FROM THE NORDIC FASHION INDUSTRY TO TAKE A LEAD ON SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. WHICH MEANS WHAT EXACTLY? Text: Tone Skårdal Tobiasson
Something that started as a crazy idea back in 2006 has become quite a force. But still there are those out there wondering what exactly NICE does. Or is. To start with the last thing first: NICE is a loose organization or platform of five founding members; Oslo Fashion Week, Danish Fashion Institute, The Swedish Fashion Council, Helsinki Design Week and the Icelandic Fashion Institute. But it is about to expand with several other Nordic apparel and fashion-related organizations.
But what does NICE actually DO? Well, being a resource is one aspect, with an internet site chock full of information; but not in the form that most designers and producers would wish. Five years in the business of “cleaning up fashion” has taught us some very simple lessons: Everyone wants to do the right thing, but they want to do it without cost, with someone else holding their hand all the way and with easy fixes. And there are many “consultants” out there offering the supposedly “quick fixes” at a price. We even have our local governments telling us the route to sustainability is simple: The Nordic Swan. Well, if they have taken a closer look at the criteria it is easier for an entire hotel-chain to become Swanlabeled (“don’t wash the towels every day” , “offer an organic breakfast” and “make sure lights are off when guests are not in room”) than for a t-shirt to even sniff a Swan. So NICE has actually taken on the opposite approach. Taking on co-operations that give new knowledge, looking in to new projects that bring forward development – rather than cooperating too closely with for example the above-mentioned Nordic Swan and thereby being locked in to systems that could quickly prove to be counter-productive.
NICE has developed three tools, though: A Code of Conduct. A web site for designers, producers and consumers (www.nicefashion.org) and a 10-year plan are out there. NICE has also held a Fashion Summit, and several smaller workshops and seminars. But NICE is neither about labels nor quick fixes. It is about starting somewhere, and thinking through all the processes involved. Because the truth is that true sustainability has nothing to do with focusing only organic, recycling or local production – even though we are all working to ensure these approaches. It has to do with a shift in paradigm. And NICE is aiming to be part of these revolutionary thought processes. They are all about new thoughts on local indigenous fibers and raw materials – and new processes that are for example cradle-to-cradle-based, or on biopolymers. This means, for one thing, that one is working towards no toxic chemicals. Rethinking why we want or need treatments for fibers, why we need perfect surfaces – questions that need to be asked. Why we cannot accept the “acceptable” and the “personable”. When we in all other social forms espouse individuality and personality, so why must all textiles and clothing look the same? In the age of mass production, what looks hand-embellished could just as well become valuable. But to be very concrete what NICE is aiming to do and is actually doing, our main mode of attack is through cooperation and projects that deal with specific and tangible projects. One of our main collaborators is the RITE Group in the UK (Reducing the Impact of Textiles on the Environment), but we are also on steering committees of major environmental pushes on textiles – in the UK and Sweden. We also collaborate with Cotton Made in Africa, CLASS (a showroom for more environmentally sustainable textiles), Source4Style and many other good and important organizations and initiatives.
But what will be most important for NICE in the years to come, will be the projects like the two we currently have with SIFO (Norway’s Institute for Consumer Research) on Valuing Norwegian Wool and Textile Waste as a Resource. Because: These projects are generating new projects, and new knowledge, along with new cooperations and platforms. This is vital to move forward in the light of those mega-trends everyone is predicting will affect the apparel- and clothing-sector: Skyrocketing raw-material and fiber-prices, exploding local middle class markets in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries along with all new emerging economies, alongside the fact that the “race to the bottom” has hit rock bottom. After the last Chinese New Year holiday, a substantial number of the work force did not return to the factory-regions, they stayed in their local community to work as farmers instead. This means we are looking at a very volatile future. We are talking about a new revolution, some call it the consumer-driven revolution. But it will also be a revolution and a paradigm shift based on scarcer resources that more will want a part of. We all want to look our best. In every culture known to man we as humans have adorned ourselves through what eventually became fashion. But from a culture of individualism and quality we developed a culture of “dress for less” which has undermined the value of the designer, of the personal contribution and of individuality. We are realizing that this specific mantra is what is choking our planet, because it generates enormous amounts of waste. What we need is less closet-filling, more caring. This dynamic communication with the consumer is part of NICE’s future call for a shift in paradigm.
ES I FINNMEX TEX LEN HYL A FR ER EMB T P E S
TEX MEX TAPAS LETT OG IMPONERES AV. ENDA LETTERE Å LAGE. GE.
TIPS & INSPIRASJON PÅ WWW.SANTAMARIA.NO OFW
Photo: Roger Fosaas Photo: Dmitry Valberg Photo: Roza Taslimi
by foto_Morten Qvale 84
Adam og Eva has been the official sponsor for the hair styling at Oslo Fashion Week since 2004. In collaboration with Spaghetti there are over 75 hair stylists working behind the scene every season. The team leaders create the look for the runway shows inspired by the designers visions, supervised by creative director of the Adam og Eva Academy Eirik Thorsen. Adam og Eva hair stylists has great experience within fashion and styling, and have worked during Copenhagen Fashion Week, London Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week.
An exclusive partnership with Pernod Ricard Norway ensures that Jacob’s Creek, one of Australia’s leading wineries, delivers quality wine and sparkling throughout the event. Classic cocktails from ABSOLUT Vodka, Havana Club Rum, Beefeater Gin and Jameson Whiskey may also be enjoyed in the cocktail bar. www.pernod-ricard-norway.com
Oslo Fashion Week and Heimen cooperate on following: ”The Cool Project”: A design competition and cooperation. Let heritage meet modern and even post-modern design, let hacking try to find ways to deal with production. Students and designers have been hard at work to deliver their takes on heritage, tradition and innovation. During OFW the best designers – whether pros or amateurs – will be presented and invited to develop their idea in to what will become a cohesive collection. Called The Cool Collection.
Santa Maria is a European spices & flavouring company. Our concepts bring you irresistable taste sensations from the whole world. 20 years ago we introduced Tex Mex. Now we take it to a whole new level and bring you Tex Mex Tapas. Perfect for all your social occasions where you want to treat your guests to a fresh and modern dining experience. See www.santamaria.no for more information and inspiration.
FASHION, SCIENCE & INSPIRATION These core values are the foundation of every product Redken offers. Redken takes the pulse of New York’s streets and work with the world’s most famous fashion and runway hair stylist; Guido Palau to bring the latest hair trends to the market. Visit a Redken salon to get professional guidance and innovative quality products specifically tailored to your needs. Find your nearest Redken salon at
L’Oréal Paris - because you’re worth it
L’Oréal Paris grew from one philosophy: to offer top performing and exclusive products to the people. Through close cooperation between the most advanced and innovation driven scientists and experienced makeup artists, L’Oréal Paris can provide accessible luxury for all those who demand excellence in beauty. The fashion and elegance of the parisienne is incarnated by the world’s most beautiful women like Claudia Schiffer, Eva Longoria and Diane Krüger. Thanks to the genuine passion for the beauty, L’Oréal Paris have become a global leader in the world of beauty trends.
Inkognitogaten 31, Ph.: +47 40403528
Original Penguin, Sergio Tacchini
Øvre Slottsgate 11, Ph: +47 22 15 51 00
Skovveien 12, Cell: +47 930 03 675
Designers Remix, Lollys Laundry
Drammensveien 118, Ph: +47 22 60 69 50
7 For All Mankind, Alexander Wang, Bonnie Baby, Common Projects, Current/Elliot, Diemme, Duvetica, Gant Rugger, Gant by Michael Bastian, Helmut Lang, IRO, James Perse, Juicy Couture, Juicy Couture Kids, Little Marc Jacobs, Little Paul & Joe, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Michael Michael Kors, Mini Rodini, Rag & Bone, See by Chlo Acc, Theory, Woman by Common Projects, Woolrich, Manatash, Our Legacy, Yoshida Porter.
This overview highlights many of the leading agents with the most important fashion brands and designers. For an appointment please call them directly. As there is no trade fair in Oslo where you can book a booth or showroom, these agencies will provide you with a variety of high quality brands. Hotels in central Oslo will be in short travelling distance to any of these agencies.
Grensen 8, Cell: +47 930 80 145
Benedikte Utzon, Ganni, Nina Jarebrink
Nydalsveien 30b, Ph: +47 23 00 77 77
Akersgaten 16, Ph.: +47 67123080
Marc Cain, Marc Cain Sport, Airfield, Cambio, Nurage, Max Volmary, Nice Connection, Tomm Fjellberg collection
Spireaveien 6, Ph: +47 22 80 50 40, firstname.lastname@example.org
Quiksilver, Quiksilver Women, Roxy, Vans, Dragon, Lib Tech, Gnu, Pro-Tec
President Harbitz gate 4, Ph: +47 25 12 02 10
Nygata 3 (NB: new adress), Ph: +47 906 39 580
Maridalveien 87, 1st building, Ph: +47 23 00 17 70
OFW is collaborating with Radisson Blu Oslo Plaza hotel. For information for booking please e-mail: email@example.com
Lysaker brygge 23-25 (NB: new adress), Ph: +47 67 10 69 00
Andersen&Lauth, Black Lily, Canadiens, D:Co, Gestuz, Gudrun og Gudrun, Humör, Hunkydory, MuuBaa, Rütme, Rützou, The Local Firm, L&J
Maridalsveien 87, Ph.: +47 23233400
Inwear, Part Two, Matinique, Cottonfield, Jackpot, Saint Tropez, Soaked
Parkveien 31c, Cell: +47 92 45 88 80
55DSL, Fred Perry
Kongensgate 24, Ph.: +47 23310900
Anti Sweden, Bobbie Burns, Campomaggi, Denham, Dolfie , Dr. denim, Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, Hope, Love Stones, Mardou & Dean, Mint , Peter Løchstøer, Replay, Replay&Sons, Rock`n Blue, Rules by Mary, Stylein, Swedish Hasbeens, Triwa, We Are Replay, What Goes Around Comes Around, Whyred, Won Hundred
Maridalsveien 87, Cell: +47 98 29 08 99
Veronica B. Vallenes, Property of, Suit.
NUDIE JEANS CO
Fjellgata 30 (NB: new adress), Ph: +47 22 38 17 00
Parkveien 29, Ph: +47 22 93 12 10
Tiger of Sweden
Parkveien 29, Cell: +47 907 507 46
Magnus Bergs gate 66, Ph: +47 971 75 275
Aymara, Anouk, Sneaky Fow, Hanky Panky, Elle Macprherson Intimates, Stella Mccartney Lingerie.
WESC WeSC 88
Hausmannsgate 16, Ph: +47 21 54 75 70
OFW OFFICIAL OPENING Newcomers of The Season OFW Norwegian Designer Show
OFW Main Arena. Show starts: 6 PM sharp Invitation only
OFW OFFICIAL BUYER’S OPENING Newcomers of The Season OFW Norwegian Design Show
OFW Main Arena. Show starts: 9 PM sharp Invitation only
The Cool Project Vernissage
OFW Main Arena
OFW Main Arena
OFW Main Arena
OFW Main Arena, invitation only
OFW Main Arena
OFW Main Arena
Ingunn Birkeland Oslo Vernissage/performance
Line of Oslo
OFW Main Arena
Moods of Norway
Øvrevoll Galopp Bane
Riccovero and Kristian Aadnevik for Riccovero
Ballroom, Nedre Vollgate 11
OFW OFFICIAL PARTY
Kunstnernes Hus, invitation only
OFW MAIN ARENA AND AFTER PARTY VENUE Posthallen, Quadraturen Dronningensgate/ Prinsensgate, Oslo, Norway Times in schedule are when the show starts. Doors open one hour prior to show start.
Frequent and important trade fairs, shows and exhibitions in August 2011 AUG. 9TH - 11TH
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Stockholm
Release OFW Magazine
AUG. 3RD. - 7TH.
Copenhagen Fashion Week
London Fashion Week
AUG. 9TH - 11TH
Events, extended opening hours and special rates for OFW audience throughout the week.
OFW Main Arena, Posthallen
JASON SHARPE AND LINNE ROSSTAD SHARPE, OR THE OTHER WAY AROUND: L&J, ARE SEEMINGLY THE PERFECT TEAM. HE HAS CONSULTED FOR BARNEYS NEW YORK, AND SHE HAS DRAGGED HIM 6000 MILES FROM SOUTH TO NORTH OF THIS GOD-FORSAKEN COUNTRY AND BACK, TO MEET THEIR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS AND TO UNDERSTAND NORWAY. WHAT A GENIUS APPROACH. By: Tone Skårdal Tobiasson
L&J L&J www.LJnorway.com info@LJnorway.com blog: http://ljnorway.blogspot.com J: +47 91918202 L: +47 94871197 Agent, Norway Holzweiler Agentur Andreas Holzweiler Phone: +47 46 67 50 62 Phone: +47 22 42 23 00 www.holzweiler.no
Photo: Roger Fosaas
She is the epitome of a Norwegian – blonde and beautiful; he looks like he just wandered out of the closest nightclub in the Meatpacking District. Together they plan to rule fashion. How they met? Fate. He was living the rock’n’roll life of photoproductions for magazine shoots (Italian Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, etc) and was in Paris casting models in a hotel lobby. He spots a girl sketching. She has – for some crazy reason – checked in to the hotel with her room-mate – even though they have an apartment close by – she’s a student at Esmod Paris. During a break he goes over and asks what on earth she is doing. The rest is history, as they say. This year-old label is on a roll. With Jason’s business acumen and Linne’s sense of style – plus the combined willingness to actually get their elbows greasy – makes for a pretty good formula for success. Linne, in addition to her Esmod-background, worked for Cerruti under Jean Paul Knott for three and a half years, being in charge of knit-wear and cocktail evening-collections. And for those not in the know, Knott was Yves Saint Laurent’s side-kick for ten years. But back to L&J’s first collection (fall/winter 2011/2012), which is available in Oslo, Stavanger, Kristiansand, Hovden and Fyresdal, even though they – according to themselves – got a late start. But then they did something designers and apparel-companies seldom do: – We travelled 6000 miles in a week, and visited every mom-and-pop store along the coast from Kristiansand to Trondheim – and then back down to Oslo, Jason explains. – It helped create brand-awareness, and luckily we had Andreas’ name as a means of introduction. (Andreas Holzweiler being the agent who has taken the label in to his show-room along with former Newcomer of the season, Camilla Bruerberg.) It was a great way to see Norway, but also to understand better what Norwegians like and what they actually wear. – I’d never really travelled around Norway and you had never seen it, of course, Linne says to Jason. – The response was really great, and even though Norwegians are generally very skeptical to Norwegian design, because they feel the designers
lack consistency, that the actual collections don’t live up to the prototypes, etc., we got good feedback. And we’ve actually been able to deliver goods that are even better than our prototypes. Mainly because we’ve worn the prototypes ourselves and figured out what type of improvements would give them better fit. What actually works and what doesn’t. And people like that we use only natural fibers, but that is because I actually get allergic reactions to synthetic materials. Jason pipes in: – We want to make things with a clear conscience. These are clothes you can sleep in! Since we produce in the EU, in Italy, we know everything is above board and done in the right, safe way. I’d rather that things are a little more expensive, but that one really knows the story behind how the clothes are made and what the materials are made of. In the same way, it is important for us to build our base in Norway – be consistent with our clients – before we start thinking about export. Moods of Norway did it the same way; they built the brand in Norway first – then they went out to conquer the world. I have much respect for them although our 2 brands have a completely different philosophy, and in turn differences in price point, marketing and design. I am confident that Norway can support both demographics. Jason started out in the music-business, went on to become a model-agent and then a photo-agent for Greg Kadel (hence the model casting that fateful day in Paris); but he also consulted for several retailers including Barneys New York – with concept-ideas for commercials and building brand-images. Heavy names like Salvatore Ferregamo, Hermès, Calvin Klein float across the table. Work that makes Jason’s lack of design background become irrelevant. – We are a great team. Linne knows what girls like to wear, I know what guys prefer. We start out with some colors and yarns – a cohesive palette – then make something feminine and masculine out of it, and sometimes we switch so that what was feminine becomes part of the men’s collection or visa-versa. Even if we work on our own, and separately, we always come up with something that is surprisingly cohesive. For some strange reason. So what will we be seeing on the catwalk for spring/summer 2012? – You! – You! Linne and Jason point a finger at each
other, wanting the other to tell. Linne finally accepts the challenge: – The colors are still earthy, but lighter. The knits are looser. And there are some splashes of color, more reds and blues. We’ve also developed a new yarn of linen, silk and cotton. Go again? Developed a yarn? With the factory? – Yes, we spent some days there, working directly with the knitters. It is easier to actually go there, instead of sending technical drawings back and forth. It’s a very big factory, outside Rome; they have their own clothing-line they produce for the American and Japanese markets. It’s a family-run business and it is
mama who does the programming of the machines – she’s the real ball-buster! We’ve become part of the family, and they’ve taken us all around the area to the many sights. It makes you very humble. And
we like working organically, things evolving from how we feel, very hands-on. Thinking about what we actually like to wear, what we would like to wear in a year’s time… So no trend-reports for these guys? – Not really, but somehow we end up hitting spot-on with what is a trend. What we do follow is colors; but we try to avoid the colors that everyone else picks. Right now it’s mustard yellow. Why would someone pick our mustard yellow piece if they can buy something in mustard yellow from a better-known brand? We are, however, finding our voice a little more this time around. We played it a little safe with the first collection. We are more fearless now, Jason smiles, and hastens to add that thanks to Innovation Norway they are getting a lot of help with their business plan, and avoiding the many pit-falls of starting up a business. –Outside the ecological view, which is important to us, there are those economic factors. Just getting the samples in to Norway and through customs, is a night-mare. Which is why many companies don’t stay. But we want to build our base here, so we just have to fight our logistics-battles.
18:00 Newcomer of The Season OFW Norwegian Designer Show
Somehow I think logistics-problems are tackled pretty head-on by these guys, elbow-grease notwithstanding. L&J Norway will very soon be a label to reckon with.
FEBRUARY LAUNCHED THE COCOON PROJECT AS A COLLABORATION WITH NORWAY’S TOP THREE FASHION DESIGN SCHOOLS, HIO (OSLO UNIVERSITY COLLEGE), ESMOD AND KHIO (OSLO NATIONAL ACADEMY OF THE ARTS). THE RESULTS HAVE NOW ROLLED IN. Text: Daniel Bratterud
Photo: Roger Fosaas
The project has aimed to put some of the most promising new design talents in the spotlight, and three have been selected from each of the three schools, who will get the opportunity to show their collections at Oslo Fashion Week in August. A high-profile jury has chosen from a group of exceptionally talented new designers and ditto students ensured the cut that showed at OFW. The project takes a big step towards ensuring fresh Norwegian talent on the catwalk, and strengthens the relationship between Norway’s three creative educational arenas and ties this to established fashion arenas. Jone Nielsen from HiO is thrilled to be one of the selected students and thinks it’s his ability to think outside the box that makes his collection attractive: – First and foremost being selected was a confirmation. In addition it gives me the opportunity to show my vision. It’s also great, after such an intense working period, where one works a great deal with oneself and one’s own thoughts, opinions and creative turns, to get it confirmed that my products attract interest from others, Nielsen adds. The project is in many ways innovative and different from what we’ve previously seen in fashion in a Norwegian and Scandinavian context. Fit, intelligence and quality rather than mass produced garments without history, affiliation and soul are definitely thoughts one should bring into the future in regards to clothes, he continues. Nielsen also explains that the project is a much needed initiative, and that it presents a unique opportunity for fresh graduates to reach out to future customers: –The Cocoon project gives me an opportunity to reach out on a much greater scale than I could do alone at this stage. I think it’s an incredibly clever project. I think Norwegians have to start to toughen up and shout out a bit louder. This venue is going to be great, and I will use this opportunity for what it’s worth. My hopes
and goals for this show are as much exposure and focus on the collection as possible from potential investors and other interested future buyers, he says. Ngoc Le Thi Hagen, who is one of the chosen from ESMOD, second-guesses that her focus on Norwegian culture might be what got her selected, and hopes all the chosen students get to show their Top of the pops. – I truly hope the jury found my collection exciting, and that it met their expectations for lies in hope for Norwegian design.. My collection was inspired by Norwegian cultural history, and has a lot of detailed handicraft and technical solutions, and by creating a innovative interpretation – this might be what it takes to make the cut, she explains. The lucky students who will be showing at OFW’s Cocoon Show in August 2011 are: From KHiO (Oslo National Academy of the Arts): Nilhan Durmusogl (men’s clothing) Lisa Ngo (women’s clothing) Helena Zogbaum Gyhagen (women’s clothing) From Esmod Oslo: Ngoc Le Thi Hagen (women’s clothing) Anette Boman (women’s clothing) From HiO (Oslo University College): Andreas Benjamin Theissen (men’s clothing) Jone Nielsen (men’s clothing) Karoline Bakken Lund (men’s and women’s clothing)
WEDNESDAY AUG/10TH 17:00 Cocoon Show Posthallen
OFW DESIGNER SHOW ARMANDO SANTOS DATE: AUGUST 9TH VENUE: POSTHALLEN TIME: 18.00 AND 21.00 (invitation only)
DATE: AUGUST 10TH VENUE: POSTHALLEN TIME: 18:00
CONTACT INFORMATION ARMANDO SANTOS Pilestredet park 15, 0176 Oslo +47 922 60 885, firstname.lastname@example.org
18:00 OFW Official Opening 21:00 OFW Norwegian Designer Show
BULL SAFARI Båtstangvn. 14, 3230, Sandefjord +47 91510953, email@example.com
FABEL www.fabelnorway.com +47 924 87 111, firstname.lastname@example.org
GREEN SQUARE www.greensquareconcept.com +47 970 82 581, email@example.com LITTLE CUPCAKES BY FAM IRVOLL www.famirvoll.com Ivan Bjørndasgate 9, Oslo +47 982 55 151, firstname.lastname@example.org iiS OF NORWAY Sørlandsvegen 497,4340, Bryne +47 514 84 870, email@example.com LEASH www.walkyourego.com Bygdøy Allé 18, 0262 Oslo +47 932 63 429, firstname.lastname@example.org LILLUNN DESIGN OF NORWAY www.lillunn.no Svelvikveien 6, 3040 Drammen +47 328 28 290, email@example.com MARIETTE Porselensveien 12, 3920 Porsgrunn +47 952 90 411, firstname.lastname@example.org MOODS OF NORWAY www.moodsofnorway.com Hegdehaugsveien 34, Oslo +47 412 93 889, email@example.com SADONI COUTURE Uranienborgveien 79, 0351 Oslo +47 996 03 629, firstname.lastname@example.org SCA ULVEN www.scaulven.com Traneveien 3, 0575 Oslo +47 936 61 404, email@example.com SOPHIE FAROH www.sophiefaroh.com Pilestredet 75, 0354 Oslo +47 934 71 639, firstname.lastname@example.org TSH www.tsh..no Eckersbergsgate 33, 0266 Oslo +47 930 23 532, email@example.com 94
Designer: Armando Santos Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.armandosantos.com Collection: Havets perler (Pearls of the Ocean) Armando Santos entered the fashion industry to explore his creative side, and has impressed us all with his high level of quality and his understanding of the feminine essence. He has evolved as a designer who knows how to hold back, and at the same time delivering exquisite dresses. Santos is obsessed with techniques and craftsmanship, and his attention to details is a trademark. His main focus this season will be in the details, and he aims for a feminine figured silhouette. The materials are silk with pearls, in colour tones of white, blue and lilac.
By: Daniel Bratterud
DATE: AUGUST 10TH VENUE: POSTHALLEN TIME: 19:00
DATE: AUGUST 10TH VENUE: POSTHALLEN TIME: 21:00
Photo: Roger Fosåas
Photo: Solveig Selj
Designer: Mariette Røed Torjussen Contact info: email@example.com Website: http://www.mariette.no/
Designer: Fam Irvoll Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.famirvoll.com
Collection: Etterdønninger (Aftermath), a continuation of her previous collection Himmel og Hav (Heaven and Ocean)
Collection: Pink Nightmare
The Porsgrunn-based designer has more than 16 years of experience with her own atelier, and is inspired by her coastal Grenland surroundings, clearly influencing her design. This collection will also have a clear link of her previous collection called Himmel & Hav (Heaven and Ocean). Mariette’s clothes are feminine, sensual and different, and have been described by others as unique, raw and exclusive. Quality is a main focus for Mariette. This collection is split into two parts: A basic one for Norwegian summer temperatures and style, for the general market in Norway. The other part is a bit more creative and exclusive with suits and dresses with exquisite quality, which is to a greater extent aimed for the international market. Mariette’s materials for the basic collection are linen, silk, cotton, viscose and wool knitwear. The palette this season will be ecru white, lilac, pink and beige, with photo prints of the sky and sea. The exclusive part of the collection has light blue colours, green, beige and ecru. The silhouette this season is based on the feminine shapes of the female body and Mariette aims to offer a broad, varied and exciting collection in cuts, seams and shapes.
Our favorite zany designer, who has her education from Central Saint Martins in London, and paid her dues working for the Norwegian designer Peter Løchstøer and for British icons Vivienne Westwood, Gareth Pugh and Alexander McQueen, is bursting with a new collection. Luck has it that she stumbled in to this business, since she was more concerned about having a good time, but her mother set her straight, and lucky for her many fans she has kept at it. Call it pop-art or as some do – compare her to Castelbajac – no matter her circus-naïve approach with a childish and fun twist to clothes has caught on.
18:00 Armando Santos 19:00 Mariette 21:00 Fam Irvoll
Her aim is to make people feel strongly, either l ove or loathing, which she certainly will with nightmares as her inspiration, though Alice in Wonderland is always lurching in the background. She always surprises, and promises that one day she’ll shock everyone with a completely black collection. Her themes are generally cute and funny. This time around she seemingly has gone in a totally new direction; until you get a closer look. This season has added a new dimension: Fam has been pregnant during the whole process, and her growing stomach came between her and her sewing-machine – literally. But with her three assistants (Thomas, Sol and Elise) she managed to finish up just as her two deadlines neared. So get ready for a new Fam. Who is still very much the same.
LINE OF OSLO
DATE: AUGUST 11TH VENUE: POSTHALLEN TIME: 18:00
DATE: AUGUST 11TH VENUE: POSTHALLEN TIME: 21:00 Photo: Pia Camilla Skjøtehaug
17:00 18:00 19:00 21:00 21:00
Cocoon Sca Ulven Ingunn Birkeland Oslo Line of Oslo Moods of Norway
Designers: Sara C. Andersson and Marte Ulven Contact info: email@example.com Website: http://www.scaulven.no/
Designer: Line Jeanette Varner Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.lineofoslo.no/
Collection: The Study
Collection: PEACE & LOVE by Line of Oslo
SCA ULVEN is the eponymous brand of designers Sara C. Andersson and Marte Ulven. They both attended TEKO in Denmark and have also both studied their craft in Oslo. Their close ties to the rest of Scandinavia shines through in their collections.
Designer Line Jeanette Varner worked in the fashion industry for more than 25 years before she decided to start her own brand. Her experience as a store owner, buyer and agent, as well as her marketing background, has taught her the fashion business in a different way than most designers.
The girls say they entered the fashion industry because they want to see people walk around in beautiful clothing, and that they aim to make flattering and wearable clothes, distinctive through their silhouettes and prints.
Her clothes have been described as down to earth, and her aim is to make her customers feel both beautiful and comfortable in her clothes.
They constantly try to find the true SCA ULVEN essence which results in a relaxed, modern and contemporary design with clear Scandinavian references. Themes they focus on in their design are silhouettes and digital prints, as well as flattering shapes. The line includes mainly dresses, tops and coats, and this year SCA ULVEN aims to make a clean and clear collection which works for most occasions. The materials this season is crepe de chine and cotton voile with digital print, viscose and cotton. The colours range from pale pinky beige to print with hints of pale green, grey and purple to the classic black. This summer’s collection is a study of proportion and balance. The focus is on genuine cuts and a long, straight silhouette combined with oversized shapes which allow freedom of movement. They use a modern simplicity in their construction which lets the fabrics and prints breathe.
Line of Oslo features clean-cut items with a personal distinctive signature, stylish details and good quality. “Feel good every day” is Varner’s mantra, and the brand can be described as a bit more bohemian than other Norwegian collections. This season’s inspiration is drawn from the hippie years, St. Tropez, Brigitte Bardot and old classic movies. The A-shape is always present in Line of Oslo’s collections, to ensure a very feminine flair. The last two years have included the V-shape, which is Varner’s personal favourite. The summer collection is made in cashmere, merino, cotton, linen and silk, and Line of Oslo wants the customers to feel new, fresh and relaxed in vintage, soft qualities with personal details.
By: Daniel Bratterud
MOODS OF NORWAY
DATE: AUGUST 11TH VENUE: ØVREVOLL GALOPP BANE TIME: 22:00
DATE: AUGUST 11TH VENUE: BALLROOM, Nedre Vollgt.11 TIME: 21:00
Photo: Roger Fosåas
Photo: Amelia Karlsen
Designers: Simen Staalnacke, Peder Børresen and Stefan Dahlqvist Contact info: email@example.com Website: http://www.moodsofnorway.com/
Designer: Kristian Aadnevik Brand: Riccovero Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org Web-site: www.riccovero.no
Collection: Cocktail Picnic Society
RICCOVERO WOMAN The spring 2012 brings a casual, cool look. Feminine blouses and dresses with layers and volume are mixed with down-to-business tailored jackets and strong detailed coats with attitude. Soft is mixed with hard by using different textures, contrast qualities and trimmings. The inspiration is city skylines around the world, beaches and people on the street. The colour aqua is a big influence. Shades of blue are mixed together to create a vibe of ‘floating’ for garments made in chiffon and silk. The sheer ‘maxi’ trend is seen in both fluid dresses and skirts. Finally - the shirt is back! Choose a crisp white shirt with contrast fabric and fresh details or dive into the blues with big checks. Wear it with patchwork jeans or relaxed yet slim detailed cotton pants. Neutrals and white-on-white continue but lets start dreaming of summer early this year and add a splash of paradise pink to your outfit. Whether in a blouse, knit or a dress, the strong colour is definitely going to put you in to a good mood.
The three self-taught designer musketeers are at it again, with their fun patterns and glowing passion for fashion along with tractor-shaped waffles, pink cocktails, tractors and limos. Happy is their mantra, which reflects in everything they do, with a touch of eclectic Norway as their DNA. This season they are inspired by the Norwegian tradition of picnicking al fresco – preferably with a breathtaking view – and with good company dressed in happy, slightly preppy-inspired clothes. This has even been developed in to an actual summer-phenomenon, a Cocktail Picnic Society that will most surely turn up in a park close to you. Their three collections (and for the first time their women’s collection is a big as the men’s) are a well-mixed (shaken, but not stirred?) cocktail of varied colors and clear patterns, sprinkled with Norwegian details. These go from sports (a new off-shoot) through street/casual to cocktail moods. Thematically it is all about spreading joy, dressing people in signature colors, having fun with Norwegian elements; and while their men’s collection focuses mostly on suits, shirts and knit – the women’s collection has dresses and tops as its core. Playing with Moods’ own lore and silliness, mixed with trends, makes for partly more washed-out hues in parts of the collection, along with crisper and sportier in others. Fibers are silk, cashmere and light cotton, very nice in men’s summer suits. All in all, some classics and silhouettes are stayers; but many new styles aim to refresh and surprise. As does their show: Welcome to the farm!
21:00 Riccovero Kristian Aadnevik for Riccovero
RICCOVERO MAN For Spring/Summer 2012 we take the classic Scandinavian cool and gives it a hint of the Riviera. The collection brings an elegant but nonchalant Mediterranean style to the North whilst never forgetting it’s roots in traditional menswear. Tailoring is soft and relaxed, in a wide range of rich navys and indigos balanced with cool greys and natural shades. Unstructured silhouettes give city-wear a more casual feel though summer tuxedos are still elegant enough for parties and weddings. Shirting features smaller checks and stripes, the new most important is indigo in color and fabric, with pops of green, orange and riviera blue to add interest. There is a definite safari feel with double breastpockets on soft jackets, evoking the spirit of the Cote D’Azur but a biker jacket made in fabric rather than leather shows a rebellious attitude. Trousers are slim and unfussy to finish off an elegant and sophisticated outfit, perfect for an evening drive down the coast to Nice...
ADULTRY, FASHION, EXTREME MAKEOVERS – NO I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT ”THE TUDORS” DARLINGS. THERE’S A BRAND NEW REALITY SHOW I WATCH THESE DAYS AND IT’S CALLED: THE ROYALS. Nonono - I’m not talking about TV-shows sweeties, I am talking about the real thing. In a fashion world sans John Galliano and Alexander McQueen it seems like there’s so much more fashion and juice within the realms of the royal courts these days than anywhere else. First of all it’s been a season of weddings. Yes sweeties, of course I’m talking about Kate and Will. But we also had Albert and Charlene of Monaco and honestly darlings, that relationship looks about as warm as yesterday’s gossip. And — what DID they make this poor Charlene do to her nose? And teeth? Small wonder she tried to escape day before the wedding, I bet her chest was next. Is she a new princess Grace? Hardly. And the British - they cannot seem to make up their minds who is the top Kate in London anymore. Ok, so I admit princess Catherine — and her sister, the royal hotness Pippa Middleton, are a cute pair of party girls. And Catherine is a darling for all her slumming in high street clothes. Still she can’t hold a candle to Kate Moss. And can she be a new princess Di? Hardly. Royal fashion slumming seems to be a trend however. Mentioning no names but not long ago I saw some pictures of another royal princess sporting clothes from H&M in public. How ghastly! I do get the message sweeties, it’s quite obvious she wants to support — well someone or something. There is probably a statement somewhere there, I’m just too drunk to see it. But I wonder if she and her hubby also has a Kamprad bed and a Billy bookshelf at home in their palace? That doesn’t bear thinking about — I mean, we are talking about the girl whose father buys the most expensive women in Europe! And all his wife gets are trips to the surgeon. Honestly darlings if I had to keep a straight face like her there’s just not enough nerve-gas left in the world that would help. Personally darlings I think the royals should quit pretending to be recessionistas. They aren’t fooling anyone. Look to Norway’s crown princess. She spends an insane amount of money on couture and chooses from the top shelf for her wardrobe. Taxpayers are crying everywhere. But there is just no Cubus for Mette-Marit. And my eyes are grateful — as you all know darlings I too claim my right to spend my money like a drunken diva. What do you mean? I am a drunken diva? Oh well. At least I don’t pretend like some people. Hint – hint? Well earlier this year Oslo’s self-declared top hipster Petter Stordalen arranged a lavish slum chic party: hippie-style. Of course I was invited. I wouldn’t have missed watching the toffs get their flower power on for the world — but what a surreal experience. I don’t know what was worse. Watching Trygve Hegnar do the V-sign and saying”peace and love” to the cameras was just other-worldly. And Julie Voldberg’s short white number that gave her the biggest camel-toe since the Moscow arranged the Eurovision Song Contest. The problem with retro styles is they make some people look like they have lived in those tie-dye outfits since the days of the real Woodstock anyway. And mentioning no names, sweetie darlings — no names at all. I just long for the days when jet setters were happy being who we really are deep down: the beautiful people. Why all this slumming? It gives me nightmares of dirty communes, home-grown bean sprouts, free love and drugs with Hegnar and Spetalen. Hot damn, I am glad there’s still people left in Oslo like Christian Ringnes. Isn’t he just da bomb? Not only does he appreciate true glamour, leggy models, voluptuous female artists bathing in champagne. Now this little blonde firecracker wants to give us all a park full of naked women - for free! Good god, who needs Hugh Hefner and The Playboy Club when we have Christian Ringnes. All I miss now is my little darling Pia. Where has she gone??? I bought the pink dress with cutouts up the thighs Pia — I really did! Come back!
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