Saturday, 29 January 2011

MBFW: Friday- Swedish Fashion Goes Berlin

Although my body struggled to get up on Friday Morning, I somehow managed to attend a "Swedish Fashion Lecture" at the Nordic Embassies at the other end of Berlin. But how do you say, the early bird catches the worm? The old saw was right, it was interesting and I got a total new perspective on Swedish fashion. The Ph.D. student Ulrike Berglund took us on a historical time journey through Swedish Fashion development from 1930 to 1960. It never occured to me how much Swedish Fashion was influenced by the Parisian Haute Couture and more surprislingly is how much different Swedish Fashion with its minimalistic elements and the attention on edgy cuts and high quality now is from the Parisian style. For me even more interesting was after that the lecture about mythologies of Swedishness and how brands use those stories and prejudices to build up their partially fake Swedish identity held by Ph.D Jacob Östberg. Some of the brands are not even known in Sweden, e.g. the UK based retailer COS. They are operating in some parts of Europe now for about three years, but never had a shop in Sweden, although every part of the stores screams for Scandinavian style.

After the lectures, we got the chance to taste some of the finest Swedish pastries, of course "Knäcke" and cheese. In the basement two Swedish designers got the chance to exhibit their newest collection and we were impressed by the high quality and wearable pieces. The designer Josefin Mellander told me that she just finished her second year at Boras University. She was chosen out of many designers to win this year's Show Up Fashion Award initiated by the Marketplace Boras.

Later that week, on Sunday, I visited the gallery of Swedish Photography. The pictures were all taken by the famous fashion photographer Camilla Akrans and were so beautiful. All week long they were also showing Swedish Fashion Short Movies which was interesting, but not that surprisingly new. But I also had the feeling to have a little fashion overload and could not take any more fashion inspiration. But the whole gallery is really recommendable. It is located in a beautiful typical Berlin backyard right off Oranienburgerstrasse.

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