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July 29 2014

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The Crowning Moments Of Stockholm Fashion Week

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What a difference a few months make. It was only February this year that the original Lisbeth Salander, Noomi Rapace, opened Stockholm fashion week on a cold winter’s morning. This time around, it was none other than Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, who kicked off the Spring ’13 proceedings (as for the temperature on this summer’s morning, it felt only disputably higher)—it was an unexpected, stark contrast to the past season, indeed.

The first show of the season was couture by Dior and Lanvin alumnus Fadi el Khoury. From an elegant, pristine white trouser suit with a tame peplum to intricately detailed lace gowns, these were clothes perfect for a modern princess. It wasn’t until Stylein that we saw a collection word-perfect to what the Scandi-less among us think represents Scandinavian cool. Designed by Elin Nyström, these were easy separates in lemon, gray, and a small floral print, to bulk-buy and rely on. But if it’s the must-watch name you’re looking for, a safe bet could be placed with Altewaisaome, by designers Natalia Altewai and Randa Saome. They showed cocoon jackets, origami pleated skirts, and white wedges (all of which might be inspired by the Fall runways at Balenciaga, Proenza Schouler, and Céline), but there was more than enough here to warrant keeping tabs on them as they develop their line.

The deputy mayor of Stockholm mentioned in her press conference speech that Spring 2012 was the best season ever for Swedish fashion despite the economic downturn. A 60-million-euro increase, in fact. A good chunk of that must have been thanks to Dagmar, the label helmed by three sisters, Kristina Tjader, Karin Soderlind, and Sofia Malm, which has gone from a small knitwear label to the name on everyone’s lips and wardrobes, and now, with Net-a-Porter as a stockist, one with international presence. For Spring 2013 the sisters looked at bio-architecture—high-tech homes carved as prehistoric caves, and the collection’s main print certainly hinted at mountain sides carved up to reveal hidden layers of earth. Again, it was their knitted dresses, sporty-lux jogging pants teamed with chunky fisherman’s sweaters, and zip-up bombers with neon accents that mattered to the press and buyers in attendance. But all of a sudden, a void started to manifest itself, between the impossibly cool, expertly styled girls we studied making their way to the venues and the mood on the catwalk. Case in point: the Cheap Monday show that closed the second day. With a location scout’s dream of a venue (a skater park), surely this would be the moment when real life and catwalk would merge? Yes, but it was the design team taking their bows at the end of the show that did it rather than the models in the show. But this is Sweden and perhaps it’s not cool to talk about cool, so it was with the same nonchalance and quiet aplomb that Lady Gaga was revealed as the guest of Bon Magazine‘s closing party. And just like that, another pop royal brought Stockholm fashion week to a close.

Photo: Andreas Rentz / Getty Images

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