July 29 2014

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3 posts tagged "Filippa K"

Stockholm Steps It Up


J. Lindeberg and Filippa K

Stockholm fashion week came to a close yesterday, and it was fitting that the Swedish Minister of Culture chose this season as the first to award a representative of the fashion industry with the government’s oldest medal—the Illis Quorum. It was given to Margareta van den Bosch, H&M’s head of design for more than twenty years, for her contribution toward raising Swedish fashion to international success and stimulating the growth of Swedish designers. And her efforts, it would seem, have paid off. During the Spring ’14 shows, there was a noticeably stronger international presence from buyers, members of the press, and even street-style scenesters—some of whom experienced a touch of wardrobe confusion thanks to the sunny and unusually hot weather.

Suitable for an outdoorsy nation of egalitarian renown, quite a few of the shows featured both menswear and womenswear, and there was an emphasis on practicality, nature, and the modern luxury of affordable garments. Impossibly high heels and astronomically expensive handbags were nowhere to be found—rather, designers expressed a fascination with functionality. J.Lindeberg articulated this via puffer jackets and boots punctuated by insect prints (above, left). In her BACK presentation, Ann-Sofie Back offered workwear that was mirrored in her collection for Cheap Monday, and monochromatic and nude color schemes dominated at Whyred and Carin Wester. Tiger of Sweden provided a refreshing closing show that mixed punky details with micro-patterns and sharp tailoring.

Bea Szenfeld and AltewaiSaome

There were a few stand-out moments—Filippa K’s sand-colored menswear suit with a black leather shirt and black suede shoes (top, right), The Local Firm’s designer Richard Hutchinson opening his show playing the flute, and Bea Szenfeld’s haute papier collection of giant animals made out of paper (above, left), among them. AltewaiSaome—designed by Natalia Altewai and Randa Saome—deserves a mention, too. Inspired by a gentleman’s wardrobe, with garters and oversized un-tied bowties, the innovative collection (above, right) was impressive for a duo only in their fifth season showing. Overall, Stockholm felt more confident in its identity as an emerging fashion capital, understanding its strengths and building for the future.

Photos: Mathias Nordgren; Kristian Löveborg (AltewaiSaome)

Stockholm Rocks!


There was plenty of grooving at Stockholm Fashion Week this year, where the Swedes showed their collections to an indie rock beat. A live piano concert—shades of Cat Power—attended Filippa K’s noirish collection of pencil skirts, structured dresses, and tilted fedoras in the Museum of Photography, and the crowded scene at Cheap Monday in the Frihamnshallen had the feel of an arena concert. In fact, almost every presentation was held at the Berns, the nineteenth-century hotel-cum-concert-hall where most of the guests were staying. (Good news, that, given that persistent snowdrifts would have made the usual fashion-week runaround pretty unpleasant.) The exception proved the rule at Hope, the week’s highlight, held in the gilded Royal Dramatic Theatre (pictured). As guests sampled delicacies from the Fårö region of Gotland and a second tier of onlookers snapped photos from an upstairs gallery, the two designers gave brief, scholarly explanations of how their crisp, beautifully tailored men’s and women’s wear reflected the influence of Ingmar Bergman’s art-house classic The Seventh Seal, from hooded sweaters meant to evoke Death’s cape to checkerboard prints suggesting his famous chess match. It wasn’t the usual soundtrack for the runway, but the beats were barely missed.

Photo: Kristian Loveborg / Courtesy Berns Salonger

Filippa K On San Fran and Smart Secondhand


Whether they knew it or not, Bay Area residents had one extra thing to be thankful for last month. Filippa K opened its first store in the United States on Black Friday, and San Francisco shoppers are the lucky ones who get to browse the Stockholm-
based company’s stock of oh-so-reasonably priced staples for men and women. If Sweden’s most famous fashion brand, H&M, has exported one template for Scandinavian thrift to the States, Filippa K promotes another. The label is laser-
focused on making the kind of clothes that amortize themselves with constant use. Think perfectly cut jackets and trousers, season
-less shirtdresses, and day-in, day-out denim and tees. This slow-fashion approach feels right for the times, and in a fitting if coincidental bit of fashion allegory, the San Francisco Filippa K store is housed in a former bank. Some investments do hold their value. Here, Filippa K founder Filippa Knutsson talks to about San Fran’s Scandinavian sensibility, what’s easy and what’s hard about going green, and why she’s perfectly OK not having a corporate strategy.

I know you had already laid much of the groundwork for the San Francisco store by the time Lehman Brothers folded and the economy well and truly tanked, but was there ever a moment when you felt like pulling back? I mean, this isn’t exactly an ideal time for moving into the U.S. market.
A moment? Sure. When a financial crisis hits, you re-evaluate. But we were already pretty close to opening the store when that happened, and anyway, the concept of Filippa K is one that stands up to the times. My key words are style, simplicity, and quality. Basically, we give value for money. Sometimes, the price of fashion is so crazy. I like to think of Filippa K as the intelligent alternative. Continue Reading “Filippa K On San Fran and Smart Secondhand” »