Stockholm Fashion Week A/W 10-11

The strength of subtle details strides on at Fashion Week by Berns.

Fashion Show
The Local Firm
Fashion Week By Berns may not bear the name of the city where it takes place but its precise strength is that the event is mainly contained within the 145 year old Berns Salonger entertainment complex (comprising, restaurant, nightclub, concert hall and hotel) in Stockholm.  The schedule at Fashion Week by Berns may not be full to the brim but spaced out over three days, the core of what Sweden's fashion design scene is most definitely showcased.

There's no getting away from the denim. Whilst labels like Acne have off from their denim roots and emerged triumphant, others like Cheap Monday have stuck to their initial selling point but have taken it to new heights with the help of new creative director Ann Sofie-Back. A slicker and cleaned-up collection than the last, A/W 2010 smartly mixed tailoring with jersey casuals and the patched up holes mended the ruggedness of last season. The accessible spirit of the band was also echoed by its policy to allow the public into the show, with the spirit pumped up by hundreds of screaming show goers rushing into the venue. Relative denim newcomer Dr. Denim mined 90s grunge without shame but also cleaned it up with the injection of 50s preppy/collegiate touches.

The sturdily established local labels such as Hope and Whyred were always going to deliver in their collections. Hope, created by Ann Ringstrand and Stefan Soderberg made sure their ideas and inspirations were made clear as they themselves provided an explanatory voiceover that accompanied the show held in the majestic venue of Stockholm's Dramatic Theatre. Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal inspired the crisp and purposely isolated collection filled with demonstrative chess patterns, patchwork constructions and luxuriously protective outerwear complete with oversized sheepskin collars. Whyred's vision of the season for men and women included body-enhancing fabrics that work together with the reductive shapes that they have been building on. Synthetics with interesting surfaces have been honed into narrow bottoms and wider tops.

The Swedes take to the stark and the minimal with great flair and if any brands reverberate the local street style then look no further than to labels like Odeur and The Local Firm. The former played on creative pattern cutting producing uniquely cut oversized tops and outerwear. The latter is a rising star that was influenced by the 80s street sports aesthetics that used subtle colour blocking with progressive denim pieces.

The week also showcased the semi-established rising talents, some of whom are products of the Beckmans School of Design, whose show we reviewed last week. The talented Diana Orving who is one of the few that comes from a self-taught background has been pushing her shapes to a more tailored territory whilst again concentrating on prints with the help of Johan Hjerpe. Maxfactor Award winner Lovisa Burfitt ran away from Swedish minimal wearability with her Parisian 'la garconne' collection that was full of corsetry, inky black and swaying femme fatales. Another hot name on the block, Minimarket gave a cutesey take on seminole Indian tribes combining their graphic monochrome prints together with heavily textured fabrics and a pastel crayon palette. Newcomer Helena Qvist also went for Africana-inspired looks.

Add a few more of those names that have been flying the flag for Swedish fashion abroad such as Sandra Backlund, the long-absent Helena Horstedt and Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair and the Fashion 'week' by Berns may extend even further.

N.B. Separate reports on Carin Wester and Acne to be published.
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