Swedish fashion & design
"Less is more" accurately describes much of Swedish fashion. There’s a fondness for discreet colors and a pared-down, refined appearance. As with so many aspects of life, Swedes tend to take a practical approach to what they wear, but this doesn’t mean there is any lack of creativity — as the Beckmans College of Design’s fashion show proves each year.
Photo: Ulf Lundin/Imagebank.sweden.se
Retailing giant H&M continues to spread affordable Swedish style around the globe and a number of cutting-edge designers are gaining international acclaim. What has been called the “Swedish fashion miracle” started with hip denim brands like Acne, Nudie, WESC and Cheap Monday. Denim’s popularity in Sweden shows no sign of slowing down as smaller brands enter the market. Also, haute couture — from Lars Wallin to Pär Engsheden, a favorite of the royal family — is alive and well, adding a touch of glamour to the country’s laid-back look.
At the same time, there’s a growing reaction against the culture of consumerism. The second-hand market for fashion is also increasing. Last year’s high fashion may be this year’s street wear. This ecological consciousness is also starting to reach designers, not just the consumers, and both are proving that an eco approach can also be chic.
Video interview: Ida Sjöstedt, fashion designer
Fashion designers come and go, but only a few can win approval from the critics year after year like Sweden's Ida Sjöstedt. Rather than following prevailing trends, she goes her own way with designs ranging from the romantic and girlish to glamour and glitter bordering on kitsch.
Join Sjöstedt in her studio in this video interview
Read more about Ida Sjöstedt at mercedesbenzfashionweek.se
Diversity is a vital component of contemporary Swedish design. Aesthetic norms and traditional ways of working are constantly being reassessed and tested. And emotional values are now just as important as function.
“Less is more” accurately describes much of Swedish fashion. There’s a fondness for discreet colors and a pared-down, refined look. As with so many aspects of life, Swedes tend to take a practical approach to what they wear, but this doesn’t mean there is any lack of creativity.
Trend-savvy Swedes are taking a democratic approach to fashion, wearing practical and functional designs that say less about luxury, and more about style.
Sweden’s fashion exports are skyrocketing. Among others, hip New Yorkers go for the Swedish style: modest yet edgy, affordable and wearable. Fashion writer Anna Blom digs deeper into the Swedish fashion wonder.