Fast Times at Scandi High : Top 3 shows from the Oslo Runway SS19

by the Editorial Staff

Oslo Runway is one of the most well-run fashion weeks on the planet. Though it lasts only three days, it is filled with excellence and quality. Oslo Runway has become a champion of Norwegian Fashion and has had a significant impact on how Norwegian fashion is viewed both within and outside of Norway. While by and large most of the shows had something to look forward to, these three shows were hands down the best of an excellent lot. 

Tina Mollatt founded byTiMo in 2004 with the vision to offer high-quality clothing at justifiable prices. She creates garments that mix modern romance with timeless craftsmanship. byTiMo’s AW17 collection was elegant and romantic with hints of bohemian sophistication. The colour palette was very much in line with the colours of the season and included a blend of vibrant prints. The collection offered a wide range of looks from the everyday summer basics to evening wear. The soft silhouettes and ruffles are bound to excite the more feminine of the consumer demographics. 

Before getting into the nuts and bolts of byTimo's design excellence, we must also mention that byTimo plays a significant role in helping not only sustainable fashion but also helping out women in crisis centers in Oslo. So byTimo is in many ways a strong contender for a brand that truly understands the fashion and humanity are intrinsic parts of our sense of aesthetics. And that sort of attachment to pushing a more just society is in ample display in byTimo's design. This Spring-Summer collection focused heavily on the diversity of sizes along with some floral prints and ruffled exploration of silhouettes. It is safe to say that of all the shows during Oslo Runway byTimo's show was by far the most polished in terms of consistently excellent silhouettes. 

If byTimo was the polished darling of the Oslo Runway, then Iben is the rebellious sibling. Iben is the brainchild of Anh-Marthe Storheil, who focuses less on feminine silhouettes and more on the notion of unisex cool. By her own admission, the goal of Iben is to create a tomboy look with the ease of "too cool for school" attributes. This spring/summer collection had that DNA firmly installed in each of the looks. And from a varying color palette to outright gender-bending silhouettes and movements, Iben delivered a strong account of what the brand is really about. With the industrial setting, anything timid would have been a waste. The collection had the strongest line during Oslo Runway and by playing with the movement and how the fabric falls on the body, Iben stood out strong and proud. Incorporation of oversized jackets and blazers with loose pants also added a sense of evolution into the brand's DNA. It was a show that hit the right note and remained strong throughout the catwalk. 

Michael Olestad Nybråten is one of the most exciting emerging talents of Norway. He has the right credentials, the right looks, and above all an abundance of talent. His show was probably the most followed show during OSLRW and for good reason. He has paid his due working for serious designers after finishing his design school and then won the Bikbok award last year to further solidify his reach. But a full show is not like a three look pony that you can do in a hurry, and each detail of his longest show suggested that his work is going to be hitting the stratosphere of international design in no time. From liquid-draped slip dresses to stamped denim—inspired by an 18th-century technique, with bow-tied or zip closures, his work veered from one spectrum of opulence to the other spectrum of minimalism. Foundationally conceptual, but expressively to the point the show stood out for it's glamor and attention to details. Micheal Olestad is someone who understands the need for commerce to meet art and with each piece that idea was hammered to perfection. 

                               Photographs Courtest of Oslo Runway | Getty Images 


Top Three Shows from Copenhagen SS19 : Day 3

by Lotus Ladegaard | Gina Parker

The last day of Copenhagen Fashion week did not throw us any curve balls. It was as consistently good as ever. The shows that stood out were the shows that had an edge to them. While the bigger Copenhagen designers were on display, Copenhagen simply does not have a truly global brand so the designers who understand their core demographics stand out more than designers who try to bombard you with influencers and celebrities.

One of our favorite shows from the CPHFW was Munthe. Naja Munthe entered the Scandinavian fashion scene with Munthe plus Simonsen, a Danish brand with great promise and flair. Just four years ago, Naja Munthe relaunched the brand as Munthe, and after a somewhat dull start, Munthe has impressed in the past two seasons and much was anticipated for SS19. Munthe did not let anyone down, she continues to develop and challenge the term athleisure and delivered a solid and fresh SS19 collection.

For SS19, Munthe showcased her collection at the beautiful venue, Skuespilshuset in Copenhagen, near the canals. Models walked a catwalk decorated with statues resembling palms and made for an interesting backdrop and show. The collection offered just about anything from dresses to outerwear and separates for most occasions. It felt fresh, feminine and classy without ever being overstated. The colour palette was summery with classic subtle prints combined with a few bold tones. 

Several looks stood out such as layered almost sheer printed dress styled with a black sheen blazer, and the burnt orange trousers styled with a scarf-top and printed coat. Several adorable shorts with bell-top waist also stood out along with much of the outerwear such as the maxi trench coat in plat, the fitted coat in print and a burnt orange pilot jacket.

If you are looking for a pair of comfortable trousers, yet still fashionable enough to attend a formal wear event, Munthe is definitely a designer you ought to know. She knows how to challenge the term athleisure and how to twist it into adorable pieces that would win over most.

Munthe’s SS19 collection is bound to excite editors and buyers alike. It is versatile and easy to mix and match and thus undoubtedly will do well. 

If Munthe is on an upward trajectory, then Lærke Andersen has been on a plain of pure excellence. Lærke Andersen is one of Denmark’s new and exciting design talents. She has already worked in different areas of design with prestigious fashion names such as Henrik Vibskov and Louis Vuitton. In 2017, she was awarded the very first Magasin du Nord Fashion Prize and was given a show at Copenhagen Fashion Week AW18. Lærke presented her SS19 collection along with ARKK. 

ARKK is a Copenhagen based sneakers brand with a custom-made outsole. The brand was founded by two childhood friends with a passion for streetwear, in 2014. The brand quickly moved beyond Scandinavia and is sold in more than 20 countries, today. 

Lærke Andersen has always sought to erase boundaries between contrasts and to deliver urban sophistication along with functionality and simplicity. Her SS19 collection continued in those lines, although her play on masculinity and femininity seemed to have been boiled down to some rather boxy silhouettes resembling workwear. The color palette was busy and offered subtle as well as bold tones. 

Lærke Andersen has surprised and impressed in prior seasons, her SS19 collection had a few stand-out looks such as the white shirt with oversized sleeves and blue shorts styled with a pair of thigh-high white sneakers, and the studded black crop top with matching shorts and colour blocked coat that almost looks like workwear styled with black sneakers. Another stand-out look was the black maxi dress with some asymmetrical seaming details styled with black knee-high sneakers and a woven round basket bag. A beige loose coat styled with thigh-high white sneakers was another example of how the ARKK sneakers elevated many of the looks.

Heliot Emil

Julius Jool and Victor Jool are traditionalist in a sense that they named their brand after their grandfather Heliot. And their aesthetics while not the most traditional by any measure is deeply rooted in the subculture of Copenhagen's street style and monochrome movement. Their SS19 show went on to dissect the role of clothing as a form of constant which impacts our variable characteristics as humans. The idea in itself is an intriguing one though not original. But the clothes have a certain levity to them that with the idea and the clothes the production becomes original and rather complementary to the duality of our existence. While it would be tempting to dig deep into the philosophical treatise of formation vs replication and evolution, the fact of the matter remains...Heliot Emil is here to slay. And with the introduction of a women's line this collection was the most Copenhagen of them all. And i dont mean the timid flowery kind that is a product of fashion's gentrification masquerading as femininity, the truest form of Copenhagen where form and function rebel against each other. And that is the the charm of Heliot Emil.

While there were surely bigger shows and better placed shows, the 9 shows we curated for Copenhagen truly stood out this season. And it is a testament to the Danish market that despite some monopolization the edgy designers are still able to be independent of market forces to an extent.