Oslo Runway is the premier Norwegian fashion week event. And twice a year it sheds much-needed light on the inner workings of an industry that is slowly but surely becoming a prominent player in the crowded scandi-style market. From the elegant movement and silhouettes of byTimo to the staple of Admir Batlak, the Oslo Runway encapsulates not only the understated glamor of Norway but also the potential of a global market looming large on the horizon. While the complexities of an economy that has stuttered due to the collapse of price of oil, it is still an economy that can afford to be understated and hold on to the fabled standard of living.
Unlike many other fashion weeks Oslo Runway does not suffer from the inefficiency or the induction of static complacency. It is run very well. This is PR is quite possibly one of the most well-regimented agencies in fashion at this point. And their ability to work as the shepherd of Oslo Runway is worth applauding. Logistics is not something that can be easily brushed aside as an insignificant detail, as NYFW would tell you. It makes or breaks the fashion week. And This is PR is well versed in the details that make a fashion week pleasurable.
Logistics aside, there are many other things to love about Oslo Runway. And that's where the designers come in.
Between the two days of On-Schedule shows, there were a few designers that stood out this cycle.The most significant performer during this cycle's Oslo Runway was E S P, which is the brainchild of Norwegian designer Elisabeth Stray Pedersen. Stray Pedersen is the product of Oslo National Academy and in her work that academic clarity comes through with ease and poise. The E S P team creates curated contemporary collections developed at their in-house factory Lillunn, a 60-year-old Norwegian seam factory Stray Pedersen inherited in 2015. In January 2018 the factory and the studio start a new chapter in Kabelgaten in Oslo. In terms of the aesthetics, the work E S P shows is exceptional with a very clear understanding of how lines complement the human body. The long coats, hoodies with a mind of their own, the Balenciaga meets oslo weather skirts, were all produced with functionality in mind. But if functionality is the minimalist foundation of E S P, then the tailoring is the cream on top. Deconstructed Nina Ricci-esque shoulders were a joy to look at. And none of the looks presented behaved like a poor derivative but proud incorporation of history, knowledge and above all clarity of vision.
If E S P was the most loved show, then surely Maud og Fram was the most talked about show. The production value of the show suggested a very clear understanding of the Norwegian market and an astute way of handling collaborations. The clothes (both men and women) were immaculately styled with layers and layers of trendsetting goodness. Velour Tracksuits, Jean Jackets and Wool Coats stood out from the men's collection. As for the women's collection the relative focus was on soft silhouettes and slow fashion. Norwegian knits complement through a steady stream of loose fitting clothes suggested a brand comfortable within itself, but not too comfortable to be oblivious.
Photographs Coutesy of Indigital.tv | Oslo Runway