Move Over Denmark, The Next Wave of Cult Scandi Labels Are Norwegian
New York, London, Milan and Paris have been hogging the fashion spotlight for far too long. For the past couple of years, Denmark has made its name as a bastion of
Scandi-cool style – it’s the home of cult brands Ganni, Stine Goya and Baum und Pferdgarten, and fashion favourites like Hanna Stefansson and Pernille Teisbaek after all, but it’s far from the only Scandinavian country with fashion to get excited about.
Enter Norway. A country brimming with talent and creativity, and experimental designers eager to put Oslo on the fashion map. “In Norway we have deeply rooted traditions in clothes, but not a well-established fashion scene like Milan and Paris,” designer Karine Næss tells Refinery29. “This absence can be seen as a challenge and an advantage at the same time. I feel like we are creating a foundation for the next generation now.”
We’ve rounded up five of the most exciting Norwegian brands to know now – an eclectic mix that is hard to pin down; it ranges from Cathrine Hammel’s ethereal tulle creations to IBEN’s easy nonchalance, Næss’s eclectic mix of references to Epilogue’s clean minimalism. Read on to learn more about the brands soon to be industry favourites.
Who: Karine Næss
What: After graduating from Oslo National Academy of the Arts in 2016, Karine presented her first collection at Oslo Runway SS19 after taking two years off to refine her work and direction as a designer. Her debut collection plays with a mixture of textures: flowing sheer tops and trousers are layered with padded and snake print wrap-around skirts, and then topped with prominent padded headbands, delicate beaded earrings and ‘ 90s-esque square toe sandals. It’s an eclectic mix that celebrates womanhood and the natural world.
“The collection is very much about the women, and what she finds attractive,” Karine told fashion website, Envelope. “I tried to picture the women of today with the memory of the past. I have been looking on archetypes and women’s history, but also how we remember and collect emotions and experience in our own life.”
How much: Earrings start at £70.80.
What: Founded in 2004 by Creative Director Eva Emanuelsen, Epilogue is a premium ready-to-wear brand all about designing for a modern, ‘enlightened’ woman; a woman who buys beyond seasonal trends and for quality and traditional fabrics and techniques. Their SS19 collection features tailored two-pieces, dresses and coats, a bold silhouette – think strong shoulders and nipped-in waists – and a simple palette of black, beige, khaki green and grey. As a whole, it’s just the kind of collection you would think a cool, neo-Gothic Norwegian woman would wear.
How much: Prices start from around £140.
Who: Cathrine Hammel
What: The OG style force in Norway; Cathrine Hammel established her eponymous brand in 1997 and bases each season’s collections around a different theme and concept. For SS19, the concept was the morning after the big night out before. Models wearing frothy tulle dresses and pantaloon sets with large, floppy hats sprawled in beds, crowded around dinner tables and in kitchens, and sat reading in baths. Exactly how we want to be spending our hungover Sundays, to be honest.
Where: Online, on Catherine Hammel’s website.
How much: Prices start at £89.
What: IBEN’s SS19 collection is exactly how we want to dress on holiday this summer. Loose jumpsuits, relaxed tailoring, pyjama sets, wrap dresses and soft knits were worked in a palette of cornflower blue, buttercup yellow, vibrant orange and warm neutrals and worn with white and black Teva sport sandals. Creative Director Anh-Marthe Storheil was inspired by the ultimate tomboy, Pippi Longstocking, and the character’s spirited motto, “Remember, I am the strongest girl in the world”, appeared on a number of pieces. The collection is a great example of what IBEN is all about; established in 2014, the brand is all about designing for a strong, modern woman and promoting a minimal, laidback lifestyle.
How much: Pieces start at £66.
Who: SØSTER STUDIO
What: SØSTER STUDIO, set up by designer Pernille Nadine in 2017, is a luxury sustainable label and is run as a season-less brand, meaning that garments are deliberately crafted in small quantities to minimise waste. Nadine does not use leather, fur, skins or feathers in her designs, and strives to use as little plastic as possible in her clothing, branding and packaging. For their SS19 collection, SØSTER STUDIO offered great outerwear, tailored two-piece suits and utility jumpsuits in crisp whites and electric blue.
How much: Prices start at £63.
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