Fresh / Fancy / Swedish

Röhsska Museum

A walk through the creation of young Swedish Fashion designers

The fashion scene of today
Sweden have an active fashion scene and new Swedish fashion creators are constantly offering new exciting creations. In recent years fashion designers have taken more and more responsibility for the high pace of the fashion industry in relation to the increased awareness of earth's ending resources. This have resulted in smaller collections with a longer life span and high artistic value. In this small exhibition we display a selection of the museums collection of prominent Swedish fashion designers from the first decades of the 21st century.
Sandra Backlund
Sandra Backlund was born in 1975 in Umeå, Sweden. After studies both in Art History, the History of Ideas and preparatory textile training, she began her studies at Beckmans College of Design in 2001. Sandra Backlund is one of Sweden's most interesting designers. With her sculptural three-dimensional hand-knitted garments, she has gained international attention and she has in recent years made great success with her avant-garde hand knitted creations. Her garments are wearable art, whose often oversized sculptural forms, focuses on craftsmanship and quality. The garments that slowly grows out of her knitting needles are a strong contrast to the fashion industries turned up tempo. She works in a kind of three-dimensional collage technique, where the garment is emerging of various hand-knitted pieces sewn together. In the 2000s, more and more designers started to pay tribute to slowness and the meticulous craftsmanship and Backlund's clothing have received much attention for the thorough manual labor and artistic expressions that the work resulted in.

The red, hand knitted dress in wool and mohair yarn, comes from the collection Don’t Walk S/S 2007. The dress was made already in 2005 as Backlund's contribution to the event FASHION FOR LIFE - THE FASHION MANIFESTATION TO ASSIST IN THE FIGHT AGAINST HIV/AIDS, 2005.

Maxjenny Forslund
The Swedish fashion designer Maxjenny based in Copenhagen is a internationally established fashion designer who works with sustainable fashion. Maxjenny had her breakthrough in 2003 with the fashion project Les Couleurs Nationales, influenced by the colors of Russian painter Léon Bakst. In 2006 she attracted attention when Madonna chose her design for the music video "Sorry".Maxjenny have had success with her clothes in countries like Japan, Germany and Holland. In the international edition of the magazine Bon in 2008, she was named one of five fashion designers who are reshaping the world. Since 2007, she works with Maxjenny art fashion & style, which focuses on fashion and primarily so-called smart materials, such as textiles that can identify an external stimulus and react in a controlled manner.

Even though Maxjenny Forslund is born and raised in Sweden she works from her store and showroom in Koedbyen in Copenhagen. Her clothes are full of colours and patterns, something we seldom see in the Swedish fashion scene. She started her design career in furniture design but are since 2012 focused on clothes and for customers who do not want to disappear into the crowd.

Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair
Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair was founded in 2004 by Astrid Olsson and Lee Cotter. They make men’s and women’s collections and has retailers in 25 countries. Astrid Olsson is trained in tailoring, while Lee Cotter is an autodidact with a background in retail and has previously designed and created in-house fashion concepts. They state that together they can challenge the traditional approach to clothing. Astrid Olsson and Lee Cotter is inspired by the idea of using old and new and letting craftsmanship take pride of place. The companys mens wear can be defined as traditional uniform fashion with jackets and shirts, even though more casual, while the womens wear is more androgynous, with elements of traditional male garments that have deconstructed and reshaped. The collections combine minimalism, deconstruction and draping, where both basic garments and key pieces have dominant, exhibitionist, voluminous shapes. In parallel with the main line, they produce By the No, a couture line that is sewn by hand, where all garments are made to order. By the No is a compromise between commerce and art.                                   

This wedding dress in silk with bustier and tulle skirt as well as an associated silk bolero was designed by Astrid Olsson 2010 when the Swedish Crown Princess Victoria got married. Six Swedish fashion designer was commissioned to create their version of how they thought the Crown Princess's dress should look, and after the wedding the dresses were auctioned out and the money went to charity. Röhsska Museum bought all six pieces and included them in their collections.

Helena Hörstedt 
Helena Hörstedt’s garments represent a fashion where the pieces can be seen as art objects rather than clothes. It is a process with a focus on sewing and creativity that is her inspiration. Most garments she makes in black, which she believes represent a classically elegant style. Helena Hörstedt does not work with sketchbook; she works directly on the dummy. Garment bases are made of cotton, several of her garments also contains metal rails and metal spikes.The dresses come from the collection: The Black Whole SS 2008 consisting of nine creations, all in black with a variety of details, textures and folds. The well sewed, artistically daring, garments seem personal, innovative and challenging. The collection is in many ways typical of its time in its ambition to focus on design and quality craftsmanship, something that greatly influenced 2000s fashion debate. 

For fashion designer Helena Hörstedt it has not been relevant to rationalize the production or to simplify the manufacturing process to obtain wider distribution. All her clothes are tailor-made and customized to the buyer, in true haute couture spirit. A dress takes an average of 150 hours of work to complete.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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