Varg A/W12 PR and Press Day
Yesterday I attended VARG PR’s press day for the showing of their impressive roster of clients Autumn/Winter 2012 collection. Perhaps on the back of the success of H&M, Cos and Selected, Varg have identified – and successfully undertaken the representation of – the niche market of Scandinavian labels and designers. With a focus on those hailing from with Sweden and Denmark, the A/W12 Press Day was an affirmation that if you want cool, quirky and cutting edge, Scandinavia is most definitely where it is at! It is not just those well-known high-street brand names that we all know and love, but a whole host of independent design labels that you need to know!
On show yesterday, focusing on Varg’s womenswear clients, were DAY Birger et Mikkelson and diffusion line 2nd DAY, Dagmar, shoe label Finsk, Gudrun Sjoden, Swedish Hasbeens, jewellery designer Maria Nilsdotter, Nina Jarebrink, Stylein, Won Hundred and Diana Orving, bespoke moccasin maker Rose Choules plus ceramics from Mateus.
I was particularly looking forward to viewing DAY Birger et Mikkelson and 2nd DAY’s A/W12 collections as they are the first produced under the reins of the brands new creative director Peter Ingwersen. Both did not disappoint! The mainline collection was true to the brands signature bohemian style and aimed at a more grown-up clientele. The looks were streamlined with a nod to the masculine silhouette, dresses featured beautiful beading embellishments. Standout pieces included a beautiful lamb fur coat and a bang on trend embroidered poncho. Perhaps even more impressive, and certainly with more youth appeal , was contemporary 2nd DAY’s collection. Focusing on denim, the line featured ‘second skin’ skinny jeans, slouchy tees and sharp, tailored leather jackets with sequin artworks as accents.
Whilst I was impressed with the other designers on show, Won Hundred for example have long been a favourite of mine, but there were two non-apparel designers on show whom I had not come across before and that really grabbed my attention!
The first was Swedish jewellery designer Maria Nilsdotter. Her jewellery had an artisanal and highly original quality. The pieces ranged from beautiful feathered necklaces and a stunning winged headpiece to bring out your inner Greek goddess, to harder items with a higher Rock’n’Roll quotient, such as dagger necklaces, a pearl and bone necklace that breathed new life into the staid string of pearls’ look, and dragon and serpent rings. If you are a fan of Chrome Hearts or Pamela Love, Maria Nilsdotter is one jewellery designer you need to check out.
The second label, whose collection on show literally made my jaw drop, was avant garde shoe designer Finsk – pure shoe porn! Finsk’s architecturally-designed shoes are definitely for the girl who likes statement footwear showing she thinks outside the box. The Art Deco platform healed booties were exquisite (although to the male eye, looked impossible to walk in), the piano-leg heeled pony-skin cuffed pumps were also stand-outs. If its statement shoes you want, Finsk should be your label of choice!
I was also pleased to see the representation of several eco-conscious lines like the droopy chic of Gudrun Sjoden, and if you are in Selfridges from the 27th March, be sure to check out Swedish Hasbeens pop-up shop in the Shoe Lounge for bright, outdoor inspired footwear that has comfortable style written all over it.
I left Varg’s showroom with the definite impression that if it is cutting edge chic you are after, Scandinavia is the place to look.
Special thanks to the lovely Isabelle for showing me around the collections, and for the great gift bag full of cool and unique Scandinavian goodies.
Ian Michael Turner