Clean lines and quirky twists mark Norwegian design, as do the meeting points between art, craft and fashion but, internationally, the scene has been under the radar. Until now.
“Norway has opened up,” says HAIK’s Ida Falck Øien, excitedly. “We feel so optimistic about Norwegian brands.” Here – and in time for London Fashion Week, we profile some of Norway’s most exciting labels.
VERONICA B VALLENES
Nothing is quite as it seems at Veronica B Vallenes. Eminently wearable sweatpants come with the faintest of drop crotches or zippers at the knees; funnel-necked sweats are cut from pale pink neoprene; boxing shorts look surprisingly sexy in leatherette. Cutting edge cool combines effortlessly with the clean-lined silhouettes that are the hallmark of this Norwegian brand, which has garnered awards including – last year alone – first prize at Scandinavian’s most high profile fashion competition, the DHL Get Global, and the Norwegian design award Nåløyet. Key pieces this season? “Our kimonos, all our silk styles and the faceprints, drawn by talented illustrator and fellow Norwegian Esra Roise,” says Veronica.
Helmed by Siv Støldal, Ida Falck Øien and Harald Lunde Helgesen, HAIK is a multi-dimensional project including video installations and sculpture. The trio work with artists, designers and anthropologists to create an excitingly fresh, diverse body of work – and inspiration comes from anywhere. “Our influences are anyone around that wear clothing in a personal manner: our friend Dorian who does drag, Siv’s mother’s summer dress reserved for goat feeding, our friend Therese who hates dresses…” smiles Ida. Drapery, asymmetry and workwear-defined shapes along with technical innovation and lively prints create vibrant alternatives from the mainstream. “The HAIK aesthetic is a mix of cool fun and stylish classics,” says Ida. “We make clothing that fits men and women alike and that seems to give a relaxed feel to the cuts. Who is the Haik customer? People who find our stories interesting.”
haikwithus.com; online shop is due March 2015.