1: L’Homme Rouge
Season after season, L’Homme Rouge continue to reference life on the Swedish west coast – known for its beautiful archipelago, close relation to the sea, and at times challenging climate – in their designs. The world of L’Homme Rouge is best described as a hybrid between the real and the imagined, a sort of dream landscape where familiar shapes take on new forms, with a soft and barely detectable undercurrent of surrealism combined with a personal sense of humour. For their SS19 collection ’Scout siders’, the inspiration is found in midsummer flowers, Swedish craft and childhood memories of growing up and having to create things yourself, the way you are taught to do in the scouts. The scout reference is also visible in how the brand has applied detachable badge logos, while the feeling of times past is noticeable in the flared pants and dry vintage feeling fabrics.
Traditional L’Homme Rouge trademarks – such as wide-fitting pants, carefully selected materials and particular use of colours – are essential to the collection.
2: Per Götesson
For his SS19 collection, Per Götesson has continued exploring the themes – soft masculinity, childhood mementos, objets trouvés – that by now have become the defining distinctions of his brand DNA. Mementos of his childhood are integrated into the garments, this time in a more hands-on way than ever before, as one garment even includes a tablecloth his mother made when she was young. His grandmother has also participated in creating the collection, embroidering fabrics later attached to the back of Götesson’s draped structural denim jackets. Adding cutlery, vintage lampshades, lace and patterned curtains to the collection even further enhances the relevance of these personal clues, linking the London-based fashion brand to the designer’s upbringing in rural Småland. This streak of nostalgia is balanced with Götesson’s usual interest of redefining masculinity in a softer context, enhancing the sexuality of the male wearer while also creating a look that is comfortable and relaxed.
3: Acne Studios
Being one of the most established contemporary Swedish fashion brands, Acne Studios is now internationally recognised, not least for their exclusive and high quality fabrics. In recent years, they have become even more experimental in design, exploring the boundary between what traditionally has separated the conceptual from the commercial. For their SS19 menswear collection, they have taken this development one step further by unpacking the very distinctions between different sartorial archetypes. Jonny Johansson, Creative Director, explains this creative process: ”What would happen if, when you described a pair of jeans, you were actually talking about a blouson? It was the beginning of a new set of archetypes, around which we built a wardrobe that plays with the idea of misinterpretation.” This more playful approach to fashion design is particularly visible in certain key items, such as the jeans cut as a blouson, a seemingly artificial neon yellow suit actually being made out of linen, and the tech jackets tailored as tuxedos, made in extremely light nylon.
4: CMMN SWDN
The contemporary fashion system is broken, marked by overproduction and a novelty-obsessed culture. The SS19 collection from CMMN SWDN is a reaction to this. Therefore, instead of only presenting another line of new garments, this year the brand is bringing staples from previous seasons back to life: Denim has been updated with laser-etched prints of advertisement prints encouraging us to continue to buy things we neither need nor want, as a kind of inverted protest against the industry that they themselves are part of. Other significant parts of the collection include knit-wear, dissected and reassembled by hand as applique on mesh, as well as their well-known Moto jacket, this time in a new cropped version, made in muted colours and reimagined on printed mesh. In addition, not only does the brand continue their successful collaboration with Amsterdam-based eyewear brand Ace & Tate, but they have also initiated a partnership with renowned shoe designer Helen Kirkum, whose work has consistently explored an anti-consumerist trajectory through fashion design.
5: Martin Asbjørn
Martin Asbjørn’s design is easily recognised; his way of working with materials and colours, in combination with his specific use of references, has created a deeply individual mix that clearly marks the aesthetics of the brand. For his latest collection, ’100% Success Club’, inspiration was found in some of the most memorable menswear style icons of the 1980s, including ostentatious Wall Street bankers, confident, bourgeois men relaxing along the Côte d’Azur, as well as British football casuals. This wide scope of menswear references has been translated and shaped into contemporary garments that are both smart and wearable, often constructed in soft materials such as terry cotton, corduroy, and silk. Asbjørn’s signature drawstring pants are included in the collection, together with a series of garments that combine his expertise in tailoring with his interest in sportswear, best defined as, ”that sweet spot between formal and casual”.
6: Tiger of Sweden
Diana Vreeland once famously stated that, ”the eye has to travel”. Fashion is a way of transporting the wearer, if at times only in one’s mind, discovering the colours of foreign continents and the fabrics of distant countries. For this collection, Tiger of Sweden are inspired by travels, both traditional ones, and inner journeys. The collection is particularly travel-smart, demonstrated for example by the unconstructed, crease-resistant travel suit, made from premium quality Loro Piana fabrics, as well as the light-wear outerwear in technical nylon, easy to fit in one’s carry-on luggage. The brand is also launching a series of suitcases and bags drawing inspiration from traditional travel luggage – without risking creases. In a world marked by an increased separation between various groups of people, travel is not only a symbol for a more inclusive world; it is also a strategy to stay open and remain curious.
7: Filippa K
Filippa K has long been a corner-stone in Scandinavian fashion. Known for its minimalist, functional and understated aesthetics, the brand has in many ways become the epitome of contemporary Swed-ish style. However, this focus on design is also combined with a distinct and far-reaching sustainability strategy, making Filippa K one of the most important brands in facilitating systemic change towards a more environmentally conscious fashion industry. One way this is evident is in the way garments from different collections are designed so that they can be combined with clothes from other collections, as variations on the same, familiar theme.
The colour palette for the spring/summer collection is light, in natural white hues, cold pink and warm beige, naturally linking it to previous Filippa K collections. These are garments meant to be lived in, to be used in everyday activities, making the wearer not only look better but feel good as well.
Since 2014, when Tonsure was first established, the brand has filled an important function in the world of Scandinavian fashion. Having studied under the guidance of Louise Wilson at the prestigious MA programme in Fashion Design at London’s Central Saint Martins, followed by two years as designer at Maison Martin Margiela, Tonsure founder Malte Flagstad brings an independent creative expression, deeply rooted in the avant-garde. His work – particularly his consistent use of luxurious, innovative materials in combination with exclusive, European manufacturing – has been rewarded with the international Woolmark Prize in Europe. For their latest collection, Flagstad has used terry fleece towelling together with XXL seersucker fabric and bleached Japanese denim. Key items include a ”poncho-bomber”, lined in a bright orange beach towel, a deconstructed trench-coat, lined in flower print towel, and a crunched-up check print, reminiscent of the blankets used for a picnic or a lazy day on the beach.
9: Our Legacy
The SS19 menswear collection, named ”Synthesis”, is a continuation of the nature-inspired theme explored by Our Legacy in their AW18 collection. This kind of gradual, long-stretching and in-depth investigation of specific themes, thus interconnecting one season with another, is an Our Legacy trademark and speaks volumes about their approach to design. However, if the former collection was based on a rather romanticised view of nature in general, focus for the spring collection has shifted to looking at various forms of agriculture. This is evident in materials such as burlap and wild silk; a kind of silk created when the silkworms are allowed to mature into adults, thus resulting in a raw and more dynamic texture. The use of nets and see-through materials allude to the many types of nets usually found in agricultural farming, while a few subcategories in the collection refer to honey hunters in South Africa and also more traditional beekeeping. The result is both eerie and poetic, and in many ways, it is one of the brand’s most interesting collections.
In addition, SS19 is also when Our Legacy launch their first full womenswear collection, which has been designed parallel to the menswear line. Even though the collections are clearly two separate and independent entities, the dialogue between the two is apparent. During the fashion show, pieces from womenswear were worn by male models and vice versa, often styled in gender-blurring combinations.