100% Norway provides a unique opportunity to make the acquaintance of eight of Norway’s foremost fashion designers. Parts of the exhibition 'From Valdres to Vogue', which was curated by Stephanie Dumont and took place in Oslo this summer, will be on display in Brick Lane alongside the best of Norwegian furniture and product design.
The design team consisting of Dorte Vedal and Siv So Hee Steinaa has existed for four years. The two girls grew up in the Norwegian towns of Drammen and Hamar, but now have their base in Oslo. In 2005, they were awarded the prestigious Eye of the Needle prize for best clothes designer, arranged by the women’s magazine HENNE. In the same year, they were also awarded the Norwegian Design Council’s Award for Design Excellence, as the first commercial clothing brand.
The girls often take both a futuristic and a nostalgic approach to designing a new collection. They are often inspired by elements of costume and art history. Their autumn collection is inspired by the painter Edward Hopper: His women, interiors and moods.
Siv So Hee Steinaa holds a Master’s degree from the Institute of Clothes and Costumes at the National College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Oslo. Dorte Vedal has a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Textiles from Winchester School of Art in England. The duo have succeeded in creating a name for themselves on both the Norwegian and international markets. Their clothes are available in a number of stores in Norway and in several European countries.
Ann Kristin Dahle grew up in Gjerdrum, but now lives and works in London. Ann K will soon be showing a new collection at the Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks. She holds a three-year Bachelor’s degree from Kingston University in London and embarked on her career as a designer in 2005. In the same year, she was voted Newcomer of the Year during Oslo Fashion Week. Ann Kristin Dahle also has her own brand in Milan marketed under the name SHANE.
Ann K’s all-black collection caught the eye of many an onlooker at Oslo Fashion Week last autumn. The designer creates associations to Goth rock, punk and Norwegian national costumes, and has been compared, among others, to Belgian avant garde designers such as Ann Demeulemeester.
Arne & Carlos
Arne & Carlos, which was founded in 2002, is the brainchild of Norwegian Arne Nerjordet and the Swede Carlos Zachrison. Arne & Carlos live and work in an old station building in Valdres but sell their brand of clothing in cities as far flung as Boston, New York and Los Angeles. Influenced by their rural surroundings, Arne & Carlos produce collections that are full of kitsch, humour and femininity. They are renowned for their use of classic Norwegian costume stitching, at the same time as they create something new and special.
This designer duo is of the old school, taking great pains to make thorough preparations: often studying the styles of everything from national costumes to haute couture signed Balenciaga. The result is often a huge amount of paper on the floor in Valdres.
Ida Gullhav is Norway’s only clothes designer who has specialised in producing underwear for men and women. Ida Gullhav holds a Master’s degree from the Institute of Clothes and Costumes at the National College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Oslo. This year she was awarded the Eye of the Needle prize for best clothes designer, arranged by the women’s magazine HENNE.
Ida Gullhav claims that underwear should be adapted to fit the body and not the other way round. Different silhouettes fit different types of body shapes, and the clothes must accentuate the body’s best features. Her autumn/winter 06/07 collection has been inspired by the beginning of the 1900s when women had just begun to wear trousers, and leisure time was a new concept for the middle classes, an era that gave rise to a fantastic mix of old tatting and strict lines.
Kristian Aadnevik comes from Bergen and is currently living in London. He holds a Master’s degree from the Royal College of London and has worked as an apprentice tailor. Aadnevik designs clothes under his own brand name and is taking part at London Fashion Week for the third time. As a student, he received a number of prizes, before he went on to work as an assistant for Alexander McQueen. Since completing his education in 2002, he has designed collections for a number of international brands, and is currently a designer for Charles Jourdan. His most recent collection contains references to the 1920s and the Victorian Age with its rigid form.
Peter Løchstøer, who made Oslo his base in 2001, is a graduate of Middlesex University in England. Peter has produced seven collections since he first established himself as a clothes designer and sold garments to stores in Oslo. Peter Løchstøer works with both women’s and men’s clothes. His trademark is his focus on detail, craftwork and his unexpected mix of colours. He has also designed dance costumes for several productions in Oslo and London.
Peter Løchstøer has worked closely with the Salvation Army outlet “Fretex” in his shows, where the focus has been on re-design and re-use of clothes. Since 2004 he has been responsible for product development on the Salvation Army’s Sally Ann project, which has targeted development assistance through fair trade.
Siv Støldal is from Bergen but is now based in London, where she designs men’s clothing. Siv Støldal received her training as a clothes designer at Central St. Martins in London. Before she left for London she trained as a gentlemen’s tailor in Norway. In 1999, Siv Støldal founded her own company. She has since designed, shown, sold and produced two collections a year.
Her collection is characterised by British, masculine fashion history intermingled with Norwegian connotations. She has designed for Fred Perry in England, and has on several occasions cooperated with Skogstad Sport and the Janus factory at home in Norway. She is currently involved in a project for TopMan (TopShop) which will be launched in London in August/September 2006.
The designer duo consists of Anne-Brit Opdahl and Laura Armonaite, both of whom are from Oslo. The girls have their own clothing store and studio in Grünerløkka, Oslo, which they have run for the last two years. They were educated at Esmod and the National College of Art, Crafts and Design in Oslo.
3RD HAND is not only an entrepreneurial designer due; the two women also have a political agenda. They take in clothes that are no longer wanted, and give them new life with a new twist. A pair of Adidas pants is transformed into a shirt, an umbrella becomes a skirt and a tie makes for an excellent belt. Their clothes are tremendously popular and a constantly on loan to stylists.
The exhibition 'From Valdres to Vogue' took place at the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture in Oslo this summer. Parts of the exhibition will be on display during 100% NOrway
Photo: Jonny Syversen