London Fashion Week took over the Norwegian Ambassador’s residence in Palace Green when celebrated Norwegian designer Kristian Aadnevik revealed his latest collection to 150 invited guests from the UK fashion industry.
Aadnevik has always wanted to use the residence as the setting for one of his shows since visiting the house several years ago. 10 Palace Green is one of Norway's finest and historically most interesting ambassadorial residences. During World War II, King Haakon VII held his Council meetings with his exile government around the polished table that is even today in regular use in the present-day dining room.
During the show on 13 February, Aadnevik’s models first entered the elegant panelled hall on the ground floor where paintings of King Haakon and King Olav as well as portraits of the present king and queen, Harald V and Sonja, hang. They then moved on to the dining room where the international press where waiting with their flashing cameras, before making their way through to the yellow drawing room where more guests were seated in a similar to the fashion shows of the 1950s.
A model walks through the panelled entrance hall where paintings of Norway's two previous kings hang alongside portraits of the present royal couple. Photo: Thomas Aastad / Royal Norwegian Embassy
Aadnevik’s latest range is inspired by the Czech film ‘Valerie and Her Week of Wonders’ from 1970. This film itself was influenced by fairytales such as ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Little Red-Riding Hood’, and was a surreal story in which love, fear, sex and religion merged into one world. “I saw the film a long time ago and has since heard lots about it so I recently watched it again,” he says. “With films, it’s as if you enter a new world from where you can extract elements and use them in the collection. The new collection draws on my love for the mystery, superstition and romance of ancient Gothic tales. To contrast the wickedness with innocence seen in the film, I’m using tightly sculptured layers with floating drape in deep shades of indigo, electric blue, metallic silver dove and black.”
Aadnevik’s collections are renowned for having a dark edge bordering on couture contrasting volume and embellishment with sharp tailoring, slim cut silhouette and refined detailing using only the finest materials. To read a full interview with Aadnevik, click here.
One of Aadnevik's models walks past the portrait of HM Queen Sonja. Photo: Thomas Aastad / Royal Norwegian Embassy
The land where the Norwegian Ambassador’s residence lies was once the kitchen gardens of Kensington Palace and was developed for residential purposes in 1904-05. The first Norwegian ambassador to take up residence was Erik Colban, who arrived in 1936 and served in the same position throughout the war years 1940-45. During that period, the Norwegian government had offices at Kingston House in nearby Kensington Road. However, every Friday, King Haakon led the meetings of the Council of State at 10 Palace Green, where he himself also worked daily in his office. In 1998, the Norwegian parliament, Storting, agreed to renew the lease on 10 Palace Green for a further 80 years.
A model strides through the residence's dining room where King Haakon of Norway led the meetings of the Council of State during World War II. Photo: Nina Rangøy
Aadnevik's models and crew wait in the residence's library for the show to start. Photo: Thomas Aastad / Royal Norwegian Embassy
All dressed up and ready to go: Aadnevik's models are relaxing before the show. Photo: Thomas Aastad / Royal Norwegian Embassy
Many from London's fashion elite had found their way to the Norwegian Ambassador's residence on 13 February to see Kristian Aadnevik's latest collection. Photo: Thomas Aastad / Royal Norwegian Embassy