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Hope, Beckmans School of Design, Lovisa Burfitt at Stockholm Fashion Week

Lovisa Burfitt, photo by Alec Friedman

The first presentation we went to this morning was for the brand Hope. The brand is designed by Ann Ringstrand and Stefan Söderberg, who showed their first womenswear collection in 2002 and started doing menswear in 2005. The theme of the collection was Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, and the presentation was held in the National Theatre, his old stomping ground. The incredible, frescoed room was set up with breakfast tables, each place set with food from the island of Faro, where the film was shot: smoked whitefish, sheep’s milk cheese and dewberry jam, cured lamb on black rye toast, gute tea.

In keeping with the salon-style setup, the designers came out before the show started and took seats at the front of the room, narrating the collection as each model walked out. They explained their design process from beginning to end, talking about how each piece related back to the film and to the rest of the collection—how the patchwork pattern on a shirt came from the scene of Death playing chess, or how a fisherman’s sweater was something the men in the region would wear. I love hearing anyone talk about something they’re passionate about, and not coming from a background in fashion history, it really helped me understand and appreciate what they were trying to accomplish. I enjoyed it so much that I’m not really able to separate my opinion of the collection from my experience of the show. Everything about the presentation was so thoughtful and impeccably put together, and that’s also the impression that stays with me of the clothes.

Like most of the shows we’ve seen here, Hope had a certain pragmatism to it; it was clothes designed for people to wear, but with such care and reflection. My favorite piece was a crinkled wool coat with a dramatic lambswool collar. It was done in both a men’s and women’s version. Both were beautiful, both were related, and yet they were respectively very masculine and very feminine. It’s a difficult balance to pull off and they did it again and again throughout the collection.

Hope

The Beckman’s School of Design put on their senior show in the Mercedes Benz tent, and there we saw some serious runway fashion (and a lot of fashion that could only exist on a runway). I love student shows. It’s fashion totally unhinged from the imperatives of the market, imaginations gone wild (though it must be said there was a lot of McQueen going on). Some of my personal highlights were jackets and pants covered in shards of broken glass by Alexander Krantz, a braided spine on a leather jacket by Marie Jenjé Lunqvist, and a four person caterpillar, each outfit connected to the next, by Naim Josefi, and a soccer ball purse by Marie Jersild Viltoft.

Marie Jersild Viltoft

Madeleine Vintback, photo by Alec Friedman

Naim Josefi, photo by Alec Friedman

Our night ended with Lovisa Burfitt, this year’s Max Factor Award winner. Paris-based, native Swede Burfitt, who is an illustrator as well as a designer, has been creating collections for ten years, since her graduation from Beckmans. Her show rocked. The collection was inspired by Claude Cahun and Seraphine de Senlis, and it had a romantic, belle-epoque feel. The models, with feathers in their hair and graphic, asymmetrical bangs, sashayed down the runway to Edith Piaf, pausing periodically, hands on hips, to model at the crowds. And the clothes – the clothes were this incredible mix of baroque and hippie and dominatrix – long velvet dresses with leather laces up the back, tight black corsets, long velvet dresses distressed with bleach. Burfitt created such a complete universe that aside from wanting almost every dress in the collection, even more so, I wanted to live in the time and place where I could wear those dresses every day.

Lovisa Burfitt, photo by Alec Friedman

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