Scandinavian Style
A Look at Melbourne's Scandi retailers...

Nov 05, 2012 04:00
by Angie Fox


If you thought getting your Scandi on was as simple as plaiting your hair and proclaiming “Hi, I’m Inga from Sweden” you thought wrong.

Despite the influx of labels like Acne, Filippa K and Day Birger et Mikkelsen to Australian shores, not all Scandinavian fashion is cut from the same cloth.

True, the less-is-more Scandinavian aesthetic favours functionality over trend, but lumping Swedish and Danish fashion in the one basket is, says Mats Ekstrom -- founder of Melbourne store Swensk -- tantamount to declaring Australia and New Zealand same, same. “A Swede is the boring person at a party who doesn’t like to make a fool of himself,” says Ekstrom, 40. “The Finnish are a little more Russian in style and the Danish are Mediterranean. They love life. These qualities feed into their designs.” Norway, says Ekstrom, is like Sweden’s “little brother”; he fights to be heard. One of Norway’s popular denim labels, Anti Denim, has created a line called Anti Sweden.

At Swensk, Ekstrom and partner Jane Matthews, 31, cater to the “black collar worker”, architects, designers and advertising creatives with “taste”. They are savvy shoppers who look for classics minus the in-your-face logos.Brands like J.Lindeberg and Whyred, with their focus on quality manufacturing in durable fabrics, highlight a person’s identity rather than overshadow it.

Meanwhile, in Denmark, labels like NN. 07 and Soul Land -- fresh from collaborating with iconic Parisian boutique Colette -- have more flourishes.

Jannick Zester, 34 -- owner of Windsor and Albert Park boutiques Dansk and Australian wholesaler for shoe label d.co Copenhagen -- says Australians love Danish style, especially on Princess Mary. You’d be hard pressed to find a pair of feet in Melbourne minus some d.co boots.

Dansk labels also focus on clean-cuts and quality. However Zester’s brands, including Ilse Jacobsen and Minimum, possess an “edgy grunge” that appeal to a younger customer. And you thought they only had Ikea.

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