Scandi style for spring

The time is now to tapap into the cool new style le kid on the block: Scan­di­navia.navia.

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - TREND REPORT WITH JOSIE STEENHART -

ast week I wrote an ode to French ch fash­ion. This week I’m talk­ing ng Scandi style.

If French style is the eter­nal clas­sic with that cer­tain in­de­scrib­able some­thing, Scan­di­na­vian style is the new cool kid on the block that’s easy – and fun – to tap into.

Un­doubt­edly Den­mark, Nor­way and Swe­den are coun­tries each with their own very unique cul­tures and fash­ion senses, but for the pur­pose of this piece I’m go­ing to lump them all into one (won­der­ful) cat­e­gory.

Bri­tish Vogue re­cently asked Christina Exs­teen – creative di­rec­tor at Dan­ish fash­ion house By Ma­lene Birger – to de­scribe the cur­rent Scan­di­na­vian look.

“I think it’s very laid-back but at the same time so­phis­ti­cated. It’s un­com­pli­cated and easy to wear. Scan­di­na­vians are very good at lend­ing their own twist to their look, like with lay­ers.”

As a ca­sual ob­server of Scandi style, colour and print are key. At least three bold (prefer­ably block) colours and/or prints per out­fit is per­fectly ac­cept­able – more is also fine.

The key is to keep what could oth­er­wise look like a hot mess, chic – and this is largely done through clever plays on line and pro­por­tion and an ap­ti­tude for tex­ture and lay­er­ing.

As well as a pen­chant for rain­bow brights and candy pas­tels, graphic pat­terns and full-on flo­rals, the stylish Scan­dis aren’t afraid of length or vol­ume – maxi-length dresses, long sleeves, high neck­lines and wide-leg pants are among the shapes and forms of choice.

You’ll find slinky satins and breezy silks mix­ing hap­pily with fluffy faux fur, edgy denim, chunky knitwear and even slick hits of vinyl and PVC.

Ac­ces­sories are of equal im­por­tance to an out­fit – bang-on-trend eye­wear, a cute bag, cool-yet-ca­sual footwear and state­ment jew­ellery all play equal part.

Here in New Zealand, two top pro­po­nents of the cur­rent trend are Dan­ish la­bels Ges­tuz (pro­nounced “jess-tuce”) and Ganni, who both aim to draw on tra­di­tional Nordic heritage, but up­date it with per­son­al­ity, play­ful­ness, con­tem­po­rary twists and “so­phis­ti­cated sur­prise”.

“Ges­tuz is about sub­tly dis­rupt­ing and up­dat­ing the clas­sics,” its web­site says. “We are rooted in the ef­fort­less ease of Scan­di­na­vian de­sign heritage but our vis­ual lan­guage also el­e­gantly rebels against it.”

Both brands now have a good of­fer­ing in lo­cal bricks and mor­tar stores and via in­ter­na­tional on­line shops.

There’s also OG Swedish brand Acne, which cre­ates unique pieces; the more af­ford­able but equally cool Cheap Mon­day; and Ce­cilie Copen­hagen, which does a de­light­ful and dis­tinc­tive line of wo­ven cot­ton de­signs.

And just for the record, here’s what Exs­teen says sets Dan­ish, Swedish and Nor­we­gian style apart from each other. “I think the Dan­ish are more play­ful in putting our looks to­gether; the Swedes are re­ally good at min­i­mal­ism; and the Nor­we­gians are a lit­tle more glam­orous and like more em­bel­lish­ment,” she ex­plains. “The dif­fer­ences are sub­tle, but they are there.”

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