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