Fashion as an experiment

Swedish fashion is still very much defined as functional, understated and homogenous in colour. But there are daredevil designers too.

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Photo: Acne

Fashion as an experiment

Swedish fashion is still very much defined as functional, understated and homogenous in colour. But there are daredevil designers too.

Brands that stand out

Our Legacy take design classics such as the button-down shirt and the bomber jacket as their starting point to create something radically new. Results include T-shirts in terrycloth and the suede jacket/shirt-hybrid, one of their best-known signature garments.

Swedish fashion’s enfant terrible Ann-Sofie Back is known for her avant-garde designs as well as clever communication strategies – including a memorable short film in which she was taken hostage for her ‘crimes against fashion’ – often going against the traditional and conventional.

Acne Studios are first and foremost known for their jeans, but also for their artistic collaborations and works with other creative industries. Examples include a scented candle produced together with lifestyle brand Byredo, a group of furniture inspired by the work of furniture designer Carl Malmsten, and a collaboration with photographer Lord Snowdon that resulted in both a book on photography and a small collection of shirts, all in blue, the favourite colour of Snowdon.

Since 2001, Ida Sjöstedt runs her own fashion house. She is known for her lavishly romantic look and expert craftsmanship, which has secured her reputation as one of Sweden’s most interesting designers. In 2016, she was named designer of the year by Swedish ELLE magazine.

Hope winner of Guldknappen (‘Golden Button’, one of Sweden’s most prestigious fashion awards) in 2010, explore ways of blurring the lines between their menswear and womenswear collections. Known for minimalist and almost utilitarian designs, the brand also produces the unisex collection ‘Changes’.

Designer Minna Palmqvist incorporates details of the female body into her fashion to investigate what it means to be a woman while also blurring the line between body and garment. Her work has been frequently publicised and awarded, both in Sweden and internationally.

Last updated: 27 January 2017

Philip Warkander

Philip Warkander

Dr. Philip Warkander is Assistant Professor in Fashion Studies and Affiliated Researcher with the Centre for Retail Research at Lund University. He also works as a writer and consultant for magazines, newspapers and journals on fashion-related subjects.