Ragnheiður Axel reports from the third annual event
Reykjavík’s third annual Fashion Festival was more ambitious than ever. The two-day event, which took place at Harpa, was truly a fashion feast.
Day one began with Mundi’s runway show set in a cold industrial parking garage in Harpa’s basement. It was a perfect location for his show, which started with a short film shot on a snowy mountain with a hipster exploration group. Mundi managed to tell a whole story with his models—mostly dressed in his knitwear with geometrical patterns—by having them carry props from the film. It has been nice to see him mature as a designer and he is definitely taking his design to the next level of professionalism.
Next up, Hildur Yeoman’s mushroom sculpture adventure garden was set in Silfurberg Hall. Hildur put on a wild show including GusGus singer Daníel Agúst, dancers, kids and gorgeous colourful models. As one beautifully embroidered showpiece after another came out, and the dancing crowd grew, I thought how much fun it must be to wear one of Hildur Yeoman’s outfits and be part of that wild party. She knows how to surprise and get the audience’s attention. Can’t wait to see what she does next season.
KronKron followed with their candy-like stockings and shoes. They have a keen eye for colourful prints and their products are selling to various ages. The Kalda melancholy line reminds me of early Undercover Jun Takahashi design, minimalistic prints and soft silhouette.
Then came Ýr, an emerging talent with an interesting and dramatic flair. She gave her models the power lady aura with a hint of masculinity.
Kormákur & Skjöldur ended the night with a bang. Designer Guðmundur Jörundsson has a refined but comical outlook on menswear. Masculine butcher male models wore tweed suits, leather items and canes. My old saying: “there is a tree in my backyard that has more personality than this model” did not apply to this group of models.
Kicking off day two, Ella brought sexy and slick, embodied by the lady everyone wants to work with at the office. She turns day into night in a heartbeat and probably has her passport in her pocket at all times because she is going places. The balance in styling of garments and accessories was perfect.
Milla Snorradóttir showed off a super cute and quirky line. If Wes Anderson were a fashion designer, this is what he would be designing. She is inspired by Reykjavík and its landmark buildings from architect Guðjón Samúelsson. The show made me want to be a quirky girl wearing Milla’s outfits and her wooden glasses, and to enroll in art school.
Birna had the difficult task of showing after two home runs by Ella and Milla. The styling was a bit scattered, but there were some wearable items.
Ziska featured black magic and traditional Icelandic runes. Krummi, the singer of Mínus and Legend, carried out a huge animal skull and then went down on his knees and moaned a mysterious mantra. The show was brilliant and Harpa was surrounded by magic.
REY closed the event with an easy fit feminine line. Her strength lies in knitwear and draped jersey. As a young upcoming designer she has a bright future.
All in all, I have to say “bravo!” to the RFF team for a great event promoting Icelandic fashion design.
PRIME PEOPLE WATCHING
While the Fashion Festival is about Iceland’s top fashion designers showing off their new lines, fashionistas, too, show up to strut their own stuff.
The most worn look was a popular look from last season: black skinny pants, Jeffrey Campbell platforms and big coat, preferably made of fur. That look, which was on repeat every night, is getting so boring. It’s almost as much of a faux pas as wearing leggings with open stilettos. And fifty percent of women wearing those platform shoes have serious difficulty walking in them, which makes them look like they should be on crutches or using a cane.
Meanwhile über-talent fashion designer Bernhard Willhelm gave fancy the finger and dressed like a house painter in white overalls with a leather cape, looking a little bit like a character from an Ole Lund Kirkegaard book, but with far more sex appeal.
While some might call these events superficial and self-conscious, it’s a great time to stare, and fashionistas love to have their ego boosted by being asked what they are wearing or having their photo taken. Next time, don’t be shy to go up to some colourful person and get all the details. The worst they could say is “No,” and then you can use your blog to vomit your annoyance.