Why is Swedish fashion so popular? That question will be answered this summer at Sven-Harrys konstmuseum, where there will be a great opportunity for those interested in Swedish fashion to learn more about the recent history.
The exhibition Svenskt Mode 2000-2015 presents 15 years of the success story that is Swedish fashion design. The period’s success and quick development is analyzed and curated by Michael Elmenbeck, initiator for the project, and guest curator Cia Jansson (creative director, Elle). With a jury consisting of fashion writers such as Susanne Ljung, Daniel Björk and Agnes Braunerhielm they have created an exhibit with a focus on the visual. What characterizes the 15 years of creative development and success? Which silhouettes have been the most popular, and why? And: what is typical Swedish design? Those are some of the questions the show hopes to answer, until August 31st.
The pair behind the show are keeping quite busy, even when they’re not curating a major exhibition. Michael Elmenbeck is the founder of award-winning fashion and lifestyle magazine Bon (Swedish and International editions) and Letterhead, who operate Studio Bon as a fashion and lifestyle consultancy. He is also the co-founder of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Stockholm, and a Director of Sven-Harry’s Art Museum. Cia Jansson is the creative director of Elle Sweden and has been following the Swedish fashion scene closely since the early 1990s, first as a fashion student at Beckmans College of Design, then as a stylist, illustrator and fashion editor at Damernas Värld. She has been with Elle Sweden since 1998.
When we speak with Michael, he describes the show as centered around the successes, events and trends that have shaped the image of Swedish fashion in the first 15 years of the 21st-century. “We are looking at the most cutting edge, innovative and trendsetting designs, the highlights from one the most creative periods in Swedish fashion history so far!”
He developed the idea as he felt the need for an exhibition that puts Swedish fashion in a cultural perspective. And, also one that visually tells the story of the, frankly, amazing development. “I wanted an exhibition that depicts how a new generation taking height, found self expression and as a group created what is today defined as Swedish fashion,” he says.
Who do you imagine is the key audience for the show?
Generally, everyone who’s interested in fashion, art and lifestyle. The exhibition has a wow factor for both people in the fashion world as well as the ordinary guy who just wants to see beautiful clothes and get to know more about fashion and design.
Any key players involved that you think should get an extra mention?
All of them! Super Individualists like Helena Hörstedt, Sandra Backlund, Bea Szenfeld and Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair’s Astrid Olsson. Pioneers like Ann-Sofie Back, trendsetters as Acne Studios, profiler som Örjan Andersson, established brands like Whyred, Tiger of Sweden, Hope, Rodebjer, Carin Wester and House of Dagmar. And of course today’s newcomers Marks AltewaiSaome, Common and Ida Klamborn.
What is the aim with the show?
Many of them have previously only appeared on the catwalk or in the fashion press. We want to enable a large audience to take advantage of all these amazing and unique creations.
Is there something in the show we shouldn’t miss?
The new generation of designers on the roof, the clothes in combination with the rooftop is amazing. But also the 30 piece strong group of ”black” clothes, it really shows how great Swedish designers are and how much they love black. And of course the Atelier room where you see the couture items from Helena Hörstedt, Sandra Backlund, Bea Szenfeld and Altewai Saome. Amazing!
The exhibition has barely started, and they already have five museums requesting to borrow the show. Needless to say, the success story of Swedish design continues.