When it comes to Scandinavian fashion, the first two major cities people tend to think of are Stockholm and Copenhagen — but the Scandinavian fashion industry doesn’t begin or end in Sweden or Denmark.
Norway’s capital city of Oslo has a burgeoning fashion week called “Oslo Runway” that’s proving itself to be one to watch within the region. Where the other Scandinavian fashion capitals are most widely known for their sleek and contemporary designs — it isn’t a coincidence that IKEA also comes from Scandinavia — Oslo has a certain folksiness that makes its designs charming. Not only are the clothes cool, clean and ultra-modern, but they also play with Norwegian culture and craft in fun, unique ways. There’s amazing storytelling in these clothes, and collections like ByTimo and Iis Woodling demonstrate that you don’t have to come from New York or Paris to be one of fashion’s brightest talents.
Read on for some of our favorite collections and looks from Oslo Runway.
Designer Tine Mollatt likes clothes that have a vintage feeling, and she certainly accomplished that here. This season’s outing from ByTimo served up an enviable array of long, loose and feminine dresses. But if it isn’t the gorgeous floral prints you fall in love with — all of which are developed exclusively for ByTimo — it will be the brand’s commitment to ethical manufacturing, as every aspect of production is vetted for quality, sustainability and corporate responsibility. Last year, the brand started a social entrepreneurship program that employs survivors of domestic abuse; that’s definitely something we can stand behind.
The tunic (and its ’70s-friendly silhouette) might not be for everyone, but when the Iben show opened with one in soft-washed, fray-edged denim, our interest was totally piqued. This collection turned out to be an enviable masterclass in texture, with cameos from satin, metallic leather and sumptuous mohairs. Plus, the range captured everything we love about Scandinavian fashion — it’s minimal, it’s everyday and it’s impossibly cool.
Moods of Norway
No brand at Oslo Runway better exemplified “The Gucci Effect” than Moods of Norway; it was hard not to draw such comparisons with the dramatic, sexy clothes on display here. There were velvet suits and floral shirts for the boys, ’70s-inflected jumpsuits for the ladies and one sheer dress that left us begging for more.
No models had more fun on the runway in Oslo this season than those at Fam Irvoll. The mood at the show was infectious as models danced down the runway in velour skirts, bomber jackets and campy sunglasses. But best of all was the comment this show made about beauty. It was refreshing to see graphic tees poking fun at Botox and Restylane worn by models of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities. Special props to Fam Irvoll for having the week’s most diverse range of models — bravo!
Line of Oslo
For Line of Oslo, Spring 2018 was all about purity: The new collection began with a trio of all-white looks, and it was interesting to see the styling slowly get more and more complex as the show went on. Our favorite? A camo military jacket worn over a white eyelet lace dress.
What started as an instantly classic line of chunky silver rings in 2013 has since blossomed into a fully realized ready-to-wear collection. Tom Wood’s Spring 2018 offerings placed an emphasis on denim and colorful, yet restrained surplus styles; there were a lot of great pockets, as well as substantial denim hardware. Luckily, you won’t have to travel to Oslo to get your hands on this whimsical workwear-inspired collection —Tom Wood is carried by some of the world’s leading specialty retailers including Dover Street Market, Barneys New York, Harrod’s and Isetan.
This wouldn’t be Norway without a few amazing Norwegian knits! Everyone knows the classic “fair Isle” ski sweaters that Norway does so well. Luckily, Iis Woodling had some fun with that traditional craft and turned it on its head — these were some pretty psychedelic ski sweaters. In all, this was one of the week’s standout collections as it really showed what makes Norway stand out on the global fashion scene. It has the playfulness and modernity of the other Scandinavian fashion weeks, but an emphasis on craft and its own folk culture you won’t find anywhere else.
Cala Jade might be the only all-accessories brand to have shown at Oslo Runway this season, but with their buttery leathers finished with just-right hardware, we’re so glad they did. When it comes to streamlined accessories you can wear every day, but that still have personality, this is a line that hits the mark.
We were totally digging the styling at FWSS’ show — each look came down the runway with fresh sneakers and mid-calf socks. Mixing those with the slouchy knits and feminine separates on display made it easy to imagine Oslo’s coolest girls wearing this brand on the street. It’s hard to pick a favorite look here, but we were especially excited about the roomy knit sweaters.