The long line of cool kids in funky prints and precisely styled geometric haircuts standing outside the New Museum on Monday night were our first tip-off that Nordic design attracts a well-dressed crowd. The evening’s big draw was “Northern Exposure,” a presentation of six Nordic fashion talents organized by Capsule, the Lower East Side retailer International Playground, and the Consulates General of Finland and Sweden. Each of the designers sent out four strong looks from their spring-summer collections, and the results were impressive. Inspirations ranged from the recent expedition to Mars to eighties-era Debbie Harry and each look was punctuated with smart accessories (Altewai.Saome’s Neo-Trekkie shades and R/H’s denim carryall stood out). Click to see our favorites from these labels and learn about their design inspirations.
Designers: Natalia Altewai and Randa Saome “We based the collection on geometry and the work of artist Raoul Mazzoni, who combined different geometric shapes to create a depth in his paintings. The top is made of three geometric shapes in three different fabrics and colors. Same goes with the sunglasses — for example, the round ones are also square, with different materials that creates a depth.” At Modaoperandi
Designers: Emilia Hernesniemi and Hanna Riihelainen “The collection was inspired by Debbie Harry in the early eighties. Aspects of New York’s hedonistic lifestyle plays a big role in this collection. We also love the stonewashed denim look and the style is something we remember our mothers used to wear when we were kids.” At International Playground
Daniel Palillo (Finland)
Designer: Daniel Palillo “This collection, called ‘Invasion,’ is a trip to space, inspired by the landing in Mars. It’s mostly black and white. I did some spike hats that are like antennae through which you can hear the universe.” At International Playground
Designer: Samu-Jussi Koski “Finnish culture and design combine elements from both Scandinavian and Russian traditions. I think this can be seen in my designs and the whole world of Samuji. My inspiration often comes from the nature or from arts. This time one of the key elements was artist Jan-Erik Andersson’s “Life on a Leaf” project. At Jumelle
Designer: Ann Ringstrand “The inspiration is from the traditional textile technique of sailors’ knotting. In this look, we have choosen a handprinted pattern of a harbor with sailboats that combines the theme.” At Hope, La Garconne, Creatures Of Comfort, Steven Alan, Bird
Designers: Sophie Elvestedt, Jennifer Elvestedt, and Pernilla Elvestedt “We have been thinking about ‘The Search for Shangri-La’, so there are a lot of mountains and minerals on our moodboard for SS13. The shoes are ours — they are our biggest product group, followed by dresses and jackets.” At Dear Fieldbinder, Urban Outfitters