Archive for the ‘Trends’ Category

Citrus accents at H&M

Posted: November 27, 2011 in Swedish, Trends
Tags: , ,

Looking out my window all I see is various shades of gray. It was therefore nice on Thursday to see the cheerful colors coming our way in H&M’s Spring 2012 collection. For the ladies, you can expect to see white and neutral colors with fruity accents of yellow, orange and apple green, as well as lighter hues of apricot and blue. On the men’s side, orange has a prominent place in the casual wear.
Photo: David Bartal

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David with wet hair

Nearly everyone has issues with their own hair. If you are like most people, you probably feel that your hair is too curly, too thin, too short or too long, a boring color or the wrong texture. A museum in Stockholm is currently collecting anecdotes, photos and memorablia related to hair for an upcoming exhibit in fall 2012.

The Nordic Museum (Nordiska Museet) wants to know everything about your hair. They have launched a webpage where the general public can share their thoughts, reflections or stories relating to hair, beards, body hair and related matters. It’s a Swedish language site.

We learn on this hairy webpage that Matilda, 41, recently cut her hair in a short pageboy style, and is happy not to be bothered by the feeling of hair on her neck. A 20-year-old woman named Linn with straight blonde hair describes the complex steps she takes to achieve an effect that looks entirely natural: Instead of using hairspray on her bangs, which would make them stiff, she applies it to a comb, which provides just enough strengthening affect to prevent the bangs from separating into separate units.

A bushy-haired dude named Richard says he doesn’t care about his hair. He used to spend a lot of money on haircuts when he was young but he finally bought a electronic clipper and now just cuts his hair once a year, and washes it twice a week.
The museum website reminds me about a non-commerical Internet art project called A Total Waste of Time. This collaborative project explores an interesting phenomenon: How men are inclined to take pictures of themselves in bathroom mirrors. I once contributed a self-portrait photo to this project, fresh out of the shower.

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An online gambling site predicts that the jumpsuit may be the most popular Christmas present in Sweden this year.

The odds are currently 4:1 that jumpsuits for adults youths and kids — like those made by OnePiece of Norway and Zipperall of Sweden– will be the most common gift when Santa comes calling in December, according PAF, an online gaming company based on the semi-autonomous Finnish island of Åland.
Swedish people have for years favored “hard packages” in the Xmas season. The last time a “soft” present emerged as the favorite was 2003, when the knitted cap was Christmas present of the year.

The pricey Nespresso coffee brewer poses the biggest challenge to the Onepiece, entering the field with 5:1 odds.

“Sure, the Swedes are techno-geeks, but after the touchscreen was named last year’s Xmas Gift of the Year, electronics will take a back seat this year,” predicts PAF spokesman Anders Sims.

This is the fourth consecutive year that PAF has been taking bets on Christmas gift of the Year in Sweden. Prior to the gift-giving season in 2010, the online gaming company correctly identified the touchscreen as the hottest present.

OnePiece is the brainchild of three Norwegian guys in their twenties– Thomas Adams, Henrik Nøstrud and Knut Gresvig –who had the idea of sewing their hoddie top and tracksuit bottoms together on a hungover Sunday morning back in 2007. Today, they are sold throughout the world. Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Elton John, Jude Law and Justin Bieber have all been photographed lounging around or performing onstage in OnePiece garments.
Check out the interview I did with one of the company founders last year when OnePiece opened up a new concept store in Stockholm.

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The Spring/Summer 2012 collection of Cheap Monday casts a glance back to an older generation with a Polaroid palette of bright orange, dark blue and mint. New for this season is a line of ‘Second Skin’ jeans that are tight – even tighter than last year.

Erik Möller of Cheap Monday gave us a tour of the showroom on the south side of Stockholm.

Video: David Bartal and Alexander Farnsworth

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Fio-Fio Design is the brainchild of Stockholm-based artist Veronica Alkmim Franca, who comes originally from Brazil. After research into the potential of Brazilian natural colored cotton and other materials, Veronica and other modern designers have developed an elegant line of handmade jewelry and accessories.

Swedish fashion addicts have for many years been averse to bright colors. But tourist travel to tropical destinations has created a taste among some Swedes for spicy flavors… and dramatic fashion brands like DeSigual, Save the Queen and Custo Barcelona.

I don’t think that Swedish women have lost their basic preference for clothing which is simple, functional and of high-quality, but the wearing of bright colors or decorative details no longer requires gigantic amounts of courage.

Fio-Fio will in the coming weeks make it its debut in Stockholm. We can expect to see more eye-opening, dramatic colors and designs defying the chilly grey of minimalism this winter.

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Tom (at right) in tank top and micro-shorts

About one year ago I got rid of my beard, which was getting too gray to suit my vanity. But my dirty brown mustache survives on its own. That means I share the same sort of facial adornment as Tom Selleck, the square-chinned star of the 1980s detective TV series Magnum PI.

The mustache is a relatively rare accessory in modern-day Scandinavia—so unusual that the thick brush that adorns the upper lip of Social Democratic Party leader Håkan Juholt is often discussed and commented upon—as if it says something special about his character or politics — But what does his moustache say?

Tom Selleck and I (but presumably not Håkan Juholt) share another retro fashion style. We both wear relatively short shorts. I don’t (more…)

Back from Bali: Nizar in Ray-Bans and Lena shining in gold

When its 23 degrees (73 F) outside and sunny it is compulsary in this country to eat your lunch outside, in the open air. That is what I did on Tuesday, together with my old friend Nizar and his partner Lena. We noshed on spicy Lebanese takeaway on the stone stairs of Stockholm’s Konserthuset, opposite the veggie and flower stalls of the open market.

The couple was back in the Swedish capital after nine months in Bali. Nizar, a native of Indonesia, is working these day as head chef of JP’s Warungclub, one of that country’s top restaurant/nighclubs. (check out video on Youtube where murderous Ninjas invade his kitchen at:”Introducing the New JP’s Warungclub with Chef Nizar / episode #3″). (more…)

Only red belt remains

For the first time in 73 years the Man of Steel has dropped the red briefs he has worn since 1938, when the first Superman comic was published. In the upcoming issues of Superman, he will not be wearing his classical fire-engine-red underwear.

The online edition of Aftonbladet polled its readers Monday to get their opinion of the superhero’s streamlined new style. The vast majority of the 5,000 who responded (53 percent) gave Superman’s new costume only one star, while 16 percent awarded the new depiction of Superman a full five stars.

“We want to introduce a kind of take on Superman that’s going to be so different that no one can expect what might happen next. One of the things we’re going to do in this book is also to show you how Superman is, who he is, why he ended up wearing the costume that he wears,” said DC Comics writer Grant Morrison.

Will we finally learn why Superman wears his underwear on top of his clothes?

This has been a subject of intense speculation over the years. Some say Superman needs the extra protection because of the wind chill generated from flying at high altitudes. Another theory is that the red undies are an ingenious disguise.
After all, when you see a guy pop up wearing red underwear on top of blue tights, the last thing you want to do is to make eye contact. Thus, you don’t recognize that it is actually Clark Kent.

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Way back in the 1970s, when the girls wore granny dresses and the gents favored flared pants, wooden clogs were also a quirky trend. One couldn’t sneak up on anyone wearing clunky clogs, but they were cheap and lasted a lifetime.

Starting on April 20, global retailer H&M will be selling three different models of retro clogs in approximately 150 of their stores worldwide.

The modernized wooden-soled shoes with leather uppers have been designed by Swedish Hasbeens, which was founded in 2007 by childhood friends Cilla Wingård Neuman and Emy Blixt. The brand got its start a year earlier when Emy found 300 pairs of clogs in a closet, and realized that the time was right for a comeback.

“The Hasbeens for H&M collection fits perfectly with the 1970s’ inspired bohemian look which will be an important part of the coming season,” says H&M senior designer Ann-Sofie Johansson.

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Gender bender: Issue No. 2 of Industrie Magazine

A new sort of cosmopolitan pioneer has emerged in the 21st Century. He is prepared to go beyond traditional male preening and flirt openly with feminine styles and fashions. Good-bye, Metrosexuals. Hello, Merry Men.

The most daring young Dandys of our day wear platform shoes or high-heeled boots when they visit art galleries openings or sit in the front rows at fashion shows. They favour all kinds of perfumes and aren’t afraid to try any kind of cosmetics; they find Oscar Wilde inspiring, wear coats cut in womanly shapes and decorative necklaces. They laugh with good humour at anyone who is shocked, provoked or dismayed by their womanly attire. They want to provoke.

This new breed of Merry Men isn’t afraid to be mistaken for Gay. They delight in decorative styles and vamp-like fashions. The gender-bending Dandys of today hunt in vintage stores for a coat with a fluffy fur collar that might have been worn by their own grandmother. These boys borrow their girlfriend’s eyeliner (or purchase their own) to make themselves look mysterious and dangerous. These gents demand to be noticed. The cover photo of the latest edition of fashion culture magazine Industrie, for example, shows a gentleman in a long, feminine grey coat and rakish hat. Obesrve the dark eye make-up. Ironically, images of women wearing little or no clothing have become ordinary, almost mundane in the fashion world. But a bearded gent with wavy black hair showing a little leg on a magazine cover makes us look not once, but twice. (more…)