We’re right in the midst of the Scandinavian fashion season and with Copenhagen Fashion Week a not-too-distant memory, all attention turns to the Nordic city that’s equally stylish but lesser-known within fashion circles – Oslo. The recent two-day Oslo Runway event was packed full of Norway’s finest design talent, from Cathrine Hammel to Iben, but we’ve narrowed down our personal selection to just five Norwegian labels that you absolutely need on your radar – read on for all your Scandi fashion needs.
Ida Falck Øien and Harald Lunde Helgesen, the design duo behind HAiKW/, were the recipients of the 2018 Bik Bok Runway Award, which gives them access to a prize fund as well as mentoring and a runway slot at Oslo Runway next season. What stands out mostly about this particular brand is the fact that it utilises collaborators for every collection; this time around, the off-kilter gingham looks, oversized pants and ultra-clunky wooden footwear was complemented by jewelry designed by Victoria Duffee. All eyes are sure to be on HAiKW/ in 2019 to see what this offbeat twosome dream up next.
The Norwegian family-run brand beloved by Gigi Hadid has been serving up casual and practical yet stylish staples like its signature hanger hoodies for a while, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking when it comes to forward-thinking and trend-led apparel and accessories. Showcasing its SS19 collection during Copenhagen Fashion Week, the brand unveiled an array of practical pieces in warm hues inspired by outdoor summer adventures. Standout pieces for us included a blanket-style zip-up cape made in colaboration with Net-A-Porter, a sunshine-yellow jumpsuit and a transparent long-line jacket.
Former recipient of the Bik Bok Runway award Michael Olestad cut his teeth at Ann-Sofie Back and Acne Studios before striking out with his namesake label. He was the closing designer at Oslo Runway SS19, where he brought out expertly draped dresses, statement trench coats, tailored trousers with a twist and futuristic accessories, resulting in a collection that was both captivating and importantly, wearable. Olestad even managed to make denim look delicate, thanks to the feminine detailing and embroidery-inspired finishes. This Norwegian designer has shown he’s a force to be reckoned with, not only within Oslo’s fashion scene but far beyond.
The lifestyle brand launched by Mona Jensen offers up an expertly-designed array of apparel, accessories and jewelry, much of which is unisex. Perhaps mostly well known for its signature signet rings, the brand also recently forayed into denim, offering a selection of high-quality staples in innovative, fashion-forward silhouettes. The label has fast become synonymous with that coveted air of Scandi-cool, which explains why Tom Wood has been swiftly snapped up by high-end retailers like Dover Street Market and Goodhood already.
Another Bik Bok Runway alumna, Anne Karine Thorbjornsen has exhibited her work on an international level at London Fashion Week, Amaze Stockholm and of course, on home turf at Oslo Runway. Embracing what are often seen as “tacky” techniques and styles and transforming them into pieces that stun on and off the runway is something that comes as second nature to Thorbjornsen. Her SS19 Neo Baroque collection was the perfect example of this; a vivid color palette teamed with oversized silhouettes, soft draping and clashing patterns on paper could seem garish but on the catwalk translated into a harmonious symphony featuring plenty of pieces that we’ll no doubt see on Norway‘s most stylish citizens next season.