For Fall 2015, I began my research by looking at the Arts and Crafts Movement in the Nordic countries…particularly Carl Larsen’s delightful watercolors, and his charming home in Sweden; and the beautiful needlework and tapestries from the Norwegians, Frida Hansen and Gerhard Munthe. To make it all a bit cheerier, I then skipped forward and delved into Mid-Century Scandinavian decorative arts; ceramics, furniture, and printed textiles.
Recently, Helen Pryor, who develops prints for my collection, pointed to an image on my Mood Board and said, “Those were my living room curtains growing-up!” To prove it, she sent me a photograph of her as a child in the 1970s in front of bold Saini Salonen Mykerö patterned curtains. I said, “Wow, your parents must have been so cool.” She said, “No, not really…everyone’s house looked like that.” And I realized it was totally true…Marimekko upholstery, Figgjo Lotte ceramics, Op Art wallpapers, Catherine Holm enamelware, Bjørn Wiinblad porcelain, and Ryijy shag carpets were all mainstays of 20th Century domestic interiors worldwide (even in my own family home). I always loved that Pop quality and positive, optimistic energy.
I tried to push these themes even further…this time looking way backward in the other direction, to make the whole thing look more primitive, primal, pagan…a full-on Norse Mythology fairytale! I think the music for the show will have to reflect all these elements…sparkly, upbeat, magical.
I’m styling the show with bargello print fanny packs, platinum Moon Boots, birch wood grain pattern ski goggles, pony skin chukka boots, corselet belts studded with brass flowers, knit Viking helmets and ski lift pass wickets. The collection will feature embroidered fur maxi coats, two-toned boiled wool military jackets, fake Persian lamb capes with lace insets, quilted floral snowsuits, and digital-print needlepoint forests, or photo-print tablecloth lace embellished with real lace trim or chunky yarn braids. There will be long ABBA Mandala hostess dresses, ombre color-blocked Mongolian lamb vests, and inside-out faux snow leopard Inuit parkas trimmed in rows of rickrack and edelweiss ribbons.
I had the backdrop painted like a gigantic geometric pattered shag rug…in all the colors of the sky ablaze with Northern Lights over frozen landscapes; especially shades of teal, cerulean, deep navy, seafoam green, and icicle blue.