It may not seem like the most fashionable place in the world, generally anywhere that isn't London, Paris, Milan or New York tends to get lost in the background noise of the fashion world, but Scandinavian fashion is making it big internationally and is slowly but surely creeping into London style. The reason why I feel so compelled to write about this is because it seems like around every corner, in every magazine, in every coffee shop, trendy new bar and unmistakably cool event, I am surrounded by what I like to call the 'effortlessly cool'. These people can roll out of bed throw on some ripped jeans (genuinely ripped as well not the fake pre-made type), plain white t-shirt two sizes too big and Ray Ban wayfarers and still look like they have meticulously pulled an outfit together.
These people can find the most modern and uniquely simple pieces that don't need any dressing up or down, and speak volumes without trying to speak at all. I am not one of these people, although I strive day and night to be one. That's probably where I'm going wrong I try to be effortless and we all know if you try that hard it rarely works out. But still I admire these people from a distance and try to pick up tips here and there, some contemporary and understated brand name might float my way that I dutifully lap up and buy as much as possible, but inevitably it takes a special person and a special brand to truly pull this off. Scandinavian fashion is the master of this and who we should all look to for advice and direction.
Scandinavian fashion has introduced us to a world where attention to detail is one of the commandments, alongside high quality materials and an innovative and very contemporary approach to design. Acne is one of the most well-known Scandinavian brands that have made it extremely big on the fashion scene. Started in 1996 the relatively new company originally made jeans and has branched out into other fashion areas since opening stores globally. Their casual but well-tailored t-shirts can make even the fashion haters look on trend. And it's not just the Scandinavian brands that have reached our shores, English retailing has taken the Scandinavian fashion philosophy and are trying it out in the market. I recently visited the new '& Other Stories' store in Regent Street which opened earlier this year as a more fashion forward branch of H&M.
This store is what got me thinking about the Scandi-cool fashion movement. For those of us that don't have enough time, money or patience to search the hidden corners of the city for the high quality statement pieces that such Scandinavian brands produce, & Other Stories provides a very good alternative. They have managed to combine the near impossible mixture of simple yet contemporary design, with unique and wearable fabrics at relatively good price points. The shop itself sums up what is to be expected from the clothes and accessories, with white simple walls and quirky design elements so it's no surprise that the headquarters for & Other Stories is in Sweden at the heart of this fashion movement. It really is great to see the 'effortlessly cool' brands like Acne and Filippa K now a lot more readily available to the UK market, with major fashion retailers stocking these brands like Liberty, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.
But it is also warming to the heart to see more accessible brands and retailers boldly stepping into a gap in the market for the 'effortlessly cool' customers where products can provide the same great design and fabrics at a more affordable price. With this new transition who knows maybe one day I'll make it in the 'effortlessly cool' category!