If you've been reading your Refinery29 lately, you know that Stockholm Fashion Week By Berns commenced yesterday, following three full days of shows spot-lighting an excellent lineup of mostly local talent. Though we spent lots of time trawling the cobblestone streets in search of inspiring style (we found plenty!), the leading looks were found on the runways. From Acne to Cheap Monday, there's no doubt that Stockholm is becoming fashion's True North for emerging talent. We narrowed the list down to our top seven shows—collections that seemed to point the way for what is truly fresh, interesting, and, at the end of the day, the kind of clothes we really want to be wearing.
Whyred—Mr/Mrs cool and classic.
Whyred has come to be known as a strong menswear label, and this season was no exception. But for fall '09, the womenswear also emerged with a strong identity of its own. Grounded in menswear suiting, strong lines, and hearty winter wools and tweeds, the ladies balanced out the masculine vibe with hints of the feminine: flirty skirts, curve-accentuating pants, mesh fabrics, and bright bolts of blue to break up a mostly black and gray landscape that personifies that cool and confident Whyred attitude.
Acne—Building an empire.
There are few fashion companies as exciting as Acne right now, and there's no question this latest collection will put the brand on the global fashion map in an even bigger way. Staged in a private home amid an incredible display of suspended white sculpture, the collections for both men and women explored the Acne principles in a more daring way. Creative director Jonny Johansson used his new bold and museum-worthy jewelry collection as the starting point for a finely edited assortment of sculpted coats, lean plastic trousers that were so chic they seemed practically timeless, and fantastic simple and utterly modern separates for men.
Minimarket—A fashion fairytale come to life.
Velvet cigarette pants, little caped tartan jackets, lean buttoned-up mini-skirts, and some bowler hats that didn't seem a season old in the least. The harlequin-by-way-of-Sherlock Holmes sort of thing completely worked, and yielded a smart and sturdy collection made buoyant with lots of whimsical details.
Hope—Heart of darkness.
More than most of the other collections, Hope seemed to personify the dark and mysterious mood that often comes when the sun disappears at 4. There was lots of leather on hand (better fashioned for the ladies than for the men), nicely tailored jackets, and occasional spottings of plaid to maybe prevent the collection from being a little too serious. All in all, it was bordering on plain, but drawing out individual pieces, the craftsmanship and spirit of Hope was nicely pronounced.
Cheap Monday—Seriously, the denim revolution.
Wow. The crowd outside the Cheap Monday show made us think that they knew something we didn't. Turns out, they did. While we might have expected some cool pigmented jeans and an occasion denim jumper (got it!), we were over-the-moon to get so much MORE, too. Big elegant overcoats, short boxy blazers, and shredded denim gave us hope that the denim revolution may have just begun.
Rodebjer—The 19th-century moves into the millennium.
The first show we saw, and still one of the best. We loved all the mohair (trend to watch!) wrapped up with tight leather belts, plaids, and velvets accented with sequins, and even the new should-be-dowdy dresses dropping just below the knee felt completely of the moment and totally wearable.
Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair—Fantasy for real times (sort of).
We've long been fans of Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, but in this collection the designers revealed strokes of genius we hadn't yet seen from them. Much of the collection was hinged on big swirling pleats of fabric (slightly reminiscent of Commes), but it was the less-risky looks that displayed these fits of fantasy in a more humble way—delicately exaggerated trousers and wonderfully fitted blazers—that wowed us.