One to Watch: Elisabeth Stray Pedersen

I am really excited to share this following designer with you guys! Elisabeth Stray Pedersen is a fresh, new design talent currently based in Oslo. Last year, she graduated with a master’s degree in Womenswear Fashion from Oslo National Academy of the Arts, as well as having previously studied at Central Saint Martins in London and worked for Norwegian based brand Epilogue by Eva Emanuelsen. In 2013 while still in college, her garments were presented at the New Talent Showcase by UP [øpp] + F5, a great initiative that provides a platform for exciting and emerging designers.

I find her approach to fashion interesting. She plays with patterns in a really contemporary and fun way, as well as being abstract when it comes to shapes. The SS 15 collection shows great use of layering, creating depth and contrast with textiles that you’d normally not think to put together. Can’t wait to see what more she has in store for us!

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One To Watch: Tua Marika

With a short stint in finance followed by a freelance career in graphic design, Tua Marika is a Finnish jewellery artist that has gone back to school. I found her instagram after a long and hard image search after seeing a stunning photograph online. The picture was of two hands gradually covered in a dark substance similar to sot. On one finger, an industrial-looking silver ring provided contrast. It was simple but to the point, and the great lines and use of colour made the ‘shopper in me happy. Her instagram is full of really amazing photographs displaying the most incredible jewellery. Her background as a graphic designer seems to have in some ways influenced her designs. A couple of years ago, after taking courses on visual arts in New York, she realized that jewellery was her new path and enrolled in design and art school just outside of Helsinki. On her website, she says

“I realized that designing and making jewelry gives me a way to utilize everything I have learned and done in the past. Jewelry design makes me feel like I’ve come home.”

I love the idea of feeling like you’ve come home, that you found something you really and truly belong with. It’s something I aspire to find myself, and in a way it’s nice to know that there are people out there doing sudden shifts in their career paths to create true beauty. When I look at her work, I feel like it’s the work of someone who has done this their whole life. Small batches of her collection will be available in late spring, and I’m so excited to see how it turns out!

Follow her instagram, and keep up with her on her website.

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One To Watch: GOEN.J

What do you think of when you hear the words “Siamese fighting fish”? A feminine and pretty womenswear brand? No? Me neither. But that was the mere beginning of Korean designer Jong Go-Woun’s very own label GOEN.J, founded in 2010. The fish, with soft looking, colourful fins inspired her first collection to launch in 2011.

The years before the emerging of her own brand, the designer from Seoul studied womenswear design at the french fashion school Studio Berçot, drawing on inspiration from the chic Parisian women. After graduating in 2009, she entered and won the Korean version of Project Runway and immediately after her victory she founded GOEN.J.

I like her point of view. For me, it is light and feminine womenswear infused with “coolazn”, an internet expression meant to describe the effortless “coolness” that young asian fashionistas are known to portray. It’s simple designs merged with flirtatious fabrics and cuts, and she’s definitely one to watch.

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One To Watch: Ximon Lee – Winner of the H&M Design Award 2015

The H&M Award is a relatively new design competition, established in 2012 by the Swedish fashion house H&M. It aims to give hopeful designers a platform to showcase their BA or MA (or equivalent) graduate collection, so it is in essence a student design contest. The final eight contestants are picked out by a panel of industry judges, and the winner gets to showcase their collection at Fashion Week Stockholm, as well as a much needed cash prize. Key pieces from the collection will also be sold in select H&M stores. One lucky finalist can also win an internship at a renowned fashion studio by being selected by voters of the public in the People’s Prize category (this time around, the prize was awarded to Magdalena Brozda).

The winner for this years award was Parsons menswear student Ximon Lee, originally from Hong Kong. Inspired by the film documentary “Children of Leningradsky” his collection was quite sleek and adventurous, with outrageous shapes and prints that looked like watercoloured, layered works. Mixing denim in different shades of bleached indigo with crisp whites and charcoals is a kind of typical Scandi approach to colour, and I’m really keen on it. Hell, I’d love to wear some of these looks. I am guessing the key pieces that will be featured in select H&M stores will be taken down a notch or two to make them more commercial, however I would love to see a man walk down the streets in one of those amazing boxy, big jackets!

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One To Watch: Bjørg

Up until now, I’ve featured new designers in this section, or up and coming ones. This time it’s a bit different. Norwegian designer Bjørg Nordli-Mathisen founded her company eleven years ago, making conceptual art jewellery combining raw qualities with a fine finish. Her aesthetic is quite unique, and after following her for some time the pieces become instantly recognizable. Some of her pieces are very fairly priced while others are mid-priced, meaning us mere mortals can be in possession of one or five items without depending on the sun, moon and stars to align in order to buy Bjørg. So far the only Bjørg addition to my own jewellery collection is a small, golden skull that I manage to lose the accompanying  chain to some years ago. I’ve since made a black leather bracelet for it.

Collections only come out twice a year, so you know a lot of love and effort has been put into each and every single piece. The collections are presented through what I think are brilliant photographs. The latest collection for Spring/Summer 2015 is called Hall of Mirrors, using mirrors and reflective materials in minimalistic designs.

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One to Watch: frankremme

For twenty years, Norwegian designer Frank Remme has designed both womenswear and menswear for other labels. This year, he started up his very own line, frankremme, a brand catering to both the stylish man and the cool ladies. When I went back home for christmas break I was thrilled to see that his first collection of womenswear had finally arrived in the retail store I sometimes work in when I am in town. The items looked super fresh and felt amazing on – and the aesthetics was unlike anything else in the store. His point of view is very unique and I can only describe the current collection as a modern take on 1980’s/1990’s Aspen resort wear! With clean lines, he mixes sporty materials and graphic elements with luxe fabrics resulting in a playful and elegant twist on sportswear.

Frankremme Pre-Spring 2015 (mens and ladies collection)

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One to Watch: Melitta Baumeister

First of all, happy new year fellow commoners! I thought I would start the year by writing a little bit about a great new talent that I believe will gain some more attention in the following year. Melitta Baumeister is a German fashion designer based in New York, fresh out of Parsons. Her unique approach to womenswear caught my attention as she presented her graduation collection in 2014, and her spring 2015 collection is equally amazing. She plays with shapes and draws outside the lines of the norm, using non-textiles such as silicone to create her designs. In this regard, she is definitely a designer to watch!

Melitta Baumeister SS 2015

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Melitta Baumeister’s Graduation Collection

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One to Watch: House of Sunny

I’ve followed this new London based clothing brand for some time now and I’m really into the clean aesthetic and the playful yet simple shapes. It’s a minimalist’s dream! They have really evolved in just the past year, and I think the brand identity is really, really strong at this moment in time. The pieces are well constructed, feels tailored and heavy in a good way. Here are some current looks from their A/W 14 collection.

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One to Watch: ByMAGMALOU (Get Your Scandi On!)

What started off as a concept store in Norway’s capital is evolving to be so much more. The brains behind the store MagMaLou, Marthe Kveli Valeberg, wanted to create her own line of clothing for women and so ByMAGMALOU was born. Her second collection’s lookbook was released recently, and I’m really enthused by the clean and crisp lines, the simplistic design and the fact that it screams MOTHERLAND to me. The styling of the ss 2015 collection is on point with the comfy, clean sneakers and just-out-of-the-rain hair.

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One to Watch: ARV

I came across this wonderful, new brand in my local newspaper back home, and instantly fell in love. Arv (english: legacy) creates beautiful, warm coats. The designers’s grandfather was a tailor, and it was his work that inspired them to create the brand. The aesthetic is minimalistic and classic, with clean lines and shapes. But, there is always something extra that makes the garment stand out. I can’t wait to see more from them in the future!

At this moment it can be difficult to get a hold of a coat, but it is sold on http://www.miinto.no/brands/arv and in selected stores in Norway.

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