I have spent the last year in Stockholm discovering the Scandinavian ready-to-wear labels that have propelled the region to the forefront of fashion – ACNE, Dagmar, HOPE and Designers Remix are names you may well have seen featured on these pages. However, it was only when I caught up with LoveGold a few months back that my attention was drawn to another area of exceptional Nordic design – jewellery.
Not any jewellery either, that of high karat gold. Typically the region is known for its silver craftsmanship, which dates back to the trade of the Norsemen and Vikings, but today contemporary Scandinavian designers are creating gold collections that reflect the area’s avant-garde approach to design. As part of their Wanderlust campaign, LoveGold invited me to showcase some of the incredible talent heralding from Northern Europe. There was no end of choice, but I approached Maria Black, Efva Attling and Maria Nilsdotter to take part in the edit. Working with one of my favourite photographers – Victoria Stillwell – we photographed in some of Stockholm’s most iconic spots, as well as several of it’s hidden gems. Danish designer Maria Black describes her work as “Lego for Fashionistas”; it’s her knack for creating unique pieces that can be worn on their own, or stacked and built together, that makes her such an exciting talent. Think hoops, studs, geometric shapes and chains, all fused together in original collections that embrace current trends and convey elegance with an edge. Her pieces have a following of the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Miley Cyrus, Lady GaGa and CoCo Summer – not bad for a label that was born just four years ago! In these shots I’m wearing gold pieces from her fine jewellery collection, which was launched in SS13 and saw her introduce diamonds and 18k gold to her label for the first time.
Efva Attling is somewhat of a Swedish legend; she’s a model, writer, singer and more latterly jewellery giantess. Whether Attling is creating a bespoke necklace to commemorate PRIDE week, or partnering with Swedish House Mafia on an exclusive line of bracelets, she has a knack for identifying “what’s hot”, and crafting beautiful pieces around it. She re-imagines classic styles with unexpected twists – a fantastic illustration of this is the Carpe Diem Monocle necklace I’m wearing below, which encases a magnifying glass for reading, pretty cool hey?
But what I really love about Efva Attling’s pieces are the anecdotes she inscribes on her jewellery – her songwriting days have clearly paid off! I’m wearing a necklace that reads “Miss You”, which features two hands coming together and signifies remembrance. Attling has also created pieces like the Twosome necklace that states “Amor Vincit Omnia” (Latin for “Love Conquers All”), which represents two unique personalities coming together to build a stronger unit. One of her slightly more progressive pieces, “Divorced with Children”, features two silver rings held together by a smaller 18k gold ring. The silver is a symbol for the separated parents that are held together by something beautiful – the children – represented here in gold.
Also heralding from Sweden is Maria Nilsdotter, whose handsome fusions of the romantic, folkloric and sometimes vicious combine to create fantastical pieces in quality materials. I first discovered Nilsdotter when she launched her unisex collection entitled “Boy/Girlfriend” and have since spotted her coveted pieces on the likes of Madonna. More akin to 18k wearable art works than jewellery, all pieces are handmade, so truly feel unique.
Nilsdotter’s most recent collection entitled “My Town” mixes punk with the architectural in high karat pieces that draw inspiration from Stockholm itself, meanwhile her “Boy/Girlfriend” collection features delicate 18k gold bees that cling onto semi-precious stones, and her “Lost World” line sees secret gardens constructed out of yellow gold. A regular on the Stockholm Fashion Week calendar, Nilsdotter’s imagination never fails to capture a whimsical and fantastical mood.
Maria Black: Wing Reverse earrings, Wing necklace, Snowdon earring. Efva Attling: Star Passion ring (coming soon), Wide & Signature ring, Twosome earrings, Pencez de Moy II ring, Bricks for Ears earrings, Mini Love bracelet, Take No Shit necklace, Miss You necklace, Carpe Diem Monocle necklace. Maria Nilsdotter: Claw Ring Double, Snake Leaf necklace, Feather earring hoop, Feather tiara, Madonna Leaf tiara, Tiny Raven ring, Snake necklace and earrings.