Back in Action

The tenth edition of Stockholm Fashion Week opened to such dazzling heat that editors were compelled to sit outside the main venue, the hotel and nightclub Berns Salonger, chatting until the last minue before the beginning of the show. The wait was for Nakkna, the Swedish brand founded in 2003 by the three designers and friends—Camilla Sundin, Claes Berkes and Ella Soccorsi—and which returned to runway after skipping Fashion Week for a couple seasons. However, their absence from the runway did not mean they were taking a break. In 2009, they were selected to contribute with a sought-after collection for Topshop’s pop-up store called EDIT in London. According to Claes Berkes, the boutique, which also has a New York outpost, is “…the only time, so far,” that they have sold in New York, say the designers.

At the show, audience members were given strict instructions to avoid walking on or near the runway. Soon, it became clearly why: it was covered in a thick coating of white powder, possibly flour, waiting to be stamped on by the models. The voluminous space was dim and misty, with fog machines and gloomy music mussing up the white surfaces. “Passing Clouds,” the title of the Spring 2011 collection, was a murky take on the environment. Once the powdered catwalk was  taken over by models, the men wore long silk caftans, and the women donned draped chiffon dresses with geometric cuts and short leather jackets detailed with washed felt.  A unisex loose gray silk shirt without buttons reached the calves and was worn with jeans and sneakers or, more elegantly, with high heels. A pair of trousers with a tight, high waist came in several different shapes and materials, but with the same length and enormous width, creating an illusion of the model striding forward rather than cat-walking. The pieces’ long hems often left a trail of white powder.

Afterward, the designers commented n their collection, citing the human sensorium as a primary influence. “The collection came from an abstract feeling, waiting to be enhanced by the atmospheric set on the catwalk,” explained Sundin. Berkes added that any old nature wouldn’t satifky Nakkna; this was specifically limestone quarries and diffuse landscapes.