Reykjavik Fashion Festival 2015


Following the myriad of shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris,Reykjavik Fashion Festival provides a breath of fresh air—figuratively and literally. The high energy of fashion month warrants a break, and the six designers showing during RFF provide just that. That’s not to say collections weren’t full of unique designs and accompanying soundtracks, but rather that the shows are small and intimate, perhaps more like what NYFW once was. This past weekend, RFF 2015 featured collections by veteran labels—Jör by Gudmundur Jörundsson, Sigga Maija, and Magnea—while also introducing the newer brands, Scintilla, Eyland, and Another Creation.

On Friday, Sigga Maija opened the two-day festival with a collection fit for the all-black-everything of New York City: tailored blazers, trench coats, trousers, and dresses made from black leather, patent leather, and wool. Color was nearly absent, aside from a few splashes of yellow, burnt orange, and a rosy pink, all of which were melded with black into soft patterns. Accessories such as eyelet leather driving gloves and boxed fishnet tights completed looks.

An hour after Maija it was time for Icelandic favorite, Jör by Gudmundur Jörundsson, whose fourth collection followed suit with previous years. Recurring themes include gothic looks of the ’90s, strict men’s tailoring, and androgyny, while this year he also introduced bondage and hints of science fiction. Pants and coats were buckled with straps flowing loosely, and the entire collection was composed of black, white, and grey. Halfway through the show, lights dimmed, and two models emerged wearing silver knee-length coats, taking their time walking down the runway stride-in-stride and stopping midway. The collection’s name, “Dreizehn” (13 in German), honors the label’s designer Guomunder Jörundsson’s lucky number. “The number has meant a great deal to me—it being a lucky number in my family almost 100 years back, and myself being born on Friday the 13th,” he explained. “There was no way out of this when our show was set on Friday the 13th.”

The following day featured the remaining four designers. The most wearable, by far, was Magnea, who presented 24 looks of casual, layered knitwear. The colors appeared as though they came straight from the Icelandic landscape-icy hues, midnight, and black, alongside recurring pops of royal blue and tangerine. A particular favorite was a cropped cement-color top and matching, loose-fitting calf-length skirt. Worn with sneakers, the ensemble is a perfect sporty day look, but paired with wedges or platforms, it could take on a livelier role.

Of Eyland’s 35 looks, designer Ása Ninna Pétursdóttir said, “We wanted to represent the Icelandic power woman, not just the Icelandic floral woman. We’re flirting with the bohemian, the ’70s, Patti Smith.” Skirts, coats, vests, and pants made of brown suede attained a grimier appeal after a series of washing, which imbued the material with hints of black. An electric blue—similar to that of Mangea’s—appeared in a long-sleeve, turtleneck suede mini-dress, a pantsuit, and a jacket, and every look was topped off with a black biker hat, reminiscent of Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront.

In Another Creation’s collection, many garments served multiple purposes. What looked like a simple black jumpsuit could be reversed into a jumpsuit featuring a subtle gradient inspired by Reykjavik’s sunsets. Fluffy fur sleeves of a cracked white leather jacket could be removed to make the jacket into a vest, or replaced with simpler, less attention-grabbing sleeves, and the same could be done with black leather moto jackets, interchangeable options including plain black sleeves and others adorned with gold embroidery. Scintilla’s collection provided a polar opposite from the rest of the designers: all knitwear, plenty of pastel, and a strict focus on the feminine form. We sensed a strong ’50s vibe through the use of largely geometric patterns and models doning identical blonde, curly bobbed wigs.