Reykjavík Fashion Festival 2013

Arts & Culture

Seven talented designers of diverse styles, boldness and superb creativity

The creative industries in Iceland have grown considerably for the past decade or so, making design and fashion an integral part of our culture. The Reykjavík Fashion Festival is a celebration of creative Icelandic minds, as well as  a platform for Icelandic fashion designers. The festival is dedicated to giving them the opportunity to be recognized at home in Iceland and around the world and providing a vehicle for new designers to collectively showcase their work. 

The fourth Reykjavik Fashion Festival (RFF) took place from March 14th until March 16th in Reykjavík, this year in conjunction with  the Icelandic design festival DesignMarch. I woke up on a beautiful Saturday morning (runway day) and headed over to Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre where seven talented designers of diverse styles, boldness and superb creativity were about to reveal the fruits of their hard labour. 


Farmers Market presented a classic Icelandic clothing line with a powerful show that really made an impact on the audience. They managed to create a very unique atmosphere with live music, misty air and a video of Skógarfoss in the backround. There was a lot of knitwear and earth tones, which have been their trademark from the very beginning. The models walked slowly down the runway in quality garments that were layered beautifully, each carrying a prop of some sort like a lantern, a harness and an animal trap. The Farmers Market show was all about country romance, wool, jackboots and rosey cheeks, and that combination was a brilliant testimony of their image. They stayed true to their concept as they always do and the outcome was beautiful, authentic and unpretentious. 

Farmers MarketFarmers MarketFarmers MarketFarmers Market

Our highest praise goes to JÖR by Guðmundur Jörundsson, a young and highly respected menswear designer. It was his first collection that included looks for women, and hopefully not the last. The mood was dark and mysterious with faint blue lights and ropes hanging down from the ceiling along the runway while the audience settled in their seats and waited for the show to begin. As the models entered the runway one by one wearing flawlessly tailored garments, it became clear to me that Guðmundur Jörundsson is without a doubt one of Iceland‘s most prominent fashion designers.  He managed to create androgynous, yet very sexy looks that included pinstriped pants, vests, shirts, blazers, architectural patterns, neckbands, hats and much more. His collection was cohesive, yet versatile. The male models exuded class, sex appeal and confidence while the women reminded me of Marlene Dietrich with a hint of Clockwork Orange.

JÖR by Guðmundur JörundssonJÖR by Guðmundur JörundssonJÖR by Guðmundur JörundssonJÖR by Guðmundur Jörundsson

ELLA wrapped up the runway show with a celebration of classic beauty and divine femininity. Their luxurious spring line was based on sophistication, elegance and quality. Instead of trying to change according to the latest trends, ELLA strives to create timeless clothing that never goes out of style. The collection featured dresses, pants, pantsuits, skirts, sweaters and coats and the color palette consisted mainly of warm colors like cream, camel and crimson, along with a little bit of ash grey and black (which I will refer to as a color for now). The models looked happy, comfortable and powerful as they strolled down the runway with bouncy 70's hair and glittery eyeshadow. At some point I was surprised by their choice of eyeshadow, it seemed a little out of place in that post-war-ish runway show. I understood the connection and nodded my head in consent when confetti started raining from the air over the runway and audience while Unnsteinn Manuel, singer of band Retro Stefson performed a part of their hit single 'Glow' while the models danced their way out at the end. It was a fantastic sendoff. 


Finally, the audience flocked over to the Eldborg hall where Mundi's highly anticipated second fashion film, focusing on his recent collaboration with 66° would be premiered along with the clothing line. The overall presentation of the six-look collection was a beautiful fusion between the highly technical production quality from 66°North and the surreal world of Icelandic designer Mundi. The film was about an alien creature who crashed on earth by accident and made a few friends in Iceland. They were all wearing Mundi for 66°North clothes of course. The film ended with all the characters marching towards the screen and the cast slowly surfacing in front of the stage, walking on treadmills and wearing just what they wore in the film. It was a great finale for this year's fantastic Reykjavík Fashion Festival. I can't wait to go next year.