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Fashion, Slow and Rare: Gudrun & Gudrun Autumn/Winter 2010

February 13, 2010

Gudrun & Gudrun - Autumn/Winter 2010

Gudrun & Gudrun’s Autumn/Winter 2010 showing in Copenhagen reminded me that style doesn’t always originate in the world’s urban centers, an idea that we should take more to heart in the Pacific region.  Gudrun & Gudrun, in fact, comes from the very antipodes of the fashion capitals. The label was founded by two women from the Faroe Islands, a remote chain of islands in the North Atlantic with a population of just 45,000 with a language closely related to Old Norse. The label’s unique look comes from the isolation of the Faroe Islands paired with an occasional burst of energy from Europe.

Gudrun & Gudrun - Autumn/Winter 2010

However, it’s not just Gudrun & Gudrun’s distance that makes G&G gear simultaneously comforting yet so cool. Key to the label’s sensibility is their credo of “slow fashion”, which was developed into a book of the same title. The core material of their collection is wool and hide from the islands’ sheep, introduced by the Vikings over 1,000 years ago. The chilling, rugged environment creates wool of exceptional quality and resiliance.  Not only are the label’s materials sourced from its home. The label’s most exquisite pieces are handcrafted by women from the Faroe Islands in the comfort of their homes, not in some invisible, nameless factory.

Gudrun & Gudrun - Autumn/Winter 2010

But as these runways shots from G&G’s showing at Copenhagen Fashion Week A/W 2010 (see more of the collection here), G&G is not about folklore of yesteryear. Some of these pieces are ineffably modern and edgy but emanate a surprising warmth nevertheless. I would imagine Vikings from some futuristic, sci-fi saga suiting up in these kind of deconstructed sweaters and boots.

It’s this kind of fashion that makes me miss the chill of winter. Thankfully, G&G does offer a Spring/Summer collection for those who brave warmer climates. Nevertheless, I’d say aim for something short-sleeve like the Nicolai Hole vest. Of course, the  Sweater with Diamonds is still tempting for anywhere with heavy air conditioning.

Gudrun & Gudrun Spring/Summer 2010

Gudrun & Gudrun Spring/Summer 2010

Gudrun & Gudrun – The Breakdown

Who Wears It

Apparently, G&G is popular amongst the Faroese themselves. It comes as no surprise as that G&G counts the Japanese amongst their main international fans.

Rarity Factor

Despite the Japanese fan contingent, G&G is not widely available, making a G&G Faroese sweater a visual standout. Even on the web, G&G is a rarity, except for this post we found from distant Finland. However, judging from the hipness of the G&G image, I doubt this will last for much longer. G&G has received coverage from the likes of WWD and Italian Vogue. The label will also be having showings in New York, Milan, and Paris.

Website

http://www.gudrungudrun.com

For a company from somewhere so isolated, G&G has created quite an up-to-date website. Its current incarnation features video footage of dances from New York’s Stephen Petronio Dance Company wearing G&G pieces.

How to Buy

Much of the G&G collection is available from its online store in USD. As tempting as many pieces are, I’m afraid how much it would cost to ship half way around the world. Of course, G&G does have a flagship store in Torshavn, the Faroese capital, which is becoming a visitor destination of its own. (Check New York Times’ visit back in 2007 here.)

Photo Credits
Photos here were taken from G&G and Copenhagen Fashion Week websites in the interests of promoting a unique brand that deserves more attention.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. Erika Comrie permalink
    February 15, 2010 5:15 am

    February 15, 2010

    Thank you for bringing to the forefront what could easily remain obscure, Fashion Week aside, so I hope youøll entertain the somewhat esoteric comments below. I am thrilled to see Faroese knitcraft again. I have long been a fan of the intricate work done by knitters from the far-flung Scottish Isles but I first learned about handknitting from this part of the North Atlantic with a book titled Faroese Knitting Patterns (Føroysk Bindingarmynstur:Bundnaturriklæðið, for those willing to brave Faroese). It focuses on knitted shawls, an essential and very traditional garment for women in the Faroe Islands. Whatʻs most intriguing to me is the beauty of the handspun wool and the care with which the shawls are shaped as they are knitted. They never slip off the shoulders or look clumsy! How wonderful that such a traditional source of pride from this isolated region evolves so smoothly into the modern concept of high fashion.

    The book was published in 1983 by the Faroese Home Industries Council in an effort to preserve “this womenʻs garment of ancient heritage.” Thankfully it was translated into English by Marilyn Van Keppel and published stateside in 1997 by the Schoolhouse Press, run by the lengendary Elizabeth Zimmerman, now deceased, and her daughter Meg Swansen, who has taken over the artful reins. Whatʻs most intriguing to me is the beauty of the handspun wool and the care taken with shaping the garment as it is knitted.

    Iʻve been to Iceland, another place famous for its rich wool and handknitting tradition. Now, Iʻm ready to plan the trip to the Faroe Islands!

    • Kai Andersen permalink*
      February 17, 2010 10:24 pm

      What a fascinating book… I never really knew of traditionally Faroese clothing before, so it was interesting how something modern could be created from a traditional base….

      Thank you for sharing!

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  1. From the Runway: Gudrun & Gudrun A/W 2010 Update « Kaila Hawai‘i – Modern living in Hawai‘i with a native spin

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