Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
Carin Wester has gone from promising youngster (named Newcomer of the Year 2004 by Swedish ELLE) to being certainly one of the most important Scandinavian designers today. Wester is a strong, vivid person. You can see her personality reflected in her designs with her collections’ sharpness and androgynous look. She used to do both men’s and women’s wear but she has since focused only on a female line. “O Blue” is the name of her fall/winter 2013 collection, which was recently introduced at Stockholm Fashion Week. There was a heavy focus on masculine attributes and sharp shoulders. The predominant silhouette is based on an oversized and layered color play where bonded Melton wool coats wrap around the “warrior spirit” of the modern woman. Pleated flannel skirts, wide flannel shorts, and sharp pencil skirts set the tone for the “under knee” profile of the season. Modest pleats are found in blue-hued prints, skirts, trousers, and dresses are a vital base to this year’s layered winter.
We spoke with Wester last year after her fall/winter 2012 show about “sharp poetry” and the future of her line.
WHITEWALL: You sent a piece of poetry to invite people to your Fall/Winter 2012 show.
CARIN WESTER: Since we wanted to use the inspiration from a French bistro, we wanted to create a whole environment for the audience seen from the start, so that’s why we sent the invitation as a receipt, and the little poetry that we used, it’s something for almost each season. This time it’s a poem whose POV is from a mirror in the bistro. So it’s about what he sees inside that bistro — the people you see, how people are dressed, the environment, the clapping, the eating, you know.
WW: Do you think poetry is recovering its value in the new century?
CW: Yeah, I think that has to do with this idea of “sharp poetry” we were talking about. I wanted to show a sharp collection, but also a bit of a romantic poetry feeling, so you get into this fragile thing, or let’s say sentimentality, each time I use a poem. I like that so much.
WW: How is your experience with the U.S market?
CW: I was introduced to the American market through Opening Ceremony, who discovered my brand — they actually became my distributor for three seasons. For me it was a great start because it’s a nice shop and great people to work with, but at the same time I was a bit too small to grow into this market. You have to know so much about customs, shipping, and at that moment we were three people working in my company, so we spent too much time dealing with that. After a while we felt it was better to wait.
WW: Then is that when you did the collaboration with Urban Outfitters?
CW: A few years after that. Urban Outfitters called us due to our good relationship with O.U. in the U.K. They wanted to do this collaboration they called “Around the World.” They take brands from all over the world. They focused on Scandinavia and brought a lot of Swedish and Danish brands in, so it felt a sort of completion, who will gain the market. When they opened the Fifth Avenue shop they focused a lot on my brand and put it in front. Today we are selling in almost all their shops, except for places like Kentucky, because maybe there it doesn’t fit, but for the bigger cities, we are in. We also sell in Pixie Market in New York.