This past weekend an old friend from Sweden came to London to visit me. On Monday I met up with my Norwegian ex-classmate and had a long convo on the tube with a girl from Denmark. All of them were so naturally and effortlessly stylish, that it got me to thinking that although scandi style has been a trend foreeeever, it never goes out of fashion. But how was it altered by the impact of its mass popularity and why did it stick around for so long?
Put the word ‘Scandinavian’ in front of anything, and you will get the sale. Add the hashtag #sсandi to any photo, and the likes will start flowing. The evening on the couch is not as cool as ‘hygge’; a sandwich is boring, but smørrebrød is a different story. Warm long cardigan under a short parka, hair up in a bun, white shoes on kitten-hills, Cheap Monday jeans and a huge scarf with Acne monogram. This mix between the casual H&M and the chic by Phoebe Philo for Celine can be described in one word – scandi.
The style that we don’t choose. It chooses us
But why has this scandi style trend settled in our lives for so long? In my opinion, it combines the two desires of the modern megapolis resident – the desire to be comfortable and relaxed, and at the same time a little bit chic and different to be able to attend some design museum opening party after work. The popularity of the scandi style is not waning but only continues to gain momentum. I’m sure you’ve noticed (especially with the emergence of the hypebeast culture) that sometimes even when we are purposefully trying not to look fashionable, we look like models from the Acne lookbook.
Where did minimalism come from?
For the first time, the term ‘Scandinavian style’ appeared back in the 50s. The concept, however, only applied to design. It was then that the furniture and architecture from Sweden, Denmark and Norway were in the spotlight thanks to the exhibition of the ‘Northern countries’ touring the USA and Canada. The minimalist products had clean lines and simple designs inspired by nature and northern climate. That exhibition played an important role in the development of design in Europe and North America.
“All American minimalism originated from the Ant chair by Arne Jacobsen,” was written later in many design history books. That chair really became canonical and today stands among the exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The Scandinavian approach to design has since glorified the concept of “style for the convenience”.
Scandi style – no labels or sub-trends
Today Scandinavian designers have an advantage in the form of a total worship from the millennial crowd and such distinctive style that it filled all fashion textbooks as much as French or Italian styles. Google on request for ‘scandi style’ gives tons of photos of girls in white blouses and black skinny jeans, but today Scandinavian aesthetics is more than just a minimalist lifestyle. It’s about the ability to feel free and select the edgy & bold accessories and add things to your wardrobe sometimes absurdly aimed at convenience. Trekking shoes and a print dress, cycling shorts and a jacket. The new scandi style from Ganni, Ann-Sofie Back, Toteme, Jensen and Soulland is all about the combination of things that should not work together but somehow manage to do it. Designers create a contrast by mixing the feminine with something masculine or athletic. And this is exactly what we love about it.
Here are a few ‘scandi’ items that we love for the gloomy autumn season:
What do you think about the scandi style? Are you one of us?
Text: Irina Gorskaia
Images: Business of Fashion, Vogue UK, Hypebeast