Blogg 4 “Icelandic Look”

“Icelandic look”

The lecture by Asdís Jóelsdóttir was very interesting and really informative to hear the story of icelandic fashion design in a short lecture. So remarkable to think that it were handknitted clothes which cleared the way to sell Icelandic design abroad. In the sixties Icelanders sold abroad Icelandic clothes made of wool that were produced in Iceland. But few decades later or in the late eighties the export changes into more international pattern and the icelandic export of clothes fell down.  An advertisment from 1981 Now again icelandic clothes designed from wool are produced abroad and sold domestically to travellers from other countries. This is the same as with fashion, everything goes in circles, it is the same but changes  during the journey, with reference to “The Hundred Years´ Fashion”.

In the lecture, the „Zeigeist“ could be seen, for example in the big building Laugardalshöll. Because, when it was ready in the seventiens the Icelandic people, designers and business men could hold big shows there which was not possible before.

Another example is the production of wool fabric and wool clothes. The production was doing very well in the be beginning of eighties,  because these clothes were popular with young people and they could buy it. An advertisment from 1970

As a third example I can point out is when Iceland became a member of EFTA (The European Free Trade Association) 1970. Then some tolls on different things disappered and it became to expenseve to produce the clothes in the factories, for example the labour cost became to high.

It was very intersting to see pictures (we did not get the slides from the lectures on Ugla) of old advertisements showing the exporting clothes and packs of icelandic wool knitting yarn, and patterns for the clothes, mostly sweaters. As the lecturer pointed out the icelandic public did not notice this export at that time. I did not find an adversement of any wool product from the eigthies but there are many from recent time. Here is a comparable picture from Ístex in the year 2015.

10926372_794057974011486_3427171798285216751_n An advertisment from 2015

Finally, it caught my attention when the lecturer talked about the exporting of the wool clothes in the seventies. When this design became popular it was named the „Icelandic Look“ and some degsigners aboroad began to copy it. Maybe this clothes were  in fashion, not classic and as Simmel said: „Some form are intrinsically more suited to the modifications of fashion than others: the internal unity of the form called „classic“ makes them immune to change.“  Or was it only copying and business?    Now I am wondering whether and how this „Icelandic look“ is today. Is it as is was before, is it the wool clothing, is it the landcape, is it the icelandic models or something else?  How is Icelandic look today? Is there  an „Icelandic look“ to day?


2 thoughts on “Blogg 4 “Icelandic Look”

  1. I think that the wool fashion in Iceland has continued to evolve since this golden age of Álafoss. Other companies have taken the torch and influenced the Icelandic look of today. I would say that the Icelandic look today is a bit inspired by Farmers Market and Ístex. Most Icelanders own a wool sweater of some kind either bought or handmade and regardless of it they use it frequently or not I think that it represents the Icelandic look.

  2. What changed in fashion that abandoned this style? Can the style be reincorporated into global fashion? Are there other styles which would equally represent the Icelandic fashion scene?

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