>dailycandy plopped into my inbox yesterday, and the only words i needed to rev up for the evening were hot norwegian and swedish and fashion. fanny + delphine clothing boutique in the hotel commonwealth in boston was hosting a fashion show for fresh scandanavian designers arne nerjordet and carlos zachrison. i called in for info, and they said it was free and open to the public, so i dragged invited my friend + labmate orkan to the event.

a did a little research before going, and i was very encouraged by the online pix of past collections. here’s stuff from ’04:

how cute? v. cute.

we got there around 6:45pm, and we were like mice in a maze trying to navigate through the swaths of lush carpeting and vats of silk flowers within the innards of the swanky hotel. the show was to be held in the esplanade, and it was quite empty, the show slated to begin around 7:30pm. so we walked up and down the avenue, pausing to peruse the sad lonely shelves of bargain tomes outside commonwealth books and ogling the $12 chocolate bars in the temper display. there were people eating on the sidewalks of eastern standard; what with this bizarre weather, there’s al fresco dining in february amidst piles of aging snow…

back in the hotel we go, up the cascading steps of oriental blooms, and a catering staff from great bay offers glasses of wine, fried calamari (i was pleased that there were tentacles a-plenty) served in sno-cone cups, eeny-weeny-mini-tacos, and pork paté on crostini. small cakes emerged later on in the evening, a vanilla with chocolate filling, and a sinfully dense flourless chocolate (the heft was almost hockey puckish, in a good way). everything was gratis, and the room was pretty small, about 40 chairs. small batches of word-of-mouth publicity breeds exclusivity, i suppose. pretty good job with that.

[after the show, this morning i found this boston globe article about small, pampering events to cull customer loyalty. i know it’s all marketing, but it’s good to see actual quality service trickling back into the retail industry…]

see that dj behind us? apparently he arrived at 6:45pm with only hip-hop and generic rock in his possession. i think they ixnayed the hip-hop with the swedish frocks, so we watched the models sashay to the likes of 1998 top-40 instead. mmm hmm.

there was an elevated runway, with two rows of seats on either side. it was an interesting crowd of hip couples, fashionista gals and their sistahs, fashion geeks like us (shoutout to hugo), and boston fashion patrons.

below are video clips from the show; they started off first with the spring/summer collection, and then afterwards the fall/winter collection, 18 pieces per collection. (note: i missed the first look, getting my camera situated…)

overall, i thought the collections were really cute. my favorite were the wool coats, with exaggerated lapels that gave a fluid line between the bust and the back, in bolero-type fashion. the collars always seduce me. :) i felt that the lipstick-red chunky heels were a little distracting; the spring line could have been really effective barefoot or with lighthearted flats, and the fall line with leather boots or dark italian heels. though completely understandable, the lighting in the hotel room felt a little flat with highlighting the models properly, which only convinced me further that lighting makes it or breaks it! my favorite model was the redhead (find her in MVI_0065, with the ruffly white top and skirt). she just seemed the most convincing (i.e. european-looking) wearing this collection.

the designers, arne and carlos, came out with the models and looked very cute in their glasses and dark suits. once we saw them a bit closer after the show, they appeared to be quite young, perhaps in their mid- to late-20’s. they blog, too! (blogs.no and blogspot.) here’s their designer statement, excerpted from their website:

located 190 kilometres north of oslo in the valdres region of norway, ARNE & CARLOS’ base in a disused railway station is their source of inspiration as well as a haven for peace and tranquility.

there, ARNE & CARLOS can absorb the rich tradition of scandinavian arts and crafts while adding their own personal inspirations, ranging from dolly parton to gardening, cartoons to origami.

the duo’s passion for knitting, macramé and crochet also shines through in their designs. a recent example is the spring/summer 2006 collection. this contains smock embroidery over pleats, and is linked directly to their love for detail.

with their unique designs, ARNE & CARLOS seek to put norway on the international fashion map but without forsaking the country’s rich design environment and creative abundance.

i thought the pieces were sweet and deceptively simple. i definitely saw folk german dutch and the american midwest as influences in the spring stuff, and 70’s motifs and flowing tent dresses for the fall. i spoke with the owner of fanny + delphine, eve kohlman, and she was supersweet and smartly dressed in something dutch design and silvery. she said that she is planning to have a series of these fashion events, one per month. to that i say yay; boston deserves it. also, apparently this boston event was the first showing of arne + carlos’ stuff in the US (aside from nyc earlier this week). very excited about eve’s focus on culling and promoting small-run, independent, international fashion designers.

the sweetness isn’t over yet; fanny + delphine (right in kenmore square) are hosting an arne + carlos trunk show and fitting this saturday from 11am – 9pm. go ahead if you want to see the undulating hems and fancy stitcheries up close.


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