Stockholm is one hell of a city. It’s beautiful, open, pristine and organised. (You can read my travel piece, published in the Herald last year, here.)
And it’s cleverly governed. I know Michael Booth was pretty excoriating about lah-lah-lovely Sweden in his piece for the Guardian, and maybe he’s right in some ways. Stockholm is admittedly a dark city during the winter months, grey from when you wake until mid-afternoon, when it slowly turns to chilly, damp night. You can understand why people might want to insulate themselves from others, swaddled in blankets in warm (if famously minimal) apartments. And you can understand why the cold, dark and solitude can breed a certain kind of stoicism – a ‘let’s get through this’ kind of attitude.
But I found Swedes (and other Scandis) to be warm, inviting people, who could laugh cynically at the astronomical booze prices, and were deeply appreciate of state-subsidised efforts to break up the darkness of winter.
I also discovered two other things: boots and coats. Not that I hadn’t seen them before (you’d want to, visiting the north in winter), but I discovered that Swedes do boots and coats like nobody else. Makes sense that this is the land of COS, H&M, Monki and Cheap Monday, all of which do a roaring trade in the basics (or really, essentials) that make up all our wardrobes. I left feeling pretty embarrassed at my run-of-the-mill duds and footwear, with a yearning to find the perfect wearable booties and shoutily structured cocoon coat. I have done neither successfully.
But that brings me to one of the many bright spots on the Swedish winter calendar: Stockholm Fashion Week.
Running from Monday to Wednesday this week, that effortfully effortless style was perfectly exemplified. And who better to catch those candid moments than Stockholm Streetstyle for style.com? These are just a few – gorge on the rest at the site.
Is this a sneaky cameo by Camille Over The Rainbow? Indeed it is.
All photos by Stockholm Streetstyle for style.com