My trip to Copenhagen months ago was one that exposed me to a different fashionable city, and showed me how they express their love to the designers of the future. While attending fashion week, I was lucky enough to attend The Designers’ Nest Show and Award Ceremony. This was one presentation, not only was an honor to be in attendance, but to get seats front row! Well my seat was behind Hamish Bowles from Vogue, he didn’t show up and who am I to let a good seat go to waste? So front and center, with my camera in hand!
Just to share some facts about the show: The Designers’ Nest Show and Award is a design contest created in order to select the best among hundreds of talented Nordic design students. It offers them the chance to present their collections to press and potential buyers from all around the world. The cash prize to the winner: DKK 50,000/ $9566 USD.
Not a lot when we convert it to USD, but recognition by the people in attendance, and through word of mouth, will last much longer than the cash prize.
Until you’re worked countless hours on creating unique, striking garments that speak without a word being said, you cannot begin to comprehend the amount of blood, sweat, tears and under-eye situations that one has gone through for this passion we call fashion. So to see all those walking pieces of art from all the designers chosen to show that day, were winners in my book.
With that said, there were few designers that had that double take, stare down, mouth open, holding back the urge to battle a model on the runway for what she had on…effect. (and exhale)
I have that eye when it comes to selecting the good stuff. ( yup tooting my own shiny, golden horn) I knew it the first time I saw R/H The Label, and I knew it when that one sleeved, folded lapel, wool cream coat, from designer Linda Larsson, went down the runway. If I’m willing to starve myself to wear a particular garment because my size isn’t available, it deserves an award and a place in my closet. Maybe the judges were thinking the same thing after they reviewed all of the collections, because Linda Larsson walked away with the winning prize that afternoon.
I reached out to Ms. Larsson to find out more about her creative mind and where it is after winning the Designers Nest Award. Linda’s responses to each of my questions somewhat reflects the way she approaches her designs, from my point of view. Her creations peeked my interests at first glance, but as I gave each garment a head-to-toe stare down, I noticed the way she made such intricate, detailed designs look so sophisticated and cutting-edge. Let me put it like this, if you were to merge Narcisco Rodriquez’s tailoring with Rick Owen’s draping, the result will beElveel, the name chosen by Linda Larsson for her clothing line.
Name: Linda Larsson
Stomping Ground: Göteborg, Sweden
Age: Old enough to tango, too young for waltz
Most beloved possession: My terrestrial globe
Fashion idol: Iris Apfel
Favorite quote is: “In the middle of life it happens that death comes and measures man. The visit is forgotten and life continues. But the suit is made, quietly.” – Tomas Tranströmer
Last song listened to was: Bear Quartet – “Ask Me Don’t Axe Me”
Q:When and how did your interest in designing clothes begin?
LL: I grew up at a small place in Sweden, translated into English, is named Wolf Island, a place where you had to create your own surrounding that added a spark to the uneventful everyday life. During high school I focused on arranging gigs and workshops, and when I finished high school I got the opportunity to travel working as a model and taking part in the fashion world in front of the camera, dressed in various sensational outfits. I wanted to learn the craftsmanship to create these kinds of creations. So I began studying art and textile. I realized I was on the right track and continued studying, earning a bachelor’s degree in fashion design.
Q: Do you remember the first design you created? Where is it now?
LL: Except from glued-together masquerade outfits? That would probably be the dress Twisted Tube, a several meters long tube that is twisted and sewn together, able to be worn in several ways. It is so worn out today that it has retired and it is now resting in my wardrobe.
Q: Now that you’re the winner of the Designers’ Nest Award, more eyes are on you. Do you feel pressure now to live up to expectations, compared to before when you just were competing to win the award?
LL: The prize rather gave me confidence and encouraged me to continue developing my designs. I’d like to regard the win as a trigger and a great opportunity to showcase my designing skills with new collections at the Copenhagen Fashion Week.
Q: The name for you clothing line Elveel, what does it mean? LL: My full name is Linda Viola Larsson and the shortening becomes LVL. When pronouncing the letters it becomes something unrecognizable, which appeals to me. The name is personally attached to me and the explanation is available for those who are interested, but it hasn’t gotten any obvious associations, which leaves an open interpretation to the beholder.
Q: If you had the opportunity to collaborate with a designer or a brand, who would it be and why? LL: I am curious to step into the world of Hussein Chalayan and his ways to investigate how shape and structure can be built up and be perceived. He could simply make brilliant collections, but takes it further and makes statements to put them into a more interesting context.
Q: What are your best and worst experiences since you started designing?
LL: It was a dream come true to show my collection on the runway at the Fashion Weeks in Stockholm, Copenhagen and London. During all my years studying fashion design, I have searched to find my own aesthetics, to find a way of working and a result that I more than gladly would like to put my name on. I made my final collection and felt proud over the result, and that have found an aesthetic platform which I feel that I can develop further into several directions.
My worse experience is probably a general feeling of doubt being a part of this business. In a world where you can buy copies of the catwalk pieces days after the show for less then 10 dollars, you easily question what sort of scene you’re in and why. Do people still want to buy pieces that are made by hand on a smaller scale and give people the opportunity to choose designers that are not participating in the capitalistic movement? However, the reward is when people comes up to me telling that they appreciate my designs generates the answer ”YES”, and I continue designing with those people in my mind as my muses.
Q: Where can we purchase your designs?
LL: For the moment it is only possible to order through my webpage www.elveel.se
Q: Complete the sentence: “In 5 years Elveelwill be….
LL: A brand that stands for quality clothing with classical tailored design yet with a contemporary feel. Strict yet unconcerned, sharp yet bold”