It’s autumn. Boat owners are preparing for the winter. The Scandinavian nostalgic mood is coming over me. It gets darker and it is allowed to get cosy with candles and a book. I read Katja of Sweden’s biography trying to understand why her brand only exist as a popular vintage brand nowadays. Katja Geiger had a strong vision of what to achieve and she was a hard working creative artist with a successful international design.
However, hard work and creative design may not always work for long term without business skills. The fashion industry is sensitive to business cycles and consumers’ interest. Was it a lack of business skills that finally ended the successful design story?
Katja of Sweden was one of the strongest design brand Sweden had in the 60-and the 70th. It was the pioneer of the functional design that we can see today in Filippa K, Rodebjer and even H&M design.
I know Katja Geiger is very proud of what she achieved. She should be. It is just a shame that it didn’t last.
The autumn pictures below from south of Sweden reflects my nostalgic mood.
Thick and well sculptured eyebrows is high fashion. The picture of Frida Kahlo and especially her hairy eyebrows seems to be so typical her. I wonder, with admiration, if she knew that they fit her size of face well and gave her face a caracteristic look. It is not thin eyebrows you should have nowadays which is a challenge for women like me.
Frida Kahlo’s eyebrows are clearly visible, show her eyes and sculpture her face. The right shape will manicure the face and give it a mini face-lift. That’s anyway what the beauty shop will tell you when you, with colour and manicure, trying to get visible eyebrows. For Frida Kahlo this came naturally.
Before and after… Katja Geiger, the designer behind the famous Swedish brand Katja of Sweden, collaborated with a few textile designers during her career but many of the prints and patterns were also designed by herself. Below is one popular dress from the 1970th.
I bought this tray a few years ago when I went to a Frida Kahlo art exhibition. I remember I was both fascinated and bored of all self portrates. This was before I knew much about her.
Her art is like a long blog of her own life. In that sense she was before her time, before social media. With her paintings she has become a superstar, inspiring the fashion industry as well as women all over the world. The French Vogue published a picture of her already in 1939. Frida Kahlo once said:
‘People thought I was a Surrealist. That’s not right. I have never painted dreams. What I represented was my own reality.’
Her life story is full of love, infidelity, sickness, drama, miscarriages, happiness. She died in 1954 and is still a superstar.
Source: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera by Isabel Alcantara and Sandra Egnolff
I had the pleasure to visit Röhsska Museum in Gothenburg last weekend. I can recommend their exhibition of Tonie Lewenhaupt’s donation of her beautiful fashion collection. Tonie Lewenhaupt is a wellknown illustrator and author who worked closely with Katja of Sweden for many years. Don’t miss the exhibition that ends in January 2017.