Happy Midsummer Time

Nice summer dresses by the Swedish designer Katja Geiger. 

And here’s another one. Happy Midsummer. Take care and have a lovely summer holiday. I’d like to thank the model who make those dresses look modern and new! Katja of Sweden is timeless and it’s shown better than ever! Thanks mate!

Katja of Sweden dress, photo by Sara Thorsson / Sagamodellen

Art & Fashion 

 Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen 2008, photo from the book Art/Fashion in the 21st Century by Michelle Oakley Smith and Alison Kubler

Fashion today may in many ways be seen as contemporary art. They’re both comercial. Designers as well as ‘ordinary’ artists may see their work being sold in the secondary market many times. 

Museums nowadays have exclusive exhibitions showing good art craft of design. Alexander McQueen was one of those great artists but he is not alone.

The Metropolitan Museum in New York is now showing fantastic art of fashion. The new exhibition ‘Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between’ is showing the world between fashion/art. I’m viewing the met website and I wish I could be there! It’s contemporary, wild, professional and beautiful. The wow-factor is high!

http://www.metmuseum.org

Art/Fashion in the 21st Century by Mitchell Oakley Smith and Alison Kubler  

Katja of Sweden in Black 

During the Second World War French fashion industry was cut off and gave the American designers an opportunity to prosper.* Those designers were often promoted by Dorothy Slater at the Lord & Taylor who bought Katja Geiger’s first collection and therefore helped Katja with her start of a long design career. The brand Katja of Sweden was born. Katja Geiger was a successful designer for many years, creating beautiful designs that today can be found in good vintage stores. Here is one of the dresses.

Katja of Sweden dress. Photo by Sara Thorsson / Sagamodellen. Model Anonymous.

Traditional patterns were often used together with strong colours. A black dress like the one above was therefore rare but the belt were sold in many different colours. See below a photo of a drawing from the factory MMT in Malmö, Sweden, where this dress were produced. 

Katja of Sweden drawings, Source Stadsarkivet Malmö, Photo by Sara Thorsson / Sagamodellen

*Source: Women of Fashion by Valerie Steele. 

Kan retro vara läckert?

Stil med Katja of Sweden. Foto Sara Thorsson / Sagamodellen. Modell anonym.

Bra design är tidlös. Det här är vintage i sin rätta bemärkelse, gjort av den svenska designern Katja Geiger under varumärket Katja of Sweden. 
Citat från Katja of Sweden 1960 (MMTS arkiv): “Jag tänker först på kvinnan som ska bära plagget när jag designar det. Behovet för dagens kvinnor. Funktion och god design prioriteras först. Det gör att designen inte kommer att förändras dramatiskt från säsong till säsong. Hållbar funktion, enkelhet och mjukt men ändå kvinnligt är värden jag strövar efter.”

Om kläder görs på detta långsiktiga sätt blir det hållbart, vackert och med fin stil i alla lägen. Vem skulle kunna se att detta är retro?

Summary in English

Good design is timeless. This is vintage by Katja of Sweden. The designer Katja Geiger’s philosophy, already in the 1940th,  was to create sustainable, comfortable and female design that work for women in their ordinary life. 

Katja of Sweden in Malmö 

We went to the Tech Museum in Malmö today and this time I spotted more dresses by Katja Geiger. I was happy to find the dress below with the same type of print as my own dress at home!

Katja of Sweden dress at the Tech Museum in Malmö. Photo by Sara Thorsson / Sagamodellen 

My own Katja of Sweden dress is in my livingroom. 

Katja of Sweden dress owned by Sagamodellen. Photo by Sara Thorsson / Sagamodellen

The dresses were produced by MMT in Malmö in the 1970th. The Tech Museum had the following text explaining about the Malmö production led by the Swedish designer. 

Text written by the Tech Museum in Malmö.

Another green dress by Katja Geiger was also on display. Enjoy!

Katja of Sweden dress at the Tech Museum in Malmö. Photo by Sara Thorsson / Sagamodellen

Women of Fashion 

Valerie Steele is my fashion Icon. Not because she is the most beautiful and well dressed. I hardly know how she looks like. No, she is an fashion historian and Director for the Museum of FIT in New York. Read her books and you’ll see. 

One of the first one I read was the one above. Women designers are highlighted in this book as fashion history is mostly dominated by male designers. The book not only mention Chanel and Vivianne Westwood, we all know about those. No it is about others like Schiaparelli, Vionnet, Alix, Lanvin, Delaunay, Nina Ricci and Claire McCardell. (She misses out Katja of Sweden (!) but I guess she was not famous enough and therefore not part of the world fashion history! McCardell was the pioneer of ready-to-wear and mass production and also Katja of Sweden’s Teacher so I guess that will do.) 

Women dominated Paris fashion history in the 1920s and 1930s, according to Mrs Steele. The World War II meant a weakness of the Parisian couturiere and the success of the American ready-to-wear, which became a significant trend in the postwar period. Redy-to-wear meant more practicle and comfortable rather than sexual and restricted cloths. This started to be an important trend anyway, which was practiced by both male and female designers as you can not tell the gender of the designer by simply look at the design. 

Sewing has been part of womens work throughout history but it was when the production of cloths moved from home industry to business the profession was taken over by men. In the medieval Europe a tailor could only be a man. 

Well it is time to re-write history and Valerie Steele’s book is one important step to do so. There is time to highlight important female designers throughout history that has not been much in spotlight or quickly disappeared from it.