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. 

Would You Say Retro is Stylish?

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

It’s not always retro cloths looks fashionable and stylish. In fact, they can look quite out of date even though the quality is good.

However, Katja of Sweden cloths usually give you the attitude and attention that good vintage deserve. Her cloths may in many ways look rather simple on the hanger. It’s when you take them on they become stylish. I will from time to time show exemples of stylish vintage of Katja of Sweden. Let’s start with a pink classic shirt dress.

Great Company despite low Stock Price 

Part of a H&M advert in Swedish magazine Damernas Värld

The Business of Fashion recently launched their latest report of Best Companies to Work for in Fashion 2017. H&M was the 4th best company among 190. Before H&M there were Calvin Klein, Zalando, Cotton on Group and Nordstrom Inc. Pretty good I must say for a company who gets quite bad press from Swedish newspapers nowadays due to the stock price. Yes, the price has come down a lot but there are so much more with such global company who tries to do their thing in the sustainability issue. With H&M Foundation they highlight innovations and involvements that improve areas like education, water and equality around the world. Their perspective is for longterm and the work is serious. The fact that they are a popular company to work for makes it even more attractive. Forget about the stok price for short term.

Inspired by Roxy

Inspired by eyebrows. Photo by Sara Thorsson / Sagamodellen

Thick eyebrows with a good shape… this is high fashion for Swedish teenagers. 

I had the pleasure to have my best friend and her children as guests a few days ago. Her daughter Roxy, 13, is a remarkably clever young girl with strong opinions. Roxy came with pink/black hair and lots of make-up. But it wasn’t the pink hair I noticed, it was the perfect eyebrows. Roxy had nicely painted her eyebrows in a good shape. 

I know I sound old when I say it but today’s teenage girls have lots more attitude and personality than I had in her age. Already as 13 and Roxy claim her right to speak strongly about feminism and style (mostly make-up). 

Her personality reminds me of the female icon Frida Kahlo. There may not be a better role model for Roxy. She may be unknown today but certainly someone that Roxy could get inspired by in the future. At least she has eyebrows in common!

Nevertheless, Roxy’s make-up was fantastic and I am glad that she manage to experiment with such artistic moves. I hope she will continue doing so. As Frida Kahlo did.

Roxy with blue hair. Photo by Roxy.

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

Chinese Propaganda Art

Propaganda post. Fewer birthday, better births, to develop a strong China, 1987. Shaosheng yousheng zhenxing Zhanghua

When I was in China I visited the Art Gallery in Bejing where I met some very talented artists from all over the country. I was stroked by their art and their proud. 

Back home in the city library I borrowed the book below that inspired me even further. The International Institute of Social History in Holland has a great collection of Chinese propaganda posters. These are telling us a great deal of Chinese history and of course a lot of communist propaganda. By using art the party could in a efficient way lead the country in the direction they wanted. It was a public education in communism but a very efficient one, telling the people of what to think and how to act.

Even though I may not stand for the politic values these posters are lovely art and I understand where the artists in Beijing are coming from.

Man works hard, flowers are fragrant, 1962. Ren qin xiang.

Source: Chinese Posters by Landsberger, van deras Heijden, Shen

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.