a Nordic weekend

Sometimes, I miss being a student. I love learning in general, but anything that is fashion or design-adjacent I find particularly compelling. Fortunately for me, the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard hosted the first-ever Nordic Fashion Symposium this past Friday and Saturday, and my hunger for sartorial knowledge was sated. The weekend event brought designers, guest speakers, and artists from all over the world: for two days, I heard so many unfamiliar (beautiful!) languages being spoken, I met new friends from Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and right here in Seattle, and I was absolutely inspired by what I saw throughout the event.

Guest speakers presented on a wide range of topics including trend forecasting, traditional folk clothing, national identities, and ‘slow clothing’ (the catchphrase du jour for sustainable textiles and conscientious consumption of fashion). There is a simplicity and functionality inherent to Nordic design, and this was evident not only in the exhibitions, but in the real, wearable style spotted during the symposium:

Ragna Fróðadóttir (Iceland) lectured on trend forecasting
in fashion, technology and ideas.

Guŏrun Rógvadóttir (Faroe Islands) spoke about her ready-to-wear line
and integrating culture into knitwear.

Nicole M. Miller, a co-moderator for the event, is the owner of Blackbird and The Field House in Ballard (hello, Favorite Seattle Shops?). She’s also one stylish dame.

Jóhanna av Steinum (Faroe Islands), the designer behind Steinum knitwear.

The pièce de résistance of the weekend was, of course, the unveiling of the Nordic Fashion Biennale exhibition. Curated by Shoplifter, the entire museum was transformed for the event. A few of my favorite images from the exhibit (click for larger image to see detail):

The Nordic Fashion Biennale exhibition is at the museum through November 13th, and if you live in the area, I implore you: PLEASE go see this. It’s very rare that something like this makes its way all the way to Seattle, so do yourself a favor and check it out.


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