Iceland’s natural beauty is renowned. Yet being so far way from the main fashion capitals, the nation’s designers have developed their own narrative and aesthetics. Here, the line between art and fashion is blurred and the designers approach fashion in compelling ways. Expect conceptual silhouettes constructed in the most experimental ways with crocheted textiles, felted forms and innovative cuts. Here are five names to know.

 

Anita Hirlekar

 

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Anita Hirlekar started designing for her eponymous label shortly after graduating from Central Saint Martins with a Masters in Fashion Textiles. She forged a unique signature look by combining traditional handicraft techniques and modern construction. Her work focuses on embroidered fabrics which she now creates in her textile studio in Akureyi Iceland.

Anita Hirlekar fall winter look and autumn winter 2018 lookbook shoot
Anita Hirlekar fall winter look and autumn winter 2018 lookbook shoot (Photo credit: Anita Hirlekar)

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Ásta Vilhelmína

 

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Ásta Vilhelmina is more of an artist than fashion designer, with creations that could pass off as sculptural installations. Since her debut, she has explored unconventional fibres like horsehair with pieces that revolve around the Icelandic environment — unexpected and ever-changing. Since her launch, her work has been exhibited numerous times within the country and abroad.

Archival fashion works of Ásta Vilhelmína
Archival fashion works of Ásta Vilhelmína (Photo credit: Ásta Vilhelmína)

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Myrka

 

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Harpa Einarsdóttir’s fashion brand, Myrka echoes the erratic atmosphere of Iceland. There is a recurring use of textured surfaces like treated leather as well as fur and an excessive play on oversized silhouettes. The brand plans to roll out bolder designs in edgier styles like her recent collection that showcases scribbled print layers with neon details.

Design looks from Myrka fall winter 2017
Design looks from Myrka fall winter 2017 (Photo credit: Myrka)

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Sólveig Adora Hansdóttir

 

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Fashion designer Sólveig is known for exploring patterning methods to create provoking garment styles. Her previous styling role with a movie production in Iceland also equipped her with a refreshing design perspective and heightened sense of style. Her contoured and sometimes distorted designs often revolve around an element of storytelling.

Editorial shot featuring Sólveig Adora Hansdóttir for the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum and ‘Connection Lust’ editorial look
Editorial shot featuring Sólveig Adora Hansdóttir for the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum and ‘Connection Lust’ editorial look (Photo credit: Logi Þorvaldsson and Olga Urbanek)

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Sruli Recht

 

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Sruli Recht rose to fame after his shoe collection caught the attention of WGSN and was described as “…one of the most intriguing and imaginative footwear collection” in 2007. The experimental designer works with uncommon materials such as minke whale, spider silk — even seal and shark leather. Recht is also the first to use translucent cow-hide leather for a design piece he made for the Apparition collection for Dutch company Ecco in 2017.

Jacket from Apparition Ecco collection and top from Cast by Shadows capsule collection
Jacket from Apparition Ecco collection and top from Cast by Shadows capsule collection (Photo credit: Sruli Recht)

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Josiah Chua
Fashion Director
Josiah is the Fashion Director in charge of styling shoots and writing the fashion pages. On his days off, he locks himself at home designing and sewing up a collection in preparation for his label's runway debut.