We are far, far from being fashionistas, but when we saw a report by the Stylefile blog that Noomi Rapace had opened Stockholm’s just completed fashion week and that she had come away from one show praising the Lisbeth Salander-inspired collection, we couldn’t resist a brief foray into the world of haute couture.
It was one thing when the department store H&M released a fashion-friendly version of Salander’s “dirty, worn down” look last Fall: hoodies, leather motorcycle jackets, boots, a Swedish/American flag hybrid t-shirt, etc.
But Lisbeth on the runway?
Yes, and in dramatic fashion, thanks to the prestigious Swedish house of Dagmar, last year’s winner of Scandinavia’s most prestigious fashion award. Citing sensuality, art and female strength as a constant source of inspiration for its arty-chic style, Dagmar’s autumn collection “The Swedish Woman” features references to both Lisbeth Salander and Sigrid Hjertén. “The latter, a renowned early 20th century Swedish colorist, meets the present-day literary icon who has renewed the image of the Swedish woman,” blushed the official website for fashion week.
So it was off to the Dagmar website to watch the models parade on the runway, and it became obvious that one art form in the culture really could translate well into another.
Seeing how Dagmar had so successfully executed their interpretation of “Lisbeth Salander” we were curious to learn more about Sigrid Hjerten, a major figure in Swedish modernism. We found Hjerten studied with Matisse, was influenced by the way Cezanne dealt with color, had her debut exhibition in Stockholm in 1912, and suffered from psychosomatic illness all her life. Wikipedia’s assessment of her concludes, “Hjertén had to fight the prejudices of her time throughout her career. Her paintings seem extremely personal for the era in which they were made, when issues of color and form were uppermost in artists’ minds. Her interest in humankind was often manifested in dramatic, even theatrical compositions, while her approach to color was emotional as well as theoretical.”