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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Stockholm Fashion Week: Filippa K

Designers thumb their noses at trends by either deconstructing them or ignoring them. Filippa K is in the latter camp. Until this season, she had never participated in Stockholm Fashion Week, instead throwing a party in a small art space and inviting pretty much everyone to cram in and look at her latest women's and men's collection. This time though, for fall 08, she rolled out a black rubber runway at the opulent Swedish Royal Opera and blasted, among other rock-punk anthems, Patti Smith's "Free Money."

At first the whole production seemed a little off. Models were well-behaved in well-executed monosyllabic designs, and the audience sat still, begging the question: Why go to great lengths to secure such a massively gilded space and set up a little strip of contrast if she didn't want to show utter decadence, chaos or rebelliousness? And then it started to sink in. All the men's ties, which so rudely clashed with plaid shirts, were tied improperly and worn outside the collar around a bare neck. Bulky, near-shapeless sweaters or mean leather jackets crushed delicate, hand-painted silk dresses and tops, while belts were not threaded through loops and suspenders were not on shoulders. Richly subversive and rewarding, the quiet anarchy belied a compliant appearance, subtly emitting a strong message: all is not quiet in the land of the acquiescent. Watch out.

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