Northen lights, unpredictable weather, volcanos, stunning national parks, glaciers, volcanos, the famous Blue Lagoon, amazing food, knitting, wool, no army, forest or surnames, friendly people. I heard so many things about Iceland but I had to convince myself that everything was true. I had Iceland on my travel bucket list for such a long time. In December 2015 I had the chance to visit it and it was amazing.
Every time when I have the chance to explore a new place (a town, city, country or an island), I am bouncing off the walls. The feeling of freedom, embracing unique experiences and knowledge are dope for me. I am paying attention to the landscape, architecture, transportation, food, the street pulse and stir, if people are smiling at you without a reason and last (but not least) what they are wearing.
I had in mind to write a post including pictures of Icelandic fashion boutiques/ famous brands or catching Reykjavik`s street style but one week was not enough for that. I wanted to see as much as I could, our friends planned the most popular road trip (Iceland ring road), the weather was crazy (but we survived those hurricane force winds) so I thought it`s better to discover some interesting fact about Iceland`s fashion. For a successful cultural and fashion immersion, it`s better to talk with the locals. So here it, an interview with the Viking Hermann.
Góðan daginn or Hello
1.How would you describe Icelandic people`s style?
Our style is a mix of modern outdoor clothes with a hint of the old school. We follow the fashion trends a lot, especially the young people. It all depends on what the type of person you are of course. I notice that we have a group motion, we follow each other somehow. We tend to wear skinny jeans combined with retro inspired clothes. The middle-aged people stick to their era with the `80 inspired clothes.
The style pattern for a geek arty people is combining loose, baggy shirt with skinny jeans and layers (wool sweater layer).
2. Lopapeysa – the Icelandic wool sweater -a popular and iconic piece. Icelandic people are wearing it so gracefully that it made me want to get one. What`s the story behind the circle pattern?
The origin of the lopapeysa pattern is still unsettled. I believe that the circle pattern was inspired from to the mail armor. For symmetry reasons, the front and back design are the same. The circle is associated with purity.
3. The traditional knit using lopi yarn it`s perfect for the northern climate: it will keep you warm, it`s waterproof and chic. Yes, I am talking about lopapeysa again. How do they integrate it into an everyday look?
In wintertime, some people can wear a shirt under the lopapeysa and the collar comes out; others might like the shirt flaps from underneath . They can experiment and choose to wear lopapeysa vest with zippers, hoods (or both), skirts, dresses. The classic lopapeysa has a half circle one each side but the designers will play with new patterns and follow the actual trends. I remember 2 years ago, the half button V-neck sweater was really popular and lopapeysa replicate it.
4. In Iceland, knitting is taught in school. Doing your own sweaters seems hard but at least you are keeping your creativity trained. Where do people get inspiration from?
Knitting is really popular in Iceland; it`s a necessity, it maintains tradition and it`s fun. At home, my mother knits. She finds her inspiration in the magazines. She can look for different patterns and then mix them together after adding an idea of her own.
Images credits: http://islina.se/en/
5. Living on a small island it`s not that easy as we think. Where do you purchase your clothes?
The home delivery services were not so developed since 10 years ago. But now the online shopping tendency is getting stronger and stronger. The big brands we found in malls have online stores as well. We shop clothing pieces abroad a lot when we travel . Young generation tends to buy clothes from outlets or second-hand stores. 60% of my clothes are from second-hand stores and those are the pieces I like the most.
6. Any rule on wearing colors ?
It depends on the season and your age. People older than 50 years wear earth tones; beige, black and white are really popular. On the streets, you can see a 30 years old man with a blue color block coat and neutral skinny jeans. Most of the time, the people build their outfit around their layer. In spring/ summer time, after a heavy winter, we wear happy colors or everything that`s shiny.
Thanks to my friend Diana for the pictures with her Viking and Hemmi for his cooperation.
PS: I hope you found this post inspiring. Don`t forget to wander, be stylish and keep learning new things every day.