Today the seasonal design-circus kicks off here in Norway. Oslo Fashion Week SS 2011 is on the move! Normally I would be thrilled; have invitations ready, posts and drafts semi-scheduled, as well as outfit planned throughout the week. This time it is very different. I'm kind of ambivalent, actually. Sad, maybe. Provoked, yes.
Throughout the last couple of years I have been very lucky as I've been able to attend Oslo Fashion Week, and I've come to both love and admire this little tradition a great deal. Norway has never really been able to reach out through design before, and I saw this as the beginning of some much needed international appreciation for our underestimated designers. That said, the three different arenas in which Norwegian design has been displayed; OFW, OfF and Moteuka have indeed made some progress, and though they are nowhere near the same league as Copenhagen Fashion Week and Fashion Week by Berns in Stockholm - they are well on their way. Or, in my opinion - were on their way.
As the program for this seasons runway-shows was released last week, I was nothing less than disappointed! I began to wonder what the criteria was when selecting designers for this event? Should one not have some kind of skills; sketching set aside? Should one not be able to handle the art of sewing and make the designs oneself? Is it OK as long as you've got money? Discussions, rumors and childish wordplay spread across the Internet like an epidemic, which I admit I took part in.
I'm all for fresh design and newcomers, natural talent and uneducated creativity - but when people who are famous for being famous are allowed to steal a very attractive spot alongside established and talented designers such as Fam Irvoll, Morami, Vatle and the wonderful newcomer behind Kristar Design - I'm honestly embarrassed! Is this merely OFWs way to get attention; both from the media and bloggers? Is the whole idea to provoke? Did they even take a look at the designers in question?
On the official webpage of Oslo Fashion Week, it clearly says:
"It [OFW] was launched to promote Norwegian fashion design, and to set Norwegian design in an international context. OFW is the main showcase promoting Norwegian designers and their collections."
Then the question would be: is Pia Haraldsen a Norwegian designer? If you don't know her, and you probably don't if you're not Norwegian - she graudated from Goldsmiths College, University of London where she attended media and communications. Pia have written a book about shopping, been a judge on Norwegian Shopaholic and attended the Norwegian version of Dancing with the stars. Her mother was aslo married to the queens nephew for a short period during the 90s and early 00s.
You can see some of her designs here ! I can honestly say that the girl does not have what it takes to earn the title of a Norwegian designer! The first thing that comes to mind aren't very ladylike thoughts, so I'll keep them to myself.
If the criteria is that you live in Norway and can make a sketch: then I'm signing up for Oslo Fashion Week A/W 2011.
This said, I am looking forward to Oslo Fashion Week and some of this years designers. I'm also looking forward to meeting some of my fellow bloggers - and I hope to see you there!
This is a somewhat unusual post for me, but as I am frustrated, I decided to share my opinion on the matter. I'm normally quite careful not to speak my mind and I generally try not to provoke in any way, but this time the matter lies very close to my heart: fair play. Pictures of Pia Haraldsen via nrk.no, minmote.no, kk.no and side2.no