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Lokal Helsinki’s Christmas shop highlights the best from Finnish artisans

Founded in 2012 by photographer Katja Hagelstam, Lokal Helsinki is an art gallery and shop that showcases locally produced and high-quality art, crafts, and design, available in limited quantities. Their special Christmas store takes place in their new online store as well as in the Art Nouveau landmark Väinämöisenlinna, a striking and ornate stone building from 1901. 

The range includes objects for the home, such as Pino wooden boxes, lightweight and stackable storage items crafted by master carpenter Antrei Hartikainen, ceramicist Nathalie Lautenbacher‘s Kahvi cups in different sizes which create a harmonious atmosphere together with glass artist Renata Jakowleff‘s Kaksi glasses, and fine artist and designer Veera Kulju‘s Ilo textiles. Nikari’s minimalist furniture from Fiskari village showcases the best of traditional carpentry skills and internationally acclaimed Eija Koski has contributed her poetic Himmeli (a traditional Finnish ornament) mobiles, unique works of art made from rye straw she has grown herself.

For clothing and jewellery, Danish label Carcel offers high-quality knitwear and silk clothing produced in women’s prisons in exchange for fair wages. The world of fragrances is represented by Nakuna Helsinki, inspired by the quintessentially Finnish trait ”sisu” (meaning perseverance against the odds), whose range by Anu Igoni and Jaakko Veijola has been created for an international audience in collaboration with top noses.

Last, but not least, the shop includes artwork. Naturally, as one of Lokal Helsinki’s core purposes is to showcase the work of independent artists and designers and the temporary exhibitions at Lokal’s Annankatu gallery shop have featured talented artists for the last eight years.

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A closer look at 10 Danish brands you should discover

It was Wedell-Wedellsborg’s great great grandfather, Emil Vett, who founded the first in what later became a chain of department stores, Magasin du Nord, in 1868. She’s now head of Sotheby’s Denmark and a board member of the Wessel & Vetts Foundation, previously the Magasin du Nord foundation.

— We [the foundation] founded the Magasin du Nord Fashion Prize back in 2012 and due to my interest in supporting Danish designers and through my involvement in the foundation the possibility opened up for creating Denmark’s largest fashion award, she tells.

This year, the prize has adapted to Covid19. The finalists, unveiled at Copenhagen Fashion Week in August, have already received a prize of 10,000 Danish Kroner each. They were selected from previous editions of the prize, rather than, as usual, an open submission. The 14 jury members will be looking at participants’ portfolios for sustainability and ethical responsibility, business ideas, and innovation and originality of design.

Here are this year’s 10 finalists:

Astrid Andersen

Casual luxury streetwear offering a casual fit across track suits, anoraks, bomber jackets, knitwear, hoodies, sweatshirts, and T-shirts. Andersen defines the landscape between luxury and sport with technical details and craftsmanship as the signature.

sur le chemin

Creating contemporary fashion, where the collections are built slowly, piece by piece. The brand states that we need more humanity, more sustainability, and replace collections with selections, to consume less and contribute more. And we need to do it consciously.

Cecilie Bahnsen

Operates at the intersection of couture and ready-to-wear with unique, hand-designed fabrics and unexpected combinations of softness and structure and minimal and maximal. Each collection builds on the previous one so that pieces can be cherished for years and passed between friends.

Carcel

Online fashion brand made by female prisoners in Peru and Thailand. Crafted from the finest baby alpaca wool with no seasonal wheel and no sales, just quality cuts showcasing the all-natural fabric — strong, silky, and thermal-regulating.

Nikoline Liv Andersen

Andersen has chosen to work artistically, instead of following a commercial trajectory, with experimental and unique pieces of clothing, textiles, and installations. Her own works are situated between design, crafts, and art, and she’s also been couture designer for Fendi during the last five years.

Freya Dalsjø

Together with a small team of tailors, she drapes and samples studied and conceptual biannual collections in her atelier. With a strong appreciation for classic high-end tailoring and new technologies, Freya explores and challenges the boundaries of material, shape, and aesthetic.

Brøgger

London based luxury clothing label playing between the feminine and the masculine. Varying from sharp tailoring to soft silhouettes, consistently balanced on the edge between formal and day wear, they combine influences of Danish design tradition and the boldness from the British capital.

Maja Brix

Sustainability and consideration are key in the collections, released one piece or a series of clothes at a time. The Maja Brix’ signature is all about movement. The clothes feature rigorously-sourced natural fabrics and sustainable man-made materials, which augment the natural flow of the human form.

mfpen

What are the limits of Scandinavian minimalism? Sigurd Bank works to reinterpret the traditional notion of Scandinavian menswear through an experimental and playful scope with an emphasis on fabrics and fits, reviving the athleisure style with boxy fits, cropped legs, and erratic shapes.

arv®

The brand has one eye on classic styles of the past, like a military button-down shirt, and one on sustainability, to ensure our future. arv® believes that fashion is about wearing what makes you feel good, so each item is cool, unisex, sophisticated, and made for everyone.

”I think the whole fashion chain has to be rebuilt. There might be 30-40% fewer brands in the industry.”

Nina, what’s the current situation for the Danish fashion scene?

— The crisis that comes with COVID-19 will be a reset button for the industry and will create a new system, with no space for ”meaningless” work. The pandemic has implications on all levels, including production, design, PR, sales, and retail. I think the whole fashion chain has to be rebuilt. There might be 30-40% fewer brands in the industry, and also a lot fewer retailers. Brands will be producing less products, and drops will become rarer and rarer. Sales will shift to different timings, allowing full-price selling. There will hopefully be a big review of prices. Sustainability and real design will be boosted by this situation. I think people will start buying in a different way. Designers won’t have to drop their collections at the same time. They will release their work whenever they are ready within each season. Now it’s time for real designers with real solutions to make a healthier system. That is why we wish to support the Danish designers that are trying to say something. We need something meaningful. And we hope that the prize, the network, and the mentoring scheme will help the finalists in the midst of a difficult situation.