When it comes to fashion icons, Sweden might be best known for old Hollywood glamour queens like Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman. At the moment though, Sweden’s female music artists are not only making a splash internationally with their edgy music, but also with their strong imagery.
In some ways, Sweden has been producing interesting liaisons between fashion and music for some time. I’m not talking about ABBA, but of female artists such as Neneh Cherry, who was born and grew up in Sweden, or her half-sister Titiyo – both of them have an extensive Azzedine Alaïa collection to prove it. Being part of London’s buffalo scene, Neneh Cherry was also crucial in creating a look that still inspires more than 20 years later, even popularising it with the mega hit Buffalo Stance.
Today the names have changed. Robyn, Fever Ray and Lykke Li are all pop stars who are well loved by the international fashion crowd, and in a way they continue this proud tradition of fiercely independent and original women.
Fever Ray intrigues with her dark and mysterious videos like When I Grow Up or If I Had a Heart, but also bests Lady Gaga with weird gala outfits. Lady Gaga even seems to borrow from her sometimes (original/copy).
Robyn has also been a champion for interesting Swedish independent designers, wearing a Patrik Söderstam jacket on the cover for her eponymously named 2005 album – but she’s no stranger to working with other nationalities either, just have a look at the incredible tube dress by Australian “body architect” Lucy McRae in the video for Indestructible.
Lykke Li, who has just released her album Wounded Rhymes is next in line to be interviewed and featured by the international fashion press – just yesterday I read about her in the new issue of Another Magazine. Her style is more goth than anything else, but there is power in her look, a raw sexuality that is totally on her terms, as seen in the first video from the album, Get Some.
Looking at this I have a feeling Sweden produces unique artists who are not afraid to make strong fashion statements. They all seem to be women. On this day, the International Women’s Day, I can honestly say it is something that makes me proud.