A Lesson in Scandi Minimalism

A Lesson in Scandi Minimalism

Scandinavians’ international reputation – laidback, stress-free and oh-so chic – precedes them, but why? We’ve examined Scandinavia’s most discerning trend-setters from Copenhagen to Stockholm and beyond.

On top of thrilling television series and pastries, the Scandis seem to have also nailed a wardrobe that is simple and functional yet beautiful

The public has come to believe that a lot of Scandinavians, on
the other hand, do not suffer from stress or being rushed or bad
hair because they lead such balanced and healthy lives. Each and
every one of them receive great health care and decades of
maternity leave and they are on the most part tall, thin and
blonde. Whether Scandinavians are really like this as a whole is
beside the point, because we’ve believed them into being this way.
The Scandis and their effortless approach to life have become role
models for so much of the Western world.

On top of thrilling television series and pastries, the Scandis
seem to have also nailed a wardrobe that is simple, functional and
still beautiful. Cool coffee shops and trendy wood burners can be
considered accessories to the look.

Take a page from the three Great Danes: Acne, By Malene Birger
and Ganni. Their clothes are designed for people who could walk
miles into work as easily as the meter stretch from the car floor
to hotel lobby. They are dynamic, sophisticated and unpretentious,
reflecting the Scandi functional outlook on life.

With the international fashion scene obsessed with Scandi cool,
new labels have made a b-line for the table, creeping into city
guides and indie magazines. Wood Wood springs to mind, with their
boyish coats and structured jackets, and then there’s Munthe and
Rutzou for silky offices dresses and blouses. You buy an outfit, a
piece, not ‘another random top.’

Another thing that we can commend the Scandis for is that
functionality is not a threatening concept for their fashion.
Averse weather conditions are no green light for trekking fleeces
or wellies; their style is universal and caters with sleek
consistency to their active, varied lifestyles.
Friday-night-riches-to-sad-Saturday-morning rags is a wholly
foreign concept (again, this is what we believe). For the Scandis,
Baltic weather is tamed by beautiful clothing. Take Leutton

Copenhagen boat house

The luxury knitwear label, owned by Stockport native Sam Leutton
and her long-term friend, Jenny Postle, is a hybrid of Central
Saint Martins’ fun and Danish simplicity. The fun is reigned in by the
simplicity to make the clothes wearable, while the offbeat appeal
spares them from dull. These are ‘through-ons’ – the designers did
the thinking so you don’t have to. They guarantee a compliment,
cheer up sad-Saturday-mornings and won’t drown a pretty dress in
functionality – (they may defeat it though).

No one can turn Scandi over night, sadly. But we can certainly
try our best to absorb their ‘best is the enemy of good’ mantra,
because often, in the long run, ‘good’ is so much healthier, and
even better than ‘best.’ (Because that’s what the Scandis

members of the flitting generation, we tend to jump from one
thing to another, often achieving neither one thing…nor the

That feverish Western worker psyche is gospel: if you’re not
busy, you’re sleeping. Eight hours is a childhood memory and the
work iPhone has replaced the traditional drinking partner. Our
culture is hinged on the quest for everything, often at the expense
of something. We lack focus because it is demanded of us in so many
areas of life, and our clothes reflect this.

Look across London and you tend to see a ‘busy’ look. It is
an eclectic mix of different ideas, all meshed into one outfit.
Occasionally this works and is celebrated as London’s experimental
pulse, but often, it doesn’t. We are harried, overworked and

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