Wednesday took me to Lydmar Hotel where the day started with a brilliant interview with two tailored gentlemen. Antonio Ciongoli, Creative Director at Eidos Napoli, and Sebastian Dollinger, Creative Director at Eton gave me a warm welcome at the lounge outside their suite where later they would host a cocktail party for a selected few to mingle and look at the work the collaboration had innovated.
As I arrive with the elevator a group of people turn around as they hear the sound of the vessel. The doors open I am met with smiles from two beautiful ladies and three dressed up men. I shake hands with Antonio, Sebastian, and another Eton gentleman.
After shaking hands we sit down. I look at my watch, I reach for my phone to put the recorder on and I am asked if I would like to have something to drink. “A cappuccino, please.” Recorder is on, seconds of awaiting silence.
“First of all I would like to say that it is a pleasure to sit here with you guys. I’ve done some research on you both and you certainly dress very well!”
In general, can you describe your personal style?
Both Sebastian and Antonio laugh and look at me like as to say, “How can we even begin?”
Sebastian Collinger (SC): It is very based on how I feel during the day. I will respect events – Like today – and tuxedo dinners et cetera, and I will dress up and I will enjoy it. Today, walking here (to Lydmar) I really enjoyed walking here, BUT, you will also find me in a black t-shirt and a hat on… *Antonio laughs* with my shoes that I bought in India because I enjoy them. And I don’t care because clothing is fun and clothing for me is not serious but sincere. I want to have fun with it, to play with it, I don’t want to have this big frow on my eye and “I should dress correctly”. No no! I take great pride in it. I can be incredibly “hit-and-miss”, but I don’t mind.
Antonio Ciongoli (AC): I am the great grandson of tailors, from southern Italy. I grew up in New England. I really had no choice in the way I put myself together. I’ve always been very passionate about tailoring – Tailoring is kind of in my blood – but I am from a place that is very kind of rooted in rugged and utilitarian sportswear. I grew up watching my father that was a Doctor where it was bowties every single day and you would wear rugged shirt and Italian sport jackets. At a very early age I saw the men in my family very easily mixing Italian tailoring with things that were more traditional American, and so that has always been how I dress and its how I put things together. It also the way I feel most comfortable with. More often than not, you’ll see me in a suit but it’s because I am comfortable in it.
SC: It’s funny because we all have parents or family in tailoring or in the industry and I think that you might as a kid do the exact same thing as your parents or you really don’t want to look anything like them. I think its no getting away from.
AC: Especially if someone does it well. You have an idea, what it is and it doesn’t leaves the back of your mind. Certain views and what I think is right.
How has your style change throughout the years?
AC: I spent from probably, well I still do, skateboarding – I had a ramp in my backyard. I have always been interested in tailored clothing, but it hasn’t been suits al the time. But I haven’t changed all that much, maybe I was preppier when I was in college, but I haven’t changed that much. If I thought of something at one point, it was probably a good idea the first time, so I would wear the same thing again. It hasn’t so much changed, you always learn and take in new things but for me its more adding to than changing. I would never wear all black though. It’s always been a kind of an evolution in my mind.
SC: You can tell a person to buy something, buy from top to toe but it has nothing to do with how well a person dress. My parents bought my clothes until the age of 14. By 15 something happened. I started, well I recognized that dressing, how to dress, was something I could play with. I had weekly styles. I mean I would dress like a skateboarder, and man I dressed that up good, but was I a good skateboarder? Hell no. I tried it all, it has been a constant change until the age of 23-24 where I kind of got set in what I liked. It was the year of the skinny jeans, the slim jeans, I just knew that this was my thing, this was my style. I love t-shirts. I still like to play with dressing and so on. I mean look here…
Sebastian goes on and shows us his inside garnets that brilliantly lighten up his navy blue suit from the inside. It is a mixture of green colors and a touch of white. Then he turns around and he flips the collar. The back of the color is in orange and caters a white text that says: Harekrishna. Sebastian laughs when I read it out. “You see I like to play with it!” I will always try to have something that is playful.
SC: Ahh, we could probably go on for a while.
AC: Hmm. Favorite brands. I am not so much interested in brands. I am interested in people. We don’t offer any logo on our jackets for example, except for the pin that we have on the jackets. The most interesting clothing I see, usually has to do with the people that are wearing it. If I get exciting about clothing or product, it is because someone I think is interesting is wearing it. There are two people that come to mind right away. Salvatorian Brosue, he is a mix trouser in Naples, and Salv is just an amazing guy with a great character and he is a real hard worker. He does a lot of things wrong, he focuses all his attention to details and doesn’t give a shit about anything else so things are late but the product is always perfect. And the other one is an Australian shoe designer named Christian Kimber, Christian is just really, really thoughtful. He tries to be playful with classic things, great guy, and has a great style. So really, I wear Salv’s trousers because he is a great guy, and I wear Christian’s shoes because he is a great guy. But for the most part, I wear it because it means something to me, so brand name for me is nothing of importance.
SC: Which is why I buy tailored clothing. I buy things because I like it, that share my core values of life and tailoring is really there. My hats for example, they might not be the best hats in the world, but they are hand made hats in Florence that are made by genuine people. I like the individuals. There is a brand for everybody, sure, but I try to buy from specialists.
So what was it that made this collaboration happen, did you guys meet at a show and Antonio looked at you Sebastian and said “You’re a good looking kind of guy, let’s do something together?”
AC: I think where it really started was because of the fact that the Eton sales director and the President of ESIA kind of subsidiary, Eidos subsidiary, happen to know each other forever. That’s where the conversation started and then I think we simply have, both companies, a mutual admiration in the way the businesses are run and that made the collaboration even more convenience. I try very hard to look at interesting texture and fabric and try to innovate that way. They sit together very well, in the US they sit together in stores very well (Eidos and Eton). From my end, I also worked a lot in Stockholm before, 6 times a year for 3 years. I was very informed and inspired by the Scandinavian men and how they dressed. They took the Italian look, the tailoring and made it fresh and clean. I don’t want to say modern but the Scandinavian men make it simpler and they focus more on texture and siluette. You tend to not see this is in the US when people are trying to interpret the southern Italian style. It’s always tons of colors and flannel. I was always very impressed by the Swedish man and how he interpreted the southern Italian style.
SC: Well we share the true core values. And most focused tailoring tend to be very old and dusty, I mean we both try to innovate when it comes to textiles. We are looking for something new. Engineering, and creativity. Good Italian, French, German, in tailoring you will find blue, and maybe gray. We try to innovate and be creative but it is always rooted in quality. We are also on the younger side of the business. I mean tailoring/tailors tend to be older, but we are both born in it. We are both from the background that has parents in the industry. And we aren’t in it for the money, we are nerds, we are in it because we love it and we enjoy it. We have fun together. We do something that makes sense.
AC: We want to make things in an honest way, with integrity and that goes way back. Eidos, it’s the soul of something, so it’s really important to us.
“Thank you very much for your time, gents. It was a pleasure! Best of luck with the preparations for tonight, see you later.
Thoughts & Comments
Eidos Napoli and Eton is really two brands that find their way into my own drawer. I could wear both brands and feel comfortable. I also share many core values with Antonio and Sebastian and that adds to the feeling I got after the interview. I think the collaboration was a brilliant ide and they’ve come up with some truly great pieces such as awesome coats and jackets.
Fashion Week is about showcasing collections, but for many of the people in the industry fashion season is also a reunion of sorts. Stockholm Fashion Week is no exception to this, and as day turns to night people move from the runway to the parties.
Already on the first day many of Stockholm’s most influential people as well as the most important international guests were whisked away to the spectacular Volvo XC90 launch! The launch took place at the beautiful contemporary art center Artipelag out in the Stockholm archipelago, a beautiful building hosting exhibitions, performances as well as a restaurant. Maybe it was a coincidence, but we are definitely hoping that this is a first step for Volvo to become more involved in fashion with their new car, as luxury carmakers often have been.
On Tuesday night everyone headed to the Cheap Monday x 10 party, held in a large graffitied area under a bridge. Apparently preparations included giving food to the homeless people who usually live there. Nevertheless the party had an indie rock air, and the old-school influencers mingled with blue-haired artists, collectors of facial piercings and your traditional fashionistas. Stylist Robert Rydberg, photographer Fredrik Etoall, stylist duo Janson Niklason and design legend Ann-Sofie Back were among the guests.
Thursday marked the night of the closing party. A small group of friends of Fashion Networks Europe, such as Craig Arend of AltamiraNYC, Kyle Anderson of Marie Claire, Caroline Hjelt of Icona Pop, man-about-town Saurabh Sinha and IBEYOSTUDIO founder Marcus Kollberg, had dinner at the experimental hidden restaurant DoMa. Secretly located on the top floor of a private residential building it served as the perfect place for an intimate gathering before the night’s adventures.
After drinking way too much champagne everyone headed over to the traditional BON Magazine x Patriksson Communications party held at member’s only club Bernie’s / Nosh & Chow. We saw Behnaz Aram of & Other Stories, Kristofer Andersson of BON, Pelle Almqvist of The Hives, photographer John Scarisbrick, model Madelene De La Motte and Mikael Schiller of ACNE Studios.
After Fashion Week Stockholm SS15 our final thoughts are that Stockholm is evolving and showing that it has room for a lot more fashion, and a multitude of brands. On the one hand, there is a group of designers making great sophisticated women’s wear, with Filippa K delivering an outstandingly sophisticated collection this season alongside House of Dagmar‘s very cohesive collection, and a surprisingly elegant collection by Carin Wester. However Ann-Sophie Back still stands strong as one of the most interesting established designers in Stockholm, with her label BACK and Cheap Monday having an excellent season.
And on the other hand we have the younger generation of Stockholm designers, and they are maturing. This generation is dynamic and professional and stand out from the mold of what Scandinavian design has meant for decades without losing any of the political sides of it. They are daring and powerful, maybe borrowing their confidence from earlier success stories such as ACNE. When asked which label will be the next giant, one has to stop to think that maybe instead they will grow as a group, being the most relevant as part of a context, a movement. Altewai Saome, being the first label that comes to mind, is joined by Ida Klamborn and Erik Bjerkesjö as the definitive ones to watch.
Fashion Week Stockholm is over for this season! The third and last day became dedicated to the new stars on the Stockholm scene. AltewaiSaome showed a brilliant collection, full of their trademark armor silhouettes. A tight earthy palette with a green grain that stands out as one of the more interesting fabric choices of the week. Mesh details made the garments more wearable as they come across as younger, despite their tailored nature.
Erik Bjerkesjö aggressively positioned himself as Stockholm’s true avant-garde menswear designer. A precise collection bordering between the dressed and the relaxed with exclusive materials and advanced play on proportions. It was loud and violent, literally as well as figuratively, as a balaclava clad rock band played so loud you could feel your teeth shaking out of place as loud red pieces stomped their way down the catwalk.
Ida Klamborn’s show was deeply poetic, minimalist and structured. Predominantly white outfits, some decorated with large painted flowers with red blood-like splatter, marched down the runway to the sound of hyped singer Seinabo Sey. Sey performed live, creating a tradition after last year’s successful performance by Silvana Imam, who was sitting front row. Light and tailored the collection looks crisp and expensive, and much more focused than her last season, making us wonder what we will see from Klamborn in the future.
This was our last recap, as Fashion Week Stockholm is over for the season, but please stay tuned as we will bring you more highlights as well as an attempt to piece together what we saw during the best parties of the week!
Pictures via http://www.fashionweek.se/ – Please visit them for the schedule as well as any other information you might need.
Be sure to follow Fashion Networks during the week via http://articles.freshnet.com/
The second and longest day of Fashion Week Stockholm opened with an early morning show by Stockholm’s favorite; BACK. People assembled on the floor of the NK atrium, seated on pillows. The collection came across as designed for a professional setting rather than BACK‘s history of in-your-face garments and recently celebrated logomania. The black trademark bangs from last season are also gone, and replaced by a disheveled look, a contrast to the change in the design.
Carin Wester showed a large collection with a very broad range of materials. The show opened with an all white layered ensemble, and was followed by the return of the pleated skirts that have been so popular this season. Wester introduced several interpretations of the pant/skirt, or seemingly a skirt over pants? The only black featured in the collection was sheer and shiny. Famous for her patterns, the designer introduced painted silk items and occasional color blocking. Fans will be happy to know that her trademark bomber will be back this season, but our favorite pieces were the new take on the wrap dress and every piece that exaggerated the use of panels.
It comes as no surprise that Cheap Monday delivered what must be the show of the season. The collection itself was the nostalgic bundle of grunge and pop-culture references we have come to expect and love. The show however, held in a bathhouse, was unexpected, weird and surprising. The models walked down the sides of the pool, posed on the kiddie-pool divide, and assembled by the deep end to finally collectively jump in to the sounds of Blink 182.
House of Dagmar also strayed from the classic runway show by inviting everyone to a vernissage of sorts, showing their collection at a museum gallery and handing all of the guests custom Molami headphones with a voice telling you the story behind the clothes. The collection honored their knitwear heritage and also stood strong with a few gray signature pieces, an homage to “grey animals” such as elephants and rhinos, to which the collection was dedicated.