Monday, 1 February 2010

Hot design from cool Sweden! - My interview with Camilla Norrback

For the very first time there was one evening during the Amsterdam International Fashion Week filled with Swedish design. And Camilla Norrbacks fashion show was one of the highlights of the whole week. Sponsored by Volvo (another successfull Swedish export brand) she showed her new fall/winter collection called 'Veruco and Charlie'. 

As you may know Camilla has been designing ecological collections since 2002. She calls it 'Ecoluxery'. And that is exactly what it is. Her clothes respect the wearer but also the environment. 'Twee vliegen in één klap' is a dutch saying that is very apposite in this case. It means hitting two flies at the same time.. anyway you'll understand what I'm trying to say here :) 

Because of all the environment friendly stuff one could expact to see boring, old fashioned clothes. But even though Camilla's creations do have a little 'Sound of Music' feel to them, they are actually very fashionable and beautiful. I interviewed Camilla before the show. Check it out!

What is Veruca and Charlie about?
'It is a romanticly melancholic yet also colourful collection for both women and men! Veruca and Charlie are the two characters in 'Charlie and the Chocolatefactory' and the collection is inspired by their ways of dressing and the collision of their styles.'

How did you originally came up with the idea for your label?
'I have since the age of fifteen wanted to become a fashion designer, it's really my childhood dream! When I founded the brand Camilla Norrback I knew that I wanted to make clothes that I myself liked: clothes for everyday life with a twist and a retro romantic inspiration. The materials and quality have always been extremely important to me already from the start so the organic angle of the company came naturally.'

Why do you think it is that Scandinavian designs are so popular at the moment?
'We have a functional view on fashion and the garments are not so 'loud'. You can hide in them and feel comfortable yet modern and sexy at the same time.'

Besides Europe, where do you also sell your clothes?
'Since several years back we also sell to Japan and the United States.'

In the fall/winter collection of 2009 you used bamboo in your garments. What unexpected materials did you use in this year's collection?
'Beside a wide range of ecological cotton, we used for instance a soy/silk fabric and naturally tanned leather for our collection this time.'

If you would have had the opportunity to speak on the climate change conference in Copenhagen, what would you have said?
'We have to fight climate change from many angles. For the consumers as we all are I would like to encourage people to be more aware of what and how we are consuming. Try to choose as much organic and well produced products as possible that will last longer or taste better! For the politicians that carry the biggest responsibility in taking decisions on this, try to look further than one month ahead.'

Which designers/labels have inspired you during your career?
'I've always liked the romantic feeling of Chloe. Miuccia Prada is ofcourse a favorite and I also like Cacharel.'

I heard your first child was born this month, congratulations! Any plans for a children clothing line yet?
'Thank you, it is a girl and it's fantastic! No childrens line yet, but maybe in the future...'

Are there other nice-to-know things about Camilla Norrback that you would like to share?
'Well, we have ofcourse the men's line 'norrback'. The first small collection will be out in stores this spring and we completely redesigned our website '!'