We are watching Oslo Runway this season – on our phones! Yep, the Norwegian fashion week went digital and honestly? It doesn’t feel too bad sitting at home in shabby sweatpants watching designer videos and getting way more background info than at a normal week of rushing between shows on high heels. Do I miss people? Meeh. Maybe a bit. Maybe not really – which I will gladly admit is a bit worrysome in itself. But – it is what it is so let’s make the best of it.
Tuesday started with a video presentation of AVENUE’s new collection. Avenue is a unisex brand founded in Oslo, Norway by Ingvild Abrahamsen, Gustaf Gyllenhammar and Espen Follestad. With a long background in music, design and textile production, their designs are highly influenced by music references. Drawing references from alternative music scenes, the brand has a sense of nostalgia and grittiness to it.
The 5 1/2 min video shows models mingling on the platforms of an eastside underground station, wearing clothes reminicent of work wear and stylish survival kits worn more like shields to protect rather than show to off any personal cool or chic. The video could easily be titled Covid-19 part 2 – the atmosphere is dark and gloomy, and almost vibrates with a sensation of pending doom – yes we can hear alarms go off in the background. All assumably to remind us we are living in a hostile time on earth.
AVENUE specialize in high-quality garments with only using natural fibers and aim to make their distinctive design suitable for everyday comfort. And as written on Oslo Runway’s homepage and instagram: sustainability, culture and diversity are topics that will be addressed this week, both through fashion and a series of fashion talks. This video definately speaks of this. Choice of location and choice of models speaks volumes. In Oslo like most major cities, the east side is more multi cultural than the west side, and the models in the video reflects that. Could picking urban areas like “Romsås” and “Stovner” as THE hotspot for “the new norwegian cool” be Oslo Runway’s way of giving us a dose of long overdue diversity? In the aftermath of a summer with new Covid-19 outbreaks, Black Lives Matter and scorching heat waves all over the planet it seems that topics like global warming, racism and health are here to stay. It seems it also sinks in among those who have something to sell, ironically at a time in history when we really shouldn’t be buying anything. Maybe, just maybe we can hope that there is light at the end of the underground tunnel.
The AVENUE video was made by writer Marcus Tidemann Westbye and directed by Kristian Enge. (see full cast in the youtube description box)