Without naming names, when I'm speaking to certain "industry folk" and they pass comment on the amount of travelling I do by saying "So where have you been this week?  Fashion week in Oman?  Auckland?  Pakistan?", you can almost visualise the sneering tone that is coming off those words.  The belief that nothing matters beyond the big four (sometimes New York and London gets bumped off that list), is still going strong. 

The curiosity can't be killed though.  The drive to go out and find out what's going on outside of your own city and all the usual suspect websites, to see things with my own eyes, is still potent.  To continue to visit a city on a regular basis has even more rewards, as you can follow the trajectory of a designer through seasons rather than seeing them on a one-off occasion.

Therefore Stockholm has become a regular destination for me.  Once again, I've been waving my mics in people's faces for Bon Magazine's video reports (Steve is also here too, doing the same with menswear designers).  I doubt that Stockholm would illicit any sneering though.  The designers it produces have made somewhat of an impact in a contemporary market of wearable yet interesting clothes at more than decent prices.  It's hard to argue with a proposition like that.

Still, the few that are bucking that trend are keeping me coming back.  Altewai Saome is definitely one of them.  I expressed some shock when I first saw them last season.  The duo of Natalia Altewai and Randa Saome have been feted in the Swedish fashion circles and their latest A/W 11-12 collection definitely hasn't derailed their upward rise.  Their embellishment has come down a notch to grace one statement skirt of the cuffs of a shirt with extra-long arms and shirt tails.  More surprisingly, they've introduced menswear into the mix and their intricate beadwork and embroidery appears subtly on the sleeves of a t-shirt.  It still pays to get up close with their detailing which they admit has become something of a signature but the focus has shifted to the overall silhouette and some of the looks become lighter and lifted as a result of paring back on the beading/embroidery. 

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Altewai Saome don't do themes.  They talk of a strong woman but in their minds, she can be clothed in anything they're "feeling" for the season.  They'd rather expressing their mood with a silhouette and this season, it begins with a swing in an elongated shirt-tail or a flared out skirt and ends with a sharp taper in zip-fronted tailored trousers.  Hardy leather and wool, a subtle sheen from brocade in a range of grey shades all reinforce this "strong woman".   Still, there's something a bit "off" about the proportions.  The shirt sleeves drop down a fair bit, the coats are mannish in shape, the trousers hems touch the floor at the back and the peplums are super exaggerated.  It's as though a little girl is trying to fit into her mother's 60s era Cristobal Balenciaga coat or skirt suit but the ill-fit turns out to be a happy accident.  In the case of Altewai Saome, the abundance of grey tailoring could so easily have aged the clothes.  The heaviness is overturned by the vitality of the shapes though.  Maybe it was the hip hop soundtrack but I definitely felt the "swagger" in the clothes.

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Speaking of swagger, the professionalism of Altewai Saome, a label that is only three seasons in, can definitely be seen on their website exemplified by this campaign imagery from their current S/S 12 collection, as well as on their branded paper bags seen backstage, embossed with their logo.  It's a welcome dose of slickness and ambition.

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Comments (19)

  1. Great pictures. looks like it was an excellent event, have never been to stockholme but would love to check it out

  2. Couldn’t agree more with what you said at the beginning. Last season I went to Polish Fashion Week and thought it was so interesting – there’s definitely something to learn and be inspired by no matter where you are. Designers in other cities deserve a chance to be seen as well.
    This looks amazing. Love the shapes and textures. Definitely the sort of looks I’d love to be wearing right now. Can’t wait to see more from Stockholm. xx

  3. Rowena says:

    Those sneerers and mockers – they get everywhere don’t they? I love that you keep flying the flags for fashion weeks far and wide (try saying that quickly), without showing prejudice between the “established”, the “edgy” and the unknown. Design is design anywhere and sometimes all the more special coming from the underdog, but we live in a world where the giants win until challenged and another one comes along to take its throne. I’m glad you seem unfazed and keep doing your thing – you have many more appreciators than sneerers. I know you know this, but it helps to be told again I reckon.

  4. Susan says:

    Can I just say… had NO idea you have a British accent… no idea. In my brain everyone sounds like Kim Kardashian. Don’t know why!
    mydalydose.blogspot.com

  5. IBWV says:

    Go suzie…idiots will be idiots!!
    Keep us posted on SFW xx
    http://inbedwithvogue.blogspot.com/

  6. miss sophie says:

    the runway looks are gorgeous – love the embellished cuffs and menswear silhouettes!

  7. Haidee says:

    Love the colours and embellishments so beautiful :0
    http://haideeandco.blogspot.com/

  8. I really really like these. Excentric but not preposterous, unusual yet totally esthetically pleasing ( I find anyway).

  9. Joys says:

    love the strength in the pieces!
    http://triballane.blogspot.com/

  10. Coverage of non-mainstream fashion is one of THE number one reasons I was drawn to reading blogs in the first place. The closed minded sector of the old guard don’t get it. Their loss, the future is much more global and the internet has made people hungry for new things.
    Also, those campaign images are stunning, bravo!

  11. Suzi says:

    Fabulous post Susie! It was great to read your views in Bon Magazine!
    Suzi x
    For the Love of Audrey

  12. Elena says:

    I love your blog, it’s the place where I’m falling for great not that well know designers.
    since you have the passion to discover new talented designers you should visit “Belgrade Fashion Week” http://www.belgradefashionweek.com/english/index.php
    and the one in my city (Skopje) which is not that well known “FWSK” http://www.fashionweeks.mk/ but there are some amazing new talents that show there.
    hope to meet you one day.
    have a wonderful day

  13. Romina C says:

    I really love this collection! The cut, colors and the details.
    x Romi
    http://blaastyle.blogspot.com

  14. Maria says:

    Everyone has already said it but Im so thankful that you shine a light on talent like this. I have copies of vogue dating back to the seventies and have shipped my collection around the world on more than 1 occasion (at the expense of shoes I might add) but I havnt bought a copy in four years because fashion became really really boring, but reading your blog is a pleasure because I discover designers that Im excited to buy from. You are a treasure. Thankyou

  15. damer says:

    Lovely things here! Awesome job, looks great!

  16. Great collection. looking color full excellent event.

  17. Ari says:

    Fantastic collection. Great pictures.

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