I’ve just returned from an absolutely amazing experience at the Faroe Islands. I participated in The Blue Fashion Challenge from the 21st to 28th of August in Torshavn. The event – which had a total project runway feeling, situated around the use of sustainable marine materials; fishleather, seaweed jersey and sealskin. Two participants from Island, two from Norway, two from the Faroe Islands, one from Greeland, Åland, Denmark and Finland were competing against oneanother to created the best design using only sustainable marine materials.
We spent an amazing week learning about the materials, sustainability and how to bring this knowledge into our own design practices – aswell as taking a deepdive into the Faroese culture with exciting activities. I suddenly found myself out on the fjord in a traditional faroese wooden boat, rowing like crazy to beat the other team. In the faroe islands they compete in this type of rowing all summer – that explained why all of the girls had really toned upper bodies!
I arrived monday and had two days to explore before we started sewing. We had three days to complete our look, and along the way we had interesting lectures from people like Suzi Christoffersen, the founder of Closed Loop. She explained in depth how different textiles have environmental footprints and what measures we could enforce as designers to run a more sustainable business.
I learned how to cut and sew leather and fur together with my wonderful assistant Ingibjorg (check out @bederdesign on IG!) – I was lucky enough to work with her all week and learned a lot from her. Here we are cutting out the sealskin waves on the dress with a special fur knife. Ingiborgs mothers best friend dropped by and gave us a lesson in cutting and processing sealskin, she had been working with it for a long time!
Breakfast in bed on my birthday, and the amazing view over Tòrshavn and Nòlsoy from Hotel Færoyar.
Me before things got serious and I got really competitive rowing haha.
My design was based on a specific jellyfish which lives in the Faroese Fjords – or Kvalspyttur as they call it in faroese. So funny. And I also wanted to incorporate the importance of the sea with waves in sealskin. The picture illustrates the process of making all the jellyfish resembling strands of fishleather and sealskin. It took quite some time!
Sweetest model Maria Friis looks like a little angel in my look! She was so cute and fun to work with.
After finishing our look and presenting it, we spent our last day jetting around the faroe islands in a big bus and a mini buss containing all the designers to shoot our look with Tommy Ton. I was so lucky to have my look shot at Gàsadalur, (top picture with the waterfall). Excited to see how they turn out! Other designers like Marianne Mørck had her look shot in Klàksvik, the second largest city in the Faroes Islands. We also had a wonderful dinner there after shooting all day.
Thank you NORA, The Faroese Technical school (teachers, dressmakers and lovely technical assistants), Jàkup and Morten for lovely guiding and project management. Thank you all you wonderful designers from the North Atlantic – it was wonderful to get to know you!