My time is finally mine again and I can elaborate about my trip to Oslo last week. I was invited there by Blow PR and Fam Irvoll to attend both her Little Cupcakes childrenswear show and her Haute-Couture Womenswear show during Oslo Fashion Week, in the By:Larm music festival venue.
Irvoll graduated from CSM in 2008 and has since further developed a signature style of cartoonish 3D designs, using mainly knitwear and elaborate bead/sequins work.
When the invitation landed in my inbox, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the show – I didn’t really have time to do my research – all I had were some vague memories of a press day at Blow and the knowledge that upon hearing her name, positive feelings rose to the surface. Of course, as soon as the first model came skipping down the runway, I remembered. Fam Irvoll’s mad designs had stopped me in my tracks the previous year while I was visiting Blow HQ. I had spent fifteen minutes touching one of her dresses, mesmerized by the volume of the circus themed garment and really happy that somewhere lived a fashion designer with a true sense of humour as well as a great mastery of cuts and patterns.
There is real craftsmanship involved in every single one of Fam’s designs, sadly my photos don’t really do it justice. Sure, you can see how unusual her pieces are, but you can’t see how they perfectly wrap the models’ bodies, how her silk blouses drape beautifully over the shoulder… This is not even something you’d expect from such outrageous designs. You’d expect them to be eye-catching and gorgeous, but not wearable – yet they are both.
Given the right event, I would be more than willing to wear the lipstick dress below, no need to be Lady Gaga (even though she springs to mind straight away as the perfect Fam Irvoll girl).
I also loved how deliciously politically incorrect the whole show was. An open homage to cigarettes, diamonds and guns done using a very childish imagery. A model was even smoking on the runway – while gesticulating to the audience that it was naughty. This pretty much sums up the show. It was super camp, extremely amusing and with no sense of self or ego. I kept wondering what would happen if that show took place in London or Paris. If this man in drag were to slap his butt in front of Anna Wintour…
The footwear was designed especially for the show, I am not sure whether it will go into production, but some of the shoes were truly spectacular. The ones below were my favourites, but there were also some pretty awesome men’s shoes with dolls just sitting on them.
In the spirit of commercial art and viability of the collection outside of editorial shoots, there were also a few “normal” or plain pieces. Knitted dresses with interesting detailing or with motifs evoking the rest of the collection. I particularly liked the tailored cigarette trousers with their little waist ruffle. These are most definitely everyday trousers.
My absolute favourite from the whole show was the ensemble below. It reminded me of 80’s cigarette adverts I used to see in magazines. Most of all I loved the femme fatale vibe of it and the fact that it was so crazy, yet so wearable.
I left the show feeling elated and happy – something that never really happens at other fashion shows, no matter how much I loved the collection. Fam Irvoll clearly loves her job, loves fashion and doesn’t take herself seriously… and this would have been enough for me to love her work.