Suffolk style: The Scandinavian look
Suffolk fashion expert and boutique owner Emma Lloyd takes inspiration from the north
Simple, chic and elegant, style consultant and fashion store owner Emma Lloyd seeks style inspiration from Scandinavia
I have just returned from a few days in Oslo, the latest of my buying trips to source exclusive collections for my boutique.
I think my fascination with all things Scandinavian began as a child when my orthodontist told me of my Scandinavian origins (he could tell by my bite and jaw line apparently). The thought of my Viking ancestors coming across the North Sea to East Anglia in their long boats was thrilling and ever since I have appreciated the simple elegance that is synonymous with Scandinavian architecture, interiors and fashion.
Arriving at the studio of my first appointment in Norway last week, I immediately noticed a stunning bunch of scented white flowers as wide as an out-sized dinner plate sitting on the centre of the large oak table, simple yet beautiful. It was here I met cheery Marianne Tefre, the talented creator and designer behind the hand made Norwegian jewellery By Me (www.byme.no) that is hugely popular with my customers.
Marianne is a rather clever lady. Her use of silver and gold with moonstone, rose quartz and other precious stones, combined with unique designs gives By Me jewellery a beauty that will be enjoyed for years.
I have found the jewellery has a look for any occasion as it undoubtedly opts for subtlety over showiness. Proud to be the only UK stockist of this wonderful collection, it’s cool and chic and a best seller in my boutique.
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Whilst with Marianne, I was so impressed with her new collection that I commissioned her to make me a new engagement ring. Never let it be said I allow sentimentality to rule over style and I am very fortunate that Mr Lloyd is understanding of this.
I think subtlety is at the core of Scandinavian style. Not to be confused with the patterned knitted sweaters worn by Sarah Lund, the surprise star in BBC4’s runaway successful drama The Killing, Scandinavia style is understated and simple with well thought out shapes.
At Marianna boutique I stock a great selection of Scandinavian labels which reflect this effortless style. From the award winning By Malene Birger, who always pays incredible attention to detail while never losing sight of the fact that each piece must perform for our day-to-day lives, to Copenhagen based label Rutzou, another top seller.
Rutzou’s latest collection is exquisitely contemporary and cosmopolitan with owner Suzanne Rutzou believing that fashion should “make people feel good, look their best and be comfortable. It’s not about being a fashion victim”. I couldn’t agree more.
Similarly, lesser-known Kristensen Du Nord is another amazing Danish brand. Their sophisticated production methods and relentless demands for superior quality impose a natural limit on how many pieces they produce in their collection each season. I have an increasing customer call for this designer (who will only work with carefully selected boutiques). Their exclusive collection consists of simple cuts and timeless pieces, handmade from silk, cotton and cashmere in cool muted colours which can be combined with the new season Kristensen Du Nord pieces year after year. Not inexpensive, but well worth the money in terms of price per wear.
When in Oslo I am often mistake for Norwegian (it’s the hair as sadly I don’t subscribe to the archetype Norwegian tall, willowy frame) yet my lack of the Norwegian language immediately puts me to shame. Their excellent command of our language is truly impressive. Whenever I have asked someone if they speak English the answer is always “of course”. At best I “tusen takk” to thank them for their help. Being able to fluently speak another language just adds to their style credentials in my books.
And it seems our love for all things Scandinavian is extending to the kitchen table too. The climate, landscape and coastal waters of Scandinavia have given rise to a unique food culture and Leo’s deli in Framlingham (01728 724059) has recently increased its offering to include Danish crackers and sweet breakfast cheese. However, the day we are able to buy fresh cloud berries locally may still be some way off.