Diana Orving’s Dark Arabian Night

After being thoroughly impressed with what Copenhagen Fashion Week had to offer, we’re back in Stockholm for another round of shows. I’m still amazed by the differences in fashion design between these two cities separated by a mere one-hour plane ride. Stockholm designers tend to do one of two things: drape us in luscious layers of fabric or invent new silhouettes with dramatic tailoring and dark colors. Copenhagen, on the other hand, uses a woman’s curves, her skin and her desire to be seen as the foundation for their designs, never shying away from colors or sensuality.

Before we get started with Stockholm Fashion Week, let’s flash back to another interesting Swedish designer from Stockholm’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Diana Orving. She’s a lovely young designer. Really–have a look.

Her collection presented at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was full of fabrics that moved and danced down the runway. The whole show had a sense of gauziness that went from revealing and minimalistic to overwhelming and smothered in cloth, and back again. The fabrics were light enough to flow, the pant legs were wide enough to billow and the sheets of chiffon trailed in the breeze. It’s disappointing to report, however, that the lack of female form and absence of color left me a little cold.

I liked the flat-front, un-hemmed pants in the collection, but I wasn’t taken with the dresses that seemed to be made from a single piece of twisted fabric. I must say, they were not unlike the beach cover-ups you find in the U.S.

Then there were the headdresses. While one or two created a sense of mystery and elegance, I thought the lot of them to be more of something you might find in a muted Arabian Night.

What started as a show dominated by long, warm-toned metallics gave way to yet another group of models covered in black and navy sheers. Only once was the collection broken by a much-needed sigh of red–and those two pieces were very beautiful and wearable–but mostly, Diana stuck closely to the Swedish fashion basics: black, navy and neutral.

There were barely-there turtlenecks worn with nipples in full view and dresses with a few chiffon details–as to be expected with chiffon at the forefront of A/W 2011 fashion musts. I’ve seen more than my fair share of model’s nipples in the past three days, but it was nice of Diana Orving to add a new element to her see-through palate by introducing crocheted lace to hems and necklines.

So what would I put in my closet?

The sheer turtle neck was quite striking, but in real life I would pair it with a simple bra of the non-push-up variety. I’m a fan of color, so I would most definitely pick a jewel-toned undergarment–maybe a sapphire or ruby–but even brown would look classy. The long black skirt with the peacock-lace hem would go well with the turtle neck, but if you don’t mind, Diana, I’ll skip the head coverings and harem pants. Let’s leave those to the Man Repeller, shall we?

Written by: Caitlin Andrews

Edited by: Elizabeth Andrews

Photos by: Caitlin Andrews and Mercedes-Benz Stockholm Fashion Week


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