Van Deurs at Snickarbacken 7

The snow looked harmless enough as it whirled through the air, but with the sidewalks covered first in ice and then with half a foot of new powder, people (meaning me) were slipping all over the place. I was wearing my black Sergio Rossi knee-high boots, and they are gorgeous, but I bought them because they have a vibrant purple lining, not because they make good snow boots. They don’t make good snow boots. They actually make pretty terrible snow boots, though…they might make good ice skates.

I was on my way to Snickarbacken 7, a cool café-cum-boutique with an eclectic mix of rusty-chic antiques, new Japanese designs, contemporary art installations and clothing by Swedish designers. It’s the sort of place you walk into and instead of buying one thing, you decide you just have to move in. The couches, the chairs, the light fixtures, the collection of knick-knacks on the coffee table–it was all so interesting and…warm.

I was wandering around, oo-ing and aw-ing over the lemon yellow Eames chairs, sipping my hot coffee and listening to live music performed by Automat, when, with electrical-tape makeup and crazy, crimped hair, the models entered wearing jumpsuits, dresses, tunics, kilts, leggings and scarves all made from van Deur’s signature pleated fabrics in black, gray, navy and olive.

The fabrics are so soft you’d want to dress your sweetheart in them, but the attitude and cut of many of the garments, especially those of the brand new men’s line, have a hard edge that would cause me to hesitate before asking the wearer for directions if I were lost on a dark snowy night.

It’s playful dichotomies like these that inspire Susanne Beskow’s designs: she drapes the shoulders with touchable pleats and cinches in the waists with reindeer-leather corsets. She uses simple, classic cuts and layers them to create an edgy style all her own.

“I like playing with what happens if I drape a fabric here, if I pleat it in this direction, or if I do this…” Susanne said. “I’ve been designing for so long, and I still have so many ideas, so many things I want to try. Sometimes I wonder if I’m crazy.”

I don’t think she’s crazy, but she is very excited about what she does, and she’s not the only one. It’s just February, and already her Spring line is almost sold out all over Sweden.

It’s a style she calls “slow fashion,” and it’s the answer to the current fashion culture based on over-consumption.  “A thing of beauty is a choice forever,” she told me, and I wished I’d thought of saying that.

You can buy it online at their webstore, but I recommend you come here, to Snickarbacken 7. Have a coffee, sit in the lemon yellow Eames vintage chairs and try on the van Deurs.

I can assure you, you won’t be sorry you came, but I promise you’ll be sorry to leave… especially if it’s snowing outside.

Written by: Caitlin Andrews

Edited by: Elizabeth Andrews

Photos by: Caitlin Andrews and Armand Dommer

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2 Comments

  1. Cat
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 1:19 am | Permalink | Reply

    Eames chairs, Eames… Herman Miller is just the producer…

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