'Three Coats' by Siv Støldal and Ruth Hogben, at SHOWstudio
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SS 2008 / High Visibility
AW 2007-08 / Cover Up
SS 2007 / Camouflage
AW 2006-07 / Seasonal/Effective/Disorder
SS 2006 / Sportswear
AW 2005-06 / Dress Up/Down
SS 2005 / Outside/In
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AW 2003-04 / Trace

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SEASONAL / EFFECTIVE / DISORDER
AUTUMN / WINTER 06/07

Having rummaged about in the wardrobes of various male friends and colleagues, both in London and her native Norway, Siv Støldal became intrigued by the seasonal sartorial re-shuffles that typically occur throughout each year. As one set of clothing that has been worn in summer is packed away into the depths, another is taken out in readiness for the coming winter months; both sets of clothing reveal clear traits.

Classic garments which are normally deemed suitable for Winter might include duffel coats, checked flannel shirts, knitted ‘Marius’ jumpers (a Norwegian classic), puffa jackets and skiing trousers. However, in her Seasonal Effective Disorder collection - modeled by a selection of hardy London cycle couriers - Støldal has banished the Winter blues by doing something even Mother Nature can’t quite muster. The designer has blurred the boundaries between Winter and Summer… in fashion terms, at least.

All knitwear has been created with one thread of cashmere or lambs wool and one thread of cotton - a straightforward combination of winter and summer knitwear. Duffel coats and duffel jackets, made from traditional boiled wool, now come with details cut in 'tone on tone' sweatshirt fleece. These are stripped of the customary horn buttons, which have been transformed into summery jewelry and earrings. The traditional fastenings are reworked in sharks tooth-style necklaces (like the ones that you can buy at the beach on holiday), and earrings - which make the duffel coat's horn buttons look like they are pierced through the ear. (Very beach-bum / traveler-like). There are also shirts in two-size check with duffel front details; summer sweatshirts with duffel hoods and screen-prints with the aforementioned Marius motifs.

The Puff-It-Yourself Puffa jackets, with cords of elastic that can be tightened from the inside, are made in traditional boiled wool and also in checked flannels. They can, however, be conveniently deflated for a summer look. Traditional salt and pepper suiting trousers are made in two versions of the same style fabric; the front in a light summer-version, the back in a heavier winter version. The wool Double-Jackets, with a detachable shirt jacket inside, can be used all year around - double in the winter, or single in the summer.

Digital prints used within the collection come from photographs of the Norwegian landscape, taken on the first freezing days when winter is about to kick in; massively enlarged frosty-lake details, for example. Others draw upon images of the deliciously-poignant northern lights appearing in the sky. Effective? Indeed.

Words: James Anderson