'Three Coats' by Siv Støldal and Ruth Hogben, at SHOWstudio
AW 2008-09 / Three Wardrobes
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
AW 2004-05 / Disguise
AW 2003-04 / Trace
Clothes discovered within the wardrobes of three disparate Norwegian men - a pensioner, a professional diver and an engineer - have provided the inspiration for much of this collection. This bemused trio were initially interviewed by Stoldal about their respective pieces of clothing, and these various garments were then photographed in detail by the designer
The results now draw upon the wild contrasts found amid the original garments, duly taking them to fresh sartorial territory. For example, a shirt which looks like two shirts on top of each other nods to the effect created when shirt-after-shirt is shoved haphazardly upon the same hanger. Other double-whammy effects are created by shirts in which the right hand side appears to be one particular shirt, and the left hand side - another. Contrasting collars - one side button-down, and the other a classic Kent-style - along with differing colours and cuffs adds to the pleasing-confusion.
Hand-knits with clashing patterns, from Argyle to traditional skiing patterns, are also given a new spin - with the use of reflective thread now making glow-in-the-dark skiing a highly fashionable possibility. This reflective aspect is also utilised upon reversible hand-knitted cardigans, complete with wind jackets inside. Zip-up woollen polo-necks, meanwhile, in three colours and digitally printed Viscose are no less intriguing. Coats and jackets are similarly re-worked, too, whether it’s fishing jackets with digitally printed zip-off sleeves, or coats that reference one particular coat-style on one side, and a different sort on another, complete with matt and shiny finishes. Other jackets have been fashioned in a traditional Scottish tweed which was specifically woven for Stoldal, with striped reflective thread running through it.
Trousers feature jeans' and flap pockets with rivets, and highly distinctive stitching, yet simultaneously play host to traditional double-pleats and side pockets; plenty of detail to keep things interesting, and suitably enhanced by sturdy boots commissioned by Stoldal from a Norwegian factory which usually provides military footwear.
Additional elements to the collection offer further quirky-yet-wearable potential. Knitted vest scarves, hats with large reflective ‘bubbles’, hitch-hiking gloves (with a helpful reflective thumb and pointy finger), for instance. Add to this a selection of covetable jewellery from Husam El Odeh - silver zip and chain bracelets, necklaces and key-ring chains, or ipod necklaces with plastic zips and silver chains - and you have a head to toe array of designs destined for the most discerning of men’s wardrobes.