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A digital atelier where inspirational
women in fashion share their ideas

The women

Intimate interviews with women who inspire us, styled by Space Matters’ editor Nike Felldin.

Kimberly Ihre

Agga Stage and I made a short film for Norea Wahlbeck and Marika Ekblad of the 2015 graduating fashion class at Beckmans. They’d both interpreted House of Dagmar in two separate collections, both very interesting and quite different from one another, but the common denominator was their exploration of sisterhood, freedom over mind and body. We had a discussion about how female sex and sexiness is represented in film and communication. We talked about rules, what’s considered sexy and what’s considered ”too much”. What is sexy, really? Depictions of two women who are attracted to each other always seem to address the viewer first and foremost. It’s obvious that what’s happening between the women is really happening for the sake of someone elses pleasure. We wanted to create an attraction between two people where the viewer was completely obsolete. We wanted the clothes to be the focal point, charging them – the girls in the short film never actually touch each other, just the clothes, as if the attraction was directed towards the clothes and their matter.

What is sexy, really?

I’ve thought a lot about communication since I started at Beckmans. One day you’re asking yourself why you even bother and the next day you’re totally convinced that it’s possible to contribute something to this visually flooded world. People are affected by what we do – thus, communicators have a responsibility that each and every one of us need to find a way to deal with. I’m convinced that we will change the industry and that this will happen in many ways and many areas. White normativity, equality and how we depict female bodies and sexuality are some examples. It’s all about making conscious choices when it comes to design, fashion, film or advertising – always questioning the normative and why the world looks a certain way. A lot is happening at the moment, but the advertising world, for instance, is still incredibly conservative. I find creative joy from working in this way. Trying to find a meaning with my work and use what I know as a tool. Two people that have inspired me greatly are Brita Lindvall and Alexandra Falagara. Among other things, they’re responsible for the graphic design of BANG magazine. Their design always seem to have a strong point of view, I find that inspiring. 

I decided to create my own typeface and emphasize female typographers and their work

At the moment I’m working on my degree project, based on the lack of female role models in graphic design. I believe identification is super important in creative professions and role models are necessary for this. I’m interested in typography, but I’ve felt an insecurity about the subject that I believe has to do with the lack of female role models. I decided to create my own typeface and emphasize female typographers and their work. As a designer, typography is an important tool and I’ve gotten the impression that the typographical world has felt closed, harsh and boring. I don’t necessarily think it has to be that way. At the moment I’m feeling quite insecure about what I’ve gotten myself into! But I know that I need to overcome that fear to show myself and other young girls that we can do it. That we’re needed and that we can make change.

Three defining moments for Kimberly Ihre

1

Wolfgang Tillmans, Lux, 2009

“I’m obsessed with the sky and clouds. This photo by Wolfgang Tillmans it’s like a dream, I wish I took this photo.”

Found here.

2

Malin Gabriella Nordin

“I’m very inspired by the work of the artist Malin Gabriella Nordin. This is a photo from her studio and I think it’s beautiful, the art pieces separately but also everything together. I would like to live there.”

Found here.

3

Photos by Sarah Moon

“The first photobook I ever bought was a thin book by Sarah Moon. I have always loved her photographs, they are dreamy and mysterious but also very playful.”

Found here.

Credits

Top Rodebjer

Photography Henrik Nielsen Styling Nike Fröhling Felldin / Hall&Lundgren Make up Veronica Lindqvist / MIKAs Hair Philip Fohlin / LinkDetails Retouch Helena Perminger

Words Hanna Johansson

Bianca Cruzeiro

I really appreciate honesty. It’s a blessing and a curse. People sometimes tell me I’m too honest and percieve me as quite tough, whereas others tell me they appreciate my candor. Regardless of what people think it’s a huge part of how I handle the world around me. I find it difficult avoiding certain subjects both in my private and my professional sphere.

My fascination with candor, the direct, the straight-forward, is probably one of the reasons why I love acting. To me, acting is an exercise in humanity. It brings forth the hidden truths about human life and emphasizes them by enlarging, exaggerating, zooming in, and there, on stage or on the silver screen, people are finally allowed to relate to one another. I believe it’s important as a human to see other human bodies feeling what we feel deep inside but never show.

To me, acting is an exercise in humanity

In acting you’re very often dealing with taboos, there’s no hierarchy when it comes to feelings, you’re allowed to feel anything. Nobody ever tells you: ”don’t be sad, calm down, be happy, don’t cry…” It’s a space that permits me to experiment with all of me and all the ugliness within me. Where I’m allowed to scream, dance, be unfaithful, hate my mother, kill my child, feel jealous, et cetera. I think all of us strive to normalize our environment, and because of that it’s important to create spaces where we strive to – and accept – the other, the abnormal. I’d rather explore people’s inner politics – their own morals, their own rules, their own politics and logics – than discuss political questions of fact on stage. The brutally private is usually more fun to watch.

Existing in an absolute now, not a step ahead, not a step behind, is among the hardest things I know. My first encounter with this type of experience was through couple dancing, argentine tango which I worked with for several years. One of the dancers leads and the other follows, but sometimes when you’ve danced with the same person for a long time you reach a state where both bodies move in the exact same pace, there’s no leading, you’re both part of the same movement, like a telepathy of sorts, you just completely understand each other without saying a word. It doesn’t occur very often, but once you’ve felt this type of contact you’ll never stop chasing it.

Once you’ve felt this type of contact you’ll never stop chasing it

From body, movement, dance to stories. This is where I’m at right now. Acting is still very new to me. I’ve been working for five years and in the acting community I’m still considered a baby. We’ll see where I am in five years. The search for wonderful experiences continue.

Credits


Robe
H&M Studio

Photography Henrik Nielsen Styling Nike Fröhling Felldin / Hall&Lundgren Make up Veronica Lindqvist / MIKAs Hair Philip Fohlin / LinkDetails Retouch Helena Perminger

Words Hanna Johansson

 

Maria Montti

I worked at JUS for many, many years. Before that, I worked at PA&Co, a restaurant, that’s where I met my husband. I was a single mother. I wanted to be a designer, that was my dream, but you struggle quite a lot when you’re on your own, so there wasn’t any time. But then I quit and decided to try and study fashion at Folkuniversitetet. I thought that I’d give it a try and see if it was something that I could do, something that I would like. We did a little bit of everything – drawing, making patterns, sewing. I remember our last show – we were supposed to walk in our own clothes, but I refused. I made an installation instead.

Dress: JÅAL ATELIER

Noomi Rapace asked me to work with her.  At first I was hesitant

While I was studying I needed a part-time job, so I called Ulrika Nilsson at JUS and asked her if I could work there. I could, and I ended up as the store manager and made all the purchases for the shop, which is so much fun. Working there was really like an education.

When I quit my job at JUS several years later, I took some time to figure out what I wanted to do in my life. But since we had a lot of regulars at the shop my phone kept ringing – people asking me what clothes to buy, what to wear. Then Noomi Rapace asked me to work with her when Prometheus was released. At first I was hesitant. It’s difficult sometimes to know what you’re capable of, that people want me to work with them specifically. But we decided to give it a try, and it’s grown into a great relationship.

I believe you learn a lot from meeting people. It’s so beautiful to sit down and talk to each other and see one another, listen to each other. Everybody’s always in a hurry. Friendship is important to me. And family. It’s a source of energy.

Credits

Photography Henrik Nielsen Styling Nike Fröhling Felldin / Hall&Lundgren Make up Veronica Lindqvist / MIKAs Hair Peter Johansson Hall&Lundgren Styling assistant Signe Belfiore Retouch Helena Perminge

Words Hanna Johansson

Dimen Abdulla

The pen is a tool that joints letters into words. Words that are lined after each other as objects before painting a still life. Words are the the soul objects of a still life. But words are also music, rhythm. I think I have a painter’s way of relating to writing. I feel the rhythm in colours, light versus darkness, cold movements and warm movements. Fast brushstrokes or thick ones. I like collecting words. Writing is a place from which I’ve learned and continue to learn how to phrase, reinvent and describe my reality.

I’m mostly inspired by fleeting moments that stick and grow and develop. Fragments of experiences, of words, never complete things but always in pieces.

I don’t really know until I’ve finished a text what stories I want to tell. I have this need to understand my surroundings and the people I meet. Storytelling is a way to do this, but the primary thing is the process of getting there. It’s based on a fascination for people’s inherent characteristics and incentives.

I’m mostly inspired by fleeting moments that stick and grow and develop. Fragments of experiences, of words, never complete things but always in pieces. At the moment the memory of a trip to Gotland is etched in my mind and haunts me with its beauty. The painter in me sees colour when I think of beauty, I see pink, moss green. The writer in me thinks of a movement to describe a sorrow, the philospher in me wants to understand why and how. The romanticist in me is writing with one special in mind. Every text I’ve written is written for someone special. It’s a seduction, but it can also be addressed to someone I’m trying to punish. For instance: lately I’ve had to relate very intensely to beauty. It might have begun with a relationship I had. This relationship made me look at myself from certain perspectives. It made me relate to certain women and certain friends. Which made me start thinking about what it is to be beautiful – am I beautiful, am I ugly, how am I perceived? Does one change from being surrounded by beauty? What happens to you when you always get to eat beautiful and delicious food? When your friends are beautiful, your parents are beautiful, you’re beautiful? Does this make you expect different things? It seems very delightful to be beautiful. I believe that there is a difference between those surrounded by beauty and those that aren’t percevied as beautiful. It’s interesting and painful at the same time, that there’s a hierarchy – a hierarchy of ideals. There is a merciless exclusion of not being a part of this system of beauty. It’s located in your body and it infects your soul, mind and intellect. The last step must therefore be when you relate your identity to this idea and gaze. This will make a lesser man of oneself. It is a hierarchy based on an idea that beauty exists.

So when I think of these oversimplified subjects I have this special one for which the thinking is supposed for. Writing is my playground, the toys are my words and the play has different intentions and everyday is a new day for play. Some days are remarkable and some are dull. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes I’m all alone and and some days I’m surrounded by people. Nevertheless it is hard work to play, and it is hard work to write.

Credits

Polo Cos, vest JÅAL ATELIER

Photography Henrik Nielsen Styling Nike Fröhling Felldin / Hall&Lundgren Make up Veronica Lindqvist / MIKAs Hair Peter Johansson Hall&Lundgren Styling assistant Signe Belfiore Retouch Helena Perminge

Words Hanna Johansson

Maria Therese

I’ve always loved to take photographs, but it took some time for me to figure out that it could be a profession. I used to dress up my little sister and take pictures of her all the time when we were growing up, and when she was fourteen I sent a couple of the pictures to a modeling agency without her or our mother knowing. The agency called back and all of a sudden we were both signed. I was twenty years old and super pregnant when I did my first modeling gig.

I was twenty years old and super pregnant when I did my first modeling gig

There really isn’t such a thing as a typical work day for me. Sometimes it’s running from meeting to meeting or photographing advertising or editorial work, in a studio or outdoors… or at a museum, in a church, or deep underground in the tank room of a bathhouse. It could be retouching at the office, sitting in an airplane the entire day or look at casting. But my favorite thing is to be at home, drawing up ideas, writing and painting.

I’m really inspired by acting. I’ve been a showy person all my life, I’ve always been acting and dressing up, and I’m incredibly fascinated by the human behavior and how pretty much no one ever says anything without a subtext. I view things that happen in my everyday life as if they were scenes in a movie. Traveling inspires me a lot since you get to see a lot of different sorts of people while you’re away. I often create a playlist of music while I’m preparing a job – I guess the music kind of affirms and enhances the idea, which also inspires the elaboration of it. Then I play the playlist during the photo shoot. That way I don’t have to talk so much while I’m shooting. It helps me direct.

I view things that happen in my everyday life as if they were scenes in a movie

I believe a lot in intuition. It’s not necessarily something abstract – intuition is only abstract if you don’t have any relation to it. The nonvisible is really just as real as the visible, it’s just that different senses register different kinds of information. I usually act on feelings that come upon me. Just like I would answer the phone if I hear it ringing. Of course, some people are so concentrated on other things that they don’t hear the ringing…

Credits

Polo COS Necklace private

Photography Henrik Nielsen Styling Nike Fröhling Felldin / Hall&Lundgren Make up Veronica Lindqvist / MIKAs Hair Peter Johansson Hall&Lundgren Styling assistant Signe Belfiore Retouch Helena Perminge

Words Hanna Johansson

Dea Saracevic

I’m a producer at Standart, but my friends and I have also formed a sort of collective called Samspel where we throw parties and festivals and stuff like that. We had one this summer in Rosenhill outside of Stockholm. You would’ve loved it! We have another concept as well, Hyllningsklubben, a recurring club night at Berns where we throw parties in honor of something or someone we think deserve appreciation, like a celebration. At one occasion we were celebrating Nadja Chatti, a DJ, for being a great person. Another time we celebrated Romanian techno.

Shirt BLK DNM, jacket COS.

Another time we celebrated Romanian techno

All of us in Samspel got to know each other after dating some guys and breaking up with them. I feel lucky for having the girls and for living in Stockholm where you can do all these things. I’ve lived abroad as well; in London for a while, Paris for a while, Berlin for a while; but being in Stockholm is a relief. I love that it’s close to the water. In the summer I go swimming every morning before I start my day. This is really important to me – I feel like it inspires me.

I’ve been a part of house music culture since 2006, basically. I think it’s changed in the sense that there’s more of it, first of all, but also that it’s less underground. Which I think is a good thing. It opens up the scene a lot so that more people can be part of it – I’m very much in favor of inclusion. People ought to try to be nice rather than trying to be cool. I think that has changed as well: despite there being more club initiatives today, or cultural initiatives, there isn’t really a sense of competition, but rather inspiration. I find a lot of what’s happening in Stockholm right now very inspiring, thanks to what my friends are doing. They’re all very talented and I learn so much from them.

Stockholm really could become a metropolis of sorts, albeit a small one

I really think Stockholm is blossoming right now, which partly has to do with people moving here – a lot of us who grew up in Stockholm have parents who didn’t, and growing up in a city gives you a kind of self confidence that makes all these initiatives possible. I hope all of us who are young right now pave the way for the next generation. It really could become a metropolis of sorts, albeit a small one. I’m very optimistic about it.

Credits

Photography Henrik Nielsen Styling Nike Fröhling Felldin / Hall&Lundgren Make up Veronica Lindqvist / MIKAs Hair Peter Johansson Hall&Lundgren Styling assistant Signe Belfiore Retouch Helena Perminge

Words Hanna Johansson