Yes, NHORM were not ”as polished” as the rest of the designers showcasing at Stockholm Fashion Week SS2017. And this is what makes them interesting! Their oversized poncho, broad shouldered jacket and elongated sleeves do remind of Vetements. However, they have their own style and they themselves define it as playing with functionality and decoration, and switching the places of the two.
Hanna and Mathilda found each other while studying at the Swedish School of Textile five years ago. Their first NHORM collection was in 2014 – NHORM + S.R. – a collaboration with Sara Robertsson jewelry, where the jewelry was incorporated in the garments. And in 2015 was their first showcased collection Dressparade. They took garments that were not dresses and turned them into dresses. NHORM’s clothes were picked by Dua Lipa, Kelele and FKA twigs, which is in itself a stamp of approval! NHORM were initially part of the AMAZE movement in Sweden (more artistic fashion designers) but showing at Stockholm Fashion Week SS2017 puts them one notch higher and in front of the eyes of the international press. Vogue wrote that NHORM’s collection Tribute was “conceptually quite interesting”. Way to go NHORM!
I meet Hanna and Mathilda in their atelier in Stockholm. They are already working on their next collection and seem relaxed one week after Stockholm Fashion Week SS2017.
Hallo Hanna & Mathilda. Your last collection was called Tribute (SS2017). Why?
H: We work with the 90s and early 2000s R&B Hip Hop esthetics and style. We think that style is really fantastic and inspiring, and has amazing energy about it! We talk about the collection as a way of combining references and garments in a careless way. So it is a tribute to that. It is a playful and carefree way of expression.
Some of the garments in the collection were very feminine, while others were more unisex. Almost as if you wanted to hide the female body. Why?
M: We always want to have a contrast between more figure hugging clothes and the looser type.
H: I would say it is more about contrasting the silhouettes. It is basically a visual trick that we like.
Who would be your ideal ambassador? Which person will wear your clothes?
H: We have some good ambassadors already. We have been lending out clothes to the artist El Pero del Mar i.e. Sarah Assbring. She is working a lot with the stylist Nicole Walker and has this style of mixing references. Sarah has this very proud air about her. It is her artistic persona that fits our concept. And she is a grown-up woman, nice and wise, but artsy and dramatic person on stage.
The models in your show were not typical skinny models, they were real women. Do you go intentionally for that?
M: All of the models are people that we like – both how they look and as personalities, what they stand for.
H: We like the idea of diversity. Actually when we had the fittings before the show we saw that a big part of the garments needed that kind of shape and body. A big thing for us as well is that the models shouldn’t be too young and be able to show attitude on the catwalk.
What defines the NHORM style? Is it deconstruction?
M: Yes, it is a kind of a deconstruction. We take normal generic garments and then make them bigger or a bit different. Like we had the oversized suit jacket in this collection. And the cargo jacket that is a bit flared from our last collection. So it is not a jacket anymore – it is becoming a different garment altogether.
What is your dream?
H: We want to work with the NHORM collections fulltime. Right now we are doing other jobs to pay the bills.
M. I was a design assistant at Anne-Sofie Back, for example. Now I have three different jobs plus this one. So hopefully soon we will be able to focus 100% only on NHORM. (Laughs)
Which international designers do you look up to?
H: We like Raf Simmons. He is a very good example of mixing references, textile and colors. CELINE is so inspiring as well – a commercial but innovative label as well that everyone wants to wear! And it is creating a style of its own. We strive to achieve that with our own collections.
How do you decide on your designs? Do you ask your friends what they would wear or do you just go with your gut feelings?
M: We just go for what we would wear. But we have some friends that have a very inspiring style so we try to imagine them wearing our clothes. We also look at our own archive to see what people have liked before.
Why did you choose a London based PR agency for your label?
M: We wanted to promote the collections internationally. And it happened to be in London. A friend of ours borrowed our clothes for an FKA twigs gig. She is friends with people from the agency and told them about us. So we talked to them, it was a match and this is how we started. We send them the clothes and they have showings for sales people and for stylists. Some artists that picked our clothes were Kelela and Dua Lipa. Dua Lipa’s stylist is always looking for us.
H: But the first thing that happened internationally was when FKA Twigs wore our jacket from the collaboration collection with S.R. jewelry. We wanted to make it as though the garment could not exist without the jewelry. We were working with the decoration and function again and switching the position of the two.
So what happens now, after Fashion Week?
Now we are working with the next collection full speed, have contracted a factory in Estonia to produce our clothes. We have also some regular clients that we will take care of and are hoping to start selling even more!