18 Jul 2024
Style in the City: Swedish fashion shows its dark side
Fashion & Beauty Lifestyle Shopping

Style in the City: Swedish fashion shows its dark side

Did you get a shock at Halloween? Did that Morticia-style dark plum lipstick actually look rather, well, gorgeous? As the nights draw in, there’s no better time to delve into the darkness and embrace your inner goth. YLC’s Victoria Hussey reveals all.


There’s darkness afoot in Swedish fashion circles.

With a strong heavy metal underground scene and a long list of gritty crime dramas and novels, we all know the Swedes have always had a bit of a dark side. Fashion-wise, there’s never been a better time to unleash your inner Lisbeth Zalander.

If the thought of embracing your inner goth sends shivers to your bones, you needn’t worry because above all else and pushing aside piercings, tattoos and scary fetishist platform boots, gothic is far more romantic than you may have thought.

A reference to the Medieval period in history, gothic spawned a mysterious and moody canon of art, literature and architecture from the 19th onwards with gargoyles, skulls and crosses motifs not to mention luxurious velvets in sumptuous tones. Now, modern-day fashion designers, such as the likes of English king of the Goths Gareth Pugh, turn their hands and minds to temptingly terrifying clothing; gothic is a go-to reference point for sumptuous and moody fashion at its best.

This winter, with things already looking more glamorous in Swedish fashion – the throwback to the glittering twenties and fabulous forties is your first style port of call this winter – play the gothic trend in the guise of a twenties murder mystery party suspect.

Finnish born, Sweden-based Minna Palmqvist  below (Photographed by Kristian Löveborg)  is leading the way to darkness and shocking discoveries in the fashion arena this winter. And boy does she know just how to make the hairs on your arms stand up. Palmqvist’s goosebump-making designs are interesting – if a little scary – with big ideas and even bigger pleats and room presence. Image by Kristian Loveborg

My advice? Use Palmqvist as more of a icon for influence, rather than a full on replication tactic. You want to be deliciously devilish rather than night of the living dead.

If you really want to delve into this trend for winter 2013, start with the lips. Opt for red wine, sumptuous burgundy and aubergine tones this winter for a glamorous and deliciously dark seductive shade. Face Stockholm does a shatteringly gorgeous selection of vampish rouges. Go for Passion, Baroque or Eggplant.

Swedish favourite Weekday has also gone all dark and alluring for their winter collection. Black on black; murky greys and horrifying yet covetable clunky accessories are perfect for younger advocates of darkly dressing. So too has high-end fashion design duo Altewaisaome. The dynamic twosome did sloppy leather shapes with lace-up knee-high boots and shimmery inky blue, the colour of horror movie skies for this season.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen‘s second collection for high-street favourite Bik Bok is full to the brim of hard leather looks and an exotically dark kimono.

While Ida Sjöstedt‘s autumn/winter collection was the perfect example of going gothic whilst retaining your femininity. With lashings of lace, glitz and feathers cut with punk red and black checks. And what says murder mystery party suspect better than glamorous feathers the colour of deep wine?

Say it with flowers; this season dark blooms are romantic, and sultry. Tees, dresses and evening jackets printed in melancholic magnolias and deadly daisies are just the ticket to commence the witching hour.

Take the lead from Mulberry and Givenchy but check out Urban Outfitters on Biblioteksgatan for poisonous flora and fauna prints.But let’s not forget about the entrapped. The men who – with dark shades of lipstick and dark, draping ensembles – are impervious to the gothic woman’s charms. But what of their inner dark side?

French label Zadig and Voltaire – designed by Swedish Cecilia Bönström – (on Birger Jarlsgatan 8)  has skull tees that are perfect for your very own Herman Munster. While luxury fashion newbie and shoe designer Erïk Bjerkesjö tailored his haunted house waiter-boys in slick and severe tailoring that was just a little bit ghouly.

Still want more? Maria Nilsdotter’s golden world of magical creatures and scary skulled jewellery are perfect additions to the opulent gothic look.

Now go my pretties and embrace your dark side.


Victoria Hussey

A self-confessed country-girl, Victoria swapped English village life for city-living in Stockholm in April 2013. She has spent the last five months swotting up on Swedish fashion and grappling with an increasingly Stockholm-influenced (namely black) wardrobe. Victoria enjoys travelling to far-off lands, alternative music and wishes someone would invent some kind of socially-acceptable breakfast ice-cream.

Follow Victoria and Your Living City on Twitter!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.