Swedish skies are bright with up-and-coming fashion stars. YLC spoke to Lina Michal, one of the country’s future fashion trailblazers, about her rocketing career.
Stockholm’s elite design college graduates have increasingly been scooping up awards as well as prized post-graduate places at prestigious international fashion colleges. Lina Michal, a Beckman’s School of Design graduate, recently claimed the Vogue Young Vision Award 2013 after receiving a galactic 90,000 votes in the world-wide fashion authority’s annual search for “young talent with a clear design vision” (VOGUE.it).
“I’m feeling a lot of gratitude. It’s fantastic.” Michal told YLC.
She beat out top-notch design competition from fifty-five countries, including ten finalists from prestigious design colleges in Denmark, Italy, Russia and the UK.
Part of the Vogue Young Vision prize is the chance to design and sell an eponymous fashion collection with top online fashion retailer MUUSE. Michal has been designing and redesigning her MUUSE collection since winning the title back in October.
“It’s based on the collection I entered into the competition which was supposed to be for fall/winter but we looked at it and thought it would work so much better as a spring/summer collection.
Apt as Michal’s winning collection was actually her final graduation project shown at Beckmans right at the start of summer 2013, in May.
“We’re working to interpret the collection into ready-to-wear and to distill the core of it into something that can be more easily worn.”
With the title Heathen Hearts, Michal’s last catwalk presentation before graduating from the Stockholm design school – one of raw, organic romance – was tinged with the kind of mood only a nation that spends its winters cloaked primarily in darkness and bitter cold would understand.
“I wanted to make something with a Scandinavian point of view but that was also about something other than functional minimalism,” Michal explained to YLC. “I wanted to convey the feeling of something joyful and organic with just a notion of something dark and raw.”
At times, the collection was so in tune with sweetness and romance it would have been easy to get swept away with feeling and forget to appreciate the exquisite craftsmanship and design skill on display.
After digging into her Swedish heritage and exploring important traditional Swedish festivities such as Midsummer, bound in nature, Michal created something outdoorsy and Scandinavian in a far more organic sense than the click-and-fit Ikea practicality synonymous with Swedish design and favoured by so many Swedish fashion designers.
Michal used clusters of beads resembling fruits of the forest to adorn voluminous gowns while swathes of fabric in overgrown shapes and mounds of petals were testament to a Swedish designer not afraid of spending time, crafting ideas and labouring for an industry she is clearly excited to now be a part of.
“I’m currently interning with Opening Ceremony in New York, I’ll be there until April,” Michal explains.
Leaving school definitely means a new chapter and I’m taking it a little bit as it comes. I’m eager to explore different aspects of the industry – and I’m having fun.”
Lina Michal’s Heathen Hearts inspired collection will be available to purchase on MUUSE.com in 2015.
After spending seven months living in Sweden, self-confessed country-girl, Victoria returned to life in the English countryside with a very Stockholm-looking (i.e. black) wardrobe and a quest to discover how Swedish fashion is faring outside the land of the midnight sun. Victoria enjoys travelling to far-off lands, alternative music and wishes someone would invent some kind of socially-acceptable breakfast ice-cream.
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