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Tourist board seeks folk costume renaissance

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 25 May 2010, 13:46

Published: 25 May 2010 13:46 GMT+02:00

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"STF is celebrating its 125th birthday this year, and we wanted to mark it with the new folk costumes which show off the whole of Sweden. We want more people to discover Sweden and this is a superb way of showing the country off," Jenny Engström at STF told The Local on Tuesday.

The 25 designs - one for each Swedish province - have been submitted by art and design students from across Sweden and show a mix of distinctly contemporary and traditional influences.

The nominated designers have been travelling through their respective allotted provinces since the competition was launched on April 26th in order to experience provincial Swedish life. The 25 creations constitute the sum of their exertions.

"The designers have stayed at STF hostels and blogged about their experiences to inspire others to travel. They have gone out to their provinces for inspiration and to get a taste of modern provincial life and meet interesting people," Engström said.

STF also hopes that the competition will inspire people to rediscover the traditional folk costume.

"We are also hoping to encourage people to rediscover the folk costume and the designers have been given a free hand to inspire and interpret Sweden's provincial diversity through their creations," she said.

While the designs are overwhelming created by women, with only two male participants, many of the costumes are suitable for bearers of both sexes.

"There simply aren't that many male designers in Sweden working with fashion. But several of the costumes are tailored for men, and several more are unisex," Jenny Engström confirmed.

Story continues below…

The ten finalists will be selected by popular vote via the STF website at folkdrakt20.nu and will then be assessed for their sartorial merits by a jury headed by Swedish fashion journalist Cay Bond.

All of the entrants will be put on display at a fashion show in Stockholm on Thursday with the winning outfit subsequently handed over to Crown Princess Victoria and/or Daniel Westling as the official STF wedding gift.

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Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:57 May 25, 2010 by AndreaGerak
There is a current topic of interest in some Swedish media: fashion critique, whether it's present or missing in Sweden. Well, here you go, my 2 cents about this competition.

As a folk singer, I am familiar with the folk costumes of not only my nation but other countries as well. According to what I know of Swedish "folkdräkt", out of the 25 designs there was only one I liked (and I could accept...) - viewing them by these criteria:

- seeing it, would I associate it with Sweden?

- would I (or probably anybody else...) actually put it on gladly? (folk costumes became traditions because they were POPULAR)

- the winner will be presented as an official wedding gift, which means the Crown Princess or the future Prince is most probably supposed to wear it at certain representative occasions. Can they put it on at least once?

The rest are non-recognizable as being Swedish and/or most probably only some people with an extreme taste would wear them. There are even some that bring nothing new: a simple T-shirt-like rag, a suit which you can buy in the stores can't really qualify, I would assume...

Not to mention those where I couldn't tell whether they were meant for Victoria or her spouse. Is the new Swedish national costume supposed to be androgynous???

Many of these clothes are also very badly presented: with terrible looking models and/or amateur photography.

Dear Swedish Tourist Board, are you sure you want to present this image about Sweden???
16:15 May 25, 2010 by peropaco
The big mama in the stripe outfit and the schmatta on her head is quite representative of the everyday Swedish girl. Wide hips and all. The dude with the orange night of Aquarius is the new metro sexual design and is mostly favoured by young men in northern sweden. Edward scissor hands babe on the left is the traditional garb from the region of Jämjö while the girl in the far right corner is plain boring
22:06 May 25, 2010 by Tall swede
Another proof that designers are really, really gay. The guy in red look like a really gay version of emperor Ming. And not in a good way.
02:47 May 26, 2010 by Griggy
If the photos are representative of what is being proposed, then I am lookng forward to much amusement. If the purpose is to publicly embarass the newlyweds, then l think the STF has an excellent chance to meet that goal.
12:54 May 27, 2010 by Marc the Texan
None of these costumes look very folksy. To be honest, the line-up on display there looks more like the tryouts for Transexual of the year. Looking at this group, my first reaction is to begin guessing genders.
16:44 May 30, 2010 by Lukestar1991
"This is a superb way of showing the country off"

No, not really.
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