“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.
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.