• photography by ANNA GRANBERG

    An interview with Carl Johan Lundgren

    Written by Michaela Widergren

    I've been listening to Vit Päls for a couple of years now. There is just something about the lyrics; they're like small youth novels, full of visual descriptions and beautifully constructed sentences with a playful undertone. I first contacted Carl Johan Lundgren, the front man and original founder, about six months ago and asked for an interview, since Carl and most of the band members live in Malmö we never got to it. I got my hopes up when I heard they were playing at the legendary club Debaser in Stockholm, I sent an e-mail to Calle and the interview was back on. 

    I meet up with Calle before their sound check at Debaser, we sit down in the bar area while people are running around, instruments are playing, is that a clarinet? Perhaps. The band consists of seven members, each one having their own instrument and part to play.

    MM: I know you're not only a musician, you're also a Swedish teacher, is it hard to combine?

    CJL: For a while I only worked with music, but then I didn't know when to get up or when to go to sleep so I actually feel better having a time schedule to follow, which you certainly have and need to follow working as a teacher. I also like the social contexts. For example, around Christmas when the janitor puts up starts in the windows or when there's a set table with yellow cloths around Easter in the teachers' lounge. It's nice.

    MM: How old are the students you work with at the moment?

    CJL: They're in high school.

    MM: Do they listen to your music?

    CJL: Not really, the kids that I'm working with now, live in Rosengård. Of course they figured out through YouTube that I'm someone in music, they think it's fun, but most of them listen to music from other cultures, like Arabic music.

    MM: I actually have a friend of a friend that had you as a sub teacher here in Stockholm, his name is Sixten.

    CJL: Oh, I think this was at Kulturama? He had really crappy grades that we took care of. You have to say hello to him from me.

    MM: Most definitely. Do you ever get nervous before a gig?

    CJL: Maybe not nervous, but I do get resolute. I've noticed that before I go up on stage, when people talk to me I don't really listen, I just say yeah, yeah to everything. When that happens, you can tell I'm focused. Before we start I always think about whether I have anything sensible or important to say, most of the times I forget to say it anyway, but it feels good to know you actually have something to convey if you would want to.

    MM: Do you talk a lot during the acts?

    CJL: I do. We used to switch instruments with each other in the middle of the gigs but nowadays I do more in-between talks instead.

    Calle tells me about the absurd feeling of being on stage. He says it can feel really weird knowing there's a full crowd of people there to listen and see himself and his band mates play, but after playing a few beats, it all comes naturally, the doubts go away and he remembers why they're doing it.

    MM: Do you get a lot of fan mail and what does it say?

    CJL: It happens. A lot of people that like Vit Päls are really into the lyrics, so most of the letters are about that. It's from people whom themselves are or are trying to be in the music business and got inspired by our music. I blush every time.

    MM: I've been thinking about the name, Vit Päls (White Fur) what's it about?

    CJL: Hmm, it's been such a long time now, so I'm not sure I remember correctly… But I don't think it's on any deeper level than the fact that I had a friend with a cat that was white. There's also a Suicide song called Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne that I like, maybe it had something to do with that. I actually think I just said it and I remember that people thought it was a pretty bad name, but it just stuck in my head for some reason. I get that question a lot and I'm sure I've told a dozen different stories about it.

    Calle is a true music nerd, he listens to everything and has a good sense of what's going on in the music sphere. Before he became a full time musician he went to art school and wasn't quite sure what kind of creative endeavor would fit him best. He decided on pop music and everything's just been rolling ever since. He says one of the best things about the music is working on the lyrics, it's like pottering, getting all of the perfect words and sentences together to mold something new and unexpected, but at the same time familiar to the listener.

    MM: Do you ever think about your visual image, I mean how you dress and so?

    CJL: Not really. We're all so different in the band. In the beginning when we started out we talked about dressing as a group, but it didn't work out. It's better if we all keep our personal styles. It's very rare that we talk about fashion or style, but of course we try to dress up and look proper and nice on the stage, maybe get a new shirt or something.

    MM: Anything in specific that you'd like to tell the readers?

    CJL: Well, just that they should come and see us play, it's usually a really good time.

  • photography by SANDRA MYHRBERG
    stylist MEGHAN SCOTT
    hair & make up MICHAELA MYHRBERG
    model AMANDA A / Mikas

    An interview with Arielle de Pinto

    Written by Jenny Lacis by Jenny Lacis

    By using new material and old techniques, Arielle de Pinto is making unique jewelry. She has found a way to treat metal as a thread and crochets pieces such as earrings, necklaces and shoes. Her inducement is to test the behavior of the technique.

    JL: Hi Arielle! Can you tell us about the idea and concept of your jewelry?

    AP: Well, I’ve been devoted to develop classic shapes through innovating a technique of crocheting chain. The result is quite unique; I treat the metal as if it were thread and it becomes tactile and tractable. It’s a new fabric, but made very simply from materials like fine chain that have existed since Roman civilization. Crochet belongs to no one, it is part of the common knowledge of many cultures globally, it is not even known who started it. Most people have access to these materials and knowledge. My mission has been about developing a new language from something simple and portable by using different stitches, tensions and blending techniques; creating new patterns that test the behavior of this technique. These shapes treatments are my own and the body of work reflects that.

    JL: Okay, so what kind of jewelry are you making?

    AP: I work predominantly in 925 Italian sterling silver and with different gold plating’s to ensure an open color palette. Recently I have included rose gold, but my classic collection is yellow gold, darkened silver and other gold colours, as well as a palladium plated ionic treatment that is like an oil spill rainbow affect. I also do have a line of stainless steel, which is a bit more affordable and allows me to work with even wilder colors, but they are more matte.

    The jewelry can appeal to anyone. I can compare it to a pair of jeans, in that it can make you look great, it ends up conforming to your body and becomes a staple. Eventually the threads work as an attestation of loyalty. Somebody worked very hard to find the pattern of your favorite pair of jeans, and that is what I do, but in silver.

    I have a team of girls in Montreal who I have trained, and we make all the jewelry by hand.  At the end of the production I have a metal worker attaching a tiny signature tag onto the last thread, which has my logo on it. It’s very subtle branding. Not until after my sixth year of making jewelry did I put a logo on anything that was over three millimeters. Then it was tacky, now I think it’s finally chic.

    JL: Where do you find inspiration?

    AP: Everywhere, I travel a lot and I am always going through vintage stores, and textures will come out at me and I will figure out how to re-interpret them. I am always looking at how things are made, the patterns behind them. When you start to pay attention to it, you realize how little is actually done by machines, and how all materials we come into contact with, at some point somebody had to tame and develop it.

    I also become very attached to color. With lipstick, for example, if I fall in love with one color, you will never get me to accept a substitute. That is an elemental tendency, but still a reaction having grown up in a capitalist world. We’re still as animalistic as ever.

    Usually, when I am designing a collection I look at motifs that have been part of how we’ve been dressing ourselves for ages. For example, I have re-interpreted a pearl necklace probably three times, but no one would ever know. For AW14 I just finally used real pearls.  In my last collection I interpreted the pelt of a tiger. Because the technique itself is new, I have the freedom of drawing on tradition without being repetitive.

    JL: Cool! How long does it take to make a necklace or a ring?

    AP: This I cannot say. 

    JL: When did you start the brand?

    AP: In 2006 I got my first magazine feature, and was making one kind of piece. By September 2007 I launched my first collection.

    JL: And how would you say that your brand has developed since the start?

    AP: In many ways. I have developed all the hardware to support the technique. I have access to colors, more diverse materials and distribution all over the world. Now, I have a team of skilled workers and we all have different strengths, thank God.

    JL: What’s new this season?

    AP: Well, I am working with pearls this season and we’ve created a kind of “pearl garden” motif. The board game chains are also a completely new technique. I have always loved checkerboards, loving anything flashy, but I can never keep anything brand new. I made a sort of quadrant piece as well, keeping this season more crisp than any in the past. There is always a need to evolve, especially when you are as specialized as this company.

    shoes MONKI
    tights WOLFORD
    dress NOIR & BLANC
    tights WOLFORD
    top & shorts CARIN WESTER

    dress IDA SJÖSTEDT 

    top worn over dress NOOID

  • photography by ANNA GRANBERG

    20 Minutes with Minimarket: an interview with Sofie Elvestedt

    Written by Mari Florer

    Minimarket wants to design clothes that build confidence. They jokingly refer to an expression they call “dignified pyjamas”.

    The designers want people to feel free and comfortable, whether they’re at a party or at work.

    “Many fashion garments have a tendency to make you feel inadequate”, Sofie says after telling me she only has twenty minutes to spare.

    Minimarket converted to a fashion brand 2006. The name came from their clothing store.

    SE: A friend and I had a boutique with the same name, in SoFo, in Stockholm. We were selling clothes created for our shop by young Swedish and Danish newly graduated designers.

    Her sisters and current colleges Pernilla and Jennifer did their internship at Minimarket. Soon, all sisters started to design easy-to-wear clothes as a complement to the young designers’ more advanced garments.

    SE: We sold really well.

    One day Weekday called. They were interested in selling our clothes. When we got their first order we closed the store.

    At first the three sisters designed all together, but today they are splitting up the work to be more effective.

    SE: But we are all involved in all different parts. We discuss a lot.

    Sofie is the older sister and the head of the sales part and her design approach is very business focused.

    SE: I have a bigger say over certain garments we call sell pieces. These are more basic, and must be found in order to withdraw money. I like safeguards.

    Pernilla Elvestedt takes care of the material sourcing and production, and is also contributing extra to shoes and accessories.

    The third sister Jennifer Elvestedt is the titled designer, accompanied by Abril Vergara, junior designer.

    We look at the AW14 collection hanging on rails. There are prints and patterns inspired by the moon and the space. Colors like blue, green and orange are frequently used. The shoes are standing on white boxes in the middle of the room.

    Some products stand out. A pair of cow patterned shoes, a sweater with a wolf howling in front of the full moon and a black and green tartan woollen cap.

    MB: Is it possible to print on any material?

    SE: It is almost possible. But some cannot be printed on since it depends on the structure of the fabric.

    MB: Are you visiting the factories or producers to see that everything is in order?

    SE: We have good control of the production and we visit our factories on regular basis. There is just one of the producers with which we are not very happy, they have failed with logistics and delivery dates for 2 seasons in a row, and unfortunately we have had to replace them for our next season.

    MB: How can you as a designer take responsibility for the environment?

    SE: It’s hard. All products drain the resources on earth. We can choose the right fabrics. Our most common fabric Cupro is free from toxins. We have tried new coloring techniques for example we’ve made scarves which are coloured with fruit and spices.

    MB: So, what does this summer’s outfit look like?

    SE: Oh, it’s hard to pick one outfit. I think a straight and flowy silhouette with many layers. We like to mix different lengths, for example we often combine thin pants with a dress on top, and then a shorter jacket on top of that. And you need a hat of course.

    We sell a lot of hats. Sometimes I wonder who it is that buys all these hats, as I don’t see them so often in the streets.

    Minimarket is not following trends. They do what they feel like.

    SE: We have a lot of colors and patterns every year and we hope our customers use them many years. It´s better to buy fewer items with good quality.

    It’s a little chaotic in the office and those who work may sit where there is space. A young woman is sitting on the floor and cutting out a pattern. Sofie helps an assistant to move her computer to an empty seat.

    Minimarket moved into this place in September 2013 and are now renovating. They don’t allow us to take pictures inside.

    MB: How many are employed here?

    SE: Only five. A lot of people think that we mean that the design department is only five people, but it is actually the whole company.

    MB: Are you sisters often arguing?

    SE: It’s good to clear the air sometimes. Everyone needs to do that periodically. It helps you get back on the track again. I love working with my sisters and I’m very proud of what we have accomplished.

    Pernilla asks Sofie if she is finished with the interview.

    SE: Yes, I am.