• photography Sandra Myhrberg

    special thanks to Boutique Två Tre Gånger

    all clothing throughout the story archive and vintage 

    top Victoria Beckham

    scarf Hermès

    earrings Christian Dior 

    Ani Connor - The One to Watch

    Written by Philip Warkander by Fashion Tales

    Restrictions have defined the way we live and plan our lives. We have been instructed to isolate ourselves at home, keeping the distance between us and the ones we love and normally share our lives with. It has been impossible to make plans, because who knows when this will have passed and things are back to normal? Who even knows what “normal” is anymore, after almost a year in semi-quarantine?

    Ani Connor witnessed first-hand the shutdown of an entire creative industry in response to COVID-19. Not only were artists unable to perform in front of live audiences but also the people working behind and around the stage were severely affected. She decided to take action and created Lockdown Live. This allowed performances to be streamed online and thus connecting artists with audiences and ensuring a paid position for people in the music industry, even with the restrictions for gatherings and events in place: “For me, being an artist means to be generous, it is about sharing creativity with people around me. To be an artist is to be of service to others.”

    All in all, it's been a busy year for Connor who, led by her creativity, found ways not only to survive but to thrive. Other than Lockdown Live, she created and funded her own charity live stream for a women’s shelter in Sweden, released her single and music video “Until Next Time”, began a design collab with Studio WMS, initiated and lead a live-streamed concert in Berlin with one of the world’s biggest fashion retailers and in the midst of all this,  Connor also recorded her debut EP to be released later this year.

    When asked how she managed  to create all of this during a time when others shut down, she smiles;
    “It is never only me. I may create the initiative of something, but I am always supported by family, friends, and colleagues. All my projects are the result of collaboration in one form or the other. The meetings between an idea and action.  My coming EP is a perfect example of a meeting. In this case between me and musician extraordinaire, Hosiannah, who together with an army of beautiful individuals will work this piece with me.  Ani Connors new single “My Brain”, releasing end of May, is another example of her ways of finding creative collabs with the goal of creating synergies and win-win situations. In this case, she has initiated a creative collaboration with Deadwood – a forward-thinking leather focused fashion brand that uses recycled leather to produce its vintage collection. “Self-made is never alone. Trust me.  Music, or society even, will never survive or thrive through the restrictions given to us if we act as if we are alone.”

    The pandemic has changed not only the music industry but also the world of fashion, a world well familiar to Connor who for a great part grew up in the industry. Fashion is an inherently social phenomenon, a means of wordless communication. For many, being isolated from other people has made them less interested in dressing up, even neglecting to change clothes or taking care of oneself on a basic level:
    “I have been fortunate to have strong, loving, and intelligent women as my role models, both in my mother, grandmother, and sisters. Amongst many things, I was taught to wake up and be ready to face the world, to do good, not only to others but also to myself.
    The importance to be present in the moment both when waking up and going to sleep. To give thanks for missions accomplished and adventures ahead.
    For me, this is a sort of self-care, it’s about being kind to myself, of making sure that my body – which is the vessel that carries me until it is no longer – is at ease and relaxed. Sometimes when I’ve worked really intensely, I realize that I have forgotten to take care of myself, and those are the times when it is particularly important to take a step back, to allow oneself a moment of rest.”

    “I do try to see the change in everything as an opportunity to be creative, including the way we dress. Comfort has always been important to me and probably more so during times like these where we are more freed from conceptions on how we “should” be mixing materials and moods. I don’t shop often, but when I do it’s most likely at H&M, who I find are often faster than most in offering both essentials along with interesting collabs, that I often combine with vintage design pieces. For this shoot most pieces are from “Boutique Två Tre Gånger”, a small vintage shop in Stockholm who are responsible for most of my wardrobe along with brands like Acne, Avance or Byredo who I feel are daring and brave not only in design but also in terms of creativity and communication.”

    For many creative minds, inspiration comes in waves. No one really knows where creative impulses come from, or how long they will linger if not nurtured. In many ways, creativity is like the sea; sometimes completely still, at other times in full storm and impossible to navigate securely. Can creativity be tamed, or does it have an agency and will of its own, independent of the humans that express it? And, how does this translate to the planning of creative work on a daily basis?
    “I value my time. ‘Time’ is really just another word for ‘life’, and I know that if I want to achieve the goals that I have set for myself in life, it is necessary that I spend my time wisely. I’m grateful and humble for the opportunities that I have been granted, but I also take pride in my accomplishments. That’s also why I strive to be present in the moment; I regularly take a step back, examine the situation I’m in and ask myself if this is what I really want to be doing. Does my day look like I want it to, or have I allowed myself to be side-tracked? If so, what can I do to get back to what I actually want to be doing with my time? I think it is important to ensure space for creativity to flourish and be expressed, otherwise it might turn into bitterness and resentment.”

    Cultural expressions such as music, literature, art, and fashion play a pivotal role during a crisis. When faced with an external threat, we need to find comfort and take shelter in human expressions that have the capacity to unify and bring us together.
    “I love being creative, it gives me so much energy to be making music and I don’t really separate work from free time – my family are often present backstage when I perform, my colleges and musicians are my friends, but it is also very hard work and it is important to remember to keep the balance between work and rest. Stress is the most stupid illness you can give yourself.”

    Listening to Ani Connor’s music as always sang with her deeply personal and instantly recognizable voice, one might (at least temporarily) forget the dreariness of life during a pandemic. When faced with uncertainty, it is more important than ever to live in the now and to value every fleeting moment. However, it is also essential that this spiritual approach to life is balanced with critical thinking or, as Connor adds when explaining her philosophy:
    “I like sentences that begin with ‘what if’. We shouldn’t take anything for granted, we should never stop asking questions, even uncomfortable ones that might lead to difficult answers about how we spend our time and what we do with our lives. Question everything”.

    top Dries Van Noten

    t-shirt  Acne Studios

    bracelett Yves Saint Laurent 

    earring, ring & necklace Chanel 

    coat Dorothee Schumacher
    sweater House of Dagmar

    t-shirt Calvin Klein

    dress Adrianna Papell

    t-shirt Miroslav Livaja

    track pants Adidas

    shoes Balenciaga

    scarf Hermès

    earring Chanel

    scarf Yves Saint Laurent
    dress Max Co
    jacket Adidas
    shoes Jeremy Scott for Adidas

    jacket Fila

    dress Dolce & Gabbana
    shoes Gucci
    bag Chanel

  • photography Sandra Myhrberg
    fashion Jahwanna Berglund
    hair & make up  Nike Ortiz Dahl
    talent Linn Koch-Emmery
    special thanks to Häringe Slott
    dress Marimekko
    dress worn underneath Felicia Åström 

    An Interview With Linn Koch-Emmery

    Written by Decirée Josefsson by Sandra Myhrberg

    Linn-Koch-Emmery was born in Hamburg, Germany, but grew up in Norrköping. Since she initially started releasing music she’s been touring in countries including The United States, England, and Mexico. Her songs glance towards the musical future, rather than the cultural past and are easy to connect with and easy to genuinely love. With her musical language, she wants to explore the modern ways of composing, which she completes by designing a territory of something unique and new. There's a space of recognition and well as free interpretation in her lyrics and together with her ways of shaping melodies, there's no doubt that she’s one of Sweden's fastest-growing talents of her genre. After two critically acclaimed EP:S, she’s currently active with her debut album “Being the girl”.

    How did you source and find inspiration for this upcoming project?

    This album, and my art practice in general, is an organic product of the place I come from. However, I don’t feel nostalgic that the sound, therefore, has to coexist with the traditional retro idea. The Indie genre and its crowd, tend to obtain answers to development by looking backward. Because of that, I’ve been drawn to explore not already used ways to compose by changing the focus towards my journey and the present time. “Being that girl” follows its own rules, is capricious, spiky, and unpredictable, contributing to both the modern and old world of Indie.

    Where does your appreciation for music come from?
    It has always been a passion of mine, ever since my early teenage years, I’ve been interested in Indie music as a concept. Not only were I enthusiastic towards the style, it more or less shaped a piece of my identity. There’s the old cliché about neighbours and a borrowed cup of sugar, in my case the sugar was a guitar. From not being able to strum a single chord, too ambitious late nights rehearsals in the music studio. Shortly after that my sister, a couple of friends, and I founded a band together and we performed and recorded for about five to six years until I properly started my solo career.

    What has it signified for you establishing a successful solo career?
    Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that I wanted to make music on my own, but it took some time to figure everything out. When it all came together I remember instantly thinking “Finally it happens.” Being able to do what I want creatively, has been a possible way to rightfully own my historical past and express the contemporary thoughts of the present day.

    How would you describe your music practice today compared to before?
    Those ancient songs were developed with a more concentrated focus on the concept and were more consciously elaborated to deviate from established musical norms, more experimental. Today the spectrum of emotions is wider and I try to think rather freely, generously allowing the composed melodies to gently guide the song wherever it naturally wants to go.

    In what way can your identity be seen in your work?
    My music is very egocentric, and I’m typically a self-absorbed hole when composing. It’s cool that some artists successfully can cover wide and heavy subjects in their music. I’m just not one of them.

    You write from the first-person point of view with self-distance to the underlying subject in reference. Is it by choice?
    The most fundamental issue for me with commercial pop is that I’m not convinced about the essence. Because of that, I consider self-distance in modern music especially required today. When it comes to my music, there's a feeling of comfort being abstract. It feels scary to know that someone might interpret the underlying message, I do feel like I’ve dared to be more intimate in my previous and upcoming songs.

    Could you please describe the story behind your latest single “Hard to Love”?
    This song maintains a unique place in my heart. It’s about a relationship of two others that I ruined. A social trauma built up as a crime drama. The whole situation got dark quickly and I felt extremely accountable. When transcribing it, I got overwhelmed with all the feelings. However as time passed by and the water calmed, I realised that the message might not have been that obvious for others to understand as it was for me.

    What is something you dearly miss and look forward to?
    My upcoming album” Being that girl” is set to release on the 7th of May and I look forward to being back on the road again playing those songs live in front of an audience.

    dress By Malene Birger
    belt Stylist´s Own
    leather dress Stand Studio
    earrings Pilgrim
    foundation Lumene blur 16H longwear foundation
    contour Anastasia Beverly Hills cream kit & Linda Hallberg infinity palette
    brow Anastasia Beverly Hills brow pro palette
    lashes Tom Ford badass mascara
    eyeshadow Morphe 3502 & Linda Hallberg infinity palette
    lips Mac Cosmetics matte lipstick, chili
    hair Löwngrip all time high dry volume spray
    dress worn as a jacket Tiger of Sweden
    set Marimekko
    socks Happy Socks
    shoes Camille Wood
    dress For Love & Lemons
    necklace Camille Wood
    blouse Ganni
    skirt For Love & Lemons
    shoes Converse
    jewellery Pilgrim
  • photography Ludvig Rönn
    fashion Qim Claesson
    post production Zacharias Zachrisson & Gustaf von Arbin
    jeans BLK DNM
    sunglasses Chimi Eyewear
    jewellery Talent’s Own

    Zacharias Zachrisson aka Vacation Forever

    Written by Valeria Bartocci by Sandra Myhrberg

    Zacharias Zachrisson aka Vacation Forever, younger brother of Lykke Li, is following his sister's footsteps towards fame. Beginning his career as a drummer in the Swedish band Tussilago he soon discovered he wanted to move on in his own direction. In creating Vacation Forever he was able to do all the things he’d been longing to do by himself and for himself.
    In July 2018, under the American Producer Jeff Basker’s label “Kravenworks”, he released his self titled solo debut EP.
    Vacation Forever is the hope and the future of Swedish indie music and one of the most exciting acts in the scene right now.

    Where does “Vacation Forever” come from, and what does it mean?
    I decided to go to India for a while after I left Tussilago. I was sitting on a terrace when this guy suddenly walked up to me. He said he’d been checking me out for a few days and thought I seemed like a cool guy. He asked if I wanted to smoke DMT, which is kind of like Ayahuasca. I was a bit startled right there and then and all i could reply was “okeeey, sure”. He told me we would meet up the following day and that he would take me out into the jungle.
    The next day while out in the jungle, smoking DMT, I tripped harder than ever before. I traveled through different galaxies and dimensions. Waking up from this trip I was in shock. It felt like I was stuck in a molecule, floating through the jungle. Like I was one with the jungle. That’s when I came up with the name. It felt like I was on a Vacation Forever.

    During my research I found out you suffer from stage fright. How do you cope with this?
    My stage fright isn’t as bad as it used to be. I always assume I will do terribly when I'm on the stage. To overcome this fear I rehearse a lot to program the set into my muscle memory. This helps very much as I know no matter how nervous I get I will still perform well. I've had panic attacks just seconds before I go on stage, but still made it through the show thanks to all the rehearsing. Now I’m aware I can handle the pressure, no matter how hard or strong the feeling of failure gets beforehand.

    What feeling is the most important for you to convey in your music?
    I don’t know if I can say there’s a specific feeling I wish to convey with my music. But most of it has come from a time and place when I’ve been at my very worst. I feel much better as a person now, older, wiser etc. A lot of my songs are about my journey as a human being and how I’ve wrestled and dealt with my inner demons. And even though I’m in a better place today, there’s still traces that remain.
    In short I guess it’s important for me to convey that you’re not always in a place in life where you want to be and the struggles of how to get to your next point. Also to show my own growth and development which I’ve not always reached in the prettiest of ways.

    How do you see yourself as an Artist? Are you very critical of yourself and your work?
    I have a very complicated relationship with myself as an Artist. Oftentimes I don’t see myself as an Artist even though I know I am one. I love to create and to be in the studio more than anything. But in the end I get very critical and hate almost every song I ever made. If I’m at a party for example and someone puts on a song of mine I leave immediately.
    I love what I do, but sometimes I make music without any desire or intentions of releasing it. I do it because I feel that I have to follow my goals in life, and sometimes just to feel that I am actually doing something.

    Do you think your sister’s fame has anything to do with your level of satisfaction when it comes to your own music?
    Maybe subconsciously. It’s not something I go around thinking about. We do such different things and I don’t want what she has. It’s not where I see myself. She’s a pop star and that works great for her. I can’t compare myself to that as It’s not what I wish for. With that being said, as my whole family are successful musicians I do somehow feel pressured to succeed. It’s not the most important thing for me per se, but of course it’s nice to thrive in what you love and what you do.

    Who is your target audience? Who do you want to reach?
    I'm happy if anyone gets me and my music. It's obviously nice to reach out to as many people as possible. But as I don’t like, or strive to be commercial, that won’t probably happen. I don’t want my music to become this “product” created by twenty different producers only made to sell. That is not how I see myself and my work. But obviously it’s nice to make money from something you are passionate about, like music. I’m content if I get to tour with my music. If I book a gig in Berlin, I’m satisfied.

    What do you do when things get too hectic? Do you have a special “Happy Place”?
    I love to be alone in my bed or to ride around on my skateboard and collect my thoughts. But my absolute favourite place to go to is my childhood home in Portugal where I grew up. It’s located right in the middle of the mountains. With nothing but emptiness around. That’s the place where I can really find peace and time to just breathe.

    What kind of music do you listen to?
    I like music that is not too easy to comprehend. I like music that demands a few listens before you understand it..
    I love noises and when it grinds my ears. When you really have to “listen” to get it, or find the feeling of the song.
    My favourite band is called “Television Personalities”. It’s a British Post-Punk band. It’s from them I take a lot of my inspiration.

    Do you have a favourite item of clothing right now?
    I have a huge love for my Dickie’s trousers. I wear them every day. They’re perfect for skating and they never seem to rip. I also love band-merch and wear it quite often. Dickie’s and merch is my go to you could say.
    I’m very fascinated with hats with fake animal ears on them. I finally found someone that can make one for me, and I’m really excited about that. I can’t wait to get it!

    If you could be anyone else for a day, dead or alive, who would it be?
    As I’m a big fan of history, one person I would love to be for a day is Marie-Antoinette. I would love to experience her life when she was at her height. With all the parties and all the different men she fooled around with. Get to discover her lavish and extreme way of life and the abundance of all of her luxurious things she possessed. It would be so cool to live in that extravagant palace she called a home.

    leather jacket and turtleneck Whyred
    leather trousers Hodakova
    shoes Tiger of Sweden
    socks Stylist’s Own
    jewellery Talent’s Own
    suit jacket & trousers Hodakova
    shirt BLK DNM
    shoes Tiger of Sweden
    socks Stylist’s Own
    belt Hodakova
    jewellery Talent’s Own
    hoodie and coat Hodakova
    ring Talent’s Own
    sweater Acne Studios
    shirt Whyred
    jeans Hodakova
    shoes Viking
    jewellery Talent’s Own