There are more pages and shine in this edition: indeed, Vogue Scandinavia gets glossier in the winter 21/22 edition. It’s the third edition and even the packaging is different. Picking up our copy from Vogue HQ in London’s Hanover Square, it came in not one but two large boxes. It’s mystifying why the glossy is presented in such a way, but then it does cost an eye watering £17 nearly, or 20 Euros | $22.50.
For years we wondered when there might be a Vogue for the Nordic countries. Denmark, Norway and Sweden plus Finland and Iceland are a cultural power house. Two of the world’s best restaurants (official) are in Denmark. The country is also known for its film TV, jewellery (Pandora and Georg Jensen), fashion, interiors and design as well as environmental and architectural excellence. And for being, along with the other Scandi countries, home to the happiest people in the world.
A Vogue for and about the Nordic countries would be a feast for the eyes and and the mind. The UK Vogue’s new editor Edward Enninful revolutionised the glorious glossy and made it relevant to a wider audience. In the Nordic countries there is so much scope for design – enough material to fill a library full of magazines.
The Cultural Power House –scope for Vogue Scandinavia
The first two editions of Vogue Scandinavia launched with Greta Thunberg and Helena Christensen as cover girls – the third edition has Swedish model Malaika Holmen dressed in outsized men’s clothes. However, some designers might refuse to call it men’s clothes. Gender fluidity is a big issue in this edition. The magazine has a Gender Fluidity Expert amongst other staff such as a Handbag Expert and a Fashion Editor Norway.
One fashion shoot features a couple exploring the “tangled nuances of a passionate love story, in which adoration can easily give way to disdain”. A bearded man in white dress and woman in black trouser suit with oversized jacket. The concept is hardly new but it’s still edgy and fun, but my word…
We’re a broadminded bunch in Scandiland. Indeed, the Danish Girl, played by Eddie Redmayne in the film of the same name, was a boy paying for surgery to become a girl. He/she was of course Scandinavian.
But in this edition of Vogue Scandinavia there is boundary pushing, preaching and of-the-moment shock and awe on almost every page. Every so often we just want to reach for Vogue UK or France or Portugal to soak up the dreams of sandy beaches and Louis Vuitton bags.
That said, there is charm in this third edition. The mad hatter cookiness of the Dystopian Vacation fashion story featuring an awkward-looking avatar muse on a trip to somewhere is off the wall. But it is off-set by the story of a Finnish husband-and-wife team and their knitwear brand Myssyfarmi. Indeed, there are big sweaters and woolies. Remember when the sweater was trending as a fashion piece after the Scandi TV thriller The Killing?
There is Charm – the Swedish Beach Huts and Danish Kransekager
We love the Shore Thing – a feature on the Swedish Riviera and its beautiful beach huts. They “fetch outrageous sums for a few square metres” – just like on the south coast of England. But the Swedish coastline looks wonderfully wild, full of grass and sand and windy. Last but not least the Towering Sensation. This is the story of the ‘kransekage’ – the horn put together of marzipan rings, each weighing 5 grammes less than the one below… Kransekage is a 200-year-old party cake tradition particularly in Denmark. It signals a special occasion..a round birthday, christening..usually a family celebration. Thanks for the reminder Vogue Scandinavia.
But although we say Vogue Scandinavia gets glossier – not enough. The magazine seems slightly embarrassed at being a Vogue and not some higher bible of concepts. Where are the product pages, the shopping spreads about what’s hot and not in the Nordic countries, those glitzy sections showing the latest Pandora pendants or by Malene Birger trousers and where to eat in Copenhagen (if Nobu is fully booked, which is will be for months) and where people hang out in Stockholm and ski in Norway?
This edition feels more like a real Vogue in its chic white box and we’re hopeful we’ll soon see what’s really happening in the world of Scandinavian fashion, design and culture.