More pages and shine in the third 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 as it is printed in a limited number, it came in not one but two larege 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’ve been wondering when and if there would be a Vogue for and about the Nordic countries which are a cultural power house: two of the world’s best restaurants (official) are in Denmark which is also known for its film TV, jewellery (Pandora and Georg Jensen), fashion, interiors and design as well as environmental and architectual 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 – and with UK Vogue’s editor Edward Enninful having revolutionised the glorious glossy and made it relevant to a wider audience, there is so much scope and enough material to fill a library full of magazines.
The Cultural Power House – So much scope for Vogue Scandinavia
First two editions launched with world famous Scanis Greta Thunberg and Helena Christensen on the covers – the third edition has relative unknown (to the outside world) Swedish model Malaika Holmen dressed in outsized men’s clothes. Or some designers would refuse to call it men’s clothes. Gender fluidity is a big issue in this edition – check the masthead and there’s a Gender Fluidity Expert squeezed in between a Handbag Expert and a Fashion Editor Norway.
A fashion shoot front of book features a couple exploring the “tangled nuances of a passionate love story, in which adoration can easily give way to disdain” – bearded man in white dress and woman in black trouser suit with oversized jacket. That’s hardly a new concept but it’s still edgy and fun, but my word… We’re a broadminded bunch in Scandiland – indeed, the Danish Girl, a man played by Eddie Redmayne in the film of the same name, was a boy paying for surgery to become a girl, was of course Scandinavian.
But there is boundary pushing, preaching and of-the-moment shock and awe on almost every page, and every so often we just want to reach for Vogue UK or France or Portugal. That said, there is charm in this third edition, and the mad hatter cookiness of the Dystopian Vacation fashion story featuring an awkward-looking avatar muse on a trip to somewhere is off-set by the story of a Finnish husband-and-wife and their knitwear brand Myssyfarmi with their army of knitters. Indeed, there is more to fashion than Fendi and Gucci in the shape of big sweaters and woolies made by smaller firms. Remember the sweater trending as a fashion piece after the Scandi TV thriller The Killing?
There is Charm – the Swedish Beach Huts and Danish Kransekager
While Vogue Scandinavia gets glossier there is also plenty of charm: We love the Shore Thing – a features on the Swedish Riviera and its beautiful beach huts which “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 wonderfully windy. And last but certainly not least the Towering Sensation: 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 embarassed 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.