'Mend and make do' was the motto for Elisabeth Stray Pedersen as the designer presented her woollen wonders at Oslo Runway 2023
Atop a garden rooftop on the outskirts of Oslo, nifty mending kits placed on picnic tables greeted guests arriving for Elisabeth Stray Pedersen's Oslo Runway presentation. Famous for her woollen blanket coats, the namesake designer has been exploring the idea of longevity – looking at how her coats will look 15 years from now. "A key inspiration for this collection is the concept of evolving," Pedersen told Vogue Scandinavia ahead of the event.
Aptly dubbed Evolve, the autumn/winter '23 collection (ESP always works in-season) sees the brand explore and evolve existing styles, upcycling both in its textiles and its concept: creating a "future scenario" for the collection with the coats stitched and mended to showing how the garments "can evolve over time." The surrounding flourishing communal allotment added to the presentation's commentary on "how we predict the future will or should look like with urban farming, local production and resources," according to Pedersen.
"I think the push to constantly create new styles feel extra con intuitive at the moment with a world is shouting for more sustainable behaviour," says Pedersen. "As a very small designer brand, it’s difficult to do that really well and sustainably. We would rather be very good at some things. That is why the collection is a reminder to not stop creating but evolving what you already have and do well."
Alongside the brand’s signature crochet and ribbon closures, the mending theme saw ESP exploring techniques such as darning and sashiko. “Darning is a technique where you weave on top of the garment, should you have a hole or an irremovable stain,” explains Pedersen. “The sashiko stitch is a japanese way of visible mending to strengthen the garments. We sell a lot to Japan, so we get influenced by their way of looking at clothes.”
Among the usual colour culprits, spanning beige and grey, we find bright highlights in the autumn/winter collection to “bring some light and optimism into the season.” A stand-out among them is the colour blocked orange and yellow blanket jacket and mini skirt. A sunshine set bound to bring some joy into any autumn wardrobe.
Discover ESP’s full AW23 collection below:
Photos by Magnus Nordstrand