Lifestyle

"If our cover story looks like a fairytale, that’s no coincidence": Letter from the editor

By Martina Bonnier

Dress by Ida Lanto. Photo: Carl Thorborg

"This issue not only pays homage to the stories of Scandinavian legends, it also explores the fantastical tales that shape Scandinavian life"

Danish actress Connie Nielsen, best known internationally for her appearances in the Wonder Woman franchise, recently returned to her home country to portray an extraordinary woman in Scandinavian history: author Karen Blixen. In our profile of Nielsen in this issue, she said something that has stayed with me: “When it comes to female artists and writers, we don’t tell stories of their work, we instead focus on their bodies and love lives. I think that’s a betrayal.”

Perhaps this is why the stories of so many influential women, Blixen included, are being rectified and reframed, giving these icons their deserved place in history. Another such woman is painter Hilma af Klint, who is portrayed by Swedish mother-daughter duo Lena Olin and Tora Hallström –also featured in this issue – in a forthcoming film. Hilma may not have been appropriately celebrated in her lifetime, but she posthumously got her revenge; when the Guggenheim staged a retrospective of the artist’s work, it became the most visited exhibition in the New York museum’s 60-year history.

Our cover star, model Ceval Omar, is a modern Scandinavian trailblazer; one who is telling her own story on her own terms. While most people who are invited to appear on a Vogue cover want to shine alone, the trans Norwegian model had a different vision. To get this moment right, Ceval wanted all of her closest confidants – her sisters – to appear alongside her.

No matter where you travel in the Nordics, far and wide and back in time, there’s always a little bit of magicMartina Bonnier

When I met Ceval in Copenhagen during fashion week, she thanked me for giving the LGBTQIA+ community this platform. However, for myself and Vogue Scandinavia, it’s a given to feature one of the most thrilling models from Scandinavia on our cover. The stunning image, shot by Dan Beleiu just outside of Paris, features Ceval and eight rising models all in custom Mugler. If our cover story looks like a fairytale, that’s no coincidence: this issue not only pays homage to the stories of Scandinavian legends, it also explores the fantastical tales that shape Scandinavian life.

Most children worldwide – of any generation – have been influenced by the tales of Hans Christian Andersen. These are the stories that first sparked our imaginations and taught us lessons to last a lifetime. It is no exaggeration to say that H.C. Andersen is one of the most famous Danes in history. To commemorate his legacy, we travelled to his hometown of Odense to the gardens of the newly built H.C. Andersen House to shoot a fairy tale fashion story that reimagines his most indelible stories.

To coincide with this story, we invited a rising Danish children’s author, award-winning writer Glenn Ringtved to write his own fairy tale that builds upon H.C. Andersen’s legacy. The result is Titania’s Palace, an original story inspired by a trip Ringtved and his girlfriend took to Egeskov castle just this summer. There’s another ‘happily ever after’ in this issue. Norwegian model-turned-actress Sylvia Flote is captured alongside her husband at their British countryside estate in a story that reimagines their wedding. The endlessly charming story is shot by the couple’s friend Ellen von Unwerth.

There’s something enchanting about our region that lends itself to fairy tales. That magic is apparent in our Icelandic fashion story – the otherworldly landscapes and the ethereal model – and the story of the Norwegian hytte, primitive cabins that have become mythical escapes. Celine Aagaard (who’s really making waves in Norwegian fashion with her brand Envelope1976) lets us into her seaside getaway. No matter where you travel in the Nordics, far and wide and back in time, there’s always a little bit of magic.

Vogue Scandinavia

Oct - Nov Issue 8