Showing at Copenhagen Fashion Week for the very first time, Finnish Rolf Ekroth’s new collection urges us to look up and see the world through rose-tinted glasses
“I would advise having zero expectations, so we all can leave as winners,” says namesake founder and designer Rolf Ekroth ahead of his first-ever physical show at Copenhagen Fashion Week. The Finnish designer – known for utilitarianism with a sense of nostalgia – says that the spring/summer '24 collection is “the clearest sequel to a past season we’ve done so far.”
Building on the success of last season’s quilted survival suits, the main inspiration behind SS24 is simply the word ‘missing’ and the “different ways to interpret it,” says Ekroth. The theme explores nostalgia across generations. Specifically, how three generations in Ekroth's family “missed their youth.”
The many points of nostalgia span the designer's youth during the 1990s, his parents' in the 1960s, and his grandparents' in the 1930s. References should be “quite obvious throughout the collection,” according to Ekroth. The rose is a uniting motif linking the seemingly disparate periods; the three hand-painted floral prints – offset by breezy pastels borrowed from Ekroth’s memories and dark woollen tartans – play on the idea of looking at the past through rose-coloured glasses.
Even when viewed through rose-tinted glasses, the collection stays true to Ekroth’s fundamentally utilitarian style. The designer’s signature oversized outerwear, reminiscent of a roomy hunting jacket passed down through generations, enveloped the models on the runway – bolstered by practical details: a warm flannel lining, spacious pockets, and durable cotton. Meticulously crafted ankle-grazing aprons and draped workwear dresses pay homage to women toiling in Nordic fields during the 1930s. Finally, a dress woven from bronze chains — a key piece created in collaboration with iconic Finnish jewellery brand Kalevala — reveals a lace-like rose pattern donned atop a dark slip.
Discover all the looks from Rolf Ekroth's SS24 collection below: