Scandinavian style has been quietly taking over the fashion world for the last couple of years. Even Stockholm Fashion Week has now become must-attend event for any style blogger worth their Swedish Hasbeens.
Swedish style is characterised by a laid back dishevelled elegance with a hefty dose of quirk and the odd dash of whimsy. Acne’s graphic cuts and considered detailing sum up the national look – effortless, artsy and urban.
Up until recently, the best place to source the look in the UK (and on a scaled back budget) has been Cos - though their unrelenting minimalism can be a bit of a bore. And whilst the prices aren’t stratospheric, they are still steep enough to make it a “special occasions or sale time only” shopping spot.
That was until Monki arrived in the UK back in February. Their new flagship store on Carnaby Street has prompted the press to talk of “Swinging Sweden” and a “Scandinavian take-over” of the UK high street.
Like Cos, Monki is owned by the H & M Group and is working towards higher ethical and environmental standards throughout the business. The brand is built on an offbeat premise, beginning with the story of some weird little furry characters (the Monkis) that inhabit the wacky world of Monki stores. (Seriously. You can even buy cuddly versions of them.) They also publish a twice-yearly themed magazine that brings together indie musicians, style bloggers and general creative types.
While that's all very applaudable, let’s talk about the clothes!
They are cute and cool – the sort of things that will have people stopping you on the street to ask where you bought them. The items aren’t overly fussy or frilly, with much of the range based on simple shapes and bright colours. Everything is gobsmackingly reasonably priced – with simple vest tops starting at around £5.00 going up to leather jackets for £105.00.
The dresses are amongst the collection highlights; skipping joyfully along the fine line between playful and seriously stylish. The styling of the clothes is pretty fierce too, with plenty of oddball accessories and a certain mussed up “I just threw it on” nonchalance.
If you aren’t near London you can order online. The summer sale is on now and it is seriously good.
Jen Evans is a journalist specialising in culture. She loves getting dressed. You can read more of her writing on her blog, Bookish Brunette.
Image via www.monki.com