A few months ago, while on my way to my sisters wedding in South Africa, I stopped off in Norway. I found the city of Oslo to be small, clean, and full of diverse architecture and fashion. I spent a day roaming around Oslo with photographer Nicholas Counts, and we explored both Grunerløkka (think Art District) and Sentrum (Waterfront District) of Oslo, Norway. I love the feeling of this unique city, how I could walk into a neighborhood and find the most romantic architecture that holds so much history, and then turn a random corner to find the polar opposite modern architecture that Scandinavia has grown so famous for.
One of my favorite areas in the city that Nicholas Counts and I explored while taking photos, was a section called Grunerløkka. This unique district of Oslo, Grunerløkka, is a an area that is rich in art, including an abundance of street art, art studios, and art galleries. There was so much to take in that I could have spent hours walking around the area (even though it is actually not very big in reality). We ended up taking photos in front of some beautiful street art, as well as this amazing glass chandelier that hangs in the center of Grunerløkka.
After leaving Grunerløkka, we came across Kulturkirken Jakob (in English St. James Church of Culture), this beautiful brick Church was breathtaking. However to my surprise the history of the Church was even more astonishing then I could have first imagined. Kulturkirken Jakob (formerly known as Jakobs Kirke) was designed by Georg Andreas Bull in 1880 and served as a parish church until 1985 and was then closed due to the need of building restoration (in 1986 the Church was almost demolished). However in 2000 the Church was reopened by the Church of Norway and today serves as the one true cultural Church of Norway that is completely dedicated to culture and the arts. Kulturkirken Jakob now serves as a platform for theatre, as concert hall, a dance scene, and art gallery (think rotating art exhibits in the basement of Kulturkirken Jakob). This landmark is something that makes Oslo truly unique. Unfortunately Nicholas Counts and I did not come at a time when we could enter the Church, so we choose to take a few images outside the amazing huge wooden doors and beautiful brick walls.
I must mention my amazing black tote bag that I brought with me for this look, as it has been my favorite bag since last September (New York Fashion Week). Meet Alexandra K. Vegan ! My love for Alexandra K. Vegan Bags, begun during NYFW, as it became my most needed accessory (it can fit everything from a laptop, to gym clothes and shoes for after work). When packing for Oslo, I didn't even think twice about bring my Alexandra K. Vegan Bag. I think i used this tote about 75% of the time while in Oslo. They just launched a brand new collection you can check out HERE (North America) or Here (Europe). Alexandra K. is a brand to watch, I can not wait to see what comes next for them.
The other area that Nicholas Counts and I explored was Sentrum (meaning city-centre), which holds the waterfront Bjørvika of Oslo. Located on the southeast side of the city near the inner Oslofjord. Bjørvika, is home to the Oslo Opera house. Noble Peace Prize Museum, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, and the huge urban development project Barcode (which hosts a mixed media use modern building development ). While touring Oslo we got so lucky with the weather and ended up sitting along the waterfront, people watching and talking about the fashion in Oslo and Norway. As I sat along the waterfront, I wore one of absolute favorite 'green' winter scarfs that I had brought with me from San Francisco. A traditional Bolivian patterned, Alpaca Blanket Scarf from Solosix that is ethically Made in Bolivia. I only recently discovered Solosix and it has quickly become one of my favorite sweater brands, with a mission to "Strive for integrity, in every detail of the process, from design to production."
After my stay in Norway, I came to the conclusion that it is a country where the fashion and street style are deeply influenced by Scandinavian weather and terrain. I saw everything from timberland boots (yes they are growing popularity in Europe again, I actually saw a pink pair that I might have considered wearing), to slicked back pony tails, fur lined down coats (Check out Dale of Norway, for a high quality coat you will have and love for life), and modern simplistic elegant separates.While in Norway I found myself intrigued by many of the Norwegian brands, including byTimo and With & Wessel. This may have been my first personal introduction to Nordic Style, however get excited as Florum will be exploring Scandinavian Fashion Designers in the upcoming months and showcasing many of the beautiful designs and collections.