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I don’t review or run exhaustive photographs of fashion shows here on LLG – there are plenty of people doing it well – go read Alexander Fury over on SHOWStudio during the main shows to see how it should be done – and there’s no need to add my voice to the clamour.  But I do write  about – and photograph – the environment around the shows for the blog when I’m there for other reasons, because I think a large part of LLG is the window into different worlds. And part of my world is having been a fashion editor for many years.

As you may know, I was in Sweden last week for Stockholm Fashion Week SS12. This takes place a month or so before the Big Four and showcases mainly Swedish houses – with the odd interloper like Denmark’s (excellent) Rutzou. Swedish fashion is known for its (awful word but it is valid here) wearability. In the main, the clothes shown here are not the kind of pieces you would ever expect (or want) to see on a runway in London or Paris. These well put together collections would stride (often with flat shoes) straight off the catwalk and into a boutique or your closet with no changes whatsoever. And that explains why buyers outnumber fashion press here.

Names like Filippa K, Dagmar, Carin Wester, Whyred & Odd Molly, along with accessories like Swedish Hasbeens, have all gained traction overseas for their well made, intelligently designed and grown up pieces, and deservedly so. There are also labels like V Avenue Shoe Repair, who push the boundaries a little further.

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Founded in 2004 by Astrid Olsson and Lee Cotter, it recently changed its name from Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, to V Avenue Shoe Repair, and  in January 2009 the label received the “Designer of the Year” at the Swedish Elle Style Awards.

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I loved their 21st Century take on the ruff. For me this show was a great intersection between commercial everyday clothes and something that inspires me.

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