Reykjavik Fashion Festival, Day 2: Skulls, Skins and “French Johnny Depp”

Reykjavik Fashion Festival

Photos: Eygló Gísladóttir

Practicing the dark arts at Ziska; lining up at Milla Snorrason.

I have never seen the wolf cry to the blue corn moon, but I can now say I have seen a long-haired, tattooed Visigoth clutching a ram skull, writhing to a dirgelike tune as models strut nonchalantly around him. The occasion? Ziska’s show at the Reykjavik Fashion Festival, which, as you might imagine, fulfilled all my witch/pentagram fantasies. Designer Harpa Einarsdóttir sent models out with tiny, intricate face tattoos (the girls liked them so much, they left them on for the after party) and Siouxsie Sioux-perfect pieces.

It’s hairpin turns like this that make Reykjavik Fashion Week so much fun. Ziska was preceded by Mina Snorrason, who showed a cute, country-inspired lineup, with Scandi-chic takes on staples like overalls and a farm-animal soundtrack. Ella’s polished, Tippi Hedren-heroine looks featured wonderfully oversized bags that nearly dwarfed the statuesque models. Meanwhile, Birna, who is RFF Managing Director Thorey Einarsdóttir’s sister (there aren’t many degrees of separation here), showed a collection that she later described to us as “Grace Jones chic.” Think gold lamé hoods and loud disco prints. In a fuzzy orange sweater, visible black bra and gold jeans, the designer looked like a mid-90s pop star, but in an extremely cool, Original Flavor Robyn way. (People here seem to be able to pull this distinction off effortlessly.) The last act of the night—preceded by another musical interlude from a trio who call themselves Gluteus Maximus—was Rey, Rebekka Jónsdóttir’s line of simple Icelandic leather pieces, with the standouts being the fitted sheath dresses.

Another standout: the talent on the runway. We spoke with the managing director of Elite Models Iceland, and she told us that a 15-year-old Icelandic model known only as Magdalena won the company’s worldwide contest. Her countrywoman Kolfinna Kristofersdottir has also been astronomically successful, walking in Prada and Versace this season. There were plenty of almost absurdly striking girls on the runway, so who knows—maybe we’ll be seeing some of them in Paris this season.

I also spoke to one of the front row’s most entertaining fixtures, who I came to think of as “Icelandic Johnny Depp” before talking to him and learning that he’s actually Louis Bompard, digital director of L’Officiel in Paris. FJD traded on his already strong resemblance to the CFDA Style Icon honoree by wearing a fedora, showing off multiple tattoos, surrounding himself with a posse of women, and doing the patented Depp lip-rub at every opportunity. To be fair, he’s actually quite down-to-earth, and was patient enough to chat with us about his style in a conversation that constantly veered from French to English. We’re calling it: this dude is the next Olivier Zahm.

Post-shows, everyone repaired to a theater downtown for a raucous after-party, the stress of the week vaporizing off into pure fun. Around 1, Mundi started beckoning people to a club called Faktory for a party of his own. We begged off, grabbed some Icelandic pizza and headed out into the night.