Reykjavik Fashion Festival, Day 1: Dance Parties, ‘Shrooms and Hipster Butchers

Reykjavik Fashion Festival

Photo: Fridrik Orn

Toadstools and disco-chic models at Hildur Yeoman's show at the Reykkavik Fashion Festival.

There is little to no jockeying for front-row seats at the Reykjavik Fashion Festival. That's not because the city's denizens aren't excited about the third season of the annual event, but because there's a certain attitude-free quality to the fashion week here, which certain other cities might do well to adopt. For my first show, Mundi, I was seated next to a creatively dressed gentleman who, when I politely asked if he worked in fashion, replied, "No, I'm just a crazy guy." He fell silent, only to utter, under his breath, when a model holding a spear walked the runway, "Awesome..."

We’d have to agree with our newfound friend’s assessment. While the video that preceded Mundi (a convoluted Clockwork Orange-like tale involving horses and glaciers) was too experimental even for this former art student to digest, the 24-year-old designer’s Viking-inspired show contained some great pieces—like a denim trench—that one could conceivably wear even outside the confines of an avant-garde fashion presentation. Oh, and did I mention this show took place in an underground parking garage?

Here are some more highlights of Day 1:

-Hildur Yeoman's Xanadu-style dance party on roller skates, which featured a performance by Gus Gus, a toadstool-bedecked runway, and some intricately beaded and embroidered designs (if you didn't miss them among all the pageantry). Post-show, the designer began telling me about her inspiration, only to be interrupted by a squealing and, it’s worth noting, extremely youthful-looking woman. (“Sorry, it’s my grandma!”) We want whatever she’s having. Yeoman, whose label is in its third year, went on to explain that she was inspired by “80s films about disco, like Xanadu. I was really looking [to incorporate] the roller skates, somehow. Other childhood favorite films like The Neverending Story and Fame, where everyone’s just kind of happy and dancing together.”

-KRON by KRONKRON was heavy on the prints and Bauhaus motifs, not to mention colorful tights and great shoes.

-Kalda and Y/R (pronounced "eer") were the most wearable lines of the evening, with standout looks including Kalda's tie-dyed pieces.

-For those who are sick of looking at willowy male models, Kormakur Og Skoldjur brought the meat in more ways than one. Their show featured a mock-butcher shop setting and scowling, burly Sweeney Todd types in old-fashioned suits and vests. Even better, we got a glamour calendar featuring all of the models post-show: Mr. April was a particular standout.