1. Blog
  • Two Persian fashion queens

    Farah Diba and Behnaz Aram

    We share with you this image of our dear friend Behnaz Aram, the gifted fashion designer who is now chief designer for H&M:s still secret "luxury brand", with former Iranian Emperess Farah Diba last week at the banquet for the Marianne & Sigvard Bernadotte Prize for young artists and creatives, where Behnaz was awarded.

    For Behnaz, whose family fled Iran shortly after she was born, after the Shah of Iran had been overthrown by the ayatollahs, it was a big moment to meet and get to know the Shahs former wife and Emperess, legendary in the fashion world and known as one of the Parisian houses’ foremost clients. We salute!

     
  • Pre-summer cocktail at Nobis Hotel

    On Wednesday 30 May it was toime for our grand ”Pre-summer cocktail” with our dear friends and clients at Nobis Hotel, to celebrate the opening of the hotel‘s new outdoor terrace. BrittonBritton co-hosted the event together with the hotel and our friends at Patriksson Communication.

    As the evening progressed, the mingling spread in to the Gold Bar and the lounge, where the guests were also treated to a live performance. For this occasion, we also produced a abstracty stylized ”summery” slide show which we projected on one the monumental lounge walls.

     
  • The new brittonbritton.com launched with drink in Regeringsgatan

    This our new website has cost us more work hours than you could ever care to imagine.  Its completion after three years of preperations and one year of production called for a celebration. On Thursday 24 May we invited some one hundred plus of our closest friends, clients and collaborators to a modest and highly informal drink in our offices here in Regeringsgatan. Indeed a small step for huminaity but a big night for BrittonBritton…

     
  • Massproductions in Milan

    The staff briefing outside (h)+

    BrittonBritton had the pleasure of attending the opening of Massproductions temporary showroom in Milan this week. Chris Martin and Magnus Elebäck of Massproductions ran into some of the multi talented people behind (h)+ during last years design week and now, twelve months later, the two studios launch their first full scale collaborative venture. The Odd Couples exhibition is also the first project to be both produced and hosted by (h)+ in their wonderful venue just at the top of the Brera Design District. Chris Martin and Sahara Widoff Kleerup came up with the name and concept for the exhibition and I did the signage, catalogue and graphics. The actual idea was pairing a selected product with its source of inspiration. The result is both beautiful and imaginative. In short, the opening was the success that we had hoped for and expected it to be. Many of the artworks, products and views are documented here. The catalogue was photographed by Julia Hetta.

    See the photos from the exhibition and much more in our portfolio

    Read more about Massproductions on massproductions-online.com

     
  • Mikael Jansson celebrates spring...

    Mikal Jansson Primavera

    Monday night will see the opening at Stockholm's classic Sturehof restaurant of the exhibition Primavera, named by Yours Truly, a series of powerful images, to phrase it moderately, by the one and only Mikael Jansson, my dear old friend and Big Brother in that big bad world of fashion – Sweden's greatest fashion photographer ever, in a league of his own, and indeed one of the world's greatest, with a list of clients that includes American, French and Japanese Vogue, Interview, Calvin Klein, Dior, Chloé, Donna Karan, Tod's, and so many more. 

    Since we discontinued the publishing of our own magazine Stockholm New back in 2002, Mikael hasn't produced a fashion story of this magnitude here in his homeland, but when Stefano Catenacci, the maitre d' at the legendary The Opera Celler grand eatery, asked him to contribute his own vision of spring for the restaurant's upcoming cookbook, which will feature His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf himself, Mikael accepted, flew in his team from Paris and New York, including Polish star model Anna Jagodzinska, and staged this horrorshow visual drama, inspired by Peter Greenaway's "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover", of course with the raw, blood-dripping lamb meat as the spring part of it all, the son of a buther as Mikael is...

    Phrasing it mildly once again, the images weren't quite what The Opera Celler or the publishing house Bonniers had expected. That they wouldn't want to touch them even with a ten foot pole, as the American says, was something that Mikael should have been able to figure out with the less noble parts of his body. It's so much just like him to execute his idea all the way out all the same, cost what it will, without worrying all too much about the consequences. I can see the expressions on the faces of ladies at the publishing house when they first laid eyes on these pictures. The Royal Court most likely never got to see them, which was probably just as well for several reasons...

    My even older friend Pelle Sturén, patron at Sturehof, has been asking Mikael to exhibit something at his restaurant for many years. As he usually does, Mikael has answered that he would very much like to, the day he has something suitable for the venue. When the Opera Celler and Bonniers very definitely turned the story down, the awaited phone call finally came, when Mikael said that now he did indeed have something "suitable". Pelle and Sturehof flex some gusto when they now go ahead with showing these images originally produced for their competitor. The exhibition has been deemed so controversial that the restaurant has fashioned a curtain seperating the dining room where the images are exhibited from the rest of the large brasserie.

    It will be intersesting to follow what kind of response this shall we say alternative spring vision will trigger among the restaurant's guests and others, considering that back in the days when Mikael and I regularly produced large-scale fashion stories together, we were just as regularly faced, in Swedish media and elsewhere, with the most atrocious accusations, for elitism, sexism, promotion of twisted beauty ideals, drug romanticism and god knows what, even nazism and pedophila – all this for images that were considerably more innocent than the ones that Mikael is now showing at Sturehof.

    If your Swedish is decent, you can visit the Sturehof website and read the essay I've written for the Primavera exhibition, where I also discuss the fascinating impact of fashion photography and its relationship to other media and art forms. A translated English version will follow.

    Then get down and go and see the show, goddamnit, and come back and tell me your opinion about it!

     
  • Can we Swedes pride ourselves of having the world's most bold, daring and sexually liberated state television management?

    F-U-C-K every day on prime time in Swedish State Television

    For weeks now, I've been brooding over this trailer for the "Web Joker" challenge to the upcoming, unbelievably popular Eurovision Song Contest competition that has been pumping on heavy rotation on prime time, before the seven-thirty and nine o'clock news in our Swedish state television.

    Two young girls, of the age of shall we say fifteen or so, are sitting on a sofa, lightly dressed, nietly pierced and quite "challenging", singing a song with these lyrics:

    "I like girls
    I like boys
    it's our life
    it's not a choice
    F-U-C-K
    every day
    it's a game we like to play
    F-F-U-U-C-C-K-K
    Gonna eat you alive
    Gonna go insane"

    Nowhere, in our media or elsewhere, have I seen or heard a single reaction to this rather blunt and straightforward message. I see two possible explanations to this:

    1.  We are not becoming like the good ol' US of A in every sense after all. The concept of Swedish Sin is still alive and kicking. Nobody in our state television, in the media or in the general television audience sees anything out of the ordinary in two underage girls singing in prime time that they like to play the game of f---king every day, with boys and girls, eating eachother alive and going insane - a message I doubt would be allowed to run for long on prime time on state-owned, tax-financed television in the United States, if there were such a thing.

    2.  Our understanding of the English language and capacity of understanding song lyrics, in the television management, in the media and in the general audience, is not quite as advanced as we like to think.

    My experience tells me that the second of these alternative explanations is likely to be correct. Say what do you think?

     
  • Can we Swedes pride ourselves of having the world's most bold, daring and sexually liberated state television management?

    F-U-C-K every day on prime time in Swedish State Television

    For weeks now, I've been brooding over this trailer for the "Web Joker" challenge to the upcoming, unbelievably popular Eurovision Song Contest competition that has been pumping on heavy rotation on prime time, before the seven-thirty and nine o'clock news in our Swedish state television.

    Two young girls, of the age of shall we say fifteen or so, are sitting on a sofa, lightly dressed, nietly pierced and quite "challenging", singing a song with these lyrics:

    "I like girls
    I like boys
    it's our life
    it's not a choice
    F-U-C-K
    every day
    it's a game we like to play
    F-F-U-U-C-C-K-K
    Gonna eat you alive
    Gonna go insane"

    Nowhere, in our media or elsewhere, have I seen or heard a single reaction to this rather blunt and straightforward message. I see two possible explanations to this:

    1.  We are not becoming like the good ol' US of A in every sense after all. The concept of Swedish Sin is still alive and kicking. Nobody in our state television, in the media or in the general television audience sees anything out of the ordinary in two underage girls singing in prime time that they like to play the game of f---king every day, with boys and girls, eating eachother alive and going insane - a message I doubt would be allowed to run for long on prime time on state-owned, tax-financed television in the United States, if there were such a thing.

    2.  Our understanding of the English language and capacity of understanding song lyrics, in the television management, in the media and in the general audience, is not quite as advanced as we like to think.

    My experience tells me that the second of these alternative explanations is likely to be correct. Say what do you think?

     
  • Two walks in the park

    Lilac blossom by the Nordic Museum

    I took myself out on on the eve of the Sunday before the previous, and then again on the ensuing Monday morning, for a pair of quite mighty two hour power promenades - with ski poles, but of course! - encircling our glorious Royal Djurgården park. Still, I rounded no more than the northern part of the unique National City Park, one of its kind in the world. There could have been no doubts that it was summer, this so eagerly awaited annual guest of honor, which had now arrived. Each and anyone who views my imperfect mobile images from these walks will instantly understand wy I, unlike so many of my friends and associates, never even considered moving away from my hometown. Central Park? Kensington Gardens? Bois de Boulogne? Thanks, but I think I'll pass...  

     
  • Beckmans goes luxury

    Lisa Ljungberg

    One of fashion's fascinatiing, often comical traits is how everybody keep suddenly marching off in the same direction, though the course is new. At last weeks graduation show for the fashion students at Beckmans College of Design, staged at the Berns pleasure palace, it was abundantly clear that exclusivity, femininity and discrete elegance are now the qualities of choice amongst our fashion designers of tomorrow; luxury in cuts, color scale and materials. The graduating students' collections were similar to the point of confusion, with repetative use of fine leather, suede and satin, in a soft, light nuances such as beige, cream, silver gray and dusty pink, the looks frequently bordering between upgraded business and party. A bit more Danish you might call it all. All of the above are features that I've long requested in Swedish fashion, and though I've heard and read others calling the show dull and boring, I myself think that this is an interesting development in our Swedish fashion scene, as we've already seen more that enough of trendy, streety youth cult and, in latter seasons, homegrown couture. This time, Frida Ringström really stood out as the class freak with her amusing The Foam Rubber Collection, while her classmates presented looks that you would actually like to see a woman wearing. Not that new or innovative, perhaps on the contrary, but nice, tasteful and flattering, which is quite good enough for me.

     
  • Thirty quick hours at the throat of Milan

    Carsten Höller and Joel Berg

    Of course I won't withold from you a handful of inferior quality cell phone snaps of questionable sobrierity from our quick stop in Milan last week, this town which I've visited more frequently than any other over the past eighteen years, right under the mean wheels of a full-blown Furniture Fair. It was of course our dear friend Joel Berg, the great art director and my old Engelbrekt homeboy, featured before in this column, who had made us conduct this brief trip, to endow the launch party for his agency Studio Berg, which he has recently moved from Treviso to Milan, opening in new and spatious premises. Joel wouldn't be Joel and his newlywed wife Kajsa not Kajsa if they hadn's seized the opportunity to make something bigger of it all, by showing "objects" by three other mutual friends of ours, no lesser souls than Marc Newson and James Irvine, the designer stars, and Carsten Höller, the great artist.

    It all ended up in, once again, some three tens of highly intense hours in the weak heart of the Lombardian design and fashion metropolis. In addition to Joel's cocktail, we squeezed in a pair of gargantuan three course lunches, complete with grappa and limonchello, a visit to the well-meaning Swedish design event "Swedish Love Stories" (of which I say nothing, so that I've said nothing, as a disgusting old Lutheran saying phrases it), Bar Basso and more or less interesting and rewarding conversions with numerous dozens more or less colorful characters from our Swedish design elite, all these events interspersed with generous numbers of foaming glasses of spumante. Still, I abandoned the design elite to its destiny at a quite early hour on this evening, withdrawing instead with my old homeboy Anders Lindholm, the half Italian who is firmly established in Milan since over a quarter century back, to a Libanese tavern down the steet where we sat for several nightly hours in the company of a fivesome of exasperated Arabs, joining forces in relentless efforts to reform the mind of a solitary fascist, this Italian disease, Anders orating indefatigably in Italian, myself prompting in Swedish in the role of something of a pulled-back ideological safety — the climax of our journey. Don't you believe we ultimately succeeded in our task too! Our dear fascist left the tavern at four in the morning, calm and mild, shaking hand with each and every one of us, with the farewell comment that he was, in reality, a communist! I fkn love it! The prize for Achievement of the Day also went to Yours Truly, for having asked a pair of certified street muggers from an Eastern neighboring land to help give us directons on our map where we came strutting in full gold ringed cocktail rig, our friend Tomas Asplund nursing a volumnious Prada suit shopping bag, to complete the image, in a dark and obscure one-way alley down a ruin railroad track, a notoriously dangerous passway, as we later learned. Their homemade jailhouse tattoos gleamed impressively on their palmtops as the fingered my map in confusion, before regaining their composure, asking for the mandatory "cigarro". We were greatful that the old saying that muggers hesitate to mug a mugger once again proved true...

    I add a couple of equally poor quality images from our dear old friend Thomas Sandell's opening at Galleri Brännström here in Stockholm a few days before our Milan expedition, where he showed unique glass objects which he has produced over the past two years with Italian glass manufacturer Murano.

     

    Hey Brother I still don’t understand, man. I’m still high off this shit, man. I’m calling my black woman i bitch. I’m calling my people all kinds of shit that they’re not. I’m lost Brother, can you help me?

    Wu Tang Clan