Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Iceland's past and present

Fashion show at Gimli festival promises a glimpse of island nation's traditional and contemporary clothing

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Traditional garments will be modelled with contemporary designs at the Icelandic Festival fashion show in Gimli.

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Traditional garments will be modelled with contemporary designs at the Icelandic Festival fashion show in Gimli.

It's always interesting when I come across something fashion-related in the most unexpected way. This was the case a couple weeks ago when I ran into a friend of mine who happens to be on the board at the Icelandic Festival in Gimli.

During our catching-up, he slips in that it just so happens that one of the special events planned for the 125th anniversary of the festival is an Icelandic-wear fashion show, featuring traditional and contemporary garments. How fun is that?

"We're really looking forward to this event," says fashion show organizer Janice Arnason.

"The fashion show ran in the late 1980s for about three years but then was put on hold. This was a perfect time to bring this back in style as it is our 125th anniversary and a fashion show of traditional Icelandic attire would be a perfect fit to showcase that side of our Icelandic culture and heritage."

It's not often you get to look at traditional garments in person -- normally they are stowed away and preserved in glass cases only to be looked at from afar. But I am told all of the traditional wear at the show will be modelled, allowing fashion lovers an up-close look at these cultural gems.

"This attire is precious," says Arnason. "Much of the traditional attire is owned by the models that they have either had made in Iceland for them, or, they have inherited."

Picture medieval gowns with intricate bodices, or the upphlutur, as it is referred to in Icelandic, which typically feature intricate gold, silver or bronze filigree -- beautifully crafted metallic flowers, waistbands and chains. Or the ornately embroidered skautbúningur, which is reserved for very special occasions such as a wedding.

For the contemporary, Arnason says you can expect to see a lot of knitwear featuring classic Icelandic patterns and designs.

The Icelandic Attire fashion show takes place on Saturday, Aug. 2 at 1 p.m. at the Lakeview Hotel in Gimli. Tickets are $5 and available at the door. For more information on the show visit www.icelandicfestival.com.

 

Got a suggestion for a future column or a fashion trend worth following? Email Connie Tamoto at connietamotofashion@hotmail.com.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 26, 2014 D13

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