Saturday morning I grabbed my most-fashionable friend and headed for downtown Reykjavik. While sipping a latté in Mál og Menning, I flipped through the DesignMarch and Reykjavik Fashion Festival catalogs, tracing my finger over the outline of the map with the hundreds of design exhibitions, pop-up sites, and showcases. I read aloud the line up of fashion shows at Harpa and told my friend about events from the previous night, where I was lucky to chat with Juliet Kinchin, a curator at MoMA, and Roxanne Lowit, a famous fashion photographer, among other creatives.
Well-caffeinated and full of stories, we headed down Laugavegur, stopping to admire the fish bone project at Spark Design Space then the fanciful window display and bright wool scarfs in Cintamani. At 66 North, I applauded Hafsteinn Júlíusson’s innovative Unzip project, a collaboration with Mundi and other designers from around the world.
Feet sore from ducking in and out of small shopfronts, we explored the ground-floor design exhibits at the expansive Harpa. We sat on the minimalist chairs, fingered the brightly colored tapestries, and tried the all the handles on the Nordic-styled dressers and cupboards. And then it was time for the show.
Our bulky coats checked, we reapplied our lipstick, held our heads up high, and pretended we were as stylish as the super-skinny, six-feet-high Icelandic models. We only could make it into one fashion show, but Rey rocked it. And while inside, we had a chance to kiss Elinrós and wish her luck, wishing we could stay to watch Ella on the catwalk. Soon, we were back on the cold, sunny streets in search of a late sushi lunch before we headed home.
We’d spent the day squinting at flashes from the paparazzi, but the real blare came the next night, when the weekend of high fashion and glittering design ended with an unforgettable display of northern lights.
More photos from DesignMarch & RFF: