Let's talk about fall and winter in Iceland. More specifically, let's talk about the fashion, design, and landscape that inspired me to make and bring these:
But first, some history. Before going on this trip, I did a lot of research on the fashion and the lay of the land in Iceland. They call it the Land of Ice and Fire, not to be confused with the HBO series Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire (a significant portion of which was filmed in Iceland --they even have tours!), a name that both I and many others feel is quite apt for this (relatively) tiny country. Despite boasting a socioeconomically modern capital city, much of the country still remains undeveloped and wild. Once you leave the capital of Reykjavik, it's anyone's guess what happens. Spread out between miles and miles of untouched land, are other towns, or villages by our standards. The weather is wild, the animals are wild, the scenery is wild, and they draw almost 100% of their energy from geothermal plants.
There are countless other great pictures to show you of the varied and often extreme landscapes, but, I won't bore you with that for now.
Moving on: the weather in Iceland can change unexpectedly and dramatically: sunny and rainbows one minute, violent storms the next, only to pass by within 10 minutes.
Understandably, there needs to be a lot of utility in Icelandic fashion with a need to stay both warm and dry while looking good. In the capital of Reykjavik (as well as in gift shops around the island) you can find many shops peddling high quality wool (from the sheep), down (from the Eider duck) and leather (both sheep and cow) products, made possible by the sacrifices of the brave animals, that do an amazing job at keeping you toasty. There is no place for extraneous extravagance in Iceland as the weather simply does not allow for it (at least not during the fall and winter); it is strikingly evident in their architecture and fashion alike. Minimalistic, high quality, and gorgeous.
People tend to dress in layers, finished off with leather or oversized woolen jackets/coats, and there are many designers that draw influence from the elements:
- Inklaw Clothing
- Even the Rekjavik Fashion Festival (a must-see destination for fashion bloggers)
The designs, as you can see (whether on purpose on ingrained in their psyche), draw from many aspects of the surrounding elements: such as the color (generally earthen --tans, beige, moss-green, black, white, grey) the texture (rocks, jagged mountains, ravines, waterfalls), the animals (furs, leathers), and even natural phenomenon (volcanoes, aurora). The beauty and majesty of Iceland is truly inspiring to many people across many different medium.
So knowing this, I designed the Faux Leather earmuffs to take on the trip in hopes of fitting in, or at least, making a worthy tribute. But... even with all the research I did, and the evidence I've seen while in Iceland, I wasn't quite sure if I truly succeeded... until. Until I happened across these gorgeous gloves in one of the many gift shops in Iceland (this one in particular next to Gullfoss):
My boyfriend saw them and pointed it out to me, and even bought them for me without asking. At first I was a little annoyed, because in general, gloves don't fit me very well. I am an in-between size, which makes it so they are always either too much of something: long loose, short, tight... (take note, glove designers: not everyone fits neatly into S, M and L) but he insisted I put them on. They fit, well, like a glove! In the midst of my amazement, it clicked then that this was the final piece I needed to be at peace with my earmuffs belonging in Iceland. It had all of the elements: soft leather (faux in my case), fur trimmings (inspired by sheep wool), and a sleek minimalistic design. A match made in heaven.
Mission complete, and I couldn't be happier.