Hurrah for Ranra (aka Arnar Már Jónsson)! The London-based label’s Arnar Már Jónsson and Luke Stevens won this season’s Zalando Sustainability Award at Copenhagen Fashion Week. As finalists, they staged a serene yet transportative fashion show here. The palette evoked a fairytale forest, littered with lichen covered rocks, and growing with moss, saffron-colored chanterelle mushrooms, and polka dotted fly agaric toadstools.
As it turns out, the soft colors were achieved with the help of nature. “We’ve been experimenting quite a lot with natural dye, plant dyeing—not that everything is dyed like that, but we wanted to see how far you can take that and not just make these subtle beige cream colors,” explained Jónsson.
These subtle tones were applied to sporty separates like zip-up jackets, nylon pants, shorts, and vests. Some of the vests had short zippers that followed the curve of their rounded necklines. Unexpected and subtle details—including what Ranra called “security guard shoes”—made familiar pieces feel special, which is the brand mission. “Our approach is to work with archetypal menswear garments and revisit the fabrication, revivisit the material, readdress the silhouette—fit for today but to always return back to these classics,” Stevens said.
As they were creating the collection, the designers imagined the clothes being worn by Icelandic Huldufólk, mythical beings, explained Jónsson, who are “always quite colorful and a little bit more beautiful than normal people.” Legend has it that the Huldufólk exist in a parallel world. A lot of the menswear presented here this week exists parallel to capital-F fashion. Is it anti-fashion? That comes down to semantics; the point is that Ranra’s clothes, like Sunflower’s, are connected to and enhance a quotidian existence. Huldufólk appear only when they want to; Ranra’s low-key, yet special and sustainable garments give the power back to the wearer to choose when and what to reveal and conceal, which in this extroverted and logo-led period, feels like a bit of everyday magic.