Dear Parisiennes: I get it now. Truly, I do. I apologize for my ridiculous behavior. We caught on a while ago to the fact that there is no single “Parisienne” style of dressing and that this French Voguette/Jane Birkin hybrid beast only exists in books and blogs and magazines, but it was still a fun idea to play with. All those breton shirts, all that je ne sais pas (typo, but I’m keeping it), and let’s not forget that effortlessness, right girls? So much effortlessness, massive amounts of effortlessness, it was borderline exhausting! Don’t worry though, you will be happy to know that there seems to be a completely new mythological girl to emulate.
Unlike the Parisienne, the Scandinavian doesn’t give two shits about sexy. At least she doesn’t want to give the impression that she does – if she wears heels they will be chunky (but not chunky enough to be consciously man-repelling), and she wouldn’t be caught dead carrying a wicker basket. She wears neutral colors in natural materials, her clothes are simple and un-fussy (they could be from H&M or Bruuns Bazaar and Acne, she doesn’t really care either way), and she lives in a completely white home decorated with green plants, sheepskin, and candleholders made from birch trees (bark still intact). If she has to run out on an errand she will happily throw on the fisherman’s sweater that her grandma knitted for her dad in the 70s and put her hair up in a messy just-woke-up kind of bun – slightly at the back of her head, not on top, because she’s not a goddamn ballerina. Her boyfriend looks like a gorgeous tattooed hipster lumberjack who could easily have played a wildling on Game of Thrones. He drinks microbrew beer and dreams of inheriting his grandfathers cabin in the woods so that he can restore it to its original glory while listening to First Aid Kit, Röyksopp and Susanne Sundfør. You will often catch him looking broodily at the mountains with his Norwegian Elkhound by his side.
The Scandinavian is, in essence, a Parisienne who discovered Kinfolk Magazine. She got tired of spending two hours effortlessly smudging her kohl every morning, so now she spends hours sourcing the perfect vintage artisan coffee table instead. She wanted a boyfriend who knew how to thrift and wield an axe. She invites her girlfriends over to her apartment to make homemade Christmas decorations, no matter if she’s 15 or 45. She layers, not because it’s chic but because she’s fucking cold. Oh, and she swears. The word “ladylike” does not exist once you cross the Scandinavian border. She’s a feminist, and will roll her eyes at you and go talk to someone else if you tell her you’re not. She taught herself how to knit, and wears minimal makeup.
Of course this is all completely made up and ridiculous. I have been fascinated by the Scandi phenomenon for a handful of months now, after I realized it had seeped over from interior design into the mainstream fashion blogs. People have started saying things like “kinda Scandi-looking”, and every self-respecting hipster knows that vintage knit sweaters should not be mentioned in the same sentence as words like “ugly” and “Christmas”. What eludes me though, as a born-and-bred Scandinavian, is this: Why? What’s so fascinating about us? When did we suddenly become… cool? I can assure you, this is a completely unfamiliar feeling for us. We don’t know how to be cool. Not us Norwegians at least, everyone knows the Swedes are the cool ones. Damn Swedes with their Ikea and their Robyn and their Acne. Did I also mention that we’re famously self-deprecating?
What the hell happened? Can somebody shed some light on this phenomenon for us? Share your theories!