The London Experience (Part 1: Kensington)

Going to London one man down, as Benedicte was ill, the day did not start with the best of omens, and upon reaching London, Tina abandoned us as well, so it was only Ingvild and I going around Lindon for the interviews and the store visits that we had planned.

Arriving late in London we decided to skip the impromptu visit we wanted to pay to a Baker street store called Totally Swedish, and went straight to Nina Naustdal’s studio where she was expecting us along with her 3 dogs (apparently it’s her plan to buy one every Christmas…?) and where we got the chance to talk to her about her career and creative processes. Then, she let us photograph her store and top floor studio and take a look at her amazing dresses. What stood out for us was her approachable character, in contrast to the fact that in Norway she is considered a very difficult woman to get hold of, but she and her stuff was very friendly and welcoming while we were there. I personally was mesmerised by her elaborate designs ornate with the precious Swarovski crystals, that cost more than our yearly rent.

After that we visited the Scandinavian furniture store Skandium that we happened to have stumbled upon in our way from the Tube station to Nina’s atelier. While we wanted to visit the store in Selfridge’s we thought it would be a good idea to compare the stand-alone store to the boutique that’s integrated with the Selfridge’s environment. I am a very big fan of the Scandinavian furniture aesthetic and I love the minimalist lines with the primary colours and the pure functional purposes of the items.

Then we remained around the area of Kensington and went to Scandinavian restaurant Madsen to chat with Rune, the manager. He explained to us about the restaurants clientele and how the menu has been adapted to the international standards of the customers.

Last, we walked along Sloane Street admiring the windows searching for the Day Birger et Mikkelsen store that’s on the other end. Unfortunately, the store was closed, but we did get the chance to look at all the stores on our way and we even went in to the Dior Baby boutique for Ingvild to take a look at the childrenswear, as she was considering doing a children’s collection for the All Walks competition.

  • 4 March 2013