With the temperatures plummeting outside, all we want to do is wrap up warm, and ELLE girls look to Dagmar to fit the bill of style, warmth and comfort. Behind this Swedish label is three beautiful sisters, and with their presence on an upwards trajectory on the UK fashion scene, we wanted to meet the cool girls behind the hot knitwear. Or the hot girls behind the cool knitwear - you decide...
What are your design signatures?
How does it work with three of you?
I decide everything so there are no problems! No, it is a big group effort - we have our three different areas we each take responsibility for, although we work in a team so we also help each other too. We have had some really tough years when we were starting out but now, as the team has grown to 14, the pressure is off and we can have a fun working environment which is important for creativity and sanity!
Is it tricky working with siblings?
I could say yes but I think working in team is never really a walk in the park - us working together has been a perfect match. We have the same goal and vision with the company and never really argue about that. If it is ever 'tricky' it is because it is a large group are girls working together rather than us being sisters. Away from work we even holiday together, most recently to Miami, its better to kill time rather than killing each other!
Why do you think the influence of Swedish designers in the UK is growing? How does it feel to be a part of that?
For us the UK is so special and it has always been a dream to have a presence on the British fashion scene so it is really lovely that it is all going so well. I actually think the Scandi's and the Brit's have a lot in common.
Can you explain the name of the brand?
Dagmar is our late grandmothers name who took care of us a lot when we where young. She was a tailor and loved to knit so that was what we did together with her, cutting patterns, sewing and things like that. In the beginning for our dolls and then for us.
Who would you most love to see wearing your designs?
All you girls at Elle, that would be nice. We do not have someone specific but of course it is nice when people we admire are seen in Dagmar clothes. We do have nice relationships with lots of Swedish actresses and singers such as Noomi Rapace, Lykke Li, Alicia Vikander and Icona Pop.
Who are your greatest influences?
Our grandmother Dagmar is still the greatest influencer, because she was such a nice person, always happy and positive and I think it means a lot to be that way….you spread the happiness around you.
Can you tell us a bit about your design background?
Kristina studied design and pattern making at ESMOD in Paris.
Who is the Dagmar girl?
She rules her own life, is very aware of what she is doing, everything is done her way. She is strong confident and has an interest in the creative world. Enjoying life but kind of picky with what she does, where she travels. She is healthy and of course cares about herself and what she wears. She is the new, modern generation of women who take control.
What can we expect from Dagmar in the next 3-5 years?
We will grow and give you more of Dagmar - We have plans to start working with accessories too, which will be an exciting development. We would love to open our own store somewhere too.
Can you explain the idea behind your SS13 collection?
We named it 'Bio Architecture' because we are very interested in architecture, how we live and how we are progressing towards a sustainable and organic way of living. We studied a part of architecture that was building new hotels and houses into existing caves and how they merged different organic silhouettes with graphic modernity - So the expression of the Dagmar collection SS 2013 is all about dynamic contradictions. It is greatly inspired by the new bio architecture, where high tech homes are constructed in ancient carved caves or other sites with flirtation to man’s early history. The style comes from an inner longing to go back to nature, but without compromising with modern facilities or the constant connection to the rest of the world.In the collection, this is visualized through an expressive fusion, where the natural and bohemian look is as significant as the technical. The silhouette is comfortable and loose. It has an organic shape; the outline of the rounded shoulders, hems and cuts resemble that of softly rounded leaves or rolling mountains. As a contrast, details such as plastic zippers or technical fabrics such as neoprene or leather, give a hyper modern and sculptured expression to the garment.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Everywhere, but a lot in other creative areas such as architecture, film, painting and sculpture.What’s your favourite piece you’ve designed to date? Right now, when it is minus 15 degrees outside, it is our knitted fur in organic alpaca - I can´t live without it. It is both super-warm and cosy and also very cool so I really feel comfortable in it.
What’s next for Dagmar?
It will be about caring for a better and more sustainable life in terms of what we can do as a company. We really think this is important and we care a lot about which materials we choose and how we produce everything and we really want people to be aware of how they consume. 'Less is more' - better one really good quality item than many cheap ones you need to throw away before the season in through.