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Gunta Stölzl was a German textile artist who played a fundamental role in the development of the Bauhaus school’s weaving workshop. Gunta created immense change within the textile field by uniting art practices taught at Bauhaus with traditional textile techniques and became the first woman Master at the school. Under her direction, Bauhaus Weaving Workshop became one of its most successful facilities.









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Gunta Stölzl was a German textile artist who played a fundamental role in the development of the Bauhaus school’s weaving workshop. Gunta created immense change within the textile field by uniting art practices taught at Bauhaus with traditional textile techniques and became the first woman Master at the school. Under her direction, Bauhaus Weaving Workshop became one of its most successful facilities.









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Photo by Freya McOmish

Name: Rebecca Thandi Norman
Age: 31
Occupation: Editor-in-Chief & co-founder, Scandinavia Standard
Currently living in: Copenhagen

What makes you happy?

Spending time with my family, writing, reading, when the business is doing well, travel, flowers.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration both in visuals and in text. I do a lot of reading, and try to really vary the genres I’m reading; graphic novels and comic books are hugely inspiring to me. Visually, I find light inspiring, especially since moving to Denmark. The morning light in my apartment is something that gets me moving.

When did you realise that you were going to move to Copenhagen?

Well, the first time I moved to Copenhagen was back in 2008 when I did a study exchange for six months. But as for moving permanently? After my husband and I bought our apartment in 2013, I think! Before putting down roots in Copenhagen, I grew up in Boston and then lived in both London and Cape Town. The original plan after graduating from my Master’s Degree at the University of Copenhagen was to move back to Cape Town with my husband. Then a series of events unfolded that kept us in Copenhagen. It wasn’t expected, but I feel so happy to be here.

When did you realise that you were going to start Scandinavia Standard?

I met my co-founder, Freya McOmish (she is the Creative Director), around May 2013. I had just graduated with my Master’s in Public Health, then gotten married, and settled in Copenhagen. I had a teaching job lined up for September, but I was waiting for my visa to come through so I had this four month period where I wasn’t allowed to work. When Freya began talking about this project she had always wanted to start, but hadn’t gotten around to, I thought it was genius. It was something I felt people needed in Scandinavia; something I had definitely needed when I moved there for the first time. So I called her the next day and we started right away. It felt real when the website went live, which was in September of 2013.

How do you begin a new project?

Within Scandinavia Standard, starting new projects is really exciting! Freya and I spend a lot of time strategising and figuring out the logistics of new projects, so when we launch something the workflow can be as smooth as possible. At any given time, we have multiple projects going on.

Our biggest project to date has been our Scandinavian travel app, which we released at the beginning of June 2018. It has over 500 locations throughout the Scandinavian capitals; map and itinerary-integrated functionality, original photos…it was a massive undertaking and I’m so happy it’s out there in the world now!

As for my own projects, I wish I had more time to do side projects. I do a bit of personal writing, sketching, and various art projects. I recently did a flower dye workshop with an amazing company in Copenhagen called Marble Matter. It’s more about exercising those creative muscles than anything else.

Where’s your favourite place to work from?

My office in Nordvest. But every now and then it’s nice to work from a different space, like a library, cafe, or my desk at home. A change of space can be helpful in getting rid of distractions or mental blocks.

Describe a normal workday.

I’m in the office at 8:30 and make a pot of coffee (necessary). I respond to emails and take care of admin for approximately 2 hours, then dive into the editorial calendar. By midday I finish up with editorial content, have a quick lunch, and then it’s time for projects.

I have to leave the office at 3:00 in order to pick up my son by 3:30. Then I spend the afternoon with him; we usually to the playground or the library. My husband gets home around 5:30 and we all have dinner together. When my son goes to bed at 7, I work for a few hours if needed. It’s also important to spend time with my husband and relax, so it’s just a matter of what’s possible on a given day.

Describe an experience you had, that confirmed you, why you are doing what you do.

Every day confirms for me that we’re on the right track. When I get emails from people saying that the site has really helped them feel at home in a new city, or keeps them inspired daily, that’s what is most important to me.

We recently took a trip to Stockholm to have meetings about a big upcoming project and had quite an incredible experience with a woman who had previously run a similar project. If I believed in signs, this would have been one. Moments like those aren’t what keep me working day-to-day, but they can be reinvigorating.

Name one person who helped you get to where you are today.

The person who has been the biggest help, of course, is my co-founder Freya. We wouldn’t be where we are without our teamwork and our complementary skills. We hold each other accountable day-to-day.

The thing about running a business is that there is a huge list of people who make it possible, so I can’t just name one person. Everyone from our accountant to our landlord to the fellow creatives we’ve worked with along the way have had some role in the process. And then of course there are the people outside of the industry who personally hold me up, like my husband and family and friends. It goes deep.

What does art mean to you?

Art can be so many things. Sometimes it’s just beauty; something that just takes my breath away. Often art makes me think about the context it was created in, or about how a piece relates to the category of art itself, or the social message of the piece. An artist whose work I admire, and who combines so many of those factors, is Toyin Ojih Odutola. She’s a Nigerian visual artist working in NYC.

I think it’s important to see the art in every day. The clothes and jewellery you wear, or the way you decorate your home, or an arrangement of flowers. Those things aren’t necessarily art, but they can have art in them.

Name one women who inspired you on your creative journey?

Oh wow, so many! I cannot name just one. In terms of my foundation, my mom and grandmothers have been huge influences on my creative thinking. Both of my grandmothers are incredibly artful in their daily lives.

A woman who has been hugely inspirational to me is Elaine Welteroth, the former Editor-in-Chief at Teen Vogue. She turned what used to be a fairly tame fashion publication into a politically aware magazine that took teenagers seriously. She understood that visual markers like fashion can be can be used in powerful ways, but also that it’s okay to both be socially engaged and into clothes or other aesthetic things. And equally importantly, she surrounded herself with incredibly talented people who also had vision. That is so key.

I also look to contemporary and past editors like Christene Barberich (Refinery29), Edward Enninful (Vogue UK), Sarah Douglas (Wallpaper), Marcia Ann Gillespie (Essence, Ms.) , and Diana Vreeland (Vogue US), as sources of strength and inspiration.

Which challenges have you met in your work?

A challenge at the beginning was getting people to pay us for our work. With digital publishing, there’s a general feeling that because the consumption is (often) free, the production should be too. But that can’t sustain a business, and you have to pay people for their work.

We also often choose to work with small businesses and emerging artists who can’t afford to pay, so we needed to find a way to balance that with working with large brands that do have marketing or production budgets.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t be afraid to share strong opinions and stand by them. Ask to be paid for your work. Think more about intersectionality and how what you do is connected to the world. End unhealthy relationships or situations early. Saying you were wrong is not a sign of weakness. No one will create boundaries for you, except for you; don’t get mad that others don’t automatically know your needs or boundaries without you telling them first.

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A lot of us avoid doing self breast exams because they’re confusing and scary, but they’re one of the best ways to find cancer early. And the earlier you spot cancer, the better your chances. So, for the sake of your tits (they’ve been loyal friends haven’t they?) watch this two minute “how to” video created by Mae Ryan and Mona Chalabi.

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John Galliano for his Spring Summer 2011 collection has been inspired by the twenties con artist Maria Lani who persuaded the era’s leading artists to paint her portrait for a film she claimed their work would star in. Then, she sold them all and escaping to America without trace. Galliano made every model a separate artwork, with “each outfit in this collection as individual as each portrait”. Individual outfit fashion shows are being a thing since a while now, and Gucci is one of the brands, that through the work of Alessandro Michele, has turned this way of showing into perfection. For FW 2017||18 the styling of one of the 119 looks Gucci showed in Milan might have been inspired by Galliano.


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John Galliano for his Spring Summer 2011 collection has been inspired by the twenties con artist Maria Lani who persuaded the era’s leading artists to paint her portrait for a film she claimed their work would star in. Then, she sold them all and escaping to America without trace. Galliano made every model a separate artwork, with “each outfit in this collection as individual as each portrait”. Individual outfit fashion shows are being a thing since a while now, and Gucci is one of the brands, that through the work of Alessandro Michele, has turned this way of showing into perfection. For FW 2017||18 the styling of one of the 119 looks Gucci showed in Milan might have been inspired by Galliano.


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Anthony Vaccarello’s debut show as new creative director for Saint Laurent was one of the most awaited this season, alongside the Maria Grazia Chiuri one for Christian Dior. To be Hedi Slimane’s replacement must have been a fairly demanding venture for the Italian-Belgian fashion designer who  has decided to close his own line to concentrate on the new responsibility. For the SS||2017 collection [right] Vaccarello has been widely inspired by the eighties and some archive pieces from Yves Saint Laurent. As for the fierce one-silver-covered-nipple-out styling, a particular look from Francesco Scognamiglio’s SS||2009 show [left] might have been an inspiration.

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Gatherings and drawstrings were seen on various shows for SS||2017, but nowhere as beautiful as at Marni [left] and at Loewe [right]. Consuelo Castiglioni for Marni created asymmetries of pleats gathered by nautical ropes and over-did-it beautifully with huge billowy sleeves and hip-widening poacher-pocket bags, all in a fresh mint tone. Also Jonathan Anderson’s Loewe suggested a pastel colour for his peasant dress with balloon sleeves full of gathers created by drawstrings. A lot of volume, but more is more and less is a bore regarding the volumes this season.

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In my previous post I called it the Vetements effect, but it should be rather be the Demna Gvasalia effect. Many designers for SS||2017 could not do less than being influenced by the new wave created by Demna and his creative team during the last year, through both, the collections of Vetements and Balenciaga. In addition to silhouette inspirations from Vetements’ FW 2016||17 [left above], Rodolfo Paglialunga seems to have taken for his Jil Sander SS||2017 [right above and below] also other collections designed by Demna into consideration, for example in terms of styling, his creative direction debut at Balenciaga for FW 2016|17 [left below].

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The Vetements effect this season is all around us and this is just one of many posts that will follow. Gvasalia’s collections are causing a huge ripple effect in the the creative work of designers, in the industry and the consumers. Nobody and nothing is safe, from silhouettes to colours to garment types to styling and to color palettes, it is out there. In this case the asymmetric shirt-dress from SS||2016 [left] might have inspired the ensemble designed by Mulberry’s Johnny Coca [right] for SS||2017.

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