Svenskt Tenn and Märta Måås Fjetterström – Everlasting Fashion

By Dag Granath 

One thing that’s true for many – if not all – firms coated by Everlasting Fashion is that they aspire to create one thing that stands the take a look at of time. Two of my favorite Swedish firms outdoors menswear have this similar aspiration, and in a current dialog with Simon he advised readers could be concerned with listening to about them.

I discover it’s usually the case that one can enrich one’s palette and develop one’s follow by trying to associated areas. For example, in our work we regularly discover that shoppers begin their curiosity in garments by changing into concerned with footwear. They realise {that a} shoe that’s correctly made will last more, age extra gracefully and look higher. That perception spills over into different aesthetic fields, together with clothes and different crafts.

For our half, we discover the extra we have interaction in artwork, design and tradition the extra excited we get about garments and tailoring. Two firms we found in that manner, and in newer years befriended, are textile studio Märta Måås Fjetterström and inside design firm Svenskt Tenn.

Whereas not within the enterprise of creating garments, we’ve discovered their strategy to manufacturing and to longevity inspirational.

Shortly after establishing her namesake textile studio in 1919, Märta Måås-Fjetterström turned an integral a part of the so-called Swedish Grace motion, a time period describing turn-of-the-century structure and design that combined modernism and artwork deco.

Personally, I’ve at all times discovered this a part of Swedish design historical past attention-grabbing as a result of it circles round a dialogue of the position of expertise in trendy society – a subject that solely feels extra related as we speak.

Märta Måås-Fjetterström was additionally integral in elevating the standing of textiles into an artform in Sweden. In our Stockholm atelier, we’ve got a big MMF tapestry (pictured prime) that’s in all probability the ornamental object guests reply most strongly to. It was initially woven in 1931 and has been refurbished many instances since, so the actual fact it nonetheless resonates with folks should communicate to some qualities of the work.

What’s notably attention-grabbing about MMF is that craft is – and at all times has been – the guideline behind the designs. A artistic director is at all times subordinate to the manufacturing supervisor: they dictate what can and might’t be accomplished aesthetically, in order that nothing is produced the place the studio can’t excel.

MMF makes use of a variety of strategies – knotted pile, knotted reduction pile, knotted rya, rölakan flat weave, tapestry weaving and gobeläng flat weave – and every of those drive the studio’s designs. Among the strategies are distinctive to them.

I spoke to the house owners of MMF just lately (above) in regards to the strategies and in regards to the deal with longevity.

Dag: Tina, you and Ulrik had been collectors of Märta Måås-Fjetterström however then went on to purchase the corporate in 2001. What made you are taking that step?

Tina: We had been reluctant at first, however we realised how distinctive the studio in Båstad is, and that the corporate wanted to deliver ahead its unimaginable archive and historical past. We additionally wished to work with up to date artists as collaborators, as a way to discover the cultural heritage that MMF has turn into.

DAG: What makes the work of the MMF studio distinctive?

TINA: The mixture of inventive route and craft is one thing you very hardly ever see. Many craftspeople have the power to provide technically glorious work, however typically they lack the inventive features wanted to provide one thing that aesthetically stands the take a look at of time. In our case, the weavers are the artists.

A method that’s distinctive to MMF is gobeläng flat weave. That is just like how tapestry lengths are made at Les Gobelins, however making use of it to rug qualities provides it a novel attraction. The approach may be very demanding bodily, and the weavers have to make use of their inventive competence all through the method to get the specified move of colours.

The second firm I wished to focus on is Svenskt Tenn. Frankly, it’s nearly inconceivable to speak about Swedish arts and crafts with out mentioning the corporate: they’re nearly woven into the material of Swedish design historical past.

The corporate was based by Estrid Ericson as an interiors store, studio and tea saloon in 1924. Since 1975, it’s been owned by a basis – an lively selection to verify “the corporate will reside on for eternity”. Like many firms featured on Everlasting Fashion, it’s uncommon in a world the place the purpose is usually very short-term revenue.

Whereas Scandinavian design is usually related to austerity and ease, Svenskt Tenn’s designs are primarily playful and vibrant. Like MMF, an enormous portion of its collections are archival designs initially created nearly a century in the past. My private favourites embody the works in pewter by Anna Petrus and Nils Fougstedt (above), and the enduring furnishings by Josef Frank.

Maria Veerasamy (above), the CEO at Svenskt Tenn since 2011, has a background working with glass but additionally tailoring. An ex-punk rocker, she additionally carries a DIY ethos and is obsessed with creating issues by hand.

Dag: I do know you’re employed very intently along with your suppliers. How do you mange these relationships?

Maria: We predict it’s vital the Svenskt Tenn staff understands each manner our producers work. For example, when sourcing alder root veneer for sure Josef Frank desk designs, our employees wants an unimaginable eye to know graining and coloring of the wooden, and the way that may translate into a bit of furnishings.

Dag: Attention-grabbing. It’s not not like working with a tailor – an enormous problem might be understanding how a go well with will look simply by a small swatch, one thing it may possibly take years to do instinctively. The tailor analogy additionally applies within the sense that the extra you’ve labored with a tailor, the higher work you are able to do collectively.

I suppose this all signifies that you rely closely on the wellbeing of your suppliers?

Maria: Sure, and we offer a basic position there. The community of craftspeople producing for Svenskt Tenn is huge, and plenty of of them have skilled decreased demand through the years. This clearly makes it troublesome for them to put money into growing their practices and usher in new apprentices. Svenskt Tenn’s perform is to offer them with the steadiness and longevity they want to have the ability to plan forward.

Speaking to Tina and Maria stored reminding me of the now popularised tutorial idea of finite and infinite video games, an thought first launched by theology professor James P Carse.

Finite video games are video games you play to win. As an organization, that may imply you propose an exit in some unspecified time in the future by promoting the corporate. Infinite video games, then again, are performed to maintain on taking part in. You’re employed to construct one thing stable sufficient handy to the following technology.

Märta Måås Fjetterström and Svenskt Tenn are each taking part in an infinite sport: taking part in for the sake of retaining going, and because of this additionally making the journey significant and pleasant.

In some methods, that is additionally how most of us studying Everlasting Fashion go about constructing our wardrobes. We need to construct relationships with our garments and the manufacturers that make them. Over time, we additionally regularly realise we have interaction with garments as a result of we get pleasure from doing so, somewhat than to realize some imagined good wardrobe. In any case, then we’d by no means have to think about garments once more.

The sooner the world strikes, the extra luxurious it feels to offer your self the time to make choices and work out what makes you are feeling fulfilled aesthetically. And discovering folks, inside or outdoors the business, who share that strategy is at all times a satisfying expertise.

Each the Svenskt Tenn and MMF web sites have numerous additional studying. Specifically, the Svenskt Tenn website has pages on all its best-known items, such because the Anna Petrus pewter and the making of the armchairs

Dag is the co-founder of of Saman Amel

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