A fashionable excuse to hit Reykjavik in March
During the mid and late ’90s it was all the rage among my circle of friends to fly Iceland Air to London en route to rock and rave in London and enjoy a stopover of a couple days in Reykjavik, Iceland for no extra charge, except your hotel, of course. Iceland was slightly expensive at the time, but since then, the island nation has experience a huge economic boom and freefall in the wake of a financial crisis. It's still working, with help from the IMF, on pulling itself out of severe recession. But Iceland's creative types are taking recession sitting down, they're throwing a fashion festival, their second annual, in fact.
This month, the Reykjavik Fashion Festival was announced featuring Andersen & Lauth, Áróra, Birna, Disdis, E label, Eygló, Forynja, HANNA Felting, Hildur Yeoman, Kalda, Kormakur & Skjöldur, Kron, Mundi, Nikita Selekzion, Rain Dear, Royal Extreme, Rey, Sruli Recht, Shadow Creatures, Sonja Bent, Spakmannsspjarir and Yr. It will be feature Fall 2011 collections, hosted at the Reykjavik Art Museum, in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland, March 31-April 3rd, 2011.
As someone who has hit some small European music/art fests on occasion, I can tell you that the good ones are small, intimate and memorable. RFF is expected to host under a 1000 guests at its workshops and shows.
“Our goal is to channel Iceland's creative energy into a single event, where both local and international media, buyers and guests can have a first look at Iceland’s distinctive approach to fashion and style,” said Ingibjörg Finnbogadóttir, Managing Director of the RFF. “We know that outsiders are often surprised to hear of Iceland’s bold fashion sense, but we also know that once people visit the country, they can see that it is a magical environment fostering fantastic fashion design and nightlife, and that is what RFF 2 will illustrate.”
Presented by Icelandair, Elite Iceland, Maybelline, Smirnoff, CCP Games, Icelandic Glacial and the Icelandic travel embassy, Islandsstofa, in partnership with Designers March, the second Reykjavik Fashion Festival is an effort, on some level, to spur more tourism and economic activity while highlighting the unique fashion sense of the country that's given us Bjork, Sigur Rós and Ólöf Arnalds.
So, if you're not feeling the crush of aspiring hipsters that is SXSW, you might want to look into Iceland for March adventure. TOC Travel has a nice little guide with suggestions of things to do. The best thing about Reykjavik might be knowing that they're happy to have you.