Maria Louise Suhr: Great Dane

Scandinavia has just kind of dropped in and taken over. From IKEA to H&M to Cheap Monday to Acne, the region has produced its fair share of stylish designers. At one time or another, each of these up-and-comers was dubbed “one to watch.” Well, now here’s another: Maria Louise Suhr. Never heard of her? No problem. Besides, probably no one west of the Søerne has. Despite her relative anonymity on the world fashion stage, she has won several design laurels, including the grand prize at the Designers’ Nest competition held during this year’s Copenhagen Fashion Week. Oh, and she just graduated this summer with a Master’s in fashion design from Denmark’s renowned Designskolen Kolding. And instead of promptly moving back in with her parents, she won the Designers’ Nest contest by a unanimous vote—a first in the program’s history. The judges based their decision on the versatility of Suhr’s designs and their adaptability not just to womenswear, but to accessories and footwear as well.

So what about this winning collection? Suhr designed her graduate project around her travels in Spain and included a distinctive vintage touch. Suhr says, “When I was 12 years old, I went to Mallorca on holiday with my family. We stayed at an old hotel with lots of atmosphere. It was like going back to the ’60s. It made a big impression on me, which I never forgot. Many years after, I went back to Mallorca. The old hotel was not there anymore, but… I found lots of elements from the ’60s—old buildings, sun umbrellas, tourist places and beaches. I made photographs of it and transformed all those impressions and expressed them in my way, in a new and modern way, and brought those expressions to my collection.”

Suhr has designed flowing silk dresses printed with collages of images from her travels (both new and old), as well as iconic images from the ’60s. The pieces have that perfect vintage look, one that you would have to scour second-hand racks for hours to find. Her collection also includes swimwear that’s almost too pretty to get wet. Suhr is currently working on her Spring/Summer 2009 collection, which will also include shoes and bags. Hopefully we will be seeing her work stateside soon, but in the meantime, make sure you remember her name.

TEXT BY Ashley Brewster


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