With an unerring instinct for refined fashion, James Razos, hair stylist at Rakis on Collins, has returned to Melbourne inspired. Visiting four countries in four weeks, he has been overwhelmed by the Scandinavians’ practicality, creative clothing combinations and their ballsy approach to fashion.
“The Scandinavians are happy to challenge themselves in the placement of colours and textures,” says Razos. “They avoid catalogue trends and instead mix and play with their own vintage and chic clothing and accessories. Whether they are dressed up for a formal evening or just having a coffee, their style always shows shades of their personality.”
Razos began his trip in Amsterdam. Wandering around the canals and gazing at the intricate detailing in the 16th- and 17th-century brick houses, Razos found the city to be more mainstream then its Nordic neighbours.
“Although Amsterdam was one of the fashion capitals of the trip, there were lots of highly commercial images,” he says. “Filippa K and chain stores such as Zara are everywhere. The franchises almost take away from the authenticity of the experience.”
After Amsterdam, Razos travelled to Oslo in Norway, an experience he describes as being like “drinking fine French Champagne because it’s chilled and very glamorous”.
“Oslo city is designed like a Philippe Starck kitchen. Everything is styled with an ergonomic visual purpose. We stayed in a Georg Jensen hotel that was completely fitted with touch controls. Every appliance is made for five-star comfort.”
The Latin Quarter in Copenhagen was perhaps where Razos saw the most fashion-forward images. Set in the heart of the city, and home to Copenhagen’s university, the area is full of 17th-century buildings that house second-hand bookshops, hip, alternative clothing shops and warm cafés and bars. He says it’s the perfect place to grab a drink, relax and people-watch.
“The Latin Quarter shows a juxtaposition of varying lifestyles. There are lots of contrasting fashion agendas. One minute it’s second-hand vintage with scruffy looking shoes and the next it’s runway style with Manolo Blahniks and fur throwovers. And everyone has a cocktail in hand.”
When it comes to hair, the trip provided Razos with a visual feast.
“The trends from northern Europe are very strong lines that don’t surrender. There are lots of heavy fringes that veil over the face, blocks of colour, lots of blonde tones and high-impact styles. Their hair fits with their busy lifestyles. It’s very much a wash-and-wear do.”
Colours: Biscuit, tangerine, mustard and all shades of yellow.
Fashion: Stockholm has no directional look, however it’s slightly daggy. You don’t really get an idea of fashion trends but there was a lot of layering of different patterns, textures and colours.
Accessories: Oversized scarves that are circular in shape almost like an infinity scarf.
Colours: Soft, muted greys, army greens, browns.
Fashion: During the day you see a lot of high-fashion outfits worn by tall, elegant, slim Danes. It’s tapered, slim-fit, layered and chic. At night the youth subculture emerges and there is a real sense of individuality with their tight boots, shredded pants and tattooing.
Accessories: Thigh-high, tight-fitting boots, tailored ponchos and high collars.
Colours: Peaches, salmons, beiges, light browns and?cinnamons
Clothing: Everyone rides bicycles to work in Amsterdam, and their clothing is tailored accordingly. There are lots of lacy knits, crochet tops and light woollen cardigans.
Accessories: Cowboy boots for winter and peep-toe boots going towards gladiator sandals/boot hybrids for summer.
Colours: Gelato shades worn with bright colours. Black is not the focus, perhaps because winter lasts so long and now that Norwegians are in spring it’s all about colour.
Fashion: A mixture of luxury pieces mixed with old family favourites. Lots of nana’s knits, crochet cardigans and fur.
Accessories: Thigh-high boots.