Foremothers and Folk Prints at Gudrun Sjödén

Gudrun Sjödén Elsa tunic and leggings, Ivy Arch handmade uke gig bag

Last week I visited Gudrun Sjödén's Covent Garden store for the festive launch of her Christmas 2015 collection. This friendly, welcoming event for Gudrun's customers gave us the chance to meet designer Pia Marklund and hear some of the stories and inspiration behind the designs.

Gudrun Sjödén shop, Covent Garden London

The collection is inspired by four strong women – mothers and grandmothers of the design team – including Gudrun's own mother Elsa of Norrbotten. Pia's talk brought these women to life with photographs and anecdotes about their family and working lives, including personal memories of her own maternal grandmother, Singa from Västerboten, a woman who travelled widely throughout Africa and the Orient bringing textiles, artefacts and exotic clothing home with her to Sweden.

Gudrun's Christmas 2015 in store launch

Trying on clothes, eating Swedish cake and sipping mulled wine, I spent a good few hours in the shop and after much deliberation bought the Elsa print tunic in dark green and cranberry, and a pair of green Elsa leggings. The tunic is cut with triangular insets at the sides that give it a pointed hem. It reminds me of some of Yoshiko Tsukiori's designs and also Scarlett et Marguerite's Baba Yaga dress. I love this style and the fabric is fabulous in all of the three possible colourways.

Elsa dress in Cranberry
Elsa tunic in green - inspired by Gudrun Sjödén's mother, Elsa

I also came away with a long Christmas wishlist of garments I would like! Top of the list is Pia's aubergine Singa dress (the busy store had sold out of my size). It has a gorgeous bold flower repeat print, wide three quarter length sleeves that flare out slightly and fine short rows of elastic to gently shape the sides – an almost concealed detail but one that makes the dress truly beautiful to wear.

By the time I left the shop it was dark. I hope to return soon and now have an extra reason to visit London with the opening of Gudrun Sjödén's first pop-up shop at Marylebone High Street. For details of the pop-up shop and in-store events over the festive season visit Gudrun's World

Gudrun Sjödén's Christmas collection is also available here.
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