Ice-cap cool meets the red-hot designs from Iceland’s hippest siblings, Ian Wright discovers.
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Barely three years old, premium womenswear brand Kalda (or ‘cold’ in English) is the brainchild of Icelandic sisters Katrín Alda (K Alda - geddit?) and Rebekka Rafnsdóttir. Jetsetting between their hometown, Reykjavík, and their London studio, the pair have just come to the end of an exclusive agreement with Liberty, opening up their brand of ice-cap cool to a world of new stockists.
But this is no typical experiment in minimal restraint - after all, Iceland is known as the land of fire and ice - as Kalda’s signature combines clever textile juxtapositions, crisp cuts and photo printing to create something that feels as fresh as a stroll along Laugavegur after a dip in a hot spring.
This natural-meets-urban sensibility is reflected in Kalda’s autumn 13 collection, as printed landscapes from Alda’s Icelandic road trip on floaty chiffon and cottons sit alongside fluid leathers. “We’ve been obsessed with leather from the start and for autumn 13 we mixed it with softer elastic fabrics to create the feeling of ease and liberation,” London College of Fashion-trained Alda explains.
Hints of androgyny contrast with feminine softness: crisp shirting and blazers look effortless when softened by draping and flowing lines. Top-half shapes are generous while trousers and skirts are snugly cut.
“We hope to bring a sense of seductiveness and assurance to our women, in every single garment we make,” says Alda. Assurance is something the siblings certainly aren’t short of as they target five to 10 premium and contemporary stockists for their autumn 13 collection, which boasts a 2.8 mark-up and is available to buy now for July delivery.
“Love is ruling spring 14 so far,” Alda reveals of a range that promises more of the same sleek styling but with a definite romantic slant. We’ve fallen for these glacier gals - will you?