INSPIRATION FALL 2019 
FROM DUVEMÅLA TO AMERICA

Just imagine that 1.5 million Swedes embarked on the long journey from small villages in Sweden, across the ocean, to the unknown yet appealing America of the 1800s. 

Gudrun was inspired for the 2019 fall collection in Minneapolis at the exhibition Gudrun Sjödén – A Colourful Universe at the American Swedish Institute, ASI, in July 2018. Her deeper interest in Swedish emigrants and the country they encountered was inspired by the people she met.

But emigrants of the 19th century were not the first Swedes to make a home in America. Already in the 1600s, Sweden had a colony (New Sweden) on the Delaware River in North America. Two Swedish ships arrived here in 1637. In the latter half of the 19th century, times were tough with failed crops in Sweden. That was when the dream of America and their own arable land was born. 

1.2.jpgThe story of Kristina from Duvemåla and Karl Oskar, who traveled from Småland to America, was depicted by the author Vilhelm Moberg in his novel series entitled The Emigrants from 1949. The novel later became a TV show and has largely shaped the view of emigration in Sweden.

SWEDISH-AMERICANS
Today it is estimated that the US is home to over nine million self-identified Swedish Americans. Hands down, Minnesota has the most residents with Swedish heritage. There are several Swedish American organizations and museums in Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, Portland and Minneapolis, where the exhibition about Gudrun was shown in 2018.

WITH THE COLLECTION IN OUR BAGGAGE
To create the genuine feel of the fall collection, we visited different parts of the US. We went to the flatlands of Arizona, and to Minneapolis to see the Swedish villages and for our collaboration with Delina White of I Am Anishinaabe. It was a journey with incredible encounters and historic looks at the past.

Maybe we captured a hint of Kristina from Duvemåla?
 

2.2.jpgMINNEAPOLIS and the 
American Swedish Institute, ASI

In this Swedish American palace, colorful new exhibitions are shown regularly. Gudrun got the idea for the fall collection during the exhibition Gudrun Sjödén - A Colourful Universe in 2018. We now have tons of Gudrun Girls and wonderful new friends here. Thank you to Bruce, Laurie, Peggy, Christiana, Alison, Scott, Lynne and everyone else...

 

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SEDONA & THE ROCKY CLIFFS
Across the prairie, through the forests and valleys and the world-renowned Grand Canyon. From the American North, with snowstorms and icy winds, to the heat of Sedona. The settlers made homes all over North America.

 

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Behind the scenes at the 
WALKER ART CENTER IN MINNEAPOLIS

What a wonderful day! With Delina, Lavender and Snowy on the Walker Art Center’s veranda, we photographed garments designed by Lavender for Gudrun Sjödén. It was a day of music, laughter, dancing, focus and learning. The group behind these unique pieces had a complete vision. Thank you to Delina, Lavender and Snowy for your generosity!

VILHELM MOBERG
Swedish author 1898-1973. Best known for The Emigrants series, which describes the emigration of a group of people from southern Småland to Minnesota in the mid-1800s. It was a fate shared with 1.5 million other Swedes, including many of the author’s own relatives.
 

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Caitlin from MINNEAPOLIS
Caitlin was the first model out on the catwalk at our inaugural show at ASI in July 2018. Naturally, she modeled in the fall photo shoot. Like many Americans, she has European roots, specifically from Ireland.

 

3.3.jpgLINDSTROM, GAMMELGÅRDEN, SCANDIA
There are many Swedish communities to discover around Minneapolis. Vilhelm Moberg was inspired to write his books in the Lindstrom region; Scandia was the first home of Swedes in Minnesota and at the lovely Gammelgården Museum, there are now tons of preserved buildings and artifacts from the period of immigration.

 

3.4.jpgANDERSONVILLE
– Chicago’s Swedish neighborhood

This is where many of the first immigrants lived. Nowadays, Andersonville is the ultimate hipster area with Swedish meatballs at the historic Svea Cafe, Ballerina cookies at Erickson’s Delicatessen, mulled wine at Simon’s and of course the Swedish American Museum at 5211 North Clark Street.