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Meet: Ida Sjöstedt

Ida was born in Stockholm Sweden, but her clothes aren’t what you would expect when you imagine Swedish fashion. Ida studied fashion design in London at University of Westminster and then returned to Sweden in 2001 to launch her own line and has been producing her elegant but fun collections ever since. Ida’s clothes are meant for a woman who enjoys playing with fashion, and doesn’t take dressing up too seriously.

How did you first learn to sew?

My grandmother first helped me to sew clothes for my Barbie doll when I was six or seven. When I was about ten I started taking sewing lessons with one of my best friend’s mom –who taught me how to make my own clothes.

What led you to choose sewing as a career path?

I loved it since I was a kid and knew from an early age that I wanted to work with fashion and clothes making. When I was sixteen I chose sewing as my main subject in high school and since then I knew this was what I was supposed to do.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

For each new collection I want to capture a certain mood and character. I give the collection a name and then I look at fabrics, materials, visual images etc. and let it all mould together almost as a collage. As soon as I get one idea it’s followed by another.. But I always start with the materials.

What was the inspiration for your latest Spring 2011 collection?

I wanted to create something eclectic with lots of different colours, patterns, textures and mis-matching. The collection is called “Secret Garden” and I looked at fantasy worlds with unicorns, butterflies, strawberry fields, scheherazade and many other things. Gold and lace were the main materials and I mixed it with Chinese patterns, animal prints and psychedelic 70’s patterns to complete the look.

How do you think your designs are similar and different from other Swedish designers?

I think it has a certain unfussy swedishness about it. The style and silhouettes are usually quite simple and clean. The difference is my love of colour and decoration. Most Swedish designers focus on quite androgynous day wear and I’m more into feminine, flirty fashion.

Do you think your time in London influenced your style?

Definitely. I learnt all I know about research in London. I was also encouraged to experiment more and I was totally influenced by the eclecticism and diversity of the city.

Do you design clothes for yourself or do you have a particular type of woman in mind?

Both I guess. I usually have a certain type of woman/ girl in mind for each collection. But I know that my clothes appeal to a lot of different types of women which makes me happy. I can be a sixteen year old girl who gets one of my dresses for her prom, a 30yearold who gets a dress for her wedding or a 60year old woman who gets one of my winter coats.

How did you go about creating a workspace that worked for you and your creative process? What are some aspects of your workspace that are important to you?

I have a studio where I do all my creative work. It’s a very unglamorous basement –but it’s spacious and you don’t have to worry about it being messy –which I like. We have sewing machines, cutting tables etc. and it’s a really creative environment.  I couldn’t be creative just sitting by a clean desk with a computer.

Do you have any tips for aspiring designers/seamstresses?

Get a good education and try to do an internship with a designer/ seamstress to see how the business/ process work.

Who are some other designers that you admire?

Valentino, Christopher Kane, Chanel to name a few.

What is your favorite sewing tool and why?

One of my favorites is the roll seam presser foot to the overlocker. It’s great for finishing tulle edges to give them a frilly, feminine touch.

What do you think makes your designs unique?

They’re feminine but tongue in cheek –and compared to for example Italian or London fashion –they’re still unfussy.

Where would you like to see your label going in the future?

I would like to develop my ready to wear line with more tailored pieces, accessories like bags and shoes. I’d also like to develop my couture line and go in to more areas of fashion like having my own perfume and maybe make up line.

You can see more of Ida’s work through her website, and peek into her studio through this great video interview!

Kirsten Harris



July 15, 2011 #

I can’t say I really had an idea in my head of what a “Swedish designer” would be like. I figured they did more than design nordic sweaters. I realy like Odd Molly.

Jade A

July 15, 2011 #

That black dress with the gold trim took my breath away. Makes me wish I had a fancy something coming up to wear it to.