By  on July 19, 2005

All In The Detail
Stateside, a splurge at Ikea constitutes stocking up on practical Scandinavian design, but in Sweden, design is something to marvel at and nurture.

To that point, 2005 marks "The Year of Design" in Sweden. By the time the new year rolls around, more than 1,000 projects and activities will have been done in the country. The objective, as spelled out by Minister for Industry and Trade Leif Pagrosky, is "to make Swedes the best design users in the world."

How that all shakes out is open to interpretation. Neon-colored mosquito nets for babies, zebra-striped bras, and handbags with just enough room for a subway card and cash are among the items displayed at "Cheap Design," an exhibition at the National Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm. "Inspired 2050" is an exhibition that peers into the future.

In terms of fashion, "Fashion Futures" is a preliminary round of Concours International des Jeunes Créateurs de Mode, the world's most prestigious international competition in fashion design. Rounds are being held in Paris and Sweden in collaboration with fashion design schools, and a winner should be announced in December.

J. Lindeberg, Dedicated Followers of Fashion, Minimarket, Hunky Dory and Rodebjer are among the labels that will participate in next month's fashion shows, trend installations and lectures to be held at the Stockholm Modecenter, a complex that houses 1,000 fashion labels. Lesser-known but promising designers can be found at Rookies, a fashion fair that will take place Aug. 26-28.

Fashion & Lifestyle will be one of the major topics of discussion at Future Design Days, which is Scandinavia's largest design festival. It will be held at different times on Nov. 14 and 15 at Stockholm International Fairs, Nordic Light Hotel and Stockholm City Hall's Blue Hall. The latter is also the site of the annual Nobel Prize dinner in December.

More offbeat is "DoReDo," a touring exhibition that teaches "the art of destroying a sweater." An online description of it makes it sound simple enough. "Wash an old wool sweater in warm water, take a pair of scissors and give it a new life. Sew the pieces together and decorate it."

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