You‘d be hard-pressed to find a village in Iceland where the raw power of the ocean cannot be felt. The collaboration between 66°North and Hildur Yeoman draws its inspiration from the Atlantic Ocean which surrounds Iceland. Both brands have a close relationship to the ocean and now combine their forces in a unique collaboration. 66°North has been producing outerwear for fishermen since the foundation of the company in 1926. Hildur has often drawn inspiration from the sea in her works, as well as nature itself.
Hildur Yeoman has been drawing since she was a child and early on she knew that art studies would lie ahead in her future. However, she was not sure what form of art she would pursue, but eventually fashion design became her focus of choice. "It was so much harder to get news and information about fashion when I started at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, when compared to how it is today," says Hildur. "For example then I didn‘t look for inspiration online, but only in books. Although it‘s just been around 10 years since I graduated, the Internet was undergoing so much change and development while I was studying that everything was completely different."
Hildur is known for her unique clothing patterns. "The patterns are illustrations made by me, and it doesn‘t matter if I‘m drawing, painting or photographing various shapes. When I start making an illustration, I create a specific worldscape and make up stories within that world." These stories then become the material for the pattern Hildur designs and appear in the colors, shapes or fabric of the garment.
The ocean is the focus of the collaboration between 66°North and Yeoman, which fascinated Hildur and brought up mixed feelings within her. "Those of us who live in Iceland experience a great proximity to the sea, and we feel very connected to it," she says. "There is also a certain awe in us, one of both fear and respect, as the ocean takes away just as it gives." This mythology of the ocean was a big inspiration for Hildur, along with the serene beauty and uncompromising power that the various temperaments of the ocean carry. The wave pattern Hildur created for the collaboration references drawings of the ocean she has worked on before as a mural. "I wanted to expand further on these drawings of the ocean and realize them in a knit pattern," says Hildur. "I‘m very excited for the outcome of the collab with 66°North."
The design process is different each time for Hildur. She‘s quite the collector and often spends a great deal of time on arranging objects into the print designs which she feels reflect the inspiration and color palette she wants to see in the collection. Usually the print designs are made from a combination of photography and illustration. Each illustration is a very time consuming process, as they are carefully created from their specific source of inspiration.
Nature has always been a part of how Hildur approaches design. "I design clothing that is rich in material and covers up a lot – not ideal for warm weather, since I don‘t really experience really hot weather that often. I‘d probably design way more bikinis if I was from Brazil!" Untamed nature is everywhere in Hildur‘s surroundings, and quickly finds its way into the design process, one way or another – whether it is seen in the colors, found lurking in the patterns or felt as an undercurrent in the entire collection.
We will launch the collection this Friday, March 23rd, in our store on Laugavegur 17-19.