This past weekend we had the great pleasure of joining the four embassies of Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Estonia at the opening of the Nordic Stars exhibition at the Hillyer Art Space in Washington DC.

It was the perfect evening for the opening of a Nordic exhibition. Grey skies and pouring rain. But, true to Scandinavian attitude, this didn’t bother the crowd, who turned out in masses. Even the Danish Ambassador H.E. Lars Gert Lose kept to his Danish roots by arriving in the rain on a rickshaw with his little girl.

Nordic Stars draws its inspiration from sustainable nordic fashion and presents selected works from eight of the brightest Nordic fashion illustrators. From Sweden, Cecilia Carlstedt and Daniel Egneus. From Finland, Laura Laine and Jarno Kettunen. From Denmark, Mads Berg and Naja Conrad-Hansen. And, from Estonia, Marju Tammik and Brit Samoson. We know Estonia is not part of Scandinavian, and it’s barely part of the Nordic countries, but regardless, we feel these two great artists deserves a shout-out on Scandinavian Living.

In the spirit of the event, the four ambassadors were impeccably dressed in sustainable fashion wear.
Finnish Ambassador H.E. Kirsti Kauppi wore a dress by Globe Hope – an innovative Finnish company that designs and manufactures ecological products from recycled and discarded material. The Swedish ambassador H.E. Björn Lyrvall was in a classic sustainable wool suit from Filippa K’s collection. (We’ve already mentioned how much Scandinavians love wool, check out our previous post on the power of wool). Danish Ambassador H.E. Lars Gert Lose was dressed in authentic Danish style, laid back, with jeans, button-up shirt, and a sports coat from KnowledgeCotton Apparel, and bright white sneakers from “Grain the Last Conspiracy, ECCO”. We also have to note the cool wood bowtie sported by the Estonian Ambassador H.E. Erik Marmei.
We caught a few moments with some of the artists and got a chance to chat with them about their inspiration.
Contemporary artist Jarno Kettunen explained his goal is to transform sporadic moments and personalities in the fashion industry into drawings that evokes feelings of elegance, mystery, and glamour. His final work doesn’t disappoint. His illustrations features clean and classic lines that transports you into the world of fashion. Our favorite piece was an illustration inspired by Diane von Furstenberg’s spring 2016 show. A simple piece, in light colors, drawn live during Furstenberg’s spring fashion show. It expertly captures the feminine style of Furstenberg’s designs.
We also spoke with Danish artist Rikke Kuhn Riegels, who is showcasing her amazing work through the exhibition “In A State of Impermanence.” Rikke hails from Copenhagen, Denmark, but lives and works in Washington DC. She explained to us that she wanted to capture Washington DC architecture that at first glance can seem quite boring, but once studied up close exhibits depth and power. In her own words:
Architecture is often thought of and also depicted as the stable foundation for modern transient life. The rocks for city dwellers. However, architecture is man-made, a result of imagination and craftsmanship. Architectural models remind us about the fragility and impermanence of our physical surroundings. They invoke the same type of insights we get in moments of catastrophe, as when we see buildings or even cities torn apart after earthquakes, hurricanes or times of war. They also express hope, potential and dreams. And they remind us about the mobility and lightness of the structures we take as the most cemented framework for our lives, however terrifying or optimistic that might be. 
If you are in Washington DC and looking for something to do, we highly recommend you swing by this little art space tucked away in a  corner of the hip DC neighborhood Dupont Circle. Both the Nordic Stars and Riegel’s exhibitions are on display until May 28th, 2016.

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