We Went to Iceland for Reykjavik Fashion Festival: All the Highlights

We Went to Iceland for Reykjavik Fashion Festival: All the Highlights
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When you get invited to Iceland for the Reykjavik Fashion Festival, you don’t think about it, you just go. Because really, is there anything better than four days of fashion shows, sightseeing at natural wonders (like the tectonic plate divide between Europe and the U.S.) and meeting interesting people in spades?

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Upon first entering Reykjavik in late March, I realized what a special trip I was in store for. And while the designers on display at the festival didn’t have the name recognition of the likes of Marc Jacobs or Karl Lagerfeld, they clearly have talent in spades. Take for instance, fashion label Ella, designed by Elinros Lindal, a tailoring pro. Or Magnea Einarsdóttir, a Central Saint Martins graduate, who is creating drool-worthy knitwear under the namesake label Magnea.

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Luckily there are people like Helga Olafsson, an Iceland native who now lives in L.A., who started e-boutique Lasta Shop to bring the fashions created by Iceland-based talents to the world. “I’ve lived abroad for a number of years and every time I was in Iceland I would see these amazing designs from young Icelandic designers,” she told me of her motivation for starting the e-commerce store. “The industry is young here still and designers don’t have much of a budget to produce their collections. Instead of opening a physical store abroad I wanted to give them the opportunity to sell their clothes internationally, and Lasta Shop being online is the best option. I had the idea a year and a half ago, and it launched almost a year ago online.”

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Iceland may be a world away for most us, but luckily there’s at least some access to the country’s homegrown fashion talents.

Click through the slideshow above to go inside my journey at the Reykjavik Fashion Festival!

Photos By Ally Lindsay for StyleCaster

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At the start of Reykjavik Fashion Festival in Iceland. Here, at Sky Bar for the opening reception. Still can't get over these mountains. 

Harpa concert hall was the home of Reykjavik Fashion Festival 2014.  

Prep before the show with Icelandic designer, REY.

A look from the REY show. All about tailoring. 

Hair and make-up backstage at Iceland-based design and clothing brand Farmers Market.

Farmers Market's latest collection offered a modern take on traditional Icelandic wear.

A close-up of an attendee. What incredible texture on her outfit!

In between fashion shows Reykjavik Excusions took the foreign press out for a day of adventure—to see the continental divide between North America and Europe at Thingvellir National Park. 

Water, ice, and volcanic ash prints were on full display at the Ziska show.

The patterns in the collection were inspired by the various geological formatons in Iceland.

Final look at the Ziska show.

Slicked back buns paired beautifully with a range of minimalist looks in blues and browns at ELLA. 

Turtleneck over a full-length skirt with oxfords at ELLA?  Yes, please.

Orange makeup and blue prints from the design duo behind Sigga Maija.  

Backstage at Sigga Maija.

A much deserved congratulations to designers Sigga and Anna of Sigga Maija at the end of their show. Designer Anna Bóa walked in her own show. Only in Iceland.  

Time for champagne with Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the President of Iceland, at his beautiful home.

Drama backstage at JÖR by Guðmundur Jörundsson, a designer known for his tailoring and futuristic take on fashion.

The JÖR finale, completed with this increadible headpiece.

The final parade of looks at Magnea, designed by Central Saint Martins grad Magnea Einarsdóttir, who is known for her knitwear. I wanted them all!

Backstage textile intricacies at Magnea.  

Last party of Reykjavik Fashion Festival held by the city's harbor, hosted by Icelandic Design Centre and 66 North, a final cap to an incredible experiene! Until next year.

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