There are two amazing exhibitions currently on at Liljevalchs. One, The Dress Makes the Man, Haute Couture – A New Era, features the collection of fashion of a person called Fredrik Robertsson who not only buys it but wears it in public. The other, Private Nature, is a series of 72 photographs taken by Swedish photographer and filmmaker, Jens Assur.
Fredrik Robertsson is gender-fluid. He also loves fashion and, in particular pieces of unique fashion made especially for him. In his own words:
A lot of people think I dress for attention: I don’t. I just happen to love fashion and have always liked the idea that what I wear changes how people look at and think of me. I don’t feel that I have one style; I create characters with my style. I like to dress how I feel and I like to dress for the occasion. When I am dark and moody, I dress in Rick Owens; if I’m going to a gala, I do gala; at the couture in Paris I go all out. I don’t limit myself, and I love to have fun with fashion.Vogue, 2019. Available online at: https://www.vogue.com/article/fredrik-robertsson-on-wearing-dresses-couture-and-camp
And when he says he doesn’t limit himself, he’s not wrong. Some of the outfits on display are extraordinary. As one of the people interviewed in the introductory video, wearing haute coulture is not just wearing clothes, it’s wearing art.
While not keen on a lot of the clothes that, basically, looked unwearable, I rather liked the coat that looked like a housecoat featured to the left of the photograph above. I also really loved the pink coat to the right; especially the eight non-identical buttons down the front and the fish scales up the back.
I was out and about with Lauren and she thoroughly enjoyed both exhibitions, favouring a rather striking outfit she said was made for her.
I’d given Lauren a choice of places to visit on our final day out together. She was torn between the Photographic Museum and Liljevalchs but, given she really wanted to visit the Museum of Wrecks, we decided that Liljevachs being almost directly next door, swung it.
We were both very taken with Lens Assur’s photographs. He has collected together photographs from various world holidays with his family, all in black and white; all about the natural world and our place in it.
There were many brilliant images but my favourite was this one:
At the end of the exhibition there was a short video of him and his partner (Jennie) where he explained his concept of nature. He was born in Stora Blåsjön in Jämtland, which is in the north and very much all natural. He has never understood the getting back to nature concept because, for him, it was just there and a huge part of this life.
What happens to us when we live far away from nature, and when we return to it? In addition to exploring profound existential questions, the exhibition also raises burning contemporary issues about privatisation, the right to roam and exploitation in the wake of wilderness tourism.2023, Liljevalchs website. Available online: https://liljevalchs.se/en/kalender/jens-assur/
He and his family lived in Stockholm for a while, but he really missed the natural world, and so they moved back to Jämtland. He explained, in the video, how, when he was growing up there were no private property signs or boom gates blocking people’s egress. He sees these as reducing the Swedish right to roam and limiting people’s experience of nature.
Having moved to the Museum of Wrecks, our visit was unexpectedly cut short because they closed at 5pm rather than the 6pm I thought. Still, we managed to see most of it, though our VR journey underwater with the archaeologist was interrupted before I could take my final photograph.
Still, we managed to see nearly everything and Lauren loved it. She also enjoyed our second visit to the Glashuset where we sipped a number of drinks and had lots of chat, while the rain fell outside.
Actually, we were quite lucky with the weather. While it poured during our wander around Liljevalchs, it stopped for when we were outside. It’s not often I get that lucky. Though I was wearing my new raincoat and Lauren had an umbrella, so we were both well armed.
Overall, it was a lovely day. I thoroughly enjoy showing people my favourite bits of Stockholm especially when they are as appreciative as Lauren.
That’s her taking photos of a few of Jason’s friends who he met at Gröna Lund.