19.10.2021, Fashion Interview

Not many people can take an old tablecloth and turn it into ready-to-rave partywear. Yet, Josephine Bergqvist and Livia Schück do just that. The Swedish design duo have infused the fashionscape with kitsch charisma and New Thought sensibilities since the brand’s inception in 2016. Citing the rave scene as their primary influence for their creations, Bergqvist and Schück want to reinvigorate womenswear with quirk and cool-girl fun this season.

The thirty-one-piece collection, which was showcased at the Swedish Fashion Council’s showroom during Paris Fashion Week, is a myriad of pan-cultural references. Muted vertical stripes nod to nineties rave culture while youthquake fleeced florals juxtapose punkish tartans. Reworked waistcoats and cropped dad shirts blur gender binaries, while knife-pleated miniskirts serve a subtle lashing of sex appeal. The designers explore the female form from across the decades, reimagining typical fashion fax paus such as three-quarter length trousers that evoke noughties nostalgia while toying with iconoclastic seventies prints. “I think it’s part of our brand identity that we always have certain women that we return to and look at like muses. They often come from different subcultures – alternative ones,” the duo notes. “For example, rave culture fashion has so many nice details within the pieces which is something we like to explore. In this collection, we push it even further.”

Sustainability has become an industry buzzword, but Bergqvist and Schück have instilled it within every fibre of their ethos – and their collection. Deadstock fabrics are collaged with domestic materials such as terry towels, blankets and tablecloths. As with their references, the brand constantly look to the past in order to create for the future: “We’ve been working entirely with upcycling from the start. That’s our main concept. For us, it always starts with the materials we are going to use – there are a lot of tablecloths in the collection. We are exploring a lot of generic textiles from the second-hand world…we’re not 100% perfect but we’re so addicted to fashion. We are still a part of the fashion system, but we just want to do as best we can.”

The brand’s holistic approach to clothing construction is further shaped through the inclusion of affirmations which are printed across some of the garments. The text captures Rave Review’s engagement in the pursuit of female collectivism and ever-evolving kitschy-ness. There’s a fine line between trendy and tacky, which Bergqvist and Schück tread carefully in their aesthetic. Y2K brown colourways channel an element of grunge, which is elevated by candy cane stripes and colour block sportswear. Oversized collars and patchwork tracksuits fuse schoolgirl sentiment and mismatched thrift shop charm. Baggy silhouettes are paired with form-fitting crop tops and low-rise waistlines trumpet teen rebellion spirit. Although the designs champion youthful vigour, the Rave Review woman is ageless: “We try to cater for all women. We have some classic cuts which are more chic but not too chic. Then we have the younger customer which is like the person buying from SSENSE. The age for our customers is very broad and it’s very fun to merge that in our designs. It’s also important for the price point that you have some pieces that are easier for younger people to buy and wear.”

What are the next steps for the brand? Something top secret which cannot be revealed just yet. In the meantime, Rave Review continues to revitalize Swedish fashion with their infectiously garish garments that call for the subversion of conventional female dress codes. Ready for a night out? Rave Review will meet you in the mosh pit. 

Words by Tania Leslau
All Images: Courtesy of Rave Review


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