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Interview

How To Survive Winter In Scandinavian Style

Scandinavian style can teach us more than just the art of layering. From lightness and friendships to a positive mindset, here’s how to embrace life’s winters the Scandi way.

Winter is often thought of as hibernation – layers of clothing to help through perseverance in order to reach the spring season. However, the Scandinavians have embraced the winter season and created a philosophy that intertwines functionality and chic design in every aspect of daily life. The concept of Hygge keeps away the winter doldrums and instead invites warmth and coziness on all levels. The famous saying, “There is no bad weather, just bad clothes,” was coined by the Scandinavians. They have mastered the art of layering.

Join us in conversation with Norwegian designer, Siri Willoch Traasdahl. Her masks are deemed as an essential accessory these days that complement and add zest to muted palettes of color.

What are the essentials in a home to create a cozy and happy feeling?

Our design is sleek and minimalist because it helps to welcome more light into our homes. The objective is to combat darkness and to capture as much natural light during the daytime as possible. This also explains why we thematically use white in our homes.

In the evenings, you will always find candles lit and fireplaces soaring to create an ambiance of warmth. Hence, candle holders are great investments for the home. Some of my favorites are from Kosta Boda or Orrefors. Going out to dinner is rare. Instead, we prefer to entertain at home.

Hygge (which, by the way, is both a noun and a verb) is all about creating a cozy atmosphere, and friendship is a key element to achieve this feeling. A popular gift is Lars Mytting’s Norwegian Wood: Chopping. Stacking and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way.

How do you start your day, from breakfast to getting dressed?

Breakfast is usually tea or coffee accompanied by an open face savory sandwich, which is called Brødskive. The bread is usually wholegrain, Knekkebrød or crisp bread. It’s topped with a combination of cheese, meat and spreads.

When it comes to dressing for the day, it’s all about layering. Homes are often quite warm, so we must be prepared for stark transitions. Moreover, it is essential that the head and neck are covered. And don’t neglect a coat that covers at least one’s behind! Some brands that are popular include Norrøna and Berghaus. For a splurge, I’d recommend Moncler or Ralph Lauren.

Practicality is a big priority. For instance, buying a fancy pair of boots that salt will eat through simply will not work. So it’s important to think of what will take you through the winter comfortably. Because of the various layers of clothing, having a backpack is required.

How is it that Scandinavians don’t simply just weather the winter, but they also seem to enjoy it?

A large population of people have summer and winter cabins. The enjoyment of the outdoors is apparent in every season. Outdoor activities are the cornerstones of Scandinavian culture. If you want to splurge on something, it wouldn’t be on a piece of jewelry or a luxurious watch. It would be on various sets of skies. The Nordic mindset is about embracing the season and what it can offer.

Your background is in design and you have launched a beautiful and functional line of face masks this year. How did you incorporate your Scandinavian design sensibility?

Clean lines and simplicity are derived from my background. The masks liven up the outfit and are colored with happy prints. Quality and functionality are paramount. If you are not wearing the mask on your face, it can be used to hold up your hair or worn around your neck. These elements speak to the practical side shared by Scandinavian design.

Seema Mehta Mehringer

Seema Mehta Mehringer has been active at the nexus of fashion, luxury goods, and travel for more than a decade, first as a partner in a New York-based public relations firm and now as a contributing editor to Vogue India and freelance writer. She grew up between New York and Mumbai and now lives with her husband and five year old twins in Miami.

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