Viking experts join heads to create a Viking fashion show.
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK (FEBRUARY 20, 2015) (ALBERTSLUND MUNICIPALITY) – United by a common passion, Viking experts, enthusiasts and their friends gathered on Friday night (February 20) in Copenhagen for a fashion show of Viking clothes.
The show was part of a Viking seminar on the reconstruction of Viking clothes at Copenhagen University attended by 230 Viking experts.
Jim Lyngvild, a Viking enthusiast and fashion designer, said the seminar was a great opportunity to meet like-minded people.
“It is amazing, because there is the 230 of the most clever people on this subject here in this hall right now, knowing everything there is to know about the Viking Age and that is unbelievable,” he said.
Model Sara Jensen was equally thrilled to take part in the seminar where she was presenting the costume of a female Viking warrior.
“Good, it is a great opportunity for me to present this strange idea of a female warrior Valkyrie,” she said with a large smile.
At the seminar, topics such as textile production, the use of wool, linen, fur and jewellery and who wore what on what occasion were discussed.
The event was organised with the help of the Albertslund Viking Centre, where tourists and Vikings fans can find Viking-style houses and replicas of carved objects and embroidered textiles.
The Vikings, a people of Scandinavian origin who lived in northern Europe one thousands year ago, developed fashion trends that spread to the Baltics, the UK and many other countries in decades to come, and can be seen in fashion even today.
According to Maria Ojantakanen, an expert at the Albertslund Viking Centre, the Vikings’ clothes were surprisingly pretty and the cloth cleaner than generally thought.
But this had an unexpected effect, according to one letter written by an Englishman at the time.
“The Vikings clothing were very beautiful. It is mentioned in a letter written by an Englishman to his brother in which he complains about the Vikings who were dressed in such a nice and clean way that they managed to get the daughters of the kings as sweethearts,” Ojantakanen said.
Thirteen models showed reconstruction of Viking dresses made of natural materials such as silk, wool and linen, as well as jewellery.
Showing off a dress and a double necklace, Model Nina Hansen said she liked her new look.
“Good, it is warm, but it is comfortable, so I feel quite good, yes,” she said.
Back at the Albertslund Viking Centre, Ojantakanen explained that the clothing had to be not only practical but also endure for a long time. Both Ojantakanen and Lyngvild said the quality of the clothes was better then than today.
“Viking clothes were in general of better quality than what is used today. It was made of wool and linen and it was made to last for a long time. It took days, even months, to produce a costume,” Ojantakanen said.
Because of the material used, they were also more comfortable as one may first have thought.
“One thousand years ago the sheep had a lot thinner wool, so the material was a lot lighter that we can actually produce today, so even though we think that they went around in this itchy and scratchy clothes, they didn’t. It was actually soft and nice, much more than we have in the material today,” Lyngvild said.
At the end of the show, Lyngvild is definitely seduced.
“I think the woman were a little more feminine a 1,000 years ago and I miss that,” he said.