Friday, August 30, 2013

Moods of Norway Brings New Style, New Store to Minnesota

Today we've got a very special post! To mark Moods of Norway's 10th anniversary and the opening of their latest boutique at the Mall of America, Sons of Norway interviewed Stefan Dahlkvist, one of the founders of Norway's coolest fashion collectives. 

SofN: Please tell us a little about Moods of Norway; how did it begin and what was the original vision?

SD: We were a group of very friends, who liked to dress fun and sharp with attention to detail. After years of international travels and studies abroad we picked up on how people view Norway from the outside. We wanted to tell the exotic tale of Norway in a fashion wrapping. Therefor "Moods of Norway". In this premium lifestyle brand, we combine a true Norwegian heritage with International fashion trends and the outcome is a very new and fresh expression.     

SofN:  Has your collective vision for Moods of Norway evolved over time?

SD: No, the fundamental idea is still the same, but naturally our inspiration for the different collections change with the seasons. We still believe that fashion should be fun, and we love to explore the Norwegian traditions in a more contemporary setting. 

SofN: Today Moods of Norway has such a unique style can you tell us where the company draws its creative inspirations from? 

SD: The inspiration for the concept is the clash between the Norwegian country side (in our case, Stryn) and international hot spots around the world.  

SofN: Last month marked your 10th anniversary. Congratulations! When you, Simen and Peder first set out, did you ever envision the level of success that Moods of Norway now enjoys? 

SD: No, we never thought that we would grow this fast and get tho this level this early, but the vision from the start was clear; to create an international premium lifestyle brand. And we are extremely proud and happy that so many people like what we do.  

SofN: What can you tell us about upcoming Moods of Norway collections? 

SD: The fall 13 collection is called "fiddlers and waltzers" and has clothes for both the "cocktail swingers and the waltzers". We have great items for both men and women both for work and for when it is time to go out on the town. The best way to experience the collection is to come and visit us at Mall of America (142 South Avenue) 

SofN: I’ve read that Moods of Norway creates happy clothes for happy people. Tell us more about that.

SD: We are true fans of a happy outlook in life and if we can help people to feel a little bit more positive through our designs, we have succeeded.  

SofN: Over the years, Moods of Norway has expanded to include a number of stores in the U.S. What has that experience been like? 

SD: The experience has been very exciting and we have learned a lot. In May 2009 we opened our first store in West Hollywood, in Sept 2012 we opened our flagship in SOHO New York and now Sept 6th we will officially open in Mall of America. 

SofN: You are opening a new store at the Mall of America on September 6th. What made you consider Minnesota/MOA as the 3rd and newest location for your boutiques? 

SD: Since we already are represented on the both coasts, now was the time to explore the midwest. With the very Scandinavian feel of Minnesota and given the success of the Mall in Bloomington we think that we have found our perfect fit for our 3rd location. We are truly excited to be able to offer the people of Minnesota a new, unique and fun way to upgrade their wardrobe.

SofN: What kind of experience are you bringing to customers at your newest location? 

SD: We hope to be able to give our customers a truly unique and fun shopping experience.  

SofN: We understand you are running a promotion for visitors to your newest store in the MOA. Please tell us about that. 

SD: Yes, we want to offer our customs an introductory discount of 10% with your first in store purchase. All that is needed is to like us on Facebook and sign up in the Moods of Norway Store (142 S. Aveneue). When signing up you can also enter to win entrance to our very exclusive "really really blonde party" sept 5th, where you can meet the designers of Moods of Norway for a great time. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Soup and More Soup!

Børsens Spiseri on Svinøya
With an expected high of 97 degrees in Minnesota today, it's not exactly soup weather. And yet the Viking team has been testing hearty soup recipes this week. We're working ahead of the season in order to bring you our October cover story: three delicious soups from Norway's historic eateries.

One of the recipes we'll be featuring is fish soup from Børsens Spiseri in the Lofoten Islands. I was lucky enough to visit this charming historic restaurant in Svolvær earlier this year. Tucked into an old warehouse on Svinøya, one of the oldest neighborhoods in town, the restaurant has been serving hungry fishers and travelers for generations.

In addition to the fish soup, be sure to check out the recipe for a delicious carrot soup with king crab from Seilmakerfruenskro, a restaurant on the island of Lyngør, off Norway's southern coast. And mushroom lovers will want to try the creamy chanterelle soup from Per Gynt Gården in Gudbrandsdal. (Note: this is not your average cream of mushroom soup!)

You'll find them all in the October issue of Viking!

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Folk Duo The Blue & The Blond Begins U.S. Tour

The Midwest might be considered flyover country by some, but when it comes to Nordic music, there's plenty going on. This month is no exception. As summer winds down, folk music enthusiasts can look forward to a visit from the Nordic duo The Blue & The Blond on their first American tour. 

The duo consists of Jutta Rahmel, from Finland, and Vidar Skrede, from Norway, each singing and performing on their respective countries’ national instruments—kantele and hardingfele

While I'm looking forward to seeing Rahmel perform for the first time, I've been a fan of Skrede for years, both as a solo performer and as a member of the trio Geitungen. There's every reason to believe this newest partnership will yield equally enchanting results. Check out a few of The Blue & The Blond's tunes on their Bandcamp site

While the pair's tour started Aug. 17 at Idun Lodge in Madison, Wisc., there are still plenty of opportunities to see them. Catch them at one of the following venues: 

Aug 21—2nd Annual Door County Nordic Fiddle Fest, Baileys Harbor, Wis.
Aug 23—Ceska Opera House, Haugen, Wis.
Aug 24—Dalton Opera House, Dalton, Minn.

Aug 25—Bethania Lutheran Church Decorah, Iowa
Aug 27—The Contented Cow, Northfield, Minn.
Sep 01—Scanfest at Vasa Park, Hackettstown, New Jersey
Sep 06—Mindekirken, Minneapolis, Minn.

Sep 07—Nordic Music Festival at Lake Minnewashta Regional Park, Excelsior, Minn.

Sep 12—Norway Hall, Duluth, Minn.

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Good Cause to Scream

July 27, 2013, Norway Cup
This year Norway celebrates the 150th birthday of its most famous painter, Edvard Munch. And throughout the year, Norwegians are marking the event in unique and thought-provoking ways. For example, in tribute to Munch's iconic Scream series, Norwegian artist Lisa Wulff initiated "The Scream from Nature," an environmentally-focused art project to raise awareness about the relationship between humans and the environment.

In 1892 Munch described the experience behind his Scream motif: "I was walking along the road with two friends. The sun was setting. Suddenly the sky turned blood red and I felt a huge unending scream course through nature."

The project connects Munch's century-old Scream with the modern "screams" we hear from nature today. "Droughts, forest fires, floods, earth slides, extreme weather, melting glaciers, rising ocean levels and massive extinctions of animal and plant species are just some of the huge challenges the world faces today," states the project website. The organizers hope to make a connection between our relationship with nature and the consequences our choices have for the planet we live on.

The project interprets Munch’s masterpiece by recreating the iconic expression in large formats and outdoor settings. For example, on July 27 during the opening of the Norway Cup, the country's largest youth soccer tournament, 4,000 youth from all over the World gathered in the shape of the Scream. The result was as large as a football field.

To learn more about the events scheduled to commemorate Munch's birthday, check out "Celebrating a Master" in the August issue of Viking.

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.