Borghildur Gunnarsdóttir or Hilda as she likes to be called is the designer behind the brand Milla Snorrason. Hilda will be making her debut at this year’s Reykjavík Fashion Festival with the first Milla Snorrason collection.
After finishing her fashion studies at the Icelandic academy of arts in 2009, Hilda moved to London where she worked as a fashion intern for the designers Peter Jensen and Erdem. Recently, she returned back to her roots and is now living in Reykjavík where she is working hard on finishing her first collection. Up until now, she is most known for her colorful high socks and accessories such as wooden glasses so it is exciting to see what she will bring to the runway in march.
Bast Magazine asked Hilda some questions about her inspirations, her design process and the reason behind the name of her label.
Photo: Saga Sig
How would you describe your designs? Classic with a twist. Just kidding. Errr.....I guess it’s a mix of stuff I like so I will try and name those. Exciting color combinations, nature, animals, weirdness and quirky stuff, buttoned up shirts, all sorts of glasses, natural fabrics, clashing prints and I’ve always been completely obsessed with looking at old pictures – particularly from 1920’s-1940’s. Put in a large pot, mix it all together with some coriander and marmalade and you’ll probably have a piece of my clothing. Enjoy it with a nice cuppa tea. Just whatever you do, don’t put it in the toaster!
What was your inspiration for the collection will be showing on the runway at Reykjavík Fashion Festival? Me being really homesick living in London that is lovely but way too big a city for a small town girl like me. So I decided to use Reykjavík as a big part of my inspiration. Then I went to the London College of Fashion library and lost my mind in twenties street style books. And then I started cooking. I’ll stop with the food references now.
Why the name Milla Snorrason? Because my real name is Borghildur Gunnarsdóttir. I don’t dislike it at all but it’s not very catchy is it? Borghildur design also sounds so horrible and wait till you hear foreigners pronounce it! Milla Snorrason was my great grandmothers sister, she was a total badass fashionista with purple hair. I actually have loads of clothes she made herself. So it seemed right.
From a blank piece of paper to a finished product, what is your process like? Research till the end of time. I think I research every single day in some way. Then it’s sketching combined with fabric searching and trying out color combinations. After that it’s pattern making and finally sewing and styling.
What is your personal style like? These days I’m working on my collection from home and my uniform is baggy jeans, a woolen sweater and my adidas slippers. But I guess my every day style reflects the things I like in fashion, some of which I mentioned in the first answer.
What book would you recommend for every fashion designer? I’m totally blank. Please let me know if you find this book every fashion designer has to read. Actually I think I would dislike it if every fashion designer read the same book. Individuality is what’s exciting. I myself haven’t found a favorite book since I read Life of Pi. I read it so fast that I got seasick of all the rapid eye movement. No joke.
Photos: Hanna Birna Geirmundsdóttir
What artists inspire you? Nature inspires me the most so.........God? Anyways there are too many to count here. But recently I became obsessed with Jean Painlevé and also recently discovered Aðalheiður Eysteinsdóttir who makes amazing sculptures out of wood. And I will forever love Wes Anderson and Andrei Tarkovsky who are of course filmmakers but in my mind the meaning of the word artist is quite wide. Designers Dries Van Noten and Consuelo Castiglioni for Marni. People who are not afraid to be extremely personal in their creations are my favorites and who therefore have very distinct signature style. Oh and I have a huge crush on the talented musician Snorri Helgason.
What was your nickname in school? Bogga proffi. Haha! Nowadays people just call me Hilda.
Where do you go out in Reykjavík? These days I only go out to walk my dog by the sea since I’m in “finishing my collection” -camp. But if I would I think I’d go to Bakkus or Prikið. Or just anywhere I can dance with my friends.
What is your dream as a designer? My dream is to simply BE a designer and have enough success to be able to buy food and pay rent. Please dear almighty fashion god?
MTWTFSSWEEKDAY PRE-LAUNCH SHOPPING EVENT. New collection from the Weekday family. Nice collection, lovely music and beautiful people.
David Bowie - Life On Mars ?
She has a natural talent for translating her expressive drawings that have a unique style and beauty about them into clothes or accessories. The Icelandic Hildur Yeoman has been working as a fashion designer and illustrator since 2006 and is now showcasing her designs for the third time at this year’s Reykjavík Fashion Festival.
According to herself drawing is always number one but she has managed to establish a close link between being an illustrator and fashion designer as her illustrations can easily stand on their own or like in many occasions turn into outstanding fashion pieces.
When Hildur's first full clothing line hit the runway at Reykjavik's Fashion Festival last spring, one thing was clear: sweet childhood innocence was turning rebellious. Bast Magazine wanted to get a glimpse into what she has in store for this years show.
What is your vision in the collection you are showing at RFF? I´m finding beauty in elements associated with bad taste and focusing on having the time of my life.
What can we expect to see on the runway? A fun show!
What are the biggest challenges of being a fashion designer in Iceland? Ohhh, where to begin. Import taxes, lack of funding, small market, etc, etc.
What do you think is the most exciting thing in fashion today? The most exciting thing for me is to see Icelandic talent do well abroad, like Ostwald Helgason (fashion label), Kolfinna Kristofersdottir (model) and Saga Sig (photograper) to name a few.
When do you feel the most creative? My job is to be creative all the time. But if I only knew where the good ideas are born, I would just stay there.
This is the third time you participate in RFF, what does it mean to you as a designer? I think of it as a brilliant opportunity to do what I want, to have fun with fashion.
Where do you go out in Reykjavik? I am not loyal to a one particular bar. I go where there are fun people, good drinks and great music.
What are your guilty pleasures? I don´t believe in feeling guilty over pleasures
Tell us a secret…The answer above is a total lie.
Pictures from Metamorphose, an exhibition by Hildur Yeoman and photographer Saga Sig where Hildur’s colorful design and Saga’s magical photographs are combined in an expressive and vibrant way.
Read more aobut Asger Juel in Bast Magazine Issue No.4
When they were still in elementary school, the Icelandic pop bad Retro Stefson made their public debut back in 2006 at the Icelandic airwaves music festival. Since then critics have praised them for their sound and energetic live performances. After releasing their debut album, Montana, exclusively in Iceland the band’s second album, Kimbabwe was released in Europe last year. Today, Retro Stefson, have made a name for themselves in the Icelandic music scene and have already toured internationally. Bast asked the lead singer, Unnsteinn, a few questions about music and the city life in Reykavik.
What is the best thing about living in Reykavik? The same as the worst thing: The small size.
How would you describe the music scene? I would describe it as vibrant! I don't even now what it means I've heard so many times when people talk about the music scene here, that I expect to look it up in the dictionary on day and see: Vibrant = Reykjavík music scene
Does the Icelandic government support young upcoming musicians? How? Well we have IMX or The Icelandic Music Export, a government agency that promotes Icelandic music at international festivals and conferences. They also do the Iceland Airwaves Music festival and a conference and give out small funds to Icelandic musicians working or planning to work abroad.
What kind of music style does Retro Stefson have? We do loads of dance music and then everything else that we like.
What matters to you most as a musician? Trying to do something new and innovative.
How do you prepare for concerts? We do sound checks and set lists. And then a lot of stressing out.
Is it possible to make a living of being a musician in Iceland? Yes, if you like bread and water.
Is the nightlife in Reykjavik as crazy as the rumor says? It's pretty crazy. The cool thing is that there aren't really any clubs, so the most popular bars and pubs tend to transform into tiny dance floors after midnight, and that's a fun task for the DJ, to manage the vibe from the tables to the floor. And since you don't pay an entrance-fee, people tend to move between places a lot.
What is your favorite bar? Karamba 4 life...
If you were president for one day what would you do? Go to the White House and meet Barack Obama, and talk about culture and race.
What song never fails? Senseni.