It can be sensed everywhere in town here – the very special attitude towards life that Norwegians call “hygge”. Tough to translate, hygge means cosy conviviality, relaxedness, community, togetherness. Let’s put it differently: Oslo, that’s the home of the we-feeling. We is right at home here.
TIP FOR READERS: PUT ON HEADPHONES and SET AUDIO MODE TO ON to enjoy this LOOKBOOK ACOUSTICALLY, too :)
The city by the Oslo Fjord is a modern metropolis with a feel-good factor. Likeable, open-minded, diverse. A mecca for culture, architecture and design fans. Just the right environment for the KATHARINA HOVMAN Winter Collection 2022/23.
For people who love aesthetics
We start off our shooting tour in the most western part of the city on the peninsula TJUVHOLMEN. The first things that strike us are the quietness and good air. Automobiles with combustion engines are not allowed on Tjuvholmen. In fact, Oslo on the whole is a big city without traffic noise – 80 % of all vehicles use electric drive.
All the current trends in architecture can be seen here: the young urban borough is comprised of buildings by more than 20 different architects. One of the most well-known and new attractions in Oslo is the ASTRUP FEARNLEY MUSEUM of Modern Art designed by Renzo Piano. Beautifully situated directly by the Oslo Fjord, an impressive architectural ensemble. Urbanity and nature are united here. Posed in front of the no-frills walls made of wood, our Carlotta and guest model Julie, a yoga teacher from Oslo, form an excitingly lively contrast in intensive PINKYMELLOW. Our models brighten up the backdrop KATHARINA HOVMAN-style: fresh colours, harmonious shades and individual details – winter grey doesn’t stand a chance.
A brand-new section of town by the fjord
BJØRVIKA - Once a heavily trafficked container port, today BJØRVIKA is an innovation come alive with a skyline made up of Oslo’s newest landmarks: the gleaming white Opera House right by the harbour, the new Deichman Library, and Bjørvika, a fashionable quarter with exclusive shops, art galleries and restaurants.
The new OPERA HOUSE is definitely the most modern, better yet most futuristic building in town. It towers up out of the water along the waterfront like a drifting iceberg. From the roof of the opera house there’s a breathtaking view into the fjord with its many sailing boats. You can almost touch the sky here. Carlo and Priscilla in their luminous blouses in fresh BLEU and bright CORNFLOWER substitute for the blue sky on this overcast day.
On our stroll through Bjørvika a bench draws us magically closer. It’s endless. It’s pink. Typical for Oslo, it’s puristic, clear-cut – in an identical setting: Carlo and Pris turn it into a catwalk wearing BLACK and WHITE.
Right around the corner in Operagata 63A we visit the remarkable GALERIE KÖSK for contemporary Norwegian art. We meet up with Karina here, the manager of the gallery. I photograph her in a shirt in delicate TAUPE.
Oslo’s municipal library
Oslo’s municipal library, the DEICHMAN BJØRVIKA, one of the most modern libraries in Europe, rounds out the cityscape. The oldest public library in the country is “public” in the truest sense of the word. Much more than a repository for books, it is a meeting point with a movie theatre, lounges, restaurant, play area, studios with a creative selection on offer, and naturally full of books! The age-old Norwegian yen for culture, for reading and learning, is reflected here. And for companionship.
Once a year, the whole world focuses on it
Ensconced on the northern shore of PIPERVIKA Bay lies OSLO CITY HALL, the monumental structure that has been a symbol of Norwegian independence for nearly 100 years. Its large banquet hall is familiar to people from all over the world. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded here each year on the 10th of December, the anniversary of the death of the founding benefactor. The walls – styled by some of Norway’s most famous artists – tell about the country’s history, art and culture.
Even in the venerable City Hall it can be sensed again – hygge, this specially Norwegian we-feeling. It truly is a community centre, a place to meet for one and all. And this is where we meet up with our guest model Veronica Mike, too. The city planner is a partner and creative director at Natural State. In her dress in warm-hued CARAMELLO she fits in harmoniously with these lavishly coloured surroundings. Dressed in lush, earthy shades like MOOR and GRAPE, Carlo and Pris make a completely relaxed impression as they blend equally well into the scenery.
Also situated on the Rathausplatz plaza is the NOBEL PEACE CENTER, a showcase with portraits of all the laureates. Emotive and impressive in one: the lighting installation that turns this spot into something very special. An invitation to self-reflection. On one of the window panes the question that says it all: What will YOU do to change the world? What Pris is writing at the moment?
close to everything
Zhwan, the young woman garbed in BLACKNIGHT, stays on to join us at the NATIONALMUSEUM across the street. At the new museum – not yet open when we did the shooting – there’s even art at the bus stop. And right in the middle, as if painted: Zhwan. In in a mellow TAUPE, she literally merges with the monumental scene. Zhwan is an actress and the front-office manager at our Smarthotel. When we arrived her beauty struck me right away. A spontaneous enhancement to our team.
Apropos Smarthotel Oslo – well placed in the centre of town, in the SENTRUM district. Perfect location: “Close to everything” is posted on the website. It’s true! In straightforward Oslo, close to everything just about says it all.
FUGLEN & KATLA
Just around the corner from the hotel, one of the city’s most legendary cafés: Café FUGLEN. While the world keeps evolving on and on, at Fuglen nothing has changed since 1963. Vintage at its best! The pleasure of coffee with a “journey through time feel” can be had here. Coffee is the national beverage of Norway: “Let’s get together for a coffee” – hardly any other phrase is so typically Norwegian. At FUGLEN fresh coffee is served as of 7 a.m., in the evening the café transforms itself into a cocktail bar. Lydia, the daughter of the owner and a singer at the Oslo Opera House, is our barista today. She wears a trendy Shirt in CAMARELLO.
Equally close nearby: KATLA Restaurant – freshly crowned with the BARTENDERS’ CHOICE AWARD 2022 as the best restaurant in Norway. Named after the grand Icelandic volcano Katla – a fitting name for this place, where cooking is done over an open flame. At KATLA, chef de cuisine Atli Mar Yngvasson uses aromas from various countries to create his sensual taste sensations.
Nothing’s “square” about quadratures
SENTRALEN, the “central headquarters”, lies in KVADRATUREN – a borough laid out in the rectangular Renaissance style. SENTRALEN is a very special event location. Particularly communicative and social. Especially multifaceted. Originally the headquarters of Christiania Sparebank, a savings bank, nowadays the historic premises on six floors provide over 400 creative co-working spaces along with room for festivals, culture and getting together. The restaurant is an insider tip: the best lunch anywhere in Oslo!
Our shooting with Carlo and Julie in the former vault – now a rental studio for music – was just as special as the whole complex. Equally impressive: the stately, still original stairwell. And then the rooftop terrace with a fabulous view across the city. No wonder Osloites love their SENTRALEN so much. We find lots of styles here, lots of colours, and lots of history. Everything was only restored as much as necessary, and what we encounter everywhere here too again is what makes Oslo and probably all of Norway what they are: the clear, very functional design of all things. And the sincerely open, relaxed way people co-exist with one another. What folks in Norway call hygge.
PHILINE’S TIPS FOR OSLO
Credit for the wonderful pictures and stories in our Lookbook goes to photographer Philine von Sell and her team.
Philine is already in town well before every shooting in a city and explores it for us in every direction. Her travel tips are especially worthwhile – they are highlights which were personally experienced in the city where we had our shooting.