My interest in clothes has evolved over time. From finding items I kind of liked in highstreet shops, to actively seeking out the really special items. A lot of my old favorites have been moved progressively further into the darker realms of my closets, as they have been replaced by truly great items. I’m not saying the things I like are what men my ages will universally like, but bear with me and see if I can’t inspire you a little.
Todays Label To Watch is the small Scandinavian brand HANSEN. Quite literally a small brand, with Aase Helena Hansen being the sole designer and owner of the company. She is Norwegian, born in Sweden and now based in Denmark. You just can’t get more Scandinavian that that, eh? What with the general fascination with all things dark, moody and Scandinavian these days, Hansen should be ideally placed to supply your sinister sartorial needs.
To my eyes, Hansen is very much a part of the heritage and workwear movement. Creating garments that wouldn’t look out of place in old photos from bygone times, but at the same time given their own twist that brings them right up to date and at the same time working outside of what might be currently fashionable. This last factor is important for those of us wishing to be well dressed adults, as it allows us to buy proper, good garments that will last well. I’d also consider Hansen garments to go well with other quality labels, so it’s easy to mix your garments for different looks. Quality wise Hansen is right up there with the best. Solid, well designed and properly made
A couple of my personal favorites are the below waistcoat and Sverre trousers. I’ve been wearing my Sverres a lot over the past 6 months and they’re holding up very well. Hard to see from the photo, but they have a quite unusual construction in that there is no outer seam. A nice twist.
As a label, Hansen focuses on reinventing and redefining the Nordic values within design, craftsmanship and materials. The focus is entirely on menswear, in fairly small runs. Materials are chosen with care, often using deadstock for ultra-small production runs. They place value on collaborating with local producers of knitwear, weaving, trim and embroidery. The latest collections have been created in collaboration with Norwegian weaving mills, Danish embroiderers and hand knitters. HANSEN is manufactured almost exclusively in Europe (apart from the recent jerseys that are made in Japan).
Part of Hansens unique look is the way in which Aase uses mainly her relatives as models for her collections. This is especially welcome for those of use that are not spring chickens ourself (though we might think of ourself being very much younger than we are). Have a look at the photos below for shots featuring cool old uncles and others. Some of the more sinister looking guys look straight out of a dark, Swedish crime series!
To sum up though, great clothes from a great designer. It takes a little effort to find the clothes though! I can recommend a visit to Copenhagen for two good shops that carry the label.
Fancy a peek at Hansens AW13 selection? Look here!