We met fashion designer Eygló Margrét Lárusdóttir at her studio on a sunny afternoon in downtown Reykjavík. Eygló is the brain behind the label EYGLO, which she started in 2006 after graduation from the Iceland Academy of the Arts. She has been busy since then, cofounding the cooperative design shop Kiosk in 2010, which carries her work as well as that of nine other Icelandic designers. Eygló just received a grant from the Aurora Design Fund to expand her brand, which features strong feminine collections with humorous undertones. Not to mention the newly crowned Eurovision winner Loreen from Sweden was also recently spotted sporting one of Eygló’s new swimsuits. Eygló was yawning when we first arrived, but it didn’t take her long to wake up as soon as she started talking about her work.
How did you wind up becoming a fashion designer?
Well, I kind of just woke up one day and wanted to become one and then there was just no turning back.
What is the concept behind your current spring/summer line?
I started with a book about dinosaurs that my son brought back from the library; I was inspired by the interesting patterns. I also scanned my hair, and then I combined them. So the collection is based on a natural look, but it’s also weird because obviously I don’t have green hair and we don’t know what dinosaurs looked like; it’s all just speculation. I try to make practical cuts that work. It thought there was a lack of swimwear, so I made two types of swimsuits that I’m really pleased with. A specialist in Estonia manufactures them, and I am actually on my way to visit them to see the winter collection as well as to make prototypes for next summer.
I’ll also be going to the opening of a new shop in Copenhagen called Karrusel, and later this summer I’m participating in the DottirDottir project in Berlin which is a month long pop-up shop and showroom.
How do opportunities for fashion designers abroad compare to opportunities in Iceland?
Well, the consumer group is ridiculously small here. If you can make it work here, you can make it work elsewhere. If you get into a few shops, you’re doing ok. There is so much cost involved with all of this; things that you forget to calculate. You don’t really even pay yourself in the beginning. I never recommend this job to anyone unless they are 100% sure that they want to do this and nothing else. But I would just be depressed if I weren’t doing it. It’s a mental rollercoaster.
What is the ethos behind EYGLO as a whole?
I use a lot of print, at least in my latest collections. My customer base is very broad; the designs seem to appeal to a wide audience. There is a sporty element; maybe it’s just the zeitgeist, but it always sneaks up on me. I’m not romantic at all.
You prefer stronger forms?
Yes and a bit of power dressing. Well, next summer I’m going to be really cliché. I went to Þingvellir and took pictures of rocks. I’m not joking! I’m making an Icelandic camouflage; it will be insane! I was just like, ‘fuck, what am I doing, organising some rocks in Photoshop,’ but I like doing something taboo and attempting to do it well. This idea could totally fail in Iceland, because these natural patterns are so close to us, but then it might work somewhere else. It’s a delicate balance to strike
Interview: Erla Björk Baldursdóttir
Photographs: Nanna Dís