Skall letter No. 18

Julie and Marie Skall and the forever inspiring Skagen painters

A conversation about art and inspiration with Julie and Marie Skall and the forever inspiring Skagen painters.

Skall studio’s Spring-Summer 2020 collection is inspired by the Scandinavian art collective who lived and created in Skagen in the late 19th century. The painters included world renowned artists as the couple Marie and P.S. Krøyer and Anna and Michael Ancher. The Skagen painters were deeply inspired by the historic and charming local environment and the beautiful nature which they painted in their realistic en plein air paintings, loved by many today.

The siblings Marie and Julie Skall grew up in the Northern part of Jutland close to nature and sea. Their Spring-Summer 2020 collection is inspired by the unique ambience that exists in the Northern part of Denmark.

“The nature is wild and beautiful in light colors with soft sand dunes, open landscapes covered in heather and the open blue sky above. This part of Denmark is surrounded by the sea, long beaches and flat heathland that when combined creates this very special light that characterizes the Northern part of Jutland and especially Skagen. We have always loved to spend time in nature and the many walks along the beaches and the sea brings us an inner calm and space to contemplate. We try to bring that feeling and atmosphere into our brand and our work. Our clothing is relaxed yet elegant and also comfortable to wear, and we use various shades of light colors as white, beige and light blue - which also characterizes our SS20 collection.” Julie Skall explains.

With the sisters’ inspiration from the Skagen painters’ aesthetics and artistic view in mind it was just right to meet them at the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen, where the  exhibition ‘Anna Ancher’ is now taking place.

How do you use the inspiration from art in your designs?

“We love art and often use this as an inspiration in our designs. As an example, Hammershøi has been an inspiration for our AW20 collection. Colors, silhouettes and the mood in Hammershøi’s paintings are reflected in our design. We are also very inspired by the workwear of artists, which is often big shirts and shirtdresses crafted from a heavy cotton in different shades of white.”

What do you find to be particularly inspiring about Anna Ancher and her art?

“We are fond of so many male artists, but there are also a few very inspiring female artists that we love. Anna Ancher is one of them. Just like us, Anna Ancher was born in the Northern part of Denmark and we feel a close connection to her because of that. The pictures of Anna Ancher is different from the other Skagen painters, while she has her own way of capturing the light in her paintings. Anna focuses on the inner light, both physically and on a psychological level, for example the light in a livingroom or the light in a portrait. The colors in her art are more clear and powerful. We are particularly in love with the special blue hue which is found in several of Anna Anchers’ paintings - and is now also to be found in our collection.”

Can you point out some of the details in your Spring-Summer 2020 collection and how it references the art of the Skagen painters?

"We love cotton laces and often find our inspiration from vintage night-gowns. In our SS20 collection we have worked with laced collars and found our inspiration from the portrait paintings of Anna Ancher, which illustrates women dressed in collars. We were also inspired by the long dress silhouettes that characterized the time, along with the lighting and the beautiful colors."

“The new collection consists of white lace dresses and shirts with feminine detailing and collars inspired from vintage night gowns fond in antique markets in the Northern part of Jutland. Details that can also be found in the numerous paintings from the Skagen painters. A unique stripe of white and blue tones can be seen on dresses, shirts and shorts in an organic cotton. Linen dresses in a classic white and beige stripe highlights the Danish, historical and romantic notes in the collection.”

The Spring-Summer 2020 collection is the quintessence of Danish summer, where you throw on a striped oversized cottonshirt, a straw hat and a pair of slippers and head to the beach, and pick up flowers on the roadside on your way home.

Julie & Marie Skall