As a recent immigrant to Oslo I can’t help but notice the strong Norwegian sense of style. Everyone walks around as if just getting off a Banana Republic-meets-Free People photo shoot, rocking box-fresh threads and highly styled looks. Being one of the world’s richest countries influences how people dress and they definitely dress like they are rich and care how they look.
Between us there is a sharp visual contrast; I, with my decades old tees (that were made decades ago and cost $1), dilapidated shoes, my aversion to makeup concealer, and dark curly hair versus the Norwegian current-season outfit, long flowing golden locks, lots of face concealer, and really clean looking shoes.
But as I prepared to camp in the woods at Hove for six nights I imagined a sort of fashion overlap. My laid-back grungy style just might mix perfectly with the relaxed atmosphere of camping, I thought. I just might look like I fit in here especially among the teens since my party crew has made it a point to note that anyone born in ’88 (me) and after (everyone here) is a child to them anyway…
I was wrong.
Turns out Scandinavian youth is just as focused on looking box fresh even when they are camping in the woods and getting wasted for five days. And the most shocking observation is how scantily they dress at almost frigid temperatures! While I’m maxing out at 4 layers during the evening shows my Norse teen dream comrades are rocking booty shorts and tank tops — if not less!
And this week at Hove marks the first year the festival has set up an entire Mirror-Salon equipped with proper makeup lighting, mirrors, and complimentary use of blow dryers and straighteners. Not to mention the two professional stylists who invite girls to get their hair picture perfect.
The stylists told me the professional styling booth at festivals is a new phenomenon, even in Norway. Back in the days when the 30-somethings were camping in the Norwegian woods everyone happily rocked greasy festival hair and muddy feet. I believe that in the age of instant photography and viral sharing, kids feel they have to make themselves internet-ready and fabulous, even at five-day camping festivals in the woods.
All in all the major fashion trend is certainly the polished bohemian flower child look. A simple and formerly effortless style has become the most sought-after beauty trend this year, and while I think people are putting way too much effort into their look, they do look good. In this day and age maybe that’s all that counts.
(Check out our playlist from Hove):
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