For fashion, Oslo consistently gets unfairly rated behind its more established Scandinavian cousins like Stockholm and Copenhagen, but that is slowly changing. Referred to as the "little brother" of its aforementioned neighbors, being just out of the spotlight allows the city to be a little bit more fun and not take itself so seriously—no arctic angst to be found here. (Its sovereign oil fund also ensures an unbeatable quality of life for everyone). Thus, it's relaxed, even experimental approach to clothes mixed with its rich cultural history makes for a delicious mix of things to do when you're in town.
We got some insider picks from two fashionable natives in town for Oslo Runway this week. First, Linn Lømo, a New York based jewelry designer from Norway who loves the decadence of one downtown cafe as well as the iconoclastic Norwegian architecture just outside of town. Then Marianne Theodorsen, a street style star and former retail publicist, shared with us her list of must-visit stores in the off-piste neighborhoods of Oslo. No reindeer sweaters, we promise.
This local cafe and Oslo institution is directly across the street from Oslo's Nationaltheatret, the spiritual home of Henrik Ibsen, the Scandinavian Shakespeare. It's mostly local grandees and ladies who lunch for a few hours every afternoon, i.e., the most glam people watching in the city. Think Nora Helmer in Gucci nibbling on caviar and toast. -LL
Stortingsgata 24-26, 0117 Oslo
"Norwegian functionalism" is a dry way of describing one of the most bananas houses in Oslo. Designed by Arne Korsmo in 1939 the "villa" is now a museum just outside the city and worth the trip for this Corbusier-on-the-fjord gem. -LL
Tuengen allé 10C
Luck reminds me a lot of Maryam Nassir Zadeh in New York; an ample selection of lovely but directional pieces alongside smartly curated objects and housewares. Perhaps Luck feels a bit more homey ( the Norwegians can't help it) but the end goal is the same; cool things for your closet, home and whole life—there is also a hair salon attached. What more could you want? -MT
Grüners gate 9A
What Ekko lacks in size (imagine a walk-in closet with a cash register) it makes up for in breadth and quality. This vintage / designer consignment store in the Grünerløkka neighborhood has a deep selection of well maintained Dries and Ann Demeulemeester, usually in bright florals and prints which ensure's it's popularity with the Nordic street style set. -MT
This is Oslo's answer to say, Opening Ceremony; a multi-brand store with labels you love and know (Saint Laurent, Rick Owens) as well as local Norwegian brands you may not. It's easily navigated 3 floors are in the heart of Oslo on Karl Johans gate and has the best selection of sneakers in town. -MT
Karl Johans gate 39
The first thing that greets you walking into Velouria Vintage is a full rack of mint condition band tshirts (a conspicuously unworn Strokes tee was front and center). And another rack of silky MLB bombers and jerseys rounds out an uncannily American feeling little shop. Huge selection and top quality, also everything is at your fingertips with no digging around in mothy boxes. -MT
Thorvald Meyers gate 34
This is the Norwegian Barney's basically: Something for everyone and also cool, interesting things if you look hard enough. -MT
Karl Johans gate 23b