With her own department in Saks Fifth Avenue, covers of leading fashion magazines and sold-out collections at Harrods in London, Katja Geiger—better known as Katja of Sweden—was Sweden’s first internationally renowned fashion designer. Trend-sensitive and determined to succeed, she broke with the era’s narrow ideal of femininity to carve her own path.
Katja Geiger would have celebrated her 100th birthday in 2020. We are celebrating this centenary with the exhibition Katja of Sweden, which will delve into her colourful, highly patterned designs to capture the spirit of the 1960s and ’70s.
The exhibition contrasts monochrome austerity with colourful playfulness, combining Katja’s clothes, shoes and headwear with newsreel footage and fashion photography by famous Swedish photographers Claës Lewenhaupt and Georg Oddner.
Using Katja’s own words, we will relate how she gave the modern woman new textiles, cuts and patterns and what it was like to be a woman in a male-dominated profession.
“What I wanted to achieve was liberation for the woman; by offering her beautiful, comfortable, wonderful clothes that were easy to maintain and live in without the need to worry about how they would survive the home, the workplace, children, travel, entertaining and so on.
Display period: 15 June 2019–23 February 2020