Photo: Gulli Mar / courtesy of the Vík Prjónsdóttir website
Leave it to Iceland to come up with outdoor winter wear that combines natural ingredients, high-quality craftsmanship and oddball (and sometimes hilarious) designs to keep anyone cozy when the mercury dips south on the thermometer.
Vík Prjónsdóttir describes itself as “a creative brand that designs and produces quality products from Icelandic sheep wool”. A collaboration between the designers Brynhildur Pálsdóttir, Guðfinna Mjöll Magnúsdóttir, Þuríður Sigurþórsdóttir and the knitting factory Víkurprjón, Vík Prjónsdóttir makes truly unique clothing to protect you from the cold. All the items are inspired by Icelandic history, myths, and folklore, and some of the product descriptions give a detailed background on the story behind them.
The Icelanders should know; the nation that gave the world Bjork, Sigur Rós, and skyr is snugly situated in the North Atlantic and the Greenland Sea. In short, the country of roughly 300,000 citizens are experts on keeping warm during the harshest of weather. All of Vík Prjónsdóttir’s products are made with Iceland-raised sheep’s wool, but what really makes them stand out is their creative designs.
The Seal Pelt / Selshamurinn: The locals have long revered a good seal hunt, but now you can obtain a seal pelt look without the nasty business of murdering a defenseless animal. Vík Prjónsdóttir’s version is a one-size-fits-all baggy unitard that comes in a wide variety of colours and patterns. The Seal Pelt comes complete with booties and a hood, and look incredibly warm.
The wool construction is definitely a plus when you consider the alternative, a cheaply-constructed Snuggie. (Make dang sure you’re nowhere near an open candle when donning one). The design of the Seal Pelt does, however, present two drawbacks: the lack of holes in the arms for your hands and the absence of a zipper on the front. However, it looks incredibly comfortable and would make a great conversation piece for the more adventurous fashionista.
The Beardcap: How do you top pyjamas that resemble a seal pelt? How about a knitted hat that features a beard and giant moustache? Also constructed from Icelandic sheep’s wool, The Beardcap “refers to a traditional cap called a ‘lambshed-hood’ which was used in Iceland by farmers who in heavy snowstorms had to walk long distances between their own sheds or to the neighbouring farms.”
The Beardcap covers your whole head and bottom half of your face to form a wool beard. Just for kicks, Vík Prjónsdóttir adds a burly moustache and leaves an opening from the nose up. It has to be seen to be believed.
Other items include The Healing Hands, The Landscape Blanket, and The Shield of Wings. Although their products boil down to boutique lounge wear, they do provide a natural, handmade, and completely original alternative for chilly folk who don’t have the luxury of a hot spring in their backyard.
Their website is http://vikprjonsdottir.com/