Call for Papers:

‘Scandi Style’: Exploring Scandinavian Fashion Photography in a Global Context

9th December 2016, University of Westminster, London, UK

The term ‘Scandi Style’ immediately brings to mind the minimalist design aesthetic that emerged in the 1930s and was later popularised by global brands like Ikea. This study day will consider the notion of Scandi style from a different angle, focusing on Scandinavian fashion photography – uncovering its hidden histories, exploring its international networks, showcasing contemporary practitioners. Is it possible to speak of a ‘Scandi style’ in fashion photography? What sorts of relationships exist, and have existed, between fashion photographers, designers, and publications, both within the region, and internationally? What are the benefits and drawbacks of seeking to describe national and regional photo histories? These, and other questions, will be considered.

For the purposes of the study day, we understand Scandinavia as encompassing Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, as well as Finland and Iceland.

We invite contributions for short (15-minute) presentations on subjects related to the conference theme. We welcome submissions from scholars, curators, writers, researchers and others working with Scandinavian fashion photography in a range of contexts such as museums, galleries, and archives, magazines, design companies, and educational institutions.

Please send proposals of approximately 300 words to Anna Dahlgren ( and Eugenie Shinkle ( by 30th September 2016.

The study day will include the following keynote presentations:

Anna Dahlgren  Swedish fashion photography. A hidden image ecology.

I will discuss four fashion photographers active in Sweden between 1920 and 1970. These individuals and their work are not part of the international history of fashion photography. Neither have they been included in the Swedish history of photography, which has mainly considered documentary and art photography. This presentation includes the life and work of some hitherto forgotten photographers. Moreover I seek to discuss the mechanisms for this amnesia and the implications of it in our present time.

Anna Dahlgren is professor of Art History at Stockholm University, Sweden. She has published widely on different aspects of photography, including the digital turn, fashion and advertising, and archives and museum practices. Recent publications include contributions in Fashion and Museums (2014), Representational Machines. Photography and the Production of Space (2013), Images in time (2011) and Photography and Culture (2010).

Merja Salo – The Relevance of Nationality in Fashion Photography. What has been Finnish in Finnish Fashion Photography?

Fashion is international and centers like Paris, London, Milan and New York usually define what is considered fashionable in a certain time period. The same applies to fashion photography: professionals in less central countries create successful careers by adopting and mastering the international visual trends. However, there are attempts to create national trends as well. My examples are from Finland, a rather marginal fashion country, where two local fashion brands Marimekko and Vuokko have been keen on producing “finnishness” both in their clothes and accompanied fashion imagery. They give one answer to the question of my title, what has been Finnish in Finnish Fashion Photography?

Merja Salo is professor of Visual Communication and Photography at Alto University, Finland. Recent publications include Jokapaikan valokuva. Suomalaisen valokuvauksen digitalisoituminen 1992-2015 (Ubiquitous Photography. Digital Photography in Finland 1992-2015), in 2015, and Muodin ikuistajat. Muotivalokuvaus Suomessa (Eternalizing Fashion. History of Finnish Fashion Photography), in 2005.

Eugenie Shinkle – Scandi Style in Fashion Photography

In the past several years, Scandinavian fashion labels and designers like Wood Wood, Astrid Andersen, Anne Sofie Madsen, and Henrik Vibskov have been gaining international attention. Many of these designers are keen to break away from ‘minimalist’ stereotypes that have come to define ‘Scandi-ness’ for a global audience. Can we say the same of Scandinavian fashion photography? In this short presentation, I examine the minimalist look of much contemporary fashion photography, and ask whether this is a truly ‘Scandi’ aesthetic, or something different.

Eugenie Shinkle is Reader in Photography at the Westminster School of Media Art and Design. She is the editor of Fashion as Photograph (2008), and has contributed to collections including Images in Time (2011), and Fashion Media: Past and Present (2013). She is presently completing a history of fashion photography, due for release by Aperture Books in 2017.

CFP – ‘Scandi Style’: Exploring Scandinavian Fashion Photography in a Global Context, 9th December 2016, University of Westminster, London

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