sweden

Svennelökar

Amat Levin: Vad är 'svennelökar'?

"Daniel", ordningsvakt: Otrendiga svenskar. G-Star Raw-killar och Gina Tricot-tjejer. Och benämningen är helt könsneutral, jag nekar dåliga tjejsällskap lika mycket som dåliga killsällskap. I de fall stället är inte fullt och jag inte kan utgå från stammisar går jag efter snygga, trendiga människor när jag släpper in, även om jag aldrig har sett dem förut.

"Mattias Norburg & Timmy Kersmo" matchy-matchy at a party for G-Star Raw, from nightlife website  stureplan.se .

"Mattias Norburg & Timmy Kersmo" matchy-matchy at a party for G-Star Raw, from nightlife website stureplan.se.

From the article "Krogpersonalen Avslöjar", or "Nightclub Staff Confess" in the newest issue of Nöjesguiden, all about discrimination in Stockholm nightlife. So much of it was about clothing! I thought the above quote was the perfect pull, with its direct naming of two apparently untrendy brands in such a short sentence. What makes those brands inherently untrendy?

AL: What are 'svennelökar' [ed note: I think "crackers" is the closest translation]?

"Daniel", security guard at a hip club in Stockholm: Untrendy Swedes. G-Star Raw guys and Gina Tricot girls. And that nickname is totally gender-neutral, I refuse bad girl groups just as often as bad guy groups. In cases where the place is full and I can't choose from regulars, I go for good-looking, trendy people when I'm working the door, even if I've never seen them before.

It's a really interesting article in general, interviews with people who work in the business. No one they talk to discriminates, personally, but they've seen other people do it. And no one can define what they mean by trendy! Is it the brands that make the people untrendy, or the other way around? And does the typical (under thirty, city-living, liberal) reader get a specific picture in his or her head of what a "G-Star Raw guy" is? Would the guys in the photo above, pictured at a party for G-Star Raw, consider themselves "G-Star Raw guys" or just visiting?

Read it in Swedish here.

Yellow Laces

"Jag virade halsduken om halsen och knäppte den blå lotsjackan som jag köpte på rea förra våren på Paul Smith i Stockholm, drog på mig mössan från samma ställe, böjde mig ner över högen av skodon i hörnet, hittade mina, ett par svarta Wranglerskor med gula snören som jag hade köpt i Köpenhamn när jag var på bokmässan där, och aldrig hade gillat, inte ens när jag köpte dem, och som nu dessutom hade fått en missfärgning av tanken på hur katastrofalt dåligt det hade gått för mig där, helt oförmögen att svara intelligent på en enda av all frågor som den entusiastiska och insiktsfulla intervjuaren ställde till mig på scenen. Att jag inte för länge sedan hade slängt dem berodde uteslutande på att vi hade så ont om pengar. Och så gula snören!" (92)

I wrapped the scarf around my neck and buttoned the blue peacoat I bought on sale last spring at Paul Smith in Stockholm, pulled on the hat from the same, bent over the pile of shoes in the corner, found mine, a pair of black Wrangler shoes with yellow laces that I had bought in Copenhagen when I was at the book fair there, and had never liked, not even when I bought them, and which furthermore had been colored by the thought of how catastrophically badly it went for me there, totally unprepared to answer intelligently even one of the questions the enthusiastic and insightful interviewers asked on stage. That I hadn't thrown them away ages ago depended completely on how short we were on money. And those yellow laces!°

 

Knausgaard, Karl Ove. Min kamp 2. Stockholm: Pocketförlag/excess*, 2009.

 

A shoelace is never just a shoelace. Or is it?

 

°my translation of the Swedish translation from the Norwegian. See another here.