Big news in Stockholm—this year the city’s two fashion week events, which (much to the frustration of international visitors) used to take place on separate occasions—have finally joined forces. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, formerly known as Fashion Week by Berns, took place from August 16 through 18 and thus coincided with the official Stockholm Fashion Week held by the Swedish Fashion Council from August 16 through 22. The two organizing bodies are still very much separate entities, but the fact that their events were held in parallel during the same week came as a blessing to visitors and exhibitors alike. The move will undoubtedly strengthen Stockholm’s position as a worthy competitor to its Scandinavian counterpart, the Copenhagen Fashion Week.

Starting with the activities organized by Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, designers that were involved in the catwalk line-up included Camilla Norrback, Ida Sjöstedt, Carin Wester, Lagom, Cheap Monday, Tiger of Sweden, Whyred, and The Local Firm.  Returning after a season’s absence, Filippa K once again decided to support Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. To offer a general summary on the wares sent down the runway for SS11, simplicity and refined cuts were out in force, but a leaning towards the sporty also prevailed.

One of the annual highlights of SFW is the announcement of the Rookie of the Year Award. This year year’s winner is Ida Pyk and the other four shortlisted nominees being Billy and I, Rahnsäter, Seika Lee, and The White Briefs. The jury also explained why it settled on Ida Pyk:
“The 2010 Rookie of the Year Award has been presented to a designer who can only be described as a breath of fresh air in the truest sense. A fearless designer and multitalented artist, the winner is an individual who does not shy away from provoking the otherwise so conservative world of fashion. This provocation is, however, served with a generous portion of highly appealing playfulness and energy.”

Aside from the honor itself, Ida Pyk received a string of prizes, including a SEK 20,000 scholarship from the Swedish Trade Federation, a full-page advert in leading Swedish fashion magazine DV Mode as well as the opportunity to design a collection for the French fashion company La Redoute. New for this year, the Rookie winner was also offered the highly practical perk of a SEK 10,000 voucher to use for printing lookbook material at Rookies’ new sponsor, Digaloo.

Catering for a cross-range of segments, the usual set of trade fairs—Nordic Shoe & Bag Fair, Stockholm Shoe House, Bomullsbörsen, Boutique Fräsh Show, and Stockholm Modecenter—served up everything from footwear and accessories to streetwear and Scandinavian designer gear. Some of the names taking part in the SS11 edition of Boutique Fräsh Show included Kangol, Fenchurch, Encore, and Insight.