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Obscur

Dramatic, artisanally-crafted menswear from a rising Swedish label

by Richard Prime in Style on 14 July 2010

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Easily one of the most slept-on labels in its native Sweden, Richard Söderberg's Obscur is arguably one of the most progressive fashion brands coming out of Europe. The label's strength lies in its balance of color, material and cut, inspired by the misty surroundings of Söderberg's Helsingborg home and dark Scandinavian music.

Although moodily Gothic, the idea that only wearing a piece fully expresses and conveys its inherent values drives the designer's overt concern with refining classic silhouettes. With exacting self-standards, Söderberg applies a nitpick's attention to detail resulting in garments that fit extremely well and require little in the way of additional styling.

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The level of artisanal handicraft and technical finishing is uncompromising. His preference for raw, heavy materials—such as traditional Scandinavian hand-altered leather—imparts an almost armor-like aesthetic, while a softer approach to the linings and elements exposed to the skin makes for sensual tactility.

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"Obscur is a language for the creator, a language intended to express a certain view of the world and a reaction. A reaction to the impureness and inconsistency that surrounds us," concludes Söderberg.

The brand sells through a small (yet growing) number of outlets in Asia and Australia. Visceral, stark, bleak and one of the fashion industry's true hidden treasures, we wouldn't be surprised if Obscur came into the spotlight.

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