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OROTON – FREDRIKA AKANDER

According to Fredrika Akander, when it comes to navigating the summer season nothing feels more invigorating than a fresh citrus palette. Right now, there’s also a growing baby bump to consider – here, long floating dresses and airy shapes are proving the ultimate solution. We asked the Swedish-born Queensland-based creative to share her tips on staying charged and transforming her minimalist style for summer.

You have such a clean-lined approach to the way you dress – tell us about your style and how you came to fall in love with fashion:

“I've always been drawn to the idea of being comfortable. I’ve never been swayed by trends, even when they look amazing on other people – rather, I love beautiful natural fabrics such as linen and silks that feel good on. For me, fashion is about that feeling and finding what works best for you.”

Can you talk us through your edit from OROTON’s SS21 season, which pieces were you drawn to:

“I love the collection’s citrus palette, particularly in the Garden Floral Dress where the different shades of yellow and orange which work together beautifully. I usually don't wear a lot of colour, but I was drawn to the softness of the shades and it all just feels very fresh for summer. I also love the crochet details on the white Doilie Lace Up Dress, it's such a beautiful way to bring in that idea of craft and handwork without it feeling fussy or outdated – while still making beautiful shapes.”

You grew up in Sweden and travelled extensively before relocating to Queensland – did your style change along the way?

“Scandinavian style is very minimal; I think we share a love of refined tailoring and the philosophy that it’s better to invest in a few key pieces as opposed to fast fashion. I grew up with a mum who spent all summer in flowy linen dresses, but as a teenager I experimented quite a lot with my style – gothic, hippie, everything. Then, when you work in [the fashion] industry, you're bombarded with content and look-books, and so it’s easy to jump on what everyone else is doing. I think it took me a few good years of being in the social media industry to find my own style rather than just what was being pushed out there.”

Dressing stylish during pregnancy can be daunting, but you seem to have become an expert at breaking the rules – how would you describe your approach?

“I used to be very much a tailored shorts-and-pants kind of person. Since moving to Australia, though, everything has become very flowy because of the weather and also because the move coincided with me finding out I was pregnant. Dresses have become a great option for my changing shape. I never really liked wearing super tight clothes to begin with, I love men's shirts and oversized pieces but as my pregnancy continues, I know that dresses are so practical, and I think it’s all about making your existing wardrobe and your style work rather than [investing in] traditional maternity clothes.”

Lastly, how are you remaining charged and inspired right now?

“It hasn’t been easy, has it? We’ve all had to find new creative ways to recharge – I used to get so much of my inspiration from traveling, I’d spend at least a month back home in Sweden every year, now I’m consciously limiting my screen time, and focusing on positivity. So much negativity came with lockdown, I think it's important to try and find that positive side. For me, that means being a little pickier in terms of how we spend our day, we are a very consumer-driven society so how can we change that? I’m consciously trying to reduce everything down to what is most important, slowing down and making the right choices.”