They titled the resulting mood board, “The Swallows.” The opening image, of swallows on the beach at Skagen is grainy and black and white and evocative of an era gone by. It is juxtaposed with a drawing of an owl Christensen did after waking up from a dream one night. There is a series of black and white photos of Lee Miller, the model and photographer and war correspondent, where Stærk has superimposed sketches of a bracelet, ring and brooch, so it looks as if Miller is wearing the jewelry. There are also images of smoky glass in organic shapes, of grey lacquered wood and stills of Christensen and Stærk from “Good Tidings,” the short film they produced.
“We are very much Danish girls, and I think Danish girls growing up are melancholy because of the long, dark winter,” says Christensen. “I think it is what instigates the creative flow.” In thinking about the jewelry, they wanted to capture the past, both personal and national, and sought to incorporate their grandmothers’ elegance, Danish creativity, the artistic heritage of Skagen and summers at the beach.
The swallows, whose arrival in Denmark signals the arrival of summer, became a key theme. “The birds reminded us of growing up,” says Christensen, who is from Copenhagen. “They fly low when there is going to be a change in weather, so they can get the insects. When they dive, you can hear the specific screech. It's a high pitched note. “I hear it and it immediately gives me a warm feeling.”
From a design point of view, the birds as representation of flight, freedom and exploration also made sense. “We lovethe shape of them. It is very sensual and fluid. We were thinking of Scandinavian fluidity and sensuality. The jewelry was created with the idea of something timeless. We wanted it to have the feeling that it had been passed on from generations,” says Stærk.
The swallow theme immediately resonated with Scotch, who wanted to use the collaboration to show Skagen’s commitment to all things Danish as well as a celebration of personal style. “The mood board was very tender. I homed in on being inspired by swallows at the beach. I liked the free range concept—being free, traveling and having a bird’s eye view of the world.”