Fashion Augusta Lundin, the daughter of a family of tailors, was such a skilled seamstress that soon royals and Finns wanted to be customers: this was the high fashion in 19th-century Stockholm.

Fashionably dressing was not simple in the late 19th century. The layers of underwear needed weighed several pounds, and the waist had to be restrained with a corset and laces.


Fashion has been a trump card in the world’s museums for some time, and the phenomenon is also well visible in Stockholm.

It has emerged spectacularly as well Augusta Lundin – one hundred years after his death.

Born in Skoon in southern Sweden to a family of tailors, Lundin became the owner and manager of Sweden’s first fashion house as early as the 1870s. Selma Lagerlöf. In his time, Lund was known across borders, including in Finland.

The highly interesting exhibition at the Thielska Gallery in Stockholm and the related book serve not only Mamselli Lundin’s life story, but also plenty of eye-catching food and information about costume culture from a time when it was governed by precise codes.

The restrained charm of the bourgeoisie required, at its best – or worst, one might say – five different outfits throughout the day, and a steel-read-supported corset with good pain tolerance and laced tops for service. Underwear could weigh pounds.

But it was beautiful, and the seamstresses had enough work to do.

Augusta Lundin (1840–1919) was born in Kristianstad in southern Sweden. The father was a tailor, the mother a maid, and the children were blessed with a family of six. The five girls all received in-depth seamstress training from their homes. After finishing his schooling at the age of 14, Augusta worked to help his father until he moved to Stockholm at the age of 23.

Augusta Lund in 1892.­

Lundin first set up a small sewing studio in connection with his apartment. The seamstress initially had two siblings to help. There were sewing shops in Stockholm with the darkest of clouds, but information about Lundin’s spread spread quickly. Newspaper advertising brought more customers.

Unfortunately, the customer registers have disappeared, says the other curator of the exhibition, a fashion journalist and author. Lotta Lewenhaupt in an email interview. He traced together Anna Bergman Jurellin with information through Swedish museums and private collections. Found real treasures.

The collections of the Turku Museum Center include an evening dress ordered from Augusta Lundin to celebrate the silver wedding day.­

In Finland, too, there is no doubt that Lundin’s creations are hidden in the winches and in the basement. At least one customer can be found in the excellent Finna database of Finnish archives, libraries and museums: Turku-based municipal councilor Amanda Karolina Hoffstedt commissioned his silver wedding dress in Lundin’s studio in 1892. The magnificent evening dress has been on display in Turku Castle and is part of the Turku Museum Centre’s artefact collections.

In the museums of Tampere, the potato of the Haihara Puppet and Costume Museum has two Lundin studio prom costumes and one blouse. The clothes were purchased for the collections specifically from Stockholm in the 1960s, says the researcher Katri Pyysalo.

The National Museum’s collections certainly include an evening dress sweater made in Lundin’s studio, probably more: “The National Museum’s costume collections are so large that they have not yet been thoroughly digitized,” says the amanuensis. Outi Flander. The museum has costumes from the Lundin era, such as the singer Hanna Brummerin in the estate.

Helsinki’s own early fashion rooms included the Magasin du Nord. Messrs HG Hagen and Arthur Nurmelin founded it in 1892. In 1898, Nurmelin also founded the Paris la Parisienne fashion salon, Ritva Koskennurmi-Sivonen has found out.

Augusta Lundinilla there were so many customers in Stockholm before long that the studio moved to its own premises at the prestigious address Brunkebergstorg 2. A small shop in the style of Parisian fashion houses was also set up on the side of the sewing shop. At best, there were almost 200 employees.

Detail of an evening dress completed in 1904, the collections of the Gothenburg City Museum. – Book illustrations.­

Lundin’s business was also helped by an important acquaintance, among other things.

Name Otto Gustaf Bobergh says nothing to many, but Worth is all the more famous in the fashion world. English Charles Frederick Worth founded the world ‘s first fashion house in Paris in 1858 – together with the Swedish Bobergh.

They created and sewed a collection that the mannequins presented to a select audience. The fashion house got off to a flying start, and its clientele included the cream of society from the Empress and the Court, including the most magnificent courtesans, les Grandes horizontales, as they were also named.

The Worth et Bobergh fashion house became a great success.

Unfortunately, the war between France and Prussia cut off a happy life, and the fashion house also had to close its doors for a while. However, it had already laid the foundation for Paris as a center of fashion and the concept of haute couture.

Bobergh sold his share, returned to Stockholm as a wealthy man and followed fashion there. Before long, Lundin’s fashion house caught his attention.

The end is the history of Nordic fashion, as Bobergh’s contacts opened up excellent channels for Augusta Lundin to procure the best materials and work needs directly from Paris. He was allowed to buy Worth’s fashion house formulas on an exclusive basis, the book says.

The gold and silver patterned dance outfit dates from 1904. The neckline is bordered by gray, decorated tulle. The garment has been commissioned for Anna Beck-Friis, whose waist circumference was 58 centimeters. – Book illustrations.­

All of this is reflected in the creations restored to the show. Their cuts are intricate, the laces and embroidery are stunning, the silks and velvet shimmering. There is no room for criticism in the quality of craftsmanship.

The milieu is also well-fitting. The Thielska Galleriet in Djurgården has accumulated assets in the banking sector Ernest Thielin (1859–1947) a castle-like museum built for art collections. It was designed by an architect Ferdinand Boberg. The collections include works by the most famous artists of the Lundin period From Carl Larsson to Edvard Munch, From August Strindberg to Anders Zorn.

The kimonal evening gown was more gracious to its wearer, circa 1913. – Gothenburg City Museum.­

The cream of the era gathered in these spaces for lavish celebrations. Many of the garments now admired in display cases have spun in these halls in the past as well.

Here and there you come across a label Augusta Lundin Stockholm. Often it was hidden in the waistband of the garment. Over the decades, labels had time to be designed with a variety of typographies and different colors.

Seamstresses the work has been deservedly featured in the exhibition and book. Lundin had adopted working methods from France, ie a precise division of labor and specialization, which guaranteed quality and cost-effectiveness.

Augusta Lund was also known as a vigilant employer whose access to bread was considered by many to be a kick of luck. Working hours were two hours shorter than in other sewing shops and wages were higher. Employees also had other benefits, such as the opportunity to spend their holidays on Lundin’s farm.

Augusta knew from personal experience that work that required precision was heavy.

Augusta Lundin, Sveriges första modehus, Thielska Galleriet (Sjötullsbacken 8) until 24.1.2021. The museum is open normally, but the number of audiences is limited due to the coronation situation. Lotta Lewenhaupt & Anna Bergman Jurell: Augusta Lundin, Haute couture på svenska. 158 p., Appell förlag. The author saw the exhibition in Stockholm at the end of September.

The 18th-century fancy dress is from a private collection. – Book illustrations.­

An evening dress produced by Augusta Lundin’s fashion house from the beginning of the 20th century, described in a book about Lundin. The privately owned evening dress has been modified several times and worn for decades.­


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