Haugtussa: From poem to garments

With a summer-green catwalk and music based on Arne Garborg’s texts, the atmosphere was set at the Garborg Center in Bryne, Jæren. The library was transformed into a fashion stage for a few hours, captivating the audience with a show that paid tribute to the poet Arne Garborg in words and melodies.

So one might wonder what a Jæren poet who passed away 99 years ago has to do with modern sleepwear and loungewear. Well, you may have noticed that many of our garments feature a quote – often on the pockets. If you take the time to read them, you will see that they are quotes by none other than Arne Garborg. These quotes have been chosen because they are beautiful and calming, and they provide the garments with a historical and local connection.

For Lilleba, it has always been important for the clothes to convey a message, and the inspiration has often been drawn from the Jæren landscape. About a year ago, Eli, the managing director of Lilleba, came up with the idea of drawing inspiration for an entire collection from Arne Garborg’s famous work “Haugtussa.”

As they say, actions speak louder than words. We bought the book “Haugtussa” and began reading. It wasn’t the easiest reading material for me, as Norwegian is not my native language. The fact that the texts were written in old Nynorsk didn’t make it any easier. But after delving deep into Haugtussa, I fell in love and selected some of the poems as inspiration for new designs. It resulted in beautiful experiences and, personally, it provided new ways for me to see the Jæren landscape, Norwegian culture, and history.

The launch day on Jæren started with a few words from Eli, followed by a slightly longer speech from me (fortunately, I didn’t have too much time to stress about it), and a beautiful speech from Herborg Kverneland. She concluded her speech by reading “Måneskinsmøyane.”

Over the green catwalk, two young ladies dance in nightgowns with the pattern “Måneskinsmøyane” to the beautiful Haugtussa song performed by Bjørge Verbaan and Jorun Undheim (I recommend listening to the entire “Det draumar sviv” album). The pattern is not only inspired by the poem from Haugtussa but also existing artwork. In the process, we explored various artworks related to Garborg’s works, and that’s when we came across the textile artwork “Måneskinsmøyane,” exhibited at Time Town Hall. The woven tapestry created by artists Herborg Larsen and Herborg Kverneland (83) served as great inspiration, and Lilleba entered an artistic collaboration with Kverneland to adapt the pattern to clothing. I learned a lot from her extensive experiences throughout her long life as an artist, and she is thrilled that her artwork, as well as Garborg’s legacy, is given a new expression and will reach new and young target groups.

After the dance, the first model, Bente, came out wearing the BILLIE set in Haust. She started walking to the song “No rullar have svært mot land” from the same “Det draumar sviv” album. She opened the catwalk for the rest of the models, who were a good mix of adults and children. They showcased the entire Haugtussa collection to an excited audience during the Garborg Days. The patterns are inspired by the poems Laget, Sporven, Haust, Fuglar, Blåbær-lid, Veslemøy, and Måneskinsmøyane. Scroll further to see more pictures from the fantastic day in Jæren.

Beautiful flowers and a hug from our boss, Eli Aleksandersen, to Herborg Kverneland.

Department Director at the Garborg Centre, Inger Undheim.

Store Manager Sherri and me. Fortunately, Sherri organizes the revue every year and was able to help with the dance show 🙂

Our dear Stina is holding the fort in the pop-up store.

It was a beautiful day on Jæren, and we are all very grateful for being able to be a part of it.