Back at home, the annual Þorrablót held by the Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle serves as a great introduction to traditional Icelandic foods. Newcomers should start with the delicious smoked lamb (Hangikjöt) and flat breads, or for the more adventurous, the sheep’s head (Svið) – from there, one can then work up to fermented shark (Hákarl) chased with shots of Black Death (Brennivín).
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Released last Christmas, the Kickstarter funded documentary Herd in Iceland focuses on the country’s regional annual roundups where horses are gathered from the highlands after being let free to roam during the warmer months. It clocks in around 30 minutes, and I recommend getting the HD download from Vimeo over the DVD option.
The folks involved with the production have received some positive press over the past few years for their photography, which has been featured in both the Big Picture and Lens as well as a number of other print publications.
News of unearthed photos by Dutch photographer Willem van de Poll taken on his visit to Iceland in 1934 have spread fast on Icelandic sites over the past month when lemurinn.is was able to post a large collection of them back in October. The set shows an interesting snapshot of life around the country, as well as Icelandic horses, Glima wrestlers, and natural landmarks that are still popular with photographers today.
Somewhat related is this tourism video from a decade earlier, showing a few similar scenes.
Ubiquitous around Iceland, the lopapeysa has become an icon for the country’s wool industry over the past several decades. They are traditionally hand knit with lopi, a coarse but hardy wool from Icelandic sheep, and are quite cozy and warm when worn.
Recently, some groups within Iceland have been pushing to have the sweaters legally protected against companies who produce them overseas and then sell them as being authentic to tourists (a familiar problem that can be found around the world) – Grapevine.is, which has been following the topic over the past year also has a useful guide on how to shop for one.
On a recent trip I picked up an affordable sweater from the Icelandic company Farmers Market, which came in handy during the cold weather and strong winds that came through while I was there earlier in the month. I have no idea where it was made, but I like it well enough.
Lock & Co’s water repellent Rambler hat is perfect for these cold rainy days when the umbrella can be left at home as its Teflon treatment and simple construction makes it ideal for daily use without having to worry about ruining it if rained on or crushed (for traveling, just flatten it and roll it up).
There are some more affordable options out there for this type of hat, but I think Lock & Co’s is about the nicest looking you’ll find. Printed directly inside is the charming Lock & Co Hatters logo (for good reason, it lacks a lining typically found in more formal hats).
Related post: Lock & Co’s Tweed Caps
From a dictionary published in 1908 for members of the tailoring and retail trades:
Armenian cloak – a fashionable overgarment of 1851 composed of one piece of cloth (except for the sewed-on wide turn-over collar) and with no seams except the underarm seam of sleeve and the underarm body-join, the collar and front edges trimmed with velvet or wide braid, and the garment fastened at the neck with cord and tassels.
Bags – slang for trousers.
Crusher – a soft felt hat not hurt if stuft into a bag; much loved of travelers.
Derby sack – a single breasted s. coat with the regular front, with a short under-arm cut terminating in a waistline extending back to the side seam, meeting a body-shaped back part which has a center vent reaching to the made waistline, and finisht with inverted (side) plaits also reaching to the waistline.
Evening dress – the swallowtail and Tuxedo as opposed to frock coats for day dress and sack coats for business and lounge wear; vulgarly “full dress”.
Fashion monger – one who affects scrupulous attention to fashion; a dandy.
Many are still used today, but more interesting are the descriptions and names for esoteric cloths and silks from specific producers that no longer exist. Continue reading more.
More illustrations and paintings via British Military Uniforms from Contemporary Pictures, published in 1957 by author and historian W. Y. Carman.