Petrine Knight
Despite initialally feeling the cold of the Swedish winters, Petrine has no doubts she wants to stay in Sweden after her education. “Right now, everything is great,” she says and turns her face towards the spring sun.
“I got swept away by the wonderful 18th century costumes. I bought the book that was published as an addition to the series, and soon realized I really wanted to focus more on costumes and fashion in my education.”
Petrine had already done some projects on costume history during her art studies, but a friend told her about a new programme at Stockholm University. A few months later Petrine arrived in Stockholm and began her studies at the international masters’ programme at the Centre for Fashion Studies.
“It is very interesting. Compared to other places I've studied at, the education here has a different structure. Fashion studies is a young discipline at Stockholm University, and that has its problems and advantages, but I appreciate that everyone is really open to change. The teachers really listen to the students. We study in a quite unconventional way.”
Petrine especially likes that the lecturers come from different disciplines and each have their own take on the subject. She also appreciates the link to the fashion industry that is offered during the studies.
“We have done a lot of workshops with fashion professionals from brands like Filippa K and H&M, and field trips to several museums and theatres. It’s a good complement to the theoretical and historical perspectives.”
Petrine hasn’t completely left the field of art history.
“I am writing my thesis on fashion in 18th century paintings. My subject is the fashion of the courtesans, the prostitutes that dressed up like the upper class. I am trying to find out what details distinguished the clothes of the courtesans from the clothes of the real upper class women.”
Despite some initial problems in adjusting to the Swedish cold winters, she has no doubts she wants to stay in Sweden after her education.
“Right now, everything is great,” she says and turns her face towards the spring sun.
Petrine has taken a few courses in Swedish, and she says she understands the language but is still reluctant to speak. However, she has settled well in Stockholm.
“Stockholm is a beautiful and very accessible city. It is full of pretty things and pretty faces. The public transport is great and although it is a big city, if you want to spend time in the country, you are out in the woods in ten minutes. And if you stay in town, there is great architecture and good shopping.”
Petrine goes to the Royal Opera a lot. Students at Stockholm University can buy cheap tickets for the seats on the back rows, but Petrine reveals that it is possible to sneak to the better seats in the first break.
“I love old operas and old paintings. It seems I am actually most interested in things from before the 19th century.”
Interview and text: Jonas Holmberg