We’re just gonna go ahead and say it, Norwegian shopping malls aren’t very exciting. Sure, they are convenient places to spend a few hours away from the snow and the rain (and do some shopping while you’re at it), but if you’re looking for cutting-edge fashion, you probably won’t find it at the mall. Unless you happen to be in Paleet, that is. From the way it’s built to the designers it brings under its roof, this shopping center in Oslo’s busiest road truly delivers an innovative fashion experience.
Paleet has been around for a long time (since 1990), but underwent a complete renovation in 2014. Petter Abrahamsen of Riss Design, architectural lighting and textile designer Linda Knoph Vigsnæs of Lysstoff, as well as the innovative architects of Jarmund / Vigsnæs came together to create a space that looked “both high-end and intimate, exclusive and a bit rough around the edges.”
And indeed, the level of attention to detail is what sets Paleet‘s design apart – like the fact that the supporting columns between the floors have been covered with leather sewn in a spiral pattern, or how the fascinating chandelier creates shimmering lighting effects. The color scheme and materials are a bit unusual for a mall, too, especially one in minimalistic Scandinavia. It features copper, cedar and terrazzo (chips of marble, quartz, granite and glass), brown leather, and a bright, golden and slightly sparkling floor that acts as a stage for better exposing goods. Not surprisingly, Paleet has won several design awards, including the Red Dot Award and the Gold at the European Design Awards.
So now that we’ve established that Paleet is a gorgeous place to stroll around, it’s time to focus on what you’ll actually find there. Craftsmanship and authenticity are some of the key values that permeate across all of Paleet’s high-end fashion offerings. There are international designers, of course, but there is a big focus on Norwegian-made products. Celebrated local designers like Bergen-based, bespoke tailor extraordinaire T-Michael (who, when he’s not one half of the sartorially-inclined brand Norwegian Rain along with Alexander Helle, is giving kimonos his very own sartorial twist) have their own concept stores here. From clothes to shoes and accessories, you’ll find unique shops helmed by people who actually know (and care) about fashion and style.
In true Inception style, Paleet also features a “curated universe” within its overall very carefully curated, well, galaxy. Within YME Universe you’ll find not only fashion, but art and interior design as well. There are brands like Marni and Maison Margiela, contemporary streetwear like Adidas, hard-to-find brands and accessories for both women and men, as well as meticulously selected art, interior design pieces, niche perfumes, books and magazines. There is also a gallery, a bookstore, and a café. We’re not sure if there’s also a spinning top for you to ascertain whether you’re asleep or not, but we’re confident you’ll find your way out if you ever want to.
Obviously a place as unique as Paleet couldn’t offer boring food options. Apart from the usual bakery, pizza (although the pizza here is home-made in a wood-fired oven) and ice-cream offerings, Paleet has a tea room where you can enjoy your cuppa with a sandwich. There’s also the bookstore cafe of YME Universe where you can buy your book and read it too, as well as a Japanese cuisine place that does not mess around – these guys know their teppanyaki from their robatayaki. If you’re in the mood for people watching, grab a table facing Karl Johan at Egon Restaurant. If you’re craving some honest burgers with a great pint or two, head to Public Gastropub. Need a stronger drink? Taqueria has you sorted, as not only do they serve authentic, street-style Mexican food, they’re also making some of the best cocktails in the city. You may have figured out by now that a visit to Paleet won’t be just a one-time thing.