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Love Portfolio: Eva Dahlgren & Efva Attling

Gabriela Herman

Photography by Gabriela Herman. Eva Dahlgren (Left) and Efva Attling

Eva Dahlgren, Musician 

I’ll never forget my first meeting with Efva. I liked her from the beginning. It was the early ’80s, and I’d just moved to Stockholm. I was a shy rock poet, and she was a whirlwind from outer space—an ex-model-turned singer, very beautiful. We toured together, and stayed friends over the years, but that was it—just hanging out, having fun. I always describe Efva as the Ferrari and I’m the lawnmower. We have the same humor, but I always thought a couple of hours with Evfa was enough, because she talked a lot. I’m from northern Sweden, and there aren’t many people there, so I’m kind of slow and like to think. 

Then one afternoon in 1993, everything changed. Efva asked me for a pen, and suddenly there was something different in the air. I really tried to ignore it, but I could not escape. Efva tried to ignore it as well, but it was impossible. It just happened, like a fairy was pointing at us and said, “You’re in love.” From then on it has never been a question that she’s my wife. She’s my biggest love, and she will always be, until we die. 

She has a very strong belief in herself, and she makes that belief contagious. So I get to believe in myself as well, and that’s not only me, that’s everyone she meets. So we start believing in one another, and I think that’s so beautiful. What more can you ask for? 

Efva Attling, Jewelry Designer

It was never, ever a problem for me to come out. When I called my father to tell him I was going to get divorced from my second husband in order to be with Eva, he replied, “Oh, I love her, she’s fantastic!” Eva and I had known each other since the 1980s, but then we met one afternoon at a friend’s house in 1993, and it was like a bomb went off. I saw her in a totally different light, and it was incredible. There was no way of going back. That can be tricky when you are married with two children, but we just understood that we had to jump together. A Thelma and Louise jump. It’s really amazing to see how people react to Eva. The first trip we took overseas as a couple was to Greece. We were at this restaurant and Eva had gone to the bathroom, and this guy asked if she was an actress. I said no. She must be someone, he insisted, because when she walked into this room, she had this aura, this intensity.

On the 25th of January we will celebrate 20 years of marriage, and we never fight. We have a lot of good sex, of course, with our love. I think sex and love are our secret. I’m the energetic person—she calms me down, and I bring her up. We’re really the perfect couple. 

We’ve been married three times. The first time was quite secretive. It was in the winter, and we only invited 11 people. The second time was in Vegas, with an Elvis Presley impersonator. I didn’t tell Eva in advance, I just pulled her away and married her. And the third time was in 2009, when it was common to get married in Sweden. We invited 80 guests, and my sons were the best men, and my ex-husband was there, and his family, and my family, and Eva’s family. It was fantastic, but we’re not done yet. I’ve just designed a new wedding collection with bridal clothes, and since Eva really didn’t like the last wedding dress I made her, we’re going to have to do it again, this time in New York. 

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