After an enthralling start of the year, with the menswear trade weeks of Florence, Milan and Paris now behind us, we travelled North to experience Copenhagen Fashion Week, where an array of collections was on display. Over three days, we witnessed a curated selection of womens and menswear designers, some already internationally active, some steadily building and others completely at the beginning of their careers. Scandinavia tends to slumber along the long and dark winters, where functionality is key in most wardrobes. Layering is often needed to brave the crisp elements and colour seems rather underplayed. How perceptions can be deceiving…
The week proved to be one of diversity, with local heroes such as Designers Remix, Bruuns Bazaar, Malene Birger and Mads Nørgaard providing clean utility wardrobe essentials. For this report, we would however like to focus on talent, and its profound impact on the fashion landscape.
An absolute highlight of the week, was Asger Juel Larsen‘s take on modern menswear. Rather eccentric, yet wearable, his army of galactic warriors, marched upon us, in the vibrating old Copenhagen city hall. Brazen and prepared, the interplay of graphics, textures and innovative fabrics really struck the audience. Larsen is able to maintain a sense of relevance in menswear wardrobes, keeping it both refreshing and well tailored. Special was also the collaboration with shoe-makers The Last Conspiracy, resulting in a series of silver and black handcrafted hi-top sneakers, completing the collection well.
Another strong collection was delivered by Faroese designer Barbara I Gongini, who managed to present both her MAN and WOMAN collection together. The sober colour palette was broken down by intricate knitwear pieces, heavy wools and sheer japanese cottons, playing wonderfully with volume and dimensions. This designer succeeded in dissecting the darker universe into wearable and beautifully constructed garments.
Talent, where better to end this report. TEKO, school of design had the pleasure of being the last show of the week. We observed a curated selection of twelve graduates, ready to tackle the world of design. Strong takes on Nordic menswear were developed by Lea Hedegaard, with sculptural painted suiting and Lise Weisbjerg Dahl, with a modern take on hunter/collectors, presenting functionality in an innovative manner. On the more effeminate side, Heidi Jaeger Jespersen sent out rigid long kimono-style silhouettes with a profound understanding of fabrics and corporal dimensions. Lastly, we felt moved by the workmanship put in by Henriette Moe Winsnes, who experimented with extensive knitwear, and rigidness in elbows and knees, alluding to stern graphic shapes.
Overall, Copenhagen Fashion Week, was an encounter of modernity with traditional Nordic values, or a dialogue between past and present. Many collections were ahead of the curve, exploring new ways of presenting innovation in fashion design to a wider audience. Where one could see this best: on the snow covered streets, filled with colourful editors, composed buyers and gritty fashion flocks.