COPENHAGEN — Copenhagen Fashion Week saw myriad trends, with many designers referencing the same styles in their collections, from clean wabi-sabi to grunge and Americana.
At the beginning of the week, it was revealed by Cecilie Thorsmark, the chief executive officer of Copenhagen Fashion Week, that all brands participating on the official schedule had complied with the 18 mandatory rules in the action plan that spans six focus areas put in place three years ago — these include fur-free collections; zero waste set designs and show productions; signing the Danish Fashion Ethical Charter, and considering diversity and inclusivity when casting models.
The rules didn’t keep the designers coming out of Denmark’s capital city from tapping into their creative visions — and backstage at the shows it didn’t seem to bother any of them as the rules have been a practice they’ve adopted from the start.
Soeren Le Schmidt, one of Copenhagen’s off-schedule designers, took his audience backstage at his evening presentation, where models, makeup artists, hairstylists, photographers and design studio staff mingled with the invited press, clients and guests of the brand, including singer-songwriter Mags, wearing a green suit with a blue open shirt.
Le Schmidt channeled his love for the sound of fashion glamour with lively house music playing as models walked around three different rooms in monochrome, pinstripe and red tailoring.
“I always do old school tailoring mixed with some couture elements and some street things like denim,” said Le Schmidt, adding his decision to work with the color red was because it’s the only one he hadn’t experimented with.
Over at Aeron, the collection was deeply rooted in the Scandi aesthetic and wearability. “When we started designing the collection in early September, it was really a moment of getting back to the office after the holidays and to think about getting back to business, but not as usual,” said Eszter Áron, founder and creative director of the brand.
The buttery yellows, blues and light oranges appeared in the collections of Lovechild 1979, Mark Kenly Domino Tan and Holzweiler, where the deep sea served as the inspiration for the whole collection.
Distressed denim, harsh colors, fictional characters on T-shirts and the heavy use of leather dominated the runways. The Scandis are trying their hand at grunge — with a subtle nod to the Perry Ellis days of Marc Jacobs.
Stamm showed a collection filled with dark colors in billowy shapes; from the industrial dark set to the horse hair on the heels at P.L.N., punk was the attitude and designer Peter Lundvald Nielsen didn’t hold back on shocking the audience. Meanwhile, sibling design duo Nana and Simon Wick of (Di)vision applied their own grunge Y2K interpretation to the plush dining room tables, as if Woodstock ‘99 and the Met Gala were to merge: empty oyster shells, half-smoked cigarettes, wine stained tablecloths and stale French fries scattered across.
“Without a doubt the show that had the most heads turning was (Di)vision. The closing stunt of this show won the top spot for best viral moment. Additionally, the brand created a unique atmosphere, which thoroughly complimented the collection and the neo-grunge story it told,” said Tiffany Hsu, vice president, womenswear and kidswear fashion buying at Mytheresa.
Cowboy prints, hats and boots were offered by several designers including Remain, Rotate and OpéraSport, where designers Stephanie Gundelach and Awa Malina Selter worked with the prints of British artist Tom Anholt.
“It was all about the Western inspiration from the paintings [by Anholt]; there was a horse on one of them [the shirts] and then we put embellishments on the cowboy hats,” Selter said.
Nearly every show had an element of wabi-sabi to them, from clean lines to voluminous parachute shapes. Stamm’s collection was a remix of “The Lord of the Rings” and “Alien” going to Coachella; A. Roege Hove was demure and elegant in its approach to color and technique with wool, the performance at the start of the show with the model getting dressed by two assistants felt like a ritual, and Emilie Helmstedt of the label Helmstedt added color and spice to the mute Japanese shapes with one look featuring more than a dozen tentacles.
Even though the Scandinavians have their own distinct way of dressing, labels like The Garment, Baum und Pferdgarten and Skall Studio couldn’t help but tap into French schoolgirl prep with sophisticated yet poppy tailoring, geometric tennis-core prints and broderie anglaise.