Copenhagen's Fashion Scene Isn't What You'd Expect (Hint: It's All About Maximalism)

One might expect Copenhagen’s budding fashion scene to take note from the city’s prominent design aesthetic. The Danish are, after all, heroes of interiors and architecture. It would be reasonable to assume influence from Arne Jacobsen or Verner Panton and to see an affinity for functional design and clean tailoring over something ironic, exaggerated, or indulgent. But, as we watched the shows wrap up, it seemed this was not quite the case. The most notable designers experimented with unusual textures, otiose embellishment, and playful textiles. It was all very adventurous and theatrical, and out of the small Nordic fashion week emerged something awakening. Ahead, we rounded up the talent you’ll want to keep an eye on, and a look at the special moments from their shows.
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Won Hundred
With a colorful collection fit for the racetrack, the styling featured some ironic moments, like a clear logo-ed raincoat under a green wool blazer, and a pair of gray stirrup pants over leopard print heels, opting for the unusual over the useful. The vibe was playful with check print trims and tees, but incorporated some highly refined elements like a really great dusty green puffer coat. The brand is one of the better-known in Copenhagen, with international stockists ranging from Totokaelo to Ssense.
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Cecilie Bahnsen
From her black, cream, and crisp-white color choice to the confident gait of the girls who carried her clothes, Bahnsen's show was an absolute delight. The collection, which showed at The Copenhagen Opera House (a bright open space lined with windows that gave view of a boat-spangled harbor), opened with two voluminous looks made of textured silk: The first, a short dress ruffled at the collar and hem and the second, shorts and a crew neck, both with exaggerated flounce. Then came shirting of thick poplin with striking eyelet details. Perhaps the most notable design was a pair of wide-leg trousers and a peasant sleeve top in a spectacular quilted silk. In many cases, she offered up a dress option and a set of separates for each idea, mixing up the silhouettes in subtle ways at the neckline or cuffs. Beyond her skilled use of fabric, there was a real styling know-how involved with perfect layering of tulle over cotton, etc.
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Henrik Vibskov
It was a strange world set inside a large cylindrical theater with stadium seating and a dome roof. A slothful yoga performance became the centerpiece around which his athletic and dimensional collection spiraled. Each model wore armor-like earpieces adorned with swirled metal and fringe. He opened and closed the show with pinstripe pantsuits that felt casual and sporty. Among the notable looks in between were a bright peach puffer coat with an enlarged fanny pack style belt, a cream shearling body suit that went under a monochrome puffer, and a blush colored dress with ruching across the chest. The color story was thoughtful: navy, rose, cobalt, peach, mustard, forest green and cream. Each piece evoked a sense of movement whether through an illusion of spinning stripes or 3-D pockets, giving the entire show liveliness.
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Mark Kenly Domino Tan
The collection stood in stark contrast to the heavenly rose-colored space with its thick gray wools and dark heavy cottons. Among the notable items were a pair of beaded pants, which hung heavy under a knit zip up, and a black balloon sleeve mock neck blouse that blossomed out of a stiff corset-style dress. The clothes felt serious and bucolic, but the details indulgent and playful.
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Astrid Andersen
The designer took a brief break from her menswear line, which she shows in London, and brought forth a women’s collection in Copenhagen. The show took place in an incredible gallery space where guests sat on velvet couches tucked into uniquely decorated cubicle rooms that faced the runway. Andersen’s aesthetic is pretty straight-forward: She makes athletic clothes updated with textured paneling, unique fabrication, and nuanced shapes. Her foray into womenswear didn’t stray far from what she’s done with menswear, focusing on sporty pieces made rich by their burgundy velvets and gilded lace fabrics. Among the notable looks was a midriff bearing asymmetrical top layered over cream joggers and what appeared to be a velvet basketball tracksuit complete with a matching coach jacket. Informal, edgy, and quite different from what you’d expect from a Dane.
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