This past weekend Copenhagen Fashion Week wrapped up its take on the spring/summer '10 season, and it seems the turf war that dates back to the Vikings is now raging on Nordic fashion territory, as Swedish labels are crossing the coast and storming the runways in Copenhagen. Minimarket, Carin Wester, and Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair definitely gave Danish faves like Stine Goya, Henrik Vibskov, Wood Wood, et al. a serious run for their money. Even the Norwegians (we heard they thought fashion was a myth!), made their mark this year. So, our top five picks: a semi-diplomatic mix (only one Dane, sorry!), of what's noteworthy in Nordic fashion.
Minimarket: My Little Pony Chic
We've been fans of the three Swedish sisters behind Minimarket from the get-go (they launched back in '06), but their latest venture, an equestrian-inspired collection full of polite, tailored jackets and prim (but not proper) mini-dresses, might just be our fave to date. The sorbet colors were completely delectable, and helped to create a collection that screamed feminine meets funky—from the Lanvin-esque toppers, to the downright adorable footwear, and everything in between.
Fin: The Norwegian Newbie
Based in Oslo, this was the first time Fin showed in Copenhagen, and their debut was a smashing one (but true to Norwegian mindset, it was a subtle sort of "smash"). A "sustainable label" that aims to use only organic materials that come from socially responsible manufacturers, this is a brand that is lovable on every level. The creamy collection, full of easy tanks and dresses in soft silhouettes, a great oversized cardi, and even a jumpsuit for those of you who have joined in on the romper rage, was particularly impressive, considering the Norwegians only have two months of warm(ish) weather a year. Making the most of summer, for sure.
Mads Nørgaard:Reform School 101
After opting for virtual presentations the past couple of seasons, Mads Nørgaard was back on the runway, and let's just say he's been dearly missed. One of the first Danish labels to gain international attention, Mads' minimalism still does the trick. While we knew what to expect: stripes galore, fitted trousers, crew neck Ts, and a naughty schoolboy spin on other classics, this is the kind of refined simplicity that never disappoints.
Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair: Alice in Wonderland on LSD
These Swedes have been making headlines for quite some time, and it's no wonder with their fantastical take on everything from button-downs and skinny trousers, to tailored trenches and lady-like frocks. For the men, it was oversized everything, and the styling definitely revealed a sensationalist sense of humor, (paisley on paisley, who knew?). For the ladies, there was certainly no shortage of volume, and the contrast between feminine florals and the blackest of blacks was anything but bland. These guys know how to get quirky details just right, and they definitely taught the Danes a think or two about what it means to put on a show.
Carin Wester: As Swedish as Meatballs
If there's a designer who really epitomizes the stereotype (in a good way) of Scandinavian casual, Swedish designer Carin Wester may well be it. This collection played on all the elements that make her a go-to gal for simple elegant pieces: Think clean, crisp lines, light fabrics, and subtle patterns, all funneled into a delicate but sexy collection of breezy summer dresses, roomy trousers, and cropped Ts (for the girls). As for the guys, it was all about fitted slacks, striped tanks, and some debatable outerwear. The girls lucked out, with an adorable biker jacket that definitely has "must-buy-now" status.