Danish By Design

The best of Copenhagen Fashion Week returns. By Natalia Rachlin, Photographs by Sacha Maric
Copenhagen was aflutter last week as Paris Hilton and the city's own Fashion Week arrived in the Danish capital on the very same day. As curious as we are about the super tart's galavanting (we'll leave that to the 'loids), we headed directly to the shows to see what the Danes were up to for spring/summer '09. For the first time in our three seasons of coverage, we were joined by some fellow American press, including the likes of Lynn Jaeger of The Village Voice, Mickey Boardman of Paper, and Romney Leader of style.com, implying that Copenhagen might just have become part of the official Fashion Week circuit.
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That said, we also heard some concerned rumblings 'round town—some seem to worry that CFW might be trying a little too hard to become the next Paris or Milan—so much so, that in the midst it has alienating the young, emerging designers that gave this Nordic city its fashion cred in the first place. This season did, in fact, have markedly less of the new and unestablished, and more of the mainstream and commercial, but the Copenhagen crowd still gave us plenty to look at. Our favorite suspects like Won Hundred, Stine Goya, Henrik Vibskov, and Wood Wood never cease to impress, but there's plenty of other good stuff coming out of Copenhagen—here's our roundup of the new and the noteworthy.
Jean // Philip
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This young Dane caught our eye last season with his premier collection, and once again, Jean Philip made his mark with an encore collection that stayed true to his raw but decadent aesthetic. The gray-scale collection (with a few shots of orange), which is almost entirely unisex, reinforced JP's staples: skinny trousers, fitted button-downs, and plenty of bondage-inspired detailing. But this time around, the collection was kicked up a notch with a pair of calf-skin leather pants that went from over-indulgent to casually exorbitant thanks to an old-school elastic waistband, and a boyish but bold tracksuit that became surprisingly relevant when done in gray linen with black leather detailing. More photos...
Wackerhaus
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This was the first time at CFW for Trine Wackerhaus, but since its launch in 2003, her label has steadily been collecting a following. Known for her ability to turn classic men's looks into softer, feminine versions, the s/s '09 collection used grays, metallics, and corals to create subdued yet elegant looks. Highlights included a pair of coral high-waisted trousers cut just below the knee, and a structured white jumper with spaghetti straps that had the perfect balance of shy school-girl meets bitchy PR chick (when worn with heels, of course). More photos...
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Bibi Ghost
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This emerging designer made a big leap from last season, when she showed her first collection, which was just a tad too quirky for its own good. This time around, Bibi showed a more grown-up version of her minimalist geometric cuts with an Asian inspired sensibility. The patterned mini-dresses, loose-fitting peach trousers, and structured dresses in a thick black cotton revealed a certain playful aesthetic that seemed to reveal that this is a designer with a sense of humor, someone who wants people to remember that fashion should never be taken too seriously. As it happens, her stuff is sold at Henrik Vibskov's Copenhagen store, so one could consider that Bibi Ghost is the latest addition to the fashion pranksters running about town. More photos...
Soulland
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Silas Adler, the 23 year-old behind the men's label, Soulland, is literally too cool for school. A few years back, he dropped out of high-school and focused his energy on fashion instead. Over the past three seasons, this self-taught designer has come into the limelight as his clothes have gone from skater-boy obscurity to refined streetwear. The s/s '09 collection was the most cohesive to date, with loads of board shorts, graphic Ts, and button-downs in mellow shades of blue and khaki. Highlights included some coral and yellow denim that are sure to be a hit with the Copenhagen kids who are Soulland addicts, while over-sized tunics that hit just above the knee might not be as popular a sell. More photos...
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Marimekko
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Ok, so they're not Danish, or a new kid on the block, but with their first show at CFW, this legendary Finnish textile brand that debuted in 1951, proved that they're just as relevant in 2008 as they were in 1968. The s/s '09 collection was full of tunics, short-shorts, and mini-dresses in the bright colors and psychedelic prints that Marimekko became known for, but there was also a darker, more sophisticated side to the show that included an unexpectedly trendy high-waisted black skirt and a series of knitted color-block sweaters that would have made Mondrian proud. There was an abundance of flirty summer dresses, but the favorites were those done in a silk pineapple print that was retro-tacky in just the right way. Admittedly, there were also a few frocks that seemed better suited for a housewife in a 1940s Hoover commercial, but we figured that's only fair, seeing as some of the original Marimekko customers might not be too keen on micro-minis. More photos...
The best of Copenhagen Fashion Week returns.
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