Designer Pernille Engbirk discovers the softer side in today's tough girl. By Johnathan Lawhorne
engbirk_instory1
Advertisement
Anyone lucky enough to catch any part of last month's Copenhagen Fashion Week knows that Scandinavia is quickly garnering the same sort of fashion cred of its nearby fellow European neighbors. And while Denmark might not exactly be Paris, it's become the starting point for some equally compelling design talent. The latest export to spark some industry interest—on multiple continents—is Pernille Engbirk, a young purveyor of androgynously dreamy creations that are perhaps more reminiscent of Belgium's fashion roots than anywhere else.
A 2004 graduate of the Danish School of Design in 2004, Engbirk has already established some signatures in her short time going solo—she's fond of muted, neutral tones contrasted with wintry blacks and grays, a classic stormy palette that provides just the right canvas for her sharply cut, beautifully boyish coats and slim ruched pants. And those hard lines spotted in many of her designs are no mistake. "I come from a family of architects and am very much influenced by the straight lines and simplification in Danish classical architecture," she says.
engbirk_instory2
For her latest spring/summer collection, Engbirk embarked on a journey to the Far East, culling brooding elements from Chinese Communism. Her focus was the utilitarian signatures of the classical worker suit, which she keenly fashions for today's feminine form. "I was looking at the structure of the classical revolutionary suit," she says. "Mao Zedong inspired my materials and silhouettes, especially the collars of the shirts." From loose-fitting trousers and boxy overcoats to elegantly draped day dresses, the designer reveals a shrewd attention to shape and structure and how the two can coexist beautifully. "I try to break down ordinary shapes and use them in a new and deconstructed way, where the soft meets the hard," she says.
With two design honors already under her belt, this Scandinavian star is laying the groundwork for a pretty stellar fashion future, in Denmark or anywhere. Couture-like craftsmanship with commercial relevance…that's something any girl-guy could love.
Advertisement
Engbirk is available in Seattle at Polite Society, 1924 First Avenue; 206-441-4796. For more information, go to www.engbirk.com.
Designer Pernille Engbirk discovers the softer side in today's tough girl.
Advertisement

More from Fashion

Some trends are easy to dive into head-first: Give us all the athleisure in the world, and we're definitely not complaining. Because no matter how many ...
Carlton Banks, your moment as a fashion icon has come. On Wednesday, Miuccia Prada showed a collection that, at first glance, might not immediately remind ...
Sometimes it can feel like life is just a constant rotation between large plastic bins of clothing — as soon as you're finally getting settled into your ...
Laura Delarato and plus-size TRX trainer and pole dancer Roz Mays try on workout tops and talk about what makes a good plus-size workout top
We first heard about Nike's plans to really, truly make the self-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future Part II a reality back in March, after the ...
This story was originally published on October 8, 2015. You can expect to see a certain set of characters at every Halloween party. Cher Horowitz is in ...
The cast of Stranger Things is continuing its world tour of stealing your heart. First, Millie Bobby Brown took over the front row of New York Fashion ...
(Paid Content) Dressing for your age is a game that's rigged: Try as you may, the outcome is fixed and not often in your favor. One moment women are told ...
Kendall Jenner recently admitted that she's always either braless or in a bralette, and she's not the only one. Tons of women (regardless of chest size) ...
With close to 4 million followers on Instagram, Aimee Song (a.k.a. Song of Style) knows how to take a pretty decent photo. The Los Angeles-based interior ...
Sometimes, looking a certain height is all about perspective
For the past few months, we’ve been hearing the term “see now, buy now” ad nauseam. It's all about offering customers instant gratification — the ability ...
You can switch out your clothes all you want, but you can’t really replicate the way glasses can completely transform you. It’s like presenting an ...
Last year, the lingerie line Frederick's of Hollywood closed all its stores after going bankrupt. But now, it's making a resurgence with a little help ...