Fresh off the runways, it's the best of Copenhagen Fashion Week. By Natalia Rachlin
Just as New York Fashion Week was drawing to a close, the Danes were revving their engines, readying for what's fast turning into one of Europe's most anticipated style events—Copenhagen Fashion Week. In fact, the stuff we wear has become Denmark's fourth largest export (pork and windmills still top the list), and it was evident that the pool of export-worthy designers is growing, as this was the city's biggest Fashion Week to date with over 40 designers in the ranks.
As expected, there was the fair share of commercial, beige, peculiar, and bohemian. But there was also plenty that caught our eye, both from a few newcomers as well as the latest from old faves like Henrik Vibskov, Designers Remix, Stine Goya, Annhagen, Baum und Pferdgarten, and Wood Wood. Here's more of the good stuff from Copenhagen Fashion Week.
Copenhagen kids (like most) are obsessed with street wear—more than proven by the popularity of labels like Wood Wood, Soulland, and Rand Jeans. Best Behavior is yet another collection that's set out to prove casual can always be cool, comfortable, and surprisingly sophisticated. Best Behavior's collection was equipped with all the standards: baggy, drop-crotch pants in a light jersey, black-leather leggings (which have been present at essentially every CFW show), jersey jumpsuits, oversized shirt-dresses in a sheer white linen, and some chunky knits in various shades of gray and, of course, umber.
Peter Jensen belongs to that infamous group of Danish-born designers who headed to London in the '90s to jumpstart their careers because Copenhagen was still relatively invisible on the fashion map. But now that Denmark is squarely in the sartorial trenches, Jensen and his comrades are embracing their roots and returning home to show their offerings. That said, Jensen has been around the fashion block—but this was his first CFW, and his fall/winter '08 menswear collection was a welcome addition to the roster. Jensen sent out 24 unforgettable looks that captured the designer's love of irony and nerdy fashion. Models took to the runway in kooky footwear (courtesy of Camper) and showcased a wide array of fair isle sweaters, plaid suits, corduroy trousers, over-the-knee shorts, and wool pullovers emblazoned with bunnies and foxes.
We all know that sometimes clothing aimed for a strictly commercial market can be, well, a little Dullsville. But Selected, a label under Denmark's biggest fashion conglomerate, Bestseller, was a welcome addition to CFW because it affirmed that commercial doesn't have to mean bland and lackluster. The label's first-ever runway show (and first womenswear collection) served up tuxedo trousers with T-shirts, skinny jeans, and loose-fitting casual dresses for the ladies. The men's collection was decidedly stronger, with cool denim looks and some perfectly tailored 3-piece suits that had a modern edge.
If Hedi Slimane and Rei Kawakubo of Commes des Gar¸ons had a style child, Jean Phillip Dyremose would be it. The young Dane founded Jean Phillip just last year at the ripe fashion-ready age of 21—and at his first time at CFW, he showed his affinity for dirty-looking skinny boys in very, very tight pants, super-fitted, super-flash tux coats, crisp white shirts, skinny ties, and bondage-inspired vests. The appropriately titled Andro Collection played the unisex game quite well, although the four strictly women's looks that were shown weren't nearly as inspired. Let's just say if this newbie sticks to menswear, he's destined to make his mark sooner than later.
Relative newcomer Won Hundred is a Danish label that made its entrance into the fashion scene in 2004 by joining that Scandinavian clique of high-end denim (think Acne, Tiger of Sweden, Cheap Monday etc). But this season, the young label showed that it's ready to kick it up a notch—designer Pernille Schwartz showed a shapely collection of highly structured dresses and coats alongside some streamlined denim looks. The strictly black-and-gray collection (with a few bursts of It shades purple and umber) was edgy without being eccentric. But the kicker in this collection was the coats—from an awesome mini-leather zip-up to a men's penguin-tux-inspired wool coat with an asymmetrical zipper—we wanted them all.
Fresh off the runways, it's the best of Copenhagen Fashion Week.