You may be aware of the glamour and grandeur of the leading fashion weeks in Paris, London, New York, and Milan, but Copenhagen has a different approach and mood. With guests making their way to shows on bicycles (with said shows starting a good 30 minutes to an hour behind schedule), there's a laid-back quality that reflects the Danish way of life. But, you'd be mistaken in thinking that a relaxed atmosphere means sub-par
street style. While there seems to be a uniform of a checked blazer, jeans, and heels, the Danes are also masters of bold prints and colors. From exaggerated florals to summer dresses in sunset yellows, postbox reds, and electric blues, their outfits celebrated the last weeks of sunshine.
The outfit inspiration continued on the catwalk, too, with guests venturing to shows in locations both historical (the majestic courtyard of Charlottenborg Palace) and of-the-moment (an isolated warehouse just outside the self-governing free town Christiania). From Astrid Andersen's sports-inspired ravers to Stine Goya's feminine extravaganza, the collections proved just why
Copenhagen Fashion Week is fast on its way to taking its place beside the other cities of style.
Ahead, we've rounded up the five designers that stole the show for the spring 2018 season. Click through to meet the Danish brands worth introducing to your wardrobe.
1 of 5 Astrid Andersen
Having been supported by Fashion East and Newgen, established as a key player in the London Fashion Week Men's schedule, and collaborated with M.I.A on a line of tour
, Astrid Andersen was the show no one wanted to miss. This was the designer's second dedicated womenswear presentation and, once again, it proved her ability to take inspiration from previous collections and apply it seamlessly to a new aesthetic. Andersen is renowned for her sports-inspired pieces, but she refreshed the looks with contemporary shapes in traditional fabrics.
Floral hoodies-cum-waterproof jackets made for future-looking festival wear, while the '90s raver flares went hand-in-hand with a soundtrack of Underworld's "Born Slippy." We expect to see the the crop tops and kimono jackets worn by everyone from Rihanna to FKA twigs next season — in fact, the collection is already musician-approved: Danish singer MØ walked in the show.
2 of 5 Ganni
Over its eight-year run, Ganni has had something of a reinvention, transcending the so-so offering of safe staples to capture contemporary Danish cool-girl style. Copenhagen's Ganni girls are practically a walking advert for the brand — think
— and with good reason. The brand manages to walk the fine line between upmarket designs and affordable fashion, making it both in-demand and accessible. From the frocks that headed up the
return of the wrap dress
, to the smart and collectable slogan tees, Ganni gets ready-to-wear dressing just right.
This season, it was the return of the space cowboy, with futuristic sunglasses and low-slung raver denim paired with prairie-inspired gingham blouses and white cowboy boots. Creative director Ditte Reffstrup has a soft spot for dresses, so the collection presented the pieces that will be seen on every street styler come next spring: balloon-sleeved mid-length ones layered over work trousers, ruffled prom numbers worn over blue shirts, and a pinstriped wrap dress. Now with
a top spot on Net-A-Porter
, it's time to add the fast-evolving brand to your basket. Note to self: Invest in some cowboy boots.
3 of 5 Stine GoyaStine Goya's show was a pastel paradise as the designer returned to the Copenhagen Fashion Week schedule after three years away with a blast of her signature palette of coral, rose, and fuchsia. The hyper-femininity of the collection was offset by the industrial noise soundtrack booming around the neon-lit warehouse, located in the port area of Nordhavn. Goya is often inspired by performance art, and this collection was no different: Models walked around the room, behind translucent screens and from stage to stage, encouraging guests to interact with the clothes, rather than watch from their seats. Glitter eyeshadow matched the sparkly footwear (which also came in suede and brocade), bringing a playfulness to the pieces; a definite theme of fairytales and princesses permeated the collection. Mustard and fuchsia tones tied everything from pussybow blouses to ruffled floor-length dresses together, while outerwear came in the form of lab-style overcoats and kimono-inspired robes. While the majority of the collection was extra-girly, our favorite look was this abstract, painterly two-piece. Goya's bold prints are seen in every collection, but these Matisse-esque scribbles are the kind of tongue-in-cheek print our wardrobe would welcome. 4 of 5 Henrik VibskovLast season, a model fell asleep during the performance of artist and designer Henrik Vibskov's show. What could have caused a huge fallout actually inspired Vibskov's latest collection, which centered on all things sleep, from nightshirts to nightmares. We were welcomed to the courtyard of the majestic Charlottenborg Palace at 11:30 p.m. (fitting), where we were met with a metal structure adorned with rolled-up fabric. Once the music began, models in dressing gowns and under-eye patches pulled at ropes which let down the material, which appeared to be sleeping bags in a variety of bold prints. The Central Saint Martins graduate is the only Scandinavian on the Paris Men's Fashion Week schedule, but he doesn't exclusively produce fashion — he's a drummer in a band and as an artist has held exhibitions at MoMA in New York, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and London's ICA. His intertwining of creative arenas is apparent in every collection he presents, and the themes make his shows a highlight in the schedule. This season, it was an amalgamation of color and prints — Vibskov's speciality — mirroring the surreality of dreams. Throughout the show, we saw experimental shirting, two-piece suits, robes, and pinstriped pajamas. Our favorite piece, though, was the multi-striped shirtdress with doubled-up sleeves and a trailing back. 5 of 5 Cecilie Bahnsen 2017 LVMH Prize finalist Cecilie Bahnsen
presented her spring '18 collection in a gallery space that provided inspiration long before the designer started sketching her pieces. Mini sculptures in themselves, the structures within the offering ranged from architectural hems to ballooned sleeves. Similar to Molly Goddard, Bahnsen's pieces are an exploration of archetypal femininity — all ruffles and flounces, babydolls and tulle.
Having interned at John Galliano and been picked up by Dover Street Market after just three seasons, the Danish designer's attention to detail is what transforms her collections — puckered waists, frilled Victorian collars and quilted fabrics drew us in. Bahnsen's aesthetic embodies the kind of preened prettiness that Alexa Chung or
would fawn over — we predict a cult following for this designer.