Copenhagen Fashion Week cleans up. By Natalia Rachlin
Copenhagen rolled out some smaller-scale red carpets last week as the city hosted one of Europe's newest—and most refreshing—Fashion Weeks to date.
Denmark's mini metropolis holds a legacy for great design, from furniture to architecture, but the last decade has seen the city emerging as a fashion force, too. Local designers took the clean, minimalist theories that's embedded in their DNA and lightened it up with some good humor. The Danes understand sarcasm, and have mastered the art of irony—and this past week, they revealed how adept they are at translating their Scandinavian edge into fashion. We dropped into the top shows to share our favorites:
Former model, turned stylist, turned fashion editor, and, finally, turned designer—Goya understands how to balance out each side of the fashion equation. Her clothing is girly but not too saccharine, bold but sensible, and perhaps most importantly, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s wearable. Highlights of her SS '08 collection (only her second ready-to-wear) included loose-fitting trousers and shorts, with the seemingly obligatory high-waist, and some racer-back dresses in silk—a tangerine orange version was particularly delicious.
One could argue that Wood Wood is more about the lifestyle than the clothing—that is, the lifestyle of these über hip, kind of badass, entrepreneurial guys who give California surfers a run for their money. Of course, some of us do really dig the clothes, which translates to the best in modern streetwear. The current collection is all about polka dots, almost tacky '70s prints, and colors you never knew existed. In signature Wood Wood style, it stands out for its wildness tempered by a touch of class.
Designer's Remix Collection by Charlotte Eskildsen
There were actually little gasps of excitement heard around the runway when Eskildsen presented her SS ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“08 collection under the Scandinavian summer sky—this is a lady who really knows how to dress a lady. Her clothing is utterly feminine, but with a raw edge, and in a sense, Eskildsen really epitomizes Danish design—clean, crisp, and clever. She manages to combine hard silhouettes with soft details, and the results are literally breathtaking.
In the early '90s this Dane hopped over to London, which back in the day, was a little more fashion-forward than Copenhagen. But now that the Danes are catching up, Laugesen decided to head home and strut his stuff back in Denmark. The designer's all black-and-white SS '08 collection showcased his love for fine fabrics and his ability to meld the slightly avant-garde with the classic. Laugesen's tuxedo jackets are a must—he turns this traditionally masculine finery into a woman's most sexy cover-up. One of Laugesen's many fort´s is his willingness to play with texture—unabashedly combining leather and thick, creamy silk to create pieces that have a little bit of a Goth-meets-Little House on the Prairie thing going on.
And some honorable mentions:
Ivan Grundal—Credited to be the one who really got Danish fashion started over 20 years ago. Hot designer Camilla Staerk always credits him as her initial inspiration—Grundal never ceases to amaze.
Annhagen—Still not quite at the point where it's wearable, this avant-garde designer is really generating buzz. We look forward to seeing where she'll go in the next few years.
Baum und Pfergardten—These ladies can't go wrong. This duo made their mark back in the late '90s, but B and P are still a highlight of Danish fashion. In short, they're fabulous, and they know it (and so do we).
Copenhagen Fashion Week cleans up.