Light Show

Louise Amstrup shows us why Danish designers do it better. By Angela Gaimari
louiseamstrupLouise Amstrup, a Londoner by way of Denmark, has the advantage of coming from two locales that are becoming increasingly synonymous with important blossoming talent. London Fashion Week is no longer a layover for editors and buyers between New York and Milan, this we know. But with Danes like Helena Christensen and Camilla Stærk representing the ease from whence they came via the fashion they respectively promote and create, this Nordic country is gaining style steam. But what is it that makes Danes so fierce?
"It's about letting the light in—we don't have too much of it, you see," says Amstrup. "It's a combination of coolness, clean and strict lines, the courage to work with the philosophy 'less is more' and, most importantly, a healthy self-irony."
Graduating from Akadamie Modedesign in Dusseldorf in 2003—Amstrup has earned her stripes working with designers including Alexander McQueen, Jonathan Saunders, Sophia Kokosalaki, Alistair Carr, and Catherine Walker, and is now on her third solo season designing clothes she describes as "powerful, yet feminine" and "strict and constructed meets soft and surreal." What all of that translates to is expertly draped crepe de chine skirts in inky violets; flattering takes on the bubble shape for both tops and bottoms; and inventive dresses for women who dress for themselves rather than va-voom appeal—it's feminist femininity at its finest. "Creative and imaginative women have my admiration, and I enjoy seeing how they interpret my clothes to fit their personality," she says.
She's earned loyal Euro-fans after stocking her collections at London boutiques Labour of Love, Pineal Eye, and No-one, as well as Sillehoved in her native Denmark. U.S. fans can shop for her looks on British designer site until she lands in the U.S. officially. Don't let the exchange rate scare you: Her fresh take on style is worth the cost—plus shipping.
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Louise Amstrup shows us why Danish designers do it better.