We hung out with the designer in her hometown of Copenhagen, following her show as part of Kopenhagen Fur's Men in Fur catwalk
Kopenhagen Fur presented its own catwalk show to kick off Copenhagen fashion week, an international runway sponsoring designers from Denmark, the UK, France, China and Russia. The slant here was menswear, in what was a season full of the material for outerwear, especially during Paris.
This season Astrid Andersen, Denmark's finest who shows in London, just completing her final season of MAN, incorporated an airbrush-smooth degradé effect and lined denim with mink. A highlight from the show, which also featured Gaspard Yurkievich and Maison Christian Lacroix, we spent the day with the designer before and afterward, hanging out at her studio.
"The inspiration for AW13 came from watching a movie called Ten Hours to Paradise, a Danish movie about a bodybuilder and how his social skills are so messed up somehow, from all that competition and just competing with himself. Then I found the book, and a quote really got to me. I think it’s something about how the sprinter has the time, and the weightlifter has the weights, but the bodybuilder only has the mirror.
I always wanted to work around that really tough-looking guy, but then explore a really vulnerable and sensitive side. I thought that was actually a bit tragic, and a bit sad – finding some kind of melancholy.
There's a championship rings print, which I've always had a thing for. I thought they were so beautiful. How it’s about wearing a ring to signal that you belong to some kind of group. I´m very much into guys that want to hang out in a group. Whether it's at the gym, or basketball court, or if it’s just down the street, I always love when you can see a bunch of guys and, you know, they found a similar aesthetic. I find that really interesting.
The flowers just sort of made their way in, because of their colour. I did knitwear for the first time this season too. The furs are mainly mink – we did a mink lined denim jacket, and a mink coat with fox sleeves."
Dazed Digital: How is Copenhagen for you?
Astrid Andersen: It might be a bit difficult for me and my aesthetic. When you look at the rest of fashion week here, for menswear at least, it’s very classical. So it’s never really been my intention to be a "Danish" brand. I work between Copenhagen and London.
DD: Was London always a reference?
Astrid Andersen: Yeah, I moved over when I was eighteen. I just worked in a bar and lived there because all my friends were going to university and it didn't feel right to me. It was during that time in London I realised that you can do fashion – I had a certain picture in mind before of what kind of person you had to be to be, and at least here in Copenhagen I didn’t fit into that. In London it felt like it didn’t matter, as long as you had something you wanted to get off your chest. I did my B.A. in Denmark and then I did my Master´s in London, which I thought was really a good complement. Here in Copenhagen, it's a lot about learning how to make everything, but then it’s nice to focus on the more experimental. That mix I’m all about, quality and getting the details right because sportwear can quickly become a little bit of a cliché if you're not spot-on with materials and fabrication.
DD: Who would you like to wear your collection?
Astrid Andersen: I saw a picture the other day of Nars in a t-shirt of mine. That for me was such a huge moment, I remember buying 'Nastradamus' when I was a teenager. We’ve got A$AP Rocky too, and he wore last season as well. He just looks amazing in the clothes and he gets it. He also asks about the fabrics, he wants to know. But I don’t to be like a celebrity brand, I want to see people on the street in the collection too. These new pieces [AW13's denim and prints] were important in offering commercial options, whilst still keeping that spirit, the same feel.