The brands proving there’s more to Copenhagen Fashion Week than Scandi minimalism
There is no fashion week with an aesthetic quite as distinctive as that of Copenhagen. Where you’re never more than a few feet away from a directional, head-to-toe look from the likes of Balenciaga, Vetements, Gucci, or Off-White in Paris, London, Seoul, or even Tbilisi, when it comes to the Danish city’s biannual fashion event, attendees’ dedication to doing things the Scandi way runs deep.
At CPFW SS20, which took place last week, things were no different. On the front row, flouncy, feminine dresses were finished with understated sandals and pared-back sneakers, while the allure of relaxed tailoring in the form of louche, wide-legged trousers and oversized blazers showed no sign of loosening its grip any time soon. The runway offered up a similar story, with puff-sleeved smocks, minimalistic tunics, and luxe-looking separates all featuring heavily (call it the Cecilie Bahnsen effect).
There were a series of those doing things differently, though. From Ganni’s tenth anniversary show – which saw models storm the runway in ruched satin, snakeskin boots, and 2019’s answer to Britney’s iconic denim AMA’s look – and STAND’s playful, clashing leathers, to Henrik Vibskov’s characteristically avant-garde offering and Stine Goya’s ballroom-inspired presentation, here we present some of the brands proving there’s more to Copenhagen than Scandi minimalism.
Where Copenhagen has previously been called out for its lack of diversity, this season it seemed that a number of designers were intent on addressing the issue. In Stine Goya’s case, this meant assembling a cast of international Voguers, who live-work-posed down the runway in the label’s clashing floral minis, geometric-print suiting, and ruffled, Pierrot-like babydoll dresses. In addition to this, the CPH-based brand also cast a number of its stars through dating app Bumble. Naturally, given the tone of the event (which took place in a gymnasium), looks were accessorised with towering heels, paper fans, and avant-garde make-up.
After taking five years off the show schedule, much-loved menswer label Soulland was back for SS20. Taking to the streets to show their new-season collection, Silas Adler and Jacob Kampp-Berliner presented an offering made up of relaxed, skate-inspired bowling shirts, oversized leather coats, and pyjama-style suits emblazoned with sketchy, haphazard botanic prints. Again, the model casting was diverse – and for the first time ever, there were a series of looks designed specifically for women.
Encouraging attendees to avert their attention from their iPhones for a few minutes by providing them with knitted pouches to put them in, Holzweiler’s stripped-back approach to tech was mirrored in an equally stripped-back collection. Taking place in a 1930s-era gymnasium, the show saw a wildly diverse cast storm the echoing hall in a succession of androgynous, utilitarian looks with uber-clean lines. On the line-up were loose trenches, boxy, cotton-poplin shirts with zips in place of buttons, and crisp, pressed shorts and trousers, all of which sat in stark contrast to the more-is-more, often pretty frou-frou aesthetic of other Copenhagen labels. Oh, and those floppy-brimmed hats beloved by Blossom in the 90s? Hot for SS20, according to Holzweiler.
Despite the fact that dramatic thunderstorms book-ended the Ganni show, and it was touch-and-go as to whether guests would manage to stay dry between, the label’s SS20 presentation was a party from start to finish. In celebration of ten years of the brand as we now know it, models made their way around an astroturf tennis court in slinky satin wrap-dresses, over-the-knee-boots, vinyl two-pieces, and psychedelic, wide-collared shirts paired with lightweight sweater vests, all in a wildly vibrant palette. The label also continued in its mission towards a more sustainable future, opening up the Ganni kiosk, where surplus stock from previous seasons were upcycled into bucket hats, tote bags, and other accessories. Rounding things off was a performance by singer MØ – Danish girls represent.