Copenhagen Fashion Week is one of the most important and inspiring fashion weeks outside of the traditional schedule. Fashion writer Billie Bhatia took to the Danish capital to see what Scandi style means in 2018
Scandinavia has long been renowned for both fashion and interiors, with its ethos centring around functionality and enduring minimalist appeal. You would be forgiven for thinking Scandi fashion consisted of cosy knits, chic monochromatic dressing and oversized coats (basically the hygge of fashion), but last week Stylist ventured to the Danish capital to find out that the stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. Copenhagen has been hailed as the happiest place to live in the world, and the fashion was certainly about enjoying life – clashing prints, bright colours and playful collections. We asked Ganni’s creative director, Ditte Reffstrup what ‘Scandi style’ meant to her:
“Scandi-style can be a lot of things, as the Danes have a totally different aesthetic to the Swedes and the the Norwegians. Danes are very informal people and that affects everything we do, eat and wear. We wear sneakers all over -both at the office and on the dance floor, and when it comes to colors we are not so shy. I would say we are up for fun!”
Here are the five trends you need to know from Copenhagen Fashion Week.
1. Functional Fashion 2.0
Useful does not mean boring. Norweigan brand Holzweiler presented for the second time at Copenhagen Fashion Week and showed just how easy it was to be functional and fashionable. Hardwearing boots (verging on the ugly shoe trend), oversized fisherman’s knits, dark pink utility trousers and checked blanket coats were just some of their offerings that ticked the ‘useful but super cool’ box. Known for their wool and cashmere scarves (if you haven’t seen these you need to) the brand is making a name for itself for must-have pieces presented in a sustainable way.
Holzweiler opened their show with imagery from Norwegian photographer Vilde Rolfsen’s ‘plastic bag landscape’ series, which, much like Blue Planet II, highlighted the impact waste from the industry is having on wildlife.
As such, the brand has taken a stand to be as environmentally responsible as possible when producing their collection: “After working with Vilde, we became even more aware of the issues the world is facing [in] becoming a more sustainable society. We are trying to improve every season. By now we have managed to make some small changes: all of our lambswool scarves and a selection of our jackets are made of approximately 60% recycled wool. We have a zero-waste policy and all of our scarves come in degradable bio-plastic packaging,” said Andreas Holzweiler, CEO.
2. Go West
The fashion world is still hell-bent on everyone being a cowgirl (and we are totally OK with that). Ganni led the pack in reinventing the western wheel: wide-leg, high-waisted jeans were paired with cropped jackets; new-season patent cowboy boots were styled with polka-dot mini dresses, and double denim was still all the rage. The biggest showstopper? A pink denim all-in-one with matching pink cowboy boots. Who said Scandinavians played it safe?
Ganni weren’t the only ones who referenced the Wild West in their collection. Astrid Andersen showed us how to work the trend for street-inspired looks. Think western accessories with sportswear and oversized lumberjack jackets with feminine dresses. Keep those cowboy boots kicking, the western trend is going no where come a/w 2018.
3. All White On The Night
Black has been the reigning fashion colour since… well, since fashion stereotypes began, but the white offering on the Copenhagen catwalks might make us rethink our staple colour of choice, especially when it comes to our winter wardrobes.
The trick to keeping white contemporary is by layering the look with shades of the same colour and offset these pieces with jarring accessories, as shown at Holzweiler. For something even more fashion-forward, go for the same shade in different fabrications, such as heavy-set denim with lightweight sports jackets, as seen at Ganni.
4. Colour Combinations
Ditch your navy, cream, grey and camel of the normcore Scandi years, the Danes are embracing colour and print like never before. Baum und Pferdgarten titled their latest collection ‘Blast of Blooms’ (so Scandi 2.0), and sent a floral green dress with checkered trousers in the same hue down the catwalk for their opening look. The looks that followed were a celebration of colour: Cadbury’s purple with mint green, a dark denim two-piece with ice-white boots, a lilac knitted top with oversized red coat, and pink frills with crushed mustard velvet. The collection certainly played into Instagram’s hands with easily snappable and shoppable pieces. But more importantly, designers Helle Hestehave and Rikke Baumgarten reminded us that fashion should be fun.
5. Pretty In Pink
We may have thought pink on the runway was on its way out, but it turns out a/w 2018 has different ideas. Cecilie Bahnsen has made a name for herself in Copenhagen and the wider fashion world with her signature aesthetic of pretty and voluminous – with many of her pieces selling out on matchesfashion.com. In previous seasons she has stuck to black, white and cream as her core colours but this season she ventured into pink, and it was as frothy and beautiful as you can imagine. Oversized pink quilted dresses were followed by tulle over T-shirts and almost strapless satin gowns.
By Malene Birger’s new creative director, Mathilde Torp Mader (previously designer at Marni and Mulberry), gave us workwear appropriate options, with midi-length magenta wrap dresses and knitted pink camo co-ords. Whatever your take on the colour, if you were thinking about a spring clear-out, don’t ditch the colour just yet.
Images: Holzweiler / Ganni / Baum und Pferdgarten / By Malene Birger / Astrid Andersen