For a small country, Denmark has a remarkably strong fashion scene, with many brands making a name for themselves outside the Nordic region. Labels like By Malene Birger, Henrik Vibskov, Mads Nørgaard, Baum and Pferdgarten for example are widely recognised. The darling of the moment, though, is Danish cool-girl brand Ganni. Well known in Scandinavia, they are now making waves internationally – type the hashtag “#gannigirls” into Instagram for a taste of the hype.
But Copenhagen Fashion Week isn’t just presenting Denmark’s own brands for the world to see. The success of the biannual three-day fashion event means foreign designers are now attracted to showcase their collections here. This season marks German label Lala Berlin’s third show at Copenhagen Fashion Week, where she was joined by established Swedish brand House of Dagmar, and Uniforms for the Dedicated.
Unstable weather was on the cards as press got ready for the Spring/Summer 2017 shows in Copenhagen. Yet despite the Scandinavian summer climate, many brands decided to stage their SS17 catwalk shows outdoors. Brave.
Back-up plans were put in place however. Umbrellas and shiny foil blankets where provided at Lala Berlin’s show in the Carlsberg brewery courtyard, and bottles of the Danish beer were handed out, keeping the mood high and bodies warm. During Lovechild 1979’s garden presentation an ill-timed shower led to laughs and Insta-snapping of the umbrella covered front row.
Last season the Danish capital staged most of its shows in and around the City Hall (Rådhuset), but this year was different. The August schedule marked a noticeable change in pace and settings: it was all about location, location, location! As important as the collection itself, venues and set design were nothing short of awe-inspiring, and at times they even ran the risk of overshadowing the clothes coming down the runway.
We were led into many large industrial spaces, grand halls and courtyards spread across the city, then met by arty installations like large, abstract coloured balloons at Ganni, a fashionable butcher shop with stuffed cotton salami at Henrik Vibskov, and a long swinging hand – seemingly giving a giant high five to the spectators – at Han Kjøbenhavn.
As expected, we got a healthy dose of cool Scandi fashion during the three-day fashion event. Minimalists with a particular wow-factor included Mark Kenly Domino Tan, who honed his skills working for houses like Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Sonia Rykiel, and Fonnesbech, a Danish brand with a history dating back to 1847. They both showed collections of luxurious minimalism: easy to wear and easy to want. Expertly tailored pieces, relaxed silhouettes and a timeless yet modern feel made these designers’ collections highlights from the week.
Let’s talk trends – there were quite a few to be spotted on the runways. Both utilitarian aesthetics and 90s sport where strong elements in many collections. Swedish sibling trio House of Dagmar presented several looks in muted shades of green and beige, with loose fits, oversized pockets, drawstring details and a high-end functional look.
Other designers that favoured these trends were By Malene Birger, where popper buttoned suit trousers drew our minds to the ubiquitous Adidas tracksuit bottoms, and sharp looks with buckled jackets and trenchcoats gave a high-end feel to functional details. Freya Dalsjø worked in a sheer grey track jacket with drawstring ties to her collection, checkered bumbags made an appearance at Baum und Pferdgarten, and Ganni’s space cowboy collection mixed sneakers with baggy trousers, safari style trenchcoats and wide plastic clip buckle belts.
For SS17 the Danish designers bring us a largely muted colour scheme. Of course black, white and grey are there, it’s to be expected any time of the year. But trending hues for next spring include shades of brown, ranging from the light end of the spectrum to more chocolaty hues. Pink continues to be a fashionable obsession: By Malene Birger even went as far as staging their runway in a large pink space and their fluffy pink accessories caused excited snapping. A new colour to look out for is green – at times in a surprisingly dark shade for spring, a season that typically favours lighter nuances. Also keep an eye out for light blue and shades of yellow.
This summer’s infatuation with slip dresses, frills and underwear as outerwear continues to make its mark on Spring/Summer 2017. Many designers sent simple elongated dresses down the runways, frills and wavy fabric were spotted more than once, and hang on to that luxe pyjama set. According to Lovechild 1979, Baum und Pferdgarten, and By Malene Birger they will be a do next summer as well.
The stand out piece of the season? The jumpsuit. It would be easier to name the designers that didn’t present this garment. Whether its utilitarian boiler suits, feminine lace or casual simplicity, keep the silhouette loose and you’ll nail the Danish designers’ it-piece of the season.
Words by Beatrice Trodden
Pictures by Copenhagen Fashion Week
1 & 2. Lovechild 1979
3. Lala Berlin
5, 6 & 7. House of Dagmar
8 & 9. Freya Dalsjø
11, 12 & 13. Ganni
14, 15 & 16. By Malene Birger
17. Saks Potts
18. Mark Kenly
20. Freya Dalsjø
22. By Malene Birger
23. Freya Dalsjø
25. Saks Potts