Copenhagen has not only received further attention as a popular travel destination as the “capital of the happiest Europeans” over the past few years, but its status as probably the most sustainable fashion city in the world has brought Copenhagen more and more into the center of the world fashion map.
The Danish capital has become an underrated fashion capitol thanks to the increasing popularity of Scandi-Chic brands like Ganni and Stine Goya; the Danish fashion industry is thriving like never before.
While the other fashion capitals are striving for the hegemony of fashion trends in an expanding competition, Copenhagen differentiates itself from it on a completely different level.
It is no longer a secret that the Scandinavians are known as pioneers of progress: wherever regional fashion weeks can hardly stand out from the crowd, the Copenhagen Fashion Week relies on a radically new approach in which participating brands must perform a minimum of standards for sustainability.
As one of the few editions of the international fashion weeks, Copenhagen Fashion Week presented a digital-physical hybrid model for the last European runway season in the course of the numerous event postponements of its global competitors, which made it possible for brands to use both digital and physical formats to be on the show schedule - a flexible option that could shine with progressiveness and zeitgeist.
Half a year later, in the midst of the current development in the global corona pandemic, the situation is coming to a head and the organizers of the Copenhagen Fashion Week are, contrary to the success of the progressive show concept of the Spring-Summer 2021 season, forced to go one step further: The whole thing happened first shifted to digital.
Some designers simply streamed their shows without a live audience, while others presented their new collections in fashion clips or published simple lookbooks. Under the motto “Small Talks, Big Conversations”, designer portraits were held in the form of panel talks and question-answer sessions with industry experts on the current development in fashion.
How important sustainability is for Copenhagen Fashion Week was announced this year in a forward-looking strategic partnership with e-commerce giant Zalando. The “Zalando Sustainability Award” aims to encourage fashion labels to take alternative approaches to design and manufacture that contribute to a more sustainable future.
The Swedish fashion label "House of Dagmar" convinced the jury with its alternative brand philosophy and is now supported by Zalando with its own capsule collection and financial support in implementing its sustainable approach.
With the presentation of the “Zalando Sustainability Award”, another foundation is laid for the question of how we can continue to enjoy fashion without causing even greater damage to our planet and using up our resources. Copenhagen will continue to work on this topic as a fashion city with Zalando in a three-year partnership and work through an agenda by 2023 in order to drive change in the industry. Until then, the ambitious “Sustainability Action Plan” will be the basis for working on specific goals and far-reaching changes in the fashion industry.
The Copenhagen Fashion Week takes on an international pioneering role and is therefore the first major fashion week that ensures that the brands take sustainability serious enough. The end goal? To become a Zero-Waste Fashion Week by 2023!
The Copenhagen Fashion Week now represents all of Northern Europe. This includes long-established labels from Finland, Sweden and Norway, but also designers from Germany and the United Kingdom are part of Copenhagen Fashion Week.
At the beginning of the Wutumn-Winter 2021 season, related topics emerge more and more: The designers inevitably focus on local inspirations and find joy in reliving the tactile pleasure of materials and craftsmanship.
Even if we weren't able to be there live due to Covid-19, we followed the events in our best day pyjamas and didn't miss the opportunity to enjoy the fashion highlights of the Autumn-Winter 2021/2022 season in the Scandi-chic that we love so much:
Just before Covid-19, the Danish cult label started into the new decade with the question “What will the 2020s bring us?”. Exactly one year later we are in a global pandemic and the world is upside down. Ganni's Creative Director Ditte Reffstrup grew up in a small town in Denmark. MTV was the only source of pop culture and style at the time. Hits from the 90s not only reminded her of her youth and brought a good mood into the second lockdown, but they were also the inspiration for Ganni's new autumn-winter collection. With this in mind, she thought about what artists wear on stage and adapted it to the aesthetics in the classic Ganni silouettes of the #GanniGirl.
The international fashion house from Denmark impresses us once again with contemporary designs for which we love them so much. The allusion to their Scandinavian heritage is characterized by a wearable aesthetic that combines the functional lightness of the Copenhagen street style with the typical Nordic spirit. The collection goes beyond trends and combines versatile and therefore contemporary capsule pieces made of high-quality fabrics and playful details that exude a subtle personal sophistication. The modern essentials of the collection range from knitted pieces to new classics such as wide-cut blazers.
Central Saint-Martins alumni Stine Goya brought color back to the never-ending lockdown. She finds her inspiration in the joy of everyday moments in life and celebrates the expression of the creative spirit. Her typical colorful style with strong colors and exciting patterns can of course also be found in the AW 21 collection. It invites us into a world of unlimited possibilities and motivates to defy the challenges of our current everyday-life.
Søren Le Schmidt:
The Danish designer is not only associated with sophisticated red carpet designs, but also with his exquisite old-school tailoring. His collections are inspired by architecture and subcultural diversity. The new autumn-winter collection of his fashion label is accordingly graphic and minimalistic. His main focus on production and material is to create timeless attire that will last forever. He tries to use 100% sustainable fabrics and, above all usefully incorporate even the scraps of fabric.
House of Dagmar:
The Swedish fashion label won the first “Zalando Sustainability Award” this year for its contemporary, progressive approach on sustainability. An avatar of the model was made in London, which hence presented the autumn-winter collection in virtual cityscapes. This was a very special way of dealing with the COVID situation, because the founder Karin Söderlind was prevented from traveling to Copenhagen by the consequences of the lockdown.
The Copenhagen-based label for the modern woman offers everything that can be understood as timeless, luxurious fashion. The creative director Anne-Dorothe Larsen designs clothes that go beyond the seasons and harmonize with her very own personal clothing style. The Lovechild 1979 aesthetic is typically playful, but based on masculine tailor-made silhouettes that can be recognized immediately by the beautiful little details.
The luxury clothing label is characterized above all by the character attitude of the casual Scandinavian girl; floating silhouette dresses, ornate patterns and high-quality fabrics: The Danish designer Naja Munthe devoted herself to pottery during the lockdown. The shaping and glazing of clay is the main inspiration of her new collection. This is particularly evident in the hand-drawn prints of the flowing dresses. Additionally, she dealt a lot with herself and her identity during lockdown. She explored gender roles and created exciting contrasts with her usually more feminine designs.
Baum und Pferdgarten:
For fall, the creative directors Helle Hestehave and Rieke Pferdgarten have found creative ways to stay local but think globally. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, they released themselves from the traditional show format and sent the looks from the collection to their close “Baum family”, whose members each styled and photographed the outfits themselves. In typical Danish silhouettes, soft volumes and boxy pieces, the variety of combinations was emphasized through individual styling.
As one of the most hyped brands of this season, Stand Studio remains true to its DNA for high fashion leather pieces and fake fur coats. This season it includes vegan leather and recycled fake fur in bright shapes and colors. It's a tribute to the simplicity and wearability of each and every piece. Although it may seem paradox at first, the isulation might encouraged the creativity of Creative Director Nellie Kamras in particular. For us, every piece has the potential to become the new favorite piece of autumn!
The Berlin fashion label showed for the second time in Denmark's capital. The ingenious ready-to-wear clothing by the eponymous designer Malaika Raiss, is the German response to Scandinavian feminine, casual chic. The brand sources and produces all of its materials in Europe. Most of the materials are vegetable dyed and she only uses organic cotton and recycled silk for her garments. The AW 21 collection takes up the Scandinavian layered look and interprets it in her very own signature style.
The conceptual fashion designer Henrik Vibskov has taken the pandemic-induced enthusiasm for cooking and baking as the inspiration for his new collection. Colors and patterns that are otherwise only found in grandma’s bakery stand out through the collection. Not only delicious sweets, but also tablecloth patterns themselves can be found in the designs in any artistic form of expression. This multimedia approach and the joy of colors and shapes are the main ingredients of his recipe for success for his twentieth anniversary.
The Norwegian fashion label Holzweiler proves that the wave of creative energy has also arrived in Oslo. The collection is inspired by sculptures, bridges and surreal architecture. From this, the designers Maria Kappel Holzweiler and Duy Dinh Ngo created patterns and prints that are reminiscent of the static change in the world. They even went so far that they had their own fabrics developed for the collection. Special attention should be paid to large scarves, a lambskin mini skirt and waterproof rubber boots for the sporty aspect of the brand. The designers have translated the particularly large amount of free time that they have spent in nature to their collection for the upcoming Autumn-Winter season.
The Swedish designer Carin Rodebjer tries to concentrate on “constructive things” in this collection. Her autumn/winter collection includes recycled leather and wool jacquards. The main idea here is to create designs for a long life and to create a collection of only favorite pieces. This includes oversized blazers, puff jackets and wide dresses with symbolic patterns from Buddhism.
Mark Kenly Domino Tan:
While the lockdown separated us from our friends and favorite places, it also brought us closer to home. The same thing occured to the designer Mark Kenly Domino Tan: He left Paris to take root again in his home city Copenhagen after leaving the country at a very young age. He returned with years of professional experience with well-known couturiers and showed his first collection in Copenhagen. For fall/winter, this includes fabrics with pinstripes, herringbone patterns and abstract knit designs. The outstanding about this collection is the special dialogue between the designer and the fabrics, which are supposed to recreate the feeling of a warm hug.
The Swedish fashion house H&M emphasizes the fact that the CPHFW is of global importance with its presentation of the H&M Studio collection in Copenhagen. With the title “Treasure Forever”, H&M aims to give the everyday-life an adventurous calibre even in times of lockdown. The inspiration comes from the confident attitude of a deep-sea explorer. That is why the collection includes many bold pieces with a underwater reference such as octopus-like cuts and surfaces that we otherwise only know from the sea ground. The collection will be available online from February 18th.
Image Courtesy of CPHFW Image Bank