Copenhagen has not only received more and more attention as a popular travel destination over the past few years as the "capital of the happiest Europeans", it is status as probably the most sustainable fashion city in the world has undoubtedly moved Copenhagen into the center of the world fashion map.
The Danish capital has become an underrated fashion center 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 a notably increasing 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: In places where 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 meet minimum 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 catwalk season in the course of the numerous event postponements of its global competitors, which made it possible for brands to use both digital and digital-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 forced to go a step further, contrary to the success of the progressive show concept of the spring-summer 2021 season: The entire event has 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 and answer sessions with industry experts on current fashion trends.
The importance of sustainability for Copenhagen Fashion Week was announced this year in a forward-looking strategic partnership with online mail-order 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 was able to convince the six-member expert jury with its 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 cornerstone 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. As a fashion city, Copenhagen will continue to work on this topic with Zalando as a three-year partner and work through an agenda by 2023 to drive change in the industry. To this end, the ambitious “Sustainability Action Plan” has been working on specific goals and far-reaching changes in the fashion industry since last year.
The Copenhagen Fashion Week takes on an international pioneering role and is therefore the first major fashion week that ensures that the brands take the topic of sustainability sufficiently seriously. 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 autumn-winter 2021 season, related topics emerge more and more: The designers inevitably concentrate 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 pajamas 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 present:
Even before Covid-19, the Danish cult label started 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. 90s hits that not only reminded her of her youth but are also the inspiration for Ganni's new autumn-winter collection put her in a good mood during the lockdown. With this in mind, she thought about what artists wear on stage and adapted them to the aesthetics in the classic Ganni silhouettes of the #GanniGirl.
The international fashion house from Denmark impresses with the 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 typically 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 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 everyday lockdown. She finds her inspiration in the joy of everyday moments in life and celebrates the expression of the creative spirit. Their unmistakably 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 us to defy the challenges of everyday life.
Søren Le Schmidt:
The Danish designer is not only associated with glamorous red carpet designs, but also with his exquisite old-school tailoring. His collections are shaped 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 parts that will last forever. He tries to use 100% sustainable fabrics and, above all, usefully incorporate scraps of fabric.
House of Dagmar:
The Swedish fashion label received the first “Zalando Sustainability Award” this year for its contemporary, progressive approach. An avatar of the model was made in London, which now 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 due to the lockdown. The digital avatar didn't have any problems.
The Copenhagen-based label for the modern woman again this season 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 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 a lockdown. The shaping and glazing of clay is the main inspiration of their new collection. This is particularly evident in the hand-drawn prints of the flowing dresses. In addition, in times of global stagnation, she dealt a lot with herself and her identity. In doing so, she researched gender roles and created exciting contrasts with the otherwise more feminine designs.
Tree and horse garden:
For the fall, the creative directors Helle Hestehave and Rieke Pferdgarten have found creative ways to stay local and think globally. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, they broke away from the traditional show format and each sent an outfit from the collection to their “tree family”, whose members styled and photographed the looks themselves.
In typical Danish silhouettes, soft volumes, and box-shaped parts, 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 pants and fake fur coats but was able to reinvent itself. This season includes vegetable leather and recycled fake fur in bright shapes and colors. It's a tribute to the simplicity and portability of each and every piece. Although it may seem paradoxical at first, the limitations have boosted 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 refined ready-to-wear clothing by the designer of the same name, Malaika Raiss, is the German addition 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 AW21 collection takes up the Scandinavian layered look and interprets it in its very own signature.
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 was inspired by sculptures, bridges, and surreal architecture. From this, the designer's 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 in their collection for the coming autumn/winter.
The Swedish designer Carin Rodebjer tries to concentrate on “constructive things” in this collection. It has long been manifesting the changes that the crisis is now said to have triggered in the fashion industry. Her autumn/winter collection includes, among other things, recycled leather and wool jacquards. The main idea here is to create designs for long life and to create a collection of 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 happened to the designer Mark Kenly Domino Tan and left Paris to take root again in his native Denmark after leaving the country at a young age. He returned with years of professional experience with well-known couturiers and showed his first collection in Copenhagen. For fall/winter, these include fabrics with pinstripes, herringbone patterns, and abstract knit designs. The outstanding thing 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 chain H&M underlines 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 wants to give everyday life an adventurous quality even in times of lockdown. The inspiration comes from the confident demeanor of a deep-sea explorer. That is why the collection includes many bold pieces with underwater references such as octopus-like cuts and surfaces that we otherwise only know from the seafloor. The collection will be available online from February 18th.
Image Courtesy of CPHFW Image Bank