Magasin du Nord Fashion Prize and the Future of Danish Fashion

Since 2012, Magasin du Nord Foundation has been giving out the prestigious Magasin du Nord Fashion Prize awarded by the Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess (of Denmark), who for many years has been a champion of Danish Fashion. Last month, Magasin du Nord Foundation announced this year’s three finalists; Blanche, Helmstedt and Hyun Mi Nielsen.

Blanche was originally founded and launched as a sustainable jeans brand in 2017 by Melissa Bech and Mette Fredin Christensen, and quickly became a darling among influencers and fashion editors alike. Since then, Blanche has also launched the Blanche Atelier collection, a ready-to-wear line focussing on fashion, trends and refined styling. From its start, the brand has been represented in some of the best and most popular shops. With years of experience from the Danish fashion scene, the two ladies have managed to create a popular sustainable brand.

Helmstedt is the brainchild of designer Emilie Helmstedt, a colorful and playful universe with simple yet powerful silhouettes. Her easy-to-wear 30’s and 50’s inspired loungewear were exclusively sold in collaboration with the very popular high-end boutique Holly Golightly in Copenhagen. Emilie Helmstedt was originally trained as a tailor and graduated by 20, however, she is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. She has created a brand that has all the right ingredients of a heavy hitter within the Danish industry and with the right kind of support she is likely to go global eventually.

Hyun Mi Nielsen is the creation of designer Christine Nielsen. She has quickly made a name for herself with her ethereal take on gothic detailing, organza draping and leather tailoring. At this years Paris Couture Week, she was invited by the French Fashion Federation to showcase her designs among staples in the world of fashion and did so quite brilliantly. Christine Nielsen is far from new to the world of fashion, before founding Hyun Mi Nielsen, she has worked at fashion houses such as Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Alexander McQueen. While there is no question about her pedigree, starting from scratch can be tough and her ability to take on the hard tasks so easily will be an asset for years to come.

On October 25th, 2018, Magasin du Nord Fashion Prize was handed to the young designer Emilie Helmstedt. “I never imagined being here. It is like a dream. It is the biggest thing to happen in my life”, Emilie Helmstedt said and continued: “I would like to thank the Magasin du Nord Foundation for this award. The award will make it possible for me to reach my dreams. I already have a ton of plans I intend to get going with tomorrow. I cannot wait to showcase my dreams coming to life, even more.”

Emilie Helmstedt received a one-year membership of Dansk Textil og Mode also received a grant of DKK 500.000, which will go towards expanding her design- and business concepts.


Top Three Shows from Copenhagen SS19 : Day 1

by Olivia Moreau | Lotus Ladegaard 

Copenhagen remains the primary hub of Scandi-fashion despite reorganization and an ever evolving market. During the opening day of the Copenhagen fashion week, it was evident that the heat would not deter anyone from showing up wearing their sunday best. And among the plethora of designers showing on the first day of the CPHFW these three stood out the most.

Anne Louise Faurholt and Emma Lohmann's Résumé is a brand that embraces it's scandi-roots like it's going out of fashion (it is not). But it would be unfair to pigeon hole Résumé into one singular identity as it has some substantive layers hidden underneath it's minimalism. Finding the right equipoise between slow and high fashion, and tailoring it to fit the budget of the average look-conscious consumer is a hard balance to achieve and with each collection Résumé moves incrementally toward that holy grail. This SS19 collection was a shot in the right direction as it brimmed with poise and color, and a very clear understanding that Anne Louise Faurholt and Emma Lohmann are both coming into their own as designers. Barring unforeseen event Résumé is here to stay and sell you something wonderful for your wardrobe that does not veer off from its roots but remains globally appealing. 

Mykke Hoffman is the brainchild of childhood friends Sedina Halilovic and Jelena Hofmann. Their ancestral balkan aesthetics but not structure played a consistent role in MH's collection. The ever-furled yellow and consistent use of danish structure in silhouettes makes MH a brand to watch out for in the long run. The beauty of the clothes is undeniable, the idea behind is praiseworthy and the fact that it is coming into the market with a very transparent supply chain, is wonderful. While of the pieces would get lost in the crowded filed of strong lines and minimalist fashion of Scandinavia, some the pieces like the Yellow and white machine-cut dresses will provide a lot of understated glamor for the right consumer.  Simplistic color palettes over sized shirts are bound be the crowd pleasers in Scandinavia but the stand among the pieces were surely the grey printed dress that had all the elements of what makes MH a brand for the future.   

If the first two stand out designers were relatively new to Copenhagen fashion week, then Oh! Copenhagen is the old stalwart. 

Oh! Kopenhagen Fur presented an interesting SS19 collection, named Generations. Drawing on inspirations from the 1970’ies silhouettes and aesthetics as well as the mentality of the 1990’ies combined with elements from a younger generation. Oh! Kopenhagen Fur’s campaign model for SS19, Laura Hagested, has created hand-drawn patterns for the lining and silk pieces of the collection.

The actual collection offers outerwear, silk pieces, fur and leather accessories as well as furry slippers. The color palette was easy and fresh with 70’ies inspired pastel prints and classic tones of black, beige combined with colored fur. The silhouettes were easy-to-wear along with a few more fitted pieces, all with a certain 1970’ies flair. 

At times, the collection felt overwhelmingly retro, and perhaps the inspiration could have been less literal, however, it had several stand-out pieces like a green oversize jacket with pink fur cuffs with the cute little pink clutch and the classic black trenchcoat with visible white seams and black cuff. A blue layered silk coat along with athleisure pants was another stand-out piece along with the draped backless top styled with black silk trousers. 

Oh! Kopenhagen Fur delivered a solid SS19 collection that will speak to a whole variety of women as well as excite its loyal followers. Oh! Kopenhagen Fur is a brand that continues to evolve and it's truly exciting to see its evolution.