by Christine Tongue
Now that Copenhagen fashion week is over, it's a time to reflect on what will form the lasting memories of the spring/summer 2017 shows. The fashion week had a total of 29 women's and men's labels showing, from established designers like Henrik Vibskov and Fonnesbech to new young student talents from the design schools - and some of the shows took place in new interesting locations across the capital. These are a few of the highlights:
Beginning with a great Danish talent that delivered a show that was more art than fashion. Nicholas Nybro, known for his previously spectacular shows, this time he took the audience down a slightly decadent basement bar lit in pink, seating us at tables as his show went on around us with actors/models enacting nightclub scenes in his latest fashions. It was a delightful bunch of all ages and heights who spread a joyful feeling, smiling and interacting with the audience in an immersive experience that may have put the fashion secondary, but was conveying a larger message - celebrating age and aging and making a statement about the unhealthy fixation of youth today. The outfits themselves were more theatrical, outlandishly glitzy, or just camp, so maybe not so wearable unless you're going to a costume party, but in the world Nybro created they fitted perfectly. One left feeling moved, even uplifted, and that is a great mark of art to me.
Another great creator of his own worlds is, of course, Henrik Vibskov. This time he brought us to an imaginary salami factory placed in the courtyard of a warehouse in the Meatpacking district. As the audience entered and throughout, "butchers" were working on their textile salamis hung up on a structure in the middle as the models circled the scene. It was a slightly macabre world that formed an interesting contrast to his Eastern inspired fashion showcasing Vibskov's usual flair for printed patterns, both colourful and monochrome, in well-constructed garments. The colour of the salamis entered into the fashion as red and white polkadot printed kimono dresses and as salami-prints on braces for dresses, skirts and trousers, making their way also into the incredible headpieces - Vibskov seems to have a thing for hats. All in all, it was a thought-provoking show with many deliciously wearable pieces.
By the base of the impressive Carlsberg elephant statues in the old brewery, Lala Berlin offered a delightful, bohemian style with inspiration from the African jungle. Using collage, prints, layered imagery of flora and fauna, or just white and fresh crisp, the brand delivered feminine styles to feel gorgeous in. The collection had clear inspiration from African tribes with its colour palette and fringes, but was made for the urban chic woman.
The African influences were also seen at Fonnesbech, where the catwalk was filled with sand and a live musician playing the kora (like an African harp) created a meditative, beautiful feeling as the models waded through their own Sahara desert. Accompanying fluid silhouettes in neutral tones, sandals with red accents added a very nice touch.
Among the student talents from Margrethe-Skolen the ones that stood out were the ones creating their own vision building on their own conceptual thinking, rather than making twists on current designer trends. Louise Lyngh Bjerregaard showed a poetic interpretation of her family history over the ages with for example an excellent outfit combining something resembling a household apron with a 1980s bowed blouse in an outfit that showed beautiful use of colour and felt entirely fresh. She also used old polaroid photos incorporated into her garments and shoes. Sofie Sol created her own universe merging bright fluorescent yellow worker wear with couture in innovative ways treading a fine balance between function and finesse. There is talent brimming in Denmark, and these are just some of the names to watch for the future!
Christine Tongue is an Anglo-Swedish copywriter/writer, fashion lover and mother.