by Lydia Schaffer
Copenhagen fashion week engulfs the much-loved city twice a year. But those of us who are not a native or does not love cold weather the best time to check out Copenhagen's fashion industry is during the summer festivities as the winter cycle is truly wintery. So if you are one of the few lucky ones to end up in Copenhagen during this year's fashion week, here is a comprehensive list of shows you need to see, parties to go to and what you can skip out on.
Verena Schepperheyn, the Berlin born label is carving out its place in the emerging designer category. Verena's ability to juxtapose the fine line between masculinity and traditionalism while remaining relevant is worth a second take. The rampant streetwear influences are actively ignored and the end product is unique, liberating yet grounded.
Han Kjøbenhavn, the darling of Danish menswear is the antithesis of traditionalism and is a good counterpoint to defined aesthetics of men and women's wear. If you like streetwear in its most rampant form, this is the show for you.
Uniforms for the Dedicated brings both uniforms and contemporary classics in structured, lightweight and sustainable fabrics. Other than 100% GOTS certified cotton and linen, outerwear and board shorts consist of a Swedish-made alternative to polyester: biological polymer. So if you are feeling environmentally inclined and intellectually curious about clothes made with a social conscience, this show is likely to keep you talking.
Hærværk is Niels Gundtoft Hansen's brain child and a constant reminder of the untamed spirit of urban Denmark. His collections tend to be the pinnacle of Danish streetwear with a heavy focus on youthful disregard for structure and tradition.
Astrid Andersen is probably the most consistently international of the current crop of danish brands. Andersen graduated from The Royal College of Art and set up shop in 2010 and in the last 7 years, she has crafted her fashion house to explore internationalism only a Dane can. She is big in London, she is big in Copenhagen and if her creative trajectory is any indication, she is going to be big everywhere else soon enough.
Holzwieler which started off as a strictly accessories line (cashmere and silk scarves) evolved into a clothing line in 2014. Generally when that happens brands tend to take a tentative step toward the new market but Holzwieler hit the ground running and this Oslo based brand is bringing a certain pedigree to Copenhagen which is not often seen in a smaller market upstaters. Definitely worth dropping by.
Bitte Kai Rand is one of the old stalwarts of Scandi fashion. Conceptually forward, intellectually avant-garde, the BKR brand which is the brain child of Bitte Kai Rand and her husband Michael Rand, has had a constant impact in creating what is now viewed as Scandinavian aesthetics. But unlike other bigger brands which become derivatives of itself, BKR has somehow managed to produce a mosaic of work that is both commercially viable and conceptually grand. Despite the new and exciting brands that has emerged from the interiors of Scandinavia, Bitte Kai Rand is as refreshing and fashion forward as ever.
There are always going to be bigger, more mainstream shows to watch in Copenhagen but frankly, if you are in Copenhagen for fashion week you are there for the cutting edge shows. Shows like Ganni which is a middle of the road clothing group in every sense might excite people who are unfamiliar with the reality on the ground but frankly, it is better to watch that kind of shows in Paris or Milan.
And if you are feeling that cutting edge fashion shows needs to be complemented by after parties, Copenhagen has some wonderful joints you can drop by or rsvp to. Our suggestions would be to look into the Fashion Celebration with Cîroc. Ultimately a fashion week like Copenhagen is well suited for a plethora of crowds. And you can find anything you desire as long as you dont expect the Paris Couture Week meeting the Met ball on the streets of Nyhavn.