The fashion crowd flocked to the capital of Scandi-chic this week for Copenhagen Fashion Week, where cult brands such as Cecilie Bahnsen and Ganni unveiled their Autumn/Winter 2020 collections. From statement prints and candy colours to neutral tones and minimalist silhouettes, take a look at the most covetable collections showcased in the Danish capital.
Swedish-Eritrean designer Selam Fessahaye used her AW20 show as a platform to champion diversity, as the only black designer at CPHFW, sending models of different races down the runway for one of the most diversely casted shows in the history of the city’s fashion week. The show opened with a barefoot model waltzing down the catwalk in a voluminous floor-filling taffeta skirt and matching bralet with a single puff sleeve, her hair adorned with traditional Eritrean golden headpieces in in tribute to Fessahaye’s Eritrean heritage. Myriad prints from leopard to baroque florals took form in exaggerated silhouettes and textures, with everything from an oversized kiwi print two-piece to a trailing maxi dress made up of waves of pleated tulle. Later on, a trench coat-cum-gown was printed with kaleidoscopic images of a woman holding a machine gun, symbolising women fighting for the liberation of Eritrea and reinforcing the show’s striking message of female strength.
Emile Helmstedt’s AW20 collection drew inspiration from the designer’s fantasy world of elegant tea parties and French Pâtisserie, suitably showcased in Copenhagen’s French Embassy. The show was an explosion of colour and print, both of which drive the universe of Helmstedt’s unique hand-painted garments, inspired by the Copenhagen-born designer’s dreams and childhood nostalgia. Statement dresses and two-piece suits resembled pyjama and nightgown silhouettes with a whimsical sensibility, playfully embellished with crockery and tableware.
Since her debut in 2015, Cecilie Bahnsen has become one of Copenhagen’s most celebrated designers, recognised for her architectural volumes and sculptural silhouettes. Each of her collections has offered a contemporary take on femininity through juxtapositions of softness and structure and minimal and maximalist proportions - her AW20 collection is no exception. What resembled billows of clouds floated down the runway in the form of fluttering minidresses constructed in snow white silk organza. Bahnsen offered a visual feast of romantic silhouettes, wedded to neutral hues and monochrome colour palettes with injections of duck-egg blue and creamy chocolate brown. Subtle doses of florals were woven through the collection, alongside plentiful frills, covetable textured knitwear and a foray into tailoring in the shape of form-fitting blazers layered over wisping dresses.
Copenhagen-based label Stine Goya’s flair for colour offers a vibrant injection to the minimalist palettes embodied by many of the brands on the Scandinavian fashion scene, with hand-painted and -drawn prints infusing unique and quirky details into each garment. For the brand’s AW20 collection, saturated shades of lime green, lavender and hot pink dominated, and a plethora of prints swept the runway, from zebra prints and blown-up polka dots paired with print-clashing tights, to playful suiting, each completed with a pair of platform flip-flops. One of the most covetable pieces of the entire week was a dreamy belted teddy coat in Neapolitan pastels that’s bound to end up in every Scandi fashion girl’s wardrobe.
Stuck in a winter outerwear conundrum? Look no further than STAND STUDIO’s AW20 collection, with options abound for statement styles, from chessboard print faux fur to mock croc leather. Interspersed between overcoats and jackets were shimmering lamé suits and supple leather skirt-and-shirt combinations, infused with a layer of edge in the form of studded belts and cuffs. The collection championed a streak of wildness, with plentiful animal prints from snakeskin mini dresses to tiger-print faux fur. Creative director Nellie Kamras succeeded once again in crafting a collection filled at once with effortlessness and eccentricity.
Arguably the most hotly anticipated show of the week was cult brand Ganni. After Copenhagen Fashion Week unveiled its Sustainability Action Plan 2020-2022, Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup, at the helm of the label, renewed their focus on working towards creating a fully sustainable label. A Copenhagen skatepark served as host for Ganni’s forward-thinking AW20 collection, as the brand partnered with 20 female artists to create garments from upcycled materials, including a coat woven from discarded wool samples. Fewer prints made way for moodier colour palettes and grungy undertones, with the occasional flash of golden dark florals and punkish leopard print. Leather and denim pilgrim collars in blown-up proportions added an extra layer of intrigue to pared-back silhouettes. Crochet berets were the accessory du jour, completing slouchy suits, khaki quilted coats and leather two-pieces with a dose of nonchalance.
Words by Ruby McAuliffe
Graphics by Katie Janes