Six Learning Things of Copenhagen Fashion Week

"Copenhagen Fashion Week"From the obscure underbelly of Danish fashion to an entire new shoe shape, Copenhagen fashion week showed Scandinavian elegance is about more than nice knitted garments.

Shoehorned in between the official menswear demonstrations in January and February’s women’s wear assortments, Denmark’s fashion week is an in good physical shape hodgepodge of both. In the remarkable city hall, a pebble’s throw absent from the Tivoli laughter park, the newest fashions from new and recognized designers were on exhibition last week. Anybody imagining binging on monotonous simplicity left empty-handed; Scandinavian fashion, at least the more forward-thinking brands, enthused on ages ago.

But of late-night, it is not the country’s foremost designers – Day Birger et Mikkelsen, Mads Nørgaard, Bruuns Bazaar – who have done Danish fashion most positive discrimination. The current invasions of fashionable and attractively shot television crime dramas have put Scando clothes on the map. The Killing, Borgen and The Bridge all article well-dressed and turned-out police investigators. Cunningly, though, the AW14 collections presented in Copenhagen observed beyond the knitwear, coats and leather trousers made well-known by Sarah Lund and Saga Norén. As fashionable as those women are, these shows were all about discovery a new and separate artistic, just the method it should be.

The six things are –

The look

The “dark underbelly” of Danish fashion really stood out. Barbara í Gongini’s black and gothic looks, Asger Juel Larsen’s futuristic and urban aesthetic and Anne Sofie Madsen’s cyberpunk girls helped define the fashion event. These designers brought a much-needed serving of attitude and energy to Copenhagen.

The menswear

Danish menswear is currently doing very well, having found a great balance between wearability and directional fashion. Anchored in contemporary streetwear, Soulland, Wood Wood and Han Kjøbenhavn managed to focus on the product while still putting on good shows. Silas Adler and his Soulland brand especially impressed with a strong and coherent space-influenced collection.

The fabric

There was fur in every other collection showing in Copenhagen – mostly mink, which is a major fashion export for Denmark. The fur was used on coats, jackets, trousers – even shoes. Freya Dalsjö, Kopenhagen Fur, Day Birger et Mikkelsen, Malene Birger and Anne Sofie Madsen, to mention but a few, chose the controversial material. It all went ahead without any sign of protest. Peta must have looked at the -5C weather forecast and rescheduled the trip.

The walk

Bruuns Bazaar and Stine Goya applied a catwalk technique that, so far, only Giorgio Armani has mastered: they sent two or more models out on the catwalk at a time. It might not sound very experimental, but it can be a tricky way to squeeze more looks in, though here it actually worked fine. Goya even added mid-show clapping and cheering, another Armani staple.

The food

Don’t leave Copenhagen without having smørrebrød for lunch. Think of it as jazzed-up Pret a Manger: essentially a sandwich with extra-generous fillings, the base is rye bread covered in roast beef and pickled cucumber, say, or pan-fried sea bass topped with prawns. For a more expensive and expansive food experience, try to get a table at Noma. The wine tasting lunch includes 20 small dishes with as many different wines. Some of it is plain weird (ant-flavoured onions, anyone?), but it is a gastronomic experience you’ll cherish for ever.

The detail

One detail that stood out was Freya Dalsjö’s new shoe shape. Actually, it was more of a footwear accessory. Dalsjö’s pumps featured a rectangular box on the heel, giving it a skyscraper structure. The almost architectural shape is quite possibly good for balance, and certainly made us sit up and pay attention. A few of them came covered in fur as well. Obviously.