Tuesday 25 September 2018

How Copenhagen Fashion Week beat New York and Paris to become the hottest ticket in town

Sandi-fashion is the talk of the fashion industry: editors, bloggers and designers, particularly in Ireland - but why is it such a big deal?

Emili Sindlev, Jeannette Madsen, Thora Valdimars seen outside Cecilie Bahnsen during the Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 on August 8, 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)
Emili Sindlev, Jeannette Madsen, Thora Valdimars seen outside Cecilie Bahnsen during the Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 on August 8, 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark seen outside CIFF fair during the Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 on August 8, 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)
The Crown Princess Mary of Denmark visits different stands at the Copenhagen Fashion Week in the Bella Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark August 8, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS
A model presents a creation by Finnish designer Kiia Maria Järvinen of the Designers Nest, a platform for Nordic design graduates, during the Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark, on August 7, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ritzau Scanpix / Martin Sylvest / Denmark OUTMARTIN SYLVEST/AFP/Getty Images
A model presents a creation by Finnish designer Kiia Maria Järvinen of the Designers Nest, a platform for Nordic design graduates, during the Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark, on August 7, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ritzau Scanpix / Martin Sylvest / Denmark OUTMARTIN SYLVEST/AFP/Getty Images
A model presents a creation by Finnish designer Kiia Maria Järvinen of the Designers Nest, a platform for Nordic design graduates, during the Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark, on August 7, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ritzau Scanpix / Martin Sylvest / Denmark OUTMARTIN SYLVEST/AFP/Getty Images
U.S. ambassador to Denmark, Carla Sands, arrives at the Malena Birger show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark August 9, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS
A model presents a creation at the Munthe show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark August 9, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Martin Sylvest via REUTERS
A model presents a creation at the Cecilie Bahnsen show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark August 8, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS
A model presents a creation at the Future of Fashion show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark August 8, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS
A model presents a creation at the Future of Fashion show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark August 8, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS
A model presents a creation at the Future of Fashion show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark August 8, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS
A model presents a creation of Jens Ole Arnason of the Designers' Nest, a platform for Nordic design graduates, during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark August 7, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Martin Sylvest via REUTERS
Blanche fashion show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Copenhagen, Denmark August 7 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS
A model presents a creation at the Future of Fashion show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark August 8, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS

Lorna Weightman

Over the course of the last number of years, while Paris, New York, Milan and London remain steadfast in their respective places at the top of the fashion week hierarchies, but now, a new city has emerged has a style destination - and you probably didn't even know they had their own fashion week, let alone one that is among the most envied in Europe.

Fashion is, as always cyclical, and during this latest turn, our eyes have been cast on Copenhagen, Denmark's bustling metropolis and after years of visiting the same destinations, the industry has proven, once again, that it is full of surprises.

After nearly 10 years of attending shows in the above four cities, I've seen it all - or at the very least, nearly - and that same whirl of excitement at enjoying a xxx view to witness a designer's blood, sweat and tears poured into the 10-minute show never fades.

However, like all successful business models, it has become increasingly commercialised, which is essential to its enduring success, but also affords other unlikely destinations to quietly build their own fashion week model, which is why somewhere like Copenhagen or Oslo, in a close second, has etched its way to the top of fashion editors' lists.

Blanche fashion show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Copenhagen, Denmark August 7 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS
Blanche fashion show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Copenhagen, Denmark August 7 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS

Sandi-fashion has long been on a pedestal of chic, minimal, effortless style, and with the rise of some of its indigenous labels now stocked on sites such as Net-A-Porter and My Theresa, the Danes are in pole position to become the fashion week to attend. Their brands may not be on the global scale of their Parisian or Milanese counterparts just yet, but fashion editors are seeing the value of coverage of Copenhagen.

Labels like Ganni are emerging as ones to watch, and have gradually infiltrated the buying office of Irish stores of Brown Thomas and Arnotts. Established in 2000, and now run by a husband and wife duo, the brand answers the style dilemmas of the practical fashionista – dresses with sleeves, wearable prints and lots and lots of separates.

For Spring/Summer 2019, their omni-present staples of midi dresses embrace a theme of the outdoors, styled with walking boots and rain hats. This juxtaposition seems complicated but it works. Similarly, Milene Berger, a firm favourite among Irish boutiques, also stuck to the dress as the anchor piece but in contrast opted for the less ethereal look by adorning pieces with sequins.

I can imagine this look being a hit with the Irish fash-pack (i.e. me) who will more than likely style it with Celine or Gucci trainers. Cecilie Bahnsen, provided lessons in how to marry prettiness with structure through her architectural pieces that had a soft undertone. A dominant palette of white added to the effect of the collection’s message, which I’ve defined as – “I like to be girly, but I want to be tough”.

Having sorted through the catwalk imagery from #CPFW, I’m realizing there is more to the city than just the Little Mermaid and Noma (named the best restaurant in the world four times in case you didn’t know).  Fashion is very much at its centre now both on and off the catwalk. 

Vogue, Refinery 29 and Harpers all hail the street style as the best in the world and if you have yet to decide on your AW18 aesthetic then I can highly recommend style stalking on Instagram. One click on the fashion photography account ‘The Styleograph”, run by photographer Christan Vierig, will give you all you need to know.

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark seen outside CIFF fair during the Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 on August 8, 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark seen outside CIFF fair during the Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 on August 8, 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

Even Denmark's Crown Princess Mary was sitting front row at the Copenhagen International Fashion Fair (CIFF), following in Britain's Queen Elizabeth's footsteps enjoying a FROW seat at Richard Quinn in London earlier this year.

A cacophony of colour, texture and even mixed-matched shoes, the Danish style mavens identify no boundaries in what they can wear. Last season is actually where I spotted the ubiquitous Balenciaga Knife Boot both in block colours and floral print.

To get the look, you need to face your fear of fashion – clash colours, go oversize instead of small size, wear trainers with everything, even wear an evening dress during the day time with a leather jacket and a pair of flip flops.

I love this side of fashion – it’s fun and ambitious. All we need to do is follow suit. 

For all the highlights of Copenhagen Fashion Week, see our gallery below:

Emili Sindlev, Jeannette Madsen, Thora Valdimars seen outside Cecilie Bahnsen during the Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 on August 8, 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)
Emili Sindlev, Jeannette Madsen, Thora Valdimars seen outside Cecilie Bahnsen during the Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 on August 8, 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark seen outside CIFF fair during the Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 on August 8, 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)
The Crown Princess Mary of Denmark visits different stands at the Copenhagen Fashion Week in the Bella Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark August 8, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS
A model presents a creation by Finnish designer Kiia Maria Järvinen of the Designers Nest, a platform for Nordic design graduates, during the Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark, on August 7, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ritzau Scanpix / Martin Sylvest / Denmark OUTMARTIN SYLVEST/AFP/Getty Images
A model presents a creation by Finnish designer Kiia Maria Järvinen of the Designers Nest, a platform for Nordic design graduates, during the Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark, on August 7, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ritzau Scanpix / Martin Sylvest / Denmark OUTMARTIN SYLVEST/AFP/Getty Images
A model presents a creation by Finnish designer Kiia Maria Järvinen of the Designers Nest, a platform for Nordic design graduates, during the Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark, on August 7, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ritzau Scanpix / Martin Sylvest / Denmark OUTMARTIN SYLVEST/AFP/Getty Images
A model presents a creation at the Cecilie Bahnsen show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark August 8, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS
A model presents a creation at the Future of Fashion show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark August 8, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS
A model presents a creation at the Future of Fashion show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark August 8, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS
A model presents a creation at the Future of Fashion show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark August 8, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS
A model presents a creation of Jens Ole Arnason of the Designers' Nest, a platform for Nordic design graduates, during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark August 7, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Martin Sylvest via REUTERS
Blanche fashion show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Copenhagen, Denmark August 7 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS
A model presents a creation at the Future of Fashion show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark August 8, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via REUTERS

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