How CPHFW’s 18 sustainability requirements influenced shows and collections
We take a look at the work that was initiated three years ago by Copenhagen Fashion Week, and how brands followed the requirements in show production, design, and working conditions this last week.
By OLIVER DAHLE
When Copenhagen Fashion Week took place last week, brands put a lot of effort into putting on a show, and standout moments came to characterize a hectic week. The most noteworthy, in all its serenity, was the fact that this season was the first edition with all the 18 sustainability requirements in place. Instagram-worthy moments (or TikTok, which is an official sponsor), celebrity-infused runways, spectacular venues, and forward-thinking fashion — Copenhagen Fashion Week had all the ingredients that make up the inimitable world of fashion.
Even though (di)Vision showed on the first day of the week, they did set the table for an afterparty.
The show took place in a restaurant on the outskirts of Copenhagen, where it seemed like the party ended many hours ago. Instead of neatly made tables, guests were invited to sit down at the already finished tables, which included post-party props such as oyster shells, french fries all over, cigarette buts, and wine-stained tablecloths.
The collection, named Dressed for Disaster, is grounded in an aesthetic, that exudes teenage revolution and a broad-minded gen-z point of view to dressing, not very far from the 90s grunge.
The live band playing jazz covers of Avril Lavigne and Linkin Park added to the experience. The most spectacular moment, was when what appeared to be one of the guests, clinked their glass to raise a toast. In a wine-stained, or -dyed, skirt and corset, model Sarah Dahl stood up and walked away to join the rest of the cast. In doing so, she also brought with her the tablecloth, which functioned as the train of the skirt.
A. Roege Hove
Amalie Røge Hove has made herself and her eponymous brand famous with intricate knitwear, often emphasizing the body of the wearer. In the AW23-show, this was further stressed.
The first model entering the runway came walking in wearing solely boots and underwear. Instead of being dressed and styled prior, it all took place on the runway. Two assistants draped and clothed the model in front of the audience’s eyes, highlighting the craftsmanship behind each piece.
In Copenhagen’s Geologisk Museum (Museum of Geology), the former LVMH-semifinalist, Emilie Helmstedt, presented a collection that took its inspiration from a utopian view of outer space. The unknown was expressed by joyful colours, alien motifs, and the showpiece — an octopus-like, tentacle-clad dress made out of scrap fabric.
The collection might have been sci-fi inspired, but the details in the collection are grounded in traditional craftsman techniques — enticing embroidery, irregular quilting, and hand-loomed textiles. In the Helmstedt-universe you come for the joyful colour, but you’ll stay for the quality and attention to detail.
The Norwegians at Holzweiler also found their inspiration from the unknown. But rather than having an outlook from the earth, they went the opposite way. The collection Deep Sea is looking into the depths of our seas and is inspired by Japanese free divers and Norwegian whales.
The inspiration goes into fabrics flowing in the wind, reflecting the movement of water and seaweed and washed denim. The most common aspect of the collection is functionality — which is visible through long puffer coats, gauge sweaters, and cargo pants, offering warmth and protection.
During Copenhagen Fashion Week, the casting of the shows is often influenced by the brand’s community, and friends and family are often modelling. At Rotate Veneda Carter, Vincent Beier, Grece Ghanem and, Emili Sindlev, all walked the show, emphasizing the danish fashion community in general and the community of the creative directors, Thora Valdimarsdottir and Jeanette Madsen, in particular. The biggest highlight though, was when Lisa Rinna, from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, entered the enormous runway. The show and collection are inspired by rock’n’roll icons, which becomes most apparent in the leopard print and use of lacquer throughout the collection.
When Saks Potts presented their collection, they did so by banging the drum, both figuratively and literally. The show took place within the concert hall in Tivoli, Copenhagen’s central amusement park and a sanctuary for Copenhagen families during summer. The Tivoli Guard, a marching band of 100 kids, opened the show in a grand manner.
The duo, Cathrine Saks and Barbara Potts, founded Saks Potts in 2013, at the age of 19. What started with colourful, eye-catching coats that filled up Instagram feeds en-masse, have now matured into being more nuanced and a grown-up version of the brand.
The collection presented in Copenhagen, entitled Family, was a celebration of just that. The duo has recently started their own families and made the collection out of pieces suited to the activities they like to do when spending time together, including practicality, cosiness, and elegant dressing. For the final, the whole cast gathered on centre stage for a family photo. All to the sound of Madonna’s 90’s classic, Frozen, and the lyrics; ”if I could melt your heart”. The sense of coming together, in difficult times, made each and everyone leave Tivoli with a melted heart.
The universe of Henrik Vibskov, which exists at the intersection of art, fashion, and music, keeps being a fascinating one to enter. This time, Vibskov entered the kitchen to find inspiration for his collection. Where he found a fascination with the tomato, initially by the tomato fights in Valencia. The inspiration comes through in literal tomato prints and more subtle use of the collection’s primary colours, red and green. Chore and trench coats in gingham fabric and muted glen plaids, also bring the collection closer to nature and gives a sense, or lust, of gardening.
7 DAYS Active
Copenhagen as a city — with its lush parks, endless bike lanes, and rivers flowing like veins in the city — invites its inhabitants to sport, exercise, and explore the city in all its glory. With that in mind, there’s no surprise that Simon Rasmussen and the team behind 7 Days Active keep on breaking new ground. During this season the brand presented its collection, Hike or Die. Funnily enough, the show took place in a climbing centre. And even if the name might be telling, the collection exhibited the width of the brand. Running, dancing (one part of the show included a dance performance), swimming, hiking — 7 Days Active is catering to an active lifestyle and every aspect of it.
The Swedish-Eritrean designer, Selam Fessahaye, showed a collection that was celebrating her roots and that was born out of the experience of in-betweenness. The collection is extravagant and extra of everything. An exploration of colours and patterns, that takes its shape in over-dimensioned tailoring or flower-embellished jumpsuits.
— We moved the original idea toward the concept of complexity. In the fashion industry, we are encouraged to dumb it down. I am often asked to simplify in order for people to understand. But I believe that people can relate to complex elements and different worlds. We are not as plain and simple as the strategic setups encouraged by the system. Complexity is not negative. If you feel in between – not completely as one – you may feel like you are part of something. But all your parts actually make you double, triple or quadruple. That’s the superpower of it all, Fessahaye explains.
Raf Simons x Kvadrat
During the week the second outing of the Shaker Collection was unveiled. The collaboration between Raf Simons and Kvadrat merges the worlds of interior and fashion. The first collection was presented last August in Copenhagen. They’re now expanding the range and exploring other rooms within our living spaces. This time, the bathroom. The mantra — ”create beauty from order” — is present in the understated, yet luxurious designs. Terry cloth robes and towels come with bathroom slippers and toiletry made out of Kvadrat’s Vidar fabric.