5 Highlights from Copenhagen Fashion Week
Including Scandi takes on quiet luxury and inclusivity done right.
Copenhagen Fashion Week has cemented itself as one of the most exciting on the fashion calendar. From the charming Scandinavian street style parading down the sidewalks to the forward-thinking, innovative and sustainability-minded designers showing on the runways, Copenhagen’s is the little fashion week that could. Just look to cool Danish brands like Ganni, Stine Goya, Saks Potts, and Rotate Birger Christensen for proof. And while these established labels have paved the way, Copenhagen’s new and emerging designers are offering fresh perspectives on the Scandi aesthetic, not to mention carrying the torch of sustainability that’s become emblematic of the Danish capital’s fashion scene.
Take the most recent Spring 2024 season — according to Forbes, at least half of the collections presented were required to be made from recycled or upcycled materials, and those designs were brimming with creativity. From over-the-top pattern mixing and interesting asymmetrical creations to futuristic takes on classic tailoring, many of the collections shown at CPHFW Spring 2024 were as innovative and memorable as the exciting outfits seen on the streets. Here are five things we can’t stop thinking about from Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring 2024.
Inclusivity done right
Amid the mosaic of trends to come from the Scandi city, no theme was more apparent than diversity — spanning age, gender, and ability. There was a defiant subversion of male power dressing at Latimmier, with shredded-up deconstructed suits, sheer tops, and lingerie-clad drag queen Anna Conda closing the show. In contrast, Paolina Russo’s collection felt like a utopian feminine fairytale, notably featuring models who are older, who don plus-size clothes, and who use prosthetic limbs. This inclusivity was continued at OpéraSport, where more mature models sported sexier styles by forgoing bras and ditching pants. In a time when runways are reportedly becoming less inclusive, this kind of representation at the bona fide cool-girl capital undoubtedly leaves a lasting industry effect.
The all-red outfit we can’t stop thinking about
This image will live rent-free in mind until I acquire the pieces to recreate it (and an event to wear it to). Saucy, energetic and bold, from the slinky dress paired with the oversized blazer to the rosette-covered heels. Add on simple makeup and a perfect blowout that Sofia Richie Grainge would approve of and classic black sunnies — 10 out of 10, no notes. And the emergence of passionate red as the next It colour after Barbie pink (more on that in a minute) is no surprise. From the Fall 2023 collections of Tory Burch and Prabal Gurung at NYFW to Saks Potts and Ganni at CPHFW, one of the biggest trends from last fashion month was that red is the new pink, and the message is gleefully received.
Danish designers are experts in elevated quiet luxury
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If you’re looking for impossibly cool, tailored separates with an overall relaxed vibe, the Scandi designers just get it. Take Herskind, the mother-daughter brand, that consistently delivers concise collections that feel simultaneously timeless and trend-forward. Their CPHFW Spring 2024 collection expanded on this expertise with elevated capsule pieces including modern suiting, cool trench coats and innovative takes on classic tailoring, like this oversized, belt-free coat and the double vest above.
Another label to watch at Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring 2024 in the world of luxurious yet accessible wardrobe essentials was The Garment. Charlotte Eskildsen and Sophia Roe’s Copenhagen-based brand, beloved for its knitwear and tailoring, presented an assortment of fresh spring staples. Standouts included a modern off-the-shoulder black dress and yes, another vest, this time a lush charcoal knit version with asymmetrical buttons.
Barbiecore isn’t over yet
In the Year of Barbie, pink has been having more than a moment. (If you’ve seen the film in theatres, you know the unofficial uniform is all-pink everything.) And although the saturated pink trend started years ago with Valentino’s Fall 2022 collection, if the Copenhagen street style is any indication, the colour du jour shows so sign of slowing all the down just yet. Outside the Spring 2024 shows, we saw Barbie pink in all its glory — and in every possible iteration. From voluminous Cecile Bahsen-like silhouettes and #GanniGirl streetwear to silk slip skirts, it’s clear that for the foreseeable future, we’re all still Barbie girls.
Sustainability as more than a marketing tactic
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As far as taking climate responsibility and conscious design seriously, Copenhagen Fashion Week consistently proves its walking the (Scandi-chic) walk, with many calling it the world’s most sustainable fashion week. Since CPHFW became the first to enforce sustainability criteria in 2020, it has imposed minimum thresholds that participants have to meet in order to show their wares. CEO Cecilie Thorsmark told Forbes: “A major milestone was our sustainability requirements coming into effect this February 2023, which means that all brands on the official show schedule of Copenhagen Fashion Week are met by mandatory minimum standards that they must document.” And those sustainability standards will be ramped up on an annual basis, according to British Vogue, to “ensure that brands are continuously striving to do better, as well as reflecting wider changes within the industry, such as EU legislation coming down the pipeline.”
One brand that has embraced these standards is conceptual knitwear label A. Roge Hove whose founder Amalie Røge Hove told the publication: “The minimum standards have made us undertake a range of initiatives to improve our sustainable practices, and helped us set goals for those areas we have worked less with, supporting us to stay on the right path and keeping our focus on what’s important. It has also helped to establish a common language in the industry, especially in the Nordics, for what goals we are running towards, and striving to achieve together.” And they sure look stylish doing it.