August used to be a bit of quiet month on the fashion frontier. With most of the manufacturing factories shut in Milan and Paris, it wasn't unusual to get numerous out-of-office bounce backs from PRs and editors who would take the opportunity to switch off for a couple of weeks before New York Fashion Week kicked off. But judging from Copenhagen Fashion Week, it seems those Indian summer days are over.
Over the three days I spent there I bumped into lots of familiar fashion folk faces, many who had decided CPH was a must-do on their content calendars. In fact, bloggers Veronika Heilbrunner and Camille Charrière had both planned it around their sun holidays, squeezing in key shows and appointments before jetting off for a couple of weeks pre-full fashion month madness starts up.
Here's why everyone is loving Copenhagen Fashion Week..
The street style bait…
Sorry New York, but Copenhagen has already set the key street style trends for AW17. With the coolest street style set wandering around their home turf, think Pernille Teisbaek, Maria Jernov, Anne Charlotte Vogel, plus models Frederikke Sofie and Caroline Brasch and a host of other big influencers flying in, including Camille Charrière, Lucy Williams, Caroline Daur and Veronika Heilbrunner, the street style bait was mega.
Why we’d usually have to wait until Paris to reflect on what the key influencer trends are, Copenhagen set the ball rolling with functional trainers and cheery knits everywhere. We always knew those Fendi red boots were going to be stomping all over the four key fashion weeks but having already been snapped on Caroline Daur, and let's remember it's only early August, surely, other influencers are questioning if wearing them in Paris in October is slightly too late?
The Danish Imports…
Denmark has given us The Killing, a yearning for great chairs and numerous Noma-inspired food trucks but with fashion being Denmark’s fourth largest export (sitting in-between meat and furniture) Copenhagen is the place to be to get-ahead of the game on ready-to-wear brands, too. This season did not disappoint with a coterie of international buyers, editors and influencers flocking to key shows including Malene Birger, Ganni, Wood Wood and Saks Potts.
Although, many brands have been around for years, when it comes to UK imports, they’re still relatively unknown. Name drop Stine Goya or Baum und Pferdgarten on your commute and we guarantee most passengers won’t be au fait with their 10 and 18 year heritage, respectively. However, this makes them ideal brands for buyers like, The Modist and Net-a-Porter and to invest in – on UK soil they’re still fresh and capture instant interest from consumers but behind-the-scenes they have an established and reliable production structure and already knows what works for their mood-boarded woman.
And the UK Exports…
Alongside fashion week, Copenhagen International Fashion Fair AKA CIFF takes place. The largest and longest-running fashion fair in Northern Europe, this is the place where editors and buyers flock to, to spot up-and-coming talent. However, it’s not just about Scandi brands, CIFF also provides a platform for British talent to showcase their designs too.
Returning for the second year, Lulu Kennedy, the founder and director of Fashion East & MAN, curated Crystal Hall, a showroom within CIFF’s centre with some of London’s hottest names to know. Visitors were welcomed through an immersive and super Instagrammable art installation by Louise Gray while there were also collection showcases from Richard Malone, Art School, Hades and Liam Hodges.
In addition to getting their names onto the circuit, CIFF also provides an opportunity for designers to meet with buyers and foster a relationship, which in the age of Brexit uncertainty is even more important. 'CIFF is a great opportunity for emerging designers to meet press and buyers in a very relaxed environment – the pace and atmosphere is so much more friendly than Paris, everyone connects better with people,’ explained Lulu. 'By the end of the trip you feel like a family. Copenhagen is a stylish fabulous city and CIFF are our dream partners, like Fashion East, they support creativity and love to have fun at work!’
And the brilliant new talent…
Wanting a bite of that 26 billion Krone export market are a host of Danish brands that are steadily on the rise. Highlights we spotted included jewellery designer Sophie Bille Brahe who showed (at her brother’s equally cool café Atelier September,) a collection of minimal and quietly luxurious designs inspired by bouquets of flowers.
2017 LVMH Prize finalist Cecilie Bahnsen who presented her show, a flutter of full-skirted baby doll dresses at the Nicolai Wallner gallery, while the usually London-based Astrid Andersen decided to return to her Danish homeland to showcase her first full womenswear collection featuring silky florals and oversized striped silhouettes.