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5 Scandi style lessons from Copenhagen Fashion Week autumn winter 2024

Left to right; TG Botanical, MKDT Studio, Paolina Russo, Skall Studio and The Garment (CPHFW)
Left to right; TG Botanical, MKDT Studio, Paolina Russo, Skall Studio and The Garment (CPHFW)

Copenhagen: home of Viking jawlines and some of the best dressed women on the planet. Not a bad place to start for anything — let alone a fashion week. The Scandis kicked off this ready-to-wear season in style — mostly because it was the most London Copenhagen Fashion Week ever.

The Brit-factor was obvious from the outset, when London socialite (and Kate Moss bezzie) Tish Weinstock closed the Saks Potts show in a Kingsland Road-approved black leather trench, white fur cuffs and collar. The Flag Twins, models and self-appointed ‘Dukes of Peckham’, wore the final looks at Stamm before LFW’s front row veterans — including editors from British Vogue, GQ and Elle — gave up their seats to strut it on the Opéra Sport catwalk.

Tish Weinstock closed the Saks Potts show (Saks Potts)
Tish Weinstock closed the Saks Potts show (Saks Potts)

It didn’t stop there. Among the street style brigade, British flourishes were de rigueur. Ankle-length, Barbour-esque jackets were the coat of choice and worn with big, baggy denim (everywhere) plus kitten heels (love or hate, they’re back). Versions of the Rishi-approved wax jackets were also a staple at cool-girl label Baum und Pferdgarten.

Others locked eyes on the London look to liven up the show circuit. Stine Goya, who reminisced on her days as a Central Saint Martins student post show, said she ‘wanted to bring some of the vivacious colour and buzzy excitement back from London’. ‘Not a bad idea’, grumbled my taxi driver that evening. ‘Everyone fashionable in this city only wears white, black and grey.’ You can, he had decided, have too much of a chic thing.

Thelma Rut Gunnarsdóttir shows at Alpha (Alpha)
Thelma Rut Gunnarsdóttir shows at Alpha (Alpha)

London art school energy also came in strong at Alpha, above, the NewGen equivalent for emerging Nordic designers: boobs were strapped into belts, DIY knitwear was purple and fuzzy and sculptural gowns looked like mob wives struck by lightning. CSM graduate Paolina Russo sent grubby, tracksuit and mini skirt clad models out for her show which felt like a bad trip; an antidote to the clinical cleanliness of her attendees. It wasn’t all London calling, though. Natacha Ramsay-Levi, former creative director of Chloé, in town to show off her shoe designs with Ecco, noted ‘it’s very quiet. Not like Paris or London, the hectic cities. There’s a gentleness I like. Civility.’

Oh — and the food options went down like brick Louboutins with the Brits. ‘They need to stop with this beetroot thing,’ said model Edie Liberty Rose. ‘I was hungry.’ A cauliflower for a main course? Not a Danish dish that’s going to cut it. It’s not the Nineties anymore.

5 Scandi style lessons to know:

It’s all about the aviator jacket 

 (MKDT Studio)
(MKDT Studio)

Masters of Air might have whipped up an aviator jacket storm — but it doesn’t end on screen. Jackets you can fly in cropped up across the womenswear offerings, led by 2014-founded MKDT Studio's shearling number, not out of place on Amelia Earhart. Quilted versions with sheep-style collars also came at Baum und Pferdgarten and Opera Sport. Not just a look reserved for Austin Butler, apparently.

Embrace school teacher jeans 

 (MUNTHE)
(MUNTHE)

Ill-fitted, worn-in and totally faff free denim was inescapable on Copenhagen’s pavements and catwalks alike. Think, your English’s teacher’s practical pair, best worn with notebook in hand — see: Skall Studio’s, loose and paired with shirts, sweaters and grown up, checked overcoats and MUNTHE's, which were worn with simple cardis and trenches. More playful approaches came from Helmstedt and Marimekko, who did them chequered and flower printed respectively, but the best (as expected) came on the bike riding Scandi girls. Their uniform is wearing them with tanned overcoats, black sweaters and spikey, leather boots. It works.

Go loud on top

 (Helmstedt)
(Helmstedt)

The majority of shows this season stuck to Scandi stereotypes — mellow and muted. It mean that shocks of colour or buzzy prints, when they did arrive, were worth noting. Mostly they came on top. A heavy-weight, tomato-red knit jumper was a palette cleanser at the very smart, and wearable, The Garment. For Gen Z, Helmstedt offered sunset gradient knit ¼ zip sweaters and matching, multi-colour striped hats, scarves and jumpers (complete with alien heads). At Stine Goya, who dedicated her show to the use of colour, the designer took a final bow with her team who all wore pop shade, silk shirts. Everyone wore a smile.

Brave a cargo maxi 

 (Gestuz)
(Gestuz)

The parachute cargo trousers — a hangover street style staple from last season — were updated as cargo maxi skirts, and became an unlikely recurring feature.  TG Botanical, a Ukrainian label showing here, did them best in olive green denim with distressed check stitching. Gestuz showed how to do it for adults, however, cut from tailoring wool and worn with a snug, white mohair sweater and clunky, silver chain. Tempting.

And don’t be afraid to bin off the minimalism 

 (Nicklas Skovgaard)
(Nicklas Skovgaard)

There were more than a few rebels this Copenhagen Fashion Week. Paolina Russo, who engineered her own viral moment as models stumbled out clutching pink, helium balloons, made a case for revealing knitted bandeau tops — promptly worn by Vogue editors at the dinners that followed. Hankjobenhavn mirrored Rick Owens’ signature gothic streetwear, Nicklas Skovgaard offered leather corsets, puff tops and fuzzy, white tails, while Alectra Rothschild / MASCULINA, a graduate from Central Saint Martins MA Fashion programme, designed for the club kids and gender non-conformers. It was sultry, and a welcome break from the commercially-minded collections which dominated.