Copenhagen is a firm favourite with the style set all year round, but its fashion week is now nipping at the heels of the four cities.
Model and Insider’s contributing editor, Isabella Charlotta Poppius, was there to capture the highlights.
Day 1, Tuesday
Fashion Week never really starts on the first day of the shows - there are fittings, meetings and lots of administrative work that happens beforehand.
This means by the time Tuesday morning rears its head, I’m already exhausted! Thankfully the first show of the day, Brøgger, is not far from my hotel so I decide to walk over wearing a pair of comfortable bright red Aeyde boots. I am also dressed by the brand, which is known for its prints and use of colour, so on my walk over I gather quite a few approving stares - “Oh, how gorgeous” gasps one American passerby.
By the time I get to the show venue which is set outside in a modern, minimalist garden, the skies open up and we're pummelled with rain - oh, the drama! Thankfully there are quite a few orange, Brøgger-emblazoned umbrellas to go around which means most of the attendees stay (relatively) dry. Once the weather clears, the show begins and we're treated to oversized pleated organza slip dresses, 80’s-inspired oversized tailoring and ruched dresses - no wonder the very next morning, designer Julie Brøgger and the brand are shortlisted for the prestigious Magasin du Nord Fashion Prize.
After the Brøgger show I head over to Morten Ussing - the collection is delightfully feminine with bits of brocade and sequins, with some relaxed tailoring thrown in the mix. I quickly nip backstage to grab a few detail shots and decide it's time for an outfit change: after this morning’s rain, things are starting to quickly heat up and I am in need of an airy dress - one by London-based Finnish brand Teija will do perfectly.
The last show of the day is Mykke Hofmann - stocked in over 40 stores worldwide, it's a brand to look out for. Guests are treated to a quick pre-show tea break by Goop-approved Copenhagen-based tea company, Cocoon Tea Artisans, and very soon after singer Laura Hayden belts out her latest material while models weave their way through beautiful Amaliehaven Park. After the show, I briefly pose for street style photographers before heading to the opening of Denmark’s first Chloé store.
I am very much a Chloé Girl so I'm excited to see the space. The gorgeous store is housed within the popular upmarket department store Illum and guests sip on cocktails and enjoy fresh oysters while admiring the new collection from Natasha Ramsay-Levi.
As I'm on a tight schedule, I excuse myself and make my way to the final stop of the night - an evening with sustainable British brand, Mother of Pearl.
Creative Director Amy Powney is hosting a private preview of her new upcoming campaign, #FashionOurFuture, in the stunning Frama store, a former apothecary turned interior design boutique.
Amy is joined by Elle Denmark’s Barbara Gullstein and Eurowoman-magazine’s Pernille Rosenkilde to host a talk about sustainability in the fashion industry. I ask about the fake leather vs. real leather-debate, as I'm strongly against the use of plastic in faux fur and so-called ‘vegan leather’ and was curious to see what the ladies had to say on the matter. Powney is very well informed on issues surrounding sustainability in the fashion industry and tells us she recently went to parliament to lobby for change. After a busy day, I make my way back to my hotel for an early night.
Day 2, Wednesday
I start the day with a sourdough bun with cheese, whipped cream and a fresh apple salad at hip Copenhagen eaterie 108 before I headed off to the Rodebjer show on the other side of town. The show venue features pretty ivory and baby blue tiling throughout - a perfect backdrop for the Moroccan-inspired Spring 2020 collection featuring modern, slouchy silhouettes, fringing and earthy tones.
Next up is one of the biggest spectacles of Copenhagen Fashion Week - the Holzweiler show. The Norwegian brand has quickly built a reputation for clean, Scandi chic and sells at over 200 locations around the world. I had met the team earlier in the week to be dressed for the show and had picked out a couple of outfits to wear, finally settling on something with a strong 1970s vibe. At the show we are handed cell phone holders in an effort for guests to be “present"” and shut off for a few minutes. I respect this request for the most part until the very end, when I feel compelled to capture the impressive finale.
It's a co-ed show, which means both womenswear and menswear are shown on a stunning cast of models - Holzweiler’s sophisticated, soft utalitarianism was a nice antidote to some of the more loud and vibrant collections seen during #CPHFW.
Another designer more subtle in her approach, albeit in a different way, is LVMH Prize finalist Cecilie Bahnsen.
Her 5pm show is one of the most anticipated on the calendar and I get there early to witness her airy, romantic creations. Like a true Copenhagen resident, I decide to cycle to the show.
I pass famed restaurant Noma and bike further into Copenhagen’s industrial Refshaleøen, a hipster area that used to be a shipyard. I arrive at a rustic pier which makes an interesting backdrop for Bahnsen’s feminine SS20 collection - editors, influencers and buyers are quick to Instagram the floating feathers, powder-pink ribbons and lemon-sherbet coloured sheer overlays.
After the show, I get escorted backstage to have a chat with Bahnsen, who tells us she loves seeing girls cycling around in her voluminous designs.
The stand-out show is followed by intimate drinks at La Bancina - a cafe-meets-sauna - before I realize I have to rush off to Samsoe & Samsoe’s very first runway show at the impressive National Gallery.
Hot and bothered guests are handed out branded fans and water - a trend that continues at Stine Goya and Saks Potts the next day - and although the show is late to start, it's well worth the wait as I spot some lust-worthy bags on the catwalk reminiscent of The Row. The timeless and beautifully wearable collection is constructed from natural and sustainable fabrics - sustainability is a running theme throughout Copenhagen Fashion Week.
The last show of the day is Henrik Vibskov and it sets a tone very different to the other shows I had seen so far. Vibskov is known for participating in art projects around the world, so it was fitting that there was an art installation as part of his SS20 show. It was a purposefully eclectic collection that would not look out of place at Dover Street Market - however, most memorable are the uber-complicated shoes which claimed one model’s walk entirely - ouch!
After Vibskov I meet up with local friends to have a delicious, home-cooked meal on their terrace before heading out to the Day Birger et Mikkelsen party. The party is held at the brand’s chic showroom space with tasteful floral displays, candles and no shortage of drinks! As we all know far too well, after the party there’s the after-party - so once things start to wind down at the showroom, we decamp to a private room at Lusso, one of Copenhagen’s premier night spots.
Day 3, Thursday
Without my fashion week secret weapons (miracle cream from Augustinus Bader and a drop of Charlotte Tilbury’s new Airbrush Flawless-foundation) I'd have found it hard to face a full day of shows. Today I'm being dressed by German label Lala Berlin for their show later and need to look vaguely presentable!
I make my way (still half asleep) to the first two shows of the day, Designer’s Remix and Hofmann Copenhagen, and as the venues are delightfully close to one another, I have some time to perk up and admire my surroundings - Remix’s show is held outside in the courtyard of the Design Museum and we're lucky that we don't get rained on. The sustainable Danish brand's super wearable collection should be a hit with buyers, plus they're teaming up with climate company CHOOOSE to make collections as sustainable as possible.
Designer Heidi Hofmann also places emphasis on sustainability - through patchwork styles, Hofmann Copenhagen makes sure all fabrics produced are used. The collection, called ‘Modern Romantic’, is inspired by Peggy Guggenheim and Edie Bouvier - I see an array of beautiful prints and ruffled vacation styles making their way down the runway at the stunning rococo palace, Odd Fellows Mansion.
Getting stuck in traffic is the worst, and as the By Malene Birger show is way out West, near the outskirts of the city, I don't get there in time. But this does mean I don't have to rush straight back into town for the next show, which is the much anticipated LaLa Berlin.
The brand is a strong contender for most glamorous location of Fashion Week as we find ourselves at the Horseriding Complex at Christiansborg Palace. Ahead of the show, I catch up with designer Leyla Piedayesh who promises a sartorial journey from Ibiza to Morocco, and as it all kicks off the sun beams through the palace and onto the catwalk where models appear draped in soft pastels, sequins, exotic prints and flowy silhouettes.
After Lala, I make a quick outfit change into Danish brand Nynne, accessorise my look with some Cornelia Webb earrings and a pearl headband - and voilà, I'm ready for yet another show! I trade in car rides for a bike ride in order to make it in time for Stine Goya. Attendees are treated to pre-show drinks outside in the sun which puts everyone in the mood for a raucous show, as models twirl and sashay across the catwalk.
By the time we get to Saks Potts, the show schedule is running behind, but everyone is in a good mood. Saks Potts counts Cardi B as well as Selena Gomez as loyal customers, and it has become synonymous with a playful, tasteful garishness that has earned its two designers, Barbara Potts and Cathrine Saks well-deserved praise.
We take our seats in the Royal Danish Academy of Music’s Concert Hall and get ready for a stunning spectacle where supermodels like Nadja Bender and Caroline Brasch strut their stuff to music performed live by the Danish Chamber Orchestra. The show pays homage to strong Hispanic women and Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the Mexican-American singer, in particular.
I am definitely am a sucker for the horse-shoe prints, South American ruffle skirts, cowboy boots and nineties bralettes!
For the final show of Fashion Week we're transported to ‘a sparkling circus tent filled with glitter, glam and disco’. Rotate - the buzz-worthy label founded by editors-turned-influencers Jeannette Madsen and Thora Valdimars - is adored by the attendant fashion set and it certainly does not disappoint. Candy floss, popcorn and Moet champagne flows freely, while the SS20 collection is characterised by daring hemlines, soft jacquards, statement ruffles, shoulder detailing, sequins and bold prints - no shrinking violets here!
Backstage I catch up with the girls for a few Instagram boomerangs before heading back to stay with one of my dear friends. I pass out on her couch out of sheer exhaustion and unfortunately miss a dinner for sustainable Danish brand, Blanche. Well, there is always next season, I think to myself, as Copenhagen Fashion Week has truly won me over.