Increasingly a destination in the international fashion week circuit, Copenhagen SS13 collection proved how the city can offer an alternative perspective, and a kind of originality all of its own.
There was Wood Wood’s (rather cramped) show at a gallery off-space some way out of the city centre, where the rising brand made a break with the British formality (college wear, scarves, militaria and so on) of last season’s collection and instead went for British informality for their “3RD Movement” show. Looking again to subcultures on the other side of the North Sea, they referenced the ’88-’89 “Second Summer Of Love” which, popular history tells us, illuminated the UK in a haze of MDMA and “baggy” music (the soundtrack included Manchester avatars The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays). The collection included muted tones of puce and brown with navy and grey and had a distinct element of sportswear to it – “scallies”, as they’re known in the UK, usually favour comfy clothes – though it was Wood Wood’s choice of consciously rather gawky models with thick, artificial eyebrows that also caught the attention.
Anne Sofie Madsen is one of Danish design’s fastest-rising stars, and rightly so: her collection at Tap2 was ultra-strong, as she sent models out in extra-fresh hi-top Nike sneakers, glamazonian sheer dresses with appliquéed patterns, swimsuits that wouldn’t look out of place in a pastiche Eighties workout video, and T-shirts with her signature cosmic illustrations of medusae, dogs and supernatural beings. This stern, space-age and, at times, incredibly powerful look was half Grace Jones and half Xena, The Princess Warrior.
Meanwhile, what Day Birger & Mikkelsen lacked in design extravagance, they compensated for in staging, with an intriguing show which saw the troupe of 20-or-so models march out all at the same time, strike a pose, and the recede backstage – not once, but three times. In the final movement, they were directed, rather theatrically, by a man in a white shirt into a series of poses that wouldn’t look out of place in a Greco-Roman fresco. Metallics were the keynote of this final installment in what was ultimately a big and impressive, if rather unusual, production.
Peter Jensen (Danish born, but London-officed, though judging from the cheer, still a local hero in Copenhagen) also achieved something special, if not exactly a paradigm-shifting, extraordinary “wow” moment, with his restrained, utilitarian and Jil Sander-esque collection of mens- and womenswear, which accented on pretty pales greens and pinks, and what must be the largest briefcases ever seen. They do things differently in Copenhagen, and on form like that, difference is what matters.