The Copenhagen "Fashion" Post

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1 - 7 February NEWS

Four-week Wond ercool coverage starts inside


2013 | Vol 16 Issue 5 Denmark’s only


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New PET controls wake of Morten announced in Storm controv criticised for being too weak ersy



NFL legend on the and lows of his highs career



This week’s Copenhagen Post – INSIDE

Mother-tong ue teaching makes its way back



Uranium adven ture

Lifting Denmar uranium miningk’s ban on way for Greenla would pave the ndic explorat ion



“Like a doll”

Haggis, whisky, table dancing bagpipes, kilts, – your average in other words, just Burns Night



Fighting the


Children’s author Ole Lund Kirkegaard built up for the little his career sticking guy


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After troop withdraw al, Denmark will support developi ng Afghanistan with civilian institutions in 530 million kroner a year until 2017 in aid

Afghanistan by end of


next year


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Marina and the Diamonds sometimes on fighting losing battle the against indus try ideals

regain responsi bility “The Danish for its own security. to support Afghanistan tributes to a the develop Plan conresponsible ment of the ghan police transition of full responsi Af- two years, force by the bility to the and that there Afghan authori- police officials and providing Danish for ties while at will be a need financial assistanc internat the same time although this soldiers to e, for many ional support in Afghani will eventua return home enabling our and replaced lly stan years to come. ENMARK from stan,” Søvndal by an EU-sup be reduced will end its “But after stated. “Over Afghani- mission. ported police mili- two years, tary presenc the e for Afghanistan’s2014, the responsibility by the end of in Afghanistan Afghan the task will be to supportnext The War in security will Afghanistan 2014 and instead authorities and lie with the the internat began when Afghans,” Hækkerup start to focus the Afghan ional ple said. “Thus, in forces invaded safeguar its role will – to peoefforts to support the civilian our a Afghanithe progress ding and building upon stan a month after to train, advise much greater extent – be to the governm population accordin the 11 already 2001 terrorist and support g ent’s new two-yea The Afghani achieved.” attack on New September the for Afghani Afghani Afghans.” stan plan, more than r plan agreed stan York. After stan. a decade of which was between several decades has suffered through occupation According of conflict, the far-left partyall political parties except only modest gains, there and sult and as a reVilly Søvndal to the foreign minister it is lacking are the Enhedsl fears withdra , a promise (Socialistisk isten, confi the necessar that tions wal of Folkeparti), withdrawal y instituand infrastru the regardin made by Søvndal last rms will create a powerinternational forces of Denmar cture that are if it is to move g Denmark’s k’s approxim April Taleban 650 person vacuum that future ate in Afghani towards democra needed contribution will seek again the in southern stan and plan engagement ghanistan is Danish aid cy. Defence Ministe to occupy. Af- drawal necessary if for the withof international these instituti will focus on developing the country r Nick Hækker (Socialdemokrat is to the withdra ons, and as a forces. Followin up stan will result Afghani erne) said wal, Denmar g that the k will continu task of securing he recognised Danish become the largest recipien e would development t of Afghanistan not be complet assistance, receiving ed over the next Afghanistan continu es on page Reykjavík I 6 Denver


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Copenhagen Fashion Week AW 2013 Simon Heger Knudsen


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One hot topic



All eyes on Copenhagen as Fashion Week goes international Jane Graham

Can Copenhagen Fashion Week look outside of Denmark and grab the attention of the international fashion press?

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s the largest and most influential fashion trade fair in Scandinavia, biannual Copenhagen Fashion Week is about more than just Danish fashion. With some 2,400 brands from a wide range of countries represented at the fair, buyers, journalists and other industry professionals are in attendance to see what the land that brought us big names like Stine Goya, Henrik Vibskov and Bruuns Bazaar will unveil next. To illustrate its international outlook, the trade week’s paper, the CIFF Gazette – published exclusively during

fashion week – features regular editorials by Jessica Michault, an influential US luxury style expert now based in Paris, where she has pioneered the live online streaming of fashion runways as editorin-chief of Little Scandinavia, a Norwegian mother and fashionista blogger living in London, notes the locations of the shows as part of Copenhagen Fashion Week’s unique attraction: “Not only is Copenhagen attractive as a fashion and design capital, but a few of the shows are also located in stunning nostalgic surroundings, like VISION in the old train garage.” While Scandinavian womenswear is characterised by muted tones, swathes of wrapped material and an innate talent to mix traditional knitwear with avantgarde, minimalist design, one of the highlights for many is CPH Kids, the leading fashion fair for children’s clothes and ac-

cessories in northern Europe. Denmark has long held a reputation for bringing fashion and branding to children with clothes that are as high-quality as they are unique and playful; or as the fair’s founder, Lone Holm puts it, “[we are] ambassadors for a good, healthy, sustainable and creative childhood.” The MUUSE x VOGUE Talents Young Vision Award is another important internationally orientated platform, underscoring that Copenhagen Fashion Week is as much about promoting emerging talent as it is a get-together for the already successful Danish designers. Copenhagen-based Muuse invests in 100 emerging designers – looking outside the country as well as here at home – in collaboration with Vogue Talents. Urban blogger Carrie Powers writes from across the Atlantic, “what Denmark’s stunning capital lacks in big-

name brands, it more than makes up for in sheer originality ... despite their fame, fortune and corporate ferocity, the couture giants we all know and lust after pale in comparison to the strikingly unique designers who will be showcasing their work in Copenhagen.” She lists Greenland’s designer Bibi Chemnitz, Norwegian/Danish designer Beate Godager and Denmark’s Anne Sofie Madsen as some names to watch out for. Madsen, who trained under John Galliano for Dior in Paris before working as junior designer for Alexandre McQueen – not bad considering she only graduated from the Royal Danish Academy in 2009 – has been described as “one to watch” by Vogue Magazine, which described her style as “absolutely futuristic”, though obtained through

All eyes on continues on page F4


Copenhagen Fashion Week AW 2013


Welcome to the show

CFW Fast Facts Copenhagen Fashion Week (CFW) runs every February and August and is the Nordic region’s largest fashion event. The first CFW was put on in 1968 by Bella Center, and today it boasts over 1,100 exhibitors, 2,400 international collections, and 40-45 runway shows. Today, Fashion Week consists of four major trade fairs: CIFF, VISION, Gallery and CPH Kids, in addition to a range of smaller fairs and events throughout the city. Copenhagen Fashion Festival, started in 2008, runs simultaneously alongside CFW and hosts over 200 events for the general public, including exhibitions, street parties, mini-concerts and discounted shopping events. More than 60,000 international buyers, designers and members of the press attend both fairs.

A model poses on the runway at Copenhagen City Hall on Tuesday in one of the opening events of CFW AW13. The Walk in Style show, featuring clothes by Zarah Voigt, saw shoemaker Ecco present a €35,000 award to the founder of a women’s cancer charity

Fashionable power

AS A FASHION first, this year’s Copenhagen Fashion Week has announced it will be powered solely by wind energy. All of the energy used by the three Fashion Week fairs has been certified by EnergiDanmark as originating from wind turbines. CIFF Kids is being held at Bella Center, which already has its own wind turbine, which was erected by the power company DONG during the 2009 UN Climate Conference. The trade fairs Vision and Gallery (at Lokomotiv Værkstedet and the

Old Stock Exchange respectively) will both be paying for their wind energy. “Gallery was the world’s first carbon-neutral fashion fair,” said Christian Gregersen, the fair’s managing director. “So it seemed natural to move onto using wind energy.” In addition to drawing its power from wind turbines, Copenhagen Fashion Week is easing its environmental impact by offering visitors a free electric-car shuttle service and free use of both Metro and Øresund line trains.

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lives up to EU regulations set in place to limit the amount of chemicals in clothing. “Occasional checks are no longer acceptable,” Jessen said. “There needs to be a consistent method for monitoring chemical levels in garments so that the issue is addressed properly.” Eva Kruse, the managing director of the Danish Fashion Institute, which organises Copenhagen Fashion Week, agreed. “We as consumers also play a pivotal role in this,” Kruse told The Copenhagen Post. “We need to start asking questions about where our clothes come from and how they are made.” Greenpeace is now working with Copenhagen Fashion Week to ensure that clothing from smaller brands is also chemical-free. “The irony is that while the larger companies are targeted, the smaller companies are still going unchecked, and we need to push them to fall in line as well,” Jessen said. At the current rate, only ten to 15 percent of clothing worldwide is set to be chemical free by 2020. (BSM/JH)


GREENPEACE IS praising major fashion labels such as Levi’s, Zara and Esprit for their pledge to eliminate all toxic chemicals from their clothing by 2020. The move comes following mounting consumer demand. “We’re delighted to see that consumers are just as concerned about this issue as we are,” Kristian Jessen, a spokesperson for Greenpeace Denmark, told The Copenhagen Post. “Furthermore, the fact that these labels have been willing to work with us should only be applauded.” A November 2012 Greenpeace report revealed the heavy presence of toxic chemicals in clothing from major brands. The study selected 141 items of clothing purchased around the world and tested them for the presence of toxic chemicals such as NPEs, phthalates, and plastisol. Some 63 percent of the garments tested positive for NPEs, which are known to be hazardous to both humans and the environment. But despite the praise, Greenpeace has called on companies to impose tighter controls to ensure their production


Applause for action

Even if you weren’t invited to a designer’s show, you’ll still be able to get a front row view. Large projectors both at Højbro Plads and Gammeltorv/ Nytorv, near pedestrian shopping street Strøget, broadcast the week’s major fashion shows along with behind-the-runway footage and interviews with designers.

Better than sex

ONLINE FASHION stores are now big business, rivalling internet porn and dating sites as one of the main leisure uses of the internet. Cyberspace is used equally by men and women to shop, and clothing, shoes and fashion accessories are some of the biggest sellers. E-commerce fashion retailers like, Sweden’s nelly. com and German-based Zalando have become successful in a short span of time – Zalando’s Danish site was launched late last year and has already proved

lucrative. The plus-size market is also experiencing massive online success. For dressers with ample proportions, shopping for clothes can be tiresome at best – but on the web, people admitting to being overweight said they could shop without embarrassment. Another factor was the presence of customer reviews and feedback. A majority of shoppers reported that a favourable website review can be decisive for first-time buyers.

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Copenhagen Fashion Week AW 2013

1 - 7 February 2013

FRANZISKA BORK PETERSEN Do designers live past 40? Henrik Vibskov speaks out about the Danes, the French and being happy where you are right now


Denmark’s designer for all seasons



S THE ONLY Scandinavian designer whose menswear collections are included in the official schedule at Paris Fashion Week, Henrik Vibskov has secured his reputation in the fashion world. But should the 40-year-old ever decide he’s had enough, he’s got other talents he could fall back on, including as a drummer for musician Trentmøller and set designer. The Copenhagen Post managed to catch up with him in the midst of preparations for his CFW show to talk about his work and the differences between national fashion scenes. CP: People often write about you as a bridge-builder between fashion and art. What do you think of that – both the distinction between the two and the fact that you are labelled as such? HV: I don’t think too much about that. I know that the way we work is very similar to what you might do in film or in architecture: it’s a similar research foundation. The crossover between disciplines I see more as a matter of taste. CP: You once said that you are personally more interested in men’s design. Is this still the case? HV: My studies focused on menswear and of course I have a passion for that. And if you zoom in on the details in womenswear you’ll find a lot of references to menswear. But in womenswear you can perhaps change the silhouette more and the designs are sometimes better at focusing on fabrics than men’s. I have assistants for creat-

Vibskov (far right) has boutiques in Copenhagen, Oslo and New York, but the clientele – and their habits – vary significantly

ing the men’s and the women’s collections. It’s ultimately me who has to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but I am not doing all of this on my own. With production, but also with things like accounting etc, there are people helping me. CP: You have expressed admiration for the British tailoring craft and that it has an impact on your work as a fashion designer. How about French fashion? HV: French fashion and the culture around it are a big part of the fashion scene, but they are especially important for us up here in Scandinavia. We just don’t have a fashion history in the same way. Take Denmark: it’s a small country and our background is mainly in farming and fishing. We’re just slowly beginning to develop a tradition for clothing design. As a small country we have to look abroad; we have to be aware of what’s going on. CP: What does it mean to you personally to be chosen as a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Mode Masculine? HV: First, I was not really exact-

ly sure what was going on. But the same year, Martin Margiela was also appointed as a member, and he has really been around in fashion for years. So that made me think: Wow! The Chambre is like a roundtable of important people who have things to say and have a certain power. So, sure it’s great to be a member, but it is also a very old-school thing – to be part of it you need to have a ‘godfather’ to support you, for example. I got a lot of congratulations from people from all over the world for having been chosen as a member – but sometimes I am still not entirely sure what exactly this association is and what being part of it means. I am the first Scandinavian in it, and there are people in the Chambre who can help me – which is of course good. I think most of the brands in it have something that they are really good at. Compared with the other members we are just a very, very small company, and that makes a big difference. I’ve heard that there are 250 people backstage for a Dior show [the fashion house Dior is also a member

of the Chambre Syndicale de la Mode Masculine]. And there are maybe six or ten people working backstage at our shows, plus the models. CP: In an industry that is as international as fashion, is there anything identifiable as specifically Danish? HV: We tend to focus on functionality up here and don’t do so many gala dresses and haute couture. What we are really good at is a more basic casualwear. There is the idea of a certain Danish ‘clean’ style, but I think ‘Danish design’ is a term that can easily create a lot of confusion. Personally, I am born here and grew up with a ‘70s aesthetic. But if you look at what I am doing, I am not really sure I should go as ‘Danish design’. Maybe that’s because I studied internationally – I am using way too many colours for being a real Danish ‘black-greybeige’ designer. CP: You have shops in Copenhagen, Oslo and New York. Are you aware of any items that go well in one place but not others? HV: Absolutely. There is a big

difference between the cultures – and also the markets. Generally, we are selling much more menswear in New York than we do here. In New York, anything that is more colourful, decorated, twisted, diffused or weirder works much better; the wilder and more screaming pieces go well. New York is a bigger city, so people need to scream more. It’s also a metropolis that attracts people who are more experimental: musicians and other artists. We have pretty wild types dropping by in the New York store. In comparison, Copenhagen is definitely more basic. In Scandinavia it is more like: ‘if someone picks it up, then everybody picks it up.’ If you look at how we live as Scandinavians or Danes it’s very similar – and it’s also pretty similar to what we wear. In the beginning of my design years, and you could say that’s what created the brand, I was selling a lot of the same trousers – and only them. They had become a more general trend. Later, everybody was suddenly buying my scarves – mostly the same colour. I think it’s really

Nation’s love affair with fur a matter of heated debate RAY WEAVER The Danish fur industry’s animal welfare standards may exceed EU requirements, but animal rights groups maintain that using fur in fashion is fundamentally flawed


OR VISITORS to Denmark, the sight of fur – be it Danish-bred mink or wild Greenlandic seal – may come as a surprise, considering that international resistance to its use has mounted in recent decades. But consider that Danish fur farmers are the world’s largest producers of mink skins, and that Danish mink skins have a reputation as the most expensive on the market, and you may have part of your explanation. Each year, 2,000 Danish fur farmers – most of whom are members of the Danish Fur

Breeders Association – produce 14 million mink pelts along with a small number of fox, chinchilla and rabbit pelts. To get an idea of the importance of the exports, mink pelts represent one third of the total Danish exports to China and Hong Kong, and over 6,000 Danes work in the industry. Add to that Denmark’s ties to Greenland, with its cultural links to seal hunting, and you have all the elements for the making of a culture that is less affected by fur’s dwindling international appeal. Of course, any industry based on raising animals for human exploitation is bound to have its share of detractors. Danish mink farmers and their association Kopenhagen Fur, the world’s largest fur auction house, say they do everything they can to ensure that the animals are raised in comfortable conditions and killed humanely. Denmark’s rules on mink welfare

are established through a co-operative effort between Kopenhagen Fur and the Danish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the Danish rules are stricter than European standards require. All Danish mink farms are subject to annual veterinarian visits to conduct routine inspections to identify any health or welfare problems. If Kopenhagen Fur learns that a farm is acting illegally, they assess whether the farmer is violating the law and report those violations to the relevant authorities. Joh Vinding, a spokesperson for the animal welfare group Anima, was unimpressed by the industry’s claims that their animals are treated humanely. “Minks are wild animals,” he said. “In the wild, they have a ranging area of one to two kilometres. On a fur farm, they live in a one quarter square metre cage.”

Vinding pointed out that although a farm may pass inspection under the established guidelines, minks could still be covered with bite marks and other damage brought on by keeping what he called “solitary” animals in crowded conditions. “The biggest market for Danish minks is China, and the Chinese government regularly blocks websites that show animal cruelty – including ours – so the Chinese may not even be aware of the problem.” Vinding wants Denmark to join the Netherlands in banning mink farming all together. He pointed to a 2009 survey that revealed that the majority of Danes think that mink production should be halted. “It speaks to the kind of people we wish to be,” he said. “Do we tolerate suffering for what is essentially a frivolous luxury product?”

Denmark’s Tivoli has another view of the matter. As part of a three-year multi-million kroner deal, the central Copenhagen amusement park partnered with Kopenhagen Fur last year to make it the official partner of the park’s ‘Christmas in Tivoli’ celebration. Torben Plank, Tivoli’s spokesperson, said the amusement park knew the decision would spark a heated debate but in the end, a Facebook forum debate became so heated that Facebook took down the comments. In addition, a few hundred demonstrators appeared at the park during the opening of the 2012 Christmas season. As for the success of the deal itself, Plank said it was hard to say whether the display had resulted in increased fur sales, but that both vendors and park guests seemed satisfied.

good that we have Christiania [alternative commune] here – strangeness and Rasta dudes, right there in the middle of Copenhagen’s strict style. CP: Finally, in an interview between you and Belgian designer Walter van Beirendonck a few years ago you said you’d continue with fashion until you’re 40. HV: (Laughs) Right … that’s now. An old professor of mine used to say you’re not shit until you’ve done ten collections. So after ten collections I wondered: do I just continue with this or what’s next? Work in a bank? Or perhaps in a kindergarten? And I realised: I am doing music, I’m doing some arty stuff, I’m doing the fashion – I was actually feeling pretty alright. I’m having a good time. So I thought maybe I should just continue. Well … of course, I can’t do it forever.

Factfile | A fur giant Kopenhagen Fur is the world’s largest fur auction houses and the global hub for the fur trade. Along with selling the 14 million Danish mink pelts, it sells around 7 million mink pelts from other countries each year. Its five annual auctions attract as many as 500 buyers from around the world, and the bids at the auctions set the world market price for mink. Kopenhagen Fur, through its in-house design agency Kopenhagen Studio, works with designers in other countries to create fur fashions that can be haute couture, prêt-aporter and even every day street fashions.

F4 Fashion for the people Copenhagen Fashion Week AW 2013



1 - 7 February 2013

Few Copenhagen residents are going to find themselves runwayside during Fashion Week, but that doesn’t mean the five-day extravaganza will be invisible to them, backers point out


Y THE TIME all is said and done on Monday, morning, Copenhagen will have hosted five fashion fairs, 2,400 fashion collections and more than 60,000 international buyers, designers and press for the Autumn/Winter version of Copenhagen Fashion Week. By numbers, at least, Copenhagen is already rolling with the world’s biggest fashion weeks. And while its backers accept that it lags behind the leading global fashion hubs in terms of importance, Copenhagen is seeking to define itself by adding new elements, including a children’s fashion fair and a lifestyle and home furnishing event. But the significant and continual point of difference for Copenhagen Fashion Week is actually its public spin-off, the Copenhagen Fashion Festival. The festival consists of discount shopping events at designer boutiques, museum exhibitions celebrating Danish fashion history, fashion film events in combination with the Danish Film Institute and other mostly free events, all open to the general public.

Copenhagen’s City Hall, transformed into a seat of fashon power for an evening

Martin Bender, the vicepresident of events and conventions for tourism board Wonderful Copenhagen, said the festival’s ability to involve the city’s residents – in what would otherwise be an exclusive weeklong industry knees-up – is what makes Copenhagen Fashion Week worth supporting. “I think we are one of the only cities here in Europe where you can participate in a fashion week as a member of the public,” he said. City Hall, too, is throwing its weight behind Copenhagen Fashion Week. The city spends a million kroner annually on the event, and this year it will again be lending City Hall as a venue for fashion shows. Pia Allerslev, Copenhagen’s deputy mayor for culture and leisure, agreed the week was more than just an industry event.

“We have realised that we have so many talented designers in our city and we need to give them a chance to show how fantastic they are to the big world around us, international buyers and media,” Allerslev, who will be attending almost every show on the five-day programme, said. “But it’s also a chance to show Copenhageners what is taking place in their own city. At Copenhagen Fashion Week, the people living here can get a taste of the glamorous fashion scene by watching on the big outdoor screens and supporting local designers,” she said. Despite the biting cold and potential for snow, keen Copenhageners will be able to watch fashion shows on a large screen outside City Hall. Many of the shows will also be broadcast on DR K. “I hope that Copenhagen-

ers realise there is something special going on in their city,” said Allerslev. With exports representing up to 90 percent of the Danish fashion industry’s total revenue, Copenhagen Fashion Week receives significant support from WEAR, the Danish Chamber of Commerce’s lobby group for the textile industry. WEAR represents some of the domestic industry’s major players, including Henrik Vibskov and footwear design brand Ecco. In addition to supporting fashion businesses throughout the year in more traditional ways, during fashion week the Chamber of Commerce will be getting in on the fashion show activity. Like City Hall, it will open the doors of the Old Stock Exchange building, where the organisation is housed, to fashion collections from Vivienne

Westwood, Henrik Vibskov and Barbara i Gongini from the Faroe Islands. It will be the first time the historic building will play host to a fashion event. Although last year Danish fashion industry revenue dropped 3.7 percent, Rosenstock said “optimism for 2013 is very high”. Danish tourism authorities said Fashion Week’s ability to angle Copenhagen as a ‘cool’ destination is what gives the event ongoing value. Allan Agerholm, the vicepresident for HORESTA, the national trade association for the hotel, restaurant and tourism industry, said although the vast majority of visitors during Fashion Week are involved in the fashion industry, the international media attention is what makes Fashion Week worth its while. “This kind of event has huge importance for Copenhagen as

RUTH STYLES In shock news for Swedes, Danes have been declared Scandinavia’s coolest people. Don’t believe us? Just ask veteran (Swedish) designer Johan Lindeberg


EVERYTHING goes in cycles, but the minimal aesthetic has become an international uniform. I mean Calvin Klein did it too, but Stockholm has always done it and it has a big audience there.” Drawling down the phone from Paris in his distinctive Swedish-flavoured English, veteran designer Johan Lindeberg is trying to come up with an answer to why Scandinavia is so ridiculously cool right now without mentioning a certain torch-wielding Danish detective. Although Sarah Lund and her chunky Faroese knits do eventually crop up,

Lindeberg is too polite to point out that a decent amount of the credit should be his. Nevertheless, he’s thrilled that Scandinavian fashion has gone big, although admits to being slightly baffled by all the attention. “I’m very proud of that. I can remember working with [ACNE supremo] Jonny Johansson in 1993, and he was already one of the most creative people in the world. Sweden has always been very conceptual in creating brands and has slowly acquired its own identity. [In Scandinavia], Norway is very classic,” he continues, warming to his theme. “While Sweden is more sophisticated and international, with lots of clean lines and minimalism, Denmark is somehow known more for fast fashion.” With a career that spans nearly 40 years and includes stints at Diesel and William Rast to name but two, Lindeberg knows what he’s talking about. Currently holding the reins at über-cool New York denim label BLK DNM, he’s seen the minimal aesthetic, which he first championed together with ACNE’s Johansson, go global over the last couple of decades – paving the way for the likes of Peter Jensen, Dagmar and Ganni in the process.


“I’d say Danes are cooler than Swedes”

In his 40 years as a designer, Lindeberg (far left) has seen Scandinavia find a fashion identity of its own

“Before, it always took inspiration from abroad, but the last 20 years has seen [Scandinavia] create its own deep creativity,” he explains, harking back to Scandinavia’s days as a howling wilderness for the sartorially conscious. “As a designer, I feel people are much more aware of Swedish brands now. I’ll be at Stockholm Fashion Week [Jan uary 28-February 10], and it’s always interesting to come back and see what’s new.” He won’t be alone either, with organisers of Stockholm Fashion Week expecting more than 800 brands to show up,

whether on the catwalk or as part of the exhibition. Meanwhile, on the other side of the

Denmark is somehow known more for fast fashion Øresund Bridge, Copenhagen’s own fashion week is starting, although Lindeberg, by then back in New York, won’t be attending. Even so, the Malmö-born Lindeberg confesses to a sneak-

ing admiration for the Danish capital – and its less internationally known fashion scene. “I’d say Danes are cooler than Swedes,” he says to the sound of jaws dropping all over Scandinavia. “Maybe it’s because alcohol is freely available. In Sweden, you have to get it from the government! Danes are chilled when drunk, a bit like Italians or French, whereas Swedes get a bit uptight like the British. I also like it that Danish women smoke cigars. That’s really cool. It is hard to generalise though because most Scandinavians are pretty trendy!”

a tourist destination,” Agerholm said. “Being mentioned in connection with design and fashion reinforces the message that Copenhagen is a cool place to go.” Martin Bender of Wonderful Copenhagen agreed that Copenhagen Fashion Week’s importance lies in its ability to present Copenhagen “as a fashionable and fast-moving international city”. But as for whether we can expect Copenhagen Fashion Week to become much bigger than it already is, Bender was playing it pretty cool himself. “[Fashion Week] is pretty much the same size it has been for the last five years or so. There are really only a certain number of brands that can exhibit here.” Bender ruled out Copenhagen coming near the top three fashion cities anytime soon. “We just have to keep pace.”

All eyes on continued from front page

handcrafted methods and haute couture techniques. Past collections have seen mechanical ballerinas, graceful samurais and even Sedna, the half-skeletal goddess of the Inuit underworld. Niall Billings of the UK’s bemoans the fact that Copenhagen Fashion Week is so often overlooked internationally as “it features some of the most wearable couture pieces that exist in the industry, making it easier for you to bring designer style into your everyday wardrobe”. He listed Barbara i Gongini and Johanna Pihl among the highlights of the summer 2012 show. Gongini’s designs are avantgarde and disturbing, beautiful and fantastic. It’s not what you would expect from a designer who uses primarily organically sourced fabric, fair trade conditions and for whom on-going environmental concerns are crucial to her vision. But perhaps that is the draw of Copenhagen design, where the experimental can also be healthy, green and sustainable. Or, as Lucy Williams of innovative fashion consultants Blink London describes Copenhagen’s street style: “Glowing, scrubbed cheeks rather than knee deep in make up – and doesn’t everyone just look so damned healthy!”

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