Dispatches From the FROW Adjacent
Last week was Fashion Week in Copenhagen, or CPHFW as it’s called. Having gotten its start in 2006, CPHFW is relatively new to the Fashion Week scene but has really earned a place on the global stage. Cities all over the world have fashion weeks, but it is rare to see a new city become as important as the old industry staples: Copenhagen seems poised to do that. Some would say it has already got there.
There is a sense of excitement throughout the whole city during Fashion Week that I never experienced in London, despite London being one of the old guard. Copenhagen is a small city, so wherever you are, it sort of feels like you are right in the thick of it. And even though Copenhagen is more stylish on your average day than any other place I’ve lived, people really bring it during Fashion Week.
One of the misconceptions about Scandi fashion, at least where Copenhagen is concerned, is that everyone wears black. People here love a bright colour or bold print, and let me tell you Fashion Week was a very colourful week. I noticed a few other recurring trends on the street style influencers out and about in Copenhagen, so if you wanna dress like a Scandi Style Superstar, here’s a quick guide.
- Layers – Lots of layering going on, and I don’t mean bring an extra-cardigan-because-it-might-get-chilly-later layers. I’m talking spaghetti straps over tees, jeans over dresses, dresses over dresses, corset tops over trench coats. Basically retrain your whole brain, if you think it’s a bottom layer, put on the top!
- Corset tops – A lot of the trends I saw skewed very romantic (see the next two bullet points) and the corset top was probably the most extreme and overt example of this. Like I said, I saw one woman wearing a basic black version over her trench, but others took a less extreme route. They were paired with suits, under blazers, over blazers, worn with skirts, dresses or pants. Some played up the femininity of the item, others dressed it down with jeans and Doc Marten’s. If anything the versatility of the corset top was on full display, making a very strong case for including one in your wardrobe.
- Prairie dresses – I have been seeing these dresses on the women of Copenhagen all summer, and last week was no different. The ditzier the print and the more tiers it has the more popular it seems to be. Unlike the corset top, these are almost universally styled the same way. With dad sneakers, cross body bum bags and an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude. It’s a great look. You could of course add a corset top .
- Puffy sleeves – Ladies, it is time to get your best Anne Shirley on, because puffed sleeves are back. This was a trend was seen as often on the runways as it was on the attendees, so it’s a safe assumption that we’ll be seeing a lot more of it before it goes away. Like, its cousin the corset top, puffy sleeves were styled in an endless array of ways. Girly or rock n’ roll, dressy or casual, it seems like the type of piece that could pull its weight in your closet. But note, all puffiness stays in the sleeves, the rest of the shirt should be minimal and unobtrusive. There is a big difference between a shirt with puffy sleeves, and a “puffy shirt.” Just ask Jerry.
- Belted blazers – I noted this on several of the woman in the audience of a show I was at, and it is a simple way to update something you probably already have. Blazers aren’t going anywhere, and cinching one at the waist with a cool belt is a great way to get more mileage out of a staple piece.
- Cowboy boots – We’ve been seeing western style boots on the rise for a few years now, but it seems the fashion world is done dipping their toes in this trend. It’s time to dive in at the deep end with the real deal. Full on cowboy boots were on the feet of many attendees, both women and men. And again it seems how far you want to go is a personal choice. If going total Rhinestone Cowboy isn’t for you, basic black will do.
- Mixing prints – This is seems to be staple of dressing for the women of Copenhagen and something i’ve been getting more and more comfortable with since moving here. Of course fashion week is a time to see and be seen, and mixing prints will always be eye catching, but I believe it works day to day as well. It does take practice, so start with similar colour palette and small prints and figure out what you like. Soon you’ll be rocking checks and florals with the best of ’em!
In terms of style, Copenhagen is always a pretty inspiring place, but it really ups the game during fashion week. I know that fashion weeks and the changing of the “fashion seasons” can really put the pressure on us to buy, buy, buy. But I always try to be reasonable. The look I’m wearing in this post was put together out of things I already owned after seeing the looks at Fashion Week. CPHFW puts a special emphasis on sustainability, so let’s respect that goal and use these looks as inspiration or jumping off points, not a shopping list!