Even a cursory glance at any of Copenhagen’s street style blogs is sure to stir a twinge of envy at the way the Scandinavians turn out stylishness. Sure, Henrik Vibskov, Noir and Wood Wood have already made names for themselves beyond Denmark’s borders, but here are some fresh Nordic labels that stood out during Copenhagen Fashion Week. These up-and-comers are well-worth watching—both for their innovative promise and the immediate looks that will invade international streets during the spring/summer ’11 season.
Most Wearable: Ivana Helsinki
Ivana Helsinki’s summery looks defy Helsinki’s cold climate. Wearable short dresses populated her runway—from the slouchy shirt variety to babydoll anda handful of effortlessly chic little black numbers. A maritime theme was also evident in a simple navy and white horizontally striped dress, an oversized cardi lined with anchor and a dress tied at the waist with a slim white rope belt. Sweet but not saccharine, girly but not cloying, these dresses are perfect for summer walks on the waterfront.
Most Classical: Undorn
With a neutral, almost unobtrusive palette, Undorn showcased well-mannered chic, echoing the softer looks featured by Garance and Hanneli from their street style finds. Though not exactly reinventing the wheel, the label’s slouchy brown trousers, waist-tied dresses (with a faint kimono influence) and classic button-downs would do right by any gal.
Most Playful: Designskolen Kolding
Designskolen Kolding has a flair for both the dramatic and the geometric. The label’s latest collection featured oversized shoulders (like a modern take on a legionnaire uniform), dresses with cutout sidebars, Eastern-influenced long jackets, accordion-armed tops, long capes and an amazing balloon-animal proportioned coat that looks like it was designed by Jeff Koons. The result offered just enough exaggeration to be noticeable, but not so overdone as to be ridiculous—in other words, proportions that tip the scale just right
Most Summer-Staple filled: American Retro
American Retro’s pale shades of creamy beige and dusty rose are soft without being pushovers. Floral prints for dresses and shorts in a perfect 1996 throwback, two-toned pastel overalls and lace-overlaid tops and dresses felt spring breezy, while a few leather items (not-too-tight trousers and zipper jackets) rounded out the collection with a sturdier edge.
Most Sahara Nights: Vilsbol de Arce
Visbol de Arce’s collection was characterized by amazing turbans and every tone of khaki. Although most looks appeared sandstorm-ready — from paperbag waist wide-leg shorts to unstructured russet-colored jackets, stone-grey jumpsuits to billowing kaftans — the spurts of orange and the large tribal necklaces kept the ensembles from blending too readily with the nearest dune. The calm color palette and airy, loose fits promise to be cool and collected attire for even the most scorching of heat waves.
Most Bonkers: Simon Rasmussen
With models strutting down the catwalk while pushing junk-filled shopping carts, Simon Rasmussen’s homeless hoarder runway theme evoked Ben Stiller’s Derelicte aesthetic in Zoolander. The deliberately rag-tag collection featured burned and tattered denim ensembles, a graffiti-defaced white suit worn with frumpy plaid house slippers, plastic bag shoes, a taped-up duvet-cum-overcoat, teddybear skinned shorts with heels, necklaces that look like a yardsale strung into one continuous tchotke-filled ring, variously-hued blue work shirts patchworked into a jumpsuit and haphazardly collaged object pinned on a jacket worn with grey sweatpants. Some see spring as flowers and sun, but Rasmussen’s vision of the fair season has gone haywire, unhinged and thoroughly off-kilter.
Most Colorful: Peter Jensen
UK-based Danish fashion designer Peter Jensen is perfect for when the sun is shining and you want to wear something that matches the brightness of the day. Men can enjoy his yellow, beige and orange colorblock anorak, super ‘70s cerulean blue jacket and trousers or olive green pants with a bright red rain jacket. Women, meanwhile, can get into a festive mood with his copper button-down sleeveless dress or a billowing long dress that’s available in deep purple, periwinkle and magenta. All the runway looks were worn with tube socks, and either bow-adorned party sandals or black clogs.
Most Clean Cut Guys: Soulland
Soulland offered a lot of long-sleeved button-downs and shorts for the country club habitué as well as stone-grey wool blazers, toggled short sleeve sweaters and blue pseudo-working class smocks. Shorts and shirts in the same evergreen or navy color, meanwhile, only served to furthered the boyish preppiness. The collection was somewhat less successful when it veered into egg salad colored button-downs and pants, but, then, egg salad never did anyone any favors.
Most Rocking Guys: David Andersen
Once you get past the Flock of Seagulls hairdo, it’s easy to see that David Andersen has created a collection that’s rocker guy incarnate. Black staples abound among looks that are polished but not high-maintenance—think: leather jackets, chuck-’em-on vests, slim pants and shiny dark shorts. While these styles have been seen before, Andersen atypical elements—ripped sheer tights underneath perfectly cut black shorts, a chain-link tunic paired with slim black pants—keep things rolling. It’s the kind of staple cool you don’t have to second-guess.