It might have been raining on the streets of Copenhagen this fashion week, but indoors, the runways were awash with colour and spectacle, and we've come to expect nothing less from the most anticipated city in the Fashion Month schedule. In the Who What Wear UK office the general consensus is that Copenhagen is the place to spot the next season-defining trends, and as Scandi women are changing our approach to cool-girl styling, who better to ask for tips on how to dress than a certified expert?
I spoke to Chief Executive Officer of Birger Christensen Collective Denise Christensen ahead of the Remain and Rotate runway shows, to get her take on Scandi vs. UK fashion, and which trends from Copenhagen Fashion Week deserve a spot in your wardrobe for the season ahead.
"Scandinavian girls have a sporty, casual simplicity around their lifestyle that can also be seen in the way they dress," notes Christensen. "Women favour wearable items and high-quality, and beautifully made pieces that will never go out of style. But the major difference between Danish and London girls is that London girls know how to dress up! This could definitely be injected into Scandinavian style, where casual is always favoured. But vice versa, as much as we can see [this] catching on, I can definitely see the easy-going, minimal aesthetic of Scandinavian style being a great addition to the London scene."
And we're inclined to agree. In fact, we've been taking notes on what Scandi women will and won't wear in a bid to streamline our wardrobes. But what is it that sets CPHFW apart from New York, London, Milan and Paris? "One thing we are incredibly passionate about at Birger Christensen Collective is the identification and championing of new design talents, and this is shared by Copenhagen Fashion Week. As opposed to the other major Fashion Weeks, Copenhagen has an amazing sense of calm and community around it, whilst not compromising on the level of design. We are lucky to show all of our brands at Copenhagen Fashion Week this season: Remain, Rotate and Cannari-Concept, and we are always blown away by the support and positivity from the attendees at CPHFW," she says.
You only need to take a cursory look through CPHF street style pictures to be able to spot the joyful and easy Danish approach to dressing, but there are a few key pieces you can expect to see in every fashion person's closet. "It is not a secret that the Danish weather can be quite unpredictable, and so a good variety of jackets and coats is a must in any Danish woman’s wardrobe," says Christensen. "It is something that is built into almost all collections across the Birger Christensen Collective brand. Remain specialises in handmade leather outerwear and beautiful tailored jackets and coats, whilst Rotate offers fun and colourful options. Our newest brand, Cannari-Concept, has amazing oversized options that work throughout the seasons too, so outerwear is everything."
Remain S/S 24
So, what can we expect from S/S 24? In short, the re-emergence of a particularly versatile colour, a modern take on hyper-femininity, and one Y2K-inspired denim trend that just won't quit, according to Christensen. Keep scrolling for the five Copenhagen Fashion Week trends that are going to be making a splash next year, according to an expert.
1. HEAD-TO-TOE DENIM
Photo:Saks Potts, Muthe: Matt Jelonek/Getty Images, Gestuz: Matt Jelonek/Getty Images
Yes, you read that correctly. Long gone are the Britney-and-Justin connotations, and the Canadian tuxedo has undergone a fashionable makeover that Copenhagen is committing to full throttle. "Head-to-toe denim is most definitely here to stay," says Christensen. "Whilst denim has always been a wardrobe essential, when worn as a full, tonal denim look, the finished outfit is both elevated and cool."
2. EARTH TONES
Photo:Gestuz: Matt Jelonek/Getty Images, TG Botanical: Matt Jelonek/Getty Images, Ganni: James Cochrane
After Barbie pink and hot red, it's time for a palette cleanser, and thankfully S/S 24 has just the thing in store. "Earthy tones are big this season," notes Christensen. "There has been a real moment for colour recently, but I can see natural colours coming back into favour, allowing the silhouettes and fabrics to take priority."
Photo:Baum und Pferdgarten: James Cochrane, Skall Studio: James Cochrane, Saks Potts: James Cochrane
We shelved our skinny jeans a long time ago, and wide-leg trousers have been a wardrobe staple for the last couple of years. But, as the old adage goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", and so designers are continuing to celebrate the supersized trouser shape, says Christensen. "Across Remain and Cannari-Concept in particular, we are showing super wide-leg trousers, from tailored pants to slouchy, cargo-style denim, and this a trend I see growing and growing in popularity."
4. THE DEFINED WAIST
Photo:Rotate: James Cochrane, Ganni: James Cochrane, Gestuz: James Cochrane
Forgot frothy tulle and floral prints for next spring and summer, as 2024's take on hyper-femininity all revolves around one thing: the cinched waist. "After many seasons of drop waists, columns and low-rise fits, the tailored, ultra-cinched waist is coming back in a big way," notes Christensen. You heard it here first.
5. THE SCULPTURAL SILHOUETTE
Photo:Rotate: James Cochrane, A. Roege Hove: James Cochrane, Remain: James Cochrane
Want a look that really stands out from the crowd? It's time to up the volume and play with proportions, suggests Christensen. "From exaggerated shoulders to asymmetric finishes (with plenty of cocoon shapes to bell sleeves), it is all about choosing something unique to create an outfit out of simple pieces this season." So before you reach for that minimalist '90s bandeau top, try a full-sleeved shirt underneath a la Rotate, or even add some wide-leg trousers to tick off two major trends at once.