April 10, 2024

MSpanks

Shopping, Clothing & Fashion

What A Fashion Writer Wore To Copenhagen Fashion Week

GRAZIA’s senior fashion features writer, Ava Gilchrist, brings you through a day-by-day guide to her wardrobe diary from Copenhagen Fashion Week.

There’s a certain level of voyeurism attached to curating a travel wardrobe, especially if the reason for your voyage is business, as opposed to pleasure.

It requires astute observation of the style set from your destination. A duty magnified when the purpose of your pilgrimage is to attend that city’s fashion week.

This was the test I was presented with upon my recent visit to Copenhagen. Rather than frolic through in the canals or bike riding through the cobblestone streets, I was in town to preview the city’s emerging and established designers presenting their Spring/Summer 2024 collections.

Even before I put one ballet flat-adorned foot in Denmark, I was inundated with possible answers to the perennial question posed to sartorialists: What will you wear? 

Packing is an introspective art. Your styling propensities are challenged when you’re out of your comfort zone. Selecting pieces is exacerbated when your itinerary is brimming with runway shows, showroom visits and dinners with designers; all crammed in between bouts of writing from local haunts and over the regional cuisine.

Of course, there are the typical woes: Is this appropriate for the climate? Have I packed enough options to rotate through the entire length of stay (plus a few backup options?) Will I be overweight upon check-in and face the embarrassment of reorganising my luggage in front of the entire economy class?

But, travelling for work, especially when you’re part of the fashion industry, comes with its own sets of rules. I’ve always been encouraged by the local fare of the places I’m travelling to for styling inspiration, however representing a magazine while abroad is a task that requires a deft hand.

When travelling, one should always lean into the local aesthetic. This belief is heightened when attending an international runway show, meaning that not only did I have to learn the sartorial vocabulary of the Scandi style set; but I also had to learn an entire language. 

If your packing style is perhaps anything like my own Gen-Z-approved approach, where the curation of your travel capsule starts and ends through the internet, you’ll find a kindred spirit in my below Copenhagen Fashion Week wardrobe diary. 

Disregarding the piles of clothes that stack up in my wardrobe, I instead turned to the colourful pages of Pinterest or countless street-style galleries I’ve screenshotted to my heart’s content.

Through the pixilated screen of my device, I decrypted the fundamentals of Copenhagen style and applied this to my personal style. Playing into the intrinsic juxtaposition of Danish fashion—see: the clashing of textures, embracing an amalgam of prints and fabrics, whimsical layering while still maintaining an air of signature Scandi simplicity—I embraced the merits of Nordic maximalism.

Though this mode was slightly disrupted by the raging storm ‘Hans’ that disrupted the serenity of the Danish capital with a perpetual downpour, curating this small edit of front-row approved pieces was a masterclass in the power of dressing.

There’s an inherent strength in the pieces you adorn yourself in, and being a stranger to this city I decided I wasn’t going to lead myself astray with forms of wild experimentation. Instead, I relied on the tried-and-tested silhouettes I intrinsically gravitate towards and injected them with a playful flair.

In finding solace in practical fundamentals (hello, the life-saving,  ultra-chic Yu Mei tote sturdy enough to lug around my laptop while still being stylish enough for the setting) I sought joy in unexpected additions.

Here, I bring you my day-by-day wardrobe diary from my time in Copenhagen Fashion Week, including the style tips I picked up from the Scandi set and some must-see restaurants and destinations to visit the next time you find yourself in that neck of the woods. 

DAY 1

After a 24-hour odyssey—and no, I don’t use that word lightly as my journey from Sydney to Copenhagen was as equally eventful as Odysseus’—I was itching to bask in the rich splendours Copenhagen’s small but mighty city had to offer.

As I was staying at the resplendent Villa Copenhagen in the central Tivoli area, I was a stone’s throw from everything the city had to offer. This included the classic bustling canal Nyhavn to the nearby parks and alternative Meatpacking District, Vesterbro.

My agenda for my first day was as follows: Copenhagen Fashion Week’s official welcome ceremony, conceptual knitwear designer A. Roege Hove’s show in a 17th Century courtyard at Designmuseum Denmark, an intimate performance from Suki for Cecilie Bahnsen’s Hygge-inspired “show” with Brodie Sessions and Saks Potts’ buoyant Y2K-inspired show along a promenade in Charlottenlund.

With my afternoon bookmarked by four vibrant events, I took the morning slow with a small sauna session, strolls into the city centre and coffees at the hotel bakery, Rug.

Armed for my three events and equipped with the knowledge most of the shows would be outside (meaning I’d have to file stories from the backseat of my car!), I looked to the ‘tomato girl summer’ inspired Havana dress from cult-favourite Australian label Réalisation Par. Form fitting and bell-sleeved, this 70s-inspired piece was an ode to the high-octane architecture of Copenhagen and the bohemian undertones of the city.

I styled the look with pearl and white ribbons in my hair, Cecilie Bahnsen’s sold-out ASICS GT-2160™ and my aforementioned Yu Mei tote. As I came to learn, both the tote and the shoes became my trusty sidekicks throughout the week, rarely leaving my sight thanks to their respective durability and versatile silhouettes.

Later in the evening, I looked to my beloved Friends With Frank wool-blend Bernadette blazer (but more on that later), classic denim Levi jeans and a striped Acne Studios button-up shirt in a deep blue gradient to take myself to dinner in. That evening I dined at Resto Bar, a locals-only Italian haunt specialising in bridging local produce with contemporary fusion European cuisine.

DAY 2

 

My second day was rooted in embracing moments innate to Copenhagen: the blissful architecture, scrumptious Danish pastries and local gems like leading jeweller Pandora.

That morning, following a short stint in the sauna, I visited Villa Copenhagen’s Residential Suite—located within the original dome structure of the converted telegram building—to select a few accessories for that evening’s Pandora dinner. Wearing a pair of tailored white Arsndorf pants, a grey and yellow striped GANNI button-up shirt and matching elvish-esque silver ballet flats, I picked up a few of the jeweller’s new Pandora Moments snake chain necklaces, I-DO open bangles and Pandora ME charms.

As I only had an hour between my last show and the proceedings of that evening, I opted for a Copenhagen Fashion Week-approved variation of my go-to uniform for today’s events: STAMM, a showroom visit to Saks Potts and REMAIN’s show.

Wanting to lean into the eclecticism of each brand and embrace the melange of style codes shown at each event, I looked to the supple Friends With Frank blazer, a cobalt halterneck top from Alix Higgin’s recent ‘Delectable Earth Shutter’ Resort 23 runway show, a contrast acid-print pink patchwork maxi skirt from Higgin’s ‘A Gift From The Fall’ Resort ’22 show and a pair of brushed leather Prada slingback pumps in lime green.

This cocktail of references and brands felt not only reflective of my eccentric way of dressing but apt for the different neighbourhoods I was frequenting that day. Copenhagen’s beauty came through the spirited facades of its city, with the surroundings classically European yet underpinned by contemporary design. Dressing in this city is a true parallel of that mode, with every shade and style accepted and welcomed into the fold.

After my day—which included dining on a traditional Smørrebrød at the aesthetically pleasing Sonny café and playing dress up in Saks Potts’ homely Bredgade boutique—I rushed home to change for what was one of the biggest highlights from the week.

That evening, I had the pleasure of attending an intimate dinner hosted by Pandora and special guest, Ashley Park. Looking for the golds and silvers of Pandora’s visual language, I opted for my most recent purchase; a tiered Prada dress from the Italian luxuriate’s Fall/Winter 2022 collection.

This sartorial trophy featured a knitted, ribbed grey bodice before flowing into a veil of interlocking gilded fabric and black mesh embroidered with the most delicate lacquered floral motif. Editors note: When dripping in jewels, it’s always best to rival them with your ensemble.

DAY 3

CPFHW

As Copenhagen Fashion Week is a relatively short four-day week, my third day also meant the halfway point of my stay. After a late night of indulging in a four-course paired menu of local tipples and regional ingredients, I revelled in the 11 AM start time for my first show of the day; OpèraSPORT.

I was less overjoyed, however, by the showers that literally rained on our parade. As this day was relatively short, with my only commitments being Marimekko and Stine Goya’s picturesque presentations, I decided to opt for comfort: that is the Copenhagen equivalent of comfort.

Though Copenhagen is an intrinsically stylish city, it is also one that is rooted in function. Given storms had overshadowed the ‘Spring/Summer’ element of the week, that meant there were less lightweight sets and more gorpcore-inspired wet weather gear than I anticipated.

So, keeping within these parameters, I balanced the line between function and fashion in a pair of tiger-striped capri pants, a canary yellow tank top featuring a scalloped hem tie at the shoulder and my (now) signature Friends With Frank coat.

With the coat comprised of a durable textured wool blend, the structured silhouette married the hallmarks of an oversized blazer with a rigid coat. Plus, with the material incredibly warm and sumptuous to the touch, this piece is the perfect transitional purchase for unpredictable climates.

During my final night in Copenhagen, I took myself to one of the city’s must-visit restaurants Esmée. The four-star restaurant is located on the banks of Kongens Nytorv, or the ‘Kings New Square’. It was here, over lobster pasta and natural wine, that I once again tested the capabilities of the capri pants.

With Copenhagen (in my mind) the barometer of distinguishing trendy pieces very timeless staples, a trope courtesy of their commitment to sustainability and firm resolute for craftsmanship, I wanted to gauge where this style fell.

Pairing the capris with a vintage lace short-sleeve shirt picked up from Jerome Vintage and a satin silver rosette from accessories boutique Pico, I’d hoped that my classic Scandi girl styling would mean the style leant seamlessly into my surroundings.

This methodology proved correct, so for any readers averse to trying the three-quarter length style, may we suggest embracing your inner Scandi stylist?

DAY 4

As I, like all attendees, ended my week with GANNI’s SS24 show, my final ensemble was an (almost) head-to-toe look from the brand. Once again reaching for the grey and yellow striped shirt, I played into the buttery tones of the blazer and shirt by pairing these two together for the base of my outfit.

Together as a set, the shirt and blazer combination was channelling a classic 90s prep ensemble à la Kathryn Merteuil in Cruel Intentions or Cher Horowitz from Clueless with a ‘school girl off-duty spirit. Naturally, this meant I had to finish my outfit with a beaded black vest from Ralph Lauren and a matching Ganni mini skirt.

My footwear of choice was once again the Cecilie Bahnsen ASICS, leaning into the fantasy by serving an ‘I’ve just come from lacrosse practice’ attitude.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an end to Copenhagen Fashion Week without a stellar soirée. GANNI and their legions of girls descended on the cosy, canal-side Apollo Bar for the occasion. Changing into a Miaou olive pinstripe skirt and black tank top, we danced the night away to celebrate a fabulous week of fashion, design, art and culture.

The hallmarks of a typical week in Copenhagen.

Shop My Copenhagen Fashion Week Essentials Below:

Friends-With-Frank-BlazerFriends With Frank Bernadette Blazer, $649 SHOP NOW

Ganni-Shirt

GANNI STRIPED COTTON SHIRT, $425 SHOP NOWRealisation-Par-Havana-DressRealisation Par The Gia Havana, approx. $404AUD SHOP NOW

Yu-Mei-Teresa-ToteYu Mei Teresa Tote, $1259 SHOP NOW Ganni-Scrunched-FlatsGANNI SCRUNCHIE BALLERINAS $425, SHOP NOW