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September 2 2014

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Pretty With A Punch In Copenhagen

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Pink, mint, pumpkin, lemon, and mauve were the dominant colors at Copenhagen fashion week, but the underlying ethos was far from frivolous. Established illustrator and Denmark’s rising local design star Anne Sofie Madsen’s signature illustration on both her invite and a silk T-shirt (pictured) in her Spring 2013 collection sums up the Danish spirit. With a mixture of sweetness and bite, a girl’s face hovers over an ice cream cone. Her features are flanked by pitbulls and cobras as she is surrounded by a wash of pink with mint green and gold drips.

While Madsen is the right person to push Copenhagen’s spirit to artistic extremes, the same mixture of hard-core style with a candy-colored palette was everywhere during the week. Only Wood Wood took a decidedly darker turn from its previous British public school-inspired seasons, with a collection evoking Liverpudlian hooligans with plum tracksuits, scowls, and full blue Scouse brows. Overall, the catwalks were awash with sugary shades and earthy or edgy shapes.

The likely originator of this trend is Stine Goya, whose season after season success promoting a dessert-inspired pistachio, pumpkin, and berry palette now helps define the present moment in Danish design. Goya’s soft, pragmatic cuts counterbalance her smart and serious references. In past seasons, she channeled the Amish, haunted puppet theaters, and Victoriana. This season, she presented an elegant, relaxed white blouse paired with matching seventies-style trousers, both sporting a watercolor print of clowns from a Fellini film. Although Goya makes challenging artistic references and was introduced to Denmark’s fashion scene through her relationship with surrealist Henrik Visbov, her clothes are Copenhagen’s most realistic additions to real women’s lives.

This accessible mentality was also evident at Bruuns Bazaar, where Rebekka Bay, the former artistic director for Cos, presented clean, crisp clothes for women and men, with exciting dashes of yellow and blue against sage, mint, vanilla, and taupe. Peter Jensen’s menswear and womenswear employed brighter and bolder versions of the same ice cream colors. Even the reliably gothic Barbara í Gongini started her artful show of sculptural stiff pleats and Rick Owens-like ravished leather with a series of ghostly girls wearing only acid yellow shredded tights, dresses, and tops in thin cotton. With its harder forms and spectrum of dessert shades, Copenhagen was a treat.

Photo: Courtesy Photo

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