13 posts tagged "Cheap Monday"
Tonight at around 11 p.m.—so they say, but my money’s on midnight or later—a handful of Denmark’s best designers present a runway show of a few looks from their Fall collections for the revelers celebrating VMan‘s Scandinavian issue at Good Units. VMan‘s Stephen Gan sees big things in Scandinavia’s fashion future, I’m told, and has called in a few friends to make his case. But if late-night conditions aren’t favorable for a clear-eyed assessment (or for any editor with a husband, kid, or early bedtime), the group all gathered yesterday for a preview event and to meet the press.
Some names are familiar to U.S. buyers: Cheap Monday; Camilla Stærk, who shows at New York fashion week; and Henrik Vibskov, who shows men’s in Paris and a co-ed, and-the-kitchen-sink extravaganza in Copenhagen (last season’s included donkeys). But a few lesser-known Danish brands deserve their due. Day Birger et Mikkelsen, the lower-priced daywear line originally founded by Malene Birger, was covetable, especially at its reasonable prices. The men’s brand Soulland, whose hybrid cap/hat topper should replace the porkpie on every scruffy dude east of Avenue A, had great high-low pieces—I couldn’t take my hands off a varsity jacket with mink sleeves, even if it’s probably a little precious to wear anywhere near a game. And the flame-haired Stine Goya, an alum of Central Saint Martins, showed separates with a strong tailored streak. Her twining, cabled Snake sweater (pictured) is a best seller, she told me, and should look just as good with her wool or linen-silk wide-leg trousers as with your oldest weather-beaten jeans.
Ann-Sofie Back has jumped the gun. Though she’s been signed on as creative director at Cheap Monday since 2009, thanks to the plan-ahead cycles of fashion, her first full collections aren’t due until Spring ’11. That doesn’t mean you have to wait to get Back. The designer has created capsule additions to the Cheap Monday ranges for both men and women for Spring and Fall, the first of which is bowing now. Think of the new pieces as a teaser, one that New Yorkers can check out on Thursday night, when A.OK the basement shop at the Bond Street location of Oak, which marks the U.S. debut of Back’s designs for the Scandinavian label. “Young, playful, and rebellious” are the words Back uses to describe the Cheap Monday ethos, which she intends to apply to all parts of the brand, including but not limited to its well-known denim. “The denim will always set the agenda, but the rest of the collection needs to work on its own as well,” Back explains. For her capsule creations, she has applied denim-esque ideas such as whiskering, shredding, and patching to other kinds of clothing, such as tees, tights, and sweats with cut-out and graphic duct-tape-print details.
There was plenty of grooving at Stockholm Fashion Week this year, where the Swedes showed their collections to an indie rock beat. A live piano concert—shades of Cat Power—attended Filippa K’s noirish collection of pencil skirts, structured dresses, and tilted fedoras in the Museum of Photography, and the crowded scene at Cheap Monday in the Frihamnshallen had the feel of an arena concert. In fact, almost every presentation was held at the Berns, the nineteenth-century hotel-cum-concert-hall where most of the guests were staying. (Good news, that, given that persistent snowdrifts would have made the usual fashion-week runaround pretty unpleasant.) The exception proved the rule at Hope, the week’s highlight, held in the gilded Royal Dramatic Theatre (pictured). As guests sampled delicacies from the Fårö region of Gotland and a second tier of onlookers snapped photos from an upstairs gallery, the two designers gave brief, scholarly explanations of how their crisp, beautifully tailored men’s and women’s wear reflected the influence of Ingmar Bergman’s art-house classic The Seventh Seal, from hooded sweaters meant to evoke Death’s cape to checkerboard prints suggesting his famous chess match. It wasn’t the usual soundtrack for the runway, but the beats were barely missed.
The Cheap Monday look—the skinniest of skinny jeans—stays its course season after season, but for Fall, the blues are going gray. The Swedish label showed an almost entirely gray collection during Stockholm fashion week yesterday (its second with new creative director Ann-Sofie Back) that drew on some unlikely inspirations. “We were thinking a bit about the apocalypse, but with a feeling of hope,” said founding designer Örjan Andersson. “And of construction sites. We think construction sites are beautiful.” That may explain the city-street palette, as well as the silvery white hair and makeup accents, as if the models had trudged through the concrete dust of a live site without benefit of a hard hat. (The stiff bouffants worn by both guys and girls might’ve eliminated the need for those.) Back, for her part, played with proportion, cut, and layers but kept to the understated Cheap Monday aesthetic. “With my own collection, people always want more designed bits,” the Swedish-born designer told us. “If people buy Back, they want to show it. But sometimes I feel like you just need a pair of black pants.”
With its affordable price points and cool cuts, Stockholm-based Cheap Monday quickly became one of the most well-known and well-liked denim companies out there. But as its Spring 2010 show in the Swedish capital proved on Monday night, the brand is now about much more than affordable jeans. Its first step in that direction was to bring London-based designer Ann-Sofie Back to Stockholm; its second step was to apply denim techniques like stone-washed whiskers, slashes, and rips to non-denim materials like jersey dresses and sweat suits. Back’s move to the brand is a recent one. In an interview earlier today, she admitted that this collection only bore some of the changes she plans to bring to the brand. “I’m looking forward to doing new and interesting things with the whole brand and to take it well beyond the denim world,” she said. Joining a denim brand to design more than denim isn’t the only weird concept I encountered in Stockholm on this trip: I met Sweden’s biggest model export, Caroline Winberg, who opened Cheap Monday’s show, for a drink after the festivities and promised myself I’d be home before sunset—which just happened to be at 11:30 p.m.