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August 29 2014

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2 posts tagged "Copenhagen"

Asger Juel Larsen Heats Up the Copenhagen Fashion Scene

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asger-blogJustin O’Shea, the buying director at online luxury store MyTheresa, recently told Reuters that Copenhagen was one of only a few cities that inspired him. “It’s exotic minimalism. Beautiful simplicity is in their DNA. It is not based around high heels and miniskirts,” he said in the article.

It’s that simple elegance that’s starting to turn the heads of fashion insiders, like O’Shea, and consumers alike. (Denmark’s fashion exports have reportedly grown by 16 percent since 2009.) One of the most promising talents of them all is Danish designer Asger Juel Larsen, who won the inaugural menswear award in the Woolmark Europe competition last month, beating out designers like Pavel Ivancic, Vladimir Karaleev, and Cedric Jacquemyn. His judges included Style.com’s Tim Blanks, Colette’s Sarah Andelman, and Hermès’ Véronique Nichanian. “It was a unanimous decision. We were all in agreement about the choice,” Nichanian told WWD of their menswear choice.

On the heels of Larsen’s Spring 2015 “Interrupt Me” runway show in Copenhagen (as part of Copenhagen fashion week, which has just wrapped up), we checked in with the London College of Fashion grad to talk about the changing fashion scene in the Danish capital right now, his decision to leave London for Copenhagen, and more.

ajl-sizedOn the Copenhagen fashion climate right now…“Copenhagen fashion week is one of the biggest in northern Europe—it’s the most interesting in Scandinavia. We have some really strong designers who have been showing for many years, and then some new ones coming from places like London and Amsterdam who are trying a new thing and alternative way of presenting. There’s a very fun energy here right now.”

London vs. Copenhagen aesthetics…“They are definitely the total opposite look. The whole London scene—I think that makes up the craziness of what I do. Obviously, tailoring is a huge part of what I like to do. But I also have my Danish heritage—I used to embroider things with my mom and grandma, and that makes up a big part of who I am as a designer.”

On growing his business…
“I showed at London fashion week when I graduated—I had sponsored shows—then I was either going to do shows for press or go back to Copenhagen and build a company. When I moved from London, I really didn’t want to leave, it’s such an epicenter of fashion. But we are doing it at our own pace, and I’m really glad I did it that way. Eventually, I would also like to have a base in NYC. We are sold at VFiles in New York, H. Lorenzo in L.A., Henrik Vibskov, and lots of places in Scandinavia (obviously). Our biggest business right now is coming from Japan and the U.S. Our diffusion line of basics, A.J.L. Madhouse, is way more affordable, and that’s doing quite well.”

The immediate effects of the Woolmark win…
“I think the show went really well. I think there were a lot more international magazines at the show because of my Woolmark win. Also, lots of buyers have been contacting me. All in all, the news has been everywhere and all the media outlets have covered it. My Google alerts are going mad right now. It looks like the future is going to be hectic.”

On the art of winning a fashion prize…
“I had a really good, but very short, dialogue with the judges. I think they thought the fabrics and the garments I did were unique. I wanted to make a human sheep with the merino wool—we all laughed about that. I didn’t have much schooling on doing a fashion competition, they just selected me and Anne Sofie Madsen to do it. It was just me and my team, trying to make something really pure. You know?”

His dream fashion prize to win…
“To me, Woolmark is everything. There is nothing bigger.”

Photos: Courtesy of Asger Juel Larsen; Copenhagen Fashion Week

Dragon Tattoo Leaves Its Mark On Stockholm Fashion Week

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It was Stockholm’s unlikely style icon Lisbeth Salander, or rather the first actress to bring her to life in the original The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo film series, Noomi Rapace (pictured), who kicked off the city’s fashion week Monday morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Rapace attended shows throughout the week, and on Tuesday night, at the just-opened Burberry store, she told us she had just come from the Dagmar show, where Salander was cited as an inspiration (the modernist artist Sigrid Hjerten was the other) for the collection. The three Dagmar sisters are known for their knitwear, but this show brought their label to a new level. For every sweater in a deep plum, there were long silk dresses with high slits secured by zips, and right after the cream chunky Aran knit came a top and track-style pants in a black velvet devoré animal print that made everyone lean forward for a closer look. It appeared again on a dress and alongside the lace-effect knit patterns on a couple of short dresses at the end—Dagmar was the highlight of the day, if not the week. More than one editor placed a personal order after the show—we overheard one of them saying, “I want to be a Dagmar girl” at the end of the presentation.

The rest of the week flew by, perhaps a sign that when casual cool is your brand’s DNA, a full-on show may be a stretch. Then again, you could drive everyone to a hangar space outside the city and show bras on top of cutoff tees (à la Cheap Monday) or throw balloons, confetti, and winking models high-fiving each other on the runway (like Odd Molly), but perhaps that’s not advisable without a heavy dose of Meadham Kirchhoff irony. Jewelry designer Maria Nilsdotter put on a small presentation at the Story hotel for her Swedish folk tale-inspired collection of silver pieces with spikes, and Ida Sjöstedt showed her hand-stitched gowns in the Clock Suite of the Berns Hotel. These more intimate spaces turned out some of the most promising offerings. With that, Stockholm fashion week closed Wednesday night, as temperatures dropped to -13 degrees C (8 degrees F), just in time for everyone to hop over to Copenhagen to begin a new round of shows.

Photo: Ian Gavan / Getty Images