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Our Favorites from Copenhagen Fashion Week Fall ’24

From Alectra Rothschild to Niklas Skovgaard we were watching the next gen talent –and it didn’t disappoint.

all photos by James Cochrane, courtesy CPHFW

For the third straight year sustainability and inclusivity were at the forefront of Copenhagen Fashion Week’s agenda. In an industry-leading move, all brands participating in the event have to comply with 18 minimum responsibility standards.This included significant use of recycled materials. In addition, all brands are required to sign an ethical charter to confirm they will consider inclusivity when casting—a stark contrast to other major fashion weeks.

The overall vibe of CPHFW this season was more subdued. Many designer’s leaned into wearability, and the idea of “office wear” was a popular trope –including ties as an accessory on several runways. This focus on the more practical seems to come from an awareness of the global socio-economic climate. “Lately, the world seems to be falling apart, even with an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Gaza and elections in both the U.S. and the European Parliament. Their potential outcomes should strike fear in all of us and remind us that democracy is not to be taken for granted,” said Cecilie Thorsmark, the CEO of Copenhagen Fashion Week.

Yet she also added “While we might have all left 2023 on a note of uncertainty, as we enter 2024, this season has already proven that the ever-shifting face of creativity is full of opportunities, solidarity and positive change.”

Here are a few designers on our radar from Copenhagen Fashion Week.

Alectra Rothschild / Masculina

Alectra Rothschild’s latest offering at Copenhagen Fashion Week, under her label Masculina, was not just a fashion show but a historical milestone. As an openly trans woman, Rothschild’s debut at this event through the New Talent program was a bold statement in the fashion world, marking a significant moment for diversity and representation.

The show, a vivacious blend of music by DJ g2g and playful theatrics, encapsulated Rothschild’s unique aesthetic and commitment to storytelling. There was a strong reference to Britney Spears’ iconic early 2000s style seen in pieces like the low-rise, slashed denim pants which brought a touch of nostalgia. This seamlessly merged with her signature swashbuckling, pirate-inspired flair. The show’s elaborate yet wearable pieces, including zero-waste dresses and upcycled denim, underscored Rothschild’s skill both in drapery and sustainable design.

The Masculina show, predominantly featuring a trans cast (shoutout to New York City nightlife icon Sofia Lamar who we spotted on the runway) was full of high glamour. It also narrated a powerful story of transformation through a trans lens, making it a major event in the world of fashion.


Nicklas Skovgaard

If, like us, you were wondering if fashion’s growing obsession with all things ’80s had staying power you need look no further to Niklas Skovgaard’s sophomore collection for a resounding yes. Skovgaard, at least is convinced that this is an aesthetic that can live beyond a TikTok trend. Shirred fabric, bubble skirts and drop waists –hallmarks of the era– all made appearances in his presentation.

The designer, despite not having lived through the era himself, channeled the decade through influences like his mother Annie, an aerobic instructor in London during that period, and iconic figures like Melanie Griffith’s character in “Working Girl”. The show’s standout pieces included exaggerated shoulder pads, pleated midi skirts, and shiny bomber jackets. The collection’s voluminous silhouettes were complemented by the theatricality of the presentation, creating an atmosphere that was both nostalgic and forward-looking. The popularity of this young designer is undeniable. The challenge for Skovgaard, who largely creates the garments himself using only handwoven textiles and thrifted fabrics, will be a question of how to scale. Or perhaps he’ll find a way to be successful with a smaller production. It remains to be seen –and we’ll be watching.


Rolf Ekroth

Rolf Ekroth’s Fall/Winter 2024 collection at Copenhagen Fashion Week was a delightful homage to his Finnish roots, interwoven with a strong commitment to sustainability. Ekroth, known for infusing traditional Finnish heritage into contemporary fashion, embraced the Danish concept of hygge, manifesting a sense of comfort and conviviality in his designs.

His collection, rich in knitted textiles and exuding warmth, was a journey back in time, evoking nostalgia for cozy winter evenings spent watching sports with family. His knitwear, adorned with Nordic patterns and rustic elements, showcased his knack for blending whimsy with wear-ability. The collection’s aesthetic, from old-school matching floral tops and pants, to quilted blazers, offered a charming blend of the past and the present.

Sustainability in fashion is a cornerstone of Ekroth’s work, and this collection was no exception. For example, he upcycled old Puma football shirts into maroon-and-blue pants with a harlequin pattern. This showcased both his creativity and dedication to reducing waste. The collaboration with Novita, a yarn company, to sell knitting kits is another testament to his approach, promoting the craft of knitting and the use of natural materials.

Ekroth’s collection stood out for its emphasis on craft, merging Finnish cultural heritage with an environmentally conscious mindset. His designs, while nostalgic and infused with personal stories, made his collection a compelling blend of the past, the present, and a more livable future.


Stamm

Elisabet Stamm’s unique approach to fashion was again on full display at the Fall/Winter 2024 show of her label, STAMM, at Copenhagen Fashion Week. Known for her introspective design philosophy, Stamm’s collection is a reflection of her deeply personal take on the world. This season, she transformed the Copenhagen Contemporary into an intimate space, interspersing everyday items like moving boxes, baskets of lemons, and lived-in furniture among the attendees. Live music and slam poetry by British poet Ephraim Raiden Rose added an immersive, pulsing element, emphasizing the show’s theme of “Maximum potential.”

The standout pieces were the monstrous puffer jackets, morphing into hooded crop tops and capes, symbolizing comfort and the need for protection in a hectic world. The use of down-filled panels in various designs added both fluidity and movement. The collection’s color palette, highlighted by optimistic ‘Netto’ yellow and golden “POTENTIAL” lettering, provided a bright contrast to the more muted tones of the garments. Her approach to design not only reflects her personal journey but also resonates with a broader audience navigating the complexities of modern life.


Paolina Russo

At Copenhagen Fashion Week, Paolina Russo presented their sophomore collection with a clear message: sustainability and whimsical design can coexist beautifully. Russo, alongside her partner Lucile Guilmard, has taken their brand to new heights with a collection that not only reflects their global vision but also their commitment to responsible fashion.

The collection, titled “Cul-de-Sac,” draws inspiration from the suburban backgrounds of the designers, melding nostalgic elements with a contemporary twist. Their signature illusion knitwear and sporty separates were prominent, complemented by new playful additions like peplum-esque miniskirts layered over joggers, and cozy wrap cardigans. The color palette was a winter wonder, with earthy tones and pastel shades riffing off of subtle prismatic effects of light on snow.

Craftsmanship was at the forefront of this collection. Russo and Guilmard ingeniously used leftover yarn for pom-pom embellishments and embraced natural dyeing techniques in Scotland, where ice cubes were placed on powder pigments to create unique patterns on fabric. This innovative approach not only highlights the brand’s dedication to reducing waste but also adds a surprising, handcrafted quality to their garments.

The collection reflects Paolina Russo’s growing confidence and their desire to bring their blend of eco-conscious fashion and nomadic spirit to a global audience. As Russo herself stated, “Copenhagen is our first stop,” signaling that this is just the beginning of their journey in redefining earth-friendly fashion with a whimsical touch.


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