While the fashion industry struggles with overproduction and its self-destructive pace, the New York-based designer Emily Adams Bode goes against the flow. Her label, Bode, is mostly fabricated from vintage textiles: antique table linens, patchwork quilts, grain sacks – the list can go on. But don’t think her work comes out as looking overly D.I.Y. or crafty-arty. We’re speaking of button-up shirts with romantic pussy-bows, delightful coats and striped boxy trousers, treated with the finest dyes.
Her spring-summer 2019 collection is a beautiful nod to India. Part of it was produced from khadi, a handwoven cloth, produced by Indian craftsmen. But there are as well incredible Bengalese embroideries all over the shirting; a t-shirt with a flag of India print that has a cool, vintage-y vibe; pastel-blue short shorts; a rugby jacket in the brightest shade of orange; loosely fit suits. It’s like Wes Anderson’s ‘The Darjeeling Limited’ cast wardrobe, available in real life. But coming back to Bode and it’s phenomenon, it’s incredible how the label stays true to ethical and sustainable way of doing things (noting that Bode is based in the Big Apple, where everything should be ‘now and here’ lately). “We’re still largely focused on vintage textiles,” Emily says, “and then we work to find something that is reproducible from them. We have mills and producers in India, actually. And, when buyers come, they shop on the rack, and say, ‘How close can you get to this piece?’ Some want each piece exactly the same, and others want only one of a kind. We’re calibrating it, but it’s working.” One more thing: even though Bode presents her clothes on men, all of the pieces can be as well worn by female fans of the brand.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
For their spring-summer 2018, Barbara Potts and Catherine Saks clearly wanted to stir away from what Saks Potts is mostly known for: the best-selling faux fur jackets. And they tried hard to surprise. In the beginning, a dance troupe performed in the middle of the stadium, where the collection was presented; then, a model came out, wearing a dramatic white dress in fur. And then, the show really began. The collection was meant to be a nod to the Olympics and everything connected to sport. But the result could have been much better. The designers definitely needed to concentrate more on editing the looks, as in the overall the collection felt simply… messy. Holographic, Lycra ensembles. Duvet jackets with mountain prints. Logomania tights. Too much going on in here. Also, I couldn’t help but note all the elements that seemed to be knocked-off from Area NYC. Their signatures: the big sunglasses, the over-the-top styling, the early 90s glamour. All present at Saks Potts, executed in a very similar way. The best (and certainly the most original) part of the collection was the fur. That lilac coat with a fluffy collar and equally fluffy cuffs is a highlight, just like the ombre teddy bear piece.
Another week, another fashion week. Some Copenhagen designers, like Cecilie Bahnsen, have a clear signature and keep to it. Other, like Ganni, recycle trends. And the other others, like Saks Potts, are established for one thing, but seem to struggle to evolve. Still, the Danish designers are worth watching.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Indisputably, Ganni made Copenhagen fashion week a thing. Today, Danish designers and brands are nearly as important as the names we know from the four capitals – New York, London, Milan and Paris. Just see how many people you follow on Instagram went to Copenhagen this week! There’s even the Danish it-girls clique, that has a distinct, eclectic look. I mean the most unprecedented (and sometimes simply ridiculous) combinations of floral tea-dress, plastic bags, hair scrunchies and kitschy, vintage mules.
But back to the topic. Ganni’s spring-summer 2019 was the show that every ‘influencer’ went to. This clothing label, founded by wife-and-husband duo Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup, brings an alternative version of Scandinavian style – a ‘no no’ to cold minimalism. Ditte, who is the creative director, likes florals, slip dresses, ruffles and big knits, and tends to balance all those with heavy, off-duty accessories. Shortly, Ganni follows every trend alert, does good styling tricks and keeps it all quite affortable (the price point is slightly below Acne Studios). That’s why I’m on fence with the label’s phenomenon – it’s not as much fashion, as a thoroughly considered image of the so-called ‘Ganni girl’. Spring-summer 2019 wasn’t different in that aspect. Inspired by camping and travelling by foot in overall, Ganni went for bucket hats, sporty outerwear (made in collaboration with 66 North), trekking boots, prairie dresses, dyed denim and camo backpacks. The venue, done under the direction of Ana Kras (you might know her as @teget on Instagram), as well suggested something connected to travelling: cars and boats covered with nylon canvas, and the huge space filled with transport containers. It all worked, and you surely will want to pull off every second look next summer. But somehow, I can’t help, but think of Ganni as of a very Instagrammable and undemanding label.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Cloudy. Soft. Fragile. The Beguilded cast’s wardrobe in 2018. Feminine. Light. Should I continue with other phrases and associations I’ve got with Cecilie Bahnsen’s fashion? The designer has just presented her collection during the Copenhagen fashion week and made it clear that no one else does a dress like her (well, except for Molly Goddard). Cecilie likes her silhouettes to be full, but not overwhelming – no dramatic ball gowns here, but rather everyday-princess ensembles to love and wear. Pouf sleeves and peplums are always on Bahnsen’s runway, just like spaghetti straps. For spring-summer 2019, she as well added a bit of florals and the very unexpected dad sandals, which well balanced all that prettiness. At one point of browsing the collection, you might feel that you’re seeing the same dress, just in different modifications. Well, this repetitiveness isn’t to the Danish designer’s disadvantage. There’s consistency flowing from one collection to the other, which is especially valued among emerging designers. Wait, but can we call Bahnsen a classical case of an emerging designer? If only every big brand could boast with so many sold out dresses in every single, major on-line store…
Collages by Edward Kanarecki.