Wasteless Fashion Is Not A Myth. Duran Lantink AW21

They say that fashion will never be 100% sustainable. A brand can do its best to keep things eco-friendly, but in the end, clothes are still being produced. But Duran Lantink‘s method proves the industry that there’s a revolutionary (and very witty) way of making fashion as wasteless as possible. His upcycling methods – repurposing unsold designer-label clothes in his pioneering, cheeky way – date back to 2013, but only now seem to fully resonate with a wider audience. Autumn-winter 2021 season is the designer’s first (of course digital) fashion show collection. “Basically, during lockdown, I had time to work with my assistant, Thibault, on all the materials I had left over from collaborations with stores and brands, and to come up with this, our first runway collection.” Thibault is in the show, wearing, in one of his exits, a swishing lemon yellow dress that is reconstructed from another dress which had been left over from Lantink’s collaboration with Ellery last year. The point was to give him free rein to recycle and give new life to their unsold inventory. Lantink pointed out to Vogue how he’s unpicked, restyled, and refashioned multiple piles of clothes lying around his studio which “used to be” garments by Balmain, Balenciaga, Prada, Proenza Schouler, Vetements, Marine Serre, and many more. “In the beginning, we started with stores to see how we could work with their deadstock to see how we could stop their clothes going into landfill. And that was the beginning of thinking how we could create a completely new form of business.” The collection is like an aethetical 2000s-style remix of sexy revealing, sparkle and sharp minimalism. There’s a zigzaggy sparkly dress – one breast out – remade from something unsold from Balmain, and naked illusion half-dresses sewn onto stretchy body pieces. A flash of a diamanté thong (made from recycled materials) is homage to Tom Ford’s Gucci 1997 moment, but with a Duran Lantink logo planted in the crucial place. Yet Lantink has also now come up with an ingenious plan for extending the buzzy fashion “moment” so that it can morph into potentially infinite new shapes for his followers. He announced the launch of a service on his new direct-to-wearer website. “When you’re fed up with something, you can click on two tabs. One, where you can resell. On the other, we will work with you to remake what you have to become whatever you like. So a coat can become a dress. A dress can become a shirt. A shirt can be trousers. Whatever you want!” People who are up for engaging with Lantink’s process are destined to be the happy recipients of fully documented online records of where their clothes originated, and how they’ve been altered over time: a personalized archive. That redefinition of being able to love and re-love clothes in a never-ending cycle restyled by a designer is something truly, truly innovative.

“Live” collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Fluffy Clouds. Cecilie Bahnsen AW20

The music began, and once the lights came on, Cecilie Bahnsen‘s signature romance was illuminated. Of course there were all the beautiful, fluffy ball skirts and big sleeves, sculpted with delicate silk organza. Still, this season the Copenhagen-based designer slightly stepped away from her saccharine dreaminess. There was a fresh edge to Bahnsen’s new work, thanks to the mix of metallic materials and to more form-fitting, corseted silhouettes that added a sensual and bewitching quality to her designs. Crisp, fitted blazers were styled with cloudlike dresses and sheer A-line skirts, and Bahnsen also expanded into knitwear with ribbon- and ruffle-bedecked sweaters that could be worn as easily with jeans as they could be layered over one of her voluminous dresses. Outerwear was crucial to the collection. Bahnsen collaborated with British luxury heritage brand Mackintosh and showed minimal anoraks alongside cocooning quilted coats with floral embroidery. That’s a great lesson in layering. Bahnsen is one of the most skilled designers in the city and this season she really pushed herself and her talents to the next level.i

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Kid At Heart. Helmstedt AW20

In Copenhagen, in the sea of one-dimensional minimalism, there is a chance to find a true gem. Helmstedt is the best example of a Danish label that doesn’t follow the local aesthetic. Emilie Helmstedt builds her own sets every season, finding inspiration in her dreams and her childhood. Flanked by her bright paper sculptures, the designer is like Alice in a wonderland of her own making. For autumn-winter 2020, the label brought the guests to the city’s French Embassy, where she juxtaposed the ornate tapestries and gilded trimmings with giant papier-mâché teacups and teapots, even a golden spoon. She is a kid at heart, and though this collection stayed true to that aspect of her brand, her fall 2020 clothes represented a bit of a maturation. Take the fitted knit dresses with wavy, Pucci-like patterns and a covetable quilted pink velvet coat in a brushstroke pattern. Helmstedt also introduced crochet vests and sacks, which make sense in the context of her DIY sensibility. Those are clothes to have fun in.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Hot Girl Summer. Saks Potts SS20

Saks Potts‘ faux-fur coats in various shades of neon might have stolen Cardi B’s and Rosalia’s heart. But the designers behind the brand aren’t resting on laurels. For spring-summer 2020, Barbara Potts and Catherine Saks introduced a different view on their ready-to-wear, only showing a single brown pleather version of their best-selling ‘Foxy’ coat. Titled “Latina Gala,” their new collection for summer was essentially a bow down to Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the Mexican-American singer who was tragically killed by her manager in 1995. Expect drama. A rodeo-ready bedazzled white leather minidress with matching cowboy boots and hat worn by local model and Saks Potts muse Emma Leth was the star of the show. If hot girl summer was a fashion collection, then it’s this one from Saks Potts.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Acid Splash. Ganni SS20

To celebrate a decade of wroking for Ganni, Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup presented their spring-summer 2020 collection at the same venue where they debuted – an outdoor playing field. But this wasn’t a “memory lane” kind of show you could have expected. Of course, the designers included Ganni classics, like pretty floral dresses and heavy, faux python boots. But the collection was all about the acid splash colour palette that’s everywhere lately in mainstream, Instagram fashion. Well, that’s not a surprise – Ganni recycles trends over and over again, but sharpens them up in this edgy, Copenhagen-specific way. There were also some evident inspirations taken from Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s brand, which is known for unlikely matchings that somehow become the new normal. If you read me, then you know I’m on fence with Ganni. But this brand should definitely be praised for the way it made Copenhagen fashion week a phenomenon, and for the way it developed throughout the years.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.