CPH Fashion Week: Who to know and what to do

From exclusive runway shows to more accessible free events throughout the city, Copenhagen Fashion Week has something to offer for anyone with a passion for fashion. Scandinavia Standard breaks down the highlights and guides you through the August 3-8 fashion takeover.

CPH Fashion Week: Who to know and what to do
Photo: Freya McOmish, Scandinavia Standard
Copenhagen Fashion Week, which begins on Sunday and runs through Friday, is a biannual celebration and display of the seasonal collections of fashion brands through runway shows, industry fairs, showrooms and events. Our partners at Scandinavia Standard take you through who to know and what to do during the week.
Names to know
Copenhagen Fashion Week (CPHFW) hosts mainly Scandinavian, and specifically Danish, fashion houses. The big name runway shows include By Malene Birger, Designers Remix, Bruuns Bazaar, Han Kjøbenhavn, Henrik Vibskov and Baum und Pferdgarten. These brands are both internationally renowned and extremely popular within Denmark. These shows (and their after parties) are invitation-only.
There’s also a contingent of well-known, respected but largely Denmark-based fashion houses that are more Scandinavian and artistic in nature such as Barbara I Gongini, Asger Juel Larsen and David Andersen.
Emerging designers like Maikel Tawadros and Nicklas Kunz represent the up-and-coming names in Scandinavian and global design. They’re a bit off the beaten track and entirely worth checking out.
Fashion fairs
Fashion fairs are an easy way to see a lot of labels at once, get a sense of the latest season from the bigger names and learn about some new ones while meeting the faces behind the brands.  Copenhagen International Fashion Fair (CIFF) at Bella Center is the largest of these. Vision and Gallery are known as smaller and less commercial spaces. If you’re looking for an afternoon of perusing racks of-the-moment clothes, the CPHFW fairs are the place for you.
Copenhagen Fashion Festival
Most people won’t go to the exclusive runway shows. Or the fairs, for that matter (let’s be real: if you’re not into fashion there is nothing more boring than a fashion industry fair). But CPHFW is a cultural event with many components. The most accessible of these is the Copenhagen Fashion Festival (CPHFF). Stacked with free events throughout the city, there’s a range of ways to celebrate fashion including sales, store-openings and more. For more information on CPHFF, see here or download their app.
Whether you’re the editor of a fashion magazine or just a person who wears clothes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during Copenhagen Fashion Week. If nothing else, stop into an open-invite party for a glass of champagne with friends and toast the waning days of summer.
Check out Scandinavia Standard throughout the week for behind-the-scenes runway coverage, fashion week essentials and more.
Scandinavia Standard is a website and lifestyle brand providing content on design, culture and local business in the Scandinavian capitals for English-speaking residents and travellers, as well as those interested in the Scandinavian aesthetic internationally.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Danish designer joins Paris fashion elite a year after getting the sack

It was the fairytale ending to a fortnight of Paris fashion shows. A year ago Danish designer Christine Hyun Mi Nielsen was fired from her high-pressure job as the director of the studio of one of the world's top brands.

Danish designer joins Paris fashion elite a year after getting the sack
South-Korean-born Danish fashion designer Christine Hyun Mi Nielsen poses after her 2017 spring/summer Haute Couture collection on Thursday in Paris. Photo: ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/SCANPIX
Fourteen months on she has her own label — Hyun Mi Nielsen — with a show on the haute couture catwalk Thursday, the very pinnacle of the fashion tree.
The creator, who was born in Korea and adopted by a Danish couple, said her first solo Paris collection wasn't just about climbing the career ladder, it was also deeply “personal”.
“It was a way to find myself after I was dismissed from my job,” she told AFP. “For someone like me who puts so much effort into my work which I love so much, it was so painful.”
“This is about finding my own voice to get over the grief,” said the 40-year-old, who had led the Givenchy studio and Alexander McQueen womenswear before being sacked from Balenciaga last October after the arrival of Vetements wunderkind Demna Gvasalia.
Punk princesses
All her models wore army-surplus boots — punk princesses off to a ball — with the collection kicked off by a spectacular figure-hugging white dress with intricate frills of organza on tulle.
She also put a ruff of starched frills on an eye-catching three-piece leather biker outfit — and cut a long back leather dress as if it had been frilly tulle.
The contrasts of hard and soft, darkness and light, frivolous and serious clearly a metaphor of what Nielsen has been through. One model even had a thunderously blacked-up face.
Nielsen was helped to set up on her own in Paris by a “subtle and sophisticated” female investor, she said, but did not name her.
Haute couture is a purely Parisian institution limited to 15 labels, and the designer said she was thrilled to have been invited as a guest member into its elite ranks.
All clothes have to be made to measure by hand, meaning couture can usually only be afforded by the richest women.
“My love of fashion is not just the (visual) image but also the technique and the craft,” Nielsen said.
“So it's especially exciting for me to start my own company in France — this is the home of (fashion) savoir faire (know-how).”
The Dane began her rise at Max Mara in Italy before returning to London, where she studied at the Royal College of Art, to join Burberry before she moved on to McQueen, whose edgy poetry she has clearly inherited.
The Dutch-Vietnamese designer Xuan-Thu Nguyen also made her Paris couture debut Thursday as nearly two weeks of menswear and couture shows drew to a close.
Her Xuan label, which she founded 12 years ago, is best known for its “surprise and fragility” and her spring summer collection had avalanches of frills on otherwise plain and pure pale pastel mousseline and tulle outfits.
By AFP's Anna Pelegri and Fiachra Gibbons