The best of Copenhagen Fashion Week AW15

With the Copenhagen Fashion Week AW15 recently concluded, our friends at Scandinavia Standard pick their top five highlights of the week.

The best of Copenhagen Fashion Week AW15
The Designers Remix event at Copenhagen Fashion Week. Photo: Simon Læssøe/Scanpix
Ah, fashion week, you little devil. Not being strictly in the fashion industry ourselves, the team at Scandinavia Standard has to admit that fashion week gets under the skin. We’ve been really enjoying the chance to cover some of our favourite designers and brands, as well as get a sense of what the fashion industry in Copenhagen is all about. Here are our highlights from this season.
Photo: Freya McOmish for Scandinavia Standard
Photo: Freya McOmish for Scandinavia Standard
Henrik Vibskov Messy Massage Class Runway Show
Vibskov’s show this year was creative, fun and wearable. The skirts and coats in particular were favourites, but everything about this show was true to Vibskov while lightly picking up on seasonal colour and cut trends. See our full coverage of the show here.
Photo: Frederk Kastrupsen
Photo: Frederik Kastrupsen
The Copenhagen Fashion Festival
The Copenhagen Fashion Festival keeps getting better and better. This year's was the most well-organized we've been to and had the best events we’ve seen so far. Not only were there glamorous events to attend during Fashion's Night Out, there were a great deal of fashion-industry-made-accessible talks and exhibits. It was all free and easy-to-find with their excellent website and app. Great job, Danish Fashion Institute!
Photo: Freya McOmish for Scandinavia Standard
Photo: Freya McOmish for Scandinavia Standard
VIA University College Teko Graduate Show
We love supporting emerging designers! The Graduate show consisted of 12 designers with three pieces each – just enough to get a sense of their aesthetic and skill. We’re looking forward to seeing where these fashion designers go next. See our full coverage of the show here.
Photo: Freya McOmish for Scandinavia Standard
Photo: Freya McOmish for Scandinavia Standard
Getting to go backstage
When you’re not coming from a fashion background, the fashion industry can seem like a scary, beautiful mystery. We’re lucky that we get the chance to not only learn about Copenhagen’s fashion scene through interviews and profiles, but also through behind-the-scenes coverage of runway shows. Seeing the mechanics of the industry is a huge step in understanding what’s going on.
Photo: Freya McOmish for Scandinavia Standard
Photo: Freya McOmish for Scandinavia Standard
Copenhagen International Fashion Fair (CIFF)
We’ve tried to get out to CIFF at Bella Center at least once per fashion week, but in the past we haven’t been impressed with the layout (so much to see, so little time). This season it seemed that the space had changed significantly – for the better. A better layout means we get to see more brands in less time, something that during the fast-paced week we so desperately needed! 
See coverage of runway shows, behind the scenes footage and more at Scandinavia Standard
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.

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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