9 Runway Standouts from Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring 2023

A mix of familiar names and emerging designers.

Words by Lauren Caruso

Getty Images

Though the first Copenhagen Fashion Week was staged in 2006, it only recently became known as the destination for emerging brands to showcase their visions. The Scandinavian fashion capital has served as an incubator for brands like Saks PottsGanniCecilie Bahnsen, and Rotate—and has steadily pumped out the kind of creativity and innovation that first caught our collective eye.

The brands to know from Copenhagen Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer 2023 season are a mix of familiar names and newer labels. Sculptural knitwear brand A. Roege Hove was one of the buzziest names this week, while familiar mainstays like Stine Goya and Baum und Pferdgarten drew attention for their consistent surprises and delights. Get acquainted with nine brands at the center of Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2023 ahead.

A. Roege Hove

James Cochrane

Traditional knitwear is hardly structured, sculptural, or edgy. Conceptual knitwear brand A. Roege Hove isn’t traditional. The brainchild of Cecilie Bahnsen alum Amalie Røge Hove, the eponymous label is in its eighth season and still doing what it does best but with a welcome twist. Sensual, slinky, almost-erotic separates crafted from billowing or crinkled Italian cotton and German monofilament—one long continuous fiber—are brought to life when they come off the hanger and onto the body, challenging our perception of shape and design.
Several pieces in the collection, which is made exclusively on domestic knitting machines in Copenhagen, are created without leaving the machine. Others took three craftspeople almost an entire month to construct. The result? Fashion as art in its truest, most transparent form. Standouts from A. Roege Hove’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection, which was presented in Copenhagen’s towering Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center, include a collared, cropped shrug paired with an asymmetrical skirt worn low on the waist, as well as a colorblocked mockneck dress that fans at the décolletage. It’s just one of those brands you have to see to believe. (And believe you will.)

Anais Midi Skirt

Ara Long Rollneck Dress

Gestuz

James Cochrane

Ever-the-mood-boost, Gestuz’s joyful Spring 2023 collection housed almost all of the week’s major trends: rosette necklaces, exposed thong straps, and loose-fitting pants unzipped to the waistband, this time in a cargo format. Even more of-the-moment is that Gestuz adopted the traditionally NYFW-only trend of See Now, Buy Now, a surprising element for such a sustainable city.

The brand, founded in 2008 by Sanne Sehested, brought the energy on the morning of day one—something that translated off the runway and into the clothing. While some pieces felt reminiscent of seasons past—a puff-sleeve denim dress with puckering at the waist, spacious cropped bombers, an oversized blazer-and-slip-skirt combo—others felt exceedingly new in the flaming orange, bright lime green, and cyan blue, especially in a city that favors minimalism. Inspired by the glamour of the ‘90s club scene, Gestuz is for the woman who wants to be noticed.

Clarissa GZ Strikvest

CandaceGZ Jeans

Aeron

James Cochrane

Founded in 2012 in Budapest by Eszter Áron, Aeron’s inaugural CPHFW show was an effort to cement its status as a top responsible luxury knitwear brand—and it succeeded. The brand focused on its core tenets: smart, unfussy knits in neutrals with details so subtle that only the wearer might fully appreciate them; a crew-neckline that’s just a touch wider than the traditional cut for added comfort; a button-front slip dress in black viscose that hugs without clinging; and soft-ribbed knit separates with just enough give and take that they may be worn atop each other. Aeron’s cult-favorite cut-out fringe also found its way into maxi dress form—a piece that’s poised to become next season’s best-seller.

Made from materials like ultralight biodegradable cupro, organic cotton, and FSC-certified Ecovero Viscose, each piece looks both effortless to wear and effortless to maintain. In addition to its typical muted color palette, Aeron introduced mood-boosting, neutral-adjacent shades like Baker-Miller pink, which the brand noted is proven to lower anxiety, as well as sage and butter yellow.

The brand’s signature bubble A-motif buckles, rivets, and buttons adorned much of the collection, and when they were missing, a yellow brass necklace or earring from its first-ever jewelry capsule collection took its place.

If Aeron feels slightly reminiscent of likewise Budapest-born brand Nanushka, it’s not by accident: They’re owned by the same parent company. By the end of the 27-look collection, one thing was certain: You can find every staple a modern woman would need for a breezy, traveled summer in it.

Vivier Ribbed Cut-Out Long Dress

Mercedes Single-Breasted Blazer

Baum und Pferdgarten

James Cochrane

With much fanfare, Baum und Pferdgarten’s collection was presented just outside its flagship Vognmagergade Street store, which also holds its offices. Known for playful prints, ultra-feminine silhouettes with masculine subtleties, and, more recently, its best-selling dresses in tactile materials, the brand’s Spring 2023 collection was a slight departure from the countryside-ready Baum und Pferdgarten we’ve come to know, but it’s a welcome evolution. An ‘80s-forward purple leather bomber jacket was worn opened over a cerulean blue blazer with a contrasting black button; a printed citrine skirt suit was styled with lace-up heels. The colorblocking felt new and unexpected for both the brand and the city.

There were also a few flowing, must-have pieces for the brand loyalist: a crisp salmon button-down with matching underwear that were meant to be revealed; a striped pants set layered underneath a matching ruched dress and a denim corset, and a dress-over-pants look in an abstract printed floral that felt core to the label’s DNA.

Sierra Skirt

Camryn Sweater

Ganni

James Cochrane

Likely the most widely recognized brand to come out of Copenhagen in recent years, Ganni’s known for a good time. This season was no different. The brand, run by husband-and-wife team Nicolaj and Ditte Reffstrup, presented its “Joyride” Spring 2023 collection at sunset at the Ofelia Plads, the open-air harbor front that overlooks the Danish Opera House and the Royal Palace. It was complete with all the brand’s fan-favorites: denim separates modernized with wider fits, babydoll dresses in bright hues, sporty silhouettes in leopard print.

But this season, Ganni welcomed moody twists with tailored evening wear—the finale look was a trend-forward chainlink-style silver mesh dress, worn with an open blazer and high-waisted underwear.

“We called the collection Joyride because really, it’s about Copenhagen being the place where our heart is,” Ditte Reffstrup wrote on Instagram. “There’s a feeling about being in the city in summertime that I can’t quite explain, the energy is pulsing, it really gets your beat going.”

This collection included Ganni’s third collaboration with sustainable Icelandic heritage brand 66°NORTH, known for making clothing for extreme weather out of used fabric rolls and recycled materials. In more eco-conscious innovation, other apparel styles were made from a breakthrough textile waste regeneration technology, Infinna, while some footwear used Vegea, a material made of grape skins leftover from wine production.

Retro Mules

Knee-Length Poplin Dress

The Garment

James Cochrane

Since its inception in 2020, The Garment founders Sophia Roe and Charlotte Eskildsen were both bigger than the brand—but this season, the label has finally caught up. The ‘90s-inspired collection banked on the timelessness and sensuality of the decade, what with its slinky halter silk-slip dresses, low-slung fringe miniskirts with matching bra-tops, and Wall Street trousers balanced out by the demure femininity of ballet flats, supplied by Agusta the Brand and Mansur Gavriel. It won big: Every chic, elevated piece felt suspiciously like it already belonged in the closet of a chic Scandi woman-about-town, which is kind of the entire point.

Toulouse Dress

Davos Blazer

Skall Studio

James Cochrane

Presented on the sun-drenched terrance of the Copenhagen Botanical Gardens’ Palm House, Skall Studio’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection was sunny, optimistic, and breezy—no doubt lead by its hero piece, the signature nightgown, a misnomer for the flowy, bohemian housedress that put the brand on the map. Other standouts from this season, which showed its Indian influences now that founders Julie and Marie Skall have spent the better part of the decade there, include functional outerwear in the form of a parka with detachable sleeves and open-weave linen dresses in various lengths.

Most pieces, almost exclusively shown in a neutral palette, were accessorized with a woven bag with the brand’s signature shell motif. The brand gave parting gifts of Mauli thread, which is known in Hinduism as a positive force.

Bobby Coat

Paula Straw Bag

ROTATE

James Cochrane

ROTATE has been the event’s closer for a few seasons now, and it always makes a point to end the week on a high note. Designed for the woman who’s ready to party—and never misses an opportunity to be the life of it—ROTATE’s Spring 2023 lineup featured high-glam dresses with crystal embellishments, slinky satin miniskirts, and sheer maxis made to show off underthings (or nothing at all). Creative directors Thora Valdimarsdottir and Jeanette Madsen said they were inspired by the power duo—and even though models walked on their own, the cast of influential models came together for one last dance in a cadre of party-goers in various red latex designs. ROTATE may not be rewriting the rules of dressing for a night out, but it’s making the dress code that much more chic.

Plus, in a new step for the brand, ROTATE released an NFT and an AR try-on filter available via Snapchat for its its much-loved high-necked Theresa dress, allowing users to try on outfits straight off the runway.

Malena Dress Red Print

Adia Skirt Pink

Stine Goya

James Cochrane

When showgoers entered the Stine Goya venue to see half a dozen muddy brown pillars of sand in the middle of the runway, some thought it might be a nod to the Danish desire to be close to the Earth. Others opined that it was about building something from the ground-up. One responded, loud enough for the entire bench to hear, “It’s probably not that deep.”

But when the pillars collapsed one by one to reveal powdery pink dust as the models marched down the runway, it was hard not to assign at least some meaning to it all. While it could have been a kitschy distraction from the clothes, it provided a powerful message that felt exponentially greater as a backdrop to a new collection. The opening citrine yellow silk maxi dress, complete with futuristic sunglasses, felt particularly modern and sophisticated, especially when compared to the second look—a shiny bomber jacket with a matching oversized cargo pant. The elegant, more party-ready dresses continued to juxtapose tougher, combat-ready looks, a point that designer Stine Goya tried to drive home. And while Goya’s self-designed prints were a high point, the tailoring was the thing to pay attention to.

“This season, the most powerful messages are found in the softest whispers,” the brand said in a release. “SS23’s inspiration calls upon the ferocious women of the ceiling-shattering riot grrrl movement, an avant-garde collective of feminist pioneers who fought female gender norms with raucous music and hard-hitting zine manifestos from the early 1990s.”

Amara Cardigan

Andy Pants – Abstract Floral

 

– – – – – –

This article originally appeared in harpersbazaar.com