Mushrooms, Emma Chamberlain, Hello Kitty: Inside Copenhagen Fashion Week

Mushrooms, Emma Chamberlain, Hello Kitty: Inside Copenhagen Fashion Week

With a new emerging talent incubator, a Nordic vibe shift happening and brands from all over making their Copenhagen Fashion Week debut, this season's schedule was a melting pot of new ideas and different perspectives.

The proceedings kicked off with an announcement of a partnership between CPHFW and Ukrainian Fashion Week, welcoming Ukrainian labels COAT and TG Botanical as part of the week's event and presentation schedule. 

The rest of the three days were filled with glorious weather (locals crowded the piers for a swim), infinite bicycles, a few VIP cameos and a wide variety of Danish talent on display. Coincidentally, Copenhagen's Pride Week kicked off the weekend after Fashion Week.

Below, a recap of the biggest highlights and takeaways from Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring 2023.

Ganni, Emma Chamberlain and BMX 

Photos courtesy of Ganni

Emma Chamberlain's sole Fashion Week stop was the Ganni show (she's the face of the brand's new Ganni campaign), where she and her dad sat front row and later took selfies with fans and hopped on a boat with other VIPs to the afterparty. The show was a BMX-style runway with models driving bikes and rollerskating down the pier for the finale.

“My best ideas come to me in the morning," creative director Ditte Reffstrup said. "I put my headphones on, turn the music up super loud, get on my bike and cycle to work. Those 15 minutes are completely mine to treasure. My mind is open and my thoughts just flow. This collection is really about that feeling. We called it Joyride because it’s about Copenhagen being the place where our heart is."

Helmstedt's Toadstool Queen

Emilie Helmstedt created yet another playful, childlike universe for her show on the final day of CPHFW, with mushroom motifs, giant snails and colorful beetles sitting amongst the splendor of the Royal Danish Hall. A three-tiered toadstool queen emerged toward the finale in the most literal interpretation of the collection. Safe to say everyone wants to have what they're having!

Soulland's Spring Devils

The second act of the collection he showed in Florence for Pitti Uomo, Soulland's Spring 2023 collection featured some surprising critters: Spring Devils, designer Silas Adler's take on accessories which included bags in the shape of monkeys and imps. There was also collaborations with Li-Ning, Hello Kitty and Ace & Tate.

“For this season, we have broken down the lines between our menswear and womenswear and tried to build on something new," Adler says. "I have been working on finding a balance between menswear and womenswear for years. I love designing different silhouettes, but I don’t think it’s my job to decide or define who wears what and why. I think it’s time to break down some boundaries. This is a start of something new for us.”

Designer Expats Take Denmark

A small group of brands left their home bases for the season to take part in CPHFW, including Budapest-based label Aeron and many London designers, including Raeburn and Rejina Pyo. Aeron's first standalone show, held at the Fritz Hansen Pavilion in the Danish Design Museum's gardens, focused on its signature A-motif buckles, rivets, and buttons alongside its ZERO collection of core pieces made with zero-waste technology.

Raeburn, another designer who's been focused on responsible design practices for the last 10 years, made his CPHFW debut thanks to his spot as a finalist for this year's Zalando Sustainability Award. His futuristic military-inspired collection drew inspiration from the SR-71 Blackbird, which set a record in 1976 as the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft

Photography: Betty Krag

Finally, Korean-born London-based Rejina Pyo didn't show a collection but rather hosted an intimate dinner at new Korean restaurant and wine bar Propaganda featuring some of the designer's favorite childhood dishes with a Korean menu curated by head chef Youra Kim.

Raf Simons Wants to Decorate Your Home

Courtesy of Kvadrat

Raf Simons and Danish textile company Kvadrat first paired up in 2014, and the designer has since worked with the company's upholstery designs for his namesake label and other collaborative projects. For this season's CPHFW, the two brands announced the launch of lifestyle accessories for the home called The Shaker System.

The new category consists of wool throws and cushions, mirror trays, accessory boxes, storage sleeves and more. “More than ever the home is the absolute centre of our lives and I wanted to create a system that would change it for the better," Simons said. "I am trained as an industrial designer, just putting out beautiful products was not enough. I wanted to conceive something relevant to how we live today.”