7 Fashion Brands Share Learnings from a 100% Digital Fashion Week
Seven Delogue customers share the inspiration behind the Autumn/Winter collection featured at Copenhagen Fashion Week early this February. They discuss learnings from a season based on digitalization and doing things remotely.
Locked inside our homes attending Copenhagen Fashion Week from the comfort of our own sofa, the sci-fi movies of the mid-80s seem more premonitory than we would like. And looking at Delogue customers’ contribution to Copenhagen Fashion Week, this seems to be a shared feeling. As brands use futuristic tools such as AI and CGI to bring us closer to their vision, they play with the idea of spacesuits and reflective fabric, mirroring the dystopian future we started living abruptly.
House of Dagmar
Winners of the 2020 Zalando Sustainability Award, sisters Karin Söderlind, Kristina Tjäder, and Sofia Wallenstam push the vintage futuristic narrative using 80s power suits and oversized coats. Inspired by the world of interior design and the timeless yet modern aesthetic achieved in furniture and home decor, House of Dagmar is again trying to create a classic collection to stand the test of times and the allure of waste.
We realize that when you buy things for your home you don’t change every season: it’s a long-lasting design that still feels modern, explains Wallenstam.
After missing last Copenhagen Fashion Week, Söderlind voices her longing for the human connections the event used to be synonym with: “We really believed that Copenhagen Fashion Week was going to be live this time and we were looking forward to meeting people, but unfortunately it was not the case.” Instead, the House of Dagmar Fashion Week video was produced using Augmented Reality.
“It’s a new way for us to do a production, quite sustainable because no one was really travelling, only our collection. We did it in a virtual way, but still in Copenhagen, because we love the city,” remarks Söderlind. “We found some nice locations and we had a photo team shooting for us, and then we had the photo team in London with the model. These two productions were merged together.”
The result is a Tilda Swinton-esque model seamlessly jumping through different Copenhagen scenarios, like a ghost haunting a now deserted city. The harsh lighting paired with 80s synth gives the collection a modern twist, and the Autumn/Winter 21 pieces seem to slip through the cracks of time to achieve the coveted timeless status.
Stepping away from their signature matt PU, Rains introduces shiny fabrics and ice white in their alien and apocalyptic-like fashion show. The use of harnesses and caged details are a symbol of a restricted life we’ve been living for too long.
Tanne Krogh Vinter, Rains Head of Design, calls the puffy jackets “protective shields” and reiterates that Rains is, after all, a technical brand driven by comfort and practicality over style. However, the loose silhouettes and industrial colors indicate a longing for finding fashion and creativity even in the most mundane elements of our lives.
The show is an escapist dream, depicting the strapped-up models inching towards a mysterious force before deciding to walk back and strut the smoke-filled spaceship runway. The film was pre-recorded a couple of weeks in advance, something unusual for Fashion Week. “You don’t get the same atmosphere as being in a show I suppose, but we’re still very excited,” comments Vinter. However, Rains takes full advantage of the infinite possibilities of showcasing the collection on film:
We wanted to create a more cinematic buildup for the show, and to reflect the storyline.
As the music fades away, the models leave. We are left with the recommendation to bundle up and dress for the war while knowing that, eventually, everything is going to be okay.
DAY Birger et Mikkelsen
The DAY Birger et Mikkelsen new collection title ‘It’s a new Day’, has the double meaning of trying to send the brand into a more modern aesthetic while hinting at the feeling of change and renewal everyone is longing for.
Marking Christina Exsteen’s debut for DAY Birger et Mikkelsen, a brand she joined only in March 2020, the collection focuses on revisited outerwear, trench coats, and working woman bags, holding on to the Scandinavian aesthetic without sacrificing practicality. Exsteen explains:
We didn’t want to compromise between being a woman and being chic and smart.
The fall collection pieces are worn by women dressed to party, conquer, and stay warm. They strut the streets of a dystopian Copenhagen that transitions smoothly from day to night, just like the pieces in the collection. The different women passing each other without acknowledging represents the multiplicity of women DAY wants to dress.
Exsteen is proud and excited about the new direction of the brand. “Due to the lockdown we’re all in the studio celebrating, with face masks of course,” she says with a smile.
Remain Autumn / Winter 2021 collection is inspired by lockdown walks, as disclosed by Denise Christensen, creative director and CEO. The idea is to be a tourist in your own city, and for the brand, to bring back signature elements while adding a fresh twist, like prints and tie-dye. The collection showcases a space cowboy aesthetic, pairing cowboy boots with shiny leather and earth tones with pops of pink. With strategically placed cutouts and Remain’s signature elastic bands, even workwear jumpsuits are made to look sexy.
The show takes place in an empty warehouse full of inflatables, a homage to the confusing overblown reality we are left with. The model is confidently prancing in the made-up city, but you can’t help but wonder if she too feels this sense of imposed fake normality.
Under the excitement of rediscovering the pleasure in the little things, Christensen shares that she can’t wait for life to go back to normal.
One of the biggest learnings of doing a digital show is that I would have always preferred to do it physically. I really miss the energy, the buzz, the excitement. Reconnecting with the community, all the social kissing and hugging. We’re really missing that. I’m really missing that.
What happened to the party girls? A burning question somewhat answered by Rotate 2021 show. From nightly shots and spins, they are now forced to stay at home and trade their heels for fuzzy slippers. However, Jeanette Madsen and Thora Valdimarsdottir, creative directors of Rotate, show that the party girl might lose her fur coat, but not the vice. Therefore, the natural evolution of a brand born to dress the women coming home at 7 am with sore feet is to make party wear comfortable.
Rotate makes clothes for a 70s flower child stuck in an 80s disco club. Animalier prints, sparkly dresses, and flowery coats create a colorful cocktail that would get the most convinced couch potato excited to go clubbing again.
In the fashion video, influencer and CEO Jeanette Madsen dances alone in front of a scaffolding version of Rotate to a voice track asking us to choose “the glamorous or the barefooted girl, or both.” At the end of the day, they are all sitting at home on a Friday night, wearing comfortable, but shiny, Rotate.
Brigitte Raben, creative director of Rabens Saloner, affirms that the Autumn/Winter collection they presented at Copenhagen Fashion Week is all about duality. Olive green and cream silk flow into combat boots and floor-length sweaters. The masculine and the feminine are amplified, while everything is pink and and puffed, including the gloves and neck warmers. The collection presents balaclava shirts, a product of the weird times we are living, hand dyed to align with Raben’s interest in artistry and craftsmanship.
The fashion video juxtaposes a rugged environment to pastel-colored flowy dresses. The live band creates a pulsing atmosphere. “We work with artists, we work with people that do things by hand,” explains Raben.
When asked about the pandemic impact on the brand’s way of working, the creative director says that it’s been a big change, but not necessarily a bad one. “Normally we travel quite a lot, but this time we’ve created the collection apart but still together,” says Raben. “It will change the way we work in the future.”
By Malene Birger
By Malene Birger Head of Design Maja Dixdotter is a strong woman, and so are the ones she aims to dress. The Fall 2021 collection presents white long lines and clean silhouettes. Red pops of colors steal the show while androgynous looks exalt the feminine focus of the collection. Rain boots are paired with oversized suits and warm sweater dresses, showing that the Malene Birger woman is not only fashionable but practical.
The fashion video is an array of ladies that know what they are doing and what they want. As they walk around an all-white set, the models exude confidence and femininity.
Dixdotter explains that she wanted “a collection that would be substantial even from a distance,” and that the unprecedented times inspired the bold accents and soft and comfortable fits. Dixdotter shares her learning from her first, all-digital collection. “Inspiration wise it worked because we had to look into smaller things, but it’s been very challenging.” However, she recognizes the good things that came out of it too:
Every brand had to dig deeper in their DNA, and find out who we are and who we should be to be able to survive the pandemic. It also pushed us in the way of thinking for sustainability even more, that was also something good that came out of it.
Read more: Why Copenhagen is the Most Sustainable Fashion Week Ever