Fashion is much more than just exclusive runway shows and never-ending trade fairs: it’s one of the world’s most prevalent cultural forms, a type of art, and a societal praxis that involves everyone from Anna Wintour to your grandma. This can be easy to forget at Copenhagen Fashion Week, which this week is unfolding in the overheated cobbled streets of the Danish capital. Thankfully, we can rely on vanguard boutique owner Sabine Poupinel to expand fashion beyond its own most pragmatic commercialism, as she invites for another chapter of her exhibition project FAN OUT. Featuring leading names in fashion design, research, critique, and curation, FAN OUT acts as a physical discursive space for the duration of fashion week, with an ambitious program of talks, performances, and workshops. “The thinking behind this year program stems from the original idea behind FAN OUT: Creating an alternative space for fashion beyond the shows and trade fairs, that includes more nuances and perspectives on wat fashion is and can be,” the show’s organizer Mette Ohlendorff explains. “Fashion is a field that borders on so many others. At FAN OUT we strive to encapsulate this by also including art, performance, music, talks and much more. This year in particular we notice themes such as sustainability, the environment, sexuality and functionality being explored.” From new performances by Barbara í Gongini to a talk by DANSK editor Jeppe Ugelvig on the relationship between art and fashion, you’re guaranteed a mind-expanding and intellectually invigorating fashion experience – not the most common at fashion week events.
For full program, see FAN OUT
Before all of the world’s high society portraiture was conducted by Annie Leibovitz (no hate, Annie – but it’s time to move over), there were other stellar female photographers who captured the world with elegance and strength. Particularly the infamous Madame D’Ora made her mark on the photographic medium at the very cusp of its emergence, working between Vienna and Paris from the early to the mid 1900s. A new exhibition in Vienna traces the life and work of the pioneering image maker.
The heatwave currently roasting the Nordic region from the inside (see: forest fires in Sweden, agricultural drought in Denmark) is making it hard, very hard to continue to focus. Who wants to think about fashion when all you want is to walk the streets au naturel? OK, we know that in 60% of the world, 29°C is pretty standard during summer time, but you’re talking to people who saw the sun for a total of 4 times last year – at this point, SAD is not a seasonal disorder, it’s a cultural philosophy. We couldn’t be happier about the current tropical climate, so in celebration, we’ve round up some tunes that will match our incessant consumption of rosé for the weeks to come. Now take off that knitted Jil Sander jacket, can’t you see it’s summer!
While most of the world’s civilization is clinging on to their TV screens to catch another round of soccer, tennis, or biking (honestly, what is going on!?), we fashion folks are way busier parsing through the latest couture news from Paris. Following reports from the world’s leading critics, it seems like a promising season for the fashion of all fashion, with bold visions presented at houses like Valentino, Christian Dior, and Iris van Herpen. Across the board were strokes of pure genius, be it with uncompromising pattern cutting, strong conceptualisms, innovative use of technology, or the purest elegance. In an industry more and more frequently critiqued for its dis-concern with quality and craftsmanship, its comforting to see that many houses still haven’t lost interest in haute couture with all its out-of-this-world ambition. Our favorite is, still, John Galliano at Maison Margiela, who since launching the ‘Artisanal’ line has revived a sartorial phantasmagoria not seen since the early days of Galliano himself. Anyway, here are some of our favorite moments, presented in no particular order.
Is a three-day event enough for a city that was once looked at as the most fashion-forward? The epicentre of quirkiness is not only snubbed by international press and buyers any more. Designers regularly disappear from the official schedule: last season, J.W. Anderson, Burberry, and Vivienne Westwood fled the scene, and the event’s committee, chaired by GQ Editor Dylan Jones, seems completely impuissant. How long until the event becomes London Fashion Weekend Men’s? The carnage continued this season as designers Craig Green and Wales Bonner were missing in action. Fortunately, several brands still have faith in the city and deployed all their creative forces to lead off the resistance.
All can acknowledge that clothes speak volumes. They tell you about the past, they comment on the now, they anticipate the future. A good fashion designer send clothes down the runway that say something. Nicolas Ghesquière’s clothes do that. Except, his clothes also catch you off guard. If they could speak, they’d say: “Nicolas is smarter than the rest of you!” or “You weren’t expecting that, were you?” For his cruise 2019 collection, he staged a show at the Fondation Maeght in the south of France, a museum with a remarkable collection of major 20th century artists. The show participated in shutting down rumours about his imminent ousting from Louis Vuitton, which the brand had addressed in a press release confirming his contract renewal.
Between fashion weeks we like to spend some time in the design world – and the biggest event of the year (as we reported last week) is undoubtedly Salone del Mobile. The multi-location main fair, as well as the countless satellite fairs around the city, exhibits work by some of the most talented designers working today, many in partnership with heavyweight names from the worlds of luxury fashion and interior design. Should you have missed the cultural festivities, here are some of the strongest presentations from the week.
Buzzling vibes from the anticipating crowd. A few celebrity spotted front row. An empty catwalk. Lights dim. Music on! 99% of all fashion shows start like this. The modern-day spectacle of the fashion show – a format that have only come of age in the last 50 years and continues to develop by each season – is profoundly shaped by its musical backdrop, with the auditory used as a subtle way to massage the subliminal senses of celebs, buyers, and critics, and enchant them with the uniqueness of your brand. The runway soundtrack became an increasingly wide-spread phenomenon with the mega-shows of the 1980s, championed by the likes of Thierry Mugler in particular, whose 150+ look shows needed quite the musical landscape to keep critics on their tiptoes (and stay awake). In the 1990s, designers like Margiela and Helmut Lang featured tight minimalist soundtracks in their shows, enmeshing fashion more firmly in the club and music scene, and eventually giving rise to the runway DJ, who is commissioned to produced original soundtracks to the 10-minute affair. Today, names like Frédéric Sanchez and Michel Gaubert have made fashion’s hall of fame for their ongoing collaboration with French luxury houses like Louis Vuitton and Chanel, but a younger set of names like NYC figure Honey Dijon have been keeping the fashion world on the dancefloor for several years. Behold some of our favorite soundtracks and soundscapes of the last 10 years, which also, incidentally, also works wonderfully as background music for your office drinks, your showroom, or your morning shower routine.