Milan? Paris? London? No, Copenhagen is flying the fashion flag for Europe. One of the continent’s leading countries as far as architecture and interior design go, since 2005 Denmark has been doing its best to hurtle ahead of its neighbours in the fashion stakes too.
The quality and achievements of Danish designers is so great so that next month sees the first inaugural Copenhagen Design Week (CDW) taking place, from August 27th to September 6th. CDW will celebrate and bring together designers from all disciplines in Copenhagen.
As a prelude to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, which will be held later in the year, the theme for CDW will be sustainable design.
One of the brightest stars on the city’s fashion scene is Malene Birger, whose label By Malene Birger is now a firm favourite with fashion editors around the world. The Danish designer won our hearts with her Spring/Summer 09 collection, incorporating a 1950s shape and silhouette combined with fiercely controlled volume and splashes of vibrant colour. The 1950 are not the only decade favoured by Birger, there is a sexy 1970s appeal present in her current collection, with a tailored twist that Bianca Jagger would be proud of. In 2006 Malene Birger opened a flagship store in the heart of Copenhagen on 10, Antonigade. In addition, she has her own boutique in Illum, the central department store on the city’s main shopping thoroughfare.
Another brand featuring Malene Birger is Day Birger Et Mikkelsen, who in 2006 opened a new, large concept store on 16, Pilestræde.
A lesser know, but equally fashion fabulous Danish designer is Jørgen Simonsen who is behind the label Annhagen. A mix of underground and exclusive couture, Annhagen was founded in 2004 following Simonsen’s internship with Galliano in the mid 1990s and stints at big fashion names, Givenchy, Chanel and Versace.
Baum und Pferdgarte is a label combining classic looks with asymmetrical and innovative cuts. Rikke Baumgarten and Helle Hestehave started Baum und Pferdgarten in 1999 and their pieces are sold not only in Copenhagen, but in boutiques around the world.As one of the most fashion forward cities in Europe, it comes as no surprise that its vintage shops are amazing too. Great for antiques, eighties wear and eras gone by is the Latin Quarter.
The first stop is Décor: A goldmine of vintage pieces dating back to the 19th Century, Décor celebrates its 20th birthday this year and is favoured by vintage lovers, designers and stylists alike.
Other hidden vintage gems include København K, tucked back from the road on Studiestræde and filled with rails for him and her. Kitsch Bitch, on Læderstræde, sells 1960s homeware items as well as vintage clothes, while FN92, a basement shop just off Copenhagen’s main pedestrian street, Strøget, stocks beautiful retro dresses.
If you are exploring the designers of Copenhagen, rest your head at the stylish Hotel Alexandra, where each room is dedicated to a different Danish architect or designer, Including some of the world’s most famous creatives such as, Nanna Ditzel, Grete Jalk and Arne Jacobson. Furthermore, Hotel Alexandra has gained The Green Key, an environmental certificate awarded to hotels that pay special attention to the environment.
Getting to Copenhagen: Fly SAS fly to Copenhagen Airport from all major European Airports, visit www.flysas.com or call +45 3232 6800.