“Danish design is innovative yet very practical and wearable. You should be able to wear it and go anywhere on a bike,” explains Anne Sofie Madsen, one of Copenhagen’s most compelling talents. Madsen’s diaphanous, conceptual designs would make a striking sight scooting around city streets, but her garments’ graceful fit and realistic material make them viable for everyday wear, while her patterns and details are unconventional and daring. Her first full catwalk show last week during Copenhagen Fashion Week featured slinky calf-length second-skin dresses adorned with designs from Hayao Miyazaki’s 1997 animated film, Princess Mononoke.
Madsen, who only graduated from Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design in 2010, did stints in the studios of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, and also produces haunting Gothic illustrations which have featured in magazines and exhibitions. But she decided to base her collection around Miyazaki’s unnerving work because “Mononoke is a general term in Japanese for spirit or monster. The duality is expressed in the contrast between the etherial and solid garments in the collection. Techniques and fabrics from classic European ballet costumes meets craftsmanship and silhouettes from the late Muromachi period of Japan and unveils a world of the contradictory and the complimentary. It is as a meeting between a mechanical ballerina and a graceful samurai.”