A 15 Year Old Blogger Challenges Tavi



After seeing Henrik Vibskov’s menswear shows in Paris, I knew I wanted to visit Copenhagen Fashion week. Vibskov is a one-man band, an artist who makes funny, wearable clothes. He’s a Charlie Chaplin for the modern closet and quite possibly Denmark’s biggest fashion export. When an invitation came through Vibskov’s PR, via who-knows-where, I jumped at the opportunity. I can say Copenhagen is full of beautiful, fresh faces hurrying from one show to another on one-speed bikes in the snow. The shows are held in Copenhagen’s city hall, among other 19th Century brick buildings with wooden staircases and stained glass windows.

I spent part of the day with Hector Castro, an American stylist living in London, where he is a contributing editor on the magazine 10, among other things. Of course, our thoughts turned to Alexander McQueen. Castro worked with McQueen several times and recalled the fun he had with Katy England, McQueen’s right hand from the start– and the designer himself–while putting in the countless hours it took to complete those incredible shows. Before the news reached us, Castro had been talking about his next job, styling Viktor & Rolf’s upcoming women’s show in Paris, which he promises is going to be eye-opening. “London is a big town and it can be quite isolating,” said Castro. “So you try to make your home a beautiful place, but once you’re in there, you can find yourself very alone. And I think being a great designer, being at the top of your craft, can be very lonely.” (LEFT: CASTRO)
My first Copenhagen show was Wackerhaus, which won Max Factor’s New Talent Award this season. The young designer, Trine Wackerhausen, launched in 2003 and has become a local favorite. For fall, she mixes satin and sweatshirting for loose jumpsuits ,which are showing up as something of a neo-80s trend. Trine’s collection is stocked at Henrik Vibskov’s Copenhagen shop and on his online V-store, where he mixes other designers he likes along with books, mags, shoes, makeup and skin care of a progressive bent.

After the first show, I had already begun to get an idea of the Danish fashion press. They are, if nothing else, a diverse group. There was a woman in her 80s in the front row at most of the shows who made me think that getting older could be a blessing.  I found out she’s Didder Ronlund, and she’s signing her autobiography at the Illum bookshop tomorrow. I hope to catch up with her today and get the scoop in English on that. And then there’s Nicklas, Denmark’s 15-year-old blogger (No, Tavi, you’re not alone). Nicklas lives on a tiny island and comes to Copenhagen to cover the shows with his mom, who waits up for him at the hotel. His bangs are so sharp he looks like a character in one of  Carl Larsson’s paintings. The blog is in Danish, but you can still get a sense of Nicklas’ ace fashion sense in his personal photos as he experiments with Mickey Mouse ears, inventive T-shirt knotting, and a keen edit of pics from the latest shows.

Next up was Noblesse, a collection in its second season, designed by Brigitte Herskind
where I began to see that the Danish are falling in with the Balmain Vegas-hippie showgirl-does-paratrooper look.  Translation: super structured shoulders, whip lady tailoring, high thigh boots, snake prints, broad shoulders, and a tie-dye pattern on draped satin.
I defy any journalist who to spell bARBARA I gONGINI‘s name correctly. I can’t even locate the accent over the I on this keyboard! gONGINI gave us all a medallion of long black-haired, monkey-like leather on a chain as a present.  I’m wearing mine now. gONGINI’s stated aim is “Nordic conceptualism”  and she produces two collections: I-rEgular and rEgular, to cover basics and more complex pieces, respectively.  The basics are thin T-shirt tunics and tanks over leggings, but then she goes wild with shiny hand knits worked on giant knitting needles to top it off.  This is all worn with holey tights and long pointy-toed men’s lace-ups that look as though they’ve been aged in the Scandi snows. Rei Kawakubo would approve. LOOK 10.
Charlotte Eskildsen is a true Danish Goth. The name of her label, Designer’s Remix Collection, doesn’t prepare you for the dark Morticia Addams’ eveningwear and the strict Wednesday Addams tailoring. The show went from dark to light, from crinkled satin gowns covered with sculptured ruffles that pooled on the floor to crisp tailoring with pagoda shoulders.

When the sun goes down you can really feel the sub-zero Celsius temperatures. But  there was no way of missing the Stine Goya show. Goya, like her pal Vibskov, studied fashion at London’s Saint Martin’s College of Art. She was also a model and has put in stints with Hussein Chalayan, Eley Kishimoto and Jonathan Saunders. Hector Castro loved this collection. He said it was the best thing he’d seen in his two days here. I respect his eye I went back for a second look.  She’s got something.  She worked this surreal Spaghetti Western theme into poncho coats. And then out of the blue came this great dress, a piece of floaty silk covered with a pen and ink drawing of a woman’s face—Bette Midler or Marlene Dietrich?—holding her head back to sing or scream.  This is worn simply with a grey bowler, and it’s great!