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The Brands From Copenhagen Fashion Week That Should Be On Your Radar (Before Everyone Else)

sophia khaled aw24 copenhagen
Standout Brands From Copenhagen Fashion Week AW24Courtesy of Sophia Khaled

Everyone I spoke to during Copenhagen Fashion Week said the same thing about the AW24 show season: there's a shift in the air and a sense of community. As a second-time attendee, admittedly, there was indeed an intimacy and authenticity that permeated the week that I wasn't privy to a year ago. It was there when models were strutting down the rave-adjacent, techno-soundtracked Iwantmasculina runway, with guests cheering so loudly it rivalled the music blaring from the speakers.

Or, when London-based brand Paolina Russo, the first recipient of the Zalando Visionary Award last year, held a dinner post-show with their closest supports huddled in a candle-lit room commemorating the latest collection packed with innovative craftsmanship and impeccable signature knitwear technique.

OpéraSport founders Awa Malina Stelter and Stephanie Gundelach made sure diversity and heart were at the crux of the show held in the iconic Opèra house, selecting women from the creative industry, street cast participants and talent to walk alongside models in pieces which were about functionality and baroque architecture. Suffice it to say, there was a palpable sense of heart all week long, which, despite the climate of the world and industry, left me with a lingering sense of positivity as the week drew to a close.

Now, back to the fashion: Nicklas Skovgaard, the name repeatedly uttered from the lips of editors, opened the week with his sophomore collection at Copenhagen Fashion Week with a voluminous line inspired by the 1980s, and a fundamental muse: his mother. The result? Coiffed locks, drop-waist dresses, bulbous padding decorating hemlines, and exaggerated silhouettes.

Established label Paolina Russo's – created by Paolina Russo and Lucile Guilmard – ingenious show was an innovative showcase of sorts, usurped the traditional runway formula for circular set populated with sculptures emulating standing stones. Models appeared on the circular runway clutching handfuls of balloons reminiscent of ancient drawings, clad in an array of muted and kaleidoscopic hues demonstrated on knitwear sets and floor-skimming, tassel-detailed dresses.

If the above shows weren't exhilarating enough, a throng of emerging labels solidified their one-to-watch status, too.

Sophia Khaled

With fans ranging far and wide – A-listers such as Kiko Mizuhara included – Copenhagen native Khaled is building a reputation for herself, quickly cementing her designs as more than head-turning knitwear, but nuanced and painstakingly crafted.

The designer's debut fashion week show was a lesson in reverie, narrating a story about love, friendships, ghosts and dragons. The 2022 Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize finalist's collection was littered with handmade knitted ponchos emblazoned with mythical beasts and ghouls, glitter leggings, mittens, lace leggings, metallic knit sets and furry pumps, evoking a child-like sense of whimsicality. Models spanned from age 18 to early fifties, symbolising the integral 'Princess' trope within the collection and showcased that Khaled's modern princess can be anyone and of any age.

Stamm

Since launching in 2022, Danish designer Elisabet Stamm has been on a mission to create garments which oscillate between relaxed and upscale, catching the eyes of Burna Boy and French footballer Randal Kolo Muani.

Returning to Copenhagen for her second show, the Zalando sustainable award winner's collection displayed a clear evolution. Printed plush goose-down coats, baggy athleisure and pared-back silhouettes offered real grit and distinctiveness which set Stamm apart from its counterparts during the week. Styling was approached cleverly with stockings stretched over trainers, and bedding and hoods served multi-purpose functions.

Alectra Rothschild/ Masculina

A year ago, Alectra Rothschild staged her own funeral in a fashion film entitled RIP Masculina. Not to be outdone by, well, herself, the creative's AW24 show was equally as exhilarating, with a markedly sensual take this season. Rothschild's first on-schedule show was a talking point long after the DJ playing spinning techno music soundtracking the show came to a halt.

Titled Rebirth the collection was unabashedly seductive, with PVC, pubic hair and cut-outs revealing wide expanses of flesh across buttocks', while swimsuits that left little to the imagination, chaps intermixed with leather and denim and front zips, a halter-neck dress barely covering the flesh leaving a train in its wake, and fringed jumpsuits and micro skirts, were additional standouts. It was an ode to the community Rothschild holds dear. Casting was expansive, with trans models populating the catwalk and performance taking centre-stage with glamour, liberation, unrestrained self-expression and, of course, celebration exuding from the line.

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