Over the course of my fashion career, I’ve felt every which way about what’s happening on the runway: inspired, shocked, intrigued, and even indifferent. But I’ve found that the most enjoyable reaction I can have to any new collection is a deep and true yearning to shop. At the end of the day, I’d describe myself as more of a style fan girl than a capital F Fashion person, so seeing pieces that make me reconsider the way I’m getting dressed never fails to thrill me. And this past week, Copenhagen Spring/Summer 2023 trends (not to mention the street style) definitely found that sweet spot.
For starters, no one does easy, breezy minimalism quite like Nordic designers: Their take is beautifully simple — not stark — yet still a bit playful. Basically, it feels perfect for anyone who wants to look like they have an idyllic country getaway to escape to on the weekend, without any on-the-nose “cottagecore” or “coastal grandma” vibes.
Copenhagen Fashion Week has a reputation for serving up fresh ways to approach this aesthetic every six months, and this season did not disappoint, from Skall Studio’s crisp eyelet detail shirting and artfully crinkled linen pieces to the line-up at Lovechild 1979, which placed heavy focus on relaxed cream and khaki separates with the occasional floral print or cornflower blue moment thrown in.
That said, while CPHFW’s signature effortless Scandi girl — she of linen suits and flowing poplin dresses — was certainly thriving and present at this season’s shows, so was a new, more daring fashion personality worth exploring. This lady wears high slit skirts and sultry cut-outs (see Jade Cropper) and bikini tops with her dangerously low slung jeans (check out (d)ivision). And if her knit dress — an artfully shredded one, of course — happens to be totally see-through? She’s confident enough, thanks to brands like A.Roege Hove, to go braless.
Meanwhile, all manner of Y2K redux continued to make its way to the catwalk. Admittedly, I’ve been dubious about revisiting trends I attribute to high school and college, but there was enough interesting variations on the theme these past few days to make me reconsider my stance. What struck me most about these (many, many) hot aughts moments was that I’ve been seeing glimmers of this comeback for years — a Baguette-esque handbag here, a capri pant there — but right now really seems to be fashion’s proverbial tipping point/vibe shift/whatever you want to call it from the covered-up prairie chic to sassy, sultry party mania. I’m intrigued and excited to see how this continues to play out as we move into NYFW (and fashion month in general) in a few short weeks.
Within these larger themes, of course, were plenty of fun trends to try galore. Here, I compiled seven worth having on your radar.
Acid green is kind of one of those colors you need to commit to, and commit brands did. From Stine Goya to Baum and Pferdgarten to Gestuz to Samsøe Samsøe, labels opted to create entire eye-popping looks around the shade, deviating only for sleek, contrasting shoes. Should the hue feel intimidating, take note: because it is such a bold choice, you don’t need to do much more than pick a silhouette (or silhouettes) that best suits you.
Will this be the season that designers finally take dresses over pants mainstream? (It’s definitely been percolating in the street style scene.) If Scandi-based creatives have their way, for sure. If you’d like to give the combination a go, aim for a wide leg pant and a straight cut dress without any volume — this is a lot of fabric to begin with, so a loose cut can easily make it overwhelming. Or, better yet: opt for a set that does all the work for you. Looks like next spring Aeron, Samsøe Samsøe, and Lovechild 1979 will have some great ones.
Following a good several seasons of buzzy about bubblegum pop ‘00s dressing, this CPHFW introduced a more subversive spin on the era — think more Christina Aguilera in lace-up flares and Coyote Ugly girls dancing on a bar than Paris Hilton in her rhinestone-studded juicy suits. And while this version of Hot Aughts dressing still focuses on micro minis and bodycon silhouettes, the central details are grungier: Envision moody color schemes and lots of leather (or, if you prefer, pleather).
Regina George Redux
Apologies for two early 2000s references in a row, but as someone who came of age in the time of TRL and Razor flip phones, I can attest: The styles back then were more nuanced and varied than just denim minis and going out tops. To wit, I was delighted to see a most approachable version of noughtie fashion making a comeback, particularly at Ganni and OpéraSPORT. Their myriad flared jeans, cropped knits, bubblehem skirts — essentially turn-of-the-21st-century mall girl clothes — are poised to be the new brunch-goer basics of 2023.
See-through, well, everything has been having a moment all summer. And if the shows in Copenhagen are a bellwether for the month ahead, the look is is here to stay. Over at A.Roege Hove and (d)ivision, the models wore their sheer numbers with nothing underneath, but should you be attached to your undergarments (me, that is me!), consider layering in a cropped tank and full-coverage underwear à la Soulland.
... and pinks, and beiges! Really, denim appeared in nearly every possible color this week (even an electric green cheetah jean skirt at Baum und Pferdgarten) with the unifying theme being a move from clean finishes toward edgier elements. A few worth noting: sandblasted treatments (Ganni and Munthe), distressed details (Gestuz and (d)ivision), and acid washes (Jade Cropper and Sunflower).
Don’t Neglect The Neck
The easiest way to look like a Copenhagen cool girl right now? Simply highlight your collarbone area with anything that’s not a necklace. Consider an oversize rosette, as seen all over the Gestuz catwalk, or a skinny scarf — which, after nearly two decades on hiatus, seems poised for a triumphant return.