Cecilie Bahnsen is Copenhagen Fashion Week's singular darling. Sure, there's Ganni (which commands a different, more fervent energy) and sure, she shows right smack in the middle of the calendar (most heavy hitters prefer to close out the week), but Bahnsen has managed to become one of Fashion Month's biggest tickets. After her latest showing, it's not hard to see why: Cecilie Bahnsen's Fall/Winter 2020 collection proved that she's not just a one-trick pony.
Of course, if you just watched the highlight reel, one could argue that it's more of the same — and at times, it was: There were more billowy, sacrament-adjacent dresses in the whites and blacks we've come to love her for. There were also more romantic puff-sleeves and spaghetti-strap bows and enough smocked silk-organza to fill a small stadium.
But this time, she also solved her customer's biggest problem: What does one wear over such a voluminous, ephemeral dress? Covering it with a puffer would be a sin. The answer, it turns out, is two-fold: You can choose one of her quilted cape-like jackets, complete with a doily hem. Or, you can pick raincoat — a collaboration with the heritage brand Mackintosh — worn open, with sleeves wide enough to fit over your puffed shoulders.
"It’s about building up the looks, taking it from being just dresses and to be more of a wardrobe," Bahnsen told TZR backstage after the show. "They build on the same heritage. They enhance the same sculpture and lightness and crispness of the dresses, so it just made sense for us."
Fall/Winter 2020 also saw Bahnsen's first true foray into knitwear, which came in the form of sweater vests, gauzy maxi dresses, quilted knee-length shorts, and a couple of sheer mock necks in a mix of neutrals, which this time included deep brown and baby blue. (If you've never thought of baby blue as a neutral, Bahnsen will convince you.)
In addition to tapping artist Martina Hoogland-Ivanow — whose landscape photo of northern Russia was projected on a backdrop that opened the show — for inspiration this season, Bahnsen looked to her hometown, too.
“We looked at a lot of the Nordic landscapes, the colors that surround us," Bahnsen said. "That blue and brown ... felt felt really right and were what I wanted to wear while making the collection. I thought the Lurex was super interesting," she says of the pieces that had a slight sheen, especially while moving. "It had a lightness and a flickering of something unexpected."
And about the dresses — the ones that you've seen all over Instagram and likely spawned a thousand fast-fashion copycats? She's flattered and all, but she's not here for it.
"I wanted my collection to be timeless and beautiful, and the message for me is about creating a dress that a woman will wear and then give to her daughter," she says with a smile. "We all put a lot of love into every piece we create."