fashion design [lecture 4]

feb 17 2009

[guest lecturer: Marie Riegels Melchior, Ph.D., cand. mag. i etnologi, Danmarks Design School]

eagerly scrolling through copenhagen cycle chic and copenhagen street style before arriving in denmark in january, i was struck by the effortlessly modish, casual vogue-ness of it all.  even now, when biking and walking along the streets, i mentally give an impressed nod to every high-heeled, jumper-miniskirt-scarf ensembled female i see.

credits to copenhagen cycle chic

credits to copenhagen cycle chic

what IS it about danish fashion?

[compiled from conversations with various american classmates/fashionistas throughout the course of the semester]

— outerwear is ALWAYS tailored [i have yet to see a boring peacoat (boring = American Eagle, Victoria’s Secret) without some sort of shape-flattering pleats or special coattails]

— emphasis on clean, straight lines, but not in the frumpy business-suit kind of way [i can’t even remember if i have ever seen a danish woman wearing a real business suit].  clean lines meaning the perfect blend of tailoredness + flowiness.

— never skin-tight on the upper half of the body – usually a loose (but tailored!) and flattering day dress, smock, or tunic, paired with leggings (now this part must be form-fitting), and ankle boots.

— baggy pants on men = obvi no-no.  should highlight a pencil figure.  must hit at about 3 cm below the hips, in a preferably bright primary color or fascinating wash.

— accessories are minimal.  keep it clean and natural, not jangly and trashy.

— BUT when in a schlupp, always scarf it up. [the more earthy the material, the better. this also applies to men]

— a simple braid or hairbow can go a long way.

— i have also noticed that a glamorous fashion industry is not always indicative of a fashionable populous.  [for instance, i would say the average Niels or Sophie walking down Stroget in copenhagen is much more put-together than the their counterparts in paris, barcelona, or even milan.  speaking from a potentially ignorantly generalizing perspective, it seems to me that the more south in europe i go, i find that streetwear becomes a little more overtly designer-glam, and a little more fat-hugging…]

after visiting the Kunstindustrimuseet (Danish Museum of Art and Design), i was inspired by the pieces of knitwear designer Iben Hoj.  here are some collages that i did, taking muses from iben hoj’s style, copenhagen fashion week, some danish magazines, and my interpretation of danish fashion in general.




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