why are we all still slaves to scandi style


Running through the cold and rainy streets of Copenhagen this week for the Danish capital’s fashion week fall/winter 2023 edition, I was reminded of why Scandinavian fashion has such an enduring hold on our wardrobes.

Certainly Nordic women—all glowing skin, minimal makeup, and wild beachy locks—are very beautiful; but it’s their laid-back, comfort-focused way of dressing that makes them so effortlessly cool. Whether it’s a billowing silk dress with sneakers, big baggy jeans and a sequined top or an oversized masculine coat over a minidress, it all has a charming ease definitely not found on the streets of Paris.

“I think the most important thing about Scandinavian style is that you can always wear it,” says Denise Christensen, managing director of Birger Christensen, the Copenhagen fashion company that owns Remain and Rotate. “I definitely think that’s what the world is looking at… We inspire the wardrobes of women who wear every day.”

Aeron AW23 (imaxtree)

Aeron AW23 (imaxtree)

Stine Goya, also a Danish designer, agrees: “Comfort is the key. You want to look great for the party, but you have to ride a bike to get there.” She designs colorful pieces that work for both of them: her tailoring is loose and flowy with elastic bands at the waist, while hers sequined ensembles have built-in stretch to move and bend with the body. Five years ago, brands like Stine’s (along with Ganni, Helmstedt, Brogger, and Saks Potts) replaced any idea we had of Scandinavian minimalism with a riot of feminine color, sequins, and ruffles. Now, Scandinavian fashion has evolved again, as a wave of new youth-focused grunge Nordic names has emerged in the last year or two.

“A space is being created in the Copenhagen fashion scene for a more intense Gen Z look,” says Ganni co-founder Ditte Reffstrup. “I love seeing how it has diversified.” Leading the pack is (di)vision, a label that works entirely on dead and pre-existing material founded by Wick’s siblings Simon, 26, and Nanna, 28, in 2018.

(di)vision AW23 (imaxtree)

(di)vision AW23 (imaxtree)

Packed with cool Copenhagen kids sipping mini Jaegermister bottles, their AW23 show went big with a Woodstock ’99 aesthetic of baggy jeans, plaid overshirts and ripped tank tops, all of which hit the runway on the backs of friends, family and partners.

Among those in the front row was 30-year-old Swedish influencer Anna Winck, whose nostalgic, grunge, vintage and Y2K wardrobe has made her a streetstyle favorite. This week she launched her debut label, Cannari Concept, inspired by her teenage wardrobe and made with used and recycled clothing.

For Winck, “Scandinavian fashion is leaving tenderness and moving towards coldness, genius.” Whatever new form it takes, the world will undoubtedly be watching.

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