Copenhagen Fashion Week is currently the only fashion week in Scandinavia, and perhaps the only physical version in the world. The spring-summer 2021 edition saw fewer designers than previous seasons, with many opting for a digital presentation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The events and shows that did go ahead made use of the newly opened Villa Hotel, plus a handful of open-air spaces around the city.
The collections shown were sparser than before but benefitted from such a tight edit: they were perfectly curated and filled with everyday essentials and modern classics.
Here’s the best Scandinavian menswear during this season’s Copenhagen Fashion Week:
Playful, cartoonish, yet still somehow completely classic, Henrik Vibskov designs for a modern man still in contact with his inner child. This season saw inspiration drawn from fire and a burned-out motorcycle Vibkov spotted around town. This was brought through in prints that resembled smudges of ash and the occasional biking detail – like the elbow insert in a denim jacket – across Vibskov’s quintessential silhouette of cropped jackets and wide legs.
Swedish brand HOPE designs inline with its “new standard.” That is, there is no reason why clothes should be decided by gender. As Creative Director Frida Bard says: “Style has no gender.” The goal is to create a collection that can be worn by anyone. For SS21 this meant mix-and-match suiting, often oversized and evocative of the kind Michael Jordan championed in the 90s, but with flared trousers and shorts, and a muted color pallet that was disturbed only once with a Barbie-pink 2-piece in a crinkled fabric – because boys can play with Barbie too.
Mark Kenly Domino Tan’s SS21 collection presented classic menswear pieces made exclusively in sand, ecru, beige, and off-white, paired with woven leather sandals. There was a touch of the 1930s to the wide pleated legs and sweater vests, but the execution and addition of modern staples like a perfectly relaxed t-shirt prevented the collection from becoming costume.
Copenhagen-based mfpen built on the relaxed-yet-formal layering of previous seasons, building looks with classic menswear pieces that can easily be mixed and matched. Softer moments, like a sheer sweater vest, offset structured jackets and created a timeless wardrobe for a modern man. As in previous seasons, the focus remained on fabrication and developing products to a high quality. This season they utilized deadstock materials in more than 90% of their collection.
Slick, waterproof outerwear that is (unfortunately) totally relevant for a Scandinavian spring or summer, but at least Rains makes it look good. Highlights included water-resistant shirts, a translucent PVC two-piece, and suit with lapels cut from a rubberized material. It was uber-cool and if you’re not wearing matching, tonal rainwear next season, you’re doing it wrong.
Although the womenswear had some patchy moments, and the references seemed a little confused, when the menswear leaned heavily into 70s silhouettes the results were hard not to enjoy. From safari suits to Saturday Night Fever-worthy lapels, Schmidt’s tight tailoring was given a dash of humor with its Abigail’s Party-ready pieces. A baby blue prom suit that could easily become a statement jacket in any wardrobe was a highlight.
The Samsøe Samsøe SS21 collection was filled with modern-day essentials and new classics, inspired by the company’s Nørrebro headquarter. Everything is completely wearable and utilitarian with the edge of street style – which was most keenly felt by the use of skateboarding teens in their collection campaign.