Maikel Tawadros has already sat down and had a coffee by the time I arrive to Coffee Factory on Gothersgade. “I’m sorry!” he tells me as I walk in, “I need caffeine.” No one understands this better than I, Maikel, so all is forgiven. I grab an Americano and soon as I’m situated, we dive into the good stuff. Maikel lays his lookbooks on the table and it’s like picking through a couture candy store.
We start by looking through his SS14 Drasha collection, in stores at the end of this January 2014.
It’s a dramatic line, mostly black with splashes of rich orange. “It’s a Spring/Summer line, so including color is necessary,” explains Tawadros. He shrugs, “I admit that I prefer working in black.”
Preaching to the choir, my friend. I’m a black lipstick and three decades away from being a Cure groupie.
The love of monochrome may come from Maikel’s Danish minimalist aesthetic, honed as a student at the Academy of Fashion Design in Copenhagen. It may also be a result of his inspiration for this collection: Den Sorte Diamant (the Royal Danish Library) and the shapes of the woman’s body.
Or maybe it’s just because he’s cool and cool people wear black; what do I know? Regardless, the use of color doesn’t seem out of place; each piece is complete unto itself while the draping ensures an overall cohesion.
Up next is the AW14 collection, still under construction. This time, Maikel has been inspired by the Renaissance and its historical symbolism in the present: individuality and creativity. The collection includes marble print and hand-knitted alpaca. It’s a study of contrasts; soft and hard, smooth and textured. But that’s what Maikel is all about and what he wants those wearing his clothes to feel. “I work in contradictions, but so does everyone. That’s life.” Maikel says. “It’s about being in the clothes and making them your own.”
The collection itself is distinctly Scandinavian, both in shape and in the pieces’ nimble mirroring of each other. While Tawadros is making clothes for a woman’s body, it’s the streamlined and languid body, one that manages to stay strongly defined even in androgynous forms. There’s a sense of ease about the clothes; the pieces can be casual or dressed-up.
When we’re done going through his three collections (by which I mean when I’m done pointing at things and exclaiming, “LOVE!” like I don’t know other words. And I do! I know so many others!), I’m suddenly feeling excited about fashion in Copenhagen. I’ll admit that I can be cynical about fashion but at it’s best, it’s an artistic expression of place and that can rival any visual medium.
Up and coming designers like Maikel Tawadros bring that sense of spontaneity back while showcasing a deep aesthetic understanding of the cities they represent. And Copenhagen deserves that kind of treatment.
Maikel Tawadros Clothing can be seen at the CIFF Fair for Copenhagen Fashion Week AW14. Buy tickets to get a look at all the emerging talent on the Copenhagen fashion scene.
Featured Image by Simon Thomsen.