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Best of Copenhagen Fashion Week

A visual diary of the Danish capital’s ultra-modern Spring 2013 shows

Stine Goya

Louise Damgaard

Models preen backstage at Stine Goya's show. The Danish designer is often hailed as the queen of Copenhagen fashion; for Spring 2013, she presented an airy, streamlined, optically jarring collection, right down to the models' hair and makeup.

Gallery by Colleen Nika

Stine Goya

Louise Damgaard

Stine Goya

Big hair was huge at Copenhagen Fashion Week; designers like Goya paired bold volume with the ongoing trend for unconventional hues. Against the smooth, long lines of her clothes, afro-inspired coiffure set a cool contrast.

Stine Goya

Louise Damgaard

Stine Goya

Goya's show, called "La Parade Merveilleuse," provided a deviation from the traditional neutral monochromes that characterize many Scandinavian style staples. Faded pastel watercolor prints, roomy fits and metallic embellishments dominated the shows with a mature ease, but the models' unearthly appearances faces blackened with ink and glitter or dotted with gold studs –  gave the entire affair an avant-garde twist.

Freja Dalsjö

Louise Damgaard

Freja Dalsjö

Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring 2012 kicked off with a flare of martialistic power at Freja Dalsjö. As video collages of black-clad female armies flickered in the background, the designer's real-life warriors towered down the runway, looking immaculately turned out for combat.

Freja Dalsjö

Louise Damgaard

Freja Dalsjö

Many of Dalsjö's strongest looks featured sci-fi silhouettes, with spine-like protusions growing from the seams of the dresses like dystopian architecture. Here, the designer herself, wearing one of her extraterrestrial creations, grins approvingly as she observes her catwalk spectacle unfold.

Freja Dalsjö

Louise Damgaard

Freja Dalsjö

All eyes were on Dalsjö as the "opening act" of Copenhagen Fashion Week, but she kept her own gaze firmly focused on a doomed but decadent vision of the future. The models often wore leather visors or, as seen here, showy black feathered headpieces, mirroring the nightmare Art Deco luxury of the Metropolis.

Henrik Vibskov

Louise Damgaard

Henrik Vibskov

Danish design icon Henrik Vibskov provided the week's strangest entertainment, ending Day One with a frosty 10 p.m. showing in the courtyard of Charlottenborg, a famous Copenhagen mansion and base of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. A lolling, inflatable, spiked tongue greeted the hundreds of spectators as thundering music echoed through the chambers. The fashions hadn't even showed yet but the oneiric, transportive mood had already been cast.

Henrik Vibskov

Louise Damgaard

Henrik Vibskov

Vibskov poses between two mysterious masked male assistants, who carried out the surreal unveiling of the Spring 2013 installation.

Anne Sofie Madsen

Louise Damgaard

Anne Sofie Madsen

The girls at Anne Sofie Madsen flaunted an alien pixie likeness to Canadian musician Grimes. Madsen later described her concept for the show as "decaying fantasy." It was an elegant and creepy showing, the fashion show equivalent of falling into a broken music box, tarnished ballerinas and all. Madsen's prints depicted girlish fantasies as haunted vestiges (pop surrealist Mark Ryden would be proud), while her dresses bore the hallmarks of Rodarte's design DNA.

Wood Wood

Louise Damgaard

Wood Wood

Wood Wood, one of Scandinavia's most popular young brands, astutely captured the "Summer of Love" spirit with their Spring 2013 showing. Danish design tenets functionalism paired with color-blocking – shone through on the eclectic looks. It felt geared towards a jaunt in the Nordic countryside – layered knits, caps, backpacks and all.

Soulland

Louise Damgaard

Soulland

Perhaps the most innovatively executed show of Copenhagen Fashion Week, Soulland situated their Spring 2013 presentation in an labyrinthine old Danish villa, forcing attendees to gingerly navigate the steep stairs in their heels. Fittingly, the Hedi Slimane-worthy skinny menswear looks were among the more formal of the week; at one point, we imagined creating a razor-sharp synth act from the most crisply dressed models.

Soulland

Louise Damgaard

Soulland

Adding to the Kraftwerkian man/machine vibe was the incorporation of the Soulland app, a fun feature for iPhone-wielding attendees: users could "scan' each male model for more data on his look, including video footage with closeups. There was something unsettling about scanning a human being like an object about to be bought, but that was probably the point.

Asger Juel Larsen

Louise Damgaard

Asger Juel Larsen

Menswear specialist Asger Juel Larsen christened his Spring 2013 showing "Goth Legion," a catchy prescription for what to keep in mind while viewing the collection. "Goth" certainly made its most obvious influences clear, from the skull motifs and urban Grim Reaper silhouettes on the runway to the crackling scraps of industrial noise that swept through the room. There was also a playfulness to the macabre elements, a sick little wink.

The colors, like omnipresent acid green, felt indebted to Nineties rave culture (with some of the models resembling the Prodigy's Keith Flint, devil horns and nose rings and all) and horrorcore rap. The hints were everywhere, especially in Larsen's solo womenswear looks; he will be one of Copenhagen's most notorious international fashion exports before long.

Asger Juel Larsen

Louise Damgaard

Asger Juel Larsen

Bondage chokers appeared on numerous runways in Copenhagen, including at Larsen's, where they looked especially deviant on his brooding men.

Moonspoon Saloon

Louise Damgaard

Moonspoon Saloon

Moonspoon Saloon is as close as the Danes get to "zany," with their design team fitting into the weird humor corner of fashion dominated by Jeremy Scott and Henry Holland. From body cages to Buffalo platforms to full-blown jester outfits, Spring 2013 was truly a pandora's box for the brand: enter if you dare.

Barbara Igongini

Louise Damgaard

Barbara I Gongini

Browless, barren faces and wild black tresses characterized the beauty look at Barbara I Gongini's intense Spring 2012 show.

Barbara Igongini

Louise Damgaard

Barbara I Gongini

In between the Battlefield Earth blacks, I Gongini offered some moments of canary yellow on her runway – the rare ray of sunshine in her otherwise impressively bleak vision.

Barbara Igongini

Louise Damgaard

Barbara I Gongini

The standout look at I Gongini, pictured here, involved a deconstructed black gown unraveling from head to toe. Like many great Danes, this Faroe Islands-born designer presented her art with a brutal twist.

Johanna Pihl

Louise Damgaard

Johanna Pihl

A model dresses at Pihl, showcasing the athletic vibrance of the Spring 2012 collection. Accents like lattice-work fingerless gloves added a modern "moto chic" feel to the very sleek dresses and separates in black, white and blue.

Adidas

Louise Damgaard

Adidas

The lone outsider brand at Copenhagen Fashion Week, Adidas used the progressive design experience to showcase some of their Originals collection, which include their more fashion-forward, less performance-concerned clothes.

Adidas

Louise Damgaard

Adidas

Fingerless gloves even found their way into Adidas' showcase, suggesting they'll be a mainstay in the upcoming New York, London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks.

Gaia

Louise Damgaard

Gaia

One of the more youthful shows of the week, Gaia dressed up sharp, colorful basics with copper accents. Styled in whimsical ways – as tiered gloves, armbands, dramatic angular shoe ornaments and more – the underrated metal made a strong case for itself.

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