Sometimes it’s a bit disorienting to think that next winter’s trends are being determined in the middle of our current winter (thus making our present trends past season as collections debut), but Fashion Week is a wonder nonetheless. Especially during this pandemic, having the continuation of runways and awards shows makes everything feel somewhat normal. We can look forward to the same events we did pre-pandemic and get to see how innovative our favorite creators have had to become given the new circumstances.
The official fashion week schedule revolves around Milan, Paris, New York, and London, but there are myriad smaller fashion weeks that take place all over the world—Seoul, Rio, Mexico City, Tbilisi, etc. We’re calling these “Fringe Fashion Weeks” and they’re just as relevant and informative of the style zeitgeist as the main shows. Below, we’ll go over the trends present at Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Berlin Fashion Week.
Stockholm Fall 2021
It was hard to miss the Swedes’ new-found affinity for exaggerated comfort. While pre-pandemic fashion statements were generally made through exorbitant sneakers, mega-branded tees, and an amalgam of skater and club kid culture, Stockholm has separated itself from this previous approach entirely. Hyperbolic proportions, texture, and amounts of leather were all over the streets of Stockholm this past February—and, I won’t lie, they look incredibly cool. It’s laidback but still feels haute, it’s making your comfort clothes as stylish as possible by way of overemphasis, it’s quarantine camp. My favorite looks held a combination of these themes—glossy, kelly green vinyl pants worn with an inordinately wooly sweater that has fringe going down to the wearer’s knees, all paired with an oversized puffer, for example. This also touches upon the fact that there weren’t many prints either, the most common ones I found were plaid and flannel. Stockholm Fashion Week: emphatically lowkey.
Overstated comfort and moody blues have recently been dominating the Stockholm fashion scene. (I mean, even that purple purse is quilted!)
Copenhagen Fall 2021
Henrik Vibskov’s FW21 runway, a personal favorite, may seem inspired by the architecture of Copenhagen—basic colors like green and purple complemented by cheeky rudimentary shapes—but it was largely informed by a longing for familial meals and a sense of community. Vobskov presented an incredibly personal collection, some looks including a handwritten apple pie recipe that belongs to his mother, and I think this time for introspection is heavily reflected in almost everyone’s recent assortment. When comparing these looks to those of Ganni, another Danish brand, I immediately noticed a theme of clothes made for folks who just want to “hang out” in style. All clothing was utilitarian and undeniably cozy, while still looking expensive and put together. They’re the kind of looks you could easily imagine yourself wearing to an intimate wine night (an intarsia sweater with ski pants), or even—taking into account the amount of functional footwear being sported—camping with friends. The Danes’ approach to fashion: meeting the times with a sense of pragmatism and vibrant (hopeful) tonality.
So functional, but so cool. Copenhagen fashion week showed off the effortlessness we all put in so much effort to achieve.
Berlin Fall 2021
Given that it is my favorite city in Europe, I shouldn’t have been surprised to see the bold and subversive collections presented at Berlin Fashion Week. Of all the fringe Fashion Week collections I’ve perused, those from the city of underground culture were the ones most exploding with print and color. Odeeh’s collection was shot in a fabric warehouse (much like the one here at Mood) and featured groovy ‘70s motifs clashing with those present today. Denim culottes, high pussybows on oversized blouses, classic coat silhouettes in hot pink, and suits fully printed with what could be Studio 54-era wallpaper were only some of the genius juxtapositions we saw play out on the runway. William Fan, another German brand, presented elegant looks with manipulated proportions and intentionally casual detailing. Baggy suits were worn with sandals, wrinkled shirts, oversized dresses. I liked that they touched upon the reality of this collection being worn indoors by having their models perform quotidian tasks like lifting dumbbells or playing games while showcasing elevated wear. Berlin Fashion Week: cheekily unexpected, at-home glam.
Prints, pattern-mixing, and at-home party clothes galore (maybe we can call these looks PFH, Party From Home?).
There’s been a lot of experimentation with textiles, using them in combinations we’re not used to seeing—brown quilted skirts, ribbed knit maxi dresses, and an inordinate amount of leather and hide. Maybe we’ll be seeing patchwork suede bodysuits in the stores sometime soon? Frankly, I wouldn’t be opposed.