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Copenhagen Fashion Week: An Ode to Cultural Diversity, Sustainability and Layers

In the second week of August, Copenhagen pulsated with stylish rhythm as fashion lovers gathered for the only fashion week held in Scandinavia. Spring/summer 2023 was presented by emerging and advanced local designers and the streets of the city were filled with trendsetters who are not afraid to experiment!


Scandinavian minimaximalism

The image of Scandinavian minimalism has been stuck in our heads for too long. Northern designers demonstrated not only colors, shapes, and techniques in their works but also interwoven personal stories, social problems and acute questions of society. One of the most famous Scandinavian brands, Ganni, presented the Joyride collection, celebrating the vibrant rhythm of Copenhagen. It features the pulsating mood of the townspeople and the recurring motif of the heartbeat in the models, as well as several collaborations with global names: Levi’s, Barbour and 66°North. Ditte Reffstrup, Ganni’s creative director, emphasized the importance of collaboration in the fashion industry: “No brand can work in isolation, no matter how hard they try. We have to be together.” It’s great to see that upcycling fashion is making its way to the big runways! Here, the creative duo (Di)vision showed a sustainable collection permeated with the theme of war and focused attention on the atrocities in Ukraine. Even the organizers of the event, who collaborated with the Ukrainian Fashion Week, which was supposed to celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, did not turn away from the war in Ukraine. The official program included the fashion film “Coat”, created by Katya Silchenko and a live presentation of the TG Botanical collection. Iryna Danylevska, head of the Ukrainian Fashion Week, noted that fashion has an extraordinary power to protect human rights, diversity, and freedom. And right now, fashion can carry humanity and support.


Sustainability in closets and heads

At the sustainability-focused Copenhagen Fashion Week, local designers interpreted this theme broadly and comprehensively. Their fashion visions explored issues of gender and identity, looking for ways to create a sustainable community, and the chosen materials kept up with more environmentally friendly solutions.

On the runway, pieces appeared from recycled parachutes, vegan leather and scraps of “dead” fabric stocks. The organizers of Copenhagen Fashion Week have also confirmed that from this year on, collections using natural animal fur will no longer be showcased at the event.

Street fashion features bold personalities and layers, layers, layers

The end of summer is exhausting Europe with unusual heat and changeable weather, so contrasts are played in the looks of street style, from bikini tops to puffy vests and stiff tweed, from transparent dresses to heavy leather jackets. Unpredictable weather also dictates dynamic layering of clothing, combining different lengths, colors, and textures. One thing is clear: there is no room for rules in the world of fashion. Norms and stereotypes are skillfully broken by unique personalities and exciting works of personal style.


General trends

What can we expect for the upcoming spring and summer fashion trends? A strong nod to the 2000s era remains both on the runway and on the streets. Low waists, halter tops, wide belts and maxi bags are likely to remain frequent highlights. As the younger generation boldly defends its rights to cultural, sexual and inner authenticity, makes decisive political statements, and shakes up monotony with creative handmade accents, these values will inevitably be reflected in fashion. With feelings of isolation and the fear of being confined to one place, multiculturalism, influences from different countries, and the joy of being different are valued more than ever on the high street and in high fashion. kARTu, the handbag studio, has always emphasized celebrating our differences. Global fashion events remind us how much fun it is to create our personal image piece by piece, diversify long-lasting clothes with playful accessories, and compliment a close friend we met on the street.