Ah Copenhagen. It's been one of the top cities on my to do list for a long time so when Gather&See had the opportunity to head over for Copenhagen Fashion Week, we jumped at the chance. And we weren't disappointed. If ever there was a city that could capture a style afficionados heart in just two days, Copenhagen must be it. That laid back, Scandi style, so often emulated by others simply seaps from every pore of this city. Not only that but the Danish capital has some serious green credentials and a burgeoning ethical fashion scene, making it even more appealing to the likes of us.
The general sense of well being is only magnified by two major aspects of the city. The first is the architecture - historic, elegant and beautifully proportioned, Copenhagen's wide streets let the buildings breathe and from one neighbourhood to the next you can find plenty of open space and hidden gems. Whilst the much photographed Nyhavn with its perfect multicoloured houses provides a famous back drop, other neighbourhoods such as Frederiksburg and the Meatpacking District of Vesterbro where we were based offer equally fascinating architecture in their own individual way.
The other thing that seems an inherent part of Copenhagen life is the bike culture. Everyone cycles - in fact it must be one of the few cities where cyclists appear to have right of way over cars. At first we were struck by the fact no one wears helmets but the huge cycle lanes and respect given to those on two wheels soon showed us they just weren't a necessity. Not only do they cycle, they cycle in style. No tapered in neon leggings and kagools here. We could have done a whole street style shoot just capturing Copenhagen's gorgeous residents show us how it should be done. And boy, are they gorgeous. The men, the women, the kids, they all seem to have that healthy nordic glow that us Brits could only dream of!
Nowhere was the Copenhagen aesthetic more clearly manifested than at Fashion Week itself. Our first stop was the Revolver trade show. The vibe was so different to London or Paris - everyone was in trainers or flat sandals, we saw no poseurs or selfie takers and everyone was drinking either rose or a cold bottle of beer from 12 noon onwards! Our kind of show! Back to business we were delighted to see old friends Kowtow, Matt & Nat and imporantly to find some exciting new ethical brands that you will have to watch this space to find out more about. The collections were clean, minimalist and focus very much on the quality of fabrics and craftsmanship. As is always the way, we wanted to walk off with half the collections then and there but sadly will have to wait for next spring!
Revolver is handily located on the edge of the Meatpacking district where we found ourselves the perfect Airbnb apartment so we really could pretend to be Copenhagen residents for a couple of days. The lovely Thea's apartment was a lesson in understated scandi cool with clean white walls, simple furnishings and a gorgeous little sun terrace. Knackered from a day of walking around the show, we were delighted to find the many bars and restaurants on our doorstep in the Meat Packing area. We stopped for a glass of organic wine in Bio Mio which lured us in with the wonderful slogan "Don't Panic, Its Organic!" and had a spoiling dinner at the buzzing Pate Pate.
Next to be conquered was CIFF - the bigger of the two shows, CIFF had more of a commercial feel and we were astounded at the lack of knowledge some of the bigger brands have about their own production. It is amazing how these events sometimes compound the heart of the problem with the fashion industry whislt at the same time throwing out gems of ingenuity that make it so important for the ethical fashion movement to have a voice. It was in a quiet corner of CIFF that we unexpectedly discovered a quite brilliant Danish ethical underwear brand that we are super excited about. Once again, watch this space!!
Another day down, another big meal was needed and this time we headed to the lovely Spuntino, also handily just around the corner from our apartment. As with many Danish restaurants, we were offered an amazing 5 small course fixed menu with different choices for each course. 5 sounds like alot but the freshness of the produce and the innovative cooking meant we hardly left any of each to our surprise! Copenhagen is a foodie paradise and there were so many restaurants we wanted to try - next on our list is Host - which we dropped into briefly just to check out the delectable interior. Too much choice, not enough time.
On our last morning we headed out to the trendy district of Nørrebro on the other side of the river. We had been recommended to try the porridge at GRØD, Jægersborggade St, and we were so glad we did. For possibly the most delicious breakfast ever I chose their spelt porridge with gooseberries, licorice and nuts. We felt in our natural habitat on this little street, finding every other shop to be selling ethical, handmade and organic products from interiors, to food to fashion. It really felt like a second home, we only wish we had more time to spend there and would definitely recommend it to anyone.
For more interiors and fashion retail, we checked out our own little neighbourhood of Vesterbro where beyond the slightly sleazier old redlight district we found some amazing little boutiques and design shops. Two hours later, laden with a mixture of gorgeous Danish clothes, hippest nursery items and homewares, we made our way back to the airport (in typical Danish style, an easy, clean and stress free 15 minute train ride). Here we couldn't help ourselves but demolish more good food with the famous Danish Rye bread (why can't you get Rye bread like that in the UK?!) nearly missing our flight in the process. Seems some of that laid back Scandi style has rubbed of on us - if only we could carry off the matching look with similar aplomb!
- Go Airbnb for great accomodation.
- Stay in Vesterbro for the coolest bars and restaurants.
- Hire a bike to get around.
- Head out to smaller neighbourhoods like Nørrebro for great shops.
What to Wear: