Copenhagen Fashion Week 2011

In 3 days, I managed to attend EIGHT fashion shows at Copenhagen Fashion Week. It was crazy I tell you. The whole experience was just exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.

A few outstanding experiences.

Scandinavian winters are fricking cold. At some shows, I had VIP access, so there no waiting, thanks to my friends at ECCO shoes. But at other shows,  I found myself having to wait outside for up to 45 minutes, with temperatures below 0°C.  I was so. very. cold. Even my eye lashes were complaining.

Street style fashion spying is so much fun. With all that waiting around outside, watching the fashion crowd grow, I fell in love with the sheer entertainment of seeing people arrive wearing crazy and beautiful things – from feather helmet-sunglasses, to multi-coloured patchwork fur coats, to sweeping superhero capes.

Backstage at a fashion show is always the same. It all looks chaotic and jumbled, but there is always method in the madness. Creative spaces and people everywhere – I just love it.

So here are some highlights of the shows.
Copenhagen Fashion Week(These two images taken by me.)

Kick starting the fashion week, was the ECCO Walk in Style Awards.

I was expecting Scandinavian fashion and styling to be serious, dark and practical, but as you can see, there was also a much lighter, humorous side to the shows as well.

Nude models, jellyfish helmets with dangling breasts and lots of other weird sculptures! Not to mention an exciting new range of shoes by ECCO.

Copenhagen Fashion Week 2011

Kopenhagen Fur Show. This show featured several designer capsules all showcasing real fur, and no one seemed even slightly apologetic about it. There were some pretty amazing fur creations… and I was confronted and amazed at the same time.

There were anti-fur protesters outside the show, but even they were so nice, friendly, and smiled for the cameras. Very Danish.

Copenhagen Fashion Week 2011

Rützou Show. Lovely jewel colors, golds, khakais and a dash of bright red. There were a lot of silky-flowy fabrics (which, I admit, was quite unexpected for me), mixed with some more structured pieces and leathers. All very ready to wear pieces.

Copenhagen Fashion Week 2011

Karen by Simonsen. This show began with an almost naked muscular guy, in teeny tiny boy shorts, dancing and writhing behind glass. It certainly caught my attention!

Here are the dark, moody clothes and silhouettes I was expecting, put together in another wearable range.

Copenhagen Fashion Week 2011

Astrid Andersen. This show was very, very entertaining for me – set in a beautiful music hall, there was a solo pianist, and a commentator who sounded more like American rapper, Snoop Dog, saying things like “Yo G, looking pretty fly!” to the models as they walked down the catwalk. There was so much tongue-in-cheek humour in it all. Loved it.

The collection featured edgy guy’s street fashion with fur highlights. And check out that gold chain basketball sack! Ha! I – personally – don’t know anyone who would wear this look, but I loved it as fashion art. Great ensemble of fabrics, especially on these yummy beefcake models.

Thought I’d just share 5 of the 8 shows that I went to, and I hope you enjoy the photos. I think I have had my dose of fashion shows for this year already!

(All other images courtesy of Copenhagen Fashion Week.)

Copenhagen Adventures: What I Wore

Copenhagen Adventures: What I Wore

A smart casual and casual outfits I wore during my trip. On the left, I went on a tour of the ECCO headquarters  in a black blazer by Living Doll, top by Alexander Wang, leather panel leggings by Kind of Wonderful. On the right, I was going out to a casual lunch in a cafe, wearing a camel coat by Gap, singlet by Rick Owens, top by Theory, grey jeans by Sass and Bide.

Packing for an overseas trip is always such a headache.

For my trip to Copenhagen, it was particularly difficult, because I had to pack a range of casual day time clothes, professional day time clothes, something to wear to a fancy awards dinner, and clothes to wear to day time and night time fashion shows (7 fashion shows in total).

And it all had to fit into one suitcase!

Not to mention that the weather was from 4ºC (39 F) during the day, to -6ºC (21 F) in the evenings.

To summarise what I wore – I threw “practicality” out the window and I turned into one of THOSE CRAZY FASHION WOMEN who strutted around in nothing but leggings, a mini dress and a coat, while it was 1ºC outside.

Ha! Yes! Me! From a tropical island!

You see, it turned out that I spent most of the time indoors. If I was outdoors, I only spent about 5 – 10 minutes in the cold. And during my whole trip, I only went for a long stroll outside, twice.

I discovered that most indoor places were nicely heated – restaurants, cafes, conference rooms, fashion shows. I forgot that these Northern Hemisphere Countries know a thing or two about indoor heating.

My first day, I layered up, then when I went indoors, the place was so warm that I had to remove all my layers to reveal my last layer – a $12 three quarter sleeve, black jersey Target top. Not exactly the kind of stylish impression I was planning to give.

So on hindsight, I packed too many casual warm clothes. I was so afraid that I would be cold, that I packed a lot more jumpers and cardigans than I needed.

I should have packed more smart / dressy tops. And in the end I ran out of nice things to wear.

I packed a semi-sheer, silk singlet, at which my girlfriend said – ARE YOU INSANE??

And at the time I thought that yes, it was a little insane, but it goes so well with my leather leggings!

I also only packed 4 pairs of shoes. Black flats, tan flat boots, black boots, and 5 inch black heels. I should have packed a couple more high heeled shoes!!

Copenhagen Adventures: What I Wore

This is me going to the Opening Launch of Copenhagen Fashion Week – The ECCO Walk in Style Awards.

It was 1ºC outside and I was wearing a velvet, one shoulder mini dress (from Urban Outfitters), black leggings, a  faux fur vintage style coat from ASOS, and suede pumps from Betts Online.

I’m in Copenhagen, Denmark!

Denmark, Copenhagen, City Hall

I’m in Copenhagen!!

I’ll be here for four days, to attend Copenhagen Fashion Week, courtesy of ECCO footwear! While I am busy discovering all about Danish design and checking out the Fashion Shows, you can still read a few posts I’ve prepared earlier.

But I’ll also be updating my Facebook and Twitter regularly throughout my whole trip. So if you want to keep up with what I’m doing REAL TIME – feel free to add me!

Add me to Facebook –
http://www.facebook.com/karencheng.com.au

Follow me on Twitter –
http://twitter.com/karencheng

Image of Denmark, City Hall Square, from Copenhagen Media Centre

What to Wear to Copenhagen in Feb

Last week I announced that I was flying to attend Copenhagen Fashion Week, courtesy of Ecco Shoes.

It will be a very exciting trip for me…attending a fashion week, learning about a new city and culture, finding out how shoes are made, and staying in a place where the temperature might be -2°C (28F).

I asked my readers for a bit of advice on what to wear during one of the coldest winters in Northern Europe.

I had SO MANY emails and very, very helpful suggestions. They were all great! Thank you to everyone!!

Suggested must-wear items are: Leggings, hats, gloves, beanie, a big coat, closed-toe walking shoes and lots of layers, which can be added or removed to suit moving from the street to inside buildings. This advice seems pretty obvious now, but I just don’t have ANY experience of really cold climates!!

So I have been visually planning some outfits that allow me to to wear 3 or 4 layers, while looking relatively stylish, keeping in mind that it’s a professional work trip.

A Trip to Copenhagen - What to Wear

Here’s a nice and simple, classic, casual look – using pieces that are very versatile and great for travelling. My favourite pieces are the cream trench and denim shirt.

A Trip to Copenhagen - What to Wear

And another simple, classic, casual look. This outfit includes a pair of tan boots that I just received from the Ecco team. (Tan accessories are very on trend at the moment.)

A Trip to Copenhagen - What to Wear

This outfit is for a more stylish evening, using some of my current favourite pieces – leather pants, a gold sequin top, faux fur coat and wedge boots.

I had a lot of fun putting these outfits together, but I realised that they don’t quite work for a “complete travel set”. It would be very impractical to pack 3 separate overcoats just for a 4 day trip!

And I didn’t even begin to think of how I could wear a dress or skirt in cold weather!

So I think I’ll have to choose 1 or 2 of these sets and do a bit more mix and matching, making sure I have enough outfits for every occasion during my trip. Only ten more days to go!

By the way, I found all these images through Polyvore.com, which grabs them directly from online boutiques such as Net-a-porter, Browns Fashion, Miss Selfridge, Asos, etc. It’s a great resource for visual planning of outfits, but unfortunately I didn’t take note on where they each came from!

A Trip to Copenhagen!

I have some very exciting news to share!

I have been invited to attend Copenhagen Fashion Week in early February, in a trip sponsored by ECCO shoes.

And I’m SO GOING!

Denmark Map

ECCO shoes is based in Denmark, which, as I have discovered, is the long bump on top of Germany.

As well as finding out all about ECCO shoes and how they produce shoes that are stylish AND comfortable, it will also be a high-paced lesson for me in Scandinavian design generally. Right now, I admit, I don’t know that much about the Scandinavian/Nordic countries.

I know that 1970s pop group ABBA were from that part of the world (Sweden), as are Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales, like “The Little Mermaid” (Denmark). Yes, it was a classic fairy tale before Disney made the movie.

copenhagen-mermaid

More recently, an Australian girl named Mary went to a pub in Sydney in 2000 during the Olympics, and fell in love with a guy named Fred from Copenhagen. Fred turned out to be Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark.

Can you imagine the conversation in a busy Aussie pub.

Mary: “G’day, I’m Mary.”
Fred: “Good Evening, I’m Frederik. So nice to meet you.”
Mary : “Nice to meet you too Fred. So, what do you do for a living?”
Fred: “Oh, I’m a Royal Prince of a fairytale European country.”
Mary (rolls her eyes): “Yeh right, of course you are. Haven’t you got any better a line than that?”

But it all worked out for them, and so now Mary-from-Australia is Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat, and she’s got four kids.

copenhagen-maryandfred

She just had two of them (twins) on Jan 8th, so she might be too busy to have coffee with me when I am in Copenhagen. But who knows, maybe she needs an excuse to get out of the palace.

But seriously, I do realise that a lot of very cool things are designed in that part of the world. For example, Ikea furniture (Sweden) and Nokia phones (Finland). And even the Sydney Opera House was designed by Jorn Utzon, another guy from Copenhagen.

The programme for the Copenhagen Fashion Week is full of many designers I have never heard of, so I am very excited to check it out.

copenhagen-festival

I admit that my knowledge of fashion is dominated by the New York/London/Paris/Milan catwalks. So it’s going to be a great education for me!

So, I have two big issues right now.

First, planning how to survive the longest flight of my life!

Perth to Copenhagen is a total of 27 hours, including stopovers, and a timezone difference of 7 hours. Yuck!

Some people can sleep anywhere, but not me. I’m a BAD sleeper. I like to have the same pillow, on the same bed, in the same room – every night. And whenever I travel, I am so excited, that my brain can’t slow down enough for me to relax and sleep. So I have pretty bad insomnia when I am away from home.

I will be in Denmark for four days, and then I have to do the whole travel thing in reverse, and arrive back home without being totally wrecked.

Second, I have no idea what to wear in Copenhagen at the coldest time of a Northern European winter.

I was born on a tropical island, and I live in a part of Australia famous for being DRY and HOT. Of course, I understand that it will be freezing cold outside, and wet and/or icy on the streets… but I also expect that I’ll be inside most of the time in toasty warm buildings – right? So, do I need normal clothes, but with one very warm overcoat? Or more layers? Are leggings + pants  sufficient to keep my legs warm? Are peep-toe skyscrapers totally out?

Anybody know what I should do?

Maybe I’ll just email Mary and ask her.