Avantgarde at the Stock Exchange
One day before the official opening of the Copenhagen Fashion Week, this year’s graduates from Design School Kolding and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts presented their graduation collections in the beautiful setting of the Danish Stock Exchange, which was completely full. The audience was clearly eager to see what the new designers had in store; among them Henrik Vibskov, Barbara I Gongini, Belsac, By Malene Birger and Shoe the Bear.
Design School Kolding’s head of Fashion Design, Nadine Möllenkamp, believes that there was a clear distinction between the two schools in the way Design School Kolding seems to focus more and more on User-Centered Design and the end users’ experience.
"The collections seem a bit more low-key, but not in a negative sense. At Design School Kolding we have wanted to focus on various ways to change or influence the fashion industry, especially through User-Centered Design, Nadine Möllenkamp explains. The new designers want to change the throw-away culture which has dominated the industry for years. So many of them have focused on sustainability. This focus is reflected in their collections, which are innovative and different. Kolding is more avantgarde.
The founder of Shoe the Bear, Thomas Frederiksen, was also present at the show both as a mentor and as a supporter of the event and the talent development. He concludes that both of the schools contribute to the industry in their own unique way:
”I enjoy seeing the difference between the two schools. Even though both school are Danish, the difference between Kolding and Copenhagen is striking – and particularly obvious when you watch the two shows together. Kolding is more avantgarde”, Thomas Frederiksen tells fashionforum.dk
Regardless of the difference between the schools, the industry agrees that the new designers are a breath of fresh air.
”This year’s level was high. However, the Danish schools must be able to match international players like for instance Central Saint Martins. And I think they do,” says Merete Moesgaard, HR Manager at By Malene Birger, to fashionforum.dk
After the show, the designers moved their collections to the Bella Center to present them to the rest of the fashion industry. And the industry did not fail to show an interest. Designer Liselotte Hornstrup from Design School Kolding:
”It’s been very positive. People are very interested, and I’ve talked to Italians, Norwegians and people from New York and Ringkøbing. I think they enjoy seeing something different,” Liselotte Hornstrup tells fashionforum.dk
Design School Kolding’s BA graduates joined the party on the final day of the event when they presented their own show at the Copenhagen Central Library. Here they showed 15 collections that were neither governed by restrictions nor conventions.