Skip to main content

Today’s world, with its tough twists and turns, doesn’t seem to be an oyster for Cecilie Bahnsen’s sense of romance. Yet darkness can be lightened by grace. Her creations have it in spades.

While not straying from for the poetry she infuses into her poufy frocks, which seem to inhabit an ethereal dreamland with no connection with any actual reality, for fall she let her Scandi side dictate a (slightly) more practical approach, expanding her expressive range. Backstage before today’s show, Bahnsen explained that she felt the time was right to explore new silhouettes, leaner and slender, and more vibrant color combinations —gradients from turquoise to cerulean, from sunflower to lemon yellow, or from pale pink to bright magenta. She called the collection “everyday couture,” and gently ventured into outerwear territory, giving her romantic take on a cropped bomber jacket with a billowy bow at the back, or an A-line duster with poufy poet sleeves. Raw Japanese denim was brought into the picture, and given delicate ruffling and peplum details. A collaboration with Asics produced upcycled sneakers with feminine cut-outs details, “technical but also whimsical,” she said.

Ruching and smocking were the elaborate yet light textured leitmotifs which gave the collection an airy, breezy feel of transparency. The fabrics were sourced via the LVMH-backed resale platform Nona Source; their luxe surfaces were finely hand-worked with cloqué and gaufré techniques, and then patchworked together to achieve balloon volumes or slimmer, layered shapes. Today’s presentation, staged in a small venue, made the audience appreciate Bahnsen’s imaginative craft up close.

The designer said she wanted the show’s atmosphere to be intimate; the singer-songwriter Suki performed live, showcasing her blend of confessional ‘bedroom-dream’ pop, and lightning designer Jesper Kongshaug envisioned an installation of colors that changed according to the looks.

Bahnsen fell in love with fashion when she saw images of a Comme des Garçons show when she was a student; it influenced her lovely, dreamy style. “This collection brings back remembrances of what I liked, or memories of clothes I did in the past experimenting on shapes,” she said. “Everything now seems to come together in layers, like a diary written through the years. But you have to keep experimenting, keep elevating, keep challenging yourself, and turning it on its head.”