Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 Through the Lens of Offbinary

Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 Through the Lens of Offbinary

by Triston Brewer - February 2023

From the well-known, to the up-and-coming, Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 presented a diverse, expansive line-up of labels displaying progressive collections pushing the envelope towards a new status quo. In another banner year for gender neutral and gender fluid design, several brands led the charge towards fashion without regards to the traditional or preconceived boundaries. 

Gender Neutral & Gender Fluid Designs on the Runway


Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 Lattimier
Sock garters + pinstripes = structured silhouettes and the Latimmier perspective on androgynous deconstruction
Photocredit: James Cochrane for Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 

Theme of Latimmier's Collection: Over the top camp reigned supreme for Latimmier’s collection, with the presentation weaving brilliantly between gender neutral and androgynous. The designer behind the brand, Ervin Latimer of Finland, made the bold decision to present only ten pieces. During the presentation, titled ‘Interlude’, Ervin himself gave the audience a spoken word run-through of each distinctive look, providing an intimate look into the process of fashion from conception to the finished product. Striking models in asymmetrical haircuts and flowing bangs sauntered down the runway as Latimer explained the birth of each design as well as the materials used.

“Our story stems from queer history and the history of queer people of color in particular and the history of gender performance. It’s about creating your own space where you can be who you want to be...” - Ervin Latimer

Notable Pieces from Latimmier's Collection: Featured pieces of the collection showcased expert manipulation of wool and crochet. While Scandinavian design is normally classified as subdued, Latimmier pulled the curtains all the way back with a collection that included wide-leg denim pants with slashed seams at the sides, pinstriped shirts with dropped sleeves, oversized suits harkening to the Studio 54 era, and sock garters that elevated accessories. Another standout from the collection was recycled wool: a black coat with removable collar, a reversible blazer fitted for a boxy silhouette, and a gorgeous wool skirt - all a triumph of expert tailoring.


Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 AERON

Oversized knits and texture converged to excellence at Aeron for CFW2023
Photocredit: James Cochrane for Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 

Theme of Aeron's Collection: Redefinition was central to this Budapest-based label for Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023, with the brand concentrating on the cornerstones of sophisticated tailoring. The collection was a statement about the power of self-discovery and re-invention. The force behind the label, Eszter Áron, produced her presentation in collaboration with Marie Norgaard Nielsen and the overall effect was transcendent. Those in attendance witnessed looks from fringe with an edge to crocheted jumpsuits, textured shirts underneath sleeveless blazers, oversized pink knits, and more. Diverse models brought the clothes to life, with tailored cuts and draped coats featured in an expansive range of colors.

Notable Pieces from Aeron's Collection: The collection Aeron presented was an imaginative effort to move the needle on traditional office attire. With a steady dedication to precision and versatility, Aeron presented a collection easily capable of transitioning from the workplace to formal affair. The collection included sleeveless blazers paired with wrapped trousers, textured shirting, elegantly exaggerated suiting, dangling collars made with delicate fabrics and vibrant tones to produce distorted decadence. With a mantra veered towards zero-waste, Aeron explored the production of sleek knitwear which seemed effortless in its approach and execution.


Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 P.L.N.

Neo-goth glam: stealth fashion forged by the concept of individualism
Photocredit: James Cochrane for Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 

Theme of P.L.N.'s Collection: Arguably the most talked-about debut during CFW2023 was from Peter Lundvald Nielsen and his P.L.N. line, which came with a neo-goth perspective that left the audience captivated from start to finish. Already recognized as a visionary designer, the release of his latest line was a merger of wearable art and current street culture. Collection showed an aesthetic hailed as one of the most innovative in recent memory. Nielsen has particularly shown a talent for understanding all types of bodies and gender expressions, from the gender neutral/undifferentiated to androgynous.

Notable Pieces from P.L.N.'s Collection: Unapologetically sexy with a futuristic angle, P.L.N. displayed intricate tailoring in shades of gray to black, complete with earth tones thrown in across pieces constructed from leather and denim. A particularly notable piece from the collection included a leather jacket with front lacing. Other standout pieces included liberal use of fringe and top stitching, cargo pockets, distressed fabrication, and an overall nod to Danish mythology through the use of accessories and stylings of the models.


Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 Holzweiler

Distressed denim releases its stylish tentacles on fashion at Holzweiler
Photocredit: James Cochrane for Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 

Theme of Holzweiler's Collection: Going for a far more subdued, low-key, and refined look was Holzweiler, a Norwegian brand bent towards all things bohemian. For CFW2023, Holzweiler made the bold decision to take to the sea, bringing the submerged world to the runway in spectacular fashion. The person behind the label, Maria Skappel set in motion a very specific motif that was carried out in illustrious fashion. Through it all, the label resonated with the crazy-sexy-cool vibe it is synonymous for, combined with a sensibility in design.

“The deeper you get, the lighter everything feels, because you have the reflection from above and the white sands – everything is so clear.” - Maria Skappel

Notable Pieces from Holzweiler's Collection: Holzweiler offered floral print ruched dresses, belts and harnesses made of fringed macramé, handwoven hats, as well as bodysuits and louche skirts draped from translucent polyurethane in this collection. Also, of note were puffer jackets, structured trousers, mohair sweaters, and intricate knitwear. These pieces set the scene for a fluffy, effervescent oceanic experience unlike any seen before. The inspired look was woven seamlessly into the accessories as well, with bulbous, balloon-like handbags resembling pufferfish. Explored themes encompassed androgyny as well as femininity, with the brand highlighting the beauty of decay by featuring distressed hemlines, detailed lace patterns, peeled paints, and delicate textures resembling the effects of weathering on clothing.

Emerging Designers of Copengahen Fashion Week

Each season, new talent emerges that takes the industry on an unexpected journey. At this year’s CFW2023, the following designers captured the hearts of audiences with their presentations. Some of the them are the ones to watch in the years to come as their designs truly encapsulate non binary fashion.

Alectra Rothschild

Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 Alectra Rothschild

Alectra Rothschild is deconstructing hemlines and boundaries, one innovative outfit at a time
Photocredit: James Cochrane for Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 

After notable stints at Iris Van Herpen, Mugler, and Michèle Lamy, Alectra Rothschild has forged a singular path with designs that shatter stereotypical hetero norms in a glamorous way. The objective of her creations is to bring the flamboyant and subversive to the forefront with a sexy club vibe. With trans bodies centered in her collections, the foundation has been laid for a new conversation to be held on runways. With her latest collection, she set out on a mission to defy the conventional standards of masculinity and femininity, a presentation signaling a revolution on the concept of glamour for modern times.

 “Alectra is not only one of the biggest talents right now on the Scandinavian fashion scene, but probably also one of the most important voices.”- Johanne Jacobsen of inter.agcy.

Selam Fessahaye

Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 Selam Fessahaye

The bold and daring are front and center in a look turned all the way up in this voluminous pink gown
Photocredit: James Cochrane for Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 

Since launching at Stockholm Fashion Week in 2018, Selam Fessahaye has maintained a strong presence in the fashion world as one to watch. She has been celebrated for liberal use of vibrant colors, voluminous pieces, and intricate styling. Her eponymous label has been considered by many to be an instant classic, and the driving force behind her creations has been in sleek designs. As a former costume designer for more than two decades, the Swedish-Eritrean truly delivered on the ethereal with his year’s presentation featuring the mythology of the classic children’s fairytale Cinderella – but with a twist. Instead of the belle of the ball, the designer chose to focus on the mice of the story and the concept of living between worlds. With this motif in mind and no restrictions, Fessahaye was able to work across different layers using leftover materials from last season as well as recycled fibers to create sustainable fashion.

TG Botanical by Tetyana Chumak

Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 TG Botanical Tetyana Chumak

Photocredit: James Cochrane for Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 

The mission of TG Botanical, an offshoot of Ukrainian brand Tago, is simple – to create eco-conscious fashion that is in sync with nature. The person behind the label, Tetyana Chumak, takes inspiration from her family’s farming history to produce a line of collection made from locally sourced raw materials in and around Kyiv. Born during the height of the war in Ukraine, TG Botanical has impressed the industry with its usage of natural fibers like hemp, cotton, nettle, and linen. These materials combined with traditional dyeing techniques allows for the creation of legacy apparel which can live across generations. The illustrious collection included simple designes complete with exaggerated sleeves, rich textures, and intricate construction apparent on each piece.


Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 STAMM

Stamm leads the charge with bold, eco-conscious gender-fluid fashion
Photocredit: James Cochrane for Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 

Stamm is all about embracing different environments and cultures to produce a bold aesthetic that unapologetically rewrites the rules. The force behind Stamm, Elisabet Stamm, has cultivated a devoted following after proving her prowess in merging high fashion with streetwear. Inspired from elements from the four corners of the earth, Stamm offered a dynamic presentation at this year’s Copenhagen Fashion Week. Winner this year of the Zalando Sustainability Award, Stamm’s gender-fluid and versatile approach to creating her line encompasses handwoven Indian fabrics that are crafted using the highest in eco-friendly standards.


Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 Iso.Poetism

Meticulous and uninhibited design take to the streets in cutting-edge athleisurewear
Photocredit: James Cochrane for Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 

Recognized early on before the term became a norm in the industry, Iso.Poetism and the man behind the brand - Tobias Birk Nielsen – has been a leader in the eco-conscious movement. Since 2016, the label has continued to rack up accolades in the industry with an aesthetic that celebrates cutting edge technical innovation, raw craftsmanship, and meticulous design. This year, Iso.Poetism presented an array of ski masks, puffer vests and hoodies featured in rustic hues and structured silhouettes. By using a more seamless approach of integrating recycled and deadstock materials from previous collections, the label has created a unique, gender-neutral aesthetic which resonates with audiences worldwide.

Trends from Copenhagen Fashion Week

New seasons bring new trends and at this year’s Fashion Week in Copenhagen, a few emerged that will have a lasting impact throughout this year. Some of the emerging trends included the bold return of raver chic, upscaled athleisurewear, the supersized silhouette, and posh poolside offerings. Upcycling was seen in abundance across several fabrics, particularly knitwear reimagined with flair and executed to new heights. Here are the other top trends spotted on the runways during the week of presentations for Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023.

Barbarella, Rebooted.

Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 Stine Goya

Stine Goya takes fashion into the future that would make Jane Fonda proud
Photocredit: James Cochrane for Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 

Intergalactic looks are back with a vengeance, and several brands capitalized on the look by featuring prints, patterns, and colors that serve as a wink and nod to space travel. The future appears to be all things metaverse and metallic as new designers brought classic concepts to present-day, serving up refined outfits that reflect our digital times. The dystopian future portrayed often in film is now back in dramatic fashion, seen in oversized galactic sunglasses, cyber athleisurewear, and metallic accessories. Several brands got in on the action. Ganni and Helmstedt presented great options that were in-step with the trend, while other brands featured alien-inspired knit sets, otherworldly body suits, bright sunglasses, fitted hoods, and metallic accessories.

Puff Pieces

Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 Helmstedt

Made of cotton and silk, Helmstedt pulled out all the stops with this textured organic triumph
Photocredit: James Cochrane for Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 

The 90s were famous for brash in-your-face fashion that bucked the norms of the day, and oversized apparel made its mark during this period. New silhouettes became standard alongside oversized pants and jackets paired with hoodies and boots, signature looks of the era. Several brands debuted their take on the trend, many incorporating a new perspective on a modern classic. Stine Goya presented puffer hoods, Baum und Pferdgarten’s quilted skirts and padded puffers, and Helmstedt attacked the runway in a wide range of quilted coats in vibrant colors that definitively proclaimed the return of the puff.

Code Red!

Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 Saks Potts

Saks Potts put a quintessential spin on the color red, complete with flares and embellishments
Photocredit: James Cochrane for Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 

Known for its liberal use of color, Copenhagen went all out in its lane with vibrant street style in one of the city’s signature hues. As one of the primary colors most associated with power and independence, the shade carries a boldness that is undeniable. Various iterations of the color were seen on runways during Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023, each brand choosing specific tones to best represent their latest collection. While some opted for head-to-toe red outfits, many preferred the mix-and-match approach for optimal effect. Saks Potts delivered with red maxi skirts and suede coats that dazzled the audience, while Baum und Pferdgarten took a more dynamic approach with the unveiling of a fire engine red tracksuit for elevated athleisurewear. 

High Boots

Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 Ganni

At Ganni, boots and midriffs are in this season
Photocredit: James Cochrane for Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 

Boots are worn across all seasons. It seems like in 2023, the trend of boots will further expand as we have seen its many different iterations during CFW 2O23. For the western wear lovers, the great comeback of the year are cowboy boots, seen paired on the runways with skirts and trousers during the week. For the urban dwellers, Chelsea and denim boots are must-haves to consider for the fall and winter. To add more pop than in previous seasons, boots seen on the runways at this CFW were infused with more bold colors to provide a dramatic entrance to showcase the clothing.

Overall, Danish designers made a striking presence for the entire fashion world to see, and carried the dialogue on non binary fashion that will continue to vibrate throughout the industry.

If you like this article, this one on London Fashion Week 2023 and this one on Paris Fashion Week 2023 might also interest you. 

Triston Brewer is an international journalist and digital bon vivant. He has been published in The Huffington Post and featured in New York Times, Vogue Italia, and The Washington Post, to name a few.