In her Paris studio the evening earlier than her Spring 2023 present, Cecilie Bahnsen and her staff have been questioning concerning the climate. The forecast for the whole lot of Paris Trend Week was rain, however she deliberate to point out outdoors, in a courtyard on the Cour Mansart Monnaie, regardless. If it did rain, they reasoned, it will be on-theme. The gathering is titled, “We Are Water,” impressed by an previous Yoko Ono set up that includes a row of water-filled bottles, each with the identify of a well-known determine (Sylvia Plath, Cindy Sherman, David Bowie). “It expresses so superbly one thing that I really feel to be true — that we’re all the identical, simply positioned in numerous containers,” the designer wrote in her present notes.
Again on the studio, she confirmed me a stupendous blue silk costume that had been strategically shredded all through, giving it a texture paying homage to ripples in liquid.
“It jogs my memory of once you throw a stone into the water,” she explains. Within the present, it was styled over a similarly-hued knit T-shirt, black socks and Asics personalized with flower appliqués upcycled from a earlier assortment.
Once I arrived, I discovered Bahnsen — a quintessential dirty-blonde, petite Copenhagen “cool woman” — in one in every of her signature white, voluminous (however light-as-air), puff-sleeved attire, thrown on over pants and sneakers, nervously braiding and unbraiding her completely undone, soiled hair. I assumed she was simply making an attempt on a pattern, however no, that was simply her outfit. There was one thing radical about treating such a treasured, superbly constructed (to not point out costly) piece so casually, as if she’d randomly picked it up off the ground and thrown it on. In previous exhibits, she would possibly model her poufy, bow-adorned, hyper-feminine attire and skirts with flats and/or minimalist sweaters, however for Spring 2023, she leaned right into a extra utilitarian means of dressing, impressed by the way in which she and her workers put on the model.
“All of us put on the attire with denims or with a denim jacket over it. It is actually like this masculine counterpoint to the femininity and likewise actually chatting with this Scandinavian means of dressing, like this easy, type of playful, not-too-precious means of placing your issues collectively,” she explains. This was greater than only a styling choice: Bahnsen is increasing her providing to incorporate extra on a regular basis items, together with denim and a variety of delicate knit T-shirts and tanks. She additionally launched a collaboration with British heritage label Macintosh on outerwear (additionally very sensible for the forecast) roomy sufficient to accommodate her billowing sleeves, and her first trainers, performed in partnership with Asics.
“We’re so identified for attire. So it is very nice to now additionally introduce like this denim jacket, the trousers and the outerwear,” she says. “I am actually constructing the gathering.”
Scroll to Proceed
This sensible method to styling didn’t detract from her attire’ distinctive craftsmanship. Bahnsen put a lot of her concentrate on the way in which the attire would transfer, creating every (usually asymmetrical) silhouette proper on the costume stand, transferring it straight from the stand to the match mannequin. To her, this juxtaposition is consultant of her model’s evolution since she started displaying in Paris final season.
“Paris, for me, has such a romance to it, and it is the place I began my profession — I labored for Galliano earlier than — seeing the atelier the craftsmanship.” she explains. “To me, that is additionally why displaying right here now it is like such dream come true. However then pairing that with this Danish easy means of carrying it. It must be sensible and it must be snug but additionally taking one thing couture and treasured, however make it one thing that you just simply wish to make a part of your on a regular basis and that you just wish to love and also you need put it on on a Monday in addition to to a celebration… So you’ll be able to type of combine the 2, proper?”
Additionally very Scandinavian is Bahnsen’s dedication to sustainability. Her first denim assortment will probably be produced domestically with none dyes, and lots of parts of the gathering are upcycled.
“It is this type of factor the place you are not ranging from a clean canvas, however you’re employed with what you have got,” she says. “I feel it actually offers an individuality to the gathering a brand new twist.”
Together with her newest assortment, Bahnsen continues to construct her enterprise, and a reputation for herself. Amongst Paris’s uniquely formidable of combine established and buzzy new designers, she is refining her craft whereas bringing all of it again right down to earth — and reminding us that, finally, we’re all simply water. (And sure, it did find yourself raining.)
See each look from Cecilie Bahnsen’s Spring 2023 assortment within the gallery under.
Need the most recent trend trade information first? Join our day by day e-newsletter.