The modern fashion industry is built for speed, sound, and transmission to perform best in a global arena. While many brands are stacking the amps and cranking up the volume, Cecilie Bahnsen has chosen to play acoustic. This Danish designer revels in the touch and sound of her fabrics, in “happy accidents”, and is open to sharing the stage, as she has done this season.
Bahnsen teamed up with Okay Kaya (Norwegian-American singer Kaya Wilkins) for their digital presentation; it presents its first line of bags, produced in collaboration with the Japanese company Chacoli; and she sent a box of clothes to photographer Takashi Homma, for him to photograph as he sees fit in his world. The results, Bahnsen said on a call, not only complimented his work, but “it has been a really good thing to learn how you, as a brand and as a young designer, become stronger by working. with people. And you become even more aware of your own identity and your own writing in what you do, and you gain confidence in it. All these elements will be presented in a gallery in Paris; the 30 dresses on mannequins.
Bahnsen’s cursive is readable, his universe well defined. While there is a dreamy and fairytale quality to her dresses, they are also of this world, a point that was reminded to me when I visited the designer’s studio and found that most of the The team lives and works in these dresses. It is the wearing of one’s own designs and seeing them in action that underpins Bahnsen’s work and prevents it from being seen only as a special occasion outfit. “It’s really the beauty of everyday life, like the way you roll up the dress when you ride a bike, or roll up your sleeves to protect it when you work and these different kinds of curtains and folds happen accidentally,” she says. “These little silhouette-changing accidents are so beautiful and can light up so many new ideas, which was really the starting point this season.”
The first sign of novelty is the palette, which goes from black and white to sky blue, rose petals and a tangy red. Among the raised, embroidered and floating cutouts is the shimmer of rubber, used to draw an abstract floral. Wilkins appears in the video wearing just the basics of a Bahnsen ensemble, a cutout, a drawstring top and pants, all reminiscent of how the designer constructs her look through layering. It’s a process she says she applied when approaching bag design as well.