For Cecilie Bahnsen, Wednesday’s show wasn’t just the culmination of the six-month process of building a spring collection.
It was also “the grand finale to the red, pinks, the romance, the ruffles, the frills” she first brought to Paris four years ago, she said backstage. “Just taking it all to its max to maybe allow new ideas to come in.”
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Exploring all this could have been hard to unpack but the Danish designer is an old hand at applying craft-intensive techniques into clothes you’d “wear on a Monday,” as she puts it.
Opening the show was a group that epitomized “the story of what it takes to make a collection and actually how many hands have touched it and made it real.” Those translucent layers made it all the easier to see the label’s deft constructions and sharp execution, as well as its repertoire of textile manipulation.
But the lineup also spelled out that Bahnsen’s eye is firmly on the next chapter. Although the brand built its reputation — and a business that could reach $10 million in sales this year, according to industry sources — on pretty dresses, it has now grown to be “brave enough” to forgo the total look and offer separates made to be paired with anything else you might have in your wardrobe, she said.
What bridged the two directions into one coherent lineup was a pop of red on a pair of raw indigo looks. “Once that stitching was on the denim, suddenly the link to the colors [emerged] and that’s when we decided it had to be the celebration of red and pink,” she said.
Among the standouts were those denim pieces, now a core of the brand, according to Bahnsen; smartly utilitarian straight trousers; a patch-pocket jacket with a ladylike basque; a shirtdress with a flouncy skirt and bow details, and knit tops with 3D flowers made by gathering the fine-gauge material into puffy shapes.
For Bahnsen devotees, the result felt like a validation of their choice; for others, an invitation to look closer, and for the designer, the reaffirmation that “we’re here for the long game.”
Launch Gallery: Cecilie Bahnsen RTW Spring 2024
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