Prediction: These 10 Copenhagen Trends Will Define What Is Cool This Year

You'll want to take notes.

Prediction: These 10 Copenhagen Trends Will Define What Is Cool This Year

Fashion can sometimes feel reductive and repetitive, or at least that's the perspective one can come to hold after years of following the industry. It can be easy to fall into a sartorial inspiration dry spell when the trends begin to feel repetitive, the production cycle is far too fast to keep up with, and the brands feel inauthentic to their identity. All of this is to say that when you stumble upon something that feels new, it's like a reawakening of one's entire perspective.  And that's very much the case, for me at least, when it comes to Copenhagen fashion week. While it's a privilege to attend and report on shows in general, something about being able to travel with CIFF to attend the fall/winter 2023 shows in this Danish capital was something else entirely. It opened up the world to me, quite literally. With that opening, I discovered new brands, spotted street style trends, and experienced firsthand why Copenhagen has become the world's coolest fashion capital.  That newly minted status very much has to do with the fact that some of the buzziest brands in the industry are coming from this Danish capital. But it also relates to the Scandi set's renewed approach to clothing. From choosing to produce in a more sustainable way to creating trend-forward pieces that can transcend time to staying true to their brand's aesthetic, this community has changed the way, we look at fashion. But you don't have to take my word for it. Ahead, I've highlighted ten major trends from CPHFW's F/W 23 collections. If these can't break you out of a clothing-related rut, nothing will. 

While most may assume some of the biggest outerwear trends come from New York or Paris, the truth is that they're secretly coming from Copenhagen. The ultra-chilly city does not play when it comes to its outwear, and the F/W 23 collections further prove that. Across the board, coats were a focal point for every Scandi brand's collections, but the most prevalent style was spread-collar coats. What makes this jacket style distinct goes back to the silhouette—it typically features a high neckline with a shorter pointy collar. But, in true Scandi fashion, we saw this classic coat give a fun twist. 

It wasn't about going overboard to make this silhouette feel fresh, but instead focusing on the details. We saw leather trench coats reimagined in earth tones with spread collars at Gestuz and Saks Potts. At the same time, if the coat didn't come in an unexpected color, then we saw shocking design details. For example, Remain sent a leather trench down the runway with built-in gold hardware to emphasize the spread-collar. While, Baum Und Pferdgarden used white contrast stitching, and Skall studio used lace and a bow on their coat to add a subtle pop. And finally, if the style didn't feature unique design elements, then the styling itself was enough to sell the coat—look to how Holzweiler layered cuffs over the sleeves of their coats and added corded necklaces over them to add visual intrigue. Overall, each collection showed that this "boring" coat could be bold if done right. 

The sweater dress has undoubtedly cemented itself as a cold-weather staple in the minds of many around the world. One could even argue that it's such a universal piece it can't possibly feel unique. And yet, as the Copenhagen design set showed their F/W 23 collections, they proved otherwise. We know the knitted dress is beloved for its versatility (both in silhouettes, fabrications, colors, and styling possibilities), and that range was on full display on the catwalks this season.

There were, of course, the classic body-hugging knit dresses we've all come to know. But, rather than keeping them simple, we saw designers embrace some of the hottest colors of the moment—i.e., Remain sent a ballet pink version down their runway. We also saw thicker knit maxi dresses in every color imaginable styled with extra-long scarves at Aeron, The Garment, and Birgitte Herskind. And if that weren't enough to show how versatile this piece can be, then you simply just have to look at Gestuz's collection. They sent every possible version of this dress (from body-hugging to loosely fitted and maxi to mini-length) down the runway with oversized gold jewelry to accent it. The result was a season filled with so many knit dresses it made one yearn to skip over spring and summer to return to sweater weather season. 

No matter how many trends come and go, one thing remains ever-relevant: suiting. From Paris to New York, there's no shortage of how blazers, trousers, waistcoats, and everything else in-between have continued to be a prevalent part of collections. And while one could argue that suiting isn't the most cutting edge, there is something to be said about how Danish designers approached them for F/W 23. 

Unlike the oversized suiting separates we've seen over the past few seasons, Scandi designers emphasized tailoring. It wasn't that big, and boxy fits were ditched outright; instead, they were altered by adding sharp angles. For example, oversized blazers were given exaggerated shoulders at Mark Kenly Domino Tan and Birgitte Herskind. At the same time, we also saw a slew of blazers and waistcoats with nipped-in waists (see: Remain and Holzeiler's F/W 23 collections). And baggier trousers were given a more formal touch with either exposed waistbands or crisp pleats (seen at The Garment). Each detail made these tried-and-true suiting separates feel a little bit edgier. 

It's no secret that fashion has been having a love affair with risqué pieces. From the wide embrace of pantless looks to bra tops to micro hemlines, there's no shortage of sultry separates on the runway. But possibly the most prevalent trend of them all is the embrace of sheer fabrics. While mesh, gauze, chiffon, and open-work knitted pieces are nothing new, we've seen more and more designers embrace opaque textiles, including at CPHFW.

For Scandi designers, it was all about showing skin without being fully naked. How that translated depended upon the designer; for some, it meant sending long-line dresses adorned with sequins and fringe down the runway (see: Stine Goya and Baum Und Pferdgarten's collections). For others, it was about styling sheer separates in unique ways. At The Garment, a chiffon tank was paired with trousers and a scarf. While at A. Roege Hove, we saw ultra-fine plissé separates layered on top of each other. And then, there were just ultra-pretty open-work knit pieces (see: Lovechild1979's white maxi dress) that made showing skin a more practical option for colder temperatures. Each variation of sheer looks showed that putting your skin in the game isn't as big of a risk as it's made out to be. 

Let's be honest: layering is a non-negotiable, especially in an ultra-cold city like Copenhagen. And while layering is a necessary part of life, it still is noteworthy enough to talk about. Unlike previous seasons that focused on excessive layering, the Scandi set stripped back the maximal styling elements and made it wearable for their F/W 23 collections. It wasn't about adding layer upon layer on top of each other in a maximalist approach, but rather using similar-cut pieces together to create a doubled effect.

For example, a shorter blazer was layered over a similar long-line coat at Remain and Mark Kenly Domino Tan. While at Munthe, there were two identical blazers styled over each other. But it wasn't just jackets that got duplicated; we saw bottoms given the same treatment. There were skirts of every length layered over trousers (see Birgitte Herskind and Remain). If pieces weren't actually styled over each other, we also saw designers embrace pieces that give off the illusion of layering—i.e., Saks Potts had a green maxi-skirt that looked tiered. While each approach was varied, it showed us that donning extra layers doesn't have to be dull or undue.

With every cold winter breeze comes the embrace of thicker fabrics. Fall collections are typically filled with textured pieces from chunky knits to wools, velvets, and leather. But, to say that Copenhagen's F/W 23 collections were typical would be a disservice to the depth of creativity put on display to create richly textured pieces. Instead of opting for traditional winter fabrics, Danish designers were daring and played with textiles and techniques to bring how the pieces looked and felt to the forefront. 

Take, for example, how TG Botanical and Iso Poetism created matching sets with excessive ruching that created an almost popcorn-like texture. While OpéraSport applied ruching techniques to vegan leather pieces to create a bubble effect. But it wasn't just the use of ruching that brought depth to the collections. We saw sheer plissé at A. Roege Hove, embroidered silk at Helmsted, and distressed fabrics at Henrik Vibskov. While each designer's approach to playing with textures in their work may have been different, the overall consensus seemed to be that garments should make you curious enough to want to touch (and wear) them. 

It wasn't just extreme textures that were spotlighted on the F/W 23 runways in Copenhagen; sequins were too. Of course, it should be noted that metallic-hued pieces were a prevalent part of S/S 23 collections and will continue to be prominent throughout the year. But with the Scandi design set, it wasn't just about creating shiny pieces but taking classic silhouettes and using sequins to introduce texture and vibrant tints into the mix. 

A prime example is how Munthe took a classic mini-dress silhouette and gave it a spin with the addition of fringe sequins. Or how Rotate and Stine Goya did a more maximal take on maxi dresses with the addition of pink and orange sequins. But, it wasn't just traditional dress silhouettes adorned with sequins. At Selam Fessahaye, a matching cropped blazer, and a mini skirt were embellished with multi-colored sequins. And then my personal favorite was how Saks Potts adorned a lime green tube top, matching maxi skirt, and skinny scarf with sequins. Whether it was a skirt, corset, dress, or blazer, each piece managed to make the classic silhouettes we all love shine even brighter. 

I know what you may be thinking, scarves, really? The accessory is a winter staple, after all, and is always relevant. But alas, once again, the Danish design set managed to take a seemingly simple staple and make it all the more stylish. And the way they did this was through the widespread embrace of extra-long and often dramatic scarves. 

The vibe for these scarves wasn't necessarily about functionality but fashion. This is evident when you look at how at Aeron, (Di)Vision, and Holzweiler, scarves were either close enough to graze the ground or fully dragged behind the models in tow. Or how extra-long scarves were paired with pieces that aren't seemingly winter-friendly (i.e., sheer tops at A. Roege Hove and The Garment were styled with them). The various forms of styling seen on Copenhagen's runway proved that even the most "stale" winter accessories could be stunning; it just takes a little extra fabric and maybe a good strut. 

As I've previously reported, belts have had a renaissance on the runway. Not only have we seen designers begin to style more runway looks with this accessory, but it's become a pivotal part of the design details of the garments. And that trend has continued with the release of F/W 23 collections from Copenhagen. 

Danish designers, of course, used this tried-and-true accessory in timeless ways (i.e., low-slung jeans were held up with a belt at OpéraSport). But we also saw more experimental forms of embracing the belt. For instance, at Mark Kenely Domino Tan, belts had chiffon trains attached. While at Alpha, hip cutouts were accentuated with the usage of a simple black belt. At the same time, oversized belts were worn as tube tops at Nynne. But possibly the most "controversial" styling was the embrace of belt bags. Before you gawk, though, you should know that in true Scandi form, these belt bags were far more polished than the fanny packs we're used to (and traumatized by). At Saks Potts, we saw a sleek corset-like belt with discreet pockets styled over a wool coat. And, at Remain, a leather tube dress was styled with a low-slung burgundy belt bag. While the belt bag may not be for everyone, the various ways this accessory was incorporated on the runway gives everyone plenty of options to feel good about fastening themselves into. 

By now, you've hopefully been convinced that some of the coolest trends this year will undoubtedly be exported from Copenhagen. But, if you still need convincing, let this final noteworthy trend be the coffin in the nail for you. We've already seen Canadian Tuxedos play a prevalent role in S/S 23 collections, but Danish designers took the trend and gave it an even trendier update. 

There were, of course, the more timeless takes on the tuxedo—button-downs were paired with matching pants at OpéraSport and Skall Studio. Plus, we saw a belted denim blazer paired with matching bootleg jeans at Gestuz. But then, there were more risqué takes of this classic suit. For instance, there were pink stone-washed denim looks at Stine Goya and Baum Und Pferdgarten. While at Remain, we saw a denim blazer tucked into matching pants, a metallic jacket added on top, and finished off with cowboy boots. Though there were so many variations of Canadian Tuexdos on the runway, each look emphasized more trendy elements—whether through the denim's wash, fit, or overall styling. And it proved that Copenhagen is the city to watch if you want to know what's next in fashion. 

Next: So Far, These Are the Top 6 Trends of 2023