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Danish flavours were lacking in consistency

It’s home to the world’s best restaurant, Noma, and some incredibly good-looking people, plus it is regularly cited as one of the best places to live in the world.

So, it’s easy to see the appeal of coming to Copenhagen to view some of the best collections from Scandinavia and beyond.

But one thing that struck me from our trip to the Danish capital last week was the less-than-perfect and disjointed feel to all the shows.

Copenhagen has long been held up as one of the slickest and most co-operative cities when the fashion world comes to town, its comparison to the ‘every man for himself’ attitude in Berlin a stark contrast to the Scandinavians’ serenity. Trade shows Gallery, CIFF and Vision as well as the city’s fashion week were all pulling in the same direction as recently as last season, putting on free travel, both shuttle and public, and also co-ordinating schedules, buyers and press. Rumours abound that the fairs have fallen out with the fashion week organisers but on the surface this disagreement appears to have had little affect on the feel of the city.

But walking through the trade shows it was noticeable how peculiar the mix of brands was in each fair. Talking to some of the exhibitors, the merry-go-round of who shows where is on a par with the circus surrounding the football transfer window. Brands move season on season in search of the holy grail of more and better-quality buyers while the fairs constantly tweak their position depending on who they can and want to attract. This competition is healthy, but the by-product of this moving and shaking is that at present the shows are a little schizophrenic. Modern, clean, typically Scandinavian womenswear collections sit only a few spots along from young fashion men’s denim and boho labels for 40-plus women. Sure, every show wants to improve and add cache to its offer, but if it means it lacks focus, which buyers are they hoping will attend?

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