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Scandinavian Style

Danish designers added splashes of colour on the catwalks to brighten autumn 07's moody palette. Shapes were fluid and elegant with sophisticated retro references


Taking its lead from last autumn's penchant for masculine dressing, Day Birger et Mikkelsen opened its catwalk with a raft of tuxedo-inspired silhouettes that should bury the brand's boho chic image. Bib-fronted knits, tailored trousers with jodhpur shaping from the waist to mid thigh, crisp white button-through shirts, gold backless waistcoats and tailored wide-leg trousers with ribbon taping were key. Even a white cape with button lapels featured masculine detailing. An ultra-mini satin back-pleated skirt had a more feminine edge, while jet black beading on a cream silk dress was effortlessly elegant. References ranged from Cabaret to Scandinavian milkmaids.


Designer Suzanne Rutzou steered her collection down a chic, modern path for autumn 07, with simple shapes in rich shades of plum, forest green, steel grey, black and pillar-box red. Smock-style dresses with three-quarter-length sleeves were decorated with tone-on-tone detailing including layered pleating and covered buttons, worn on top of fine ribbed leggings. This fine rib knit was also used as panelling on Rutzou's silk camisoles. For eveningwear, a loose, knee-length black velvet dress was glammed up with strings of crystals draped across the neck and shoulders. There was also a sporty look at work on silk dresses, which had elasticated hems and eyelet details.


The By Malene Birger show was the most accomplished of the week, with a strong retro-inspired message that was rooted in the 1960s. Most indicative of this was a black swing-style wool coat with round collar and three-quarter-length sleeves with a satin quilted body that swung from the empire line, and skinny black satin trousers with the subtlest of geometric patterns. Knitwear was oversized with elegantly draped tiered sleeves, while figure-hugging dresses and ribbed cape-style wraps were also on show. Amid the black, charcoal, dove grey and camel shades, colour was found on coral silk with bib panels on blouses or as understated snake print on gold smocks.


Sultry all-black designs were pitted against lighter shades of oyster and eggshell at Sand. Feminine wisps of chiffon and fluid drapes of satin combined to form a classic day-to-eveningwear wardrobe. Luxurious black textured wraparound coats were fastened with large satin bows and finished with elasticated satin cuffs. Dresses flirted between baby doll styles and Grecian-influenced floor-skimming designs with lace overlays and empire-line embellishment. These opulent pieces were punctuated with more classic styles including a cream shirt framed with black piping, a feminine version of a Crombie-style coat with dropped shoulders, and high-waisted grey trousers teamed with a crisp white shirt.


Emerging from a violet backdrop, models at the Baum und Pferdgarten show paraded a host of black and midnight blue designs that encapsulated the rich yet sombre mood of the season. Subtle volume was a key feature on balloon sleeves and exaggerated ruffle-front shirts. Punk-inspired references also made an appearance, with a wet-look quilted jacket and zip detailing that ran seductively down the back of skinny trousers. A feminine frill-fronted shirt dress in dark denim injected a masculine flavour, with smocks in pinstriped cotton given a similar treatment. Elsewhere, racer-style dresses and sheer pussy-bow blouses in taupe and mushroom shades helped to lift the mostly dark palette.


There was a naive feel to the Designers Remix collection, which was inspired by the Mia Farrow film Rosemary's Baby. Coats and jackets boasted narrow round-neck collars and cropped puffed sleeves, and came in black wool or a fanned peacock print. Crisp white textured cotton shirts with choirboy wing-tip collars hung low beneath single button cropped jackets and oversized cardigans. Satin pussy-bow blouses were combined with retro printed smock dresses, which nodded to abstract expressionism in violet and midnight blue set against white. These looks mixed the masculine and feminine mirrored by the pleat-front trousers and slick pencil skirts. These sat alongside mini tunic dresses and cropped tuxedo-style jackets.


There was a youthful edge to the Bruuns Bazaar collection, which focused on easy-to-wear femininity for its daytime offer with slightly slicker finishes for eveningwear. Pretty knot fronts were a notable detail on silk tops and dresses. Trousers were generally cropped and slouchy, while longer-length styles in soft wool had elasticated waistbands for optimum comfort and luxury. Feminine smocks featured as both tops and dresses in grown-up fabrics such as wool and coated cotton, while layered organza was given a younger twist in racer-style dress silhouettes. Colour interest came via bursts of burnt orange, which lifted the sultry palette of grey, camel, oatmeal and black shades.


A 1950s pin-up flavour permeated the InWear catwalk. Short shorts, low-cut figure-hugging printed blouses with button fastenings, fitted blazers and hourglass shirt-style dresses were all important looks for the autumn 07 range. The colour palette was almost entirely dark, with midnight blue and black forming the background of the range. Detailing was subtle and mostly tone-on-tone, with pin tucking, laser-cut detailing and glossy tonal embroidery enlivening trims. Printswere generally monochrome, but they helped to lift the sombre mood and offered a more mainstream look on crystal pleat skirts and baby doll dresses. Wool coats and skinny black denim provided a tougher masculine edge to this otherwise predominantly feminine presentation.

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