For spring/summer '24, Cecilie Bahnsen cleverly leans towards the “everyday” in her universe of “everyday couture” whilst maintaining her otherworldly prowess for detail
Cecilie Bahnsen describes her fantastical garments as “everyday couture” – the sort of frocks that, despite their extraordinary craftsmanship, you’re more likely to see whipping around Copenhagen on a bicycle than gliding down a red carpet. This season, Bahnsen does not hold back on the couture elements – in fact, up close the details are more delicately achieved than ever – yet she somehow leans further into the “everyday”. It’s a notion emphasised by the very first look, in which a smart cropped utility jacket is paired with a flouncy skirt, blooming with tiny florals. “I continue to be inspired by the women who wear my clothes and how they style them to fit into their life on the day-to-day,” says Bahsen, who her self is often found stitching and draping whist wearing a frock of her own design. “Not only saving pieces for an occasion but really living in them.”
Take, for starters, the denim – a Scandinavian staple if there ever was one. This, however, is denim done the Bahnsen way, in which a carefully cropped dark wash jacket with contrast red stitching and tulle underlay meets a matching voluminous skirt. There’s also an emphasis on summery knitwear, light as air and embroidered with flower motifs. “We approached our knitted fabrics the same way as our wovens, looking to recreate a sense of texture, lightness, and transparency,” says Bahnsen, noting the technical prowess necessary to realise the final result.
Also on offer for the first time, a blown-up gingham, a print so obviously Bahnsen-esque it’s hard to believe it wasn’t among her offering before. “Although this is the first time we’ve used gingham in the collection, it feels like such a natural fit,” says Bahnsen. "I was drawn to the graphic style of the print which acts as a nice contrast to the softness and femininity of the collection.” It patterns sweet empire waisted dresses, the perfect look for a dreamy summer picnic.
Speaking of dresses, there are no shortage of light-as-air frocks – Bahnsen’s beloved signature. This time, however, the silhouettes are slimmer, the reduced volume allowing those couture details to shine through even more. The artful draping, the teeny tiny embroideries, the nips and ruffles. It’s like poetry. Still, even the prettiest, fussiest dresses are paired with the designer's own scuba shoes or her latest function-forward collab with Asics for maximum get-up-and-go.
Still, it’s hard to catch these details on the runway, particularly in Paris, where the stages seem to grow ever bigger. Bahnsen, however, cleverly seated her guests so close to the action, they could feel the breeze of a skirt or pouf sleeve as it swished by. Not something you see every day.
See the full Cecilie Bahnsen SS24 collection below: