Henrik Vibskov’s AW24 collection asks us: what’s your daily therapy session? Is it conscious, or is it a tic? Is it mindful, or is it an escape?
“Sorry about my chewing gum,” Henrik Vibkov says as he chomps down the phone days before his autumn/winter ’24 presentation at Copenhagen Fashion Week. “I’m on some kind of chewing gum with nicotine, and I’m chewing day and night – but it’s better than smoking. If you ask me a tricky question, you’re going to hear this foil opening,” he says as he unwraps a new piece, “and then I would put the chewing gum in, and then I’m happy. Is it therapy, or am I addicted?”
This is the overarching question framing his collection this season, which – as usual – the designer tackles both literally and philosophically. Vibskov had noticed a sense of post-Covid fragility in those around him in recent months, prompting thoughts around mindfulness versus escape. Gaming, for one, came up (“my son would for sure say it’s therapy, not addiction”), as did all kinds of animal therapy (“you can book slots with cows and horses to spend time with them, take care of them”), and light therapy (“the person who sits next to me at the studio beams light into her eyes for 20 minutes every morning”).
The notion plays out with both subtlety and exaggeration. Silhouettes are warped and collage-like, and shoulders fold backwards in origami-like form. Models are bundled in whisper-thin sheer fabrics and weighty woven jacquards, with prints that hint at Vibskov’s references – horse heads, fractured light, gaming grids. True to form, the surreal and immersive staging for the show at Øksnehallen is unparalleled. Greek pillars (from a concurrent set design project of Vibskov’s for Malmö Live Concert Hall) are repurposed horizontally as chewing pink gum strings, which models manoeuvre, game-like, between the row of doors on “Vibs’ therapy floor” – also a nod to religious confessional booths: “You know, you go in, and you come out, and now you’re a better person.”
As Vibskov continues to evolve – especially off the back of his Kronprinsparrets Priser culture award bestowed by the now-King and Queen of Denmark in November – as does his influence and brand awareness. In the meantime, he implores us: “choose your therapy”.
See the full Henrik Vibskov AW24 collection below: