Rotate - AW23

By Allyson Shiffman

Photo: James Cochrane

Clever casting ensured that the Rotate party continued on this season

Arriving at Rotate’s autumn/winter 2023 show things seemed eerily austere. Minimal, even. A simple black vinyl runway, coupled with a massive LED screen baring the words: ROTATE. Has Copenhagen’s number one good time brand become suddenly serious? But then, the lights go down, the beat kicks in and, among a slew of Rotate’s beloved girls, out marches ex-Real Housewife of Beverly Hills Lisa Rinna – the biggest gag of CPHFW.


Rinna is a perfect fit for Rotate, really, a brand that revels in being unabashedly over the top, a brand that loves celebrating body-ody-ody and a brand that loves leopard print (fittingly, she wore a massive leopard faux fur coat, which, she told me, she intended on keeping). But this killer bit of casting aside, the offering was, in fact, more subdued than usual. “This collection features a much more neutral colour palette, with the emphasis really being on the power of black in the wardrobe,” say designers Jeanette Madsen and Thora Valdimars. “Our collections are often very colourful, so this is quite disruptive for us, but we think it will be just as impactful.”

The pared down palette allowed the girls to revel in silhouette – the silhouette of the body, that is. Frocks were tight and teeny tiny, adorned with bows, ruffles and ruching. Sometimes, the simplest of ideas can be the most complex to execute. Take, for instance, the design duo’s ambition to include the “perfect little black dress” in with the collection. “From the beginning of the design process, we had such a clear vision of how the dress should look,” Madsen and Valdimars say. “But in its simplicity it has taken a huge amount of working and re-working the features to get to the point where the dress is perfect.” The resulting garment, with its bouffant shoulders, plunging neckline and built-in bra is quintessential Rotate – a little bit ’80s, a little bit naughty and always primed to party until the wee hours.

But it isn’t the LBD that Madsen and Valdimars look forward to plucking from the runway (they are, after all, their brand’s best ambassadors). Look out for Madsen in the printed chiffon maxi dress, its floral embroidery adding a touch of elegance. Valdimars, rather, tends towards the aforementioned faux fur leopard print overcoat, which she describes as “pure ’80s rock 'n' roll glamour”. Rinna stans know, she’s no stranger to a twinning Rotate moment.