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Danish designer Cecilie Bahnsen presented her Spring/Summer 2020 collection last week in Copenhagen, on a harborside runway, accompanied by a soundtrack featuring a piano composition by August Rosenbaum. Inspired by husband and wife artistic duo Jeanne-Claude and Christo, the collection—which, the designer described as her most romantic yet—employs the artists’ use of fabric as a tool for concealing and revealing that which already exists, reinvented to envelop the female form.
“What they did was to create new ways of looking at the familiar and iconic,” Bahnsen said. “I read a quote by an art critic who described it as ‘revelation through concealment.’ That really clicked with me. With my dresses I’m looking at ways of concealing and revealing a woman’s body, wrapping and enveloping, looking at sensuality and femininity, finding new ways. For the collection I wanted that same feeling of abundance you get in the Christo and Jeanne-Claude installations. We piled yards and yards of fabric into bundles of ruffles and pleats so that surfaces suddenly blossom into enormous volume.”
Bringing together timeless styles with sculptural silhouettes and couture techniques, Bahnsen’s new collection is surely one for the modern romantic. A palette of white, yellow, soft pink, and black made way for the sweetest of details—like open backed dresses adorned with delicate bows; sheer fabrics layered until barely translucent; and no shortage of scalloped hems, lace, and ruffles.
Styles included pieces like long, tiered skirts worn with crinkled silk blouses, dresses that wrapped around the torso softly, and baby doll silhouettes with balloon sleeves. For the first time, the designer also explored elements of tailoring, creating several pantsuits that brought an ever-so-slightly more masculine element to the runway—seen in looks like a black pantsuit with a sheer overlay floating down to the knees, and a simple form-fitting jacket and trousers in textured pink material.
Appearing as though they had just finished a leisurely morning out on the water, each model sported a fresh face, wet hair, and a pair of black sandals with tiny beaded flowers. Pieces we loved the most included the feathery white shift dress; the black mini dress with the scalloped scoop neck and exaggerated sleeves (reminding us of a modern interpretation of a garment one might see in a renaissance portrait), and the pink sweater and skirt combination.