London Fashion Week: What The UK Should Learn From Scandinavia

In the design world, all eyes have been on Scandinavia in recent years. But what is it about cities like Copenhagen which have propelled them to the forefront of fashion, and what can the UK learn from them?
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In the design world, all eyes have been on Scandinavia in recent years. But what is it about cities like Copenhagen which have propelled them to the forefront of fashion, and what can the UK learn from them?

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In recent years, fashion has increasingly taken influence from the Scandinavian world of clothing. This influence has become even more prominent on the high streets in the UK, where a pastel color palette and functionality is now at the forefront of high street trends. Scandinavian fashion has always stayed timeless because of its characterized functional details that mix styles from past and present in an informal, playful way.

Standing as Europe’s fourth largest fashion city, Copenhagen has come into the limelight of the international fashion arena, hosting its own annual fashion week during the months of February and August. Clothing has seized a keynote within Danish design, and within recent years a vast number of companies have managed to tap into the highly competitive, international field of clothing enterprise: WoodWood, Won Hundred and Norse Projects to name but a few. These designers lust for affordable chic and all cultivate their own unique angle on design, innovation and functionality. Instead of the local high streets littered with tawdry retailers imitating each other to see who can achieve the lowest prices, you get stores with rustic, earthy interiors and designers who excel in the art of clothing design that is suited to the frigid weather.

Because of its wealth and prosperity, Denmark is a country with great cultural surplus. Art is often supported by the government and this gives abundant opportunities for artists to develop and express their creativity. Observing the fashion-culture from the eyes of a British individual, you notice that everyone here seems to possess an innate style that is effortless and artful. Getting dressed in the morning, anticipating a day of bombing through blizzard-like conditions on a bicycle and still looking fresh enough for a beer with friends in the evening, is a tough task.

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The UK is built on big corporations and British heritage retailers. Talented young designers are not given half the chance they should have. Is this because our government wants the economy to be based on huge retailers? Or are we all slaves to these big corporations telling us what to do and what to buy through this technological, commercial advertising frenzy we live in? Where has the romance gone?

The entrepreneurial approach for most of these Scandinavian designers inspiration is primarily found within different movements of music, cinema and art, and serves to define a foundation of modern crafted clothing that oozes sophistication, style and Nordic flair. They seem to have a tradition of liberalism and vast space for creativity and are eager to safeguard this environment, which is reflected in their lifestyles and cannot be put any other way than ‘sheer simplicity’. Maybe this country could learn something from this more simplistic way of life.