In a white-walled studio within the Third Arrondissement of Paris two days earlier than Cecilie Bahnsen’s fall 2022 runway presentation, the Danish designer is sitting on the concrete flooring pawing a Pop It! toy with a co-worker’s toddler. The casting for the present — her namesake model’s first within the French capital — is underway, and fashions are strolling up and down the room, narrowly avoiding Bahnsen and the kid, who’s the daughter of the stylist Emelie Johansson. Then Bahnsen turns her consideration to a tall lady with braids who has simply entered the room. “Lets strive her within the costume?” she asks her group. They know which one she means: They’ve been engaged on all of it morning.
5 minutes later, a hush falls because the French mannequin Kathia Nseke strides in a shiny black jacquard mini with an asymmetrical hem that puffs out like popcorn. “It’s so quick! Are you cheerful?” asks Johansson, as Sara Bro-Jorgensen, the model’s head of design, adjusts drawstrings that make the costume pucker up much more on one aspect. “It’s quick however it’s good!” says Bahnsen, clapping her arms in delight. Round her, all 27 members of her group, who’ve flown in from Copenhagen to work on this short-term house — a lot of them sporting the label’s unofficial uniform of a voluminous organza costume worn over a cable-knit sweater and denims, and with Salomon sneakers — break into whoops.
For a day so charged with anticipation, the general temper is remarkably relaxed. Then once more, a lot of the onerous work is already performed: The appears to be like and operating order had been edited again in Copenhagen and cling to the assured and constant aesthetic codes of the model, which launched in 2015. Since then, Cecilie Bahnsen has turn out to be synonymous with ultrafeminine, voluminous attire in black, white and sugary shades like powder pink and dusty blue. The 38-year-old designer additionally favors bows, beads and a baby-doll silhouette, in addition to quilting and cutouts. She grounds every ornamented look with flat sneakers. Prior to now, these have included beaded mountaineering sandals — a collaboration with the Japanese line Suicoke — and chunky rain boots created with the Italian mountaineering producer Diemme. This season, Bahnsen is launching her personal neoprene ballerina pumps and boots, impressed by rock-climbing sneakers and hand-embellished with acrylic trumpet flowers and Swarovski beads.
It’s a mode that’s proved extra versatile than it sounds. “I all the time needed the model to not be too treasured, regardless that we put a lot love into what we create,” says Bahnsen. “It’s about wearability. Among the drapes that we took from final season, the place the skirts had been tucked into the aspect, got here from the best way the women within the studio tucked them in [to their waistbands] earlier than getting on their bikes.” These ladies have many counterparts in followers of the model and, after 5 years of displaying in Copenhagen — and two of digital-only shows — Bahnsen felt prepared for a spot on the Paris Vogue Week schedule. “Paris has all the time been a second dwelling,” she says, reminiscing about her days as an intern for John Galliano (she additionally labored at Erdem in London for a time). “Copenhagen is the place we discovered our voice, however taking that to Paris and attending to concentrate on the romance, the craftsmanship and pushing issues creatively. … It’s one thing I’ve all the time dreamed of doing.”
The morning of the present, Bahnsen has traded her puffy costume for a capacious navy skirt, a white T-shirt and a tennis necklace with tiny diamond daisies and an assortment of wave-shaped rings on mortgage from her buddy the Danish jeweler Sophie Bille Brahe. The sound verify is going down within the Palais de Tokyo, and “Night time Wandering,” a 1939 poem by the Danish author Tove Ditlevsen that Bahnsen had translated into English by Michael Favala Goldman and carried out by the Danish experimental musician Frederikke Hoffmeier, often known as Puce Mary, is intoning over the loudspeaker. Copies of the poem’s textual content have been printed on ribbed white paper and left on the three-legged stools that await their sitters. Bahnsen grew up studying Ditlevsen’s poems, and this one has a somnolent high quality that lends itself to her dreamy, even cloudlike designs. “Going someplace new, I actually needed to take part of dwelling with me,” she says.
Because the fashions line up backstage, quietly sipping water from paper cups, the choreographer Marianne Haugli delivers a last-minute pep speak. “Simply bear in mind how extraordinarily emotional this second is for Cecilie and her group,” she says. As if on cue, Bahnsen, who has been twirling her hair anxiously, begins to cry. “Take pleasure in it — and fill the room,” says Haugli. By now, different members of the group are additionally in tears, and it’s infectious. “Fashions, please don’t cry!” yells the make-up artist Rikke Dengso Jensen. “We don’t have time to redo your mascara!” Under is a step-by-step account of the 48 hours main as much as the present.
Bahnsen’s designs typically function ties and cutouts within the again, however this season she modified issues up. “For me, there’s a lot femininity within the again,” she mentioned. “However now that we’re doing runway, I assumed it might be good to deliver a few of it to the entrance.”
The Nice Debate
Bahnsen consults with Sara Bro-Jorgensen, the model’s head of design, on whether or not a costume requires one other layer beneath. “It’s been the controversy of the day — with pants or with out pants?” Bahnsen mentioned after which laughed.
The stylist Emelie Johansson’s younger daughter contributed to the familial temper within the studio as she performed together with her toy vehicles whereas mannequin casting carried on round her.
Tuesday, March 1, 1 p.m.
On the higher stage of the light-filled studio, the gross sales group took appointments with patrons from the model’s 125 wholesale companions, who had been reviewing extra wearable, on a regular basis variations of the catwalk items being tried on beneath. The mannequin’s hand-beaded neoprene pumps had been impressed by rock-climbing sneakers.
Books and Blooms
With the group caring for ultimate fittings, Bahnsen headed out to get some contemporary air. She wore a raincoat from her ongoing collaboration with Waterproof coat. “I simply love the craftsmanship of what they do,” mentioned Bahnsen. “Its father and son [artisans] and all handmade.” She ended up on the Yvon Lambert gallery and bookshop, the place she discovered a French-language reprint of “On Weaving,” the artist Anni Albers’s seminal 1965 textual content about transitioning from handcrafted to machine-made weaving. Then she handed by a flower stall and reveled within the acidic colour of a bunch of mimosas. Her autumn assortment options equally vibrant shades of inexperienced and cobalt blue, a departure from Bahnsen’s habitually pared-back palette.
At Le Progrès, a restaurant on rue de Bretagne, Bahnsen took 5 with a flat white, her espresso order of alternative. Her behavior of absent-mindedly braiding her lengthy hair influenced the hair types for the fashions within the present. “We’re going to do plaits, a little bit bit like how I do them after I’m questioning what to do!” Bahnsen mentioned. “So, all totally different sizes of plaits woven with ribbons from the gathering.”
Wednesday, March 2, 1:23 p.m.
Backstage on the Palais de Tokyo present house two-and-a-half hours earlier than the presentation was slated to start out, fashions had their hair and make-up performed.
Strolling the Stroll
Earlier than the rehearsal, the choreographer Marianne Haugli instructed the fashions to channel ethereal power. “The duty is waking up from a dream that you just can not bear in mind — feeling a little bit bit confused and a bit fragile however then sturdy. Don’t simply put in your catwalk face,” she mentioned.
After the rehearsal, friends started submitting into the venue, and the fashions lined up backstage and chatted amongst themselves. “I normally go to Costa Rica,” one among them mentioned of her post-fashion week routine. “I wish to surf.”
Tied Up in Bows
Bahnsen ran a lint-roller over just a few items backstage. “I’m getting butterflies now!” she mentioned, whereas different members of the design group secured bows on the attire to verify they didn’t come undone. The present’s closing look was an embroidered costume in an unexpectedly punchy shade of inexperienced.
Backyard Get together
The floral patterns featured on among the appears to be like had been drawn within the Copenhagen studio and embroidered in Italy utilizing a broderie anglaise method that allowed among the fake petals to peel away from the physique. The flaps bobbed gently because the fashions walked. “They arrive alive as they’re transferring, sort of blossoming,” defined Bahnsen.
A Few Phrases
When Haugli delivered a rousing pep speak, Bahnsen teared up.
Because the fashions strode out onto the runway, Bahnsen reviewed their progress through a monitor backstage. She wore a necklace and rings designed by the Danish jeweler Sophie Bille Brahe, who’s an in depth buddy of hers. “We all the time assist one another,” mentioned Bahnsen. “It’s a little bit bit like a good-luck appeal.”
For the present finale, fashions walked out in small teams of threes and fours earlier than taking their place in entrance of the photographer’s pit, holding arms and searching into the viewers.
A Job Properly Finished
The designer steeled herself as she stepped out onto the runway to take her bow. Ordinarily, her household can be within the entrance row, however they had been again dwelling in Denmark and watching through the livestream. “They’re going to have Champagne and costume up as in the event that they had been coming to the present,” Bahnsen mentioned with a smile. “However I believe it’s most likely good that they’re not right here. My mum will get much more anxious than I do!”
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