I have been thinking a lot lately about a piece by Yoko Ono that I saw ages ago in Denmark at the Louisiana Museum. It expresses so beautifully something that I feel to be true – that we are all the same, just placed in different containers. It’s an installation, a row of glass bottles on a shelf, all filled with water. On each bottle is a label with the handwritten name of a well-known person… Sylvia Plath, Cindy Sherman, David Bowie. I find this message of oneness so appealing. As humans, we make distinctions between our different shapes and sizes and everything else. But at our core, we are essentially the same.
And I’ve been thinking a lot this season about how the girls in the studio and our community wear our clothes. How they might put on a dress on a rainy Tuesday morning to feel good, or go to a party on a Saturday night. I grew up dreaming of Paris and couture, but it was always something fancy, not for real life. I love the idea that I’m able to create something precious for every day Spring Summer 2023 once again finds Cecilie Bahnsen bringing her inherently romantic, dreamy universe to Paris Fashion Week. The collection is Cecilie’s reflection on finding couture in the everyday, influenced by the individuality of women around her and growing brand admirers. Not saving her clothes “for best” but wearing them, giving new life to the traditions of couture.
For this season, Cecilie adds denim and t-shirts to her universe, introduced alongside her signature bespoke luxury fabrics. A subtle masculine counterpoint to her hyper-feminine dresses. The denim is Japanese, continuing the brand’s appreciation for Japanese craft and traditions, found in the natural ivory colour of the denim and in a contrasting black and white. A long tailored denim trouser features heavy top stitching, complimenting a cropped sculptural jacket.In certain moments, the material is found embroidered with floral motifs, and backed with crinoline, elevating the fabric’s volume and movement. A merge between the artistry of couture and the simplicity of denim. The craft and technique of couture is revealed as well in fil coupè pieces that have been left unfinished, threads uncut, mimicking the movement of waves and exposing all the beautiful intricacy. Floral motifs continue to be found throughout, where large-scale flowers are smocked into blossoming volumes and transparencies are explored through water-like textures.
Spring Summer 2023 is a season of light, airy silhouettes created off-the-page: on models and mannequins, rather than drawn and translated into 3D. The result is a collection with more pronounced volume, the fabric taking on its own shape. Once again, Cecilie and her team explore asymmetry in dresses and tops, as they turn silhouettes on their heads, resulting in a draped and more fluid form. Outerwear and separates are structurally layered among the soft shapes, resulting in a dynamic composition. A new category is introduced: seamless underpinnings, fabricated through a rib knit, finished with Cecilie Bahnsen’s signature whisper thin ribbons.
The colour palette of the collection – a Scandinavian core of black and white – continues to expand with bursts of pale apple green, soft lavender and bright accents of blue. As part of the season’s reflection on couture for every day, Cecilie collaborates with sneaker brand ASICS, customising past season stock. Each pair is one of a kind, encrusted or embellished by hand in the studio. The brand’s own shoe offering expands, further complimenting the brand’s approach to everyday ease. Mackintosh outerwear continues to hold its place as a signature to Cecilie Bahnsen’s collections, this time offered in light blue, shrouded with an organza overlay, exposing the delicate construction underneath, complimented by a variation of outerwear pieces designed in-house. Bags, designed through an up-cycled lens, are crafted from leftover fabrics that were used in cutting away the dresses in the studio.
The show, pulled together with longtime collaborator MOON, is held in the simple yet elegant Cour Mansart Monnaie de Paris, a space never before used to host a runway show. Forming the backdrop to the collection is an installation inspired by Yoko Ono. Cecilie commissioned 250 glass bottles from regular collaborator artist and glassblower Nina Nørgaard. Each bottle holds water and refers to all the different people who worked with Cecilie Bahnsen on the Spring Summer 2023 collection and show, whose touch and craft brought this moment to life. A reflection on individuals coming together - of our human connectivity, the idea of oneness through water. The comprehensive soundtrack is composed by another friend of the brand, August Rosenbaum.