The must-have accessory of Copenhagen Fashion Week was no doubt the first issue of Vogue Scandinavia featuring Greta Thunberg on the cover. But a neon-green bag may be a close second. The city’s return to mostly IRL shows came with a joyful, unabashed embrace of street style, with mismatched and high-low looks replacing the meticulous ensembles of the Before Times. We saw everything from crisp suits to clashing neons, running shorts to body-con LBDs. Many guests seemed thrilled for a reason to wear heels again, but for every stiletto-wearing cyclist, there were twice as many guys and girls in squishy sandals and Crocs.
Beyond inspiring your own end-of-summer looks, Copenhagen’s street style paints a compelling picture of what we’ll see on the streets of New York (and later in Europe) when the shows resume on September 7th. Read on for a few of our predictions below.
The early-2000s revival is upon us.
The early-aughts trend of the fall 2021 runways has already trickled onto the streets: Tube tops, belly chains, and low-slung jeans were everywhere in Copenhagen. New Yorkers will say this isn’t necessarily news—Gen Z-ers have embraced Y2K style and secondhand shopping for some time. Plus, after 18 months in sweatpants, it’s only natural that fashion would swing toward bold, curve-hugging shapes. As Vogue’s Sarah Mower pointed out six years ago, revivals also just come down to simple math: Today’s generation of designers are thinking about the fashion of their youth, which in many cases was at the turn of the millennium. Here in New York, we’re expecting to see naughties style to the extreme, particularly outside shows from indie, Gen Z-approved labels like Theophilio, Luar, and Collina Strada.
Heels are on the rise, but comfy shoes are here to stay.
Copenhagen’s outdoor shows brought guests to the grassy lawns of Arne Jacobs’s former home and CopenHill, the artificial ski slope atop a green energy plant. Beautiful, yes—but probably not the place for spiky heels. Throughout the week, guests mostly stuck to the casual, walkable, and bike-able shoes we’ve been living in all year long, like sport sandals, rubber flip-flops, and cushy sneakers. Perhaps most surprising, though, were the Birkenstocks and Crocs: If they didn’t feel quite appropriate for Fashion Week in the past, it’s safe to say they’re entirely acceptable now. Those of us who clock 12,000 steps a day at NYFW will be happy to hear it.
Nothing to wear? Grab your running shorts.
If you can’t bring yourself to wear yet another dress this summer, but denim cut-offs feel too Coachella for your tastes, consider this surprise option out of Copenhagen: running shorts. One guest wore her black nylon shorts with heavy boots and a giant button-down, while Vanessa Hong styled her drawstring shorts with a blazer and wedge heels. The combination is just wrong enough to feel right, and would be cooling and comfortable on hectic days running around the city or squeezing onto the subway.
Bras and swimsuits are officially “real clothes.”
New York weather is notoriously unpredictable in September, from sweltering heat to crisp fall breezes. If this summer’s intense humidity doesn’t ease by September, we’ll be taking a tip from our Danish friends and trading shirts for bra tops and bikinis. Layered under a button-down or loose blazer, the trend provides a touch of built-in air flow and looks far more creative than a simple tank.
Dress for the mood you want in bright, happy neons.
It’s always been a myth that New Yorkers exclusively wear black, but monochrome darks feel even more ridiculous post-2020. Everywhere we look, there’s optimistic color and print, but Copenhagen took it to a new level. There were shades of acid yellow, Sunkist orange, and fuchsia so vivid, they might actually look distorted on your screen. Still, if we had to identify just one must-have neon hue, it’s the particularly bright, grassy color known simply as “Bottega green.” We’re already seeing tons of the bold shade here in New York, and by the rules of color therapy, it makes perfect sense: “[Green can provide] some support for feeling more adaptable to change,” color therapist Constance Hart told Vogue in 2019. “Because green is in the middle of the visible spectrum, it’s kind of like the balancer between the warming, stimulating rays and the cooling, calming rays. Green is a great neutralizer for extremes.”