Cecilie Bahnsen x Sophie Bille Brahe
This pretty new collection brings together two of Copenhagen’s most beloved designers.
Copenhagen’s fashion scene is very much like that of a small town: Everyone is friends, some are family, and the designers support one another not just as colleagues but also as fans. Such is the case with Cecilie Bahnsen, who was a finalist for the LVMH Prize in 2017, and Sophie Bille Brahe, a local jewelry designer with an international following. They’ve known each other for years, having met while studying at the Royal College of Art in London, and share aesthetics that are similar in their romantic, effortlessly feminine allure. (Bahnsen also designed model Caroline Brasch Nielsen’s wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses for her nuptials to Bille Brahe’s brother Frederik last year.)
Bahnsen’s vision translates to sculptural, voluminous silhouettes on the runway, while Bille Brahe’s pieces are crafted in the form of delicate clustered-pearl earrings and diamond rings that swirl around the finger. Despite their creative and personal synergies, the two designers hadn’t collaborated with one another—that is, until Net-a-Porter came calling. Today, in celebration of the start of Copenhagen Fashion Week, Bahnsen and Bille Brahe are releasing their very first collaborative capsule collection with the global e-commerce site. Together they’ve designed 22 pieces—including dresses, jewelry, bags, and a sneaker—that incorporate both of their signature design elements: a big-skirted, pouf-sleeve dress adorned with pearl motifs; a silk evening bag embellished with tiny white pearl flowers; and a pair of black sneakers also decorated with a subtle cluster of pearls.
There are also cluster-pearl earrings and a headband made of pearls. “Cecilie and I went to an event together, and as we were getting ready, I noticed she was wearing a necklace draped in her hair, like it was the only way to wear it,” says Bille Brahe. “When it came to designing our collection together, I immediately thought of that moment and knew that I wanted to create a real headpiece.” Of their synergy, Bahnsen says that they are both “drawn to the poetry and emotional appeal of the handmade and the mastery of the old ways of design and construction.” She adds, “Our styles are a little bit more detailed and decadent than what you’d typically associate with Scandinavian design.”
“This collection also draws on our inspiration from the casual Copenhagen way of dressing,” Bahnsen notes. “We wanted to combine the luxurious with the everyday. My dresses, worn with Sophie’s jewelry and styled with embroidered trainers and heavy knitted socks, created a look that is effortless and easy to wear.” In Bille Brahe’s words, their debut collection is “simple and feminine and very coherent.”