Show moments of sunlight, Twin meets Cecilie Bahnsen

03.08.2018 | Fashion | BY:

While sports and athleisure wear dominate the market, Cecilie Bahnsen’s work is unabashedly feminine and dream like. Her aesthetic feels rooted in optimism and possibility rather than perfunctory practicality.

Bahnsen’s romantic, sculptural forms have garnered a wide and loyal following and made her a name to know in the international fashion scene.

The new PS19 images, shot by Josefine Seifert, feel straight out of Peter Weir’s original 1970s’s Picnic At Hanging Rock. Photographs capture youth and a sense of freedom while also hinting at a the lurking, more sinister reality that’s never too far away.

Ahead of Copenhagen Fashion Week Twin talks to Cecilie about the evolution of her signature designs and finding inspiration in Eton collage for her PS19 collection. 

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

What about volume interests you?

I love how you can play with a great volume and yet make it feel light. We love to use the dresses as a canvas to show off the beautiful textiles and materials we develop, so for the volume, the bigger the better. I am not that good at ‘less is more’.

Were you always drawn to romanticism in clothes? Why?

I have always been drawn to femininity and a romantic way of dressing. I am a big sucker for romance, I fast-forward movies to the romantic scenes. I do though, like the contrasts that can be drawn to romanticism as well, and I always try to bring in some modernity and Scandinavian minimalism to not get carried away.

Are you inspired by sculpture? If so, what are your favorite pieces?

I’ve always taken a sculptural approach when designing clothes and so I was thrilled when we, for the AW18 show and campaign could present the collection in a setting surrounded by sculptures made by the legendary Dan Graham. In some respects, our work is similar — we each create unique pieces that come alive through their interaction with people.

The sculptural influences are woven throughout FW18’s considered series of covetable dresses in a pared-back palette of black, white, pink and green. Billowing sleeves, full skirts and floaty hemlines are all meticulously constructed, a play of precision and lightness like you see it in Dan Grahams glass installations.

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

How do you feel that your silhouettes and aesthetic has evolved since you started?

The collections are always a study in fabric, texture, line and volume. Each season we refine and evolve the silhouettes, details and fabric to fit perfect with the seasons mood.

I think that with confidence and knowledge the level of each collection grow and the identity and the DNA of the brand get more defined.  This process is so inspiring and fascinating.

Often you can’t see the development or the progression when you are in the middle of the design process and you have a lot of self-doubt, but when you see the finished collection, looks and how everything has fallen into place, you sometimes get this Wow feeling of how beautiful it all has become.

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

Did you find it easy / natural to develop your design signature?

I think, what has now become my design signature, is something that naturally and slowly evolved from my first collections and throughout the last seasons. I like to re-use shapes and develop new ones by using my favorite features from previous design to give birth to new ones and in that way continue the collections, and pass on the DNA from dress to dress.

What have been the biggest challenges that you’ve encountered as you’ve launched and grown the label?

The speed that fashion moves in, makes it very hard to both have the time to be creative and to run a business. You need to be able to handle a lot of different jobs at the same time.

The fashion industry is moving very fast, and I don’t think it would harm anyone to slow down and consider how much we produce and be more aware of our production process. 

For me it has been really important to hold on to the design DNA and create beautiful timeless pieces that last longer than a season and hopefully will be cherished by the wear for a life time. 

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

 

What are your favourite materials to work with, and why?

Merging tradition with innovation, we work with manufacturers in Como, Italy, to design new textiles for each collection that offer a unique combination of style, sustainability and quality. 

Quilting reimagining one of the oldest couture techniques for the contemporary woman, our double-faced silk quilting is produced by our partners in Lithuania using textiles sourced in the UK. 

Our embroidery is created by hand for each garment, with a bespoke process based on traditional couture techniques that offers a unique, contemporary aesthetic. 

Each garment is handmade with traditional techniques, intricate detailing and uniquely designed fabrics to present a timeless expression of modern femininity. 

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

What were you interested in exploring for PS19?

The Pre-Spring 2019 collection is inspired by collective identity and the expressiveness and beauty of a group. The inspiration is a combination of the femininity and innocent aesthetic of Japanese artist Osamu Yokonami’s photo series assembly, showing the beauty and strength of the collective entity, with the masculine contrast of the school uniforms worn by boys at Eton College.

The collection represents spring in its ability to show moments of sunlight through the subtle colours palette of yellow, lavender, black and white, combined with soft and sculptural silhouettes in light materials such as cotton poplin, silk, lace and transparent layering. 

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

How would describe modern femininity vs traditional femininity – is there a difference?

I like to draw inspiration from the romanticisms in traditional femininity, but I feel like modern femininity is much more about individuality, showing your personality and expressing yourself. I feel like it’s way more easy to feel feminine while dressing masculine. It’s way more complex and open for interpretation.

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

What are you excited about for Copenhagen FW this season?
There is always something special about Copenhagen fashion week in the summer, the entire city is buzzing with expectations and full of life. There is a very relaxed feel to it, people drink wine and arrive at the shows in puffy dresses on city bikes. I love that.

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

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