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Nostalgic show debut from Nicklas Skovgaard

With taffeta, feathers and sequins, Nicklas Skovgaard took us back to the 80s in a newly interpreted show format, when he debuted his first official show at Copenhagen Fashion Week.
With taffeta, feathers and sequins, Nicklas Skovgaard took us back to the 80s in a newly interpreted show format, when he debuted his first official show at Copenhagen Fashion Week.


Nicklas Skovgaard, Tuesday 8 August 2023 at 10.00 in TAP1

When you enter a show, where on a long table there are trays filled with Napoleon hats baked by the designer’s mother, it is difficult not to have warm feelings for the project. I do, at least. It was the sweetest gesture to commence today’s shows. And when it is a designer who is part of Copenhagen Fashion Week’s NEWTALENT programme, and thus a show debutant, this was a show where you really want to see the designer represented.

There was nothing but goodwill when Nicklas Skovgaard debuted this morning with his first official Copenhagen Fashion Week show. Huddled together on flimsy gold chairs that resembled something from an old theatre, the small talk stopped when a model, wearing an ankle-length grey coat with holes poked out, sauntered onto the floor, emerging from behind the audience. She took off her coat, revealing a pair of feathered hot pants (and not much else) before walking in between black curtains which formed a square room in the middle of the large hall. Afterwards, an elderly gentleman started playing an organ while the curtains were pulled aside, revealing 10-15 mannequins scattered on the floor. The model sauntered around wearing a hat and a matching feather jacket slung over her shoulder.

There is a good reason to dwell a little on the start of the show, because it set the tone for what came next, where the model – performance artist Britt Liberg – was the only thing, from start to finish, present on the floor. Between the mannequins, she put on one dress after the other, while she posed, danced, flirted. Kudos to Nicklas Skovgaard for challenging and rethinking the show format here for his debut.

Nicklas Skovgaard SS24 / Photocredit: Tonya Matyu

In the same way that the emphasis today was placed on show with the format, there is also a lot of show about the collection itself. There are plenty of 80s references in Nicklas Skovgaard’s latest collection, where many dresses look like they have been plucked from a sitcom of the decade. Think voluminous balloon skirts in taffeta and sequins with jersey bodices. Think peplum button-down blouses paired with leggings. Or the white dress with a triangle bodice with batwing sleeves and endless pleats over a pleated skirt. Or voluminous harem pants in black lacquer paired with a t-shirt with a smock around the entire torso and drop shoulders. 

There is volume, volume, volume at Nicklas Skovgaard, and you can see that the craftsmanship is refined. But there was one craft I missed: weaving. Nicklas Skovgaard has distinguished himself by weaving many textiles himself, something that has resulted in exceptionally unique jackets and dresses. I had been looking forward to seeing this craft unfold further, but instead he unfolded his fascination with the combination of everyday soft jersey and more festive textiles: taffeta, feathers, sequins.

I can see that ​​following a common thread throughout a collection and going all in to explore what the textile combination can master is a sound idea, however, when shapes and silhouettes are not challenged or developed, the clothes begin to lose some relevance in that current image. In a previous interview with Fashion Forum, Nicklas Skovgaard said he hopes that his clothes will end up in a vintage shop. With that said, several styles resembled garments that were found in one. I miss when Nicklas Skovgaard adopts the 80s references he is so fond of – and equally as good at – pulling them together into a more modern, less nostalgic context; because I really believe in Nicklas Skovgaard and that he can go far, but the nostalgic side of the collection would benefit from a contemporary kick.

See a selection of the show look below and see the entire collection here.

This show review is translated from Danish to English by Sophie Axon.