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P.L.N. on the precipice of a new frontier

P.L.N., Tuesday 8. August 2023 at 18.00, Nikolaj Kunsthal Øvre Galleri

Peter Lundvald Nielsen is on the precipice of a new frontier. After all, this is the designer’s final show as part of the CPHFW NEWTALENT roster. One of the city’s most exciting emerging talents, Nielsen’s label P.L.N. has already made headlines far afield from his native Denmark. His presence represents a distinction from what is customarily expected of the region — minimalism is traded in for the macabre and unexpected.

“Walking through the sentiments of disparate subcultures and their unbridled attitudes from all over the world”, reads the brand’s manifesto. Elements of punk and grunge are hard to miss but Nielsen doesn’t abide by the rules — each collection is both an evolution and deviation away from the last. At the crux of his vision is the desire to encourage his wearers to dress intuitively, using his clothes as a means of radical self-expression. 

Last season, he submerged the city’s Bella Center in darkness and a barely perceptible mist. This time around, the pristine setting of Nikolaj Kunsthal, a church in the centre of Copenhagen, played host to his newest array of boundary-defying pieces. “We wish to overwhelm you”, read the show notes, intending the puritanical space to serve as a contradiction to his obscure vision. 

Occult-style symbols, a hallmark of Nielsen’s oeuvre, decorated the church’s floor. As is customary of his models, they crept through an ornate alcove — faces twisted into wild, disturbed expressions. Sausha De La Ossa’s purposefully discordant, bass-heavy soundtrack kept guests frenetically on the edge of their seats.

Looks consisted of corset-style jackets that erupted into fur around the neck and sleeves. Protruding knee pads, bound heads and wrapped arms were reminiscent of the extreme plastic surgery experiments in Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In (2011). Models with mouth guards appeared both glamorous and grotesque. Hooded cardigans drastically scooped at the neck while an armless boiler suit peeled away at the waist. A distressed cream dress printed with the words Kranke Welt (sick world in German) was worn asymmetrically across the body with a muddied hem. Nielsen’s signature mohawk detailing came in the form of a fur-lined hoodie. Elsewhere, his signature slouched denim was splattered with dye, as if flecked with blood — a demonic face stretched across the reverse.

The final model cut a contradictory, ethereal figure. In a white leather bandeau dress, they took their time to parade across the runway to a manipulated rendition of Olivia Newton-John’s Hopelessly Devoted to You. Seemingly angelic amongst a cast of unabashed devils, Nielsen’s once again showed that he’s clearly comfortable with navigating spaces that other designers fear to venture to.

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