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Sunflower’s love letter to tailoring showed how cool a suit can be

Sunflower, Tuesday 8. August 2023 at 19.00, Larsbjørnsstræde 10, 1456 Copenhagen K

The world of men’s fashion can be a confusing one. Runways, fashion weeks and social media are full of strong, creative looks that address issues of gender, status and artistry and then the rest of the world is full of guys who, well, just dress like they always did, year in year out. Sure, there is a drip down effect from runway to street (a very very slow one in most cases) but for the most part brands are used to showing one thing and actually selling another thing entirely. All of which makes Sunflower even more special. They are a brand who make excellent clothes of excellent quality that look great on the runway and are actually worn in real life. Groundbreaking! Despite the cheery and bold name, Sunflower has an intellectual, rigorous quality that has made it the darling of the creative set – men (and women) who appreciate clothes that are made to last more than a season and whisper rather than shout.

Of course, that could all make for a predictable and low-key presentation that fails to set the ‘grammers hitting ‘post’ but expert styling and casting keep Sunflower still getting the likes. You pretty much know what you are going to get but you also know you’ll want it. Unfortunately one not so good thing you know you will get is five hundred people squashed into standing-room only space in a courtyard which seems to be 90 percent stage. At the end of a busy day, it tests one’s patience. But, just as a total sense of humour bypass seems likely to hit, the two members of old timer Danish electro-rock duo Laid Back march onto the stage, beaming from ear to ear and you find yourself doing the same and forgiving the crush.

Photocredit: James Cochrane

As the band started up with 1983-smash hit White Horse, a collection unfolded that was basically a love letter to the suit and as such, one of the strongest cases for its relevance and endurance seen for a long while. Double-breasted, spear-lapelled, shawl-collared, with coats as well as jackets, and with shorts as well as trousers, outfit after outfit showed just how cool tailoring can be. Mainly in black, beige or pale grey, they looked dressed up with shirts and floral corsages or laid back with t-shirts and sandals. Popping up inbetween were casual versions – still suits but comprising denim jackets (with an interesting dropped yoke back detail), jeans or carpenters pants. And, as usual (but why fix what’s not broken?), Sunflower played with ‘masculinity’ in the form of signature leather jackets and shorts (this time with a distressed, vintage finish) and ‘femininity’ with transparent shirts, silky pyjama suits in a lily print and a devoré spot shirt that hinted at the skin beneath. As the models walked out for their finale turn on the stage, Laid Back struck up with ‘Sunshine Reggae’. Clearly there was no sunshine today (it’s a Danish summer) but Sunflower was in full bloom.

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