Posted by Stephan Moskovic | June 8th, 2017

Cecilie Bahnsen

Cecilie Bahnsen stands as Copenhagen’s latest export and her namesake sculptural designs have piqued the interest of the design community with their “unashamed but sophisticated femininity”. With a background working at Christian Dior, Erdem, and John Galliano and a MA in Womenswear Design from the prestigious Royal College of Art in London, the Danish designer focused her collection on textile development and traditional craftsmanship like quilting, patchwork and appliqué.

Her education was a tremendous starting point but like most creative outlets, the work force took the process one step further. “In art school, you learn how to express your style and identity as a designer and develop your technical skills. But you don’t necessarily learn how to be a good collaborator or how to run a design business,” she learned. “Being part of other businesses is the best way to start working out how you want to operate and what’s actually realistic and practical. It takes so much more than just being a great designer to succeed in fashion. Working with Galliano and Erdem also gave me a real respect for manufacturers and for craftsmanship.”

Describing the Cecilie Bahnsen woman as “elegant, individual, intelligent and unafraid of her femininity,” aligns with her recent presentation of ruffled collar, baby-doll dresses with doily-like appliqués for F/W 2017. “We combined chunky-but-soft fisherman knits with beautiful broidery anglaise collars and embroidered fishnet baby-doll dresses with crisp white shirts,” she describes. The addition of traditionally masculine, traditionally feminine elements, and a limited color palette of black and white helps “reinterpret elegant materials to create a look that is both sophisticated and modern.” The feminist perspective is certainly not lost on her woman who seeks out, “something that might look fragile but is actually strong.”

“Being part of other businesses is the best way to start working out how you want to operate and what’s actually realistic and practical. It takes so much more than just being a great designer to succeed in fashion. Working with Galliano and Erdem also gave me a real respect for manufacturers and for craftsmanship.”

On why she maintains her base in Copenhagen, Bahnsen maintains that the city “is the perfect base for the brand. It has an easiness and relaxed pace that allows you space to think and to focus.” The effortless style of the patrons of the city and the ability to connect with the major fashion capitals without living in their bustling communities, presents an alternative to the fashion quo. “It’s useful to be somewhere calm but well connected – I can travel easily for inspiration and for the business but always come back to this level place. And the city is a beautiful frame for fashion presentations too. It offers something different to London, Milan, New York and Paris, which helps us stand out.”

If won she hopes to set her growing brand on a firm foundation. “Fashion can be a tough business and you need more than creative talent to succeed, so winning the LVMH Prize is about a lot more than money. It’s about the incredible support and the resources that it offers, and about having a well of knowledge and expertise behind you to help your business grow.”

The LVMH 8 2017

Presenting Models.com’s exclusive spotlight on each of the eight finalists for the 2017 LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize in anticipation of their final presentation at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.

On June 16, LVMH will announce the winner of their 2017 Young Fashion Designer Prize, chosen from a pool of eight finalists: Ambush, Atlein, Cecile Bahnsen, Jahnkoy, Kozaburo, Marine Serre, Molly Goddard, and Nabil Nayal. First launched in November 2013, the LVMH Prize was created to help celebrate rising design talent and encourage their growth, with the winner receiving both a 300,000 euro grant and a year of technical and financial support from the LVMH Foundation’s experts. These eight young designers from across the globe reflect the industry’s international reach, demonstrating expansive visions in an era of ever-tightening horizons. As barriers go up across borders and the world turns inward, they offer a reassuring reminder that creativity is about confronting the foreign and finding yourself changed for the better.

The winner will be selected by a jury comprised of some of fashion’s most notable creators, from Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfeld to Riccardo Tisci and J.W. Anderson, overseen by LVMH’s Delphine Arnault — a group that should have no trouble picking a standout talent. Victory will be sweet of course, but if past years are anything to go by, this is one prize where being nominated is truly an honor in and of itself.

Photography by Steven Yatsko for Models.com
Stylist Ron Hartleben
Makeup Feride Uslu (MAM) using Uslu Airlines
Hair Shinya Nakagawa (ArtList)
Manicure Yukie Miyakawa

Art Direction Stephan Moskovic
Editors Irene Ojo-Felix, Jonathan Shia & Steven Yatsko
Text by Irene Ojo-Felix

Models
Alicia Holtz
Jourdana Phillips

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