CPH FASHION WEEK: GANNI
When I get out of the cab at the location of Ganni’s AW15 show in Copenhagen, I am sure I have went to the wrong place. I am standing in the middle of a stone-covered yard with enormous halls around me, one of which is a skate park. It is big and the colour palette is nothing but grey, grey, grey – far from everything I connect to the vision of the Danish design brand. After a phone call I find the right hall and step into the complete opposite of what I came from: a buzz of people in white Ganni shirts, make-up artists, stylists and beautiful models with curlers in their hair. It feels like a film set rather than a backstage area for a fashion show. A sweet girl instantly brings me a cup of coffee and tells me to wait a few minutes for the exclusive interview I have gotten the chance to do for I Love You Magazine.
Head of PR and Communication Helene Skytte shows me into the actual catwalk area which is even more surprising than the backstage area – the grey and green shades on the walls combined with the chairs covered in plastic bags work perfectly together with the slightly sombre lightning. Creative Director of Ganni, Ditte Reffstrup, shows up, effortlessly looking in baggy, bright leather pants and sneakers – a perfect symbol of everything that Ganni stands for: being chic.
“We have worked on this show for so long and everything is so overwhelming. Just a moment ago I walked around and thought of freaky this is – it is like preparing yourself for playing an international match. I am so nervous and want everything to get over, but at the same time I want to enjoy every second of it. It’s a special thing.”
The team of Ganni is preparing for the second fashion show in their entire history since it was founded in year 2000. The brand has expanded enormously since Ditte Reffstrup and her husband bought themselves into the company in 2007 – they are now sold in Europa, Japan, Canada, USA and Russia besides their fourteen individual stores. A part of the secret to their success is Ditte Reffstrup’s flair for details – she wants a special touch on absolutely everything. Along with her small, close team she creates the pieces that every girl does not know they cannot live without before they see them.
What has changed since the last season? The previous Ganni show was held in a private tennis court on fifth floor of a building in the inner city of Copenhagen. Everything oozed of sportiness, youth, freshness and bright colours.
“This collection is more mature, sexy and sophisticated. We worked with the main character of the movie 9 ½ Weeks from 1986. It’s about a love story in New York – very sensual. Of course this collection is created with the DNA of Ganni: contrasts. The collection is recognizable but with a more sensual touch. Winter collections are always a bit darker than the summer collections and the fabrics are heavier. The colours are more classical and the cuts are sharper. We’re not aiming for reaching an older target audience; it has simply evolved in this direction. It feels more premium and the quality of the pieces are much more exclusive.”
Along with her design team Ditte Reffstrup does a lot of research to get inspired for her collections. She describes that she is unavoidably being influenced by one’s age and society but that it is important to her not to seek it.
“During the financial crisis the fashion world automatically toned down the colours and prints. Nobody could really tell why, it just naturally happened. This collection is much more classic. It happened naturally but we are not the ones to make a political statement. It is beautiful to watch something happen and not being able to tell why. The movement in the fashion industry never ends and the day it does it might get boring.”
The rumour of Ganni exploded when most girls and women was heading in the same direction. They needed something new and fresh, something more varied than the choice between being androgynous or bohemian. The brand brings something new to the table, something that Ditte Reffstrup has done through her entire life.
“I am trying not to think of what everybody else is doing. We are not aiming for replacing anybody – we fill out our own special space in the fashion world. Things can evolve too fast but I love to be a part in creating something beautiful.”