A new address for Cecilie Bahnsen and her pretty dresses in Copenhagen
Cecilie Bahnsen, the Danish designer who made a name for herself with macaron-hued confectionery dresses, is really on the move. She presented her first show in Paris last season (and will be back there for spring 2023), and she moved from the basement of an old brick building a little outside the city center, to a bigger, brighter and shinier head office in an industrial complex in Osterbro.
As for the interior space, it was love at first sight and love at first sight: a delicious deja vu. Back in 2019, when the space was raw, Bahnsen used it as a set for her Spring 2020 lookbook, so when she was looking for new digs, the place seemed almost meant to be. The company now occupies two floors of the building, the upper one, where the workshop is located, and the lower one, where there are open offices and a canteen. Vegetarian and organic lunches are served daily and no one is allowed to eat at their desk. Breaks are encouraged.
As if these weren’t #lifestylegoals, the minimal office decor is magazine-ready, the result of Bahnsen’s work with Swedish architecture firm Stamuli and creative agency MOON. The expansive space gave Bahnsen the chance to showcase the projects of friends and frequent collaborators. Plush seating comes from Danish brand Paustian, while tables and desk lamps were sourced locally from Studio X. Steel furniture from Sweden’s Magniberg and Finnish Artek stools (used in previous fashion shows) sit alongside Nina Nørgaard’s glassworks. The curtains on the ground floor are patchworks of fabrics from old collections.
In Scandinavia, the links between interiors, lifestyle and fashion are most often symbiotic. When Bahnsen, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, began to show the extreme beauty of her work and her colorful palette seemed to bring her closer to British designers like Simone Rocha or Molly Goddard than to her Danish compatriots. A visit to his studio tells a different story. Seeing how the team styled their Bahnsens, with a band t-shirt or over jeans, was an eye opener. Worn for everyday life, their preciousness, if not their beauty, fell away and the dresses felt like a subversive uniform.
This idea of “everyday tailoring” feels very Scandinavian, in its inherent modesty and implied functionality. Seeing how her dresses come to life off the catwalk influences Bahnsen’s current approach to design, particularly her Spring 2023 collection, crafted in a studio large and bright enough to offer new perspectives on silhouette and form. Here, an exclusive look at Bahnsen’s new HQ and his thoughts on dress and space design.