(Di)vision Copenhagen Spring 2023

(Di)vision Copenhagen Spring 2023

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Within four years, Simon and Nana Wick’s (di)vision line has become a major Copenhagen Fashion Week draw, and their success seems to have made room for a new generation that doesn’t neatly fit into stereotypical ideas of what Danish or Nordic fashion can be. (Di)vision is more raw than polished, yet there is definitely a hyggeligt aspect to the brand, which comes from the close-knit community of friends who are involved in various ways, including walking on this runway.

It’s sort of remarkable that one of the main messages of a collection that took Francis Ford Coppola’s film Apocalypse Now as a starting point, seemed to be “make love, not war.” The outdoor set was a forest whose paths had been covered with wood chips and which were lit by mushroom-shaped lamps, harbingers of a trippy collection. (Copenhagen is home to Freetown Christiania, after all.) The free-spiritedness of the models and the woodsy setting brought home the wonder of nature.

The designers said they had the war in Ukraine on their minds, and a military theme was of interest to them both in terms of materiality and commentary. “Since we started we got a lot better at what we’re doing, so we thought it might be fun to show people what we can do with that,” said Simon in a pre-show interview. What intrigued him about the movie—and which to some extent mirrors how we are living today—is how for the soldiers the war “becomes like every day, and in this crazy horrible scenario, they do things that are super common. Like while they’re bombing the wood, they’ll be out surfing at the same time… and doing all these things that are like, ‘Why the are you doing this in the middle of war?’ But that’s just how [people] are.’ ”

Though making use of military surplus, this was a collection for lovers not haters. (Anti-Vietnam War protesters often wore second-hand army jackets.) Laced pants were one expression of a ’70s theme that also had more hippie-ish expressions, like a silk paisley print, headbands, crochet, and fake fur-lined vests that really looked vintage. In part this is because Simon finds “destruction and decay” interesting, but also, as he explained, giving things such a patina often makes it easier to communicate the brand’s message. Garments made out of deadstock fashion can look shiny and new, even though they are made out of old material, but a garment made of the same material that is distressed seems more genuine.

Alongside the jackets and patchwork pieces that are (di)vision mainstays were new “furry” outerwear pieces and an extended women’s wear offering, including more dresses. The denim was particularly strong. The Wicks worked with a supplier that takes unsold jeans back from big brands and reworks them. In that process waste is created, and from those leftovers, (di)vision can make patched denim. “We’re basically upcycling already upcycled stuff.” A win-win situation.

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