Editor's Letter: 2018
Sophie reflects on the dichotomies between fashion and style that Copenhagen introduced to her
In many ways, living in Copenhagen has challenged me in subtle yet significant instances. Through introductions to new people, places, experiences and ideas, how I think about fashion, style and expression of self has been set in evolutionary motion. In a city that immediately felt like home, I have come to appreciate the fleeting moments of inspiration that have brought me to pursue the projects showcased within this issue.
The balance Copenhagen introduced to my everyday life resulted in a newfound work ethic with which I approached the creation of this year’s issue. Collaboration and individual work; preparedness and improvisation; trust in others and trust in myself; ability to follow while also leading; being informed but creative. These dichotomies are visually articulated in the pages that follow. By seeking out noteworthy individuals in a city that is known for its uniformity and homogeneity, a collection of stories are told about the power that is possesed when individuals dare to be different.
Standards are most visible when broken; status quos are most noticeable when defied. Given this, I thank every individual who I have encountered over the past few months that has forced me to look twice. Because one glance usually isn’t enough to appreciate a bright yellow fur coat, or wide leg white pants in the dead of winter, or a head-to-toe mix of polka dots and pastels. It’s these small moments – of color and texture and pattern and risks- that I celebrate for their ability to challenge the stereotype of style that I had begun to formulate about Copenhagen.
That said, being colorful, stylistically loud and ‘maximalist’ is not how all choose to make a stand against sameness. It’s actually not even close to how I would define my own approach to individuality or expression of self through style. The experience of creating this issue in Copenhagen has allowed me to realize that I thrive off of being able to observe the big picture, the binary realities that can exist in the same time and place.
From this, a clarification of the distinction between fashion and style has come to my attention. Through various conversations I’ve had, I’ve come to formulate my (loosely held) definitions of each. Perhaps fashion can be understood as a malleable industry, heavily influenced by commercial needs and socio-economic factors, resulting in the introduction of ephemeral trends. And then there is style; an aesthetic aura that surrounds a person or place, a timeless and steadfast way of visually and creatively communicating to the world who you are at your very core, or at least who you want to be.
By clarifying these definitions, I’ve come to better understand my personal relationship to each and how they are in conversation with one another in the way that I present my self. Because of this, I feel more capable of capturing and celebrating the individuality of those around me in the projects associated with NOW. The continuous act of observing, processing, analyzing and then creating is a cycle that will always be present in my quest to better understand the world around me and the place that I am finding within it.
And so; thank you Copenhagen, for the happiest and most inspiring days, for the opportunities to create things that I am proud of, and for showing me how to be an individual first – even when surrounded by the pressures of sameness. From now on, I will carry your influence with me.