Gang of vandals

News article

This year, Copenhagen Fashion Week came to a close in the unlikely industrial wasteland surrounding the out-of-the-way Bispebjerg Station. Here, a barefoot, cartoon-like crew of street boys and -girls emerged from rusty containers and old train tracks, sporting cropped hooded vests, foam-piping sleeved dungarees, and some fabulous clutch-like bags ready for any international concept store.

Who else than Hærværk, the joyfully transgressive brand by London’s Royal College of Art graduate Niels Gundtoft Hansen? As apparent in the crowd, the polished domestic fashion circuit is yet to embrace the idiosyncratic designer, perhaps because of his distinctively un-Danish silhouettes and sensibility. Thematically, however, his SS18 collection couldn’t possibly be more patriotic, as he paid homage to the anti-heroic protagonist of Ole Lund Kirkegaard’s cult children’s book, Gummi Tarzan. This translated into utilitarian gear, modernized in nylon and heat-pressed fabrics, Hansen’s technical trademark.

As always, Hansen designs from a self-constructed mythological universe, assisted by his long-term collaborator cartoonist Tristan Dupuis, and in this way, aligns himself with fellow Danish designer Henrik Vibskov, who also trained in the British capital. Whether that’s to one’s taste, or if the misanthropic Gorillaz references feel a bit worn out from the get-go, one cannot deny Hansen’s significant talent and vandalistic approach to the CFW way of doing things.

Words: Jeppe Ugelvig

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