August 9, 2017
by Brooke Bobb
Sculpture is a natural starting point for 2017 LVMH Prize finalist Cecilie Bahnsen. Her designs are tactile and precise, and like any great piece of art, they draw you in with a single glance. Such was the case with her Spring 2018 collection, which was shown today in a gallery space that she found long before she began designing the clothes. “I wanted to make each piece look and feel like a gallery piece,” Bahnsen explained afterward. “I wanted the designs to be able to stand on their own like a little sculpture.” And indeed they did, particularly the full-skirted baby doll dresses and tops that came bouncing softly through the stark-white space. Bahnsen also introduced more color this season, with light pink and yellow looks that lent a welcome freshness to her familiar fishnet details and quilted fabrics.
If last season was about establishing a fictional muse or character study for Bahnsen and her brand, Spring was about refining her. The slightly tomboy-inspired school uniform vibe the designer presented was updated with something lighter and more feminine. The designs seemed much less serious and more relaxed—confident, too. Among the flutter of ball skirts and ruffles, she also showed striking white separates and one particular dress with subtle pleating and billowed sleeves that made you think: I could live in that thing.
With plaited pigtails and socks and sneakers worn with every single look, the new Bahnsen girls are a little “cute, like they could be Peggy Guggenheim’s nieces,” the talented young designer said. “We are working with the same fabrics and materials, but making sure the DNA of the brand is being evolved and perfected—it’s been really fun to push it.”