Astrid Andersen: The Celebration of Street Life

If your sartorial education about Scandinavian fashion has evolved assuming that it is but a reflection of timid minimalist designs worked on a palette of white, beige, and muted grey and black tones, you’d better think again. You just need to observe Danish designer Astrid Andersen and her recent menswear collections to realise that you are in for a big surprise when it comes to unravelling fashion talent. Andersen’s designs reveal the vibrant work of an unapologetically creative woman whose clothes scream with Day-Glo hues, luxury fabrics, and unexpected techniques and materials that redefine masculinity for the street-wear generation.

Andersen’s Spring/Summer 2012 menswear collection is unmistakably inspired by the hip-hop legend Public Enemy, and by the urban atmospheres depicted in Spike Lee’s 1989 movie ‘Do the Right Thing’. The garments reveal a tongue-in-cheek and playful attitude to textiles by mixing patterns and fabrics (such as real and fake fur) in a seemingly haphazard way. This challenging of perceived fashion conventions is continued in the creative mastery of luxurious street and sportswear in the form of garments such as oversized shirts, basketball tops, and camouflage prints. In addition, bronze and acid greens and yellows provide the basis of an eclectic palette with gold metal finishes and mesh applied to cropped tank tops, track suits and bomber jackets.

Astrid Andersen graduated top of her class from London’s Royal College of Art in 2010 with a collection styled by Simon Foxton that went on to win the River Island MA Student Bursary Award, which allowed her to design three looks for the British high-street retailer, and the Brioni Creativity and Innovation Award. The impressive acclaim that her graduate collection received from the industry soon led to the creation of an eponymous label that has been growing at an outstanding and enviable pace. Over the last year, Andersen’s clothes have featured in numerous publications, including London’s Sunday Times Style, The Financial Times, i-D, Vogue, Wallpaper*, and Nylon, and have become available in retailers in Denmark, UK, and Japan.

Earlier in 2011, Astrid Andersen held her first independent show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, where she received enthusiastic praise from the press and buyers, and also showed as a part of the Fashion East installation during London Fashion Week. As a result of her cosmopolitan success, Andersen currently alternates her life between London and Copenhagen, using the best of both worlds to her advantage: she works and manufactures from her studio in Copenhagen while getting inspiration from the London street scene, a city where her collections have been garnering a deserved roaring success.