“It’s up to the audience to judge or have their opinions, I create something I find beautiful” – Han Kjobenhavn FW22 Women’s collection

14.03.2022, Fashion Interview

How do the emotions of darkness feel in silhouettes? Jannik Wikkelsø Davidsen, the founder of the Scandinavian brand Han Kjobenhavn, devotes himself to this translation. In doing so, he leaves any interpretations of what his environment but ultimately finds in these shapes, entirely to themselves. He wants to create something that he perceives is beautiful and give in to his urge to create something that takes up its own space.

“Inside your head, it does have a shape of some sort.”

Darkness is the biggest inspiration because you find the most emotions in it. To what extent can emotions be transferred into objects or silhouettes?  
It’s not a linier path and it’s difficult to give a simple answer to, because it’s an emotion, which is born in body and mind – but most emotions tend to look like something visually also… Inside your head, it does have a shape of some sort. A feeling gives you pictures, and you can build on those and actually push and play around with them, turn them to form and shape. That’s how my head works, how I think, and how I design.  

And what emotions are those, for example, that you find in the darkness?  
It can be everything, depending on the world, myself, and everyone around me. What’s important to me, is that I find my emotions amplified in that space, the emotions are stronger, and I feel more. When you’re feeling something extra, you feel closer to the processes and you understand your own head better, which also creates a better creativity in the end. 

Often it seems as if your collections are created and exist in another world. How would you describe this universe?  
I feel a strong need to create something, which defines its own space. I think in terms of shapes and patterns, in terms of the humans that I find interesting to unite my creations – it’s a different place, a place that is defined by the creations I design. A lot of worlds and universes have been defined in films, books, and a lot of other things – but I don’t want to project the future, I just want to build my own world and I’m just getting started, it’s a long process only the first layers have been created.

In itself your designs are gender-neutral, what differences can you find in the design process in contrast to the FW22 men’s collection? 
It’s important for me that the concept is built from the same platform, same core, same DNA, and as you see in the outlines of the collection, what we presented in Milan a couple of months ago for the menswear, and what we presented now, is the same language, aesthetic, universe. The difference, of course, is the human body. How do we work with that? It really comes down to the process of how do we make sure that what we’re creating gets the best out of each human, and also works for the assets in the personality, not only the physical but also the core of the personality. I think that’s where the challenge is, you can follow outlines, you can follow the obvious pattern, but how you connect your process and your designs to the core of the person who actually carries that, is probably the biggest challenge.  

The women in the collection look strong and sophisticated and the designs often look like an armor that wraps around their bodies, like some kind of amazons of the future. Is that the kind of woman you want to represent? 
It’s up to the audience to judge or have their opinions, I create something I find beautiful, fascinating, and interesting, and I connect that to humans that I find interesting and beautiful. By connecting these things, I feel that we are bringing both design and storytelling to another level.  

The whole collection looks like a fusion of strong vulnerability. There is a lot of skin on display, including areas that are often censored/not shown on women, in combination with heavy and massive-looking designs. What does this combination represent to you? What does pure skin represent for you? 
For me that is the complementary contracts. You can be heavy, but elegant, beauty can be cold, “imperfection” is warm and what is perfection? This is layers of emotions and I think that humans must show vulnerability, it’s essential. We should be proud of our bodies and shouldn’t be afraid of showing skin. All these complementary contracts should coexist, then it’s up to me to strike a balance in all these things and create something of meaning and beauty. 

Somehow in the color scale of subtle dark tones, a look in bright pink is rather unexpected – what special meaning does this have? That was also your final look, so to speak.  
I never create a collection where I say this has to be the final look. I think it evolves as you go along when you are designing. It’s important for me that my dark tones and shapes do not dominate, so I needed the pink to create the contrast. It is not only a physical function but also an emotional one, I use pink as a breather, so you can digest the darker tones and shapes. For the pink to close the show, just felt right when looking at the whole collection and the final lineup.  

What are you planning or what are your wishes for the next upcoming women’s collections?  
My wishes are to keep creating something that evokes an emotion, something that people find interesting and want to be a part of. Hopefully I can continue building the aesthetic and creating something that is even more beautiful than what I just did. Also, I want to keep connecting with my cast, build with them and hopefully bring the whole thing to another level. I think it’s important that the things we do evoke something in people, we can touch with what we do, that has to be the mission. 

Interview Carolin Desiree Becker

Picture courtesy of Han Kjobenhavn/ Adam Titchener/ Noah Kanber

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