By Sofie Ringtved Jensen
Blanche: “It’s important to be part of the community”
Mette Fredin Christensen and Melissa Bech are ready for their second Copenhagen Fashion Week show — this time as part of the official show calendar. Since their last collection, they have learned the importance of thorough preparation and have chiseled everything superfluous away.
Even though Blanche has existed for less than a year, it is already well established as part of the Danish fashion industry. This season, Mette Fredin Christensen and Melissa Bech are ready for their second fashion week show after having made their debut back in January — and this time they are opening the ball as the first show of fashion week.
The duo behind Blanche have learned a lot since January. Whereas they were “off-schedule” for last season, they are now part of the official Copenhagen Fashion Week show calendar — a collaboration they hope will make their show’s underpinnings sharper. For Christensen and Bech, a show is the perfect platform to present a new collection and strengthen relations to customers — even though they find the runway format a bit old-fashioned.
What is the most important thing you have learned since debuting, and what are you doing differently this time around?
“The AW18 season was a success for us, and we now know that we can make it ourselves. But it is also really important to be part of the community, which is why we have teamed up with Copenhagen Fashion Week this season. We know that we can always improve and develop — and this also goes for our show. We are better prepared this time and have made room for rehearsals, sound checks, and selecting the very best team to help us.
While in January we wanted to show everything Blanche stand for, this time we have chiseled away anything possibly superfluous and are only showing looks we believe in 110 per cent. This means the show will be briefer and more streamlined than last time, and in that way we can show Blanche from its best side without any unnecessary fill.
Audiences can expect even more ready-to-wear and contemporary denim. Sharp and spot on. And with a broad diversity of models. We want to show Blanche to all those who’d like to be part of Blanche.
And besides that, we are super proud of being the official opening show this fashion week!”
Shows take a lot of work and energy. Why have you chosen to prioritize it again this season?
“After our positive experience with the last show, which opened many doors for us — including with a nice article on vogue.com — repeating the success was a natural choice. We are still very new and have a lot we want to show the world.”
What has your brand gained from putting on a show?
“Even though the runway show as a format is a bit old fashioned, we still think it’s one of the most beautiful and effective ways to show our brand, and the collection as a coherent whole. In the around ten minutes we get to show and give the audience an experience, anything can happen — we hope to give the onlookers an aha! moment and a feeling of being part of our universe. If we accomplish that, we get both proud and happy.”
What has been your most nerve-wracking moment?
“That must have been last season right before the show started — but in the good sort of way, where the adrenaline pumps around in your blood excitedly, like butterflies in our stomaches. We still get sweat on our foreheads thinking about how fast things have moved, and what has already happened for Blanche — but never quite like that moment before the runway opened — it’s a unique feeling.”
Why does fashion week remain relevant?
“We are living in a time when most fashion and brands have been digitalized, where we are constantly bombarded with impressions from social media. That’s why we believe it’s important to show who we are with a presence that is physical. That’s what we see as the essence of fashion week’s shows and fairs — the close and personal dialogue with customers and the possibility to see clothing up-close never goes out of date.
On the other hand, fashion week is challenged by reductions in collection lifespans, and end-customers get the unfortunate expectations that they can have everything they see immediately. This spells difficulty for brands in terms of navigating the structures of fairs and the time constrictions of fashion week. We’re already at the end of the season when Copenhagen Fashion Week kicks off. Besides, putting on a show can in our experience be a challenge timing-wise — getting everything together for our international buyers and press. But we have learned that we can’t please everyone, so the most important thing for us is to do things our way and stand by our choices.”