A working wardrobe – By Malene Birger

Words Line Hindsgaul

Mathilde Torp Mader, the newly appointed creative director of By Malene Birger, had only two weeks’ time to put together a F/W 18 collection for the label with her impression on it. Luckily, the designer is no rookie, and comes with an impressive resumé, having until recently worked for Mulberry, and before that, Marni and Sonia Rykiel.

Mader’s international CV seems symbolic of the big changes the house plans to implement. So for this first collection, a regular show was not an option. She wanted a change. I was told this beforehand, and made an appointment before fashion week to get a closer look at the clothes. A wise decision, it turned out, as this was neither a show nor an ordinary presentation.

Once seated in an industrial location, Den Grå Hall at Christiania, a short film appeared on the wide screen (so wide it occupied an entire wall). Its three models walked and twirled around in the clothes, showing off the new look of Malene Birger, and more importantly, the label’s current mood.

These are not clothes that make a fuss about themselves or scream for attention. They are wardrobe staples, like beautiful sherling coats, tailored blazers, silk dresses, and luxurious knits. Clothes that every woman wants, which work for her and the life she leads. Perhaps not avant-garde, but, as my seatmate at the show, a very skilled fashion journalist, reminded me, the exact foundation for the success of international bestselling brands like Céline and Chloé.