Sometimes it takes an outsider to see things for their objective beauty. In the case of Ganni’s A/W18 show, the outsider in question was multidisciplinary artist Ana Kraš and her subject the city of Copenhagen itself, home to Ganni HQ and centre of Denmark’s flourishing art, design and food scene. Kraš was enlisted by Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup, the wife-and-husband duo behind the brand, to come to the city and photograph it as a voyeur. The result was a series of images that would become the set of the show and act as a love letter to the Danish capital, capturing scenes and moments that sum up its unique charm.
There’s the changing of the guard at the palace, the cadet-stripe blue trousers in full stride; there are the ancient angel statues at the Thorvaldsen museum; boats on the Nyhaven harbour front; bicycles stacked up against the city’s railings; shots of the vintage rides at Tivoli Gardens, Europe’s oldest theme park; and plates of Clingfilm-wrapped open sandwiches served at cafés around the city. Each of the photographs were printed onto large screens and hung from a scaffolding structure, chosen for its commonplace appearance in urban environments.
“I wanted to portray the traditional things, as well the modern ones,” says Kraš. “Some very famous and iconic symbols, and some everyday random moments.” The idea perfectly tied into Ganni’s pop-up souvenir shops, which the brand opens around the city, selling novel items alongside their graphic T-shirts. “Even as a foreigner, Copenhagen is a very special place,” adds Kraš. “People are warm and open, very curious, very giving, very kind to each other, and chic and nonchalant about it.”
Kraš’s boyfriend, Devonté ‘Dev’ Hynes of Blood Orange, was also enlisted to help with the show, compiling a mix of quintessential Danish pop songs for the soundtrack. Together, the duo was briefed by creative director Ditte Reffstrup, who dedicated her collection to everyday angels – an antidote to the Victoria’s Secret variety – epitomised by the natural beauty of fresh-faced model Frederikke Sofie. “I love the film Wings of Desire and the idea that there are angels all over the city,” explained Reffstrup, Ganni’s creative director. “They have something mysterious about them, something you can only sense but maybe not put into words. Right now, we need angels more than ever, but you only need to look a little closer to find them.”
“Ditte designed the collection with the idea of a new kind of an angel, contemporary and more real,” explains Kraš. “This presentation, combining the fashion, set design and music, as a whole, honours Copenhagen and its people, the heritage and the current time. Not many brands celebrate their origins in their creations, and if they do, it’s sort of to make fun of it. The traditional symbols are often exaggerated and it all becomes this comical hybrid version of the tradition. We didn’t want to go there. We wanted a genuine nostalgic feeling instead.”