CMMN SWDN’s Saif Bakir and Emma Hedlund want you to buy less clothes. Or rather, they want you to buy less cheap, disposable fashion and more of the good stuff. That’s an admirable motive — everyone knows over-consumption is killing mother nature — but did they make a convincing case for the latter? Well, yes. CMMN SWDN excels when it steps out of the beyond-tedious Scandi-minimalism cliché, but keeps the genre’s pricy-but-fair price point and day-to-day wearability. Previous collections have been strong, and the label is picking up accounts at retailers that hit the sweet spot between wardrobe essentials and runway oddities.
Today’s show, titled “It’s a Jumble Out There,” proposed an alternative to fast fashion, as pieces from previous CMMN collections were re-used (although the press release didn’t say whether these pieces were re-issues, or genuinely upcycled) and old consumer ads were slapped on jeans. Woolen dress trousers sported a solitary leather panel, while knits were patched together. Helen Kirkum was enlisted to produce some more of her insane Frankenstein sneakers.
Bakir and Hedlun hit the hardest when they turned away from the concept. Their take on the business suit looked incredible when layered over a billowing sheer shirt. Their acid-yellow pieces looked timeless and elegant. Basing your collection on overproduction then showing it on a runway in front of a bunch of buyers is always going to be a bit problematic, and the show notes made no mention of how CMMN SWDN aimed to minimize its impact on Planet Earth.
Subject matter this grave deserves more than just surface-level commentary, but at the end of the day there were some solid clothes on show here.