Designer at Large: Cecilie Bahnsen
Fashion has spoken: bigger really is better when it comes to dresses this season, and there’s one designer spearheading the look
Bags, jeans, blazers: we’ve witnessed each of these wardrobe staples head steadily towards supersize territory recently, but it’s the oversize dresses trend that’s, well, huge right now. From minis with amped-up volume to elegant maxis that billow down to the ankles, these large-scale, theatrical pieces take style cues from fashions of old, but come with everyday wearability and practical touches, so chime with today’s need for a functional, hard working wardrobe. Cecilie Bahnsen, the Scandinavian designer that’s just landed in Liberty’s womenswear halls, is undoubtedly the poster child of this go-big-or-go-home look, but which are her most-wanted pieces?
Hand crafted from black, chevron-textured linen with a gathered empire-waistline that falls to a bubble-skirt, this sculptural dress embodies the oversize dresses trend’s key objective: fusing couture and ready-to-wear. “The combination of couture’s mastery and tradition with the ease, comfort and functionalism of Scandinavian design is all about creating something precious for every day,” says Bahnsen. “My idea is that we can and should mark every moment by wearing beautiful clothes we treasure.”Shop now
The crossover between a classic menswear shirt and a tiered skirt of billowing proportions, this ivory cotton dress feels loose, lightweight and comfy for days on the move, making you feel as good as you look. “The idea of looking at couture through an everyday lens initially came from seeing how the girls in our studio and wider community wear our clothes,” Bahnsen explains. “I see how my minimal yet maximal dresses make them feel strong, creative and independent.”Shop now
The kind of alternative wedding dress that brides-to-be dream of, the Karmen is made from sheer sierra matelassé for a delicate, whimsical finish. Complete with puffed sleeves and a full skirt that flares outwards, it blends softness with structure, bridging the gaps between fashion, art and architecture. “I always take a sculptural approach to designing,” Bahnsen notes. “I often find inspiration through artwork I come across on slower days at museums in Copenhagen, Scandinavian design, and the enduring beauty of Paris.”Shop now
Elegant, attention-grabbing but also made with day-to-day wearability in mind, the Alexa spotlights another style signature that underpins Bahnsen’s take on the oversized dresses trend: the passion to make over-the-top grandeur from bygone centuries look distinctly of the moment. “I particularly like the balance between heritage, history, fashion and craft,” Bahnsen states. “But I’m also always looking for new and inspiring creative approaches.”Shop now