Mia – January 29, 2018
One of my favorite teenage pastimes was settling into an over-sized armchair with a stack of my mother’s fashion magazines. I loved the sophisticated clothes and was fascinated by the lives and life styles depicted in those glossy photos.
I haven’t lost my love for fashion, although these days I get my fix on Instagram, Pinterest and various blogs. These platforms literally put the world of fashion at my fingertips, and that world happily includes Denmark, home of my favorite fashionista, Crown Princess Mary.
It’s one of my deepest disappointments that I wasn’t able to see Mary and her husband, Crown Prince Frederik, when they visited The Danish Home during an official tour of the U.S. in March 2009. I happened to be otherwise engaged at the time with my newborn daughter, Astrid.
The arrival of Australian-born Mary, who married her prince in 2004, has only boosted the profile of Denmark’s booming fashion industry. Copenhagen, the center of Danish fashion, will hold its annual Fall/Winter Fashion Week from January 30 through February 2. A Spring/Summer Fashion Week is held each August. The events, which are the largest of their kind in Scandinavia, attract the interest of international buyers and extensive coverage in the fashion press.
As someone who spends most of her days in yoga pants and hoodies, the traditional Danish emphasis on minimalist design and natural beauty definitely appeals. But so does the work of newer Danish designers who are embracing bright colors, prints and flirtier forms.
Mary, with her keen fashion sense, vast wardrobe and princely budget, ably represents both aspects of Danish fashion. Lucky for me and other curious fans, her sartorial choices are followed closely by bloggers who laboriously track and transcribe everything from her Julie Fagerholt Heartmade dresses to her Ole Lynggaard rings. Other Mary faves are Jesper Hovring, whose 2016 Copenhagen Fashion Week show she viewed from a front-row seat, and milliner Susanne Juul.
Needless to say, I don’t have a fraction of the clothes budget of the future queen of Denmark nor, regrettably, her access to the Danish crown jewels. Yet, there is something refreshingly accessible about the way Mary dresses—maybe because it’s not all ball gowns and tiaras for this sporty mom of four young children.
In fact, sometimes her choices don’t qualify as high fashion at all, as when Mary, Frederik and their kids donned traditional beaded and bearskin Greenlandic costumes during a visit to the Danish territory.
Seeing the Crown Prince couple and their children attired in colorful native clothing brought me back to the traditional Danish folk costume—sewn by my mother—that I loved wearing as a girl, and to the many events at The Danish Home that have featured similarly attired performers and visitors.
Denmark has several folk costumes that represent the country’s various regions, and although they aren’t chic, I’ve always loved their happy combination of vibrant colors, mixed prints and historical silhouettes.
While I will never be as fashionable as the Crown Princess of Denmark—or any of the other famous clothes horses and designers I follow on Instagram—I know what I like, what I can afford, and what suits my current life style. Someday, maybe, I’ll have reason to own a stylish work wardrobe or a formal gown. Until then happy, vibrant and comfortable is as good as it gets.