Gestuz’s ‘Heat Haze’ Brings Serious Cool to Copenhagen Fashion Week SS23

During one of Scandinavia’s biggest fashion events, Gestuz presented a collection chock-full of early noughties nostalgia. Take a peek inside the show and some of the season’s most standout pieces.

Photography by James Cochrane.

The hottest months are upon us, and Denmark-based Gestuz has rooted itself in the elements. At its spring-summer 2023 show, you can smell it — the haze this continent has been wading through, a visible, dense, record-breaking heat. It’s dusty, with bright waves of grapefruit and a tinge of vanilla. Created by Berlin-based artist Kim Gerlach exclusively for the show, the scent greets guests when they arrive at an industrial-looking building in Copenhagen. That, and ice pops — because what’s a more primal hot-weather need than a fruity, cold bite? 

The mood is set, and senses are heightened by the time everyone filters through the studio space. Inside, the venue is light-drenched and bare; the sun’s heavenly orb beams from behind large, factory-style windows. Here is where Gestuz has mapped out a runway that winds past thick box columns and extends to an adjacent room. Even the setting, stark as it is, with its high ceilings and blank-canvas white walls, feels right.

It’s just a little past go time when guests simmer down and the first thump of the soundtrack ushers in the opening look: an ankle-grazing, long-sleeved number in a tart apple-green. If summer had a color, this would be it. A case is also made for the thigh-high slit and a free-flowing silhouette that flutters as if it has just caught a fresh breeze. A fabric flower choker wraps around her neck, trailing behind her back (this accessory makes a few more appearances throughout the show).

Do you remember the late nineties and early noughties? Watching the show, you will. The vestiges of that era are clear and bright as the sun: low-slung trousers with thongs peeking out, body-hugging mico tops and cargo pants. More noughtie-inspired silhouettes emerge, like abbreviated denim jackets and full-length, form-fitting skirts that sit ever so low on the hips. Worn with a cropped, monochromic bomber jacket and an exposed thong, the sexy maxi is ready for a night out. 

In this manner, old favorites are reborn, but they’re subtle and far from gaudy. In fact, even low-rise pants, arguably one of the least appreciated trends of the early 2000s, is rendered in a way that’s so tempered and new that you can’t help but consider extending an olive branch. Color feels nostalgic, too. Greens open the show, but creative director Sanne Sehested also injects a delightful palette of orange, turquoise and metallic silver, all furthering the idea of empowerment. Along with ease and individualism, this has been the guiding principle of the brand since its inception back in 2008.

Monochromic matching sets abound: denim on frayed denim, turquoise blue on blue and head-to-toe green. Bouts of leather in inky blacks and browns with a crackled, distressed finish lends these looks a laid-back aesthetic. Another one-hued marvel: polished egg-white cargo pants paired with a leather biker jacket — a fresh update on the typically rock ’n’ roll piece. It’s a look that summarizes the collection: edgy, confident and not afraid to show a little bit of skin. 

In short, Gestuz’s collection is an extension of a nostalgia that’s been burning bright for a while now. But Sehested’s take on it is decidedly different, and there’s an off-hand ease to the collection that makes it such a triumph, as was the case with the label’s autumn-winter 2022 collection, which wielded the ‘80s for inspiration. So, there’s no two ways about it: Gestuz has mastered the art of turning back time — but also, of moving it forward.

LA-based journalist and blogger sharing her deep-seated, honest love for fashion and travel. Check in every week for new stories of exploration and roundups!

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