Saks Potts Romanticizes Summertime Nostalgia at Copenhagen Fashion Week SS24
Saks Potts’ spring-summer 2024 show might’ve been inspired by sun-soaked summer holidays in Denmark, but the weather had other plans during Copenhagen Fashion Week. Here’s what it was like at the Copenhagen-based brand’s seaside show.
Photography by James Cochrane.
We’re standing by the ruffled water near the banks of Øresund, shielding ourselves from a wind that seems to have lost its way from the Commonwealth Bay – a kind of wind that’s capable of lifting you and setting you down a few feet away. Umbrellas today are a necessity. Rain has pummeled the city. Clouds have moved into the sky and have just been squatting there all day. Saks Potts told us to prepare for bad weather. In show invitations, the brand alerted guests, “It’s going to rain! Let’s embrace it!” After all, days like this happen in Copenhagen – just one of those inexplicable quirks of the city, I guess.
It’s too bad that today was supposed to be an ode to summertime bliss. “Saks Potts celebrates the uniqueness of Danish summers, which hold a specific significance for those who grew up in Scandinavian countries,” the show notes read. In Denmark, summer memories are formed in places like this – around swimming piers and beaches. Families and friends meet by the sun-dappled sea as much to socialize as to swim. And this little oasis, whose history can be traced back to 1901, is proof. Water, in the summer, is energy.
That’s why it’s not surprising at all that Saks Potts, whose entire ethos has evolved to embrace the family unit, is holding its spring-summer 2024 show right here. Here, between the historical bathing establishment and the iconic Cafe Jorden Rundt – a favorite childhood summer spot for best friends and founders Cathrine Saks and Barbara Potts. Bonus: It’s also next to the kindergarten where they met as tots some 25 years ago.
Even in this less-than-ideal weather, the location’s charm is undeniable. And as I take my seat along the 200-meter runway that looks out to the sea, I begin musing about the perfect summer here, tuning out the pitter-patter of raindrops on my umbrella – if only for a few fleeting moments.
Playing on Nostalgia.
This isn’t the first time nostalgia played a part in Saks Potts’ productions. Last season, we were invited to Tivoli Gardens – one of the oldest amusement parks in the world and a refuge for overjoyed tots and their parents. A marching band entertained the audience, parents brought their toddlers, and so did the models who walked the show. It was a true family affair, one that marked a very distinct growing-up moment for Saks Potts.
No strangers to virality, Cathrine and Barbara started the insta-favorite brand at the ages of 19 and 20, and it has changed, just as they did, over the course of 10 years. But this doesn’t mean they buffer themselves from the more playful, creative parts that made them such a success in the first place.
This comes into clear focus when Alana Hadid steps onto the pier-slash-runway to the sound of “Lyngen er Lilla” – a Danish summer song by singer Lis Sørensen and a favorite of Cathrine and Barbara. A shimmering sequined skirt layered on top of pants. Silver flip-flops. A tawny blazer thrown on top of bandeau top for a dose of casual-seriousness. Ah, yes, we’re in for a summertime treat.
Dressing for the Holidays.
The runway is long, didn’t I mention? As is the case with most Saks Potts shows that I’ve had the pleasure of attending, this runway show is massive, and the guestlist is large. (In case you haven’t noticed, the brand likes to go big.) We’re huddled together, umbrellas overlapping umbrellas as a drone buzzes around in the steely sky. It takes the models a bit of time to walk the length of the seaside sidewalk, but this just gives us extra time to analyze and fully absorb every look. Always a win in my book.
One by one, perfect holiday pieces are showcased. The goal here was to create a versatile holiday wardrobe, one that can take you through the stretch of the season looking put together. Central to this “holiday capsule collection” is the hardest-working staple of them all: the humble dress. A tangerine-orange silk dress, worn over a pair of loose pants, strikes a perfect balance between lightness and structure – ideal for brunch, perhaps. A lightweight halterneck option offers a subtle update to the timeless day dress. A darker variation, festooned with lettuce-edge detailing, is just begging to be taken out on a date. “Saks Potts offers a dress for every moment,” the show notes read.
Wardrobes Have Heroes, Too.
Among the lineup of dresses, there’s also the “Emrata” dress, which the brand designed specifically for Emily Ratajkowski in 2019, becoming a fast favorite among Saks Potts’ loyal shoppers. That Cathrine and Barbara revisited that dress – among so many other Saks Potts staples – is no mere coincidence. Filtering the past through a different lens is part of the brand’s sustainability strategy.
“We envision designing pieces that become timeless staples in your wardrobe,” the show notes read. “Saks Potts combines elements from best-selling items in previous collections with new materials and cuts to bring a fresh perspective to our creations.” In that regard, they’re not introducing dramatically new trends as much as they’re reframing them, taking trusty blueprints and building upon them. When done right – and with Saks Potts, it often is – this strategy yields garments with enduring appeal.
Familiar silhouettes include a purple silk dress with scarf detail and a neckline that plunges down to the belly button; the piece was rendered in copper lamé last summer. A previous-season gold coat is reincarnated in silver. And of course, Saks Potts’ biggest hero piece, the “William” shirt, makes an appearance. This time, the Thomas-Mason-cotton piece is brought back in sublime limoncello yellow. (Saks Potts is offering this new version of the William shirt and matching shorts as see-now, buy-now styles everyone can shop right away.)
Of course, there are some new pieces added to the mix. Think: long and short-sleeved polo shirts, ‘90-style blazers, and a jacket-and-pants “denim” ensemble made of printed leather. And I’d be remiss not to mention Saks Potts’ accessories, which are often my favorite part. Over the past two seasons, hip-hugging ‘90s-inspired belts and belt bags reigned supreme, and this season was no exception. Skinny lettuce-hem scarfs add intrigue to a look. Low-slung belts in leather and fringe break up dresses, and clear belt bags carry pebbles from the sea. Nice touch.
What’s Blowing in The Wind?
As the models take their final walk down the runway, the wind picks up again for the hundredth time. It dishevels hair, breaks the architecture of garments, and whips away at fabric. But when Cathrine and Barbara step out in front of the crowd, they’re nothing but smiles. They clap and then interlock hands, jogging down the runway like kids running around at the beach on a warm summer day.
If Cathrine and Barbara – whose entire show was based around the idea of good weather – aren’t the manifestation of “making the most of it,” I don’t know who is. As the show notes read: “This unpredictable nature is an integral part of the Danish summer, teaching us to value every sunny day as it may be the last.”