If, like us, you're already in love with Ganni, get ready to fall harder for the cult contemporary Danish brand, following its AW17 show at Copenhagen Fashion Week. Aptly enough, the collection was a message of love as well as creative director Ditte Reffstrup's reflection on the turbulent times of the past year. If you're not yet familiar, Ganni launched in 2000 and has swiftly become one of the most popular mid-priced brands, filling the void in the market for easy-to-wear pieces that women all over the world want. Now that you know, you'll recognise the gorgeous print dresses, slogan T-shirts, slouchy-chic knits and elegant blouses from seeing them worn by all your favourite style stars on Instagram and IRL.
The mood of the AW17 collection is inspired by the real world and some of Ditte's recent frustrations. “It started on my summer holiday. I was in one place but looking on social media and I wanted to be in other places," Reffstrup explained backstage, post-show. "I just wanted to be where everyone else was and I felt that my life was boring. Then I got so embarrassed about my feelings, I felt like a 10-year-old child who thinks that the grass is always greener. Then I found out I was pregnant and went to New York and a lot of shit was going on there and it started to become real about Donald Trump. It was so depressing and I was afraid of bringing a child into this world. I was like, I cannot do anything about it because what I do is fashion but I can try to express myself through a collection that is called Love Society. I want girls to look up from their phone and realise it’s not real. Talk to each other, be more present, and care more about each other and less about what you can have next. We really need to take a step back.”
Ditte's desire to return to the real world and avoid the artifice of social media is reflected in the earthy, grounded palette of browns and greens, lilac, navy, black and deep orange. Yet, despite the sombre overall colour scheme, injections of red and bold love motifs ran through the collection. A beautiful black dress featured hand-drawn, sequinned hearts growing like flowers from a vine, while a heart containing the words “Love Society” was embroidered on a sweater and ruffled, gingham, long-sleeved dresses were reminiscent of the whimsy and lightness of Little House on the Prairie. Yes, 2016 was an annus horribilis but Ditte and her Love Society Ganni girl gang remind us that 2017 can be filled with love, hope and light.
Testament to the brand's popularity was the fact that numerous fashion influencers from around the globe sat front row at the show, including Camille Charrière, Pernille Teisbaek, Pandora Sykes, Lizzy V Dlight, Laura Jackson and Katherine Ormerod. So what has been the key to the brand's rapid rise? “I think it’s because we have a really strong team and I really felt there was something missing in Copenhagen. That girl I see on the street on her bike, she’s not represented in the [fashion] world. Everyone thinks we’re so sweet in our uniform of black and blue but I see so many lovely girls on the street wearing dresses with trainers and T-shirts, so it was so important for me to build a brand for that girl.”
Before we let Ditte put her feet up (bear in mind, she's seven months pregnant), we had to ask how the Ganni girl of 2017 differs from how she was back in 2009, when Ditte took the creative helm? “She's like the Ganni girl when we started! I don’t believe in trends. I just believe in being yourself, stick to what you are and who you are.” And we couldn't agree more.