‘Growing up in a small town in the 1980s, there was very little access to the outside world, and I think that encouraged the same sense of loneliness that people are experiencing now,' says Ganni’s creative director Ditte Reffstrup. ‘There was no internet and restricted access to magazines. My portal was MTV.’
Copenhagen-based Reffstrup remembers the strong emotion she felt when, at the aged of 13, she watched the video for Sinead O'Connor's Nothing Compares 2 U, for the first time. ‘I'm not sure I entirely knew what the song was about,' she says. ‘But I found it intense and powerful'. It's the transformative power of music which inspired the label's latest A/W 2021 showcase, a live musical experience affectionately titled ‘Ganni Love Forever', encouraging those at home around the world to take solace in sound.
For a four day musical event, culminating in a final live performance, Ganni enlisted three female musicians, Copenhagen-based Coco O., New York's Zsela and LA-based Deb Never, to perform a series of covers and original tracks, including O'Connor's Nothing Compares 2 U. The brand is famed for its pounding fashion show afterparties almost as much as its clothing collections (think karaoke, seafood piled into retro stacks by culinary Instagram star Laila Gohar, and dancing long into the night on chairs and tables), but for this performance Reffstrup favoured something a little softer. ‘Usually as a brand Ganni is very energetic,' she explains. ‘We wanted to provide something more comforting, allowing viewers to take a break from the real world for a few minutes.'
The performance also allowed Ganni to showcase its A/W 2021 collection, one described by Reffstrup as something ‘sharper and more sophisticated, based on the hope that we are going to dress up again.’ This includes loose leather tailoring, shiny metallic denim, ruched floral dresses and glittering bouclé skirt suits. Zesty green runs throughout the offering, as a ‘colour of hope'. The label also showcased its ‘Stage' collection, an offering of one-of-a-kind pieces formed from reworked styles. The rental collection, featuring stage-worthy pieces like rhinestone-embellished leather gilets and sequinned patchwork jeans was designed in collaboration with designer Nanna Bernholm. It is an evolution of their first rental offering, which launched with a Levi's denim capsule collection last summer.
Community is integral to Ganni's label, whether its through the global collaborators it works with each each season, the extended family it welcomes to its physical shows, or the sense of unity its fans feel through its social media channels. It's a sense of belonging that is more important than ever before. ‘The performance was about helping people feel they aren't alone,' Reffstrup says. It's a notion one can keep close to home for weeks and months to come.
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