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Men's Fashion Month Report

”It’s sloppy workwear but with a tailored touch to it”

The founder and designer of the brand mfpen, Sigurd Bank, launched the brand’s Autumn/Winter -16 collection with just a few pieces and he’s been handling it all by himself. Two years later, it’s already become leading in retail. For Spring/Summer -19, Bank presented his collection off-schedule, with support from Revolver and Agency V, at Overgaden – Institut for Samtidskunst.

Words by Robin Douglas Westling

Overgaden – Institut for Samtidskunst, Copenhagen, Denmark.

With ”the solitude artist” as the main inspiration – working in their studio whilst dressed in relaxed clothing of light fabrics – mfpen explored the depth of textures, silhouettes, and materials through a concurrent modern approach towards design, fused with a touch of relaxed tailoring. Here, check patterns and stripes enter the studio alongside eccentric and refined textures across the whole collection. Bank says to Scandinavian MAN that the collection is ”very mfpen” and it’s evolving from the past collections, but this time has gotten slightly more tailored.

– The idea when I started the collection was inspired by artists in their studios. So all the shirts have no cuffs, long sleeves and a size too big. It’s sloppy workwear but with a tailored touch to it. Then I had a lot of fabrics, a lot of small check patterns and loose fabrics. A lot of seersucker, that to me is very summery, so we have this texture that gives some vibrancy to the full look.

Bank says that he’s more involved with the art scene rather than the fashion scene.

– Techno and art is more my thing and clothing production is what I’m good at. I share my studio with Simon Starling, a Turner prize-winning artist. I want that vibe, not the typical art student but the classical artist with the loose trousers.

When entering the light exhibition hall, several models were seen set in formation wearing clothes in a light color-palette with loose silhouettes. The clothes reminded me of the same aesthetic as Fall/Winter 18, but now in brighter colors and much better execution. Pure cotton and different types of seersucker can be found in the tailored blazers, the classic 3-buttons suit in a lighter color and different check pattern than FW18, and the classic mfpen stripe shirt and loose denim trousers was also a part of the collection. Bank explores the narrative of an exhibition in its build-up phase – just as a collection is shown before being available to the public, the artist’s work rest in his studio before going off to the exhibition. Unwrapped artworks and naked scaffolding add to the references of the space with subtle nods towards the likes of Jean-Claude & Christo.

Just like last time, the tailoring doesn’t seem perfectly produced, maybe because of Bank’s disinterest in the fashion scene. However, Bank has a clear vision of where he wants to take his brand. I think that everyone should keep an eye on mfpen and Sigurd Bank. There’s lots of work handling your own business in terms of producing fashion, but I believe that with time the vision will be even more realized, hopefully with perfectly fitted and produced clothes.

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