Norway is a land of rugged shorelines, endless fjords, treacherous mountain passes and unspoiled beauty. Its nature truly is majestic. Another striking factor is that the elements are allowed to roam free, allowing you to truly experience the seasonal shift. On a recent journey to Denmark, I came across the atelier of HANSEN GARMENTS, crafted by Aase Helena Hansen, a true troubadour. Aase, a proud Norwegian, understands her surroundings very well, which she translates in the garments. Over black coffees, I explored her collection and the philosophy she adheres. The backdrop: their historic cul-de-sac old merchants house, tucked away in a courtyard along a cobbled street downtown Copenhagen. Not a bad setting indeed.
HANSEN has always been a little under the radar, allowing for its products to rather speak for themselves. As she explains her work, Aase proves to be a most humble and patient individual, but one who knows exactly what she wants to convey with her designs. After working in fashion design over a decade, you simply do not need to tell her how to tailor a jacket, this just runs within her. The charmingly creaky office doubles as an atelier and showroom and on each crooked floor we encounter inspiring traces of the precise design process.
When it comes to construction, each piece is meticulously developed, as part of an organic process. Aase works from imagery, inspiration she collects on her travels and simply trusts her gut feeling. The result is a nicely edited collection that balances suiting, with Japanese workwear influences, woolen hats and structured shirts. Layers can be added or removed, with a choice of fabrics matching the lighter season to come. What is interesting about the collection, is the careful arrangement of the HANSEN wardrobe, it never screams, appears rather understated and always remains completely functional. Very much like the designer herself.