One of the many reasons the world turns its head to Copenhagen during fashion month is its emerging creative scene. In addition to the Danish capital's commitment to sustainability, the city serves as a platform for numerous up-and-coming designers from the Nordic region, allowing them to showcase their latest collections in runway shows and presentations twice a year. One such brand is FINE CHAOS — a label with community and rebellion at its core.
FINE CHAOS was founded by Marc C. Møllerskov, who decided to pursue his brand towards the end of design school. The creative took the skills and lessons he learned during his studies and internship at Han Kjøbenhavn, bringing FINE CHAOS to life with his friends. Having experienced a rough patch at its launch due to COVID-19, with the help of the Danish fashion community FINE CHAOS has grown into a cult-favorite for its designs, as well as its famous parties during Copenhagen Fashion Week.
Ahead of the FW24 season of CPHFW, we spoke with Marc C. Møllerskov, creative director of FINE CHAOS, on the brand's past, present and future. Continue scrolling to read our conversation and shop FINE CHAOS now on HBX.
Tell us about your journey. How did you get started in fashion and how did you start FINE CHAOS?
My mother used to work in fashion during my childhood and I had the pleasure to join her some days and oversee the processes behind making the garments. My family always understood the importance of using clothes as a medium for expression and identity. Coming from a small town, it was unusual to dress differently from others, which is something I very much adored. To me, it started dialogues — many times thought-provoking ones.
However, I was unsure if fashion was what I wanted to dedicate the rest of my life to until I watched Dior and I when I was 17.
It might seem very cliché to pick a popular documentary as a foundation for your dedication to fashion, but Raf Simons portrayed the opportunities that lay within that creative field. I loved his storytelling integrated into the garments, whether it was the old punk and grunge Raf from the early ’00s or the more elegant version from the Dior era. It always had a purpose and a nerve. You felt the life in the cuts, the seams and the prints, and more importantly, the storytelling. It was inspiring to see an artist being able to master different aesthetics and brands, without ever compromising on his design DNA. That was what concluded my interest and fascination for the fashion medium.
Once I started studying fashion at the Copenhagen School of Design and Business and returned from my exchange semester at the London College of Fashion, I became more serious about the idea of starting my brand, yet I did not want it to be a forced concept. I painted a lot at the time, and I painted something titled "It's a FINE CHAOS!" which was a depiction of a face where you couldn’t tell if it was happy, angry, in despair or in grief. I showed the picture to my friend Anton, who at that point lived on my sofa in Copenhagen. I explained the idea behind the term FINE CHAOS while he told me the term FINE CHAOS was completely different to him, and this was where the name stuck with me.
At the end of my studies, I interned at Han Kjøbenhavn, where I got to work on runway shows, and did designs for a majority of the knitwear collection for FW22. Being able to be close to the creative and head designer gave me a much important insight into how to run a brand, build a collection, and the thought processes in the months leading up to the release. At the end of my time at Han, I started to form the foundation of the brand, and somewhat make a strategy of how it should be run.
I dedicated my final project to FINE CHAOS, as the plan was to go full-time after my studies. The final project took inspiration from alcoholism, as I wanted my final project to be as personal as possible. My grandmother was an alcoholic, and I have never had the time to understand the disease, and the fatal consequences of it, as well as my mother, who had to live in a tabooed home. During the research period of the final project, I met Ludvig, who now is co-founder and Commercial Director for FINE CHAOS. He had this energy that I just couldn’t let go of. Kim, my former housemate who studied architecture, joined the brand as well, first starting with making graphics to amplify the storytelling on our social media, and later on working with events.
After my studies, Ludvig, Kim and were fully dedicated to FINE CHAOS, having a tough start as the pandemic was ever present, but we kept working and believing. After a year, we started to gain attention from stores. More motivated than ever, we did our first fashion show for SS23 at the nightclub Ved Siden Af (now Den Anden Side) and really started to grow from there.
What are some keywords you would use to define FINE CHAOS?
Daring, chaotic, explorative, intense, beautiful, cultural, curious, provocative. In my opinion, being provocative starts inspiring conversations (as long as it’s respectful, of course).
We have to always stay curious, or else we will not develop ourselves. I want to be young forever. And there’s nothing I love more than destroying something beautiful I just created. The anxiousness and tension then create something even better.
Rebellion seems to be an ongoing theme in your designs. What are some of the stories you aimed to tell through your FW23 and SS24 collections? What about your upcoming FW24 collection?
My main source of inspiration is the current landfill in the world, politically and culturally. I take that information and transform it into a hypothetical universe and storytelling, with relatable elements to gain the attention of the viewer, and hopefully inspire conversation.
The two last and current seasons take place in a post-apocalyptic and hyper-futuristic world, where FINE CHAOS is ruling the world by the use of a credit system, that places people in different categories. Depending on which category you’re placed in, you have more opportunities in life.
Natural resources are scarce, meaning we start to imitate them and create nature from non-natural elements. Technology has taken over our lives and we are slowly detaching ourselves from what we are today now as humanity. An "eat or get eaten" idea thrives at the bottom of the social hierarchy, and they try to do everything to overturn the current government (FINE CHAOS). This is where the rebellion happens and comes from in the collection.
FINE CHAOS does everything to regain control and uses its time as the ruler of the government to build infrastructure that enhances its power, such as schools, supermarkets, capital currencies, sports teams and the list goes on. The upper part of the hierarchy loves and adores FINE CHAOS, as they have the power to attend special events, buy substances, and thrive career-wise. The working and middle class try their best to obey the law to not get minus points, and contribute to society to hopefully one day join the upper classes, which will give better circumstances for their families’ lives.
What makes the Danish fashion community special to you?
Our community is the most important thing to us, as it is the reason we exist today, and why I keep having inspiration for our collection and projects. What I think makes it special, is the honesty and transparency. People are truly honest, which often can be a rarity in the fashion world’s glitter and glamor. I’m truly honored to have these people around us. Shout out to Bastjan.
With everything happening in the world right now, fashion may not necessarily be a priority in a lot of people's lives at the moment. What does fashion mean to you, and where do you think FINE CHAOS falls in this industry, in this age?
We are politically motivated and aim to be the voice of the youth. By no means is that easy, but I think my creating collections and projects that are worth more than just being clothes, it gives purpose. We want a better fashion industry in all aspects. It needs to be way more inclusive, have a way better value chain where everyone is respected and has the opportunity for growth, and we need to create way better clothing with more meaning, and then take more care of it.
What keeps you motivated? Where do you look for inspiration?
People, culture, and going outside of the fashion industry. First and foremost, the people I have around me are all creative on their own, no matter if it’s tattooing, music, or so on.
What's a dream project of yours?
To collaborate with a Japanese anime. I’m the biggest weeb you will ever find. Besides that, make a project that will change people’s lives in any way or matter.
Can you share any plans you have for the year ahead?
Our FW23 fashion show and hosting the closing party at Copenhagen Fashion Week in two weeks. Further in the year, we will for the first time host events outside Denmark, both in Austria and South Korea — Something I look very much forward to! And hopefully China soon.