Huck x Carlsberg — Maja Brix eschews decoration in favour of flow, producing a style that's all about stripped-back simplicity. We visit Maja in her Copenhagen boutique to find out what makes her work special.

Fashion Designer Maja Brix is a constant questioner. “I would never make a detail that appears functional but isn’t,” she says. “I am very happy with decoration, but it makes sense to cut down a lot of the detail you don’t really use.”

The Maja Brix signature is all about movement. The clothes feature rigorously-sourced natural fabrics and sustainable man-made materials, which augment the natural flow of the human form.

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In the process of this focus on flow she has also pared down the form of the classic tailored suit. This passion for flow came together when she was making costumes for the Danish Royal Ballet.

“The point of decoration is all about being alive and having fun in the world and communicating who you are,” she says.

“Decoration is the sugar on the cake. That’s a good enough reason to include it — but the form that underlies that decoration still should be pure and purposeful.”

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Maja was raised in a very creative, visually-aware family, and she started making clothes in her early teenage years. It was natural, therefore, that she should come to London from her native Denmark to study at Central St Martins. But it was there, however, she experienced a powerful disillusionment with the clothes industry as it stands.

“From way back it was an ambition of mine to build a different sort of clothes business – one where things made sense and one where I could not only create sustainable clothes, but one where I wasn’t tied to this crazy cycle of making four seasonal collections a year; one where I could raise a family and not only produce sustainable clothes, but one where the design is sustainable too — as well as the lifestyle that goes around it.”

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Unplugging her business from the traditionally exhaustive model of the mainstream fashion world has entailed a certain independence of mind — and a focus on craftsmanship and function above profit driven prerogatives and formal tradition.

“I am building a team of real craftspeople here who have superb technical skills,” she says. “Until recently I worked with a cutter from Japan who made the first suit pattern. The Japanese pattern cutting tradition is a 3D process as opposed to the flat, 2D approach employed on Savile Row. In this way the cutter sculpts the shape of the suit as it is draped, which naturally allows for movement.”

Her London training notwithstanding, tailoring was never really about the formal rigours of Savile Row.

“Of course Savile Row is the home of tailoring, but my suits are more about taking out the formal details and concentrating on a purity of line. There’s no point in a pocket if it is not used; there’s no need for stitching to be visible if it is not necessary; my suits are all about wearability and function, rather than sticking religiously to form.”

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There is a typical understated look and feel to Maja’s designs, one that is recognisably Danish in its approach. It’s curious, then, how Maja’s training at the heart of the English capital’s energetic fashion hub has fed into what she does.

“London is a tough environment compared to Copenhagen. It is more competitive and there is an edge that comes with having to work so hard to pay the rent. This is reflected in the creative attitude and it becomes rougher, more extreme than anything I had experienced,” she says.

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“In London even I would wear much more edgy, avant-garde clothing… Copenhagen is such a small place that you definitely feel people are more restrained socially.

“There is a freedom in the London way of being, but when you work in Denmark you are forced to look outward, to other places.That can be very influential in the clothes that we produce here — it is a very Danish way of producing designs.”

Read more about Maja Brix making things #TheDanishWay

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