PRE-LOVED

... is the name of the photo series shown in the HÅNDVÆRK bookazine no. 2. Pre-loved is a contemporary term for ‘second hand’, used in particular about exclusive second-hand fashion. The name was used for the photo series because it showed clothes from my own design firm, pieces from earlier collections, clothes that someone has owned and used but which remain fine and wearable.

Pre-loved, as in long-loved, also applies to the woman modelling the clothes in the photos: Synne Espensen, whom I have known since she was born. During the 1980s, her parents and I lived in the same building in the Danish city of Odense. We became friends. Later, they and their children moved west, and I moved east, but our friendship endured. When Synne was 15 years old, she spent a week in my design firm in Copenhagen in a work-experience traineeship for school. Here she was spotted by the owner of a modelling agency, and soon she was travelling the world on photo shoots. She was one of my favourite models for fashion campaigns and walked many of my fashion shows. Whenever Synne’s travels took her to Copenhagen she would stay in my guest room, and whenever our paths crossed in Paris or London we would meet. Synne no longer models – today, she is a diplomat.
The photo series features additional clothes and accessories from a number of craft-based design firms, including Marianne Johnstad. Marianne is a textile designer. She knits, dyes and sews both functional items and art objects – and she gimps.

Recently, Marianne wrote to invite me to see the exhibition ‘De gimpede og porcelænet mødes til the og kaffe’ (hairpin lace and porcelain met for tea and coffee). The exhibition is a table setting featuring ceramics by Pia Bastrup, Ann Linnemann and Marianne Johnstad.
Marianne used the beautiful traditional technique of gimping – and beside making doilies and any of the other traditional gimped products, she has made cups, spoons and jars.
To me, Marianne’s poetic and feminine universe was already PRE-LOVED, as in long-loved, as was gimping, which sent me back in time to afternoons with my nimble-fingered grandmothers.

Hairpin lace is done using a gimping needle, a crochet hook and yarn.
A gimping needle has two pins and a ‘bridge’ for keeping the pins parallel and spaced at a fixed distance. The gimping needles my grandmothers used looked like oversized hairpins. Today, you can buy a universal, adjustable gimping needle.

Like crochet, gimping is fairly fast, and as I recall, it was a technique that was chosen when it was too time-consuming to decorate functional items with lace or tatting. Tip: Pinterest is full of beautiful and inspiring examples of the technique.

Thanks to Marianne for reminding me of the technique, and thank you also for going into your archives to show me some of the many other items you have gimped over the years, art objects as well as functional pieces, when I visited the exhibition.

Thank you for a lovely exhibition. Given the current circumstances, I won’t encourage anyone to make any non-essential visits outside their Covid bubble –
-but I do recommend you to keep an eye out for:
Marianne Johnstad, who has her studio in the basement at
Jellingegade 8
2100 Copenhagen

Similarly, I recommend that you follow the other two makers involved in the exhibition:

Ann Linnemann, who has her shop abd gallery at
Kronprinsessegade 51
1306 Copenhagen

Pia Bastrup, whose work you can find, for example, at

A. Petersen Collection & Craft
Kløvermarksvej 70
2300 Copenhagen

PRE-LOVED -

Er navnet på en billedserie, som er vist i HÅNDVÆRK bookazine no. 2. Pre-loved er en moderne betegnelse for second hand og bliver især brugt om eksklusivt genbrugstøj. Sådan hed billedserien, fordi jeg havde taget udgangspunkt i tøj fra min egen designvirksomhed, tøj fra tidligere kollektioner, tøj som nogen har ejet og brugt, men som er fint og anvendeligt, også i dag. Pre-loved – betyder direkte oversat præ-elsket – præ som i forud eller tidligere.

Tidligere elsket eller allerede elsket er også den model, som er fotograferet i tøjet. Synne Espensen, som jeg har kendt, siden hun blev født. I 80’erne boede hendes forældre og jeg i samme ejendom i Odense. Vi blev venner. Siden flyttede de og deres børn mod vest, og jeg flyttede mod øst, men venskabet bestod. Da Synne var 15 år og skulle i skolepraktik, var hun hos mig i min designvirksomhed i København. Hun blev spottet af indehaveren af et modelbureau, og snart rejste hun verden rundt på modeljobs. Hun har været en af mine yndlingsmodeller til kampagnefotografering, og hun har gået mange af mine shows. Når Synnes veje krydsede København, overnattede hun på mit gæsteværelse, når jeg var i Paris og London samtidig med hende, sås vi dér. Synne er ikke længere model, nu er hun diplomat.

Til billedserien supplerede jeg med tøj og accessoires fra en lang række håndværksbaserede designvirksomheder, blandt andet Marianne Johnstad. Marianne er tekstildesigner, og hun strikker, indfarver og syr både brugsting og kunstobjekter, men hun gimper også.

For nylig skrev Marianne: Jeg vil gerne invitere dig til at se udstillingen

”De gimpede og porcelænet mødes til the og kaffe” Udstillingen er en bordækning med keramik af Pia Bastrup og Ann Linnemann og Marianne Johnstad. Marianne har brugt den fine gamle gimpeteknik og foruden at lave mellemlægsservietter, og hvad man ellers traditionelt har brugt teknikken til, så har hun også gimpet kopper, skeer og krukker.

Mariannes poetiske og feminine univers var allerede i min bog PRE-LOVED, i betydningen på forhånd, allerede elsket, det samme var gimpeteknikken, som i tanken sendte mig tilbage til mine flittige bedstemødres stuer.

Gimpning kaldes også for Gaffelhækling. Til gimpning anvendes en gimpenål, en hæklenål og garn. En gimpenål har to ben og en "bro", der holder benene i samme afstand. Mine bedstemødres nåle så ud som en kæmpe hårnål. I dag findes der en universal gimpenål. Det vil sige, at man på samme nål kan gøre afstanden større eller mindre. At gimpe går, ligesom at hækle, forholdsvis hurtigt, og jeg mindes, at det var en teknik, som blev valgt, når det gik for tidskrævende at pynte diverse brugsting med knipninger eller orkis. Tips: Pinterest er fyldt med fine eksempler på, hvad man kan udføre med denne teknik.

Tak til Marianne for at påminde mig om teknikken, tak også for under mit besøg at finde frem fra arkiverne for at vise mig meget andet, som du igennem tiden har gimpet, kunstneriske objekter som brugsting.

Tak for en fin lille udstilling, jeg vil ikke opfordre til at gå unødvendige ærinder i disse tider, men vil anbefale at holde øje med Marianne Johnstad, og på amme vis at holde øje med de andre to