Finland’s Fashion Frontier
Andaz Singapore was graced earlier this month by a little taste of Finland’s ready-to-wear. Marking the 100th year since Finland’s declaration of independence in 1917, Finland’s Fashion Frontier gave the newly-opened luxury hotel by Hyatt as well as her guests the opportunity to eye the designs of the 5 top fashion design graduates from Aalto University, Helsinki’s leading university, serving as a testament to Finland’s flourishing creativity and design prowess.
Anna Isoniemi, Janette Friis and Ida-Sofia Tuomisto for womenswear; Rolf Ekroth and Sini-Pilvi Kiilunen for menswear. These are the names of the fashionistas who are bound to soon take the world by storm. Among them, already influencing the world of fashion is Rolf Ekroth who will be representing Finland as a guest nation at Pitti Uomo in January 2018—one of the world’s most important platforms for men’s clothing and accessory collections, and for launching new projects in men’s fashion to be held in Florence, Italy, at the Fortezza de Basso. This will also be where Ekroth will unveil his first namesake label.
The designers each presented their 5 key looks from their graduate collection for us to marvel and enjoy over cake and wine. Of course, the event would not have been complete without the guests that came to make the atmosphere more lively and cheerful. The event saw a mix of guests from the local media to local taste-makers; fashion insiders, local buyers and even the Ambassador of Finland. Some notable names you should recognise are local designer, Ling Wu; television personality and creative director, Daniel Boey; photographer, Chuck Reyes; and, of course, as previously mentioned, The Finnish Ambassador, Paula Parviainen, just to name a few. Needless to say, a lot of somebodies were there. It’s alright, we’re here to give you the lowdown of what you missed so you don’t feel TOO left out.
The pieces showcased were very diverse and demonstrated a myriad of different materials to really translate the vision of each stylist. On one hand, you have Isoniemi’s sequin dress creating a sense of dynamism and futurism; on the other, you have Ida-Sofia’s rubbery pants and jacket for a fresh, new look. However, a common theme for the pieces presented during the show, unsurprisingly given the premise of “100 years of Finland”, is the callback from the past and inspirations thereof to be modernised in our present world.
For Ekroth’s graduate collection, he focused on military garments, modernising them with unconventional materials, like jacquard, handwoven checkered fabric and Swarovski crystals. Isoniemi’s pieces take inspiration from racing cars and 1960s futurism; mashing them together to seamlessly marry the masculine and feminine together. Kiilunen based the silhouette and pattern of his garments on 1950s military coat and gave them a romantic sensibility signature to the designer’s aesthetic. Friis was drawn to the fashion of the late 1930s and early 40s that women wore—particularly figures with a strong and confident presence. And finally, Tuomisto who was inspired by auto-destructive art—a movement launched in England in the early 1960s.
Parts of history left to the tides of fate, ready to be immortalised in the names and fabrics of these young designers; Finland’s Fashion Frontier was just a preview of the potential that lies in store for these graduates and it was without a doubt, a very insightful experience for everyone who attended. The question now is: What’s coming next?
Do keep an eye out for their names because they’re coming. It will just be a matter of when.
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