Thursday, 17 April 2014

comforters from the Soviet era

I was truly impressed by the work of Estonian all-around
talent Marit Ilison showcased this February at London
fashion week's International Fashion Showcase and I'm quite 
glad she has been selected as one of the ten finalists of
the 29th edition of Hyères. Marit, a fashion design graduate
from the Estonian Academy of the Arts, made a name for
herself through a multifaceted conceptual approach made of 
site-specific installations, fashion projects, costume design
and music (she's the drummer of the Väljasõit Rohelisse
”amateur” band which takes its name from a short novel
by Soviet sci-fi writers, the Strugatsky brothers, called 

 'Roadside Picnic', 'Väljasõit Rohelisse' in Estonian).

image 3 © by The Stimuleye, background by Mathilde Nivet
Based in Tallinn, she gained a significant experience in
pattern-making and tailoring working in London, Antwerp,
Copenhagen, Berlin and Paris creating her garments all
by herself by hand but her cross-disciplinary flair is open
to all perceptional experiences (she came to make use of 
fibre optics in her 'Lúmine' collection). ”As I work conceptually,
I see my projects coming together over a long period of time,
there are small bits like puzzle pieces that eventually evolve
into a big picture, I don't look for inspiration, ideas come to
me...” she declared to Vogue Italia introducing her method
of working ”I always select the materials with highest care
and when it's for ready-to-wear, I test and wear it myself
before taking it to production. I like using natural materials
like cotton, wool, silk and viscose, but sometimes I also
stumble upon wonderful man-made materials that 
meet my high standard in touch and quality. 
It's always about the good feeling!”

That's why her latest collection is called 'Longing for sleep':
a keen reflection on the so-called 'kaamos' - a word only
exisiting in Estonian and Finnish languages to mark the
dark, cold months between November and January - through
gorgeous patterned, often oversized, woolen coats made
out of vintage Soviet blankets. They really meet the eye
despite being plain, no-frills and cocooning: as if 
to say that simple pleasures are the best.

all other images © by Maiken Staak, style by Marit Ilison

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