I finally got myself together to recap my Tallinn Fashion Week experiences. Better late than never 😉
Now onto the fashion week itself. All in all I have mixed feelings about the event and the fashion I saw. I’ve been on and off keeping an eye on the Estonian fashion scene and lately the level of originality is tripling down in my opinion. The established designers are playing it safe and so do the small up and coming ones. I know that designers have their signature aesthetics but they should/could play more on the edges of the style not in the middle safe zone.
In most of the cases I couldn’t picture the end customer that the designers had in mind. Of course there were exceptions to the rule but from those later in this writing.
All in all I applaud the team behind Tallinn Fahsion Week for organising and keeping the fashion week alive.
For me though the fashion scene in Estonia is a little stagnant. The excitement is lost somehow. I’m super sad with the fact that Estonian fashion designers don’t take menswear seriously. At the moment Estonian menswear scene mainly means just nice shirts and suits nothing more. Sad!
But here are my thoughts on this years Tallinn Fashion Week.
Aulikki Puniste‘s collection kick started the Tallinn Fashion Week. I’m sorry to say that, but it looked like a wannabe collection, something from the first year fashion student. Please don’t do a whole collection from same three materials and please use or consult professional make up artist – the hookerish make up didn’t give anything to the black and white boringness. Don’t get me wrong, I can see the customer who’d buy most of the pieces but the collection was too commercial and yawing for the fashion week in my opinion. I wanted the fashion week to start with a brilliant bang but was disappointed.
Liiva Leškin was a little boring for my taste but the grey shiny clothes suited the autumn feel that was around.
I loved the Jo Nurm‘s youthful take on fashion with layering and functional looking pieces. Kärt Ojavee‘s accessories suited the collection very well. I totally would like to own some of the pieces and I see a clear targeted market out there for this style of clothes. I suggest everyone to keep an eye on Jo Nurm’s doings. If she continues like that there are chances of something really special growing out of her brand. I was especially impressed by the fact that this collection had pieces for men also – usually the men are super neglected on Estonian fashion scene. Here are a couple of shots of the collection:
The next show I saw was Perit Muuga‘s weird 90s stuff that I walked out in the middle of. Unfortunately I just didn’t get the fashion and the persons’ to whom it was supposed to be catered at. After going through the photos I still couldn’t manage to find anything special so I was glad that I left the show to get a drink. The repetitive laser-cut wolf/fox/animal face on the leather clothes didn’t move me enough to go wow. Also the construction of most of the pieces I saw was bad – pointy boobs and unironed seams in my opinion are a no go if you are presenting your collection at a fashion week. I know everything comes down to subjective tastes but please at least finish your clothes well.
The first day ended with the fashion award Kuldnõel (Golden Needle) show and the award ceremony. The Silver Needle (that is given out for the last year’s work in fashion) was given to the cool and quirky Triinu Pungits. The colourful knits and patterns were happy looking in the gloomy autumn atmosphere. The other nominees for the Silver Needle were Marit Ilison whose cool coats are sold on the fab online store Luisa Via Roma and Vassilissa Danavir who’s show felt like a quirky rag doll explosion to me.
Kriss Soonik and her fantastic loungerie did grab the Golden Needle. Well deserved award for the little underwear brand that has bloomed into worldwide fame. I love her persistence and the girly and easygoing feel of the loungewear meets underwear fashion.
The other nominees were equally brilliant. If I would be in a need of a perfect feminine dress for a night out or a wedding I would go straight to Lilli Jahilo who knows women and the inherent femininity that goes with it. Bravo!
Also I applaud Kristina Viirpalu for the couture feel she brought to the Estonian fashion scene with her red carpet worthy lace filled exquisite dresses.
I missed the first show. So for me the second day started with Maire Valdma‘s silk print dresses that weren’t my cup of tea. They looked a little artsy-craftsy for me, but at least there was some excitement and fun in them.
Next up was Iris Janvier who surprised me positively. Clean cuts and nice colour blocking. I totally see the 30+ office ladies buying the pieces. The collection had pieces for every occasion and they looked original but not too quirky – ideal for a day-to night look or for a regular day at the office.
Next I saw Kaidi Kuur‘s autumn collection that made me yawn. The head pieces made me question the taste level of the designer and the clothes themselves were nice but nothing original or fashion week worthy.
The Second day ended with a show portraying the 100 years of Estonian fashion. Fashion designers were given each a decade that they then portrayed in their own style. I have to say most of the designers didn’t rise to the occasion. I was especially sad that in the 100 years of Estonian there were less than 10 pieces for men. What is up with that? We are totally missing menswear designers in Estonia. I guess that the fact that Mark Raidpere’s video excited me more than the fashion I saw says a lot. Yet again don’t get me wrong everything was well made and there were pieces I loved but overall picture was lacking the glam and brilliance and excitement that I was expecting for a century’s worth of fashion history. Anyhow judge for yourself here are some random shots and basically all the menswear looks.
Third day started with Tiina by Tiina Talumees show in which there wasn’t anything surprising. For me it seems that all the stuff that is shown under Tiina by Tiina Talumees brand are the same from year to year. Nice looking, well draped dresses of what some have weirdly positioned gatherings/frills. Nice but nothing new and special.
The boredom continued with Marilin Sikkal‘s collection. Though, I have to applaud her for using real and mature women as models. In that sense the nice looking dresses hit the bull’s-eye. She presented her line on the women that the clothes were meant for. This fact made the collection a little more interesting and couple all sequins dresses sparkled some happiness.
As a fresh breath of air the day continued with cool toned down and sleek collection by Piret Ilves. Kudos! Video speaks more than words.
Then came a fantastic blast of well executed darkness shown by Taavi Turk. The collection called Silentium was well thought through and balanced. His background in menswear was preeminent as the clothes had a very clean and masculine touch to them. The weird make up didn’t pull away from the clothes which is always a good sign. I loved the little zipper details and the umpf of the leather looks. This was one of my favourite shows of the whole Tallinn Fashion Week. Great job! I’ll be looking forward to see more work from him. Also kudos to Sofja Markarova for the superbly matching and fantastic looking accessories that accompanied the looks. I found a video of his show, enjoy!
The third day ended with Ivo Nikkolo since 1994 show. This was the best produced fashion show of the Fashion week in my opinion. The clothes looked fantastic, models could walk etc. Brilliant!. It showed that the designers were celebrating the opportunity and the brand. It was clear they targeted the stylish modern woman who has achieved something in her life and falls more to the Scandinavian taste of things. The materials used looked high-end and expensive, the styling was well done everything played well together in my opinion.
The last day was called After Dark Couture and was held in the Seaplane Harbour. This was the night I had super high hopes for and unfortunately they were not met. Everything was good but super safe.
Oksana Tandit did her thing of mixing edge and femininity. The clothes were well executed, styled nicely. But I was missing some power from them. Too safe for me. I think established fashion designers should take more risks especially on the runway shows. Decide for yourself, here’s a video.
The Embassy of Fashion trio Aldo Järvsoo, Riina Põldroos and Ketlin Bachmann are the couturiers and gown makers of Estonia. The collections were filled with beautiful gowns. Everything looked brilliant, but yet again I think the surprise element was missing for me from the collections. Beautifulness overload maybe or just swimming in safe oceans.