The exhibition features 13 designers whose radical approach to fashion is stretching the boundaries of fashion towards art. The exhibition is not an art exhibition, however. It is a showcase of pioneering design, with a specific focus on an impressive display and interactiveness.
The exhibition includes works by 13 Nordic designers working on the crest of fashion, who either already have made their international breakthrough or are very close to doing so.
Simon Ekrelius’ work relies on silhouette, texture and volume. Currently based in London, Ekrelius specialises in women’s fashion.
A champion of classic tailoring, his signature style is architectural and minimalist with contrasting surface textures. His collections often play with opposites, whether in colour or materials. He favours while, black and grey. He uses mainly natural materials such as silk, wool, cotton but accentuates them vinyl and polyester. The garments are manufactured in the UK using high-quality materials. The designer is originally from Sweden.
Anita Hirlekar’s work concentrates on the impact of colour and surfaces. Her women's fashion label is characterized by unique handmade pieces and abundant detailing. Each garment is handmade at the designer’s studio in Reykjavik Iceland.
Hirlekar’s work has received wide critical acclaim in fashion competitions and magazines. She is an alumna of the prestigious MA program at Central Saint Martins art school in London.
MARÍA KRISTÍN JÓNSDOTTIR (STAKA)
María Kristín Jónsdottir’s inspiration comes from Icelandic sagas and rugged but evocative landscape. She creates accessories for a fictitious nomadic tribe, living in the rural hinterland of Iceland. The tribe is the basis for the Staka label and its laser-cut necklaces and wristbands and other accessories.
The starting point for the designer is the material, the craft, Iceland and her history. María Krístin takes these elements and marries them with a contemporary aesthetic and technology. Her work has achieved wide attention especially in the field of Nordic design.
HANNE JURMU AND ANTON VARTIAINEN
Anton Vartiainen and Hanne Jurmu, who won high accolades at 2016 Hyères Festival of Fashion, are guided by a strong value base. The award-winning collection is based on the designer’s unique approach to the relationship between the accessory and the garment, on ecological choices and her humanistic outlook.
Jurmu and Vartiainen are not a designer duo, as both work independently. Their collection, which won at Hyères and will now be on display at the For Fashion’s Sake exhibition is their only collaboration, in which both designers brought forward their own design ideology. The two study at the Department of Design at Aalto University.
Justus K, the young artist working on the boundary between performance art and fashion, has been selected to produce a commissioned work, which will evolve in the course of the exhibition. He has sought inspiration from the Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection on display at EMMA’s Touch exhibition.
Justus K specialises in experimental fashion art and alternative materials. He is a graduate of the Lahti Institute of Design, and is currently pursuing further studies at the Department of Design at Aalto University. Justus K’s works have been exhibited in Finland, for example at the Design Museum’s exhibition Anthology of Finnish Fashion, as well as abroad.
IRENE KOSTAS (ONAR)
ONAR, Vogue Talents Finalist of 2016, is a Helsinki-based design house established by designer Irene Kostas, pioneering in the conceptual use of ethical & ecological shearling. ONAR specialises in high-quality shearling clothes and accessories, leather bags and unisex ready-to-wear. ONAR is the fusion of unlikely matches. In the collections soft materials meet geometric forms, richness of texture meets minimalism, organic meets plastic and the stark architectural lines meet the mystical. Tradition and the craftsmanship heritage of Kostas' family is taken into future. All items are handcrafted in Finland and in Greece, in districts that have taken pride in their skilled leatherwork for centuries. ONAR uses only ethically sourced natural materials, chrome-free tanning and vegetable tanned leather.
The first ONAR Store launched in Helsinki, in March 2016.
TILDE BAY KRISTOFFERSEN
Tilde Bay Kristoffersen walks her own path in between fashion and visual art. Her work is based on fictitious stories and mythical characters. Her materials and techniques are unique and complex. Interestingly she also has experience of commercial fashion industry having worked for brands such as H&M and Alexander McQueen.
Tilde Bay Kristoffersen studied at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Photo: Kajsa Gullberg www.tildebay.com
Satu Maaranen works for a number of different brands, such as Marimekko and Petit Bateau. She has made a successful international career, and is known for her vibrant colours, painterly prints and sculptural silhouette. Maaranen is a master of creating interesting tension and dialogue between the cut and the print.
Maaranen, who works in Helsinki and abroad, is an alumna of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture at Aalto University and won the prestigious international Hyères Festival of Fashion competition in 2013. She has been awarded with several prizes and received high critical acclaim in international fashion publications. Photo: Osmo Harvilahti www.satumaaranen.com
Minna Palmqvist is a designer and artist in whose work fashion is most of all a tool for exploring the world. Her works are a cross between art and fashion, clothing and art objects.
Palmqvist’s works raise topical issues around the conflict between social pressures and the reality when it comes to the female body.
Minna Palmqvist was born in Åland and she has studied and currently works in Stockholm. Her works have been widely exhibited in recent years in Europe as well as in Asia and America. Photo: Anna Rönnqvist www.minnapalmqvist.com
Maria Suomalainen is a womens’ fashion designer who likes to break the rules of traditional styles. However, her designs remain highly wearable. He style is opulent yet raw in its own way. Their colour palette is neutral to allow the shape and functionality of the garments to come unto their own.
She is a graduate of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture at Aalto University and is currently working on her postgraduate degree at London’s Central Saint Martins. Her collections have been features in the Nordic countries and China.
Maikel Tawadros’ designs are inspired by architecture but also motion and the potential of different materials. The themes of his work stem from the seasons and nature of the North.
Each collection has a powerful story behind it, with themes ranging between popular culture to the primordial force of nature. His materials reflect the story of the pieces either through their naturalness and coolness or alternatively through a minimalistic texture. www.katoni.dk/blog/maikel-tawadros/
Emilia Tikka is a Berlin-based Finnish designer and researcher. She researches materiality, the potential of the human body and its use as a medium of presentation. Her work provides a commentary on technological culture and future scenarios.
She has worked for a number of international designers, such as Henrik Vibskov. Tikka’s works have featured widely in international art and design exhibitions. Photo: Zuzanna Kaluzna www.emiliatikka.com