Last weekend, we witnessed one of the most anticipated events in Estonian fashion – ERKI Moeshow. ERKI (Eesti Riiklik Kunstiinstituut) is an annual show that features a huge number of young creatives (mostly students of the Estonian Academy of Arts) and their amazing fashion self-expression. Happy to see most of them found inspiration in the works of Martin Margiela, Thom Browne, Rei Kawakubo, Galliano, Alexander McQueen, etc. – the coolest of them all.  Each year, I follow this show with my mouth wide open – there are no words to describe how talented these guys are! I’m absolutely sure most of them could easily compete with students from London or Antwerp Design Schools.

See my photo report with a short description of each designer below.

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На прошлых выходных прошло одно из самых ожидаемых событий в индустрии моды Эстонии – ERKI. В переводе «Эстонская национальная художественная академия», ERKI – это ежегодный показ работ студентов и выпускников. И это не просто коллекция, это настоящее творческое самовыражение в виде целых арт-объектов. Пока я обрабатывала более 100 фотографий (только потому, что не могла остановиться рассматривать каждую модель), меня не покидала мысль, что эти талантливые ребята могут легко посоревноваться с учащимися любой из школ дизайна в Лондоне или Антверпене!

Ниже представлен мой фотоотчет с небольшим описанием коллекций дизайнеров.


Cärol Ott “N_BU”
We all have muses, idols or someone we look up to. Since everything is so easily available, we all might get dizzy or maybe even addicted from the information. Where does it lead us? Am I going to be a better version of myself or loose myself entirely? – It’s YOUR decision.

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Laima Jurča “Constructionism Background”

Russian constructivist ideas stood against inequality between men and women.
From the beginning of the 20th century, Russian fashion appeared unisex. Women started working on men’s jobs. And in fashion straight silhouettes, geometric prints in contrasting colors that reflected the values of that time started to emerge.
My aim in creating this collection is to show Russian constructivist ideas in nowaday’s point of view by connecting them with memories from my childhood, the Post-Soviet era, where it had a huge impact on.

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BABA VAVA team “Pilgrim”

The mankind is one.
The Pilgrim is a citizen of the world, the cosmopolitan.
A wanderer and a philosopher who is travelling through different nations and countries, the Pilgrim embraces the soul of the whole mankind.
Unique textile prints merge traditional ornamental patterns of various world cultures and nations into a single design.
Kindness wins.

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Krista Tulp “Piece of cake”

My collection uses an alternative assembling way to put pieces together.
Innovative construction technique eliminates the need to use a sewing machine to put it together. They are specially developed to be produced on a lasercutter and assembled by the end user. All designs are cut from neoprene fabric. Each piece can be put together in various ways allowing the user freedom of design with playful experimentation. This collection is my Master’s degree final project supervised by Tanel Veenre.
I have completed Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and continued to pursue Master’s degree in Textile Design at the Estonian Academy of Arts.
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Ester Soidla “Fold. Snap.Repeat”

„FOLD.SNAP.REPEAT“ is a zero-waste abstract fashion collection to find alternative ways to traditional patternmaking and body-following shapes. It is inspired by origami – the art of paper folding and the form can be folded into a garment of one´s own choice. As the folded garment resembles to a Japanese traditional kimono, a step further has been taken to modernize it by using fabric influences from activewear.
Ester Soidla is an MA student at Estonian Academy of Arts and working daily as a menswear designer.ERKI 25 ERKI 26ERKI 27 ERKI 28 ERKI 29ERKI 30 ERKI 31


Evgeniya Dolgopolova “Identiteet”

The collection was inspired by a desire to find my identity and a place in fashion.
To understand that topic, I was concentrating on my feelings: the things I love or hate, accept
or not accept in myself. For instance, brushing my long hair is too time-consuming and boring. So by skipping it, I find beauty in the chaos of my messy hair to the extent of how it looks like a bird’s nest. Fashion for me is ever evolving so I am engaged in it 24/7, which results in eye bags, wrinkles, no makeup or nails done – the complete opposite of traditional beauty and perfection of the exemplary housewife. I choose to sacrifice my housekeeping and “home-making” role over being a creative person fully dedicated to fashion.
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Benita Klimbytė, Dorotė Joana Pociūtė, Paula Vaičekauskaitė “Femine. Tropic. Rebellious.”

The collection is based on the ideas of feminism and represents women’s strength. Three young ambitious designers made a collaboration in order to achieve powerful, feminine and gripping nine silhouettes.
“Girls are doing whatever the fuck they want”. Isn’t it?

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Anu Rieberg “Followed it”

Collection “Followed it” is my, Anu Rieberg’s autobiographical expression, which offers an extra spectacle through light, using LED-texts, that combine the concept the collection is telling. The prints made for this line are a collection of three different images – a lightbulb, toothbrush and a straw. These objects refer metaphorically to moments that we might take for granted whilst spending time with people that support us. Throughout the collection I have used classical cuts that are adjusted to one size and follow the principles of unisex design. This gives an opportunity to lose a traditional measurement system that may cause negative effects on one’s self-esteem. One size also gives back some personal room, that has been lost, while living in a system that uses us as sponges. Timeless is also one important word to mention to understand the depth behind the line. Some of the fabrics are from Soviet era, that bring about a certain timeless feeling, whilst combined with comfort oriented and Japanese influenced cuts. All of these techniques are combined to try to take us back to the very first idea behind the clothing to protect the body, whilst also giving the opportunity to express ourselves through them.
I have chosen models according to the concept – real people. People, who have been there for me throughout the process called life.
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Eva Kõrvas “hi.”

The collection “hi.” is as short as the conversations between people sometimes.
We forget to pay attention, we forget to care, we treat other humans and their stories as carpets. We just step on them…
There is so much information out there and we pick to listen just what we want.
All the garments that are covering the bodies are symbolizing something different. From a simple hi until a heavy bye the short line is full of different emotions.
A very short conversation.ERKI 60 ERKI 54ERKI 55 ERKI 58 ERKI 56ERKI 57 ERKI 59


Sirli Pohlak “Under the Cap”
The author Sirli Pohlak has acquired a tailor/stylist degree from TIEC and is currently studying on the second year of fashion design at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Her style is characterised by minimalism, interesting and bold cuts and details.
Collection “Under the Cap” is inspired by Estonian ethnography, more specifically from Estonian women’s bonnet. The biggest focus is to bring its shape and folded details to different pieces of clothing, playing with simple yet elevated forms and rough fabric. Maximalist minimalism.
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Britta-Liisa Brutuse “INBETWE:N”

I’m born and raised in Tallinn, currently studying at the Estonian Acedemy of Arts for a Master’s degree in fashion design. This is my first collection as a solo designer and also my first time speaking up with a fair amount of critical subtext towards mainstream fashion. “INBETWE:N” is a gender fluid collection with influences from sports that describes an „inbetween“ mental stage. We’re all there at some point of our lives. This grey area contains a lot of anxiety, wait, lust, anticipation but also fear, doubt and insecurity. Some try to escape it yet for others it can become a home.

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Katrin Aasmaa “How to Coexist”

Estonia – east meets west. A humoristic view of sports vs couture, with tracksuit being the new suit and a dress code of wannabe mafiosos.
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Marleen Afanasjev “NBGA”

NBGA is inspired by three talented African-American women who played key roles in NASA’s early space efforts. When working at NASA, they served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history. The visionary trio crossed all lines of gender and race, inspiring everyone to dream big. NBGA is dedicated to the women who focus on personal growth, self awareness, experiences in life and who act upon the emotion of love, joy, passion and most importantly FUN. To the women who believe they have unlimited capacity to make their lives everything they want.
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Elisabetta Silvestri “Witness of Heritage”

“Witness of Heritage” is about the past and the future mixed together to reach a new spaceless and timeless dimension. Giving to the viewers the chance to interact with aesthetic values/symbols in order to create a net of switched, mixed identities which are going to share the same beliefs founded on a simple common feeling based on the experience of something nostalgic.
An endeavor to define an unusual beauty canon, which will carry itself by the power of recognition beyond any racial limit.
A game of textures and proportions made of old odd materials mixed together with plastic modern surfaces such as sponges or rubber.ERKI 90 ERKI 91 ERKI 93ERKI 94 ERKI 95 ERKI 96ERKI 97 ERKI 98 ERKI 92


Kristiina Jeromans “Interlace”

The biggest inspiration for the collection “INTERLACE” comes from the art pieces, which were stolen by the Nazis during the World War II, especially from the portrait of Adele Block-Bauer, made by Gustav Klimt. Also, this collection is influenced by a woman from this era.

The author of this collection tries to make parallels with the events that happened in the past and with the world we currently live in. She will showcase the similarities and how they have evolved by using different techniques, embroideries and fabrics.
The author of “INTERLACE” Kristiina Jeromans is a third year Fashion Design student at the Estonian Academy of Arts, whose works are recognizable by strict forms, search for beauty and feminine and the use of various craft techniques.
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Merlis Orion “Scar Tissue”

Collection „scar tissue“ is inspired and formed by deeply personal and painful experiences. I try to understand what it means to be a woman and a (single)mother in today’s society. I was alone while childbearing, during which I experienced gender based discrimination, pay gap, professional and social rejection and insolence from society. My body and soul is covered with scars and a rigid painful scar tissue. At some point I suddenly felt that under this pain and scars something was moving – something delicate, fragile and pure. I found confidence and learned to love myself again. I rediscovered my sexuality and the potential of experiencing happiness with being alive and a mother. But the questions stays strong: how it is possible to have so much chauvinism, misogyny and gender based inequality in today’s world?
Merlis Orion (35) is an artist with a very rich and diverse background. She has lived and worked in New York, Sarajevo during the wartime, also in different European countries, not to mention Estonia. Through that she has loads of experience and developed social sensibility, that now has found output in fashion design. Fashion and clothing, that the artist has worked with only few years now, is another strong medium for her, allowing to express her personal statements and point out problems in our society.

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Frida Jõe – “Perpetuum mobile”  WINNER
Perpetuum mobile describes an isolated system that gets energy by its own motion. Although building a machine like that has remained an utopia so far, Estonian writer Valdur Mikita has used the term perpetuum mobile as a symbol for a common personality trait: introversion. A perpetuum mobile human works adequately well in its own closed manner, but, alas, this mechanism is not understood by the community. Introversion is constantly treated as a severe mental illness: the patient is forced to wear a metaphorical straitjacket that stops his/her natural rhythm, but unable to become someone else, introvert remains paralysed. Blood is pooling and the limbs become numb: how to escape the rehabilitation process?

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Uršulė Gužaitė “Saudade”

„Saudade“ is an attempt to express undefined, deepest, often indescribable and dark feelings that rise and undulate in the human soul through appearance, clothing. There are numerous words in the various languages of men that try to describe that eternal longing, the unexplainable yearning of something lost, one may call it Eden, others may call it Utopia. The hero of this collection is a person who feels kind of banished from such a place, a nomad, an eternal seeker in a dystopian world – being a sensitive, romantic creature, the subject is forced by the society and the world in general to guard himself, to look dangerous.
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Tauri Västrik “Tyhik”

Tauri Västrik is a 23-year-old fashion design student whose creations have always been guided by upcycling, zero-waste principles, yet at the same time have stayed true to the unisex aesthetics. Bright colour combinations, digital prints and silkscreen printing is represented where every graphic or drawing has a personal story from the author’s experiences. „Tyhik” is the graduation project of the BA studies in Fashion Design department at the Estonian Academy of Arts.
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Anni Kivisto, Kirke Talu “DIVER CITY”

Collection is based on an ethno-ghetto culture. The collection explores influences in urban streetstyle juxtaposed with the Northwest Coastal culture. The Northwest Coast cultural symbols embody a visual representation of kinship each person carries along as they go.
It is a tale about „coalescency“ keeping it unique.
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