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Aalto University's fashion events bring heads of international fashion houses to Finland

The collections of the prestigious Aalto University fashion students will be presented at the Näytös18 fashion show on 25 May.
© Sanna Saastamoinen-Barrois

From 21 to 25 May, Helsinki will be transformed into a mini fashion week,  replete with catwalk, high-level  social events and exhibitions, all  as part of the Fashion in Helsinki  event. International talent scouts, buyers, and journalists will gather to view the results  of Aalto University students’ fashion collections and  textiles. The grande finale of the week will be the  spectacular Näytös18 fashion show on Friday night, presenting  the latest young talent from Aalto University.

Lecturer in Fashion at Aalto University Tuomas Laitinen says about the work of the students, “At its best, fashion makes you a bit uncomfortable and touches a nerve and forces you to look at things  in a new way. Being a fashion school, some of the students’ collections are very raw, even a bit disturbing - and that rawness and the feeling of youth is what makes them interesting.”

The versatility and artistry of textile design

The week kicks  off on Monday, 21 May at 7pm with  the Tekstiili18 opening exhibition at the Turbiinisali  of the Cable Factory. From 21 to 27 May, Tekstiili 18 will showcase interdisciplinary  approaches to textile design and collaborations with fashion,  interior design and science, including a 3D hologram created in  collaboration with the Aalto School of Engineering, and a dance performance  projected onto the exhibition space.

“Textile by its nature is collaborative, as it is a foundation for a bigger whole. Textile  design requires a technical understanding  linked to artistic skills, and understanding  textiles means knowing how to combine materials  and structures,” says Adjunct Professor Maarit Salolainen, curator of the exhibition.

© Eeva Suorlahti

Aalto Fashion Seminar brings business to creativity

Fashion professionals,  journalists and  students will come together on Thursday,  24 May at the Aalto Fashion Seminar from 10am to 3pm in the  Finnish National Gallery. Focusing on “Turning Creativity into a Profitable Business”, speakers including Felipe Oliveira Baptista (former creative director of Lacoste) and Patrick Scallon (creative director at Dries Van Noten) will share their insight. Alfred  Vernis, director of sustainability at Inditex Group (ZARA), will speak on “Main challenges for closing the loop in the fashion industry”. Aalto Fashion Seminar will be moderated by Dan Thawley, Paris editor at Vogue Italia and editor-in-chief of A Magazine Curated By.

Pirjo Hirvonen, Professor of Fashion Design at Aalto University said: “Our goal is to create an entire ecosystem surrounding our Aalto University students and their vision. The Fashion Seminar is a step in this direction, helping young designers  ground their creativity in solid business acumen.”

Fashion Friday and Näytös18

The  highlight of the week is Friday, 25 May with two events: the first-ever Fashion Friday installation in Kiasma Art Museum and the Näytös18 fashion show at the Cable Factory’s Merikaapelihalli.

Fashion Friday explores fashion from a curatorial  perspective, as the art of identity. The exhibition features 18 works by Aalto students, on display  from 10am to 6pm, to be followed by a panel discussion on fashion and identity with Professor Hazel Clark (Parsons School of Design), Curator and Associate Professor Shaun Cole and Research Fellow Anna-Mari Almila (both London College of Fashion).

“Fashion Friday examines how contemporary fashion designers interpret identity as gendered, sexualized or ethnic. One of the questions in the panel discussion relates to the topical and debated question of national identity – does it play a role in fashion," explains Annamari Vänskä, adjunct professor at Aalto University and curator of the exhibition. "It is also the first time fashion will be displayed at the Kiasma Contemporary Museum of Art in this way."

Crowning the Fashion in Helsinki week is the Näytös18 fashion show at 9pm on Friday in  the Cable Factory. Twenty-plus collections by Aalto students will  be shown on the catwalk to the delight  of 1,000 international guests. The event has gained international attention in recent years,  and public tickets were sold out immediately on the first day they became available.

Aalto students have proven  their skills and creativity year after year in international competitions,  scoring nominations at the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography and the dorothy waxman textile design prize, among others. 

More information:

Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design Programme

Tekstiili18
Fashion Seminar
Fashion Friday 
Näytös18

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