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Fashion Design graduates among finalists in the Designers' Nest competition

Graduates from Fashion Design are once again paving the way for Finnish fashion design with their innovative and unique collections.
three models wearing candle headpieces and capes
Silent Voice collection by Elina Äärelä

The four finalists from Aalto University are Idaliina Friman, Ines Kalliala, Arttu Åfeldt and Elina Äärelä, graduates from Fashion Design. The Designers' Nest competition supports fashion talents from the Nordic countries in their early stages after graduation. All finalists 'show high levels of originality, creativity, craftsmanship and responsible design'.

The designers and their collections

Idaliina Friman is a bachelor in Fashion Design. Cued by her own family history – her Finnish-Swedish great-grandfather had to flee to Lapland at the outbreak of the Finnish civil war – the collection, Hetta, addresses the harsh struggles of abandoning a past life and gaining new cultural identity in order to survive. 

She based her collection on Victorian silhouettes but softened obvious historical references by using drawstring fastenings and padding instead of boning and corsets. The voluminous silhouettes are draped with functional deadstock fabric, recycled yarn and eco-wadding made out of plastic bottles.

Ines Kalliala has also created her collection from something she holds dear, like lying on grass, scent of the sea, climbing on a rock, picking up a shell on a holiday and putting it in my pocket. Kalliala's collection also snatched the Näytös19 prize.

Her collection is a study of the relationship of a person and their clothes, its symbiotic nature and how clothing connects to the concepts of time and identity. This work is about feelings, how they are stored in clothes and how they can be evoked through the act of getting dressed.

Arttu Åfeldt merges classic menswear with game aesthetics and school uniforms. The collection uses waterproofing techniques from dry suits such as seam taping, and the pockets are made with heat transfer vinyl finishing. Nylon bonded with a stripe print fuses classic and functional and gives a new expression to pinstripe suiting. As the functional fabrics change appearance when wet, Åfeldt has added an extra active element to his minimalist menswear. 

Arttu Åfeldt is currently working on finalising his collection for the Designers' Nest competition.

A grey waterproof suit
A piece from Arttu Åfeldt's collection

Elina Äärelä spent her childhood in Australia and recently graduated with as Master in Fashion Design. The collection ‘Silent Voice’ is an investigation of how Christian symbolism is used in communication. It includes shapes, colors and symbols done in different techniques stemming from Christianity.

During her studies she has been one of the finalists in Hyères Festival with Heini-Maria Hynynen, completed internships at the fashion houses Lanvin and Louis Vuitton, and won the Aalto Award 2014 and Marimekko Award 2017 at the annual fashion show, Näytös. 

At the moment she is getting ready for the Designer's Nest final, doing freelance work, and sketching up ideas for a new collection.

Ines Kalliala talks about sustainability in fashion in Way Out There with Kate.

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