Aalto University's bachelor student in Fashion Design Idaliina Friman has won the Designers' Nest competition for young fashion designers in Copenhagen. Friman impressed the jury with her ‘visually striking silhouettes, accomplished tailoring, an elegant grasp of historic references and use of recycled materials’.
She uses functional deadstock fabric, recycled yarn and eco-wadding made out of plastic bottles. Cued by her own family history – her Finnish-Swedish great-grandfather had to flee to Lapland at the outbreak of the Finnish civil war –her Hetta collection addresses the harsh struggles of abandoning a past life and gaining new cultural identity in order to survive.
This year, in addition to Friman, Aalto University’s MA student of Fashion Design Ines Kalliala and Elina Äärelä, who has just graduated with a master's degree, as well as BA student Arttu Åfeldt reached the final, all of whom received recognition in the competition. The second prize went to Åfeldt: has been selected for the internship at Bottega Veneta in Milan. Åfeldt's ‘impressive and technically advanced’ collection was inspired by waterproof material, video games and school uniforms.
In addition, the works of Aalto’s Friman, Äärelä and Kalliala and Kristian David from Sweden will be included in the upcoming "Future Nordic Fashion" exhibition at the Prins Eugen Waldemarsudden Museum in Stockholm.
High level competition took place remotely
‘I'm really taken by the prize, it came as a complete surprise to me. There were many wonderful collections and I think the competition was tough, so I didn't expect to win’, says Idaliina Friman, who started her master's studies at Aalto University last autumn.
Designers’ Nest took place online this year, and to Friman, it was a very different experience from the competitions she has previously participated. However, she said the competition was well organized given the prevailing covid situation and the ongoing uncertainty about how the show and competition would run smoothly.
‘I was on an internship at Givenchy last spring, so after graduation, I will be trying to get a new internship at a fashion house and I hope to be able to get forward in the field’, she reveals her future plans.
The annual Designers’ Nest competition is part of Copenhagen Fashion Week, which has become Scandinavia’s most significant fashion event. The event and competition are an important springboard for young and promising Nordic fashion designers.
The first prize is 50.000 DKK, ca 6 700 euro, as early support for the winner’s work, a study trip to UEDA College of Fashion in Osaka, Japan, and a ceramic artwork created by Danish artist Karl Monies.
Aalto University fashion students have been successful in the Designers’ Nest competition also many previous years. Last year Milka Seppänen won the first prize and in 2019 Henna Lampinen and Tuuli-Tytti Koivula won the first and second place in the competition.