FASH­ION Lon­don Fash­ion Week hosts lead­ing Baltic de­sign­ers

The Baltic Times - - FASHIION - Michael Mustillo Lon­don

Cre­ativ­ity, in­no­va­tion, busi­ness and in­clu­sive­ness are at the heart of Bri­tish fash­ion, noted Dame Natalie Massenet, Chair­man of the Bri­tish Fash­ion Coun­cil at the open­ing cer­e­mony of Lon­don Fash­ion Week (LFW), which The Baltic Times at­tended, along with Bri­tish Fash­ion in­dus­try lu­mi­nar­ies.

This year’s Au­tumn/win­ter 2017 LFW sched­ule was com­prised of de­sign­ers from many na­tions, and fea­tured two cre­ative en­trepreneurs orig­i­nat­ing from the Baltic States that show­cased the in­ter­na­tional cre­ative po­ten­tial of Baltic de­sign­ers. The Lat­vian de­signer Fy­o­dor Pod­gorny, co-founder of the Fy­o­dor Golan la­bel, un­veiled their un­prece­dented vi­brant col­lec­tion in­spired by shapes and colours of iconic Post-it Notes, and Power-puff Girls; while the Es­to­nian Womenswear de­signer, Roberta Einer’s ebul­lient pre­sen­ta­tion dis­played pure lux­ury.

The Lon­don Fash­ion Week Fes­ti­val is about shows, talks, styling, shop­ping and from next sea­son, it will grow to a city-wide cel­e­bra­tion of the fash­ion in­dus­try.

“We un­der­stand from our re­search, that fash­ion has bet­ter en­gage­ment than foot­ball. It is not sur­pris­ing, as we have shows ev­ery 30 min­utes dur­ing Lon­don Fash­ion Week, we have our street style ob­ses­sion that out­plays any other event, plus opin­ions and con­tent views from all over the world,” said Caro­line Rush CBE, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of the Bri­tish Fash­ion Coun­cil.

“The fash­ion in­dus­try in the United King­dom di­rectly con­trib­uted 28 bil­lion pounds to the UK econ­omy (GDP) in 2016,” said Li­nard Au­gust, a Lon­don-based Lat­vian de­signer, whose la­bel Li­nard Au­gust aims to present its first col­lec­tion at Lon­don Fash­ion Week in the near fu­ture.

“Lon­don Fash­ion Week can launch the in­ter­na­tional ca­reers of fash­ion de­sign­ers and la­bels, and putting a spot­light on cre­ative de­sign­ers and busi­nesses through fash­ion events like Lon­don Fash­ion Week is ex­tremely im­por­tant and es­sen­tial for the in­dus­try,” Au­gust said.

Au­gust was also as­sist­ing in mak­ing ac­ces­sories with his Bri­tish cre­ative part­ner Ed­ward Grif­fiths, for the film Robin Hood, a gritty take on the clas­sic Robin Hood story star­ring film lu­mi­nar­ies such as: Jamie Dor­nan (Fifty Shades of Grey), Jamie Foxx (lead role in Django Un­chained), Tim Minchin (ac­tor, co­me­dian, mu­si­cian, writer, and di­rec­tor), Paul An­der­son (Sher­lock Holmes: A Game of Shad­ows), and was di­rected by Bri­tish di­rec­tor, Otto Bathurst.

For Roberta Einer’s op­u­lent LFW col­lec­tion, it was Lisbon, Por­tu­gal; tiles and Josef Al­bers’ colour the­o­ries, Art Deco ar­chi­tec­ture, the glam­our of Fado singer Amalia Ro­drigues, struc­tured for­ties cuts, hand-painted prints, su­per­sized se­quins and Swarovski crys­tals, that be­came the char­ac­ter­ful com­po­nents.

Einer, orig­i­nally from Tallinn, Es­to­nia moved to Lon­don to study at the pres­ti­gious fash­ion cour­ses at Cen­tral Saint Martins and the Uni­ver­sity of West­min­ster. Dur­ing her stud­ies, she com­pleted in­tern­ships with in­ter­na­tion­ally noted de­sign­ers Mary Ka­trant­zou and Alexan­der Mcqueen, be­fore mov­ing to Paris upon grad­u­a­tion to as­sist at Bal­main for a year, where she con­tin­ued to de­velop her craft. Es­tab­lish­ing her la­bel upon her re­turn to Lon­don, the Roberta Einer brand is now in its third sea­son cre­at­ing ex­per­i­men­tal, lux­ury womenswear, which fo­cuses on tex­tiles and works with tra­di­tional cou­ture tech­niques. Play­ful em­bel­lish­ments and hand-em­broi­dery dec­o­rate spe­cially sourced fab­rics to cre­ate her dar­ing more-is­more, fem­i­nine aes­thetic.

“I love to see pre­sen­ta­tions in­stead of shows. They give you the op­por­tu­nity to ad­mire the col­lec­tion at your own pace and just stare, and stare as long as you need at the lovely de­tails, “said Piret Pup­part from Es­to­nia. Pup­part, who is Head of the Fash­ion De­part­ment at the Es­to­nian Academy of Arts, has amongst an event­ful fash­ion ca­reer span­ning 11 years, de­signed the Es­to­nian Olympic team’s uni­forms (Rio 2016, and Sochi 2014), and for the Lat­vian Na­tional team for the 2008 Bei­jing Olympic games.

“Roberta has said it her­self, that it would be a pity to let such elab­o­rate works trot by you within a sec­ond on a cat­walk, and I agree with her. I like to get car­ried away into Roberta’s dreamy world of il­lus­tra­tions em­broi­dered on her clothes - I find it a priv­i­lege she gives to her guests.”

“Ev­ery­body can feel equal, there is no front-row/back­row fuzz. I knew there was em­broi­dery to ex­pect, so the amount of it did not sur­prise me, but I loved the fly mo­tive she had in­serted in her story look­ing sweet and slightly ir­ri­tat­ing at the same time. She was also very mas­ter­ful in us­ing glossy fab­rics, and yet kept it ca­sual.”

“Es­to­nian de­sign has be­come much more vis­i­ble. On one side in­ter­na­tion­ally, but on the other side lo­cally. I feel sup­port from the gov­ern­ment and from Es­to­nian so­ci­ety on the other side. The im­mense rise in num­bers of pro­fes­sional stu­dios, de­sign shops and de­sign mar­kets speaks for it­self.”

‘’And there is so much po­ten­tial in the young. There­fore, I am very happy that this year the an­nual fash­ion show for the young and con­cep­tual de­sign­ers-- ERKI Fash­ion Show 2017 is cel­e­brat­ing its 30th an­niver­sary and is cel­e­brat­ing it big,’’ Pup­part said.

Pup­part and a group of Es­to­nian fash­ion stu­dents had the op­por­tu­nity of vis­it­ing Roberta Einer in her Lon­don stu­dio.

“Meet­ing Roberta is al­ways a plea­sure. She is a very cap­ti­vat­ing talker and downto-earth per­son. She is very open about her busi­ness and will­ing to share de­tails that could come in handy when set­ting up your own la­bel,” said Pup­part.

“She also does not hide the sweat and hard work be­hind the col­lec­tion, be­cause to­wards the end of pre­sent­ing a col­lec­tion, it is not only about all-nighters, but rather “all­week­ers.”

There are sev­eral Es­to­ni­ans study­ing fash­ion or dis­ci­plines linked to it, for ex­am­ple: buy­ing, visual mer­chan­dis­ing, etc. in Lon­don. But Pup­part finds Es­to­nia to be an in­trigu­ing place to study at the mo­ment.

‘”It’s about the past her­itage we have here - a bold mix­ture of Nordic in­flu­ences and post-soviet ele­ments, that mould our de­sign­ers,” said Pup­part.

“From the emerg­ing de­sign­ers side, I would point out Mar­iliis Ni­ine with her play­ful­ness and Ev­geniya Dol­go­polova with her un­ex­pected twists on fem­i­nin­ity. Speak­ing about es­tab­lished de­sign­ers, I am al­ways keep­ing my eyes on Lilli Jahilo’s evening­wear and min­i­mal­is­tic el­e­gance (es­pe­cially now, as she is do­ing fab­u­lously with her de­signs in Dubai), and Marit Ili­son, who has taken Europe by storm with her coats made out of old soviet blan­kets.”

The theme of Lat­vian de­signer Fy­o­dor Poko­rny’s la­bel Fy­o­dor Golan show was “Never Just A Lit­tle” and fea­tured sprayed colour prints in­spired by the large-scale artworks of Katha­rina Grosse.

“We were fas­ci­nated by the way she ex­pres­sively uses bold colours within a space,

Roberta Einer Dream Wife hand painted and em­broi­dered shoul­der gown and Sweet­heart crop top with em­broi­dered back.

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