Tongue-in-cheek slogans, sunset fabrics and tactical nip slip vests: Scandi style is synonymous to minimalism. But this season? It comes with a twist
Year in, year out, Scandi style serves-up a galore of minimalism, courtesy of its fuss- free designs and fed by fast-flowing contemporary culture. Fashion weeks are generally synonymous with avant-gardism, showcasing the hotly anticipated collections of some of the world's most fashion houses. And, while this focus makes for a glamorous affair, Helsinki is taking a different approach as it turns its attention to spotlighting a mix of the best in upcoming and established fashion names during their show season, held in the capital, supporting a mix of Finnish designers and Ukrainian talents. Beyond the relics of fashion, the cultural delights brim aplenty such as the Savotta restaurant, offering a wealth of brilliantly-executed culinary offerings (in the finnish cuisine) from reindeer to bear plates that are simply palate-cleansing. To recover from the downturns of the pandemic and the crucial consequences of the war, the Finnish capital is looking to tap into the global fashion spectrum by building a reputation as a textile hub in the fashion industry, spotlighting brands such as Boie&Bill, 7585, Berlin, Chereshnivska and Kris Marán, names that not only serve as some of the key interesting players currently emerging out of the fashion scene but also as a perfect embodiment of Helsinki experience placed on the global map, dedicating to innovation, creativity and remarkable sustainability practices.“We are starting a movement. Designing a better future. It’s the message of celebrating life, freedom of choice, lightness and playfulness,” opins Designer of the Year Jean Gritsfeldt, a Ukrainian talent on the rise embracing craftsmanship and sustainability in his work by way of innovating everyday products. “We create our products with smart technology and use as many sustainable and recyclable elements as possible.” So, should you be looking to get your fashion fix by feasting on the new collections of some of the most hype-worthy names in the Nordics region this summer, inspiration is yours for the taking.
A family-owned brand founded in 2018 by a mother and two sisters, Kristina, Maria, and Anna Stelmakh, Kris Marán unites two generations with the aim of creating a day to night core wardrobe which empower a woman while reminding of her inborn sensuality. Balancing between feminine and masculine forms the brand sets out to deliver the perfect blend of strength and sophistication in each collection. Inspired by the late 80’s and known for its minimalist approach, statement coats and well-cut suits, the brand is all about tactility with a clear focus on textures and fabric. With an own factory located at the same space where headquarters, the brand supervises the quality of each seam and showcases the artisanal values of Ukrainian craftsmanship. Kris Marán is available on Krismaran.com.
There’s a quietly potent, yet politically-feasted aura that surrounds Jean Gritsfeldt’s oeuvre. Hailing from Ukrainian and German ground, the designer unleashed a statement collection that acts as a freeing weapon against the oddity of our times (case in point: the disruptive war crisis in his home country, dramatically exacerbating the creative industry whose soaring hopes have been frowned upon). One way or another, queerness has always been essential to the brand, whether it was their skin-on-tight sexiness or their drapey colourful layers. But this season, there’s more to the story. The house differs from their previous outings in its more generous but still subtle use of color, and its volume play, of which there was plenty—except at the waist, cinched and gently volumised by nifty pleats or cotton cording. But functionality and wearability remain key; as the horrors of the war are ongoing, innovation has never valued simplicity more. In fact, more grown-up is a decent way to describe his latest aesthetic, especially with regard to pieces like sleeveless see-through dresses and fastenings closure at the waist, and another dress in silk, with sheer closures down the sleeves. The designers didn’t emphasize sophistication at the expense of fun. Anyone with fond memories of the brand will be pleased to see their new shirting cuts, which ranged from cropped and loose-fitting staples to skinny offerings to wider trouser styles. Embellished toppers with crystal- studded details above the back layers looked sharp, as did jackets (a billowing, rodeo-inspired oversized feathered puffer exuded confidence). The fashion business is particularly tough right now, especially so for young brands that are having to wrestle against the havoc of global downturns. Kudos to the designer, though, for producing nearly everything in the midst of such turbulence. As for the medley of political underpinnings? They were rightly brazen, and, most importantly, well exposed for one’s taking.
7585’s new collection is called “Middle Voices”. The pieces for this collection will be featured at this year’s fashion weeks, representing a transition from a pure “avant- garde” aesthetic to that of exploratory designs inspired by flora, fauna and other non- human agents. The brand has developed a non anthropocentric stance through a series of conversations with various garments which they found about their emotions, characteristics and life trajectories. “We thought with Whitman, Bergson and Jane Bennett in forming this collection,” they opined in the recent press notes. 7585 is keeping with the avant-garde aesthetic, while incorporating a multitude of influences as they grow. The “Middle Voices’’ project includes poetry, music, video and photography where they explore future visions of our hyper consumption culture. The collection enc7585 EAST line basic essentials in white, nude, black colors and 7585 WEST deconstructed upcycling one-of-a-kind garments.