Monday, June 24, 2013

from the archive: Smirnoff International Fashion Awards

When I was sorting through boxes of old stuff while visiting Finland, I came across this wearable arts creation from my design student days... 
It might have been 1995 when I drew three sketches to enter the Smirnoff International Fashion Awards and was one of the ten that got accepted to the national final. The jury chose this design out of the three (it actually wasn't my own favourite) and I had a couple of months to make it. I called the ensemble Verso (Sprout) and made it out of little wooden pegs. I spent my summer holidays drilling a hole in each peg lengthways, stained them darker and then threaded them together into a net-like structure... 

I loved the way the structure made a wooden "textile" that draped well. By the time it came to making the metallic undergarment I had run out of steam and never really liked the way that part turned out. I still love the wooden shoulder piece and should really keep it and maybe take some photos of it worn with a simple dress.

The whole competition was a wonderful experience in itself, with trips to the capital with a wonderful fellow student Tytti Thusberg who I still count as a good friend and who ended up winning and travelling to South Africa with her felt creation to represent Finland in the International event. The jury included some well known journalists and other fashion folk, including the then Marimekko CEO Kirsti Paakkanen.
I was already upcycling and made myself a dress out of an old curtain found in a Kuopio charity shop. For some reason it ended up as part of our graduation show in Helsinki about a year later, where someone from the audience bought it. I wonder if the pattern in still lurking in my stash, as I made a nice job with the neck/shoulderline!

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