Young Designer of the Year – Idaliina Friman

Young Designer of the Year – Idaliina Friman


Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design student Idaliina Friman is the Young Designer of the year 2021. The theme of the year was the sea.

The jury members of the Young Designer of the year competition were Ritva Falla, Taru Marjamaa, Hammi Mettinen, Katri Niskanen, Nina Nuorivaara, Jaakko Selin, Mari Talka, Martta Louekari and Venla Ruoppila.

According to the jury, the competition was at the highest level of all time. Friman describes the competition as a good experience; it offered her the opportunity to work with experts in different fields.

Idaliina Friman describes the collection in Aalto University News 5.10.2021:

“The collection is made of surplus and recycled materials and their finishings have been made as ecologically as possible. The yarn used in the knits is made from seaweed, which is used in conjunction with wool. The wool in the outfit is recycled and some of the polyester used in the outfit is made from waste plastic collected from the sea. Used wadding, in turn, is made from recycled plastic bottles.”

photos by Sofia Okkonen

“INTIMACY” Exhibition in Design Museum

“INTIMACY” Exhibition in Design Museum


Knitted outfit by Leevi Ikäheimo,
Photo by Mika Kailes

“Intimacy” exhibition at Helsinki Design museum presents 40 designers and companies at the intersection of novel politicisation and digital disruption of fashion.

The exhibition is curated by Professor Annamari Vänskä and researchers from her research group, post-doctoral researcher Jenni Hokka and doctoral researcher Natalia Särmäkari from Aalto University. Intimacy is part of the research consortium Intimacy in Data-driven Culture (IDA), funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland. The research project explores, among other things, how intimacy functions as the driving force of creative economy, including fashion.

The exhibition also highlights the impact of digitalisation and datafication on the work of the designer as well as the mechanisms through which fashion is manufactured, distributed and consumed. The exhibition is based on extensive research on the work of the most prominent Finnish fashion designers of the 2020s and beyond, as well as that of the more anonymous designers behind contemporary work uniforms and wearable technology.

Annamari Vänskä in Aalto University news (7.10.2021):

“The ongoing transformation offers Finnish fashion industry players a lot of international opportunities. We are not burdened down by the weight of fashion history, but we are used to taking advantage of technology, digitalisation and doing things in a new way.”

Contributors to ‘Intimacy’ include:

Rolf Ekroth, Venla Elonsalo, The Fabricant, Leevi Ikäheimo, Image Wear, Anna Isoniemi, Juslin/Maunula, Lauri Järvinen, Sasu Kauppi, Heidi Karjalainen, Jarno Kettunen, Maria Korkeila, Emilia Kuurila & Sofia Okkonen, Laivi, Henna Lampinen, Ervin Latimer, Matti Liimatainen, Marimekko, Moodmetric, Teemu Muurimäki, Myontec, NaNi, Aapo Nikkanen, Nomen Nescio, Oura, Paintings, Daniel Palillo, Ville Pölhö, Amina Saada, Heli Salomaa, Sami Samaledtin & Timur Samarskiy, Antonina Sedakova, Anna Semi, Suunto, Autuas Ukkonen, Wildkind Kids, Vyner Articles

Curating: Professor Annamari Vänskä, doctoral researcher Natalia Särmäkari and postdoctoral researcher Jenni Hokka.

Design Museum Exhibition,
Image by Paavo Lehtonen.

Designers’ Nest 2022 Finalist From Aalto University

Designers’ Nest 2022 Finalist

from Aalto University


Designers nest is an organisation that is incubating talent by showcasing and supporting the best fashion graduates from the Nordic Region. Four of our Aalto Fashion students secure a place in top ten finalists list for Designers’ Nest 2022.

Part of Designers’ Nest 2022 Finalists from Aalto Fashion : 

Leevi Ikäheimo, Elina Heilainen, Joona Rautiainen, Boram Yoo.

Leevi Ilkäheimo 

BA – Graduate of Aalto University created a series of looks, each resembling different characters and avatars with distorted silhouettes and bright colours. Despite its radical and satirical appearance, the collection highlights the value of handcrafts – both traditional and contemporary.

Elina Heilainen

Aalto University student Elina Heilainen has taken cues from the philosophical writings of thoreau and the wandering movement, wandervögel, and combined them with style inspiration from Renaissance garments and out wear aesthetics.

Boram Yoo

MA – Graduate of Aalto University, Boram Yoo has explored the history of the forced labour uniform in korea. One of the staple garments worn by Korean elderly women are trousers with eccentric floral prints, which were originally black attire used in forced labour in the colonial era.

Joona Rautiainen

MA – Graduate of Aalto University, Joona has created a collection of sensual male silhouettes inspired by Herb Ritta’s photography and Giorgio Armani’s unstructured suits. The work merges traditional sartorial practices and tailoring with a softer and flowy masculinity through a combination of leather and draping.

Outfits by Elina Heilainen, Leevi Ikäheim, Boram Yoo, Joona Rautiainen.
Images by Sofia Okkonen.

HYÈRES FINALS Sustainability Prize for Sofia Ilmonen

HYÈRES FINALS Sustainability Prize for Sofia Ilmonen

Aalto ARTS student Sofia Ilmonen from the Master’s Programme in Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design has won the Mercedes-Benz Sustainability Prize in Hyères. Hyères is an annual international festival of fashion, photography and fashion accessories and this year it was held for the 36th time.

Ilmonen describes the collection (Sofia Ilmonen’s Instagram page)

“The core idea of the master’s thesis collection ‘Same Same but Different’ lies in modular design concept which extends the longevity of the garment through structurally unique, yet uniform shape of the modules. The modular clothes also entail a promise of fashion novelty, as the identical square shape of each pattern piece does not determine the function of the garment later on, hence they can be reassembled in new ways again and again. The silhouettes of all the collection garments are created by folding and gathering the squares into shape. The modules are assembled together with a button and loop mechanism which allows endless modifications or complete transformations on the style without sewing. The building blocks of the garment stay the same, but the form can be different with just a move of a button.”

Sustainability is at the core of the collection – it addresses the problem of a short garment lifespan. With transformable modular design, the garments can be modified to the changing needs or wants of the wearer, says Ilmonen.

The prize is significant – sustainability is an essential part of Aalto University education and especially in Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design master programme. Ilmonen plans to continue working with modular garments in the future. the prize comes with an opportunity to showcase the collection at Mercedes-Benz fashion week.

Not one but two Hyères Prizes for Aalto University students

Fashion, Clothing and Textile Design master programme student Elina Silina also won a prize at the Hyères Fashion competition. Silina won the Chloé prize which challenged the finalists to design one silhouette faithful to the Chloé style. Silina started the master studies this autumn at Aalto University and studied before in the Art Academy of Latvia. Silina specialises in sustainable and up cycled fashion.

Outfits By Sofia Ilmonen, Elina Silina
Photography by Juho Huttunen