Elina Silina


The essence of Elina Silina’s MA-thesis women’s wear collection lies in researching the handover of Latvian ancestral knowledge through textiles and craftsmanship. It is a deep dive into Latvian folk symbols, their meaning and practical uses.


– I aim to convey the role of textiles as being much more than merely a material. I see cloth as a way to express one’s beliefs and identity, as a means of communication, Silina says.


She also tells that the studies of textile and fashion design at Aalto University broadened her understanding of the unique role of fabrics in connecting people within their culture and other cultures globally.


– The studies also provided a fresh perspective on my own culture, which I wished to explore in this collection, Silina explains.


Researching Latvian ethnography highlights the intricate balance between color, pattern and material in designing surfaces and overall silhouettes. Sourcing right materials and highlighting traditional craftsmanship was part of the process. This included, for example, knitting and crocheting with hand-spun raw wool from locally grown sheep and goats as well as dying raw wool in mushrooms and onion skins and combining it in knitwear with a specialty yarn made from Baltic amber (AMBELIKA®).


– It was also important to me to showcase the unique role ethnographic symbols have in Latvian culture. The geometrical signs are arranged in patterns that prophesize one’s fate and serve as protection from evil. I collaborated with local artisans back home to create hand-woven wool belts with symbolic messages woven into them and craft hand-made Baltic Sea amber buttons and accessories.

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