Jere Vilo


Nakit silmillä – Hot dogs over the eyes


In his graduate collection Jere Vilo researches how the working class has inspired fashion and how his own working-class background has affected his identity as a designer. During the process he has reflected on the middle-class standards that guide our choices and values, especially in the current rather polarized political climate in Finland. What brings us together?


For Vilo it is food. In his collection Vilo, an inventive storyteller, imaginines opening an imaginary hot dog stand of his dreams, called Nakit Silmillä (Hot Dogs Over the Eyes). The concept and the collection take the viewer to that stand and tell the story of the characters surrounding this imaginary place in a humorous yet observant way.


The name of the collection comes from a Finnish saying describing a deeply intoxicated person. While the viewer might not be intoxicated, the vibrant prints in the collection do make one feel like it. Previously printing most of his textiles, in this collection the prints are knitted and woven into the materials. The woven fabrics feature different twill structures traditionally found in workwear. The voluminous silhouettes emphasize the prints and maximize the use of the material leaving as little waste as possible.


– The idea was not to create functional workwear inspired by the working class, but to take the elements and turn them into a fun and absurd fictional hot dog brand that romanticizes the working class to the max. A key factor is that the work is done by the people inspiring the collection and not by the elite playing blue collar cosplay, Vilo reflects.


Having the experience of working in the service industry from a fast-food restaurant to an exclusive design boutique, the interactions with customers have partly shaped Vilo into the person and designer he is today. Stepping into the uniform and character of a salesperson is like playing a part in an everyday performance of middle-class values.


– Academic research is often not done by people from the working-class which has sometimes made me feel like an outsider, but I see this as an opportunity to tell my story and provoke thoughts in others. The financial cuts made by the current Finnish government will affect the amount of these voices in the future. But I have a message to the rulers: You can rain on my parade, but you can’t steal my fun! This is a sausage fest like no other!


Contact information:

Jere Vilo

+358 40 773 3202


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