Lauri Greis


Karelian Sportlore


In his BA collection Lauri Greis combines elements from the Karelian national costume with modern sportswear. The idea came to be when Greis received his grandmother’s old Antrean national costume. The collection is strongly based on academic research: Greis has studied Finnish romantic nationalism, history and functions of Finnish folk dresses and national costumes. The sportwear element on the other hand represents contemporary Finnish identity, suggesting that sportwear is the modern version of the folk dress. This is not far-fetched: Finns are often ironically described as “shell suit people”, referring to Finland as a nation where everyone wears sporty clothes.


– Education is an intrinsic value for me. I like to learn about new things and always try to see the bigger picture. This collection is a fantasy-like self-portrait based on history, ethnography and my memories of 00’s sportswear. The mission of the collection is to explore my roots, after all, the collection is a tribute to my grandmother, Greis says.


Folk dress is a functional ensemble consisting of shirts, vests, skirts and aprons. The collection includes similar garments while the connection to sportswear is created by using technical fabrics and familiar details such as stripes, pleating and embroidery.


– National costume is an interesting piece of clothing. First of all, it feels timeless but in reality, it is a reconstruction of the 18th and 19th century folk dress. Secondly, folk dress has been seen as static and anti-fashion even though the dress has changed and affected fashion as well, Greis explains.


He also says that even though the fashion context has given him freedom of interpretation he also feels great responsibility as a designer.


– I have landed quite far from the original Antrean national costume since I wanted to do my own interpretation of it. Simultaneously I have also wanted to pay tribute to it and avoid misinterpreting let alone misappropriating the original costume.


Essential techniques in the collection include jacquard-weaving, industrial knitting and technical details deriving from functional wear. For traditional handcraft techniques Greis has studied woven structures, tassels and pleating used in folk dresses. Greis’s process-based working method means using textile design as a means to explore appropriate tones for the collection.


– Working with this project has been rewarding. I love folk dresses as much as I love big jackets and loose trousers, but I don’t see them as the core of my designer identity. I think I could design anything. Every garment and all the textiles are different and there are always specific demands and problems to solve.


Contact information:

Lauri Greis

+358 44 922 7615



Close [X]