Elina Määttänen is a 2014 graduate from Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture. She is fascinated by the Japanese ideology that security and freedom of creativity can be found within rules and boundaries. Her inspiration comes from clothes that evoke a sense of security, like workwear, military garb or even winter coats. As a finalist at Festival d’Hyères 2015, she received a special mention from Carine Roitfeld, founder and editor-in-chief of CR Fashion Book and Olivier Zahm, founder and editor-in-chief of Purple fashion magazine. Määttänen is also a finalist at International Talent Support 2015. Here, she answers our questions.
How did growing up in Finland influence your aesthetic? I’d say in a way I’m more grounded, Finland is not a land of high glamour. My clothes are usually based on real functional garments. My MA graduate collection has a strong focus on overcoats, so there is definitely a practical aspect that comes from living with the cold most of the year.
Do you think there is there a distinct Finnish aesthetic? I think it shows that we are further away from the fashion capitals. There is a strong sense of individuality in how people dress in Finland.
What’s your favorite thing about being based in Finland? Peace and quiet.
Do you have a favorite Finnish designer? Heikki Salonen.
Who is your favorite international designer? Nicolas Ghesquière.
Meet Finland’s Rising Fashion Stars
“Finland is not a land of high glamour. My clothes are usually based on functional garments like workwear and military uniforms.”
“We live between Russia and Sweden. I can see influences coming from both Slavic and western cultures, which makes it quite different from what you see elsewhere.”
“I grew up surrounded by Marimekko curtains and table wear, using Fiskars scissors and drinking from Iittala glasses. In away you could not help it how you got influenced by the iconic Finnish design from the golden ages.”
“Of course we are influenced by things beyond our borders too, but there is without a doubt a certain Finnish aesthetic which mixes with Karelian roughness and both cultures are strongly influenced by nature. “
“Finland is evident in everything I do, but not necessarily very noticeably. It’s sort of a national feeling of a pacifist.”
“Samuji aims to create functional, sustainable design—items that serve a purpose and yet carry a story.”
“Finland is so far away from fashion capitals that you are able to perceive fashion from an outsider’s perspective.”
R/H “Finnish people are naturally good at individualism because of our lone wolf kind of mentality.”
Hair and make-up by Emilie Tuuminen. Model: Stephanie Cook at Brand Model Management.
Photos by Chris Vidal Tenomaa, styled by Maija Sallinen. Hair and make-up by Emilie Tuuminen. Model: Stephanie Cook at Brand Model Management.