by Lou Stoppard .

2015's Aalto Arts Fashion Seminar

Last weekend, I was invited to Helsinki to participate in the Aalto Arts Fashion Seminar for the second time. The discussion forms part of the Pre Helsinki program, which allows press and buyers the chance to get to know the work of Finnish creatives past and present.

This year’s conference was titled Building Brands 3.0, following on from last year’s For Fashion’s Sake discussion, which can be watched here. It was chaired by A Magazine editor-in-chief Dan Thawley and featured fashion designer Damir Doma, consultant and fashion designer Susanne Deeken, Maria Luisa buying director Robin Schulie and consultant and SHOWstudio regular Mimma Viglezio. I also sat on the panel as co-chair.

The talk was refreshingly honest - we debated the troubles and choices facing young fashion designers and professionals in today’s global climate, painting a realistic picture of the fashion industry as a complex mechanism, with many alternate routes to success. Specific themes discussed included the merits of international competitions like the LVMH Prize, ANDAM and Hyères Festival, ways of navigating the transition from school to internships and the problems with the current fashion show schedule and pace.

The talk was a much-watch for young creatives, and aptly preceded the Aalto Arts 2015 graduate fashion show, which featured outstanding collections by Maria Suomalainen, Rolf Ekroth and Reea Peltola, to name a few. Us panelists were tasked with awarding the Naytos Prize, which we gave to Timo Helin for his quietly sensual collection, which perfectly united classic sports shapes with formalwear and showed off a real talent for colour. Luckily, the discussion was filmed and we’re thrilled to be able to release the footage on SHOWstudio - it will launch in the coming few days, so stay tuned. While you wait, revisit last year’s lengthy conversation featuring the likes of DJ Michel Gaubert and hatter Stephen Jones.

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