ALPHA 2023 presented 10 outstanding collections, created by emerging designers from the Nordics: Desirée Bjurinder Fritzon, Elma Leminen, Hanna Hanhela, Hedvig Ljungström, Julie Lundgaard Christophersen, Kaapo Sinervo, Marie-Louise Guldbæk Andersen, Samuel Westerberg, Sasha Heinsaar and Tuuli-Tytti Koivula. The show brought together an enthralling line-up of innovative fashion that balanced the experimental and the functional.
With a clear focus on hand-crafted details and voluminous shapes, as well as technical and tailored silhouettes, the designers cemented that Nordic fashion is diverse and deeply invested in responsible practices.
“The designers invite us to think, reflect and dream. Their compelling, beautiful, odd, responsible and thought-provoking work draws up an exciting future of Nordic fashion,”
said director Ane Lynge-Jorlén at the award ceremony after the show.
Tuuli-Tytti Koivula and Sasha Heinsaar were selected to be featured in the forthcoming exhibition ‘Nordic Fashion Now: Knitwear and Print’ at the Röhsska Museum of Design and Craft in Sweden. Tuuli-Tytti Koivula mixes inspiration from tight ski-racing gear and the Bregenzerwald traditional costume, which is a living tradition and part of UNESCO’s cultural heritage. Exaggerated and voluminous shapes are paired with clashing and contrasting material and printed surfaces and sustainable wadding. Sasha Heinsaar uses deadstock, second-hand and discarded material in a collection that is based on Slavic folk tales that Heinsaar read as a child in Estonia. Knitting, crocheting, weaving and patchwork techniques are innovated by integrating folktale characters in wearable forms, all laboriously handmade.
As part of a new partnership with MM6 Margiela, Kaapo Sinvero was selected by the label’s the creative team, helmed by Heikki Salonen, for a paid internship at the Paris studio.
The creative team at MM6 Margiela “were impressed by Kaapo’s custom developed fabrics applied to exaggerated silhouettes, utilising an unconventional approach to texture and colour. Kaapo’s thought-provoking research mixes cultural references with an eye for fabrication and contemporary functionality and we are excited to provide the opportunity to work together in the MM6 team.”
This year ALPHA is introducing a new prize: A 1 Granary mentorship prize, which involves one year of mentoring by founder Olya Kuryshchuk.
“The future of fashion needs designers who are restlessly rethinking the way we make and consume fashion. Sustainability, originality, innovation, and industry awareness are all values that 1 Granary stands for and traits that as a platform want to award. Sasha's work is fearless, experimental and most importantly modern. As a designer who reflects on the current sociopolitical landscape, with a strong technical skillset and aesthetic eye, Sasha deserves to be supported and mentored in order to further explore sustainable fashion-making and craftsmanship,” says Olya Kuryshchuk
As a continuation of a partnership with Browns Fashion, buying director Ida Petersson selected Marie-Louise Guldbæk Andersen to develop a sustainable collection for the retailer in collaboration with The Bear Scouts. Marie-Louise receives a mentorship that is all-encompassing, through pre-payment, educating, consulting, showcasing and selling the collection on an international scale.
“Marie-Louise’s design challenges the concept of masculinity adding to a very important debate that is at the forefront of men’s fashion today and a subject very close to Browns’ heart. Upfront the craftsmanship and attention to detail is exceptional and I fell in love with her approach to slow fashion, taking time to do something thoroughly and properly is rare today and should be treasured. I’m very excited to explore Marie-Louise’s world further and look forward to introducing her to Browns customers,” says Ida Petersson.
The ALPHA Award was presented to Tuuli-Tytti Koivula. She received a cash prize of 50.000 DKK, alongside a ceramic vessel by Karl Monies and a study trip to UEDA College of Fashion in Osaka in Japan. “Tuuli-Tytti impressed us with her ability to bridge fantasy and function, reality and beautiful storytelling. Every detail is thought through. Her range as a designer across silhouette, material and categories is exceptional. Tulli-Tytti shows maturity beyond exception. The collection is coherent and eloquently shows development of ideas into finished pieces,” Director Ane Lynge-Jorlén said after the show.
The finalists were assessed by the jury that includes Olya Kuryshchuk (Founder and Creative Director, 1 Granary), Mariasole Pastori (Executive Director at Diorama and Talent Acquisition Consultant), Ida Petersson (Buying Director, Browns Fashion), Achilles Ion Gabriel (Creative Director, Camper), Anders Sølvsten Thomsen (Stylist and Creative Consultant) and Ane Lynge-Jorlén (Director, ALPHA)
ALPHA is supported by The Nordic Culture Fund, The Danish Arts Foundation, Beckett-Fonden, MFK Almene Fond, CIFF, Copenhagen Fashion Week and Eyes on Talents.
All images courtesy of ALPHA