Give Me My Fairytale

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Photos: Helena Kukk

MUA: Merlin Albert Mak-Up Atelier Paris, Merlit Vals

Hair: Balmain Hair Couture

Model: Joonas Tagel

Assistant: Iris Krantsiveer

Estonian Fashion Festival production

Location: Aparaaditehas



Winner of Estonian Fashion Festival 2020

Participates in ERKI fashion show 2020 &

International Young Designers Contest 2020

It has always been important for me to learn and develop old handicraft techniques. I was nudged into researching this subject years ago in the end of the last millennium when it was popular in Estonia to modernise everything old according to European standards. There were many times I witnessed old and and suddenly not fashionable items thrown into fires. Since I grew up with my grandparents, for them, handicraft was a big part of their lives and I couldn’t understand how things that took hundres of hours to make, meant so little to people, to just throw them away or even worse, burn.

Collection „Give Me My Fairytale“ is an ode to handicraft and a thank you to the women (and men) all over the world , who appreciate embroidery as a lifestyle, means of expression or just as a pastime. This project is also a rescue mission – to give forgotten pieces of textile art a new chance for life. I have been collecting cross stitch embroideries for a few years now. The furthest places I have recieved some of these works have been from the Caribbean, Australia and Isreal. Hundreds of women haven unknowingly contributed in the creation of this collection.

Handicraft has given many women the opportunity to dream, to escape from reality and imagine a brighter future. Women have fought in the wars – through handicraft, put bread on the table during famine. In times of great suffering and sorrow – fighting for their rights and enduring domestic violence, embroidery has given women a voice and an opportunity to escape reality to keep their sanity.

Material for this collection is mostly found from garage sales and second hand shops. Fine handicraft that has took hundreds – even thousands hours of work. Pillowcases, framed pictures etc– all made with lots of love and unbounded amount of skill.

You can find cross-stitch and longstitch embroidery and tapestry what have had their glory, but now they are waiting for their sad future, just because trends have turned. Including finest materials. Precise little illustrative stitches that combine fabulous colour schemes and artsy stories. Not always perfect, but still with strong characteristics.

The cross stitch technique can be considered the primitive pixel. Looking at works that are sometimes hundreds of years old, it is amazing to think, how humans were able to pixelate their visual before there were programs that could seperate light and shadow, reflection and outlines as dots.

When an experienced embroiderer makes about 240 crossstitch per hour and 1 dm2 is 2200 stitches, that means the fabric used on one suit has taken 2760 hours or 345 workdays. This is a lot of work to go unappreciated.

Collection „Give Me My Fairytale“ is full of dreams. Silent and eloquent. Colourful and black and white. From home and away. Original and recreations. Each uniquely imperfect, put together they become whole.

The technical drawings of the clothes have been done on worn-down veils, which have been created with love and care, but now are waiting to be thrown out since they are filled with holes and stains.

The silhouette of this collection has been inspired by prince charming in diferent times – once on a white horse, once a CEO of a startup. The style is bold, eyecatching and personal, because every detail is unique and absolutely non-reccurring.
Reuse and appreciative recycling are terms that have become common today. We have developed abilities to give new life to things and materials. But is it also possible to remake shabby fairytales as new?

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