Fashion Made In Estonia #2 With Liisa Soolepp

Tere tere minu kallid,

you enjoyed the interview with the charming Tanel Veenre? You are hungry for more fashion made in Estonia? Today we are moving to fabric industry, in particular knit-wear with female touch. The designer Liisa Soolepp is inspired by the forests of Estonia with her knit designs. Famous customers of her are among others Lenna Kuurmaa, front-singer from the rock band Vanilla Ninja.

Photo: Virge Viertek

Fall4Me: Dear Liisa, thank you for participating in my project and for agreeing to the interview. What is typically Estonian about Liisa Soolepp Design? 
Liisa Soolepp: My aim is to create designs which are unique and at the same time practical. The items are made by using modern manufacturing possibilities, but the sense of human hand is still there. In my designs I put main emphasis to patterns, textures and colours. And to balance it I keep the cuts of the garments quite simple. I really like the idea of knitted coats, which are suitable for cold scandinavian climate. 

What makes it exclusively "made in Estonia"?
In my life and creative work I follow the holistic way of seeing the world. I'm happy to be Estonian and to live in neighborhood with forests, which gives me the opportunity to feel myself connected with nature. My collections are mostly inspired by the forest as an extremely powerful sign-system. The forest is full of structures and patterns. This is like a holy script, full of senses and endless possibilities. I like to play caleidoscopical games with different elements of forest such as spiderwebs, leaves, animal footprints, mushroom structures and so on. Estonian forest inspires me to find archaic signs and patterns and to use them in urban context, bringing them closer to modern people. It means taking an element out of itˇs original context and recreating it in new system. And of course all my products are made by lovely Estonian ladys.

Why exactly did you choose to concentrate on knit wear? 
When during my studies in artschool I saw the knitting-maschine first time, it momentarily raised the interest what maschine is it and what is possible to do with it. I haven' t analyzed that "magnetism", simply the theme of knitwear attracts me and it's been very interesting to discover that world. It's somehow in my blood and the part of my creative DNA. 

Who and what were your motivations? 
Creating the designs I mostly like to play with pattern. I search inspiration from archaic signs and symbols, which have the ability to accumulate thoughts and meanings, therefore allowing peace and stillness to take place. I like to think about clothes as talismans, which create unseen protective and supporting environment around the wearer, besides the function of simply covering the body. Through the clothes, which are „loaded” by this idea, we are experiencing world and recording memories and impulses. I wish, that my clothes could function as a bufferzone between the world and the wearer. 

Since your design is based on knit wear. How - in your opinion - does knit fit in for spring? 
Very well, I think. And I hope my new spring collection will be the proof of it.

Can you imagine to widen your field in design?
Maybe in the future, but now there is so much more to discover and learn in the field of knit-wear and therefore I'd prefer to focus on this at the moment.

How popular is knit wear in Estonia compared to other countries?
I guess, it's quite popular here. It depends on our climate also, because there is quite much time of coldness, when you wish to cover yourself with warm knit-wear. And as during the last years our scene of knit-wear design has lot developed, those obstacles come nicely together.

A sentence that everyone should know to say in Estonian is...?
Tark ei torma! (Wiseman is never in hurry!)

Knit-wear has been a highly celebrated trend in the international fashion scene in the past years. Maybe the Estonian touch fascinated you now. If so, visit Liisa Soolepp on Facebook for all her creations and to get her fashion online.

Xoxo ♥ Johanna

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